- - Sunday, September 12, 2010

Raising Caine

“The scripts started to dry up completely — even the bad ones — and if there is one thing worse than being offered bad scripts it’s being offered none at all.

“The danger is, of course, that the wait for a decent movie makes you desperate, and I got desperate to the point that I accepted a picture in Alaska with Steven Seagal, the martial arts expert. The movie was called On Deadly Ground and the title was to prove apt.

“Although Steven and the rest of the team were great to work with, I had broken one of the cardinal rules of bad movies: if you’re going to do a bad movie, at least do it in a great location.”

Sir Michael Caine, writing about his long acting career, Sept. 11 in the Daily Mail

A big wind

“A wind turbine is no laughing matter; industrial models are over 300 feet high and cause not only serious noise pollution but also damage to both the surrounding terrain and wildlife (including birds).

“Fervent environmentalists are good at laughing off such complaints as trivial compared to the need to reduce our use of destructive fossil fuels. But this objection actually cuts to the heart of the issue of why we invest in wind energy. If our intent is to protect nature and the environment for future generations, then building massive turbines in some of the truly unspoiled areas left in the world makes little sense. In short, wind farms mar beautiful places but, as we have seen, do little to actually help save nature in the long run.

“This is not to suggest that we turn our backs on wind power. Clearly, the technology of turbines will improve over time. But until the capacity factor of turbines comes closer to rivaling that of conventional power plants, we ought to seriously consider putting their proliferation on ice. Until then, they really won’t do much to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. Meanwhile, governments must do everything they can to hinder the spread of wind turbines to remote areas, where local people are either motivated to make a huge profit by having the turbines erected on their own land or mistakenly hope to reduce their fuel bills.”

Eli B. Martin, writing on “Wind Farms: Not So Green,” Sept. 10 in Harvard University’s The Crimson

Baby talk

“Forget leaking sex tapes, getting multiple plastic surgeries, and fist-pumping. The latest way to get on the cover of a tabloid these days? Get pregnant and have a baby when you’re a teenager, and do it on TV.

“Last month, Us Weekly featured an exclusive with ‘Teen Mom’ star mom Farrah Abraham discussing the death of her 18-month-old daughter Sophia’s dad, Derek Underwood, while her co-star Maci Bookout opened up about finding Mr. Right and feuding with her ex.

“People Magazine has ‘16 and Pregnant’ stars Catelynn and Tyler sharing their ‘moving story’ after choosing adoption for their newborn daughter Carly, and OK! has an “exclusive” cover story with ‘Teen Mom’ Maci and her ‘Bitter Custody Battle’ along with details of her quest to protect her son from ‘her slimy ex Ryan.’”

Hollie McKay, writing on “Tabloids Glamorizing Teen Pregnancy By Putting Teen Moms on Covers?” Sept. 10 at FoxNews.com

Granny and grampy

“One child in 10 in the United States lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007-08, the first year of the Great Recession, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

“About four-in-ten of those children who live with a grandparent (or grandparents) are also being raised primarily by that grandparent, according to the census data. This figure — 2.9 million children — rose slowly throughout the decade and it, too, spiked from 2007 to 2008. In that single year, there was a 6 percent increase.

“The phenomenon of grandparents serving as primary caregivers is more common among blacks and Hispanics than among whites, but the sharpest rise since the recession began has been among whites.”

Gretchen Livingston and Kim Parker, writing on “Since the Start of the Great Recession, More Children Raised by Grandparents,” Sept. 9 for the Pew Research Center

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