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By Dickens, A Christmas Carol Means Big Money For American Theaters – Forbes

December 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. ...When you think of the arts at Christmas, two things come to mind: The Nutcracker, a mainstay for ballets large and small around the world, and A Christmas Carol, which has become its equivalent in the theater world. The Charles Dickens classic is not only sentimental, it’s a centerpiece of many American theater company budgets well beyond the holidays.

That’s especially true for the Goodman Theater in Chicago, where A Christmas Carol has been on the annual bill for the last 35 years. Performances of A Christmas Carol, by far its biggest production of the year, often sell out at the Goodman’s theater center in the Loop. And, for the past six years, a celebrity performer has joined the cast one night to trod the boards for charity.

This year, the moment comes on Friday night, when former Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen will don a Victorian costume to take part in select scenes of the show. He’ll be joined by seven-year-old La’Ren Kimble, whose participation is being made possible through Make A Wish Chicago.

Pippen joins a lineup of Chicago sports and television figures who’ve taken part in A Christmas Carol, including Chicago White Sox Manager Robin Ventura and Blackhawks star Bobby Hull. Meanwhile, actors who’ve performed in it include ER’s Laura Innes, Elizabeth Perkins of Big fame, and respected Broadway performer Raul Esparza.

via By Dickens, A Christmas Carol Means Big Money For American Theaters – Forbes.

Chicago record store has ‘do not buy’ list of unwanted music – msnbc.com Entertainment

Melissa Etheridge (album)Most music stores are all about telling customers what to buy. But Laurie’s Planet Of Sound, a Chicago-based retail and second-hand record store, has officially created a list of artists whose CDs it has no interest in buying or reselling.

According to the breakdown, Melissa Etheridge, Jessica Simpson, Soul Asylum, Jewel, and Perry Farrell are among the many musicians turned away from its shelves.

The list, established three or four years ago by an employee, has been officially dubbed “The Do Not Never Ever Buy List.” It itemizes over 50 artists and a few generalized collections — almost all soundtracks –- that the store refuses to purchase in CD format.

Manager Nick Myers told NBC News that the list was created specifically for CDs, not records, due to waning sales of that format.

“You begin to reflect what your customer base is looking for. In our case, it’s a lot of indie rock and classic rock; classic music of the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s until now,” Myers says. “I’ve been here for 10 years and a lot of that stuff we used to sell, no problem, but over time, it falls out of favor…It’s just kind of specific for us, being in Chicago, in a dense, urban demographic.”

Meant as a guide for employees and also a joke for customers, “The Do Not Never Ever Buy List” has been posted behind the register desk until recently, and continues to grow over time. Also included with the undesirables are artists like Fuel, Macy Gray, Journey, Foreigner, and “60s/70s Artists’ CDs from the 80s/90s/2000s.”

via Chicago record store has ‘do not buy’ list of unwanted music – msnbc.com Entertainment.

Strange Random Bad Music Quote:

“If one hears bad music it is one’s duty to drown it by one’s conversation” – Oscar Wilde (Irish Poet, Novelist, Dramatist and Critic, 1854-1900)

After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses – NYTimes.com

March 14, 2012 1 comment

After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.

Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.

“It’s a rite of passage in this new era,” Jorge Cauz, the president of Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., a company based in Chicago, said in an interview. “Some people will feel sad about it and nostalgic about it. But we have a better tool now. The Web site is continuously updated, it’s much more expansive and it has multimedia.”

In the 1950s, having the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the bookshelf was akin to a station wagon in the garage or a black-and-white Zenith in the den, a possession coveted for its usefulness and as a goalpost for an aspirational middle class. Buying a set was often a financial stretch, and many families had to pay for it in monthly installments.

But in recent years, print reference books have been almost completely overtaken by the Internet and its vast spread of resources, including specialized Web sites and the hugely popular — and free — online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

via After 244 Years, Encyclopaedia Britannica Stops the Presses – NYTimes.com.

Strange Random Encyclopaedia Quote:

“An encyclopedia is a system for collecting dust in alphabetical order.” – Mike Barfield

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Homaro Cantu + Ben Roche: Cooking as alchemy – TED Talks

January 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Homaro Cantu and Ben Roche come from Moto, a Chicago restaurant that plays with new ways to cook and eat food. But beyond the fun and flavor-tripping, there’s a serious intent: Can we use new food technology for good?

Strange Random Cooking Quote:

Cooking “is a form of flattery….a mischievous, deceitful, mean and ignoble activity, which cheats us by shapes and colors, by smoothing and draping….” – Plato (427-347 B.C.)

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Follow that hurricane!

August 28, 2011 Leave a comment
Hurricane Irene on August 15, shortly before r...

Image via Wikipedia

From tropical wave on August 19th to Category 3 and back down to Category 2 on August 26th, Hurricane Irene‘s movements are documented here in 30-minute imagery from the NOAA GOES-East satellite.

For the most recent satellite imagery and animations, please see our webpage at http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/RealTime.php.

Strange Random Hurricane Quote:

“There isn’t much wrong with most of those summerhouses that a really good hurricane wouldn’t cure [and] when it comes it may do for the Hamptons what Mrs O’Leary‘s cow did for Chicago.” – Peter Blake

 

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Know your Groceries

November 18, 2009 Leave a comment
Frank Costello, born Francesco Castiglia ( Jan...

Image via Wikipedia

… or end up with a face like a Russian flag.

In other words, be alert to the situation or you may get embarrassed!

Don’t panic, this is not some exercise on phrasal verbs, but part of a new book about US slang from the 1920s to the 1950s. It’s called Straight from the Fridge, Dad (Cool, or Obvious) and includes references to the gangster era like the following:

If you were free to run for President (unemployed) and became a dime-dropper (informer), you might be taken off the payroll (killed, assassinated) in Chicago lightning (gunfire) and end up in a Chicago overcoat (coffin) at a Cold Meat Party (funeral) while the gangster talks to a sinhound (priest) before sniffing Arizona perfume (going to the gas chamber).

No joke. Straight from the fridge, Dad.

Straight From the Fridge, Dad – A Dictionary of Hipster Slang

by Decharne, Max

NO EXIT PRESS £16.99

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