February 28, 2014 |
When my brother and I were growing up in the 1960s, my parents bought the book, “Great Negroes Past and Present.” Perfect for young readers, it was a survey of famous black folks in history. It sat on a shelf in my father's study, and I would take it down and sit there, poring over the pages and the pictures. It was from that book I learned who Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth were. Marcus Garvey too. ( Wait - he wants black people to go back to Africa? ) When we sold our family home eight years ago, as I was rummaging through papers and photos, I stumbled across the book and decided to keep it. Part kitsch, part classic, it is an artifact of my childhood.
February 27, 2014 |
If you've raised kids in the last 15 years or so, you've probably taken a trip or two into the scary (but not overwhelmingly so) mind of the writer R.L. Stine. Stine's “Goosebumps” series is a collection of ghost and horror stories for young children. Since Stine published the first “Goosebumps” in 1992, it's become the first book series many parents purchase for their kids. Now “Goosebumps” is set for the silver screen, with Jack Black starring and a March 2016 release date.
February 26, 2014 |
Following Facebook's acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp last week for $19 billion, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said he would not hesitate to sell his company's messaging service for that much money. "I work for the shareholder. Standard answer. If somebody comes to me with $19 billion, I would definitely sell it. I would recommend to the board to take it," Chen told CNBC . Since the Canadian phone maker failed to attract last year what it would have considered to be an adequate buyer, BlackBerry has placed a great deal of its focus on expanding its BlackBerry Messenger brand.
February 25, 2014 |
North Korea appears to be missing in an image taken from space. NASA says of the nighttime image, taken from the International Space Station: "North Korea is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea and China. The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan. " Capital city Pyongyang has a population of more than 3 million, yet is a tiny island of light. The dictator-ruled nation is in the dark in more ways than one. Electricity is sporadic and unreliable, with those who have it often receiving power only a few hours a day, according to U.S. News & World Report.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 |
Sixty years ago, the Wilfandel House in the West Adams district was a hub of high society for black Los Angeles. Back then, Negroes couldn't book rooms in posh hotels or upscale party venues. So the wives of dozens of successful black men formed a club and purchased a home in what then was one of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods. "Everybody who was anybody who lived in L.A. or came through town was entertained at the Wilfandel," recalled Heilindia Brown, a former club president.
February 20, 2014 |
There's an endemic problem in the world of dark crime comedies: filmmakers getting stuck in a self-reflexive loop, more interested in quoting the genre's movie-quoting movies than in telling a story. Between the inevitable nods to Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie, fresh riffs are hard to come by. Dutch director Arne Toonen doesn't invent any in "Black Out," but he does corral the requisite collection of "colorful" characters, from the dumb to the deranged, in the desperate adventures of a reformed hood who gets dragged back into the criminal underbelly on the eve of his wedding.
February 19, 2014 |
T-Mobile, which got into a bit of trouble with BlackBerry a few days ago when it encouraged its BlackBerry users to switch to the iPhone 5s, is trying to make amends. The wireless carrier said in a blog post that starting this Friday, it will offer a $200 credit to users -- including non-T-Mobile customers -- who trade in their current BlackBerry and upgrade to a new T-Mobile device, whether that's a new BlackBerry or another manufacturer's device. Existing T-Mobile BlackBerry users who trade in their BlackBerrys and choose a new Q10 or Z10 smartphone will get an additional $50 off. PHOTOS: 10 ways to use the sharing economy The limited-time promotion came a day after BlackBerry CEO John Chen blasted T-Mobile in a blog post for targeting BlackBerry users with an offer to switch to the iPhone 5s for $0 down.
February 15, 2014 |
"Orange Is the new Black" will be returning for a second season on June 6, Netflix confirmed on Saturday. The announcement was tucked onto the end of the second-season finale of "House of Cards," the full 13 episodes of which went live on Netflix at midnight PST. A brief teaser trailer, embedded above, was released, but few details or hints as to what viewers may expect in the second season were revealed. Also unknown at press time is how the president feels about the series. Barack Obama's TV tastes became national news when he asked via Twitter that no one spoil "House of Cards" for the Oval Office viewing audience . Jenji Kohan's women-in-prison comedy-drama, an adaptation of Piper Kerman's memoir, which chronicled her yearlong stint in federal prison, earned its lead, Taylor Schilling, a Golden Globe nomination in its first season.
February 14, 2014
Re "Child star, diplomat," Obituary, Feb. 12 Shirley Temple Black, who died Monday, had a wonderful sense of humor. When she ran for Congress in a special election in 1967, she had her headquarters on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, with a sign in the window that said, "Vote for me or I will hold my breathe until I turn blue. " I remember laughing out loud when I saw that sign. Robert Berliner Sherman Oaks ALSO: Letters: No executions -- for now Letters: Mammograms, yes or no?
February 12, 2014 |
Shirley Temple Black, the dimpled curly-haired scene-stealer, warmed hearts from the start. She died this week at age 85 at her home near San Francisco, and though Temple Black went on to lead a storied life well outside Hollywood, there are still a few facts that some readers may not know. Here's a sampling: Watch out Hollywood, I'm here: At 3, Temple made her on-screen debut, but it was a strange one. She and a handful of other toddlers starred in the 1932 parody series “Baby Burlesks.” The toddlers wore diapers and barely there lingerie, playing hookers and World War I soldiers.