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  • Island-Hopping On Broadway

    Every season a big off-Broadway hit sticks its neck out on Broadway. Once on This Island is a perfect orchid of a musical, a small show with a big soul. First produced at Playwrights Horizons on 42nd Street's Little White Way, it now makes the terrifying three-block jump to the big time. This show crowds more entertainment into 90 minutes than most big musicals with lots of filler and please-love-me noise. And it even has a socio-esthetic issue for those who need one. Can a young, white songwriting team capture the tone, color and rhythm of another culture? ...
  • How Much Is Enough?

    For nearly three months now, American military power has poured into the Persian Gulf, at a speed outstripping the U.S. buildup in Vietnam a generation ago. But last week the Pentagon announced, in effect, that it wasn't enough. Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney said much more muscle was needed "to deal with any contingency," which included the possibility of offensive action to drive Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. The plan was to send the equivalent of at least two more mechanized divisions to join the 210,000 Americans already stationed in the desert or at sea. In all, Cheney said, the reinforcements might amount to as many as 100,000 troops, some of them drawn from U.S. garrisons in Western Europe. It will take at least another month to get the new units into place, which suggests that a military showdown with Iraq may not come until the turn of the year--if it happens at all. ...
  • Melting The Man Of Steel

    Look: it's a box, it's a bauble, it's an engagement ring! After 62 years (how typically male) Clark Kent (a.k.a. Superman) pops the question to fellow Daily Planet reporter Lois Lane over a romantic tuna melt (also typically male) in the current issue of "Superman" comics. Seems Superman feels it's time to make the big leap after archenemy Lex Luthor and some red kryptonite cause him to lose his powers (though it means he can also stare deeply into Lois's eyes without scorching her). After he regains his mythical talents, Lois says yes to his proposal and now he must figure out how and when to tell her who he really is (she still hasn't figured it out). No wedding date has been set, but DC Comics editor Michael Carlin is sure there will be a Lois and Clark expedition to the altar: "We're sticking by our guns." Any superbrats in their future? "Well, he's an alien, she's an earthling, and I'm not a scientist," Carlin says. "There's always adoption."
  • First Class For The Sandinistas

    Remember the Sandinistas with their romantic revolutionary rhetoric? Now Daniel Ortega and some of his associates have become capitalist entrepreneurs: they have started Central American Air Lines, scheduled to begin flying the lucrative Managua-Miami route this week. The airline is pushing its first-class accommodations. When asked if the enterprise offers profit sharing for employees, one of the Sandinistas involved said, "We have to make money first."
  • The Geritol Solution

    Can tiny sea creatures get us out of the greenhouse fix? This week, scientists at a National Research Council workshop are assessing whether iron, a nutrient, an stimulate marine algae to absorb more of the carbon dioxide causing global warming. By one estimate, if CO[sub2] emissions remain at 1990 levels, CO[sub2] concentrations in the air will increase 23 percent by 2040. If it worked, the iron strategy would help, but it wouldn't be a cure. Its advocates predict a CO[sub2] rise of 13 percent. Without other cuts in CO[sub2], not even Geritol can fix the greenhouse. ...
  • Buzzwords

    It's hunting season again on the prairie. Here's how conservation officers talk about hunters in the heart of the heart of the country: Sports: Pejorative shorthand for sportsmen. A sport is a violator who hasn't been caught yet.Ditch pigs: Sports who lie in roadside ditches waiting for geese or ducks to fly over.Pilgrims: Rookie or inexperienced hunters.Low shoes: Pilgrims who go shooting without hip boots or waders and then kill a duck that falls in the water and can't be retrieved.The iron-pony show: Deer season on the prairie when sports go hunting the animals in pickup trucks and four-wheel-drive vehicles.Pillsbury Doughboys: Sports wearing brand-new, puffed-up, down-filled hunting suits.Creek (pronounced crick) dicks: What hunters call
  • How To Tough Out A Layoff

    In my business, if you've never been fired you haven't played for the biggest stakes. At a dinner once, I quizzed the table: who had ever lost a job? Practically all of us, as it turned out. Me, twice. A TV producer I know, who has been fired by all three major networks (and is now back at work at one of them), framed his get-lost letters and hung them in the guest bathroom. On my own second time around, I bought a T shirt. On the front it said, "Yes, I was fired." On the back, it said, "Again." ...
  • The Court's Mr. Right

    Once a month, Supreme Court Justice Antonin (Nino) Scalia pulls up a chair at the most lawyerly poker game in Washington. Around the table sit some of the jurisprudential overlords of the Beltway: Chief Justice William Rehnquist, lawyer-saxophonist Leonard Garment, Senate special counsel Bob Bennett. The cuisine is deli sandwiches and ale. There is one house rule: no talk of work. And several house customs first, the game doesn't end when the husky guy starts singing. Scalia is an exuberant man and arias are just part of his style. And second, don't fold when Scalia starts raising the stakes. By reputation, he's a lousy bluffer who plays out every hand. Says one regular "Nino would rather lose than fold." ...
  • The King Of Television

    When the company was smaller and its founder loomed larger, they called CBS "Paley's cigar store." Even then it didn't really fit his style: he always ran the place the way Louis XIV ruled the court at Versailles. Still, he liked the appellation enough to decorate his office with a wooden Indian (a whimsical counterpoint to his Picassos and Klines), and relished his days selling La Palinas for his father's cigar firm. William S. Paley was a man entranced by images, and he used them to construct a legend. For more than half a century, no media monarch exerted a greater influence over what the wired nation saw and heard. ...
  • Daily News To Unions: Drop Dead

    The final rupture of the second largest local newspaper in America began with a torn cartilage. A Brooklyn worker monitoring a conveyor belt last week was denied permission by his foreman to remain seated so he could rest his knee. When the union representative objected, an argument ensued. This was just the incident management had been looking for. After 30 delivery-truck drivers walked out in protest, they were told their jobs were gone. On an hour's notice in the middle of the night, management assembled replacements. Their transport buses were quickly assaulted by workers wielding baseball bats. Forty delivery trucks were vandalized and eight burned. Executives condemned the violence, but to them the smell was of victory. ...
  • Bhutto Gets Booted Out

    In the end, two comebacks were one too many for Benazir Bhutto. Jailed and exiled after her father, former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was deposed and then hanged by the Pakistani military Bhutto returned to win election in 1988 as the first woman prime minister of a Muslim country. But her political inexperience showed. She neither lived up to the expectations of her supporters nor outmaneuvered her enemies. In August, Pakistan's President Ghulan Ishaq Khan, acting with Army support, dissolved her government, charged her with unprecedented corruption and jailed her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, for extortion. (Both Bhutto and Zardari deny the charges; he is still in custody.) Last week came the final blow. A rightist coalition backed by the military crushed her Pakistan People's Party in parliamentary elections. ...
  • A New Vision Of Paradise Lost

    The last time Americans threw a centenary bash to honor the European discovery of America, in 1892, the speeches were all about power, prestige and money. New York Gov. Roswell Pettibone Flower said of Columbus and his fellow explorers, "They dreamed of wealth, and here it is beyond imagination's farthest limit." Lest anyone miss the governor's point, one magazine of the day illustrated his remarks with a picture of a bank vault holding $72 million in gold. To those accustomed to thinking of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea in more heroic terms, that quote must sound embarrassingly materialistic. But it isn't. For once, a politician's rhetoric was right on the money. ...
  • 'A Really Nasty Business'

    In Nigeria last month, authorities learned that 109 children had died of kidney failure after ingesting an industrial solvent; hospitals mixed it into syrup in the belief it was a pharmaceutical chemical made in the Netherlands. In Mexico, officials confiscated 15,000 counterfeit burn remedies; many contained sawdust, coffee or dirt and caused raging infections. In Burma, scores of villagers may have perished after taking worthless copies of a drug meant to combat malarial fever. In Europe, hospitals and pharmacies handed out millions of pirate doses of a cardiac medicine, some at only half the purported strength. (There were no known casualties.) In the United States, the emergence of a $100 million black market in anabolic steroids has spurred drug counterfeiting despite a congressional crackdown in 1988. ...
  • Monday Night's New Game

    Ten o'clock Monday night. On ABC, it's third and 15 in the second quarter and the ref has called offsides for the fifth time Over at CBS, the Brown everyone's talking about isn't a Cleveland running back but fast-talking reporter Murphy Brown (Candice Bergen). And the Rosie who's coming in after half time isn't the onetime member of the Giants' Fearsome Foursome but public defender Rosie O'Neill (Sharon Gless). At ABC, the offense and the defense are strong and tough; at CBS, they're tough and smart--but the tackles are verbal and most of the players (especially the quarterbacks) are-women. They'd get penalized not for holding but for mouthing off. ...
  • Three's Company

    Even in this age of the overextended family, "a three-parent, two-natural-mom situation is ripe for crazy-making," said Orange County, Calif., Superior Court Judge Richard Parslow. Last week he granted sole custody of 1-month-old Christopher Michael to his genetic parents, Mark and Crispina Calvert, after the woman they paid to carry their test-tube baby sued to help raise the child. The surrogate, Anna Johnson, was denied any visitation rights and will appeal.
  • How Safe Is Your Job?

    Lynne Waller Scanlon was living that anointed 1980s lifestyle: great job, great digs, great toys. She ran two advertising-industry publications and had just beefed up her ad-sales staff. Did she have problems? Sure: it was hard to remember whether she had left her briefcase at her New Jersey home, her place in the Hamptons or her Manhattan pied-a-terra. Then she found out what trouble really is. Late one afternoon last March, her boss called her into his office, asked his secretary for a glass of water and then closed the door. "I have some very bad news," he said. "This is it. This is the last day." Facing a slowdown in the advertising and publishing industries, her company had decided to kill both publications. Scanlon was told to fire her entire staff by the end of the day--just 59 minutes away--and clean out her own desk. Her head was spinning. " 'How am I going to tell my staff?' I remember thinking," and then, ""At least he got me a glass of water.' then he drank the water...
  • The Stories Never Stop

    What would happen, asks one of the great storytellers of our time, if all the stories stopped? If they became ugly and polluted, turned into grotesque caricatures of themselves, and then disappeared altogether? The end of stories is silence, warns Salman Rushdie, a blank space where once the imagination sang freely. Rushdie's wonderful new novel Haroun and the Sea of Stories (216 pages. Granta/Viking $18.95) will be published in November, and while it can be read on many levels, at heart this children's book for grown-ups is a tribute to the pleasures, and terrible powers, of storytelling. Underground for nearly two years now, Rushdie remains besotted with stories; he won't be silenced. ...
  • Fight For A Name Of His Own

    Two-year-old Anthony Goeppner Garetto is too young to understand but he's having an identity crisis. His divorcing parents, Mary Garetto and Tom Goeppner of Chicago, each want him to bear different surnames. Separated from her husband when she delivered Anthony Garetto, 31, put her maiden name on the boy's birth certificate. Goeppner, 30, says he didn't know a thing about her plan until he saw the tag on the hospital bassinet. ...
  • The 'Near War' And 'The Bedouin Way'

    No war, but near war," is the way one senior Jordanian official summarizes the strategy of the West and its allies in the gulf: brinkmanship meant to intimidate Saddam Hussein into unconditional withdrawal from Kuwait. Last week's talk of deploying perhaps 100,000 additional U.S. troops was one more way of turning up the heat on the Iraqi strongman. So, too, were CIA director William Webster's off-the-record but widely repeated remarks that the West is unlikely to get out of the impasse without a fight. Friends of Francois Mitterrand weighed in, telling reporters the French president thinks war is "imminent." ...
  • Multiple Choices

    On a bright October morning in the grungy tents of the Louvre's Cour Carree, hundreds of buyers and fashion writers slid to the edges of their chairs. In a depressed retail market, with the dollar at the lowest anyone could remember, they were waiting for a miracle: an exciting line of clothing that people would rush to buy. ...
  • No Kick From Campaigns

    Anyone who felt good about American politics after the 1988 presidential campaign probably also enjoys train wrecks, or maybe a day at the beach watching an oil slick wash ashore. The poverty of the process that pitted George Bush and Michael Dukakis against each other seems even more abject given the extraordinary events of the last two years. The man who would preside over the end of the cold war, the deployment of troops in the Middle East and the collapse of the domestic budget process was able to win by mostly-talking about flags, furloughs and the "L-word." His opponent wandered the country with the vague promise of "good jobs at good wages." Who's responsible for the disintegration of our campaigns? Three journalists with new books spread blame everywhere: inept candidates, rapacious consultants, smirking, cynical journalists, confused voters. ...
  • The Strongman In Stir

    It was already 10 o'clock at night, and with a group of lawyers and prison officials we stood in the chapel of Miami's Metropolitan Correctional Center. The choice of location wasn't ours: for security reasons the prisoner's cell is off-limits. We waited 20 minutes while the rest of the inmates were secured. And then suddenly there he was. flanked by two more warders as he walked in, wearing his four-star uniform and a nervous smile. "How are things?" someone asked in Spanish amid the handshakes. "Tranquilo," Manuel Antonio Noriega answered--everything's fine. ...
  • Queen Of The Spellbinders

    She'd be a good writer if she'd write about what she knows," one character in Anne Rice's new novel "The Witching Hour" (965 pages. Knopf. $22.95) says of another. "But she writes these morbid fantasies about an old violet-colored house in New Orleans and a ghost who lives there--all very high-pitched, and hardly what will sell." Pre-emptive irony, of course. Anne Rice knows horror novels are declasse and that the $5 million she got for her last two-book deal can't buy the cachet of a $5,000 piece of "serious" fiction. But she insists her novels are serious fiction. And although photographers tend to shoot her as Morticia, she talks and dresses like what she is: an intelligent bohemian woman who came of age in the early '60s. "I was writing in Berkeley, Calif.," says Rice, 49, "in a room full of pot smoke and beer cans. To me, the world was the paperback books I bought at Cody's on Telegraph Avenue--all Great Literature. I've never changed. But I am operating against a prejudice. I...
  • Bushwhacking The President

    Only a few months ago, GOP candidates were lining up outside the Oval Office to tape campaign commercials with President Bush. Now they're afraid to be seen with him in public. Arizona Republicans canceled a scheduled stop by Bush last week because statehouse candidates didn't want their antitax campaigns undermined. In New Hampshire the GOP's senatorial candidate stood Bush up. In Vermont, Rep. Peter Smith did show up--only to use Bush's visit as a chance to spotlight his disagreements with the president. But it may have been Ed Rollins, cochair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, who delivered the ultimate insult. In a memo to GOP House members, Rollins warned incumbents that the mood of the country had shifted and that if they wanted to win, they should run against Bush. "Do not hesitate to oppose either the president or proposals being advanced in Congress," Rollins declared. ...
  • An Accident-Prone Army

    NEWSWEEK has learned that there were three times more U.S. casualties from "friendly fire" or accidents during last winter's Panama invasion than the Pentagon has previously admitted. What's more, according to a confidential Pentagon report obtained by NEWSWEEK, the Joint Chiefs of Staff kept Defense Secretary Dick Cheney's aides in the dark about the losses. ...
  • Flippant Style, Trivial Pursuits

    With a chip on his shoulder the size of the stature he has frittered away, George Bush is going campaigning. He wants more Republican congressmen so he will not again have to endure the excruciating process that produced the anemic budget deal. But most Republicans opposed the deal; Bush counted on hordes of Democrats to pass it. And who held the stiletto at his throat when he embraced both the "summit" and the deal? ...
  • Punching Iron

    It's just as well that Buster Douglas had to give up the heavyweight-championship belt--it probably didn't fit him anyway. At 246 pounds, the man who toppled Mike Tyson was the second heaviest champ ever, giving challenger Evander Holyfield, at a lithe 208, the upper hand in their title bout in Las Vegas last week. Holyfield KO'd Douglas with a right to the face in the third round, sending
  • Short Tours

    How long can U.S. troops withstand the rigors of the Saudi Arabian desert? To find out, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney recently dispatched an Army psychologist, a social anthropologist and a social worker to the front. Their findings are secret, but a Pentagon source says the team concluded that for frontline combat troops, "six months out there in the weeds is enough." Support troops in the rear areas. who enjoy more of the comforts of home, can cope with the desert environment and the puritanical Saudi culture for about a year, they concluded. Cheney will use the team's report to set up new troop-rotation schedules.
  • The Curse Of 911

    The three digits have become synonymous with dramatic, hairbreadth rescues. The association extends even to prime time, where each week millions of television viewers tune into "Rescue: 911" to see emergency calls re-enacted with documentary realism. Young children save their comatose mothers, and alert neighbors and canny police dispatchers become heroes. What audiences don't see is what happened in Houston one evening last week, when officer Sam Kennedy was dispatched to a house on the city's near north side. He arrived to find a woman on her front porch clad only in a robe, smoking a cigarette and so drunk she could barely talk. There was no emergency. The wasted trip was more than an irritant for Kennedy--it kept him from responding quickly to two serious calls later, one of them an armed robbery. This wasn't the occasional crank. Officials estimate that only a fraction of the nearly 1 million 911 calls Houston police answered last year--10 to 30 percent--were life-threatening...
  • Young, Gifted And Jobless

    They all had a dream, once upon a time. It went something like this: good grades, the right schools, perhaps even an M.B.A. Then, after a few hard years of 12-hour days and total loyalty to the company, they would get the big prize--a hefty salary leading someday to a comfortable retirement. Now that dream of job security is like so many other youthful fantasies, just a memory. It has been replaced by job anxiety, a scary new vision filled with euphemisms like restructuring, down-sizing and streamlining. Even respected members of once stable professions--banking, insurance, the law--have felt the ax. ...
  • Indelicacies

    Black New York Times staffers were offended by remarks made by executive editor Max Frankel at a symposium on women in the media. "I know that when a woman screws up, it is not a political act for me to go fire them. I cannot say that with some of our blacks," Frankel said, echoing a familiar belief in the media. "They're still precious, they're still hothouse in management, and if they are less than good, I would probably stay my hand at removing them too quickly." Frankel later told black journalists that, even though he tripped over his "fat lips," the Times has no double standard.
  • Zombies Redux

    Here they come again, still lurching uninvited from the trees and still without an explanation. With Tom Savini directing, George A. Romero has produced a remake of his first horror classic, Night of the Living Dead, apparently to square himself with the women's movement. Gone is the baffled blonde who sinks into catatonia when her brother is killed by a zombie. In her place is Patricia Tallman, an armed maiden who screams for no more than half an hour before (like Sigourney Weaver in "Alien") stripping off her outer shirt and grabbing a gun to face the monsters down. If one frontal assault won't stop these surging zombies, maybe another will. ...
  • A Tizzy

    Illinois Democrats are in a tizzy over the U.S. Supreme Court decision last week allowing the all-black Harold Washington Party on the November ballot. Blacks have voted more than 90 percent Democratic in recent Illinois elections but the Washington Party now could dilute that vote. Hardest hit might be underdog gubernatorial candidate Neil Hartigan, who was gaining ground against GOP secretary of state Jim Edgar. The Washington Party targeted Hartigan because its leaders claim he snubbed the late Chicago mayor--and party namesake--Harold Washington. It also spells trouble for Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley if the party fields a strong candidate against him in
  • Back In The Games Again?

    Zane Moosa was born to an Indian father and a mixed-race mother in September 1968, just five days after Prime Minister John Vorster prohibited a visit by an English cricket club with a mixed-race South African on its roster. The ban provoked a boycott that has isolated South Africa from the sports world ever since. For most athletes of Moosa's generation, international competition once seemed a prospect almost as remote as a black government in Pretoria. But President F. W. de Klerk's reforms have got Moosa, a star midfielder for the Mamelodi Sundowns soccer club, thinking about a day when a South African eleven will compete in a future World Cup round. "We don't talk about it much, but I hope it can be soon," says Moosa. "It would be an honor for [our fans] just to see us play internationally." ...
  • For Americans, A Sinking Feeling

    In the Christian Lacroix boutique on the posh Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris last week, three Japanese clients were waiting in line to pay for their purchases. Outside, an American woman snapped a photograph of the famous designer's shop. The scene was a perfect metaphor for a sober reversal of roles: these days the Americans are on the outside looking in. The American retailers in Paris for the spring/summer fashion collections were feeling the pinch of growing economic troubles. Everyone talked of tough times: recession, the softness of the dollar (it was about five francs to a dollar last week, compared with more than six last season), the crisis in the gulf and the virtual collapse of large retail profits. "I'm seeing a lot of unhappy faces," said Gene Pressman, vice president of Barneys, a New York specialty store. ...
  • Please Return The Word Gay

    It is of the least possible concern to me what homosexuals do with one another in the privacy of their homes. They can play house, plot political strategies or couple anonymously--I really don't care. I'm not offended and I wouldn't try to stop them if I could. But I want the word "gay" back. "Gay" used to be an extremely useful word. It showed up frequently in poetry and prose--Shakespeare used it 12 times--in part because it has no precise synonym. The general sense of the word is a combination of joyous, mirthful, bright, exuberant, cheerful, sportive, merry, light-hearted, lively, showy and pleasant. ...
  • Whose Art Is It, Anyway?

    The hulking monolith going up next to Occidental Petroleum headquarters in Los Angeles looks more like a mausoleum than a museum. And in a way, it is. The Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, scheduled to open in November, will be the lasting memorial of the 92-year-old oil tycoon, wheeler-dealer, friend of Soviet leaders since Lenin, adviser to princes and presidents. It will house his collection of old masters and impressionist art--estimated to be worth as much as $400 million--including a stunning Rembrandt, 6,000 Daumier drawings and lithographs and two van Goghs. (Comparing the value of his extravagantly floral van Gogh, "Hospital at Saint-Remy," with the famous "Irises, " Hammer remarked, "I've got the whole garden.") "I made most of my fortune here in Los Angeles," says the energetic chairman of Occidental. "I feel that I ought to give back something to the city." ...
  • Buzzwords

    Travel agents speak in code even when they're not talking to their computers: Camper: Client who travels so often his or her file never leaves the agent's desk.Grinder: Client who asks one difficult question after another.Shopper: Customer who calls different agencies looking for the best fare, but doesn't book.Nonrev: Nonrevenue passenger, such as an airline employee, who flies for free.Fam: Familiarization tour for travel agents, usually to some trendy new location. Designer package: Vacation for client who leads custom-tailored lifestyle.
  • The Return To Love Canal

    Would you live near a storage site that contains 22,000 tons of toxic wastes? That is the question prospective home buyers are asking, now that the government has approved the resettlement of Love Canal, the nation's most notorious toxic-waste dump. The first 10 of 236 houses will go on sale in Love Canal on Aug. 15--and the list of eager buyers already totals 204. "If it turns out to be reasonable and affordable, I'll be in there," says Gary Bowen, who is looking to move in with his wife and baby daughter. "It's a nice area with solid houses and big yards." ...
  • Bad News For Silent Sam?

    House investigators this week will broaden the allegations against former secretary of Housing and Urban Development Samuel Pierce. NEWSWEEK has learned that a bipartisan majority of the House Government Operations subcommittee will ask the special prosecutor investigating the HUD scandal to look into new evidence that Pierce may have steered housing grants to clients of Battle Fowler, the law firm where he worked before joining the Reagan administration and where he was expected to return. This is the first allegation that while at HUD Pierce took steps that could have benefited him personally. The subcommittee, chaired by Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos of California, will also ask the special prosecutor to consider if Pierce committed perjury during his testimony before the panel. Pierce's lawyer vehemently denies the allegations, and a Battle Fowler spokesman says the firm is "not aware of any inappropriate conduct" by its members.
  • A New Menu To Heal The Heart

    Like 40 million other Americans, Robert Royall has heart disease. Back in 1986 Royall, then 49, learned that one of his coronary I arteries was 37 percent blocked, seriously impeding the blood flow to his heart. On his doctor's advice he began following the regimen recommended by the American Heart Association: he reduced the fat in his diet to 30 percent of total calories, cut his dietary cholesterol to 300 mg a day and started exercising. A year later the blockage had increased to 77 percent. So Royall took more drastic measures. He enrolled in a research program run by Dr. Dean Ornish of the University of California, San Francisco, that demanded he adopt a new way of life. His new diet was almost entirely vegetarian with a third as much fat as the AHA recommended. Along with regular exercise, he practiced stress-reduction techniques, including meditation. A year later the blockage in his artery had been reduced to 59 percent, while blood flow through the artery had nearly tripled...
  • Feast Of The S&L Vultures

    Okay S&L scandal watchers, here's a quick quiz that should make you even angrier about the thrift crisis: ...
  • Sound Too Good To Be True?

    Rob Gregory wanted to do better at his job selling used factory-ventilation systems in Kansas City. So three years ago he bought a "subliminal" audiotape called "Unconditional Love." All Gregory heard was "some synthesized music and weird gongs." But buried beneath the sounds, supposedly, were inaudible messages subconsciously persuading him to feel better about other people. It worked, he says. His sales went up because "people sense if you really care." Encouraged, he bought another tape, this one called "Stop Hair Loss." He says he soon stopped losing his hair. Now Gregory, 30, owns 15 different improvement tapes--none of whose "hidden" messages he can hear. "Subliminals are both practical and spiritual, " he says. "They're a smorgasbord for human potential." ...
  • When Photographs Lie

    If the Empire State Building hadn't been moved, it would have stuck out of the sportscaster's head. So Gil Cowley, former art director for New York's WCBS-TV, had the landmark building shifted four blocks uptown on the huge skyline backdrop photo he built for his anchor set. His tool was a Quantel Graphic Paintbox, just one of several computer technologies that are changing the face of photography. "It's just so easy to manipulate images and objects for the effect you want," Cowley says. That's wonderful for art and advertising. But with more than 700 companies now possessing advanced electronic-imaging systems, the implications for photojournalism are scary. ...
  • 'You Just Get On It And Go'

    It all started one balmy day as I sat on the park bench in our driveway and watched my son demonstrate the fine art of balancing on his skateboard. I watched him | with envy. I had never had a skateboard when I was growing up. In my day we kept our feet firmly planted on the ground or, at worst, in a pair of shiny steel roller skates. I do not remember skateboards passing into my stream of consciousness until I was at an age when such things were no longer supposed to interest me. I guess that by the time I realized there were skateboards I had already passed that mystical point in time when the "experts" (mothers, co-workers, neighbors) say you can no longer perform youthful activities without looking foolish. ...
  • Judicial Fiash Points

    The retirement of Justice William Brennan will have far more impact on the Supreme Court than the simple arithmetic of a 54 decision. And while no one can forecast just how the next court will rule on flashpoint controversies like abortion, many experts believe the court's gradual shift toward conservatism, evident for most of the past decade, will now accelerate across a wide range of issues. A selective list: ...
  • Travels With Grandpa

    A pair of rubber rafts floated onto the swift Snake River last week with unusual passengers on board: eight grandparents and 10 grandchildren, ranging in age from 6 to 69. Blue herons soared overhead in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park. Snowcapped peaks towered in the distance. "Did you know that interest rates went down one-quarter percent this weekend?" asked Joe Rault, 64, reading The Wall Street Journal. His grandsons Miles Clements, 6, and Eddie Clements, 8, ignored him, too engrossed in the white water that sometimes threatened to upend the raft. Halfway through the 10-mile trip, Grandpa Rault put his paper aside for a pretend nap. Miles and Eddie tried to pry his eyelids open, whereupon Rault wrestled them to the bottom of the raft. As his wife, Bonnie, looked on, Rault said with a gleam in his eye, "They started it!" ...
  • 15 Minute Gap

    No one at the opening of the Richard Nixon library last week mentioned the missing 18 1/2 minutes on the infamous Watergate tape. But some guest were talking about former First Lady Nancy Reagan's 16-minute absence from a luncheon given by the Nixons after the ceremony. During the meal, sources say Mrs. Reagan left the table to chat with a former White House staffer. After about 15 minutes, she returned to her seat next to Richard Nixon. "The rudest thing I've ever witnessed," said one onlooker. "It was a lovely lunch," said a Reagan spokesman. "We don't comment on mischievous gossip."
  • Can Germany Be Contained?

    Helmut Kohl's trip to the Soviet Union almost assured his election as the first chancellor of a united Germany in 45 years. But the rush to unify makes problems for both Germany and the West. His dealing with Mikhail Gorbachev last week irritated and embarrassed allied officials who learned about it after the fact. Western capitals buzzed with speculation that an enlarged German state would attain de facto hegemony over the rest of Europe. Ironically, too, Kohl's successful battle to overcome a Soviet veto on the united Germany's membership in NATO may seriously undermine the Atlantic alliance itself. ...
  • So Why Is No One Cheering?

    Fort Lauderdale stock-market investor Merrill Sands should have had I everything going for him last week. The Dow Jones industrial average hovered all week around 300--the magic number many thought would never be reached so soon after the crash of 1987- and his stock portfolio was full of respectable issues. Yet Sands was far from happy. Despite the bullish numbers, his trusted bank and insurance stocks were on the skids. "The Dow keeps going up," he says, "but the stocks I own don't go up with it." ...
  • Life Of A Rose

    She's outlived her husband by more than 20 years and has mourned the deaths of four children. But Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy is still an indomitable matriarch. Although frail and under round-the-clock care, she made a brief appearance at a public fete honoring her 100th birthday last week. She spent her actual birthday, July 22, with just the family in Hyannis Port, Mass. "I'm like old wine," she told son Teddy. "They don't bring me out very often, but I'm well preserved."
  • Celeb Haircut Review

    Everyone from Ivana Trump to Joan Rivers to Marilyn Quayle is revamping his or her hair this summer. It's simply the thing to do. But just because a celebrity gets a certain cut doesn't mean you should copy it (look at the photos). A sampler of celebrities who have tried new dos, for better or for worse: Who was it who decided the "Presumed Innocent" lead had to wear his hair like Julius Caesar? Don't blame Ford for this. But you can pity him.Had best long hair in Hollywood, so why tamper with perfection? She's a beauty any way you cut it, but she really shouldn't have.The combined flat-top/fade looks too sculpted on top, scorched on the sides. But at least Roseanne Barr can't call him "triangle head" anymore. After years of experimenting, you finally did it, Jane: your locks no longer look like a separate entity. Too bad improved coiffure doesn't guarantee good reviews.
  • Discovering What Little Boys Are Made Of

    Just where do males come from, anyway? Reports last week in the journal Nature offer the most convincing answer yet. Researchers have known since 1959 that the Y chromosome makes an embryo develop testes rather than ovaries. Once that occurs, the sexual die is cast: other male traits, from beards to baldness, stem from hormones made by the testes. Now biologists think they've found the actual gene, on the Y chromosome, that nudges an embryo toward maleness ...
  • Milwaukee Is Talking . . .

    A bout the prison escape of convicted murderer Lawrencia Bembenek, an ex-cop and former Playboy bunny convicted of killing her husband's ex-wife. Rut instead of hoping for her capture, many Milwaukeeans are cheering Bembenek's freedom from the Taycheedah Correctional Institution. Despite two failed appeals, many have doubts about her guilt. But Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann suspects a different reason for the fugitive's support: "People don't want to believe an attractive person is guilty."