May 21, 1995 |
Trying to tell the story of a modern Huckleberry Finn, with present-day counterparts for Jim, Tom Sawyer, the raft and other situations and characters as well, Russell Banks takes some awful risks. Several he manages admirably, several he flunks, and the largest he ignores at his peril. "Persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished," Mark Twain wrote at the start of his masterpiece.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 1990 |
This is the drudgery that leads to scientific discovery: the incessant clacking of a motor, a technician licking the cream center from a split Oreo cookie, and another talking at 4 in the morning about soap operas. A third worker suggests a soap opera title that would mirror life here, at the Palomar Observatory: "As the Dome Turns--The Continuing Saga." As she laughs, the dome is turning: the spherical roof above the 48-inch Oschin telescope atop Mt. Palomar.
December 9, 2012 |
At dusk, when this nighttime town flips on its klieg lights, Rob Lambert and Jim Gianoulakis go looking for darkness. These two graying stargazers want to establish an observatory in one of the most light-polluted places on the planet. For them, it's all about making the best of a bad situation: If the lights of Las Vegas unnaturally brighten the nighttime sky, well, just point your telescope in the other direction. "If you build a facility in a remote area with pristine night skies, you're probably going to be missing the people to come and utilize it," said Gianoulakis, president of the 150-member Las Vegas Astronomical Society, who recently inherited the post from Lambert.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2012 |
The summer sunset has painted a vivid watercolor of orange, coral and violet over the Pacific, just past the pier in Seal Beach. But Michael Beckage already has his telescope trained on the moon. Even in this light, the moon is bright and crystalline, like a salt mine with dimples and ridges. Yet Beckage hardly has a moment to take a peek. Instead, a little girl perches on a stepladder to squint into the eyepiece, a line forming behind her. "Do you see the holes in the moon?" Beckage says, pointing out the craters.
March 7, 1990 |
A blazing meteor streaked across the night sky over southern Florida Tuesday, appearing almost directly overhead, an official at the Buehler Planetarium said. "This was very, very bright--brighter than most fireballs ever get," said Ralph Battaline at the planetarium. "It was about 100 times brighter than the brightest star in the night sky."
August 12, 2009 |
A roar sweeps across the Los Angeles Coliseum. It is the closing ceremony of the 1984 Olympics. The rousing cheer intensifies when, from the eastern sky, with a full moon as a backdrop, a strange object appears. With flashing lights and a roving spotlight, an alien spaceship approaches the Coliseum. The Earth signals the spaceship with the "Olympic Fanfare" and the spaceship responds with a dazzling display of lights and sound. It then lands behind the Coliseum peristyle in a fury of smoke, light and fire.
February 28, 2013 |
The affections of the New Yorkers in the drama "Almost in Love" are unsteady, in flux, half-articulated. But director Sam Neave is unequivocal in his love for the two most gorgeous times of day, dusk and dawn, setting his improvising actors against the changing light. If the romantic fate of the central triangle never matters, the sumptuous wistfulness of the filmmaking does. Neave shapes his story as a double dose of unrequited love that plays out at two parties, separated by a year and a half.
May 31, 1990 |
Parents might consider these books for the budding child astronomer: * "The Big Dipper and You" (Morrow Junior Books: $13.95) by E.C. Krupp, director of Griffith Observatory. How to find this most famous constellation, and what else you can locate in the night sky using the Big Dipper as a guide. Ages 7 and up. * "The Glow-in-the-Dark Night Sky Book" (Random House: $9.95) by Clint Hatchett.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 29, 1995
Q: Why is the night sky dark? A: Philosophers have debated this question for hundreds of years. Common sense suggests that the night sky should be bright white because there are, essentially, an infinite number of stars spread uniformly. The reason it is not, researchers now believe, lies in the finite age of the universe--between 12 billion and 15 billion years.