Even though the presidential campaign season is just about over, American voters still must stagger through an obstacle course of brickbats, cheap shots and padded promises to get to the voting booth. Can we help you? Certainly. Joe Queenan's piece, October Surprise, illustrated by Robert Giusti, anchors our election coverage. October surprises are those last-minute banana peels set out to upend opponents; Queenan maps the hazards. To refresh your memory, Terry Catchpole offers a Short History of Political Dirty Tricks;Ken Bode'sSpin Doctors in the Emergency Room reveals how bad news gets managed. And for the political overview, no one does it better than New York Times columnist and former Nixon spin doctor William Safire, interviewed this month by Claudia Dreifus. For a final word on politics, Editor-in-Chief Hugh M. Hefner sums up 20 years of Republican government in his Playboy Forum essay, Just Say No.
Playboy, (ISSN 0032-1478), November 1992, Volume 39, Number 11. Published Monthly by Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Subscriptions: $29.97 for 12 issues, U.S. Canada, $43.97 for 12 issues. All other foreign, $45 U.S. Currency only. For new and renewal orders and change of address, send to Playboy subscriptions, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Please allow 6-8 weeks for processing. For change of address, send new and old addresses and allow 45 days for change. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. Advertising: New York: 747 Third Avenue, New York 10017; Chicago: 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago 60611; West Coast: 8560 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069; Metropolitan Publishers Representatives, Inc.: Atlanta: 3017 Piedmont Road NE, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30305; Miami: 2500 South Dixie Highway, Miami, FL 33133; Tampa: 3016 Mason Place, Tampa, FL 33629.
Loyal, Loving George and his sidekick, Lennie, a retarded brute with a fondness for squeezing soft, furry creatures to death, are the migratory farmhands in Of Mice and Men (MGM), the latest adaptation of John Steinbeck's Depression-era novel. In this thoughtful new version, Gary Sinise directs and co-stars as George, with John Malkovich playing the childlike Lennie as if he were a sexually precocious preschooler (a repetition of their roles at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater). Lennie's encounters with a troubled waif known to the ranch crew only as Curly's wife (Sherilyn Fenn in a gently sympathetic portrayal) turn from innocent titillation to tragedy and become a dangerous liaison almost as familiar as the case of Othello and Desdemona. Fine color photography and good solid performances put new life into a modern classic.[rating]3 bunnies[/rating]
What makes a movie producer run? Passion and "high energy," according to David Permut, 38, head of the independent Permut Presentations. "I have four movies coming out in the next few months, and my company has about forty properties in active development," says Permut in the rat-a-tat delivery of a guy on the go. His imminent films include Consenting Adults, a sexy thriller (see Sex in Cinema); The Temp; Captain Ron; and next year's Three of Hearts, a provocative love story starring William Baldwin, Sherilyn Fenn and Kelly Lynch.
Paramount has remastered four Cecil B. DeMille Technicolor classics--The Ten Commandments, The Buccaneer, Samson and Delilah and The Greatest Show on Earth--with crystal-clear sound and bursting color. From $40 to $65 per disc.... Voyager's deluxe release of Britain's 1963 Jason and the Argonauts includes commentary by Ray Harryhausen, the legendary whiz who created its monster effects.... Anyone miss the Seventies? Pioneer Artists brings back the decade's sweet sounds with Earth, Wind & Fire: Live in Japan, an EW&F reunion gig recorded in 1990. Best I-loved-that-song: Shining Star.
"I'm over-infatuated with Who Framed Roger Rabbit," says one of boxing's favorite elder statesmen, George Foreman. "I watch it at least twice a month. I can't get enough of it. The way that rabbit keeps getting himself in trouble, hitting the wall, tat-tat-tat. I love it." Other vids that knock out the champ are heavyweight Hollywood classics such as Ben-Hur, Gone with the Wind and The Ten Commandments. "I could watch them all the time," he says. But Foreman's all-time bell ringers are comedies, "especially Ghostbusters and Eddie Murphy's Coming to America. And what else? Oh, yeah. Did I mention Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"
Writing at the absolute top of his form--and from the bottom of his heart--Thomas McGuane has surpassed himself with his latest novel, Nothing but Blue Skies (Houghton Mifflin). This intimate portrait of a middle-aged man spinning out of control under the clear blue skies of Montana is deeply moving, funny, filled with zany philosophical wisdom and a riveting piece of storytelling.
For the past year I have been completely shut down. You couldn't pry me open with a chisel. I've stopped wearing make-up, even the concealer stuff you paint under your eyes to take away those dark circles that make people run screaming from the room. When I get up in the morning, I get dressed in clothes that are clean. I don't care if they're cute or not. In fact, for eleven dollars at the Price Club I bought a pair of multicolored cotton trousers with elastic waist and ankles, the sort of pants you wear if you're a housewife from a tacky suburb who has too many kids and hates her husband. I wear these pants all the fucking time.
I've seen ads for a new sex book advocating "The Perfect Fit--how to achieve mutual fulfillment and monogamous passion through the new intercourse." What is the new intercourse?--R. H., Los Angeles, California.
For the first time in several decades I didn't go to the Democratic Convention. I went, instead, to the All-Star baseball game. Not a small decision for a guy who makes his living writing about politics rather than sports.
"We need a leader who will stop the Republican attempt, through laws and through the courts, to tell us what God to believe in and how to apply that God's judgment to our schoolrooms, our bedrooms and our bodies."
Illustrator Roger DeMuth managed to find humor in a somber subject. DeMuth designed "safe sex" art for an annual comic published by his illustration students at Syracuse University. Entitled Safe Sex, it's indicative of what's on the minds of America's youth.
The Erotic Silence of the American Wife, a breezy discussion of female infidelity, made quite a stir this past summer. Dalma Heyn, the author, was the guest du jour on the talk-show circuit. When the cover blurbs by some noted feminists call a book "revolutionary" or "provocative, even subversive," we figure it's time to take a look.
On June 29, 1992, the Supreme Court upheld Pennsylvania's Abortion Control Act but fell short of banning abortion outright. Confused? Cartoonists Mike Peters, Rob Rogers and Terry LaBan clarify the decision.
To say someone's insane is one thing, but to say that anyone who talks to God is crazy is another. For Mormons, personal communication with God is a cornerstone of worship. Mormon prophet Joseph Smith had the Book of Mormon and other sacred scriptures revealed directly to him, and to this day Mormons believe church leaders are prophets. The religion teaches that God can communicate directly with anyone. A recent ruling by the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver effectively says that these believers are certifiably insane. Does this decision erase the line separating church and state? Does it signal an inappropriate government invasion of the private realm?
William Safire, 62, is something of a rarity in 1992: living proof that in an age when electronic journalism spreads like wildfire across the TV dial, the printed word can still stun 'em. As the Pulitzer Prize--winning political columnist for The New York Times and author of the Times Magazine's popular "On Language" feature, his columns are syndicated in more than 300 newspapers. And Safire--former speechwriter for President Richard Nixon and author of more than a dozen books on politics and language--knows how to use his clout. "Safire comes closer to influencing [American] policy than any other columnist," says media specialist Steven Hess of the Brookings Institute.
There are two theories about American presidential elections, only one of which is right. The first, and most widely publicized, is that presidential campaigns are down-to-the-wire horse races in which any last-minute development can dramatically alter the outcome, no matter how large a lead one candidate may have. This is the theory favored by journalists, pundits, flacks, pollsters, political activists, spooks, gumshoes, all talking heads named Ed or Kevin and the 20 percent of the American population who describe themselves as "undecideds"--sometimes even after they have cast their votes. The horse-race theory is especially popular among people who view themselves as independents or libertarians--that is, curmudgeons, fussbudgets and self-styled mavericks who demand that the candidates woo them on bended knee and literally beg for their support at the polls. (Libertarians, for the uninitiated, are Republicans who like drugs. Independents are Republicans who like drugs but feel guilty about it.)
1776 Our Country's father-to-be, George Washington, is the target of bogus letters bearing his forged signature that are circulated in the colonies by devious agents of King George. The letters imply that Washington, then commander in chief of the Continental Army, has engaged in extramarital affairs and is a closet royalist who secretly yearns for the return of British rule.
What do you do when your candidate's opponent turns up an old arrest record? Or when an ex-wife calls a press conference to tell her side of the divorce? Or when a persistent reporter examines the candidate's resume and finds it, well, inflated? Or when the candidate himself is discovered between the sheets with a partner whose own last name does not match his?
Thank God for Playboy! Here I am, doing a series on Showtime, a series that features some of the most sublime beauties on the planet, and the first publication to take notice is Playboy. Figures. Having pioneered and legitimized erotic fantasy, Playboy definitely blazed the trail--and I followed. Red Shoe Diaries, which I created with my wife, Patricia Louisianna Knop, is a series of travelogs from the wilder shores of romance--each week an excerpt from a different woman's erotic diary. Red for passion, red for danger, red for courage, and now, in Playboy, read by millions--I'm in, dude! But let's talk about Joan Severance, the heroine of the Red Shoe episode called "Safe Sex" and the star of this pictorial. Joan has talent, beauty, courage, elegance and those extraordinary blue eyes, but what's really intriguing is the air of mystery about her. This is no corn-fed girl next door: This is an authentic screen siren. She puts you in mind of those screen goddesses of the golden age of Hollywood, a woman with the intelligence and strength of Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn, plus the radiant sexuality of Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth--women who couldn't be pushed around. I spend much of my time surrounded by beautiful actresses. A lot of them are willing to do nudity on screen, so mere beauty is not enough. The roles in Red Shoe Diaries, like those in the movies 9 1/2 Weeks (which I co-wrote with my wife and produced), Siesta (which she wrote and I produced), Two Moon Junction and Wild Orchid I and II (which we co-wrote and I directed), are demanding. They require honesty, talent and courage. I've always been a risk-taker, which is perhaps why I've chosen such actresses as Kim Basinger, Sherilyn Fenn, Ellen Barkin, Carré Otis and Nina Siemaszko, to name a few. Like Joan, they are women without fear. Women willing to commit themselves totally to their chosen roles. Women who have the courage to experiment, the courage to walk away from a bad relationship, the courage to be vulnerable, the courage to be alone. Joan is single, has been for a while, and that's by choice. Of course, she does get asked out. But "Do I go? No," she once told me. "Because usually I find out within one conversation that it's not going to work. I'd love it if the fairy tale came true, but it's hard for a man to see that an independent woman does need a man. 'Why?' he asks. 'You've got your house, you've got your car, you've got your dogs, a salary bigger than mine, your friends, you handle every situation impeccably--why on earth would you need me? Just for an occasional jump in the hay?' They don't understand that we need the emotional balance, the passion in our lives." What would she hope to find in such a man? "He should bring to a relationship good conversation, intelligence, his own security and a good sense of humor, and he should limit his baggage to what's already neatly packed, preferably not in ripped suitcases. Is that so much to ask?" For now, at least, Joan finds passion in her work. "Actually," she said, "I'd always wondered if my trauma-free childhood would hold me back from playing complex roles. I'm not bulimic, I'm not anorexic, my father didn't molest me or my mother or my brothers. It was a great relief to realize that, when called upon, I did have that fire inside." That's what I'm interested in, that fire. My wife likes to describe our films as "emotional thrillers." We create characters that are complex and flawed, because that's the way people are. There's a good deal of sexual turbulence in our movies, but Joan rightly understands our motivation: "Sometimes people need to be pushed to the edge in order to see the truth about themselves." Now making her second appearance in Playboy--the first was in January 1990--Joan says she'd rather see "nudity with purpose than violence without purpose" (obviously a dig at Hollywood's love affair with bullets and body counts). Still, she knows that being the icon of the month is a fleeting glory, and she jokes about it. "From now on, I'm going to walk on my hands: Gravity's the only thing that's forever." I was so impressed with Joan's work that I cast her in the next feature film I'm producing, Lake Consequence, due out in February. In one scene, Joan, co-star Billy Zane and newcomer May Karasun stage a nude threesome in a spa pool. Afterward, I asked her what she'd thought. "I'd never done a scene like that before, but in the right circumstances, I think I could--anyone could--get aroused." Joan keeps her fantasies private. "If I told people, I'm sure they'd lock me away," she says. "Whatever works, right? Start with a rose and who knows where you'll end up?"
It's hard sometimes to comprehend that the netherworld of South Central Los Angeles is not lawless, no matter how many visions of blood-soaked streets and body bags show up on the evening news. Think of it instead as a place with different laws, where a cross look is punishable by death and a toddler may be shot in its mother's arms for wearing shoelaces that are the wrong color. But South Central was a city on fire long before the first building burned in April. To those who live in South Central--actually a combination of cities and communities, including Watts, Compton and South Los Angeles--this is the world of the Bloods and the Crips, the nation's two most notorious street gangs. The gangs started back in the late Sixties when a local resident, Raymond Washington, organized a bunch of kids at Watts's Fremont High School into what later became known as the Crips. As the Crips began to bully other kids, some began to organize. One such group, on Piru Street in Compton, adopted red railroad bandannas and became the Bloods. (The Crips use blue railroad scarves to hide their faces on missions.)
Whether Your fondest Walter Mitty fantasy is to blister down the straight at Monaco in a Formula I machine or pull a three-g roll in an F-16 fighter jet, there's a sophisticated radio-controlled toy to satisfy your wildest dreams. The latest racing cars, for example, come in many styles and sizes. One-quarter-scale models are the largest; some of the newest ones are three feet long and weigh as much as 20 pounds. NASCAR stockers and open-wheeled sprinters are hotter than Bobby Rahal's exhaust pipes right now. Many have tubular-steel frames, fully independent suspensions and working disc brakes--and a price tag that's surprisingly reasonable, about $800. One-tenth-scale cars are about half the size of the quarter-scale models (and less than half the price). Miniature all-terrain vehicles come equipped with tiny oil-filled shocks, and pint-sized race cars roll on diminutive Bridgestones. Both scales are powered by either small electric motors and rechargeable batteries or gas engines that sound and smell like the real McCoy. Are the cars fast? You bet. The current world record for a one-tenth-scale electric car is 75.92 miles per hour.
Sheila Drove. Bobby sat beside her, low in his seat, his knees propped against the dashboard. He smoked a cigarette and stared out the passenger window at the swampy marshland and the muddy canals running alongside Alligator Alley. He looked at his watch. They were 30 minutes from Immokalee. It was dusk. Hot and muggy. Already the mist was starting to form at the base of the palmetto palms and the cypress trees. By the time they reached Immokalee, everything would be shrouded in mist and darkness just the way Bobby had planned. A big semi, heading the other way, whooshed past them, almost blowing their little red Hyundai off the two-lane blacktop. Sheila struggled with the wheel, straightened the car and sped up again. She was a good driver, Bobby thought. He took a drag off his cigarette and fixed his eyes on the swamp speeding past them.
I had a teacher who once told me 'C plus B equals A.' Meaning: 'If you conceive and believe, you will achieve.'" Meet Stephanie Adams of Jersey City, New Jersey, superachiever--not to mention fashion model, artist, clothing designer and, of particular note this election month, a relative of the second and sixth presidents of the United States. "Yup, I'm blood-related to John and John Quincy Adams," Stephanie says with a shrug, quickly adding that her aunt Bootsy has the paperwork to back up the claim of presidential lineage. "Family lore has it that John had a couple of girlfriends and, well, you know...." Then she breaks into a laugh. But the celebrated ancestry of the Adams family is just one aspect of Stephanie's already remarkable life. At 22, she's headed for the big time and shows no sign of slowing down. "There are so many things I want to do," says the part-West Indian, part-Irish, part-Cherokee, completely gorgeous model. "I want to be on the cover of every magazine--the female equivalent of Michael Jackson. This is where I belong." When Stephanie was small, her folks were always on the road--Dad is in public relations for Harrah's casinos--so she was raised by her aunts Pearl and Joyce, both former models, in Orange, New Jersey. It was the aunts who gave her the modeling bug. "Joyce was the Wella hair girl in the Sixties," says Stephanie. "I've posed in front of the camera since I was in diapers." Stephanie attended Catholic school from kindergarten through high school, dabbling mostly in art (the nuns actually put her sketches of nudes on display), clothing design (her fantasy label: Einahpets--or Stephanie spelled backward) and interior design. "When I was eight, my reading material was House Beautiful, Architectural Digest and Vogue. I decorated my dollhouses and crocheted blankets for my dolls. I took it all very seriously." By the time she reached the tenth grade, Stephanie hit new heights--five foot eight, to be exact--and that's when she decided to become a model. "I was sixteen and I realized that I really could do it." Charm school was the first order of business. Stephanie took classes in everything from speech to make-up to behavior. That year, she booked her first gig, the video for George Benson's Masquerade. "I played the love interest of a Mafia guy who winds up getting killed," she recalls. Next, it was off to college at nearby Fairleigh Dickinson University, where Stephanie landed degrees in business management and marketing "so I could market myself as a model and manage the money I made." After graduation, the jobs began to roll in: a stint on The Cosby Show ("I danced at one of Theo Huxtable's parties"), a string of rap videos on MTV and ads for Sprite and Clairol. Her newfound success also brought her into contact with some of New York's rich and famous, including Donald Trump ("He approached me at a loft party and began with, 'You look familiar...'"), Eddie Murphy ("My girlfriends and I met him at the China Club and we all went back to his house in Jersey. He was a perfect gentleman"), New York Mets outfielder Daryl Boston ("We've always been buddies") and Dolph Lundgren ("We met at Grace Jones's birthday party"). Last spring, Stephanie wandered into Playboy's Chicago offices on a lingerie photo assignment. Our photographer took one look at her and whisked her off to meet Senior Photo Editor Michael Ann Sullivan. Within two weeks, John Adams' great-great-etc.-granddaughter became a Playmate. In other words, C plus B equals A--or, in this case, A-plus.
It's all coming together. Instead of a mishmash of electronic gear that operates independently, the market now features audio-video home theaters, multimedia computers and games that play CDs. Within that unity you'll find a Santa's bag of brand-new goodies: digital sound recorders for the home; car radios that tell you what song a station is broadcasting; home-theater systems that fit normal rooms and budgets; laser disc players that make you a singing star; camcorders that shoot wide-screen pictures, in readiness for next year's wide-screen TVs; and computers that adapt to humans rather than the other way around. Of all these interesting new developments, the most revolutionary is the handheld Newton personal digital assistant by Apple Computer. An electronic organizer unlike any other, Newton requires little, if any, knowledge of personal computing. Why? Because it has no keypad. Instead, you use a penlike stylus to write commands on the screen as if it were a notepad. Newton takes care of the rest. It will straighten out your sketches, read your writing and even make sense of it. If you write, "lunch Tuesday with Jim," for example, it will check its calendar to see when the next Tuesday is, check your address file to see which Jims you know, create a diary entry for the date and then show that entry to you for confirmation. It will even remind you of your appointment that Tuesday morning and fax a reminder to Jim. If you meet another Newton owner, you'll be able to swap "business cards" by infrared beam, with each Newton adding the new information to its address file. What's more, Newton can search electronic data bases for articles you'd like to read, remind you of anniversaries and other important dates and even balance your checkbook. According to Michael Mellin, publisher of Random House Reference and Electronic Publishing, "Newton is as important a development for the publishing industry as the paperback book was after the Second World War. With Newton, users can carry information with them anywhere, work with it interactively and integrate it into their lives much more effectively than before." With an expected price tag of about $700, Newton will be hitting the stores early in 1993. Also a hot topic, recordable digital audio now comes in four formats. Digital audio tape was introduced to consumers two years ago but has remained primarily a professional medium. Recordable CD players from companies such as Marantz, Denon, Home Theater Products and Philips cost $7000 and up (starting at $40 per blank disc) and are unlikely to become mainstream any time soon. That leaves two new systems from Philips and Sony, the companies that also launched the compact disc. Philips' entry, the digital compact cassette, is a tape format that's about the same size as a regular analog cassette. In fact, DCC machines (continued on page 154)Electrifying News(continued from page 130) can also play your old analog cassettes, though they can make only digital recordings. All DCC player-recorders will have automatic reverse, so there's no need to flip the tape over. Digital codes in the recording will identify each track's number and contents, allowing the DCC machines to find the songs you want quickly and precisely. Some will even display the name of the tape you're listening to, the individual track or even the name of the performer. The first DCC machines, due out this fall from Philips, Technics, Tandy, Carver, Marantz and others, will plug into a stereo system just like today's cassette decks and will be priced in the $700 to $1200 range. By next year, you'll be able to get pocket-sized portable player-recorders as well as car stereos. Prerecorded tapes are expected to be priced similarly to compact discs, and blank ones will cost between $7.50 and $15, depending on length. Sony's system, called the mini-disc, is actually a two-inch-diameter compact disc (packed in a protective case) that resembles a computer disk. Like DCC tapes, minidiscs will incorporate track-finding codes and song-name display. Because you can jump across an MD's tracks (but not a tape's), you can find the cut you want much quicker. Since the minidisc is being positioned primarily for portability, handheld personal player-recorders will be out first for $500 to $800, followed by car players and home decks. The question remains: Is there room on the market for both formats? Manufacturers think so.
Joseph Hardy sat in the ruins of his congressional campaign early in the morning of the first Wednesday in November and wondered if there was anything more humiliating than having tens of thousands of people reject you and all you stood for.
So how does a 25-year veteran of Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company end up in command of the 24th Century's most advanced Federation starship? For Patrick Stewart, the intermediate steps included such BBC productions as "Smiley's People" and "I, Claudius"--in which he donned a curly hairpiece to play the ambitious outlander Sejanus--and the films "Dune" and "Excalibur." But none of those gave Stewart the lead, and when he auditioned for "Star Trek: The Next Generation," he thought it was to play some "token Englishman" on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Today, as the series successfully sails into its sixth season, it's difficult to see him as anything other than Jean-Luc Picard--the stern superman of a captain who reads classic English literature, speaks fluent Klingon and enjoys recreational fantasies as a Forties detective on the holodeck (the ship's computer-controlled rumpus room). And the series in turn has opened new doors for the 52-year-old Shakespearean: last season's critically revered one-man adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" on Broadway, plenty of commercial work (making his voice more recognizable than his face to non-trekkies) and a role in the hilarious coffee-ordering scene from Steve Martin's "L.A. Story." Neil Tesser, who met Stewart on one of his rare days away from the "Star Trek" set, reports: "Stewart shares some qualities with Picard: He's very focused, rather passionate and given to occasional speechifying. But he's also gregarious, a delightful storyteller and pleased to laugh at himself. In fact, he seems just pleased, period."
The notorious 40-odd seconds trimmed from Basic Instinct for audiences here in the U.S. somehow sum up the status of cinematic sex during 1992: a resurgence of hot stuff that wound up being cooled down. In a way, it was a banner year for sexuality on the screen, even though the banners sometimes seemed to be flying at half-mast. In a generally repressive social climate--partly traceable to the fear of AIDS and to feminist hysteria about sex as naked aggression--the message of moviedom soon took shape: If you can't do it, let your filmed fantasies dwell on it. Monogamy and commitment may well be the mood of the time. But try to peddle abstinence, fidelity or moral rectitude in a film and you'll be D.O.A. at the box office nine times out often. The pros remain aware that a film maker can harvest plenty of green from the field of dreams by following the tested formula: Stir their basic instincts and they will come.
Nearly half the names in home hi-fi are now putting living-room sound on wheels. Bose supplies systems to Audi, Honda, General Motors, Infiniti, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan. Ford offers systems from JBL, Acura from Bose and Panasonic, and Lexus from Pioneer and Nakamichi. Although most of these high-end stereos are installed as options in more expensive cars, you can get the same exceptional sound (sometimes better) from the systems sold at a car-stereo store. You're also more likely to tap into the latest technology. It's a good bet, for example, that minidisc and digital compact cassette car stereos will first appear in stores--from companies such as Alpine, Panasonic, Philips, Sony and Tandy--and then in car showrooms once the demand is established.
Playboy expands your purchasing power by providing a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 30, 104--107, 130--133 and 189, check the listings below to locate the stores nearest you.
If CNN's around-the-clock broadcasts aren't enough to satisfy your news-junkie appetite, then a pint-sized world-band radio--shortwave, as we used to term it--should do the trick. Thanks to digital technology, some of the latest portable models make it easier than ever to tune in to the BBC, Radio Moscow or any of the other 1000-plus international stations. To listen, you simply punch a frequency into the keypad or use up/down buttons to scan the airwaves. Memory presets in most units allow quick access to your favorite stations (one world-band receiver from Grundig accepts as many as 512), and most models feature world time clocks, radio alarms and circuitry that improves reception during storms or when you're surrounded by high-rise buildings.