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This is part of our monthly series ‘Mission: Accepted,’ in partnership with Minds Matter, which chronicles the lives of three students as they apply for college in their senior year.
“So tell me, why the University of Chicago?” My interviewer, an alumni of the school, asked me toward the end of our conversation. My answer to the million-dollar question: “U Chicago prides itself on its academics, but from what I’ve heard from the students, they seem to balance school and social life well, making time for campus activities like the scavenger hunt and the annual Zombie vs. Human game. This is exactly what I’ve done over the past four years in high school: balanced schoolwork with activities with friends and
Note: The following contains spoilers if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 16 of ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” entitled, “Let the Water Hold Me Down.”
Something happened on this episode of “Pretty Little Liars” that has never happened before: Spencer was the most ordinarily dressed of our favorite quartet of blackmailed high schoolers. Rapture tomorrow?
No, but really, that may have been the most shocking element of the latest episode of the second season (besides the worms, which was really just shockingly gross, which we’ll get to). It was an incredibly disappointing episode, but luckily, my mom returned to offer her not-at-all disappointing commentary. So here we go
As we all know, there’s a lot people don’t tell you about having kids. We do hear about how hard it is, all of the challenges, the lack of sleep, the tantrums of toddlerhood, the angst of the teenage years, yada, yada, yada.
But nobody, absolutely nobody, ever tells you this: parenting can be truly gross.
I’m not talking about the normal diaper stuff. I’m talking about bodily discharge in motion, vaguely cannibalistic activities, and microscopic familiarity with our kiddies’
Note: The following contains spoilers if you have not seen Season 5, Episode 11 of The CW’s “Gossip Girl,” entitled, “The End of the Affair.”
“Gossip Girl” can usually be relied upon for frothy frivolity and devious scheming, but the only thing that really elicited an “OMG” from me this week was the writing — and not in a good way.
The midseason finale once again left us with a car crash and a beloved character in critical condition, but I’m fairly sure that none of us were really sweating Chuck’s chances of survival over winter hiatus, were we? What the accident was really designed for, of course, was the convenient loss of Blair and Louis’ baby before the wedding.
It’s depressing that something as serious and emotionally devastating as a miscarriage can be used as such a throwaway plot device, but sadly, it’s been a foregone conclusion ever since Blair’s ill-advised pregnancy storyline was introduced. I’m disappointed (but not at all surprised) that the writers didn’t utilize the opportunity to tell a much more compelling and poignant story about a young woman dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, with the man she loves stepping up to the plate to help her figure out how to raise it, despite the fact that the baby isn’t
In the late 1960s, the daredevil Evel Kneivel lobbied the United States Government to jump over the Grand Canyon on his motorcycle. Believe it or not, jumping over the Grand Canyon has now become the second-craziest idea ever proposed about our nation’s most iconic natural feature.
That is because the Republican plan to give away land around the Grand Canyon to Russian uranium mining interests is the first.
In an effort to solidify their standing as the worst environmental Congress in history, House Republicans have proposed the unthinkable – allowing a permanent uranium mining zone around the Grand Canyon. Something Congress has never done.
The attacks began last summer, in House and Senate legislation as well as hearings (here & here) before the House Natural Resources Committee.
Adding insult to injury, one of the largest uranium mines that Republicans want to open is owned in part by Russia’s nuclear energy
My best friend’s little brother would have turned 28 today. He died in a car accident nearly ten years ago. I had seen him an hour earlier–sweaty from soccer practice, with his bright eyes and gangly body and earnest smile. And then he was gone.
A year later, I sat with my mother-in-law as she died from liver
Groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable say they speak for the country’s business interests.
When it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline, they most definitely do not.
In his “State of American Business speech,” U.S. Chamber president Tom Donohue once again trotted out his fantasy claims about the importance to our economy of this foreign pipeline scheme.
CLURMAN THEATRE ON THEATRE ROW
One of the cleverest dance numbers in film history is Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling in Royal Wedding. It’s a simple effect, really. They rotated the entire set slowly so it looks like Astaire is dancing on the walls and then hanging upside down from the ceiling. As a visual expression of someone in love, few moments are
When Mitt Romney offered a struggling campaign volunteer all of the money he had on him to help her with an electric bill, the moment stood in stark contrast to the man who dismissed those who have the audacity to raise the issue of economic inequality as champions of class warfare fueled by “envy.” I know there are plenty of cynics who consider the moment the height of campaign trail performance art-cum-pandering. (After all, the incident likely did more to humanize him than millions of dollars worth of campaign ads.)
Call me a sucker, but I consider the moment sincere yet sad. Not just sad for the woman in need but for Romney himself. See I believe that Romney was sincere in his sympathy for the woman’s situation, and in his desire to help
During my high school years up in Michigan, George W. Romney was our governor. The man who told his son Mitt not to run for public office as long as he had to worry about a mortgage also presided over the booming economy brought about as the result of auto manufacturing. Michigan in the 60s was often at the economic and cultural center of the
It’s hard to believe that there have been twenty-two, yes TWENTY-TWO (22) Republican presidential debates already and at least another 10 on the horizon before there is finally just one candidate to face off against President Obama in the 2012 general election.
Due to supply (lots) and demand (none) for these debates, the value of this traditional form of political conversation has diminished similar to the College Bowl Series. This year there were so many sponsor named bowls that it seemed that there was a couple every day for three weeks.
This got me thinking. If Republicans would have less debates, but made them more gimmicky and fun for America to watch, we’d all actually pay attention.
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In Christmas 2010, I took my three daughters — Cara, Mariah and Michaela — to Ecuador’s Amazon to take part in a “Toxi-tour” and stand witness to what could be the worst environmental disaster on the planet. This is the awful mess that Chevron left behind at the headwaters of the Amazon after drilling for oil for almost three decades on the ancestral lands of five indigenous groups. Chevron, via the Texaco brand, dumped billions of gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon waterways that local inhabitants used for drinking water. Several independent health evaluations show that cancer rates in the area have
“…When God in his jealousy sends fear or storm from heaven, and they perish in a way unworthy of them. For God allows no one to have high thoughts but Himself.” Herodotus
The first time I became fully aware of the grandiosity of the firmament above was as a teenager, on a trip to New Mexico with my dad. Coming home from dinner to our ruggedly charming rented bungalow just outside of Santa Fe, I casually looked up, probably to avoid my father’s latest lecture. The explosion of tiny bright flecks I witnessed and the grandiosity of those countless stars in the sky overwhelmed me, so much so that I had to lie down to fully
As we approach budget time we can look forward to another burst of hand wringing by the Washington elites, who will once again tell us about the need to cut Social Security and Medicare. News stories and opinion columns will be filled with solemn pronouncements about how these programs must be curtailed before they drive the nation to bankruptcy.
We can look forward to that famously deceptive graph showing how the cost of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are projected to soar as a share of the economy over the next two or three decades. Those with good eyes will notice that it is the cost of Medicare and Medicaid that are soaring, not Social
Current TV hasn’t had much of a presence at the twice-yearly Television Critics Association gatherings since its initial presentation near the time of its launch at the Summer 2005 tour. That changed Friday with a panel featuring former Vice President and Current TV Chairman and Co-Founder Al Gore; Current TV President David Bohrman; former two-term governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm (host of the upcoming nightly talk show The War Room with Jennifer Granholm), and combustible Web and TV talk personality Cenk Uygur, who is bringing a version of his daily Internet talk show The Young Turks to Current. Thanks primarily to Gore and Uygur, this session came alive like no other at this tour since the CBS panel for 2 Broke Girls earlier last week.
The thrust of the session was to make clear that Current isn’t what it was at the time of its launch — a laid-back platform for user-generated videos exploring all aspects of our domestic and global societies. The focus since early last year is on news and politics, served up in a way that Gore repeatedly described as “politically direct.” The big shift to politics began in earnest when the network hired former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann in 2011.
Gore is pleased with the early results of this new
We’ve all seen them; the commercials for television’s latest offerings blazing across our screens. Shows such as Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant and even the upcoming I Just Want My Pants Back do little to stimulate the mind of our youth. Although, many may argue that this type of trash television is no more than harmless entertainment, I disagree. Any responsible adult that is paying attention would certainly agree that sexual irresponsibility and drug abuse among our teens is on the
“Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?”
That was the headline last week on a blog posted by New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane.
Brisbane is the Times’ ombudsman; his job is to hold the paper accountable to journalistic standards and to act as its readers’ representative. The blog caused a lot of jaws to drop and tongues to wag. The reactions were either “duh” or “yikes.” Those in the first group were appalled that an arbiter of professional values was calling the very pursuit of accuracy into question; the others, pouncing on how the question was framed – “vigilante”? really? – read the headline as a sign that the propagandists charging “liberal bias” had succeeded in intimidating even the
I wrote my annual missive on what bothers me the most about fixing the economy and published it today on the Institutional Risk Analytics website. I’m reprinting it here because I believe it is important that policy makers and presidential hopefuls pay greater attention to these issues. Our economy is withering not because we are poor but because we have no direction. We have leadership that has not led us except to drive us deeper in to chaos when they should have been fighting not for position and advantage but for national
There is nothing more devastating for a mother than the loss of her child.
But the women I met in Tanzania while reporting on obstetric fistulas were remarkable for enduring not only that loss, but subsequent isolation from their families for years, sometimes decades.
And yet these women demonstrated a quiet, dignified fortitude.
In a cruel irony, the last 10 years in the life of the optimistically-named Happiness Josephat Miyawa have been truly miserable.
When she was 19 she suffered a fistula while giving birth to her third child. An obstetric fistula is a tear between the birth passage and bladder or rectum. It causes severe incontinence that makes it impossible for the woman to remain clean.
The babies usually die during the prolonged birth that causes a fistula. In Happiness’s case, the child survived, but her marriage did
Like most people, I’ve always felt using words like “best” when applied to art is a fun way for critics to stay busy at the end of the year, and I guess a good way to help get ratings for awards shows, which is fine.
Other than that, let’s face it, it’s just stupid.
It implies a scientific certainty, which admittedly we all crave in this increasingly uncertain universe, but as much as the modern world would like to think otherwise, art will always be a matter of opinion and may the artist with the best taste win!
So, Godfather aside (which everyone knows is obviously the greatest movie ever made), we’re better off sticking with “favorite” movie of the year, or something not quite as committal.
For example, my four favorite movies of the year are The Artist, Rum Diary, Snow Flower And The Secret Fan, and In The Land Of Blood And Honey.
If we were to indulge in the “best” thing, just to pretend we’re normal, we would have to attach the characteristic of “important” to “best” to help justify the value judgment, right?
Considering that criteria, the “best” movie of the year is an easy choice. It has to be In The Land Of Blood And Honey. I have no stake in it, I don’t know anybody involved, but I bring it up because it’s a small indie-type art flick and it’s something you might have
A common question asked during consultation for cosmetic surgery; “when is the best time of year to do this surgery?” Is winter a better time for a facelift than say summer, when it is hot and the sun is strongest? When is the best time to schedule breast augmentation or liposuction to allow swelling to resolve so you will look your best in a bathing suit? It is reasonable to try to plan certain cosmetic operations according to the season. December is a very popular time to go under the knife because most people are off for greater chunks of time during the holidays, but there are other options.
I believe to maximize results from cosmetic surgery; it is wise to plan according to the season. It is simply better to undergo certain cosmetic operations at certain times of the year to allow an appropriate period for safe recovery, conceal the swelling and scars, and provide the best alibi to those people who you prefer not to
In jest I call myself “a recovering Unitarian.” I was raised believing that all religions are the same, so we valued none of them, equally. While it is unfair to ascribe this view to Unitarian Universalists in general, it was true of my congregation in that time and place. In church we sang traditional hymns, but the verses had been rewritten to conform to the secular ethos of the members. The G-word would never be
I still remember my grade school days of the ’60s at Our Holy Redeemer Catholic school in Freeport, Long Island, when a girl would pay a little attention to one of us boys, how the rest of the boys would taunt us with the sing-song, “She liiiiiikes you” or break into song: “James and Patty, sitting on a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g… .” As a matter of fact, now that I’m a dad of young kids, I still hear this type of teasing around the kids’ school. Apparently not much has changed in the real world and now there’s the virtual world of the Internet to deal with too.
On the Internet it seems that I spend a lot of time asking people, “Do you Like me?” and/or “Will you be my friend?” and in some cases it brings up the same sort of school-aged angst. “I asked Mike to be my friend on Facebook a long time ago and so far,