Archive for April 13th, 2011
I recently attended a reception honoring immigrant writers and scientists sponsored by the Vilcek Foundation. It was held on the 36th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel with stupendous views of Central Park. A good time was had by all.
A fellow guest, a literary translator and book critic, was sitting next to me at dinner. We were discussing films and novels, and she said, “It’s amazing how there has never been a great film of War and Peace.”
It was with great pleasure that I paused dramatically then uttered the word “Bondarchuk.” She blinked.
She mentioned the Audrey Hepburn version of War and Peace from 1957.
I said something to the effect that as an artist, I am very proud of what other artists like the director King Vidor and actor Henry Fonda did with that film (continue reading…)
The big banks are still mugging America. They do so because they can, and they can because they pour tens of millions of dollars into our Presidential and Congressional elections.
Their political contributions politically exempt them from our criminal laws and serious regulatory oversight. As William Grieder notes in The Nation, they are “too big to prosecute.” Since the financial crisis began more than three years ago, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, despite massive evidence of criminal fraud.
When the evidence of criminal activity is so overwhelming that the Justice Department must act, the Administrations of George W (continue reading…)
Fish are an essential component of life in the world’s oceans, with the state of their populations serving as a bellwether of the health of ocean life overall. Unfortunately, many species around the world are in trouble.
Pollution, habitat destruction and overfishing (removing fish from the ocean faster than they can reproduce) have impoverished our oceans. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported recently that nearly a third of the Earth’s fish populations are overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion.
All too often the discussion around the issue of overfishing has been limited to a small group of stakeholders such as fishermen, conservationists and scientists (continue reading…)
A string of high-profile blunders and trumped-up stings are endangering a key public and cultural institution.
National Public Radio is having a tough time. It’s being beaten up and knocked down, its good name dragged through the mud.
It hurts to watch stumble after bumble by executives of this smart radio network. (It’s still smart if you listen to it, but behind the scenes, oh my.)
It started with the Juan Williams affair. Mr (continue reading…)
As a Divorce Financial Strategist I am frequently asked, “Can I take money out of my 401K before/during my divorce?”
Or sometimes it is asked like this, “Can my spouse take money out of his/her 401K before or during our divorce?”
The short answer is, “It depends.”
Typically, the amount in a 401K plan that is accumulated during a marriage (and its appreciation, if any) is considered martial property. In Equitable Distribution states, this means that the amount in the account (along with all other assets and liabilities) should be divided according to what is “fair and equitable.” In Community Property states, 401K funds accumulated during the marriage are divided in accordance with that state’s laws (usually 50-50). For more information on Equitable Distribution and Community Property states, please see my previous HuffPost article.
However, a potential issue is that funds might be withdrawn by the account holder before or during the divorce (your spouse cannot take money out of your 401K and vice versa). If you are concerned that your spouse may try to take a loan or withdraw funds from his/her 401K, you can contact the plan’s sponsor and see if they will flag the account to prevent any loans or withdrawals without first notifying you (continue reading…)
The Republican budget is SO loony it’s even scaring the right-wing nuts! How often does THAT happen?
The Republicans are voting on their budget plan this week. The plan eliminates Medicare and guts Medicaid, guts the rest of the government (except the things their oil company and military-contractor sponsors make money from), while dramatically cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Reporters are asking Republicans to comment publicly on the plan and the responses are not what you’d expect. When reporters use “tread cautiously” to describe ANYthing Republicans do, you know something’s up.
LA Times: Boehner treads cautiously on Ryan plan,
Washington Post: Republican presidential candidates tread carefully GOP budget plan,
“Revamping” is reporter-speak for eliminating, privatizing, abolishing, doing away with.
Several, including former Minnesota Gov (continue reading…)
Part 5 is the final installment in an ongoing series about keeping your business assets safe in the event of divorce. Part 1 can be found here. Part 2 can be found here. Part 3 can be found here (continue reading…)
As a designer, I am inspired by the global cultural tapestry our planet offers. There are so many beautiful things to draw on as I look to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and here in the Americas. When I am not traveling, I always feel fortunate to live in New York City, where many of the world’s cultures are represented and evident. The world too is allured by the magnificence and unmatched hustle of the city (continue reading…)
Today, the President of the United States laid out his vision for restoring fiscal responsibility in a way that does not impede our fledgling recovery or violate the core inter-generational promises made during the American Century. Demos applauds the President’s leadership.
First, the positives. The President reaffirmed his commitment to the type of public investment that has made America great, such as education, infrastructure, and encouraging innovations in energy and science. He also recognized that we can no longer justify a defense budget that has contributed to 2 out of every 3 dollars in increased discretionary spending since 2001 (continue reading…)
As an actor living in New York City, even when I’m currently employed as a performer, I have to be looking ahead for the next project. Life is a job search in perpetuity.
This past January I discovered an ongoing audition held by Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of media titan Clear Channel Communications, that syndicates several notable radio programs. They were seeking actors to audition for roles on radio talk shows. The roles, however, were not characters in bits or sketches but rather that of random callers calling in to discuss whatever the topic of the moment was and to offer pertinent stories and opinions (continue reading…)
More than 120,000 Ivorians have fled – and continue to flee – into neighbouring Liberia.
In the past week alone, its estimated that more than nine thousand refugees arrived in the south-eastern Liberian coastal city of Harper, in Maryland county, after many villages were attacked.
This abandoned school building on the outskirts of the city is now home to more than 4,600 people. The site was designed as a temporary transit centre for 1,500 people – but is now bursting at the seams.
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
Zeta Jones, 41, made a decision to check into a “mental health facility” for a brief stay, said her publicist.
Michael Douglas, who was diagnosed last year, said in January his tumour had gone and he was beating the disease.
Last September, Zeta Jones said she was “furious” that doctors failed to detect the cancer earlier.
Bipolar, also known as manic depression, causes severe mood swings, that usually last several weeks or months (continue reading…)
Police have discovered 10 sets of human remains since December near a highway leading to Jones Beach State Park.
Helicopters and aircraft equipped with special cameras will reportedly be used in the hunt for further human remains.
The police search is being hampered by the density of the seaside brush.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said on Wednesday that federal investigators would supply both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft equipped with advanced cameras to search more than 15 miles (24km) of thick brush along Ocean Parkway, just east of the New York City border (continue reading…)
From the Ramos Gin Fizz to the Vieux Carr, some of the most enduring classic cocktails were created in America’s South, and that spirit of creativity lives on today with bartenders across the region dreaming up distinctive cocktails with uniquely southern twists. Here are five to try:
1 of 5
1 of 6
Three B’s make for grade-A sipping when bourbon, basil and balsamic come together in this cocktail from Atlanta’s H. Harper Station. Click here for the recipe.
Photo: Jeff Moore of Garnish Food Photography (continue reading…)
Although President Obama’s recent trip to Latin America did not spark as many headlines as one might have expected, the region once again came onto the US radar — and this time for the right reasons. As the president noted in his speeches, most Latin American countries have come a long way in the last 20 years, with many of them making a full transition to vibrant economies and democratic systems. Despite the great strides many countries have made, however, inequalities are still evident across the region. Nowhere is this more evident than in access to health care, with HIV and AIDS remaining a major public health issue (continue reading…)
In a forceful speech on long-term fiscal policy, President Obama offered his vision of America’s future, described how our fiscal situation deteriorated to the point that we must change course, and laid out his plan for reducing the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years through a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases. Acknowledging that most Americans do not understand the composition of federal spending, he began the task of public education by outlining how little of the public’s money actually goes to favorite whipping-boys such as foreign aid.
The president sharply criticized the plan Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) offered last week on behalf of the House Republican majority (continue reading…)
It’s like deja vu. I know I’ve written about this stuff before. More than once. Remember this one? “Long Haired Boys Who Like Pink”?
Fox News has once again sparked an insane and hate driven debate about gender identity and sexuality (continue reading…)
In 1913, railroad tycoon and tourism entrepreneur Louis W. Hill brought a group of 10 members of the Blackfoot Confederacy to New York City from their reservation on the border of Glacier National Park in Montana.
Hill was the founder of the Great Northern Railway, the northernmost transcontinental railroad and the only railroad to be privately funded rather than built with government land grants. He saw enormous tourism potential in the pristine landscapes of the Pacific Northwest and lobbied for the establishment of Glacier National Park, a place to which his railroads would deliver tourists (continue reading…)
Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
This Wednesday: 9 tips to quit nagging.
From what I hear from other people, it’s clear that I’m not the only person who struggles with nagging. It turns out that being a nag is just as unpleasant as being nagged — so finding strategies to stop nagging brings a real happiness boost to a relationship.
But even though no one enjoys an atmosphere of nagging, in marriage or any partnership, chores are a huge source of conflict. How do you get your sweetheart to hold up his or her end, without nagging?
One of my best friends from college has a very radical solution: she and her husband don’t assign. That’s right (continue reading…)
A pin drop could be heard as I attempted to tip-toe lightly into Donna Karan’s beautifully and dimly lit Urban Zen Foundation event space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District for The Million Women’s Heart Project Summit. Fashionably late, my entrance went quite unnoticed as the 200 plus women (and sprinkling of men) in attendance sat quietly transfixed on the dais which included guest speakers ABC’s Deborah Roberts, Ali Wentworth, Donna Karan, and Law & Orders’ S. Epatha Merkerson, to name a few. As I surveyed the room, it was clear these well heeled women were all present and seriously ready to take on their mission of getting one million women tested for heart disease.
The Million Women’s Heart Project has been created by Events of the Heart’s co-founders Pamela Serure and Carole Isenberg to address the current reality of heart disease as the number one health threat to women (continue reading…)
CAIRO — At a National Security Council meeting in 1959, President Eisenhower mused, “If you go and live with these Arabs, you will find that they simply cannot understand our ideas of freedom and human dignity. They have lived so long under dictatorships of one kind or another, how can we expect them to run successfully a free government?”
With the Egyptian military currently dispersing protesters with live ammunition, sentencing bloggers to prison time, and subjecting female protesters to “virginity tests” — all without significant protest from Washington — it’s difficult to tell how far American attitudes have evolved from this palpable low point. After all, the best the U.S. State Department could muster was an observation that Egypt is experiencing a “rocky time,” and that the U.S (continue reading…)
There is no doubt that 3D movies are here to stay. The people who do such things came to CinemaCon, the annual gathering of that National Association of Theater Owners, attended by exhibitors, studios and manufacturers of movie going accoutrements from seats to snacks, to tell those in attendance what others changes are being brought by 3D.
For example, back in the day, 3D movies were projected on any old screen that happened to be hanging in the theater. Now, however, screens are specialized for exhibiting digital and 3D film.
Harkness Screens, based in the UK, has been manufacturing movie screens since 1929. Now, company representatives say their technology is moving at a rapid pace to simplify projection — less color correction as the projector is being set up — and improve the viewer’s experience (continue reading…)
The first shots of the American Civil War were fired 150 years ago today from Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and the two-day bombardment ended in the surrender of the fort to Confederate General Beauregard. There were no casualties in this initial engagement, but in the following four years at least 618,000 died. It remains the bloodiest war in United States history.
This 1863 photograph shows a group of unidentified soldiers and women atop Lookout Mountain, on the Tennessee-Georgia border. Now, Lookout Mountain is known for the garden gnome-filled roadside attractions Rock City and Ruby Falls, and if this group was standing there today, they might be straining to “See Seven States!” as the plaques boast (continue reading…)
The plane, carrying at least three people, landed safely at Reno-Tahoe International Airport, after failing to rouse the controller.
The employee has been suspended while Wednesday's incident is investigated.
The news comes amid a series of similar incidents in the US this year.
The Piper Cheyenne plane, which landed at 0200 local time (1900GMT) on Wednesday, had reportedly made several unsuccessful attempts to contact the sleeping controller before landing (continue reading…)