February 20, 2014 |
HENDERSON, Nev. - Sometimes it's not what's on the walls but what's in them that makes a home stand out. That was the case this month at the unveiling of the 2014 New American Home outside Las Vegas, an annual demonstration of the latest in residential design and construction. The showcase house is somewhat subdued-looking outside with a color scheme drawing from the desert landscape. But the residence shines in ways that aren't visible, such as the spray-foam insulation hidden in the walls that helps make it the most energy-efficient demonstration home constructed in the 31 years the National Assn.
February 8, 2014 |
BERLIN - They stood an hour or more in four long lines, inching toward the ticket counters with agonizing slowness. This being Germany, they were orderly and polite. And this being the Berlin International Film Festival, they didn't mind the wait. It gave them time to thumb through the program, checking out obscure titles, circling ones that looked promising. A scruffy student searched for movies from the Balkans, while a retired engineer consulted an impressive grid drawn in his notebook of dates and show times, making sure that Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" (which he wanted to see)
February 7, 2014 |
SOCHI, Russia - Ballerinas danced through gently falling snow. A giant metallic fist hovered overhead, grasping a hammer in its silvery fingers. With its barrage of traditional imagery set to strains of "Swan Lake," the opening ceremony for the 2014 Sochi Olympics could not have been more Russian. "The Sochi Games are our chance to show the entire world the best that our country is proud of," Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of the organizing committee, told the crowd. "Our hospitality, our traditions, our Russia.
February 5, 2014 |
A bustling community of dog parks, gastropubs and historic lofts where people actually walk to work? That's hardly the typical depiction of Los Angeles, at least in the movies. Yet that is precisely the unconventional image of L.A. that emerges in the upcoming romantic comedy "About Last Night," a remake of the 1986 film starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, James Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins that explored the world of dating among four singles. Though the original movie was based on a David Mamet play set in Chicago, the contemporary remake joins the 2009 film "(500)
February 2, 2014 |
In the mid-19th century, a Frenchman described the reconstruction of St. Petersburg's monumental Winter Palace after a fire. To meet the czar's deadline during a bitterly cold winter, the "unprecedented efforts" included heating the structure's interior to almost 90 degrees. Of the thousands of laborers who braved the extremes of temperature, "a considerable number died each day," wrote the Marquis de Custine, "but, as the victims were replaced by other champions who filled their places, to perish in their turn in this inglorious gap, the losses were not apparent.
February 1, 2014 |
MOSCOW - Once I came to Moscow to cover an urban ballooning expedition. In winter. But when the balloonists came face to frigid, wind-lashed face with the winter here - well, we never got off the ground. And so, as icy gales scoured the city, I strolled near the Moskva River until I faced a vast, low-hovering cloud, lighted from within, scented with chlorine and cigarettes. Occasionally, a near-naked Muscovite would emerge, dripping, and wander off to look for a towel and his pants.