June 19, 2013 |
Earthlings, get ready to say cheese! NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be taking your picture next month -- from 898 million miles away. If you happen to have your eyes closed or your hair is out of place, don't worry. All of planet Earth will fit into 1.5 pixels in the final image. Most of the frame will be filled by Saturn and its gigantic rings (though some of the edges will be cut off). Scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge are taking the picture - actually, a mosaic of images - because they can. It just so happens that Cassini and the sun will be on opposite sides of Saturn, allowing the spacecraft to see the planet and its famous rings with unusual clarity.
June 17, 2013 |
With the economy on the rebound, Americans once again are cracking open their pocketbooks to take family vacations and other leisure trips. But corporate managers in charge of spending for business conferences and conventions remain tightfisted with their money. That is one conclusion from a study of bookings at nearly 4,000 hotels by TravelClick, a New York company that provides booking software and business data for major hotel chains. Hotel bookings for leisure travelers in North America for the next 12 months are up 4.6%, while bookings for individual business travelers are up 7% compared with the previous period, according to TravelClick.
May 19, 2013 |
Oh, nature, so near and yet so far: the thing we live in and deny, worship and destroy. The nagging conscience of our modern dystopian times! It is spiritually useful to be reminded that there is a world of animals that -- for the moment, at least -- live their lives independent of human interference, on land that has not been subdivided, strip-malled, strip-mined, plowed up or plowed under. So, although in its framing, editing and analogizing it does impose a human framework on the unknowable intelligences of its subjects, we are thankful (on balance)
May 16, 2013 |
"North America" (Discovery Channel, Sunday). The latest blockbuster nature documentary to justify your purchase of an HDTV (see also "Planet Earth," "Life," "Frozen Planet," "Africa") is the seven-part "North America. " There are some hectoring musical passages and the narration, delivered by Tom Selleck, foregrounding the folksy creak in his voice, can run to the precious and dramatically over-personified: Why does the continent need to be "she," or the yearning-to-breathe-free behavior of wild animals be taken to somehow express "the American heart"?
April 25, 2013 |
Here's some Ozzy Osbourne news that has nothing to do with the singer's marital troubles : Black Sabbath is headed out on a full North American tour. The legendary English heavy-metal band -- or three-fourths of it, anyway -- announced Thursday that it will launch a 20-city swing through North America on July 25 in Houston. The tour is scheduled to stop Aug. 28 at Irvine's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater before wrapping at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Sept. 3. The shows are to begin not long after the scheduled June 11 release of "13," Black Sabbath's first album with Osbourne since "Never Say Die!"
April 24, 2013 |
Ford Motor Co.'s first-quarter profit rose more than 15%, helped by record earnings in North America and strong performance by its auto loan financing arm. Ford's net income was $1.6 billion, or 40 cents per share, compared to $1.4 billion, or 35 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 10% to $35.8 billion. “We continue to expect 2013 to be another strong year as we go further in strengthening our global product lineup and improving the competitiveness of our operations,” said Alan Mulally, Ford's chief executive.
April 11, 2013 |
Decommissioned military bunkers on national wildlife refuges could be transformed into artificial hibernation chambers for wintering bat populations devastated by the lethal fungus known as white-nose syndrome, according to an investigation by federal biologists. Temperature-controlled bunkers -- decontaminated in summer -- would enable biologists to monitor behavior and administer possible treatments that might delay the progression of the diseaseamong bats housed there the following winter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Steve Agius said.
April 9, 2013 |
Last summer's punishing drought in the Midwest caused Cargill's third-quarter earnings to sink 42% compared to the same period a year earlier, the Minneapolis-based company said Tuesday. Cargill Inc., the largest closely held company in the U.S., reported that net earnings in the fiscal 2013 third quarter were $445 million -- down $321 million from the same period a year earlier. Third-quarter sales were $32.2 billion -- up 1%. "In North America, our meat-processing businesses were pressured by the drought-related high cost of feed ingredients," said chief executive Greg Page.
April 5, 2013 |
Kendall Brown, professor of Asian art history at Cal State Long Beach and one of the experts to weigh in on the Storrier Stearns garden in Pasadena ( see related article ), has a book coming out this month. It's titled “Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America ,” and for this edited Q&A, we asked about his fascination with Japanese gardens, how best to experience them and why our notion of Japanese gardens is not entirely Japanese. What do you find most intriguing about Japanese gardens?
March 11, 2013 |
Toyota's North American subsidiary has formed a new political action committee, according to a recent Federal Election Commission filing. The Federal Election Commission "statement of organization" form shows the new PAC listed as "Toyota North America Inc. Political Action Committee (Toyota/Lexus PAC). " The PAC will be allowed to raise up to $5,000 per year from eligible company employees. Observers said it was the automaker's latest push to extend its influence. Tracy Doi, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s group vice president and chief financial officer, will serve as the PAC's treasurer, according to the federal filings.