Friday, March 16, 2012

Violins: New Instruments as Good as Old Masters

Many tests have been conducted in which an audience tries, usually unsuccessfully, to guess whether a violinist behind a screen is playing a new instrument or an old master. But Dr. Fritz said that to her knowledge, no one had conducted a well-controlled study putting the same question to the real experts: violinists.
Teaming up with the violin maker Joseph Curtin and others, she corralled violinists attending an international competition in Indianapolis and had them compare three high-quality modern violins with a Guarneri and two Stradivari instruments.
People asked to rate a wine will judge it more pleasant when told it costs more. To avoid any such effect, the violinists had to wear goggles so that they could not identify the violins. In one test they were allowed to play all six violins and asked to choose which they would most like to take home. In another, they were required to compare a pair of violins, without being told that one was a classic and the other a new instrument.
Despite a general belief among violinists that Stradivari and Guarneri violins are tonally superior, the participants in Dr. Fritz’s test could not reliably distinguish such instruments from modern violins. Only 8 of the 21 subjects chose an old violin as the one they’d like to take home. In the old-to-new comparison, a Stradivarius came in last and a new violin as the most preferred.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Business & A Moral Compass

The resignation of ex-Goldman executive Greg Smith has made big news -- but we wanted to take a look at the positive message that can be taken from this event.

... culture ... always a vital part ... of success... It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. 
If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.
Make the client the focal point of your business... Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

DWTS -- Season 14 Pairings

The cast for the 14th season of "Dancing With the Stars" was announced Tuesday, and it features athletes, former child stars, TV hosts and more. With the show set to kick off on March 19, the new crop of celebrity dancers strutted their way onto the "Good Morning America" set in Los Angeles with their sights set on the coveted Mirror Ball trophy.

So, what celebrities will be dancing this season and with whom will they be dancing?

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