How Changing the Rules Changes the Game

24 06 2009

If you are homeschooling — read out of the education mainstream — and don’t know about the Kobayashi Maru, you should. Think Harry Potter changing the rules to survive.

Even the artsy Oscars go by grades and scores and competitive rules, you know . . .

Obviously this is power of story for schooling, politics, the economy, families and/or classrooms with five to ten children, marriage, beauty pageants, baseball, you name it:

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The best-picture lineup at the Academy Awards is doubling from five films to 10, a move organizers said Wednesday will open the field to more worthy movies and possibly boost the ceremony’s TV ratings.

The change, which was approved Tuesday night by the board of governors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, takes effect at next year’s Oscars on March 7.

The plan is a return to Oscar traditions of the 1930s and ’40s, when a best-picture field of 10 or more films was common.

Academy President Sid Ganis said the board looked at last year’s slate of films and decided there was room for more in the top category. “We nominated five, but there were many other great films last year,” Ganis said.

Among last year’s most acclaimed movies was the Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight,” which wound up snubbed. Another was “WALL-E,” which won the Oscar for feature-length animation but was not among best-picture nominees.

Ganis said the broader field might make room for documentaries, foreign-language films, animated movies and even comedies, which typically do not fare well for best-picture nominations.

“Everybody says the academy will never nominate a comedy,” Ganis said. “Well, maybe we will.”

. . .The ratings for last February’s Oscars were up solidly, but that followed a ceremony a year earlier that drew the lowest ratings ever. Along with other awards shows, the Oscars generally have been losing viewers over the past couple of decades.

Having 10 or more was common in Hollywood’s golden age some 70 years ago. Ganis noted that 1939’s 10 best-picture nominees were “Gone with the Wind,” which won, “The Wizard of Oz,” “Stagecoach,” “Wuthering Heights,” “Love Affair,” “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Of Mice and Men,” “Dark Victory” and “Ninotchka.”

All are generally considered classics today.
The last time there were 10 nominees was the Oscar ceremony for 1943, when “Casablanca” won best picture. There have been only five nominees each year since then.

I’m shocked, shocked, to find rule-changing going on! 😉



3 responses

26 06 2009

June 25, 2009
Should Definitions of Cheating Change in the Age of Texting?

Over at The Chronicle’s Brainstorm blogs, Mark Bauerlein raised some interesting questions this week about students’ views of cheating.

Mr. Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, points to a new survey showing that about half of students have used their cellphones or other technology to cheat, and that many students do not consider their behavior to be cheating.

He suggests that they may have a point.

“Don’t we see here a prime example not of the decay of personal integrity but instead the healthy spread of ‘participatory culture’?” Mr. Bauerlein wrote.

“In the digital age, intelligence is a collective thing, the individual now not a repository of knowledge but a dynamic component of it. We have entered a new realm, and if the definition of knowledge has changed, then so must the definition of cheating. Right?”

26 06 2009

Or how about this, coming as the cover for Sunday’s NYT Book Review?

“Change the world, and you change the God.”

29 06 2009

People seem split on the decision:
It could cause a lot of problems, especially with the voting system, with more nominees a movie could win with a small percentage of the vote.

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