Newswire

Newswire

  • Never Too Old To Go On Line

    When JoAnn Oakes's husband died, six years ago, she found that evenings were the loneliest time. That was before she put an IBM-compatible next to her bed and joined SeniorNet, a national compter network for people 55 and over. Now when Oakes wakes up at 1:30 a.m., she can log on and engage in lively electronic discussions on everything from health problems to abortion, grandparenting to Ross Perot. She's made fast friends and rekindled her love life over the computer line. "Many of us feel left out of the world, " says the 63-year-old resident of Bainbridge Island, Wash. "The computer fills a social need-it's a major part of my life." ...
  • The Man And The Myth

    The great salesmen understand one thing above all: you sell yourself, not the product. Shoes, suits, data-management services: it doesn't matter. You make a sales call. You get in the door. You lend the customers your dreams, the myths of your own life, your belief in your wares. In the case of Ross Perot, candidate, the dictum is doubly apt. He's selling what he's always sold: a cocky faith in himself, in his ability to reach his goals. "This isn't about a guy with some 16-point plan on health insurance," says his top aide, Tom Luce. "This campaign is about Ross Perot's way of getting things done."Perot is making the sales pitch of a lifetime to a customer called America. We've had farmers, lawyers, soldiers and engineers as presidents. We've had an actor, and even a failed haberdasher named Harry Truman. But we've never had a salesman, let alone one like Perot. In the 1992 presidential campaign he's offering a series of images of himself--each, at first glance, with its own appeal...
  • War And Peace

    Recent leaders of the Soviet Union may have distrusted the United States. But that didn't stop them from appreciating Hollywood. A sampling of films most often borrowed from the state film agency, according to the Russian weekly Argumenty i Fakty: "Dirty Harry," "Rocky," "Jaws...... Taxi Driver," "Rosemary's Baby," "Emmanuelle," "Magnum Force," "The Godfather" and "The Deer Hunter.""The Godfather" and all James Bond movies (including "From Russia With Love")."Sun Valley Serenade," with John Payne, and "Waterloo Bridge," starring Vivien Leigh.
  • Hitler Knew What He Liked

    Most art created during the Nazi regime in Germany wound up in the ashes of World War II. What survived molders mostly not in art museums but in places like the customhouse in Munich. Hardly anybody will exhibit the stuff, but-maybe because of the Nazi book burnings of the early 19308-no one is willing to destroy it, either. Even scholars shy away; the great architecture historian Nikolaus Pevsner said, "Every word about it is too much." Peter Adam, a half-Jewish ex-BBC producer who was raised in Hitler's Berlin, thinks different. He has sifted through the repositories of Nazi art to produce. Art of the Third Reich (332 pages. Abrams. $39.95), a somewhat informal history (he doesn't date about half the works he cites) of a brief but sorry period in the history of art. ...
  • Jamming With Hines

    It's great to suddenly be the biggest star on Broadway, especially if you're 46 years old and have been performing since you were 3. As one congratulatory caller put it: "It's about f---- time!" Gregory Hines is savoring not only the Tony Award he won last week but the fevered critical reaction to his dazzling dancing-singing-acting performance as jazz pioneer Ferdinand "JellyRoll" Morton in "Jelly's Last Jam" and the show's elevation to smash-hit status (it now has $2.5 million in advance ticket sales). "I never wanted to be a star, I just wanted to get work," says Hines. "Yeah, sure," you might think, but sheer believability is a mark of Hines onstage and off. ...
  • Why Rio Will Make History

    Heads of state gather to exchange windy speeches and sign nonbinding treaties. The United States insists the paperwork contain certain clauses that serve mainly to infuriate other nations. The event is widely ridiculed as falling somewhere between bad performance art and a disastrous sellout. ...
  • A Messy Settlement

    When a federal judge last week allowed Rockwell International to pay $18.5 million in fines for mishandling wastes at the Rocky Flats nuclear-weapons plant, another player got off scot-free. "The Department of Energy messed up-it messed up bad," said U.S. prosecutor Ken Fimberg. But sovereign immunity protects federal agencies-and even if the DOE could be sued, taxpayers would pay the fine.
  • How Did That Make Me Feel

    In the era of MTV, the sound bite and cash machines, traditional long-term therapists may be the latest endangered species. If we can't wait 10 minutes to cash a check, we certainly can't wait five years to cure our phobias. Now we may not have to. Since studies show that as many as half of all patients never return after the first session anyway, some therapists claim they can make a virtue of necessity and solve the patient's problems in a single, three-hour session. But why take as long as three hours? Why not skip the session altogether? In the recently published "Think Like a Shrink" (Warner, $18.95), psychiatrist Christ Zois urges readers to solve their problems themselves using short-term therapy techniques. ...
  • The Crusties Vs. The Ravers

    They look like extras from a Mad Max movie, sound like refugees from Woodstock and ramble through the British countryside in rattletrap convoys livestock in tow. "We are a peaceful, tribal people," says 20-year-old Gilbert. "We love our freedom to do what we want."What they want is to make their way through a round of impromptu festivals. That would be fine if there weren't so many New Age travelers on the road this summer-and if a wild new breed of revelers hadn't appeared in their midst. When police turned away caravans headed for the first of this year's "fezzies" (as the travelers call them) in Wiltshire last month, 20,000 people set up camp on the town common of unsuspecting Castlemorton. They partied for a week, leaving behind dead sheep, burned fences, chopped trees and graffiti. Said local poultry farmer Kevin Hammett: "I've never seen so much lawlessness in my life." ...
  • A Little Bit Of Magic

    At only 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and 20 inches in height, he isn't NBA material yet. But Earvin Johnson III, born last week in Los Angeles to Cookie and Magic Johnson, has already notched a major victory. He tested negative for the AIDS virus which forced his father's retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers last November. Earlier, Cookie had tested negative as well, and her doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center were confident that the child was not infected. The couple "brought a little magic into the world today," Johnson's agent said in a statement. "The father is said to be looking forward to many late-night feedings and endless diaper changes." No word yet on whether Johnson, who also has an 11-year-old son, will take Baby Magic to the Summer Olympics in Barcelona next month.
  • The Man Who Disappeared

    Victor Norris Hamilton's relatives had given him up for dead. He was fired from the top-secret U.S. National Security Agency for psychiatric reasons in 1959, the government said, and defected to the Soviet Union in 1962. Last week he was found, in a Russian psychiatric prison. Now 75 and suffering, his wife says, from problems," he is apparently unaware of the changes around him. His wife wants him back-if Washington won't prosecute.
  • More About Eve

    How many times did Homo sapiens evolve? Once, say fans of the out-of-Africa model: in Africa. Often, say critics: Homo erectus migrated from his African birthplace and developed independently in Asia and Europe. Two 350,000-year-old skulls from China, described in last week's Nature, support the second idea. They show a mix of erectus and sapiens features, perhaps a missing link between the species.
  • Perot Vs. Bush: Campaign Of Vendetta

    Ross Perot denies any personal animosity toward George Bush. "Nice man, nice family," he chirps, with all the enthusiasm he might use to compliment the cut of Bush's golf pants. Privately, Perot has told friends that Bush is "whiny and hand-wringing." Perot, an expert needler, knows how to get the president's goat. At a rally last month in Little Rock, Ark., Perot declared, "I don't have to prove my manhood by sending anybody to war." The remark, predictably, set off a seismic reaction in the White House. "The president is ready to deck him," says a campaign aide. ...
  • Getting A Kick Out Of Soccer

    America's suburban teenagers may exercise too little and sleep too late, but they love the sporting life. You have your doubts? Well, just walk into any mall and count the kids wearing soccer shorts-you might think you were midfield at a match between Manchester United and Arsenal. ...
  • Wiring Up The Age Of Technopolitics

    There was nothing especially high tech about Ross Perot's rally in Orlando, Fla., last month. Phone hookups and satellite feeds, staples of presidential campaigning for years, carried his speech to five other cities. The real story was in the fifth paragraph of a USA Today article previewing the event earlier that week: "Telstar 302, transponder 9, vertical, channel 17."Those were the coordinates of the satellite that beamed Perot's image back to Earth. It meant that anyone with access to a satellite dish (there are nearly 3.7 million now) could have Ross the Boss on screen, unfiltered and unspun by journalistic chatter. ...
  • Clinton In The Twilight Zone

    When Ripley's mounts its "Believe It Or Not" exhibit about the 1992 campaign, the strangeness of last week should get its own booth: ...
  • Commercially Speaking

    --JEFF SMITH (advertisement)The Frugal Gourmet has selected a juicer...(advertisement)I might just as well tell you about my favorite equipment ... brand names and all. I must be careful with this since you might think I am getting a little too commercial.--JEFF SMITH, "The Frugal Gourmet Whole Family Cookbook"A little too commercial? Jeff Smith, TV's most popular chef and the author of numerous best-selling cookbooks, has been endorsing products for nearly a decade, fulsomely praising everything from a garlic press to a garbage disposal. "These are products that we recommend," says Smith. "I don't like the word "endorse'."Sorry, Frug, you're a flack. And your new "The Frugal Gourmet Whole Family Cookbook," just published with 350,000 copies in print, is an especially shocking example: here at last is the cookbook as infomercial. "This book is certainly less complicated than anything else we have done," you write, explaining that its purpose is to help families prepare simple...
  • The Grinch Of Rio

    For months, heads of state, environmental activists and United Nations officials called in every chit and twisted every arm to get George Bush to attend the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. What would be the point of a conference on the future of the planet, after all, if the globe's only superpower stayed home? Rio's partisans got what they wanted. But when Bush shows up this week for a 40-hour appearance, even many of America's allies are going to greet him as the Grinch who stole the eco-summit. First the White House weakened the climate-change pact, angering European countries that wanted an agreement with teeth. Then the administration refused to sign the biodiversity treaty, which is supported by more than 120 nations from Germany to India to Brazil, and publicly snubbed its own delegation chief when he made a last ditch attempt to get the White House on board. Finally, to cap off the chaos, Washington sprung a June surprise: a forest-preservation proposal that alienated just...
  • A Chrome-Plate Special

    You won't see George Michael in his new video, "Too Funky," on MTV this week because he's the codirector, not the star. What you will see is a nightmare vision of a Thierry Mugler fashion show in which topflight models like Linda Evangelista endure a backstage trip through hell. Instead of gowns, they wear RoboCop-type outfits and Harley-Davidson breastplates. In one lesbian seduction scene-if the network's editors don't snip it-model Shana Zadrick opens Evangelista's dress and fondles her plated breast. Michael is donating profits from the single to various AIDS charities. And the video is supposed to carry a message about safe sex. But just in case viewers don't get it, hunky male models flex tattoos that plainly read: WE MUST PROTECT OURSELVES. Hey, George, whatever happened to "I Want Your Sex"? The message is the massage: Michael with Zadrick, Evangelista, Nadja, Beverly, Peele, Estelle, Lefebure and Tyra
  • A New Aids Alert

    Has the World Health Organization been underestimating the explosive spread of AIDS? A Harvard University report says there may be 110 million people Infected with the HIV virus 2000, not 40 million, as WHO has reported. (WHO stands by its figures.) The study says the most rapid expansion of the epidemic will take place in Asia, which by 2000 will account for 42 percent of all HIV infections.