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NEWS
December 3, 2013 | By Patt Morrison
One question only: What side is Santa on? What does gingerbread mean to him - to you? A spicy, spongy cake? A spicy, slightly crispy cookie that dunks perfectly in eggnog? A piece of cardboard coated in decorative frosting? That's what San Francisco is fighting over right now: Can you call it “gingerbread” if you can't eat it? YEAR IN REVIEW: Ted Rall's five best cartoons of 2013 Is gingerbread a food, a building material or a metaphor? How did the evil facade of a fairy tale, a dream turned to homicide, the Wicked Witch's honey trap for Hansel and Gretel, the come-on maison de gingerbread, turn into a happy holidays symbol?
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BUSINESS
December 3, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
While Google and Samsung have been busy with smartglasses and smartwatches, respectively, Microsoft has been working on a wearable device that's a little bit more intimate. The Redmond, Wash., company has developed a smart-bra that its researchers say is used to help prevent women from stress eating. The device, detailed in a research paper titled " Food and Mood: Just-in-Time Support for Emotional Eating ," features multiple sensors to detect when women might want to eat because of stress.  PHOTOS: Top 10 ways to take advantage of the 'sharing economy' The Microsoft research gadget monitors heart rate, respiration, skin conductance and movement.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 1, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
NEW YORK - Tea time at Sardi's, and in rushed Bette Midler too busy to give her caricature on the far wall an admiring glance. She had just finished taping an appearance on Katie Couric's talk show and, like me, had plans to see Mike Nichols' starry production of "Betrayal" later that evening. (Unlike me, her companion was Glenn Close.) In short, it was a typical run, run, run New York day. For the moment, however, Midler's attention was focused on "a creature of Beverly Hills," the late Hollywood super-agent Sue Mengers.
BUSINESS
December 1, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu and Paresh Dave
A record number of shoppers flooded stores on Thanksgiving, but that took a bite out of Black Friday sales, according to industry data released Sunday. Foot traffic on Thanksgiving was up 27% to nearly 45 million, compared with the 35 million visitors who shopped on the holiday last year, the National Retail Federation said. Black Friday remained by far the biggest consumption day, with more than 92 million shoppers. But the shopper count that day rose just 3% from 2012. A separate report from ShopperTrak showed Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales together rising 2.3% to $12.3 billion year over year, while traffic jumped 2.8% to more than 1.07 billion store visits over the two days.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 30, 2013 | By Frank Shyong
Politicians and businessmen mingled amid mint-green tablecloths as cups of locally sourced red butter lettuce salad circulated. The night's keynote speaker, a county public health official, spoke warmly of the restaurant's offerings. It was an unusual restaurant opening for Monterey Park's Garvey Avenue, a largely Chinese immigrant neighborhood populated mostly by ginseng shops and cheap restaurants and bakeries - most of which have B letter grades from the county health inspector.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores and Hailey Branson-Potts
An attorney for an accused Orange County serial killer who died after deputies discovered he was ill in his cell said his client died after swallowing Ajax, a household cleanser. Michael Molfetta said investigators believe his client, Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo, accumulated enough Ajax powder for a lethal dose that he then ingested. Deputies found Ocampo in his single-man cell at Central Jail in Santa Ana about 6:35 p.m. Wednesday, shaking and vomiting. Ocampo, 25, was taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he died in the intensive care unit about 1:40 p.m. Thursday.
NATIONAL
November 28, 2013 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
Even before piling their plates high on Thanksgiving, Americans have been eating worse than in previous years, according to a newly released poll of more than 150,000 adults. Every day, Gallup and the health improvement company Healthways ask hundreds of Americans whether they ate healthy the day before. Healthy eating usually rises and falls month by month, with Americans eating a little worse in spring, better in late summer and much worse around November and December. (Shocking, we know.)
BUSINESS
November 28, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Christina Rivera hates to see food go to waste, so she is cracking down at her Silver Lake restaurant. Rivera began weighing the trash generated by Gobi Mongolian BBQ House with an eye toward shrinking the pile of scraps, peels and other organic material. She put up signs noting that some 40% of the nation's food supply is thrown out each year. Then she did something that put some patrons into a rage: On busy all-you-can-eat nights, the restaurant now charges an extra fee for any plate with leftover food.
NEWS
November 25, 2013 | By Laura E. Davis
Think some cheese smells like feet? Well, now there's a cheese that has more than just that foot odor - it's actually made from human foot bacteria. An exhibit in Dublin features cheese made by taking swabs of human bacteria - from armpits, mouths, in between toes and in belly buttons - and adding milk to it. Biologist Christina Agapakis worked with odor artist Sissel Tolaas to create the cheeses, which they hope will challenge how we think about bacteria. "Cheese is actually a really great model organism for us to think about good and bad bacteria but also good and bad smells," Agapakis said at a presentation at the PopTech conference last month.
SPORTS
November 19, 2013 | By Austin Knoblauch
He might not be a threat to Joey Chestnut or Takeru Kobayashi , but Mississippi State football Coach Dan Mullen has the technique and grace of the world's top competitive eaters. Mullen displayed his gastrointestinal-challenging capabilities during Mississippi State's annual chicken-wing-eating contest Monday at a Buffalo Wild Wings outlet in Starkville, Miss. Mullen, 40, downed 15 chicken wings in three minutes using the very reliable dip-and-strip method. Suffice it to say, he successfully defended his wing-eating title even though he reportedly ate 24 in five minutes last year.
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