Kauffmann: Werner Herzog Goes Back Into the Cave
May 05, 2011
Cave of Forgotten Dreams Sundance Selects Octubre New Yorker Films A Screaming Man Film Movement He took a mouthful of colored liquid. He put his palm on the great rock. Then he sprayed his hand with the liquid in his mouth and left the hand’s outline on the rock. And there I saw it, seventeen thousand years later. It was in the prehistoric Lascaux cave in south-central France, back in the last century, when visitors were allowed. All around me were overwhelming paintings of animals, paintings almost frightening in both their quality and their age.
Absinthe: Was The Famous Drink Really Mind-Altering?
May 04, 2011
Almost a century after banning absinthe, the French government will re-legalize the famous alcoholic drink. Known as "the green fairy" to its many aficionados, the emerald-colored liquor was hugely popular with artists in the late 19th century, especially in Paris. The temperance movement, though, campaigned heavily against absinthe, claiming that absinthe made its drinkers hallucinate and even go insane. Thanks to the temperance movement's political strength, absinthe was banned in many countries in the early 1900s.
The Trouble with MOX
April 07, 2011
Last August, workers at Japan’s now infamous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant loaded the first batch of mixed-oxide fuel, or MOX, into one of their reactors. The event went largely unnoticed in the United States; but in Japan it was deeply controversial. Unlike traditional nuclear fuel, which is pure uranium, MOX is a far more dangerous blend of both uranium and plutonium (the latter is among the most carcinogenic substances on Earth).
Just Like Bush
April 01, 2011
Well, that was quick! It usually takes some time for the gap between how a White House justifies a military adventure to the public, and the reality of what is really going on to be revealed. It took the fall of Saddam Hussein for the Bush administration’s pretext for war—the threat of weapons of mass destruction—to be shown up as a fabrication. But from President Obama’s televised address on the evening of March 29, in which he claimed that the intervention in Libya was not about regime change, to the Reuters story revealing that he had signed an order allowing covert U.S.
What Can France Teach Us About Botched Immigration Policies?
September 03, 2010
On both sides of the Atlantic, it has been an uncomfortable summer for immigrant groups. Here in the United States there have been the quarrels over the "Ground Zero Mosque," “anchor babies,” and Arizona’s new illegal immigrant bill (not to mention yet more calls for the deportation of our “Muslim” president to his “native” Kenya by the surprisingly large proportion of the Republican Party that seems to have taken up permanent residence on Planet Zorg).
The International Stimulus Sweepstakes: Who Wins?
August 17, 2010
During the student revolt of the 1960s, an historic Italian poster proclaimed “La lotta continua”—or, the struggle will go on. Today, it is not students versus state, but economists versus economists. In this corner are the neo- or paleo-Keynesians; in the other are the gainsayers united not by dogma, but by doubt. The latter’s short message: Obama, Summers, Krugman et al. are wrong; stimulus spending doesn’t work. Some in the “Forget Keynes Camp” have run complex regressions, while others have looked at state-by-state statistics to buttress the point. But you don’t need to be a stat whiz.
July 26, 2004
I. SEURAT AND THE MAKING OF LA GRANDE JATTE (Art Institute of Chicago) We do not need an artist to show us the intensity of a color, the grace of a line, or the vehement contrast between a light form and a dark form. There are powers that are inherent in color, line, and form--powers that we register immediately, almost unthinkingly, as we regard the world around us. Great painters and sculptors tap into these pre-artistic experiences of sight.
When the Big Four Meet
May 23, 1955
Since there has been so little detailed consideration, as yet, of the latest Russian disarmament plan, by the press or by responsible political leaders, the New Republic this week dispenses with its Behind-the-Headlines reports in order to present the following analysis and interpretation. AT THE summit, where Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the United States are soon to meet, the weather prediction from all sides is cold. The men who are to meet there share one condition: they are shivering. For its own reasons each government privately fears the encounter.