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November 16, 2008 | Jon Caramanica, Caramanica is a freelance writer.
Arrogance no longer holds David Caruso's face taut. When CBS' "CSI: Miami" premiered six years ago, it hinged on the swagger of Caruso, who had left "NYPD Blue" some years before in an attempt to become a film star, only to find himself back in blue. But the years have weathered his character, Horatio Caine, to the point now where even his signature moves -- the removing and replacing of his sunglasses, the blunt puns so mercilessly mocked in any number of YouTube mash-ups -- lack their original luster.
October 1, 2008 | David Sarno and Mario Russo, Times Staff Writers
Over the last half-decade, enterprising Web auteurs have created -- and we're ballparking, but this feels right -- hundreds of original Internet TV series. There are production companies that churn them out, websites that warehouse them, and vast armies of amateurs who own a camera and aren't afraid to use it. But from that crowded landscape of Web TV shows, who among us can name more than, we don't know, two? Even the standouts -- "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," "Pink," "You Suck at Photoshop" -- fade quick: When an entire season of a Web show adds up to fewer minutes than one episode of "True Blood," the chance to make a lasting impression is fleeting indeed.
August 23, 2008 | Mary Engel, Times Staff Writer
Babies love mirrors. But not until they approach the age of 2 do toddlers make the connection between the baby in the mirror and themselves. Recognizing ourselves in a mirror is one of the traits that make humans, well, human. Now it appears that self-recognition also makes magpies magpies. Best known for stealing shiny objects, the black-and-white magpie is the first bird to join a short list of mammals shown to share this trait: humans, chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants. German psychologists Helmut Prior of Goethe University in Frankfurt and Ariane Schwarz and Onur Gunturkun of Ruhr University-Bochum put European magpies through the classic "mark" test, the same test used on humans and other mammals.
May 16, 2008 | Alana Semuels, Times Staff Writer
The gig: Chief executive of Virgin Entertainment Group, which runs Virgin Megastores and Virgin Cinemas. Wright's decision to sell more clothing, games and electronics and less music in the face of declining CD sales has helped the retail side thrive. -- His background: Born in England but conceived in California (his parents used to live here), Wright says "it was almost my destiny to end up in Los Angeles." -- First job: Selling ice cream and doughnuts on the beach in southern France.
May 11, 2008 | Patrick Pacheco, Special to The Times
KATHLEEN Chalfant is recalling the first time she rented the British actress Miriam Margolyes' house in Tuscany, now an annual summer ritual for the Chalfant family. "Let's see, it was 10 years ago, just after my brother's death," she says, digging into a plate of crab salad. "It will be 10 years. . . ." She pauses. "Oh, my God, that's today."
April 7, 2008 | Jim Tankersley, Chicago Tribune
There's a reason Democrats are confident they'll win the White House this fall: On the issues that rank highest, Americans seem to agree with their candidates. There's also a reason Republicans think their party will prevail: In several recent presidential elections, issues took a back seat to personality. Voters want government to do more to fix the economy. They also want U.S. troops out of Iraq. The presumptive Republican nominee, Sen.
April 3, 2008 | Stacey Collins, Special to The Times
I thought I had a good grasp on the dating-and-mating game until I learned about "the list. " Apparently it's in vogue right now to create a list of all of the traits you seek in a mate, to help your chances of snagging that perfect person. Maybe it's a byproduct of the bestseller "The Secret," which basically advises you to tell the universe what you want, visualize it and then it appears -- a concept with broad appeal not only for control freaks but also those with an inflated sense of entitlement.
March 30, 2008 | E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff Writer
When he was a boy and his father would return home after another long day at the family's bank, Henry Walker would ask, "Did you make any loans today?" After that topic was exhausted, Walker recalled, it might be time for a fatherly quiz on percentages. Some, perhaps, are born bankers, while others have banking thrust upon them. For the descendants of C.J. Walker, a rancher who founded Farmers & Merchants Bank in 1907, it's hard to tell the difference.
March 29, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Know how a whiff of certain odors can take you back in time, to either a great memory or bad one? It turns out that emotion plays an even bigger role with the nose than previously believed and that your sense of smell actually can sharpen when something bad happens. Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois proved the surprising connection by giving volunteers electric shocks while they sniffed novel odors.
August 12, 2007 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
Because writer-director Billy Wilder cast such a perceptive eye on American culture, customs and morality in such classics as "Double Indemnity," "The Lost Weekend" and "The Apartment," it's easy to forget that he hailed from Vienna and spent his early creative life in Berlin before the rise of Nazism caused him to flee -- first to Paris and then to the U.S.
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