| Mar 19, 2012
| 7:12 AM
There's something wrong with our nationwide prison system when the Corrections Corporation of America, which runs private prisons, offers $250 million in a proposal to 48 states to buy up state prisons with several provisos -- one of which is states...
| Mar 30, 2012
| 5:50 PM
E.M. Forster called it “the cave-man question:” What happens next? And he was right. It’s just that simple.
As unsophisticated as it sounds, we read fiction to find out the fate of characters about whom we have come to care, despite the...
| Dec 21, 2011
| 7:32 PM
DJ Dash Berlin headlines Sutra, 1870 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa. The show starts at 9 p.m. and is 21 and older only. For more information, visit http://www.sutraoc.com.
Patrick's Pub, at 2645 Harbor Blvd. in...
| Dec 22, 2011
| 10:09 AM
I enjoy teaching exchange students who have come here from other countries. It is interesting to see our culture through the eyes of someone who was raised in an environment totally different from our own.
Recently an exchange student asked me why we use...
| Dec 29, 2011
The road to the Other Place is paved with New Year's resolutions. The skeptic sees the new year as but an opportunity to renew old habits. A believer named G.K. Chesterton saw it differently: "The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new...
| Jan 5, 2012
| 12:18 PM
Characters who previously obsessed over planning a perfect garden party are struggling with life-and-death issues as "Downton Abbey" begins a new season Sunday, Jan. 8, on PBS' "Masterpiece Classic" (check local listings).
The series, which bested such...
| Apr 8, 2012
The Selected Letters of Charles Dickens
Edited by Jenny Hartley
Oxford University Press: 458 pp., $34.95
This is the bicentennial year of Charles Dickens' birth. We need no reminder of his eminence as novelist, but there are celebrations of his other...
| Apr 8, 2012
| 1:05 AM
More and more, the federally-mandated, non-refundable commodity checkoffs resemble something out of a Charles Dickens novel. Most feature huge casts, complicated plots and, to read their press releases, are completely responsible for the best of times...
| Apr 12, 2012
| 2:35 PM
What do the movie "Avatar" and John Bunyan's book "Pilgrim's Progress" have in common?
If you say both focus on man's journey to understand life and the world around him, you would be correct.
If you say that both are allegorical accounts — one...
| Dec 26, 2011
| 7:47 PM
"The sun is shining, the grass is green, the orange and palm trees sway." We may seldom hear those introductory lines to Irving Berlin's holiday anthem "White Christmas," but that's how the song begins.
The scene supposedly is California—in...
| Jan 29, 2012
The ancient story of Samson and Delilah shows how important a man's hairstyle can be. The tale has inspired sculptors, composers and screenwriters, and Samson's long locks are part of a long list of classic men's hairstyles. What follows is a look at...
| Jul 18, 2012
| 5:37 PM
Charles Dickens once said, "What greater gift than the love of a cat."
Barbara Oliphant would agree. Her cat Wollie just walked for three days to get home to her. Barbara and Wallie met last summer. She felt sorry for it because it was thin and not...