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January 15, 2013 | By Bettina Boxall
Wonder what a walrus sounds like underwater? Or what sounds a West European hedgehog makes? Or an ostrich chick while still inside its shell? The world's largest and oldest archive of nature's sounds is now accessible online, a digital treasure chest of bird songs and mammal calls familiar and exotic. It took the Cornell Lab of Ornithology a dozen years to fully digitize its Macaulay Library audio archives, which date back to 1929. The archive, which also includes videos, contains recordings of 9,000 species.
January 12, 2013 | By Valerie J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
Aaron Swartz, who co-founded Reddit and became an Internet folk hero for fighting to make online content free to the public, committed suicide Friday. He was 26. Swartz hanged himself in his Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment, said a statement released by his family and his girlfriend. "Aaron's commitment to social justice was profound, and defined his life," the statement said. "He used his prodigious skills as a programmer and technologist not to enrich himself but to make the Internet and the world a fairer, better place.
January 11, 2013 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
"Singin' in the Rain" got it wrong. The beloved 1952 musical-comedy spoofing the transition from silent films to sound in Hollywood didn't reflect what really happened after the release of 1927's "The Jazz Singer," the blockbuster starring Al Jolson that featured synchronized songs and limited dialogue. According to UCLA Film & Television Archive programmer Paul Malcolm, the studios didn't go into a panic, as portrayed in the Gene Kelly-Debbie Reynolds classic, when "all of a sudden production stopped and nobody knew what to do. " What actually happened, said Malcolm, was "a very rational, ordered decision to move forward with sound production, and they did it in a very rational and orderly way. " PHOTOS: Behind-the-scenes Classic Hollywood The studios decided to make multiple versions of motion pictures.
January 8, 2013 | By Kelly Scott
In Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne's full obituary of the pioneering and influential critic Ada Louise Huxtable, he expands upon the news Monday that the Getty Research Institute has acquired her archives. Along with her papers, the Getty will receive those of her husband, industrial designer L. Garth Huxtable, who died in 1989. In addition to the written materials, Huxtable also donated her entire estate to the Getty, including her New York City apartment and a house in Marblehead, Mass.
December 19, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Want to go to back and read your old tweets? Soon you might be able to. Twitter announced Wednesday that it has begun to roll out an archive tool that lets users see all the tweets they ever sent, including retweets. The San Francisco-based social network said the feature will first get to users who have their Twitter account default language set to English. Then over the coming weeks and months, Twitter will get the feature to the rest of its users. QUIZ: What set the Internet on fire in 2012?
December 17, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Twitter is testing a tool that lets users go back and look at all the tweets they have ever sent. Users around the Twittersphere began to spot the Twitter archive feature on Saturday - the company confirmed the test to The Times on Sunday. "We are currently testing the ability to download your Tweets with a very small percentage of users," Twitter said in an email.  One user tweeted that if you have the feature, it's at the bottom of your settings page where it says "Your Twitter Archive.
December 12, 2012 | By Mark Swed
On Sept. 28, 2011, Ravi Shankar was 91 and frail when he took the stage for an unforgettable night in Los Angeles. With Shankar's death at 92 on Tuesday, we share the review of that performance from Times music critic Mark Swed. I come to praise a legend. Ravi Shankar appeared at Walt Disney Concert Hall on Thursday night. Legendary and iconic are terms cheapened and debased by advertising and the overeager. They should be reserved for someone like Shankar. I am among the maybe millions whose first meaningful experience with music from a distant culture was Shankar's sitar playing.
December 12, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
On Wednesday, the Dalkey Archive Press posted an announcement in its employment section. Founding publisher John O'Brien, it said, will be stepping down. He's been with the press, which is known for publishing books that are avant-garde and experimental, since its inception in the 1980s. O'Brien's departure will be a significant change for the Illinois-based press; in 2009, he told The Times, "the press is purely an expression of my aesthetic interests and what I admire and like to read.
December 5, 2012 | By Gene Seymour, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Two years before Dave Brubeck died, the Los Angeles Times published an interview with the great jazzman on the occasion of his 90th birthday. With Brubeck's death at 92, we share our visit to his home in this profile from Dec. 5, 2010. WILTON, Conn -- Most people who have never lived in Connecticut imagine that the whole state is exactly like Wilton. It's not, but driving toward the town where Dave Brubeck lives, you understand why this dream never dies, especially in late autumn when every tree seems almost mythic in its chromatic display and every pitch and roll of the rural, straight-from-the-calendar-page landscape yields views that can either fill your heart or break it gently.
November 16, 2012 | By Hector Tobar
Election day was, by just about any measure, a landmark day in gay and lesbian history in the United States. Four states voted in referendums to support same-sex marriage, and we saw the first openly gay person elected to the U.S. Senate, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. To reflect on these momentous events, I reached out to Craig M. Loftin, the author of two remarkable books released this year about gay and lesbian life in the 1950s and '60s: “Masked Voices: Gay and Lesbians in Cold War America,” and “Letters to ONE: Gay and Lesbian Voices from the 1950s and 1960s,” both published by the State University of New York Press.
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