November 17, 2011 |
Now that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has changed Oscar's best picture nomination process for the second time in three years, voters will be looking at a shorter ballot and a greater premium on the order in which they rank their favorite movies. When the academy announced the rule change in June, it signaled the end of a brief, two-year flirtation with a best picture field of 10 nominees, which produced an inclusiveness that earned nods for populist pictures such as "District 9" and "Inception.
July 11, 2011 |
GENEVA — World Trade Organization judges on Monday ruled that the United States is violating global trade rules in using its controversial "zeroing" method to impose anti-dumping tariffs on shrimp from Vietnam. The decision by a three-member panel was the latest of a series in which zeroing — a framework for calculating duties on goods sold at less than their price on the exporter's home market — has been found illegal under WTO agreements. The panel said the United States "has acted inconsistently with provisions of the Anti-Dumping Agreement and the GATT" — key WTO accords — and said the U.S. should bring its calculation method into line with the two agreements.
June 23, 2011 |
President Obama's decision to break with his top Pentagon advisors and pull 33,000 troops from Afghanistan faster than they wanted is a calculated risk, balanced between domestic political pressure for even steeper force cuts and warnings that his move could lead to worsening conditions on the ground. Militarily, Obama's gamble rests on two things: the capacity of Afghan security forces to hold on to territory that U.S.-led troops have cleared of Taliban control over the last year and the ability of U.S. drone attacks and special operations to keep pressure on Al Qaeda and its allies in key parts of Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.
June 21, 2011 |
The victories, and a national championship they produced, are vacated. The trophies — a copy of Reggie Bush's Heisman statuette and a crystal football for a Bowl Championship Series title — are now ghosts of Heritage Hall. The forfeiture of those wins and mementos is just a fraction of what USC lost in the wake of some of the harshest penalties in college sports history — delivered largely because the NCAA found numerous violations relating to Bush. The Trojans men's basketball program also was punished for violations related to former star player O.J. Mayo, and the school actually paid some of that in cash: a $5,000 fine and the return of $206,200 it received for participation in the 2008 NCAA tournament.
June 3, 2011 |
Caltech researchers have produced the most sophisticated DNA-based computer yet, a wet chemistry system that can calculate the square roots of numbers as high as 15. The system is composed of 74 strands of DNA that make up 12 logic gates comparable to those in a silicon-based computer, the researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science. But the system operates a little more slowly than a conventional computer: It takes as much as 10 hours to obtain each result. The new findings mark a major change in the direction of DNA-based computing, which researchers have been working on for two decades.
May 29, 2011 |
By definition, finale season is tough on a viewer's nerves. Like a college lover heading home at the end of spring semester, your favorite show wants to make sure you don't forget the passion and the pain, that although you may make new friends over the summer, you won't get carried away, won't find a replacement show to consume you. Hence, the season finale shocker, which comes in four basic packages: cliffhanger, hail of bullets, consummation of...
May 23, 2011 |
The nation's first frequent flier program launched 30 years ago this month and, by most accounts, the programs have only gotten more complicated with age. When American Airlines introduced its frequent flier program in 1981, the concept was simple: Passengers received free tickets or upgrades based on how many miles they had flown. Today the programs are more complicated, with some airline passengers getting reward points for flying, staying at hotels, renting cars and using certain credit cards.
May 21, 2011 |
Hit the snooze on that ecological doomsday clock for a minute: The world's species may not be going extinct quite as fast as we thought they were. Scientists may be overestimating the crisis by as much as 160%, according to a recent study. The research was published online Wednesday in the journal Nature. While stressing that the global extinction crisis is still indeed a crisis, the study's two authors called for a better mathematical model to predict how fast the world's diversity is disappearing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2011 |
Pregnant parolee Amy Ennis knew something was amiss when state parole authorities summoned her to their San Fernando Valley office last New Year's Eve. Considered a model parolee 2½ years after being released from prison, she could not fathom why she had to check in with the agency. She had received positive reviews from those monitoring her progress, she was taking parenting classes to prepare for the birth of her second child, and she was holding down two jobs. But when Ennis, now 35, showed up at the parole office, she was promptly rearrested and told she had been let out of prison too early: A state bureaucrat had made an error in calculating her sentence.
April 22, 2011 |
To Erick Aybar , getting thrown out at third base for the first out of the eighth inning in a tie game is like that schoolyard game where a kid fakes punching you. Don't flinch. Aybar didn't Friday as he discussed trying to stretch a double hit toward the right-field foul pole into a triple. He slowed ever so slightly rounding second and was tagged out on the left arm while diving after strong throws from Boston right fielder J.D. Drew to second baseman Dustin Pedroia and from Pedroia to third baseman Jed Lowrie . It hurt to end up losing, 4-2, in 11 innings Thursday, but it's no reason to retreat from the team's nature.