The Disposable DVD

Disney is test-selling disposal DVDs. “”They will go on sale in four cities to test whether US film watchers will choose them over rented DVDs. The red DVDs turn an unreadable black 48 hours after their packages are opened, exposing them to oxygen. The oxygen reacts with the disc in a process similar to how Polaroid film develops.”

National Ballet In The Black

As other dance companies struggle, the National Ballet of Canada posts its third balanced budget in three years. “Revenues for the year were $16,529,000, 46 per cent from the box office, 20 per cent from fundraising, 28 per cent from government grants and six per cent from other income. The company now has an accumulated surplus of $98,000.”

On The Internet – The End Of Free?

The culture of the internet has been that most things are free. But the music industry lawsuits suggest those days are coming to an end. “These lawsuits certainly tell consumers that `free’ ultimately has a price. Originally, there was this perception that consumers would not pay for content — entertainment or information — over the Internet. But that perception is changing.”

Increase For Canada Council?

The Canada Council is asking for a big increase in its funding. “Over the past three years, artists and arts organizations in 1,000 Canadian communities have received Canada Council funding. In 2002-2003, the Council awarded nearly $142.3-million in grants, prizes and payments to Canadian artists and arts organizations.”

Help For Colorado Ballet

The financially-ailing Colorado Ballet gets the largest grant in its history to help see it through the next season. “The ballet ended its 2002-03 season with a $200,000 deficit, which it is addressing this year with an annual budget cut from $5.6 million to $4.9 million. The reduction also reflects a 34 percent drop in performances, because the company cannot use the Auditorium Theatre, which is closed for renovation.”

Dallas – Sketchy And Conventional For $250 Million

Plans for a new $250 million performing arts center for Dallas have been released. “For a document co-produced by the offices of Rem Koolhaas and Foster and Partners, spirited iconoclasts and high-tech adventurers respectively, it is surprisingly conventional. Leafy boulevards, fountained plazas, long axial vistas, these are the staples of old world urbanism rather than the concussive New American landscape. And for a plan that’s been in the works for a year, it is surprisingly sketchy. The sources of this embryonic condition are various: an inexperienced client, philosophical differences among the planners, an untimely shakeup in Mr. Koolhaas’ Office of Metropolitan Architecture.”

Tourists See Leonardo Thieves

A couple of tourists ran into the men who were stealing a Leonardo painting last week as they were getting away. “We heard the alarm going off and the first man climbed over the wall and said not to worry, ‘Don’t worry love, We’re the police. This is just a practice’ he said. When the second man came over the wall we felt something was going on. The third man over the wall was carrying something under his arm which appeared to be the same size as what we’ve been told about the painting.”

A Poet Laureate For Our Times?

“It would be invidious to suggest that Louise Glück, who last week replaced Billy Collins in the office down Library of Congress way, is the finer poet; better noted is how much more thoroughly she fits the moment. History gets the poets it deserves, and though Ms. Glück isn’t as grim as the newspapers of late, nor as rapaciously bellicose as the administration, she’s no good-time guy. Her poetry is no stranger to difficulty, and has shadows aplenty.”