April 8, 2013 |
LEAD, S.D. - The scientists don hard hats, jumpsuits and steel-toed boots to pile into a metal cage for a rumbling 11-minute descent into an abandoned South Dakota gold mine. They step over old mine-cart rails, through rough-walled tunnels and into a bright white room. There, they cast off their dusty garb and enter a lab hidden nearly a mile beneath the Earth. Inside, Patrick Phelps peers at valves connected to half a million dollars' worth of some of the purest xenon in the world.
April 4, 2013 |
The Father Brown stories penned in the early 1900s by British critic-novelist-philosopher G.K. Chesterton still rank among the best examples of the detective fiction genre. Little Candle Productions' original adaptation, “The Innocence of Father Brown,” sets out to translate the spirit of fun and philosophical depth in the exploits of Chesterton's owlish, crime-solving cleric onto the Fremont Centre Theatre stage. Co-directed by Betsy Roth and Allison Darby Gorjian, this initial incarnation is pretty much a community theater-level effort, so expectations for performances and production values need to be calibrated accordingly.
March 29, 2013 |
Theater has always been enamored with actors in multiple roles, whether it's "Twelfth Night's" Viola/Cesario or Jeremy Irons' creepy "Dead Ringers. " And ever since Toni Collette won an Emmy for her identity dissociative suburban housewife, TV writers have been dutifully churning out plus-sized characters - most recently "Do No Harm," "Ringer," "My Own Worst Enemy" - for performers looking to expand their repertoire. Most bomb with alarming rapidity because no matter how splendid the actor, doubling down is a big risk - the contrast between two characters often reveals the tics of performance, keeping us at arm's length from the story.
March 28, 2013 |
The strange case of a stolen Stradivarius violin belonging to London-based musician Min-Jin Kym has taken another twist. The instrument that officials recovered this year in Bulgaria has turned out to be a replica, not the 17th century instrument that they were looking for, according to reports. British authorities said this week they believe the recovered violin is a replica used for training, and that it was made no more than 100 years ago, according to reports from the BBC News and the Telegraph.
March 21, 2013 |
BEIRUT - The strange case of an alleged chemical attack in Syria has taken some odd turns. Like so many other mass-casualty attacks in Syria, the alleged poison-gas strike Tuesday in northern Syria has become a case of each side in the conflict blaming the other - and counting on foreign allies to back their version of events, even if the facts seem blurry at best. Still unanswered amid the barrage of rhetoric are the fundamental questions: Was there a chemical attack? And, if so, who was behind it?
March 18, 2013 |
"Top of the Lake" is the first miniseries from filmmaker Jane Campion of New Zealand ("The Piano," "Bright Star"). I have seen only the first three of its seven parts, which begin Monday with two episodes on Sundance Channel, and though I suppose there is some chance it all will go off the rails, early signs suggest it will bend toward something even more mysterious, beautiful, unsettling and satisfying than the mysterious, beautiful, unsettling, satisfying...
March 18, 2013 |
A portrait of Rembrandt, long believed to be painted by one of his pupils, has been attributed to the 17th-century Dutch master. The crude brushwork led researchers in 1968 to conclude that the painting, which features the artist's signature and is dated 1635, was by one of Rembrandt's students. But a recent investigation led by Ernst van de Wetering, the world's leading Rembrandt expert, found that the painting was indeed by Rembrandt. "Over the past 45 years, we have gathered far more knowledge about Rembrandt's self-portraits and the fluctuations in his style," he said.
March 14, 2013 |
Half a century after the first quasar was spotted, astronomers say they have yet to shed much light on the behavior of these cosmic beacons. This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the quasar -- an extremely bright object powered by matter falling into a super-massive black hole lying in the heart of a galaxy. First found in 1963, these strange sources of radio waves initially stumped astronomers: They shone bright as local stars, but were clearly too far away to be in our Milky Way galaxy -- earning them the name quasi-stellar radio sources, or quasars.
March 13, 2013 |
About midday on Tuesday, Mike Carpenter, an owner of the Culver City wine shop " the Redd Collection ," got a call from a gentleman with a slight Italian accent. It sounded like it was coming from overseas. The caller asked if the shop had any 2008 Papale Primitivo di Manduria from the producer Varvaglione. Carpenter said, "'Sure, we've got it.' He asked how much we had. And I told him we have access to quite a bit, but probably only two or three cases on the floor. " Then he asked if the shop could supply him with 115 bottles.
March 6, 2013 |
Nearly 200 years after Charles Darwin wondered how a fox-looking wolf came to live on South American islands hundreds of miles from the mainland, scientists think they have the answer. The Falkland Islands wolf, the only land animal believed to have occupied the Falkland Islands before it was hunted into extinction in the 19 th century, trekked to its final home over ice sheets during the last ice age, researchers concluded. The wolf, Dusicyon australis , became isolated from its sister species, Dusicyon avus, on the South America mainland about 16,000 years ago, according to the study published Tuesday in Nature Communications.