Roger Ebert was a critic, not a blowtorch. He could be sharp if he thought a movie insulted the audience, but had a champ's disdain for a cheap shot.
Many critics ridiculed the film Deep Throat when it came out in 1973. Who couldn't mock its absurdities? Roger just wrote, "If you have to work this hard at sexual freedom, maybe it isn't worth the effort."
Roger Ebert was a Chicago newspaperman who typed with two fingers â€” it sounded like a machine gun, columnist Bob Greene remembered on Friday â€” who was from the age when reporters were fueled by ink and booze.
When I was a teenager falling in love with the theater, I picked up a book called Broadway's Greatest Musicals. The sole criterion for inclusion was that a show run for at least 500 performances, which translates to about a year and a quarter.
The number 42 has been retired from every team in Major League Baseball, and in recent years, teams have been eager for fans to remember why: It was the number Jackie Robinson wore for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he broke the sport's color barrier â€” and began to break a new path in American history.
Airs Friday Night at 9 p.m. Â This week on the Caravan we feature music by Cloud Control, Nick Brumley, and Matt The Electrician, with Blues at the Bottom by Etta Baker, Kieren Kane, Xavier Rudd and a little Buddy & Julie Miller for fun. On the concert hour, Dave MallettÂ takes the stage, and on Be Quite and Play the Music, it really is just a short, short time.
"We are attempting to fulfill as many customer orders as possible," CPI said. "If you've had a recent session, your portraits may be available at your Sears, PictureMe or Kiddie Kandids portrait studio."
Tumult defines the Central African Republic. The landlocked nation in the heart of Africa is rich in natural resources such as diamonds, gold and uranium, but it remains one of the world's poorest countries. It has suffered from decades of misrule and coups.
The latest uprising occurred last month, when a rebel alliance seized control of the country and ousted the president. What followed were days of violence and looting, leaving the country in shambles: gas stations without pumps, hospitals without equipment, the university without computers.
The writer J.M. Ledgard leads multiple lives. He's a journalist and covers East Africa for the Economist, but Ledgard is also a novelist. Here's Alan Cheuse with a review of his latest book, "Submergence."
ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: James More, a British secret agent, has been captured by a Somalian affiliate of al-Qaeda, a peripatetic fringe group that keeps moving him back and forth across the mostly barren terrain of northeastern Africa, trying to hide from drone attacks and make jihad at the same time.