In response to the congressional hearings being held by
Archive for March 11th, 2011
As if the advent of Net-A-Porter wasn’t boon enough to fashion lovers, its offshoot, The Outnet, has brought a whole other level of good cheer to online shoppers. Namely, you can get that same roster of well-edited designers from Net-A-Porter at steeply discounted prices on The Outnet. At the helm of The Outnet is Stephanie Phair, a Conde Nast and online retail veteran with an instinct for creating buzz online.
The Outnet’s roster of designers is impressive, discount or not. “Azzedine Alaia, Balmain and Marni are popular because they are so hard to find at a discount,” Phair told Nandini D’Souza, a regular contributor to The Inside Source, eBay’s digital style
The new CG 3D animated film Mars Needs Moms is based on a children’s book by Berkeley Breathed, who some of you may know as the creator of the beloved Bloom County comic strip (to read an article by Breathed about the origins of Mars Needs Moms and what it’s like to see his “story baby” turned into a mega-budget Disney movie, go here). Unfortunately, one of the producers of Mars Needs Moms is Robert Zemeckis, whose previous work includes making a highly profitable mess out of the beloved children’s book The Polar Express, which used nascent performance capture technology and bloated an elegant story to feature length with noisy, pointless action.
Sadly, Mars Needs Moms suffers from the same flaws. But the film does make some interesting observations about parenting here on
Public education in Los Angeles is teetering on a financial precipice. Our leaders in Sacramento should choose to let voters determine the outcome on the June ballot.
The choice: encourage the tremendous promise of our teachers and schools — accelerating student achievement, reform-driven innovation, a culture of accountability, and classrooms equipped to prepare our youngsters for college and, or career. Or, saddle the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) with a $408 million budget deficit resulting in the layoff of more than 5,000 teachers, impossible counselor ratios of 1,000 students to one, eviscerated support services, and overflowing classrooms housing too many children but preparing far too few.
The future of more than 671,648 K-12 students is dangling over that precipice.
We write today because our students need their state representatives to give voters the opportunity to support their academic successes.
If state legislators agree, in June you will have the chance to vote to extend temporary tax increases that would otherwise
Zenyatta is having a baby. Fifteen days after her last trip to the breeding shed with her consort, Bernardini, racing icon and Eclipse Horse of the Year Zenyatta is in foal.
Zenyatta’s pregnancy was announced via her diary on her Zenyatta blog. Ascertained in foal through a transrectal uterine ultrasound, the fifteen day check-up showed a strong embryo. With her last reported date of cover (mating) as Febrary 23, 2010, she can be expected to foal on or around February 1,
Ravioli Gwen Stefani… this ravioli is bananas… B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
To the outsider, Anaheim is known for Angels and mouse ears. But, after a recent visit to Disney country, I found another thing the California city should be regularly associated with (it probably already is, but I
Do the reckless anti-union machinations by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker make him the Charlie Sheen of politics?
If only celebrated actor Martin Sheen received the same media exposure as his troubled son Charlie. Never has his long-time work for union rights been more needed in the public and media arenas.
Five months before the statehouse crisis in Madison, Wisconsin awakened our nation to the enduring legacy of union rights, the elder Sheen was walking the picket line with Fairmont Royal York Hotel workers during the Toronto Film Festival.
Invoking his own union membership, Martin Sheen told the hotel workers striking for better contracts and collective bargaining rights to “stick to it like a stamp.”
Appearing in Toronto last fall for the premiere of “The Way,” his son Emilio Estevez’s new film on a father-son journey for redemption along the famed Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in northern Spain, Martin Sheen reminded the world of his extraordinary commitment to unions, human rights and a sense of humanity in his younger son Charlie’s downward spiral.
“All of us are hungry for some kind of transcendence these days,” Sheen told a theatre critic, “just as part of our
Vivian Schiller, the President of National Public Radio, has been fired, finally, by her long compliant board. Schiller was in over her head and she kept making big mistakes just as the new conservative Republican group in the US House of Representatives was trying to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The CPB supports a small part of the budgets of public broadcasters (many of which have no affiliation with NPR whatsoever). By her actions, Schiller actually helped the conservatives who are trying to do in NPR.
We certainly know why they are after NPR and
Life is too damn complicated these days. It’s an endless round of information and opportunity. We have to face facts: We’re going to miss out on something occasionally, and if we don’t, we’re going to implode even more dramatically than we already are.
I know people who schedule every waking moment of every single day. They schedule phone
Yes, I’m glad I switched from my BlackBerry Curve to the iPhone 3GS. No, I’m not switching back.
But amid the hosannahs and salaaming that always accompany this particular device, it’s time someone finally spoke up about its deficiencies.
So here are three things I hate about my iPhone:
It vaporizes emails I have written that are waiting to be sent. Yesterday afternoon, while I flew east from Arizona to New York in seat 32B, I did everything right. I shut down everything on the phone that could possibly drain extra battery juice, and I dimmed the screen so completely that I could barely see
If you’ve watched the opening scenes of Slumdog Millionaire, you’ve seen Dharavi, a teeming slum of nearly a million people in the heart of Mumbai. I’m just back from India, including a visit to Dharavi. And, let me assure you, the film was shot on location.
Walking into the slum from Mahim Link Road, poverty slaps you in the face. Ramshackle buildings made of a mlange of found materials and corrugated tin line unpaved
I am calling for a non-violent revolution. A call to arms, without weapons.
On Tuesday the 8th of March, I joined Annie Lennox, Cheri Lunghi, Jude Kelly, Natasha Walter and hundreds of women on a march along London’s Southbank to celebrate 100 years of International Women’s Day (IWD).
It was encouraging to see so many women come together, but we should have been thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions perhaps? The first march in 1911 saw over a million women and men campaign to end discrimination against women and to demand equal rights.
Are we so complacent that we feel we do not need to demand gender equality? Many women are convinced there is equality between men and women. The fact however is that the US has never had a female president and, in the UK there has been just one female prime minister out of 52 male
This morning my dear friend Marianne Williamson asked me what I thought we could be doing in order to respond to what’s going on in Wisconsin.
The first thing that came to my mind was, “Friend a teacher.” Why not go onto Facebook, look for a teacher in Wisconsin and friend him or her? Reach out to them in solidarity and say, “You are not alone. We will not allow some three-month governor to blame years of poor budget choices on YOU, and try to balance the budget on your salary. We respect your right to collectively bargain and will not sit idly by while that precious right is stolen from you. What you do is far more valuable to this society than what many politicians do.”
And then it occurred to me — this isn’t just about
The covers record has long been a favorite of musicians, a chance to update, re-imagine or pay homage to songs of old. London’s new Remastered exhibition is applying that same format to art. Housed in One Marylebone, a monumental 18th Century church, Remastered explores the relationship between art and technology by taking some of the most famous pieces from history and reinterpreting them for a modern audience.
The exhibition is a collaboration between London art collective jotta and Intel, as part of its Visual Life campaign. At its heart is the desire to show that the click of a mouse or the push of a button can be just as expressive as the stroke of a
Last year I got married, and my life changed in innumerable, positive ways. Among the many changes accompanying the evaporation of my bachelorhood, one in particular stands out: I now watch “American Idol.”
Well, that one stands out to me, anyway. Until this season, I’d never viewed a minute of the show, nor did I have any idea which pop singers it had spawned. But the new
At the beginning of a new century, a young president faced a financial crisis that threatened to cripple his nation. The New York Stock Exchange lost half of its value, while unemployment doubled. The president was simultaneously accused of socialism and “financial negligence” from opposing political corners.
President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt had his hands full with the Panic of
I don’t remember exactly when TV shows started to depict computers as part of everyday life. The series My So-Called Life ran from 1994 to 1995, and although it centered around a fifteen-year-old, there were no computers. I saw an episode not long ago, and their absence was startling. Look! Angela Chase talks on a telephone that has a
“Are you seeing anyone?”
My absolute least favorite question and yet often the first one women ask each other whether running into each other during blizzards on Madison Avenue or sweating on bikes at spin classes. In fact, even if it’s not the first question, truthfully it’s the only one women from 40 on up want to ask and it’s a loaded one.
If you’re actually dating someone you get an “oh that’s so nice” response said with a forced smile. And if you’re not dating anyone, you end up in a boiler plate boring conversation about the lack of appropriate middle aged men in New
So, I went to the Prudential Center in Newark to see the Nets play the Golden State Warriors last night. I think it was as nice of a live professional sports experience as I’ve been to in years. Please don’t stop reading.
I know. I was watching two teams with losing records; one with no shot and one with almost no shot of a postseason, as we head into the 66th game of a long 82 game
A Widow’s Story is called a memoir, but the word seems too slight for the grandeur of what Joyce Carol Oates does in this work of startling intimacy, humanity, humility, and wisdom — “Wisdom one might do without,” she says, “if wisdom springs from terrible loss.”
Working from the diaries she wrote at night when she couldn’t sleep, she tracks, with breathless immediacy, the six months from the morning of her husband’s first signs of illness to his unexpected death days later, and the devastating six months that followed, when she became a victim of what she calls “the derangement of widowhood.”
Raymond Smith’s death, after 47 years of marriage — Oates was 22 when she met and married him, and took his last name — cast his wife in a role she’d never known except through her fiction: a woman whose feelings were out of control, off the rails. Even though she continued to teach and make public appearances, for the first time in her life, at age 70, Joyce Smith was beside herself, unhinged, unmoored, what many endure in times of upheaval, illness, or hardship, devastation she had been spared until late in life.
Ray Smith had been Oates’ first love. (She adopted her maiden name when she began to publish.) Their marriage was placid, loving, childless, intellectually compatible, and financially stable. Her personal life, she says, was “as measured and decorous as Laura Ashley wallpaper.” Elsewhere: “Though I may have had, since adolescence, a kind of intellectual/literary precocity, I had not experienced much; nor would I experience much until I was well into middle-age — the illnesses and deaths of my parents, this unexpected death of my husband.”
Now, like a character she might have invented, she is consumed with grief, anger, confusion, terror, insomnia, loneliness, self-loathing, and frequent thoughts of
If you think chaos in Libya is the only force driving up gasoline and heating oil prices these days, think again. Over the past few decades, institutional investors like hedge funds and investment banks have flooded oil markets with hundreds of billions of dollars. That massive influx of money has gradually but steadily destabilized markets and inflated prices for petroleum products far beyond their real values (as determined by supply and demand). As the story unfolded, oil trader Dan Dicker had a front row seat: the floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), where he worked as an oil trader for 25
Rather than race to the bottom, where no one has rights, why shouldn’t we work together to ensure that everyone does?
In the midst of an economic crisis that has shaken the foundations of our society, creating massive unemployment that’s unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, hundreds of thousands of public-sector workers are battling proposals to cut more jobs; restrict or destroy collective bargaining rights; revoke “prevailing wage” laws; terminate union negotiated contracts; remove required binding arbitration; and prevent unions from collecting dues from their members.
These attacks come with a sharp, racist edge — targeting a sector where more than 1 in 5 black workers are employed.
The Excluded Workers Congress represents nine sectors of the U.S. workforce, including domestic workers, farm workers, taxi drivers, restaurant workers, day laborers, guestworkers, workers from Southern right-to-work states, workfare workers, and formerly incarcerated workers. We know very well what life is like without a union contract.
In some southern states like Virginia and North Carolina, collective bargaining is already banned outright for public sector workers. Farm work, one of the most dangerous occupations in the US in terms of workplace injuries and exposure to toxins, is legally excluded from OSHA, among other
TGIF everyone, here’s my Top 5 for March 11, 2011 from Len Berman at ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The NFL labor deadline is today at 5pm. Both sides took shots at each other yesterday. Way to engender sympathy from the fans, guys.
* The Heat win, the Heat
An editorial on March 7 in The New York Times, titled “Fairness in Firing Teachers,” has me wondering whether the Times editors understand much about how teachers — in New York City and elsewhere — are evaluated. The editorial makes some stunning statements that simply don’t comport with reality.
First, there’s this: “Most reasonable people would agree that, when layoffs become necessary, teachers should be let go through objective evaluations of how well they improve student performance, and not merely on the basis of seniority. The problem throughout most of the country is that evaluation systems are not in place. In New York City, only about 12,000 of 80,000 teachers have been evaluated, based on their students’ grades on standardized tests.”
This, the opening paragraph of the editorial, is factually