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July 4, 2012 | By Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times
Open on: an aerial shot of a dollhouse-sized sports stadium. Cut to: toy trains and buses speed toward the soccer game. Close on: an itsy-bitsy marching band and teeny cheering fans fill the stadium in fast-motion, time-lapse photography. The mini-city featured in this animated sequence seems like an especially intricate and sophisticated architectural model. Or is it? That scene - from a 2011 ESPN commercial - was actually done with a photographic technique called tilt shift.
June 28, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
A cause of death has been determined for an 11-year-old upstate New York girl who died Wednesday while playing miniature golf in Orlando, Fla.; she was electrocuted, officials have determined. The child, identified as Ashton Jojo of Latham, N.Y., apparently had reached into a small pond at the Orange Lake Resort to retrieve her golf ball, Florida officials told the Orlando Sentinel. The Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner announced the cause of death on  Thursday. Orange County code enforcement officers inspected the pond and found possible violations, the newspaper said.
May 6, 2012 | By Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times
The concrete Indian on the forklift struck a precarious pose as he moved through a crowd of rummagers scouting the remains of Bud Hurlbut's workshop in Buena Park . From behind the wheel, Lonnie Lloyd waved everyone aside as he guided the 6-foot, 6-inch statue into a U-Haul van. Its new owners shimmied it against a wall. Toys, props, tools and memorabilia at Hurlbut Amusement Co. moved fast during the recent three-day sale, and Lloyd tried not to be sentimental.
February 17, 2012 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Wonder" is the watchword in "The Secret World of Arrietty. " Set in an enchanting locale where the potential for magic is everywhere, this impeccable animated film puts its complete trust in the spirit of make-believe. Beautiful, gentle and pure — but not without elements of genuine menace — it will make believers out of adults and children alike. Based on Mary Norton's celebrated 1952 novel "The Borrowers," "The Secret World of Arrietty" has been on the mind of Japan's Hayao Miyazaki, the great animator of the modern age, for more than 40 years.
January 27, 2012 | Bill Dwyre
Reporting from La Jolla -- It is taking some real searching to find the silver lining in Phil Mickelson's currently cloudy golf game these days. He recovered a bit Friday from the face-plant 77 he shot here Thursday in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open. But his four-under-par 68 wasn't nearly good enough to make the cut. Three shots shy, as a matter of fact. Mickelson's own characterizations summed it up best. He called his 77 "pathetic," his 68 merely "disappointing.
November 30, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
The Air Force is extending the mission of an experimental robotic space plane that's been circling the Earth for nine months. The pilotless X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, which looks like a miniature version of the space shuttle, was launched in March from Cape Canaveral, Fla. At the time, Air Force officials offered few details about the mission, saying that the space plane simply provided a way to test new technologies in space, such as satellite sensors...
August 7, 2011 | By Esmeralda Bermudez, Los Angeles Times
Martin Luther King Jr., she admits, looked a little funny at first. His head was too big, his cheekbones were too low, his eyes were kind of lopsided. And his lower lip? "Let's not even go there," Karen Collins, 60, said with a laugh. Photos: Karen Collins' shadow boxes On her third try, she finally got him just right. Her pint-size creations fill nearly every inch of her living room in Compton. On her carpet slaves in chains await their transatlantic voyage.
July 22, 2011
About 30 to 45 minutes outside Amsterdam, in The Hague, is an often overlooked tourist site. Madurodam is a model city, built to scale, about the size of a city block. It has various moving attractions, a running railroad and a raised bridge, as well as an active airport, also built to scale. It is well worth a stop and something children will definitely enjoy. Madurodam, 1 George Maduroplein, The Hague; Ellen Blom Via email
July 18, 2011
The landmark Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 stated very clearly that people with disabilities had a right to take their service animals along with them wherever they went. But in retrospect, the law wasn't as clear as it might have been on one little point: What exactly is a service animal? The law termed it "any animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability" — but here was the rub: That seemed to imply that an elephant, just for instance, could make an excellent service animal.
February 17, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
A pocket-size drone dubbed the Nano Hummingbird for the way it flaps its tiny robotic wings has been developed for the Pentagon by a Monrovia company as a mini-spy plane capable of maneuvering on the battlefield and in urban areas. The battery-powered drone was built by AeroVironment Inc. for the Pentagon's research arm as part of a series of experiments in nanotechnology. The little flying machine is built to look like a bird for potential use in spy missions. The results of a five-year effort to develop the drone are being announced Thursday by the company and the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
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