December 13, 2014 |
Back in ancient times, say, 1956, when Charlton Heston led the Israelites on their epic march out of Egypt in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments , miracles like the parting of the Red Sea were, indeed, miraculous. Matte paintings, rear projection, a gigantic U-shaped water tank, hundreds of costumed extras leaning into wind machines, all that livestock, the duck that waddles out of the frame - the coordination of actors, animals, machinery, props, hair stylists, dolly grips, truly astounding!
September 15, 2011
'WITH AGE," Michael Vick was saying yesterday, "comes the maturation process. And everything happens in time. " He was talking about the job here, not the odyssey that took him from Atlanta icon to national lightning rod. He was talking about reading blitzes and choosing chances more judiciously, and well, about energy drinks. "I tell you what, I won't take any more of those before the game," he said. Made him jittery early in last week's game. Made it harder to focus, made him braver than he needed to be. Made him too much like the guy who quarterbacked the Falcons from 2001 to 2006, a guy who could win and lose a game with his rashness and unpredictability, a guy so jittery he made everyone around him jittery, too. Michael Vick has already returned to Atlanta as part of the Eagles, back in 2009, running for one touchdown, passing for another as the "Wildcat" complement to starting quarterback Donovan McNabb.
September 30, 2010 |
Ann Kaufmann, of Andorra, an expert court reporter and accomplished scuba diver, died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania after a two-week battle with lung cancer Saturday, Sept. 25, three days after her 54th birthday. Ms. Kaufmann transcribed complicated civil litigation depositions including for product-liability, medical-malpractice, and patent-infringement cases, and litigation involving water-pollution issues, her husband, Robert Dunham, a lawyer, said. In the 1990s, she traveled several times to Liberia to transcribe depositions for legal proceedings involving the destruction of rubber trees at Bridgestone-Firestone plantations during civil unrest.
October 27, 2009 |
Behold Bruce Feiler's optimism. You and your relatives, he says with conviction, can talk about religion and politics at Thanksgiving and survive. The best-selling author of several books connecting the biblical past to the present, Feiler says he understands it's a risky proposition. But he rejects the conventional wisdom that if you want to get to the pumpkin pie without inciting World War III, keep your opinions about health care, gay rights, abortion, nuclear energy, the bailout, the White House, and Fox News to yourself.
September 9, 2009
IT'S 3 A.M. And in middle-class Wynnefield, it's the eve of the first day of classes for St. Joseph's University. I'm a Penn grad and work in student life. I love college students and support their goals. My alma mater was more than responsible for the gentrification of West Philadelphia. It campaigned until we had "University City. " I'm sure that in some manner, the process went much like the change in Wynnefield is going. I'm sure the residents struggled with the sights and sounds of college gentrification.
February 28, 2008
The passing of William F. Buckley Jr., 82, yesterday leaves the world of ideas a little less gracious, not as much fun, and woefully lacking in vocabulary skills. Buckley went from being almost a lone conservative voice in the post-World War II liberal wilderness, to the intellectual heart and soul of a movement that brought to power Reagan, Gingrich and Bush. Though there was one run for mayor of New York City in 1965, his influence came mostly from outside the political arena.
July 31, 2007 |
LEAVING A hole in the hearts of fiction writers everywhere, there are only a few issues of Weekly World News left before it bites the dust. This being the Weekly World News, the dust comprises a radioactive space particle left by aliens when they came for Elvis. Or romanced Hillary Clinton. Aliens are busy - and horny. American Media, which owns WWN along with the National Enquirer and the Star, has announced the black & white tabloid will cease publication Aug. 27 and go Internet only (weeklyworld news.
February 4, 2004
Vice President Cheney is quoted in a recent book as saying budget deficits don't matter. In that case, the Bush administration's new budget for the federal government sets a record for not mattering. The White House says the budget deficit for this year will be $521 billion, a record. For fiscal year 2005, which begins Oct. 1, the deficit is projected to be "only" $364 billion. But this story line hardly matters, because this budget document is a fantasy worthy of J.R.R. Tolkien or J.K. Rowling.
December 18, 1998 |
"The Prince of Egypt" is bound to draw comparisons to the 1956 epic "The Ten Commandments," if for no other reason than it's been decades since anyone attempted a reverent version of a biblical story. Cecil B. DeMille's picture was the beginning of the end of "Behold the power of God" cinema, a genre that was all but dead by the 1960s, when sweeping cultural changes altered America - and Hollywood with it. Watching "The Prince of Egypt," we are reminded why Hollywood no longer makes movies about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, even though the rights have lapsed.
October 26, 1998 |
It's always thrilling hearing voices belt out victory over oppression. Although I'm glad the Mendelssohn Club's exuberant performance of Israel in Egypt Saturday night wasn't sung for the Middle East peace talks. The Biblical texts German George Frideric Handel set for his English masterpiece sure are revenge-thirsty. Blasts and blains and overtaking enemies are the order of this oratorio, whose grand double choruses celebrate the sinking of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. The sonic results of the season-opener at the Lutheran Church of the Holy Communion may not affect Middle East harmony, but they left no doubt music director Alan Harler is to be commended.