During Egyptian riots, vandals do "tragic damage" at museums

Posted by Judith H. Dobrzynski on her ArtsJournal blog Real Clear Arts, January 30, 2011

It's hard to tell when developments in Cairo are happening so fast and are so volatile, but it seems that the damage to the Cairo Museum is worse than has been reported in some newspapers. It goes beyond damage to two mummies. Al Jazeera has two videos (here and a long one here) calling it "tragic damage" with the best footage inside the museum that I have seen. MSNBC, meanwhile, consulted Margaret Maitland, an Egyptologist at Oxford, who matched up the damage pictures with artifacts from King Tut's tomb. The report said that "three gilded wooden statuettes of the boy-king may have been broken off their pedestals."  Maitland's own blog post has the best descriptions I've seen, with details on what was destroyed.  And where is [Egypt's antiquities chief] Zahi Hawass? I would have expected him to run to the museum on Friday -- or even Thursday -- to help defend it. But reports say he got there after the damage was done, and that he minimized the vandals' impact, saying nothing was stolen, according to CNN. 

UPDATE, 1/30 evening: Several reports have come in citing looting at various Egyptian archaeological sites and other museums, including the National Museum in Alexandria, the Royal Jewelry Museum and the Coptic Museum. Hawass now apparently says that many objects have been stolen. A report by the Canadian Broadcasting Company quotes him as fearing for the Cairo Museum because of attacks on party headquarters next door.  Internet service is down in Egypt, but Hawass has faxed a report to colleagues in Italy, who posted on his blog.  


Study: In Canada, younger donors help online giving surpass donations by mail

From Philanthropy Journal, January 28, 2011

While Canadians donate to charity through all channels, younger donors have helped online giving surpass giving by mail, a new study says.  Driven by Generation Y donors, who are under age 30, 32% of Canadians overall have given online, surpassing the 27% that have mailed in a gift.  While social media represent only 2.6% of giving in Canada and mobile giving accounts for 3.1% of donations, those channels are expected to grow as younger, tech-savvy donors age. The generation labeled Civics, those age 65 and over, are the most generous, making average contributions of $833. Baby Boomers, those ages 46 to 65, gave a smaller average gift of $725, but the larger number of Boomers resulted in total giving of $4.1 billion, compared to $2.6 billion for Civics.  Generation X donors, those ages 30 to 45, donated an average of $549 for total giving of $2.3 billion, while Generation Y members contributed an average of $325 for overall giving of $800 million. Compared to their American counterparts, Canadians are more likely to give on a monthly basis, with [25%] of all Canadians doing so, compared to only 14% of U.S. donors.   And American donors are more than twice as likely to give to charity using mobile phones.


Commentary: Business leadership lessons from the Bard

Harvard Business School professor Nancy F. Koehn, writing on The Huffington Post, Jan 28, 2011

[At last week's] World Economic Forum, [at] a session on Shakespeare's lessons for leadership, about 50 men and women analyzed several passages in the Bard's plays, looking for insights to apply in our lives. In my leadership work with MBA students and executives, I often use examples from Shakespeare, finding these instances resonate with most people. As our discussion leader said, we "learn best from stories."  The passage from Hamlet, for example, in which Polonius sends Laertes off to school in France, is full of important lessons, including: listen more than you speak; make friends carefully and keep those you have close; be careful with your personal finances; dress well, but do not be flashy; and perhaps most significant, "to thine own self be true." An excerpt from Julius Caesar, between Brutus and Cassius, dealt with conflict management -- avoid getting personal in stressful encounters, don't assume another person's motivations, and be mindful of outside influences.  The final excerpt was Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech that [offers] lessons for those trying to motivate others in difficult situations: appealing to a worthy mission that is bigger than any one individual, instilling pride in colleagues, bringing the future into the present to help others understand the broader impact of what they are doing, offering one's team a choice about whether to invest in a particular undertaking, and fostering a sense of collective enterprise.


= = =


FROM TC: This last item is not directly about the arts, but I wonder if any arts marketer or fundraiser has noticed similar patterns in responses to their time-sensitive offers.


Study: How your last name influences how fast you buy stuff

Posted by Timothy Noah on Slate.com, January 28, 2011

According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research by Kurt A. Carlson at Georgetown and Jacqueline M. Conard at Belmont University, the farther back in the alphabet the first letter of your surname falls, the quicker you're likely to chase some enticing new consumer offer. This response is rooted in childhood trauma.  My friend of 30 years, Emily Yoffe [confided], for instance, that applause at her nephew Zachary Yoffe's graduation "was considerably less than for the kid whose last name was Anderson." She directed me to this survey in the Telegraph of London, in which readers with surnames at the start of the alphabet rated themselves more successful than readers with surnames at the end. A 2006 study found that faculty members "with earlier surname initials are significantly more likely to receive tenure at top ten economics departments".  Alphabetical ordering of political candidates on ballots has long been observed to confer a significant advantage to the name that comes first.  Carlson and Conard break new ground by measuring not the immediate but rather the long-term effect of having a surname at the alphabet's end. Their working hypothesis is that "repeated delays imposed on children whose last names are late in the alphabet create in those individuals a chronic expediency motive that is automatically activated" by limited-time offers to buy stuff. In effect, Carlson and Conard believe the R-to-Z set will prove easier prey for "act now!" marketing pitches than the A-to-I set.

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