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July 25, 2010 | By Ed Park, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"There are many types of genres," declares the busy spine of Dash Shaw's monumental 2008 graphic novel, "Bottomless Belly Button" (Fantagraphics: 720 pp., $29.99) "This is: family comedy/drama/horror/mystery/romance." It's as much taxonomical cheat sheet as it is a boast: in being so reductive, Shaw also broadcasts his ambition. Formally inventive and emotionally acute, "Bottomless Belly Button" indeed proves to be all those things: as fascinating and affecting a depiction of family ties as Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections" or Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums."
June 28, 2010 | Karen Voight, Good Form
If you practice yoga, you're familiar with downward-facing dog. It's a traditional pose that requires strength and energy in your arms and shoulders, extension of the spine, and power and stamina in your legs. If you practice yoga, you're no doubt familiar with downward-facing dog. It's a traditional pose that requires strength and energy in your arms and shoulders, extension of the spine, and power and stamina in your legs. From a kneeling position, sit back on your heels.
March 15, 2010 | By Karen Voight
In seated twists like this one, it's important to sit up tall and focus on lengthening your spine before you begin to twist. Done correctly, spinal twists increase circulation and build strength and flexibility in your back muscles. But you must be warmed up properly before you perform them. —Karen Voight Sit on the floor with both legs straight in front of you. Bend your left knee and place your left foot flat on the floor in front of your left sitting bone. Bend your left elbow and place it on the inside of your left knee with your fingertips pointing upward.
January 3, 2010 | By Valli Herman, Reporting from Las Vegas
Sin has a sophisticated new look. Peter Marino, the high-society architect known for designing the Chanel and Fendi boutiques in Beverly Hills and the Presidential Suites at the Four Seasons Hotel New York, put his luxurious spin on the most exclusive areas of the Aria Resort & Casino. The New York-based architect designed the high-limits gaming areas at Aria and the ultra-luxe VIP Sky Suites that span Floors 58 and 59 in the resort's south tower. The suites weren't finished for the Dec. 16 grand opening, and thus not every part of the project had met with the Marino team's approval "due to a plethora of contractual reasons," said Catherine Philbin, a spokeswoman.
October 26, 2009 | Yvonne Villarreal
Just a few weeks ago, Katie Featherston was balancing plates brimming with spaghetti and baked ravioli, working as a waitress at Buca di Beppo at Universal CityWalk. Micah Sloat was a struggling actor/computer programmer living in North Hollywood. Now, they're watching the micro-budget horror movie they filmed three years ago develop into a full-blown phenomenon. The two play the young couple haunted by a spectral force in the breakout hit "Paranormal Activity." The suspenseful supernatural thriller, reminiscent of "The Blair Witch Project," has become one of the year's biggest success stories.
October 19, 2009 | Karen Voight
This is a safe and effective way to strengthen the muscles in your back that run parallel to your spine. Start with just a small range of motion and make sure your feet are touching the floor. This will help isolate and train those underworked areas of your back. -- Karen Voight 1Lie face down on a flat padded surface or mat. Straighten your legs behind you with your toes facing the floor, your inner ankles facing each other. Place the palms of your hands on a round, full-length foam roller.
October 10, 2009 | David A. Keeps
While the kids go door to door for sweets, some adults might celebrate Halloween with something a little stronger. Whip up a batch of bloody Marys or zombies, and you can deploy the frozen skulls and crossbones of the Bone Chillers ice cube trays, $9.95 each from Z Gallerie -- ideal for bartenders who like to take orders by asking, "What's your poison?" -- David A. Keeps
August 31, 2009 | Karen Voight
Here are two ways to help you stretch your inner thighs and hamstrings. It's very important that you remember to keep your back straight. A common mistake is to lean forward with a rounded upper spine, which makes the stretch less effective. -- Karen Voight 1 Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Place your hands behind you and keep your spine upright as you slide both legs out to the sides as far as they can go. Make sure your toes and knees are facing up toward the ceiling.
June 6, 2009 | Richard Boudreaux and Maher Abukhater
An Israeli border police officer shot and killed a Palestinian man and seriously wounded a teenage boy Friday during a violent demonstration against Israel's installation of a barrier in the West Bank.
May 25, 2009 | Karen Voight
Typical yoga routines include a variety of backbends practiced repeatedly throughout the postures. When doing these backbends, it's important to create an "even" arch along the entire spine so you don't end up "crunching" your lower back. Here are two versions of backbends. -- Karen Voight 1 Lie face down on a mat or a padded surface with your elbows under your shoulders and your legs extended behind you. Keep your inner ankles and inner knees facing each other.
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