I recently heard a rumor that sugar processed from beets contains traces of a poison used as a combat weapon in World War II. Is this true? What's the difference between beet sugar and cane sugar, anyway?
At least now we have President Obama: just as his color works against prejudice, his very leanness works symbolically against greed. Chaucer also wrote: despite ourselves, after every dark and cold season, the sun will rise and warm us. It will take some time, but a better day is coming.
But Gibbons is engaging as hell, as he proved during the first major candidate forum for the 2009 St. Petersburg election season last week. He also busts stereotypes: He is a Republican from the 'hood who talks about lower taxes and more freedom. He works for a business that some people consider usurious (Amscot payday lending) but has no problem putting it out there for folks to deal with, touting its jobs across the I-4 corridor.
LaMontagne attributes much of his social awkwardness to a childhood that was transient and impoverished. His mother, he says, "had a really, really, really, really difficult childhood -- horrific, really. She was completely unprepared for life."
Any time a promising new business -- or better yet, a cluster of them -- opens in Ybor City, it's tempting to hail a renaissance. (Who isn't pulling for the historic district to shed the last vestiges of its French Quarter-meets-the-Bronx rap?) Think of the excitement surrounding Ybor's recent popularity as a site for architecture, urban planning and design firms or the emergence of the GaYbor business coalition. Even the appearance, and subsequent success, of Tre Amici at the Bunker (an independent coffeehouse that dabbles in music and art exhibition) has been a big deal, never mind the imminence of Ikea (due to open on May 6).
I first saw Michael O. Smith on stage nine years ago, in American Stage's Proposals, and I happily praised the great skill with which he portrayed an abandoned husband whose natural strength was being undermined by an irrepressible longing for his ex-wife. A year later I saw him in The Immigrant, also at American Stage, and I said in my review that as a well-intentioned Texas banker he was "masterful" and that his talents were "prodigious." But if I enjoyed these early encounters, I was bowled over by Smith's 2004 impersonation of Theodore Roosevelt in The Bully Pulpit at Sarasota's Florida Studio Theatre, a one-man show written and acted by Smith and as close to Roosevelt's reality as one could hope to come this side of heaven.
The older I get, the more I realize the details of life matter most. Not the car I drive -- although my Mini Cooper is so freakin' cute it's sinful -- or the life- and time-saving gadgets that organize my scattered brain. What matters is appreciating the gushing sweetness of the season's first strawberry, the soft touch of my cat's fur or the first sip of a perfect white wine on a warm spring afternoon. 'Tis the season to start thinking about whites to enjoy in the post-winter sunshine. Perhaps one of these $20 and under selections will get you into the mood.
Following Watchmen and Adventureland, this year's cinematic fit of 1980s nostalgia continues with The Informers, a film based on the Bret Easton Ellis story collection of the same name. Though published in 1994, The Informers' stories take place in the era benumbed by Ronald Reagan, MTV, Ray-Bans and Bolivian marching powder, and hark back to a time when Ellis was a famous literary figure, if not exactly a major one.
Call it the Dominican Dream.
The small Caribbean country produces more good baseball players per square mile than any place else on earth. Every Big League franchise has a an academy there, where prospects live and learn the game under strict supervision, and with the hope of getting signed, invited to spring training, landing on a minor league club in the States and then fulfilling the biggest dream of all: making a Major League roster.
Two wins, two TKOs, two Tampa mixed martial artistswould you like some blood with that? Haki Lee and Eddie Boza both emerged victorious from their bouts at the mixed martial arts (MMA) event Rumble at Robarts 2 hosted by the promotion company Art of Fighting (AOF) in Sarasota on April 25, 2009.
The HCC Dance Program should be very very proud of its accomplishment with this dance program. Every dance was inventive, performed with technical excellence and reflecting a real emotional involvement on the part of the dancers.
There's a place for experiences like the one Ninja Blade has to offer. It's the kind of thing you can really only do with a video game these days: surf a missile into a zombie helicopter, fight a giant lightning bolt spitting crab in a subway tunnel, run down the side of a skyscraper while chopping giant bats in half with a sward that's as big as you are.
FSU threatens to close the Ringling Museum of Art art collection, Asolo Theater, circus museum and all in response to FL legislature's call for budget cuts. If this is a ploy, it's a shameless one.
In 1970, the first Earth Day inspired 20 million people to turn out for everything from sit-ins to a traffic-stopping march down New York's 5th avenue. With the passing of the 39th annual Earth Day and Earth Week, does Earth Day still matter?
Were leaving the selection of the Final Five to you. We're accepting your picks this week, through April 21. To make a nomination, simply leave a comment. You can nominate a person, organization or business.
The festivals domain has been indie and dance music, but in recent years heavyweights like Roger Waters, Prince, and this year, Paul McCartney, have provided heft to the lineup, as well as some controversy.
Theater for a good cause. Local celebs are putting aside their day jobs for one night to become actors in a play that will benefit Tampa at-risk youth. The play, "Regrets Only," is Paul Rudnick's comedy about the issue of gay marriage in a ritzy Manhattan social circle.