October 2, 2012 |
Think that cobweb in the corner looks like a haphazard collection of silk threads? Take a closer look -- preferably with a scanning electron microscope. It's long been known that spiders use a variety of tailor-made silks to cover their eggs, construct nets and maneuver around on. Now, a team of biologists and polymer scientists say spiders also use specialized techniques to secure cobweb strands depending on the prey they hope to catch. In a paper published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications , scientists described two very different anchors, or discs, that cobweb spinning spiders like the western black widow use to ensnare dinner.
September 26, 2012 |
Much complicated business transpires in "Last Resort," a new military-political conspiracy thriller with tropical trimmings - thus the weak pun of the title - premiering Thursday on ABC. (The review screener came with a flow chart.) Most of it I will not discuss here, so as not to ruin the surprise for anyone who might "accidentally" learn something about the show by reading a review of it. Here are the main elements of the pilot, more or less in order, with the plot mostly removed.
September 23, 2012 |
President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, tangled over their varying approaches to foreign policy in dueling “60 Minutes” interviews that aired Sunday, with the president brushing off Romney's charge that he has been weak on national defense and charging that if Romney “is suggesting that we should start another war - he should say so.” The debate on the campaign trail is likely to turn to foreign policy once again this week...
September 9, 2012 |
Attica Locke's latest thriller , " The Cutting Season," explores a murder mystery and the tangled history of a Louisiana plantation-turned-event venue, managed by a descendant of its slave population. The book, which hits bookstores Sept. 18, follows her debut novel, "Black Water Rising," set in Locke's native Houston, which was a Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist. She lives in Los Angeles with her public defender husband and daughter. Is there a story behind your first name?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - Jerry Brown told voters he was different - that only he, a septuagenarian government veteran with no aspirations to higher office, could fix the cycle of swelling budget deficits that has plagued California for more than a decade. But the release of Brown's updated budget plan Monday shows that he is being trapped by the same partisanship and dysfunction that hobbled his predecessors when they tried to repair the state's finances. "No governor, under the system we have in California, really has the ability to deal with the mess we've created," said Mark Paul, a former deputy state treasurer and the coauthor of a book about the state's financial quandary.
April 19, 2012 |
What better way to welcome spring than with lambs, flowers and fluffy white geese? Charlotta Westergren proffers them all in this intriguing but somewhat muddled exhibition at Patrick Painter. Saddled with the ponderous title, “SERE: Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape,” taken from a military training program, the show gestures toward many topics -- fecundity, Christianity, torture, war -- but never quite takes a satisfying bite out of any of them. Sheep, geese and dead game, rendered in Westergren's skillful hand, evoke Old Master still lifes, photorealism, and, with their flat backgrounds, Pop art. The lambs in particular give the lie to idealized notions of fertility and rebirth, with umbilical cords dangling and hindquarters splattered with excrement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2012 |
Los Angeles city dwellers once enjoyed a sanctuary of gnarled oaks, serene pools and exotic ferns on Griffith Park's southwestern edge. But four decades of neglect have left the 20-acre Fern Dell retreat a shabby relic of its former self, which is why a band of park lovers is now trying to restore it to its early Hollywood heyday. "Fern Dell is in pretty bad shape, but it is not too late to save it," said Bernadette Soter, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit Friends of Griffith Park . The volunteer group has launched a campaign to rejuvenate the 95-year-old stream-fed garden spot, restoring its 17 footbridges, ripping out thickets of invasive ivy and bamboo, and beefing up security.
February 1, 2012 |
Disneyland Paris will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a new nighttime spectacular in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and a revamped evening parade starting in April. The Disney Dreams show will feature castle projections, water screens, dancing fountains, pyrotechnic displays and laser effects that combine elements from the Magic, Memories, and You show at Florida's Magic Kingdom and World of Color at Disney California Adventure. PHOTOS: Disney Dreams water show at Disneyland Paris The new Disney Dreams nighttime spectacular at the French theme park will employ 30-foot-tall water screens in the moats in front of the castle that will serve as giant canvases for Disney animated scenes set to an original musical score.
January 20, 2012 |
What happens when being in the right place at the right time is also the wrong place at the wrong time? When what saves you could ultimately destroy you? That's the terrifying minefield that the terrific "Miss Bala" navigates in a modern-day Mexico where beauty pageants, politics, police, power and a billion-dollar drug business mingle to deadly effect. Directed with great verve by Gerardo Naranjo, and the country's Oscar entry in the foreign language category, the film takes on the bloody running turf wars of the narcotics trade from street level.
January 19, 2012 |
Rick Perry 's exit from the GOP race allowed for some consolidation of the anti-Mitt Romney vote. But clearly not enough, as evidenced by a debate exchange between Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Santorum was asked about Gingrich's subtle suggestions of late that other candidates get out of the race to allow more conservative voters to rally around a single foe. The former Pennsylvania senator used the question to launch a harsh critique of Gingrich's viability as a potential Republican nominee and, more broadly, his leadership.