Archive for February 3rd, 2011
Los Angeles Philharmonic Association Chair David Bohnett and President Deborah Borda today announced the extension of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel’s contract through the 2018/19 centennial season of the orchestra. His original contract as Music Director commenced in the 2009/10 season for a 5-year term. Dudamel announced his continuing commitment to the musicians following their second concert in Budapest on the orchestra’s current 7-city tour of Europe.
David Bohnett commented, “We are thrilled with Gustavo’s decision to remain at the LA Phil through our centennial season (continue reading…)
For Part I of this post, about the
Departing notably from the feel-good or angst-ridden teen flicks characteristic of the American indie arena, the teens in 2011 take accountability for themselves, learning how to be outsiders and make a world of their own on the margins of society.
What better opening night film for Sundance 2011 than Pariah, a steadily crafted first feature film from Dee Rees who returns to the festival following her award-winning short film by the same name. Pariah delves into the split worlds of Alike (played by the luminescent Adepero Oduye), a shy young African-American Brooklyn teenager navigating the straits of a conservative family life and a hyper-sexualized lesbian club culture, with the tender loving care of her best friend Laura (wholly inhabited by Pernell Walker), a young butch reviled by her parents. This coming-of-age story is about more than simply arriving into adulthood – it is about having the courage to recognize your worth no matter how much of a pariah they – family and society, alike – try to make of you (continue reading…)
Wikipedia describes Stendhal’s syndrome (or hyperkulturemia) as:
The syndrome is named after the 19th century French author Stendhal (pseudonym of Henri-Marie Beyle), who described his experience with the phenomenon during his 1817 visit to Florence in his book Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio.
Stendhal recounted: “On leaving the Santa Croce church, I felt a pulsating in my heart. Life was draining out of me, while I walked fearing a fall.”
It wasn’t until more recent times that a Florentine psychiatrist, Dr. Graziella Magherina, labeled the phenomenon “Stendhal’s Syndrome” having treated many patients with similar symptoms. Magherini wrote a book on the subject, La Sindrome di Stendhal, where she looks at over a hundred case studies.
While I don’t know if it would qualify as Stendhal’s Syndrome, I did burst out crying in front of a painting years ago, at LACMA here in Los Angeles (that just doesn’t have the same ring to it as the Uffizi in Firenze) (continue reading…)
Last week we drove an Airstream trailer from Austin, Texas to Park City, Utah for Sundance. Our three-day journey left us worn out and desperately in need of a shower. This is Part Two of our road trip story.
With the Airstream unhitched from our bright red Chevy Silverado, we stay in a rental home two blocks from Main Street and a couple hundred yards from Park City Mountain’s Town Lift. We can practically ski to our front door (continue reading…)
So I was walking the dogs with my friend Kerry, and truly out of the blue, because she doesn’t even follow the celebrity stuff like I do, she says, “How come Lindsay Lohan and Britney are drunken bimbos but with Charlie Sheen it’s boys will be boys?”
With Lindsay out of rehab but back in trouble and Charlie, back in rehab, sorta, and still in trouble, I decided to ask around.
Bob Thompson is Director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University:
“Yes it’s a double standard,” he says, “Charlie Sheen is from the silent film era — he’s a rounder, he gets drunk and stumbles — Chaplin played this character. This idea of the dissolute, drunken and fun-loving guy who always manages to get caught — just out there sowing wild oats — and he plays that character to great effect on his show.”
In other words, he says, “What we hear confirms how we see him on his show — there’s a lack of dissonance that makes people just not that outraged, unlike, when Michael Richards (aka Kramer) went on that racist rant — I was never able to watch him on Seinfeld again but if I turn on Two and a Half Men it’s just like a scripted form of TMZ from the night before!”
Rationally, he says, “We should be more sympathetic to a Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan, only because we can say Charlie’s a grownup and should know better, but it just isn’t so. We’ve watched these young women grow up, there is this “child star gone bad” element, and Lindsay has been quite contentious, said and done things that invite the desire to see her knocked down a few pegs.”
Dr. Carole Leiberman is a Beverly Hills psychiatrist and author of Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them and How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets (continue reading…)
Fans of Bravo’s Top Chef know: the women keep losing.
Each season starts off with a roughly equal number of male and female contestants. All have been through the same rigorous selection process. Yet as the competition goes on, the women simply don’t perform as well as the men (continue reading…)
With the push for reform of the patent system in the United States, news regarding a unified patent system for the European Union garners a mixed response from those concerned with intellectual property protections.
The advantages are obvious: navigating through the diverse milieu of countries to obtain patent protection is currently overwhelming. A unified system would serve to streamline this process, making it easier perhaps for European, as well as foreign inventors, to utilize the system.
The “European Union Patent” would provide for a unified system of protection for any country with a single application. Currently, the proposal is being discussed by members of the European Union and the European Parliament. This patent unification is part of the EU Innovation Union effort, with the goal of positioning the Union to compete with other global powerhouses where systems of intellectual property protection have proven economically fruitful, including the United States (continue reading…)
Known for his debonair good looks, oratory skills and charismatic persona, one of the 20th century’s most memorable presidents — John F. Kennedy — left a legacy that continues to enjoy the spotlight. To this day, Kennedy and his wife, “Jackie O”, optimize for many the essence of power, beauty and sophistication.
As president during some of the most tumultuous years of the 1960′s civil rights movement, led in large part by Dr (continue reading…)
Our knowledge of foreign cultures is most often obtained through the media we consume, outside of actual travel. Given the abysmal amount of Americans who even own passports (30%), we predominantly rely on the Internet, cable shows and newspapers. While the possibility of exploring innumerable forms of media now exists, old habits die hard (or not at all). We tend to gravitate towards the channels and blogs that best express what we want it to, very often at the expense of fact (continue reading…)
Contrary to what we were led to believe — that the U.S.-backed and U.S.-financed Egyptian military would protect the right to peaceful protest — on Wednesday in Cairo the Egyptian military permitted “Mubarak supporters” — who, according to press reports, were clearly organized by the government, and many of whom were police or other government employees — to physically attack peaceful anti-government protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
The lead paragraph of the main New York Times article summarized what happened:
Crucially, the U.S.-backed and U.S.-financed Egyptian military did not block the violence. The chronology on the Guardian’s liveblog from Wednesday shows that the first report of government complicity in the violence at Tahrir Square came almost immediately:
Is the word “pogrom” appropriate to describe what happened yesterday in Cairo? There wasn’t a significant ethnic component to the attack (although, the Guardian reported, “One pro-Mubarak supporter yelled ‘liars and Jews’ at journalists.”). The scale of destruction wasn’t anything like the most notorious pogroms of the late Tsarist period, although the word “pogrom” came into use in Tsarist Russia much earlier and originally described attacks in which few if any people were killed.
But there was a classic feature of pogroms in Tsarist Russia, which matches what happened yesterday in Cairo, and which wasn’t captured by misleading headlines, that talked about “clashes between Mubarak supporters and anti-government protesters”: complicity of authorities responsible for security with a premeditated attack by an armed mob against people who were not armed.
The Jewish Encyclopedia notes:
Soon after Alexander III (continue reading…)
The ‘GNR’ is also now available on your cell phone via Stitcher Radio’s mobile app!.
IN TODAY’S RADIO REPORT: Midwest digs out and Australia dries out — just two of this week’s ‘Storms of the Century’; Oh, look! Glenn Beck misrepresents climate science (again)!; GOP’s solution to Egypt’s unrest: more offshore drilling! … PLUS: Obama talks sexy, sexy energy efficiency … All that and more in today’s Green News Report!
Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
“In Germany, Prussia must make moral conquests through legislation.”
– Wilhelm I, Speech to the Cabinet (1858)
It’s important to get going on legislation early in a session of Congress since there’s so little time for people to work. January has 21 days in which Congress could work if it chose, but members of the House of Representatives were in session for only 11 of those days. The days they were not in session they were off doing important things like not being in Washington. Representative Joe Walsh, a newly-elected Republican Congressman from Illinois explained it well when discussing why he sleeps in his office saying: “I think it’s important that we show we don’t live here, we are not creatures of this town.. (continue reading…)
It seems almost fitting that Ben Vereen’s performance debut at New York’s The Town Hall is taking place as lawmakers in Washington are debating the issue of federally funded arts programs. The stage veteran isn’t just known for his legendary performances, but also a continuing effort to raise awareness for arts education, which matches the historic venue’s original purpose — The Town Hall started off as a place for public debate and was built by the suffragettes.
“It’s perfect for me, isn’t it?” Vereen said after I gave him a brief history on the venue. While his performance on February 18 might not be filled with political rhetoric — he’s celebrating the release of a new CD, Stepping Out with Ben Vereen — the state of the arts remains a topic of conversation for the performer. “Some people just don’t seem to value art,” he said (continue reading…)
As it has now turned out, Zahi Hawass is in Mubarak’s new Cabinet as Minister for Cultural Affairs or some such thing. He reported to the press how the antiquities in the Cairo Museum were saved and how he told the beduin who stole some objects being stored in Sinai to return these items or else; and they did.
Everyone knows Zahi Hawass. Even if he is a little bit of a headline grabber and an egotist, everyone knows he is a stern taskmaster and fair. He has a worldwide reputation and thinks Mubarak should be allowed to finish out his term in a dignified manner.
In the meantime, he could handle the transition and he would do it with aplomb, insight, and intelligence (continue reading…)
It has been a year since we decided to walk away from our mortgage on a condominium that was both underwater financially in value and losing value as the months passed, but also was saddled with the additional burden of a construction defect lawsuit that was dragging itself through court at a snail’s pace.
I took a few weeks to think about my reply to HuffPost reporter Ryan Grim’s email of how things went for us. I have a lot of mixed emotions on this experience and how it has left a mark on me and my way of thinking about finance, government, and my trust in accepting what is presented to me as fact with regard to money and debt and consumer responsibility.
Our foreclosure went fairly quickly, thankfully, and it was eight months between the last payment we made, December 2009, and the auction date of August 27, 2010.
The hard facts: We stopped paying our mortgage in December 2009 and the foreclosure went through in August 2010. We lived in a condominium so we continued to pay our monthly dues and our property taxes. We checked our credit score this January 2011 and the score had gone from the 700′s to 615.
During the time we were in foreclosure we received twice weekly phone calls from Chase — none of which did I answer (continue reading…)
Two new federal government reports — neither of which got a lot of press — suggest continuing trouble in the housing market, meaning continuing trouble for the economy. And, in a pattern we’ve seen so often that it’s ceased to be surprising, communities of color are faring the worst.
According to U.S. Census data released this week, homeownership rates have dropped to their lowest level since 1998. Homeownership rates for Hispanics and African Americans have dropped nearly twice as much as for whites (2010 data for Asian Americans and Native Americans have not yet been reported).
The census report was released almost simultaneously with a White House release of data from the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) showing that only 472,619 homeowners have received permanent loan modifications in the past year.
These two reports neatly summarize a dangerous trend (continue reading…)
This article was co-authored with Dr. Morad Abou-Sabe, President of the Arab American League of Voters of New Jersey.
Dear President Obama,
The US bears an enormous responsibility for the ongoing crisis in Egypt as violence escalates. Unfortunately the delay of a formal response from the White House to the political strife that began January 25, combined with ambiguity in your speech on the evening of February 1 has done little to quell the unrest of the crowds of hundreds of thousands of Egyptian citizens awaiting a clear path forward.
Mr (continue reading…)
Next steps: Information gathering and making a plan.
The Husband and I are planners. Good planners.
After a weekend of diagnosis digestion, we set up a series of meetings with doctors in Santa Barbara: oncology, plastic surgery, radiation oncology and my surgeon. (I say “my surgeon” because she did the biopsies and made the diagnosis.)
The result of these meetings were pages and pages of notes, about 38 in total (yes, seriously), all full of various opinions and dizzying strategies.
Because we still had a lot of shock in our systems, I brought my laptop with me so that I could document (nearly) every word. This documentation helped my husband and I further our digestion process (continue reading…)
What is interesting about the tsunami of change sweeping through the Middle East this past month is that the “dumb, undeserving-of-democracy” Arab masses have turned out to be magnificently saavy, efficient , focused and determined in flipping over longstanding dictatorships.
And it turns out they are polite too. Arab populations from North Africa, the Levant and the Persian Gulf have now, quite organically it seems, devised a wait-your-turn system for overthrowing the Middle East’s iron-fisted leaders.
Opposition groups and ordinary citizens have come to the streets in Yemen, Jordan, Palestine, Bahrain and Algeria recently to air their grievances and demand change. But they are not going full throttle quite yet.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
As a minister I never know when a call might come. I received a call in February 2010 from a leader of the gay community of Uganda, “Come to Africa. … I need your help.” It said, “I know my land is far away and I know our troubles must seem quite removed, but is it not true that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere?’ Is it not true that ‘we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny? Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’ Isn’t that true?” It said, “I’m about to take the boldest step of my life to be treated as fully human and as someone who is beloved by God (continue reading…)
I believe that Tom DeLay is a sleazebag. Tom Campbell believes that Tom DeLay “is not a bad man.” But hey, I am a nobody and Campbell is a famous Texas lawyer who was general counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the George H.W. Bush administration.
However, what a nobody and what a famous lawyer think of Tom DeLay — whether he is a sleazebag or “not a bad man” — has nothing to do with what a jury in Texas thought two months ago when they found DeLay guilty on charges of conspiracy and money laundering or with what a Texas Judge thought when he sentenced DeLay to three years in prison on the conspiracy charge and to 10 years probation on the money laundering charge.
In last week’s Washington Post, Campbell pleads with President Obama and Texas Governor Rick Perry to pardon Tom DeLay.
Campbell points out that DeLay “has been punished enough,” that he should “be allowed to retire to private life with what he has left.”
Yours truly is probably one the most compassionate, forgiving men around — after all, some call me a bleeding-heart Liberal (continue reading…)
As I was about to head off to Kansas City for vacation, I realized something about my approach to traveling — or any situation, really: I’m going to try to treat myself like a toddler.
I remember reading somewhere that writer Anne Lamott thinks about herself in the third person, to take better care of herself: “I’m sorry, Anne Lamott can’t accept that invitation to speak; she’s finishing a book so needs to keep her schedule clear.”
Similarly, I’m going to imagine how I’d view myself as a toddler. “Gretchen gets cranky when she’s over-tired. We really need to stick to the usual bedtimes.” “Gretchen gets frantic when she’s really hungry, so she can’t wait too long for dinner.” “Gretchen needs some quiet time each day.” “Gretchen really feels the cold, so we can’t be outside for too long.”
The fact is, if you’re dealing with a toddler, you have to plan. You have to think ahead about eating, sleeping, proper winter clothes, necessary equipment, a limit on sweets, etc (continue reading…)
Looking to get healthier, lose weight and feel better, but you don’t know where to start?
As New York Times bestselling author Kathy Freston demonstrated on Oprah this week, it need not be a daunting task! Kathy helped Oprah and 378 Harpo staffers “go vegan” for a week, and it was a success story for many at the studio. I love Kathy’s approach to trying a vegan diet: She suggests leaning into trying to make positive changes. Try a Meatless Monday or commit to a couple of vegetarian/vegan meals per week, for starters.
You can start this weekend with my delicious vegan version of a Super Bowl favorite: “Meg’s Best Vegan Chili.” If you have diehard meat-eaters in the family, it’s not a problem — add cooked beef to their portions! I agree that leaning in is what it’s all about:
Consider serving my Best Vegan Chili over cornbread, polenta or brown rice, with a leafy green or side of other fresh vegetables.
Meg’s Best Began Chili
2 cups kidney beans, soaked overnight, then drained
Optional: 1-inch piece kombu (a sea vegetable that aids in digestion of beans and adds minerals)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 of 10-ounce package organic frozen corn (or fresh!)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup salsa
Optional: 1 cup chopped seitan (a yummy wheat-gluten product)
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley for garnish
Put beans in a soup pot with enough fresh spring or filtered water to cover. Add kombu (no kombu, no problem!) (continue reading…)