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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Ultimate Barbecue Joint
By LAURA REILEY, Times Food Critic
Published June 28, 2007
The full winner's list
Every week for six months, tbt* asked its loyal readers to vote on their favorite bars, restaurants, personalities and attractions in Tampa Bay. And now we've compiled the winners into this collection of 25 ultimate choices.
Kojak's House of Ribs, Tampa
"Please don't feed the squirrels, " says the sign. Rookie Kojak's-goers might ask: "Will a squirrel eat barbecued ribs?" And then they'll decide: "Well, I'm not sharing these ribs with any dang squirrels." Since 1978, Kojak's - a white house with barbecue sauce-colored trim, its wide front porch and knotty pine-paneled dining room as comfy as a '70s rec room - has built a market share with its all-natural pork spareribs, which are dry-rubbed overnight, smoked for 2-3 hours and then served in the buff. They don't need any embellishment, but there's a hot 'cue sauce (red bottle) and a mild sauce (clear bottle) on the table. Chicken gets the same treatment; results are moist and flavorful, with thin burnished skin you'll have a hard time passing up. While the rib recipe hails from Midwest City, Okla., the links are straight out of South Georgia - smoky, flecked with crushed red pepper and bouncy as a SuperBall. Kojak's House of Ribs: 2808 Gandy Blvd, Tampa, (813) 837-3774.