It's gotten to that point in the dog days of August where the air is stale and nothing seems to be moving. But sometimes all it takes to snap me out of a late-summer heat coma is the sound of a new and electrifying voice — like that of Lianne La Havas.
Meet the Fokkens follows Louise and Martine Fokkens, identical twins who have worked as prostitutes in Amsterdam for more than 50 years. Martine still works today, while Louise stopped a few years ago because of her arthritis.
Credit Kino Lorber
The Fokkens are well-known in their neighborhood. The film mostly avoids downers but does tell of some darker moments in the twins' past, including an abusive husband and lost daughter.
Despite its dreadful English title (the Dutch title translates to the far better Old Whores), Meet the Fokkens strives mightily to be as quirky and bubbly as its portly protagonists. And it mostly succeeds, painting a warmhearted portrait of a pair of elderly twin prostitutes — they turned 70 earlier this year — one of whom, Martine, still occupies a storefront window in Amsterdam's red-light district while her sister, Louise, gave up the game two years earlier because of arthritis.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 6:15 pm
A Colorado judge on Thursday will consider whether to lift the gag order in the case of James Holmes, 24, who's accused of killing 12 and wounding dozens more at a movie theater last month.
NPR and other news organizations want access to case files, including a notebook that Holmes reportedly sent to a university psychiatrist before withdrawing from the school that may have described an attack.
This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 3:23 pm
It's not easy to find video of the London 2012 Olympics on the Internet — even on YouTube. And that's inspiring people to "interpret" the Summer Games for themselves. For instance, you can see puppet shows, 8-bit video, and Taiwanese animation, all related to the Olympics... or, at least sort of related.
Here are some of my favorites — feel free to put yours into the comment section below:
Sure, you might spend a lot of time on your couch, as you watch the Summer Olympics. And hey, maybe you've drifted a couple pounds above your fighting weight. But there's all kinds of athletes competing in London — one of them has to be around the same size as you, right?
Now you can find that out, thanks to the BBC, whose site has an interactive chart that lets you enter your height and weight — and then tells you which two Olympic athletes you most resemble.
You could soon pay for a latte at Starbucks simply by walking into the store with a smartphone in your pocket and giving the cashier your name.
Square, a San Francisco-based payments startup unveiled a deal Wednesday with the world's largest coffee chain that will move its mobile payments products into Starbucks stores around the U.S. starting this fall.
Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:49 pm
This map is disturbing, once you understand it. It's a new attempt to visualize an old problem — the shrinking of underground water reserves, in most cases because farmers are pumping out water to irrigate their crops.