March 15, 2007 |
It's a beautiful morning on Kelly Drive. Late-winter sunlight shimmers on the Schuylkill. But I'd really rather be anywhere else. That's because I'm in the midst of the most miserable moments known to man: those first few minutes of a run, before the heart rate is really going, or adrenaline has kicked in. What is the point of this wretched pursuit? Why am I doing this, exactly? Luckily, or perhaps not, the Crystal Method is giving me a pep talk. Like nearly every other jogger along the river, I've got my iPod in hand and earbuds in place.
July 18, 2006 |
Time for Three, the unlikeliest string trio to have graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, is seriously but breezily on the move these days. The classical/country/you-name-it fusion group is readying its second compact disc for a fall release, pending talks with major and independent labels, and has a full schedule of 150 dates next season. That's a lot, and it means the trio's two members who play with the Philadelphia Orchestra won't do so often, at least for a while. Time for Three (abbreviated TF3)
July 13, 2006 |
Edward L. Cohen, 89, of Voorhees, the founder of Edwards Creative Products, who invented more than a hundred gadgets, including the Magic Wand stick spot cleaner, died of heart failure Tuesday at home. Mr. Cohen took everyday problems and turned them into ideas for inventions he created in his Cherry Hill basement. For him, the residue on the bottom of a wet bar of soap was more than just a nuisance. It was inspiration. The result: Mr. Cohen's No Goo Soap Dish. In more than 50 years, Mr. Cohen developed products to handle drooping bow ties, stains, yellowing dentures and belt storage.
June 4, 2006 |
With a touch of the joystick, sophomore Garrett Sapsis demonstrated how the Upper Darby High School InvenTeam's omnidirectional wheelchair could move sideways or diagonally. The recent test drive showed that months of research, brainstorming, and high-tech engineering had paid off for the student team that was awarded a $10,000 grant to invent just such a state-of-the-art four-wheel-drive wheelchair. Upper Darby was one of 18 schools awarded a grant through the Lemelson-MIT program, which encourages invention and ingenuity.
May 10, 2006 |
William J. Merritt is president and CEO of InterDigital Communications Corp. in King of Prussia It is no mere coincidence that countries with strong economies tend to have robust patent systems. When fueled with adequate resources, these systems encourage the creation of inventions and drive economic growth. At one time, the U.S. patent system was an example of this creative dynamic. Not anymore, as patent-related issues have become uncertain, lengthy, legal proceedings rather than business or scientific discussions.
April 2, 2006 |
Lisa Kron crawls into your brain and tickles. She'd never be able to do this as effectively if her play Well, in which she also performs, were a garden-variety comedy - the old two acts, linear narrative, four or five people yukking it up. Her comedy, which opened Thursday on Broadway, breaks the form, or maybe explodes it. Well is allegedly about racism and health. Kron sets out to contrast two incongruous themes: her mother's constant ailments and her mother's former stamina in keeping a neighborhood integrated.
March 20, 2006 |
Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands. That's what a group of young choreographers based in different cities did when despairing that they would ever get to tour. They formed their own national touring network and named it SCUBA to convey the spirit of just diving in. SCUBA's fifth season heralds participation by Philly dance artists. Presented by Philadelphia Dance Projects in partnership with Temple University's Dance Program, the SCUBA performance at Conwell Dance Theater showcased Seattle's Paige Barnes, San Francisco's Shift Physical Theater, and Philly's Leah Stein Dance Company.
March 3, 2006 |
When "The Firebird" first soared onto the Parisian stage in 1910, composer Igor Stravinsky was launched into a fame he retained for another 60 years. This collection of colorful Russian fairy tales, clothed in sumptuous orchestration, was the last work he ever recorded. The Pennsylvania Ballet's production with James Kudelka's choreography was first presented here in June 2003, and its sumptuous staging - and superb execution by the company - make it an absolute must-see. The sets by Santo Loquasto move the locale from ancient Russia to pre-Colombian America.
March 2, 2006 |
In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the culinary bible written by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck, the recipe for cassoulet is labeled "French Baked Beans. " This is, to say the least, an understatement. Nothing wrong with baked beans, of course, but a good cassoulet is something incomparably grander. The name comes from cassole d'Issel, an earthenware cooking pot from the town of Issel in Languedoc, the region in southwestern France where the dish originated.
March 2, 2006 |
Picture yourself in the parlor of an old house. On one wall is Starry Night. On another is a disturbing piece of abstract expressionism. Over the sofa hangs a honky-tonk scene painted on black velvet. Somewhere off in another room someone is playing a dreamy waltz, playing very softly, maybe a popular song from the early 20th century. And then these gentle sounds are interrupted by rumbling bass notes right out of Beethoven. Picture all this and you have a pretty good idea of the first few minutes of Lewis Spratlan's Wonderer, a 2005 piano work given its local premiere Tuesday night at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater by pianist Jonathan Biss.