Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin: The rich flee climate change

Alec Baldwin guests on Russell Brand's YouTube show The Trews

Energetic thinker Russell Brand — whose brand new book is called Revolution — has a YouTube show called The Trews (“The Trews is news if the news were true”) on which he discusses current events and world problems. Back in August, The Trews gained attention through Brand’s public feud with Fox News. Above, in Monday’s … [Read more →]

‘Muscle Shoals’ (2013 music documentary movie)

Muscle Shoals (movie, 2013)

Muscle Shoals is a 2013 documentary about a legendary recording studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, way up in the northwest corner of that state, a 150-mile drive from Memphis, Tennessee. Actually, it’s a documentary about two legendary recording studios in that little city — FAME Recording Studios, established in 1959, and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, … [Read more →]

‘10% Happier': Dan Harris’s book on mindfulness meditation

10% Happier: How I tamed the voice in my head

Right off the bat, I had two misconceptions about 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story. One was that a book written by a Good Morning America guy would necessarily be slick and superficial. The other … [Read more →]

‘The Wire': Must-watch TV show from a decade ago

The Wire

Amy and I just finished watching all five seasons of The Wire. While we were doing this, I was surprised by the number of people I mentioned this to who had never heard of the show. “The what?,” they’d ask. “The Wire?” Yes — The Wire. The Wire was an HBO series that ran from … [Read more →]

‘Tiny Dancer,’ by Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Tiny Dancer: Elton John

The Elton John song “Tiny Dancer” (lyrics by Bernie Taupin) is in my iTunes library because of its use in the sing-along scene of Almost Famous, the Cameron Crowe movie from 2000 in which a touring rock band, its crew and entourage are touchingly reunited by the song after some tension involving LSD, “real people,” … [Read more →]

SC Johnson headquarters tour, Racine WI

SC Johnson headquarters: carport (Racine WI)

The SC Johnson headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin is a peculiar little enclave. The company’s heritage campus includes its iconic, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Research Tower and Administration Building, as well as the Golden Rondelle Theater, transplanted from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, and Fortaleza Hall, an oval glass modernist memorial completed in 2010. Not exactly … [Read more →]

Shaving cream switch: Goodbye shaving gel, hello Cremo

Cremo Shave Cream

After years of annoyance, I have ditched my blue shaving gel for a new type of shaving cream, and I am a happier man. The new stuff is Cremo Astonishingly Superior Shave Cream. It helps my razor glide smoothly across my face, resulting in a nice, close shave. It has a light, pleasant citrus scent. … [Read more →]

Frances Ha (2013 movie, Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig)

Frances Ha (movie, 2013): Mickey Sumner and Greta Gerwig

If you’d like to spend an hour and a half sometime watching a thoroughly enjoyable portrait of an adorable young woman coming to grips with adult life in New York City, Frances Ha is the movie you should see. Directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Greta Gerwig as Frances, it is a simultaneously joyous and … [Read more →]

Jesus of Nazareth, the ‘Marginal Jew’ behind Jesus Christ

A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Volume II: Mentor, Message, and Miracles, by John P. Meier

Who was Jesus of Nazareth, according to historical evidence? An ample crop of recent books on the “historical Jesus” has offered yet more answers to this perennial puzzle. Reza Aslan’s Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth sounds very intriguing. Bart D. Ehrman’s How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher … [Read more →]

Mitchell School fire in Racine, Wisconsin: Video, photos

Mitchell School fire, Racine Wisconsin

My wife Amy was already up at 2 a.m. when the fire truck horns started blasting down our street. Mitchell School was on fire. Mitchell Middle School and Mitchell Elementary School are co-located. The entrance to Mitchell Middle School is on Drexel Ave. at Webster St. Just south of that entrance, huge plumes of flame … [Read more →]