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February 14, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
The routes American railroads follow were laid out almost exclusively in the 19th and 20th centuries, when trains were symbols of modernity and industrial power. And today, riding a train - especially in the United States - can feel like stepping into a time machine. Tom Zoellner enters this time machine again and again in his highly entertaining, lucid and perceptive travelogue "Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World - From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief.
February 13, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
Egypt's revolution of three years ago - an incandescent burst of defiance that brought down a dictator and astonished the world - died in the early hours of its birth. The nation, like a man ambling through the dark, tumbled through a façade of democracy. The military and the Muslim Brotherhood, the state's ultimate and diametrically opposed powers, sabotaged the spirit for change that embodied the flags and faces of their countrymen. The revolution, if it can even be called that now, has become a dangerous hope for idealists.
February 10, 2014 | By David Wharton
SOCHI, Russia - Just 17 years old, Sara Takanashi has a lot on her shoulders at these Winter Games. The Japanese teenager is favored in the historic ski-jumping competition on Tuesday, the first time the Olympics have invited women to compete in this sport. If she comes through, it would make her the youngest athlete - man or woman - to win the normal hill individual event. It would also make Japan the first country to win all four of ski jumping's events. FRAMEWORK: Best images from the Sochi Olympics So how has Takanashi been dealing with the pressure?
February 8, 2014 | By Scarlet Cheng
Yoga has a 2,500-year history that sprung up in India as a series of mental and physical practices to help escape the cycle of suffering that flesh is heir to. "Yoga: The Art of Transformation" at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (Feb. 21 to May 25) offers a voyage through some of that history via art, photography and film. With 135 objects borrowed from 25 museums and collections internationally, this is the "first major art exhibition about yoga," says the museum. "Yoga is a range of practices that focus on controlling the body and breath as a means of stilling the mind," says Qamar Adamjee, curator of South Asian art at the museum.
February 8, 2014 | By Steve Chawkins
Though he lived in a region known worldwide for hyper-enthusiastic, round-the-clock innovating, Walter Cottle Lester wasn't a big fan of change. As Silicon Valley's subdivisions and office buildings surged around the farm his family had started more than a century before, he refused to sell. Reclusive and soft-spoken, he turned down potential earnings as high as $500 million. Instead, he arranged to donate his spread, the last big farm in the city of San Jose and one of the last in the sprawling Silicon Valley, for public use as a historic park.
February 6, 2014 | By Bob Pool
Los Angeles Cultural Heritage commissioners voted Thursday to reject a proposal that would have designated a Silver Lake home the city's 1,038th historic-cultural landmark. Neighbors and other preservationists had urged the panel to preserve the Waverly Drive residence designed by pioneering Chinese American architect Gilbert L. Leong. Last year, a Beverly Hills developer purchased the so-called Tirado house - built in 1959 for Dr. Miguel Tirado and his wife - and announced plans to build five three-story houses on the lot through the city's small-lot subdivision ordinance.
February 6, 2014 | By Roger Vincent
Broadway, the sparkling entertainment district of mid-20th-century Los Angeles, had a long fall. As residents moved to the suburbs, opulent movie palaces dating to the early days of the film industry closed their doors. Upscale shops were closed, and department stores decamped for newer neighborhoods in the 1970s and 1980s. Businesses catering primarily to Latino immigrants kept the sidewalks active, but most buildings fell empty above the first floor. Much of downtown has enjoyed a renaissance since 2000.
February 5, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
A bustling community of dog parks, gastropubs and historic lofts where people actually walk to work? That's hardly the typical depiction of Los Angeles, at least in the movies. Yet that is precisely the unconventional image of L.A. that emerges in the upcoming romantic comedy "About Last Night," a remake of the 1986 film starring Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, James Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins that explored the world of dating among four singles. Though the original movie was based on a David Mamet play set in Chicago, the contemporary remake joins the 2009 film "(500)
February 4, 2014 | By Martha Groves
The Huntington Library has purchased the extensive photographic trove of Ernest Marquez, a descendant of Mexican land grantees who owned what became known as Santa Monica and Rustic canyons and parts of Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica. Amassed over 50 years, the 4,600-image compilation includes rare photos of 1870s Santa Monica and Los Angeles. "The group of photographs is the best and most comprehensive collection of its kind in private hands," said Jennifer A. Watts, curator of photographs at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.
February 2, 2014 | By Nicholas Meyer
The Italians have a phrase, si non è vero è ben trovato , which roughly translates as, "If it isn't true, it ought to be. " If only the critics who decry the inaccuracies to be found in recent movies could take that attitude. Whether dealing with outer space, the Southern slave trade, Somali pirates or Walt Disney, films have been called out this year for the least deviation from "reality" (a word Nabokov insisted routinely belongs within quotation marks). Unless specified as documentaries, feature films are intended to be viewed as stories.
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