January 30, 2014 |
Jenny Offill's riveting new novel, "Dept. of Speculation," is steeped in weird and geeky facts. It opens, for example, with the information that antelope have "10x vision" and on a clear night can see the rings of Saturn. It's a fitting beginning to a book that combines eclectic minutia with a laser-like narrative of a family on the edge of dissolution. The wife, the novel's nameless main character, is in crisis, threatened by abandonment. This has fragmented her interior life, and Offill's prose reflects this chaos: paragraphs shatter, surreal details rise up and into the narrative.
January 29, 2014 |
The luge seemed tough enough already. Racing down an icy track at 80-plus mph. Flying through twists and turns on your back. Now the Olympics have added one more challenge. In the new mixed relay - each country racing a man, woman and doubles team, one right after the other - sliders must look up and slap a touchpad as they zip across the finish line. "The last thing you want to do is miss the pad," U.S. luger Erin Hamlin said. "That would be devastating. " The luge relay will not be the only newcomer at the 2014 Sochi Games.
January 29, 2014 |
The project took five months of planning, 11 days to film and a specially rigged SUV to conceal six puppeteers. A crew of 100 people shot some scenes in Malibu, Pico Canyon, Stevenson Ranch, Playa del Rey and Universal City. This wasn't for a movie or television episode, but a Muppet commercial for Toyota that will air during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The 60-second "Joyride" advertisement - created by Saatchi & Saatchi LA for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. of Torrance - promotes the launch of the 2014 Toyota Highlander and the upcoming Disney movie "Muppets Most Wanted.
January 28, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Republicans took multiple tries to deliver their reaction to President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night. In addition to the officially sanctioned Republican Party response by Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and a Spanish-language version by Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Tea Party Express faction continued its practice of delivering a separate speech, this year by Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. And Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who had delivered the Tea Party Express response last year, staked out his own turf this year with a YouTube address.
January 24, 2014 |
In this hyper-fast, crazy-overscheduled, stress-inducing, 24/7 plugged-in reality, baths seem indulgent, even quaint, conjuring images of 19th century paintings of women with their hair swirled high atop their heads in old-timey tubs pouring pails of heated water about them. But a bath may be just what the doctor ordered. "America is a fast-moving society. We have fewer holidays and vacation time than, for example, Europe, and because of technology we're always on the clock," says Ole Henriksen, owner of the eponymous skin care line and West Hollywood spa where he incorporates Japanese bathing rituals.
January 23, 2014 |
California's health exchange said it would use an additional $155 million in federal grant money to address customer service woes and to boost low enrollment among the key market of uninsured Latinos. The Covered California exchange announced the injection of money from the Obama administration Thursday as it faced growing criticism for dismal service and a disappointing sign-up rate among Latinos. The state has led the nation with more than 625,000 people enrolled in health plans through mid-January, and it's a bellwether state for the national rollout of the Affordable Care Act. That large volume of enrollment, much of it coming last month, has often overwhelmed the state exchange and its participating health plans.