Daily Archive : Tuesday May 31, 2016




Life & Entertainment

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, center, performs in the musical “Hamilton” in New York. David Korins was nominated for a Tony Award for set design for his work on “Hamilton.”

    Meet David Korins, the man behind the look of ‘Hamilton’

    When you see the Broadway smash “Hamilton” — if you’re lucky enough to see it, that is — you should know that something important quietly happens at intermission. The walls get bigger. It’s a touch supplied by David Korins, who earned his first Tony Award nomination for his deceptively simple-looking set.

    “Homefront: The Revolution.”

    Review: Philly rebels after North Korea invades ‘Homefront’

    If that scenario of being invaded by North Korea has been weighing on you, you might find some solace in the game “Homefront: The Revolution.” In this alternate universe, Kim Jong Un’s army is powerful enough to occupy parts of the United States — but make the mistake of setting up headquarters in Philadelphia.

    Animation and gaming arts student Lindsey O’Brien works on her project at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. Students from the all-female arts college stood out without even trying when they attended a conference for video game developers last year. O’Brien says they were basically the only girls in the room.

    After Gamergate, female video game developers on the rise

    The male-dominated video game industry is changing as more women develop games, play games and take jobs reviewing games. While the ongoing cyber harassment of female gamers known as “Gamergate” indicates a reluctance by some to accept the growing number of women in the industry, mainstream institutions are welcoming all to the console.

    Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato perform a duet in “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam,” one of the Disney Channel’s original movies.

    Disney Channel celebrates 100 original movies with marathon

    For those who were born in the last 30 years or so, Disney Channel Original Movies helped shape our adolescence. To celebrate its 100th DCOM, the channel is showing 48 movies over the course of June, leading up to the debut of the newest film on June 24.

    Strawberry Amaretto Parfaits make a healthy dessert using the best of spring’s fresh strawberries.

    The season’s best strawberries are meant for this dessert

    A highlight of spring for me, something I await with intense anticipation, is the moment local strawberries hit the farmers market.

    Deb Lindsey/The Washington Post Strawberry Amaretto Parfaits make a healthy dessert using the best of spring’s fresh strawberries.

    Strawberry Amaretto Parfaits
    A great way to use local strawberries once they hit the farmers markets.

    TV star, comedian and game show host Andy Richter grew up in Yorkville.

    Conan sidekick Andy Richter on new show, growing up in Yorkville

    Andy Richter grew up in Yorkville where he never would have guessed he’d one day become a comedian, TV star and movie actor. He’s now hosting the Food Network’s new game show “Celebrity Food Fight.”


    Step back from dispute with mom over wedding menu

    Mom says her friends will be agast if vegetarian bride doesn’t offer two meat options at wedding.



    Some truth for today’s graduates
    Columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr.: As they celebrate commencement at colleges around the country, graduates can expect to get the same gift: plenty of unsolicited advice from their elders.


    Obama’s legacy of a pre-post-racial era

    As Barack Obama’s presidency takes a back seat to the psychodrama known as the 2016 election, historians, speculators and revisionists are busy writing his presidential epitaph. Not least of the revisionists is Obama himself. At a recent commencement address at historically black Howard University, Obama noted that his election did not, in fact, create a post-racial society. “I don’t know who was propagating that notion. That was not mine,” he said.This remark stopped me for a moment because, well, didn’t he? Wasn’t he The One we’d been waiting for? Wasn’t Obama the quintessential biracial figure that would put racial differences in a lockbox for all time? This was the narrative, to be sure. But, if not Obama’s, then whose?In retrospect, it was mine, yours, ours. White people, especially in the media, created this narrative because we loved and needed it. Psychologists call it projection. We made Obama into the image of the right sort of fellow. He was, as Shelby Steele wrote in 2008, a “bargainer,” who promised white people to “never presume that you are racist if you will not hold my race against me.” Obama wasn’t so much the agent of change as he was the embodiment of a post-racial America as whites imagined it. But Obama’s message, beginning with his 2004 address to the Democratic National Convention in Boston, has always suggested that he would be at least a messenger of unity, which sounded an awful lot like post-racial. “There’s not a black America and white America and Latin America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America,” he said. Most in the media listened to those words and were spellbound. Up in the press section, swaddled in hope and powdered with the pixie dust of change, we were teetering dangerously close to clasping hands and singing “Kumbaya” over post-racial s’mores of milk chocolate and marshmallows. I remember turning to my colleague and saying, “We’ve just heard the first black president.” Little did I know.We ran into Obama later that night in the lower lobby of a hotel. He was talking to a solitary fan in an otherwise empty area. We introduced ourselves. Obama was polite, gracious and, yes, flattering in a knowing way. We three parted company and my first impression of the president remains unchanged. He reads people well and gauges precisely what they want to hear. All good politicians do, but some are better at it than others.That many interpreted Obama’s message as post-racial made some kind of sense. The divide between red and blue states may be seen as also splitting along racial lines in some cases. Eight years after being elected as the first black president of a white-majority nation, Obama is shrugging off any responsibility for having contributed to the post-racial expectation. Is this because, racially, things actually seem worse? But what if they weren’t? What if there had been no “Black Lives Matter” movement, no Trayvon Martin, no Freddie Gray, or any of the others who were killed by police in the past few years, or, in Martin’s case, by a vigilante? I’m guessing he’d have grabbed that narrative in a bear hug and given it a great, big, sloppy kiss. His remarks to a graduating class, instead of disavowing that silly post-racial thing, would have celebrated his greatest achievement — the healing of America.How lucky are you, class of 2016?! Here you are about to launch your life in a post-racial era, heirs to a heroic legacy and a future of sun-drenched days. When you want the tides to come in, you let me know. Heh, heh, the truth is, I wasn’t able to pull that one off. But I did end racial disharmony! Not too bad. One can dream (and joke).


    Thanks for reminder of a pleasant era
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Almost every time I copy something, I’m reminded of the days when getting a copy meant going into downtown Arlington Heights and to the back room of Drummer and Thumbs Bookstore.


    Markets have profits, not public interest at heart
    The opinion letter from Charles Falk titled “TSA mess shows failure of big government” conveniently leaves out examples that would demolish the simplistic “government bad — private sector good” narrative. Did Mr. Falk forget about the mighty Halliburton (Dick Cheney’s former company) and its subsidiary KBR that were contracted to feed our troops and build infrastructure for our soldiers in Iraq? After gouging the military (and subsequently the American taxpayer), they knowingly served spoiled food to our troops and electrocuted soldiers in poorly built showers. Good job private sector!And how can we already forget about Wall Street, the big banks and those trustworthy bond rating companies who nearly toppled the richest and strongest nation on earth? Yes, the free market knows best. As for TSA airport delays, Mr. Falk forgot to mention the role of the private sector and the flying public. If greedy airlines did not squeeze customers with high baggage fees, fliers might no longer carry on everything but their kitchen sinks, just one reason the system bogs down.Then there’s the record number of weapons people are trying to get through security. Or how about the delays caused by people who choose to remain ignorant of basic TSA rules that have been drilled into our skulls since 9/11? More delays. Government institutions have their problems for sure. But let’s not believe that the private sector will do better when its primary goal is to focus on short-term profits — not what serves the greater good of a country as populated, expansive and diverse as the United States of America. Mark Plotnick Vernon Hills


    Today’s Opinion Page editorial cartoon
    Today’s Daily Herald Opinion page editorial cartoon


May 2016

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