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Ben Rosen

Entries by Ben Rosen

Sports Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

(4) Comments | Posted January 4, 2012 | 5:19 PM

Every year, in its last issue, Sports Illustrated says farewell to the famous athletes who have died during the year. As I was browsing through this year's "The Farewells" in the Dec. 26th issue, I was struck by the following realization: They're too young to die!

People are...

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Memories of Steve

(2) Comments | Posted October 24, 2011 | 1:28 PM

Steve: Always Value Conscious

One frigid winter day in the late 1970s, I ran into Steve at some meeting in midtown Manhattan, a time and event now long forgotten. What isn't forgotten is that when the meeting ended and we went outside into the freezing weather, I was reasonably...

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By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2011 | 8:06 PM

2011-04-28-huffpo-web-prod-www-content-generated-theblog-VeraStark2.jpgBy the way, you ought to meet Vera Stark. You can, in the highly entertaining new play at Second Stage Theatre, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Now in previews, Vera Stark is directed by Jo Bonney and written by the accomplished...

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Libya: Colonel What's His Name?

(3) Comments | Posted March 9, 2011 | 2:35 PM

There I was yesterday morning, drinking my coffee and reading the latest about Libya in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Something was bothering me. And then it struck me. The two papers spelled the Libyan leader's name differently. One started his last name with a "G"...

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Caltech vs. Vince Lombardi

(1) Comments | Posted February 25, 2011 | 10:00 AM

Last night, 19,763 sports fans paying hundreds to thousands of dollars for tickets jammed Madison Square Garden to welcome all-star Carmelo Anthony as a new member of the New York Knicks basketball team. The Knicks won.

Also last night, a few hundred students (paying nothing) attended the Caltech-Occidental basketball game...

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Classical Music Economics: Is There a Solution?

(13) Comments | Posted February 22, 2011 | 1:53 PM

American Orchestras: The Sound of Trouble

The Detroit Symphony, which has just emerged from a 34-day musician's strike, is in such economic straits that it may have to disband. --Time Magazine, June 13, 1969

Detroit Symphony Cancels Season as Musicians Strike


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Finally: The Second Amendment Explained

(2) Comments | Posted February 10, 2011 | 3:33 PM

Reading about the plight of (former) Rep. Chris Lee yesterday, it was hard to miss the photo that he posted to his would-be doxie. There was the handsome representative from western New York posing with no shirt on and showing off his reasonably well-defined pecs. Seeing a legislator dressed (or...

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Rory Stewart: Remember This Name

(1) Comments | Posted January 5, 2010 | 12:17 AM

You heard it here first - Rory Stewart will become prime minister of Great Britain.

Who, you say? Rory Stewart? Never heard of him.

Okay, I'm getting ahead of myself. Yes, David Cameron, the Tory leader, looks pretty certain to win the next election, probably to be called for...

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The Big Mistake of the First 100 Days

(20) Comments | Posted April 28, 2009 | 1:53 PM

Here's your assignment: You've just been elected President of the United States. Your most urgent Cabinet appointment is Treasury Secretary, the person who will lead us out of the worst financial abyss since the Depression.

Obviously, this person must have not only the leadership skills and charisma to inspire and...

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Reflections on "The Poem"

(8) Comments | Posted January 25, 2009 | 6:07 PM

Elizabeth Alexander delivered an original poem, "Praise Song for the Day", at the inauguration ceremony. Hearing it, and later reading it, the poem reminded me of why so few of us pay much attention to contemporary poetry. I felt very little emotional impact or intellectual stimulation. It was a...

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Reflections on "The Speech"

(2) Comments | Posted January 25, 2009 | 5:56 PM

Is there anyone who has not yet weighed in on "the speech"? Unquestionably, it had substance, including a litany of the domestic and international challenges that we face. But did it soar, did it meet the high expectations that we all had for what many thought might become "the speech...

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Explaining the Economic Crisis

(2) Comments | Posted September 29, 2008 | 12:47 PM

In 1983, screenwriter William Goldman (Butch Cassidy, Marathon Man, All the President's Men, Princess Bride, et al.) wrote Adventures in the Screen Trade, a brilliant and entertaining analysis of the movie industry. His unforgettable takeaway line that summarized the entire 436-page book, the phrase that captured the essence of Hollywood,...

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North Korea and The New York Philharmonic: The "Why" Question Gets Answered

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2008 | 8:36 PM

When we accompanied the New York Philharmonic on its historic trip to North Korea for its February 26 concert, the question that we were asked most often was, "Why?" Why was an American classical music organization invited to perform in the capital of a country with whom we've technically been...

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The Metropolitan Opera -- Turnaround Case Study

(5) Comments | Posted June 18, 2008 | 7:10 PM

Opening night at the Met, 2007-08 season

Okay class, pay attention. Here's today's business problem:

It's 2006. You're hired to run the largest performing arts organization in the world, a 125-year-old household name. Every year, you stage over 200 performances per year...

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My Dinner with Barack

(14) Comments | Posted June 5, 2008 | 9:54 AM

Day One of Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee, and we were fortunate enough to have had dinner with him last evening. Fresh from his victory speech in St. Paul and a day in Washington, D.C., at the Senate and at AIPAC, the Senator arrived at the fund-raiser in a...

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The Merger That Worked: Compaq and Hewlett-Packard

(3) Comments | Posted April 9, 2008 | 3:40 PM

In the old days, the conventional wisdom on Wall St. was that mergers were exciting, they created value, they just were good. And the bigger the merger, the better.

In recent years, however, mergers, particularly among large-cap companies, have not been looked upon so favorably. And the results mostly...

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Spin Me to the Moon

(6) Comments | Posted March 26, 2008 | 8:27 PM

Let's see. You're 82 years old, you're the father of the geostationary communications satellite, and you've won medals and honors and prizes all over the world presented by presidents and kings and other ne'er-do-wells. What to do now? Retire? Take up golf? Smell the roses?

The answer, if you're

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Letter from North Korea --Ray of Hope?

(1) Comments | Posted March 12, 2008 | 11:17 AM

North Korea is a country with whom we've technically been at war since 1950. It's a country that lost close to a million people to famine in the late 1990s. A country that prohibits its populace from contact with the outside world. International TV, travel, cell phones and the Internet...

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Letter from North Korea: A Follow-Up

(3) Comments | Posted March 3, 2008 | 2:53 AM

Here I am, sitting at my computer in our comfortable apartment in Manhattan, looking at the beautiful skyline and Central Park. Yet just a few days ago, unbelievably, we were in North Korea, a country that comedians might describe as Albania without the glitz. Except that North Korea is no...

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Letter from North Korea -- update

(16) Comments | Posted February 25, 2008 | 7:05 PM

We're here.

After months of anticipation, we landed 36 hours ago in Pyongyang, North Korea. The purpose? Ostensibly, to attend the New York Philharmonic concert at the invitation of the North Korean Ministry of Culture. But the real reason was to witness history.

As to the concert, it was a...

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