December 4, 2013 |
Scientists have come upon two magic words capable of making consumers believe a plain old cup of coffee tastes better and should be more expensive: "eco-friendly. " In a series of experiments, researchers asked people to sample two identical cups of coffee brewed from the same batch of arabica beans using a "standard model coffee machine," according to a report published Wednesday by the journal PLOS ONE. The researchers told the study volunteers that one of the cups was made with "eco-friendly" coffee beans and the other was not. Over and over, people who said they cared about the environment gave the "eco-friendly" coffee higher marks.
November 25, 2013 |
With its show-business staging of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" as a cheekily animated silent movie, Los Angeles Opera on Saturday night got what it very much needs. That this will be a hit goes without saying. But what this once pioneering company really needs right now is a reason to be talked about again. So let's talk about Barrie Kosky, one of the hot directors on the international scene and, like most hot directors on the international scene, ignored in America. Not too many American opera companies dare hire directors who put buckets of excrement onstage, as Kosky did in a recent German production of Janácek's "From the House of the Dead.
November 21, 2013 |
Walt Disney Pictures has its animation mojo back. Finally. With a cool, contemporary spin on a fairy-tale classic, a dramatic Nordic landscape animated in splendid storybook style and Broadway vets belting out power ballads, "Frozen" is an icy blast of fun from the very first flake. A certain scene-stealing snowman named Olaf chief among them. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee create a magical 3-D winter wonderland in "Frozen. " A sisterhood saga loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," it is filled with heart and heart-stopping action.
November 20, 2013 |
MINNEAPOLIS - It was the way Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul made NBA history Wednesday that was so impressive. It was the way Paul shredded Minnesota's defense in passing Hall of Fame member Magic Johnson's record that was so awe-inspiring. Paul shook free of his early shooting struggles and delivered the game's most important moments in carrying the Clippers to a 102-98 victory over the Timberwolves at the Target Center. BOX SCORE: Clippers 102, Minnesota 98 He had 16 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 20, and by adding 11 assists for his 12th consecutive double-double, Paul is alone in the history books.
November 20, 2013 |
If Chris Paul produces a double-double Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Clippers' all-star guard will stand alone in NBA history. Paul currently is tied with Lakers legend and Hall of Famer Magic Johnson for the most double-doubles of 10-plus points and 10-plus assists to start the season, having done so in 11 consecutive games. Paul is averaging 19.5 points and 12.6 assists. He leads the NBA in assists and is second in the league in steals, averaging 2.64 per game.
November 19, 2013 |
From its earliest days, cinema has borrowed heavily from the world of magic. Illusion, after all, is part of the moviegoing experience - the phrase "the magic of movies" is both literally and figuratively true. This week the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will explore cinematic feats of prestidigitation. "Like Magic" will investigate movies' roots in historical stage magic and sleight of hand from the early fanciful "trick" films of pioneers such Georges Méliès to computer-generated visual effects.
November 18, 2013 |
A huge reveal in the "Think Lovely Thoughts" episode of "Once Upon a Time" hearkens back to the fun of discovering characters that this show presented in Season 1, though a bit in reverse. We find that a fairy tale character has a true-life identity instead of the other way around. We'll leave that for later. We start, and end, with Skull Island, where Peter Pan has taken Henry. Pan is still manipulating Henry, and using Wendy to do it. "Tonight, Henry saves magic!" says Pan to the assembled Lost Boys.
November 17, 2013 |
CLIPPERS TONIGHT vs. Memphis When: 7:30. Where: Staples Center. On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 980, 1330. Records: Clippers 7-3, Grizzlies 4-5 (before Sunday night's game at Sacramento). Record vs. Grizzlies (2012-13): 3-1. Update: Chris Paul got his 10th consecutive double-double in points and assists Saturday night against Brooklyn. He can tie Lakers legend Magic Johnson (1990-91), who was the last NBA player to have a double-double in those categories in a season's first 11 games.
November 16, 2013 |
In a bare rehearsal space downtown at the Music Center, a dozen or so people work through a scene in the dark. The only light comes from projected black-and-white animation flickering on the back wall of the stage - a nude fairy fluttering her wings atop a tree, a black cat leaping over a glowing full moon. Rodell Rosel, who plays the lovesick Monostatos in this Los Angeles Opera production of "The Magic Flute," gestures wildly from a vine-covered balcony; he is crooning his affection for Pamina (Janai Brugger)
November 13, 2013 |
When the Komische Oper Berlin debuted its edgy and nontraditional reimagining of Mozart's “The Magic Flute,” combining live singing and hand-drawn animation, the 2012 run of 13 performances sold out in two days. The U.S. premiere of the production, Nov. 23 at Los Angeles Opera, similarly is seeing strong ticket sales. So the company has added an additional performance, Dec. 13 at 8:30 p.m., bringing the total number of performances to 7. “We knew 'The Magic Flute' would be popular with our audiences, but ticket sales have vastly exceeded our expectations," L.A. Opera's General Director Plácido Domingo said in a statement.