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August 21, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
Although our human ancestors climbed down from the trees millions of years ago, our feet have retained the type of flexibility seen in today's tree-dwelling primates, new research shows. For about 80 years at least, scientists have been under the impression that human feet are special.  Studies comparing human and chimpanzee footprints in the 1930s suggested that human feet were much stiffer than those of other apes. Humans have arches in the mid-foot region, as well as rigid outer edges, leading scientists to conclude that our mid-foot regions weren't capable of touching the ground, unlike those of our ape relatives.
August 14, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan
This irresistible effort has just become this year's top-grossing documentary, and if you haven't seen it yet, this might be a good time to catch up before the deluge of fall films hits. Veteran director Morgan Neville has made a moving and joyous behind-the-scenes film about the world of rock 'n' roll backup singers. It's a universe filled with big, bold personalities and the music they make: When you say names like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Lisa Fischer, you are conjuring up entire universes of sound.
August 14, 2013 | By Reg Green
When I tell people I live in California, they almost always ask where. But when they hear Los Angeles, all too often their faces fall. They were hoping, I suspect, for Sausalito or Pebble Beach. To them Los Angeles is a place of flat, seemingly endless streets, mini-malls wreathed in smog and choking traffic. We all know what they mean. But there's another way to view the city. A few days ago I hiked to the top of Mt. Lowe, 5,600 feet above sea level, with the entire Los Angeles basin spreading out beyond.
August 13, 2013 | By Chuck Schilken
A lifelong Atlanta Braves fan fell to his death Monday night at Turner Field during his favorite team's game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Ronald Lee Homer Jr. fell about 65 feet, according to authorities. The fall appears to have been an accident, Atlanta police spokesman John Chafee said. An autopsy was planned for Tuesday, the Fulton County medical examiner's office said. The 30-year-old landscaper who grew up in Conyers, Ga., spoke with his mother toward the end of a nearly two-hour rain delay during the game.
July 18, 2013 | By Karin Klein
During my childhood, whenever my parents didn't want us kids to know what they were saying, they'd talk to each other in Yiddish, the language they'd grown up with. They took a much dimmer view of this trick when my sister and I would use our rudimentary high school French to do the same thing. When we pointed out the inconsistency, they agreed that conversations in front of others should be held in the common language - and no whispering in front of each other - because shutting people out of the conversation was rude and would make them feel they were being talked about in unkind ways.
July 15, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Travelers, how many of you would invest in socks that promise to make your feet more comfortable and less sweaty -- made with coffee sludge? Get in line. A Kickstarter campaign to manufacture Atlas socks made of coffee-infused fabric has created a lot of buzz and raised more than four times the amount of seed money needed to make the socks a reality. Founders were hoping to raise $30,000 with the crowd-sourced campaign; as of Friday, they had raised more than $147,000 and will continue until July 24. "This is a great way to actually be smarter about your buying and finding out what customers want," Kit Hickey says.
July 15, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Walk inside Paula Smail's 600-square-foot apartment in Burbank and you'll be greeted by bold color and texture that strangely doesn't overwhelm. The textile designer has lived in New York, Paris, London and Johannesburg, and here, it shows. The one-bedroom apartment is decorated with South African curios, aboriginal art from Australia, Balinese sculpture and mementos from France, all combining to give the small space a modern vibe.  PHOTOS: Paula Smail's apartment, full of color and pattern Her approach to decorating a small space, she says, is the same as decorating a larger space.
July 8, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling
The spotlight is shining on the backup singers. Morgan Neville's documentary on the best backup talent in the business - including Darlene Love, Merry Clayton and Lisa Fischer - has connected with audiences in its limited release.  Crossing the $1-million mark this Fourth of July weekend, "Twenty Feet From Stardom," now screening in 89 theaters, earned an additional $585,982 over the holiday time-frame to put its four-week total at $1.1 million....
July 5, 2013 | By David Fleshler
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Aboard the submersible Antipodes, cruising 250 feet beneath the surface off Fort Lauderdale, scientists peered through violet water and saw exactly what they hoped not to see. About 15 lionfish - venomous, flamboyantly striped invaders from half a world away - swam around the starboard bow of a freighter that was sunk as an artificial reef. When the submersible drifted toward the wreck's stern, they counted 11 more. The dive last month was one of a series to gauge the extent of the infestation of the nonnative fish on the region's reefs, using a vessel donated by OceanGate, which operates submersibles for oil and gas exploration, scientific research, marine engineering and other uses.
July 4, 2013 | Roger Vincent
A $50-million residential and retail complex has been completed at a busy downtown Santa Monica intersection by a local developer that specializes in building mini-apartments in urban centers. The five-story NMS @ Lincoln complex at the northwest corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Broadway has 97 units and stands next to a sister project of similar size called Luxe @ Broadway that opened last year. Both properties are made up of 375-square-foot apartments, which developer NMS Properties calls "micro units.
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