April 21, 2011 |
ONE OF THE most vivid memories of my boyhood was the period just before April 15. Every year, my father, preparing to submit his tax forms, commandeered the dining-room table, which he totally covered with papers and forms, as well as pencils and a calculator. During those couple of days, you had to leave the house, as Dad was in an almost constant rage, smoke practically pouring out of his ears. My father was a Goldwater Republican. To him, the federal government ranked below the Mafia, and taxes were nothing short of robbery.
March 29, 2011
Paul Baran, 84, whose work with packaging data in the 1960s is credited with playing a role in the later development of the Internet, died of complications from lung cancer Saturday at his home in Palo Alto, Calif. Mr. Baran, who was raised in West Philadelphia and earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University, is best known for the idea of "packet-switching," in which data are bundled into small packages and sent through a network. He outlined the concept while working on Cold War issues for the Rand Corp.
December 20, 2010 |
When the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance started in 2003, its founders knew their mission would not be without considerable rigor. The nonprofit group - when created, only the second of its kind in the United States - was promoting a style of development largely absent and misunderstood here: high-density, walkable communities, where sidewalks are plentiful and housing coexists with shops and offices. The concept remains a vast departure from what dominates this region: zoning that demands that different uses stay separate and that houses be on at least a half-acre.
October 10, 2010 |
Karyn Dolan couldn't have been more pleased to be addressing a room full of like-minded believers. "I love going to conferences," she told the nearly 200 people who had gathered Saturday morning in a meeting room of the Sheraton Hotel in Langhorne to hear her presentation: "UFOlogy vs. Paranormal Research, Completely Different or Two Sides of the Same Coin?" "Nobody rolls their eyes at me," she said. "Nobody thinks I'm crazy. " The audience murmured and nodded in solidarity.
October 3, 2010 |
The PIAA website offers some interesting details about high school sports in Pennsylvania. For instance, 735 PIAA schools play boys' basketball, 422 play girls' tennis, and 588 have football teams. No numbers are listed for water polo, and the site's water polo page is practically blank. That's because there are few PIAA water polo teams - 22 for boys, 21 for girls - so few that the organization doesn't sponsor championships in the sport. The numbers don't seem significantly better among non-PIAA schools, either.
July 25, 2010 |
Americans today have so many distractions that few realize their country has been gripped by a critical debate over states' rights that parallels the pre-Civil War argument over preserving the Union. That's not to say people are ready to meet on the battlefield, brother against brother, to settle the current dispute. But today's arguments could have an effect on the role of the federal government that is just as profound. From immigration and health-care reform to abortion rights and gay marriage, states are asserting the right to regulate the legal status and social conduct of their residents.
June 6, 2010
By Nell Irvin Painter W.W. Norton, 496 pp., $27.95. Reviewed by Alan Nadel 'Ocular proof' - Othello demanded but never received it from Iago, accepting instead the circumstantial evidence of a purloined handkerchief. Ironically, part of the play's tragedy is that Iago felt that he, not Othello, had incriminating visual evidence: the color of Othello's skin. In The History of White People , Nell Irvin Painter stunningly chronicles the logic of ocular proof that has rendered complexion a form of evidence inextricably linked to historically convenient notions of race.
June 5, 2010 |
Just when you've had it up to here with copycat reality shows - They dance! They sing! They cook! They get their huge hair caught in the ceiling fan! - along comes a copycat drama. Fox's The Good Guys is a wiseguy cop show, so you're supposed to get some chuckles along with your thrills, as the hopeless throwback and his clean-cut young partner go through TV's version of Kabuki, with moves that were first choreographed in the '50s. But just because something isn't novel doesn't mean it can't be entertaining.
February 28, 2010 |
In the maiden voyage of Garces Trading Company - the "all-in-one culinary destination" from the prolific, hot-as-a-pistol Jose Garces - a bit of a change of course had transpired at the end, on Tuesday, of its first week. The state's liquor control apparatus had made a rather bold move, establishing its own "wine boutique" - a mini-State Store - in space it leased in the bosom of the project in the Western Union Building at 11th and Locust. (All state liquor stores are in leased spaces, but this would be the first actually inside a market-cafe.