March 11, 2014 |
If an ice age is coming and you are a lichen in Antarctica, you better hope you live near a volcano. A new study suggests organisms native to the South Pole survived ice ages by huddling in pockets of warmth created by the heat of underground volcanoes. "These slightly warmer areas would have kept some parts of the continent ice free and let organisms survive on that land," said Peter Convey of the British Antarctic Survey. "Then, when the ice receded, the plants and animals spread out from that refuge to occupy other places.
March 10, 2014 |
Elephants may be known for their memory, but it turns out they're incredible listeners, too. African elephants who hear human voices can tell people of different sexes, ages and even ethnic groups apart, according to a new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Such keen ears are necessary when trying to survive in territory marked by human-elephant conflict. African elephants who live in Amboseli National Park in Kenya share land with the Maasai people, who raise and herd cattle.
March 8, 2014 |
Lucian Grainge has a vision for the future of the music business that bears scant resemblance to the traditional record company playbook. He is putting songs on smartphones in Africa, reviving moribund American record labels and making Lorde into a Grammy-winning global sensation. Above all, he wants to forge new partnerships with his industry's erstwhile adversaries - the technology firms that have upended the way people get their music. Skeptics question whether anyone can reverse the decline of an industry that has seen global sales plummet from $28 billion in 1999 to $16.5 billion in 2012.
March 5, 2014 |
The new trailer for "Transformers: Age of Extinction" warns that "The rules have changed," but based on the images glimpsed within, there's still plenty of the robotic mayhem, booming explosions and large-scale destruction that Michael Bay and his blockbuster franchise are known for. Written by Ehren Kruger, who penned the previous two "Transformers" movies, and directed by Bay, who has directed each installment but says this fourth one will be...
March 4, 2014 |
Consuming high levels of protein - particularly animal protein - is a bad strategy if you're at midlife and aiming to live into old age, new research finds. But a study out Tuesday reveals that in older age, fortifying one's diet with more protein-rich foods appears to be a formula for extending life. An article published in the journal Cell Metabolism says that, over an 18-year study period, middle-aged Americans who had the highest consumption of protein were more than four times as likely to die of cancer or diabetes, and twice as likely to die of any cause, than those whose diets were lowest in protein.
March 2, 2014 |
There is a sense of despair when it comes to privacy in the digital age. Many of us assume that so much of our electronic information is now compromised, whether by corporations or government agencies, that there is little that can be done about it. Sometimes we try to rationalize this by telling ourselves that privacy may no longer matter so much. After all, an upstanding citizen should have nothing to fear from surveillance. In "Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance," author Julia Angwin seeks to challenge that defeatism.
February 25, 2014 |
California is the world's largest experiment in social diversity. It has had no majority racial ethnic group since 1999, when whites fell below 50% of the population. In March, Latinos will become the largest group here, making up 39% of state residents, according to demographers in the state Department of Finance. The news that California now has more Latinos than any other ethnicity will unavoidably be spun in different ways and spur much pontificating about what California's future holds.
February 23, 2014 |
Blue Is the Warmest Color Criterion, $19.95; Blu-ray, $24.95 Available on VOD beginning Feb. 25 For all the controversy over the explicit sex in writer-director Abdellatif Kechiche's three-hour adaptation of Julie Maroh's graphic novel "Blue Is the Warmest Color," the film is ultimately just a sensitive and honest coming-of-age story, showing how a teenager discovers who she is with the help of her older lesbian girlfriend, then has to...
February 23, 2014 |
SOCHI, Russia - What will be the secret to future Olympic success for the extreme-sports crowd? That's easy. Just keep adding new events and the medal count for U.S. snowboarders and freestyle skiers will probably stay at a high level. Setbacks in Sochi were offset by the new kids on the slopestyle rail and freeski halfpipe. There were opportunities for eight more gold medals that were not there in Vancouver in 2010. FRAMEWORK: Best images from Sochi And the United States took terrific advantage of the expanded program.
February 21, 2014 |
By overwhelming critical consensus, 2013 was a banner year for movies. End-of-the-year lists, that dependable fruitcake of entertainment journalism, arrived with festive unanimity. It was a "tremendous" (the Atlantic's Christopher Orr), "amazing" (the New Yorker's Richard Brody), "flat-out, stone-cold, hands-down spectacular year in movies" (the Washington Post's Ann Hornaday). As a theater critic who loves spending his free nights plunged in cinematic darkness, I couldn't have been more excited to get these reports amplifying the raves that came fast and furious all fall.