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In Brief: 40 Years Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.
  • Does Flora, a ballad opera on a text sometimes attributed to actor and sometime playwright Colley Cibber (shown at right) and set to popular tunes, really count as the first "opera" performed in the United States? [Newark Star-Ledger]

  • Composer Alex Shapiro returns to blogging with a beautiful post about a new piece, which coincided sadly with the passing of her beloved cat. [Notes from the Kelp]

  • In his print series The United Plates, John Holcomb re-imagines U.S. states as food. Although the District of Columbia is not a state, he made one for us anyway, with the federal district as a partially consumed cherry Pop-Tart, with the red filling serving as the Potomac River. The cherry, for obvious reasons, is the district's "state" fruit, too. [DCist]

  • Where science and theology intersect: what Augustine and Einstein thought about the conundrum of time. [Big Questions Online, hat tip to ArtsJournal]

  • A beautiful piece by Salil Tripathi on Salman Rushdie and the books he has written for his sons. Just added the new one, Luka and the Fire of Life, to my book list to read with Master and Miss Ionarts. [Washington Post]

  • In honor of Veterans Day, Fred Child and Tom Huizenga offer a brief history on the melody known as Taps. [Deceptive Cadence]

  • Director Peter Brook is stepping down from the leadership of his Parisian theater company, Les Bouffes du Nord, passing it to his two collaborators, Olivier Mantei and Olivier Poubelle. Mantei is also an adjunct director at the Opéra comique, and Brook has announced that one of his parting projects at the theater will be a new production of Mozart's Magic Flute, which is something to watch for, although he worries that looming government budget cuts, which will likely reduce subventions to the Bouffes, will endanger the company's future. [Libération]

  • If you think that seeing how a bill becomes law or how a sausage is made will turn your stomach, you do not want to see any more about the process of how the upcoming revision of the English language of the Catholic Mass reached its (flawed) final version. [PrayTell]

  • Art critic Blake Gopnik, for some reason, attacks Facebook for being aesthetically unappealing. NEWS FLASH: It is also a huge waste of time, and most of the cool kids have moved on to something else. [Washington Post]

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