Talk about literary America and Los Angeles is not exactly the first locale that comes to mind. However, the truth is that the City of Angels has a deep and enduring place in the history of American letters. Here are just five of the many fiction and nonfiction books that attempt to unravel the mystery that is L.A.
With Washington locked in a debt-ceiling stalemate, debt seems to be on everyone’s mind. So, how does US debt compare with that of European countries, embroiled in a debt crisis of their own? In April, the International Monetary Fund estimated that the US government's gross debt amounted to 99 percent of gross domestic product. That’s high, but less than four of Europe's five largest debtors. Editor’s note: All figures are come from International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook database that was updated in April 2011. See the full statistics here.
There may not be any new books or movies to come, but the spirit of "Harry Potter" lives on – now a part of our culture in so many ways. Aside from re-watching and re-reading J.K. Rowling's work, avid fans have found various ways to incorporate the novels into their daily lives. Here are examples of five ways in which "Harry Potter" has infiltrated modern Muggle life. Some may surprise you!
The online outpouring of anger and sympathy after a weekend bullet train accident in China killed at least 39 people has highlighted a robust criticism that exists online, sometimes beyond the reach of even the most powerful Chinese Internet censors. A number of recent online campaigns have managed to raise awareness of issues the government would have otherwise been able to keep out of the public eye. In some cases, protests have even prompted a government response. Here are four:
Last week's attacks in Norway have put Western Europe's far right in the spotlight, despite their rapid condemnation of Anders Behring Breivik's actions. These parties share some of the anti-immigrant and anti-Islam opinions that spurred Mr. Breivik. Who are some of these rising parties on the right? (RELATED STORY: Norway massacre likely to ramp up monitoring of right-wing groups)
With the possibility of America defaulting on a debt payment just days away, Americans are hoping for the best but bracing for the worst. Lawmakers are raising alarms. Some investors are scrambling to the safety of gold and foreign currencies. What would a US default mean for the American consumer? Here are five ways it would hit your pocketbook:
The July heat wave shimmering across the United States is generating everything from prime-time news coverage to contests for describing just how hot it really is. More than a third of the US is experiencing heat indexes of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service. Six US cities set all-time record highs last month, with the hottest new record coming from Childress, Texas. The temp? 117 degrees. Savanna, Ga., meanwhile, experienced temps of 90-plus degrees for 56 days straight (May 20 to July 14). But what may be a record-setting summer in America is relatively routine in other parts of the world, where many people experience months of weather like this – and not necessarily with Western comforts like air conditioning. Some are almost as hot as America’s Death Valley, which averages 115 degrees in July. Yet their inhabitants manage to survive, albeit through sweat if not tears. Perhaps the fortitude of their global brethren will bring a breeze of hope to Americans. Here are five places with more extreme weather than the US is currently experiencing.
As America blasts its ACs and put its fans on overdrive to try to cope with the heat wave, it will use a lot of energy – which costs a lot of money. More than 40 percent of a typical home’s utility bill goes toward cooling costs. But it’s possible to keep energy costs down and still stay cool – even during a heat wave. “You can save money by saving energy,” says US Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Here are four tips.
Charles “Buddy” Roemer is trying to stage a comeback. After nearly two decades out of office, the four-term congressman and one-time Louisiana governor declared his candidacy for president on Thursday in New Hampshire. An old-fashioned, charismatic Southern pol, the thrice-married, twice-divorced candidate may be hamstrung by his negligible name recognition, constituency, and funds.
On July 9, the Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest country. But it is also one of its poorest, joining the ranks of the most underdeveloped nations on earth. Yet with the rich oil deposits within its new borders, South Sudan may be able to overcome the daunting obstacles it faces – if it comes to peaceful terms with its northern neighbor, Sudan. Here are five frequently asked questions answered:
The scramble on Capitol Hill to come up with a solution to the nation’s debt crisis produced a surprise announcement from the White House Wednesday: Contrary to previous statements, President Obama would support a short-term deal to raise the debt ceiling. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney added an important caveat, however. The president would only sign the short-term deal if it was a means to buy time to finalize a longer-term deal without running afoul of the Aug. 2 deadline. Suddenly, Washington is awash in prospects for short term deals. Here are five:
What’s the best way to enjoy the summer: A cookout in the backyard? A trip to the beach? These are nice, but look no further than reading a non-fiction adventure book. It’s by far the best way to immerse yourself in another world. Check out this list to see some of the best titles in this excellent genre.
In some respects, it’s not a good idea to draw conclusions from the record-setting performance of “Harry Potter” this weekend, which took $169 million at the North American box office and $476 million globally. “ ‘Harry Potter’ is a franchise that does not come along often,” says Paul Dergarabedian, Hollywood.com box office analyst. “It took more than a decade to develop, and it reaches across wide segments of the moviegoing public.” Still, a few important trends are emerging from the eye-popping weekend. Here are three:
“Carmageddon” is upon us! The 53-hour shutdown of a 10-mile segment of the 405 freeway, Los Angeles’s busiest traffic corridor, began at 7 p.m., Friday evening. For months, bulb-lit billboards have warned the city of severe traffic delays, while newspapers and TV stations ask whether apocalyptic congestion will keep 500,000 travelers from getting where they need to go for nearly three days. How are Los Angelenos coping? Here are five ways:
Harry Potter fans just know they love the record-breaking series of books. But everyone from academics to mythologists, classicists to historians, and literary critics to, well, geeks have a special “template” they perceive at the heart of the tale. From positing Albus Dumbledore as the infamous Richard III to taking us aloft the scaly back of St. George’s dragon, here are five of our top takes on what’s going on behind the scenes in the Harry Potter narratives.
How many ways are there to resolve the debt ceiling crisis? Negotiators meeting at the White House seem to hit one impasse after another, and frustration on both sides is mounting as an Aug. 2 deadline looms to avoid default on America’s debt obligations. Still, at least five options for handling the matter have been discussed in recent days and months. Other possible solutions may well emerge, but here’s the state of play on the options to date.