December 13, 2013 |
BAGAN, Myanmar - Mr. Aye has a round, aged face and a wide, betel-nut-stained smile. Like many Burmese, he punctuates his speech with giggling, which can be alarming to a Westerner. "Just three years ago, hehehe," he says, "if I'd been seen reading one of Aung San Suu Kyi's books, I would have been taken somewhere by the military, and my family would not know where. I read them all in secret. Not even my family knew. Hehehe. " That scenario seems unfunny to me, but when you have lived most of your life under a military dictatorship, you perhaps find delight in having escaped an unjust fate at the hands of an oppressive government and living to see it toppled.
December 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON--Will visitors to the nation's capital still be able to see a skyline that includes the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol and other national landmarks if Congress relaxes century-old building height restrictions? That was perhaps the biggest - and still unresolved - question raised at a congressional hearing Monday on a proposal to allow taller buildings in the District of Columbia. The hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee highlighted divisions over the issue, with two planning officials taking opposite positions.
November 8, 2013 |
What you need to know about the latest epic showdown featuring Alabama and Louisiana State: • It's not as epic as two years ago, when LSU went to Alabama in what was billed as the "Game of the Century. " That hyped-up-on-helium affair ended up a field-goal exhibition, with LSU taking a 9-6 overtime win. Alabama was left kicking itself after missing four field-goal attempts. It was the lowest-scoring game between No. 1 and No. 2 since Army and Notre Dame played to a scoreless tie in 1946.
November 5, 2013 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2013 |
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.