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ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2011
When "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" posted a casting call for "Hardcore Eddie," every muscleman-actor on the way up in Hollywood went out for the part. They knew the character would be on-screen during crucial, cataclysmic action, right alongside Shia LaBeouf and Tyrese Gibson, who plays Epps, the leader of Eddie's good-guy mercenary crew. Baltimore-born Lester Speight walked into the audition and knew he'd nail it. "A lot of times, guys make jokes — they see you walk in and they say, 'Well, we might as well go home now.' For this one, I thought to myself — yeah, you might as well go home.' " He was right.
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NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | September 7, 2012
To reach the Convention Center, you must first walk the gauntlet of dead baby parts. It's one of the newer and more gruesome tactics in the fight over reproductive choice, protesters hoisting large color placards depicting aborted fetuses torn in chunks as a group of men preaches an unending sermon on the evils of abortion. As rhetorical tactics go, it is a bludgeon. The street preachers have other things on their minds, too: Muslims are bad, homosexuals are worse, and if you vote Democrat, you're going to hell in the fast lane.
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NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | April 30, 1998
DAY UPON DAY, Frank Scarpola carried a paperback Bible to Baltimore County Circuit Court with bookmarks sticking out of selected pages and "Holy Bible" written in big letters across the front. He held it ostentatiously in front of him so nobody on the jury should miss it. But jurors never knew if Scarpola had ever read the commandment about not committing murder, right up to the moment they convicted him Tuesday of slowly killing a defenseless little girl named Rita Fisher he should have loved.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2011
When "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" posted a casting call for "Hardcore Eddie," every muscleman-actor on the way up in Hollywood went out for the part. They knew the character would be on-screen during crucial, cataclysmic action, right alongside Shia LaBeouf and Tyrese Gibson, who plays Epps, the leader of Eddie's good-guy mercenary crew. Baltimore-born Lester Speight walked into the audition and knew he'd nail it. "A lot of times, guys make jokes — they see you walk in and they say, 'Well, we might as well go home now.' For this one, I thought to myself — yeah, you might as well go home.' " He was right.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | January 28, 2001
"It's Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years," by Stephen Moore and Julian L. Simon (Cato Institute, 294 pages, $14.95). Published in celebratory fashion by the unabashedly conservative Cato Institute, this is a compilation of serious capsules of research data that attest to the progress of the human race -- especially in the United States. Illustrated by clear and convincing charts and tables, and entirely sober in tone, it is an encouraging tale: elimination of diseases and control of others, diminution of the use of alcohol, vast increases in useful inventions, growth of generosity in the private sector, reduction in damaging accidents, significant progress for most minority groups.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | May 10, 1991
Look at him. Cute widdle doggie. His eyes are bright, his tongue hangs out wetly. What can he be thinking? -- "I love you, Master," "I will obey you, Master," perhaps even, "You are a god, Master."Or possibly, "I would like to eat you, human scum."The French director Jerome Boivin certainly prefers the latter. His haunting, provocative "Baxter," opening today at the Charles, is a dog's eye view of the human race, deconstructed of anthropomorphizing sentimentality. It's "Benji" with attitude.
NEWS
August 29, 1994
MENCKEN for Monday:"But isn't it true that the maladies of middle life are increasing? Maybe they are, but maybe the cause is to be sought, not so much in an exhaustion following over-activity, as in a staleness consequent upon too much ease."-- H. L. Mencken in The Evening Sun, Dec. 16, 1910* * *". . . I roll out of my couch every morning with the most agreeable sensations. In the morning paper there is always massive and exhilarating evidence that the human race, despite its ages-long effort to imitate the seraphim, is still doomed to be irrevocably human, and in my morning mail I always get soothing proof that there are men left who are worse asses than I am."
NEWS
By Rafael Alvarez | January 28, 1991
The Enoch Pratt Free Library launched its annual monthlong tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. over the weekend with a fierce lecture by J. L. Chestnut Jr., who demanded that African-Americans come together as a group to solve their own problems."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | December 21, 1990
It is the season of Christmas miracles, and none is more fantastic and heartwarming than the following: Arnold Schwarzenegger has learned to act.In "Kindergarten Cop," the big guy is brilliant: As a tough, savvy, weary Los Angeles undercover cop, he's the absolute master of the gutter universe who has given himself up completely to that milieu. He's so cold, he's a Mrs. Paul's Fishstick Dinner that's been in the back of the freezer since 1967.But by a not completely unbelievable mesh of melodramatic reversals, he's forced to go undercover as a teacher in a small-town Oregon kindergarten class, the object of which exercise is to determine which of the children is the son of a big-time, bad-guy dope dealer and murderer whose wife has fled her husband's excesses.
NEWS
By ANDREI CODRESCU | December 12, 1994
New Orleans -- Aclamor is rising for redesigning the world, so I thought I'd offer some solutions.The population problem can be easily solved by moving everyone to Texas. According to the Toups Facts Service, the world's population can fit in four-person 5,000-square-foot homes the state of Texas, with 117 million homes left unoccupied. This is spacious living, less crowded than most neighborhoods in the world's largest cities.There is enough room between houses for pigs and cows. Of course, there is no need for that, since all the pigs and the cows in the world can fit in the state of Iowa, with plenty of room leftover.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jonathan Pitts and By Jonathan Pitts,Sun Staff | March 23, 2003
In Baltimore circa 2003, it's hard to speak in depth about sports or politics, family or crime -- come to think of it, about anything that matters much -- without touching on the still-touchy topic of race. When a diverse crowd of 100 gathered at Enoch Pratt Free Library on Cathedral Street this past Wednesday to determine whether America is a "color-blind" society, or should be, the triumph may have been that they didn't even try. The public forum, staged by the New York-based Ford Foundation and Roundtable Inc., a Massachusetts media-production company, was the first in a three-part series, "Ethnicity and Race in a Changing America."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | January 28, 2001
"It's Getting Better All the Time: 100 Greatest Trends of the Last 100 Years," by Stephen Moore and Julian L. Simon (Cato Institute, 294 pages, $14.95). Published in celebratory fashion by the unabashedly conservative Cato Institute, this is a compilation of serious capsules of research data that attest to the progress of the human race -- especially in the United States. Illustrated by clear and convincing charts and tables, and entirely sober in tone, it is an encouraging tale: elimination of diseases and control of others, diminution of the use of alcohol, vast increases in useful inventions, growth of generosity in the private sector, reduction in damaging accidents, significant progress for most minority groups.
FEATURES
By Douglas Birch and Douglas Birch,SUN STAFF | July 1, 2000
Now that rival teams of scientists have created first drafts of the human genetic text, they are about to take the next step toward creating tomorrow's wonder drugs. It's called annotation, and it consists of poring through the volumes of DNA to find all the genes and figure out what they do. No one, perhaps, is more eager to start than Dr. Victor A. McKusick of Johns Hopkins University, 78, one of the founders of modern medical genetics. And few, perhaps, are better poised to influence what path the effort takes.
BUSINESS
By Julie Bell and Julie Bell,SUN STAFF | June 10, 2000
Evidence of a stable economy and investor excitement about the impending announcement that scientists have assembled the human genome - the genetic directions for running a human body - continued to fuel a rebound in biotechnology stocks yesterday. Gains were especially strong among stocks closely associated with genetics, with Rockville-based Human Genome Sciences gaining $22, or 18.7 percent, to close at $139.5625. Celera Genomics Group, also of Rockville, jumped $14.25, or 15.16 percent, to close at $108.
NEWS
By Douglas Birch and Douglas Birch,SUN STAFF | June 21, 1999
It was a grotesque mixture of bigotry and pseudo-science that flourished in America, inspiring biased immigration laws, limits on interracial marriage and the sterilization of more than 60,000 people.And while the eugenics movement came to a very bad end a half-century ago, it may still hold important lessons for us. Its echoes can be heard in the theories linking race and intelligence. And advancing technology is bringing its once far-fetched goals increasingly within our grasp.Eugenics was founded by a 19th-century British mathematician, Francis Galton, whose enthusiasm for evolution and tendency to see the world in terms of numbers led to pioneering work in the application of statistics to biology.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | April 30, 1998
DAY UPON DAY, Frank Scarpola carried a paperback Bible to Baltimore County Circuit Court with bookmarks sticking out of selected pages and "Holy Bible" written in big letters across the front. He held it ostentatiously in front of him so nobody on the jury should miss it. But jurors never knew if Scarpola had ever read the commandment about not committing murder, right up to the moment they convicted him Tuesday of slowly killing a defenseless little girl named Rita Fisher he should have loved.
NEWS
September 3, 1997
Princess Diana exemplified compassionAs a family glued to the television and Internet the last few days regarding the death of Princess Diana, it dawned on me just what this means in the big picture.The loss of such a humane, compassionate, genuine human being has touched every heart in every nation. Why? Because underneath the big scheme of it all, we yearn for compassion and kindness as a nation.The sadness experienced by everyone of every culture, race, religion and creed proves that we want such icons in our world.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Jonathan Pitts and By Jonathan Pitts,Sun Staff | March 23, 2003
In Baltimore circa 2003, it's hard to speak in depth about sports or politics, family or crime -- come to think of it, about anything that matters much -- without touching on the still-touchy topic of race. When a diverse crowd of 100 gathered at Enoch Pratt Free Library on Cathedral Street this past Wednesday to determine whether America is a "color-blind" society, or should be, the triumph may have been that they didn't even try. The public forum, staged by the New York-based Ford Foundation and Roundtable Inc., a Massachusetts media-production company, was the first in a three-part series, "Ethnicity and Race in a Changing America."
NEWS
September 3, 1997
Princess Diana exemplified compassionAs a family glued to the television and Internet the last few days regarding the death of Princess Diana, it dawned on me just what this means in the big picture.The loss of such a humane, compassionate, genuine human being has touched every heart in every nation. Why? Because underneath the big scheme of it all, we yearn for compassion and kindness as a nation.The sadness experienced by everyone of every culture, race, religion and creed proves that we want such icons in our world.
NEWS
By Tom Baxter | February 14, 1997
ANY PROPOSITION, no matter how reasonable it sounds, ought to be reconsidered after enough politicians have paid lip service to it. So it is with the idea that "race" is the biggest issue the country faces.Restated in various ways, this idea has become such a standard of political speeches, it is barely noticed.Bill Clinton worked it into the conclusion of both his second inaugural and State of the Union speeches. "The issue of race," along with drugs and ignorance, figured prominently in Newt Gingrich's speech after being re-elected House speaker.
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