September 18, 2013 |
G. Wayne Clough, who announced Wednesday that he will step down as the head of the Smithsonian Institution in October 2014, arrived at the museums at a time when it was threatened by scandals and a crumbling infrastructure. Clough, a civil engineer and former president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, joined the Smithsonian in July 2008. He has worked to bring the 167-year-old museums and research institution, which receive more than 30 million visitors per year, into the modern era. His predecessor as secretary, banker Lawrence M. Small, had resigned the previous year after it was revealed that he was using Smithsonian money to fund private travel and buy expensive gifts.
September 18, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Google Inc. believes that making big gambles can yield revolutionary advances, whether it be cars that drive themselves, wearable computers connected to the Internet or air balloons that beam wireless Internet access to remote areas of the world. Now it's searching for ways to keep people alive longer. The technology giant said Wednesday that it's a major investor in a venture that would work on combating aging and disease. But Google declined to provide any more details on how the venture would operate or what it would do. Google is not the first technology company to make the leap into healthcare.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2013 |
On a trip to Israel in 1964, Philip Berg, a high-flying insurance salesman from Brooklyn, crossed paths with an aging rabbi renowned for his grasp of kabbalah, an esoteric strain of Jewish mysticism. Neither Berg nor kabbalah would ever be the same. The organization he founded after returning to the United States, now known as the Kabbalah Centre, transformed a field once reserved for the most elite of Orthodox yeshiva scholars into a lucrative pop culture phenomenon. His new-age repackaging of the ancient wisdom of the Torah was embraced by many gentiles and celebrities, including Berg's most famous student, Madonna, but his approach was derided by mainstream Judaism as superficial and inauthentic.
September 12, 2013 |
As a child growing up in Houston, David Roussève spent most of his Sundays attending an African American Roman Catholic church. Though determined to be a model altar boy, he questioned the definition of sin. "I certainly wasn't in touch then with my own sexuality," says the now 53-year-old choreographer, who came out as a gay man in his mid-20s to his family. "But I knew for a fact there were people in that congregation who were having sex and who weren't married, and it didn't seem right that all these people were going to hell.
September 10, 2013 |
Visitors to the Age of Chivalry Renaissance Festival will return to medieval times as a cast of knights, maidens, minstrels and more assembles Oct. 11-13 in Las Vegas. The festival , in its 20th year, brings together a roster of more than 50 shows each day, including historical reenactments, parades and artisans demonstrating skills such as blacksmithing, stone carving and toy making. The Knights of Mayhem will make their Las Vegas debut in a full-contact, professional jousting contest.
September 7, 2013
Editing a letters page provides some insight into the random topics that push hot buttons you didn't know existed. While most of the commentary sent to email@example.com focuses on the big-item issues of the day (a possible military strike on Syria drew the most letters for the second week in a row), occasionally a less weighty subject will prompt impassioned responses. For example, cursive. Reacting to The Times' editorial Wednesday warning that the "handwriting may be on the wall" for cursive instruction in schools, nearly a dozen readers rose to script's defense.
September 6, 2013 |
Everyone in L.A. lies about his or her age, says the author of the book "Career Comeback - Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. " "This is the most youth-oriented city on the planet, where you're only as old as your cosmetic dermatologist makes you look," says Lisa Johnson Mandell (no relation to the writer of this story). "This might be the only city where people use professionally Photo Shopped head shots not just for acting, but on their LinkedIn profiles, Facebook pages, and of course on their online dating profiles.
September 4, 2013 |
For all the new things that schools will be called on to teach under the soon-to-be-implemented Common Core curriculum standards, it's a skill that has been omitted that is causing controversy: cursive writing. Good old script penmanship isn't part of the standards, which have been adopted by 45 states, including California. It's not forbidden or discouraged, but Common Core focuses on analytical and computer-based skills rather than the long hours of practice required to link letters in a flowing style.
September 4, 2013 |
Diana Nyad is now high priestess of the Land of Try-Try Again. A stubborn sort with a bit of a wild streak, she once jumped from a fourth-floor dorm room in college, but that wouldn't be the craziest stunt she'd ever pull. It turned out to be this swim she completed Monday, Cuba to the Florida Keys, through the muck and mayhem of the Gulf Stream, the river within the sea. Ever sipped this stuff? Warm as soup. Full of bilge musk and whale belch. PHOTOS: Diana Nyad's Cuba-to-Florida swim Step out of the briny Caribbean in late summer and you'll be salty as a stadium pretzel.
September 3, 2013 |
Last month, some publications proclaimed a trio of young female swimmers the stars of their sport after the teenagers set world records at the FINA world championships in Barcelona, Spain. But Monday, it was 64-year-old Diana Nyad who captured the world's attention, becoming the first person to successfully swim the treacherous 110-mile stretch of ocean that divides Cuba and the United States without a shark cage. It's a remarkable feat, made even more noteworthy given that swimming is so often considered a sport that favors the young.