The great Nat King Cole had many firsts. He was the first African-American musician to have his own show — on network radio, then television. He was also one of the first, if not the first American artist to record an album in Spanish: Cole Español. It was a huge, rather unexpected hit in 1958, when Latin American music was still relatively unknown in the U.S. His success with Cole Español was so great, he recorded two more albums in Spanish.
Sofia Coppola is no stranger to filmic explorations of fame, privilege and self-loathing in the modern age. In her newest movie, The Bling Ring, she considers the case of a gang of well-off L.A. teenagers whose obsession with celebrity took them to some unexpected places — including the homes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, where they stole millions of dollars' worth of jewelry and clothes and shoes.
Between his trip to Europe last week and his travels to Africa next week, President Obama is doing a lot of gift exchanges with foreign leaders.
In the past, he has gotten mixed reviews. Four years ago, he was panned for giving the queen of England an iPod. Other presents have gone over better. But the president does not personally select these gifts — a staffer does.
Revelations of widespread U.S. spying on foreign Internet communications put a damper on President Obama's first state visit to Berlin. The German chancellor and other officials there say they want to know more about what the National Security Agency is looking at.
Yet the backlash has been more muted than expected. One reason is that the German government is doing similar surveillance.
With The Ocean at the End of the Lane, best-selling fantasy author Neil Gaiman has written his first adult novel in almost a decade. It's a deceptively simple tale that feels like escapism — until you realize that it isn't.
Ocean is told from the point of view of a melancholy but successful artist returning to his childhood home in Sussex, England. On a lark, he visits an old farm where he played as a boy, and is suddenly overwhelmed by memories of being entangled in a magical conflict with roots stretching back before the Big Bang.
Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:32 pm
Last Friday I found myself in a lovely lecture hall at Brown University with some 50 philosophers and psychologists attending the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, affectionately known as "SPP." Daniel Dennett was in the seat just ahead of me; additional luminaries were scattered about the room.
We've written before about the wealth gap between whites and people of color — a divide that's only grown wider over the past half decade. And since so much of Americans' household wealth is wrapped up in homes, a significant amount of that wealth gap has been chalked up to an array of barriers to homeownership for people of color.
Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 11:10 am
Speaking to the Faith & Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" Conference on Saturday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — in a speech broadcast on C-SPAN — let loose a barrage of bons mots aimed at President Obama and political Washington.
Now that Fox News has re-signed Palin as a commentator, we will likely be hearing a lot more one-liners from the Wit of Wasilla.
In this Twitter Age, in which brevity = wit, we are witnessing the expanding power of one-liners. And the drawbacks.