CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 2013 |
Despite a threefold increase in people and cars in the last 50 years, California's strict vehicle emissions standards have managed to significantly clear the state's air, according to new research. The study also found that Southern California's air chemistry has changed for the better. The amount of organic nitrates in the atmosphere - which cause smog's eye-stinging irritation - has drastically fallen off, according to federal researchers. Ozone and other pollutants have been monitored in the state since the 1960s.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2013 |
The Aztecs gave us guacamole, but it was Gil Henry who gave us avocados that don't have to sit on the kitchen counter for weeks to become dip-worthy. Until the early 1980s, avocados were green, rock-hard objects that could take many days to ripen once shoppers brought them home. But then Henry pioneered a "ripening room" on his family's avocado farm in Escondido that sped up the process, allowing supermarkets to sell avocados that are ready to eat or close to it. The method has since become the industry standard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 2013 |
The passage for the seventh-grade lesson was blatantly offensive - an excerpt from a 1938 anti-Semitic children's book . But that was the point: to provide students in the Santa Ana school district with a perfect illustration of insidious propaganda. In the book, a mother and her son gather mushrooms in the forest, and she explains that, as with mushrooms, there also are poisonous people. Slapping his chest in pride, the boy says, "Of course I know, mother! They are the Jews!"
May 20, 2013 |
In the uproar about making the morning-after contraceptive known as Plan B available to our daughters, there has been no similar outcry about condoms and our sons. Anyone of any age can walk into a drugstore - as well as most grocery and big-box stores - and buy condoms. If you want to remain anonymous, you can pay cash; no ID is required. If you're too embarrassed to face the checkout clerk, use the self-check aisle or, for $17.97, get a box of 100 - flavored or with "added sensations," even - delivered to your door in a plain brown box. President Obama has suggested that restrictions on making Plan B available to younger girls are justifiable because we can't be confident that a younger girl in a drugstore "should be able - alongside bubble gum or batteries … to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could end up having an adverse effect.
May 19, 2013 |
"Celluloid condoms between the audience and the immediate gratification of understanding. " "More like watching Playboy TV than having sex. " Hyperbolic outbursts are not uncommon in opera, but rarely were they so concentrated or, um, vivid. FOR THE RECORD: Opera supertitles: A May 19 article about the history of opera supertitles misidentified director Graham Vick as Graham Vickers. - What riled opera so? Supertitles. Translations usually projected above the stage have driven directors to issue bomb threats.
May 17, 2013 |
Automakers are spending billions of dollars to squeeze efficiency from a car part most people never think twice about - the transmission. Over the next five years, many new vehicles will have transmissions with up to 10 speeds, replacing the mostly six-speed transmissions in cars now. Though designed for refinement and performance, the transmissions aim mostly to help meet stricter federal fuel economy and pollution standards. "We are trying to extract efficiency out of every subsystem of the vehicle," said Mircea Gradu, vice president of transmission and driveline engineering at Chrysler Group.