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August 3, 2012 | By Sheri Linden
Fredrik Gertten's delight at being invited to premiere a film at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival was short-lived. The Swedish documentarian's "Bananas!*," chronicling a legal fight by Nicaraguan workers against Dole over pesticide use, would soon be embroiled in its own legal battle. Gertten and his four-employee company spent the next half-year wrangling with one of the world's largest multinationals over the right to show the film. His new documentary, "Big Boys Gone Bananas!
July 16, 2012 | By Shan Li
Virgin America's pilots and flight attendants are going to look a lot more stylish in midair. The airline partnered with Banana Republic to design new uniforms for its 2,000 in-flight and airport crew members that will debut Aug. 8. The uniforms -- which look like pieces that might be worn by a chic world traveler with a penchant for the colors red, black and white -- include apparel for both men and women. Both Banana Republic and Virgin Atlantic will sell clothing items inspired by the new uniforms starting Aug. (for security reasons, the pieces available for sale won't be exact replicas)
July 12, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Did you hear? The genome of the banana has been sequenced, an important development in scientists' efforts to produce better bananas. A look at that genome has revealed curious things, said Pat Heslop-Harrison , a plant geneticist at the University of Leicester in England who was a coauthor of the report published this week in the journal Nature. For example, there are regions of the banana genome that don't seem to be involved in making proteins but are shared by many different species of plants, far beyond bananas.
July 12, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
Scientists are fighting to protect the hundreds of bananas and plantains people eat around the world from a blizzard of pests: insects, fungi, worms, bacteria and viruses. They're using old methods and new ones in their fight, as noted in our news story on the successful sequencing of the banana genome by French scientists. In Uganda, for example, scientists have been using conventional breeding, crossing fertile wild bananas to local bananas that are eaten. They're trying to develop resistances to banana blights such as black leaf streak disease, a.k.a.
July 11, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Breeding a stronger, better banana is not for the weak-willed. The plants are so sterile that scientists must mush up several acres' worth of fruit to get just a couple of hundred seeds to work with - and those seeds are so feeble they must be coaxed in the laboratory to form baby banana plants. That's why tropical-fruit researchers were breaking out the banana daiquiris Wednesday to celebrate the sequencing of the banana genome by scientists in France. If ever a plant needed biotechnology to help it, it's the banana, these scientists said.
June 30, 2012 | By Shan Li
-- Banana Republic will launch a holiday collection in October inspired by the film "Anna Karenina," the big-screen adaptation of the Leo Tolstoy novel coming out this fall.  The retailer brought on Jacqueline Durran, the movie's costume designer, to style a capsule collection based on 19th century Russian fashions -- but with a modern spin. Banana Republic has previously enjoyed success plumbing history with its "Mad Men"-inspired collections of sheath dresses and suits. The "Anna Karenina" collection will include apparel and accessories using velvet, faux fur, lace and other materials evoking that period of Russian history.
June 10, 2012 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
[This post has been corrected. See note at bottom for details.] When Banana Republic was looking for someone to collaborate on a summer collection inspired by Palm Springs, Trina Turk was the one to call. The L.A.-based designer, known for playful prints with names like "Deco Palms," has had a lock on the Palm Springs look for 17 years running. The 60-piece Banana Republic Trina Turk collection, which launches in 450 stores worldwide Thursday, brings her name to its biggest audience yet, with patio dresses, tunic tops and bikinis in her signature "Pisces" and "Crazy Botanical" prints.
December 30, 2011 | Esmeralda Bermudez, Los Angeles Times
A hunt is underway in San Francisco to find a 2-pound squirrel monkey that disappeared from the zoo Friday morning after vandals broke into his exhibit. Banana Sam, 17 years old, disappeared overnight after vandals cut two holes in the mesh of the squirrel monkey exhibit. Sam is 1 foot tall and looks harmless but has sharp teeth and "will definitely bite if provoked," San Francisco Zoo officials said in a statement. "He is a valued member of the zoo, and we wish for a safe and speedy return," officials said.
November 24, 2011
Cries of "punk is dead" resurface every few years, but it's been hard to make that case of late as scads of fast, noisy bands are gaining acclaim. Melt Banana, the Japanese titans of thrashy tumult, have been at it for ages, and they top a great bill of like-minded veterans including locals 400 Blows and the supergroup Retox. Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., L.A. 8 p.m. Sun. $15.
October 20, 2011 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
If you are a young man in Beijing and you can't afford a car or an apartment, the next best thing is an iPhone, or better yet an iPad. The cult of Apple reigns supreme in China, to the extent that people like Alex Xing, who works in his family's medical supply business, call it "the era of Apple. " "Only the old guys, like 20 years older than me, still use Nokias," said Xing, a 26-year-old hipster who wears self-consciously nerdy black eyeglasses, jeans and sneakers. He cradled his own prized telephone close to his heart as he spoke.
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