January 8, 2013 |
Two mammals are drawn to a stretch of Northern California's coast at this time of year: northern elephant seals and humans eager to see them. Hundreds of the huge marine mammals cover the sands at Ano Nuevo State Park between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay to fight, mate and give birth. And Seal Adventure Weekend on Jan. 26 and 27 offers a rare opportunity to spend half a day observing and photographing the extraordinary lust fest on the beach. "You'll see males without their own harems--we call them bachelors--lurking outside the harems, and the alpha bulls roaring at them," Joyce Pennell, president of the Coastside State Parks Assn., says of the event held during the height of the January breeding season.
December 7, 2012 |
Starbucks raised eyebrows when it recently started offering coffee for $7 a cup. But that's nothing compared to a brew that goes for a hefty $50 per serving. Why does this coffee cost so much? Because the beans first have to be eaten, digested and then pooped out by an elephant. Apparently that's an exotic enough process to fetch a price of $500 a pound, making this one of the world's most expensive blends. The coffee is called Black Ivory and hails from Thailand. It was unveiled last month at a handful of luxury hotels catering to, well, the sort of people who can afford a $50 cup of joe. Quiz: The year in business "When an elephant eats coffee, its stomach acid breaks down the protein found in coffee, which is a key factor in bitterness," Blake Dinkin, who has spent $300,000 developing the coffee, told the Associated Press . "You end up with a cup that's very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee.
December 2, 2012
Re "No more curtain calls for elephants," Editorial, Nov. 26 The L.A. City Council's proposed ban on elephants in traveling shows, which The Times supports, is really based on the rhetoric of animal rights activists who oppose all animals in captivity and in entertainment. At a recent City Council committee hearing, so-called experts who are known animal activists were allowed to provide extensive testimony, while veterinary experts from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey were given mere minutes to make public comments.
November 30, 2012
Re "No more curtain calls for elephants," Editorial, Nov. 26 It was a pleasure to read that the Los Angeles City Council will likely ban elephants from performing in the city. Governments in dozens of countries have banned exotic animals from performing in circuses, including most recently the Netherlands and even Greece, with all its economic problems. In Australia, we have banned them in all but two states. Soon, those states will follow the rest of the country's lead. Elephants performing idle tricks for humans' amusement is a blight on our society and should be banned everywhere.
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.