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Aging

ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2014 | By Amy Kaufman
June Squibb earned her first Oscar nomination Thursday at age 84. If she were to win in the best supporting actress category for her role in "Nebraska," she would make Academy Award history by becoming the oldest winner in any of the acting categories. The Times reached Squibb at home Thursday morning for her reaction to the nomination: How are you? Good. Very good, in fact. My son and I watched the nominations together at my house in Sherman Oaks. When he heard, he was so dear.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2014 | By Todd Martens
In 2013, films such as "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Spring Breakers" and "Pain & Gain" showed us the corrupting power of cash. The just-scraping-by stress articulated by New York rock band the Parquet Courts, on the other hand, captures the souls who just can't get a break - a soundtrack for twenty- and thirtysomethings who graduated college and have found dead-end jobs rather than a career. There's humor, but it isn't always pretty. Stoned, starving and facing a meal that's little more than a bag of Swedish Fish, the souls that populate the Parquet Courts' most recent full-length, "Light Up Gold," are all on a mission of sorts, but what they're searching for often isn't clear.
SPORTS
January 16, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
Baseball's installation of instant replay Thursday is about more than an ancient sport finally embracing the wonders of technology, It is also about one of the crudest sports finally embracing the wonders of humanity. "Kill the ump!" will become "Challenge the ump!" Storming from the dugout to confront an umpire over a perceived slight will be considered a waste of valuable video viewing time. Bumping chests with that umpire will only delay his debate-ending phone call from the major league office.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 16, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
It's tempting to read Richard Powers' 11th novel "Orfeo" through the filter of the present: surveillance, genomes, government control. The story of a 70-year-old composer named Peter Els, who becomes known as the "biohacker Bach" after police find a do-it-yourself genetics lab in his suburban Pennsylvania tract house, the book appears as timely as an Internet meme. It doesn't hurt that the American security state and its excesses are a driving presence in the narrative; "The moment he used his credit card," Powers writes of Els, "or withdrew more cash from an ATM, they had his coordinates.
SCIENCE
January 15, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Middle-aged men who consume an average of more than 2½ alcoholic drinks per day accelerate the rate at which their memories decline by almost six years over a 10-year span, says a new study. And while a higher consumption of spirits such as vodka, gin, whiskey or scotch was linked to the fastest rates of mental decline in men, researchers saw little difference between the cognitive loss seen in heavy beer drinkers (who drank more than 2½ 12-ounce beers per day) and that seen in men who quaffed a half-bottle of wine or more per day. Compared with men who drank no more than 1½ drinks per day on average (up to 19.9 grams of alcohol daily)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Could this year's Sundance "it" girl be a male, seventysomething physician from Kentucky? It could happen once audiences spend some time with Earl Lynn Nelson, one of the stars of the travelogue comedy “Land Ho!” The film premieres Sunday as part of the Next section at Sundance. It was written and directed by Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz, who have made a splash on the festival circuit with such individual efforts as “Passenger Pigeons” and “Cold Weather,” and both filmmakers are showing their work at Sundance for the first time . “Land Ho!
ENTERTAINMENT
January 13, 2014 | By Yvonne Villarreal
If the last season of "American Idol" proved to be an eyeball ping-pong experience while watching the animosity between judges Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey percolate, then the forthcoming season might come as a relief to the optical nerves. The latest judging trio lineup - Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. - like to look at one another when speaking, as evident at the show's panel Monday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour, poking fun and having some laughs in the process.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014
Sam Berns, a spunky teenager who was proud to call himself a "band geek" and was at the heart of a 2013 documentary about a genetic condition that accelerates aging, has died. He was 17. Berns, a Massachusetts high school junior and Eagle Scout who was bald, bespectacled and weighed only 50 pounds, died Friday from complications of progeria, the Progeria Research Foundation announced. An avid fan of Boston sports teams, Berns also was passionate about playing the snare drum and marching in full uniform with Foxborough High School's marching band.
SPORTS
January 13, 2014 | Sam Farmer
DENVER - After nearly five months of NFL games, it has come down to this: Four teams. Four possible matchups for Super Bowl XLVIII. For Denver, New England, Seattle and San Francisco, looking that far ahead could spell doom. But the options have been so whittled down, the permutations are simple. The big game will be Seahawks-Broncos, Seahawks-Patriots, 49ers-Patriots or 49ers-Broncos. No matter what happens, this much is guaranteed: It will be a new-age quarterback from the NFC, either Seattle's Russell Wilson or San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick, against a future first-ballot Hall of Famer from the AFC, Denver's Peyton Manning or New England's Tom Brady.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 10, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
It may be no surprise to snifflers stuck in doctor's office waiting rooms: The 2013-2014 influenza season appears to be picking up steam earlier than most flu seasons. On Friday, state and Los Angeles County health officials reported "sharp increases" in influenza activity, including illnesses and deaths. "The number of confirmed fatalities is rising rapidly and exceeds what is expected this time of year," said state epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez, of the California Department of Public Health in Sacramento.
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