Ada Louise Huxtable: The Dean of Architecture Critics

“There are some fine architecture critics, don’t get me wrong,” Philip Lopate once wrote in Metropolis, the architecture and design journal. “Huxtable is simply our best.” Indeed, Ada Louise Huxtable, who died on Jan. 7 at age 91 in New York City, was a trailblazer among American architecture critics. When the New York Times appointed her as its first-ever architecture critic in 1963, she became the first American newspaper writer ever to have buildings as her beat. In 1970, when she won the …

One App for All Your Political News

Political junkies and regular voters from both parties can cross the great aisle of division, and unite around an iPad app that dishes up politics evenly. Just download the free Washington Post Politics App and leap into the campaign season with gusto. The app, launched earlier this year, offers terrific photos, graphics, and animation of everything political.  It features news and analysis, interactive maps with state-by-state polls, historical election results, campaign ads and candidate issues at-a-glance. It also contains, my …

Judith Crist and The Persistence of Wisdom

Movie critics are not, by and large, a nurturing lot. We make snarky comments before screenings, gossip about celebrities, and pool our collective genius for annual Best of the Year awards. It’s the rare critic who takes a younger colleague under his or her wing. I have no idea if legendary critic Judith Crist, who died at age 90 on August 7, ever consciously guided a fledgling critic along, but she did have a profound impact on me, one spring …

Microwave Popcorn’s Health Problem: It’s In The Bag

Every day at 4 p.m., like clockwork, one of my co-workers makes a bag of microwave popcorn. We all can hear it popping and then, of course, the fake-buttery aroma permeates the office, which invariably causes someone to ask — “Isn’t that stuff bad for you?” Actually, it’s not popcorn, per se, that people should be worried about. It’s the microwave bag in which it cooks that many experts say is the problem. Popcorn itself is healthy. It’s a whole-grain …

No One Disabled in the Dining Room?

Nothing like a disabled person to ruin your appetite. Or so it seems among some of the upscale retirement communities around the country, where the main dining rooms has been declared off-limits to their residents who are in poor health or disabled. The New York Times reports that several of these continuing care retirement communities, that include assisted living or nursing care along with independent-living apartments, have enacted policies that bar their sicker residents from eating in the main dining …

Medicare Patients: Harmed By Unreported Hospital Errors, Report Finds

An alarming new federal study finds that hospital employees report only one out of seven errors, accidents and other mix-ups that harm Medicare patients while they are hospitalized. The New York Times reports that even after hospitals investigate preventable injuries and infections that have been reported, they rarely change their practices to prevent these problems from happening again, according to the study by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Of the 293 cases in which patients had been …