August 29, 2016 |
A pair of Villanova University astronomers had spent years studying the radiation emitted by red dwarfs - a type of star that includes the sun's nearest neighbor, Proxima Centauri. Then, two months ago, they were let in on a big secret. After studying a pattern of "wobbles" in the light from Proxima Centauri, an international team of scientists concluded the phenomenon was caused by a previously unknown planet. Could the Villanova scientists help determine if water might exist on its surface?
July 23, 2016 |
Craig "Doodlebug" Irving, Mary Ann "Ladybug Mecca" Vieira, and Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler just flew in from the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, and, boy, are their arms tired. "Man, that was an off-the-chain show for us," says Irving. The Philadelphia native is one-third of Digable Planets - the '90s alternative live hip-hop trio (before live hip-hop was a thing) whose crossover pop hit "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)" earned them a Grammy and whose jazzy second album, 1994's Blowout Comb , is an underground classic.
April 22, 2016
ISSUE | EARTH DAY Rebuild prudently As a doctor, a professor of medicine, and an activist for 40 years, I've cared for the health of people and our planet. With the 47th annual observance of Earth Day on Friday, the state of disrepair of our country's infrastructure presents us with a golden opportunity to rebuild not based on fossil fuels, but on efficiency and renewable energy. While rebuilding, we can fortify our communities against the severe storms that climate change will continue to bring.
April 6, 2016
Paper Planet The long: PIFA not for kids? Pish posh. The Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts' preeminent must-do for wee-nagers is on the Kimmel Center's top floor: a fantastical, pop-up, all-paper, explorable forest. The short: If they like an empty cardboard box, they'll love this. The background: Aussie kids' theater company Polyglot builds and rebuilds its best-known, all-recyclable, totally interactive performance space, inviting littler Yanks to explore, craft, and listen to the paper trees in the Kimmel's airy, enclosed Hamilton Garden.
December 21, 2015
More than a box set, Vladimir Horowitz: The Unreleased Live Recordings 1966-1983 is closer to being its own musical planet, full of familiar yet strange creatures who adhere to no laws but their own. Of course, there's really only one creature, pianist Horowitz, a musician who truly lived up to the word legendary , though not necessarily because he was infallibly great. The 50-CD set ($149.52 on Amazon), originally recorded by Columbia (now Sony) and RCA, comes from a time when recording machines were ever-present at the live concerts he gave, recordings that were distilled down to an LP or two a year, with the rest left unheard by the public.
September 28, 2015 |
TORONTO - When we last checked in on Matt Damon, he was stranded on a faraway planet, hoping to be rescued by NASA. The movie was Interstellar , Christopher Nolan's space-time-continuum epic, and the actor - uncredited, but pivotal - was abandoned on a galactic orb, desperately plotting to get himself back to Earth. So, for Damon's next movie, what's the actor offered? The lead in something called The Martian , directed by Ridley Scott, about an astronaut left for dead on the Red Planet, hoping against hope that NASA will discover he's alive and dispatch a crew to collect him. "It's a bizarre coincidence, to be sure," Damon, soon to turn 45, acknowledges with a laugh.
July 16, 2015 |
Miss USA? Was it on? Donald Trump may be bigger than any particular network, corporate partner or golf tournament, which has wanted to sever ties with him, but the Miss USA pageant sure isn't. The Nielsen company said that only 925,000 people watched Olivia Jordan , of Oklahoma, crowned as Miss USA on the Reelz Channel, sharply down from the 5.6 million people who watched last year on NBC. In records that date back to the 1970s, the pageants had ranged from 4.6 million viewers in 2013 to 38.1 million in 1979.
June 1, 2015 |
I WOULD LIKE TO CARE about the FIFA scandal. But it's hard. I care about a lot of things, and they currently take up all the space in my brain. If I start caring about the racketeering, corruption and conspiracy charges that are rocking the Federation Internationale de Football Association, something else will have to go. What should I get rid of? I'd love to stop caring about ISIS. The crazies blew up a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia yesterday, the group's second attack in two weeks.
February 27, 2015 |
Eating fish on Fridays is a longstanding tradition in Catholic households worldwide dating back to the first century of the modern era. Why abstain from meat? Why on Friday? Why during Lent? Meat once was for celebrations and feasting. Early Christians abstained from eating meat on Friday as a kind of sacrifice and reminder that acknowledged the death of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday. This still holds true today in the Catholic Church, but only on Ash Wednesday, and Fridays during Lent.
October 31, 2014 |
Things continue to roll well for Philadelphia's Wash Cycle Laundry, the bicycle-powered laundry delivery service that recently expanded to Washington and Austin. Gabriel Mandujano, founder and CEO of the eco-friendly company, won the $25,000 first-place prize Tuesday at the Blackstone LaunchPad Demo Day pitch competition in New York. Calling Blackstone "among the savviest investors on the planet," Mandujano said the win was valuable recognition for sustainable businesses in general.