April 9, 2014 |
In a final passing of the torch to a new generation of late-night talk show hosts, David Letterman announced last week that he would retire in 2015. As intelligent and unique a force as he's always been, the timing seems right. Since beginning his late-night career more than 30 years ago, Letterman has evolved from exuberant, smart-alecky nerd to crotchety, occasionally befuddled elder statesman. Watching him now, it's hard to believe he was once considered the epitome of edginess, a darling of the college crowd and hero to sarcastic eggheads everywhere.
February 28, 2014 |
The libertarian streak among bitcoin fanciers will be hard to kill, but at the moment it's certainly crippled. That's because bitcoin's onetime market leader, the Mt. Gox exchange, today filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan. Of course it's not just Mt. Gox that gets protected under bankruptcy laws--the Japanese provision under which Mt. Gox filed is similar to Chapter 11 in the U.S.--but the firm's creditors, including customers. Since the exchange firm says 750,000 of customers' bitcoins may be be missing, that's not trivial.
October 1, 2013 |
Michelle Obama wants you to drink more water, at least one more glass a day. Frankly, I think it's great. Sure, the science behind some of her claims is somewhere between iffy and debatable. If you're not dehydrated, drinking more water won't give you more energy or cure your headaches, as her office vaguely claims. But it might take up belly space that otherwise would have gone to grape soda, Red Bull or some other sugary concoction. Team Michelle won't admit this is the real agenda, insisting this is just a healthy, helpful reminder from the first lady.
July 26, 2013 |
Hard-nosed Montana fisherman Andy Hill, who recently founded a nonprofit organization to teach disabled people how to make lures and cast lines, suddenly finds himself in a wheelchair -- at least for the time being. For 21 years, Hill, a social worker, has waded into the Clark Fork River in East Missoula to catch trout. But on Sunday he left his fishing gear at home to indulge in his first lazy inner-tube ride down the river. He had floated 300 feet when he passed under Bandmann Bridge, and nothing could have prepared him for what happened next.
July 24, 2013 |
Endurance is a staple of performance art. In 1971, Chris Burden locked himself inside a small school locker at UC Irvine for five days. Three years later, Linda Mary Montano performed "Three Day Blindfold," groping her way around San Francisco with her eyes shrouded by a blindfold. That same year, for eight hours a day over three days, German artist Joseph Beuys was locked inside a New York gallery with a wild coyote. Marina Abramovic and Ulay Laysiepen spent 90 days in 1988 walking the length of the Great Wall of China from opposite ends until, finally meeting in the middle, they said their goodbyes and ended their 12-year collaboration.
May 30, 2013 |
It was only a matter of time before the green-card marriage immigration scheme and the marriage equality issue merged in one well-meaning romantic comedy. That film is "I Do," a sweet, sincere, yet ultimately tepid story about Jack (David W. Ross, who wrote and produced) - a gay, single, unassuming Brit who's lived in New York so long that when his visa suddenly isn't renewed, the prospect of returning to England feels like moving to a foreign country. (Among other firm U.S. roots, he's been helping his brother's widow - played by Alicia Witt - raise his nephew.)