November 22, 2000
We live by the crystal ball and learned to eat so much broken glass tonight that we're in critical condition. To err is human, but to really foul up requires a computer. This race is shakier than cafeteria Jell-o. If a frog had side pockets, he'd carry a hand gun. This race is tight like a too-small bathing suit on a too-long ride home from the beach. This election swings like one of those pendulum things. This race is as tight as the rusted lug nuts on a '57 Ford.
February 1, 2006 |
There have always been several Laurie Andersons to choose from. There's the Laurie Anderson who's maintained a career in avant-pop, with 1982's Big Science, 1989's Strange Angels, 2001's Life on a String - chilly albums that refuse to evince emotion. There's the techno-geeky Anderson - inventing instruments like the viophonograph, a turntable fixed to a violin. And there's the performance artist Anderson, who has mounted multimedia minimalist-classical epics - the eight-hour United States, the two-hour, 40-minute Moby Dick - with truckloads of video gadgets, electronic toys and voice processors at her ready.
August 9, 1995 |
Two female Penn students said they looked out of their window early one morning last March and saw the "moon" on the sidewalk. The apparition turned out to be the bare backside of a Drexel University student, said the students, Monika Parikh and Bela Shah, who are Indian. And they said the alleged exposure was accompanied by ethnic slurs directed at them. "This is a very unusual, emotional case," said Municipal Judge Morton Krase. "This is a case in which society is on trial, so to speak.
August 18, 1989 |
Not long ago in man's history, certain people believed that when the sun, the Earth and the moon all lined up to make what we now know is a lunar eclipse, a dragon was devouring the moon. Since man has traveled to the moon, that belief isn't so common. We know that the moon is a hunk of rock that weighs 81 quintillion tons and on average is 240,000 miles away - that is, if every paved road in the United States went to the moon you could have a 12-lane highway. In the face of these scientific revelations certain people - a good many of them reporters for tabloid newspapers - have new beliefs.
September 26, 1996 |
Tonight, more than most nights, will be a good time to look up. There, in the eastern sky, earthlings can watch the latest and most elegant step in the eons-old pas de trois between the sun, the Earth and the moon. Shortly after dark, the moon will begin to darken, moving into the climax - a total lunar eclipse - beginning at 10:19 p.m. It will be the last time in the 1900s that such an astronomical phenomenon will be visible from North America. "This is a dance that's been going on for a couple billion years," said Bob Summerfield of Astronomy To Go, an education organization in Melrose Park.
July 20, 2009 |
Michael Crichton once wrote that if you had told a physicist in 1899 that, within a hundred years, humankind would, among other wonders (nukes, commercial airlines), "travel to the moon, and then lose interest ... the physicist would almost certainly pronounce you mad. " In 2000, I quoted these lines expressing Crichton's incredulity at America's abandonment of the moon. It is now 2009, and the moon recedes ever further. Today marks the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing.
November 28, 1993 |
If you look high in the sky tonight, you'll have a chance, weather permitting, to see a total eclipse of the moon. But you'll have to stay up late to see the moon disappear. The first bite into the moon by the Earth's shadow won't occur until 11:40 p.m. and the moon won't completely disappear until 1:02 a.m. At 1:50 a.m. the first sliver of the moon will return, and at 3:12 a.m. the entire full moon will be visible again. "It should be the best chance to see a total lunar eclipse throughout the United States in the past decade," said William Keel, an astronomer at the University of Alabama.
October 24, 2004 |
A sky show of planetary proportions will start at 8:06 p.m. Wednesday when the Earth's shadow first falls on the moon, starting a total lunar eclipse. The disappearing act will continue through 10:23 p.m., when the moon will be fully covered by the shadow of the passing Earth. It's an amazing natural sight that can be seen with telescopes, binoculars, or the unaided eye, said Harry Augensen, professor of physics and astronomy at Widener University. "This is something in nature we stand in awe of, something we have no control of, like a waterfall or a rainbow," Augensen said.
July 18, 1999
That giant leap for mankind is getting smaller every day. Neil Armstrong's hop onto the surface of the moon 30 years ago Tuesday was one of the greatest feats in human history, a turning point for our species, a communal victory for human beings everywhere, a moment everyone who saw it on TV will always remember. We catapulted across 239,000 miles of nothingness to a dead rock we had loved from afar. In interstellar one-upmanship, we planted a flag, bested our enemies, and became gods.
August 11, 1989 |
Next week, the moon will be the star of the night sky, but early tomorrow, it will perform a huge service by quietly fading away. The dimming moon will set shortly after midnight tonight, and that will set the celestial stage for the peak of the annual Perseids meteor shower. (Now, if the clouds would make like the moon and disappear, too. . . .) The moon will perform a disappearing act of a very different nature on Wednesday night. But first, the Perseids. The Perseids, which appear to radiate out of the constellation Perseus, are the most active and reliable of the so-called shooting stars - a term that is something of a misnomer, because meteors have little to do with stars, which, of course, don't shoot.