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Bieber Mania

It’s a little after six o’clock on a cold Friday night at the Inner Harbor’s Hard Rock Café, where dozens of anxious teens and their parents have gathered around the stage adjacent to the guitar-shaped bar. Rock legends like Paul McCartney and Roy Orbison play on flat screens around the restaurant, but these kids have a much younger legend on their minds: Justin Bieber. Read more

Apple: In Jobs we trust

I have a problem. Some might even call it an obsession, others an addiction. Year after year it costs me hundreds of dollars, but never have I regretted a penny spent. I am one of the millions of yuppies across the globe who salivate whenever Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, steps out onto a dark stage in California to reveal the latest in useless Apple innovation. I am a member of the cult of Apple.

Ever since the launch of the first iPhone in summer 2007, I have found myself drawn, like a moth to light, to Apple’s continuous rollout of shiny and slightly improved gadgets. Each year I promise myself that I will exercise self-control — that I will not be influenced by Apple’s clever and manipulative advertising. And yet year after year, I cave and push my old iPhone off to a family member or sell it on eBay so I can have the latest and greatest. I treat the newest device like I would the rarest of diamonds, enclosing it in an expensive and fashionable case and cleaning it with a microfiber cloth on a regular basis, only to discard it 12 months later. Read more

Bad bromance: Clash of the blowhards

It was only a matter of time before the burgeoning egos of this state’s Gov. Martin O’Malley and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) began to rub, creating an irritating rash and throbbing with anger. And indeed, that is just what’s happened in recent weeks.

O’Malley and Christie, both 48 years old and predicted to be key leaders in their respective parties in the years ahead — perhaps even as presidential rivals in 2016 — have engaged in an ever-increasing game of political tit for tat that has elevated their profiles and gotten their names mentioned in numerous national publications. The two rough-and-tumble politicians — the fighting Irishman and Jersey Shore belligerent — seem the perfect match for a bar brawl, with one flashing his guns in a muscle shirt while drinking Guinness, and the other donning a bowling shirt and sipping Jim Beam. Instead, however, the two ambitious politicians have opted to take their feud to the airwaves. Read more