Arts and Entertainment

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Walking the walk

As I write this, the UN-sponsored World Summit for Sustainable Development is under way in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it’s generating all kinds of unusual reactions.

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Going the distance

I’m writing this from a rooftop aerie at Skytop Lodge in the picturesque Poconos. I’ve managed to get away with the family for a week, and this venerable and rustic hotel (it dates back to 1925 and is surrounded by 5,000 acres of nature trails) beckoned. I can see a very full moon through the window and, down below in the parking lot, a still-warm Saab 9-5 sedan ticks quietly.

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Fringe

Today through Sept. 14, Philadelphia will experience one of the most unusual theatrical events seen anywhere in the country.

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To Infiniti (and beyond)

Nissan is the comeback kid, revived after what many describe as a “near-death experience.”

Led by Brazilian-born Carlos Ghosn, who joined the company in 1999, Nissan went through a round of layoffs, plant shutdowns and procurement cost cuts. Although Japanese workers are legendary for their team spirit, former Michelin executive Ghosn’s revival plan included persuading the disgruntled workforce to cooperate more fully. Nissan posted its first profit since 1996, making $2.6 billion in 2000.

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Urban Gardener

I’m actually writing this to avoid going out into the horrid heat to water my backyard … again.

In semi-normal years, I don’t have to water anything but potted plants and maybe the raspberry patch. This year I’ve been watering twice a week just to keep most of the stuff alive. Too gross!

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Multitasking on stage

Stage Struck, at the Society Hill Playhouse, is a light-hearted look at what vaudeville was, portrayed by R.J. Lewis, a true jack-of-all-trades.

Vaudeville was the most popular form of entertainment in North America from 1875-1932, and now it’s a word you rarely hear and that most people know very little about. Before the invention of radio, movies and television, most theaters around the country presented vaudeville shows.

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Burning down the house

“Hell-Car Burns Model’s Home,” screamed the page 6 headline in the New York Post. “Veronica Webb’s eco-friendly electric car turned into a fire-spewing death machine the other night, burning down her Key West house and killing her beloved dog, Hercules.”

What a lurid story — too bad a lot of it wasn’t accurate!

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The week that was

If you cared about the environment, it was quite a week for the auto industry.

In a move that was like wish fulfillment for the world’s greens, Ford hinted that it was going to end production of the bloated Ford Excursion, a massive 19-foot, 10-mile-per-gallon SUV that the Sierra Club dubbed the “Ford Valdez.”

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It’s bindweed, curse it

A gardener’s life is not a happy one — at least sometimes. This year it’s been heat and drought, and now the dreaded bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis).

I thought I’d gotten rid of the bindweed in my community garden plot years ago, and it took years to do it. But it’s baaack. It crept underground from my neighbor’s plot and came up in the middle of my brand-new purple asparagus patch.

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Tailpipe tactics

The auto industry went into overdrive last week, propelled by highly flammable legislation in California. It seems that the Golden State, which already has the country’s toughest emissions laws, passed a new bill that ties auto emissions to global warming.

In effect, the law will require by 2005 that automakers produce cars that give off the least amount possible of carbon dioxide, the major global-warming gas.

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