August 24, 2015 |
PARIS - Are the "no-go zones" of Paris just urban legends? Or are they real, lawless enclaves in this City of Light? The no-go label sparked controversy in January when a Fox News guest analyst, speaking against the backdrop of a map overlaid with red circles, told viewers there were eight parts of Greater Paris where even the police dared not go. "I've been to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kashmir," said Nolan Peterson, a U.S. Air Force combat veteran....
August 22, 2015 |
Deep inside the vast New Jersey Pinelands, there comes a moment when the utter stillness seems to become its own a sound. Celebrated Princeton writer John McPhee understood that moment and all the others that define this 1.1-million-acre wonder in his critically acclaimed 1968 book, The Pine Barrens . His clarion cry then and now: The region deserves to be cherished and preserved. Continuing what McPhee started is the Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA), founded in 1989. The PPA's commitment to preservation is twinned with another goal: getting people to the Pinelands, sometimes with a bit of a McPhee twist.
August 19, 2015 |
Documentaries about science don't really make for ratings winners. Those that are produced seem to focus on a few popular topics - evolutionary biology, medicine, astronomy. Chemistry seems left out in the cold. PBS hopes to change this ugly situation with The Mystery of Matter: Search for the Elements , a superb three-part documentary about the history of chemistry. It airs in one marathon sitting from 8 to 11 p.m. Wednesday on WHYY TV12. Narrated by Michael Emerson, best known for playing crime-fighting genius Harold Finch on CBS's Person of Interest , The Mystery of Matter provides a historical survey of chemistry from its birth as a distinct scientific field in the 17th and 18th centuries to the establishment of the famous periodic table and the discovery of radioactivity and the existence of subatomic particles.
July 31, 2015 |
When the BlackStar Film Festival, highlighting cinema culled from the African diaspora, hits venues around University City starting Thursday, it will bring its usual retinue of serious narrative and documentary fare. BlackStar's closing film happens to be its starkest, darkest entry: Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story , a documentary from filmmaker dream hampton about the vicious 2011 murder of a black trans teen, 19-year-old Shelley "Treasure" Hilliard, who was ritually burned and dismembered, as though her murderer had a desire to erase rather than kill.
July 25, 2015 |
More than a century ago, a Doylestown man crossed the globe and became the first person to walk the entire Great Wall of China. This week, crews from Chinese television embarked on a reverse journey. They brought their cameras to William Edgar Geil's childhood home and the 30-room estate where he once lived, flipped through thousands of his photographs, and filmed the cemetery where he is buried. Their six-part documentary will detail the nearly 3,000-year history of the wall.
July 22, 2015 |
PICTURE A grizzly, swashbuckling pirate who sails the high seas in search of ships to plunder. Now, add a yarmulke. Actually, Jewish pirates who ransacked Spanish ships in Caribbean waters during Colonial times wore more intimidating Cavalier-style hats. But make no mistake: There were Jewish pirates of the Caribbean. "They were pirates through and through," said Sahar Oz, director of programming for the Gershman Y, which hosts a talk about the Sephardic seafarers Thursday, in conjunction with a photo exhibit on Caribbean synagogues.
July 10, 2015 |
Sex, romance, and love are put under the glass by two shows this week, Dates , a clever new British comedy imported by CW, and Showtime's sexplicit Masters and Johnson biography, Masters of Sex , which returns for its third season. The sexual response Masters of Sex , back for a third season at 10 p.m. Sunday on Showtime, has a good deal in common with Mad Men . Both shows are set during the same era - the mid 1950s through the 1960s - and both have tried to capture some essential truth about what it means to be an American in the post-World War II world.
July 5, 2015 |
Karen Warrington is anything but a shrinking violet. She resists categories. Early on, back in the 1950s and 1960s, she studied dance with Sydney King and then became a member of Arthur Hall's Afro American Dance Ensemble. Always interested in writing and communication and politics, she moved into journalism, becoming news director for WDAS radio, and has been an off-and-on reporter and talk host on black radio in the city for nearly 40 years. From 1984 to 1992, she was press secretary for Mayor W. Wilson Goode.
June 30, 2015 |
FRONTLINE: GROWING UP TRANS. 10 p.m. Tuesday, WHYY12. Nine-year-old Daniel is worried about his changing body. "I've been feeling a little weird," he tells an interviewer. Propped up in bed, clutching one of several stuffed animals, he adds, "I stay up a lot of nights talking with my parents about it. " "To develop breasts would be horrifying for him," says his father. But as PBS' "Frontline" reports tomorrow in the thoughtful and provocative "Growing Up Trans," there are options for children like Daniel that mean they don't have to go through the puberty of a gender they don't consider their own. As long as they move fast.
June 29, 2015 |
BLOCK ISLAND, R.I. - As the ferry pulled away from its dock in New London, Conn., glided past the General Dynamics submarine manufacturing plant, and steered toward its destination, one of five alpha males on the top deck - already delighting in the $5 domestic drafts available onboard - put back his head and stretched out his arms, as only an alpha would. "What time is it?" he bellowed, as his fellow passengers' eyes rolled. "It's Block Island time!" The bro's shtick was out of place - after all, that spring break bacchanal, Myrtle Beach, was 650 miles south - but his sentiment was spot-on.