November 29, 2012 |
The Times' editorial Monday on the L.A. City Council's proposed ban on elephants performing in traveling shows such as circuses paints a romantic picture of elephants as gentle giants. The editorial board seems to buy into the animal extremists' idealistic scenario of happy, fat pachyderms lazily wandering the open plains of Africa or the jungles of Asia, free of disease and conflict with humans. The reality is far grimmer. The "wild" left for these magnificent animals is rapidly disappearing.
November 26, 2012
The Los Angeles City Council is poised to consider a measure that would in effect prevent elephants from performing in traveling shows and exhibitions in the city. It's hardly unusual for the council to sound off on any issue under the sun, but in this case, the proposal before it underscores a growing appreciation for the world's largest and most majestic land mammal. It deserves to be approved, and should prompt serious reflection on humanity's relationship with these noble animals.
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 12, 2012 |
Joan Didion's stage adaptation of her 2005 memoir, "The Year of Magical Thinking," is a wrenchingly meditative one-hander that delves into the mechanics of loss - namely, the sudden death of Didion's longtime husband and writing partner, John Gregory Dunne, and the agonizingly prolonged decline of her beloved daughter, Quintana. Dunne's death was nearly instantaneous. Quintana, on the other hand, succumbed only after the course of many months and several mysterious maladies. Quintana died after Didion's book had already gone to press, and Didion's controversial refusal to delay publication and update her work is addressed in her play - sometimes to a fault. Strikingly, the death of Dunne gets somewhat short shrift while Quintana's more gradual attenuation is more exhaustively described.
August 27, 2012 |
Don't let the retro styling fool you. Although they look like comic extra rejects from a '70s variety show with some heavy metal updating, the magician-trickster-funny-men of "Elephant Room" are goofy originals, very much of our makeshift moment. No point in trying to categorize the show, which opened Sunday at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Created by Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle and Steve Cuiffo, the entire production is a sleight of hand. With a smattering of magic, sketch comedy and cat-and-mouse with the audience, the trio of performers, working under the aliases Daryl Hannah, Dennis Diamond and Louie Magic, foster the illusion of a complete theatrical offering.
August 17, 2012 |
Bradley Cooper could go against type for a Broadway revival of "The Elephant Man. " "We're going to try to do it on Broadway next fall," Cooper told E! News. "We're going to try to nail it down and do a limited run. " Cooper shaved and twisted his body this summer to play Joseph Merrick, a man who suffered from severe deformities during Victorian-era London, at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts. The play, which ran from July 25 to Aug. 5, earned Cooper and co-star Patricia Clarkson local critical praise.
August 14, 2012 |
The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn. sponsors a tour of Thailand that's heavy on wildlife viewing in out-of-the-way national parks and animal sanctuaries. L.A. Zoo director John Lewis takes visitors on foot, by Jeep, long-tail boat and even kayak to see elephants , Malayan sun bears, leopards, tigers , Javan mongoose, gibbons, langurs and other indigenous animals. Trip highlights include visits to Kaeng Krachan National Park, a lightly touristed area that's home to many animals and birds; Pa La-U, a tiered waterfall where elephants hang out; Klong Seant Wildlife Sanctuary and Doi Inthanon Cloud Forest, each known for being home to numerous species of birds and orchids; and a camp where guests may feed and interact with elephants.
August 2, 2012 |
It may be the first of its kind: A strain of medical marijuana that has been developed to match one first imagined in a book. The strain is Elephant Crush, currently on sale at Waterfall Wellness in San Francisco. It has been on the market since July; before that, it existed only in the pages of "Baked," the novel by Mark Haskell Smith. According to the book, Elephant Crush is “very smooth, ... nicely balanced” and tastes like mangoes. Columnist David Downs stopped by the licensed dispensary and took a look.
July 31, 2012 |
Bill Doss of indie rock band Olivia Tremor Control and co-founder of the Elephant 6 Recording Co. musicians' collective has died at age 43, according to the group's website . No other details have been announced. “We are devastated by the loss of our brother Bill Doss,” the website says. “We are at a loss for words.” Doss, Jeff Mangum and Will Cullen Hart started Olivia Tremor Control in Louisiana in 1988. Mangum split and started Neutral Milk Hotel. Olivia Tremor Control put out two albums in the 1990s -- “Music From the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle” in 1996 and “Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One” in 1999.
July 27, 2012
Re "Judge calls for changes at zoo," July 25 As an educator and a docent at the Los Angeles Zoo who spent seven years observing its elephants, I was stunned and saddened by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John L. Segal's harsh words on the zoo's elephant exhibit. I know the zoo's elephants, especially Billy, the 27-year-old Asian bull. I also know that the zoo is devoted to the elephants' well-being. And I know that, had the judge accessed the multi-year, ongoing research of the elephants' behavior at the zoo that volunteers like me document, he would have written a different opinion.