November 16, 2011
Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports Mark Ribowsky W.W. Norton: 512 pp., $29.95
November 2, 2011 |
"Freshman 15," "Freshman 15"… how often do you read that stat about weight gain during that first year of college, and how often do you wonder if it's true? Two researchers - one at Ohio State University and the other at the University of Michigan at Dearborn -- decided to take a thorough look. In a study to be published in the December issue of the journal Social Science Quarterly, they report that… .. drumroll .. ..it's not true. It's a myth. Weight gain among freshman students is far less than 15 pounds, as a rule - more like three pounds.
October 29, 2011 |
Every year, parents and police departments worry about tricks in their kids' Halloween treats: razor blades in apples, poison in candy bars. But incidents of candy poisoning are very, very rare -- if they exist at all. "There have never been any substantiated cases of strangers tampering with Halloween candy," said Susan Whiteside, in an email to Booster Shots Friday. Whiteside is a spokesperson for the National Confectioners Assn., which provides an FAQ on Halloween candy safety and coordinates with law enforcement to track reports of tainted treats.
October 21, 2011
One human life Re "One man's joy is another's anguish," Oct. 19 The recent prisoner swap of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for more than 1,000 Palestinian criminals should establish only one compelling truth: Israel values a single human life above all else. The Palestinian prisoners who were released, however, have far different moral standards, exemplified in statements made by released murderer Fouad Abu Amrin justifying his random stabbing of a 15-year-old girl.
October 17, 2011 |
Almost since the United States began using the unmanned aerial vehicles known as drones, their use has drawn criticism. The latest criticism, which has received considerable attention in the wake of the drone strike on Anwar Awlaki, is that America's use of drones has sparked a new international arms race. While it is true that some other nations have begun developing their own unmanned aerial vehicles, the extent of the alarm is unjustified. Much of it rests on myths that are easily dispelled.
October 9, 2011 |
Sam Shepard's cultural reach goes deep. There's the Oscar nomination for supporting actor in "The Right Stuff," the Pulitzer Prize for his play "Buried Child" and his screenplay for the seminal film "Paris, Texas. " Shepard makes a brief appearance in Patti Smith's recent memoir, "Just Kids," in which she describes him as "my cowboy with Indian ways. " And with his soulful, loner swagger, he represents the poetic masculine American ideal. The new film "Blackthorn," which is already available on video on demand and which opened in Los Angeles on Friday, presupposes that the Wild West bandit Butch Cassidy did not die in a sepia-toned shootout as famously depicted in 1969's "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. " Rather, Shepard, in an increasingly rare lead role, portrays the outlaw as an old man living in the hardscrabble mountains of Bolivia, feeling time passing him by and dreaming of returning to America.
July 29, 2011 |
With "The Myth of the American Sleepover," first-time writer-director David Robert Mitchell tells a coming-of-age tale with such freshness and such bemused insight it's as if it has never been told before. Its setting, in the present, is an idyllic Michigan suburb on the last night of summer — just before a new school year starts. Mitchell may focus on several young people but deftly characterizes three to four times that number, and not surprisingly the film won the acting ensemble prize at the South by Southwest Film Festival last year.
July 24, 2011 |
When it comes to real estate, all is not always as it seems. Many buyers — and some sellers — labor under misconceptions that could sink their housing aspirations. Take the notion that you will hunt for a house until you find the "perfect" one. Sorry. There is no such thing as the perfect house. Even gently used houses come with blemishes. And new homes rarely, if ever, have absolutely everything you want at the price you want to spend. Another popular myth is that the longer a house is on the market, the more willing the seller will be to negotiate.
June 16, 2011 |
In the last five years, singer and songwriter Bill Callahan has been making nouveau cowboy music, the kind that might have soothed his former self, the confessional, acerbic zinemaker who released tapes made out of his bedroom in the early '90s and went by the very unfriendly moniker Smog. But that was a long time ago. These days Callahan presents himself as a kind of pioneer, a picture of rugged individualism and other American myths that have become recurrent themes in his work as he has grown older.