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AUTOS
February 7, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
Toyota turned to Thursday's Chicago Auto Show to get dirty. No, the cleaning staff wasn't snowed in, and risque photos weren't part of the press conference. Instead the brand better known for milquetoast appliance sedans introduced a new line of off-road packages for 4X4 versions of its 2015 Tundra and Tacoma trucks and its 4Runner SUV. Dubbed the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Pro Series, these factory-installed editions bolt on items like Bilstein brand shocks, lifted springs, skid plates, wheels, tires and exhaust to the underside of the vehicles.
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BUSINESS
January 31, 2014 | By Tiffany Hsu
Mattel Inc.'s earnings during the all-important holiday season left Wall Street cold, suggesting that kids weren't clamoring to be given toys. The El Segundo company's net income was up 23%, rising to $1.07 a share, or $369.2 million, from 87 cents a share, or $306.5 million, a year earlier - a period that had been dampened by a massive litigation charge. But the toy giant's performance disappointed analysts, who had expected profit of $1.19 a share. Revenue also fell short of projections, declining 6% to $2.11 billion and missing the $2.37-billion mark set by forecasters as well as Mattel's own expectations.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 30, 2014 | By Oliver Gettell
Viewers tune into the Super Bowl for two things: spectacle and football. Two new TV spots to air during the big game will check those boxes while teasing upcoming movies: Darren Aronofsky's biblical epic "Noah" and Ivan Reitman's inside-the-NFL drama "Draft Day. " Paramount's  30-second "Noah" spot , which will air before kickoff, doesn't show much new footage since the first trailer was released in November, but it does offer a glimpse of...
HEALTH
January 17, 2014 | Roy Wallack, Gear
You'd think, after 125 years, that the simple bicycle wouldn't have many radical new ideas left. Well, the glacial pace of change on two wheels is a thing of the past. The 2014 models showcase at least four huge and practical changes: mountain-bike-style braking that has broken into road bikes, new and improved mountain-bike wheel sizes, built-in lighting for commuter bikes, and even extra water and tool-storage capacity for mountain bikes. It's just too bad you can't get them all on one bike.
SCIENCE
January 1, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
The next time you're tempted to make a phone call while you're behind the wheel, remember this: Dialing while driving increases the risk of a crash or near-crash more than any other sort of distraction. That's one of the findings of a special report published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Other dangers identified in the report include reaching for a cellphone or other object; texting or using the Internet; looking at an object on the side of the road; and eating.
SCIENCE
December 23, 2013 | By Amina Khan
NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has gotten a brand new software upgrade, but the intrepid robot's wheels are a little worse for wear. Officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge reported last week that they upgraded Curiosity's software as it headed toward Mt. Sharp, the 3-mile-high mound in the middle of Gale Crater. The laser-shooting laboratory on wheels has already found habitable environments suitable for certain Earth-like microbes . They hope that Mt. Sharp's clay-rich layers could be awash in clues as to exactly how life-friendly the Red Planet could have been.
NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Judi Dash
Even travel-friendly wheelchairs can hog space in transit, especially if you need large rear wheels for handling varied terrain. That's because, while travel wheelchairs fold, their wheels do not. Enter Morph Wheels , 24-inch detachable foldable wheelchair wheels that can be switched out with the regular wheels of any manual wheelchair that accommodates wheels with a quick-release axle. When detached, Morph Wheels fold down to 32-by-13-by-4 inches deep, about half their open size, and can fit into the trunks of compact cars and taxis (along with other luggage)
AUTOS
December 13, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Honda Motor Co. will recall 19,197 Acura MDX sport-utility vehicles equipped with all-wheel-drive to tighten bolts in the drive system. All of the vehicles were recently built and from the 2014 model year. Honda said it wants owners to bring the cars back to dealers so that mechanics can inspect the upscale SUVs to see if they need to tighten or replace bolts used to secure the propeller shaft, a component of the AWD system. During assembly, it is possible that one or more of the four bolts that attach a propeller shaft to a universal joint were not tightened properly.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 10, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
It was about 3:45 p.m. Monday when Ron Ross told his wife to call 911. Outside their Angelino Heights home off Douglas Street and Calumet Avenue, a chaotic scene was unfolding. A geyser of water was shooting into the air, flooding the sidewalk. A postal truck lay on its side. And its driver, a petite woman who had been on the job only since May, was injured, bloodied and pinned underneath. And off to the side, according to witnesses, stood a 13-year-old boy who police later said was responsible for it all. "It was like something from a movie," said Rita Olivera Ross, the 32-year Angelino Heights resident who dialed 911. "There's this young Latina, and this truck is on top of her. It was a really bad scene.
AUTOS
December 7, 2013 | Charles Fleming
The motorcycle industry is growing extra wheels. Many manufacturers at this weekend's Progressive International Motorcycle Show are using the event to promote vehicles that aren't motorcycles at all. They'll be trumpeting their side-by-sides -- four-wheel-drive off-road vehicles that are a cross between a souped-up golf cart and a downsized dune buggy. To be sure, the manufacturers' main interest in the motorcycle show is still motorcycles. The annual gathering in Long Beach is their chance to introduce new machines to an estimated 55,000 attendees over two days and almost 90,000 square feet at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.
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