March 30, 2013 |
Richard Griffiths was an actor of enormous size. He was physically big - obese to the point of sometimes needing a cane to get around. But his mind and soul were equally large, and his eloquence was so prodigious that playwright Alan Bennett found in him an ideal interpreter of his magnificently articulate art. He will live on as Harry Potter's unsympathetic Uncle Vernon, but I shall remember him for his portrayal of Hector in Bennett's "The History...
March 20, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - Opening his first presidential visit to the nation's closest Mideast ally, President Obama declared Wednesday that "peace must come to the Holy Land" during a red carpet arrival ceremony with Israeli leaders. In remarks after landing at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Obama described the U.S.-Israeli bond as “eternal,” the apparent theme of the three-day trip. The words "unbreakable alliance" are emblazoned on official signs, shirts, flyers and mugs all over Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
March 10, 2013 |
In June 1954, a small advertisement ran in the Wall Street Journal: "Biblical manuscripts dating back to at least 200 BC are for sale. " The commercial offering was the start of a long and controversial path for the Dead Sea Scrolls, a cache of fragmentary writings in Hebrew and Aramaic (with a few in Greek) that were found in caves near the Dead Sea between 1947 and 1956. The ancient documents include early copies of almost every book of the Hebrew Bible and have been called, justifiably, the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century.
November 29, 2012 |
Bless San Diego designer Curtis Micklish, designer of the Armadilla, which holds the answer to one of life's most irritating questions: "Where's the remote?" Micklish designed the Armadilla as a place to hold all of those ugly remote controls that can litter the coffee table or get lost in the sofa cushions. His handmade design consists of maple slats attached to a neoprene backing, creating a flexible piece that drapes over the armrest of a sofa. Lift the magnetic closure, and inside you'll find a magnetic plate that holds up to four remotes in place.
October 9, 2012 |
A great power without a significant enemy? That's what the U.S. has become. Osama bin Laden is dead. Al Qaeda is reportedly a shadow of its former self. The great regional threats of the moment, North Korea and Iran, are regimes held together by baling wire and the suffering of their populaces. The only incipient great power rival on the planet, China, has just launched its first aircraft carrier, a refurbished Ukrainian throwaway from the 1990s on whose deck the country has no planes capable of landing.
August 5, 2012 |
Why is Marilyn Monroe still an American icon 50 years after her death? She is endlessly analyzed in films and biographies; her image appears on T-shirts and posters; her popularity is reflected in the 52,000 Marilyn-related items for sale on EBay. My USC students, fixated on contemporary pop culture, know little about 1950s Hollywood stars, except for Monroe. Like everyone else, they puzzle over her death, respond to her beauty, recognize her paradoxes: the ur-blond child-woman, the virgin-whore of the Western imagination.