Jackie Evancho – the 11-year-old girl with the extraordinarily big voice – who came to national prominence on “America’s Got Talent” where she dazzled the audience with her rendition of Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” and Sarah Brightman’s hits “Piu Jesu” and “Time to Say Goodbye,” returns to PBS after her sensational guest appearance on GREAT PERFORMANCES “Hitman Returns: David Foster & Friends.” Her solo concert – coincides with the release of her first full-length solo album, Dream with Me – was filmed at the grounds of the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida.
For 14 months of my life I was lucky enough to reside in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Funded by the National Science Foundation to study baboons, I lived surrounded by a gorgeous array of mammals and birds. I was fascinated, in particular, by the elephants who roamed the savannas and swamps.
Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 12:32 pm
"If you're familiar with porcupines, they can cause an enormous amount of damage to a rural home," Jerry Feaser told me. "They literally chew through things."
Feaser works for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which has lately been wrestling with porcupine trouble. State law lets homeowners kill animals that are causing damage to homes — provided the animals are caught in the act.
"The problem is that porcupines are nocturnal, and the [low] likelihood that someone is actually going to catch them in the act is an obstacle," Feaser told me.
If he's not at one of his 16 restaurants in New York, Las Vegas or Los Angeles, Mario Batali is easily found on TV these days.
One day he's making meatloaf with his co-host on the new daytime show The Chew. The next he's having a friendly cook-off with a rival celebrity chef on Good Morning America. Or traipsing through Europe for PBS, sporting his reddish ponytail, baggy shorts and not-so-fashionable clogs with celeb food enthusiast Gwyneth Paltrow.
While members of the Constitutional Convention were in Philadelphia back in 1787, many stopped by the D. Landreth Seed Company store to buy radishes, broccoli, and parsley, among other things. Landreth counted every American president from George Washington to Franklin D. Roosevelt as customers.
But despite it's historic significance, the country's oldest seed company has been struggling to survive.
"Murga attacks everything," says a Uruguayan choir director during our podcast of the week's best arts stories. Murga is a kind of choral music that sticks it to everyone during competitions that take place as part of Uruguay's Carnaval festivities. They're said to be the longest in the world — the party goes on for well over a month.
Employment is up, with most of the new jobs coming from small and medium-sized businesses, like this accessories store in Manhattan. But some owners of small businesses say they're still cautious about hiring.
Optimism is growing about the U.S. jobs market. Fewer people are applying for unemployment benefits, and hiring is up. The lion's share of new jobs are coming from small and medium-sized firms. But even if the economy comes roaring back, many small businesses aren't likely to hire with wild abandon.
"It's a huge commitment, when you're a very small firm, to add someone," says Kate O'Sullivan, director of content for CFO magazine. "And I think that the outlook is still not completely firm."
In criticizing a reporter's use of the term "nutcase" last week, I wrote that "political correctness can surely get out of hand," but not in this case. Readers and editors who responded widely agreed. The pushback came on another term: political correctness.