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L.a. Unleashed

Gorilla finally gets a name

March 15, 2009|Lindsay Barnett; Deborah Bonello; Jeannine Stein

The San Francisco Zoo has announced that its baby Western lowland gorilla is nameless no more. The little guy, who was born in December, was the subject of a baby-naming contest held by the zoo.

After three weeks, 5,300 entries and an endearing but bizarre ritual involving cantaloupe, he has a name: Hasani. (It means "handsome" in Swahili.)

The zoo encouraged entrants to choose names of African origin, although some strayed from that idea and suggested names including Gavin (after San Francisco mayor Newsom) and Sully.

A panel of judges narrowed the field to five but devised a method for the baby's father, a 27-year-old gorilla named Oscar Jonesy, to choose the winning name.

They set five melons, color-coded to represent the five name finalists, on Jonesy's favorite rock in the zoo's gorilla enclosure. After apparently deliberating for a few moments, Jonesy picked the green melon, "choosing" its corresponding name.

-- Lindsay Barnett

From: L.A. Unleashed: All things animal in Southern California and beyond

For more, go to latimes.com/unleashed

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LA PLAZA

Drug lord on richest list

Reuters reports that Mexico's most wanted man, Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman, who is blamed for thousands of deaths in the country's drug war, has made it onto the Forbes magazine list of the world's richest people, with an estimated $1-billion fortune.

Forbes placed Guzman at 701 on its list, tied with dozens of others worldwide with riches of about $1 billion.

Our Tracy Wilkinson reported last year:

"Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, Mexico's most-wanted drug-trafficking fugitive, chalks up more sightings than Elvis. He is everywhere, and nowhere, a long-sought criminal always a step ahead of the law, yet always in sight or mind.

"A mythology has developed around Guzman, the commander of Mexico's most powerful narcotics network, the so-called Sinaloa cartel, named for the Pacific coast state that is the historic cradle of Mexican drug trafficking. Narcocorridos, popular songs about traffickers, lionize him."

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

From: La Plaza: News, links & observations about Latin America from Times correspondents

For more, go to latimes.com/laplaza

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BOOSTER SHOTS

Yoga and wine go together in class

Hybrids aren't popular just in the car world -- they're big in fitness classes too. No longer is it necessary to spend an hour in one pursuit, such as group cycling or Pilates -- now one or more workouts combine to cover more ground. It's perfect for short attention spanners and multitaskers, but it also makes sense: More muscle groups get worked, and strength training and stretching can be combined with endurance.

So it shouldn't be that much of a surprise that this notion of exercise fusion has been expanded even further to include -- wine and food. Yoga and wine, for example, are one of the newer combinations to come about, pairing a yoga class (which usually happens first, for obvious reasons), with wine tasting. And while this may sound like the ultimate thing white people like, we can think of worse ways to spend a couple of hours.

"There's nothing gimmicky about it," says yoga instructor David Romanelli. "There's something really organic about it -- it's not like, 'Let's do yoga and let's do wine.' "

Los Angeles-based Romanelli held two yoga fusion events in Venice.

In one, Romanelli also imparted wisdom about aging: "Everybody is afraid of getting old," he says, "but the yogis see aging as not based on your skin tone, but how vibrant your spirit is. How many times a day do you stop and take a deep breath and really enjoy life? So many of us just grind it out, and the spirit takes a hit. That's really when you age."

-- Jeannine Stein

From: Booster Shots: Oddities, musings and some news from the world of health

For more, go to latimes.com/boostershots

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