Newswire

Newswire

  • Never On Sundae

    It happened again. Thanks to a study by Ultra Slim-Fast, Americans can take pride in the fact that, last year, they once again gained weight--1.1 billion total pounds, which comes out to six pounds per person. Other flab findings: 54% of the country's women tried to lose weight, as compared with 33% of the men.Those who rigorously attempted to trim fat lost an average of 16 pounds.Men (27%) and women (29%) have been about equally successful in keeping off lost weight.Those least likely to keep off lost weight are age 35 to 49.Copyright 1992 Newsweek: not for distribution outside of Newsweek Inc.
  • Electoral Strip Search

    I miss fiends, especially dope fiends and sex fiends. Back in the days when we had them, life was easy to figure out. It was divided (though not, one deeply hoped, evenly) between the dope fiends and sex fiends on the one hand and everyone else on the other. I am aware that this simple scheme was based on hypocrisy, naivete, double standards and a whole lot of other duplicitous and/or unsophisticated ways of thinking and acting. But at least at election time we did not have to get into so much headbreaking analysis of degrees of culpability and sliding scales of relevance to suitability for office. Did the candidate smoke one marijuana cigarette or two ... or two hundred? Was it the only instance of drunken driving? How old was he at the time? Did he report the accident or was he caught? Was it an episode or two of marital infidelity or a lifelong compulsion? Does it matter? Ho* much? ...
  • The Misroading Of Dyslexia

    No one would accuse Kerri Schwalbe of lacking smarts or motivation. The Perrysburg, Ohio, fifth grader has an IQ of 118 and enthusiasm to spare. Unfortunately, she's never had an aptitude for linking letters to sounds. She recognizes many words by their appearance on the page, but at 11 she still can't spell or write. Common sense says she's dyslexic. But in the state of Ohio, dyslexia consists of a 30-point disparity between IQ and some comparable measure of reading achievement. By that standard, Kerri is not entitled to special help. "It's sad," says her mother. "She may waste her time in school until she fails badly enough to qualify as learning-disabled." ...
  • The Rain Man Of Santa Monica

    Santa Monica is not a place where you think of people putting down roots. It's the western shore of Los Angeles, an edgeless city better known for alienated interlopers and crackpot visionaries like Aimee Semple McPherson and L. Ron Hubbard. But for Michael McMillen, 45, an artist who's supported himself in the past as a prop maker for such movies as "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Blade Runner," it's practically ancestral turf. In the house where his grandparents raised him (his parents were divorced), he found toy soldiers he'd deployed as a kid still hiding behind the shrubbery 20 years later. McMillen hasn't changed that much himself: his current exhibition, "Michael C. McMillen: Habitats-Installations and Constructions" (through Feb. 9 at The Oakland Museum) is a big, melancholy playhouse. ...
  • A Golden Trumpet Anniversary

    When Dizzy Gillespie has a birthday,jazz lovers get to go to the party. The great trumpet player turns 75 on Oct. 21, and he's celebrating the way he knows best-with music. Gillespie recently kicked off a world tour with a monthlong gig at New York's Blue Note in Greenwich Village. He says that when he started his new sound, people used to say, "Here comes the guy who plays the wrong notes." Now everyone's trying to play them that way.
  • Foreign Outfits

    The Winter Olympics start next week in France with the usual fanfare. But the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union isn't pleased. The American uniforms for the opening-day celebrations weren't made in the U.S.A.; 10 of the 13 pieces in the outfits come from abroad. Designer Henry Grethel discovered that U.S. factories wouldn't produce the tiny order, saying it was unprofitable. A USOC spokesman says, "We're talking about a handful of items in a huge collection."
  • Living Alone Could Shorten Your Life

    If there was any question that companionship is good for you, a new study of heart-attack patients should help dispel it. Researchers at three hospitals in New York state followed 1,200 heart-attack survivors to see whether their living arrangements affected their health. Their findings: patients who lived by themselves were nearly twice as likely as those with companions to have another attack--or die of one-within six months. Writing in last week's Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers reported that none of the known risk factors for second heart attacks-advanced age, low socioeconomic status and severe heart damage-accounted for the ill health of subjects who lived alone. Nearly 16 percent of that group had another heart attack within six months. Only 9 percent of the patients who shared living quarters were stricken. ...
  • The New Age Of Aquarius

    I was out on a thread, and any moment I was going to be gone; my mind was floating out along the string, and that's when I felt I lost it. And it took a whole lot of energy to get back into myself --JANE ...
  • Political Child Abuse

    Every parent knows that parenting is an intensely personal, frustrating and fulfilling experience. You make it up as you go along. Your children (we have three) are a constant source of surprise and anxiety. You hope all the surprises will be pleasant. Sometimes they aren't. What you give-and how much good it does-is a matter of heart, head and luck: something too intimate and intricate for government to influence meaningfully. ...
  • Threads On The Stump

    While others examine bedsheets, Peri Picks is taking the high road by carefully inspecting something really important: wardrobes. A look at the horse race among Democratic clotheshorses: Senator Speedo! He's no bathing beauty, but you've got to admire the. . effort. Calling Burt Lancaster.Coolest neckties of the bunch, by far. But are they too hip for Washington?Bellissimo. Rodeo Drive meets Manchester, N.H. Forget the coffee shop; let's do Spago.It takes a man from Nebraska to pull off the duck-boots-with-business-suit look. He's a workin'class kind of a guy, and proud of it. Memo from Mike Dukakis: lose the helmet.
  • Can Boris Yeltsin

    Welcome to the club, Boris. By the end of this week it will at least appear that the Russian president has finally taken his place among the world's most powerful heads of state. First Yeltsin hosts the continuing Middle East peace conference. Then he flies to London for meetings with British Prime Minister John Major, Next stop, New York. With the leaders of the United States, Britain, France and China looking on, Yeltsin will take the U.N. Security Council seat formerly held by the Soviet Union. Finally he's off to Camp David for a crucial meeting with President Bush, his first since the Soviet Union passed into history. ...
  • Spike's Arabian Nights

    "Al-hamdulillah," said the associate producer, kissing his right hand twice for emphasis and casting his eyes heavenward. Hollywood executives are more likely to ask for the blessing of their distributor than of Allah, but Spike Lee's $33 million "Malcolm X" was on location in Cairo last month, and calling on God in Arabic seemed more appropriate. For six days and nights, the director, star Denzel Washington and the cast and crew members re-created scenes from the life of the Black Muslim leader, who traveled through Africa and the Middle East recruiting support the year before his 1965 assassination. In the desert outskirts of Cairo, the film crew re-created scenes of the hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, and jammed the passageways of Old Cairo-dodging street kids, onlookers and funeral processions. ...
  • The Push To 'Buy American'

    Listen up, Japan. Greece, N.Y., has taken a stand. The Rochester suburb wanted to buy a piece of excavating equipment-but last week the town board voted down a $40,000 machine from Komatsu, hoping to send a message to Japan about unfair trade policies. It voted to buy a John Deere, even though the American company's model cost $15,000 more. ...
  • Pitching The Message

    This year, most candidates skipped the normal biography spots that traditionally kicked off television ad campaigns. They're going straight for the issues, but with varying degrees of detail-and candor. Moving music and haunting visuals inside an empty New Hampshire factory could manipulate some votes in a state that's lost so many manufacturing jobs. But Harkin utters not a word about how he'd get them back.Read Pat's lips: his message is simple and hard hitting. In '88 Bush used the no-tax pledge to garrote Bob Dole; now Buchanan is trying to do the same thing to the president. For his audience, this is the reddest of red meat. Hawking health care, his big issue, he' right that Bush, the insurance industry and other Democrats aren't pushing real reform. But he doesn't let viewers know that he'd pay for his plan by raising payroll taxes.
  • Screening Out The Dark Past

    In 1939 a German-Jewish teenager named Salomon Perel fled to Poland to escape Nazi pogroms. When the Nazis invaded Poland, Perel made his way to Soviet-held territory; through a combination of linguistic skill, subterfuge and bizarre fortune, he was cared for first by the Soviet Communist Youth League, then by a German Army officer who sent him to an elite school for Hitler youth. At the end of the war, Perel was saved from execution when his own brother emerged from a concentration camp to identify him. Perel's story is told in "Europa, Europa," a German motion picture that last week won a Golden Globe award for best foreign film. Though the powerful movie was considered Germany's best prospect for an Oscar, the German Export Film Union didn't nominate it, claiming its Polish director and French cofinancing violate the Oscar competition's "national content "rule. Critics charged the union was quashing frank images of the Nazi past. "We've been censored, " says pro ducer Atze...
  • 'I Think We're Ready'

    As rumors of extramarital affairs swirl around her husband, Hillary Clinton is his most articulate defender. She represents a new generation of political wives: she's an accomplished professional with perhaps as much claim as her husband to a place in public life. Born in Chicago and educated at Wellesley and Yale Law School, Clinton is a nationally known activist on education and children's issues and was recently named one of the nation's top 100 lawyers by the National Law Journal. She stirred resentment in Arkansas when she initially declined to take her husband's surname-relenting only after it became a political liability for him. Last week she spoke with NEWSWEEK'S Eleanor Clift, on the eve of the latest allegations. Excerpts: ...
  • A Grab Bag Of Gothic Styles

    One of the remarkable things about Steven Soderbergh's "sex, lies, and videotape" was that it didn't call other films to mind. In his debut film, the writer/director spoke with a voice clearly his own. Kafka is another story. Written by Lem Dobbs (more than 10 years ago), filmed in Prague in shadowy black-and-white images that nod to German expressionism, this paranoid thriller feels much more like a first film than Soderbergh's actual first film. It's composed almost entirely of borrowed parts, the most obvious influence being Orson Welles's baroque "The Trial," the most recent Terry Gilliam's "Brazil." It's easy enough to understand the temptation that lured Dobbs and Soderbergh to re-create a filmic style they love (who doesn't?), but "Kafka" is a surprisingly tepid and stiff pastiche. ...
  • Moscow Nirvana

    Given the chaos in the former Soviet Union, small wonder the founder of Transcendental Meditation next week will open a Vedic university in Moscow. More than 300 students have already signed up to learn "Vedic management" (based on higher consciousness and all that) at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's MVU. The Maharishi, onetime guru to the Beatles, plans another TM school in Naberezhniye Chelny (formerly Brezhnev) later this month. He hopes to have teachers in all the republics soon. "This is a very grand addition to the field of education," says the guru.
  • Move Over, Bart Simpson

    It's no secret, especially to parents, that kiddie-cartoon shows are either stupidly violent or violently stupid. So when Nickelodeon, the children's cable network, decided to get into animation last year, it confronted a challenge. Would all those impressionable minds conditioned to all that infantile dreck respond to cartoon comedy that took them seriously? Have they ever. "Nicktoons," a 90-minute block of three innovative series, is drawing so many viewers that it's outrating what passes for kidvid on the broadcast networks. What's more, "Nicktoons" has hooked the college crowd. Just as the hipsters of the late '5Os cut class for "The Mickey Mouse Club," their counterparts today are actually getting up on Sunday mornings-if only to catch the latest episodes of "Rugrats," "Doug" and "The Ren & Stimpy Show."While all three cartoons are at the cutting edge of the genre, each exudes a singular charm. The biggest on campus is, by no coincidence, the weirdest. Imagine a...
  • Take Two Roots; Call Me . . .

    She was lethargic and enervated, unable even to muster the strength to raise herself to defecate. A mound of scrumptious worker ants hardly tempted her. She barely noticed the other wild chimpanzees foraging in Tanzania's Mahale Mountains National Park, chewing on schumack stalks and slurping insect larvae topped off with ants. Then the ailing chimp seemed to summon her last erg of energy. She dragged herself over to a Vernonia amygdalina bush, which is seldom eaten by chimps. She sucked loudly on its shoots, swallowed juice from its pith and spat out the fibrous leftovers. By the next afternoon she had perked up visibly. Her appetite had returned; she socialized, groomed and foraged like a chimp reborn. ...