May 22, 2011 |
Near the end of "The Leopard," Giuseppe di Lampedusa's 1958 novel about the crumbling Sicilian aristocracy, a priest visits three spinsters to assess the holy relics in the family's private family chapel. The priest determines that, out of all the various bits of bone and other strange objects, some are authentic and should be kept. The rest are thrown away. If author Charles Freeman had been along on that visit, he would have insisted, "Don't throw anything away! Keep everything!"
May 13, 2011 |
Sometimes you just want someone to tell it to you straight. You may look and feel better than your grandmother or even your mother did at 50 but the idea that 50 is anything like 30, Tracey Jackson practically screams, is either a marketing scam or a line made up by a 50-year-old guy in a bar trying to pick up a 30-year-old woman. We are fixated on youth. This is not news and, by her own account, no one has tried harder than Tracey Jackson to stay young. Although her grandmother swore by Crisco to defeat wrinkles, Jackson, 52 and a screenwriter in Southern California, has access to the latest anti-aging promises; Bikram yoga and Core Fusion (her preferred, one hour a day, six days a week regimen)
April 29, 2011 |
Reporting from Seoul — Young-mi Lee is a South Korean filmmaker who likes to expose secrets. Her movies plumb deep into her characters' psyches, revealing confidential lives and repressed desires. Her 10 short films have been populated by the likes of a cab driver who realizes she's a lesbian; a composer with a closeted sexual drive; and two roommates — one Japanese, one Korean — whose sublimated racism is exposed in a battle over a man. "I like to focus on a person who doesn't look very special and dig deep into their life," she said.
March 25, 2011 |
Americans seem more than a little interested -- by turns amused, abrasive and put on the defensive -- by a recent study linking church attendance to obesity in middle age. But the predictable reactions occasionally give way to thoughtfulness. First came the headlines as the media scrambled to spread the word about the study presented at an American Heart Assn. session this week: "Praise the lard? Religion fosters obesity by middle age. " "Religion and obesity: Can church make you fat?"
March 24, 2011 |
An inactive lifestyle, watching TV and eating too many fatty foods are all to blame for many Americans being overweight and obese. We may have to add religion to that list. A study finds that young adults who regularly attend religious activities may be more prone to obesity by middle age than their nonreligious peers. Jell-O salad? We're looking in your direction. The study included 2,433 younger men and women who were part of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study and were followed for 18 years.
March 11, 2011 |
"Certified Copy," Abbas Kiarostami's lovely labyrinth of a film, is best seen without having read reviews that divulge what the director reveals ? or hints at ? only gradually (this one won't). The two-hander's teases and twists carry an electric charge, particularly in the riveting performance of Juliette Binoche, by turns dithery, fevered and open-hearted. She plays the unnamed French owner of an antique shop in Tuscany, raising a tween son who challenges her every move ? when he bothers to look up from his video game.
February 13, 2011 |
I tell Valentina it's my first time in a banya and that I've forgotten to bring birch branches. "Oh, I'll flog you with mine," she says, offering typical Russian hospitality. She begins whacking my back as we sit on long wood benches in the parilka (steam room). Whack! Whack! Whack! The beatings continue for a minute or two as green bits fly about. I wince. "Now it's my turn," she says. I return the favor but am timid. Valentina could be my mother. "Harder!" she says.
November 28, 2010 |
The concept of history in the Middle Ages was not what it is today, as visitors to the J. Paul Getty Museum's new exhibition of manuscripts will see. In an eye-popping image from "Romance of Alexander," a book made in the 1290s, an unknown artist illustrated a yarn about Alexander the Great making an underwater expedition. Enthroned in a glass diving bell, below a whale that gobbles up much of the pictorial space, the regal explorer calmly observes a colony of nude people, earthly beasts and fruit trees living at the bottom of the sea. "The artist really had fun with this," says Getty curator Elizabeth Morrison, who organized the exhibition with Anne D. Hedeman, an art history professor at the University of Illinois in Urbana- Champaign.
HOME & GARDEN
November 20, 2010 |
So I turned 50 the other day, and I've never felt better, though I seem to be driving over street curbs more and more, and once in a while I forget the turn signal is still on. "Dad, your turn signal," the little girl will say. "What?" "YOUR TURN SIGNAL!!!" "Thank you for your patience," I say. Yeah, I'm 50 in a town full of people notorious for fibbing about their ages. Actually, I'm 54, but when you hit 50, it's all pretty much the same. Age 4 is way different from age 8. Sixteen may be significantly different from 20. But the glorious 50s are sort of the same sitcom over and over.
October 26, 2010 |
Heavy smoking in middle age more than doubles the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia later in life, according to one of the first long-term studies to examine the issue. Smoking has a clear effect on the heart and lungs, but whether it also damages the brain has been controversial. The study, published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, overcomes some of the obstacles that have made it difficult to assess such a link. For example, some previous research suggesting that smoking doesn't cause dementia mostly examined elderly people only for a short period of time.