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October 13, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
On paper, a few of the wild highlights of the Pet Shop Boys' performance Saturday at the Shrine Auditorium seem so ridiculous: Two backing dancers wearing sparkly, gold and silver lamé pompom suits, bouncing on pogo sticks while the long-running British synth-pop duo played their infectious hit "Domino Dancing," for example.  Singer Neil Tennant, he of the sturdy tenor singing lyrics of being "chained, framed -- you know what I mean" in...
October 12, 2013 | By Mikael Wood
Even by the outré standards of the 1980s - when music was full of smooth criminals and material girls - the Pet Shop Boys stood out. Two fashion-conscious English guys with the crisp enunciation of schoolteachers, the pioneering duo made electronic synth-pop that looked to the future just as it drew on the old-fashioned storytelling of Noel Coward and P.G. Wodehouse. But nearly 30 years after it broke out with the worldwide smash "West End Girls," the group might be more singular now than it was back then: It's the exceedingly rare veteran act that's gone about its business - and held onto much of its fanbase - without coming across as desperate or uninspired.
October 10, 2013 | By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel Editor
Like cats after the cream, Parisians are flocking to a new cafe whose centerpiece is not food but felines. Le Café des Chats , which opened a little more than two weeks ago in the 3 rd arrondissement in the heart of the City of Light, was an instant hit and has been reluctantly turning away those who arrive without reservations. The attraction, besides an elegant but simple menu that last weekend featured a 20-euro ($27) menu that included freshly squeezed orange juice and eggs scrambled with chanterelle mushrooms, are the furry denizens (10 females, two males)
October 2, 2013 | By Jay Jones
It wasn't Pamplona, Spain, but Las Vegas. And those were bulldogs, not bulls, racing along a purpose-built track to promote pet-friendly accommodations. A crowd gathered as more than 30 pooches participated in the Sept. 28 “Running of the Bulldogs” outside Caesars Palace , dashing -- or in some cases, dawdling -- toward the finish line at a dog house built to look like Rome's Colosseum. The first-place ribbon and crown went to Lola, who went home with a package of treats.
September 19, 2013 | By Teresa Watanabe
The minute I saw Monte, I knew something was terribly wrong. My year-old Havanese normally jumps up when he hears any of us come home - deliriously happy, his body shaking, tail wagging. But on this Saturday morning, he didn't even look up. He was lying on his favorite chair, near-comatose, eyes glazed over. When my daughter picked Monte up, he began twitching as if he were having a seizure. When she put him down, he tried to walk, but dragged his hind legs. He couldn't sit up on his own. I was terrified that he'd had a stroke and was paralyzed.
September 10, 2013 | By Richard Fausset and Cecilia Sanchez
MEXICO CITY - Ricardo Rodriguez Borja works in a New Age gift store in Polanco, one of Mexico City's wealthiest neighborhoods, and he readily concedes that its tarot card decks, angel statues and books on chakra energies are luxuries in a country where 45% of residents live in poverty. The 32-year-old predicts he'll be making fewer sales if President Enrique Peña Nieto's fiscal reform proposal is approved, because of the added tax burden it will place on his middle-class customers.
August 19, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON - The latest in a long line of presidential pets - who could forget Roosevelt's Fala or Clinton's Socks? - has arrived at the White House, and her name is Sunny. The White House on Monday announced the debut of the 1-year-old Portuguese water dog, the same breed as the first First Dog, Bo. The Obamas have taken to the furry black pooches because of allergies in the family. Sunny is named after her disposition, the White House said - not, as some may assume, wishful economic forecasts for Obama's second term.
August 16, 2013 | By Rene Lynch
Dolvett Quince was well aware of America's obesity problem. After all, he's one of the trainers on NBC's weight loss reality show, "The Biggest Loser. " But, until recently, he had no idea that America's bad eating habits were trickling down to its pets. Quince, an animal lover, is on a campaign to raise awareness about pet obesity, and in doing so he hopes he'll get Americans - and their pets - on the road to fitness. He is working with Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest privately held pet hospital, with more than 800 clinics nationwide, to encourage pet owners to get more exercise for their pets and specifically to work out with their dogs.
August 11, 2013 | By Kate Linthicum
LUJAN, Argentina - Manu Peclat, a tourist from Brazil, had already fed vegetables to elephants, thrown fish to seals and posed for pictures with two white tigers. Now it was time for the bears. A zookeeper unlocked a gate and led Peclat and a few other visitors inside. After trading chunks of raw sweet potato for pesos, the keeper roused 3-year-old Gordo from his slumber. The brown bear languidly lumbered over. Peclat held out his hand and Gordo gently gobbled up the snacks.
August 8, 2013 | By Lee Romney
SAN FRANCISCO - This is, after all, the City of St. Francis. So when a shrine named in his honor announced plans to build a repository for pet ashes in a catacomb-like hollow under the stairs of its 19th-century church, many animal lovers were elated. Little did they know the plan would stir old-fashioned church politics and deep theological questions. (Is the stair nook a sacred space? Does placement of cinerary urns equate to pet burial? Did St. Francis only care about living creatures?
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