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  • My Turn: Bikers & the City

    On July 8, 2005, I overslept, as usual, grabbed a quick gulp of orange juice on the way out the door, and arrived at my office on the other side of London in 20 minutes. For hours that day, I was the only person in the office and one of the few Londoners to arrive at work on time, if at all. You see, the day before, the city's public--transportation infrastructure was crippled by a terrorist attack. But I commuted by scooter.Motorcycles and scooters form an important part of the transportation landscape in London, allowing tens of thousands of people to get where they're going cheaply and quickly. In fact, bikes are deemed so advantageous to city life that London provides them free parking citywide, doesn't charge their riders a fee for entering the city center, and allows them access to bus lanes. The British government even provides cheap, easy, and widely available training to people who want to learn how to ride.Now I live in New York, the least bike-friendly city I know. Most...
  • Mike Ross, a Man From Hope

    Mike Ross is not exactly what you would call a colorful character, at least not in the context of national political theater. An Arkansas Democrat and five-term congressman, he is an amiable former state legislator and chief of staff to his state's lieutenant governor. Before the past few weeks, it is safe to say that few people outside Arkansas's Fourth Congressional District had heard of him, and you have to have been engaged in the details of the struggle over the president's health-care bill to have heard of him even now. But Ross—who is, inevitably, from Hope—is not a bad way to gauge where real people stand on the big questions being debated in Washington.And what do I mean by "real people"? Pretty much anybody who is not Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin. It is not news that there is often a disconnect between the topical and the truly long--lasting: there will always be human-interest stories or tabloid fare. (It all depends on your point of view. Some people wept when Michael...
  • Does Street Art Belong in a Gallery?

    São Paulo's Choque Cultural Gallery prides itself on exhibiting works of pop art, photography, and sculpture by Brazil's top contemporary artists. But its current exhibit, Coletiva Choque, featuring works by the artists Zezão, Jaca, and Presto, looks like it'd be more at home on the walls of a favela. It consists of large, colorfully embellished murals, known as street art, that have been transferred to canvases. More inspirational than angry, they're a far cry from "tag" graffiti—hastily sprayed words on outdoor property that convey social and political messages.São Paulo is not the only place where street art has made the leap from the inner city to the gallery. Exhibition spaces in Los Angeles, London, and New York City have all commissioned street artists to apply their talents to murals rather than on building façades or concrete barriers. Although the artistic style of the outdoor artwork is preserved, some argue that moving it indoors and changing its scale compromises its...
  • The Pundits on Palin: Advice By The Numbers

    By Brian No Since announcing July 3 that she’d be stepping down as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin’s future has been the source of much discussion—but not, it turns out, all that much debate. The TV pundits have agreed (and agreed and agreed) on her way forward. Here's an extremely scientific (by which we mean not scientific at all) tally of how many mentions each pearl of wisdom has received:Palin will/should … (approximate total mentions)Barnstorm for Republican candidates     116Cash in!        91Write a book/go on book tour    87Speechify       86Get her own TV show/do media    62Master the issues       34Lead conservative movement      25Generally expand and build support      24Improve reputation/credibility  23      (Data collected from CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC, JULY 4-27)  P.S. - In case you're interested, here's what we thought she should do: click here.
  • Project Runway Preview

    Like two girls fighting over a cashmere sweater, Project Runway spent 12 months in a legal tug of war between Bravo and Lifetime. (Lifetime won.) We asked judges Heidi Klum, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia, and Tim Gunn to talk about their new home, and other changes we'll see when the show returns on Aug. 20. ...
  • Meryl Streep's Delicious Julia Child

    "Slipping away quietly in her sleep late last week may have been the only unspectacular thing Julia Child ever did," I wrote in August 2004 in NEWSWEEK. But I was wrong. Julia Child is not dead. Not as long as Meryl Streep inhabits her big-boned, 6-foot-2 frame; fills her size 12 shoes; sets the corners of her eyes in a permanent crinkle; and causes her voice—that voice!—to bubble up from some sweet, deep place in her soul. In Nora Ephron's film Julie & Julia, which opens this week, you're convinced that Julia Child is still here. This is reassuring stuff for those of us who learned to cook from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Watching the determined Julia slip a piece of carbon paper (carbon paper!) between two sheets of onionskin and roll them into her typewriter for the first time is quietly thrilling—like being there at the creation. "French people eat French food every single day! I can't get over it," Julia/Meryl says as she begins her midlife culinary adventure....
  • Return to Woodstock. Again.

    One of the most recycled sayings about the '60s—"If you remember them, you probably weren't there"—is also one of the dumbest. We get the joke: we were all too blitzed on chemicals and weed to have anything but the most foggy recollection. The truth is, for the generation that came of age in those -consciousness-stretching days, those memories are probably the most vivid of a lifetime. It's everything after that we can't always remember. Nineteen sixty-nine? Clear as a bell. Nineteen ninety-nine? Kind of a blur. ...
  • It's Going to Be a Tough Year on Mad Men

    Time has been Mad Men's costar from the start. It provides the jokes, the fears, the gadgets. It's behind the haunted look in Don Draper's eyes. But when season three begins on Aug. 16, time may play its biggest role yet. Creator Matt Weiner won't pin down the year, but the evidence points to 1963—and 1963 was no ordinary year. For men who thought they ruled by right, it was the year things fell apart.On Mad Men, the cracks are there already. Copywriter Peggy Olson broke through Sterling Cooper's glass ceiling with her wit and smarts, but she's had to endure the derision—and worse—of her male colleagues. What will she think of the rise of the women's movement that followed the February 1963 publication of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique? The call to arms in Friedan's preface ("I came to realize that something is very wrong with the way American women are trying to live their lives today") seems aimed directly at Peggy—and at Betty Draper, Don's beautiful caged bird of a wife...
  • Real Funny People: Young Patients Laugh at Cancer

    Cancer kills more young people than any other disease, and survival rates have not improved in more than 30 years for people in their 20s and 30s. How some patients are using humor to fight back.
  • Scientists Are Concerned About Cancer in Animals

    The great outdoors is a dangerous place for animals, who often die from hunger, predator attacks, or infections. But cancer can also be a culprit, and human pollution may be making it worse.
  • Steaks, Pragmatism, and the View From the Delta

    At first, there was something comforting in the predictability of the evening's conversation. At Doe's Eat Place on Nelson Street in Greenville, Miss., last Wednesday, within the space of perhaps five minutes, I was twice told that "the media" are too liberal. (Once was by my father-in-law, a Sarah Palin admirer, who delights in Bill O'Reilly's occasional volleys against NEWSWEEK.) With the possible exception of South Carolina, Mississippi has been the most reliably conservative state in the country since Fielding Wright, the state's governor, ran as Strom Thurmond's vice president on the Dixiecrat ticket in 1948. It is tempting to paint the scene at Doe's as something you would expect in an unreconstructed red-state redoubt, and then perhaps contrast the gathering in the Delta with the president's prime-time press conference as images of parallel worlds that will never intersect.But that narrative, however appealing in its familiarity, feels at once glib and antique. I am not going...
  • Honey from Paris Is All the Buzz

    To make a pint and a half of honey, a honeybee treks from flower to flower to flower, almost a million times. That's about 25,000 honeybee air miles, or the distance around the world at the equator. Of course, a bee's world is concentrated in a ring around the hive—a radius of meadows, forests, or 40 city blocks. But on the immigrant-rich edges of Paris, a honeybee's rounds really are a trip around the world. Inner-city biodiversity is an echo of its people, of its history, and of globalization: seeds inadvertently traipsed over borders or in shipping containers, or on purpose through garden-center imports or stowaway seeds secreted home from a trip to the old country. Which is how Paris, and all its diverse residents, have found themselves in a most unlikely honey pot.Olivier Darné is an artist turned beekeeper from the often-troubled Seine-St-Denis district just north of Paris's beltway. He has put hives on roofs and even sidewalks throughout these quarters to collect what he...
  • Where Is the Ugly Chanel?

    There is a wonderfully subtle (if historically inaccurate) scene in the new biopic Coco Before Chanel in which the 20-something, not-yet-a-fashion-doyenne is asked by her lover "Boy" Capel to attend a summer ball with him in Deauville. Chanel agrees, but—zut alors!—she has the same problem that has afflicted every woman since Eve: she has nothing to wear. The couple heads to the local atelier, where Chanel picks out black fabric and demands there be no corset. "But it will be shapeless," the woman tells her dismissively. "Do as I say," Chanel abruptly answers back. Of course, at the ball all eyes are on the petite woman (played exquisitely by Audrey Tautou) dancing the night away in—voilà!—a Little Black Dress. Never mind that Chanel really created the LBD when she was closer to 40, and long after Capel had been killed in a car accident. Almost a century after its real birthday in 1925, the Little Black Dress is still the standard cocktail-party uniform for women the world over. ...