What’s the point of such things?

The Cleveland Orchestra is considered one of the best in the world. Like all classical music ensembles, it faces the problem that the audience for it is aging. In order to attract a younger and more diverse group, it engages in various programs that have more contemporary and popular music. One of the things that it advertises are things called Movie Nights that say that a film will be shown on a big screen in the concert hall with the score preformed live by the Cleveland Orchestra. They have had films like Back to the Future and the next one will be Raiders of the Lost Ark.
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The debate circus comes to town

The first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is due to take place on Monday, September 26. These are not debates in any real sense of the word but more like joint press conferences where occasional direct exchanges break out. The target audience for these debates is neither the people in the auditorium nor those watching at home or even the moderators asking the questions. Instead it is the talking heads who will, immediately following the event, blanket the airwaves for the next week or so, giving us their verdict about who won and who lost.
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A telling example of how the media works

Journalists and editors often get highly offended when it is suggested that they serve as the mouthpieces of the owners of the media institutions they work for. They protest that they write what they want to write about and that no one censors them or tells them to slant the reporting in a particular way. But as Noam Chomsky and Edward Hermann pointed out in their brilliant analysis Manufacturing Consent (1988), that kind of explicit direction is not necessary. It is even counter-productive because such tightly controlled information systems are clearly seen as what they are, propaganda. To be truly effective as propaganda, those generating it have to believe that what they are saying is of their own volition, and this is why the western media works far better as a propaganda system than media where the state runs it.
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100 years of sandwiches

The invention of the sandwich, of putting stuff between two slices of bread, is credited to the fourth Earl of Sandwich John Montagu (1718-1792) though this is one of those things where the claim of being the first has to be taken with a huge grain of salt since the idea of using some kind of bread as a wrapper for other foods dates back much farther. But for whatever reason, justified or not, his name is associated with it.
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I am just about fed up with this election

I can’t stand it. This election has reached a stage where, for me at least, the sheer shallowness of the campaign and coverage has become so sickening that I can barely stand reading election news any more. All we seem to see and read about are surrogates trash talking in the media and getting smacked down in turn by the online commentariat. Even the comedians are losing their appeal for me which is the real sign that I am just sick of it all
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Let us salute those who are willing to stand alone for what is right

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and elsewhere and there were many commemorations of that somber occasion. But it is also good to remember that it generated a period of mass fear and hysteria in the US that has resulted in endless, cruel, and needless wars, and accelerated a massive increase in the powers of the national security state and severe erosions on people’s privacy and civil liberties, all in the name of fighting terrorism.
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Haste makes waste

Breakfast cereals are not for everyone. I myself rarely eat them, mainly because I find I get tired of it after a couple of days. Also, the cereal I eat when I do choose to do so is corn flakes that requires adding sugar and I am not a fan of eating sweet things in the morning. But what surprised me was this story that said that many younger people are turning away from cereal because it takes too much work.
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