Sixty years ago Friday, Communist-ruled North Korea invaded South Korea, beginning what would come to be known as the Korean War. The more things change . . . Meanwhile, the cable channel TCM commemorates the conflict with 24 hours of films that begin at 8 p.m. Thursday. Among the films in the marathon is the documentary This Is Korea (1951), directed by the legendary John Ford, and Samuel Fuller's The Steel Helmet. Steve Persall, film critic of the St. Petersburg Times, says of The Steel Helmet: "It's one of Fuller's brashest war movies, one that earned a rave review in Pravda, inciting his critics who branded the director as a Communist. Fuller presents a racially mixed platoon — not likely for the era — dealing with intolerance among themselves and toward the enemy in a stalemated war. Watch the scene in which an African-American soldier is ridiculed by a Korean prisoner for fighting for a nation that doesn't treat him equally, to get a feeling for Fuller's foxhole philosophy that 'War is life, and life is hell.' " Here are some schedule highlights (check your cable or satellite provider for the channel number):
8 p.m., Men in War (1957): Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray and Vic Morrow
10 p.m., This Is Korea (1951): Documentary directed by John Ford
11 p.m., The Steel Helmet (1951): Gene Evans, Robert Hutton and Steve Brodie
9:45 a.m., The Bamboo Prison (1955): Robert Francis, Dianne Foster, Brian Keith and E.G. Marshall
12:45 p.m., Take the High Ground! (1953): Richard Widmark, Karl Malden, Elaine Stewart and Russ Tamblyn
2:30 p.m., Time Limit (1957): Richard Widmark, Richard Basehart, Dolores Michaels and June Lockhart
4:30 p.m., The Rack (1956): Paul Newman, Walter Pidgeon, Wendell Corey and Edmond O'Brien
6:30 p.m., Hell in Korea (1956): George Baker, Harry Andrews and Stanley Baker
The takeaway: Cell phones are very annoying!
However, that said, they're also useful tools for everyday living, when used appropriately. The "smart phone" is even more so. In today's LifeTimes, read all about smart phones and a wealth of other modern technology that might be up your alley or perhaps your mom's or dad's. St. Petersburg Times consumer reporter Ivan Penn offers some ideas, from how to enjoy those old pictures you've stored for 30 years to how to provide older folks a measure of safety in their home.
Meantime, the cell phone has its annoyances, doesn't it? The AARP polled 1,104 adults age 18 and older to answer the question, "What is your level of tolerance when you encounter the following?" Here are the responses, at right, in the category of "Very annoying."
Feeling in need of Vitameatavegamin?
What we eat matters and so does when we eat. That gag from the old I Love Lucy show notwithstanding, blood sugar, or glucose, is the brain's main fuel. When it dips you get that foggy, tired feeling. Consider some tips from the Food Network Kitchens:
Protein power: Lean meat, fish and beans are great for meals. Between meals, satisfy hunger with a boiled egg or a small handful of nuts.
Lighten up: Large, fatty meals make you feel tired. Keeping meals light helps keep you energized. So put down your fork when you reach a 5 or 6 on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 equals famished and 10 equals "Thanksgiving full").
Drink up: Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration, so make sure you drink enough. On average, women need 9 cups of fluid a day and men need 13 (that includes your coffee and other drinks, as well as water).