Nov 25, 2008

Long night at the digital museum

Europeana, the continent's online cultural library, attracted so much attention on its debut Nov. 20 -- 10 million hits an hour, 3 million simultaneously -- that the website crashed and won't be back until mid-December, according to a notice on the nonfunctioning site. Technical second-guessers told that traffic was three times the expected level and planners failed to buy adequate hardware load balancers. The European Commission said 52 percent of the digitized cultural objects were contributed by France, 10 percent each from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands and tiny shares from the other member states. For a preview, click the video starring Descartes, Darwin, Beethoven and Callas and featuring Little Kim.

Dance troupe makes NPR totally accessible

There have been facetious presentations of dancing on public radio, but none has been as visually compelling -- or as facetious -- as this performance of the NPR Dancers to the works of B.J. Leiderman and his various Salieris. Thanks to Alaskans Duncan Moon and John Proffitt, who noticed the video, which came out of the creative ferment of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre improv company.