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Friday, February 17, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"In an election year in which the corrosiveness of politics seems to reach a new high every month, and the bitterness of the G.O.P.-nomination fight a new low with each primary and caucus, I thought it might be instructive to spend a moment with the man who has arguably seen more of politics than anyone else still active in Washington, Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan, the Dean of the House.  Dingell, now 85, is not only the senior sitting member of Congress. Having first been elected in 1955 to fill the seat of his father, who had held it since 1933 and died in office, he is also the longest-serving member of the House in all of American history, and is within 17 months of breaking the late Robert Byrd’s record for total combined congressional service in the House and Senate. So he’s seen a few elections in his day, and seen more than a few politicians come and go. I went to talk to him the other day about his role in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because I’m working on a book project about that bill, widely regarded as one of the great high-water marks of bipartisan political achievement in the 20th century. In the face of implacable opposition from segregationist Southern Democrats, the measure passed only because of strong support from Northern Republicans who saw it, in the words of their Senate leader, Everett M. Dirksen of Illinois, as an idea whose time had come." (VanityFair)

"On Wednesday, February 8, 2012, The Associates Committee of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center hosted the 4th Annual Associates Luncheon at Rouge Tomate. The lunch honored Nina J. Pickett, Administrator, MSKCC Department of Pediatrics, for her years of dedication and outstanding work at the Hospital. The luncheon also recognized The Associates Committee for their unwavering support to the organization and its mission to support patient care, research and education programs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.The event was sponsored by Salvatore Ferragamo for the first time and was chaired by Nina Garcia Conrod, Gretchen Gunlocke Fenton, Eugenie Niven Goodman, and Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler. Over 160 guests enjoyed the highly anticipated showcase of Salvatore Ferragamo's Spring Summer 2012 Runway Collection by Creative Director Massimiliano Giornetti. Dr. Richard J. O'Reilly, Chairmen of the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center introduced the luncheon's honoree Nina J. Pickett and lauded her unrelenting devotion and commitment to the Pediatrics Department. The event raised funds for the Pediatric Family Housing Endowment, which pays for overnight stays at nearby accommodations when children and their families come from out of town for treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering's renowned Pediatric Department and are unable to afford this expense themselves. The Associates Committee has pledged to raise $2 million in the next five years for the Pediatric Family Housing Endowment." (NYSocialDiary)


"Until recently, Europeans enjoyed a pretty comfortable position in most international organizations. At the IMF, they had an unquestioned hold on the directorship and could lecture other countries on how to govern themselves and run their economies, while each large European country had its own IMF representative. But all that changed in 2011. Now, Europeans are themselves being lectured by China and Brazil for not solving their financial crisis despite having the resources to do so. Europe managed to hang on to the directorship in June when Christine Lagarde succeeded Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but only because of divisions among emerging economies. If the euro crisis continues, Europeans will likely be forced to give up more of their voting weight -- as they started doing in 2010 during a reallocation of IMF board seats-- and ultimately lose the directorship. The power realignment at the IMF is just one example of the way the euro crisis has undermined Europe's geopolitical clout in the past two years, transforming it from a reliable global problem-solver to a problem itself." (Foreignpolicy)


"For the past decade, Hollywood’s biggest studios have been working on a new standard for digital movies that could save them $1 billion annually in printmaking fees and shipping costs. The movies in the new format are shipped on hard drives that hold hundreds of gigabytes of data and are connected to a super-high-definition projector. To unlock a movie, the distributor sends the theater a code that controls where, when, and how long it can be played. To induce exhibitors to purchase the equipment, celluloid prints of new movies from the majors will no longer be available in the U.S. by the end of 2013, according to John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners. The studios haven’t announced any deadline, but Howard Gantman, a spokesman for the Motion Picture Association of America, says the shift to digital will streamline film distribution. 'This could only mean more and higher-quality motion picture entertainment,' he says. About 26,000 of the 40,000 screens in the U.S. have already converted. The biggest chains—Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, and Cinemark Theatres, which account for just over half the $10.2 billion annual U.S. box office—expect to complete the conversion early next year. But 'for lower-grossing theaters, it’s just not affordable,' says Fithian. 'I predict we’ll lose several thousand screens in the U.S.'" (BusinessWeek)


"The Last Magazine has evolved in the three-plus years it's been around—and not just what's on the page. 'We decided it's really nice to sit down and talk to people rather than dance all night and have the police shut us down,' Last co-founder Magnus Berger said last night at the downtown mag's celebration at Acme. There was that sort of party, too, later on in the restaurant's basement. But the dinner upstairs beforehand had the friends-and-family synergy that fuels this particular breed of trend-predicting culture outlet: Richard Chai installed in a back booth, Julia Stegner chatting over brie-on-toast and Arctic char with Jacquelyn Jablonski. (The latter appears in a spread in the latest issue shot by Steven Pan, who happens to be Stegner's ex-boyfriend.) Of course, get-togethers held at the end of fashion week tend to have a less frantic vibe. 'Thank God it's over!' Phillip Lim exclaimed." (Style)

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