CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 4, 2009 |
Young and not so young, scores of skateboarders and their supporters cheered the opening of the long-awaited Venice Beach Skate Park on Saturday. "Let's cut the ribbon and let's go skate," said Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes Venice. "It's a great day," said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "People from all over Southern California and the world come to Venice to get a slice of this unique community. Now, skateboarders from all over Southern California and the world will come here."
August 16, 2009 |
Hannah Montana The Movie Walt Disney, $29.99/$39.99; Blu-ray, $44.99 The Disney Channel phenomenon "Hannah Montana" follows the hectic life of a teen pop star (played by Miley Cyrus) as she strives to lead a normal life incognito. In "Hannah Montana: The Movie," the heroine's celebrity side begins to develop a swelled head, so her dad (played by Billy Ray Cyrus) returns her to their Tennessee farming roots. This story would be just about right for a half-hour kid-com but stretched out to fill a big-budget feature-length musical, "Hannah Montana" feels as pointlessly shiny and busy as Miley Cyrus' music.
August 12, 2009 |
The Baghdad Equestrian Club is proud of its illustrious past, the decades spent playing host to high-strung horses and the Baghdad Derby, with its silver cup for the winner. These days, stray dogs crawl around its dusty brown track, and children in shorts run through the dirt. Men in coffee-stained robes and the occasional John Deere cap slam down beers, puff cigarettes and take the name of Allah in vain. But beneath its seedy veneer, the racetrack is one of the city's miracles.
March 22, 2009 |
A Tolerable Anarchy Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of America's Freedom Jedediah Purdy Alfred A. Knopf: 294 pp., $23.95 -- The Myth of American Exceptionalism Godfrey Hodgson Yale University Press: 222 pp., $26 -- In his 2003 book "Being America," Jedediah Purdy remarked that at "the same time we disclaim imperial aspirations, we Americans suspect that we are the world's universal nation."
March 13, 2009
We can't say we weren't warned: In an annual assessment of major national security threats presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, military intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples revealed that Al Qaeda is strengthening its foothold in East Africa. Specifically, an Islamic terrorist group in Somalia, Al Shabab, has been releasing propaganda pointing out its shared ideology with Al Qaeda, suggesting, Maples said, that "a formal merger announcement is forthcoming."
October 26, 2008 |
His kickstand dragged on the pavement, and his mirror was spinning around. Worthless. Even Charlie Hunnam, with the little experience he has riding motorcycles, knows a road hazard when he rides one, and the beat-up Harley-Davidson fit the bill. "This bike's . . .," Hunnam trailed off, eyeing his ride with derision as he pulled off the road, unstrapped his brain bucket and ignited a cigarette.
September 3, 2008 |
That I have never ridden a motorcycle is just one of the many ways in which I am not cool. But I have seen "The Wild One," "Easy Rider" and "The Great Escape," so I understand something about the symbolic weight, cultural import and really big noise of the hog, the chopper, the bike. And I grew up on the Hardy Boys and old Marx Brothers movies, so I know something about running with a gang. I have also watched cable television, where the success of "The Sopranos" taught TV makers that not only could successful series be made about bad, dangerous people, but that such series could at once earn critical respect and sexy up the brand.
September 26, 2007 |
Five months old and weighing less than 10 pounds, Shukri Mohammed stretched her tiny mouth to make a giant scream Tuesday when a health worker measured her limp arm for malnutrition. But scarcely a sound escaped from the baby's throat, and she sank back exhausted into her mother's arms. It's been a struggle since the day Shukri was born. The next morning, her mother walked three days to escape shelling in Mogadishu that had recently killed her husband.