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Solo Rock Stars Die Young by Tom Jacob  Dec. 19, 2012
… solo pop superstars are disproportionately likely to die young (although not necessarily at age 27).

That’s one finding of a study just published in the British journal BMJ Open, which takes a close look at mortality among rock and pop icons of the past half-century. And just like the rest of us, it finds, famous musicians are more likely to die from substance abuse if they had troubled childhoods…

Confirming earlier studies, the researchers report famous musicians are more likely than their fans to prematurely enter rock and roll heaven. Specifically, they found the gap in life expectancy between pop stars and the public widened consistently until 25 years after the musicians first became famous. (more…)

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Pursuing literary immortality illuminates how the mind works

by Dec. 13, 2012

So the artist, musician or author’s challenge is to create a work that retains a freshness, according to Case Western Reserve University’s Michael Clune, in his new book, Writing Against Time (Stanford University Press). And, for the artist, musician or writer, creating this newness with each work is a race against “brain time.”

Clune explains how neurobiological forces designed for our survival naturally make interest in art fade. But the forces don’t stop artists from trying for timelessness. (more…)

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