February 21, 2010 |
My heart sinks when I open a new SF or fantasy novel for potential review, only to see the word " Prologue." Though not necessarily long, these scene-setters can be inscrutable, particularly when you realize you're holding Volume 3 in the second of four linked star-faring trilogies. "Ten thousand years have passed since the S'rwrwa annexed the outer colonies of the Confederation," one of these might begin, "enslaving its peoples by means of superior firepower and the Naxx, an antiquated form of mass hypnosis perfected by the rogue wizards known as the Qmzic.
February 20, 2010 |
Teams know what to expect when they face Cerritos Gahr in basketball. The Gladiators put on a relentless full-court press. Oak Park certainly prepared for it, but the Eagles found out Friday night that there's no way to simulate Gahr's athleticism and quickness in practice, and by the time they finally adjusted, it was too late. "Turnovers were the name of the game," Oak Park Coach Aaron Shaw said after his team's 64-50 loss in a Southern Section Division 3A second-round playoff game at Gahr.
January 10, 2010 |
The gladiators of ancient Rome may have endured horribly violent lives, but they also saw plenty of overheated sex. At least that's the version of history on display in "Spartacus: Blood and Sand," a sword-and-sandals epic that Starz, the premium cable network, rolls out Jan. 22. Viewers who recall the old Kirk Douglas film about the Roman slave who leads an uprising may rub their eyes in disbelief. The Starz take has naked flesh to spare, not to mention more blood than the Red Cross.
July 31, 2009 |
Alabama's ban on a wine that features a nude nymph on the label has become a business opportunity for a California vintner who is preparing a marketing campaign to capitalize on being "Banned in Bama." The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board recently told stores and restaurants to quit serving Cycles Gladiator wine because of the label.
March 8, 2009 |
Last year's ubiquitous gladiator sandals made city streets look like an ancient battleground full of urban warriors. This spring, however, the look is more relaxed and decidedly down to earth, which makes huaraches a perfect fit. The traditional handmade Mexican shoes date back hundreds of years and are distinguished by their elaborately woven and layered leather tops.
March 3, 2009 |
The gladiators charge each other with a great clashing and crashing of arms and armor. It's hard to say who looks more fearsome: Atropo or Taurus. Atropo, the towering Germanic barbarian, wears a mask of black war paint, a headband over her blond hair and a brown tunic and leggings. She wields a trident in one hand and whirls a net in the other. Taurus, the compact Roman, is a tattooed mass of muscle beneath a battered metal helmet that covers all but his eyes.
June 8, 2008 |
Sometimes a guy just has to ungird his inner gladiator. Sergio Iacomoni used to look up from his desk at Banca d'Italia and wonder about the likes of Spartacus. He consumed books on ancient Rome. He tracked news of archaeological digs -- daily fare in Italy -- for nuggets on how gladiators might have trained or lived. He socialized with buddies -- accountants and bureaucrats cooped up in their own office or government jobs -- who shared the same Walter Mitty daydreams. "One day, we were talking.
March 3, 2008 |
Bring on the Power Ball! At the FitExpo event held mid-February in the Los Angeles Convention Center, I joined about 6,000 people from around the country who'd taken the four-minute "tryout," the first step in becoming a contestant on the newly resurrected NBC spectacle of strength, speed and coordination, "American Gladiators."
January 20, 2008 |
You know the type: nestled into the couch, beer at the ready, shouting at the screen. Forget baseball or football -- trash-talking is our true national pastime, the God-given right of all Americans to express their most vitriolic feelings from the comfort of their living rooms. We do it to politicians, prevaricating and dodging questions. (They're just asking for it.) We do it to celebrities, pretty, sometimes vacant and often smug. (Really asking for it.