Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

‘That’s Entertainment’, 1895

Celebrations are underway for the 120th anniversary of  the first movie shown to a paying audience — essentially the first movie theater. The Lumiere Brothers in 1895 exhibited the nascent motion picture in France and founded an industry. It is true that others preceded them in the development of film. For example, a short clip  made in 1888 by Louis Le Prince in England is generally considered the earliest surviving motion picture. But the Lumieres combined existing technologies and the first paying audience to give birth to the flick, as we know it. Legend has it that when an early Lumiere film of an oncoming train was first shown, people jumped out of their seats in terror. Ahh, the magic of cinema. An exhibition in the Grand Palais of Paris is marking the event.

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AMPAS yawner n.s.g.

According to many the most recent Oscars were a box-office flop, critically panned for their lackluster performance and low ratings. But there is another dimension:  a growing gap between audiences and the Academy. This New York Times article  raises the spectre of elitism — that ‘mainstream’ Hollywood is being more and more narrowly represented in Academy voting.  As a result, award winners are increasingly not the public’s choice.  Is the deck being stacked against popular, high-grossing films?

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Beyond The Pond

What famous (pink-colored) financial newspaper recently included in its weekend edition stories on gastronomic architecture, Sri Lankan real estate, a Greek monument inspiring dramatists in Sydney, the formative years of Vincent Van Gogh, a safari camp in Chad, premium wine rankings and a survey of restaurants in Cape Town?   Why, the Financial Times, of course. It’s not all just about dollars and cents … I have found the weekend edition a great way to keep up with life across “the pond” — and local affairs as well.

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Numbers, numbers

How many Google searches are performed every minute?  2,000,000. That and other interesting statistics from the sublime to the ridiculous were listed in the Jan/Feb 2014 issue of  Information Today magazine. Other tidbits? 34% of college students report downloading course materials from “unauthorized” Web sites, while  $110 is the typical price for a print textbook ($58 for a digital one). The number of open access journals that accepted a ‘spoof paper’ from a journalist working for Science was 157. Warren Buffett has forked out $344 million the past several years to acquire 28 newspapers, while print newspaper advertising revenue declined by $1.8 billion in 2012. 84% of Pinterest users are female, 70% of Google+ users are male. 100 minutes is the average number of minutes per day spent online by people who report spending “leisure time” on the Net.  28% of Facebook’s 128 million daily users access it via mobile devices, while 190 is the average number of ‘friends’ among Facebook users. There are 231.7 million “monthly active” users of Twitter; the number of hard-boiled eggs consumed weekly at Twitter headquarters is 1,440. And finally, in a survey 90% of Americans 16 and older said that closing of their public library would have “an impact on their community”. That is one statistic worth remembering.

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Top o’ the Tube

As you curl up this season in front of a roaring TV, you might be interested in the Top 10 programs of 2012. Nielsen has put out the list for your entertainment pleasure. Super Bowl won again (no surprise), even beating the Olympics.

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Favorite books

BusinessWeek Online has compiled some recommended readings from  prominent professors and business professionals. Their recommendations range from Kotler to Kerouac and from fantasy to finance.  Perhaps you’ll find your favorite book among the recommended ones. Happy reading!

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Show me the Money

Guess how many hours of live sporting events were available in 2011 via broadcast and cable TV?  Over 40,000, according to Nielsen. Considering there are just 8760 hours in a year, that’s a lot of hoops n’ hockey.  And the diversity of sports available has increased; walk into any sports bar and see how many different games you can identify. There’s a whole lot of money involved, too, and we’re not talking chump change:  network TV ad revenues for 3 major U.S. sporting championships alone  —  Super Bowl, the World Series and the NCAA Final Four  —  in 2011  totalled almost $700 million.  Super Bowl ad rates have skyrocketed from roughly $40,000 a half-minute in 1967 to $2.9 million in 2010.  In the immortal words of Senator Everett Dirksen, “A million here, a million there … pretty soon you’re talking real money.”

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