March 13, 2014 |
Herbalife Ltd. said Thursday a new U.S. probe of the nutritional products maker would not affect its sponsorship of the Galaxy and other teams and athletes. The company, whose business practices have been publicly attacked by a Wall Street investment manager, said Wednesday it now was the subject of a civil probe by the Federal Trade Commission but provided no other details. Money manager Bill Ackman has alleged Herbalife, whose nutrition and weight-management products are sold by independent salespeople, is effectively a pyramid scheme.
March 12, 2014 |
Caffeine is an essential at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim - thousands and thousands of food and personal care products and crowds as big as nearby Disneyland. Which is what led me to one of my favorites of the 2014 show last week. Blue Bottle Coffee and Clover organic milk - together. In a little school-size milk carton, with chicory and sugar. I can hardly wait for these to get to markets, which should happen this year. Blue Bottle founder James Freeman said he had tried other ready-to-drink coffees on the market and rated them "from terrible to horrible.
March 9, 2014 |
Robert Proctor doesn't think ignorance is bliss. He thinks that what you don't know can hurt you. And that there's more ignorance around than there used to be, and that its purveyors have gotten much better at filling our heads with nonsense. Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford, is one of the world's leading experts in agnotology, a neologism signifying the study of the cultural production of ignorance. It's a rich field, especially today when whole industries devote themselves to sowing public misinformation and doubt about their products and activities.
March 6, 2014 |
FilmL.A. produced another one of its gloomy reports on runaway production Thursday, this time looking at the 108 films released last year by the 11 leading studios. One of the most galling findings : More of those films had been shot in Louisiana than in the state that's home to 10 of those studios (that would be California, in case you've forgotten). Louisiana, really? That's almost as bad as the Lakers getting stomped by the Pelicans. What's worse, as my colleague Richard Verrier reports , California's share of big-budget films has shrunk dramatically.
March 5, 2014 |
Rancho Feeding Corp., the Bay Area slaughterhouse that recalled nearly 9 million pounds of beef products last month, sold some meat that came from cows with eye cancer, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Meat processed by Rancho Feeding was sold to thousands of retail stores, including Kroger, Food 4 Less and Wal-Mart as well as smaller meat markets that cater to Latino customers. The Rancho Feeding recall has also led to a voluntary recall by Nestle of its Philly Steak and Cheese flavored Hot Pockets after it discovered a supplier had bought meat from Rancho Feeding.
March 5, 2014 |
Hany Abu-Assad should be used to the tension by now. The Palestinian director has shot most of his films ("Paradise Now," "Rana's Wedding") in a region known far more for its conflict than its cinema, and his story lines often take place in between tangles of barbed wire and crowded checkpoints. But filming "Omar" on the West Bank and in his hometown of Nazareth almost proved too much - even for Abu-Assad. "At the end of the shoot, I told everybody, 'I'm not going to make another movie,'" said the director.
March 5, 2014 |
Among the hundreds of gadgets, games and apps at January's Consumer Electronics Show, few had the sizzle of James Buch's gleaming silver hunk of hardware. That's because the device is a barbecue grill - one that's Wi-Fi enabled, voice activated and chatty in a Siri-ish way. "When the Lynx Smart Grill is ready for the food, it sends you a text," said Buch, chief executive of Lynx Professional Grills of Downey. "When it's time to flip the food, it sends you a text. When the food is ready, it sends you a text.
March 3, 2014 |
From beauty products to designer clothes, celebrities are showered with free, lavish gifts during awards season. But swag bags and events organized around them don't just benefit celebrities. They help companies that put together the luxury events and companies that publicize their products at them -- and they often cost the companies that donate the swag a load of money. "People say, 'Wait, you make money from your swag bags?' and I tell them, 'Yes, there's actually a business behind it,'" said Amy Boatwright, one of the owners of Secret Room Events, a brand and product marketing firm.
March 3, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Samsung Electronics Co. struck social media gold when Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres used one of its smartphones to take what has now become the world's most famous selfie. DeGeneres never mentioned Samsung, a major Academy Awards sponsor, but handed actor Bradley Cooper the company's Galaxy Note 3 for the celebrity-filled shot that included Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o. The Oscars selfie was such a viral hit that it crushed the previous record set by President Obama after his reelection in 2012 and temporarily knocked Twitter's service offline as fans retweeted it more than 700,000 times in the first half hour alone.
March 2, 2014 |
An Oscar, whether it is for lead actress or for makeup and hair, weighs exactly the same (8.5 pounds). A win in production design represents a level of achievement in a craft on par with best director. The night for all the winners is just as golden - same stars overhead. Yet there is a different, dimmer spotlight on the below-the-line contenders. Their red carpet walk will go unnoted, their gowns and tuxedo flair overlooked and their heartfelt speeches mostly unremembered or rudely cut short.