Sunday, August 13, 2000
Don't believe everything you see about George Washington.
The most familiar image of the Father of His Country is the Gilbert Stuart portrait on the dollar bill. But a Washington biographer who's also a leading authority on early American art says no one has done Washington's historical image more harm than Stuart.
According to Washington Watch, a Family Research Council publication, James Thomas Flexner wrote in his Washington biography, "The Indispensable Man," that Stuart did not get along well with Washington ï¿½ and the unflattering portrait was the result.
Forget "Survivor" or "Big Brother" or "The 1900 House." If you want a real test of your ability to cope with extreme conditions and deprivation, take the advice of media critic Donald F. Roberts: Get rid of all but one of your TVs.
In a Parents magazine article titled "Taming the Tube," Roberts writes: "If you're serious about cutting back on your habit, try owning a single TV." In an even more Draconian move, Roberts proposes deep-sixing the sets in all bedrooms and placing the lone TV "in a communal space, where the whole family can watch together."
What's next, the dalmatian? The tradition of sliding down a pole to get to the fire engine ï¿½ which legend has it was born in 19th-century Chicago ï¿½ is being phased out in the Windy City.
"One of the most common injuries for firemen over the years is from sliding down the pole," a department spokesman said. "Going down the pole too fast and hitting the cement floor, they fracture or sprain a bone or ligament."
Jimmy Smits is celebrating a new leading lady ï¿½ the luscious Kim Basinger. The pair stars in the new thriller, "Bless the Child," in which Smits plays an investigator specializing in the supernatural and Basinger portrays the aunt of a girl who is abducted by the forces of evil. The film opened this weekend.
Old TV series never die, they just show up on cable. The latest is "Starsky & Hutch," the popular gumshoe series of the late '70s which starred Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul as two plainclothesmen. The show airs Mondays-Fridays at 11 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. on TNN.
Cooling your house down on hot summer days is a breeze. So says Family Circle magazine, which recommends teaming up a fan with the air conditioner.
"Not only does a fan create a breeze, a table or a floor fan placed next to an air-conditioner unit will direct cooled air to where you want it, while a ceiling fan will distribute it evenly throughout the room."