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March 12, 2013 | By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times
Announcements of a well-funded research project at a major university often elicit, welcome or not, professional and amateur advice. But those messages usually don't recount a dead cat's spirit flitting into the afterlife. UC Riverside philosophy professor John Martin Fischer has been besieged with hundreds of such unusual missives for the last few months as word spread that he had won a $5-million grant to study something that, in the end, is probably unknowable: immortality. Under his direction, scientists and theologians will be digging into such mysteries as whether humans should even aspire to eternal life in this world or another - and whether everlasting might just prove to be ever-boring.
It has been nearly 2,000 years since the sober men in togas came together in Rome, coaching one another to put aside worldly wants and walk a straight and moral path. But now--in a time of presidential hanky-panky, 24-hour entertainment and murky social values--their ancient creed is being resurrected.
August 22, 2012 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
"For the next few weeks, there will be no political discussions in America: we have entered the Season of Platitudes," Ayn Rand wrote in October 1962, a month or so before the midterm congressional elections. " … All issues, principles and definitions vanish during an election campaign. They dissolve into a fog of rubber terms that can mean anything to anyone - while the candidates compete for how to be misunderstood in the greatest number of ways by the greatest number of people. " Rand's observation opens a column, "Absurd Chatter of Candidates Reflects Voters," that the novelist and essayist wrote during a six-month stint as a Sunday editorial contributor to the Los Angeles Times.
Nerissa Rosete fell in love with a pricey South Orange County home, especially its impressive view of the mountains. She entered escrow, putting $20,000 down. But she walked away from the deal, losing half her down payment, after a consultant noted the way the backyard steeply dropped off to meet Interstate 5. It was, he warned her, bad feng shui: The receding yard would prompt energy to rush out of the home.
March 1, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
The precept was simple enough: buy soccer teams on both sides of the border, give them the same name and similar uniforms, and manage them with the same philosophy, creating a synergy that would benefit both clubs. But it hasn't worked out that way for Mexican businessman Jorge Vergara, owner of Chivas de Guadalajara of the Mexico League and a co-founder of Major League Soccer's Chivas USA. So with his U.S. team stumbling toward its third consecutive losing season last summer, Vergara and his wife bought out their partners and decided to start over.
May 13, 2013
Dallas Willard Influential Christian philosopher taught at USC for 47 years Dallas Willard, 77, an influential Christian philosopher who taught at USC for 47 years and chaired the philosophy department in the early 1980s, died Wednesday in Woodland Hills, the university said. He had cancer. In "The Great Omission," "Renovation of the Heart," "The Divine Conspiracy" and other books, Willard wrote about spiritual formation and Christian discipleship for the general reader, often giving practical advice for living a Christian life in a secular world.
March 2, 1997
Nora Zamichow portrayed David Viscott as a weak, crazy egalitarian who annihilated himself through his narcissistic pursuit of fame and fortune ("Talk Was Cheap," Jan. 26). Why this character assassination? I currently have a private behavioral therapy and executive coaching practice in Newport Beach, and my philosophy and methods parallel those of Dr. Viscott. Prior to this, I opened and staffed the Viscott Center for Natural Therapy in Newport Beach. Over the years, I have counseled clients and worked on projects with Dr. Viscott.
August 12, 2012 | By James Rainey
Back in 2005, an up-and-coming lawmaker named Paul Ryan credited the polemical novelist and libertarian Ayn Rand as a central inspiration for his entry into public life. Ryan toiled in those days in relative obscurity, a well-respected but low-profile member of the House of Representatives. By the spring of 2012, the boyish congressman had become a Republican star, widely named as a possible vice presidential pick. He also had become considerably less comfortable being linked to the controversial Rand,  an atheist with a tartly Darwinian world view.
October 15, 1988
Obviously, Jim Wahler isn't majoring in philosophy. RON FOWLER Newbury Park
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