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March 16, 2013 | By Cindy Chang, Los Angeles Times
Mandarin was my first language, but once I started school, I refused to speak it. As the only Asian kid in my class, I felt alien enough. I wasn't about to bust out in another tongue, even in the privacy of my own home. My parents were too laissez-faire to enforce a Chinese-only regimen, as my uncle did with my cousins. We soon switched to English instead of Chinese, forks instead of chopsticks. My mom made spaghetti for my brother and me, stir-fries and soups for my dad. The one time I went to Saturday Chinese school, I told my parents I hated it and I wasn't going back.
March 9, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times
TEMPE, Ariz. - With Albert Pujols limping through spring training on a surgically repaired right knee, the Angels talked the Colorado Rockies into approving a courtesy runner for Pujols if he reached base in Saturday's Cactus League contest. That soon became a moot point, though, because the only time Pujols got past first he could have crawled around the bases after hitting a majestic solo home run in the third inning of the Angels' 8-6 loss. "I wasn't going to pinch-run for him when he hit the home run. That would have been a little embarrassing," joked bench coach Rob Picciolo, who was filling in for Manager Mike Scioscia.
March 1, 2013 | By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times
A pair of NASA probes has discovered a previously unknown ring of radiation blanketing the Earth, upending a long-standing scientific theory about how charged particles coalesce around the planet, scientists reported Thursday. Just four days after the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes were launched in August, NASA scientists looked on in amazement as instruments revealed a third belt of high-energy particles between the planet's inner and outer radiation belts, known as the Van Allen belts.
February 28, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
First-time novelist Ben Fountain won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction Thursday for “Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk,” a darkly comic send-up of the emotional and cultural aftermath of the Iraq War. The awards were announced in a ceremony in New York. Roberto Caro won the biography award for “The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson,” the fourth installment in Caro's magisterial biography of the thirty-sixth president. The winner in the nonfiction category was Andrew Solomon, for “Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity,” a book which the critics' citation described as “a groundbreaking look at family relationships with children who are radically different from their parents' expectations in physical, mental, and behavioral ways.” Other winners included, in poetry, D.A. Powell for “Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys," and in criticism, Marina Warner for "Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights.
February 23, 2013 | By Lance Pugmire
Ronda Rousey's pursuit of her dream career was fulfilled dramatically Saturday, the first female to ever win an Ultimate Fighting Championship bout doing so in nearly five full minutes of riveting action. Rousey survived a strong rear naked chokehold attempt with challenger and former Marine Liz Carmouche draped across her back, escaping the position just as Carmouche appeared to have seized a defining moment in the main event of UFC 157 at Honda Center. Instead, Rousey rid herself of Carmouche's grip, perhaps appropriately adjusting her slipping top in the unladylike brawl while standing up as Carmouche kicked toward Rousey's face.
January 25, 2013
For a muscular agency that combats vicious drug criminals, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration acts like a terrified and obstinate toddler when it comes to basic science. For years, the DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse have made it all but impossible to develop a robust body of research on the medical uses of marijuana. A pro-marijuana group lost its legal battle this week when a federal appellate court ruled that marijuana would remain a Schedule I drug, defined as having no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse.
January 24, 2013 | By David Ng
The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle announced on Thursday its nominations for its 2012 awards. Leading the way, with five nominations each, were productions of August Wilson's "Jitney," "Silence! The Musical" and Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot. " The awards will be handed out at a ceremony on March 18 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. "Third Rock From the Sun" actor French Stewart, a habitué of the L.A. theater scene, will host the show. "Jitney" was produced at South Coast Repertory and later transferred to the Pasadena Playhouse.
January 17, 2013 | By Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - President Obama is considering White House insider Denis McDonough to serve as his chief of staff, but officials say the decision is caught up in deliberations about the makeup of his national security team. As one of the president's deputy national security advisors and a trusted aide, McDonough is an influential player in the White House foreign policy apparatus. Obama recently named another deputy national security advisor, John Brennan, as his choice to head the CIA. Obama doesn't want to shift McDonough until he has a "stable team" in his inner circle of foreign policy advisors, said one senior Democrat who noted that McDonough and Brennan, who is the administration's anti-terrorism expert, had played key roles.
January 14, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
The late journalist Anthony Shadid, Los Angeles writer Reyna Grande and the novelist Zadie Smith were among the finalists announced Monday for the prestigious National Book Critics Circle Awards. Honors will be awarded in six categories: fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography, poetry and criticism. Shadid, who died last year while on assignment in Syria for the New York Times, was nominated in the autobiography category for his book “House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East.” Grande was nominated in the same category for “The Distance Between Us,” the story of her childhood in Mexico and arrival as a girl in Los Angeles.
January 4, 2013 | Bill Dwyre
Incredible things happened in the world of pro golf in 2012. --Bubba Watson won the Masters with a shot on the second playoff hole that only a magician or a contortionist could pull off. --Brendt Snedeker won $11.13 million in one day by taking the final FedEx Cup event. --Charlie Beljan didn't die during the second round of the Children's Miracle Network tournament at Disney World. "I was pretty sure," Beljan says now. "I feared for my life. I guess that's the way I am — prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
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