Cultural Products and Creativity: The “TMZ” Video and the Lego Librarians

Earlier this week I spent an afternoon reading trashy celebrity gossip magazines (give me a break, it’s summer). I learned way, way more than I ever needed to know about the antics of the Teen Moms, the possibly jail-bound Real Housewife, the sexting politician, and the Kardashians – and all that useless information about people I don’t even know made me think of one of my recent favourite music videos: (more…)

Why It’s Good to Be Bad at Something

A lot of writing about success and achievement encourages you to find your “passion” (a word that is getting extremely overused) or to set a goal, and then to single-mindedly work as hard as you can to achieve as much as possible. I’m going to propose an alternate strategy for improvement: do something you’re terrible at. (more…)

Reflecting on Glass: the Dale Chihuly Exhibition in Montreal

I’ve written before about different types of interactive displays at art museums, and the pros and cons of different ways museums get their visitors to think about and react to what’s on display. This past weekend, at the Dale Chihuly exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, I had the chance to experience yet another type of art museum interaction: a show (more…)

100 years of the Actors’ Equity Association

Union membership numbers have declined for a lot of occupations over the past century. But, despite major technological change in their industries, performing arts unions have maintained their presence as strong advocates for the workplace interests of performers, writers, and technicians. The Museum of the City of New York has written a wonderful post, with fascinating pictures, to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Actors’ Equity Association.

MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Look at the cast list in any theater program across the country and you will see a small * beside a performer’s name leading to a footnote indicating the performer belongs to the Actors’ Equity Association.  Peruse the program bios for these same starred performers and you will often encounter the phrase “proud member of Actors’ Equity.”  The union representing live theatrical performance turns 100 years old on Sunday. Rather than attempting 100 years of coverage in a single blog entry, this week’s posting will focus on just a few points of pride.

Actors’ Equity was founded on May 26, 1913 when 112 theatrical actors met at the Pabst Grand Circle Hotel in New York City.

Six months before this meeting the Actors’ Society of America, a previous attempt at organizing a labor union for theatrical actors, dissolved, due in large part to the fact that the Actors’…

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My Boston

Boston is one of my absolute favourite cities. And so I was horrified, as we all were, at the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the chaos afterwards. When I’ve visited Boston, I’ve spent a lot of time in Cambridge, where the two alleged bombers grew up and where they escaped to after the bombs went off. It was surreal for me to watch TV and see police in full combat gear running down streets that I know very well and where I always feel very safe.

I’m posting a few pictures that I took in Boston today, to show why I love visiting here. It’s a beautiful and resilient city, (more…)

“All About Work” Is Taking a Holiday Break

All About Work will be taking time off over the holidays – which I hope all its readers will be able to do as well. I’ll be posting again starting in mid-January.

I began this blog in March 2012, and the response has been extremely gratifying – more than 6,000 hits so far. I’m very appreciative of all the visits and all the reader comments – and I’m looking forward to continuing the interaction.

It's been a whirlwind year. (credit: my own photo)

It’s been a busy year. (credit: my own photo)

To summarize the year’s activity at All About Work, here’s a list of the most popular posts from 2012.

  1. Imagine: How Did This Happen? (Special thanks to the kind folks at WordPress who selected this post to be featured on the Freshly Pressed page.)
  2. Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-Hour Rule” Doesn’t Add Up
  3. One Year and Counting: Rocky Mountaineer Lockout Keeps Chugging Along
  4. Best Author Acknowledgement Ever
  5. Things that Make You Go…Wow

Thanks, everyone, for your support. See you in 2013!

Things that Make You Go…Wow

I love art, and I love design. But sadly, I don’t come across a lot of innovative or thoughtful design in the publications I see in my academic work. (I’d like to think that my textbook’s cover design – centered around a wonderful painting by Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson – is an exception to that norm.)

So when I went to the Association for Studies in Higher Education academic conference this month, at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas, I wasn’t expecting to find good art or good design. But I was very pleasantly surprised (more…)

The Real(?) Thing, Part II: Room 237 

In a previous post, I wrote about how perceptions often have more effect than reality on people’s experiences of organizations. In that post, I discussed how the film Katy Perry: Part of Me deliberately constructed the audience’s perceptions of its subject. As threatened promised, in this followup post, I’m going to discuss another film I recently saw – Room 237 – which is also an example of constructed reality. But in Room 237, it’s the audience, rather than the filmmakers, who are doing the constructing. (more…)