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April 15, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
It's been five months since Comet ISON disintegrated after its close encounter with the sun, but skywatchers on Earth are still savoring its captivating journey. The comet's million-year journey from the Oort cloud to the center of the solar system ended on Thanksgiving Day 2013, when it came within 730,000 miles of the sun. The flyby pulled apart and melted the ice holding ISON's nucleus together, transforming the sturdy comet into a collection of pebbles and dust . "Tragically, on Nov. 28, 2013, ISON's tenacious ambition outweighed its ability, and our shining green candle in the solar wind began to burn out," astronomer Karl Battams wrote in a mock obituary for NASA.
April 14, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
Aaron Guy Leroux caught this shot at the start of the Los Angeles Tough Mudder race in San Bernardino on March 29. He took the photo with a Sony ILCE-7. Follow Samantha Schaefer on  Twitter . Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our  Flickr page  or  reader submission gallery .  Follow us on Twitter  and on  Instagram  or visit  for more on this photo series.
April 14, 2014 | By a Times Staff Writer
The first lunar eclipse of 2014 - known as "blood moon" - is lighting up social media tonight as people post photos of the moon and the eclipse. Large crowd descended on the Griffith Observatory to look at the eclipse. They posted a variety of photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here is a sampling:   In Los Angeles, the most impressive part began around 11 p.m. when the first "bite" is taken out of the moon. It will be blotted out entirely by 12:06 a.m. Tuesday, said experts at the observatory.
April 14, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
A certain William Wachtel, the co-founder of WhyTuesday , an election reform group chaired by former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, wrote me over the weekend to complain that I treated Young harshly by criticizing his proposal to require Social Security to issue photo IDs. I called it "a terrible idea. " Norman Ornstein, a political scientist at the American Enterprise Institute and another co-founder of WhyTuesday, also defended the proposal, which Young mentioned at an event last week marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Ornstein mounted his defense via Twitter , which only made Young's idea sound even shallower and more foolish.  What these gentlemen failed to do is explain why requiring Social Security to issue photo IDs is not a terrible idea.
April 14, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Maker Studios said on Monday that its deal to be acquired by the Walt Disney Co. has already been approved, throwing cold water on a last-minute offer from  Relativity Media  worth up to $1.1 billion.  "As per the announcement made on March 24, Maker Studios has entered into a merger agreement with The Walt Disney Company," a Maker spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "The agreement has been approved by Maker Studios' Board of Directors and the majority of its shareholders and is expected to close in the next few weeks, subject to regulatory approval.
April 12, 2014 | By Tracy Brown
Art aficionados planning to attend the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend will be able to watch artists create works live on the USC site as well as hear the many assembled writers. Artists' Row, a new feature at the festival, will house six artists who specialize in various media as they create pieces guided by the festival's theme, “Inspire Your Fire.” The artists will work throughout the weekend at the gathering at the University of Southern California; their pieces are expected to be finished by the end of the day on Sunday.
April 12, 2014 | Steve Chawkins
Today, the image would have gone viral in an instant: The president of the United States, dripping wet in swim trunks before a throng of excited beachgoers, trading a look and a laugh with an attractive woman in a polka-dot bikini. But well before the Internet's relentless rationing of spontaneous fame, the 1962 photo of President Kennedy at Santa Monica's beach made quite a splash. For a Los Angeles woman named Eva Ban, its effect lasted a lifetime. Ban was the woman in the two-piece swimsuit, which was called a bikini in news accounts but was modest by today's standards.
April 11, 2014 | By Trishna Patel
Michaeleen Gallagher captured this image of two nestling hummingbirds at the  Sunnyland Gardens in Rancho Mirage. The garden is a 9-acre, arid yet colorful landscape on the grounds of the Annenberg Retreat by Sunnylands . It's a peaceful sanctuary often used as a backdrop for meetings among national and global political leaders, most recently by President Obama and King Abdullah II of Jordan in February .  Perhaps these baby...
April 11, 2014 | By Jen Kucsak
I hate meeting guys on the Internet. It's weird. It's creepy. It's not safe. But I liked blogger guy. I didn't meet blogger guy on Match, JDate or Tinder. I didn't meet him on Facebook or even on Twitter. He was an avid reader of my blog and often commented on my posts. He too was a twentysomething blogger, and he just seemed to get me. His comments led to emails. His emails led to instant messaging. And the instant messaging led to being Facebook friends. I enjoyed everything he had to say. He seemed so genuine.
April 10, 2014 | By Inkoo Kang
Nostalgia is a legal but dangerous substance in "Detonator," a repetitive, sluggishly paced nocturnal rumination on why we bother reuniting with old friends we purposefully left behind. Suburban dad Sully (Lawrence Michael Levine) and wastrel bachelor Mick (Benjamin Ellis Fine) used to play in a punk band called Detonator, back when "the music was real," according to Mick. Their third bandmate, a female drummer who has gone on to solo success, is Sully's ex and Mick's obsession. Years after the band break-up, the two former pals reunite for a night of "you've changed so much, you haven't changed at all" - all just a prelude for Mick to ask one last preposterous favor of his exhausted buddy.
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