CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2013 |
No one saw the superhero in mild-mannered Clark Kent. Jim O'Connor keeps his students fooled too. In his algebra and calculus classes at St. Francis High School, he is stern - no excuses, no coddling. "If you look at the clock," said senior Michael Tinglof, who had O'Connor in his freshman year, "you're on his bad list for the rest of the class. " The 70-year-old teacher's look also is all business: spine straight, close-cropped silver hair. When he cracks a joke, he's so deadpan that the boys often miss it, senior Pat McGoldrick said.
December 12, 2013 |
Ask John Cage in 1956, as the sculptor Richard Lippold did, to make a film and you take your chances. The composer was adamantly, and with increasing daring, using elaborate chance processes to create all his work. Still, Lippold, who was a close friend and neighbor of Cage, thought the composer would be just the person to edit a mass of footage shot during the three-year process of his making “The Sun,” a huge, geometric sculpture involving more than two miles of pure gold wire and now hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
December 10, 2013 |
An incredibly rare butterfly orchid has been "rediscovered" on a volcano ridge in the Azores, a remote group of European islands, and scientists are naming it after the man who first found it nearly 200 years ago. The newly discovered Platanthera azorica , described in the journal PeerJ, is in serious need of environmental protection, the study authors write. The researchers had originally intended to study the orchid species on the Azores, a group of nine islands off the coast of the Iberian peninsula, to understand their origin.
December 9, 2013 |
Billions of years ago, when early life was just taking hold on Earth, Mars was home to an ancient lake filled with the right chemical ingredients for life to thrive, scientists said Monday. Drilling into dry rock, NASA's Curiosity rover has discovered signs that Gale Crater was once watery, perhaps ringed with ice and snow, and could potentially have hosted an entire Martian biosphere based on a type of microbe found in caves on Earth. Such primitive organisms, called chemolithoautotrophs, feed on chemicals found in rocks and make their own energy.
December 6, 2013 |
"Papa" Haydn is often called, rightfully and wrongly, the father of the symphony. The Los Angeles Philharmonic demonstrated the rightful part Thursday night with clear, crisp, clever and ever-delightful performances of Haydn's first and 100th efforts at the genre he didn't invent but unquestionably made feasible. The actual origins of the symphony are hard to pin down. A new recording by the Academy of Ancient Music in London titled "Birth of the Symphony" finds the roots of the modern symphony in the Death March from Handel's oratorio "Saul" - written in 1738, two decades before Haydn's First - and moseys through forgotten scores by Franz Xaver Richter and Johann Stamitz before arriving at Haydn.
December 6, 2013 |
By the time Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, the path to ending South Africa's political crisis through the abolition of apartheid was known, even if it would not be easy or straight. Solving the country's economic crisis was another story. It still is. When I first visited the country a few months after Mandela's release, the white overclass was just beginning to come to grips with the scale of the challenge. A Johannesburg economic firm had released a paper warning that South Africa's self-image as a big economy preparing to take its place on the world stage with Great Britain and Germany was a dangerous delusion--better to think of itself in terms of a second-tier economy like Belgium, they wrote. The idea came as a shock, and the implications were stunning.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 1, 2013 |
Eloise Gomez Reyes' frustration seemed to leap off the pages of her recent complaint letter to the head of the California Democratic Party. She described how she had tried repeatedly to address local party clubs about her candidacy for a hotly contested congressional seat in the Inland Empire, only to learn four of those organizations had endorsed a rival, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar. The backing, announced by the Aguilar campaign, "suggests that information needed to participate fully in the Democratic Club endorsement process has intentionally been withheld" from other candidates, Reyes, a Colton attorney and first-time candidate, said in her letter.
November 29, 2013 |
There it was, just sitting in the Sheyenne River - a perfect circle of ice, about 50 feet in diameter, gently rotating in the water. George Loegering's discovery of the huge ice disk last Saturday has been a big hit over the Web after his video of the phenomenon went viral. "It's an amazing wonder," Loegering, 73, of Casselton, N.D., said in the video, which was reproduced by the Associated Press. "I don't have a clue how it did it, but that thing is rotating, as you can see. " A National Weather Service hydrologist and a weather service meteorologist told the Associated Press that the ice circle could be attributed to the cold, dense air that collected over North Dakota last week - nothing nefarious.
November 20, 2013 |
Fans from Berkeley, Calif., to Key Biscayne, Fla., must have done a spontaneous spit take when Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer announced his frustration with the lame-duck Bowl Championship Series. "I think it's a flawed system," Meyer said Monday. Here's another bulletin: Bill Gates is rich. Ohio State is 10-0 with three games left but is not likely to finish in the top two unless Alabama and/or Florida State lose. It would also help if Baylor lost. The Buckeyes are currently third in the BCS standings, by a slim margin, with Baylor set to move to No. 3 if it wins Saturday at Oklahoma State.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 17, 2013 |
In the first half of the 20th century, about 10,000 American infants - and as many as 200,000 worldwide - died each year from a lethal immune reaction, called Rh disease, produced by their mother's body during childbirth. Perhaps twice that many suffered severe medical issues caused by the immune incompatibility, also known as Rhesus D hemolytic disease of the newborn, or RhD HDN. During the 1960s, however, immunologist William Pollack of Ortho Pharmaceutical Co. and Dr. Vincent J. Freda and Dr. John G. Gorman of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center developed a vaccine that could be given to pregnant women to prevent development of the disease.