January 8, 2014 |
LAS VEGAS - Tucked into the tiniest of corners of the gargantuan Consumer Electronics Show one night this week was Sonny Vu, the founder of Misfit. The Redwood City, Calif., company did not have an elaborately constructed trade booth with flashing lights or blaring dance music. It just had Vu, undeterred by his lack of props, standing next to a table displaying a few samples of Shine, the company's new activity monitor that's about the size and shape of a Nilla Wafer. Though the company and product are small, they are emblematic of the biggest trend on display this week at CES: This has become a golden age for consumer electronics start-ups.
January 7, 2014 |
Debuting Tuesday as part of the PBS series "American Experience," "The Poisoner's Handbook" offers a fascinating look back at how the chemical age changed police work. Based on Deborah Blum's 2010 book "The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York," it is divided into toxin-specific "chapters," (cyanide, arsenic, carbon monoxide, lead, radium, denatured alcohol and so on), but there is nothing particularly instructional about it. A certain sort of viewer might get ideas, of course, but should he watch to the end he will learn that poisoning is a hard crime to get away with anymore.
December 31, 2013 |
Pascal Tessier, 17, had aspired to rise to the rank of Eagle Scout since he was in the sixth grade. "It shows to everyone that I'm a capable person - that I'm worth something," said Tessier, of Kensington, Md. He knew it would be an arduous process to achieve Scouting's highest honor: earn 21 merit badges, play a leadership role in the troop, complete a service project and undergo a board of review. Tessier also knew there was one requirement that he could never meet: being straight.
December 30, 2013 |
When “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts posted a Facebook message on Sunday expressing gratitude for all the support she got during her long and much-publicized recovery from a bone marrow transplant, that was hardly news. She's talked expansively about her health struggles on her ABC-TV morning show and on Barbara Walters' "Most Fascinating People of 2013" TV special, and allowed video cameras to capture her weeping in her hospital bed. ...
December 24, 2013 |
In 2011, on his holiday album "Under the Mistletoe," Justin Bieber came on like Mariah Carey's kid nephew - a sort of pint-sized vocal prodigy - in a squeaky-clean duet with the singer on her "All I Want for Christmas Is You. " Not anymore. Two Christmases later, Bieber is nearing the end of a year in which he's done about as much as possible to shake off the childlike innocence that helped establish him as one of pop music's biggest (and most polarizing) acts. The incidents will be familiar even to casual followers of celebrity gossip: the heated run-in with a photographer in London, the unauthorized spray-painting of walls in South America and Australia, the urination into a mop bucket in a New York restaurant.
December 23, 2013 |
Sixteen-year-old Lydia Ko, the youngest winner in the history of the LPGA tour, has split with the only coach she has ever had. Ko had been working with Guy Wilson -- both are from New Zealand -- for 11 years before announcing the breakup Monday. She has recently been working with teachers at David Leadbetter Golf Academy in the U.S. "It's obviously sad to stop with Guy, because he's been a great coach and a great friend as well," she told TVNZ's One Sport . "But it's just important to know that we still are good friends, which is quite good because sometimes it might not end well in both ways.
December 20, 2013 |
In this time when news is disseminated ever more quickly, we asked our critics to list the best of culture in 2013 in tweet form: Daft Punk, "RAM" = Robotic French duo channel vibe of Studio 54, "Thriller" & Giorgio Moroder. Perfect clone for new android ears. #getlucky "Spring Breakers" soundtrack: Dubstep 'n inst. score capturing spirit of moment just as 'Singles,' '16 Candles' & 'Apocalypse Now' before. Earl Sweatshirt, "Doris": Odd Future rapper's work marked arrival of smart LA voice "in the midst of a tornado/Misfitted like Clark Gable.
December 20, 2013 |
"Whenever a fellow tells me he is bipartisan," said Harry Truman, "I know he is going to vote against me. " The hosannas to bipartisanship accompanying the budget deal passed this week should have served as fair warning to the rest of us that we lost this vote. True, politicians and commentators vied to hail the sacrifices that had been made on both sides of the aisle for the greater cause of "restoring public faith in the budget process" and thereby bolster Congress' poll ratings. In reality, there was one clear winner: the bipartisan defense lobby, a category that does not apparently include wounded veterans, who must give up some of their pensions for the sake of restoring that public faith, not to mention funding the extra $22 billion for defense that will flow inexorably into the pockets of Lockheed (stock already up 55% this year)
December 20, 2013 |
Tucked inside the defense bill approved by Congress this week was a provision that would add seven air tankers to the U.S. Forest Service's beleaguered air fleet. The fleet of planes, which drop retardant to give firefighters on the ground crucial time to put out raging wildfires, has been reduced from 47 to 12 over the last decade because of fatal crashes and fears about the planes' safety. Many of the aircraft were former military planes built during the Eisenhower administration The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 late Thursday after included language by Sens.
December 19, 2013 |
You may have heard or read or woke up suddenly thinking that we are living in a New Golden Age of Television. Some call it the platinum age, which sounds a little too Rodeo Drive to me. But let them have their fun. Most of this new golden/platinum age talk centers on drama, and mostly cable drama, which connotes seriousness and ambition (and sex and death); we are still living in the age of "The Sopranos. " When, on Dec. 10, the American Film Institute named its Top 10 shows of 2013, only one sitcom - HBO's political farce "Veep" - was among them.