April 18, 2012 |
Is it the Doritos Difference? A breakfast-based boost? The days of slumping sales seem to be over for tortured Taco Bell, which helped owner Yum Brands Inc. haul in a 73% income increase in the first quarter. The Mexican-style fast-food chain appears to have emerged from a miserable 2011, during which a controversy over its seasoned beef filling caused it to freely shed customers. Executives quickly rolled out initiative after initiative: Brand new breakfast offerings. Doritos Locos Tacos.
March 28, 2012 |
Earvin “Magic” Johnson's purchase of part ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers is the latest step in one of the most successful post-game careers of any professional athlete. The former Los Angeles Lakers guard has carved out a role as a liaison between big-money investors and the residents of urban neighborhoods who might become their customers in a variety of businesses including theaters, restaurants, stores and apartments. “He is an extraordinary businessman who has done a great job of executing his strategies,” said Ken Lombard, former president of the Johnson Development Corp.
March 6, 2012 |
Bowl-eligible for the first time in three seasons, and with a quarterback regarded as a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy, USC has been the talk of college football this winter. Perhaps that's why Trojans players were greeted with a message Tuesday when they walked through the gate of their practice facility for the first day of spring workouts. Painted in white on the turf: PREP NOT HYPE. The Trojans are accustomed to stenciled slogans. Last fall, the message read NO DISTRACTIONS — and USC went on to finish 10-2 in the final season of a two-year bowl ban. The 2012 season opener is six months away, a bowl game at least nine.
February 27, 2012 |
By their very nature, the Oscars are an orgy of self-referential splendor, but Sunday things got more than a little out of hand. From the moment Morgan Freeman (a.k.a. the voice o' God) stepped out on stage to remind us of the importance of film, the telecast of the 84th Academy Awards hawked the magic of movies with the indefatigable and square-shouldered sprightliness of an ingenue down to her last decent audition dress. "Let's go to the movies" was the evening's theme, and although it was expressed in ways that were funny (a Christopher Guest skit)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2012 |
Los Angeles city dwellers once enjoyed a sanctuary of gnarled oaks, serene pools and exotic ferns on Griffith Park's southwestern edge. But four decades of neglect have left the 20-acre Fern Dell retreat a shabby relic of its former self, which is why a band of park lovers is now trying to restore it to its early Hollywood heyday. "Fern Dell is in pretty bad shape, but it is not too late to save it," said Bernadette Soter, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Friends of Griffith Park . The volunteer group has launched a campaign to rejuvenate the 95-year-old stream-fed garden spot, restoring its 17 footbridges, ripping out thickets of invasive ivy and bamboo, and beefing up security.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2012 |
When Karin Hauenstein led her three horses down Vine Street, the girls in short skirts stilled their stiletto-heeled sashays, the incense hawkers stopped calling out to passersby, and Trader Joe's shoppers gaped through the glass at the convoy clip-clopping up the far right lane. Whether anyone registered more than surprise is hard to say. But on that recent afternoon, Hauenstein was making a statement. The 39-year-old horse trainer has come south from Santa Barbara County to protest the commercial slaughter of horses.
January 16, 2012
"What Price Glory?" Raoul Walsh directed this 1926 service comedy based on Maxwell Anderson and Laurence Stalling's play about two rival Marines (Edmund Lowe and Victor McLaglen) in France. "The Big Parade" King Vidor's seminal and influential 1925 drama set in France starring John Gilbert and Renée Adorée. It was the highest-grossing silent film. "Lilac Time" Silent superstar Colleen Moore plays the daughter of a French farmer who falls in love with a handsome young English aviator (Gary Cooper)
December 16, 2011 |
So let me get this straight: Former NBA great Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal, better known as Shaq (or Diesel, or the Big Aristotle) is really a stuttering showman who fears embarrassing himself, so he overprepares, develops a second career as a rapper, buys a 64,000-square-foot dream house and feuds mercilessly with his costars but really, truly credits his no-nonsense grandma and heavy-fisted soldier stepdad for giving him the values he needed to succeed?...
November 24, 2011 |
John Manoogian surveys the line of scrimmage, the noise rising to ear-splitting decibels. He motions to his left, correcting a receiver lined up in the wrong spot, then cups his hands around his mouth and barks orders to the running back on his right. "Red 13!" Manoogian yells, simulating a change in the play. "Red 13!" More than 1,000 pounds of USC defensive linemen, some of them bound for next year's NFL draft, are poised to pounce at the stocky quarterback. But Manoogian receives the snap from center and, as cool as the early-morning mist that shrouds the field, sidesteps the onslaught, throwing the ball downfield just like Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas.
November 17, 2011 |
Imperial soldiers once patrolled its battlements. Treasure lay heaped in vaulted storerooms. Prisoners languished in its depths; princes plotted the course of empires. But by late in the last century, the mighty fortress overlooking this western Afghan city had fallen into ruin. Built on a plateau thought to have been a redoubt of Alexander the Great, the Citadel of Herat has been brought back to life. Reopened last month as a museum and cultural center after a painstaking refurbishment, the 15th century structure serves as a poignant reminder of past glories in a country beaten down by decades of war and deprivation.