December 28, 2010 |
The scrubbing, cooking and sweeping started as early as 3 a.m. When the landlord's children awoke hours later, the 9-year-old girl got them ready for a school she could only dream of attending. Afternoons and evenings were spent cutting hay and tending animals. Around 10 p.m., she'd collapse for a few hours before starting again, seven days a week. It must be my fate, she thought, a feeling eventually replaced by anger and bitterness. Every January or February she'd see her family for a week, only to watch her father "sell" her back into another year of drudgery for a mere $25. Although some of her friends spent most of their childhood this way, she was lucky: A civic group persuaded her parents to end the arrangement after three years.
December 23, 2010 |
Victor Ladu drops his crutches in the dirt and sits with his one leg folded beneath him. He looks like a dark bird perched for flight. He brushes dust from the right cuff folded high at the knee. It's a hot afternoon. Women balance water buckets on their heads and soldiers, so young, almost like boys, wander through the grass in lazy patrols. They may have to fight one day, but for now they stroll with their guns, lighting trash fires along the road near the new schoolhouse and clinic.
November 27, 2010 |
It was a touchdown. Then, it wasn't. These are still the same old Trojans. No, they aren't. In a rainy Saturday night mist, USC's forbidden autumn found itself on the fingertips of receiver Ronald Johnson, 15 yards from a game-winning score, nothing between him and the end zone but deep green grass and red Trojans paint. The defender had slipped. The pass had not. Johnson swiveled to make the glorious catch and complete the glorious run and . . . he dropped it. USC had a chance to win its ninth consecutive game against Notre Dame, and it dropped the ball.
October 16, 2010 |
The Coliseum was dead. The Cal Bears were dregs. The USC season plowed past its halfway point Saturday finally in the throes of a probation hangover that left one thinking about the final six games and wondering, why? Then lucky little 13 showed up again, helmet flying, pads quaking, scoreboard blinking. Robert Woods is why. Robert Woods is one reason the rest of this USC season matters, the next great Trojans playmaker straightening out those weary shrugs and jolting those sad smiles.
October 7, 2010 |
The 3D, ultra-derivative, torture-porn extravaganza "Scar" was available for review only in 2D, so only one eyeful of its worthlessness is captured here. The depth of its depravity, though, is clear. In the latest excuse to exhibit beautiful girls being slowly mutilated, a woman (Angela Bettis) who survived such treatment at the hands of a serial killer returns to her hometown, the scene of the crime, years later. Lo and behold, copycat murders ensue. The killer captures two victims and slices and dices one until he or she tells him to kill the other victim.
August 23, 2010 |
In "If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise," airing Monday and Tuesday on HBO, Spike Lee returns to New Orleans, the scene of his post-Katrina documentary "When the Levees Broke" to assess what might be called the damage being done by the recovery. He also assesses the actual recovery, the illusory recovery, the psychological recovery, and the assault on the recovery that is the BP oil spill — an unfortunate and unavoidable late addition that, though not specifically related to Katrina or the following flood, fits his larger themes of class war and bad luck and enlarges his portrait of a land that can seem beleaguered by God or cursed through voodoo but which most definitely shows the scars of human mismanagement, corruption and greed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 2010 |
Richard "Scar" Lopez, a founding member of Cannibal & the Headhunters, the East Los Angeles vocal group that scored a national hit in the mid-1960s with "Land of 1000 Dances," has died. He was 65. Lopez died of lung cancer July 30 in a convalescent hospital in Garden Grove, said Gene Aguilera, who managed the group a decade ago during its local comeback. They were four high school students in East L.A. — Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia, Lopez, Robert "Rabbit" Jaramillo and his brother, Joe "Yo Yo" Jaramillo — when they emerged on the national music scene in 1965.
July 1, 2010 |
On the surface, everything appears fine. More than fine, actually. Hiroki Kuroda, who didn't win more than nine games in either of his first two seasons, already has seven. Along with Clayton Kershaw, the 35-year-old right-hander from Japan has stabilized a Dodgers rotation that has been hindered by health problems and inexperience. Kuroda is 10 1/2 months removed from the day he was hit in the head by a ball off the bat of Rusty Ryal of the Arizona Diamondbacks. His start on Friday will be his second at Chase Field since the incident; he had no problems in the first, pitching 7 1/3 innings and earning a win. But even if the memory of taking a line drive off his skull hasn't affected his pitching — he goes into his start with a 3.27 earned-run average — Kuroda acknowledges that something about him has changed.
June 28, 2010 |
For many, Yellowstone National Park is a place where nature gives a lifetime of memories — the beauty of the landscape, the wildlife and the geysers. For me, Yellowstone is a reminder of a turning point in my life, one that resulted in a death sentence. It's a memory I'd rather forget. I was the vice president for public relations at the California Institute of Technology in the fall of 2006 when I took a vacation to Yellowstone. I normally didn't like to take vacations. I did conference calls from cruise ships and wrote e-mails from beach houses.