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BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
As often happens when the financial demands on government social programs rise, there's been a lot of talk lately about the need to return to the traditional American system of community and faith-based help for the needy: charity, not government handouts. One hears this most often from fiscal conservatives such as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who spoke on the radio not long ago about how suburbanites shouldn't drive past blighted neighborhoods and say, "I'm paying my taxes, government's going to fix that.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 2013 | By Christie D'Zurilla
For years, rumor had it that Bobby Brown had introduced Whitney Houston to drugs - but Michael Houston, one of the singer's two older brothers, has revealed to Oprah Winfrey that the real story was quite different. It's a story that has Michael Houston "living, but not alive" since his younger sister's death almost a year ago. "I feel responsible for what I let go so far," he told Oprah in a Monday interview on OWN that primarily featured mother Cissy Houston, who has a new tell-all memoir out. In that book, Cissy says she didn't understand her children doing drugs then, and she doesn't understand it now. Said Michael Houston, "We were always, you know, being together most of the time, and her following behind me -- I taught her to drive.
BUSINESS
August 18, 2010 | Michael Hiltzik
Students of California's history of gold and oil rushes know it's filled with examples of profiteering, conspiracy, influence-peddling and other chicanery. So there's no reason the story should be any different with that liquid gold of the 21st century, water. That's the theme of a lawsuit filed a few weeks ago alleging there's something smelly about how a group of private interests — notably a huge agribusiness owned by the wealthy Southern California couple Stewart and Lynda Resnick — got control of an underground water storage project the state had already spent $75 million to develop.
NEWS
August 27, 2013 | By Jeff Spurrier
For most garden plants, flowering is a sign of renewed life. That's not the case with the succulent blue agave ( Agave tequilana ). Like other agaves, tequilana flowers only at the end of the plant's life. A 15-foot  asparagus-like stalk emerges from the center, sending out puffballs of flowers at the top. The mother plant then dies, but not before producing pups at its perimeter. Most blue agaves never get to that stage, however. The sugar-rich sap that develops prior to flowering can be fermented into the alcoholic drink called pulque; the heart, or pina, is used in the production of tequila.
BUSINESS
June 15, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Twenty-five years ago Friday, Steve Wilhite invented the GIF file format and bestowed upon the world the perfect vehicle for some of the best memes ever created. It's more than a picture but not quite a video, but so often, it's just perfect -- especially with the rise of Tumblr. But what Wilhite also did when he invented the format for CompuServe back in June 15, 1987, was begin one of the most hotly debated arguments of all (Internet) history: Is GIF pronounced like "gif" as in the first three letters of "gift" or "jif" as in the peanut butter . It's an argument that's raged across the Internet on forums , has Web pages dedicated to it and is even addressed by Wikipedia . So which is it?
NEWS
July 25, 2012 | By Craig Nakano
Obsession of the moment: Hasami porcelain plates and bowls released in a new matte black finish by the Japanese design importer TGS, or Tortoise General Store, in Venice. The Hasami porcelain is beautiful in its spare simplicity and smart function. The pieces nest nicely for storage. Optional oak lids pair well with the stone bowls and can be used separately as serving trays. TGS co-owner Keiko Shinomoto says  the collection has a nice back story too: It's part of a project in the southern Japanese town of Hasami, where a pottery tradition that dates to 1599 is ailing because of -- can you guess?
BUSINESS
February 15, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
The biggest mistake people make when talking about the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by U.S. companies is to treat it as a moral issue. Sure, it's immoral to abandon your loyal American workers in search of cheap labor overseas. But the real problem with outsourcing, if you don't think it through, is that it can wreck your business and cost you a bundle. Case in point: Boeing Co. and its 787 Dreamliner. The next-generation airliner is billions of dollars over budget and about three years late; the first paying passengers won't be boarding until this fall, if then.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 25, 2012 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. are parents of a new baby boy. The couple "are thrilled to announce that they welcomed a baby son into the world this past week," her rep told Us Weekly on Monday. Gellar (she's been Prinze since 2007, actually) may have played two sisters on her most recent series, "Ringer," but it's a brother and sister she and her husband have brought into the world -- and wee Charlotte Grace "is very excited to be a big sister," the rep said.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2013 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Al Roker went sans underpants in George W. Bush's White House - but it wasn't because he was feeling sexy on the job. Rather, the "Today" show weatherman had accidentally pooped his pants on his way in. He'd included the anecdote in his new book, "Never Goin' Back," released a week ago, and discussed it in an interview with Nancy Snyderman on Sunday's "Dateline. " By Tuesday, however, after the tale of his tail took on a life of its own, he found himself on "Today" discussing it again.
NEWS
July 30, 2013 | By Jeff Spurrier
For Craig Ruggless of Winnetka Farms, one of the most prized plants this season is spigariello, a leafy cool-season green that tastes like broccoli and keeps growing after you've harvested it. Spigariello resembles broccoli rabe (aka rapini) in appearance but has white flowers and a sweeter, slightly peppery taste.  Ruggless is a third-generation Italian American, and Winnetka Farms , the half-acre homestead he and partner Gary Jackemuk have developed in the San Fernando Valley to promote homegrown cooking and backyard gardening as means to self sufficiency, could be straight out of Naples.
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