Newswire

Newswire

  • The Color Of Money

    Even a recession doesn't look so bad when it's viewed in dazzling colors. Earlier this year Assistant Treasury Secretary Sidney Jones designed a set of 120 high-tech computer charts, using 256 colors and shades, to track the economy's performance. The up-to-the-minute graphics, available on computer screens throughout the government, show forward-looking data on housing starts (burnt orange, spring green, sky blue), leading indicators (Kelly green, lilac) and personal income (vermilion, lavender). Jones thinks the future looks rosy: "The three are up three months in a row, indicating the recession is ending," he says. How vigorous an upturn? "It'll be moderate."
  • Vcr Plus+: Dial M For The Late-Night Movie

    In the fall of 1988, Henry C. Yuen tried to program his VCR to tape a baseball game and failed. This frustrated Yuen, a research scientist with a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the California Institute of Technology. "I thought that taping a program should be as easy as dialing a telephone," the Shanghai-born Yuen, 43, says. "And why shouldn't TV Guide be like a telephone book?" ...
  • Seeing Red At Big Blue

    Poor Brent Henderson. His name will be forever embedded in IBM Corp. lore, though surely not as he expected. Henderson, an IBM branch manager in Calgary, Canada, attended a seminar in late April for a handful of the company's fast-track middle managers. The featured speaker was IBM chairman John Akers, who complained that his messages get muddled in the bureaucracy. Henderson apparently took the boss literally. He made notes of Akers's tongue-lashing and later wrote a detailed four-page memo, which he circulated on IBM's internal electronic-mail system. Last week it was leaked to the media, provoking an uproar that had people wondering whether IBM's problems were more intractable than suspected. ...
  • Los Angeles: Were The Cops Stalking King?

    This time no one had a video camera--so it's Rodney King's word against the LAPD's. Last week two vice cops spotted a transvestite hooker climbing into a Chevy Blazer. The car pulled into an alley, and the plainclothesmen moved in on foot. Then, police say, the car lurched at one of them, and peeled out. Minutes later the driver approached two cops in a patrol car, saying two armed men tried to rob him. But the vice cops showed up and arrested him on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon--the Blazer. Only then, police say, did they learn that the man was King, 25, victim of the videotaped police beating. ...
  • New Jack Cinema Enters Screening

    The issue of Variety dated June 10, 1970, included a favorable review of Ossie Davis's film "Cotton Comes to Harlem," which predicted, "even Southern exhibitors will want a piece of the action." This forecast, nothing if not all business, was a courtly acknowledgment both of racial barriers and of their imminent rupture. By October 1972 the boom in black films was officially on. Richard Roundtree's character John Shaft (he's the black private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks, in case you've forgotten the song) was on the cover of NEWSWEEK, brandishing a pistol for a story that announced, "All over the country, 'bad-ass niggers' are collecting dues with a vengeance--and if you don't believe it, just head downtown for a movie." Ooh, those heady '70s. ...
  • Summer Accessories

    Summer is the season for trendy leisure-time accouterments--and there are plenty this year. Peri sorts through the merchandise and grades some of the hotter offerings: * Bandannas: Seen mostly on Kilmer-does-Morrison types. Sort of touchy-feely heavy metal.*** Roller blades: So common, they're almost passe. But still a lot of fun** Hypercolor clothes: Neat: colors change at a hand's touch. But will they be around next year?*** Geo Metro: Has replaced the VW Cabriolet as the in roadster. Sporty, relatively agile and, best of all during this summer of recession, it's cheap.
  • Buzzwords

    Workers at amusement parks and carnivals have their own lingo: A ride, as in "Let's set up the iron behind the boardwalk."So-called because they often require the operator to clean up after ill customers.High-end prizes given to game winners, like gigantic stuffed animals.Cheapo prizes, like plastic caterpillars.To show off the plush.Most thrilling section of a ride, such as a corkscrew loop on a roller coaster.Radio code for vomit. Usage: "We've got a Signal 40 at the Rotor."
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

    No one knows exactly where they came from. Some rabbis claim they are the lost Biblical tribe of Dan. Others say they're descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Whatever their origins, they have lived in Ethiopia for 2,000 years, black like other Africans but persecuted for practicing a Judaism that is found nowhere else. Now, after a daring Israeli rescue mission (Operation Solomon) as Addis Ababa was about to fall, most of Ethiopia's Jews are finally home in Zion. ...
  • The Return Of The Fourth R

    Blank faces--34 of them--stare at Allan Nolan LaRock when he mentions the Ark of the Covenant to his sixth-grade class. "What's he talking about?" one boy finally whispers. Teacher LaRock then tries a different tack. "How many of you have seen 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'?" he asks. Thirty-four faces register immediate interest. Seizing on the movie as a point of reference, LaRock goes on to tell his class at the San Juan Unified School District, 100 miles northeast of San Francisco, about the other Ark-the one containing the tablets given to Moses. ...
  • A Chair For All Reasons

    Feel the need to show off your collection? (Of course you have one--it's what you filled all those empty liquor cartons with the last time you moved.) Want to impress your friends with your terrific design sense? Then you should plan a design party. Here's what to do: type. up your invitations on an Olivetti Valentine portable typewriter, which slips into its red plastic bucket case as smoothly as a ten dollar bill into a maitre d's palm. The epitome of manual-typewriter design, it makes an arrestingly primitive object considering it's only about 20 years old. Now, decorate your drawing room with allegorical female figures representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Set your table with Angle dinnerware, designed in 1984 by JeanPierre Cailleres, evidently as an ironic commentary on the bourgeois convention that plates should be round. (His are equilateral triangles.) Have plenty of Sonderbar armchairs on hand, so your friends can sit on curved panels of perforated sheet metal,...
  • Clearing The Way For A Gorbachev Summit

    How much foreign aid will Moscow need to make the transition to a free-market economy? A Soviet delegation spent more than nine hours with U.S. officials last week, and it never mentioned a precise figure. But in a visit to the International Monetary Fund, the men from Moscow were less bashful. They said the Soviet Union may need as much as $30 billion to $50 billion-in each of the next five years. That put a maximum price tag of $250 billion on what some people are calling the "Grand Bargain": fundamental Soviet reform in exchange for massive Western financial aid. ...
  • Shows That Love Too Much

    Love is sweeping the airwaves. No, not Sam's sudden urge to have a baby with Rebecca or the courting of Murphy by both Jerry and Jake. That's make-believe stuff. The love in bloom here is the real, raunchy, weirded-out, goo-gooey thing. No fewer than a half-dozen reality-based romance series--the official description is "relational programming"--are either currently wooing viewers or getting ready to try. While each has a different pitch, all share one characteristic: their participants' awesome eagerness to disgorge the most intimate details of their relationships. True love, or at least TV's newest version of it, means never having to say you're too discreet to say any more. ...
  • Teapots And Sympathy

    Move over, Bambi. The Disney studio is about to do for inanimate objects what it did for animals - humanize them. In "Beauty and the Beast," the new animated feature due out in November, Angela Lansbury provides the voice for the motherly Mrs. Potts, an enchanted teapot that serves as housekeeper in the Beast's castle. Other cuddly characters include a candelabrum and a broken teacup named Chip. Loving a teacup may seem a bit much, but loving a skunk named Flower once seemed like a long shot, too.
  • El Paso Is Talking...

    About flamboyant private eye Jay J. Armes, who last May scooped the FBI when he traced two missing female college students to a seaside Mexican resort. Armes says the women originally told him they had been kidnapped but says they later admitted they had run away to escape school pressure and personal problems. The FBI claims Armes and the parents of one of the women contrived the abduction story to make them look like victims. The parents deny it. The G-men are "full of s--t," says Armes. "Since I found them, they want to discredit my information."
  • Reversal Of Fortune?

    New Hampshire schoolteacher Pamela Smart, convicted in March of conspiring to murder her husband, may hire hotshot appeals lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz, whose clients have included Claus von Billow and Leona Helmsley, discussed the case last week with Smart in the New Hampshire State Prison for Women, where she's serving a mandatory life sentence. "[Smart's family] called me and I went to see her," says Dershowitz. Several other top defense lawyers have also approached Smart about handling her appeal. She may make a choice this week.
  • Spiking A Fever

    In Stanley Kramer's 1967 "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," Katharine Hepburn nervously wants to know if her daughter has slept with her black fiance. No, says the thoroughly modern daughter, but only "because he wouldn't let me!" In Spike Lee's Jungle Fever Harlem architect Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) nervously reveals to his friend Cyrus (Spike Lee) that he's seeing a white girl (Annabella Sciorra). "H-bomb!" says Cyrus, but "I know you didn't bone her." "I threw her on the table," confesses Flipper. "Nuclear holocaust!" says Cyrus. ...
  • Japan: All In The Family

    Since the early 1950s, the presidents of the vast group of Mitsubishi companies in Japan have met once a month. They gather in a central Tokyo office building (owned by the group's real-estate company), have a light lunch and, occasionally, sip a beer or two (Kirin is the group's brewer). They call it kinyo-kai--the Friday meeting. And whoever first came up with the idea probably never thought that, almost 40 years later, these bull sessions would figure prominently in the nightmares of United States trade negotiators. ...
  • Big Crimes, Small Cities

    Baptist deacon O. C. Brown used to urge his congregation to pray for the growing number of criminals who victimize residents of Milwaukee. But at home he wasn't overly concerned. Brown felt so secure in the pleasant old city on Lake Michigan that he didn't even bother to lock his doors. Last Tuesday afternoon the needless violence more often associated with the nation's biggest metropolises cost Brown his life: he was gunned down by one of two youths who quarreled with his son. One more homicide, one more painful proof that the worst brand of big-city crime is migrating as never before to smaller cities-places that have long viewed themselves as safe, "livable" alternatives to large urban areas. ...
  • Montana's 'Angels Of Mercy'

    It was 6 o'clock in the morning when Alene Brackman got the call. Her dying patient's pain was "out of control," his family told the hospice nurse; he needed help, and fast. If she had followed regulations, Brackman would have called his doctor, obtained a prescription, persuaded a pharmacy to open early and taken the drug to the patient's house--a matter of at least two hours. Instead, she went to the stethoscope box in the unlocked drawer of supervisor Mary Mouat's desk, fished out two morphine suppositories and got them to the patient right away. "That's the reason I went into nursing," she explained later. "To relieve suffering." ...
  • Scientology Takes On Time

    Less than a month after Time magazine's May 6 cover article calling Scientology a "cult of greed," the movement is fighting back. First came an 80-page pamphlet chronicling alleged Time inaccuracies; then a series of newspaper ads attacking the magazine for such "wrongs" as writing nice things about Adolf Hitler prior to World War II. "We've reviewed all of their allegations, and find nothing wrong with the Time story," says a Time lawyer. Several Time staffers say they received calls from a man who claimed to be a Time paralegal and asked if they had signed a form related to "confidentiality" about the story. Editors sent a computer memo to staffers warning them to beware of calls about the Scientology story. Other Time staffers say sources named in the story say detectives have asked about their talks with Time. A church spokesman denied the claims, calling them "scurrilous."