Even though he has the face and build of a leonine Celtic warrior, there's also something gentle and mouselike about Liam Neeson. That's what makes him such an unlikely and invigorating action hero, and it's part of what made the 2008 thriller Taken so disreputably pleasurable: Somehow, watching this sad, sweet galoot zap Albanian bad apples with a jillion volts of electricity just felt so right.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 4:03 pm
Despite President Obama's celebrated gift for oratory, the Obama supporters least surprised by his underwhelming performance against Mitt Romney may have been two of his top advisers.
Senior strategists David Plouffe and David Axelrod have long doubted Obama's debating skills. Their concerns date back to the 2008 presidential campaign, as Plouffe wrote in his book, The Audacity to Win. He put it plainly: "Historically, Obama was not a strong debater."
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 2:01 pm
From their spirited night of Chick Corea music alone, it's clear how Renee Rosnes and Bill Charlap love to play amongst horns and a rhythm section. Yet when they face each other at two pianos, with a wink and a nod, they do it all themselves.
Now on JazzSet, it's Rosnes on the left, Charlap on the right and — in Charlap's words — "a unique sound that is the sum of both of us."
Stephen Colbert has no idea how other news pundits find time to write books. But he felt certain that his character on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, needed to have another one.
"My character is based on news punditry, the masters of opinion in cable news, and they all have books," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We don't have time to write a book and feed and wash ourselves, so something has to go out the window. And [for me] it was family, friends and hygiene for the past year."
The story of the birth of accounting begins with numbers. In the 1400s, much of Europe was still using Roman numerals, and finding it really hard to easily add or subtract. (Try adding MCVI to XCIV.)
But fortunately, Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) started catching on, and with those numbers, merchants in Venice developed a revolutionary system we now call "double-entry" bookkeeping. This is how it works:
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:44 pm
In case anyone was wondering, this week's presidential debate demonstrated why incumbent presidents and others leading in the polls used to refuse to debate their challengers.
After John F. Kennedy used the first TV debates to boost his campaign against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon in 1960, there simply were no debates until 1976. Running again with a big lead in 1968 and 1972, Nixon declined to debate and won both times. Lyndon B. Johnson also demurred in 1964 without damage en route to a landslide.