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October 16, 2011 | By Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times
A day after Scott Dekraai was charged with killing his ex-wife and seven others in a shooting rampage at a Seal Beach beauty salon, friends and mourners reacted with frustration and anger to the suggestion by prosecutors that the defendant could mount an insanity defense. "No matter how mental you are, you should not be killing people," said Nighat Afreen, 55, of La Mirada, a onetime customer of Salon Meritage who stopped by Saturday to leave flowers and candles for her former stylists.
October 2, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer A novel Michelle Hodkin Simon & Schuster: 456 pp., $16.99, for readers age 14 and older Post traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition most often associated with military veterans. In "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer," it's the back story to an unsettling, paranormal romance. There are echoes of Stephen King's classic "Carrie" in this young-adult series kickoff. Mara Dyer is a telekinetic 17-year-old who unwittingly murders people with her mind.
August 20, 2011 | Steve Lopez
Consider this the latest installment in the "no good deed goes unpunished" chronicles. Our story began last spring, when fashion designer Ron Finley admitted to himself that, while he's always enjoyed gardening, he didn't really know what the hay he was doing. "I'd just stick something in the ground and see what happened. " So Finley, who lives on Exposition Boulevard just west of the Crenshaw area, took a UC Cooperative Extension gardening class at the Natural History Museum.
July 27, 2011 | By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
The attorney for Norwegian terrorism suspect Anders Behring Breivik described his client Tuesday as emotionally cold, probably insane and hopped up on drugs during the twin attacks last week that killed at least 76 people. The comments offered the first glimpse into a possible legal defense strategy in what is expected to be Norway's most explosive criminal trial since the prosecution of accused Nazi collaborators after World War II. Geir Lippestad, a public defender who was handpicked by Breivik, also said the 32-year-old extremist — now held in solitary confinement — is unsure how many people he killed and expressed surprise that Norwegian police took so long to stop his attack.
July 1, 2011 | By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times
Google+ users were quietly given the ability to invite friends into the new social network Wednesday night, but that option lasted only a few hours because of overwhelming demand. Vic Gundotra, who is overseeing Google's social networking efforts, said in a Google+ post: "We've shut down invite mechanism for the night. Insane demand. We need to do this carefully, and in a controlled way. Thank you all for your interest!" Google didn't formally announce that it was providing the invite feature; instead, a small red envelope with Google's "G+" logo and the words "invite people to join Google+" popped up, and it seems it didn't take long before users found it and started bringing people in. Gundotra didn't say when invites might return, but it is Google's style to go with invites before fully opening new products to the public, as has been the practice with the hugely popular Gmail service and the search giant's recently launched Google Music Beta.
May 19, 2011 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
Jon Ronson is fascinated by people who are bonkers. And insane people who appear to be normal, and ostensibly sane people doing crazy things. The British journalist's book "The Men Who Stare at Goats" — about a secret U.S. military wing that hoped to use mind power to walk through walls, become invisible and perform psychic executions — was the basis for the 2009 film of the same title. Now, Ronson's paddling around the swampy parts of sanity again in "The Psychopath Test," a book that manages to be as cheerily kooky as it is well-researched.
May 5, 2011 | By Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times
An attorney for a 10-year-old boy charged with murder in the fatal shooting of his father, a local neo-Nazi activist, told a Riverside County Juvenile Court judge Wednesday that the boy may pursue a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity. The sandy-haired boy appeared in Juvenile Court shackled and wearing a bright orange shirt and khaki pants, with his stepmother, mother and grandmother sitting on a courtroom bench behind him. Judge Charles J. Koosed postponed the boy's detention hearing for two weeks and ordered that he continue to be held at Juvenile Hall.
March 3, 2011 | By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
A judge has issued a temporary restraining order stripping "Two and a Half Men" star Charlie Sheen of contact with his two youngest children and barring him from coming within 100 yards of his estranged wife. The action by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Hank Goldberg on Tuesday came after Sheen's estranged wife, Brooke Mueller, filed a declaration chock full of accusations against the actor that might have made jaws drop a month ago but now seemed merely a confirmation of the bizarre and menacing behavior on display in his nonstop media appearances.
February 11, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
I am now officially terrified. Groupon, a coupon-hawking website out of Chicago with less than two years of history to offer, is heading toward an initial public offering that may value it as high as $15 billion. Facebook, the popular social networking and privacy-wrecking website, is valued at somewhere between $50 billion and $80 billion by private-market reckonings. So it looks like Arianna Huffington sold herself cheap ? she got only $315 million from AOL for her Huffington Post.
February 5, 2011 | Grahame L. Jones, On Soccer
It hasn't taken Boston Red Sox and Liverpool owner John W. Henry long to get the hang of this soccer thing. Not long at all. In fact, if English clubs aren't careful, it won't be long before Henry and his fellow American owners ? Stan Kroenke at Arsenal, Randy Lerner at Aston Villa and Malcolm Glazer at Manchester United ? start calling the shots in the Premier League. Given soccer's sorry state of affairs ? highlighted by the ineptitude of the English Football Assn. and a spend-and-be-damned attitude by certain Premier League clubs already floundering in debt ?
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