CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 2, 2013 |
The remains of what was once one of Los Angeles' most coveted neighborhoods can be seen behind a fence topped with barbed wire. Weeds sprout through cracks along streets lined with majestic palms. Retaining walls and foundations of custom homes peek through the brush. Rusty utility lines that have wiggled their way above ground bake in the sun like scattered bones. Two throttled-up passenger jets simultaneously take off from LAX and soar overhead, the thundering cacophony a reminder of why the community of Surfridge was forced to disappear.
February 28, 2013 |
In "Jacob's Folly," Rebecca Miller has landed on a narrative voice that's antique, droll, racy and occasionally cutting - imagine an 18th century French rake being played by David Niven. But instead of putting an elegant, handsome man behind that voice, Miller has given it to a fly. A common housefly, yes, but more importantly, it's the proverbial fly on the wall. Embodying that metaphor so literally is silly but also brilliant; in a sense this is what writers do, spy on their invented worlds, eavesdrop on their characters.
January 24, 2013 |
When humans gaze up at the night sky, they may view the fuzzy streak of the Milky Way and contemplate their place in the universe. When dung beetles see the Milky Way, their thoughts turn to keeping their food source away from other insects. Scientists have found that these inch-long creatures use the glowing edge of the galaxy to guide them as they roll their balls of dung across the African landscape. The report, published online Thursday by the journal Current Biology, provides the first documentation of animals using the Milky Way for navigation.
December 3, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The “spidernaut” has died. Just days after becoming a star attraction at the National Museum of Natural History's Insect Zoo, the spider that spent 100 days in space was found dead Monday. “The unexpected loss of this special animal who inspired so many imaginations will be felt throughout the museum community,” Kelly Carnes, a museum spokeswoman, said. The spider, named Nefertiti, died of natural causes, according to the museum. The spider visited the International Space Station in a science experiment proposed by an 18-year-old Egyptian student, Amr Mohamed, to examine how spiders would hunt prey in microgravity . Nefertiti, was indeed able to catch her prey - fruit flies.
November 15, 2012 |
Despite the fact that a katydid's ears are located on its hind legs, the rain forest insect's hearing works in a strikingly similar fashion to human hearing, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science. Mammalian hearing is enabled by a three-part system. First, a sound arrives at the eardrum, causing it to vibrate. Then, those vibrations in the air are converted to vibrations in liquid by the middle ear, which is made up of those three bones everyone loved to memorize in middle school biology: the hammer, anvil and stirrup.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 2012 |
State agricultural officials have declared war on the Oriental fruit fly in the Santa Clarita Valley after five flies were trapped there over two days last month. The action is the first for the Santa Clarita area but is one of several in Southern California since the invasive flies turned up in Pasadena in 2010. Slightly larger than a housefly and marked by a black "T" on its yellow abdomen, the fly is typically found in Hawaii and Micronesia. It poses a threat to scores of fruits and vegetables here, including dates, avocados, tomatoes and peppers.