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Article Archive for December 2007

Four Shipwrecked Castaways Cross Sixteenth Century America

December 19, 2007 – 1:05 pm | 2 Comments
Four Shipwrecked Castaways Cross Sixteenth Century America

“But at that point most of the expeditionaries perished as a result of Indian attacks, illness, and starvation. In fact, several expedition members resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. Eventually, out of three hundred men comprising the original land contingent, only four survived. These four castaways remained as slaves of the coastal Indians of Texas for six years until they finally made their escape into what is now northeast Mexico.”

Photographs from Havana Deco

December 18, 2007 – 12:44 pm | One Comment
Photographs from <em>Havana Deco</em>

A photographic essay: Art Deco in Havana, Cuba.

The Flawless Skin of Ugly People by Doug Crandell

December 17, 2007 – 10:37 am |
<em>The Flawless Skin of Ugly People</em> by Doug Crandell

Hobbie suffers from acne vulgaris, which has forced him into a retreat from life. ‘Other than work, I rarely go out, avoiding people as much as possible. I shop the 24-hour Wal-Mart, rent movies from the Internet, and basically stay hidden as much as I can. Having to endure people’s stares is what has made my jobs so tortuous. Sometimes I dream about pulling on this magical mask that makes my face flawless.’

Daniel Barenboim at La Scala

December 11, 2007 – 11:17 am | 4 Comments
Daniel Barenboim at La Scala

Drama number three was the presence on the podium of Daniel Barenboim, the child prodigy born in 1942 in Argentina to Russian parents, who moved with him to Israel when he was ten. This opera performance, which furthermore inaugurates the newly restored theater, was the first by Barenboim as conductor of the orchestra that had performed under the batons of Arturo Toscanini and, more recently, the flamboyant Riccardo Muti. Although Barenboim has performed Wagner many times elsewhere, La Scala audiences have not seen a Wagnerian opera for three decades, and his making this selection can still raise a few eyebrows.

My Thousand & One Nights by Raja Alem and Tom McDonough

December 10, 2007 – 11:28 am | One Comment
<em>My Thousand & One Nights</em> by Raja Alem and Tom McDonough

In Alem’s world-view, one might expect to see objects morph into people, animals writhe in henna tattoos, and stones grant bearers restoration or doom. There are no rules of physics in this vision of Mecca and the city springs up like a character itself, imbued with its own sacred significance.

Murdering Miss Austen

December 6, 2007 – 11:14 am | 3 Comments
Murdering Miss Austen

Jane Austen, whose sharp tongue barely left her cheek during her short lifetime, and, whose caustic satire survived the intervening centuries of industrialization, through revolution and war, as well as the whirligig of literary fashions (whose onslaught took down others as great) may finally be deflated or drowned in the crazy waves of idiot’s delights!

Daughter of Heaven by Nigel Cawthorne

December 5, 2007 – 10:39 am |
<em>Daughter of Heaven</em> by Nigel Cawthorne

In a shocking and vaguely incestuous move, she seduced T’ai-tsung’s son, the Emperor Kao-tsung, and from there used a combination of feminine wile and strong arming to claim the throne of one of the most powerful empires the world has ever seen.

A Place for Three Seasons: Crested Butte

December 4, 2007 – 11:33 am | 12 Comments
A Place for Three Seasons: Crested Butte

Let us be clear on one thing: physically fit people tend to get more out of this place. One can sit and admire the mountains from a bench on Elk Avenue, or from a car out on the summer roads, but to me there is nothing better in life than walking an hour or two up to Scarp Ridge or the long green alp atop Mount Axtell, to sit and see high peaks all around.

The Tin Roof Blowdown By James Lee Burke

December 3, 2007 – 12:44 pm |
<em>The Tin Roof Blowdown</em> By James Lee Burke

Because he’s a damn good writer James Lee Burke knows how to keep a plot going from start to finish with no loose ends or out-of-the-blue surprises that amateurishly attempt to explain and finish off a narrative.

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