The Vatican Secret Archive isn’t much use to modern scholars, because it’s so inaccessible. Of those 53 miles, just a few millimeters’ worth of pages have been scanned and made available online. Even fewer pages have been transcribed into computer text and made searchable. If you want to peruse anything else, you have to apply for special access, schlep all the way to Rome, and go through every page by hand. But a new project could change all that. Known as In Codice Ratio, it uses a combination of artificial intelligence and optical-character-recognition (OCR) software to scour these neglected texts and make their transcripts available for the very first time.
Even now, d’Amboise still comes to the Harlem building each day — that is, when he’s not traveling the country, visiting one of the 13 affiliate dance institutes (there’s also an exchange program in China) and working on fundraising. “Yes, he’s here every single day,” confirms Ellen Weinstein, NDI’s longtime artistic director, who met d’Amboise some 30 years ago as a student at SUNY Purchase, where d’Amboise was teaching “for a minute” (academics did not suit him). “And four to five times a day I get a call, ‘Ellen how about this?’ It’s always something exciting, always fabulous!” she laughs, mimicking her mentor’s enthusiasm.
Burning Man is far, far, far from perfect. It’s still mostly hedonistic (with some awesome exceptions) and corny at times. It’s very white (The Root and The Guardian have both done great interviews with black Burners talking about why). There is always some percentage of douchebags (usually around 20-30 percent) who suck and do stupid things. And, sure, there’s plenty of sex and drugs and music, and some people can’t handle that in a mature way. But I can’t overstate how much I owe to Larry Harvey. Thanks to him, I learned what it is to be inspired by astonishingly creative people, weird people, sexy people, challenging people; to let go of the New York cynicism for a little while; to experience some of the most intense, vivid, and alive times of my life. I learned how to live.
Internationally, Infinity War dislodged Jurassic World ($316.7M) at No. 2 (that movie also had China at open). In comps that did not include China at the bow, Infinity War‘s overseas start blew past Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($314M) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($281M). Worldwide. Only three movies had previously topped $500M in their openings: F8, The Force Awakens and Jurassic World.
The power of theatrical visibility has the potential to create real change in society towards the acceptance of “othered” individuals, as we have seen from the power of queer characters onstage, which translated from the stage to movies and TV, and, finally, into the national vocabulary. But this progress has notably lagged when it comes to the representation of disability onstage.