December 3, 2012 |
Heavy flows the nog. While conventional TV goes into hibernation every December, an ever-expanding catalogue of holiday-themed movies and specials fills the void. Two channels in particular - Hallmark and ABC Family - always seem to stockpile enough new made-for-TV movies to light up primetime through the entire yuletide season. It's like having a pair of Advent calendars to open every night. Even Lifetime gets into the act in December, with a stocking full of original movies like Finding Mrs. Claus and The Real St. Nick . (Of course, as soon as the holiday is over, Lifetime reverts to its trademark programming: TV movies about women who are either victims or perpetrators of incredibly heinous crimes.)
June 16, 2012
An exciting first on Niagara Falls NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario - Nik Wallenda has crossed into Canadian territory, becoming the first person to walk on a tightrope 1,800 feet across the mist-fogged brink of the roaring Niagara Falls. The seventh-generation member of the famed Flying Wallendas had long dreamed of pulling off the stunt, never before attempted. Other daredevils have wire-walked over the Niagara River but farther downstream and not since 1896. "Oh, my gosh, it's an unbelievable view," an utterly calm-sounding Wallenda said as he walked over the edge of the falls.
March 7, 2012 |
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Veteran Democratic U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur is pulling away from congressional colleague Dennis Kucinich in the battle for a newly drawn Ohio congressional district. Kaptur had a nearly nine-point lead with half the votes counted. Kucinich made a strong showing in his home county, Cuyahoga, but was behind in critical Lorain County. Toledo real estate agent Steve Kraus was holding a strong lead over Joseph Wurzelbacher on the Republican side of the race. Wurzelbacher earned the nickname "Joe the Plumber" during the 2008 presidential election.
June 14, 2011 |
There was something a little unsettling throughout the NBA season, the playoffs and into the championship round about the amount of hatred directed toward the Miami Heat in general and LeBron James in particular. When the final series ended Sunday night with the Dallas Mavericks hoisting the trophy, it seemed that spirits of all U.S. sports fans (and a number of German ones) were lifted at the same time. What is difficult to figure out is why people cared. Or, at least, why they cared that much.
November 25, 2009 |
This is not the thing a father teaches his child: how to use a gun to kill yourself. But in The Road, John Hillcoat's haunting adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the only lessons to impart between a nameless father and his boy are dire. The few, very few, people left alive in the wake of a mysterious cataclysm (nuclear? climatic? environmental?) have turned predatory. There is little food to eat, and so humans are eating humans. They are raping, pillaging, killing.
January 12, 2008 |
Brad Richardson had a goal and two assists and the Lake Erie Monsters beat the Phantoms, 5-1, in an AHL game last night at the Wachovia Spectrum. Chris Stewart scored the game-winner. He got his 11th goal of the season less than three minutes into the second period. The Phantoms' goal came in the first period. Darren Reid, playing in his first game back from injury, took the puck near the end wall and fired a shot on net that was tipped straight up in the air. Pete Zingoni, coming in from the right side, batted it back toward goaltender Tyler Weiman, and Stefan Ruzicka scored on a rebound in the crease tie to the score, 1-1. The game was Lake Erie's first trip to the Wachovia Spectrum.
October 31, 2006
MARK ALAN Hughes' spirited op-ed defense of Philadelphia's honor against the silly depredations of Julia Vitullo-Martin requires a couple of clarifications. The Erie Canal, completed in 1825, is not the "economic and geographic explanation of how New York City replaced Philadelphia as the nation's economic capital in the beginning of the 19th century. " New York passed Philadelphia as the most populous American city around 1807, before anyone had even proposed a canal to Lake Erie.
April 21, 2006 |
Tomorrow marks Earth Day, the 36th anniversary of the teach-in that kick-started the modern environmental movement. While many organizations are commemorating the day with events (my favorite being Narberth's appropriately named NarbEarth Day), this year's edition simply pales when compared with the high notes hit in its early years. Graybeards like me recall the issues that drove the 1970s groundbreaking day. Lake Erie was declared biologically dead, and the Cuyahoga River flowing through Cleveland carried so many petrochemicals it caught fire, twice.
August 5, 2004 |
There is a new Philadelphian, living right in my home in Swarthmore. It doesn't happen very often, I'm sure. To be a Philadelphian, you usually need to be born here. My wife, Kris, grew up in the outer reaches of Pennsylvania, near Erie. Out there, all the children are taught that Philadelphia is that big, dirty city, with the cracked bell, that strong-arms all the tax dollars from Harrisburg. I lived in Erie with my wife for several years. As far as I can tell, the tiny city by Lake Erie has the lake, epic amounts of snow, and lots of cloudy days.
February 1, 2002 |
If blues songs are about coping with and getting through the hand that life deals us, the theater piece Lackawanna Blues should have . . . and More appended to its title. Its subject does more than survive, she triumphs. Her name is Rachel, but in his wonderfully evocative and entertaining dramatic monologue presented by Freedom Repertory Theatre, Broadway actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson refers to her most frequently as Nanny. Although not a blood relation, she is the person who apparently raised him in the Lake Erie city of Lackawanna, N.Y. I say "apparently" because, although Santiago-Hudson's piece is based on his experience with Nanny and what he heard and observed as a boy, autobiography is not his aim. He is vague about his real mother, who figures in just a single anecdote about how Nanny came into his life, and his father is barely mentioned.