September 23, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - In 2006, shortly after his election to the U.S. Senate, Bob Casey walked into a briefing room with top lawmakers - including Barack Obama and John Kerry - and members of the Iraqi parliament. These were not the kinds of meetings he had held as Pennsylvania's auditor general and treasurer. "That was kind of my first introduction to a foreign-relations engagement," Casey, a Democrat, recalled the other day. Soon, four new members of Congress from the Philadelphia area will face a similar transition, just as international crises have come to dominate Congress' attention.
September 22, 2014 |
Flower-arranging class at Barclay Friends, a West Chester nursing home with expansive gardens, was winding down when horticulturist Cheryl Bjornson pulled out her newest tool: a computer system called Linked Senior. It's loaded with activities meant to appeal to audiences like Bjornson's - 13 quiet, aged ladies with small vases of zinnias before them and one sleeping man. To liven things up, Bjornson displayed a garden trivia game on a giant screen. A woman who used to work at Waterloo Gardens correctly chose the number of flower species (between 250,000 and 500,000)
September 20, 2014 |
We usually hear about the previous century's two worldwide conflagrations as separate events. But what if we studied World War I and World War II in continuity with each other as part of one historical wave - a wave that saw the death of more than 88 million people. This is the approach taken by the makers of History channel's World Wars , a unique 270-minute documentary mini-series that looks at the three decades between 1914 and 1945 in unison. After all, as historians have argued, Adolf Hitler's worldview was deeply shaped by Germany's defeat in WWI and the humiliating armistice it was forced to sign.
September 17, 2014 |
Ruthie Foster has just finished driving from San Antonio to Austin, Texas - home to partner Katie and their 3-year-old daughter, Maya. She's a little tired, considering she's had three record-release parties for her new Promise of a Brand New Day . Tuesday, she'll do the same at World Café Live. Such is the life of the modern blueswoman. New Day is layered in gospel, R&B, Tex-Mex, folk, and conjunto. It's full of departures, chief among them the producer: singer/composer Meshell Ndegeocello.
September 12, 2014 |
JAMES HARDEN and the U.S. sprinted into the championship game of the Basketball World Cup, riding a huge third quarter to a 96-68 victory over Lithuania last night in Barcelona, Spain. Harden scored all of his 16 points in the lopsided third quarter of a near carbon copy of the Americans' quarterfinal victory over Slovenia, when he awoke from a scoreless first half to help turn a close game into a blowout. The Americans will travel to Madrid to face France or Serbia on Sunday as they try to repeat as world champions for the first time.
September 10, 2014 |
There's a marvelous scene in the film All the President's Men in which the Washington Post's editors are holding their afternoon meeting, reviewing the day's most important stories and deciding which ones merit front-page placement, when the topic of Watergate comes up. It is still early in the scandal's evolution, and one of the editors argues that "no one cares" about its latest development. Besides, the editor says, if Watergate were really a big deal, we'd put our most seasoned political reporters on the story.
September 9, 2014 |
In a Sunday evening Mass, Archbishop Charles Chaput unveiled and blessed the official prayer and image for the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, which many expect Pope Francis to attend next September. Addressing a congregation that nearly packed the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Chaput said, "This place of Philadelphia will be a place of revolution in family life. " Before the archbishop spoke, a few schoolchildren tried unsuccessfully to remove a sheet covering the painting of the image for the World Meeting of Families.
September 5, 2014 |
Having brought modern Israeli cuisine to Philadelphia at Zahav, Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov are focusing on Jewish cuisine from the rest of the world at the contemporary Abe Fisher , at 1623 Sansom St. (215-867-0088), next to their new hummus shop, Dizengoff. Yehuda Sichel, a Zahav veteran who won great notices when CookNSolo ran the kosher Citron & Rose in Merion Station, is billed as co-chef with Solomonov. The menu of small plates is divided into dishes based on vegetable ($10)
August 31, 2014 |
The Philadelphia Bar Association will host bar leaders from London, Beijing, Frankfurt, and other major cities at a conference from Sept. 10 to 13 aimed at showcasing the city's attributes as a crossroads of cultural and economic activity. Association chancellor William Fedullo said a focus of the World City Bar Leaders conference will be discussions on expanding legal representation for low-income people in civil litigation. Besides other legal discussions and cultural events, the conference will have a presentation by Kenneth Feinberg on responding to catastrophes.
August 29, 2014 |
THE NFL wants teachers to use fantasy football to educate young students, according to a recent report. The knee-jerk reaction, of course, is to scoff at what is surely a marketing ploy. But upon further review, the idea has merit. Mark Waller, the chief marketing officer of the NFL, told the Wall Street Journal that the league is interested in helping improving students' math skills. "It's a complex game, fantasy," said Waller. "You should be able to learn a lot, particularly around math.