April 27, 2007 |
Susan Diamond and her older brother Jared have been part of the intellectual and cultural scene in Los Angeles for decades. He's the much-admired geography professor at UCLA and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Guns, Germs and Steel." She's the veteran journalist who's better known as the former Los Angeles Times consumer reporter S.J. Diamond. Now Susan Diamond has written a crime novel, "What Goes Around," just published by William Morrow.
May 1, 2005 |
On Nov. 1, 2001, Jane Pisano made an auspicious phone call. It was her first day at the helm of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and she had a lot on her mind. There were funds to be raised, buildings to be renovated, a mission to be updated and public programs to be developed at the aging institution in Exposition Park.
January 2, 2005 |
Gloomy books about our environmental problems are pouring off the presses. They have immediate pertinence to our lives, but few people seem to be reading them except the already anxious. Scholarly monographs about various facets of the human experience from Homo erectus to Donald Trump are likewise piling up without generating much concerned interest.
December 17, 2004 |
Imagine that the whole world wears bifocals. Heavy black-rimmed things that conspire with gravity to slide down our collective nose. Or maybe sleek, light designer frames that just ooze West L.A. chic. The style doesn't matter -- it's the lenses that count, and most of us, truth be told, only use the little half-moons to see what's in front of us. Jared Diamond uses the rest of the lenses, and he sees things that most of us miss.
September 12, 1999 |
Jared Diamond wants to be famous. The slight, frizzy-haired UCLA Medical School physiology professor wants to reach beyond his admiring audience of science buffs and feel the heady jolt that comes from recognition by mainstream America. In Southern California, in particular, this quest places him in a thundering herd of attention-seekers willing to do anything for their one big shot at stardom. Diamond's approach, however, is more old-fashioned--more naive, some might say.
September 7, 1997 |
An evolutionary biologist might explain the suburban passion for sport utility vehicles as a mating ploy meant to signal the owner's reproductive fitness. The oversized automobiles are commodious enough for any number of offspring and, like the peacock's tail, show that the owner can divert any amount of energy to ornamental display. So too, an anthropologist might trace the human tribe's obsession with the sex life of celebrities to the primordial biology of the human species.