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June 15, 2012 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Amber, a soft-spoken, feminine 12-year-old who loves Hello Kitty and fashion design, lives with a secret. It is a secret most sixth-graders can't fathom, one she hides behind pink skirts and makeup. It is a secret that led to all her baby pictures being tucked away as though her childhood had never happened. Amber was born a boy. When she was 10, she stopped going by her given name, Aaron, and began dressing as a girl. Last year, she started taking medication to keep her from going through puberty.
June 12, 2012 | By David Sarno and Salvador Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple is mapping a course that it hopes will help it sail past smartphone rival Google. Come fall, new Apple Inc. iPhones and iPads will have a slew of new features, including a souped-up mapping feature that will give spoken directions to drivers and let users simulate flying over lifelike three-dimensional versions of cities they're navigating. Apple executives showed off the new Maps app, along with a smarter version of Apple's robotic assistant, Siri, and a line of new Mac laptops and software, during Monday's opening keynote for the company's developer conference here.
June 10, 2012 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Arthur P. Stern, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor whose prominent career in electronic engineering included leading the development of General Electric's first transistor radio in the 1950s and guiding the commercialization of satellite navigation at Magnavox in the 1970s, has died. He was 86. Stern, a national leader in the progressive Jewish community, died of congestive heart failure May 24 at his home in Beverly Hills, said his son, Claude. After being imprisoned in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany, Stern trained as an electrical engineer, immigrated to the United States in 1951 and joined General Electric's Electronics Laboratory in Syracuse, N.Y. At GE in the early '50s, Stern participated in the development of the company's first electronic color TV system before being appointed project leader to develop GE's first transistor radio.
May 20, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Tribune newspapers
Are You My Mother? A Comic Drama Alison Bechdel Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 290 pp., $22 First things first: If you haven't read "Fun Home," Alison Bechdel's 2006 family memoir in comic form, drop everything and get a copy right away. In its pages, Bechdel does the miraculous: tracing deftly and with nuance her complex, claustrophobic relationship with her father, an English teacher and closeted gay man who died in 1980 (in what was either accident or suicide), shortly after Bechdel came out as a lesbian.
May 13, 2012 | By Heather John, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In Los Angeles, red carpet treatment is not just for celebrities. Here, mere mortals can find specialists - medical concierges, cat whisperers, image consultants - for almost everything. And that includes experts who are hired to help families prepare for their newest members. Enter the baby planner. Before the advent of the current expert culture, it was a role that used to be filled by mothers, grandmothers and best friends, doling out advice, shopping lists and favors.
April 8, 2012 | By Martin Rubin, Special to the Los Angeles Times
No Time Like the Present A Novel Nadine Gordimer Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 423 pp., $27 With the title of this novel, her 16th, Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer once again shows her preternatural capacity to take a slangy catchphrase and make it right to the point. And one that is absolutely appropriate to her novel's milieu and, beyond that, to its subject matter in general. To read "No Time Like the Present" is to plunge into the caldron that is South Africa today, a chaotic now which cannot avoid the dark shadow of a heavy past: "There was a Pleistocene Age, a Bronze Age, an Iron Age. "It seemed an Age was over.
March 24, 2012 | By Mark Medina
The smile on Andrew Bynum's face widened. “This is so fun,” he said. The reasons pointed to everything with his performance in the Lakers' 103-96 victory Friday over the Portland Trail Blazers, in which he scored a team-high 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting.  He threw down two alley-oop lobs from Pau Gasol to open the game. His eight fourth-quarter points featured an array of moves, including a baby hook shot over LaMarcus Aldridge, a lob from Josh McRoberts and two short-range jumpers in the paint.
February 19, 2012 | Mark Olsen
This year's Oscar nominees for cinematography present a particularly varied cross-section of contemporary filmmaking at a time when the very infrastructure of how movies are made and seen is in transition. Consider: 35-millimeter film prints are being phased out in favor of digital projection. Consumer still cameras can be used to shoot high-definition digital video. Video on demand is becoming a popular viewing option. Even the venerable Eastman Kodak, which produces the film stock on which many movies are made, recently filed for bankruptcy protection.
February 16, 2012 | By Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times
Bill Chait is leading a half-dozen colleagues through a two-story factory that has been converted into lofts on the edge of downtown's Arts District. The building is the future home of his next project, a $1.2-million, 140-seat trattoria called Bestia, in the shadow of the 7th Street bridge, next to train tracks that run along the L.A. River. Among its neighbors are a furniture warehouse, a diesel gas station and an all-nude strip club. "It's the SoHo of L.A.," says Chait, a soft-spoken but steely 51-year-old with dark, side-parted hair, slightly big ears and metal-framed glasses.
February 10, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
The U.S. Air Force is thinking about buying some iPads - somewhere between 63 and 18,000 of them. In a notice posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website , the Air Force's Air Mobility Command office says it is specifically interested in purchasing the iPad 2, but will also consider other brand-name tablet devices. The tablets will be used as electronic flight bags for flight crew members and trainers - replacing the hefty bag of manuals and navigation charts currently used by pilots and navigators that can weigh as much as 40 pounds.
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