March 23, 2012 |
BEIRUT, Lebanon - As world leaders close ranks against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, President Obama summed up the popular wisdom during a recent White House news conference: "Ultimately, this dictator will fall. " That prediction may be premature. Regime forces have retaken the major opposition strongholds, the rebels are low on money and guns, and the United Nations has ruled out any military intervention of the type that tipped the scales against Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.
March 20, 2012 |
AUSTIN, Texas - What's the future of the music business? During the last week at the South by Southwest Music & Media Conference, that question was pondered over bites of barbecue and swigs of Shiner Bock. The answer, the industry types figured, had something to do with the cloud, and online streaming music services like Spotify, and making the right deals to build your band into a brand. And with that question settled (or not), everybody took to the streets to hear some music.
March 19, 2012 |
You didn't need to be a solar physicist to be riveted by the "solar storm" that sent a blast of charged particles our way this month. That particular flare-up fizzled, but in the long term, the sun's temper is worthy of our attention. Our sun changes, and living things adapt or die. Our planet circled a very different star when life first emerged on Earth some four billion years ago. The sun was dimmer and cooler, but more violent, sending deadly blasts of X-rays as well as particles that would have lit up the skies with spectacular auroras.
March 15, 2012
STRANGE THINGS often start happening soon after hydraulic fracturing for natural gas - known as "fracking" - comes to an area. Drinking water become undrinkable (Wyoming, among other places) or erupts into flames (Pennsylvania). And places not known to have earthquakes suddenly start to feel tremors, including Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma - and our neighbor, Ohio. Why should we be surprised that forcing great amounts of water and chemicals into the earth - and then disposing of the wastewater by using high pressure to inject it deep into underground wells - might possibly affect the environment?
March 13, 2012
F. Sherwood Rowland, 84, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist who sounded the alarm on the thinning of the Earth's ozone layer and crusaded against the use of man-made chemicals that were harming Earth's atmospheric blanket, has died. He died Saturday at his home in Corona del Mar of complications from Parkinson's disease, the dean of the physical sciences department at the University of California, Irvine, said Sunday. Mr. Rowland was among three scientists awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize for chemistry for explaining how the ozone is formed and decomposed through chemical processes in the atmosphere.
March 9, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Our high-tech world seems to have easily weathered a solar storm that didn't quite live up to its billing. While some experts think the threat from the solar storm passed by Thursday afternoon, space weather forecasters said it was still too early to relax. That's because there's a chance the storm's effects could continue and even intensify through Friday morning. And while this solar storm may have fizzled, others may be lining up in the cosmic shooting gallery in the coming days, month, and year, the scientists agree.
March 4, 2012
Despite three goals and two assists from rookie Kevin Crowley and a goal and four assists from forward Dan Dawson, the Wings dropped what was for three quarters a tight game, 11-8, to the Rochester Knighthawks at Wells Fargo Center Saturday night. The Wings fell behind by 4-2 in the first quarter before rallying to enter the final period tied at 7. Rochester was led by Mike Accursi with a hat trick and four assists. Rochester improved to 2-0 against the Wings and now owns the season-ending tiebreaker.
February 28, 2012 |
Significant collaborations here: Network for New Music, with its connections to area composers and its long-standing interest in sung words, joined forces with Felyx M (the Mendelssohn Club's 24-member chamber choir) and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, which has an intelligent subscription base and skill at presenting inexpensive concerts in congenial places. What came out of it was the 80-minute intermissionless program "Philadelphia Voices: O My Earth" Sunday night at the Independence Seaport Museum - an all-vocal program of music by Cynthia Folio, Jennifer Higdon, Thomas Whitman, Jan Krzywicki, James Primosch, and Donald St. Pierre.
February 27, 2012
By Jim Verhulst I was only 3 years old when John Glenn orbited the Earth in Friendship 7, so I don't remember that day 50 years ago. But I remember the decade - of a nation marching as one behind an assassinated president's pledge to land an American on the moon before 1970; of grade-school assemblies where the principal would wheel out the black-and-white TV so we could watch the latest Gemini launch; of my G.I. Joe astronaut set, which included...
February 16, 2012
Pennypack Farm and Education Center in Horsham sponsors its third annual film series aimed at engaging neighbors in discussion about environmental issues. Each movie delves into a different aspect of sustainability with a focus on how small changes can make a big difference to the world. All screenings are at the nonprofit Ambler Theater, 108 E. Butler Ave., Ambler 19002. Tickets are $10 each. 215-345-7855 or amblertheatre.org/pennypack Doors open at 6 p.m. for a community expo, highlighting local organizations.