December 21, 2012 |
The fireball that streaked through the skies on April 22 and exploded with the equivalent of four kilotons of TNT and fell around Sutter's Mill, birthplace of the California Gold Rush. Scientists and meteor hunters alike quickly hunted down a few of the fallen fragments just before rain hit, allowing them an unprecedented look at the most pristine sample of a rare type of carbon-rich asteroid yet found. Now a study published in Friday's edition of the journal Science shows that all that hustle paid off. The Sutter's Mill meteor shows chemical evidence of a complex formation history -- evidence that would have been wiped out by the rain, said lead author Peter Jenniskens, a meteor astronomer at the NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute in Mountain View.
December 17, 2012 |
California Treasurer Bill Lockyer may order two giant state pension funds to strip their portfolios of any investments in gun makers after the shooting rampage at an elementary school in Connecticut. He has asked that both the California State Teachers' Retirement System and the California Public Employees' Retirement System, the nation's two biggest pension funds, provide an accounting of all such holdings. Lockyer is particularly concerned about investments in the makers of certain military-style assault weapons, which are banned in the state.
December 10, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - At 70, Frank White isn't a typical first-time home buyer. But a key reason he ditched his Altadena apartment and bought a three-bedroom house in nearby Pasadena has been common for decades: He wanted the tax break. "I pay very high taxes, and I have no deductions," said White, who owns an apartment rental business with his two brothers. Now, after purchasing the $500,000 home in November, he's looking forward to writing off the interest on his 30-year mortgage. But the longtime tax break could face major changes as Washington policymakers search for ways to reduce the deficit as part of the debate on the so-called fiscal cliff.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 28, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - Former campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for fraud and ordered to repay more than $10.5 million to politicians from whom she stole. U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ordered that Durkee, a former go-to treasurer for Democrats, serve her time in federal custody in a facility that can provide her with mental health services. Mueller said Durkee lacked the ability to control impulses, which led to criminal activity. The judge called Durkee's crime a "significant and egregious offense" and a "deep violation of trust" that hurt not only her clients but also the democratic process.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO - Former campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee agreed Tuesday with a recommendation by federal prosecutors that she be sentenced to eight years in prison for stealing $7 million from as many as 50 political clients, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Such a punishment "is a just and appropriate sentence," says a court filing by Durkee's attorney, Daniel V. Nixon, on the eve of her sentencing. The 15-page filing, set to be considered Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento, is the first detailed explanation Durkee has offered about what happened to the money she stole.
November 27, 2012 |
A 2,500-year-old solid gold brooch -- now on its way to a new national museum in Turkey -- has a back story so rich with mystery and intrigue it makes Indiana Jones' adventures seem bland. As recounted by the Guardian, the winged seahorse was originally part of Turkish King Croesus' buried treasure -- a collection of artifacts known as the Lydian Hoard (in Turkey as the Karun Treasure). It was looted from burial mounds in western Turkey in 1965 before being sold off; it eventually ended up on exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1980s.
November 23, 2012 |
There's gold in them thar hills! Or is there? Three seasons into Discovery Channel's "Gold Rush," the hardscrabble crew at the center of the gritty reality show is again mining for millions in Alaska and the Klondike. The displaced blue-collar workers, friends and family members on a desperate make-or-break treasure hunt have yet to hit the mother lode. The cable channel, on the other hand, has already struck it rich with a series that regularly draws more male viewers on Friday nights than anything else on television, broadcast networks included.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2012 |
Norma Shearer's silk sheets sat for years in a Los Angeles garage, with no one to admire the embroidered monogram: NST, for Norma Shearer Thalberg. The starlet's Louis Vuitton steamer trunks waited in vain to voyage. One was dedicated solely to protecting Shearer's shoes - some of its 30 leather-trimmed drawers still bearing hand-written labels like "silvered lizard sandal evening" and "gold kid sandal evening high heels. " This was Golden Age glamour. It was an auction house's dream.
November 16, 2012 |
As the daughter of one of the five Fendi sisters of the famed Italian brand, Ilaria Venturini Fendi found herself designing in the family firm but not feeling fulfilled. After leaving haute fashion for a life on an organic, sustainable farm near Rome, she felt the pull back to fashion design after a couple of years - but with an unconventional twist. She still has the farm, and in fashion she now specializes in upcycling - the repurposing of old or discarded objects into new, higher-valued items.