March 3, 2006 |
The crackle of a two-way radio broke the relative quiet of the second-floor hallway at the Convention Center. "We need a forklift," the voice demanded. "We're ready to put the head on Mother Nature. " That voice, and the plastic protecting the carpets, simply hinted at the organized chaos that lay beyond the door of the exhibition hall. The 2006 Philadelphia Flower Show was literally building to its opening, then just days away. With 50 exhibits to complete, roughly 600 workers constructing them, and very little time to transform the 10-acre hall into the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's annual harbinger of spring, it was surprising that the place wasn't more frenetic.
April 11, 1991 |
It was the saddest of times, it was the silliest of times. It was the age of . . . Well, you get the idea. Whenever Micky O'Donoughue and the New Vic Theatre of London invade the Annenberg Center, it's time to indulge the classics with a twist of lunacy. This time, New Vic is presenting their version of "A Tale of Two Cities. " It's an interpretation that author Charles Dickens never considered - mixing the guillotine and giggles. Incredible how Dickens missed such an obvious setting for humor.
August 3, 1994 |
NON-LETHAL WEAPONS: Now that the Cold War's over, what's the military- industrial complex to do? Try to come up with non-death-dealing instruments to help police keep the national peace, that's what. Some stuff being thought up at, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, our "biggest and spookiest" weapons labs has already been nixed: A gun that covers a suspect in gluey foam. Problem: It stuck to the cops, too. A car-stopping microwave burst. Problem: It could stop innocent cars and pacemakers for blocks around and maybe steam the driver like a baked potato.
March 18, 1998 |
Shopping for pillows is not as simple as it used to be. Time was, there were flat pillows and fat pillows. Feather-filled or foam. You'd pay $10 to $20 and go home. Today you're dreaming if you want to get out of the store that fast (or that cheaply). You can get a headache just weighing the options. "Healthier sleep" is the buzz phrase. Do you want a pillow that "responds to body pressure"? That "relates to your temperature"? That offers "continuous air circulation"? (Can you even figure out what that means?
May 11, 2007
Dear Mom, I know I drove you crazy when: I doodled off the pages of my coloring book and right up my bedroom walls. I hid from you in the department store clothing racks while you yelled my name. I did aerobatic back-flips off our swing-set while you waved a finger at me from the window. I stayed out in a snowstorm until 3 a.m., singing and dancing with my best friend while you canvassed the neighborhood for us. I . . . well, maybe I shouldn't even mention skydiving!
March 1, 2008 |
I'VE BEEN hiding a horrible secret for the past few months. OK, it's been more than a few months. It's been at least a year. What's the secret, you ask? Well, the truth is . . . we've been living with raggedy furniture. Like millions of families with little boys, we've tried desperately to conceal our shame beneath chenille throws and strategically placed pillows. This past week, it finally came to a head. It all began two-and-a- half years ago, when Little Solomon started walking, and testosterone took over.
March 4, 1994 |
When Jim Hart's miniature world of locomotives and Pennsylvania countryside began encroaching on his suburban home a few years ago, he knew what to do. "That's why we moved. I wanted a bigger basement for the trains," said Hart, 56, a family doctor with a practice in Drexel Hill. The train aficionado has been building an elaborate land of railroad tracks, towns and mountains on a five-foot-high platform in his new basement since he settled into his Rose Tree home four years ago. Although he devotes every Thursday to his beloved hobby, he said, he is only half-finished with his project.
October 17, 1991 |
Grace Rosenthal is 3 1/2 years old and is throwing orange foam balls all over the place. Suddenly she stops, races across the room, climbs a slippery slope and jumps. After a few somersaults, several wind sprints and a solitary swing on a bar, she puts on her coat and walks quietly out the door. Her actions aren't the result of one too many bowls of sugary cereal. Grace is exercising at a gym exclusively for children, Kidnastics. Owner-operator Lynn Cantwell says she began Kidnastics not only to let small children exercise, but to let them build their confidence at an age when clicking a television remote control may be considered an aerobic exercise.
January 2, 1997 |
To a bystander, they look like Mummer wannabes, non-musical lackeys who want so desperately to be in a string band that they would carry a 12-foot, 50-pound cuckoo clock 2.5 miles at a snail's pace in frigid weather just to be a part of the action. Sorry, folks, this isn't high school. These are not wannabes. The truth about the Mummers' finely tuned musical machines is that they are driven by these hangers-on, respectfully known as marshals. They build (and carry) the props and set up the lavish scene changes that turn the familiar renditions of "When the Saints Go Marching In" into Vegas-style spectacles.
June 29, 1995 |
To everyone else, he was a cute, happy 6-year-old. To his parents, Lenid Barol was a miracle. His adoption was the fulfillment of a dream for Andrea and Joshua Barol, a couple who couldn't have children and desperately wanted them. They went to Russia in March, nervous and excited when they left and ecstatic when they came back with Lenid. "They were just very happy and looking forward to a wonderful future with him," said Rabbi Ira Stone, who described the couple as "beaming" when they brought Lenid to his synagogue.