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August 10, 2013 | By David Zucchino
CHEROKEE, N.C. - The first thing National Park Service Ranger Lamon Brown noticed was an illegal campsite, littered with food wrappers and marked by a smoldering fire ring. Then the ranger spotted two figures skulking out of the dense forest near Andrews Bald in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Their hands were filthy. Their clothes were muddy. One toted a bulging backpack. These were the Hurley boys, notorious for rustling wild ginseng roots, a federal crime in the park.
August 10, 2013 | By Elaine Woo
What do Richard Feynman , Willie Nelson, Frank Zappa and Boris Yeltsin have in common? The answer was embodied in a radiant, round-faced Siberian singer named Kongar-ol Ondar, whose voice was unlike any in the western world. Ondar was a master of throat singing, a vocal style native to his small Russian republic of Tuva. He mesmerized audiences with his ability to produce two or more notes simultaneously - a low, steady drone overlaid with higher pitched tones that to the unaccustomed ear sounded like a radio gone haywire.
July 19, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Sitting atop a low table draped in a geometric quilt, Pakistani textile artist Naina intently stitches a red-and-blue block. For the next hour, she works nonstop, finishing the intricately detailed appliqued square as a fascinated audience looks on.  The artist, who is in residency at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena through Sunday, uses no patterns, photos or drawings. "It's in her head," said her husband, Surendar Valasai, who serves as her interpreter and is chief executive of the Lila Handicrafts collective she represents.
July 7, 2013
L.A. RIVER Documentary When kayaker George Wolfe organized a boating expedition down the Los Angeles River, he and his crew became entangled in a legal controversy of national proportions. "Rock the Boat" looks at the challenges society faces in providing clean water to urban populations and delivers an alternative to doomsday docs. When, where: 7 p.m. Wednesday at the REI store in Northridge, 18605 Devonshire St., and Thursday at the REI store in Arcadia, 214 N. Santa Anita Ave. Admission, info: Free.
July 5, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
More than 2,000 years ago, the Silk Road emerged as a network of flourishing trade routes between Asia and Europe, as well as parts of North and East Africa. Cultures crossfertilized. Civilizations prospered, others flamed out. Art recorded the complex new entanglements. For the next 4½ months, a modern Silk Road is passing through Southern California. This superhighway runs through the Orange County Museum of Art , where the 2013 California-Pacific Triennial is now on view.
June 23, 2013
Nanjing, Nagasaki, past and present The juxtaposition of two articles on the Far East, one on Nanjing, past and present ("A Spirit of Trial and Triumph" by David Kelly), the other on the history of Nagasaki ("A New Life in a New Era" by Andrew Bender), brings to mind a Robert Burns poem wherein he observes, "Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn. " The Rape of Nanking, as Nanjing was once called, by the Japanese army in 1937 after that country invaded China, resulted in 300,000 Chinese being slaughtered in a six-week orgy of unimagined violence.
June 10, 2013 | Alejandro Lazo
Dole Food Co. introduced mainland Americans to the Hawaiian pineapple more than a century ago and grew the fresh fruit business into a global empire. But the Westlake Village food company has trimmed down considerably. The company sold its worldwide packaged-goods units and its Asia fresh-produce business to Japanese firm Itochu Corp. for $1.7 billion this year to focus more narrowly on its fresh produce elsewhere in the world. The company, also a major provider of bananas, expects lower revenue but higher profit as it concentrates on its fresh vegetable and fruit businesses in the Western Hemisphere, Europe and Africa.
June 6, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times
A 55-million-year-old fossil of a mouse-sized primate has been identified as a crucial evolutionary link in the chain that led to apes and humans. Four inches long, with a 5-inch tail and protruding eyes, Archicebus achilles probably thrived for millions of years during a warm period of Earth's history, feasting on insects and leaping around in canopies of trees that surrounded a tropical lake in what now is China, according to a report published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.
June 6, 2013 | By Rosemary McClure
In Singapore , guests view paintings by emerging artists; in Cambodia , they can catch a puppet show; in the Seychelles , they see work by a painter, the only one on the island of Praslin.   It's all part of the local art scene on display at the nine Raffles Hotels & Resorts . “Art is very much in the DNA of Raffles,” said Diana Banks, vice president of sales and marketing. “We encourage our hotels and our hotel partners to develop a concept for their art collection that reflects local culture, and to be in character with Raffles' nature of authenticity and individuality.” The hotel group, which was launched in 1887 in Singapore, comprises several hotels based in Asia and the Middle East and one in Paris.
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