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June 20, 2013 | By Susan Denley
Jennifer Lopez says criticism she's received for wearing skimpy costumes onstage isn't quite fair. Other pop stars do the same, she points out, to less outrage simply because they aren't as curvy as she.  [Telegraph] Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been found guilty on Italian tax-evasion charges, given suspended 20-month prison sentences and ordered to pay about $670,000 in penalties. [ Los Angeles Times ] PHOTOS: "Devious Maids" premiere party It seems like George Zimmer, famous in pop culture for his TV ad slogan, "You're going to like the way you look.
June 7, 2013
SCIENCE Post-apocalyptic movies and books often feature humans struggling to survive. That might happen someday for real, and Annalee Newitz wants us to be prepared. "Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive A Mass Extinction" (Doubleday, $26.95) analyzes Earth's epochal changes, past and possible. Newitz, founding editor of, casts an optimist's eye forward to how technological innovations may help us avert catastrophe. CHILDREN'S Although "Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale" (Harry N. Abrams, $16.95, ages 6-9)
May 30, 2013
SPORTS The Boys in the Boat Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics Daniel James Brown Viking, $28.95 An underdog story of nine working-class boys from the University of Washington's eight-oar crew and their determination to win an Olympic gold medal racing against elite teams from England and Nazi Germany. (June) Doc A Memoir Dwight Gooden and Ellis Henican New Harvest, $27 The former NY Mets pitcher had a Cy Young Award and a World Series crown and the adoration of fans, only to throw it all away on drugs and alcohol; he details his struggles to get sober and his relationships with family and fellow players.
May 14, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
To judge by some of the reviews of the new film adaptation of "The Great Gatsby," you'd think Australian director Baz Luhrmann would be facing extradition for his crime against an American classic. But I have a message for all those self-appointed protectors of F. Scott Fitzgerald's indelible novel: The book doesn't need your condemnation of this supposed 3-D travesty to survive. If it can live through the tedium of Jack Clayton's 1974 movie version with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, it can live through anything.
February 10, 2013 | By Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
As the high-profile worlds of fashion and music collide at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night, one need only consider David Bowie to see why the two will be forever intertwined. Five decades after he introduced the first of his myriad manifestations, Bowie and his stylistic influences still reverberate from Hollywood red carpets to glossy magazine covers to the runway shows going on now at New York Fashion Week. And, if the first month and a half of 2013 is any indication, there's every reason to believe that the Thin White Duke will cast a long shadow across popular culture this year.
February 5, 2013 | By Eric Pincus
Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has become active again at the Huffington Post , restarting his blog after a three-year layoff. Abdul-Jabbar's 2013 debut was a critique of the HBO series "Girls. " The show's creator, Lena Dunham, told E! Online that she only skimmed Abdul-Jabbar's post, hesitant to read a "mixed review. " "I blurted out to my dad, 'Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reviewed "Girls," ' " said Dunham, noting that her father's response was, 'I don't even know how to process that.
January 17, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
AUSTIN, Texas - Don Graham, an English professor at the University of Texas at Austin, likes to tell the story of a student who once worked as a cowboy. "Wore hat and boots," Graham says. "He was the real deal. " At the end of the academic year, the student told Graham, "You were the only professor at UT I ever had who spoke English. " "What he meant," Graham says, "was I was the only one who spoke his language. " And by language, the student meant talking Texan - the distinctive twang and drawl that becomes almost an attitude, from the first "howdy" to the last "thank you, kindly.
January 7, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
The TV newsmagazine "The Insider" was created nearly a decade ago on the premise that viewers couldn't get enough behind-the-scenes looks at television and film stars. That's still true, but these days, celebrity watchers don't need to turn on the TV to get their fix. Fans are awash in Hollywood gossip thanks to social media and the Internet. And in a connected world where reality star Kim Kardashian turned to her own blog to share news of her pregnancy, pop culture no longer waits for an evening TV time slot.
December 30, 2012 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
Body by Beckham Women weren't the only ones baring skin in ads this year. Fast fashion giant H&M debuted its first Super Bowl ad for the David Beckham Bodywear collection, starring the soccer star in his skivvies. During the London Summer Olympics, images from the campaign were projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover. (February, August) The '20s roar The fall 2012 runway collections were steeped in 1920s influences, from Ralph Lauren's "Great Gatsby"-inspired gowns to Tory Burch's sportswear inspired by 1920s Deauville, to Frida Giannini's Art Deco black-and-gold fringed flapper dresses at Gucci.
December 21, 2012 | By Mikael Wood, Los Angeles Times
The Holy or the Broken Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" Alan Light Atria: 272 pp., $25 There's a great scene in Penelope Spheeris' 1992 film "Wayne's World" - find it on YouTube under the title "May i help you riff" - in which an impatient guitar-store employee prevents Wayne from plucking out the opening arpeggios of "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. Pointing with great urgency, the guy directs Wayne's attention to a sign hung on the store's wall: "NO STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN," it reads.
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