July 16, 2016
Accept the ants. To say that they're out there in plenitude would be quite the understatement. Right now, they are everywhere. Yesterday, I watched a line of them march both ways 45 feet down a stone path, up a tree, across the clothesline, down another tree, across to the porch, up the pillar, up into the grapevine, and all the way out to the tips of the vines, where they congregated so thickly the stems were black. Close examination showed them to be taking care of a flock of aphids - which is exactly what they do in their mutualistic relationship.
August 21, 2015 |
Street art, by its very definition, is temporary. But when you're literally sketching on the street, the window of time between "voila!" and "Where'd it go?" can be devastatingly small. Just ask Sara Walker. A server and resident artist at Center City's Jose Pistola's, she busted out the chalk bucket the second the eighth annual Philly Beer Week came around earlier this summer. She spent hours hunched over the 15th Street sidewalk, scratching out an elaborate series of colorful illustrations promoting the bar's dozens of scheduled Beer Week events.
July 28, 2015 |
DON'T DOUBT the "Ant-Man. " The diminutive superhero finished first again at the box office, narrowly beating out "Pixels," $24.8 million to $24 million. Critics crushed "Pixels," which combined two things reviewers usually hate: video games and Adam Sandler . An estimated 62 percent of "Pixels" goers were under 25. Age or IQ? Holdovers "Minions" and "Trainwreck" took the third and fourth spots with $22.1 million and $17.3 million, respectively. The R-rated boxing drama "Southpaw" surpassed expectations and finished fifth with a $16.5 million opening.
July 24, 2015 |
IT'S A BUG'S world, and we're just living in - and now eating - it. Credit (or blame) environmentalists. Or the push for healthier diets. Or the Internet. Regardless, cooking with insects - especially crickets, mealworms and wax worms - is trendy, spawning hundreds of Pinterest boards, cookbooks and the term "entopreneurs" (as in entomology), people profiting from this six-legged fad. The business-trend magazine Fast Company recently reported that the niche industry is worth $20 million and growing.
July 21, 2015 |
A MY SCHUMER may have come into the weekend with more buzz than a bee, but she ended up crushed like a bug by "Ant-Man. " People say they want to hear women talk about sex, but what they really want is to hear men talk about insects. "Ant-Man" debuted with an estimated $58 million at the weekend box office, while "Trainwreck" finished third at $30.2 million. The result for "Ant-Man" didn't match some of Marvel's better known properties, but this was "Ant-Man," for goodness sake.
July 17, 2015 |
SOONER or later, someone was going to make fun of the incredible hulking obesity of the "Avengers" franchise, so Marvel was smart to keep the jokes in-house. Its nimble, amusing new "Ant-Man" has fun deflating the run-on visual giganticism of other recent comic-book adaptations - here, the title character shrinks to the size of an insect. Smaller than a minion, less powerful than a Thomas the Tank Engine locomotive, unable to leap tall buildings in a single bound . . . He's played by Paul Rudd, well-suited to the role in his capacity as cinema's most engagingly self-effacing comedian.
July 14, 2015
AS A FOLLOWER of politics and pop culture, I can't help but notice some similarities between the current politics of Harrisburg and the current crop of hit movies. Think summer blockbuster films aligning with summer budget-busting pols. Let's start with Democratic Gov. Wolf, who ran pitch-perfect primary and general campaigns to make history as the first candidate to unseat an incumbent Pennsylvania governor. He no doubt hoped that when he got to the Capitol he'd have "Pitch Perfect 2" (a sequel about an a cappella group's struggles to succeed, starring Anna Kendrick)
July 13, 2015 |
Ant-Man is upon us. On Friday, another superhero heads to the multiplexes. A Silver Age brethren of Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Thor, Ant-Man is, um, a little different. Sure, he has the superhuman strength, the supercool costume, and the supersmart-alecky retorts of a Marvel Comics crimebuster. But this guy is less than an inch high, and if he joined his fellow Formicidae in an invasion of your kitchen pantry, you'd grab the Raid and gun him down with the rest of the pests. How can this tiny speck possibly do battle with evil masterminds bent on world domination?
March 25, 2015 |
IT STARTED exactly 40 years ago in cramped dorm rooms at the State University of New York-Binghamton, a half-dozen guys staying up late to play poker on a drab, rain-soaked campus that didn't even have fraternities. But what started as a poker game morphed into a wider obsession for the card-dealing buddies that included the future Philadelphia suburbanites Joel Greenberg, Jeff Yass and Arthur Dantchik. Its wide, colorful playing field grew to include timeworn horse tracks, the gaming tables of Las Vegas, jai-alai frontons in Florida and finally, improbably, the floor of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.
January 15, 2014 |
OF ALL the smaller characters in the Marvel universe, the one generating the most buzz as a potential movie is "Ant-man. " It seems as if director Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead") has been developing the film for a decade, but progress has taken a giant leap forward recently with the casting of Paul Rudd and now, Variety reports, Michael Douglas . After winning a slew of awards, including the Golden Globe, for his role as Liberace in HBO's "Behind the Candelabra," Douglas has agreed to a role as scientist Hank Pym in what's likely to be a somewhat offbeat superhero film.