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July 24, 2011 | By Sarah Karnasiewicz, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Some people head to Peru to climb Incan ruins; some go to sip pisco sours. Me, I went for the birds. The very big birds. Peru contains a staggering 10% of the world's avian population, and the Colca Valley - a stunning slice of earth notched into the southern highlands of the country - is ground zero for two of the most jaw-dropping: the Andean condor, otherwise known as the world's largest flying bird, and the giant hummingbird, whose name speaks...
May 22, 2011 | By Seema Mehta and Maeve Reston, Los Angeles Times
By the time Newt Gingrich got here, his first week as an official presidential candidate had been a doozy. He'd been skewered by members of his own party after disparaging the budget plan of Wisconsin Rep. Paul D. Ryan; branded an "embarrassment" by a GOP voter in a videotaped confrontation that went viral; and showered with confetti at a Minnesota book signing. But in spite of those "bumps," as the former House speaker called them, nearly 100 people filtered in to hear him speak at an early-morning event, giving the 2012 Republican hopeful some bragging rights after what he described as "a little bit of a challenging week.
May 8, 2011 | By Kavita Daswani, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Fly fishermen grappling with bumped-up prices for the feathers they need for the sport can blame Los Angeles hipsters: The recent craze in feather hair extensions has led to diminished supplies and more than doubled the cost of the plumes. "I did 10 sets of extensions yesterday," said Krystal Riddle, a stylist at Fred Segal Salon in Santa Monica. "It's a crazy trend right now. " The feathers are usually applied using small metal clasps and can be washed and styled like regular hair.
March 31, 2011
EVENTS Don't miss out on this perfect excuse for childhood wish-fulfillment at Los Angeles Pillow Fight Day, a massive pillow fight in the wide open air. The featherier your pillow, the better — just don't leave before cleanup or take out any inner aggression on an unsuspecting reveler. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles. 2 p.m. Sat. Free. (213) 485-1645.
March 19, 2011 | Helene Elliott
They will always have this memory, this moment. Frozen by a camera minutes after the Ducks had won the Stanley Cup in 2007, Dustin Penner, bearded and smiling, holds the iconic trophy by the barrel. Ryan Getzlaf is beside him, mouth open in mid-scream. Getzlaf's right arm encircles Penner and his left arm is around Corey Perry, also screaming as he clutches the Cup by the bowl and helps hold it above their championship-capped heads. Together they navigated the Ducks' developmental system, broke into the NHL, won the sport's ultimate prize as the Kid Line.
February 14, 2011 | By Melissa Magsaysay, Los Angeles Times
If the fashion that appeared on the Grammy red carpet seemed relatively tame, a handful of artists made up for it when they performed onstage during the awards ceremony. Lady Gaga led the pack with her arrival in a Hussein Chalayan-designed pod that was carried in the manner of an ancient Egyptian litter. She "hatched" from the egg-like structure wearing a transparent yellow raincoat-style jacket and a wide brim hat, and her cropped top and long skirt with a high slit allowed her to successfully sing and dance after she emerged.
December 20, 2010 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Let's face it, sometimes the holiday season is as depressing as a stale piece of fruitcake. If the thought of the usual Christmas movies leaves you cold, here's another way to shake the holiday blues away: a selection of classic comedies from the 1930s and '40s. Here are a few of our favorites; if you can't laugh at these, you really are a Scrooge. "Horse Feathers" (1932) For those who love Marxist comedies ? as in the Marx Brothers ? their early Paramount films are far funnier and more anarchic than the more staid MGM releases.
November 28, 2010 | By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times
After pirouetting for hours on the set of "Black Swan," Natalie Portman would sometimes remove her pointe shoes, towel the sweat off of her brow and be met by a disapproving critique from director Darren Aronofsky. "He'd say, 'Oh, Mila is doing really well on her stuff. She's so much better than you,'" the 29-year-old actress said, referring to her costar, Mila Kunis. "Darren would tell us things about each other to try to make us jealous. I think he was trying to create a rivalry in real life between us. " That Aronofsky may have tried to stoke competition between his lead actresses is understandable ?
October 24, 2010 | By Mark Olsen, Special to the Los Angeles Times
At a glance, "Four Lions," the debut feature from director and co-writer Chris Morris that first played at the Sundance Film Festival in January, seems certain to upset people on all points of the cultural and political spectrum: It's a dark comedy about a cell of British would-be jihadists who bumble through the planning of a suicide bomb plot. The cell's putative leader (Riz Ahmed) is depicted as a conscientious family man struggling to reconcile his religious beliefs with the realities of his daily life.
October 2, 2010 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
The first thing the graduate student saw was a set of foot bones at the surface of an excavation site in Peru. He turned over a rock and noticed a pattern of scales. This hinted that the large fossil might still have soft tissue intact ? a rarity. The team of paleontologists nicknamed the specimen "Pedro" and took it to the lab for further examination. It turned out to be the remains of a 5-foot, 120-pound penguin ? one of the largest ancient penguins ever found, according to an online report this week in the journal Science.
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