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June 6, 2013 | By Robert Abele
The new thriller "The Purge" imagines a compromised but revitalized American future in which a yearly night of government-sanctioned law-breaking - murder even - gives a brutal-minded national soul therapeutic catharsis. Or, more accurately, it conveniently rids the populace of undesirables who can't defend themselves as well as the moneyed classes. But that's an awfully big concept for the dreary exploitation slog that writer-director James DeMonaco serves up, a routine home invasion movie more interested in B-horror tropes and bloodletting than a thought-provoking look at "Hunger Games"-ish class warfare.
May 25, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
Live video by Animal Planet L!ve Here on the West Coast, we are going to miss the once-every-17-year cicada invasion, but thanks to the Science Channel and its Cicada Cam, we can at least get a glimpse of the bugs about to overwhelm our friends back East. The streaming live video of the insects with beady red eyes may be more gimmicky than scientific -- it's a plug for the Science Channel's cicada programming on Memorial Day weekend -- but it does provide a good look at the fascinating insects that are about to emerge on the East Coast by the billions.
May 20, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
They've been waiting underground for 17 years, and now cicadas are emerging en masse to take over the eastern half of the United States. Right now, billions of the Brood II cicadas are emerging from the ground and are making big noise all up and down the East Coast. While some people are dreading the coming onslaught of creepy-looking red-eyed bugs, and others are polishing up their storehouse of cicada recipes , Science Channel is planning to dedicate much of its Memorial Day weekend programming to the little fellas.
May 19, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan, Los Angeles Times
African clawed frogs were first brought to California decades ago to help doctors figure out whether their patients were pregnant. After new technology made those pregnancy tests obsolete, the creatures were let loose, and thrived for decades in the state's drainage ditches and ponds. Now there are signs that the proliferation of African clawed frogs may be putting native species in peril. A study published last week in the journal PLOS ONE reveals that they carry a deadly fungus responsible for wiping out vast numbers of amphibians around the world.
May 17, 2013 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- A Hofstra University student being held hostage during a home invasion was shot dead and her captor was also killed as police arrived at the scene of the break-in early Friday, just two days before commencement ceremonies at the college on Long Island. Police in Nassau County were investigating who fired the shots that killed the 21-year-old captive, who was a junior at the university, and her captor.  The horror began unfolding at about 2:20 a.m., according to Inspector Kenneth Lack of the Nassau County Police Department.
May 17, 2013 | By Deborah Vankin
Residents of a Tribeca apartment building are fuming over a new exhibition of photographs in which they star -- and which were taken without their knowledge. Some of the residents are considering legal action, the New York Post reported. The apartment building is luxurious, a tower of glass and steel. The photographs, aimed at its windows from afar, are mysteriously muted and voyeuristic. The subjects of the photos? Outraged. PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures by The Times L.A. native Arne Svenson's “The Neighbors,” which opened at the Julie Saul Gallery in Chelsea on Saturday and had showed at L.A.'s Western Project earlier this year, feels a little more like Hitchcock's 1954 “Rear Window” than contemporary photography.
May 8, 2013 | By Mike Bresnahan
Pau Gasol will undergo a minimally invasive procedure Thursday to try to combat tendinitis in his knees. Gasol sat out eight Lakers games this season because of tendon soreness in both knees. The procedure is called Fasciotomy and Surgical Tenotomy (FAST) and is an effort to eliminate scar tissue by inserting into each knee a probe that emits ultrasonic energy. Healthy tendon tissue is not disturbed in the procedure. A timetable will be released Thursday for Gasol, who has one more season and $19.3 million remaining on his contract.
May 7, 2013 | By Monte Morin
As the East Coast of the United States braces for the deafening invasion of the 17-year cicada, a motley collection of predators -- including some humans -- are licking their chops in anticipation of an immense insect feast. Billions of cicada nymphs will soon spring from their hiding place below ground and eventually fly to the treetops for a courting, mating and egg-laying ritual of biblical proportions. The massive emergence, which University of Maryland entomology professor Michael Raupp likened to a " huge tsunami ," will roll from North Carolina to New York.
May 6, 2013 | By Chelsea Kahn
In recent years, the Indo-Pacific lionfish - a dramatically striped, finned and armored aquarium fish - has invaded Atlantic and Caribbean coral reefs. It has been spotted off the Southeastern United States, throughout the Caribbean Sea, in the Gulf of Mexico, and it's now eating its way toward South America. What's to blame for this invasion? Most likely aquarium releases beginning in the early 1980s. And once introduced, lionfish took off. The fish has no known predator in the Atlantic.
May 5, 2013 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
When giant container ships sail into major ports like Los Angeles and Long Beach, it's not just clothing and cars that they deliver. They also carry critters. The specimens - microscopic algae cells or larger castaways, such as eggs of fish or crustaceans - float about in the thousands of tons of water the boats use as ballast. When the ships dump their ballast at port, the species can establish a foothold in foreign lands, often with detrimental consequences to native wildlife. But soon ports may be able to mitigate some of that harm by predicting where invasive species are likely to arrive.
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