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Alisa Camplin measures her life in wooden spoons. The pint-sized Australian sticks the utensils into the snow to mark her launching point for aerial stunts she performs 50 feet in the air, perilous flights whose landings aren't cushioned by hydraulics. Like many aerial skiers, Camplin, 27, came to the sport by way of gymnastics. She didn't start skiing until she was 19, and her first training jumps were made into a scummy pond filled with leeches.
February 19, 2004 | Susan Carpenter, Times Staff Writer
With a name like Red Rattle Books, you'd think the new socially progressive kids' imprint from Soft Skull Press would be publishing titles such as "A Is for Activism" or "The Communist Manifesto (for Munchkins)." For 10 years, the Brooklyn-based press has built a solid reputation publishing left-leaning titles for adults -- intelligently written fiction and nonfiction dealing with gun violence, corporate control, pornography and other touchy subjects.
November 27, 2003 | Scott Gold, Times Staff Writer
Vickie Kloeris would like nothing more than to suffer the traditional anxieties of Thanksgiving: Will the turkey be moist? Will the in-laws get along? But it's hard to concentrate on such mundane matters when you've got things on your mind like giving your soup enough viscosity so that it sticks to a spoon without benefit of gravity.
December 1, 2011 | By Betty Hallock, Los Angeles Times
Four students are standing over a hot stove in the creamery of the Institute of Domestic Technology on a late-October Sunday at the Zane Grey Estate in Altadena. Each one is manning a hand-cranked Whirley-Pop popcorn popper filled not with popcorn but green coffee beans from Costa Rica. The raw coffee beans turn golden, then brown, then start to expand and crackle. A moment or two later, as the beans sizzle: "You hear that? That's second crack!" says instructor Ian Riley, explaining the point at which the coffee's woody cell walls fracture and its sugars continue to caramelize.
Dennis Mongrain swings his surfboard around in the water, points himself toward shore and starts paddling. As the wave lifts his board, he jumps to his feet and begins to skirt across its smooth, arching surface. His face brightens with a broad smile. It's a moment of joy and peace, something akin to a religious experience for Mongrain, who should know about such things because he is a Roman Catholic priest. "I really look forward to getting out there," Mongrain said at the rectory of St.
September 26, 2006 | JOEL STEIN,
I DON'T LIKE being touched by strangers. And by "strangers," I mean anyone I'm not having sex with. I don't like massages, I don't like hugs, I don't even like to high-five. I just don't see the point. Either we're going to do it, or we're not. And, as I've learned the hard way after overreacting to a cheek kiss, apparently we're not. So, as a radical form of immersion therapy, I drove to an office building in West L.A. on a Friday night to pay $30 to cuddle with strangers for four hours.
October 25, 2006 | Betty Hallock and Regina Schrambling
NOW you can stir your coffee like they do at El Bulli, with a specially designed "coffee spoon" created for chef Ferran Adria -- it's the same stirrer used at Adria's restaurant outside of Barcelona, but you need not travel farther than Santa Monica to get one. Jing Tio, owner of culinary supply boutique Le Sanctuaire, is importing a collection of flatware called Faces Ferran Adria by Design Mix Collections, a company collaborating with the renowned chef.
March 17, 1988 | STEVE WEINSTEIN
There are probably a million and one ways to break into show business, but nobody, before Bob Wieland, had ever done it by running the New York City marathon on his arms. Wieland, 41, lost both his legs nearly 20 years ago when he stepped on an 82-millimeter booby trap while trying to drag a wounded soldier from a battlefield in Vietnam.
January 7, 1990 | JON BOORSTIN
Dear Skeeter, Thanks for the crate of grapefruit. They're pink, sweet and luscious. But frankly they've caused a certain level of dissension. Leni might blame it on me, but believe me, it isn't my fault. One of the worst things about having young kids around is that it makes it so tough to act like a 4-year-old yourself. I mean I'm a slow waker in the morning. The other day was typical.
January 3, 1987 | RALPH and TERRY KOVEL
A reader named Chris wrote that in his grandfather's attic he found a paper American Express card. He wanted to know if it was old or valuable. We talked to the archivist at American Express and learned that the very first American Express credit card was issued Oct. 1, 1958. It was made of paperboard. More than 500,000 were issued by the end of the year, each for a fee of $6. On May 1, 1959, the paper was replaced with a purple plastic card that was used for the next 10 years.
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