Monday, January 31, 2011


"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."
Marie Curie

Sunday, January 30, 2011


"When an idea is wanting, a word can always be found to take its place."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Saturday, January 29, 2011


"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb."
Sir Winston Churchill

Friday, January 28, 2011

Take A Good Look

"If you have the right eye for these things, you can see that accused men are often attractive."
Franz Kafka

Thursday, January 27, 2011


“Our strongest writers keep falling away from the theater because they can’t make a living. And without writers we can’t have a theater. So we are responsible for them. We are responsible, I think, for turning our theaters into artistic homes.”
Molly Smith (Cradle Theater, Washington)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Emilio Estevez, a successful screenwriter, owns a small estate in Malibu. In 2005 he started planting the front yard with vines. His parents, Martin and Janet Sheen, protested: "Son, you're out of your mind". By now Mr. Estevez produces not only screenplays, but about 800 bottles of good wine every year. His two passions share an interesting parallel: “Your grapes are really your script,” he says. “Without good fruit, you’re just not making a good bottle of wine. Without a good script, the best actors in the world have struggled against bad material to make a good movie.”

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Early Success

Born 9 March 1910 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Samuel Barber started composing at age 7 and attempted his first opera at age 10. He was only 28 when he wrote his master piece, Adagio for Strings. That was in 1938. Barber was very productive after that, but none of his works achieved similar recognition. After the harsh rejection of his third opera Antony and Cleopatra which he believed contained some of his best music, he was diagnosed with clinical depression.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I'm drawn to loners. It's hard to trust people who can't stand being alone. And I find that those who take time to be alone usually have something to give me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bono's Remembrance

"I was not old enough to remember the sacrifices of the great generation who saved Europe in the Second World War, or to quite comprehend what was going on in Vietnam. But what I do remember, and cannot forget, is watching a man walk on the moon in 1969 and thinking here is a nation that finds joy in the impossible. The Irish saw the Kennedys as our own royal family out on loan to America. A million of them turned out on J.F.K.’s homecoming to see these patrician public servants who, despite their station, had no patience for the status quo. I remember Bobby’s rolled-up sleeves, Jack’s jutted jaw and the message — a call to action — that the world didn’t have to be the way it was. Science and faith had found a perfect rhyme."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Great Range

Every now and then, there is a star on a musical stage with such a charisma that you don't care about the singing.  Think of Glenn Close who turned the musical "Sunset Boulevard" into an unforgettable event on Broadway. In the Fifties, Gertrude Lawrence who had no voice always brought magic to the theater. Kurt Weill once praised that quality: "She has the greatest range between C and C sharp of anyone I ever knew".

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No Right Not To Be Shocked

Philip Pullman, a British writer ("The Golden Compass"), is the author of a critical book about the Christian faith, titled "The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ". When outraged believers challenged and threatened him, he answered them like this: "No one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if they open it and read it, they don't have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don't have to remain silent about it. You can write to me. You can complain about it. You can write to the publisher. You can write to the papers. You can write your own book. You can do all those things. But that your rights stop. Nobody has the right to stop me writing this book. Nobody has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Real Challenge

"Failure is very difficult for a writer to bear, but very few can manage the shock of early success."
Maurice Valency

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


"Hatred is the fool's revenge for being intimidated."
George Bernard Shaw

Monday, January 17, 2011


When still at Disney Studios, Jeffrey Katzenberg once told screenwriter Dale Launer:  "In Hollywood, Disney is the best place to work. Here we don't stab you in the back.  We stab you in the chest."

Sunday, January 16, 2011


On a sunny California day in 1994, director Steven Spielberg was whizzing through the lot of the Universal Studios. His sports car hit a speed bump and he banged his head. He did not stop nor did he complain, but somebody must have watched the incident. By the next morning, all the speed bumps on the lot had been removed.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


"In today's media world, an ounce of image is worth a pound of performance."
Laurence J. Peter ("The Peter Principle")

Friday, January 14, 2011

American Fairytale

Ted Williams was a homeless man who held a weathered cardboard sign in his hands that said “I have a God-given gift of voice.” A reporter happened to see the panhandler and interviewed him. The video from that encounter placed on youtube received more than twelve million hits in the last days and is the most-watched video on  youtube today.
The man’s voice is amazing and Americans love a good redemption story.Ted Williams says in the video that he used to be addicted to drugs but he’s been clean for two years now, yet still unable to get a job. Last week he received offers from all over the country. He also was invited to various tv shows.
That's the end of the fairytale, but not the end of the story. Ted Williams was detained, and then released by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), after he got into a heated argument with his daughter Monday night at the RenaissanceHollywood Hotel & Spa where he stayed on occasion of a tv appearance. His daughter accused him of drinking and becoming violent again.
There are a lot of things in that story that make you think. One of them: How much must a daughter hate her father to publicly tear the veil from his reality.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good Dog

Chaser, a border collie, has learned more than 1000 words, showing U.S. researchers that her memory is not only better than theirs, but that she understands quite a bit how language works. The dog learned the names of 1,022 toys, so many that her human trainers had to write on them in marker so that they wouldn't forget. With that repertoire, Chaser has far outpaced another dog, Rico, found by German researchers to be able to grasp about 200 words. Also, Chaser understands that names refer to particular objects, independent of the activity requested involving that object.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Maybe that parking space a half mile from the mall's entrance is a blessing in disguise. Art Kramer, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois, found out that even modest amounts of walking, such as 40 minutest three times a week, can engender substantial improvements in memory, decision making and other cognitive processes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wear Red!

Women are more attracted to men wearing red than to men wearing other colors, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. According to University of Rochester psychologist Andrew Elliot red is an aphrodisiac for women. Women have reason to try some crimson, too: men spend the most money on red-clad ladies.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Warm Rain

The Beatles are still drawing crowds. The Beatles tribute show “Rain” earned $1.4 million last week for 11 performances on Broadway. "Rain" is not much more than a revue of famous Lennon/McCartney songs, but it is nevertheless a hit.  After closing at the Neil Simon Theater on Jan. 15, the show will move five blocks south to the Brooks Atkinson Theater and resume performances there on Feb. 8 for at least 16 more weeks.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


As I learn from an article in yesterday's NYT, we may be doing more than expressing emotion when we cry. Our tears, according to striking new research, may be sending chemical signals that influence the behavior of other people. In several experiments, researchers found that men who sniffed drops of women’s emotional tears became less sexually aroused than when they sniffed a neutral saline solution that had been dribbled down women’s cheeks. While the studies were not large, the findings showed up in a variety of ways, including testosterone levels, skin responses, brain imaging and the men’s descriptions of their arousal. The researchers started with women because when they advertised for “volunteers who can cry with ease,” they could not find men who were “good criers,” readily able to fill collection vials. Several experts said the findings — besides potentially adding subtext to crying songs through the ages, from Roy Orbison to the Rolling Stones — could be a first step toward a breakthrough on a mysterious subject.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


"Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made."
George Burns (1896 - 1996)

Friday, January 7, 2011


"There is no evidence that there is any advantage in belonging to a pure race. The purest racees now in existence are the Pygmies, the Hottentots, and the Australian aborigines. The ancient Greeks who were the most civilized, were also the most mixed."
Bertrand Russell

Thursday, January 6, 2011


"Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed."
Mark Twain
The same is true for the lazy ones.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


"Creativeness often consists of merely turning up what's already there. Did you know that right and left shoes were thought up only a little more than a century ago?"
Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Good Advice

We all know the liar paradox that the Cretan Epimenides created when he told us that "all Cretans are liars". But I am confused in the same way by Anselm Feuerbach's good advice which goes like this: "If someone gives you so-called good advice, do the opposite; you can be sure it will be the right thing nine out of ten times." Help!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Goof-Off Era

"This is the great era of the goof-off, the age of the half-done job, a stampede away from responsibility. The land is popularized with laundry me who wont iron shirts, with waiters who wont serve, with carpenters who will come around some day maybe, with executives whose mind is on the golf course, with teachers who demand a single salary scale so achievement cannot be rewarded and with students who take cinch courses."
Charles Brower (1901-1984)

Sunday, January 2, 2011


"My sole inspiration is a telephone call from a producer."
Cole Porter

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Dance like no one is watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like no one is listening,
Live like it’s heaven on earth.