April 17, 2016
The Waters of Eternal Youth By Donna Leon Atlantic Monthly Press. 304 pp. $26. Reviewed by Michael D. Schaffer A fter a quarter-century, Donna Leon and the readers of her Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series have settled into a comfortable relationship, much like her fictional detective and his wife, Paola. Leon's writing satisfies, much like the dishes that come out of Paola's kitchen. It goes down easily. Her characters are reassuringly familiar and likable, if a little too good to be true.
April 16, 2016
Directed by Lee Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci. With Marion Cotillard, Philippe Katerine, Jean Rochefort, and Macha Grenon. Distributed by GKids. In French with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour, 45 mins. Parent's guide: PG (action/peril including gunplay, some thematic elements, and rude humor). Playing at: Ritz at the Bourse.
April 12, 2016 |
Wearing a high-tech prosthetic hand, Eric Young grabbed hold of a Saltine. Crunch. The hand's rubbery, motorized fingers closed too quickly, and that's the way the cracker crumbled. Then engineer Kelsey Muller flipped a switch, activating pressure-sensitive electronics so that when Young tried it again, the fingers would slow down at just the right moment. Presto! Cracker intact. "What we're doing is replicating the natural reflex," Muller said. Her demonstration was one of more than a dozen Sunday afternoon at a Philadelphia symposium on an emerging technology called haptics.
April 11, 2016 |
From as far as Tennessee and as close as South Philadelphia, hundreds of people came Saturday to stand in spitting snow and unseasonably frigid temperatures for a chance at stardom. They were there at Paddy Whacks Irish Sports Pub, at Second and South Streets, for an open-casting call for the 32nd season of MTV's Real World , the network's longest-running reality series. "You don't give up something like this," said Michael Giuda, 21 of South Philadelphia. "I'm really in your face.
April 11, 2016 |
Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez, head of the U.S. Africa Command, the nation's former deputy commander in Afghanistan, and the leader of many other campaigns in combat and in peace around the world, was honored at home Saturday. Rodriguez, now based in Stuttgart, Germany, came to Center City to accept an award befitting his august, 40-year career: He was this year's recipient of the Alexander Haig Guardian of Liberty Award, bestowed by the West Point Society of Philadelphia. Past honorees include retired Gen. Dennis J. Reimer, a former Army chief of staff; former Secretary of the Army Thomas E. White; and Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor and first secretary of Homeland Security.
April 9, 2016 |
Aramark has decided to keep its global headquarters in Philadelphia, ending speculation that the food- and facilities-services giant may decamp to another city with its jobs and prestige. The company is not yet sure whether it will remain at its namesake headquarters tower at 1101 Market St. or move to another building, but it has concluded that Philadelphia's business costs, talent supply, transportation links, and other advantages will keep it in town, communications chief Tod MacKenzie said in an interview ahead of Thursday's announcement.
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.