November 10, 2012
They seem easy to overlook —- how special can a nut be? — but every fall I look forward to the new crop of walnuts. Get them now, when the meat is sweet and slightly creamy, and they haven't had a chance to develop any bitter rancidity. The shells will be fragile enough to crack with your hands. How to choose: Walnuts that are already shelled are convenient, but be aware that they do go rancid fairly quickly. Choose nutmeats that are plump and pale; avoid any that are shriveled or discolored.
October 31, 2012 |
When Fox Searchlight learned that the filmmakers behind their Alfred Hitchcock biopic would be able to finish the movie by this fall, the studio's executives were thrilled. Not only could "Hitchcock" then enter the awards season derby, but the movie starring Anthony Hopkins as the famed director could also have a splashy premiere at AFI Fest. "The timing was a coincidence, but it couldn't be a more perfect fit for us to have 'Hitchcock' playing the festival's opening night," said Searchlight's Co-President Nancy Utley.
October 28, 2012
Re "In defense of modified foods," Oct. 25 Regardless of the safety and science behind genetically engineered foods, the unnatural growing process should be enough to necessitate proper labeling. Displaying such a label does not automatically insinuate that the product is dangerous and should not be consumed. The long-term health ramifications are debatable. Either way, this should not be the deciding factor in one's decision on Proposition 37. After all, if scientists widely concur that genetically modified crops are as safe as any and in some cases even make for improved environmental conditions, would not people then perhaps buy a product merely because it displays this label?
October 24, 2012 |
To the naked eye, the white puffs of cotton growing on shrubs, the yellow flowers on canola plants and the towering tassels on cornstalks look just like those on any other plants. But inside their cells, where their DNA contains instructions for how these crops should grow, there are a few genes that were put there not by Mother Nature but by scientists in a lab. Some of the genes are from a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis that makes proteins lethal to flies, moths and other insects.
October 3, 2012 |
With Proposition 37 -- to label genetically engineered food -- on the November ballot in California, there's obviously a raised level of debate about whether such food is truly safe for human consumption. The evidence doesn't indicate any harm, but a 2009 editorial in Scientific American complains that too much of the research is controlled by the companies that produce the bioengineered seed. Concerns have been raised about possible allergenicity; on the other hand, some genetically engineered food has been designed specifically to remove properties that cause allergic reactions.
September 25, 2012 |
ABC's Emmy-winning hit series “Modern Family” is a point of pride in Los Angeles, where it stands among the growing crop of comedies filming locally in a region buffeted by production flight. Local drama production has fallen off dramatically due to the proliferation of film incentives offered outside of California. Notably, the other big winner from Sunday night's 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, the Showtime series “Homeland,” is actually produced in North Carolina. But production in Los Angeles of television comedies has been on the rise, climbing nearly 30% to 718 production days January through June compared with the same period a year ago, according to FilmL.A.
September 17, 2012 |
WOODLAND, Calif. - The worst U.S. drought in half a century is withering the nation's corn crop, but it's a fertile opportunity for makers of genetically modified crops. Agricultural biotechnology companies have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing plants that can withstand the effects of a prolonged dry spell. Monsanto Co., based in St. Louis, has received regulatory approval for DroughtGard, a corn variety that contains the first genetically modified trait for drought resistance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 16, 2012 |
An elephant weevil, a tiny insect that attacks wine crops and fruit trees, was intercepted last month at the Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex in a container of oranges from Australia, officials said. It was the first time the pest had been found in the United States. It attacks roots, stems and fruits of cultivated vines, and also feeds on citrus, blueberry bushes and fruit trees. "Had this pest gone undetected, it could have had a serious impact on the California wine industry," Todd C. Owen, Customs and Border Protection director of Los Angeles field operations, said in a statement last week.
September 5, 2012 |
Zynga wants to harvest a bumper crop of new players and revive its withering profit with its latest social game, "FarmVille 2," set to debut on Facebook Wednesday. Dubbed as a prime example of a "next-generation" social game, "FarmVille 2" represents Zynga's answer to its critics who say the company failed to innovate fast enough to keep up with the growing expectations of social gamers on Facebook, the Web and other connected platforms. Aside from its name, "FarmVille 2" has little in common with the original "FarmVille" that vaulted Zynga into mainstream consciousness after it launched in 2009.
August 24, 2012 |
The worst U.S. drought in more than half a century has rallied critics of the federal renewable fuel standard, which will reserve about 40% of the nation's corn crop for ethanol production this year. Critics have long questioned the commitment of a growing share of a food source for fuel use. But the calls for change have grown louder because the widespread drought has killed more than 50% of the corn crop, driving prices to record levels - and U.S. ethanol is made mostly from corn.