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November 5, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg
It appears likely that the next mayor of New York City will be a Red Sox fan. According to the rules of the New York I grew up in, I'd expect to see the Hudson turn into a river of blood and Zabar's to close due to a locust infestation before that happened. But if Bill de Blasio's remarkable rise proves anything, it's that the rules can change. A liberal's liberal, De Blasio still waxes nostalgic about the noble struggle of the Nicaraguan Sandinistas, for whom he raised money in the 1980s.
October 3, 2013 | By Christopher Reynolds
We're sorry, world. As you know, countless travelers from around the globe got shafted this week when U.S. elected officials, unable to compromise on a budget, closed down more than 400 national park system sites (and much of the federal government). But just because our intransigent officials have locked you out of Yellowstone and Yosemite - and left legions of Americans without needed income or services - that doesn't mean you have to sit in your hostel in your black socks and sandals, cursing your luck and our leaders.
October 2, 2013 | By Monte Morin
Can the sexual behavior of insects predict inclement weather? According to a study published recently in the journal PLOS One, nothing quite ruins the mood of amorous bugs like the hint of foul weather. Or, to be more precise, the steady drop in barometric pressure that accompanies an approaching storm. Though many insects have evolved ways of coping with, or even taking advantage of, moderate rainfall and wind, a pummeling rainstorm can spell doom for the fragile creatures.
September 28, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
The walking wound that is Claire Danes' bipolar superspy Carrie Mathison returns to duty in your living room Sunday, on Showtime, as the third season of "Homeland" begins. There is no sign, for the moment (and the next moment, at least), of her fugitive love Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), the Marine-turned-terrorist-congressman-turned-triple-agent-cum-boyfriend, last seen as Carrie saw him to the Canadian border, after the bombing of CIA headquarters - the endgame of a complicated plot for which Brody had been framed.
September 20, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
She was smiling as she said it, but on Thursday night at the Echoplex with her band the Julie Ruin, singer Kathleen Hanna stood onstage with a no-nonsense attitude. "This is business, you guys," she said between songs, possessing the tone of the world's best boss. "And I want to thank you for coming to this meeting. I'm not really sure what it's about yet, but I think it will become apparent as we get to know each other better. "  Gradually, joyously, and with great magnetism, the agenda became clear.
August 16, 2013 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
It's been three months since Plaza Towers Elementary School became the symbolic heart of the mammoth tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla., leaving 24 people dead. The twister leveled the Plaza Towers campus, killing seven third-graders as students and teachers sought shelter in hallways and restrooms. On Friday, the school welcomed back students -- and their emotional parents -- as the new academic year got underway. Plaza Towers Elementary is being temporarily housed in a nearby junior high school, and Briarwood Elementary, which was also destroyed in the May 20 tornado, is being housed in a Baptist church.
August 14, 2013 | By Paul Whitefield
Will success spoil San Francisco? Or, is too much of a good thing a bad thing? Seems the tech boom that is fueling the Bay Area's economy is also creating a San Andreas-like “let them eat cake” fault line in Baghdad by the Bay, pitting Silicon Valley's nouveau riche against, well, S.F.'s nouveau poor. As Times reporter Jessica Guynn wrote Wednesday: Fueling the growing rift is a common belief that the vast wealth being amassed by the tech industry is not spilling over into the community.
August 14, 2013 | By Scott Gold
Not too long ago, I was walking along the strip in Venice and saw a man holding a cardboard sign. For 10 bucks, the sign said, you could kick the guy in the crotch. I had to ask: "How's business?" "Slow, bro," he said, as if he was trying to unload Popsicles in the dead of winter. Ah, Venice - where just about everything is for sale. Along Ocean Front Walk, you can buy beach stuff, of course - bodyboards decorated with dolphins, sunscreen jacked up to the price of shiraz.
August 7, 2013 | Chris Dufresne
This is a first in countdown history - an aborted mission. Stop the rocket launch. The executive committee, in a unanimous decision, ruled it was time to pull the plug and spoil the surprise party: Turn on the lights and come out from behind the couches. Texas A&M was going to be this year's preseason No. 1. But that was before NCAA helicopters started circling around quarterback Johnny Manziel. Texas A&M without Manziel is like a car without an engine. Balloons were filled and champagne was on ice, but we were starting to get a bad vibe - similar to Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals between the Lakers and Boston Celtics.
August 2, 2013 | Chris Dufresne
One of the unforeseen perks of the maligned Bowl Championship Series was the annual major-bowl quest of the mid-major. Will the last year of the BCS mean the last year of the underdog? Not necessarily, but the new College Football Playoff in two years will be different and less intriguing. Instead of a madcap BCS standings race for a coveted "BCS buster" spot, the lucky winner will be hand-picked by a selection committee. The committee will determine the top team from the "Group of Five" leagues and place it into a major bowl game.
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