CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 1988 |
The pattern of stripes is as different from one zebra to the next as the sprinkling of spots is on one leopard compared to its cousin. The same holds true of snowflakes and even the circles and swirls comprising fingerprints. These differences, it has been surmised for years, are likely due to chance. But for the first time, three physicists at the University of California have shown mathematically that this age-old observation is probably true, at least for patterns on the surface of water.
August 9, 2009 |
Celebrities die in threes. The moon landing was a hoax. Climate change is a myth. And President Obama? Not born on U.S. soil. Oh, how we love our conspiracy theories, our superstitions, our beliefs that fly in the face of facts, logic and science. When asked about climate change, half of Americans recently polled by the Pew Research Center and the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science said they didn't believe in it. (Nearly all scientists said they did.) And how many of us, when Michael Jackson died, thought yes, of course, he completes the Ed McMahon-Farrah Fawcett trio?
July 16, 2010 |
Sea levels are rising, but not in a geographically uniform pattern, says a new study published online on July 11 in the journal Nature Geoscience. Focusing on the Indian Ocean, researchers from the University of Colorado and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, both in Boulder, found that increases in sea levels in some regions corresponded with declines in other areas. Sea level increases were significantly greater than the global mean at midocean islands such as the Mascarenhas Archipelago as well as the coasts of Indonesia and Sumatra and the northern Indian Ocean.
November 7, 2009 |
They may not be old enough to talk, but babies less than a week old know how to cry in their native language. Researchers have known that infants have the ability to mimic speech starting around 12 weeks of age. Babies also show a preference for spoken language that mirrors the rhythm, melody and intensity patterns of their mother tongue. But when they're too young to control their vocal cords or the muscles that shape the mouth to make specific sounds, how can babies demonstrate that they're tuned in to the chatter around them?
June 23, 2005
Re " 'Wikitorial' Pulled Due to Vandalism," June 21: Ward Cunningham's origination of the wiki in 1995 for informal collaborative inputs on programming patterns, a disciplined purpose, makes sense. The efforts of the L.A. Times to extend the idea to undisciplined opinions, primarily political opinions, was doomed from the start. Bill Gourlay Westlake Village
June 2, 1989 |
Australia aboriginal artists tell fantastic stories about the long-ago doings of beasts and humans. Using the simplest of alphabets--constellations of tiny dots, relieved by curved and straight lines--these "dreamings" are quite irresistible. Paintings couch mythic versions of history in minimalist patterns and muted color that inevitably remind the viewer of contemporary art. Indeed, although these patterns were painted on the earth for thousands of years, their rendering in acrylic on canvas dates back only to the early 1970s.