October 29, 2013 |
The online writing community Figment has been acquired by Random House Children's Books, the company announced on its website Tuesday. Founded in 2010 by Dana Goodyear and Jacob Lewis, Figment is an online writing community aimed at teens. "Figment is a user-generated platform. It's essential that our users feel a sense of ownership ," Lewis told to The Times' David Ulin in 2012. That year, the site was awarded the L.A. Times Book Prizes' Innovators Award for its forward-thinking engagement of young readers and writers.
October 27, 2013 |
"Valley of the Heart" is a quintessentially California play, written by a master of the genre. It is a history lesson wrapped in a love story, with themes that could not be more contemporary: struggling immigrants, xenophobia and racism, cultural confusion and identity. Luis Valdez has drawn on his own childhood to craft what he calls a "memory play": A Mexican American sharecropper family takes over a ranch whose Japanese American owners are interned in 1942, just as Valdez's parents took over a Japanese grower's farm when he was 2 years old. The play showcases Valdez's gift for making people care about experiences far outside their own ambit.
October 24, 2013 |
When 2 Chainz issued a cookbook , he focused on dishes that could be pulled off in the small confines of a tour bus. Boy George looked at macrobiotic cooking for his, while Coolio opted for comfort foods with a healthful twist (he termed it “Ghetto Gourmet”). Liberace's recipes were curated from his seven dining rooms. Enter Ja Rule, who found his inspiration for his new microwave cuisine cookbook during a recent stay behind bars. The rapper's recipes require a microwave, unshackled hands and not much else.
October 23, 2013 |
Before winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Canadian short story master Alice Munro announced her retirement in an interview with Mark Medley of Canada's National Post. “When you're my age,” Munro said in June , “you don't wish to be alone as much as a writer has to be. It's like, at the wrong end of life, sort of becoming very sociable. A season, and a Nobel prize win , later, Munro may have changed her mind. “Every day I have mixed messages to myself over whether I will retire,” Munro told the Wall Street Journal, in one of her first interviews since her big win . “I have promised to retire but now and then I get an idea.” Munro's ideas famously arrive to her via her experiences in small-town southern Ontario, most notably her hometown Wingham, which is home to only 3,000 people but has enough stories for the whole world to take notice.
October 19, 2013 |
There's a difference between loving college football and knowing it. I love my country but couldn't be Secretary of State. Twitter: @tcliftonsports Oh please, let's stop this stuff about Condoleezza Rice not being qualified to sit on a panel to choose four college football teams for a playoff. Rice is actually a college football nerd. She said the other day she remembers listening on the radio to the 10-10 tie between Notre Dame and Michigan State in 1966. Notre Dame played for the tie to protect its national title in the two national polls.
October 18, 2013 |
With incessant reports of impending doom, BlackBerry is in full-fledged damage-control mode, seeking to reassure the public that it is still healthy despite "challenging times. " The company made an unusual move this week, writing an open letter to its customers that it posted on its website and published in 30 newspapers around the world. In it, BlackBerry said "we don't underestimate the situation" and added that it was "making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.
October 15, 2013 |
The strange case of the racist writing had puzzled Concord, N.H., for two years, with police wondering who had written the magic-marker rants that suddenly appeared on the homes of African refugees. On Sept. 18, 2011, a Somali family found a small essay scrawled with disdain on the white clapboard siding of their home: You are not welcome here this town was a wonderful crime free place for hundreds of years. Your subhuman culture has already brought many crimes linked to your mud people.
October 14, 2013 |
Still use a BlackBerry or thinking about buying one? The company wants you to know everything is going to be OK. BlackBerry has published an open letter as part of an all-out media blitz designed to reassure nervous customers that the Canadian company will not go under. "These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don't underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges," the company wrote in the letter, which it posted on its website Monday. "We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.
October 4, 2013 |
Surely if Sinead O'Connor wanted to write a letter to Miley Cyrus, she could have done that. She's got the connections to obtain Cyrus' address. There has been justifiable admiration for O'Connor's letter, despite its less than pristine language, admonishing Cyrus that she is allowing others to diminish her talent by hiding it under raunchy antics. In the short term, for all the anguish about Cyrus' awkward attempt at twerking, her move was a smart one. Far from being dismayed by the huge pile of criticism, she almost certainly wanted it. The point wasn't to be admired; it was to get huge piles of publicity, and this was the easiest way to get it. She might someday reach the point where she thinks more about her legacy than the number of headlines, when she cares what the headlines say, not just that they exist aplenty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2013 |
The average SAT scores for the high school class of 2013 remained stagnant from the previous year and fewer than half of the students who graduated were prepared for the rigors of college, officials said. Average SAT scores for high school seniors nationwide stayed steady in reading, math and writing, according to a report released last week by the College Board, the New York-based nonprofit that administers the SAT and Advanced Placement program. The combined average SAT score of 1498 was the same as last year; a perfect score on the three-section test is 2400.