Ed note: Did you know there are plenty of food-related lawsuits each year?
A squabble between a group fighting spam and a Dutch company that hosts Web sites said to be sending spam has escalated into one of the largest computer attacks on the Internet, causing widespread congestion and jamming crucial infrastructure around the world.
Millions of ordinary Internet users have experienced delays in services like Netflix or could not reach a particular Web site for a short time.
However, for the Internet engineers who run the global network the problem is more worrisome. The attacks are becoming increasingly powerful, and computer security experts worry that if they continue to escalate people may not be able to reach basic Internet services, like e-mail and online banking.
This is just like The Net starring Sandra Bullock! (I have never seen The Net starring Sandra Bullock).
You just can’t beat a definitely real, definitely live recording of the Beach Boys! Here comes summer!
I finally had a chance to see Wes Perry’s wonderfully collaborative variety show that features performances from a wide cross-section of the Chicago arts community. I was really impressed at the ability of the show and the audience to deftly maneuver between vastly different emotions and tones. TimeOut Chicago’s review pretty much nails it, especially in regards to the performance by KOKUMO which was just astounding.
I can’t speak highly enough of this show. See it.
Golden Girls Dutch remake.
The NYtimes just published an article about UCB and their policy of not paying improvisers. Those outside the comedy world are often surprised at this nearly universal policy. Those inside are usually not. This is because the most successful improv theaters operate with a very large rotating cast. This is good for the theater and good for improvisers. A large cast provides variety, and perhaps more importantly, it leaves plenty of room for fresh talent to learn the ropes. As a performer at iO, I have no interest in being paid. If they paid every performer, it would necessarily be a pittance. And if people demanded to be paid more than a pittance, then they would likely cut the cast sizes, reducing performance opportunities for everyone.
The way I see it, performing at iO means you’re usually performing to a solid house. I have never, ever needed to promote a show that I’ve done at iO. To me, that is the exchange. If you want to make money on a show, rent your own theater space and bring your own audience. It’s a lot more work, but that’s the point. You don’t get paid to do things that are easy, and showing up at iO to a built-in audience is easy. The point of playing there is gaining experience and exposure.
A crucial point that the article doesn’t bring up is this: not only are improvisers not paid, they’re actually paying to play. Not just in class fees (those are a necessary part of learning the craft), but in coaching and rehearsal fees. As a performer at iO, we are required to rehearse weekly and must pay for rehearsal space and coaching. It usually ends up being about $50 a month per performer. While I don’t think performers are owed any compensation, the theater should pay for the coach that they appointed and the rehearsal space that they require.
The article also briefly mentions the issue of diversity in improv. In short, it sucks. While that’s also true of the larger comedy world, improv presents more obstacles for would-be performers. To play on the coveted, well attended stages of Second City, iO, UCB, or Groundlings, you must first complete their training programs which usually cost a couple thousand dollars. After completion, you’re eligible to audition for their cast. Stand up comedians, on the other hand, are their own marketing and training machines. They usually hone their craft through open mics and eventually paid gigs. The upfront cost of improv training is a barrier that keeps marginalized members of society from participating, which painfully limits the scope and depth of the comedy happening at these theaters. iO does offer an internship program that allows students to work one shift a week in exchange for class fees but for many people that’s simply not an option. This failure to attract diversity at the training center level inevitably snowballs it’s way to Hollywood. People who complain that there aren’t enough minorities on SNL or on sitcoms should throw some of their shade at these theaters. It starts here.
This is Diana, a strange animal that lived over half a billion years ago. See the whole gallery here:
Image copyright 2013 Quade Paul. Reprinted with permission.
…..where is the butt….and where is the head?
My flight back from Paris was cancelled due to a technical error, and per EU regulations, airlines must compensate passengers based on some scale of the error, delay, etc. I got an email from the airline this morning and I now have a $1,200 flight voucher for use on one RT flight anywhere in the next 12 months!
It’s like I won a lottery. I’m pinching myself at the prospect of one more big trip on my horizon this year!
THE MOST HUMAN GOAT EVER.
Miscommunication in the woods can lead to a lot of assumptions.
Written/Performed by: Ross Kimball
Filmed by: Steve Andres
Arthur Novit, Superman of the Subway, c.1970’s, Chicago
Novit was a Chicago police officer who patrolled as a decoy in the subways around the Loop. Novit would hide in a CTA closet and when criminals would descend on a decoy partner (often disguised as homeless) he would kick the steel closet door down, in full Superman costume, arrest the robbers while proclaiming:
“Halt! In the name of the Law! Law and Order will prevail in the subways of Chicago! As long as I’m in this metropolis, law and order will prevail.”
Wow, only in Chicago…
To read more, here’s Novit’s obiutary from the Sun-TImes last year: http://tinyurl.com/b276rjb