There are two truths about South Bend, Ind. No. 1: You can't escape the influence of the University of Notre Dame. No. 2: You can't escape the ghost of Studebaker.
South Bend may be best known as the home of the Fighting Irish, but it was once the home of Studebaker automobiles. When Studebaker closed in 1963, it left a gaping hole in the town, where unemployment is at 10.4 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, the city is working hard to create a second act for the commercial life of South Bend.
States are banding together to try to combat prescription drug abuse. Doctors in many states check a database before prescribing medication. But there's no way for doctors who live on the border to check neighboring states. Now there's a move to change that.
Let's face it. When we call someplace a tree-lined street in a leafy suburb, the implication is not that its residents live among deadly hazards. The intent is generally flattering. We like trees - you know, radio shows are hosted by fools like me, but only God can make a tree - except when 70-mile-per-hour winds blow through your neighborhood, as they did in many neighborhoods around Washington, D.C. last Friday.
The African nation of Kenya is attempting to get more than 1 million men between the ages of 15 and 49 circumcised by the end of 2013. If successful, this could be a groundbreaking effort in the fight to curb the spread of HIV.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:35 pm
Tuesday night the rising R&B star Frank Ocean did something important. At first, however, few observers agreed on what he'd done. Headlines varied on quickly assembled gossip reports, from the measured to the hyperbolic.
Around the time I turned 12, I figured out exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: an alcoholic.
I didn't actually know what it meant to be an alcoholic, but I knew that one day, I would drink copious amounts and dash around the streets of Paris, preferably in the company of bullfighters, bankrupts, impotent newspaper correspondents, and morbidly depressed, exotically beautiful divorcees.
By now, a couple of generations of moviegoers are familiar with the disembodied voice in a cornfield that leads Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) to risk all for a baseball diamond. Web developer Pascal Rettig is not in as precarious a position as that fictional farmer, yet he has challenged himself by constructing a social stadium of sorts.
In a good jazz rhythm section, the players function independently and as one. Their parts and accents crisscross and reinforce each other, interlocking like West African drummers. Beyond that, the bass is a band's ground floor. When it changes up, the earth shifts under all the players' feet. From moment to moment, Linda Oh's bass prowls or gallops, takes giant downward leaps, or stands its ground.