September 27, 2013 |
Dear Liz: What are your thoughts on charitable giving? I hear about tithing (giving 10% of income) but would have real problems trying to maintain that commitment. That said, I'd like to become a regular donor to a reputable charity. Answer: Most U.S. households give to charity, according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, but the average contribution rate for those who give is closer to 3% than 10%. If you want to step up your charitable giving, take the time to plan and prioritize as you would any other part of your financial life.
September 20, 2013 |
In its first 10 years Disney Hall became more than a home for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, it also became a destination for photographing advertisements and filming commercials, television shows and movies. Howard Sherman, vice president of operations at the Music Center, said the product of Frank Gehry's imagination works on film because the hall can be so many things to so many people. "If they want futuristic stainless steel curves, this is where they come. If they want a space to do a formal black tie gala in a traditional environment, this is where they can come," he said.
September 18, 2013 |
This year, 36.6 million people will be admitted to U.S. hospitals. Each patient will stay an average of 4.8 days, and the cost for all those hospitalizations will reach into the billions. Is all that time spent in hospitals good for patients? Hospitals, of course, are vital institutions that save lives. When someone needs intensive, around-the-clock care, there is no substitute. But as physicians and hospital staffs know well, the longer a patient stays in a hospital, the more perilous the hospitalization can become.
September 17, 2013 |
Fox premieres two new sitcoms Tuesday. One I would recommend; the other, I would not. Let's begin with the better: "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," which deems Andy Samberg ready for prime time, is set in a New York police precinct; its noble lineage runs back to "Car 54, Where Are You?" and "Barney Miller," but it shares DNA with every comedy in which a group of nonconformists and nincompoops are charged with some responsible task. The faces are fresh, but the school is old. Samberg's detective, whose wisecracking ways do not belie but certify his effectiveness ("The only problem he hasn't solved is how to grow up," says his sergeant, played by Terry Crews)
September 10, 2013 |
The smallest detail is never far from Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s mind. It has allowed him to compile a bank account that exceeds $100 million, a testament to the fighter's brilliance. "I once introduced him to a guy I knew, and just the other day, six years later, Floyd saw the guy in a crowd and said, 'Hey, there's your friend,' " said Nate Jones, Mayweather Jr.'s close friend and assistant trainer. "This guy remembers things like an elephant. " That brain power is constantly working for Mayweather (44-0, 26 knockouts)
August 26, 2013 |
Wearing a pair of smart glasses, runners could someday race against themselves. The idea for augmenting real runs with virtual models was a hit with leaders at Epson America Inc. The technology giant, known for its printers and projectors, is trying to be a leader in the emerging smart glasses market. While the well-known Google Glass eyewear has focused on providing functions similar to smartphones, Epson wants its glasses to be used in ways unlike any other device. Nearly two years after releasing the Moverio smart glasses, Epson invited app developers to its North American headquarters in Long Beach this past weekend to crank out ideas for how to use future versions of the glasses.
August 23, 2013 |
The do-it-yourself trend has taken off recently, helped by the popularity of such sites as Pinterest and Etsy that showcase people's personal crafting projects. Start-up Darby Smart is capitalizing on that and this summer launched a website to sell simple DIY kits for at-home projects including feather-topped drink stirrers, '20s-inspired headbands and monogrammed tote bags. The San Francisco company works with designers to create the crafting kits, which come with materials such as paint and glue, as well as instructions.
August 23, 2013 |
In 2011, the closure of the 405 Freeway in West Los Angeles for an entire weekend spawned the term "Carmageddon" in anticipation of a colossal traffic nightmare. It didn't happen. This month, Caltrans closed the 405's northbound offramp to heavily used Sunset Boulevard, which will last four months. Carmageddon? Nope. Last weekend, Caltrans shut down a four-mile stretch of the 405 in Orange County. Carmageddon? Nope. And over the Labor Day weekend, crews are scheduled to close the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge for five days to link the new east span to Interstate 80. Carmageddon?
August 20, 2013 |
Young adults tend to be early adopters of new technology. But as Samsung Electronics Co. gets ready to unveil its Gear smart watch next month, it could run into a barrier among young users who have grown up with time-telling smartphones in their pocket instead of watches around their wrists. “A lot of the millennial behavior is transitory,” said Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future . “But as people age, they still are not wearing watches and we'll begin to find out next month if that behavioral change is transformational.” The center, affiliated with the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, has been tracking the same group of people for 13 years.
August 1, 2013 |
In the opening moments of "The Spectacular Now," 17-year-old Sutter is trying to bluff his way through the infamous personal essay on a college application. He is fortified by drink as he tries out charm, wit, cynicism and insult - everything but honesty. It's a perfect start for this culturally astute drama, spiked with enough comedy to make it splendidly intoxicating to watch. In movies, coming-of-age has become convenient shorthand for the crush of stories about the high school crowd - sci-fi, drama, comedy, horror, take your pick.