Seeing Trumps Listening?

Has our ability to see and interpret images surpassed our ability to hear and translate sound? “Perhaps there simply are more pictures available for our brains to interpret than there are sounds, or perhaps we are wired to process visual data especially quickly and efficiently. Scientists do know that the part of our brains that deciphers optic signals is larger and more developed than any other part of the cerebral cortex. Some think that when our brains translate aural input into sounds, they do so in a temporal fashion. It’s as if each sound were a soldier marching in formation past a reviewing stand.”

Hinglish Spoken Here

The form of English commonly spoken by educated Indians is unique in the grammar and formation. “Welcome to the wonderful world of Hinglish, a Hindu-inspired dialect that pulsates with energy, invention and humour — not all of it intended. Hinglish is full of cricket terminology and army metaphors, with echoes of P.G. Wodehouse and Dickens. It contains clunky puns and impeccably logical neologisms. In short, it is a delight.”

Classical Music Recordings Share Dips

A new study of recording sales in the UK indicates that sales of classical music are falling as a percentage of total music sales. “More than a decade after the heyday of the Three Tenors, the new survey, compiled by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), appears to prove that the public’s brief 1990s flirtation with orchestral music is over. It found that classical CDs accounted for barely one in 20 of all the albums sold in the UK last year – compared to a high of one in 10 in 1990.”

Ear’s Something Revolting

A British artist plans to use plastic surgery to graft a human ear grown in a biotech lab onto his forearm. “Even in an art world used to the antics of Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst, the Extra Ear project will cause upset. Many critics of unusual modern art say a fringe of the movement is caught in an ‘arms race’ of stunts that have little artistic merit but plenty of shock value. Last month a French artist cut off his own finger with an axe and donated it to a museum.”

Lit In Pictures

“Graphic novels aren’t new – Will Eisner created the first one in 1978. What’s new is their audience and influence. In last year’s flat economy for books, sales for graphic novels leapt by one-third. Of the $400 million in annual comics sales, graphic novels now make up $100 million. Publishers Weekly, the book industry bible, calls them ‘one of the fastest growing categories in publishing’.”

Cremona da New Jersey

Evelyn and Herbert Axelrod could have given the 30 rare Cremonese string instruments they owned to the Vienna Philharmonic (which reportedly offered $55 million for the lot). Or they could have sold them to the New York Philharmonic, which also came a’calling. Instead they gave them to the tiny New Jersey Symphony for the bargain-basement price of $18 million. It’s a remarkable thing to do…