A decade after it burst onto Broadway, Green Day’s American Idiot is still a shock to the system, but a very welcome one. You’d be forgiven for seeing the words “rock musical” and assuming you’d be heading to the Empire, usually home to the big singing and dancing productions. But the Playhouse is the perfect fit. The smaller scale means American Idiot is an intense experience from the word go, immediately inviting audiences to feel part of this bleak world of skipping showers, drugs and dirty bedsheets. It’s high energy from the start and never lets up - the cast launching into the catchy title track after a flickering tv screen sets the scene with news reports from 9/11. George Bush was President when the show was written, but the parallels with today’s USA are clear. The show follows three friends filled with youthful disillusionment. Johnny goes to the big city and falls in love - with a woman and with drugs - Tunny (Joshua Dowen) joins … [Read more...] about REVIEW: American Idiot at the Liverpool Playhouse
American fitness professionals
We’ve never had more reasons to get fit. Studies show physical activity is surprisingly beneficial to every aspect of our wellbeing, writes Bruce Munro. He also includes three longevity tips for those who hate exercise. The many ways to pursue a healthy, happy and long life clamour for our attention. According to those incessantly touting for our well-being allegiance, we should be fermenting our own kombucha, getting regular colonics, going on meditation retreats, eating a low-carb and high-fat diet, or maybe a high-carb and low-fat diet, getting a pet, monitoring our hormones, doing laughter yoga classes ... and, new for winter, 2019, taking nutrient infusions by intravenous drip. And that's just for starters. If you are really serious about this, you will move to the Japanese island of Okinawa, or the Greek island of Ikaria, where you will eat the local food, adopt the lifestyle and breath the air of the planet's longest-living inhabitants. But there is a more direct, stay at … [Read more...] about Fit for life
Dan Wolken USA TODAY Published 9:37 AM EDT Apr 6, 2019 MINNEAPOLIS — As natural as it might be to attach words like “breakthrough” or “life-changing” to a coach when they make a Final Four for the first time, it’s rarely true. Just think about 46-year old Chris Beard, whose coaching résumé sounds more like a Robert Earl Keen tour through Texas music halls than a path to competing against Tom Izzo for national titles. You want to talk about the kind of breakthrough that matters? How about going from a Division II job at Angelo State to making $260,000 at Arkansas-Little Rock, then getting a million-dollar rise to coach at Texas Tech. That’ll really change your life. But it’s fair to say this about Beard, whose debut news conference here dripped with charming stories about how he’d come to the Final Four years earlier trying to crash on someone else’s hotel room floor and movie-theater … [Read more...] about Final Four: Chris Beard fits at Texas Tech but could bigger job loom?
IT IS hard not to notice it, when you first meet David Autor: the earring, there in the lobe of his left ear, in the shape of a gecko. It has become something of a theme among his students and colleagues, who have given him all sorts of gecko-related paraphernalia. The earring is one half of a pair bought with his wife, before they were married and long before he became the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachussetts Institute of Technology. It is an eye-catching accessory, fitting for a man whose career has followed unconventional paths. Mr Autor is an ever-so-slightly manic figure, who speaks quickly and engagingly. He is not a household name but he is enormously influential, in large part because of his groundbreaking work on the effects on American workers of China’s extraordinary rise. Economic models have long allowed for the possibility that trade between rich countries and poorer ones with an abundance of cheap labour could harm workers in the richer country. But … [Read more...] about David Autor, the academic voice of the American worker
Crane operator Juanpe Gómez became a game-show contestant as a means of dealing with the fall out from the economic crisis, but now he has little idea what to do with his million-euro prize money. Laid off in 2009, he started by entering the odd minor show but as his success grew, so did his ambition. Soon he was preparing for Pasapalabra, a Spanish TV show that focuses primarily on vocabulary and attracts as many as 26% of viewers in its time slot. “I approached it as if it were a civil servant exam,” he says. He had always been keen on reading but now it was a case of studying reduced versions of the Spanish Royal Academy and María Moliner dictionaries. “I also went through encyclopedias and got up to speed on current affairs.” Juanpe is small in stature and restless by nature and he gets excited when he recalls how he identified the “strange” surnames of prize winners of the Planeta and Nobel prizes and candidates of an election in Peru. … [Read more...] about When trivia is your living: Meet Spain’s professional game show contestants