April 2, 2013 |
Scientists studying the secrets of gravity-defying geckos have discovered that the lizards' toes can grip certain surfaces even when wet. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help scientists design sticky tape that even works under water. Geckos are a remarkable and diverse group of lizards - there are more than 1,400 species worldwide, and many live in wet, tropical environments. Researchers have studied the ability of the gecko to cling to ceilings and walls without using very sticky substances.
March 26, 2013 |
In the musical "Avenue Q," there's a happy-go-lucky song about a dirty little computer secret. It's called "The Internet Is for Porn. " Theatergoers from the respectable middle class giggle helplessly throughout this number, but imagine how quickly the laughter would cease if government agents knocked on their door demanding to review their Internet browsing history. Such a scenario is underway in "The Nether," the daring new drama by Jennifer Haley that opened at the Kirk Douglas Theatre Sunday.
March 8, 2013 |
This story has been updated. See note below. "The Silence" is an exemplary German-language thriller, a complex and disturbing examination of guilt, violence and psychological torment that chills us to the core not once but two times over. Impeccably made with complete control of the medium by Swiss-born writer-director Baran bo Odar in a seriously impressive feature debut, "The Silence" is initially disturbing because the crime it focuses on is sexual violence: the rape and murder of young girls.
March 6, 2013 |
The new documentary “Family Band: The Cowsills Story,” premiering tonight on Showtime, opens with a compelling scene showing musician Bob Cowsill setting up single-handed for another thankless gig in the corner of a restaurant-bar of an Indian casino. As patrons chat, eat and drink, barely paying attention, he says, “I had four hit records between the ages of 17 and 21… I did!” As is obvious in that scene, the Cowsills long ago fell off the radar of most pop music fans, and are remembered today primarily for their hit recording of the title song from the musical “Hair,” which spent two weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969.
February 28, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Rebel forces have dug in to the north, east and south of Syria's capital, occupying stretches of suburban and rural terrain and threatening to break through to the heart of Damascus. Government troops have largely pulled back to a well-defended core, including the city center and loyal bastions to the west. After nearly two years of fighting in Syria that has mostly spared the capital, an uneasy stalemate reigns in Damascus. In recent days, the city has experienced mortar attacks and car bombings, while the military has responded in its usual fashion: withering bombardment of outlying rebel strongholds.
January 22, 2013 |
Woe to Edgar Allan Poe. In life, the writer was ill-served by fortune: orphaned as a toddler, an indebted college dropout, Poe moved often, usually to dodge creditors. His beloved wife (and, um, first cousin) died in the Bronx at age 24; two years later Poe himself was dead. The circumstances of his death remain mysterious -- the 40-year-old left Richmond, Va., en route to Philadelphia and turned up five days later at a pub in Baltimore, where he was delirious, wearing someone else's clothes and was at the end of a deathly bender or something else that drove him into the arms of the grim reaper.