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Who better to do it?

How pervasive are video games? Here's a clue: The University of Southern California has announced what is believed to be the first endowed teaching position for the study of the phenomenon. It will be financed with an $8 million gift from Electronic Arts Inc., which calls itself the world's leading independent developer of "interactive entertainment" software. Students will learn techniques for designing the games of the future on the theory that, since their generation is the leading user of video technology, they'll have the vision and energy to bring sweeping change to what's already an $11 billion-a-year industry.

Art so huge that it's hard to wrap your mind around

You don't have to be a connoisseur to be awestruck at the massive scale of "The Gates," the largest public art project in New York City's history. The inspiration of artist-partners Christo and Jeanne-Claude, it is a series of 7,532 vinyl-tube frames, each 16 feet high, from which sheets of saffron-colored fabric are hung. The finished creation forms a canopy over 23 miles of Central Park footpaths at an estimated cost of $21 million. Previously, Christo and his partner have wrapped whole buildings and even a river bridge with fabric. Some of the notable projects featured on their website: www.christo jeanne-claude.com, with the title of each, its location, and the year completed:

"Wrapped Coast, Little Bay" Sydney, Australia 1969
"Valley Curtain" Rifle, Colo. 1972
"Running Fence" Sonoma, Marin counties, Calif. 1976
"Wrapped Walk Ways" Kansas City, Mo.1978
"Surrounded Islands" Biscayne Bay, Fla. 1983
"The Pont Neuf Wrapped" bridge in Paris 1985
"The Umbrellas" valleys north of Tokyo and Los Angeles 1991
"Wrapped Reichstag" Berlin 1995
"[178] Wrapped Trees" Riehen, Switzerland 1998

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