‘Noah,’ ‘The Other Woman’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

At first blush, the idea of Darren Aronofsky directing a Biblical epic seems silly. The talented filmmaker – best known for “Black Swan,” “The Wrestler” and “The Fountain” – cut his teeth on independent cinema. Even his hits live outside the mainstream, so a big-budget Bible story is the last thing many film lovers would have expected. That just proves that no one should judge an artist by his back catalogue. 

Facing Severe Drought, Californians Support Cutbacks

Ngoc Nguyen

Californians rank the drought as their number-one environmental concern, according to a new statewide survey. The poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found three out of four residents favor mandatory curbs on water use. “They want the local district to do something -- mandatory reductions -- and they want the state government to do something,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “They recognize that it is a problem and the most important issue.”

 

How China Became the World’s Second-Largest Art Market

Veronica Mendez

Fast-forward 20 years later, and China now possesses the second-largest art market after the U.S.  . In the October 28, 2013 New York Times, Barboza, Bowley and Cox reported that China’s auction revenues reported revenue of $8.9 billion, and China’s native Poly Auction house has risen to become the third-largest auction house in the world, behind Christie’s and Sotheby’s. 

The ‘Sister Wives’ Effect: Can the U.S. Rebrand Polygamy?

Stephanie Stark

Earlier this month, TLC brought back "Sister Wives," a reality show featuring the Utah-based polygamist Brown family of four wives and 17 children, for another season. Since last season, the Browns struck down a major piece of state legislation that may pave the way for the legalization of polygamy under the guise of “religious freedom.” In a nod to anti-gay marriage advocates who warned the legalization of same-sex marriage would lead to other kinds of sexual freedoms, such as polygamy, the ruling is deemed a watershed moment for the rights of polygamist families— of which there is estimated to be around 45,000. 

The Unfair $23 Billion Tobacco Verdict

Sandip Roy

But the catch is Johnson died at the age of 36. So for much of his life he must have known full well the dangers of smoking. From 1966, packets in the US warned smoking may be hazardous to health. From 1970 it became a more definitive "The Surgeon General Has Determined that Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health". That Johnson could not quit his addiction is a different matter. But the verdict is clearly less about Johnson’s tragedy as it is about teaching cigarette companies a lesson for peddling a vice. 

Invasion of the Italian Futurists

Sandra Bertrand

Judging by their 1909 manifesto, the Italian Futurists were a violent lot.  They called for nothing less than the destruction of museums, libraries and feminism.  They intended to “glorify war, the only hygiene of the world,” and to “sing to the love of danger.”  If their manifestos fell a little flat, their creative endeavors were all-encompassing, reconstructing painting, sculpture, architecture, fashion and even performance to such an extent that we would never look at the world in quite the same way again.

California Agriculture Is at Risk of Greatest Water Loss To Date

Kat Kerlin

The study found that the drought — the third most severe on record — is responsible for the greatest water loss ever seen in California agriculture, with river water for Central Valley farms reduced by roughly one-third. Groundwater pumping is expected to replace most river water losses, with some areas more than doubling their pumping rate over the previous year, the study said. More than 80 percent of this replacement pumping occurs in the San Joaquin Valley and Tulare Basin.

High Rents Force New York Chinatown Retailers to Seek Out Other Locations

Rong Xiaoqing

Just a few blocks north of Chen’s crammed shop is a different world. Ten or so spacious storefronts are completely empty, with “for rent” banners on the awnings covered in dust. Some of them have been left like that for more than a year, as new tenants can’t afford the increased rents after former tenants are pushed out. Thanks to skyrocketing rents in recent years, this eerie contrast – shops crammed into tiny spaces next door to vacancies of spacious storefronts -- has become a fixed image in Chinatown. 

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