March 11, 2013 |
A new breed of powerful magnets found in toys and jewelry poses a growing and potentially deadly risk to small children who swallow them, according to a study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Assn. Journal. Neodymium-iron-boron magnets are created from rare-earth elements and are 10 to 20 times stronger than traditional ferrite magnets. Developed in the 1980s, the magnets are often found in novelty desk toys, children's construction sets and jewelry clasps. Years ago, when a child swallowed a weaker magnet, parents and physicians could usually rely on the object passing through the patient's digestive system.
April 19, 2012 |
What do Sugar Ray Leonard, Judy Blume, Betty White, T.C. Boyle, Rodney King, Joseph Wambaugh and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have in common? They're just a few of the high-profile personalities appearing this weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Now in its second year at USC, the 17th annual festival offers another robust two-day program of writers and celebrity authors unmatched by any other literary event across the country. More than 400 authors are scheduled to appear in panel sessions and on eight stages set up across USC's University Park Campus.
November 16, 1990 |
Bret Easton Ellis said the first "rumblings" he heard that Simon & Schuster might not release his new novel began last Friday. By Wednesday, Simon & Schuster Chairman Richard E. Snyder had released a statement saying that "American Psycho" was "not a book that Simon & Schuster was going to publish." The book had been under fire in the media because of its lurid depiction of violence against women. Ellis, 26, said he was flabbergasted. "I literally couldn't believe it," he said.
August 14, 2012 |
Junk food is everywhere. We're eating way too much of it. And we're getting fat. Most of us know what we're doing and yet we do it anyway. So here's a suggestion offered by two researchers at the Rand Corp.: Why not take a lesson from alcohol control policies and apply them to where food is sold and how it's displayed? “Many policy measures to control the obesity epidemic assume that people consciously and rationally choose what and how much they eat and therefore focus on providing information and more access to healthier foods,” note Dr. Deborah A. Cohen and Lila Rabinovich of Rand.
April 10, 2014 |
The fantasy of being a writer appeals to so many of us: sitting in a book-lined study crafting perfectly wrought sentences, which an illustrious publisher swiftly transforms into a bestselling book and an indelible literary legacy. Missing from that idealized image is - well, the reality. Most writers struggle and stumble at every stage. It's hard to start a manuscript and harder to finish it. Rejection is rampant. And finding a way to earn a living that allows time to write - that can be the toughest trick of all. The Times sent out a survey to authors participating in the Festival of Books with questions about their experience as writers and got more than 200 responses.
April 1, 2012 |
My assignment: Read almost 300 literary biographies in more than 800 pages, all of English-language authors, beginning in the 17th century and ending in the present day. "That's like reading a reference book!" said a shocked friend. Yes, but no: Every entry in "Lives of the Novelists" is written by just one person, British critic John Sutherland, so the book has an internal continuity that makes it read like history, not an encyclopedia. And Sutherland's writing is just plain delightful.
December 10, 1990 |
The room is No. 206, Hemingway's room. The wallpaper has been changed. So have the furniture, the plumbing, the lights, the lock--everything changed and modernized many times. Everything but the mystique. About twice a month on the average, year in and year out, devotees of the enduring writer and epic character are drawn to Sun Valley Lodge to book his old room and undertake a subtle, personal and sometimes moving journey of rediscovery of a man whose memory lives on here and in nearby Ketchum.
October 27, 2009 |
It's not easy being an economist. Dinner parties are a microcosm of the challenges we face. There's always someone who hears what you are, rolls his eyes and takes whatever steps are necessary to sit far from you at dinner. Or else someone will approach and unburden his soul about a terrible economics professor he had in college -- who used too much math, was too little of a humanist and gave him a poor grade which, in turn, kept him out of some top law school. You also usually encounter a junior-captain-of-industry-Alex-Keaton type who tells you about how much he loved that same economics professor pilloried in the previous sentence, and that he would not mind teaching economics when he retires.
January 3, 2014 |
Dogs can typically smell and hear far better than their human companions. Now it appears they can sense Earth's magnetic field too, say a team of biologists - and they show it when they poop. These canine compasses prefer to align themselves along a north-south magnetic axis when they relieve themselves, according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Zoology. The findings may help scientists better understand how that strange sense called magnetoreception manifests in mammals. Dogs wouldn't be the only animals thought to use magnetoreception: Birds do it, bees do it - and certain types of mammals do it, according to study coauthor Sabine Begall, a biologist at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany.
December 30, 2012 |
What is it about pirates that fascinates us so much? It is not just the swords and swashbuckling (although I have three young sons who would disagree with that statement), since pirates have reappeared in so many guises over the years. In the decades after World War II, the label was attached to rebellious disc jockeys broadcasting rock 'n' roll off the U.S. coast. At the dawn of the present century, it has been attributed to teenage nerds creating websites in their bedrooms to make free music downloads and software available to the masses.