December 26, 2012 |
It's the day after Christmas and all through the house, so much wrapping paper is spilling and suffocating my spouse. Here in Los Angeles, as in much of the rest of the United States, we recycle. Today our blue bins overflow with the paper and cardboard memory of our Christmas of abundance and good cheer. Across our city, and in many other distant cities, the bins of many book buyers overflow with the ubiquitous boxes and plastic cushions with which Amazon.com ships its products.
November 29, 2012 |
Ever wonder what made Suzanne Collins come up with the idea for "The Hunger Games"? It's a pretty terrifying story: Teenagers are set loose in the woods and forced to fight to the death. Hmm, maybe that year Collins' dad spent in Vietnam has something to do with it. Her next book may shed some light -- although it will be an unusual light. "Year of the Jungle" is an autobiographical book about the year Collins was in first grade and her father was a soldier in Vietnam. But it's a picture book.
November 28, 2012 |
Even at 100, Tarzan, the Lord of the Jungle, is still the ultimate swinger. Since Edgar Rice Burroughs' first tale, "Tarzan of the Apes," appeared in the popular All-Story magazine a century ago, the world's infatuation has never abated for the athletic, buff and educated man who lives in the jungles of Africa. Now Tarzan is the subject of a lavish coffee-table book, "Tarzan The Centennial Celebration," by Scott Tracy Griffin. The well-researched look at Burroughs and his creation features a forward by Ron Ely, who played Tarzan in the 1966-68 NBC series.
September 13, 2012 |
For only the second time in the last 28 years, scientists have discovered a new species of monkey, according to a new report in this week's edition of the scientific journal PLoS ONE. The monkey species, called lesula by locals, lives deep in the remote Lomami forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The monkey's habitat is one of few remaining unexplored biological frontiers in the area. Though researchers were previously unfamiliar with the species -- which has an extremely human-like face surrounded by golden hair -- the daughter of a local school director in the area had taken one as a pet. That led to a first chance encounter between the scientists and the monkey in 2007 when a field team saw it tied to a post in the village where she lived.
August 21, 2012 |
Despite the name, Malabar spinach has little in common with Popeye's favorite green. Unlike true spinach, Malabar spinach is a summer salad; this jungle vine gains strength as the temperature rises. It's strong to the finish. Malabar spinach ( Basella alba ) starts a little slowly but can easily reach 10 feet. If given a trellis and judicious pruning, it can become a decorative hedge. Best of all: You can cook your trimmings. “We eat from it all the time,” said Stan Zurn, who lives in the historic Angelino Heights neighborhood of L.A. The vines on the sidewalk median in front of his house are exploding over a trellis, wrapping enthusiastically around a telephone pole.
July 15, 2012 |
Every paycheck, tens of millions of Americans diligently save a chunk of their income via 401(k) retirement investment plans. Yet for many people, much about their 401(k) is a giant mystery. How can you judge whether your plan is a good one — or a dud? And how do you know whether you're investing correctly? With a record $4.8 trillion now in 401(k)s and similar plans, such as 403(b) plans for public employees, the stakes have never been higher. Recognizing this, new federal rules took effect July 1 that will force employers to reveal more about the often-hidden fees of the programs.
May 22, 2012 |
BOGOTA, Colombia -- A little wild pig named Josefo, abandoned by his mother, helped keep Sgt. Jose Libardo Forero sane. For nearly 13 years, Forero was one of the "forgotten" hostages held by the leftist rebels known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. During that unending stretch of his life, spent chained to other prisoners round the clock or confined in barbed-wire pens, he found mental escape in bonding with jungle animals. The career police sergeant tells of the tiny bit of happiness he found befriending monkeys, parrots and, finally, Josefo, whom he initially kept alive by feeding him milk with a syringe (and who later got hooked on coffee)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2012 |
A fugitive in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum corruption case said he was in "the jungles of Brazil" and will not return to face trial in an alleged kickback scheme because he shouldn't have been charged. "Let 'em come over here and get me," Tony Estrada, a former Coliseum janitorial contractor who portrays himself as a whistle-blower done wrong, told The Times in a telephone interview. Estrada, who has been charged with embezzlement and conspiracy, said Monday he came forward more than a year ago with canceled checks and other evidence that showed he was making secret payments to the stadium's then-general manager, Patrick Lynch.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2012 |
Twenty-two guests on the Carnival Splendor cruise ship out of Long Beach were robbed at gunpoint in Mexico last week as they traveled by bus from a nature hike in the jungle to the Mexican port city of Puerto Vallarta, according to cruise ship officials and local media reports. Hooded gunmen intercepted the tourists' bus about 5 p.m. Thursday as it returned from the pueblo of El Nogalito, known for its trail through the jungle, according to the Mexican newspapers El Norte and La Jornada.
October 9, 2011 |
The Barbarian Nurseries A Novel Héctor Tobar Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 422 pp., $27 "The Barbarian Nurseries" is a book of extraordinary scope and extraordinary power. Héctor Tobar's second novel sweeps its central character from almost-serfdom and sends her on an odyssey through the teeming mysteries of Los Angeles and the wild jungles of the California judicial system. The publishers compare it to Tom Wolfe's "The Bonfire of the Vanities. " That's right only up to a point, for Tobar's concern isn't satire but the possibilities of social inclusion and redemption.