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March 5, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
An asteroid about the size of one that leveled more than 800 square miles of forest in Siberia a century ago just buzzed the Earth. The asteroid named 2009 DD45 was about 48,800 miles away when it zipped by Monday, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge reported. That is just twice as high as the orbits of some telecommunications satellites and about a fifth of the distance to the moon. "This was pretty darn close," astronomer Timothy Spahr of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics said.
February 10, 2009
Re "The 'Slumdog' fight," Opinion, Feb. 4 Thank you a thousand times, Chitra Divakaruni, for putting "Slumdog Millionaire" in correct perspective for its Indian critics. Unfortunately, accustomed to low-quality Bollywood movies with their dancing girls and fancy mansions, many such critics are divorced from the reality that about 300 million of their brethren in India live in poverty. When will these better-off Indians ask themselves why such a shameful state exists after 60 years of independence, so it can be corrected?
December 30, 2008
Re "End the supermajority," editorial, Dec. 23 I could not disagree more. The two-thirds supermajority required for passing budgets and tax increases is the only immunity Californians have against excessive and often capricious taxation. Even the proposal of Sen. Mimi Walters (R-Laguna Niguel), which you laud, is unsatisfactory; an annual budget growth of 5% means the doubling of the budget about every 15 years! Instead of increasing budgets, the Legislature should be looking into cutting programs that are no longer necessary, are not effective or benefit only special groups.
December 9, 2008
Re "GM reorganization may be end of road for Saturn," Dec. 4 I am sorry to see that Saturn may vanish, as I own an SC1 that has provided seven years and 145,000 miles of 31-miles-per-gallon fun. When it needs replacement, I will want a similar U.S.-built car. But the Saturn brand has been doomed by too few dealers -- driving many miles for routine service is a real pain. Hopefully one of General Motors' other brands can sell well-built, economical but fun cars in the same vein as the S-series.
November 29, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Astronomers looking at the spectacular supersonic plumes of gas and dust shooting off one of Saturn's moons say there are strong hints of liquid water, a key building block of life. Using images from NASA's Cassini probe, astronomers had already figured that the mysterious plumes shooting from Enceladus' icy terrain contain water vapor. New calculations suggest the gas and dust spew at more than 1,360 mph, said the study's lead author Candice Hansen of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in La Canada Flintridge.
November 22, 2008 | John Johnson Jr., Johnson is a Times staff writer.
In a discovery that partly answers the question of where all the water went on Mars, scientists have found vast, debris-covered glaciers much nearer the equatorial region than anyone had expected, according to a report Friday in the journal Science. The glaciers, estimated to contain at least as much water as Lake Huron and possibly as much as the entire Great Lakes, were found by ground-penetrating radar on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. "We have found a big chunk of the missing water that people have known must be there," said Ali Safaeinili, a member of the radar team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge.
November 1, 2008 | Hector Becerra
Thanks to an 11-day heat streak, October 2008 has become the toastiest month in city history. Climatologists had expected things to cool down during the last few days of the month. However, because of the heat-trapping effects of urban development and global warming, L.A. has been getting warmer in the last century. "The California climate system . . . is on steroids," said William Patzert, a climatologist for Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge. Downtown L.A. had to hit a high of about 73 degrees Friday for the record to be broken.
September 12, 2008
Re "Debate goes from pork to pigs," Sept. 10 I entered the business world in 1969, and I know all there is to know about sexism. Sexism is asking for a raise and being told, "You're making good money for a woman." Sexism is quitting a job and finding out that a man was hired to replace you at twice the salary. Sexism is being asked if you will be able to handle an executive job if you have children. The expression "You can put lipstick on a pig and it will still be a pig" is an old cliche, one that my grandmother used.
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