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February 13, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
SOCHI, Russia - On a warm slope above the Black Sea, America's colors blazed with new definition. Red, white and blue became Joss, Gus and Nick. In the perfect sweep for an evolving Winter Olympics and the ever-changing American athletes who twist through them, Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper finished first, second and third, respectively, in the inaugural men's slopestyle skiing competition Thursday. Christensen skied with a photo of his late father tucked into his suit.
February 12, 2014 | By Susan King
Two years ago, I had the pleasure of joining a group of funny men who meet for lunch and lively conversation every other Wednesday at Factor's Famous Deli on Pico Boulevard. A documentary about their meeting, aptly titled "Lunch," was making the rounds of festivals, and I was invited sit in with the veterans and soak in the experience. Sid Caesar, who died Wednesday at age 91, had the place of honor at the head of a table that also included Monty Hall of "Let's Make a Deal" fame, Gary Owens from "Laugh-In" and the Oscar-nominated director of "Love Story," Arthur Hiller.
February 11, 2014 | By David Wharton
SOCHI, Russia -- American ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson was clearly favoring her surgically repaired right knee in Tuesday night's normal hill final at the Sochi Olympics. But that wasn't the only thing bothering the reigning world champion as she limped to a 21st-place finish. "The pressure, everything, it kind of overtakes your mind," she said. "I didn't have a very good first jump and my coach was like, 'What were you thinking?' And I have no idea. " Hendrickson can leave Russia with at least one distinct memory.
February 4, 2014 | By Geoffrey Mohan, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Memory can be altered by new experience, and isn't nearly as accurate as courtroom testimony might have us believe, a new study suggests. The results suggest a cheeky answer to the question posed by comedian Richard Pryor: "Who you gonna believe: me, or your lyin' eyes?" Turns out, Pryor was onto something. The brain behind our eyes can distort reality or verify it, based on subsequent experience. And somewhat paradoxically, the same area of the brain appears to be strongly involved in both activities, according to a study published online Tuesday in the Journal of Neuroscience.
February 2, 2014 | By Nita Lelyveld
Painful memories have the power to surface fresh and raw, even after many years. A great-grandmother once again can become a terrified little girl. A grandfather surrounded by friends and family can feel all alone in a vicious world. So it was at the Los Angeles Jewish Home in Reseda the other afternoon, when the drama club put on a play. The audience was made up almost entirely of octogenarians and nonagenarians. The cast ranged in age from 85 to 92. The performance understandably didn't rely on action.
January 30, 2014 | By Glenn Whipp
Driving to Silver Lake the other day to visit his father, Leonardo DiCaprio passed through the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue, the neighborhood where he spent the first nine years of his life. Back then, DiCaprio says, he'd be in the car, riding to and from school, and see micro-skirted prostitutes on every corner. In the alleyway near his home, he'd occasionally notice people smoking crack and shooting heroin. "I try to tell my godson, who lives close to that area, what it was like, how there used to be a major prostitution ring on my street corner, crime and violence everywhere.
January 29, 2014 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
If you know that a small seahorse-shaped structure deep in the brain -- the hippocampus -- is crucial to committing new facts and skills to memory, you have not only your hippocampus to thank; you also owe a debt of gratitude to Henry Gustav Molaison, known to brain scientists worldwide as the amnesic patient "H.M. " A new study shows that in death as in life, the man who lived 55 years virtually unable to form new memories deepened our understanding of what it takes to make them.
January 27, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
WASHINGTON -- At an entrance to the Mall in Columbia, Md., a black banner read, "Forever in our hearts," and flowers were quickly accumulating when the shopping center reopened Monday afternoon, two days after a shooting left three people dead, including the gunman. Amid heavy security, mall officials said they were eager to get operations back to normal.  Saturday morning, Darion Marcus Aguilar, 19, opened fire at a skate shop, killing two employees and then himself, sending hundreds of panicked shoppers and workers running for cover.
January 27, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Paul Blair , one of the best defensive center fielders in major-league history and a 1961 graudate of Manual Arts High, will be honored during a memorial service on Saturday at noon in the school auditorium. Blair died on Dec. 26. He was 69. He helped the Baltimore Orioles win World Series in 1966 and 1970. He received the Gold Glove eight times for his defensive prowess. He played basketball, basketball and ran track during his days at Manual Arts.  
January 25, 2014 | By Amro Hassan
CAIRO -- Before Jan. 25, 2011, I rarely spent time in Tahrir Square. For me, like millions of other Cairenes, it was no more than a busy downtown traffic hub you'd pass through on the way to somewhere else. So it still seems surreal to recall the first protest against longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak three years ago - and the cascade of events that have taken place in the square since I was there that day reporting for the Los Angeles Times. Police easily dispersed that initial gathering of a few hundred protesters on Jan. 25, and I remember wandering around an almost empty square late that afternoon, trying to find an open eatery.
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