September 14, 2015 |
Out of sympathy, the first NFL column of the new season will be dedicated to the letter "L," or, to be more precise, the Roman numeral "L" - 50. In a typical season, you would have learned that numerical lesson during the NFL playoffs. It would have been hammered into your head over and over and over again that Super Bowl L was going to be the greatest extravaganza in the history of these great extravaganzas. Not this year, however. Despite Sesame Street protests from Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, the letter - or is it number?
February 7, 2013 |
The NFL has shot down speculation that New York-area winter weather might cause the cancellation of any live, outdoor halftime performance at next year's Super Bowl. While Super Bowl XLVIII won't set the record for most Roman numerals - that was XXXVIII - it will be the first scheduled for a domeless stadium in a cold-weather climate - MetLife Stadium in North Jersey. "Hope you enjoyed Beyoncé, football fans, because next year, there may not be a halftime show at the frigid Meadowlands Super Bowl," the New York Post wrote Monday.
July 15, 2005 |
The trivia questions sound easy: "How is 499 written in Roman numerals?" "What's the name of the dog on The Simpsons?" The answers sit somewhere in the back of my brain, but can I summon them to my conscious mind? Not if my life depended on it. I put myself through this agony at Quizzo Night every Thursday at P.J. Ryan's. Our team, made up of business owners, teachers and parents, competes against similar teams in a battle for correct answers. We imagine that our combined intellect will earn us a paid bar bill by midnight, but such questions as "Which character on Rugrats wears glasses?"
February 2, 2005 |
In the beginning, it was only a game. It did not take long, though, for the Super Bowl to become the pre-eminent event of the American mid-winter, the one that prompts millions of people to gather around the big-screen, electronic hearth. What has proved most remarkable about this unique cultural institution, a game that will be played this weekend for the XXXIXth time, is its staying power. In an era when almost nothing attracts a true mass audience, at least not in the old sense, the appeal of this occasion is undiminished.
March 14, 2003 |
PHILADELPHIA gains another star in its crown with the opening Sunday of "Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks and Romans," the newest suite of four permanent classical world galleries at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. After 10 years of preparation and millions of dollars, we can enjoy an exciting introduction to cultures that still shape our daily lives. From these ancient people we got our democratic forms of government, languages, alphabet and coinage.
January 19, 2001 |
This didn't happen in the first 5 1/2 weeks after Bill Barber took over as the Flyers' coach. It happened last night, though. So today, Barber's regime faces a test. The man who pledged to build his foundation on intensity and honest effort didn't get either of those things from his players in a 7-1 home loss to the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils, the Flyers' worst loss of the season. In fact, the final margin made it the worst Flyers loss since Jan. 6, 1994, an 8-0 debacle in Dallas during the mercifully brief Terry Simpson era. Not to go overboard about only the third time in Barber's 18 games in which his team has failed to gain at least a point, but this was the kind of effort we last saw from the Flyers back on Dec. 8, a 5-1 implosion in Detroit that got Craig Ramsay fired and Barber hired two days later.
June 29, 2000 |
It's been nearly 30 years since the United States officially decided to join the rest of the world by converting to the metric system. So how come it hasn't happened yet? How come we're still clunking around with our inches, pounds and quarts. Some observers blame you and me. They say that we can't deal with concepts that have arcane names like liters and kilometers. Whether that's the reason or not, the conversion to metrics - like old soldiers - has been allowed to just fade away.
March 7, 2000 |
Arabic numerals skitter along the stage floor, caper merrily across a white backdrop. "All is number," intones the chorus. "In symbol and sign, God wrote the world. " Now the projected numerals vanish, and parabolas of light animate the darkened stage, swirling and eddying in sync with two dancers manipulating hand-held spots. The music, incantatory over a syncopated base, gathers intensity. "All is number," the singers repeat, "from the petals on the nightshade to the petals on the larkspur.
March 1, 2000 |
"The Masters," an early science fiction story by Ursula K. LeGuin, is not particularly long. So when Peter Foley decided to make it into a musical, he figured it would be an 80-minute, one-act piece that would take him six months to write and compose. Yet when he began to work on it, he discovered that he wouldn't be able to do it alone: After a few weeks, he enlisted his wife, Kate Chisholm, to write the book while he did the music and lyrics. Foley's original size and length estimates were more than a bit off, too. Six years after work began, The Hidden Sky is finally seeing the light in a premiere at the Prince Music Theater.
January 25, 1997
Water pressure will drop drastically for a few moments several times tomorrow night as America's toilets flush in unison. Happens every time during timeouts and between quarters of the Super Bowl. Count on reduced patronage at movie theaters and restaurants during the big game, too. Sunday's light traffic will be even lighter. Sales of takeout Chinese and deliveries of pizza will boom. And all over the land, the preoccupation - in newspapers, on TV and at office water coolers come Monday - will be what's happening tomorrow way down yonder in New Orleans.