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Film, "White House Down": By God, Action Movies Can Be Fun Again

"White House Down": By God, Action Movies Can Be Fun Again

"Die Hard in the White House" seems like an obvious movie pitch, but it took 25 years for effects technology (and the Québec Film Production Services Tax Credit) to allow Roland Emmerich to make the deeply goofy yet surprisingly entertaining…
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Calendar, Night&Day Going Viral

Going Viral

Viruses are wily. They’re omnipresent, and they move quickly. In 1918, for example, a deadly strain of the human influenza virus was spread throughout the globe, partly by soldiers traveling to and from the battlefields of World War I. Much…
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Calendar, Night&Day Talking Points

Talking Points

In the dawn of 2010, the White House battled health care, two wars, the Party of No, and a battered economy, and frequent MSNBC political commentator Richard Wolffe was there. Really. From January to March, he was in the room…
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Calendar, Night&Day Trendsetter


Solar panels on the White House ― it’s a very “now” topic. The Obama administration has taken several different positions, and it seems to be in favor at the moment. But Jimmy Carter already did it, way back in 1979.…
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Calendar, Night&Day Friends, Not Food

Friends, Not Food

Factory farming’s days are numbered. Michelle Obama’s organic garden at the White House is pissing off chemical pesticide companies. Sometimes, it seems we’ve got the bad guys of food on the run. At the Walk for Farm Animals, participants raise…
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Calendar, Night&Day It’s Better With Jell-O

It’s Better With Jell-O

Liz Hickok’s gelatinization of San Francisco -- in which she molds the city out of Jell-O, shines lights on it, fashions backdrops, then lets the whole shebang liquefy into a mound of multicolored, mushy goodness -- is beloved by everyone…
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Calendar, Night&Day Great Scott!

Great Scott!

When former White House press secretary Scott McClellan started making his own news early this month, Republicans, caught off guard, ran on a dead sprint to the cable news networks, laid down a thick line of fire, but ultimately failed…
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Film, FilmCap

Running with Arnold

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is either a shining testament to the American Dream, or a prime example of how big-money success corrupts the soul. History, perhaps, will regard him as both. Still, even the most die-hard leftie may cringe at this…
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News, Sucka Free City

Methodist Acting

When gay families from San Francisco and elsewhere lined up outside the White House lawn last week to participate in the president's annual Easter egg hunt, hundreds of newspapers picked up the story. To ensure balance and objectivity, 100 of…
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Dining, Social Grace

Not Too Nice

Dear Social Grace, We have a co-worker in our department who never goes out to lunch unless the company pays for it, but manages to ask one of the people in our lunch group to bring something back for her…
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News, Dog Bites

Dog Bites

Dining at the White House For some reason, Dog Bites has been consumed of late by food, drink, and the increasing prospect that sanity is returning to the nation's political realm. It started on a sunny Mission District afternoon on…
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Calendar, Urban Experience Drunk and Irate

Drunk and Irate

TUES 11/2 Two weeks ago, the Dog Bites column ran a series of threats from random people who insisted they'd leave the country if Bush keeps his spot in the Oval Office. It looked like Australia and New Zealand were…
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Film, Zoom Lens Zoom Lens

Zoom Lens

"We're all blunderers," declares a Palestinian passenger on a West Bank shuttle van, punctuating her disgust with a wave of the hand. Her sweeping indictment, recorded in Hany Abu-Assad's terrific quasi-documentary Ford Transit, includes everyday people on both sides along…
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Film, Reel World

The 400 Blows

Documentary makers typically dream of the prestige and glory of a theatrical release, and happily "settle" for the wide reach of a TV broadcast. For several years, following her Academy Award for the GE exposé Deadly Deception, Debra Chasnoff has…
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Culture, Books Versifying


The other day, a co-worker and I were talking in my office when she noticed on my desk a copy of Paint Me Like I Am, a collection of poems by WritersCorps participants (more about that later). When I offered…
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Karen Morley: Still Sexy After All These Blacklisted Years

LOS ANGELES -- There's an irony at the center of The Unvanquished, the festival series "that honors filmmakers who have faced repression and censorship." The blacklisted honorees have been sharp, humorous individuals -- though at the time of their persecution…
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Calendar, Halloween

REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Many astrologers seem to think the planet Saturn is the cosmic equivalent of a crabby old tyrant whose goal in life is to limit our freedom. I vigorously resist this notion. Many people, it's true, don't…
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Calendar, Halloween


Gentlemen Start Their Engines As the computer selling season heats up for the holidays, plugs for PC and electronic games are proliferating. Most have long been sold on the strength of their sex and violence -- "guts, butts, smut, and…
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Calendar, Halloween

REAL ASTROLOGY For an Unreal World

Aries (March 21-April 19): Was there ever a book you were attracted to exactly because you didn't understand it? Because you had a hunch it might one day become like a bible, but at first you could not penetrate its…
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Blakk Power

So you've come to San Francisco, and you're a drag queen. In any other town, that's enough at least to get you noticed. But here? As if we need another drag queen? To make a mark in this seen-it, done-it…
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