“Actually, we have 999 happy haunts here — but there’s room for 1,000,” the disembodied voice of the Ghost Host asks as you walk through the portrait gallery in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion . “Any volunteers?” As a lifelong Disney fan, I’ve heard this ominous greeting countless times. As a journalist, however, I had some questions. Who are these ghosts, and why are there so many of them? Even if the mansion was built 200 years ago, as the architectural style of the New Orleans-style mansion indicates, 999 is quite the body count. Could there really be that many ghosts inside those heavy wrought iron gates? I’m a stay-at-home-mom to three young boys and a theme park writer who obsesses over minutiae, like what’s in the Fuzzy Tauntaun that makes your mouth go numb (it’s buzz button flowers in the foam), so what else can I be expected to do in my free time but attempt to count all the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion? Turns out, it’s a lot harder than it looks. In the spirit of … [Read more...] about Are there really 999 happy haunts in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion? We counted them to find out.
THE SUNLIGHT PILGRIMS As carbon dioxide levels rise, as humans create more and newer justifications for institutionalized murder and as lethal diseases ravage unsuspecting populations, writers respond. They bring us novels of the post-apocalypse — philosophical explorations of what the world might look like when the fraying center finally shears. Whether the approaches are starkly realistic or fancifully speculative, these visions generally posit an end-time far enough into an unrecognizable future that we can maintain our illusions of safety from the comfort of our reading chairs. Jenni Fagan, the fierce and cleareyed Scottish writer, will have none of that. In her new novel, “The Sunlight Pilgrims,” she is committed to disrupting our ease by setting her story of impending cataclysm at a moment unnervingly near at hand. Fagan’s novel is set in 2020, and the world is familiar in every way but for one menacing difference: It is very, very cold. The polar ice caps are melting, and … [Read more...] about A New Novel Envisions a Very Cold Environmental Future, Starting Now
Marriage stories from around the world continued to fill the Weddings pages of The New York Times in 2021, proving that no force of nature, not even a pandemic , could overwhelm the power of love. But before those marriages came the proposals . In South Africa, one man had a lion cub deliver his fiancé her ring. On a rooftop in Phuket, Thailand, a missed sunset led to an even more special moment for a couple on vacation. The shortest proposal on this list took place on an airplane high above The Atlantic Ocean, and the longest unfolded as one nonagenarian attempted to get another to say yes for more than a year. Here, those and six more of our favorite ways that couples who wed in 2021 said, “Will you marry me?” Look What the Cat Dragged In Matthew Steuer 56, and Constance Collins, 32, met in August 2016 at the American School of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was an early childhood specialist and she a middle school social studies … [Read more...] about Before Their Marriages Came These Proposals
Lani Guinier, a legal scholar whose work on voting rights and affirmative action led President Bill Clinton to nominate her in 1993 to be an assistant attorney general, only to withdraw her name two months later in the face of a Republican campaign against her, died on Friday at an assisted living facility in Cambridge, Mass. She was 71. Her cousin Sherrie Russell-Brown said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Descended from a long line of lawyers, Ms. Guinier made her name in the 1980s as an unorthodox thinker about whether America’s legal institutions, even after the civil rights revolution of the 1960s, needed to change further to realize true democracy. She argued, for example, that the principle of “one person, one vote” was insufficient in a system where the interests of minorities, racial or otherwise, were inevitably trampled by those of the majority, and that alternatives needed to be considered to give more weight to minority interests. Ms. Guinier was … [Read more...] about Lani Guinier, Legal Scholar at the Center of Controversy, Dies at 71
IN 1958 Jay DeFeo, whose small show at the Whitney Museum is a gem and long overdue, started working on a large canvas from which she had recently scraped remnants of a couple of paintings, one of a mountain, the other, prophetically, on the theme of Jacob wrestling the angel. DeFeo worked in a studio at 2322 Fillmore Street in San Francisco, where other artists and musicians lived. She was 29 and already somebody among the Beat poets and painters in the Bay Area: smart, gifted, outgoing, pretty, free-spirited, a bright light on the local scene whom everyone recognized as talented, and, not incidentally, a woman who held her own with the guys. She began by loading white and gray paint onto the canvas in a pattern of sharply grooved segments radiating from a point just above and to the right of the center. Over time, she built up and scraped away the paint, again and again, gluing the work to an even larger canvas to center it more precisely. She labored daily to finish what she … [Read more...] about ART REVIEW; An Obsession, Now Excavated
In the early months of the pandemic, the playwright Clare Barron published an essay titled “Not Writing,” which she accompanied with photographs of her cats, empty La Croix cans and unwashed laundry. “I haven’t written a play in four years,” she wrote . “I don’t know if I’ll write a play ever again. Who cares.” On Friday, the Atlantic Theater Company will premiere Barron’s new play, “Shhhh,” which she also directs and stars in. It’s not new new — Barron, 35, wrote it in 2016. But like all of her work — which includes “Baby Screams Miracle,” “Dirty Crusty,” “I’ll Never Love Again,” the Obie-winning “You Got Older” and the Pulitzer-nominated “Dance Nation” — it feels new: vibrating, visceral, almost worryingly alive. Part drama, part confession, part incantation, “Shhhh” tells the story of Shareen (Barron), a writer with a mysterious illness, and her sister, Sally (Constance Shulman), a postal worker who also makes A.S.M.R. videos and hosts meditation rituals. (The play … [Read more...] about Clare Barron on ‘Shhhh’ and How Playwriting Is Her ‘Kink of Exhibitionism’
BRUSSELS — The European Union embarked on a trade deal with China believing that engagement with Beijing was the best way to alter its behavior and make it a committed stakeholder in the international system. But that was seven years ago. The deal was quietly sealed in the final weeks of last year. By then, China had changed and so had the world. The trans-Atlantic relationship has been damaged by President Trump, with new doubts in Europe about American constancy and in America about Europe’s ambitions. The timing — with a newly aggressive China seen as a strategic rival to the United States and just weeks before Joseph R. Biden Jr. becomes president — has opened the European Union to questions and criticism, from analysts and particularly American officials, that perhaps the deal was a diplomatic and political error. It was concluded in the midst of China’s crackdown in Hong Kong and Xinjiang and accepts vague Chinese promises to stop the use of forced labor. It creates … [Read more...] about Will the Sudden E.U.-China Deal Damage Relations With Biden?
REALITY+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy, by David J. Chalmers. (Norton, $32.50.) A philosopher argues in favor of embracing digital worlds and employs virtual reality technology to reach new insights on longstanding philosophical questions. THE VANISHED COLLECTION , by Pauline Baer de Perignon. Translated by Natasha Lehrer. (New Vessel, paper, $17.95.) De Perignon’s debut recounts her quest to recover her family’s art collection after learning that paintings owned by her great-grandfather may have been stolen by Nazis in World War II. WORN: A People’s History of Clothing , by Sofi Thanhauser. (Pantheon, $30.) This diligently reported account of human clothing covers the history of textiles in five stories — linen, cotton, silk, synthetics, wool — while commenting on the environmental and labor ethics of the clothing industry. THE LEOPARD IS LOOSE, by Stephen Harrigan. (Knopf, $26.) A 5-year-old boy’s world is shaken when a leopard escapes from the Oklahoma … [Read more...] about Newly Published, From Virtual Worlds to a History of Clothing
close Video Fox News Flash top headlines for January 14 Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. A football taken into space by retired NFL star-turned-TV personality Michael Strahan has landed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio . "Flying to space with Blue Origin was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget," Strahan said, as FOX 8 of Cleveland reported . "It’s an honor to have this special football on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where fans of space travel and the game of football can share in the journey with me." PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME FINALISTS INCLUDE HESTER, WARE, BOSELLI Michael Strahan is seen before the NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers in Santa Clara, California, Jan. 19, 2020. (Associated Press) Strahan, who played 15 seasons as a pass rusher with the New York … [Read more...] about Michael Strahan football from Blue Origin space trip gets Hall of Fame display in Canton
Imagine that you are a member of the expert class — the kind of person invited to pontificate on television news programs. Under normal circumstances, your expertise might be signaled to the public by a gaudy photograph of skyscrapers superimposed behind your head. But now the formalities of the broadcast studio are a distant memory, and the only tools to convey that you truly belong on television are the objects within your own home. There’s only one move: You talk in front of a bookcase. As the broadcast industry shelters in place, the bookcase has become the background of choice for television hosts, executives, politicians and anyone else keen on applying a patina of authority to their amateurish video feeds. In March, when the coronavirus put the handshaking and baby-kissing mode of presidential campaigning on pause, Joe Biden conspicuously retreated from public view for several long days as his team scrambled to project an air of competence from within Biden’s basement. When … [Read more...] about The ‘Credibility Bookcase’ Is the Quarantine’s Hottest Accessory