The Summer Solstice, Arriving Right Now in a Sky Near You

Yellow, orange and lavender sky at sunset on the eve of the summer solstice 2014 in California. Photo by BF Newhall

Last night, on the eve of the summer solstice, the sun traveled way north on our horizon and set on the far side of our neighbor’s monterey pine tree. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, June 21, 2014, 3:51 a.m.

It’s midsummer. Right now. Today. [Read more...]


At the LA County Museum of Art: Van Gogh, Kandinsky and a Bump on the Head

Red poles adorn a walkway at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo by BF Newhall

Walkway at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. No glass walls to encounter here. Photo by BF Newhall

A banner announcing an exhibtion of expressionist art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, LACMA. Photo by BF NewhallIn a fire, between a Rembrandt, and a cat, I would save the cat.” – Alberto Giacometti

“Walk carefully and remember that your lives are more important than a piece of art.”  — “The Monuments Men”

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

For Giacometti, the twentieth-century Swiss sculptor, a living thing was more important than an inanimate object, even if that inanimate object happened to be a 300-year-old painting by Rembrandt.

And the heroes of the movie, “The Monuments Men,” charged with preventing the destruction of much of Europe’s art treasures during the closing months of World War II, were told more than once that human lives, including their own, were more important than the art [Read more...]


Little Girls Are Superior to Little Boys — Here’s Why

A 5-year-old boy wearing shorts holds on to the arm of a 3-year-old girl in a dress. Photo by BF Newhall

Boys and girls find out at an early age that boys have something that girls don’t have. And it’s not what Freud claimed it was. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, The Oakland Tribune, June 1, 1987

Little girls are superior to little boys.

This fact is not written down in black and white anywhere. The popular baby books talk warily around the topic of sex differences. And researchers will make only minor, technical concessions to the superiority of girls. [Read more...]


At the Breast Cancer Center — Where Everyone Is Super Nice to You

Two pear-shaped floral skin markers with metal beads for marking nipples during mammogram. Photo by BF Newhall

Even the dime-sized stickers with metal beads used to mark the location of your nipples during a mammogram are upbeat at the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

A smiling receptionist is there to greet you as you enter the lobby of the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center in San Francisco’s East Bay. She directs you to the registration desk, where there’s no wait. A nice woman politely finishes up a conversation and is ready to help. [Read more...]


Actor Robert Morse – Sweaty at 36, Sublime at 83

A scene from Mad Men TV series where Robert Morse playing Bert Cooper sings and dances surrounded by dancing secretaries for Don Draper.

Robert Morse: Song-and-dance man. AMC photo.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The last time I saw Robert Morse there were beads of sweat on his forehead. It was 1967 and he was working the crowd on the set of a local TV comedy show. [Read more...]

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