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March 15, 2013 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
Love is a disease and scientists have perfected a cure: a brain procedure that rids humans of emotion. Lena Haloway, nearly 18, can't wait to be cured in "Delirium," the first book in Lauren Oliver's dystopian trilogy. She looks forward to a peaceful, pain-free adulthood, when her career, husband and number of children will be chosen for her by the government. The trilogy begins as a page-turning parable about choosing to embrace the terrifying world of being an adult. The contrast between being safe from pain and embracing the difficult but rewarding world of adult experience - love, fear, hate, sadness, joy - is one that Oliver continues to explore in the second two books of the series, "Pandemonium," released last year, and the newly published final volume, "Requiem.
March 8, 2013 | By David Karp
Locally raised pork is rare in Southern California, but in a hilly grapefruit grove north of San Diego, fenced to exclude mountain lions, 14 tasty piglets luxuriate, fattening for sale at the Santa Monica farmers market. They're the dream or folly of Oliver Woolley, who raises heritage pigs. Oliver, 30, was born in Kentucky. He grew up in Colorado and moved with his family in 2003 to a 25-acre farm in Valley Center that grows flowers and organic grapefruit. He studied business at the University of San Diego and worked briefly as a trader for Morgan Stanley but "hated it," he said.
February 25, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
In a head-to-head contest, a Mediterranean diet, even drenched in olive oil and studded with nuts, beat a low-fat diet, hands-down, in preventing stroke and heart attack in healthy older subjects at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The latest smack-down in the diet wars appears to deal a knock-out blow to the notion that high-fat olive oil and tree nuts - walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts - are a no-no for those wishing to improve their health. On the contrary, Spanish researchers concluded that the consumption of extra-virgin olive oil and nuts "were probably responsible for most of the observed benefits" attained by those in the two groups following a Mediterranean diet.
February 9, 2013 | By David Karp
As part of a great California olive oil boom, now at least a dozen olive oil vendors are selling at local farmers markets, up from only a couple a decade ago. Most offer a good product, but there are few who, like Michael O'Brien of Paso Gold , provide local, fresh, high-quality, certified organic oil, sold by the farmer himself in the agricultural section of the market. The combination of new varieties from Europe, high-density systems and mechanized harvest led to a surge in plantings of olives for oil, from a few hundred acres two decades ago to about 30,000 today, said Paul Vossen , a University of California farm advisor.
February 8, 2013 | By Noelle Carter
A recipe adapted from Thomas Keller's "Ad Hoc at Home," these crisp, braised chicken thighs are rich yet bright with a great harmony of flavors, including olives, lemon zest and thinly sliced fennel. The whole dish comes together in just over an hour, and you can find the recipe below. For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery . Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix several dishes in an hour or less.
January 22, 2013 | Doyle McManus
On the eve of Inauguration Day, White House political strategist David Plouffe promised that President Obama's inaugural address would include a call for bipartisan cooperation. "He is going to say that our political system does not require us to resolve all of our differences or settle all of our disputes, but it is absolutely imperative that our leaders try and seek common ground," Plouffe said on ABC. But it was hard to find that outstretched hand in the inaugural speech Obama gave Monday.
January 12, 2013
  While most experienced cooks can agree - more or less - on basic equipment, the pantry is much more a matter of individual choice. How you cook will determine what you cook, in this case. If you prefer Italian, you're going to want a greater variety of dried pastas and at least a couple of olive oils. If you cook Japanese, you'll be choosier about rice and different kinds of soy sauce. This is my highly personal list of the things I need in my basic pantry. Baking All-purpose flour Granulated sugar Light brown sugar Powdered sugar Baking soda Baking powder Cornmeal Spice cabinet Dried thyme Dried oregano Black peppercorns Vanilla extract Ground cinnamon Cloves Bay leaves Dried red pepper flakes Cumin Fennel seeds Kosher salt Almonds Walnuts Pantry staples Olive oil Vegetable oil Soy sauce Vinegars, at least red wine and sherry Canned beans (white, pinto, garbanzo)
January 2, 2013 | By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times
Actress Cheryl Ladd has listed her 22.5-acre estate in Santa Ynez at $3.995 million. The Italian-style villa, with 6,557 square feet of living space, sits off a circular motor court ringed with potted olive trees, Italian cypress and native landscaping. A large foyer overlooks a sunken living room. Features include stone fireplaces, a covered colonnade loggia, four bedrooms, five bathrooms and beamed and paneled ceilings. Ladd, 61, joined the cast of "Charlie's Angels" from 1977 to 1981.
December 20, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Darden Restaurants Inc.'s second quarter was far from appetizing, as the owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster watched its net income plunge 37%. The Orlando, Fla., restaurant company saw the sour numbers coming. Earlier in December, citing a litany of factors including negative blow-back over its response to the new national healthcare law, ineffective promotions and Superstorm Sandy -- for its decision to lower expectations for the quarter. The prophesies came to pass: On Thursday, Darden executives said same-store sales at U.S. restaurants open at least a year tumbled a disappointing 2.7% for its three main chains for the period ended Nov. 25. At Olive Garden, which has struggled for months to counteract disappointing sales with refreshed stores and national specials, sales sank 3.2%.
December 19, 2012 | By John Horn and Susan King
The Academy Awards are still two months away, but the surge of critical support for Kathryn Bigelow's “Zero Dark Thirty” is raising a provocative question: How many filmmakers have won two best director Oscars within just a few years? Bigelow became the first woman ever to win the directing Academy Award for  “The Hurt Locker,” which also took the trophy for best picture at the 2010 ceremony. If she were to take home the directing statuette in 2013 for “Zero Dark Thirty,” she would have collected the honor twice in a four-year span, tying the modern mark held by Oliver Stone.
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