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February 7, 2014 | By Lisa Dillman
SOCHI, Russia -- It isn't enough that Olympic athletes ride the rails with skill and verve, get to the bottom of the course faster than the rest of the field or even hurl stones with reasonable accuracy down a sheet of ice. That's just not sufficient any longer. How about adding singing, dancing and lip syncing to the Olympic motto of faster, higher, stronger? In the realm of parody videos, it all really picked up momentum two years ago at the Summer Games in London. USA Swimming's video, a visual rendition of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe," went viral just before the Games, a byproduct of the vision of Olympic swimmers Kathleen Hersey, Caitlin Leverenz and Alyssa Anderson, and USA Swimming staffer Mark Russell.
February 7, 2014 | By Anne Colby
Tuscan, provincial and country-rustic looks are fading in popularity in kitchens and baths, and contemporary designs with clean lines, minimal ornamentation and easy maintenance are rapidly taking their place, according to a style report released this week by the National Kitchen & Bath Assn. The industry group surveyed its members about trends in kitchen and bath design. Other findings include: • Gray color schemes are expected to increase sharply in kitchens and baths in 2014.
February 4, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
A disturbing new law in Nigeria establishes sweeping restrictions on homosexuality and has already led to dozens of arrests. Even before the law went into effect, it was illegal to engage in same-sex relations. But the new law goes further, prohibiting civil unions and same-sex marriages and threatening to slap a 10-year prison sentence on anyone who officiates at such a marriage. The law bans public displays of affection between people of the same sex, outlaws gay support organizations and makes it illegal for gay groups to meet.
February 3, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
The race to succeed Rep. Henry A. Waxman is emblematic of a fresh wave sweeping across California's politics and, increasingly, the national landscape: intraparty fratricide as a means of upward political mobility. Four of California's Democrats in Congress lost to members of their own party in 2012, while Republicans did not knock out a single opposition lawmaker. Another Democratic incumbent faces a stiff intraparty challenge in a Silicon Valley district this year, and the clash for the Waxman seat seems destined to be expensive and bloody.
January 30, 2014 | By Susan Denley
Internationally acclaimed Australian makeup artist and entrepreneur Napoleon Perdis and Elle magazine beauty director Emily Dougherty are teaming up to bring the latest makeup trends to Los Angeles . The pair are scheduled to preside over a trend presentation (including cocktails) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy, 6615 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. Tickets are $100 each but include a $50 credit for Napoleon Perdis products purchased Feb. 11-14.
January 29, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
Health insurance giant WellPoint Inc. has signed up 500,000 people for Obamacare policies across the country, and it struck an upbeat tone about early enrollment trends under the healthcare law. WellPoint, which runs Anthem Blue Cross plans in California and 13 other states, said new enrollees tend to be older than current customers but that enrollment is in line with its projections and pricing for the new policies. "We do feel good about what we've seen in the exchanges so far," WellPoint Chief Executive Joseph Swedish said Wednesday during an earnings conference call with analysts and investors.
January 24, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
American men are experiencing a facial hair free-for-all, embracing the unshaven glory of hipsters and Hollywood, and it's cutting into Procter & Gamble Co.'s bottom line. The owner of razor giant Gillette said it is "seeing a slight decline in wet shaving incidence in the U.S. right now driven by fashion," even as global sales in its grooming sector rose 3% during the quarter that ended Dec. 31, the company said Friday. Movember, the annual charity event in which participants raise awareness of prostate cancer by growing mustaches, exacerbated the national sales slide, according to P&G Chief Financial Officer Jon R. Moeller.
January 18, 2014 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
The most surprising thing about "Her," the new Spike Jonze movie, is not that it dares to suggest an otherwise sane person might fall in love with the operating system that runs his computer and his smartphone. Or that middle-aged men look good in high-waisted pants. Or that it will be possible someday soon to ride a subway from downtown Los Angeles to the beach. It is something simpler: that the near future is more interesting, culturally and architecturally, than the recent past.
January 16, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Facebook has announced a new feature called Trending that shows users the most popular topics being discussed on the social network. The new feature is set to roll out to users in a few countries, including the U.S., on the Web version of Facebook. Users can find the Trending section toward the top right corner of the screen. PHOTOS: Top 10 tech gadgets we want to see in 2014 Trending on Facebook is very similar to a feature that's been around on Twitter for years, but Facebook managed to make its version of it slightly different than Twitter's in two ways.
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