April 8, 2016 |
Harry Potter, the theme park Humanity holds its collective breath: As I write, we are mere hours away from the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood on Thursday. The attraction was shown off to the rich and mighty at a red-carpet do Tuesday featuring Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe , Rupert Grint , and Emma Watson . Other guests included Steven Spielberg . They grooved to the stylings of the L.A. Philharmonic under the direction of John Williams , says the Los Angeles Times.
April 7, 2016 |
Nobody says J.S. Bach cures post-traumatic stress disorder. But few would be surprised if his music helped, whether it is the Goldberg Variations , heard after the Paris terror attacks last November, or the St. Matthew Passion on the day after the Brussels suicide bombings last month. Not every composer writes music with medicinal effects. Mahler's darker symphonies could make a bad day even worse. Yet Bach (despite the furrowed brow and 18th-century wig seen in formal portraits)
April 5, 2016 |
I have been teaching at a university for more than 30 years and can attest to the maxim that teaching keeps you young. It's refreshing to be around 17- to 21-year-olds year after year. Their spontaneity and enthusiasm are contagious. But so are their naiveté and foolishness. For if the university keeps instructors young, it does the same for students. While in college, students are mostly in contact with each other. They mix with people of different backgrounds but not of different ages.
April 4, 2016
Dan Ashe is director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service In the next 30 years, the human population will grow from today's 7.4 billion to about 9.7 billion - the equivalent of adding another China and India. Growing proportions of these people will live in cities and in the economic middle class. This exploding growth in population and affluence will put enormous stress on the planet's ecological fabric, and its ability to sustain the other creatures that we collectivity call biodiversity.
April 4, 2016 |
He has played God - twice - and beginning at 9 p.m. Sunday, he will lead National Geographic Channel viewers on a globe-spanning search for The Story of God , but don't, whatever you do, call Morgan Freeman an expert. "I'm nowhere near an expert on anything, except, maybe, me," Freeman said in an interview in January. Still, the Oscar-winning actor's curiosity had already led him to some big questions as host and narrator of the Science Channel's Through the Wormhole , whose first episode, six seasons ago, asked, "Is There a Creator?"
March 30, 2016
By Seymour I. "Spence" Toll Since 1945, my annual anticipation of the month of April has triggered two memories whose perfect clarity has never been muddied by the erosion of accumulating years. The first of them involves the leader of millions of fellow Americans. The second is my beloved mother and her expression of maternal devotion to me. On April 12, 1945, I was a 21-year-old private first class, an Army combat infantryman who had sustained a wound to my right arm on Dec. 16, 1944.
March 29, 2016 |
The split-screen told the story: On one side, images of the terror bombing in Brussels; on the other, President Obama doing the wave with Raul Castro at a baseball game in Havana. On one side, the real world of rising global terrorism. On the other, the Obama fantasy world in which romancing a geopolitically insignificant Cuba - without an ounce of democracy or human rights yielded in return - is considered a seminal achievement of American diplomacy. Cuba wasn't so much a legacy trip as a vanity trip, vindicating the dorm-room enthusiasms of one's student days, when the Sandinistas were cool, revolution was king, and every other friend had a dog named Che. When Brussels intervened, some argued that Obama should have cut short his trip and come back home.
March 26, 2016 |
Yusuke Yoda knew he wanted to get married in Philadelphia. But when you live halfway across the world from the City of Brotherly Love, that takes some work. Yoda, 33, and his bride, Kazuko Inoue, 35 - both linguistics lecturers at a Tokyo university - tried for months to arrange their dream wedding from across the Pacific. They knew no caterers here, no photographers, no reception halls, not even a judge. Then they remembered the Rotary Club. The service organization was the reason Yoda had come to love Philadelphia in the first place.
March 15, 2016 |
TOUR GROUP 10 p.m. Tuesday, Bravo. Two episodes in, it seems safe to say Jared Levy is in the running for class flirt of Bravo's Tour Group . The 38-year-old Northeast Philly native, a financial adviser who graduated from George Washington High School ("I actually went to school with Kevin Hart"), has been particularly attentive to two of his fellow travelers, nonidentical twins named Misty and Jenna. But the fast-talking Levy, whose previous TV experiences involved talking about money, said he was interested in becoming a bit less guarded and careful when he agreed to be part of a group of 11 people chosen to see the world on Tour Group . Levy spoke recently about his experiences on the show, which airs at 10 p.m. Tuesdays: You introduced yourself on the show by saying, "If Steven Hawking had a baby with Snooki, I would probably be the product of that relationship.
March 11, 2016
Buzz: Hey Marnie, what does "fair trade" mean on a wine label? I've seen it on coffee and thought on wine it meant the wines were made for fairs and conventions. Marnie: No, Buzz, it's a social-justice movement that promotes sustainability and equality for the communities that produce the goods we buy, especially in the developing world. Buzz: Wow, that sounds like something started by the hippies. Marnie: Not really, Buzz. A number of organizations provide certification on ethical standards and grant the right to apply a "fair trade" seal on packaging to inform consumers.