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January 15, 2014 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
What would we do without Shelley Jackson ? A decade or so ago, she launched her project “Skin” -  a story told entirely in tattoos, nearly 2,100 of them, etched on the bodies of volunteers she fondly calls "words. " The idea was to create a work of living literature, one that would change, and ultimately disappear, as its participants died, highlighting the ephemeral nature of, well, everything. “Writers have this great obsession,” she told me at the time , “to create an immortal work.
April 25, 2014 | By David C. Nichols
It's Christmas in Chinon, France, circa AD 1183, and yuletide is anything but harmonious at the Plantagenet homestead. Dad is in a blustering royal frenzy over his legacy. His three sons are backstabbing each other to inherit the English crown. The French princess intended for whoever does so is Pop's enervated mistress. And then there's Mum, on holiday prison leave, scheming to destroy her husband through their children. Well, as she puts it, what family doesn't have its ups and downs?
December 20, 2013 | By Saba Hamedy
The winter solstice may mark the longest night of the year, but for Iranians, it's also known as Shab-e Yalda , a celebration with ancient ties that commemorates the triumph of Mithra, the Sun God, over darkness. Feasting on fresh fruits from the summer season and reciting works by 14th century Persian poet Hafez, Iranians all around the world stay up to mark the start of winter. "It's not an official holiday in Iran, but similar to many other ancient traditions, it has become a significant cultural celebration observed by all Iranians," said Bita Milanian, executive director of Farhang Foundation, a nonprofit that celebrates Iranian art and culture in Southern California.
April 23, 2014 | By Meg James
The NBC broadcast network, after trailing in the ratings for nearly a decade, could finish the TV season in first place among viewers prized by advertisers. Comcast Corp. executives Tuesday lauded the peacock network's performance, which helped power the Philadelphia cable giant's earnings for the quarter ended March 31. This season, NBC has increased its prime-time audience among viewers ages 18 to 49 - the audience that advertisers pay a premium to reach. "The Blacklist" with James Spader and the singing competition show "The Voice" have been reliable performers.
February 9, 1986 | ROBERT SMAUS, Robert Smaus is an associate editor of Los Angeles Times Magazine.
If you were born in California, you may appreciate my fondness for winter--just about the only thing we don't get enough of in our golden state. For me, our endless summer becomes more like a siege by this time of year. When the weatherman says that it's going to be another great weekend, I groan, wishing for the contrast of rain or cold before spring and sunshine are upon us. But the weather does its best not to cooperate with my wishes.
May 27, 2013 | By Jay Jones
It's the season when triple digits are about to become a regular occurrence, yet a certain Las Vegas attraction, Minus5 , is promising “365 more days of winter.” That's actually true given the temperature at both locations - the Monte Carlo and the Shoppes at Mandalay Place - is kept at a constant minus-5 degrees Celsius. That's 23 degrees Fahrenheit, which ensures that the blocks of ice from which everything is carved - the walls, bars and elaborate sculptures - remain frozen.
October 9, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
With a flurry of late season snow, the sale of snow sports equipment and clothing rebounded slightly last winter compared with the abysmal season the previous year. The sale of ski and snowboarding equipment and clothing reached $3.4 billion in the 2012-13 season, up 3% compared with the previous season, according to the latest report from the SnowSports Industry Assn., a trade group for ski, snowboard and apparel retailers and manufacturers. The numbers represent a slight improvement from the 2011-12 season when participation in snow sports dropped 6% over the previous year because of extremely limited snowfall.
January 9, 2012 | By Laura King, Los Angeles Times
In the gray light of each cold dawn, the parents of 10-month-old Shoaib hold their own breath as they listen for the rasp of his, waiting to see whether their coughing, feverish little boy has survived another night. Winter's chill has settled over the Afghan capital, and with it, privation is sharpening, especially among the city's poor. Nighttime temperatures regularly fall into the teens, or even lower. The season's first snow is on the ground, the open sewage ditches are crusted over with ice, and in shantytowns such as the one where Shoaib's family lives, survival turns on a series of cruelly simple calculations.
January 10, 2014 | By Glenn Whipp
You might not peg the guy who wrote "I, Robot" and adapted "The Da Vinci Code" as a self-described "shameless romantic. " But then, when looking back on "A Beautiful Mind," the movie that won him a screenplay Oscar, Akiva Goldsman remembers it as a "promise that love conquers all. " So when Goldsman says that he likes to see the world as "a grown-up fairy tale where nothing is without purpose," it makes perfect sense that 30 years ago, riding the...
February 13, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Winter's Tale" is so obviously a passion project, so much a labor of love for industry veteran Akiva Goldsman, that you'd like to be able to say it's a complete success. It isn't, but the parts that do succeed, especially the fervor between stars Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay, provide such lush, emotional magic that unabashed romantics will be pleased. Co-produced, written and directed by Goldsman, "Winter's Tale" has been drastically pared from Mark Helprin's nearly 700-page 1983 literary blockbuster.
April 20, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON - It's common knowledge verging on holy writ in real estate: Spring is the absolute best time of the year to sell a house. Right? But is there hard statistical evidence that listing your house in April, May or June - flowers blooming, birds chirping, lawns greened up after a tough winter - actually nets you a higher price or a shorter time from listing to sale? Yes, but it's not as clear cut as you might imagine. There are important nuances in the data. Reviews of realty industry and academic studies suggest that although sales totals generally are highest in May and June, they are actually reflecting listings, contracts and buyer searches that occur earlier in the year.
April 10, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
A flock of tropical birds will play the villain to Captain America at the box office.   The 3-D computer-animated family comedy "Rio 2" and last weekend's No. 1 movie "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" are each expected to gross around $40 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada Friday through Sunday, according to people who have seen pre-release audience surveys. A $40-million debut for "Rio 2," the latest release from 20th Century Fox's animation company Blue Sky Studios, would likely put it neck-and-neck with the red-white-and-blue-clad hero for the top of the box-office charts.
April 8, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Small-business owners were more optimistic about the economy last month and expected sales to increase as a winter marked by severe weather ended, according to survey results released Tuesday. The confidence index from the National Federation of Independent Business rose to 93.4 in March, from 91.4 the previous month. The measure is one of the few monthly barometers of the small-business sector, which is a key driver of the economy. Last month's increase nearly reversed a drop in February, but the index, which can range from 80 to 110, remains historically low as the economic recovery struggles to gain traction.
April 7, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
Superhero sequel "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" soared in its opening weekend to a record-breaking $96.2 million in North America and a worldwide total to date of $303.3 million. The $170-million 3-D film, starring Chris Evans as the shield-bearing superhero and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, is the top April opening of all time and more successful than its 2011 predecessor, "Captain America: The First Avenger," which made $65 million domestically in its first three days.
April 7, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
"Captain America: Winter Soldier, " the latest exercise in character kitchen-sinkdom that is the Marvel Studios universe, did a few things in theaters this week‎end. It was, most prominently, a major box office hit, destroying the April record by more than $10 million and, at $96.2 million, falling just short of the magic $100-million mark. The Chris Evans film was also a critical success, garnering largely plaudits, if occasionally some reservations, on its way to an impressive 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.
April 5, 2014 | By Chris Barton
Is it summer already? "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" posted blockbuster numbers in its first full day in theaters, taking in more than $37 million on Friday, according to estimates. That number builds on the $10.2 million the film pulled in from Thursday night and midnight showings, and places it on pace for a weekend gross of $90 million, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys. Starring Chris Evans as the shield-bearing superhero and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, the latest entry from Disney'sMarvel Studios is the 3-D sequel to 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger.
November 20, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Recent storms dropped 2 inches of rain on Yosemite National Park , bringing snow to elevations above 8,000 feet and reviving one of the park's best-loved features: its waterfalls. Yosemite and Bridal Veil falls , which thunder in spring when swelled with runoff from winter snow pack, dried up in mid-October. It has been one of the driest years on record for Yosemite and the driest winter since 2007, according to a news release. "After such a dry period, seeing the waterfalls flowing again is spectacular," Park Superintendent Don Neubacher said in a statement.
March 6, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center activated its alert system Thursday to issue an El Niño watch. The alert means that conditions in the eastern tropical Pacific are favorable enough that El Niño has a more than a 50% chance of forming by the summer or fall. Though it's too early to predict with much confidence, if El Niño re-emerges it could produce wetter weather in the southern United States next winter, bring more rain to California, temper the Atlantic hurricane season and push up global temperatures in 2015, experts say. The El Niño cycle begins every two to seven years when weak trade winds in the Pacific allow warmer water to build up along the west coast of South America.
April 4, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy shook off the winter doldrums and added a healthy batch of new jobs last month, a reassuring sign that the labor market recovery remains on track. The gain of 192,000 jobs in March, reported Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicated that the hiring slowdown earlier in the winter was temporary and stemmed from the unusually cold weather across much of the country. All the jobs added last month came in the private sector, lifting total non-government payrolls to a new peak.
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