May 10, 2016
IF THERE were a place that you could call Ground Zero in the wars over climate change, it might be the Canadian province of Alberta. In the latest chapter in humankind's opioid-like addiction to fossil fuels, energy companies have been extracting dense, dirty oil from that region's deposits of tar sands -- a kind of fuel that is wasteful to extract and emits more carbon pollution when it's finally burned. The added burden of the tar sands oil on our looming global-warming crisis caused U.S. activists to raise a tremendous stink over the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have shipped this dirty fuel right through the American Heartland on its way to Gulf Coast ports and then to foreign markets like China.
April 13, 2016
Doug Banks Phila.-born radio host, 57 Doug Banks, 57, a Philadelphia native and nationally syndicated radio host, died Monday of complications from diabetes. Mr. Banks cohosted the news feature show 190 North for 10 years on WLS-TV, an ABC affiliate in Chicago. He was raised in Michigan and began his career at his Detroit high school radio station, when he was noticed and given a late-night weekend show by WDRQ-FM. Mr. Banks later worked at radio stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas.
February 6, 2016 |
Sunday's 50th Super Bowl is expected to attract more than 120 million American TV viewers. To satisfy such an enormous and demanding audience, CBS will employ 70 cameras and 250 microphones to capture, scrutinize and, if necessary, replay virtually everything that happens at Levi's Stadium. The year's most anticipated football telecast, Super Bowl 50 will be the most sophisticated ever, the 2016 version of a constantly evolving species that emerged from the primordial ooze 77 years ago. The first televised NFL game happened on Oct. 22, 1939, a meaningless matchup of two bad teams, the Eagles and Dodgers, at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field.
November 7, 2015 |
Cartoonist Roz Chast always viewed her work as strongly reflecting her upbringing in a Jewish New York family. After the release of her graphic memoir, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? - which recounts her struggle to deal with her parents' final years - she came to realize that her experience was surprisingly universal. "I've gotten so many letters from people who live in all kinds of different places," Chast said. "Someone from rural Washington will say, 'My father was a farmer and a Baptist, but he was just like your dad.' So maybe there are things that we might think of as Jewish or New York-centric, but they're less so than we think.
October 16, 2015 |
It matters more than a little that two of Philadelphia's best top cops in recent memory - John Timoney and Charles Ramsey - were both outsiders. It matters even more that mayoral candidates Melissa Murray Bailey and Jim Kenney say they aren't inclined to consider outside candidates to replace Ramsey, who has announced his retirement. Bailey has even named a favorite for the post, First Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross. Ross is certainly well qualified for the job, but that doesn't justify an anointment.
March 12, 2015 |
Few Philadelphians are as unequivocal in their praise for the city as Frank Steele. What is surprising, however, is that Steele is a native New Yorker, and still lives with his wife, Mary Jo, and three daughters on the "Queens side of the Whitestone Bridge. " "We are in love with Philly," said Steele, a consultant for the New York City school system, citing "the tradition and landmarks, and especially the Reading Terminal Market. " The Steeles' connection to Philadelphia is a condo in the Peninsula building at Waterfront Square that they bought in June 2014.
February 23, 2015 |
It may be the fact that Atul Gawande is a doctor - a Harvard doctor, yet - that draws readers to his books on our flawed medical system. But he wouldn't make the best-seller lists if he wrote - or thought - like most doctors. This is a guy with one of those renaissance-man resumés that makes even quite accomplished people look like slackers. Stanford undergrad. Rhodes scholar studying philosophy. Health-care adviser to President Bill Clinton. Medical degree and master's in public health from Harvard.
February 20, 2015
IN MAGIC, the act of turning an object into a completely different thing is known as "transformation. " But recently, it was conjurer Jeff Hobson who was altered in a significant way. Hobson is one of seven wizards who on Tuesday begin a six-day, eight-performance run in "The Illusionists" at the Academy of Music. They're on a national tour, following a successful end-of-2014 Broadway run. According to the veteran entertainer, his time in the Big Apple made him see the city in an entirely new light.
November 1, 2014 |
Suffering Chinese prisoners. Art in social politics. Fraudulent, self-aggrandizing claims by performers like Mike Daisy. All these flammable topics are right up InterAct Theatre Company's alley, right? They're the company that specializes in righteous indignation and intentional provocation. Well, prepare to be outfoxed by one of the smartest, most cynical, heart-wrenching, brain-teasing comedies I've seen in a long while, Christopher Chen's Caught , in a brilliant InterAct premiere.
May 9, 2014 |
As though going through a Rolodex, Roz Chast cycles through some of the reasons she had such a complicated, difficult relationship with her parents. "They both grew up poor. They were born in 1912, so they graduated college into the Depression. Their experiences were . . . just awful," said the New Yorker cartoonist, who delves into that troubled relationship in her graphic memoir, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? , published Tuesday by Bloomsbury. Chast, 59, whose work is acclaimed for its wry humor and off-kilter style, will discuss the book at the Free Library of Philadelphia's Central Library at 7:30 p.m. Monday.