One of the greatest paintes of all time would have been 107 today.


Post war suburbanizing has led to an explosion in traffic.

In yesterdays Slate, Annie Lowrey shed light on the recent publication by researchers at Umea University in Sweden, who found that in a couple, if either partner has a commute to and from work of longer 45 minutes, the couple is up to 40% likelier to divorce.

As Lowrey puts it, “commuting is a migraine-inducing life-suck.” The drain on time, resources and the simple drain on family and friendship is pulling us all down.

Lowrey goes on to explain in detail how people are willing to endure this deprivation if they see an immediate return on housing per square footage. To be blunt: people will, by and large, sit in their Saab for6 hours a week if their house is big enough.

There is something in that equation though that reflects the unbridled suburbanization of the American cityscape. What Lowrey really shows though is that in many ways our love of our suburbs is literally killing us through obesity, stress, lack of communication and fossil fuels. The housing plus car equals happy is a sum that has only one answer: death.

To sum up: Centralization of American commutes and housing will need to become a priority if workers and families are going to be able to be sustainable in the future

Ensemble films are often like white wines. They are a dime a dozen, and often leave a very disgusting taste in your mouth.

The film, “New York, I Love You” is no exception. Most of the short-stories that comprise it are by purposefully vague directors, and with several exceptions all short stories are like a bad O. Henry novel.

The two finest films in it are Brett Ratner’s Prom Night story, which has an adorable James Caan in his later life role as the confused father; and the enigmatic story of a Husband and his Wife, (played brilliantly by Chris Cooper and Robin Wright Penn, respectively).

The worst goes for Natalie Portman and the film where she plays a naive and boring Hascidic Jewish woman. She sounds tired in the film, and I am sure based on her later statements that she was loathe to play yet another stereotypical Jewish woman.

Overall, NYILY is a great film in spite of itself. I think that the best thing you can say about a  film made up of such contrasting pieces and in no particular order is that it succeeds in spite of itself. If NYILY is that, then it is a triumph.

It is a sad truth that the trailer for some movies are far superior than the actual movies itself.