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April 14, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
Johanna Huerta will usher in her 30 th birthday early Tuesday with the “blood moon.” Huerta, 29, of South Los Angeles, was one of hundreds of people who descended on the Griffith Observatory on Monday night awaiting the first total eclipse of 2014. "It worked out that I got the 'blood moon,' " she said. "It will be my first time seeing it. " Huerta brought her brother, 17-year-old Angel, and family friend Flavia Ibarra, 23, to celebrate her birthday and the eclipse, which will be her first to see. “I dragged them with me,” Huerta said.
April 13, 2014 | By Rong-Gong Lin II
A total lunar eclipse will be seen over Los Angeles and most of North America beginning Monday night Pacific time. In Los Angeles, the most impressive part of the eclipse begins at 10:58 p.m. Monday, when the first “bite” is taken out of the moon and spreads across the rest of it, blotting it out completely by 12:06 a.m. Tuesday, the Griffith Observatory said. Look to the south, and the moon will be roughly 45 degrees up, said Joe Sirard, an amateur astronomer who doubles as a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard.
April 9, 2014 | By Anne Colby
Some garden advice can be heeded no matter where you live. But much in gardening and landscaping revolves around the specifics of location - weather, terrain, soil type and design preferences. That's where the redesigned and updated "Sunset Western Garden Book of Landscaping," edited by Sunset magazine's Kathleen Norris Brenzel (Oxmoor House, $29.95, paper), has an edge over a more general guide. A section on plants, for example, includes chapters on palms, ornamental grasses, tropicals, succulents, cactus and natives.
April 8, 2014 | By Ellen Olivier
The event: In advance of Earth Day, which is April 22,  Kiehl's USA threw a celebration to introduce the company's limited edition collection of Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque with labels designed by actors and party co-hosts Ashley Judd and Anthony Mackie. Net proceeds from sales of the collection are earmarked for Recycle Across America , and during the party on April 7 Kiehl's President Chris Salgardo presented a $50,000 check to the organization's executive director, Mitch Hedlund.
April 6, 2014 | By Monte Morin
If you've ever felt the earth shudder beneath your feet during an earthquake, you're no stranger to the effects of Earth's ever-roaming tectonic plates. While scientists have linked the movements of these rigid, puzzle-piece slabs to our planet's most violent events -- quakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions -- they have struggled to explain exactly how they came to exist in the first place. Now, in the journal Nature , two geophysicists have proposed that Earth's outermost layer, or lithosphere, was microscopically weakened and brittled by movement in viscous layers below it billions of years ago. Study authors David Bercovici of Yale University and Yanick Ricard of the Univeristy of Lyon note that Earth is the only planet in the solar system that appears to have tectonic plates that move freely on its surface, propelled by the motion of layers below.
April 1, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Tiny microbes on the bottom of the ocean floor may have been responsible for the largest extinction event our planet has ever seen, according to a new study. These microbes of death were so small, that 1 billion of them could fit in a thimble-full of ocean sediment, and yet, they were almost responsible for killing off all the life on our planet, the scientists suggest. The end-Permian extinction was the most catastrophic mass extinction the Earth has ever seen. It started roughly 252 million years ago --long before the dinosaurs-- and it continued for 20,000 years.
March 26, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
The World Trade Organization on Wednesday said that China's restrictions on the exports of rare earths -- raw materials commonly used in the manufacturing of electronics -- violate trade rules. China had argued that the restrictions, which included export duties and quotas, were in place to conserve exhaustible natural resources, but other countries disagreed. The United States two years ago complained to the World Trade Organization about the restrictions, arguing that they artificially raised the prices of rare earths for other countries and gave preferable pricing to Chinese manufacturers.
March 26, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Planet-hunters scouring the heavens have found thousands of distant worlds around other stars, but astronomers may have overlooked one lurking much closer to home. Scientists searching for glimmers of light beyond Pluto say they've discovered a new dwarf planet - and that its movements hint that an invisible giant planet far larger than Earth may inhabit the solar system's mysterious frontier. The new dwarf planet, dubbed 2012 VP113 and described in a study published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature, helps confirm the existence of an "inner Oort cloud" in an interplanetary no man's land that was once thought to be barren but could be teeming with rocky objects.
March 21, 2014
Re "Experts warn climate shift threats rising," March 19 I for one am outraged. Scientific consensus is approaching 100% that human civilization is in danger. But our politicians choose to be fooled and intimidated by corporate lobbyists. The fossil fuel industry has spread lies to counter the urgent facts about climate change. It is particularly frustrating when the costs and benefits of transitioning to a renewable future are calculated. According to a recent study, a carbon tax in California, with the revenue returned to the public, would actually grow the state's economy.
March 21, 2014 | By Amina Khan
When a major extinction takes place, apex predators - those giant beasts sitting at the top of the food web - are often the first to suffer. But it turns out that in the worst extinction event in Earth's history, they might have actually branched out a little, according to a new study in PLoS ONE that looked at ancient armored amphibians and giant swimming reptiles. While the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago was a violent and dramatic end, this end-Cretaceous event wasn't the worst extinction in Earth's history.
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