April 16, 2014 |
In balmy Southern California this week, the polar vortex is putting a chill on Simon Baitler's Passover meals. On Monday night, 21 people dined at his Santa Monica house to celebrate the Jewish holiday. Another 10 were scheduled to be there Tuesday evening. To feed them all, Baitler had to get creative because a winter of historically frigid proportions has caused a shortage of whitefish, a key ingredient in the Seder feast's traditional gefilte fish. Most of the country gets its whitefish from the Great Lakes, which this winter were so thickly caked in ice that they are just now starting to thaw.
April 11, 2014 |
It has never been easier to eat high-end sushi than it is now in Los Angeles - to surrender two hours and half a month's rent to the choreographed roll of the waves. You can experience the masculine crispness of Mori or the postmodern wackiness of Wa; the gentle experimentation of Kiriko or the discofied modernism of Nobu Malibu; the gold leaf and truffle oil of Go's Mart or the intellectual approach of Kiyokawa. The idea of purist edomae sushi, or at least its rigor, is well-established here.
April 9, 2014 |
Ever since Charles Darwin made his way to the Galapagos, we've heard a lot about that fateful moment when some previously water-bound creature pulled itself up from the slowly receding seas, took a breath and began the eons-long march to humanity. What we didn't know was what that creature looked like and how, specifically, it relates to us. Based on the bestselling book of the same name, "Your Inner Fish" is a six-hour, three-part documentary determined to do just that. Paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin, who wrote the book and hosts the series, is infectiously enthusiastic as he takes viewers on a tour of the human anatomy, its unexpected roots (subsequent episodes cover our inner reptile and our inner monkey)
April 3, 2014
"Game of Thrones" April can no longer be considered the cruelist month because it marks the return of "Game of Thrones. " Of the 52 weeks in a calendar year, only 10 are marked by new episodes of HBO's astonishingly ambitious and consistently amazing adaptation of George R.R. Martin's fantasy epic, but oh, what glory those 10 weeks can hold. Television so vivid with character, mood, setting and mythology that its growing number of fans view it with near religious fervor. Return, then, for Season 4 to Westeros, a vaguely medieval land seeded still with magic and savagery and so geographically diverse it requires several continents as cinematic stand-ins.
March 13, 2014 |
Think of a robot. Chances are you imagined one with legs like C-3PO of "Star Wars" fame or something with wheels like NASA's Mars rover Curiosity . Neither of these rigid body types are particularly flexible and certainly can't move through water well. But what about a robot with a tail? Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have designed a soft robot based on a fish, which can bend its body and quickly flee the way that real fish do to escape predators. Typical robots are rigid with exposed mechanisms and unnatural movement, but the fish described in the first issue of the new journal Soft Robotics is covered in a soft silicone skin.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2014 |
The two California Department of Fish and Wildlife scientists charged with doing environmental work on the proposed Newhall Ranch development had a daunting task. They were to help review whether and how the largest residential development ever approved in Los Angeles County - 20,000 homes stretching across a bucolic valley - could be built without undue harm to the environment, protected species and Southern California's last major wild river, the Santa Clara. The project was controversial and dizzyingly complicated.