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The Art Deadlines List is a
monthly newsletter for amateurs, students and professionals in the arts.
It consists, very simply, of listings and lots of them: competitions,
calls for papers, grants, scholarships, fellowships, contests, jobs, and
internships for the visual arts, literature, music, and theater. Alas,
you have to subscribe
($15 a year, or $30 for the snail-mail version) to get the complete
newsletter, which includes full contact information for every listing.
Otherwise, you’ll see all the listings, but a lot of that crucial
contact information will be missing. Happily for us skinflints, however,
many of the listings are given in full even in the free version — and
enough clues are provided about the others that in some cases you may be
able to track them down under your own steam. (Try a good search
engine
on the more distinctive titles.) A
standout among the fully usable and complete offerings in the free March
edition: fall internships for recent college graduates are available at
Entertainment Weekly magazine; apply by June 1.

The juiciest of the free listings here informs me that NASA is
looking for astronauts. Please don’t write in to ask me why this counts
as “art,” because personally I cannot begin to imagine what it’s doing
in this newsletter, but
I’m tickled pink that it’s here. Before getting too excited, though, I
think we should all be aware that in order to become an astronaut “you
must be in excellent health with a degree in science, math or
engineering and either
1000 hours in command of jet aircraft (for pilots) or three years’
technical experience (for mission specialists).” Whew!

To check this career path out properly, go straight to the horse’s
mouth: NASA’s
Astronauts site
includes information on astronaut training and selection
requirements,

and biographies of
astronauts
let you compare
your CV to theirs. You can even get a head start on your training by
perusing the
Basics of Space Flight Learners’
Workbook,
an introduction to space
science and space flight for NASA personnel. And may I say: good luck!

Oscar nominee
now playing on the Web

The Oscar-nominated short film “Bunny” — which may be a winner by
the time you read this — is being broadcast over the Internet, seven
times a day, today and tomorrow only. Chris Wedge’s seven-minute
animated film tells the story of a housedress-clad bunny who’s got an
annoying flying insect in her kitchen. The bunny character is one of the
funniest sights I’ve seen lately. Watch the short
here.
Personally, I have to say my all-time favorite in the genre remains Nick
Park’s 1993 classic The Wrong
Trousers.

VCR repair made easy

Most of us are intimidated enough by a properly functioning VCR,
never mind one that’s on the blink. But who wants to go to the bother of
hauling the thing to the repair center, assuming you can even identify a
repair center?
As always on these desperate occasions, the Web is standing by to help.
The
VCR Repair Instruction site, sensibly
organized by brand name, points you toward a troubleshooting tutorial
customized to your make and model of VCR. For each model, typical
problems and (where rationally feasible for the non-expert) their
solutions are detailed, along with a list of parts available and a handy
set of instructions on how to remove that stubborn cassette refusing to
budge from the thing’s innards. This is one of those sites you couldn’t
care less about until disaster strikes, but think how grateful you’ll be
to have it bookmarked when that fell day arrives.

Enough already

Spending an awful lot of time at the computer lately? That’s not
always a benign state of affairs. When screen time gets seriously out of
hand and stays that way for more than a few weeks, major problems can
ensue: sleep deprivation, neglect of family and friends, work problems,
or just plain general malaise. A very few people may bottom out, looking
up from the monitor one fine day to discover their productivity at zero,
their career long flown, and their spouse packing. That’s a rare and
extreme case, of course, but it doesn’t have to get that bad to be well
worth dealing with.

If the PC is threatening to become a monkey on your back, consider
drastic measures. The shareware program Addict
doesn’t mess around:
if you want the computer to stay off until the next morning, this
software will turn it off and keep it that way. Schedule Addict to keep
you from playing a game, and it won’t just remind you when it’s time you
stopped playing — it will close the game for you and not let you use it
again for a pre-specified amount of time. (I’m reading this bit of the
description, and I’m picturing vividly just exactly which loved one’s
computer I’d like to booby-trap using this utility. It’s darned lucky
for him I suffer from … well, I’d like to call it ethics, but it’s
really just fear of future guilt.)

Drastic, yes — but it does make a certain sense, doesn’t it? Not
just to rescue the certifiable PC addict in your household, but also to,
say, make sure the kids get out in the fresh air occasionally. (It’s not
nice to disable anyone’s machine for the weekend without warning him or
her beforehand, though … and that goes double for kids.) I can also
see where Addict might come in handy if you’re involved in an
email-powered developing romance: you might really, really need to stop
checking your inbox every thirty seconds, or make absolutely sure you
don’t send off one of those ill-advised, hyper-articulate 3 AM emails.
In short, not a bad little life-management utility to have around.

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