Gil Evans, born a century ago this year, was a leading jazz arranger and composer starting in the 1940s, when he wrote for big bands. He helped organize Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool sessions, then arranged Davis' celebrated orchestra albums like Sketches of Spain. Evans, who had his own big bands that went electric in the 1970s and '80s, died in 1991, but some of his rare music has been newly recorded.
Writer Caitlin Moran believes most women who don't want to be called feminists don't really understand what feminism is. In her book How to Be a Woman, Moran poses these questions to women who are hesitant to identify as feminists:
What part of liberation for women is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man that you marry? The campaign for equal pay? Vogue by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that stuff just get on your nerves?
Mid-20th-century mystery master Ross MacDonald is credited with moving hard-boiled crime off the mean streets of American cities and smack into the suburbs. In MacDonald's mythical California town of Santa Teresa, modeled on Santa Barbara, evil noses its way into gated communities, schools and shopping centers that have been built expressly to escape the dirt and danger of the city.
Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 4:21 pm
A few days ago, I found myself sitting in a room full of cross-legged yogis with my sweaty hands resting on the sweaty knees of the people beside me, bellowing a mantra in unison over and over again. What united us at that yoga studio was empathy for yoga instructor Michael Joel Hall, who was savagely beaten as he walked home earlier that week with his boyfriend.
Justice John Gatwech, chairman of the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission, says his organization is doing its best to track stolen assets, but it lacks trained investigators and prosecutorial power.
Credit John Burnett / NPR
A girl carries a bucket of potatoes as she walks with her brother to their small shack, on July 20 in Juba, South Sudan. After breaking away from Sudan last year, South Sudan recently celebrated it's first independence anniversary. Over the past year repeated conflict with North Sudan, corruption scandals and economic difficulties have plagued the new country.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Traffic moves along a major road under construction in Juba, South Sudan's capital, on July 19, shortly after the country celebrated its first anniversary of independence from Sudan. Corruption scandals have plagued the impoverished new nation over the past year.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
A woman pounds rocks for a few dollars a day in Juba, South Sudan.
There were hopes that the new rulers of South Sudan might somehow break the African mold of big men lining their pockets with big money. But the trend in Juba, the capital, is alarming. The infant nation of South Sudan is barely a year old, and it's already engulfed in scandals over top officials allegedly looting the treasury.
Many South Sudanese citizens are outraged by the conduct of their new leaders, former guerrilla commanders who fought many years for independence.
U.S. employment is stalled, growth is anemic, and the Federal Reserve has decided not to take action for at least another month.
Most economists weren't expecting the Federal Open Markets Committee, which sets the Fed's monetary policy, to announce another round of quantitative easing — a fancy term that basically means the central bank buys bonds to increase the money supply and make borrowing cheaper — at this week's meeting. Still, that's exactly what a number of them think is needed.
Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 11:55 pm
American gymnast Gabby Douglas has won her second Olympic gold medal of the London Summer Games, winning the individual all-around event to match her performance anchoring the U.S. team's first-place performance earlier this week.
Douglas scored 15.500 or higher in her first three rotations, with an emphatic 15.966 on her vault. Her final score was 62.232.
In his latest book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges takes a look at the tensions that arise between profit, progress, technology and the pursuit of the American dream. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, written with co-author Joe Sacco, critiques an economic system that they say abandons too many Americans.