June 16, 2013
In Beauty Bright By Gerald Stern W.W. Norton. 125 pp. $25.95 Stealing History By Gerald Stern Trinity University Press. 306 pp. $17.94 Reviewed by Frank Wilson Gerald Stern is one of those writers whose style insinuates itself into your consciousness like a catchy tune, so that you find your thoughts echoing its rhythms, bopping from one to another, back and forth, like thought and language doing a jitterbug. Here he is, in Stealing History , telling about "a ghostly experience" he once had: . . . when it happened I would have described it as a kind of dizziness, of being filled with deep pleasantness, a pleasure in which I was overcome and held onto the brick wall of a building beside me. I seem to remember I was always going slightly downhill, and it was my right hand I held against the wall - and it lasted for maybe ten, fifteen seconds - I think longer - and it was delicious, and there was absolutely no fear in it, and I walked normally and happily immediately after, and I never much thought about it and never told anyone about it. More laid back and (seemingly)
May 31, 2013 |
EVERY SCHMOOZER in Hollywood says to every other schmoozer that they should work together someday, and almost nobody means it. But a long-term, respectful industry friendship between Philadelphia natives M. Night Shyamalan and Will Smith did amount to something - their new sci-fi spectacle "After Earth," also starring Smith's son Jaden. "We just kind of knew each other lightly over the years. Will's been gracious, keeping in touch. We've met over the last four or five years in LA, we'll get a meal and talk about stuff, and he's always been super receptive to those kinds of meetings," said Shyamalan.
May 27, 2013 |
Joseph Sobanko's patients often ask him which sunscreen is best. That's especially true this time of year, when people are going outside and the sun's rays are at their brightest - and most damaging. Whether the patient is blond or dark, freckled or fair, the Penn Medicine skin-cancer specialist has the same answer: Whichever sunscreen you'll actually use. Far too few of us do, he says. About one in five Americans will develop skin cancer - the most common kind of cancer - in their lifetimes.
May 25, 2013 |
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - With a growing sexual assault epidemic staining the military, President Obama urged U.S. Naval Academy graduates Friday to remember their honor depends on what they do when nobody is looking and said the crime has "no place in the greatest military on earth. " The commander in chief congratulated the 1,047 midshipmen graduating at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, telling the 841 men and 206 women that they have proven themselves morally by meeting rigorous standards at the academy.
May 10, 2013 |
BECAUSE OF HIS almost-forever fascination with the earth and sky, Marc Berlanger plans to major in geoscience at Bloomsburg University. Did someone say earth and sky? Thursday, those words were quite the fit for Berlanger's first two at-bats in an important Catholic Red baseball game. In both, he drove deep fly balls toward almost the exact same part of dead rightfield. The first launching offered momentary hope, then returned him to earth. The second sent him soaring sky high!
April 26, 2013 |
THE DOCUMENTARY "No Place on Earth" doesn't seem as if it should work quite as well as it does. A History Channel production, the tale of Ukrainian Jews who survived in underground caves for 511 days while hiding from the Nazis during World War II is structured around lengthy, foreign-language re-enactments of the events featuring costumed performers. Why not just commit to the undeniably thrilling theatricality of the story and make a fictionalized dramatic feature? Instead, Emmy-winning documentarian Janet Tobias ("Life 360")
April 23, 2013
T O MARK Earth Day, we talk with Dean Carlson, 41, of Elverson, Chester County, owner of the 360-acre Wyebrook Farm in Honey Brook. He practices sustainable agriculture and supplies the public - including several top restaurants - with grass-fed pork, chicken and beef. The former bond trader bought the foreclosed property in 2010 for $12,000 per acre. Q: How do you go from Wall Street trader to farmer? A: I got interested in agriculture as an investment because farmland is going to become more valuable over time.
April 14, 2013
A Novel By Ken Kalfus Bloomsbury. 224 pp. $24. Reviewed by Glenn C. Altschuler The equilateral triangle combines the virtues of uniformity and variety, Sanford Thayer, the main character in Ken Kalfus' new novel, proclaims. The component of all regular pyramidal solids and the basis of all human art, it is "the most visually satisfying geometrical figure of them all. " Drawing on his cigar, Wilson Ballard, Thayer's chief engineer, shoots back: "Bloody difficult to dig, though.
March 30, 2013 |
By Derrick H. Pitts Considering the recent close calls our planet has had with various asteroids, meteors, and comets, it's time to develop an early-warning system - a cosmic "heads up" - to detect the wanderers zooming through the solar system. The major concern, of course, is whether any of these space travelers is on a collision course with Earth. Our geologic record clearly indicates that not only have we been hit before, but in one instance, the object was large enough to significantly change the planet's environment, triggering the demise of the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago. If they couldn't survive an impact, what chance would mere humans have to survive?
March 13, 2013 |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Now's your chance to see the comet that passed within 100 million miles of Earth last week. Twilight on Tuesday will provide the best photo op for Pan-STARRS. It will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere just above the western horizon - right next to a crescent moon. California astronomer Tony Phillips said the glare of the setting sun may make it difficult to see the comet with the naked eye. But he encourages casual sky gazers to give it a shot. The moon will provide an easy point of reference.