April 22, 2014 |
THE PACKER-Combo-Mower - It cuts! It mulches! It edges! It whacks! - was born in the dead of winter, when Bruce Packer, 78, was booted out of the house he'd rented for 18 years across Borbeck Avenue from his Rhawnhurst neighbor, Dennis Gesker, 73, who took him in. Packer had dreamed up a lawn mower on steroids that did everything but kill crabgrass and swat mosquitoes. He told Gesker about it. "I've worked on mowers all my life, finding them in the trash, fixing them up, selling them at flea markets," said Packer, who has been a meat cutter for 60 years.
December 3, 2013 |
The all-time record for a long-awaited Philadelphia Orchestra debut by a major composer may well be held by Henry Purcell. Though his opera Dido and Aeneas surfaces periodically, the baroque composer's 1692 The Fairy Queen was heard for the first time here on Friday with an added distinction: None of the musicians had ever played Purcell at all. They had a resourceful tour guide in Richard Egarr, the British harpsichordist who led the...
September 25, 2013
Hold the questions There must have been an intensive training program for local waitstaff that included a mandate to ask diners the question, "Is everything all right?" This questioning is probably proper, but I suggest that I should not always be quizzed only a moment after putting a morsel of food into my mouth. At that point, all I am able to do is nod my head - even though the broccoli may be cold and the mashed potatoes lumpy. Another possible training item is that, after requesting another cup of coffee, I more often than not hear a response of "No problem!"
February 5, 2013 |
FORGET ORLANDO! Pakistani officials say the government plans to build a recreation complex in the town where al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011. Syed Aqil Shah , sports and tourism minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said Monday the project in Abbottabad will have a zoo, paragliding club and water-sports facilities, and is part of a revival of recreational and cultural activities in the province - and is not intended to counter Abbottabad's negative reputation following bin Laden's discovery there.
December 29, 2012
Ray Collins, a singer whose dispute with one guitarist led him to hire another, Frank Zappa, with whom he would go on to form the avant-garde rock group the Mothers of Invention, died Monday in Pomona, Calif. The death of Mr. Collins, who was in his mid-70s, followed his admission to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center a week earlier for cardiac arrest, according to local news accounts. Mr. Collins entered the national spotlight with the Mothers of Invention, an outlet for Zappa's unique sense of humor and challenging, unorthodox compositions.
December 21, 2012 |
Robert D. Morse never stops tinkering on, and in, the house he built in 1949. Or with the world he was born into nearly a century ago. "If something is wrong, I have to improve it," says the Moorestown resident, 96, who describes himself as an inventor and "rhymist. " That's a word Morse came up with after altering dozens of classic nursery rhymes. He's written 1,600 such pieces in all; some can be found in a book ( Robert's Rhymes ) he self-published after retiring from the jewelry business two decades ago. More recently, for the first time, Morse submitted applications to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
November 20, 2012
* AMERICAN MASTERS: INVENTING DAVID GEFFEN. 8 p.m. Tuesday, WHYY 12. DAVID GEFFEN is not the kind of guy who'll spill his guts for a sound bite. At a news conference this summer for Tuesday's two-hour "American Masters," "Inventing David Geffen," the billionaire mogul made reporters work for every answer from the man who'd flown in from Sardinia - where he'd left his boat - for the Television Critics Association event and would be flying back as soon as it was over. Reporters used to asking actors and producers to "talk about" something and then having them ramble on were met with a man who responded to specific queries but didn't seem inclined to expand on them.
October 12, 2012
THE INVENTION of pilsner 170 years ago this month might not have been the most important event in modern beer, but it was certainly the most imitated. And defiled. On Oct. 5, 1842, in Plzen, Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic), brewer Josef Groll unveiled his creation. He'd been recruited to run Plzen's new brewery after city officials - disgusted with the quality of locally made beer - famously dumped 36 casks into the streets. A Bavarian, Groll brought with him the relatively new technique of bottom fermentation, in which yeast falls to the bottom of its vessel.
September 13, 2012
By the time you read this review, it will be outdated. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't read it anyway. At Philly Fringe, the group Ladies and Gentlemen is conjuring something vaguely titled Rock Opera: An Improvised Musical Event , in which plot, characters, music, lyrics are invented on the spot. So I can only describe what I saw Friday at First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. Of course, some things are agreed upon in advance, such as a general plot trajectory and a musical style, which is said to be '70s prog-rock, though, as with most rock operas of recent decades, the manner of recitatives is handed down from sung-through British mega-musicals.
August 2, 2012 |
Carole Lokan-Moore, who's as charming as her opinions about gay people are charmless, proudly shows me around her Edgewater Park bed-and-breakfast. With its tasteful antiques and organic breakfasts, Whitebriar could be in Provincetown. Except that a sign outside this lovely establishment promotes Wednesday as "appreciation day" for Chick-fil-A, the fast-foodery whose president's distaste for gay nuptials has become more famous than his chain's "hand-spun" milkshakes. Lokan-Moore's "one man, one woman" marriage sign, not far from Route 130 on busy Cooper Street, drew the ire of Burlington County resident Joianne Fraschilla, whose electronic exchanges with Lokan-Moore are being passed around the Internet.