Archive for the ‘LA Times’ tag

#  Balance California’s Budget →

June 26th, 2009 at 17:42 // In Worth Distraction 

The LA Times has an interesting Flash thing (game seems too generous): devise a combination of tax increases and spending cuts to balance California’s famously troubled budget. For some reason I can’t seem to devise a solution that no one would be upset about…

(via Mr. Arment)

#  The Minicow Boom →

June 22nd, 2009 at 18:41 // In Worth Knowing 

What’s most interesting about “minicows” which are apparently experiencing a “miniboom” because they’re more efficient in a feed to commercial-cut analysis, is that they’re not some new scientific breakthrough, but old technology. The “miniature” breeds that some farmers love are just the regular cows from 100 years ago.

“Feed prices were relatively cheap, and grazing lands were accessible,” Lemenager said. “The plan was to get more meat per animal. But it went way too far. The animals got too big and eat so much.”

(via Human Nature)

#  A Landmark Event for Newspapers →

January 12th, 2009 at 19:37 // In Worth Knowing 

An interesting fact: The LA Times’s online advertising revenue is now sufficient to fund its entire editorial operation — both print and online.

It’s also worth noting, as Mr. Jarvis does, that the Times newsroom is nearly half the size of its former self.

(via PSFK)

#  IWearYourShirt.com →

January 11th, 2009 at 10:35 // In Worth Distraction 

If he sells every day, Jason Sadler will have made at least $66,795 — he’s selling ad spots on the calendar pages, which would add $18,000 — and probably will have received around 300 free tshirts (don’t forget repeat buyers) in 2009. I wonder if he’ll end up forced to wear a hair shirt

(via Adii)

Also, there are ripoffs. And a parody. (via LAT)

#  Dr. Horrible →

July 16th, 2008 at 22:01 // In Worth Distraction 

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog is odd. It’s also pretty awesome. Act I went online Tuesday, Act II just went online, and Act III should be up on Saturday. Oh, and if you’re looking for a longer explanation of the project, I suggest this write up from the LA Times’s Web Scout blog.

#  That North Korea-Syria Nuke Deal? Real. →

April 23rd, 2008 at 15:52 // In Worth Knowing 

Or so reports the (*cough* always reliable *cough*) LA Times, citing an undisclosed CIA source:

CIA officials will tell Congress on Thursday that North Korea had been helping Syria build a plutonium-based nuclear reactor, a U.S. official said, a disclosure that could touch off new resistance to the administration’s plan to ease sanctions on Pyongyang.

The CIA officials will tell lawmakers that they believe the reactor would have been capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons but was destroyed before it could do so, the U.S. official said, apparently referring to a suspicious installation in Syria that was bombed last year by Israeli warplanes.

I should also note that The New Yorker’s Seymor Hersh did his best to debunk this story a few months ago.

(via Kevin Drum)

#  God is Allah →

April 6th, 2008 at 10:31 // In Worth Considering 

We’ve all heard this at least once in the last decade, but Rabih Alameddine’s exploratation of Arabic words in English deserve a hearing. The bit most likely to be controversial:

We never say the French pray to Dieu, or Mexicans pray to Dios. Having Allah be different from God implies that Muslims pray to a special deity. It classifies Muslims as the Other. Separating Allah from God, we only see a vengeful, alarming deity, one responsible for those frightful fatwas and ghastly jihads — rarely the compassionate God. The opening line of every chapter in the Koran is “Bi Ism Allah, Al Rahman, Al Rahim”: In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful. In the name of Allah. One and the same. […]

In these troubled times, creating more differences, further parsing so to speak, is troubling, even dangerous. I suggest we either not use the word Allah or, better yet, use it in a non-Muslim context.

Otherwise, the terrorists win.

#  The Prophetic Anger of MLK →

April 4th, 2008 at 11:17 // In Worth Considering 

Michael Eric Dyson makes some interesting points in this LA Times Op-Ed. Pointing to some of Dr. King’s controversial statements made after 1965 to mostly black audiences, he says that Revered Wright is clearly a descendent of King’s split opinion on race.

Perhaps nothing might surprise — or shock — white Americans more than to discover that King said in 1967: “I am sorry to have to say that the vast majority of white Americans are racist, either consciously or unconsciously.” In a sermon to his congregation in 1968, King openly questioned whether blacks should celebrate the nation’s 1976 bicentennial. “You know why?” King asked. “Because it [the Declaration of Independence] has never had any real meaning in terms of implementation in our lives.” 

#  Understanding Islam →

April 2nd, 2008 at 13:41 // In Worth Knowing 

Daniel Miessler’s mildly arrogant “What Every American Should Know About the Middle East” got a lot of attention recently. Sounding more intellectual but covering roughly the same ground, John Esposito and Dalia Mogahed make this point:

What about Muslim sympathy for terrorism? Many charge that Islam encourages violence more than other faiths, but studies show that Muslims around the world are at least as likely as Americans to condemn attacks on civilians. Polls show that 6% of the American public thinks attacks in which civilians are targets are “completely justified.” In Saudi Arabia, this figure is 4%. In Lebanon and Iran, it’s 2%.

#  A Day at Guantanamo →

March 28th, 2008 at 16:13 // In Worth Reading 

Carol Williams assembled — through the shards of information made public — what a day is like for prisoners at Guantanamo. There are several interesting bits, but this really caught my eye.

More than 2,000 books and magazines in 18 languages are stocked for the prisoners, each vetted for its potential to incite. The “Harry Potter” series had been the most popular selection before a recent influx of nature and music books.

At the new Camp 7 facility for high-value detainees — which jailers have dubbed “the platinum camp” — the book most in demand now is “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” a nearly 20-year-old treatise by Stephen R. Covey.

(via brijit)

Also of note: Raymond Bonner’s “Forever Guantanamo” rife with outrage about torture and having surprisingly little to say about the place itself.

#  David Simon and the LA Times →

March 27th, 2008 at 12:27 // In Worth Reading 

Yesterday, it was revealed that the LA Times’s story about Sean “P. Diddy” Colmes being linked to the 1994 assault of Tupac Shakur was based on documents that were probably forged. Though I edited my original post about it, I didn’t think it merited a new one. Thanks to Vulture, it now does. By combining the story with it’s implications for everyone’s new favorite show, The Wire, they found something rather interesting to say.

Simon’s critics — Vulture included — complained that he had a too-cynical view of modern newspapers, and that a slippery rat like Templeton would have been flushed out. In fact, one critic wrote that “life at The Wire’s Baltimore Sun seems oddly cut-and-dried, which is surprising given the series’ usual fondness for shades of gray. Hard-nosed editors in the trenches: good; upper management with their eyes on the (Pulitzer) prize: bad. Given the standards the show has set, it’s a bit disappointing.” Wait, which paper was that again—oh yes, the L.A. Times.

So while the Times eats crow, Simon should be crowing, right? Well, yes and no. After all, Philips’s shoddy story got busted just days later by online watchdogs — as, we suspect, Scott Templeton’s would have, had he existed in real life. So Simon got the beginning of the fable right, but not the ending. Templeton wouldn’t have bagged a Pulitzer. He’d have been shamed by The Smoking Gun.

#  Russian Wealth and Women’s Basketball →

March 26th, 2008 at 17:13 // In Worth Reading 

Megan Stack has an interesting story in today’s LA Times about Shabtai von Kalmanovic, a Russia oligarch who’s spending a lot of money to get underpaid WNBA players to play for a team and a league that no one seems to care about. [Insert obvious crack about the WNBA here.]

Nobody is making money off Spartak. On the contrary, it’s better described as an extravagance than a business: Kalmanovic has to pay Russian television to air the games, and they often end up being broadcast in the middle of the night. Nobody even bothers to sell tickets to the games. Too much bureaucracy, Kalmanovic says. The spectators are mostly schoolchildren, soldiers and locals looking for a free night of entertainment.

(via brijit)

#  Diddy Did It? →

March 17th, 2008 at 20:33 // In Worth Knowing 

I don’t know how I missed this. Apparently the LA Times ran a story this morning that said, essentially, they’ve got more evidence that Sean ‘P Diddy’ Colmes knew in advance about the 1994 shooting and assault of Tupac Shakur. I didn’t see it ‘til this story showed up on my radar. Whether the Times is right or not, it’s interesting to see the story coming up again 14 years later. And it’s a reminder of this fact:

On Sept. 7, 1996, Shakur was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas Strip. Six months later, the Notorious B.I.G. was shot dead in Los Angeles, also in a drive-by. No one has been charged in either slaying.

EDIT (3/26/2008): The Smoking Gun is calling the “new documents” forgeries. The Times promises to investigate. (via DF)

#  The Lessons of My Lai →

March 14th, 2008 at 13:53 // In Worth Reading 

March 16th is the the fourtieth anniversary of one of most notorious massacres in America’s history. Ed Ruggerio wants to make sure that we’ve learned the right lessons from it.

This March 16 we should remember that we can still “lose” wars by forgetting that we aren’t always the good guys. We lose them when we can’t muster the courage to confront our own worst selves. We lose them when we stick our veterans into simple categories: well-adjusted or crazy. We lose wars when we sanitize them; when we create myths that lack the obscenity and evil of the real thing.

And when we “lose” a war this way, it makes it easier to start the next one.

#  Citizenship in Britain →

March 13th, 2008 at 11:57 // In Worth Reading 

Timothy Garton Ash wrote a pretty interesting Op-Ed in this morning’s LA Times. Though ostensibly about Britishness, he’s also got an important point that’s relevant here:

The more diverse your society becomes, the more important it is to spell out what you all have in common. In any nation defined by civic rather than ethnic belonging, citizenship is the key term, and in Britain, unlike in France or the United States, our explicit notions of citizenship are underdeveloped.

#  Israel’s Defenders and Critics →

March 9th, 2008 at 14:08 // In Worth Considering 

Aaron David Miller’s Op-Ed in today’s Los Angeles Times says something I do wish more people understood:

To be called an Israel hater for speaking out against Israeli actions when they are wrong and counterproductive — actions such as building settlements and bypass roads or confiscating land — or to be called an anti-Semite for suggesting alternative ways of thinking when the status quo is leading nowhere is not only absurd, it’s dangerous.

In the end, American Jews who impose a litmus test of boundless commitment to every single Israeli action hurt not only their community but the United States as well. Israel is a tiny country living in a dangerous neighborhood. The U.S. and Israel need a special relationship based on confidence and trust to further their mutual interests — but that does not mean we need an exclusive relationship in which America acquiesces to everything that Israel or its supporters in the United States think is wise. This is a critical distinction. One can only hope that, next time around, we are fortunate enough to get a president and Middle East advisors who understand it.

#  Joel Stien has Obamaphilia →

February 8th, 2008 at 12:30 // In Worth Reading 

You should probably know that I generally find Joel Stein funny and charming. Having admitted to that, his latest column is excellent.

Still, I can’t help but feel incredibly embarrassed about my feelings. In the “Yes We Can” music video that will.i.am made of Obama’s Jan. 8 speech, I spotted Eric Christian Olsen, a very smart actor I know. (His line is “Yes we can.”) I called to see if he had gone all bobby-soxer for Obama, or if he was just shrewdly taking a part in a project that upped his Q rating.

Turns out Olsen not only contributed money, he volunteered in Iowa and California and made hundreds of calls. He also sent out a mass e-mail to his friends that contained these lines: “Nothing is more fundamentally powerful than how I felt when I met him. I stood, my hand embraced in his, and … I felt something … something that I can only describe as an overpowering sense of Hope.” That’s the gayest e-mail I’ve ever read, and I get notes from guys who’ve seen me on E!

#  Six Word Stories →

February 6th, 2008 at 16:04 // In Worth Reading 

This isn’t the first time this has been done — Wired did it about a year ago — but the LA Times has some selections of six words stories from this book. If you weren’t aware, all such efforts are derived from Ernest Hemingway’s “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Jancee Dunn’s is the best, if only for the novel use of acronyms.

ABCs MTV SATs THC IRA NPR.

(via Brijit)