October 16, 2012 |
The Middle Ages, that yawning centuries-wide gap between HBO's Rome and Showtime's The Borgias , has become all the rage on TV, what with all the sword, sorcery, and dragon action on Game of Thrones , Once Upon a Time , and Merlin . But for Ken Follett, the era is less about sword and sorcery than mortar and thistle. Known for his spy thrillers, Follett took on the Dark Ages with his 1989 Pillars of the Earth (19.6 million copies sold worldwide), a 938-page epic set in the 12th century that chronicled the construction of an English Gothic cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge.
October 8, 2012
Eric Newton is senior adviser to the president at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Miami. The digital age is changing almost everything about journalism - who a journalist is, what a story is, which media should provide news when and where people want it, and how we engage with communities. The only thing that isn't changing is the why of journalism. We still need good, honest, independent reporting - the fair, accurate, contextual search for truth - to run our communities and our lives.
July 9, 2012 |
When I was a kid in the 1970s, my favorite comics were Famous First Editions, reprints of the original appearances of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. These comics not only took me to heroic worlds of the imagination, but they also transported me to the boyhood of my father. I imagined him, like me, poring over early adventures of Batman and Robin. We bonded over comics the way other fathers and sons did over baseball. These were stories from comics' Golden Age, a period that began in 1939 with the debut of Superman.
February 15, 2012 |
REMEMBER THE old song about matchmakers making matches? Finding finds? Catching catches? If, this Valentine's Day, you find yourself single, seeking - and thinking about hiring someone to set you up - forget those lyrics. Forget about old-world matchmakers. Things have changed a lot since that guy fiddled on a roof. Today's paid-for couple-creators are no longer simple setter-uppers. They're full-service pros with the savvy of Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker" Patti Stanger and the cunning of VH1's "Tough Love" host Steve Ward.
September 4, 2011 |
TBILISI, Georgia - The rattling olive Audi A4 with two middle-aged smugglers attracted little attention as it slithered through this former Soviet republic one morning in February, speeding toward the Turkish border. In the trunk, the smugglers carried a silver case filled with iridium-192. They nurtured vague grand plans to sell the radioactive material to a Muslim buyer for $5 million. Such a black-market sale could have but one likely purpose - construction of a so-called dirty bomb.
June 7, 2011 |
At NewAge Industries, what goes on under the roof has been the priority at the plastic-tubing manufacturer for 57 years. On Wednesday, all attention will be on the roof itself. There, a one-megawatt solar system consisting of 4,082 panels - a monster in terms of rooftop photovoltaic arrays and believed to be the biggest of its kind in Bucks County - will be the toast of local and state dignitaries, green-business advocates, and NewAge's 100 employees. For a plant that uses two megawatts of power a year to churn out tubing with widespread applicability - from pharmaceutical laboratories to McDonald's milk-shake machines - the solar project represents a serious cost-savings opportunity.
May 1, 2011 |
I read in the paper that nowadays, the companies that take school pictures will retouch the photos to fix the kids' cowlicks, missing front teeth, and freckles. In my view, this is not progress. Reportedly, 10 percent of parents request such retouching. The other 90 percent love their children. Apparently, some parents like to see their children as they should be, instead of how they are. Or maybe they're Photoshopaholics. I can't think of a better message a parent can send a child than, "You're almost good enough!"
August 21, 2010 |
WASHINGTON - Iran is set to cross a new nuclear threshold, but it's one the Obama administration isn't worried about. On Saturday, technicians are scheduled to begin loading low-enriched uranium fuel supplied by Russia into Iran's first civilian nuclear reactor, and if all goes smoothly, the Bushehr plant could start producing electricity under U.N. monitoring late this year or early next. Bushehr embodies what the administration and many experts consider an ideal solution to the Iranian nuclear dispute: Tehran benefits from the peaceful nuclear energy to which it is entitled by international law, but the fuel comes from elsewhere, negating Iran's need to make its own via enrichment, a process that also can produce highly enriched uranium for nuclear bombs.
June 25, 2010 |
Dignity is not a priority in Grown Ups . A reunion comedy in both concept (school buddies come together 30 years later) and cast ( Saturday Night Live confreres Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Rob Schneider, and David Spade), the film drifts along on a stream of humiliation jokes - physical, emotional, sexual, hairpiece-ial. This should come as no surprise given the involvement of the SNL alums - joined, as the fifth of the friends, by The King of Queens ' Kevin James.
November 29, 2009 |
Many educators and education theorists seem to have bought into the notion that the early 21st century marks some kind of watershed in the history of the field. We do have some powerful new technologies to bring to bear on the learning process. And the daunting societal and environmental challenges that seem to lie ahead may demand some rethinking of our approach to educating our youth. On the other hand, our tendency to overestimate our importance as molders of young minds and our limited capacity to see into the future should suggest a cautious approach to these heralds of a new age. One pedagogical pundit, Marc Prensky, believes that the brains of today's teenagers have already been physically altered by their use of computer-chip-driven devices of all sorts.