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May 31, 2011 | By Yuriko Nagano and John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
Koichi Yamada is living proof of an old business axiom: From the jaws of even the worst disaster springs opportunity. Yamada works for one of Japan's top-selling makers of radiation measuring systems. Before the deadly March 11 earthquake and tsunami that ravaged northeast Japan and crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the company sold 5,000 dosimeters a year. Since the crisis began, orders have exploded to 1,000 a month. "It's been like 'Boom!' with orders, and we couldn't get parts to keep up," said Yamada, department manager at Hitachi-Aloka Medical Ltd. "We've been working overtime and fielding the surge of phone calls.
May 14, 2011 | Patt Morrison
I could just see the eyebrows rising around the room. I was moderating a panel on philanthropy not long ago, and on my left, Premal Shah, the president of , was talking animatedly about how much fun Kiva donors had, competing with each other, in teams, to see who could do the most good. Fun? This is not your father's philanthropy. Shah"s online matchmaking philanthro-banking site lets people in the donor door for as little as $25. Kiva posts loan appeals from thousands of worldwide "entrepreneurs" on the site -- Shah doesn't call them "the needy" or any other such term.
November 10, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
Sensa is apparently quite the fabulous product – or at least many users say so. One of them is "Millionaire Matchmaker" Patti Stanger, who claims to have lost 20 pounds on Sensa, those calorie-free flavor sprinkles that supposedly help you lose weight. The South Florida Sun Sentinel blog the Skinny reports on her enthusiasm. "A magic fairy dust-like product is going to help me fit into a pair of skinny jeans? I am skeptical, to say the least," the blog says. We are too. Sensa creator Dr. Alan Hirsch talked about how the flavor crystals were supposed to help people lose weight in a Los Angeles Times story "Sensa: Get a whiff of this diet.
February 14, 2010 | Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
What would you pay to meet the love of your life? Twenty dollars a month for an Internet dating site that lets you wade knee-deep into the dating pool and swim with millions of other singles? Or $1,000-plus for a personalized matchmaker who will do the wading, and weeding, for you? Over the last few years, a surprising number of singles have been choosing the latter, despite the declining economy. Turned off by Internet dating sites that offer a vast selection but take a lot of time, they're spending bigger bucks for more service that leaves the date-picking to someone else.
January 26, 2010
SERIES Shatner's Raw Nerve: Whoopi Goldberg sits down with William Shatner (7 p.m. Biography). American Idol: Hopefuls audition in Los Angeles with Avril Lavigne and Katy Perry sitting in as guest judges (8 p.m. Fox). Better Off Ted: After Ted (Jay Harrington) helps his brother (Eddie McClintock) get a sales job with one of Veridian's biggest suppliers of lab equipment, Veridian ends up with more of the stuff than it can possibly use in this new episode (8:30 p.m. ABC)
January 24, 2010
SERIES American Paranormal: In the premiere of this new series, a team of experts uses advanced scientific analysis to verify or debunk evidence of Bigfoot (5 and 8 p.m. National Geographic). A second new episode visits an allegedly haunted prison (6 and 9 p.m.). Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: Ashanti volunteers to help Ty Pennington and his team rebuild the dilapidated Buffalo, N.Y., home of a Jamaican immigrant and community activist (8 p.m. ABC). Planet Earth Extremes: This profile of the planet's most inhospitable locations visits the icy poles and the world's greatest deserts (8 p.m. Discovery)
January 8, 2010 | By Susan King
Judi Dench reprises her Emmy-nominated role as the kind-hearted Miss Matty Jenkyns in "Return to Cranford," which premieres Sunday on PBS' "Masterpiece Classic." But she did double duty on the sequel to 2008's "Cranford" -- the Oscar-winning actress also supplied the squawks of a parrot. Dench recalls the bird wasn't available to dub in some chirps the microphone didn't pick up during the production on the two-part drama. "I said I was in the scene and I knew exactly what he said that day," she says, laughing.
September 28, 2009 | Robert Faturechi
Yom Kippur, the holiest and most somber day of the Jewish calendar, is a time for repentance, traditionally reserved for fasting and intense prayer. But scores of Iranian American Jews in Los Angeles, many of whom congregate in just a handful of synagogues across the city, aren't just looking for forgiveness on the Day of Atonement. They're looking for love. Facing enormous pressure from their families to marry within the community, many of these young people -- and their matchmaking relatives -- say they use the day to scope out potential romantic interests and tap into vast social networks to get the scoop on prospective candidates.
May 8, 2009 | Ju-min Park, Park is an assistant in The Times' Seoul Bureau.
As a North Korean defector on the hunt for a husband in Seoul, Choi Young-hee was unlucky in love. Working days as a food vendor, she went on blind dates with a lot of frogs -- men more wily and Westernized than their conservative northern counterparts, perfectionists who often boorishly asked if she could set them up with her North Korean girlfriends. So in 2005, a deflated Choi began playing professional matchmaker, and soon found she was a better bridesmaid than a bride.
March 31, 2009 | David Colker
As of today, EHarmony comes out of the closet. The adamantly heterosexual dating website, which has accepted only male-female couples since its inception in 2000, is launching a gay matchmaking service called Compatible Partners (
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