The release last year of Martin Scorsese’s HUGO has brought to the forefront a long-deceased cinema pioneer. That would be Georges Méliès, who is played in HUGO by Ben Kingsley.
What makes Méliès so interesting historically is that he was as much an illusionist as a filmmaker. His imagination allowed him to concoct and employ a range of special effects in the films he made around the turn of the 20th century. These effects include time lapse photography, multiple exposures, and hand-painted color on film shot in black-and-white.
There are at least two famous airlifts associated with World War II. In 1942, when the last route from India to China was cut off, FDR made the decision that it was imperative China receive armaments and supplies for the Army Air Force in China, which was struggling to pin down Japanese forces. Both the US and UK began the appallingly dangerous air lift over the Himalayas -- from Assam (famous for its tea) in India to Kunming in China.
In his State of the Union address this past January, President Obama warned the higher education community that, “If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down.” Clearly, “affordability” of postsecondary education is a top priority of this administration. President Obama went on to say that, “We can’t just keep subsidizing skyrocketing tuition, we’ll run out of money. States need to do their part by making higher education a higher priority in their budgets. And colleges and universities have to do their part by working to keep costs down."
Sometimes it’s easier to see the problems abroad than it is at home. And that may be true of the Euro zone. As we all know, there have been a series of agreements bailing out Greece on the condition that Greece make very large cuts in its own budget. And it hasn’t worked. Why not? Shouldn’t cutting back have rejuvenated the Greek economy?
Although William Ross Wallace may have coined the most ardently honest description of Mothers’ Day, before the malediction of American Marketing made a mockery of it, his brief citation still exudes a reality most humans wish was true: “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
Last week, new data was released from the American Cancer Society. It showed a staggering increase in melanoma cases in New York State. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. According to the analysis, over the past ten years the number of melanoma cases has increased by 72 percent.
I recently presented a paper at a Hofstra University conference spotlighting the 50th anniversary of the New York Mets. My subject was “The Mets in the Movies” and I chronicled the various celluloid references to the Amazins, from Bill Mazeroski, the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer, hitting into a triple play against the Mets in the screen version of Neil Simon’s THE ODD COUPLE to Billy Crystal’s wearing a Mets baseball cap while running with the bulls in Pamplona and herding cattle in CITY SLICKERS.
At long last an attempt is being made to curtail blatant anti-Semitic commentary at American universities. The Israel Law Center warns that universities “may be liable for massive damage” if they fail to prevent anti-Semitism on campus.
The center sent hundreds of letters to university presidents drawing a line in the sand. This Israel civil rights center is carrying out this campaign in response to an alarming number of incidents against Jewish and Israeli students at U.S. universities.