He's still a would-be world-conquerer by day, but Gru (left, with minions) has been settling into his role as an adoptive dad by night. His new responsibilities make him a likely recruit for the Anti-Villain League, which asks him to ... well, we shouldn't give too much away.
There will be hits and misses at movie houses this summer, but it's a decent bet Despicable Me 2 will end up in the that-went-well column.
The star, a would-be world-dominating supervillain named Gru, is a hulking, blustering figure with an appetite for mayhem — and a surprising soft spot. He'll boast that he's about to pull off "the crime of the century," then sit down to read his little girls — he's recently, reluctantly, adopted three of them, and they're adorable — a bedtime story.
For one Vermont couple, "local" doesn't mean heading to the farmers market. It means finding a natural salad bar at your picnic spot — or maybe even in your backyard.
Nova Kim and Les Hook live on a lush farm between a large lake and the Connecticut River near the Vermont-New Hampshire border. Over the decades, they've become skilled gatherers of edible wild foods, which they sell to high-end restaurants. But on this drizzly day, they're in their own kitchen, making dressing for a picnic green salad.
Anthony Soprano, a waste-management consultant from Essex County, N.J., died this week.
Tony Soprano was — according to reports that aired for six years on HBO — head of the DiMeo crime family, which allegedly ran illicit drugs, untaxed alcohol, illegal sports betting and other criminal enterprises from the back of an adult entertainment venue called the Bada Bing club on Route 17 in Lodi.
Mr. Soprano denied his involvement in organized crime. He said it was a "vicious stereotype" that slurs waste-removal professionals who promote a green, healthy environment.
If you want a chilly comedown from summer's heat, you can't do much better than the work of Robert Aickman (1914-1981), a master of "strange stories" whose books, long out of print, are now being republished by the small U.K. press Tartarus.
Emma Watson, who shot to global fame as the level-headed, resourceful Hermione Granger in the <em>Harry Potter</em> films, admits there's a certain irony in her playing a teenager who burgles the homes of celebrities.
Sofia Coppola is no stranger to filmic explorations of fame, privilege and self-loathing in the modern age. In her newest movie, The Bling Ring, she considers the case of a gang of well-off L.A. teenagers whose obsession with celebrity took them to some unexpected places — including the homes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, where they stole millions of dollars' worth of jewelry and clothes and shoes.
Booker T. Jones — leader of the soul band Booker T. & the M.G.'s — made it big in 1962 with the song "Green Onions." But since "Green Onions" sounds suspiciously natural for the United States, we've decided to quiz him on Funyuns instead: three questions about the crunchy, onion-flavored snack food.
Out in Alaska's Bering Sea, about 90 miles from Nome, sits a small, rocky island that used to be home to a couple of hundred Inupiat Eskimos. They lived in houses built on stilts, perched on rocky cliffs.
Then, about 50 years ago, the threat of rock slides, the spread of tuberculosis and the loss of men to World War II forced residents to relocate to the mainland. King Island has been a ghost island ever since.
Dan Brown pets "Sprocket," his family's 4-year-old, sole milking cow, before hosing her down at his farm in Blue Hill, Maine. Brown has become the poster child for Maine's food sovereignty movement.
Credit John Clarke Russ / Bangor Daily News
More than 150 people gather to hear farmer Dan Brown speak in 2011. The Maine Department of Agriculture filed suit against Brown, alleging that he was illegally selling unpasteurized milk without a license. Brown, meanwhile, insisted that a local food ordinance adopted by Blue Hill residents protects the rights of farmers to sell directly to consumers without a license.