It's hot out. The usual midday thunderstorm has just passed, and the few kids hanging out on bleachers around the pool at Miami's Ransom Everglades School finally get the go-ahead to jump in and cool off.
Eight-year-old Gary Kendrick and the others are all here for swim lessons.
"They told us to hold on to the wall and kick our feet and, like, move our arms," Kendrick says. "When I had to swim to one of the counselors, I was really swimming. I ain't even know I was moving."
There's a wonderful 1982 memoir called An Orphan in History by the late Village Voice writer Paul Cowan. It's about Cowan's search for his European Jewish roots, and in it he says something about the sacrifices of older generations of immigrants that's always stayed with me. Cowan says: "Millions of immigrant families . . . left the economically and culturally confining Old World towns where they were raised, and paid for the freedom and prosperity this country offered with their pasts."
The exact cause of prisoner Jerome Murdough's death at Rikers Island in February is still under investigation. But the temperature in the cell when he was found in New York City's biggest jail was at least 100 degrees.
The death of Murdough, who had severe mental illness, called renewed attention to a long-standing problem: maintaining reasonable temperatures in jails and prisons.
Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 12:55 pm
Despite a public outcry that resulted in more than a half-million petition signatures and a personal appeal by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Arturo, Argentina's "sad bear," has been deemed too old to migrate to Canada.
Remember when movie companies just put Roman numerals at the end of titles when they made sequels? Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV. Well, not anymore.
This summer, we've had X-Men: Days of Future Past, with no mention that it's either the sixth or seventh X-Men movie, depending on how you're counting. Also 22 Jump Street, the across-the-street follow-up to 21 Jump Street. And Begin Again (which ought to be a sequel, but isn't).