Mind Control To Major Tom

There’s a new game that is controlled by brainwaves. “The game is supposed to measure each player’s brain activity with a band of electrodes worn above the eyes. These pick up the faint electrical signals that emanate from inside our heads. Mindball’s designers at the Interactive Institute in Sweden configured their system to register only a few of these signals–the low-frequency components known as alpha and theta waves. Alpha and theta, they tell us, are generated when the brain is ‘calm and relaxed.’ To win a game of Mindball, then, you have to out-calm your opponent.”

Cyprus To Get National Theatre

“The new building, which will be situated in Nicosia, at the old GSP stadium premises and will cost 9,4 million Cyprus pounds, aspires to give a new momentum to the theatre activities on the island. The building will include two state-of-the-art stages (550 and 150 seats), offices, an exhibition area, a foyer, a bookshop, a restaurant and a cafeteria.”

The Stupendous Anna Netrebko

“Is she truly trying to live up to her sobriquet as ‘the Russian Maria Callas’ by taking on two of the major bel canto roles associated with her predecessor? Can her voice really be as fantastic as the worshipful reviews that have described it as “dark gold on red velvet’, ‘miraculous,’ ‘lustrous’ — fantastic enough to justify the debut of her latest CD, ‘Russian Album’ at No. 8 on the German pop charts?”

The Tangled Tangled Web

“For one naive, shining moment in the ’90s, the assumption was that on the Web, popularity would be democratic, earned one enthusiastic click at a time. Pure. Simple. Untainted by Billboard, Hollywood, Nielsen or other mainstream media usual suspects. But that was before clicks meant cash, and before a flood of tools and communities brought millions of new, mainly nonprofessional content providers online, jostling to get their videos watched, audio clips downloaded and blogs and Web pages linked to bigger, more popular blogs and websites.” Now the name of the game is gaming the system.

Boom Times For Brits

British movies are having a great run right now. “Why has this happened, and why now? It’s not immediately apparent. Overwhelmingly, British films are still financed by a combination of tax and lottery money via the UK Film Council or by two broadcasters, BBC Films and Film Four. Yet significantly all these bodies are on a winning streak at present.”