Hotel industry wakes up to the smartphone revolution | The Independent

Yet before you can go to your hotel room, you must queue to be given a key, or more likely a piece of plastic. Then, in my experience, return a few minutes later to the front desk to get the key re-coded when the magic plastic fails to perform. (Or, worse, as happened at the Hotel Uzbekistan in Tashkent last month, the key to room 504 does work but it already occupied by a suddenly very surprised couple.)

Starwood, now part of Marriott, began keyless check-in in 2014.

Now rival Hilton is in the game, energetically rolling out the “Digital Key” concept across the UK. Nine properties, from the Hampton by Hilton at Exeter airport to the Hilton Garden Inn in Aberdeen, are already equipped. That number will increase at an average of four a week to reach 100 by the end of the year.

Full story:  Hotel industry wakes up to the smartphone revolution | The Independent

Stacks Of Books, But Short On Cash: New England’s Public Libraries Face Funding Troubles 

On a sultry weekday morning, patrons escaped the heat and gathered at the Essex public library in Essex, Conn. for a weekly book discussion.”So what did you all think of the book?” asked librarian Emily Boucher. She was leading the discussion of Kazuo Ishiguro’s 1989 novel “The Remains of the Day.” Library copies of the book were littering the table — copies on loan from other public libraries, sent via the state’s interlibrary loan system — a system which library patron Bob Phoenix routinely relies on.”I constantly use it,” Phoenix said. “The only other resource for me is to go and buy a book, and so that if I had absolutely no access, this would cost me a good deal of money each year.”

Source: Stacks Of Books, But Short On Cash: New England’s Public Libraries Face Funding Troubles | The ARTery

You Can Make Your Own Backyard Movie Theater

At the drive-in, life does not recede when the movie begins. To the contrary, life asserts itself. People eat dinner in covered dishes. They drink cans of beer from coolers secreted past the gate. Kids stubbornly play on dimly lit playgrounds. I’ve seen vigorous games of ultimate Frisbee at drive-ins. And dogs.

Yes, we hang the speaker on the window. And sure, we take a gander at the movie, even from the backseat. But no one goes to a drive-in for the movie. We go to a drive-in to be somewhat outside as we watch our stories unfold 30 feet above us, against the sliver of sunset, the darkling light, the waxing disk of a summer moon.

Full article: You Can Make Your Own Backyard Movie Theater

AP PHOTOS: Music, art help deal with violence in Rio slum

We all know how the arts help each of us deal with our problems. Anything from mild depression, to boredom, to inspiration seeking, etc. But compared to those featured in this story our issues seem very much “first world problems” and yet – the arts STILL offer relief.

Never underestimate the power of music, art, dance, literature – whatever creative outlet reaches someone – to change their life and give them that one thing they need to carry on, if only for one more day.

Isabela Maia, 10, says she gets nervous when her mother makes her and her 2-year-old sister come inside during a shooting. Her outlet is learning to play the violin.

“Music calms me down,” said Maia, who practices each afternoon after doing her homework.

Read this moving story here:  AP PHOTOS: Music, art help deal with violence in Rio slum – Washington Times

How Harry Potter changed the world

Twenty years ago, on June 26, 1997, a small children’s press in the UK took a chance on a work of children’s fiction by a debut author — an unknown single mom who’d first gotten the idea for her story while stuck on a train seven years earlier.

That author was J.K. Rowling. And her book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone — published in the US a year later as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — would go on to change the world.

Read article at Vox:  How Harry Potter changed the world – Vox

Brooklyn Beckham holding art exhibition for Grenfell 

Brooklyn Beckham will donate all of the proceeds from his upcoming art exhibition to children affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

The son of David and Victoria Beckham, 18 – who released his debut photography book, What I See, last week – will launch a private viewing at Christie’s in London’s Mayfair on Tuesday, which will display 24 photographs from the book.

Full story at: Brooklyn Beckham holding art exhibition for Grenfell | Daily Mail Online

Art used to improved patient experience at pediatrician 

Art teacher Amy Brauer brought a group of her students to paint murals and inside the waiting room and exam rooms of the pediatric office at Erlanger’s Dodson Community Health Center.

I absolutely love this!

For years I’ve said that art should be filling many of the stressful environments of life – schools, nursing homes, hospitals, etc.  And the fact that this was done by a teacher with her art class? – perfect!

We need a lot more of this type of public art in our communities.

Read full story at: Art used to improved patient experience at pediatrician | WTVC

This Groundbreaking Comics Shop Owner Wants To Help Writers and Artists Break Into the Industry

Ariell Johnson made history in 2015 with her Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, becoming the first black woman to open a comics shop on the East Coast. Now, with the help of a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, Johnson has her sights set on changing the comics industry from the ground up.

Read at:  This Groundbreaking Comics Shop Owner Wants To Help Writers and Artists Break Into the Industry