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April 3, 2014 | Martin Tsai
Imax 3-D documentary "Island of Lemurs: Madagascar" shines a spotlight on one of the earliest primates that coexisted with dinosaurs more than 60 million years ago. Although extinct in their native Africa, hundreds of lemur species have adopted Madagascar as home. But these wandering spirits are hardly thriving, as 90% of the forest has been torched since humans set foot on the island some two millennia ago. The film highlights the few species taking refuge in the Ranomafana National Park and the preservation efforts shepherded by Patricia C. Wright, anthropology professor at Stony Brook University in New York.
April 3, 2014 | Susan King
Who knew lemurs were zen masters? The primates, whose ancestors came to Madagascar some 60 million years ago, love to play. They also enjoy a good siesta on a handy branch, and when they are happy, they emit a cute little noise akin to a piglet's snort. They also take press junkets in stride. Last week at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, Felix, a 10-year-old ring-tailed lemur, and Taj, a 7-year-old brown lemur, were chilling with their handlers, demonstrating a "don't worry, be happy" attitude as cameras flashed all around.
April 2, 2014 | By Richard Verrier and John Horn
When filmmaker Darren Aronofsky started scouting locations for his biblical flood epic, "Noah," he had two potentially competing needs. The landscapes on which he would shoot exteriors needed at first to look like an uninhabitable wasteland, and, after the deluge, a new garden of Eden, where Noah, his family and his ark of animals could begin to repopulate the earth. The writer-director's production team considered Death Valley, deserts in Mexico and the Canary Islands. But when they visited Iceland, "Noah" found its port of call.
April 1, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
For high school seniors, this is the season when hope meets reality when it comes to college admission - except for a Long Island teenager who has won the equivalent of the academic jackpot. Kwasi Enin, 17, of Shirley, N.Y., has been accepted by all eight Ivy League schools: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. He now gets to choose among a cornucopia of educational riches.   "The yeses kept coming," Enin, who wants to be a physician, told Newsday, the Long Island newspaper.
April 1, 2014 | By Jay Jones
The hula is sometimes performed by dancers in grass skirts, but the connection between the dance and the land goes well beyond that, as visitors can discover next month when a hula master and a botanist team up for a field trip on the Big Island of Hawaii. Much of that day, April 11, will be spent at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park . At the Kilauea Overlook, hula master Ab Kawainohoikalai Valencia will lead a walk among the native grasses and flowering plants essential to hula.
April 1, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
In what is being hailed as an environmental victory for the U.S. Navy, the island night lizard has been taken off the list of federally endangered species. An estimated 21.3 million night lizards occupy 21-mile-long San Clemente Island, one of the highest densities of any lizard on earth, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week. The population number is especially significant because the 57-square-mile volcanic isle, about 75 miles northwest of San Diego, hosts the only ship-to-shore bombardment training range in the United States.
March 28, 2014 | By a Times staff writer
Air New Zealand makes it easier to get to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific with a round-trip LAX-Rarotonga fare of $850, including all taxes and fees. It is subject to availability. The Cook Islands, a self-governing territory associated with New Zealand, are in the South Pacific. The territory is made up of only 15 islands, but they stretch out in an area of 770,000 square miles. You must stay in the islands at least six days but not longer than 20. Nonstop flights are available for Sunday departures and Saturday returns.
March 28, 2014 | By Anne Harnagel
TourCrafters is offering reasonably priced excursions to Greece that combine a stay in Athens with an Aegean cruise that allows you to sample some of the country's popular islands. The "Iconic Aegean" package includes two nights in Athens, with time to take in the Acropolis as well as an evening of dancing and bouzouki music. The four-day cruise makes stops at Mykonos, Patmos and the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Rhodes and the village of Lindos and the medieval Old Town, Crete and Santorini.
March 23, 2014 | Louis Sahagun
Trying to restore its luster as a tourist destination, this cozy harbor town is undergoing its most ambitious overhaul since chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. built the town's signature feature in 1929: Avalon Casino. More than half a dozen projects are underway or planned in the 2-square-mile community, including a museum, hotel, spa, aquatic facility, chapel and wine-tasting room. Renovations are planned for the island's golf course, and the oceanfront beach club is expanding.
March 22, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - A 40-year-old woman who became unresponsive Saturday morning while diving off San Clemente Island was airlifted by Coast Guard helicopter to San Diego for emergency care. The woman regained consciousness after being helped to the surface by other divers, but the group decided to call for help from the Coast Guard, officials said. Within minutes, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter was hovering overhead and the crew hoist the woman aboard. She was flown to San Diego, where emergency medical personnel were waiting, the Coast Guard said.
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