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SCIENCE
June 12, 2013 | By Geoffrey Mohan
The human brain may be wired to sympathize with the underdog. Even if the underdog is a yellow square being chased by a blue circle, and the brain has been checking out the outside world for only 10 months. A Japanese research team found that 16 of 20 infants reached for the pursued yellow square rather than the aggressive blue ball as the ball bumped the square seven times, then smashed it. Twenty other infants observed the objects moving independently without touching, with nine of them reaching for the persecuted square, according to the study, published in the online journal PLOS ONE. The experiments hint at a very early cognitive ability to sense and respond to aggression with preference for the “victim,” a building block for sympathetic behavior that is a core element of social, cooperative animals.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 10, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
Don't let the cheesy title deter you. "Cuban Fury" is a thoroughly engaging crowd-pleaser - sweet, quite amusing and even a tad inspiring. British funnyman Nick Frost ("Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz") makes for an especially root-worthy hero as Bruce Garrett, an earnest lathe salesman who reconnects with an old love: salsa dancing. Bruce may come off to friends and co-workers like a bit of a schlub; he's a self-described 2 on the 1-to-10 scale. But beneath that pudgy exterior lies the heart of a champion salsa dancer, which in fact he was as a kid until a humiliating incident dubbed "Sequingate" caused Bruce to burn his dancing shoes (literally)
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2014 | By Chris Lee
In his native England, Steve Coogan is a major comedian, A-list star and perennial bold-faced name known as “ celebrity sinner .” But by Hollywood's constellationary standards, he's been more of a minor satellite: the fifth-billed supporting player in big-budget studio fare such as “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” also known for art house star turns in such movies...
SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By David Wharton
Most college fans would be hard-pressed to tell you anything about the Eastern Kentucky basketball team. The school from just south of Lexington has no All-Americans on its roster. The coach isn't famous and the fight song isn't particularly catchy. But when the NCAA tournament begins later this week, don't be surprised if people start paying attention to - and rooting for - the Colonels. The reason is simple. As forward Deverin Muff says: "They want to see us upset a big school.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 18, 2013 | By Michael Finnegan, Maeve Reston and Catherine Saillant
After remarks by Magic Johnson and Rep. Maxine Waters, it was Wendy Greuel's turn to remind a few dozen black supporters at a South L.A. rally on Saturday that African Americans could swing the mayoral election her way on Tuesday. “They always underestimate this community,” Greuel, the city controller, told the crowd outside her Crenshaw Boulevard office. “They've always underestimated me too. And what do we do? We prove them wrong.” While Greuel cast herself as the underdog in Tuesday's runoff, her rival, Eric Garcetti, warned volunteers in Westchester not to take victory for granted in a contest that remains fluid to the end. “We're ahead, but we're not winning," the city councilman told them on a break from phone calls to voters who might need some prodding.
NEWS
June 29, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Looks like it's a week for tennis upsets. Roger Federer was defeated by Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Centre Court in the Wimbledon quarterfinals , just two days after Serena and Venus Williams were knocked off the court by less experienced opponents. If Rafael Nadal goes down in the semifinals, it'll officially become the year of the upstarts. Is there some sort of underdog effect going on? It sure seems like it, though as I blogged earlier this week, studies show that front-runners are usually more motivated to win. That intuitively makes sense: They have more to lose than their opponents.
SPORTS
January 4, 2014 | Sam Farmer
Being labeled the biggest, baddest team on the block doesn't matter much in the NFL playoffs. Since realignment in 2002, only twice has a No. 1 seed in either conference gone on to win the Super Bowl: New Orleans in 2009 and New England in 2003. Just as many No. 6 seeds have lifted the Lombardi Trophy during that span: Green Bay in 2010 and Pittsburgh in 2005. This is especially meaningful to the sixth-seeded San Diego Chargers, who know firsthand that a gaudy regular-season record isn't all it's cracked up to be. They open the playoffs as a seven-point underdog Sunday at Cincinnati, where the Bengals have not lost this season.
NEWS
February 7, 2000 | MERLE RUBIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
SCAR VEGAS And Other Stories by Tom Paine Harcourt $22, 216 pages * "The world loves me." When his fellow Princeton alumnus asks him if he's worried about the dangers of his planned solo yacht trip, Eliot, the wealthy amateur sailor in this collection's opening tale, claims not to be worried at all. To Eliot, the idea that anything bad could happen to him is inconceivable.
SPORTS
June 4, 2002
"Nobody expected the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl, either." Jeff O'Neill, Carolina forward on the Hurricanes' underdog status against the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals.
SPORTS
December 18, 1993
Seeing the No. 1-ranked college football team in the nation open up as a 17-point underdog speaks volumes about both Nebraska and the bowl coalition. BERNIE LAMAS Newbury Park
SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By Nathan Fenno
They are the schools that bring the madness to March. Underdogs hefting double-digit seeds into the 68-team NCAA tournament that are capable of turning the bracket's orderly lines into chaos. They're expected to be early-round fodder for college basketball's name-brand programs. But one routinely sheds small-school anonymity to pull down a giant and, in the space of a 40-minute basketball game, becomes known the nation over. They waited 29 years for this chance at Mercer. That's in Macon, Ga., for those who aren't Atlantic Sun Conference aficionados.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 17, 2014 | By Chris Lee
In his native England, Steve Coogan is a major comedian, A-list star and perennial bold-faced name known as “ celebrity sinner .” But by Hollywood's constellationary standards, he's been more of a minor satellite: the fifth-billed supporting player in big-budget studio fare such as “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” and “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” also known for art house star turns in such movies...
SPORTS
February 14, 2014 | By Dan Loumena
Lolo Jones, who finished fourth and seventh as a hurdler in two Summer Games, has her sights set on a medal at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. OK, she understands she's a long shot in the U.S. No. 3 bobsled, but so far it's mainly lesser-name Americans making a splash at the Sochi Olympics. Alpine sensation Lindsey Vonn missed the Winter Games because of injury, while speedskater Shani Davis, downhill racer Bode Miller and snowboarder Shaun White have all missed opportunities to medal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
WATSONVILLE, Calif. - Tim Donnelly aimed a Glock 19 at a paper target, the image of a zombie dressed as a British Redcoat, and fired. All but one of 15 rounds hit their mark. The Republican gubernatorial candidate, taking practice with a handful of gun aficionados as he campaigned in Northern California, was pleased. "That was fun," said Donnelly, an assemblyman from the Inland Empire. "He is one dead Redcoat. " The pierced target was a fitting symbol for the gun rights advocate and tea party favorite, who says his first run for office was inspired by the same fears of tyranny that stirred the colonists to rise up against the British.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 27, 2014 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Despite Ryan Seacrest spending hours on the red carpet talking couture lifestyle with platinum-selling music stars, it was the artists who celebrated second-hand culture who busted through the pomp to win many of the 56th Grammy Awards' most coveted trophies. In fact, at times the ceremony Sunday at Los Angeles' Staples Center felt like a night for the underdogs - at least as much as anyone standing before millions of viewers on music's biggest stage can be considered such. A young woman from New Zealand, Lorde, who this time last year was gigging at small clubs, arrived in a no-name sleeveless tee to celebrate diamondless lives in "Royals.
SPORTS
January 4, 2014 | Sam Farmer
Being labeled the biggest, baddest team on the block doesn't matter much in the NFL playoffs. Since realignment in 2002, only twice has a No. 1 seed in either conference gone on to win the Super Bowl: New Orleans in 2009 and New England in 2003. Just as many No. 6 seeds have lifted the Lombardi Trophy during that span: Green Bay in 2010 and Pittsburgh in 2005. This is especially meaningful to the sixth-seeded San Diego Chargers, who know firsthand that a gaudy regular-season record isn't all it's cracked up to be. They open the playoffs as a seven-point underdog Sunday at Cincinnati, where the Bengals have not lost this season.
TRAVEL
August 17, 2008
Hugo Martin's "Turf of Heroes" [Aug. 10] was superb. The great Gen. George Patton was wrong when he said that everybody loves a winner. In reality, everybody loves an underdog. Evan Dale Santos Adelanto, Calif.
SPORTS
January 12, 2002
The underdog team fought valiantly to the end, wholly carried by the hot outside shooting of but one player. The favored team played far below its best, but with scoring distributed evenly among a deep and athletic team, they won by making all the key plays down the stretch. Just another cross-town (in Westwood, they won't let us call it a rivalry) basketball game, except the Bruins were reduced to what the Trojans used to be. Would J.R. Henderson now refer to the underdog Bruins as "Just UCLA"?
SPORTS
December 6, 2013 | By Bruce Arena, Special for The Times
My initial reaction to Friday's World Cup draw is the U.S.' group will be labeled a "Group of Death. " The U.S. will face Germany, Portugal and Ghana in the opening round, teams with a wide range of skills, styles of play and star players. However, I'm not convinced that the U.S. is a decided underdog. The Americans have intimate knowledge of all three teams, having played them over the last three World Cups. The U.S. is obviously familiar with Ghana, which eliminated the U.S. in the 2006 and 2010 Cups, and the Americans beat Germany in a friendly last June.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 2, 2013 | By David Ng
Laure Prouvost, a French-born artist who specializes in filmed installations, is the winner of the Turner Prize, one of the highest honors in the visual arts. The annual award, which recognizes artists under 50 who were born in or are currently working in Britain, was presented on Monday by actress Saoirse Ronan at a ceremony in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The other nominees for the 2013 Turner Prize were Tino Sehgal, David Shrigley and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Prouvost was considered a long shot for the award, with Sehgal having been expected by many to win. CHEAT SHEET: Fall arts preview The award, organized by Britain's Tate, comes with a monetary prize of £25,000 ($40,900)
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