Arts & Culture

Arts & Life
2:28 am
Tue January 29, 2013

From Aleppo, An Artifact Of A Calmer Age

The silken tassel on this skull cap, woven in Aleppo around 1800, recalls a more prosperous and tranquil time in that now-beleaguered Syrian hub.
Courtesy of The Textile Museum

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:57 am

Over the past six months, the headlines from Aleppo, Syria, have been horrifying. As the conflict between rebel forces and the government continues, the city has been overrun by tanks and artillery, and assaulted by shots, explosions and fires.

But Aleppo's present belies a much richer past. It's Syria's largest city, and one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban areas. Over the centuries, it has served as a major crossroads for trade and commerce.

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All Tech Considered
3:14 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

E-Readers Track How We Read, But Is The Data Useful To Authors?

Data gleaned from e-readers gives writers a new kind of feedback to take into consideration — or ignore.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Reading always seemed to be the most private of acts: just you and your imagination immersed in another world. But now, if you happen to be curled up with an e-reader, you're not alone.

Data is being collected about your reading habits. That information belongs to the companies that sell e-readers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And they can share — or sell — that information if they like. One official at Barnes & Noble has said sharing that data with publishers might "help authors create even better books."

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Book Reviews
12:54 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Jane Austen's 'Pride And Prejudice' At 200

Harper Collins

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:38 pm

My favorite item from the growing mountain of Pride and Prejudice bicentennial trivia comes courtesy of an article in something called Regency World Magazine, which is going gaga over the anniversary. The article, "Albert Goes Ape for Austen," describes how a 200-pound orangutan named Albert, living in the Gdansk Zoo in Poland, insists on having 50 pages a night of Pride and Prejudice read to him at bedtime by his keeper or else he refuses to go to sleep.

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Author Interviews
11:11 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Al Roker On Being The 'Jolly Fat Person'

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:17 am

Al Roker, the veteran weatherman on NBC's Today show, endured years of indignities as an obese teenager and throughout his television career. Then, in 2002, he had bariatric surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. But deciding to have the procedure, which is potentially life-threatening, wasn't easy — and neither was keeping the weight off afterward.

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Monkey See
9:32 am
Mon January 28, 2013

A Farewell Salute To 'Ben & Kate,' A Show About Friends Who Are Actually Friends

Dakota Johnson and Nat Faxon star in Ben & Kate, recently yanked from the Fox schedule.
Jennifer Clasen Fox

Whether this week's announcements that both ABC's Don't Trust The B- In Apt. 23 and Fox's Ben & Kate are being yanked from the schedules mark the beginning of the Great Sitcom Massacre of 2013 remains to be seen. It almost certainly means the end of two strong shows whose casts were clearly having a blast making them.

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