Phyllis Diller, one of the first and one of the few female comic headliners of her generation, died Monday at the age of 95.
Diller performed in the persona of a crazed housewife. She usually dressed in outlandish, bad-fitting clothes with her hair teased into a disheveled mop. Then she'd fire off long strings of self-deprecating gags. She was so unattractive, she used to tell her audiences, that Peeping Toms asked her to pull her window shades down. Onstage, she called her husband Fang. Diller told Fang jokes like her male counterparts told wife jokes.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 8:36 pm
Michael Jackson and the word "undiscovered" don't generally fit together: He had his first hit with the Jackson 5 at age 10, after all, and spent the subsequent 40 years in various stages of superstardom and/or notoriety. But troves of rare and unreleased Jacksonalia are sure to keep flooding out in the years to come.
China is planning to increase investments in Pakistan, and some Pakistanis feel China is trying to become a new colonial power. Amid these tensions, a bomb went off near the Chinese Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, on July 23. The blast injured two people.
Credit Lauren Frayer / NPR
Ali Hassan, president of the Sindhi National Movement, speaks at an anti-China rally in Karachi on Aug. 9. Local activists were protesting the construction by China of an industrial megacity, Zulfiqarabad, in their province.
Credit Lauren Frayer / NPR
Crowds of Sindhi nationalists hold an anti-China rally in Karachi on Aug. 9. Local activists have called for a boycott of Chinese-made products.
With all its current troubles, Pakistan has not been attracting much foreign investment recently. In fact, China seems to be the only country that's prepared to pour money into Pakistan in a big way.
But a boost in Chinese investment has sparked resentment in southern Pakistan, where activists accuse China of trying to be a new colonial power. A bomb blast recently hit near the Chinese Consulate in Karachi — an ominous sign of the rising tensions.
Despite tough economic times, Nike is about to go where it has never gone before: Its Lebron X sneakers are expected to retail for $315. That's the first time a pair of its kicks breaks the $300 barrier.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the price hike comes after the company saw some steep drops to its gross margins. But the company may be taking its customers too far. The Journal reports:
Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 1:19 pm
It is a truth universally acknowledged that health insurance companies can be a pain for patients. What may be a surprise is that hospitals often complain, too. And the reasons aren't so different from those of consumers: Denied claims. Low reimbursement. Late reimbursement. Thickets of red tape.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:59 am
The Float marks the first release in 11 years from former Spinanes singer Rebecca Gates, who enlisted a host of musical friends (17 by our count, collectively addressed as The Consortium) while working on the record on and off over the past few years. In this session, she joins us with the slimmed-down version that's been joining her in Portland over the past year or so: Joanna Bolme on bass, Rebecca Cole on keys and Ji Tanzer on drums.
Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 1:53 pm
New reports from the presidential campaigns show that Republican Mitt Romney last month widened his cash advantage over President Obama. But the numbers reported to the Federal Election Commission paint a more complex picture of the race and the vast amounts of money fueling the campaign.
The Obama campaign committee, Obama for America, reported raising about $39 million, almost $11 million more than was raised in July by the Romney campaign committee, Romney For President.
NBC is in need of a stroke of luck. They need something to work. The Olympics are over; it hasn't appreciably changed anything yet, and there's certainly no swell of excitement about Animal Practice and Go On that leads me to believe previewing them during the Olympics will make them hits any more than that strategy usually does.
Cities may be the defining element of human civilization.
The path from hunter-gatherers in the Paleolithic era 25,000 years ago to the high-tech, high-wonder jumble we inhabit today runs straight through cities. In traveling that path, our construction of cities has always been a dance with physics. In some cases, that physics was explicitly understood; in others, its manifestation was only recognized in hindsight.
As our cities have become more complex the physics embodying their behavior and organization has also become more nuanced, subtle and profound.