May 19, 2015 |
Voters will weigh in on four ballot questions Tuesday that would change Philadelphia's Home Rule Charter, the city's governing document. Two pertain to education: one to abolish the School Reform Commission and another to explore offering universal prekindergarten. A third would create a commission to study the advancement of women, while the fourth would require city offices to plan for providing access to non-English speakers. History shows that the questions have a good chance of passing.
May 18, 2015 |
OF ALL THE SINS that go down in Atlantic City, skipping Sunday Mass isn't one among devout Catholics. Even for casino gamblers, "vacations are not a vacation from church," says Father Joe Pham, pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea, on Atlantic Avenue. It's not about praying for luck, he says. "It's for their faith. They fulfill their obligation to God. " Pham's church celebrates 10 weekend Masses, in three languages: six in English, three in Spanish (led by his assistant priest, Father Jaime Hostios, who's from Columbia)
May 2, 2015 |
Laurie Anderson - calling from the Philharmonie de Paris, scoping it out for a show - is balancing many things. That balancing act will be on display in her Language of the Future show at Princeton's McCarter Theatre on Friday evening. Everything this pioneering performance artist/electronic music composer does is about the next thing, something in the future. "I don't think I'll ever have a message, or a philosophy," Anderson said. "I don't want to telegraph anything coded. " Her debut directorial full-length film, Heart of a Dog , commissioned by the Franco-German TV network Arte, was supposed to be about a philosophy of life - "until I told them that I didn't have one, repeatedly," she said, laughing.
March 2, 2015 |
Anita Magistro Udell's father was a North Jersey shoemaker from a small Sicilian town. Sicilian was the language at home, and so "she did not speak English until elementary school," daughter Ruth Kunstadter said. But soon, still in elementary school, she was commuting from her East Orange home for piano lessons in Greenwich Village. Living in three languages - and music is certainly a language - might have seemed quite natural for the youngster. On Wednesday, Feb. 18, Mrs. Udell, 93, foreign languages department chair during a 34-year teaching career at what is now Arcadia University in Glenside, died at the Rydal Park retirement community in Rydal.
January 5, 2015 |
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. - For the second year in a row, I said goodbye to the gray skies of New Jersey and flew to California to visit family for the holidays. It's a beautiful place, full of warmth and sunshine and palm trees. I tried to relax into a Southern California beach lifestyle where so many people drive expensive cars but work hard at looking artfully sloppy in thousands of dollars of clothes. But I couldn't shake the feeling that I didn't quite fit in. I was always a half-beat behind while the band roared on. Except when running.
November 2, 2014 |
One woman has devoted her career to understanding the brain of an animal that measures just 1 millimeter in length. Another explores the brains of creatures with billions of neurons, whose ability with languages sets them apart from all other living things. The two will have the chance for a pretty interesting conversation in April. Cornelia Bargmann, who studies the brain of a type of roundworm, and Elissa Newport, a prominent expert on how humans learn language, are among nine new winners of awards from the Franklin Institute, given each year to recognize achievement in the sciences and engineering.
October 20, 2014 |
An assembly of Roman Catholic bishops gathered to consider new ways their church might minister to families in the 21st century has backed away from the unprecedented message of welcome to homosexuals it had issued early last week. In the final report issued Saturday, the 183 bishops gathered in Rome discarded a statement from an interim document Monday that had declared that "homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community. " Similarly, a section in Monday's document titled "Welcoming Homosexual Persons," was replaced in the final document with a title reading, "The Pastoral Care of Persons With Homosexual Orientation.
August 25, 2014 |
Teddy Linz was being interviewed two weeks ago by a teacher, a few days before preschool graduation. Call it an exit interview. "How old are you?" asked Sherri Fickenscher. "Six," Teddy said. "Siiiiix," he repeated, slumping his shoulders, slowing his voice. "I'm soooo ooold," he continued, and fell from his chair pretending to be dead. What is remarkable about this moment is that Teddy is profoundly deaf, meaning that he was born unable to hear anything. He has been taught to listen and speak so well that he will start mainstream kindergarten at the private Haverford School next month.
August 12, 2014 |
For someone famous for sharing his depression with the world, Eric Jarosinski is in an extremely good mood. It is 10:30 a.m. on a sunny morning in Philadelphia, and Jarosinski is late but content. "Sorry," he says. "The bus. " He settles into his seat at the Melrose Diner, and orders coffee and an omelet with cheddar cheese and extra peppers. He will hardly touch his food over the next two hours. Instead, he talks a lot, laughs even. That might surprise the 85,000 people who follow him on Twitter.