Oscar: The Story Behind the Statuette

In 1928, Emilio Fernández Romo, a former Huertista rebel who’d been exiled to Los Angeles, was asked for an odd favor. Could he pose for a sketch, in the nude, holding a sword? Fernández—half Mexican, half Kickapoo Indian, and nicknamed “El Indio”—worked as an extra in Hollywood. He was, perhaps understandably, noncommittal. But his friend, … Read more

Food Voyeurism: It’s More Fun to Watch

Food porn: no, that doesn’t refer to provisions in promiscuous poses. Decadent, almost sinful, descriptions and visuals of food have been permeating television and the Internet in recent years as our obsession with food grows. The cable television channel Food Network is available in 90 million households and is a staple in many of those, … Read more

Saturday Night Live: Show Us the Funny (Women)

When 88-year-old Betty White hosts Saturday Night Live on May 8, 2010, it won’t be because the producers had the bright idea to invite the veteran comedienne. It’ll be thanks to a grassroots campaign among fans, conducted via Facebook. The odds an adult has a Facebook or MySpace account are 1 in 2.08, but for a person 55 or older, they’re … Read more

Things Likelier Than Being a Movie Star

In 2007, Gabourey Sidibe was studying for a nursing exam in Dobbs Ferry, NY, when her phone rang. Ms. Sidibe had been chosen out of hundreds of young women to play the leading role in a movie called Precious. She’d never acted on film before. Today, she is up for an Academy Award. Just how unlikely … Read more