Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 5:00 pm
When I was a kid, I awaited the annual publication of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide with the awe and dread of a Parent/Teacher interview. Sure, film criticism is a subjective thing, but to my young eyes, the 16,000+ capsule reviews in Maltin's yearly reference book carried the weight of absolute truth. Each year, with the austerity of a poet and the precision of a diamond-cutter, Maltin and his army of cowriters pass swift, one-to-ten-paragraph judgment on hundreds of new films, and a small part of me will always believe the Guide is blessed with objectivity.
Syrian president Bashar Assad made one of his rare, pre-recorded appearances on Syrian television today, proving that he is not dead and retains control of the Syrian government. He shows up in a carefully produced setting in the president's palace while orchestral music (not unlike Pirates of the Caribbean) swells behind him.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 11:45 am
The Associated Press and The Huffington Post have gotten their hands on early copies of No Easy Day. As Mark wrote earlier this month, the book is a firsthand account of the secret military raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Flu is most deadly for children with neurologic problems and disorders, an analysis of swine flu fatalities finds.
The results come from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers who looked at childhood fatalities during the H1N1 flu pandemic of 2009, when there were five times the usual number of deaths.
In all, 43 percent of the deaths occurred in children who had neurologic diseases, such as cerebral palsy and epilepsy, or developmental disorders.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 10:26 am
So far, the I Will If You Will Book Club — a very occasional project of Monkey See — has read Twilight, Moby-Dick, and Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Dream Country. It has been much too long since we read a book, so we will do so now.
Yesterday brought the rare piece of television production news that actually surprises and intrigues me: Eddie Murphy and producer Shawn Ryan are reportedly shopping around a TV adaptation of Beverly Hills Cop featuring Axel Foley's son — with Axel showing up here and there. [Vulture]
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 7:08 pm
The eye of Isaac made its first landfall at Plaquemines Parish, a stretch of thin land southeast of New Orleans that extends into the Gulf from Louisiana.
According to the parish president, the damage there is just as bad, perhaps even worse, than what happened during Katrina.
In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Billy Nungesser said the parish's levee had been overtopped and parts of the parish that had never flooded during a hurricane were under 5 feet of water.
When women go on a diet, we tend to avoid our favorite restaurants because they are filled with temptations — bread, booze and desserts. But are we doomed to sit in our kitchens eating salad alone while everyone else is headed out on the town if we want to keep the weight off?
Take heart, ladies. A new study of women in their 50s and early 60s finds they could eat out and still succeed at long-term weight loss.
Two United Airlines planes sit at a terminal at San Francisco International Airport Friday. The airport briefly refused to accept any domestic arrivals Tuesday, after a computer crash disrupted United's system.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 3:51 pm
Many travelers using United Airlines faced delays Tuesday, but they weren't connected to Hurricane Isaac. Instead, the airline's computer network crashed, leaving large parts of its system paralyzed Tuesday afternoon.
First noted around 2:15 p.m. EDT, the problems persisted until about 6:30 p.m. EDT, when the airline tweeted that it is "in the process of resuming operations and rebooking customers."
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 9:42 am
Babies are lovely but altogether helpless creatures.
Wouldn't it be better if tiny humans were born able to walk, like horses, or generally were readier for the rigors of the world, like, say, chimps?
Among primates, human have the least developed brains at birth, at least when compared to adult human brains. If humans were born as far along on cognitive and neurological scales as rough and ready chimps are, though, human pregnancy would have to last at least twice as long. Eighteen months in the womb, anyone?
Journalist Malcome Browne took this iconic photo of the self-immolation of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc in Saigon in 1963. The monk committed suicide to protest what he called government persecution of Buddhists. Browne, who worked for the AP and later The New York Times, died Monday at age 81.
Browne is pictured in 1965 while working as a correspondent for the Associated Press in Saigon, South Vietnam.
Credit Peter Arnett / AP
Browne (left) is seen with AP photographer Horst Faas in the Saigon office, April 3, 1964.
Malcolm Browne was a first-rate reporter who spent decades at The New York Times, covered wars around the world and won the Pulitzer Prize for his writing about the early days of the Vietnam war.
And yet he will forever be remembered for one famous picture, the 1963 photo of a Buddhist monk who calmly set himself on fire on the streets of Saigon to protest against the South Vietnamese government, which was being supported by the U.S.