May 19, 2013
The Underlying Logic of the Office By Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan Twelve. 320 pp. $26.99 Reviewed by Jane Von Bergen Delta Air Lines president Edward H. Bastian had good news for analysts gathered for a recent industry conference sponsored by JPMorgan. The airline, he told them, had a profitable quarter, the first in a decade. Why? In part because of savings from an oil refinery in Delaware County it bought from Conoco Phillips in 2012. An oil refinery? What's an airline doing running an oil refinery?
May 13, 2013 |
NEW YORK - There's no business like small business. Mix the high stakes of running a small business with a dash of family drama and throw in a camera crew and you get hit reality television shows such as Pawn Stars, Welcome to Sweetie Pie's , and Duck Dynasty . Turning small-business owners into stars has become a winning formula for television producers, but some businesses featured in them are cashing in, too. Sales explode after just...
May 2, 2013 |
After the Boston Marathon bombings, who wouldn't want an iNose? Imagine an affordable pocket-size sniffer that could detect all sorts of smells, especially bombs. If the crowd near the finish line had its own mini-robo-bloodhounds April 15, tragedy might have been prevented. The bombers might not have dared to even try. That future isn't here yet, but it's getting closer. Bomb-sniffing technology is already portable, already in use at airports and athletic events, and already has some advantages over bomb-sniffing dogs, according to several manufacturers.
April 25, 2013
With taquerías and other conspicuously non-Italian businesses proliferating in South Philadelphia's Italian Market, should the neighborhood be renamed for the sake of anthropological accuracy? The answer is the same whether you're a Sicilian or a Sinaloan: No . The Daily News' Helen Ubiñas raised the question in a recent column, arguing that these days, the neighborhood's name "just doesn't reflect the reality of the street. " As she pointed out, the collection of businesses occupying the historic curb market along South Ninth Street has steadily become less Italian and more Asian and Latino, particularly Mexican.
April 18, 2013 |
NEW YORK - An independent review of the U.S. government's antiterrorism response after the Sept. 11 attacks reported Tuesday that it was "indisputable" the United States engaged in torture and the Bush administration bears responsibility. The report by the Constitution Project, a nonpartisan Washington-based think tank, is an ambitious review of the Bush administration's approach to the problems of holding and interrogating detainees after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
April 11, 2013
By Ann Connor Parkinson's is a chronic, progressive neurological disease. It is hard to live with, yet there are far worse diseases to have. Nevertheless, since April is Parkinson's Awareness Month, let's, for a few paragraphs, shine a bright light on the dark, sobering realities of this disease. Some of the questions your neurologist asks while Parkinson's is in its early stages pull the curtain back on what's ahead: Can you dress yourself? Do you drool excessively? Only at night or during the day?
April 9, 2013 |
As hundreds of tearful friends and fans filed past two closed coffins Sunday in Charleston, W. Va., a slideshow of family photos showed the simple country life that Buckwild reality TV star Shain Gandee lived long before the cameras started rolling. Set to country music were snapshots of the 21-year-old before his 15 minutes of TV fame: as a uniformed pee wee football player, in a tuxedo for prom, kissing a bride. In some, he wore hunting camouflage, holding a slain buck by its antlers and displaying a batch of gray squirrels.
April 5, 2013 |
THE OBSERVER effect, in science, describes circumstances under which the behavior of an object under observation changes as the result of being observed. A thermometer inserted into a glass of water, for example, doesn't merely measure the temperature, but alters it slightly. That, in a nutshell, explains why the term "reality TV" is such an absurd misnomer. But the Italian film "Reality" takes it one step further: Does being watched make you a better or worse person? And what if you're not being watched but only think you are?
April 4, 2013 |
THE DAYS foreshadowed in Paddy Chayefsky 's "Network" are upon us. In that 1976 movie, network bosses hire a terrorist group to kill an aging anchorman on air to goose ratings. Is what TV is doing (and causing) today - outing fame-starved people in a pressure cooker - that much different? Five people who've appeared on Dr. Drew 's "Celebrity Rehab" have died since being on the show. Wesley Durden Jr. , a contestant on "Cake Boss: The Next Great Baker," shot himself.
April 1, 2013
THE STORM CLOUDS gathered early last March. Ryan Howard was fielding ground balls on a stool. Chase Utley was conspicuously absent from Grapefruit League games. Roy Halladay's velocity was down. The Phillies had no obvious leftfielder, no veteran setup man, and an aging third baseman who had struggled to stay on the field the previous season. The fan base was understandably nervous. My answer to all who asked: It wouldn't surprise me if this team won 100 games, and it wouldn't surprise me if it lost 80. This year, the answer is the same, minus the 100 wins part.