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January 13, 2014 | By Kate Mather
Overall crime in Los Angeles dropped for the 11th straight year in 2013, with many categories seeing the lowest per capita rates in decades, city officials said. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck announced Monday that final LAPD statistics showed overall crime was down 5.2% across the city, with double-digit drops in violent crime, homicides, reported rapes and gang violence. Garcetti hailed the "extraordinary efforts" of the LAPD, community groups and city officials for numbers he called "a proud accomplishment.
January 12, 2014 | By Jessica Gelt
How does David O. Russell manage to so consistently write strong female leads? He's got his mother to thank for that, the director said backstage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel after his film “American Hustle” won the Golden Globe for motion picture comedy on Sunday. “My mother was a very powerful person. She was an Italian woman from Brooklyn. I realized that with 'The Fighter,' I based some of that on experiences with my mother,” he said, adding, “strong women characters are the gateway to a very powerful movie.” Asked whether there was a lot of improvisation on the set of “American Hustle,” Russell said that even though it may have come across that way, there was not. “I want to correct the notion of improvisation,” the co-writer/director said.
December 24, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Two technologies acquired by Apple earlier in 2013 were revealed this week: BroadMap and Catch. Apple's acquisitions were reported by 9to5Mac and later confirmed by Apple to AllThingsD . BroadMap specialized in mapping data; Catch was a cloud-based note-taking app. In the case of BroadMap, Apple acquired the company's team and technology but not the actual company or its name. The BroadMap deal likely occurred in the first half of 2013, and Apple may be using the firm's technology to improve Apple Maps, according to 9to5Mac.
December 23, 2013 | By Monte Morin
It's been more than 100 years since German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus determined that learning  interspersed with rest created longer-lasting memories than so-called cramming, or learning without rest intervals. Yet it's only much more recently that scientists have begun to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms for this phenomenon. In a study published Monday in the journal PNAS, researchers examined the physical changes in the brain cells of mice while "training" their eyes to keep track of a moving image.
December 23, 2013 | By Catharine Hamm
Question: I took my family on a trip to Seattle on Alaska Airlines in August. While unpacking my luggage in my hotel room, I found a nasty surprise: a filthy latex glove. Obviously, someone had gone through my belongings and left it behind. Besides the ick factor, there was no form in my suitcase saying it had been inspected. I didn't notice any items missing, but I had to launder all my underwear just to feel comfortable wearing them. My baggage has been searched before; in one case, a form was left; in another, items were stolen and no form was left.
December 20, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Much that was old was new again in 2013, which turned out to be a very good year for the classics. It wasn't a bad year for new work either, even if too many of today's most provocative playwrights are getting short shrift from this town's nonprofit heavyweights. I was especially glad to see Samuel D. Hunter's "The Whale" at South Coast Repertory, but to catch "The Flick," the latest from Annie Baker (for my money, the most exciting American dramatist working today), I had to hop a flight to New York, where Playwrights Horizons was presenting the world premiere.
December 20, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
This was the year that George W. Bush, five years after his calamitous presidency, came in from the wilderness and went on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" to say, "I think I'm a painter. " He presented his host with a grinning portrait, and the audience clapped. The statement was not uttered with the surety of "I'm the decider, and I decide what's best," the much-mocked 2006 message delivered to reporters as a vote of confidence for Donald Rumsfeld, embattled secretary of Defense.
December 20, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Had Steve Jobs commissioned a song, it would have felt like Daft Punk's "Get Lucky. " Modern but ageless. Sleek, streamlined, memorable and futuristic. "We're up all night to get some, we're up all night for good fun," Pharrell optimistically declares, imagining joy on the horizon. Released in April, the single went on to soundtrack the year's wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs, drives along the Pacific Coast Highway and hairbrush-as-microphone bedroom singalongs, no small feat for two helmeted Frenchmen.
December 20, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
The revolution is no longer a fragile or tentative one. When I arrived in Los Angeles nine years ago, the city had just begun to turn away from a largely private urbanism and toward a new embrace of the public realm. The first phase of the Gold Line light-rail route, from downtown to Pasadena, had recently opened; construction on the Expo Line had yet to begin. James Hahn was nearing the end of a largely uneventful single term as mayor. Measure R, the transit tax that would help remake the city, was four years away.
December 19, 2013 | By Steven Zeitchik
The Internet was intrigued/tickled/bemused/generally in a state of Nolan-esque arousal this week after the debut of the first “Interstellar” teaser. In it, we experienced the sound of Matthew McConaughey's voice pondering the human condition, saw archival footage of space exploration and spotted a desolate farm house, all fueling various rumors, including one that the movie was about a crop shortage as much as space wormholes. (That sentence made more sense when we began writing it.)
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