February 17, 2012 |
DETROIT - The little boy who would grow up to become a surgeon at the University of Michigan learned right away - parts is parts. Douglas Chepeha started out as a carpenter, making boats and decks and furniture out of scraps of wood; and then, he took that same mental approach into surgery. That's how he saved Sherry Wittenberg's voice: He removed part of her shoulder blade and inserted it into her voice box, like a strange home renovation project inside a human body. Chepeha views the human body as a Home Depot for body parts.
December 25, 2011 |
We are conditioned to fear darkness. It is a state so imbued with disquieting connotations that even as an adult, when your mind can logically distinguish between the bogeyman and the simple absence of light, you still get that uneasy feeling when it's midnight, a spoon falls in the kitchen, and your girlfriend asks you to go to see what that noise was. Recently I traveled to darkness at a sensory exhibit titled "Dialogue in the Dark. " Participants are led through several rooms in complete darkness by a blind guide in order to realize the limitations of the human body, respect its capabilities, and engage in thought-provoking conversation about both.
December 3, 2011 |
Anyone feeling let down by this summer's action selections for their false-start franchises, comic-book overreliance, or overreliance on unworldly CGI will be well served by finding their way to The Yellow Sea. The second feature from South Korean writer-director Hong-jin Na, the film is a breakneck mix of bone-crunching freneticism and bloody close-quarters knife-fighting, with a strand of romantic melancholy. In the somewhat lawless territory where North Korea, China, and Russia border one another, a cabdriver is given an offer to work off a gambling debt by traveling to Seoul to kill a man. While he's there, the cabdriver also looks for his wife, who has likely left him. All this sets off a storm of violence, double-crosses, and layered subterfuges that puts the cabbie in well over his head but also brings out a streak of capable savvy that even he is surprised to find within himself.
November 14, 2011 |
The thousands of people who will run in the Philadelphia Marathon this weekend can thank evolution for a number of distance running adaptations - not least of which is what Harvard evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman calls our hypertrophied gluteus maximus. That's the technical term for big butts. Or more precisely big butt muscles. The glutes are the largest muscles in the human body. They are massive compared with those of other creatures, and research shows they're essential for running.
November 2, 2011 |
OWNERS of a pornography store wanted a federal judge to tell The King's Men, a Christian men's group that protests outside its Montgomery County shop once a month, to beat it. But it was The King's Men who got a happy ending in this tug-of-war when a judge last week shot down the porn store's motion for a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction. As part of The King's Men's "No More Porn Tour," the group has protested outside the Montgomeryville Adult World store at least 80 times over the last five years, said King's Men president and co-founder, Mark Houck.
September 8, 2011 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Something could soon be coming between San Francisco's proud nudists and their unusual freedom to bare it all. Walking around naked is legal in the city under most circumstances, but a city supervisor concerned about public health and sanitation has introduced legislation that would require the clothing-averse to put a cloth or other barrier under their bottoms if they take a seat in public. Supervisor Scott Wiener's proposal would also require nudists to cover up in restaurants.
April 22, 2011 |
I have a blue-ribbon commission in mind for Ray LaHood as he tries to sort out what to do about sleeping air traffic controllers. The panel members I'm thinking of have names like Preston & Steve, Cataldi, heck, maybe even Harvey in the Morning. Because when I heard the secretary of transportation say he'd never allow naps on the job, the first person I thought of was a radio DJ. For years, Don Cannon was a popular morning radio disc jockey at Oldies 98. Eight years ago, when I was asked to replace Don Imus' morning radio program in Philadelphia (which meant an early wake-up)
September 21, 2010 |
A bill to outlaw synthetic marijuana in Pennsylvania is creating a buzz in Harrisburg. A motion to ban what's commonly sold as "herbal incense" passed its first hurdle today when the state Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to send Bill 176 to the House. The legislation names six cannabinoids, all similar to the active ingredient in marijuana, that are easily created in laboratories. The cannabinoids are often mixed with common herbs and smoked to produce a high very similar to marijuana.
August 26, 2010
This innocent girl - we get that from the homemade white dress and the long hair - is bent backward like a psychotic rag doll, posed directly under Jesus on the cross. But was the sharp end of the crucifix used to stab her human body, or is this little angel bathing in Christ's holy blood? The deceptively simple tagline - "Believe in Him" - adds to our confusion. Do we need to have faith in God to fight this powerful sacrilege, or is it a warning that we must acknowledge the Devil's existence or be doomed?
November 18, 2009 |
The human body is a battleground, and the arena of conflict is your favorite magazine. Enter ESPN mag's "Body Issue," released in October and featuring photos of nude athletes. With expert lighting, makeup, and a light dusting of Photoshop, these bodies are shown at their best. But in a twist, they are not super-Photoshopped - no use of a computer program to slim, twist, or wrest them out of shape so that someone everyone recognizes becomes almost unrecognizable. Sure, the ESPN editors have taken what's real and cleaned it up - but they haven't made it up. In resisting the addiction to image-manipulation, and in letting bodies be bodies, ESPN magazine joins a mild but definite trend: away from "perfection" and toward authenticity and diversity.