March 30, 2013 |
Day 1 My anxiety grows as I get to Larkspur, several hours into my drive to Spirit Rock. I stop for a snack, worried the food will be hippie-style brown rice casseroles. When I pull into the parking lot, I'm told I can carry my bags up the hill or put them in a pickup. I heft them, worried it's too indulgent to do otherwise. Later, walking to dinner, people talk tentatively; it's our last chance to speak to one another, and rather than motivating a full-on chat stream, that makes me pretty uninterested in small talk.
March 29, 2013 |
Christopher Knafelc, 32, was waiting for a train in north Philadelphia when fate gave him a chance to redeem a life of pain. Security footage at the Cecil B. Moore station on the Broad Street Line -- and broadcast nationally on cable television and on the Web -- shows a man walk straight off the platform and onto the tracks about 12:40 p.m. Thursday. Knafelc, who was sitting about 20 feet away on a bench, jumped down to help the man. A train was due to arrive in moments. “I had a plan if a train came I was going to roll him underneath,” Knafelc told WPVI-TV, “or if I couldn't, I was going to ask someone to jump down and help me roll him.” He held the man's head and neck stable until firefighters arrived.
March 28, 2013 |
CAIRO -- The Egyptian government says it is taking steps to battle drug addiction, especially among young people, which has escalated amid deepening social and economic problems since the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. The young are “more easily influenced,” said Amr Othman, the director of the organization for treatment of addiction and abuse. “They easily get into drugs and are sometimes pressed into drug trafficking.” A report by the National Council for Battling Addiction attributes increased substance abuse to the availability and affordability of street drugs, especially in “light of the security vacuum society is witnessing.” Officials said a lack of police presence has allowed dealers to push new drugs onto the market.
March 23, 2013 |
The powerful narcotic popped up on the cultural grid around the turn of the millennium. A Texas producer-remixer named DJ Screw paid homage to its woozy, heavy-lidded high by dramatically slowing down beats and vocals to replicate the drug's sleepwalker euphoria. Among Southern rappers, the chemical mixture - called "sizzurp" on the street - soon became as ubiquitous as gold jewelry. This wasn't some exotic new hallucinogen. In fact, it was usually mixed with fruit soda and sipped from oversized plastic foam cups.
March 21, 2013 |
What might ringmaster-of-the-subconscious Fellini have done with the peculiar phenomenon of reality TV? The gifted Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone (the excellent "Gomorrah") gives us his own magically eccentric homage of sorts to that hypothetical with the psychologically astute, dreamlike gut-punch that is "Reality. " Predicated on the idea that the promise of 15 minutes of fame is as treacherous a mental minefield as instant celebrity's fizzled aftermath, Garrone gives us Napoli fishmonger Luciano (Aniello Arena)
March 14, 2013
Re "Board urged to use drug data," March 12 In our zeal to address the problems of people who suffer from prescription drug overdoses, we have not heard the voices of those who suffer genuine pain. Doctors who knowingly over-prescribe addictive medications for financial gain should certainly be disciplined. But physicians should not live in constant fear that the government will punish them for helping those with genuine needs. I once had a friend who lived in a retirement community for former pastors.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2013 |
Calling prescription drug abuse an urgent public health problem, California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris is pushing lawmakers to fund an effort to identify physicians who recklessly prescribe addictive medications. Harris said in an interview that she wanted to use a state database of prescriptions, known as CURES, to draw a bead on doctors who abuse their prescribing powers, a controversial step discussed for years but never adopted. CURES, diminished by years of budget cuts, is now used mostly to identify "doctor-shopping" addicts, who feed their habit by obtaining multiple prescriptions from different doctors.
February 4, 2013 |
"Drugs had destroyed my body and my mind and my spirit. I could no longer experience happiness or surprise. I couldn't remember the last time I felt spontaneous joy. Why was I even alive?" Josh Hamilton in his autobiography, "Beyond Belief" WESTLAKE, Texas -- It was 2 a.m. when Josh Hamilton, strung out on crack cocaine, his once-robust 6-foot-4, 230-pound body withered to 180 pounds, most of his $3.96-million signing bonus squandered on booze and drugs, staggered up the steps to his grandmother's house in Raleigh, N.C. Homeless, dirty and barely coherent, Hamilton was a few days removed from a suicide attempt -- an overdose of pills -- and in the fourth year of a harrowing drug addiction that caused the former can't-miss prospect to be banned from baseball for three full seasons.
January 25, 2013 |
The first scene of "The Last Gladiators," a documentary that brings extraordinary insight to hockey's vanishing breed of enforcers, features a closeup of a man's hands. It takes only a few seconds to realize who they belong to and how appropriate that image is. The hands are scarred, the fingers misshapen and the knuckles flattened. They're surprisingly small. "I have my mother's hands," a raspy voice says, turning those hands toward the camera for better inspection. The voice and hands belong to Chris "Knuckles" Nilan, one of the NHL's most feared fighters during an era when enforcers were featured players.
January 14, 2013 |
"The Mother… With the Hat" is not the actual title of the exhilarating Stephen Adly Guirgis play now at South Coast Repertory, but it's the best I can do without bringing down the strong arm of the censor. Hard as it might be for casual cursers to believe, naughty words still have the power to offend. Guirgis knows this on a deeper level than most. His characters throw the profanity equivalent of Molotov cocktails at one another. They're foulmouthed artists, spinning obscenely colorful invective to inflict as much damage as possible on their targets.