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February 15, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
To help transform Matthew McConaughey into a man dying of AIDS, Robin Mathews used grits to simulate a flaky rash in "Dallas Buyers Club. " For a pivotal comb-over scene in "American Hustle," Kathrine Gordon shaved and thinned part of Christian Bale's bushy mane, leaving a patch of hair known as "the island. " And to create the poisonous-fog-induced blisters that break out on Jennifer Lawrence's character in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," Ve Neill and her team spent several hours fashioning the boils out of a membrane-thin silicone - in the middle of a Hawaiian jungle.  ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll    The three artists and their colleagues will be feted Saturday night at a dinner and awards show their guild is throwing for its members for the first time in a decade.
February 14, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WASHINGTON -- President Obama will announce millions of dollars in federal drought assistance Friday when he flies to California and tours fields and orchards ravaged by the deepening water crisis, aides said. The president wants farmers to know he is paying close attention to the drought and has instructed federal agencies to expedite help, Tom Vilsack, the secretary of Agriculture, said Thursday. “The federal government will do all it can to alleviate the stress associated with this drought,” Vilsack said in a call with reporters.
February 14, 2014 | By Shan Li
Occidental Petroleum is ending a nearly century-long run as a storied Los Angeles energy company and moving its headquarters to Houston as part of a corporate overhaul. The nation's fourth-largest oil firm also announced plans Friday to spin off its California assets into a separate publicly traded company based in the Southland. Occidental will continue to employ about 8,000 employees and contractors in the state. The company's split signals the end of an era for Occidental, which was founded in 1920 and led for many years by oil industry legend Armand Hammer.
February 14, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
One awful day, D.C. Copeland recalls, her perspective on her "pure" diet had become so distorted that she found herself crying in the produce section of a grocery store because she could not decide whether the kale or the chard was "better. " Jennifer Lombardi had so limited what she considered healthful that she found herself fending off others' questions about her diet. So she fabricated all sorts of food allergies - so no one would challenge her. Both women say they were struggling with orthorexia, a condition that had them so consumed with a health food diet - or, as many people now term it, a clean diet - that the list of foods they'd eat shrank and shrank.
February 14, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
The parrot wasn't talking. "I'm teaching her to say, 'I miss Mace,"' said Mace Neufeld, who at 85 reckons the bird, whose name is Margie, will outlast him. With no words of affection forthcoming, Neufeld, a New Yorker who landed in Beverly Hills back when you could grab a sandwich at the Ontra Cafeteria and rent a house with a pool for $300 a month, headed toward the sitting room. He once wrote music for Dorothy Loudon, managed Dusty Springfield, produced "The Omen. " But Neufeld moves with the fervor of a man less concerned with his legacy than the spread sheet of his latest film.
February 13, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
Former "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington, who has three projects in the 22nd annual Pan African Film Festival running through this weekend, says the fatherly thread in his latest projects is no coincidence. The actor portrays a small-town father who guides a son struggling with his sexuality in "Blackbird," based on the novel by Larry Duplechan. That screening, on Sunday, follows an earlier showing of Washington's star turn in "Blue Caprice," which portrays a twisted father-son-like relationship between John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, the men behind the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks around Washington, D.C. For Washington's third project in the festival, he served as co-producer on Stacey Muhammad's Web series, "For Colored Boys," a spin on the popular 1975 poem-turned-film "For Colored Girls…" The series, screening at the festival Friday night, follows a father's yearning to reunite with his family after a lengthy incarceration.
February 13, 2014 | By Randee Dawn
Pinning down the "best" scene of any Oscar-nominated performance is something of a Stygian nightmare for producers because - as they correctly protest - if an actor or actress has been nominated, they have far more than one great scene. But when ballots are being ticked off by academy voters later this month, most of them will have a single, crystallizing, moment held in their memory that helps them choose one performance over another. Here, then, are 10 of those great, possibly award-winning, moments: Christian Bale / "American Hustle" The setup: To avoid jail time, two low-level con artists are enlisted by an FBI agent to teach them how the business works … but the agent may be the one who ends up getting conned.
February 12, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 The CIF state championship bowl games last December in Carson produced a profit of $70,000, CIF associate director Ron Nocetti said. It's only the second time in eight years of the bowl games that a profit was made after expenses, according to Nocetti. The Open Division final between St. John Bosco and De La Salle drew the largest crowd in bowl history. The total attendance for the final day was 16,791, with the majority coming for the Open Division final that produced long ticket lines and caused some people to give up. Executive Director Roger Blake said one lesson learned is to warn fans to arrive much earlier than waiting until the last minute to purchase tickets for the final game of the two-day bowl games.
February 12, 2014 | By Amina Khan
It took 192 lasers and a building big enough to contain three football fields, but physicists have finally produced a pair of nuclear fusion reactions that created more energy than was in the fuel to start with. The reactions lasted less than a billionth of a second, and they released only a few thousand joules - enough to power a 100-watt light bulb for less than three minutes. But it marks the first time scientists have been able to harness the power of stars here on Earth. "This is really an important milestone," said Warren Mori, a plasma physicist at UCLA who was not involved in the effort.
February 11, 2014 | By Nicole Santa Cruz
Though the Rev. Robert H. Schuller was the face of the once-global "Hour of Power" television ministry, he was never alone. His wife, Arvella, was always behind the scenes, working to make sure everything ran smoothly. Arvella Schuller, who served as a producer of the television show and was one of the main creative forces of the Crystal Cathedral, died Tuesday at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange after a brief illness. She was 84. In a statement, her grandson, Bobby V. Schuller, said she died "peacefully of natural causes.
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