Stolen Leonardo

A Leonardo painting has been stolen in southern Scotland. “The work, known as Madonna with the Yarnwinder, was owned by the Duke of Buccleuch and on display at Drumlanrig Castle, in southern Scotland. Police said they were looking for four men seen driving near the castle in a white Volkswagen Golf Gti today.”

An Instrumental Loan

The Canada Council holds a competition for musicians to borrow one of 11 string instruments the Council owns. Every three years, the council runs a competition to loan the instruments – collectively worth $21 million. “Musicians must audition before a jury that decides who will be granted one of the instruments. Halifax cellist Denise Djokic won the use of the ‘Bonjour’ Stradivarius cello three years ago and, next week, she will compete to keep it for another three because she feels the Strad has changed both her playing and her life.”

BBC For Free – Is It Possible?

The BBC says it will digitize all its content and make it available for free. Is this even technically possible? “Giving away the BBC’s content online is an eye-popping proposal, in part because it’s such an ambitious project. The BBC produces eight TV channels and 10 radio networks, and it broadcasts the news in 43 languages worldwide. It’s been doing television since 1936, and radio since 1922. How much of the Beeb’s voluminous output could it really put online? With today’s production software, digitizing the Beeb’s shows to disk as they air or uploading a copy of each segment separately as it’s produced would be easy. But what about the old shows?”

Video Gamers – Getting More Female And Older

A new study reports that more adult women play video games than young boys. The average age of gamers has also risen to 29. “Video gaming traditionally has been seen as the province of teen boys locked in dark rooms, twitching away at game consoles. In recent years, however, the industry has worked to publish games catering to kids, women and older gamers.”

We Live In An 850-Year-Old House…

The oldest continually-inhabited house in Britain has been identified. It was completed between 1148 and 1150 and is in Somerset. The news “stunned the owners of the house, James and Anna Wynn, who sold a small terrace house and left London five years ago to find somewhere with more room for their growing family and a bit of history.”

Finalists For The New Picture Prize

Finalists have been chosen for the first Schweppes portrait prize, an international competition with £15,000 awarded to the winner. “The prize is the successor to the John Kobal photographic portrait award, which until it ended last year was recognised as one of the most distinguished photography competitions. The new prize attracted more than 3,000 images from 1,212 professional and amateur photographers of which 60 have been selected for the exhibition’s opening at the National Portrait Gallery in London in November.”