August 19, 2012 |
Torii Hunter remembers the scene in the Metrodome clubhouse on Oct. 5, 2002, when the Minnesota Twins watched on television as shortstop David Eckstein caught Nick Johnson's popup to close the Angels' 9-5 American League division series-clinching victory over the New York Yankees. "We were all jumping up and down because we thought, 'Yeah, we're going to get the Angels!" said Hunter, the former Twins center fielder who is now in his fifth year with the Angels. "The Yankees owned us in the playoffs, and we had done pretty well against the Angels that year.
August 11, 2012 |
The second of NBC's new comedies centered on Someone We All Wish Would Find a Successful Network Comedy is airing Sunday night. The first was "Go On," featuring Matthew Perry; this weekend it's "Animal Practice," starring Justin Kirk. A critic's darling, and rightly so, ever since he blew our collective minds as Prior Walter in Mike Nichols' TV adaptation of "Angels in America," Kirk has spent the better part of the last seven years shoulder to shoulder with Mary Louise Parker as Showtime's groundbreaking and often quite amazing"Weeds" sprouted, bloomed and then wilted a bit before returning to the dust from whence it sprung.
August 11, 2012 |
What's the most influential sci-fi or speculative-fiction movie of the last half-century? Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey"? Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner"? James Cameron's"The Terminator"? A compelling case could be made for any of those landmark films. But a strong argument also could be mustered for an unforgettable 29-minute black-and-white French movie that consists almost entirely of still photographs shot with a Pentax camera. Although today it's shown mostly in college film courses and museum screenings, its influence flickers like a ghost in any number of better-known Hollywood movies, including "The Terminator," Terry Gilliam's "12 Monkeys," the "Matrix" trilogy and"Total Recall" (the original 1990 version, that is, not this summer's utterly unnecessary remake)
July 27, 2012 |
For the first time, scientists have changed a monkey's behavior with a simple flash of blue light. Well, that and a fancy cellular technique called “optogenetics.” The new research clears an important hurdle on the path toward using the light-based approach to treat human neurological and psychiatric diseases, such as Parkinson's disease and depression. Optogenetics takes advantage of a class of proteins called channelrhodopsins. The proteins naturally reside in the outer walls of some algae, and have a peculiar property: They are activated by light.
June 6, 2012 |
Mark Ravenhill, the English playwright best known for his play with the unprintable title (let's just call it "Shopping and Copulating"), isn't one for bromides and gooey sentiments. In "pool (no water)," now receiving its L.A. premiere at the Complex's Flight Theatre in a highly visceral Monkey Wrench Collective production, he exposes the darker side of the artistic underground. Suffice it to say, this isn't about the nobility of the creative calling. The premise of this work, first performed in 2006, is attention-grabbing: A visual artist (serenely played by Jessica Lamprinos)
June 6, 2012 |
Ah, the "MasterChef" leg pull. That's the fake-out kitchen maneuver perfected by judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich. It was meticulously served up when Joel, wearing his U.S. Army camouflage, came before the judges with his hearty, homey Jamaican chicken and rice and peas. His cordial demeanor crumbled when Ramsay pressed him on his ultimate goals. A restaurant. Named after his son. Who drowned five years ago when Joel was in military school. Trembling, holding back tears, Joel went on to give the judges, and America, a tiny glimpse of a soldier's life.
April 12, 2012 |
Baboons don't read, don't speak and perhaps can't understand language at all. But scientists have found that they can learn to recognize writing on a computer screen, identifying correctly most of the time which combinations of letters are words ("done," "vast") and which are not ("telk," "virt"). The discovery may help explain how reading evolved in humans, researchers said, bolstering a theory that the skill first arose from animals' ability to distinguish objects, rather than from the uniquely human demands of verbal communication.
April 10, 2012
Among its more dubious claims to fame, Tennessee was the site of the 1925 "Monkey Trial," in which John Scopes was convicted of violating a state law against teaching that "man has descended from a lower order of animals. " Eighty-seven years later, the Tennessee Legislature is itching for an encore. It has sent to Gov. Bill Haslam a bill governing the teaching of "scientific subjects that may cause debate and disputation," including evolution and global warming. The legislation says teachers cannot be prohibited from "helping students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories.
April 4, 2012 |
Tony Millionaire spends his nights in the garage. That's where you'll find him, in a space built just wide enough for a Model T, bent over his drawing table until 4 a.m., a beer never far from his fingertips. The wife and kids can hear him in there, listening to talk radio or laughing and shouting, with the occasional crash when things are not going well. He is happy this way, a cartoonist left to his own whims and solitude at his 1926 home in Pasadena, drawing his weekly "Maakies" comic strip about a hard-drinking, suicidal crow or his ongoing series of portraits of the famous and infamous for publications such as the Believer and New York Magazine.
January 15, 2012 |
Now that Michele Bachmann has dropped out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination, we are left with an array of the usual suspects in American politics — namely a bunch of men who seem to spend much of their lives bragging about how tough they are. We have Rick Perry waxing macho about the number of executions he's overseen in Texas and Rick Santorum threatening to bomb Iran. There's Newt Gingrich proclaiming that the race is going to boil down to being between "Newt and not-Newt.