Spaghetti Tacos: Silly Enough for Young Eaters [via The New York Times]
A visual gag on a Nickelodeon show has spawned a new trend, the trendspotting New York Times reports: spaghetti tacos. Syracuse University pop culture professor Robert Thompson provides some expert commentary: “This combination seems to be an inevitability, sort of like chocolate and peanut butter running into each other on that Reese’s commercial. The amazement should be only that it took ‘iCarly’ to bring it into our melting pot of a culture… Spaghetti tacos has made it possible to eat spaghetti in your car. It’s a very important technological development. You don’t even need a plate.”
Spaghetti Tacos “Expert,” Prof. Robert Thompson, Has Now Been Interviewed by 78 Different NYT Reporters [via NYT Picker]
Perhaps Professor Thompson is overextending himself, the NYTimes Picker says. “But maybe Stapinski’s reportage isn’t so remarkable, after all. In fact, she’s only continuing a longstanding NYT tradition in quoting Thompson — and has become the 78th NYT reporter to do so, in 150 separate stories over the span of almost two decades. We counted! Only last month, Thompson was quoted in four television-related NYT stories over a ten-day period: an advertising column by Abby Ellin, a sports story by Pete Thamel, and pieces by two regularly Thompson-dependent television reporters, Richard Sandomir and Bill Carter.”
Parisian flat containing €2.1 million painting lay untouched for 70 years [via The Daily Telegraph]
Apparently it had been a while since the neighbors had seen Marthe de Florian at her Paris flat, but no one had any idea it had been seven decades. De Florian had left Paris for southern France before World War II and never returned, leaving behind “a treasure trove of turn-of-the-century objects including a painting by the 19th century Italian artist Giovanni Boldini.” When she died at the age of 91, though, her possessions had to be inventoried, leading authorities to unseal the flat. Predictably, they also found a great deal of dust and cobwebs.
Read Full Post »
British spy found dead in bath was padlocked into sports bag [via The Telegraph]
The strange case of Britain’s dead spy continues to reveal new twists. MI6 agent Gareth Williams, 31, was found dead in his apartment August 23. New details recently emerged during an inquiry that Williams’ body was discovered by police padlocked inside a large sports bag in the bathtub. Two autopsies have not yet discovered the cause of death, and police say the situation is “suspicious and unexplained” (duh).
Man sued for drunkenly losing $1.35M painting [via The New York Daily News]
Manhattanite James Haggerty is being sued by some (presumably former) friends after he drunkenly lost their $1.35 million painting. Haggerty was supposed to transport the painting, “Portrait of a Girl” by Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, to a potential buyer at a hotel. Security footage shows that, after the buyer turned down the offer, Haggerty sloshed out of the hotel, painting in tow, and had lost it the next morning.
Battle Brews Over Michelangelo’s ‘David’ [via The New York Times]
A report commissioned by Italy’s federal government says that Michelangelo’s classic sculpture ‘David’ is owned by the nation, not the city of Florence, where it resides. Proceeds from tourists viewing ‘David’ topped $7 million last year and went to the federal Culture Ministry. The report concluded the sculpture, which was commissioned by the Florentine Republic in 1501, belongs to Italy because the nation legally succeeded the republic.
Dorothy Sucher, Reporter in Press-Freedom Case, Dies at 77 [via The New York Times]
Reporter Dorothy Sucher died August 22 at the age of 77. Sucher was deeply involved in a landmark freedom of the press Supreme Court case, 1970’s Greenbelt Cooperative Publishing Assn. v. Bresler. Sucher had reported on city residents accusing developer Charles Bresler of “blackmail” during a public meeting. Bresler sued for libel, but ultimate the court found that “when accusations that technically amount to a criminal charge are made during heated public debate, they cannot constitutionally be the basis of a libel or slander judgment if it is clear that there was no intention to accuse anyone of criminal conduct.”
Read Full Post »
MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ could go off air over lawsuit claiming assault, racketeering [via New York Daily News]
Say it ain’t so! A woman is suing MTV’s popular reality program “Jersey Shore” after an incident last summer in which the casts’ body guards allegedly threw her to the ground after an argument. That’s the assault; the racketeering charges allege MTV is profiting from the criminal conduct of the cast. If the lawsuit is successful, it could force “Jersey Shore” off the air. There’s just no fist-pumping that.
Internet may phase out printed Oxford Dictionary [via AP]
The publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary Sunday said they may phase out the paper edition of the famed reference book. The OED receives several million monthly hits from subscribers but has sold only about 30,000 of the current printed edition. “The print dictionary market is just disappearing,” Oxford University Press chief executive Nigel Portwood said. “It is falling away by tens of percent a year.”
The Hotel as Art Gallery [via The New York Times]
Today in Jobs I’m Jealous Of, the Times looks at Matthew Jensen, a young artist and art curator for the James, a new SoHo hotel (SoHoTel?). Upscale hotels looking to set themselves apart and project an aura of sophistication are focusing on the decorations. “It used to be that you could get away with just slapping something up in the lobby,” said Sean Hennessey, chief executive of Lodging Investment Advisors, a consulting firm in Valhalla, N.Y., “but more and more customers are looking and evaluating it much more closely.”
This I Believe [via ABC News]
ABC pollster Gary Langer says the recent increase in the number of people who believe Obama is Muslim rather than Christian may be partly due to “expressed belief,” “a statement intended to send a message, not claim a known fact.” Essentially, people who strongly oppose someone or thing will attach any perceived negative with little or no basis in reality. “Disapproval of the president has grown, including strong disapproval. The growing roll of strong disapprovers provides a larger pool of individuals looking for opportunities to voice that sentiment. Socialist? Yep. Born in Kenya? Sure. Muslim? You betcha.”
Read Full Post »
One of Abdi's sculptures from his final "Work of Art" show. Courtesy BravoTV.com.
The New York Times this morning has a review of Bravo’s “Work of Art: The Next Great Artist” winner Abdi Farah’s show at the Brooklyn Museum. It sounds rather disappointing in its scope — “it fills a glorified broom closet,” Karen Rosenberg writes. She continues:
Mr. Farah’s cast resin sculptures of fallen men have energy and a kind of grace. They have solid references, too, from Eric Fischl to Hank Willis Thomas (whose photographic series “Unbranded” has been installed nearby). But the basketball shorts and sneakers they wear are a conceptual crutch. They imply that the artist doesn’t trust his own ability to make gesture convey meaning.
The paintings are less impressive, tortured expressionist self-portraits with an obvious debt to Photoshop image filters.
That’s pretty much all Rosenberg has to say regarding Abdi’s show itself; the remainder of her review critiques “Work of Art” as a show.
Rosenberg’s thoughts about his scultures are spot-on. The figures are striking, even on the 2-dimensional medium of television. I can’t help but wonder, however, if the sportswear coverings are simple excuses to avoid sculpting feet and genitalia. Abdi sculpted the hands well — and, as seen on the “Work of Art” finale, even managed to reattach them satisfactorily after accidentally chipping them off during unpacking. It seems unlikely that he was avoiding the feet aesthetic. Instead, it seems the sportswear is a holdover from Abdi’s strong pop-slash-superhero leanings. I know, the artistes cry; commercialism besmirching a pure medium! Deal with it.
Read Full Post »