Four decades ago, Austin, Texas, had a population of 250,000 and a reputation as a laid-back oasis of liberal politics and live music. Today, the Austin metro area is home to 1.8 million people and has some of the nation's worst traffic congestion.
For years, the city has done little to address the growing problem. But most in the Texas capital now agree something has to change if Austin is to save what's left of its quirky character.
Picture an air hockey table and at each end, holes for cups of beer. Shoot the puck into one of your opponent's cups, and he has to drink the contents. The guys who invented the game posted an image of their table over the weekend and it went viral.
A retired butler has been "completely overwhelmed" by the response to a story about him in The Irish Post. James Gray put an ad in the paper, saying he's spent the last 10 Christmases alone, and he wanted this year to be different.
Comedy is a rough, cutthroat kind of business, makes no claims to be fair. But in recent months, the cry for better representation of black women on "Saturday Night Live" has grown louder.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
In its 37 years on air, NBC's flagship sketch comedy show has had just four black female cast members, and there have been none for six years now. Pop-culture watchers argue that this matters because SNL is important springboard for young comedians.
Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 4:46 am
Weeks of post-election political limbo have ended in Germany. The country's main center-left party has voted to join the coalition government of Angela Merkel. The move clears the way for her to start her third term as chancellor.
Peter O'Toole, the charismatic actor who achieved instant stardom as Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated eight times for an Academy Award, died Saturday. He was 81.
Credit Dennis Oulds / Getty Images
Throughout his career, launched by Lawrence of Arabia, O'Toole was nominated for eight Oscars.
Credit Kevork Djansenzian / AP
O'Toole receives an honorary Oscar at the 75th Academy Awards, presented by actress Meryl Streep, in March 2003.
In 1983, O'Toole starred as Professor Higgins with Canadian actress Margot Kidder as Eliza Doolittle in a U.S. television production of Pygmalion.
O'Toole started on the stage in London. In 1960, he starred as Petruchio, with Peggy Ashcroft as Katherine, in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, at the Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
Lawrence of Arabia was filmed in the Jordanian desert in 1961. The role of T.E. Lawrencewould make O'Toole famous.
Credit David Montgomery / Getty Images
Actor Peter O'Toole performed on stage and on film in many leading roles, and began his acting career in the 1950s when he was serving in the navy. He died on Dec. 14 at the age of 81.
Blond, blue-eyed and wearing blazing white robes in Lawrence Of Arabia, Peter O'Toole was handsome enough — many said beautiful enough — to carry off the scene in which director David Lean simultaneously made stars of both his title character and his leading man.
Kansas City residents are proud of their barbecue, their Chiefs football, their national champion soccer team and Boulevard Brewing, a local brewery that has built up quite a local following since its launch in the late 1980s.
"It's our thing. You know, like la cosa nostra, it's our thing," says Char O'Hara, a Kansas City, Mo., resident who, like thousands of other local 20-somethings, grew up with Boulevard.
But soon, it will be a Belgian thing, too. Any day now, Belgian beer maker Duvel is expected to finalize its purchase of the Kansas City brewery.
Bill Battle peers through the window of a pickup truck at his catfish farm, Pride of the Pond, near Tunica, Miss. The land is pancake-flat, broken up by massive ponds, some holding up to 100,000 pounds of catfish.
Cormorants fly low over the ponds, keeping an eye out for whiskered, smooth-skinned fish. Battle keeps a shotgun in the front seat; business is hard enough without the birds cutting into his profit.
Ireland was one of the countries hardest hit by Europe's debt crisis. On Sunday, it passed a big milestone when the nation became the first country to formally exit the bailout program funded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.
After three years of the bailout program, it isn't hard to find signs of improvement in Ireland and of an economy coming back from the dead.
"Don't get me wrong, it's been bad in a lot of ways, but there's a silver lining in every cloud," says Conor Mulhall, a 41-year-old father of three.