The coming-of-age story is a summer-movie staple â€” as writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who struck Oscar gold with The Descendants in 2011, can attest.
Their latest film, The Way, Way Back, is another entry in the canon; it's the tale of an awkward teenager, Duncan, who's floundering through a seaside vacation when he's taken under the wing of Owen, the sweetly demented manager of a summer water park. Comedy ensues â€” and in passing, Duncan learns some important lessons about adulthood.
Common Core â€” the new set of national education standards in math and English language arts â€” will take effect in most states next year. This move toward a single set of standards has been embraced by a bipartisan crowd of politicians and educators largely because of what the Common Core standards are replacing: a mess.
In years past, the education landscape was a discord of state standards. A fourth grader in Arkansas could have appeared proficient in reading by his state's standards â€” but, by the standards of another state, say Massachusetts, not even close.
It would not be an exaggeration to call the recently completed Supreme Court term a lollapalooza. Day-by-day on the last week of the court term, the justices handed down one legal thunderbolt after another: same-sex marriage, voting rights, affirmative action. The end-of-term crush of opinions made so many headlines that other important decisions got little public notice.
For at least a millennium, the heart of Britain's commercial and financial industries has been the City of London.
The City is not the large metropolis we know as London. It's much older and smaller. Many call it the Square Mile, though it's not square and a bit bigger than a mile. It's the home to big banks, medieval alleyways and St. Paul's Cathedral. And, for all those centuries, the area has had the same local government with an unusual name: The City of London Corporation.
Some famous writers, painters and musicians have done some of their best work in their later years â€” impressionist Claude Monet, for one. But at the North Hollywood Senior Arts Colony, older people are proving that you don't have to be famous â€” or even a professional artist â€” to live a creatively fulfilling life in old age.
With a fully equipped theater and painting and sculpture studios, there seems to be rehearsals or exhibitions of some sort going on here all the time.
Brothers Paul and James Bizzaro, both in their 80s, spent their childhoods living in a house right behind the Statue of Liberty. Their family moved to the same small island in New York Harbor as Lady Liberty 75 years ago this summer, not long after their father, also James, became a guard at the statue.
When the Bizzaros moved to what's now called Liberty Island in 1937, Paul was 8 and James was 6.
"Half of the island was for the visitors. The half that we lived in, we had that whole half to us," says James.
Why does anyone buy Bayer aspirin â€” or Tylenol, or Advil â€” when, almost always, there's a bottle of cheaper generic pills, with the same active ingredient, sitting right next to the brand-name pills?
Matthew Gentzkow, an economist at the University of Chicago's Booth school, recently tried to answer this question. Along with a few colleagues, Gentzkow set out to test a hypothesis: Maybe people buy the brand-name pills because they just don't know that the generic version is basically the same thing.
"You need to be prepared for the Kevin who comes back not to be the same Kevin."
That's what a doctor told the parents of snowboarder Kevin Pearce following the brain injury he suffered in late 2009, while training for the Vancouver Olympics.
Those words, simple but painful for a parent to hear, are essentially what Lucy Walker's moving documentary, The Crash Reel, is about: the way traumatic brain injuries â€” wounds that, after recovery, can seemingly be invisible â€” leave their victims no choice but to be different people.