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February 3, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
The things people do for charity. Bestselling author Neil Gaiman promised he would read "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss if the fundraising campaign for Worldbuilders reached $500,000. With about five days left to go, it did. Calling the book "rather wonderful," a slightly rumpled Gaiman read the children's book classic. As he explains on his blog, Gaiman is "very beardy, because I am not going out in public, and am just writing. " Founded by author Patrick Rothfuss, Worldbuilders holds a different fundraiser each year for Heifer International.
January 28, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Ecoterrorist Rebecca Rubin was sentenced Monday to five years in prison -- and to read a book by Malcolm Gladwell. The prison sentence was the shortest she could have received under federal sentencing guidelines, Slate reported . The reading assignment: That was extra. Rubin belonged to a group that acted as part of the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front in the 1990s. Rubin admitted in her plea agreement to freeing horses at a Bureau of Land Management facility and failed attempts to set fire to a U.S. Forest Industries facility in Medford, Ore., and to buildings and ski lifts in Vail, Colo.
January 24, 2014 | By Houston Mitchell
The folks who run the Bad Lip Reading channel on YouTube released their latest video this week: their take on the NFL. The video, which you can watch above, is well worth the four minutes it will take to watch. Some of my favorite moments: Tom Brady saying, "Is this the party?" Peyton Manning listing some things that could gross him out. Charlie Whitehurst and Philip Rivers discussing the ocean drying up. Jim Harbaugh explaining what he would do if he went to Transylvania.
January 16, 2014 | By Paul Whitefield
So, the state of Ohio conducted a little experiment Thursday: Can you execute someone using just two drugs? And the result? Why, yes you can. But it wasn't quick , and it may not have been painless. First, a little background. The executed man, Dennis McGuire, was convicted in 1994 of raping and murdering Joy Stewart, 22, who was eight months' pregnant. And he eventually confessed to the crime. So there's no doubting his guilt. And Ohio, like several states, previously used a three-drug execution method.
January 16, 2014 | Sam Farmer
RENTON, Wash. - For Seattle fullback Derrick Coleman, the Seahawks' home field is the loudest stadium he's never heard. Coleman is legally deaf, and has been since he was 3, so he won't have need for earplugs Sunday when the Seahawks play host to San Francisco in the NFC championship game. "I feel it, I don't exactly hear it," he said of the noise at CenturyLink Field, where twice this season the Seahawks "12th Man" set Guinness Book records for being the world's loudest crowd at a sporting event.
January 3, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
We all know that reading a novel can transport you, delight you and intrigue you while you're reading it. Now, thanks research by scientists at Emory University, we know that immersing yourself in a novel causes measurable physical changes in the brain that can be detected up to five days after the reader closes the book. The Emory researchers, in a paper for the journal Brain Connectivity, compared the effect to “muscle memory.” "The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist," neuroscientist Gregory Berns said, according to a report in the journal Science Codex . "We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else's shoes in a figurative sense.
December 22, 2013 | By Howard Blume
L.A. Unified is improving faster - in some categories much faster - than most other large, urban school systems, according to the latest results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which tests a sample of students nationwide. And while the district's overall scores remained relatively low, its progress elicited praise from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Los Angeles is among the school systems that are "examples for the rest of the country of what can happen when schools embrace innovative reforms," Duncan said.
December 17, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Back in April, as we were wandering the Mid-City neighborhood in which he was raised, Walter Mosley mentioned “Parishioner,” a novel that he had published as an e-book original. If you don't know it, that's not surprising; it was a small book, snuck out (if such a thing is possible) in the months leading up to the release of the Easy Rawlins-resurrecting “Little Green.” When I asked why he'd chosen to do it as an e-book, he gave a little shrug. “Oh, you know,” he said.
December 7, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
Here are some of the best reads, long-form journalism and investigative reports you may have missed from the week past. USA Today examines FBI data, police records and media reports to understand mass killings in America and the people, weapons, circumstances and motivations behind the bloodshed. The New York Review of Books offers an inside look at the political history of Donald Rumsfeld from the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush to the wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
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