How Do You Preserve Digital Info For The Future?

“Increasingly, academic journals are published online; many are not even available in print. As a result, libraries are losing the option of maintaining local collections—but are leery of discontinuing paper subscriptions. That makes them sound like Luddites stuck in a world of paper. After all, they could make digital back-ups. What is more, publishers often grant perpetual access to their journals and provide subscribers with CD-ROM versions. As a last resort, there is always the Library of Congress in America and other national libraries around the world where copies of most publications are kept. In the very long run, however, such solutions are not all that viable…”

Enough With The Potter-Mania Already

“What’s behind this Potter-mania? Clearly something other than the quality of the novels. When reviewers finally get to read the new Potter, no doubt there will be the predictable backlash of claims that it is not that good – but who cares? The discussion has gone beyond all that. Since it began, Potter-mania has represented a cultural infantilism, that only grows as the years go by. It is about what we expect from our kids, our books, our value system and ourselves. Whatever happens in The Order of the Phoenix, the story of our obsession with Harry Potter is unlikely to have a happy ending.”

Scotland’s Arts Plan

Scotland’s culture minister has unveiled his government’s new arts policy, and has ruled out a bailout of the troubled Scottish Opera. “Last month, senior figures in the arts warned that without a substantial cash injection, national companies – notably Scottish Opera – and some theatres might have to cut the number of productions this autumn.”

Penumbra Theatre To Ordway?

St. Paul, Minnesota’s Penumbra Theatre is one America’s leading African American theatres. And it’s been looking to build itself a real home for some time. Now it looks like the theatre might abandon those plans and move into the Ordway Performing Arts Center. “A potential collaboration between the Ordway and Penumbra provides a possible: Penumbra would provide cachet, a density of activity and, most probably, rental income to the Ordway.

Senate Committee Votes To Overturn FCC

The Senate Commerce Committee votes to overturn parts of a Federal Communications Commission decision freeing media companies from decades-old ownership limits and allowing them to buy more outlets and merge in new ways. The proposal would “roll back changes that allowed individual companies to own television stations reaching nearly half the nation’s viewers and combinations of newspapers and broadcast stations in the same city. The Republican-controlled FCC relaxed those rules on June 2 with a 3-2 party-line vote.”

Senator Hatch The Destroyer Uses Unpurchased Software Himself

Earlier this week Utah Senator Orrin Hatch advocated allowing companies to damage computers on which they found copyrighted material that hadn’t been purchased or licensed. It “may be the only way you can teach somebody about copyrights,” he said, before suggesting that “the technology would twice warn a computer user about illegal online behavior, then destroy their computer.” So take your best shot at Hatch’s own computer. Turns out he uses unlicensed software on his own computer…

The Art Of Mobbing

It’s called the Mob Project and it works like this: Someone writes an email with a date, time, place and random activity, then sends it to people to forward to whomever they want. At the appointed time, dozens (hundreds?) of strangers converge at the appointed location. “The Mob Project has a particular New York twist – you have to know someone to get invited. There’s no website to go to for information, no ads in local papers – the mob forms from e-mails that are forwarded from person to person. ‘Everyone loves a mindless mob! I was so stoked when I got my invitation – no action, no protest, no needing to review my political stance on a particular issue. Just be there or be square.”

Latinos Now Biggest US Minority

For the first time Latinos are now the largest minority population in the US. “Figures released in Washington placed the Latino population at 38.8 million in July 2002, an increase of nearly 10% from the 2000 census. The bureau estimated the African American population at 38.3 million. Each group accounts for a little more than 13% of the overall U.S. population.”

Study: Playing An Instrument Helps Fight Alzheimer’s

Want to stave off Alzheimer’s? Then make your mind active, says a new research report. “Those who played board games had a 74 percent lower risk and those who played an instrument had a 69 percent lower risk. Doing crossword puzzles cut the risk by 38 percent. Using the mind actually causes rewiring of the brain, sprouting new synapses – it may even cause the generation of new neurons. So psychology trumps biology.”

Why Are High-Culture Audiences So White?

Why are there so few African-Americans at Pittsburgh’s high-culture events? Audiences for the symphony and for theatre are mostly white, as they are in most American cities. One reason? “You’re comparing a population that has half as much income as another group, and it’s not surprising that you’d see this showing up in [the spending of] discretionary income,”