Philadelphia Orchestra declares bankruptcy

The acclaimed Philadelphia Orchestra said it would file for bankruptcy, the first major US performance ensemble to do so during the nation’s current economic turmoil.
Kate Johnston, a spokeswoman for the 111-year-old orchestra, said however that programming was unaffected for now. “All concerts are going on as scheduled, including a concert tonight,” she said on Saturday. The orchestra was performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.
The Philadelphia Orchestra Association confirmed its board of directors voted earlier to file for bankruptcy protection. Despite the expected filing, the orchestra is fighting for its life and plans a $214 million fundraising attempt within the next few days, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. At the beginning of the performance of Mahler, an orchestra member stood to thank the audience for its support.
Meanwhile, outside the hall, a small crowd gathered to watch the performance on a small television. Concert goers were worried about their orchestra’s future. “It’s very sad,” said Joel Porter, visiting from New Jersey to hear the Mahler piece.

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Blame your brain for embarrassment
Washington: If your gaffes often leave you embarrassed at social gatherings, blame your brain, scientists say.
Researchers at the University of California found that the feeling of embarrassment which comes with experiences such as hearing one’s own singing is isolated to a thumb-sized bit of tissue deep within the brain.
In people who show low levels of embarrassment — including those with dementia — this brain region is smaller than normal, found the researchers. “This region is actually essential for this reaction. When you lose this region, you lose this embarrassment response,” lead researcher Virginia Sturm told LiveScience. —PTI

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