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February 11, 2011
The Riddle of the Sands A Novel Penguin Classics: 336 pp., $15 paper Adlard Coles Nautical: 270 pp., $13.95 paper
February 7, 2014 | By Philip Hersh
SOCHI, Russia - In October 1939, Winston Churchill tried to fathom this vast and perplexing land. "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma," he said. Nearly 75 years later, the attempts to explain Russia visually and musically in Friday's opening ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium were a stunning if occasionally confusing collage of images created by a wide gamut of human movement and technological wizardry. How, for instance, does one interpret the Russian team's marching in to about 10 minutes of "Not Gonna Get Us" by t.A.T.u, a Russian female duo some think uses its songs and public actions as a way to show support for the LGBT community?
February 12, 2007 | Chris Lee, Times Staff Writer
ALTHOUGH the Grammys are putatively about awards, water cooler conversation invariably centers on the true spectacle: odd coincidences, red carpet shenanigans, out-of-nowhere wins. Among Sunday's moments: Translate this Asked by Ryan Seacrest to confirm his rumored romance with Jessica Simpson, John Mayer paused, then gave his answer in seamless Japanese. "Take it to the room, find a Japanese person, decode it and subtitle it," Mayer urged. "You'll have your answer."
January 24, 2014 | By Meehan Crist
One day, David Stuart MacLean forgot who he was. "It was darkness darkness darkness, then snap. Me. Now awake. " He was a blank slate, standing in a bustling train station in India. Things went downhill from there. From these dark days, MacLean has created a deeply moving account of amnesia that explores the quandary of the self. The book's short, episodic sections are particularly well suited to evoking the hellish psychosis MacLean endures after "waking up. " These disorienting snippets of experience offer little reflection, context or connective tissue.
December 24, 1989
If nothing else, Stone has solved the riddle of how to be an anarchist and a capitalist concurrently, to say nothing of exorcising his demons at great profit. TONY THOMAS Burbank
August 20, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Workers at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court here were on edge after two .22-caliber bullets were fired through the second-floor window of a judge's chambers. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lynne Riddle said she was doing paperwork in her chambers most of the day Sunday but briefly left the courthouse around 12:30 p.m., shortly before an attorney working nearby heard gunfire. When Riddle returned, she noticed that two bullets had shattered the window near her computer. "We're all very uneasy now.
June 18, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Of interest to book lovers and riddle solvers: the Midnight Clock. On Tuesday, Kickstarter featured the Midnight Clock as its project of the day . Kickstarter, of course, is the micro-funding site where anyone can contribute to a project in progress. This project is a wall clock designed in Pittsburgh. Constructed of birch or bamboo, it includes a riddle on the front. Solve the riddle, and the clock opens up to reveal a book hidden inside. What book? Well, that's up to the hider.
November 2, 2008
It's always disappointing to read the architectural reviews in The Times because your reviewers don't seem to understand the bigger picture of Los Angeles ["No Time for Fancy Work -- Let's Get Local" by Christopher Hawthorne, Oct. 26]. After the Industrial Revolution, people moved to L.A. because they did not want Chicago, San Francisco or New York. They invented a new city, which is still what we are today. We are just experiencing growing pains. We now cannot have a big backyard for everybody, so L.A. will continue its "quick evolution."
December 10, 1987
In response to Lewis H. Lapham's column ("Give Greed a Sporting Chance," Op-Ed Page, Nov. 28): I realize the article is a spoof, but this sentence is delivered in all seriousness: "Most Americans delight in gambling, and they recognize capitalism as a largely irrational means of distributing the nation's wealth." Irrational? I submit that capitalism is not only the most rational system, but also that it is the only morally justifiable system. If Lapham thinks that what we see around us is a capitalist society, he's mistaken.
September 3, 1988
I must take exception to Kevin Thomas' gratuitous slandering of Christianity and the medieval church in his review of the film "Sorceress" (Aug. 26). The (for me) offending paragraph begins, "The unity with which Elda views God and Nature lays bare the contradictions and hypocrisies that riddle Christianity." Instead of detailing these pantheistic deficiencies (Elda's virtues), however, Thomas follows with this unrelated sentence: "To what degree, for example, should Etienne (the priest in the film)
January 10, 2014 | By Martin Tsai
Unspooled in the January dumping ground and not screened for critics, Renny Harlin's "The Legend of Hercules" has preemptively conceded defeat in its duel with Brett Ratner's "Hercules," the other Hollywood project based on the same Greek hero due this year. One of the best-known figures in Greek mythology, Hercules has yet to receive serious cinematic regard. Besides serving as a bit player in films such as "Immortals" and "Jason and the Argonauts," Hercules has been the subject of one wisecracking animated musical from Disney and numerous live-action features straight out of the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" canon.
December 2, 2013 | By Hugo Martín
After a nasty storm ripped through the East Coast on the busiest travel day of the year, you might think that buying travel insurance for holiday travel would be a no-brainer. Not so much. The 114-year-old National Consumers League concluded recently that travel insurance is usually a bad deal because most policies are riddled with exceptions that allow insurance companies to reject claims for payoffs. Most insurance companies won't disclose their track record for paying out claims, making it nearly impossible to judge whether insurance is worth the money, the league points out. "The unfortunate reality is that these protection policies bring in big bucks for the airlines each year but offer very little real value for customers," said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League.
November 22, 2013 | By Catherine Saillant and David Zahniser
A new Department of Water and Power billing system that has been riddled with problems cost ratepayers more than twice the $59 million cited by the utility's spokesman in recent days. The total cost of staff time, contractors and software for the troubled system, which has brought an avalanche of public complaints, is $162 million, DWP spokesman Joe Ramallo said Friday. About $63 million of that was labor costs for DWP employees who were diverted from regular duties to help roll out the program, Ramallo said.
October 25, 2013 | By Gary Klein
USC players have dealt with plenty of distractions during the last four weeks. Lane Kiffin was fired as coach, interim Coach Ed Orgeron took over and teammates continued to fall because of injuries suffered during and after a loss at Notre Dame. Not exactly ideal circumstances to consider potential bowl-game scenarios. But on Saturday against Utah, the Trojans play what might turn out to be the most pivotal game in deciding their postseason fate. USC has a 13-game schedule, so the Trojans must finish at least 7-6 to be considered automatically bowl-eligible.
September 17, 2013 | By Paige St. John
SACRAMENTO - How ever California meets a December deadline to ease prison crowding, the state's prison problems are far from over. Federal judges in June warned California that they are wary of any temporary fix, and are likely soon to demand California also produce a long-term plan for its chronically overcrowded prisons. [See California's request for a 3-year delay in prison crowding caps.] As well, inmate lawyers continue to press  for changes within the system, whatever its size.
September 12, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Researchers seeking weapons against HIV have solved a molecular riddle about how the pathogen docks with immune system cells to unleash its viral mayhem. Their computer-generated images of the molecules, which are 185,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, offer researchers promising avenues for developing a drug that might impede HIV's cellular invasion, according to a study published online Thursday in the journal Science Express. “We don't have the whole scenario of what happens when HIV enters a cell, but this is going to be a major jigsaw-puzzle piece,” said Dr. P.J. Klasse, a virologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, who was not part of the research team.
February 13, 1994
Regarding Peter Rainer's film commentary "Why the 'Schindler's List' Backlash?" (Jan. 30): As one who holds the film "Schindler's List" in even higher regard than does Rainer, I thank him for his most thoughtful response to the complaints of the Backlash Brigade. Most of the debate, like the one concerning "Philadelphia," only demonstrates that filmmakers are sure to be "damned if they do and damned if they don't" when it comes to dealing with certain sensitive subjects. I recently viewed "Schindler's List" for the second time.
July 20, 2008 | Chuck Culpepper
Hit: If Ben Curtis came to your front door one morning, you probably wouldn't recognize him, but he's the 2003 British Open champion and a whiz at this links riddle. He finished eighth last year, shot a remarkable 70 in the sunny horror Saturday, and wowed spectators with an eagle on No. 3 -- nine-iron from 165 yards -- that he presumed bunker-bound until cheering budded in the distance. "All of a sudden we walked 10 more yards and they went crazy," he said. Miss: If you're English and you're going to shank your second shot on No. 15 and visit the gorse and lose your ball, it probably helps just a tad to find Queen Elizabeth's second son standing there.
July 16, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Too much good news in medicine may be bad news for science, according to a new study that suggests animal research is riddled with bias that allows too many treatments to advance to human trials. Researchers examined data from thousands of experiments on animals for such neurological diseases as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and stroke. They found that the published findings were too good to be true from a statistical perspective. “There's just too many significant results out there,” said Stanford University epidemiologist John Ioannidis, lead author of the study published online Tuesday in PLOS Biology.
June 21, 2013 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Physicist Kenneth G. Wilson, who earned a Nobel Prize for breakthrough research that explained how factors like temperature and pressure lead to sudden transformations of matter, such as boiling water's shift from liquid to vapor, died Saturday in Saco, Maine. He was 77. The cause was complications of lymphoma, according to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where he worked when he won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1982. The prestigious award recognized Wilson for his sophisticated approach to answering such elemental riddles as why water boils or freezes and why magnets lose their power.
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