May 19, 2013 |
Ezra Koenig wanted to be clear about this: The frontman of Vampire Weekend was not comparing his band to the Beatles. "What we're talking about is making me think like a fan, which is a little bit dangerous because it could come across as me trying to put myself in the same league as one of the biggest albums of all time," he said, responding to a question about the value of mystery and ambiguity in music. "But, yeah, you think about 'Sgt. Pepper.' Is it a concept album about a lonely hearts club?
December 9, 2012 |
At dusk, when this nighttime town flips on its klieg lights, Rob Lambert and Jim Gianoulakis go looking for darkness. These two graying stargazers want to establish an observatory in one of the most light-polluted places on the planet. For them, it's all about making the best of a bad situation: If the lights of Las Vegas unnaturally brighten the nighttime sky, well, just point your telescope in the other direction. "If you build a facility in a remote area with pristine night skies, you're probably going to be missing the people to come and utilize it," said Gianoulakis, president of the 150-member Las Vegas Astronomical Society, who recently inherited the post from Lambert.
November 5, 2012 |
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - When Ulysses Bermudez hikes upstairs to check on his elderly neighbors in his public housing project, he is met by a fetid stench from people unable or afraid to go down the 14 dark flights to use portable toilets set up in the street. "People can't live like this," he said. But on Monday, a week after super storm Sandy slammed into New York, many still do. Hundreds of residents in the Red Hook West project, Brooklyn's largest, are without heat, electricity, elevators or water.
September 28, 2012 |
As NASA's Mars rover Curiosity continues its meandering route across the planet's rocky surface, a team of engineers and scientists back on Earth are having their own Martian experience: They're learning to live on "Mars time" by adjusting to its slightly longer, 24.65-hour day. Those extra 39 minutes and 35 seconds may seem like a small difference, one easily absorbed into the variable nightly sleep schedule of the average human. But it's not a one-time change like jet lag; instead, it's like traveling across a time zone every single day. So adjusting to even a slight change in schedule is difficult for people to deal with.
August 31, 2012 |
Let's face it: Eating at a fast food restaurant is not about the ambience. It's fast, and its music and lighting seem geared to on-the-fly dining -- sort of laundromat-meets-elevator. But did it ever ever occur to you that meals served amid bright lights and intrusive contempo-jazz might contribute to overeating? Or that dimming the lights a tad and soothing the pace of that frenetic soundtrack might have the opposite effect? A new study , published this week in Psychological Reports: Human Resources and Marketing, says it does -- and fast-food restaurants could institute such changes without fear of losing money.
August 27, 2012 |
The heat outside a North Hollywood rehearsal studio is in the triple digits, and inside isn't much better, but Alanis Morissette manages a cool, beatific calm beneath the hot lights of a film crew. She is fast approaching "the fever pitch" of activity that accompanies her every album release, even after a break of four years. A camera sweeps in on a boom for a close-up of the singer-songwriter, cheerful in a gleaming white blazer, her auburn hair long and parted down the center. She is here to talk up a new album, "Havoc and Bright Lights" (out Tuesday)