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You talking to me? Language nerd/ 21st century edition

Reading The New Yorkeris a weekly pleasure – not just the cartoons, though they are reliably wonderful. A few weeks ago, (12/17/18) I came across an article about artificial facial recognition, “Here’s Looking at You” by staff writer David Owens. It begins in an Irish cow barn where cameras record the actions of Bossy and…

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Post-Kavanaugh: We have only begun to fight

The week before the vote, I said good morning to my neighbor, who answered, “He’s not going to be confirmed is he? I said, “Yes, he is.” She looked horrified. I was equally horrified, but I didn’t doubt the outcome. The old bulls (as Dan Rather called the old white men who defend power and…

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Free-for-All: The students arrive in Boston

The sidewalk in my Brookline neighborhood is a free-for-all – literally. The students are coming and more to the point, the students are going and leaving behind mountains of stuff: cat-shredded couches, chairs missing legs or seats, and a million giant garbage bags stuffed with the flotsam of student life: clothes, pillows, half empty jars…

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Shakespeare is Everywhere

After reading The New York Times rave about The Taming of the Shrew at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, I got cranky. And I mean cranky like a five-year-old in the supermarket who wants Sugar Smacks  (which are now called “Honey” Smacks, for obvious reasons.) But I can’t go to Garrison in upstate New York to see…

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“Crush” no more?

Maybe I should stop calling it a crush. Last spring, I signed up for the Shakespeare Workout (an all-level, no-prior-experience-necessary acting class offered by Actor’s Shakespeare Project in Boston.) Since then, I’ve been to as many live performances of as many Shakespeare plays as I could get to, watched several more on video, lurked at…

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Othello in the year of Black Panther

I drove home from Providence feeling shaken up and wide-awake after seeing Trinity Repertory’s production of Othello. Three days later, I saw BlackPantherand left the multiplex feeling like I’d been to church. And ever since, the Shakespearean tragedy and the superhero blockbuster have been circling each other inside my head. Black Panther’s release was a…

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Can a middle aged white lady book a flight to Wakanda?

Can she feel the same kind of pride in Black Panther that she feels about sharing a genome with Olympic athletes? Black Panther won the gold, in every sense of the word. (Why was anyone surprised by the boffo box office?) Ryan Coogler and team used the standard ingredients of all super-hero movies — barroom brawl,…

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How I learned to stop grumbling and love the winter

Watching the Olympic athletes in Korea contend with punishing winds and dangerous slopes, I marveled. Those hardy souls who rejoice in snow and ice are a race apart. Most of us are waiting out the winter, wishing it were over, or fleeing if we can. In January, the walls start to close in and by…

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