The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, June 30, 2004  

Items in the News
June 30, 2004

Saturn’s “Ears”
Today’s the day: The Cassini spacecraft will pass through the rings of Saturn and begin sending back photographs of what the great Italian scientist Galileo once called the planet’s “ears.”

London’s Growing
London is growing . . . skyward. That’s the latest plan, anyway, and while architects are predictably ecstatic, as are, one would assume, developers and investment bankers, many Londoners are concerned (“London: Next City of the Sky?” by Alan Riding, the New York Times):

[W]ith a panache rarely seen here, London has concluded that it is time to repair its battered skyline.

In doing so, it is looking quite literally for a new profile, one with shapely skyscrapers designed by big-name architects proclaiming London’s determination to be known as an innovative 21st-century metropolis. By 2010, not just the majestic dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral but also a new forest of glass and steel will symbolize the ancient heart of London. After centuries of sprawling growth, the city is finally reaching for the sky.

A number of Londoners are worried. They already fear that the city is losing its historic identity. For them, the ideal solution would be to tear down the concrete office towers thrown up in the 1960’s and 70’s. Instead, the strategy is to surround the eyesores with stylish new high-rises in the hope of hiding bad architecture behind good architecture. But even this approach is perilous: skyscrapers that look daring today have a way of looking dated tomorrow.

Philadelphians went through a similar existential self-examination in the late 1980s, years before I got here, and the skyscrapers won -- and are still winning. I for one, think it’s been a very good thing.

Anorexia or Addition?
“Page Six” of the New York Post has picked up a Star magazine story alleging teen phenom Mary-Kate Olsen is in rehab, as in rehab rehab, undergoing treatment not for anorexia or eating disorders, but cocaine addiction.

Yes, But Hell Releases No Prisoners
Have you ever had the feeling, upon learning a convicted criminal has been released from prison, that you’ll be hearing about him again? I have, and I do today: Joel Steinberg is a free man again, having served 16 years of a 25-year sentence in the 1987 beating death of his then six-year-old daughter Lisa Steinberg. (Link via TalkLeft.)

Healthcare Contest
Here’s an idea for an offbeat contest. After a freak accident here at home recently, I paid a visit to the emergency room. Readers may submit their wild guesses as to the amount of the bill, which I received today. The reader whose guess is closest wins. The prize? You get to pay the bill.

[Note: Additional items may be posted to “PP&T” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

| HOME |

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |