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Talking Points: Jay-Z at art gallery, a Starbucks soundtrack, poor transit behaviour

BABY’S FIRST ROADSTER With chubby toddler hands, Sorella Stoute picked up her father’s smartphone, opened up eBay – and bought a car. The 14-month-old settled on a beat-up 1962 Austin-Healey Sprite, price tag $225 (U.S.). After initial panic, Sorella’s dad decided he’d refurbish the car for her 16th birthday, and install facial-recognition technology on his phone until then. Source: KOIN 6 News

Welcome to Talking Points, a daily roundup of digital miscellany


Pulling moves from the playbook of performance artist Marina Abramovic, rapper Jay-Z performed one song for six hours straight at a New York gallery this week. Stalking right up to posturing fans at Pace Gallery, the 43-year-old hip-hop mogul reprised Picasso Baby, a single off his new album Magna Carta Holy Grail, over and over again. A highlight of the proceedings was Abramovic, who showed up to glide around the rap star. Jay-Z joins a stable of art-stunting celebs: At this year's Venice Biennale, model and action-movie heroine Milla Jovovich stuffed herself into a glass box and took on various characters over five hours, while tweeting to the outside world. Actress Tilda Swinton offered a more merciful gesture to her audience at MoMa: She slept inside her glass box.

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A website called Coffitivity has introduced a nattering coffee-shop soundtrack in a bid to "boost your workday creativity!" The free soundtrack features whirring espresso machines, clanking plates and cutlery, flapping newspapers and the dialogue of café patrons. Coffitivity's founders point to research that suggests when it comes to creative tasks, people concentrate and problem-solve better with about 70 decibels of ambient noise, rather than deafening silence. Thankfully, the coffee-shop dialogue offered online is indiscernible: Nothing kills creativity like the corporate blathering – "personal brand," "multiplatform," "webinar," "monetize" – you'd be treated to at most Starbucks locations.


"It's not just about you. Your act is indicative of a fundamental selfishness detrimental to civil society."

Hamilton Nolan

Gawker writer pens an exacting takedown of humans behaving badly on public transit, from subway door chargers, pole hogs and teenagers ("stop yelling") to subterranean diners subjecting fellow riders to mystery foodstuffs inside Styrofoam boxes.

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