May 25, 2009 |
I stood there in the Har Nebo Cemetery on Oxford Avenue and looked out at the gravestones that surrounded me. The high autumn lawn of the cemetery undulated like an ocean in the wind, green grass waves breaking over tombstone shores. I was heading to the section for indigent Jews, searching for the gravesite of a World War II veteran. Although I never met him, I felt that I had to come and pay my respects. I found his grave, marked only by a 4-square-inch plaque bearing his name, and knelt down next to it. I planted a small American flag and said a short prayer.
October 26, 2008 |
I have nothing against extreme heights. Birds, kites, airplanes: Some things are made for those altitudes. But not me. Grabbing onto the mountain, I could have told myself anything to feel better, but there was no turning back. A senior at Villanova, I was on a study-abroad trip last fall to Tibet, Nepal and India with 25 other college students. We had backpacked for two weeks, traveling by foot, donkey, bus, plane, train - even tractor. Finally, we stood only 100 or so feet from the summit of this mountain that, by Tibetan standards, did not deserve a name.
October 17, 2008 |
AL QAEDA'S recent efforts to affect the U.S. presidential election are backfiring, with polls confirming that Osama bin Laden is in trouble. But last night's speech by bin Laden to followers at a cave in a mountain area of Afghanistan interrupted by cries of "McCain" and "Elect him!" might just be the breaking point. Bin Laden's efforts to paint Republican presidential nominee John McCain as a friend of unrepentant billionaires and an enemy of Islam and Allah are blowing up in his face.
October 10, 2008 |
Nick Cave used to be so deathly serious it was hard to bear. But now, along with his dastardly mustache, booming voice, and biblical blues- and rockabilly-infused songs of love and death, the 51-year-old Australian has a crackling sense of humor. "We're all going to come and live here," Cave said of America at the Electric Factory on Tuesday, the last date of his U.S. tour. He gestured toward his six-man band, the Bad Seeds, who included the former Birthday Park guitarist Mick Harvey and the wild man violinist Warren Ellis, of the Dirty Three.
September 6, 2008 |
The LPGA Tour's "mea culpa" didn't need much translation. Facing anger from lawmakers and bewilderment from sponsors, the LPGA Tour backed off plans to suspend players who cannot speak English well enough to be understood at pro-ams, in interviews or in making acceptance speeches at tournaments in the United States. The policy has generated a storm of bad publicity since it was announced last month. LPGA Tour commissioner Carolyn Bivens said she would have a revised plan by the end of the year that would not include suspensions, although fining non-English speakers remains an option.
September 4, 2008 |
The Phillies understood the reality that their killer loss to a terrible team created last night at Nationals Park. They have backed themselves into the very same corner as last season. "We battled back last year," Chase Utley said after a 9-7 loss to the Washington Nationals, who entered the night as the worst team in baseball. "Now we have to battle back again. " Two Ryan Howard home runs were not enough for the Phillies, who are three games behind the first-place New York Mets in the National League East with just 22 to play.
September 4, 2008
Cheese of the Month A little "cave time" can be a good thing, especially if you're a cheese. Consider this spectacular two-year-old Swiss Gruyère from Emmi: the aging transforms the mild waxiness of a standard Gruyère (usually about five months old) into a far more intense experience. The texture of a firm, smooth slice is densely creamy, but also has the salty crunch of protein crystals sparking in every bite. The whey crunchies come about when the cheese's curds are heated and pressed.
April 6, 2008 |
I inched along the iron-rich red sand on my belly, the milky beam of light from my headlamp illuminating the narrow gap ahead of me. Breathe, I told myself. Don't panic! I used my elbows to slither forward and had to duck even lower as my helmet struck a low-hanging stalactite. My heart pounded so loud it seemed to vibrate off the limestone walls. It was the morning of my 30th birthday, and I was deep inside the Kelly Hill Caves on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. As an avid traveler and adventurer, I am willing to try most things at least once.
March 21, 2008 |
As its title hints, Fleisher/Ollman Gallery's "Cave Paintings" is an exhibition of large, not easily deciphered works on walls that appear to record events over a passage of time, diagrammatically, lyrically, or both. But unlike, for example, the bulls and felines that decorate Lascaux, these "cave paintings" come in acrylic and oil on canvas, steel chain and brass-threaded wire, enamel on aluminum, and ink and gouache on paper. You have to wonder what a prehistoric artist might have fashioned from such sophisticated media.
April 24, 2007 |
What is the sound of a Buddhist nun sitting alone for 12 years in a Himalayan cave? "Quiet," Tenzin Palmo recalled last week. "Never boring. And very beautiful. " The phone line from Vancouver fell silent for a moment. "I wasn't planning to do 12 years," she continued. "But it was the ideal place to practice" meditation. "So, I just stayed there. " "There" was a space both tiny and vast, like the self Buddhists seek to know. Palmo's cave near the Tibetan border was so small she slept sitting up, her legs folded beneath her as in meditation.