April 11, 2010 |
He wants to finish the job. Really. Baron Davis isn't the only Clipper who returned to his hometown, hoping to help remake the organization, hoping to own part of the city … only to find out the team is owning the lottery. Craig Smith sighed. Losing has a way of clouding even the most brilliant of sun-splashed days in Beverly Hills, marring the mood of an upbeat power forward with the fun, cartoonish nickname, the Rhino. "I've never been to the playoffs in four years," Smith said, shaking his head.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 9, 2010 |
For the "Rico Suave" bandit, the weapons of choice are charm, disguise and the power of persuasion. In August, the man slicked back his hair and pretended to be a member of a salsa band playing the Greek Theatre. He talked a clerk at the Wilshire Grand hotel into giving him the keys to the band's room and made off with $9,000. On his way out, he gave the clerk the band's CD. A few weeks later, he donned a Chivas soccer jersey and hugged members of the Mexican team as they left another downtown L.A. hotel, the Marriott, on a team bus. Then, posing as a member of the team's entourage, he persuaded a hotel clerk to give him the team's room keys, making off with $10,000.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 5, 2010 |
In most towns, a local theater troupe might boost ticket sales by having the mayor or the high school football coach take small parts in, say, "Annie Get Your Gun!" In Santa Barbara, where the university is home to five Nobel laureates, the Ensemble Theatre Company has rejiggered the formula: On Sunday, two Nobel Prize-winning physicists will portray two other Nobel Prize-winning physicists in a reading from a play that revolves around quantum mechanics and the development of nuclear weapons.
February 11, 2010 |
The gold medal Mark Johnson won as the leading scorer on the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team is sitting somewhere in the computer room of his home in Madison, Wis. "I couldn't tell you exactly where," he said, smiling. He didn't bring it with him to Vancouver for a second Olympic experience as coach of the U.S. women's hockey team, an opportunity that's as exhilarating for him as it was unexpected. He doesn't need to remind his players about the key role he played among the U.S. college kids who stunned the powerful Soviets and beat Finland to become Olympic champions and the patron saints of underdogs everywhere.
January 24, 2010 |
For the past several months, my home page has been James Maliszewski's blog Grognardia. Though it's nominally about "the history and traditions of the hobby of role-playing" -- Dungeons & Dragons and its ilk -- it's also an invigorating meditation on aesthetics. Maliszewski is an adherent of the "old school" movement, which favors flexible, elegant gaming systems (the original D&D, circa 1974, a.k.a. OD&D, published in "little brown books") to those that pile on so many supplementary rules and tables that they begin to feel restrictive rather than prescriptive.
December 23, 2009 |
President Obama met with community bankers at the White House on Tuesday and absolved them of blame for the financial crisis. But they didn't get off scot-free, as the president suggested they weren't lending enough. A little more than a week after calling executives of large financial institutions "fat-cat bankers" who helped trigger the country's economic troubles, the president was much kinder to a dozen small banks. But he delivered the same message -- albeit in a nicer tone -- as he did to a gathering of the big-bank chieftains: Make more loans to small businesses to help create jobs.
September 11, 2009 |
During the production of the new romantic drama "The Other Man," Antonio Banderas confessed to leading lady Laura Linney that he felt insecure about his performance. "She said, 'That is very good because you are stepping into new territory,' " the star of such films as "The Mask of Zorro," "Evita" and "Shrek 2" says. "Every time you step into new territory, you know you are not exactly doing the same thing and you are not getting comfortable," he says. "This character made [me]
September 3, 2009 |
Bernhard Schlink is best known to American readers as the author of "The Reader," the Oprah-anointed, bestselling novel whose film adaptation provided the role that won Kate Winslett an Oscar. In Europe, the German author is equally known for a gritty series of literary detective novels featuring an aging and irascible public prosecutor-turned-detective, Gerhard Self. "Self's Murder" is the fourth and, according to the author, the last in the series, though Schlink's characteristically ambiguous ending leaves the door at least slightly open to the possibility of further adventures.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 8, 2009 |
Sitting helplessly in the back of a bombed armored troop carrier as soldiers scrambled to tend the wounded, the diplomat had to ask himself: Was his meeting with Iraqi officials worth this? It is a question that instructors at the Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, in the Mojave Desert, hope diplomats always ask themselves before requesting transportation from the military units that house and protect them in many parts of Iraq.