March 31, 2007
I mourn the passing of the Life magazine I knew in the middle decades of the last century. I contest, however, that its death was, as Tim Rutten supposed, inevitable ["Life as We Knew It," March 28]. Notwithstanding the ubiquity of digital cameras and photo-capable cellphones, I cannot imagine that "popular tastes in media" have changed so much that a well-edited collection of dramatic and insightful photographs is no longer worth publishing. I blame the editors of Life for killing it, and offer as evidence their "Picture of the Week."
October 14, 2002
Re "Right and Wrong Shouldn't Be Guesswork," Commentary, Oct. 9: John Balzar is timely and on target in calling for a blue-ribbon commission to reform and update our laws and regulations governing basic honesty in business. I am referring here to laws that mandate full disclosure, transparency, accountability and simple truthfulness. Lying in business has become obsolete and can be safely outlawed. Capitalism thrives on transparency and factual truth, which underlie trust, which is the basis of trade.
February 1, 2012 |
Say what you will about the latest Internet video sensation - in which someone lampoons one group of humans or another based on certain conversational proclivities - but if nothing else, we can credit it with bringing mainstream awareness to the word "meme. " That's the term coined by Richard Dawkins for the way evolutionary principles can be used to explain how cultural ideas take hold. It's now basically turned into a fancy way of talking about things that are popular on the Internet.
November 18, 1996 |
In the late 1980s, economic researchers discovered what came to be called the "productivity paradox." Despite an immense investment in information technologies--over a trillion dollars since the beginning of the PC revolution in about 1980--productivity growth in the U.S. has been either stagnant or weak. And growing productivity is what contributes, more than anything else, to expanding opportunity and a better material life.
February 10, 2013 |
'Rose' perfume can smell green, spicy, powdery, sparkly, fruity or more. The ubiquity of roses in early to mid-February can be overwhelming (their prices, shocking), but their association with love and romance - and perfume - is hardly a modern convention. Roses are referenced in Greek and Roman mythology, and humans have distilled fragrant oils from rose petals for millennia. Rosewater colognes were popular with both sexes in the 19th century. But it's only recently that scientists discovered that essential rose oil contains more than 400 individual components.
April 1, 2011 |
When it comes to notable secular Easter movies, there's Fred Astaire at the parade with Judy Garland and little else. But with the seasonal ubiquity of candy, eggs and bunnies, it's hardly a shock that an animation company would wring some type of festive, sentimental kids' flick out of so commercially tinged and cute animal-friendly a holiday. The animation/live-action "Hop" — from the producing-writing team behind last year's "Despicable Me," and director Tim Hill, of "Alvin and the Chipmunks" fame — is that very entry, and it's almost unashamedly middle of the road about its intentions.