October 2, 2013 |
Can the sexual behavior of insects predict inclement weather? According to a study published recently in the journal PLOS One, nothing quite ruins the mood of amorous bugs like the hint of foul weather. Or, to be more precise, the steady drop in barometric pressure that accompanies an approaching storm. Though many insects have evolved ways of coping with, or even taking advantage of, moderate rainfall and wind, a pummeling rainstorm can spell doom for the fragile creatures.
September 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- It's become a familiar chapter in this sluggish economic recovery: Dysfunction in Washington drags down consumer confidence. After rising to a six-year high this summer, the University of Michigan reported Friday that its gauge of consumer sentiment fell sharply in September to 77.5 from 82.1 in the prior month. That's the lowest reading since April. "While few consumers expected a federal shutdown, complaints about the economic policies of the government have risen," said Richard Curtin, director of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey.
September 23, 2013 |
The Pittsburgh Steelers are in foreign territory, and not just because they're playing in London on Sunday. The Steelers are among the NFL's six winless teams, 0-3 for the first time since 2000, and desperately seeking answers. Never in the modern era of the league has Pittsburgh lost its first four games. "It's a situation we're not familiar with," defensive end Brett Keisel said after Sunday night's 40-23 loss to Chicago. "If we have the type of character we think we do, we can overcome this and find a way to fight back.
September 12, 2013 |
This year's fall pop music season offers your average 21st century bounty, one with so many colors, textures, varieties, personalities and avenues for consumption that it's pretty easy to frame an argument depending on mood or agenda. Those observing gender and the pop marketplace, for example, can note that the season is heavy with commercially powerful female vocalists: New albums from Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Cher, Kelly Clarkson and future superstar Ariana Grande look to rule the charts through the holidays.
September 8, 2013 |
Fashion designer Michael Kors' aesthetic is all about contradictions. "I like hot weather clothes mixed with cold weather clothes," he said a couple of years ago. "A big camel turtleneck over shorts, beaded pants worn with a casual top, and gold jewelry with a bathing suit. " The same philosophy applies to his new beauty line, a collaboration with the Estée Lauder Companies that includes three fragrances, color cosmetics and body care products. The line, which hit Macy's stores last month, is grouped into three collections: Sporty, Sexy and Glam.
August 6, 2013 |
Baseball hasn't seen the last of Nelson Cruz. Or Jhonny Peralta, Everth Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez or any of the other players suspended Monday for using performance-enhancing drugs . And that's a problem. Because as long as cheating gets you no more time off than a strained muscle would, there's little chance the sport will ever become clean. "Fifty games?" Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said of the suspension for a first-time drug user. "That's about what a hamstring pull is. " In other words, it's a penalty that hardly fits the crime.
July 31, 2013 |
The free-form documentary "The Gardener" takes acclaimed, exiled Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf ("Kandahar") and son Maysam to Israel to investigate the 170-year-old Bahai faith, which - although based in Haifa - has its roots in Persia. Unfortunately, the elder Makhmalbaf, who wrote and directed, puts many spins on this ethereal mood piece - it is by turns poetic, impressionistic, metaphorical and even a bit trippy - without satisfying such genre basics as structure, depth and resolution.
July 18, 2013 |
TEHRAN - On the bustling lanes outside this capital's expansive bazaar, a sense of hope is palpable as Iran's president-elect, Hassan Rouhani, prepares to take office next month. Even hardened cynics speak about the possibility of a brighter economic horizon and the prospective easing of international sanctions that have throttled growth, spurred inflation and fostered a general malaise. "It's not in my genes to vote," Ismael, a tea hawker and chess devotee, said as he poured cups of steaming tea for bazaar denizens and tradesmen.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 26, 2013 |
The crowd gathered early Wednesday at the Abbey, a well-known gay bar in West Hollywood. Couples sipped coffee and watched TV as they awaited word of the Supreme Court's decisions relating to same-sex marriage. There was a wedding cake and champagne under a giant, rainbow-colored flag over the patio. No one was more apprehensive about what was soon to transpire than Colby Melvin and Brandon Brown. The pair, both models who have been engaged for four months, clutched each other as they watched the screen.
June 17, 2013 |
In the decade since its founding, the International Contemporary Ensemble has become essential. The flexible collective of 33 musicians is likely the most accomplished new music group in New York, and it makes a significant contribution toward keeping the city musically cosmopolitan, regularly providing compelling performances of meaningful and dauntingly difficult new music from afar. One of the most memorable concerts of recent work I've heard in the last half-year, for instance, was ICE's program devoted to the feisty, remarkable Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth at Columbia University in December.