October 17, 2010
This is not the column I really want to write. The column I want to write will be written with church bells pealing and the lead will be an announcement that cancer is over, the cure has been found and henceforth, no more mothers, brothers, sisters, and sons will be stolen by that killer. That column will be a celebration. This column will be a report to my investors, written not with church bells pealing, but with feet up, callused, blistered, and tender to the touch. As some of you know, I recently walked in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day For The Cure, a 60-mile hike to raise money against breast cancer.
May 4, 1990 |
In Chattahoochee, a war hero comes home from Korea to discover that peace requires a different kind of courage - the will to live in the hidebound conventions of a small town in Florida while somehow keeping the demons within under control - or at least out of sight. As many films about veterans returning from Vietnam have poignantly noted, this is no easy feat. For Emmett Foley, in the even more constricting climate of the '50s, it becomes an impossibility. In a scenario that has become tragically familiar, Foley loads a pistol, steps out into the peace of a Sunday morning and begins firing at neighbors and strangers alike.
June 30, 1986 |
Perhaps best of all Phyllis Gillis remembers those hot summer nights in the local singles bar - working the late shift "on the line," turning out onion soup and chicken Parmesan and cranberry duck for her well-heeled suburban neighbors, for the grand sum of $42 a night. It was, at the time, the only way she could see to hold her life together during a long, drawn-out divorce and custody battle. Her heat and electricity had been cut off, her car insurance canceled, her child-support payments stopped.
May 8, 2005 |
People fleeing the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, for the most part did not run. They took, on average, six minutes to decide to leave. Some even retrieved personal items before evacuating. For some, taking their time proved fatal. Those findings, announced in a recent federal government report on the towers' collapse, have renewed focus on a poorly understood aspect of emergencies: human behavior. Despite millennia of fires, floods and other disasters, engineers and other safety scientists know relatively little about the workings of the human brain in times of peril.
November 11, 2001 |
As House and Senate conferees argue over how best to screen airline passengers and baggage, it pays to look back a few years. In 1996, Congress directed the Federal Aviation Administration to create minimum standards to train and test workers who screen passengers and bags at airports. Five years later, the agency is still working on those rules. Twice since 1990, White House panels urged more efforts to keep explosives off planes. President Bill Clinton asked for "an action plan.
November 15, 1988 |
Laurie Brooks, 17, was furiously hurling an egg at a white sheet held last week by two other students at the Baldwin School. But as hard as she tried, the egg would not break. Why not? One of her classmates discovered the answer when she sent the egg sailing over the top of the sheet: It splattered against the wall. "Oh, Mrs. Physics!" the students gasped before dissolving in giggles. Their lesson on the principles of momentum and impulse had, inadvertently, succeeded.
September 28, 2001 |
The more memorable films that have been inspired by Stephen King's tireless pen have used frontline talent and concentrated on matters of the heart and human demons rather than monsters. Scott Hicks' Hearts in Atlantis - like Rob Reiner's Stand by Me and Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption - is in this category. But, despite the atmospheric contribution from Hicks, the presence of Anthony Hopkins, the use of a talented young newcomer of real promise (Anton Yelchin), and a screenplay from William Goldman, it is not in their class.
May 19, 1991 |
Lost, stolen or strayed, the Planning Ministry had been mislaid, and the Information Ministry had no information on its whereabouts. Its old waterfront office beside the Grand Mosque was an abandoned, cavernous shell ransacked by the Iraqis. A platoon of government officials rifled through piles of papers looking for a clue. The best they could come up with was a home number for the planning minister. His daughter said her daddy wasn't home. When the minister, Ahmed Ali al-Jasser, finally surfaced two days later - working in temporary quarters downtown - he denied his operation had been missing in action.
March 16, 1995 |
The national pastime, at least at the seat of the national government in Washington, is a game economists call "rent seeking. " It has many permutations, one of which has produced the "perimeter rule" concerning National Airport, which sits on the Virginia bank of the Potomac, a short drive from the Capitol, the Yankee Stadium of rent seeking. Rent seeking is the attempt by a private faction, in league with compliant public officials, to bend public power to private advantage by conferring either an advantage on that faction or a disadvantage on that faction's competition.
August 10, 2001 |
"There's nothing to do. " "I'm bored. " "I'm hungry. " "We've got nothing to eat. " "Can I have some money?" Ah, the sounds of summertime. Einstein's theory that time is relative is rarely more evident to parents of school-age children than during summertime. What seems like a flashing nanosecond to one feels like nothing short of an eternity to another. During school months, it's relatively simple to keep children on a schedule; however, summer breaks down that schedule, and - if you're not careful - complete chaos follows.