October 10, 2013 |
Alexander the Great slept here -- and lived here too. The place is Macedonia, which was part of Greece in ancient times. Most recently, it has been working to raise its tourism profile after its break from the former Yugoslavia more than two decades ago. Tour company Macedonia Experience, based in the city of Skopje, is part of the effort to put the nation on the European tourism map. It offers many active and leisure trips around the country,...
August 20, 2013 |
HELWAN, Egypt - The gunmen sped past on motorcycles and in a car, firing automatic weapons and hurling gasoline bombs. Parishioners ran for cover as bullets chipped the stone and rattled the metal doors of St. George's Church. Adel Samir hasn't slept since Friday's attack. A mechanic, he now guards the church south of Cairo. The street out front has been barricaded. Other men, tattooed with the cross, wield clubs and patrol the perimeter amid yellow dust rising from cement factories along the Nile.
March 7, 2013 |
The extraordinary abortion-themed drama "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" placed Cristian Mungiu in the forefront of international cinema, and the Romanian director's new film, "Beyond the Hills," likewise concerns the bond between two young women. Again they face ineffectual institutions, but there's another, more urgent push-pull at the heart of this haunting, beautifully acted feature. After several years apart, lifelong friends Alina (Cristina Flutur) and Voichita (Cosmina Stratan)
July 22, 2012 |
TERYAYEVO, Russia - As she tried to remove the priceless Bible from its glass case, Moscow University professor Irina Pozdeyeva could barely lift the almost 2,000-page book. The gray-haired scholar ran her fingers through the meticulously stitched and restored leaves of the Bible, produced in 1581 by Ivan Fyodorov, father of Russian printing. Pozdeyeva said she never fails to experience a surge of emotion when she handles the book, one of 350 surviving copies of the first Bibles printed in Russia in the old Slavonic language.
May 6, 2012 |
Birds twitter and sunshine twinkles through groves of bamboo and banyan trees adorned with cascades of orchids. With every step, my Vibram boot soles crush hibiscus blossoms littering a pathway, while butterflies flutter around a group of elderly folks welcoming the morning with the gracious silent semaphore of tai chi. At a clearing where remnants of a World War ll gun emplacement rust, half-swallowed in greenery, an opening in the jungle reveals...
October 30, 2011 |
Born more than 2,000 years ago, the Roman poet Lucretius really belongs to our day. How's that? Well, when you look closely at his great work, "On the Nature of Things" (W.W. Norton: 177 pp., $15.95 paper), you find him writing about a world that sounds much like our own. There he speaks of tiny, indivisible bits called atoms ("all/are sundered into particles of matter") and something that even sounds like a description of DNA ("each thing has but one substance/marked and designed to bring it into being")