Musical cost benefit analysis

Jokes (?) about conductors are two-a-penny and usually scurrilous, closely followed by jokes about singers (sopranos and tenors top the list) and orchestral musicians (viola players are wantonly insulted). Continue reading Musical cost benefit analysis


Watch the birdie!

The longest running citizen science survey in the world, Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count takes place from December 14, 2010 to January 5, 2011. Tens of thousands of volunteers throughout North America will brave winter weather to add to data that is already over a century old. Continue reading Watch the birdie!

Arts criticism is alive and kicking

Mark Twain was an adroit political and social commentator, but a waspish literary critic. Writing about James Fenimore Cooper, whose novels The Last of the Mohicans (1826) and The Deerslayer (1841) were among the most popular American books of the 19th century, he pulled no punches.  Continue reading Arts criticism is alive and kicking

Cambodia comes to terms with its past

One picture is worth ten thousand words, according to the old press saying. Certainly in today’s media saturated environment, a fine documentary has greater impact than the best historical narrative. And when that documentary exposes what has been deliberately concealed, it is all the more powerful. Continue reading Cambodia comes to terms with its past

Here be treasure!

Old pirate maps marked the location of treasure with a big X. If you are lucky enough to be visiting London next Spring, you’ll find it at the British Museum. A fabulous exhibition will display more than 20,000 golden objects discovered in six tombs in Afghanistan in 1978. The exhibition will take place March 3 to July 3, 2011. Continue reading Here be treasure!

Helping to tackle gender violence

There is increasing concern about the way the mass media report events that harm people’s lives and livelihoods. Many media accounts of conflict, poverty, climate change, and violence against women are biased, and – let’s face it – downright unethical. Continue reading Helping to tackle gender violence