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Articles by Diana beechener

One reader’s quest to gander a gaggle sent us to the experts

On a recent trip down to my pier, I found a gaggle of interlopers monopolizing the planks and moorings. Geese. Loud, messy and surprisingly aggressive long-necked Canadas were using my pier like a roadside rest area.
    I was happy they’d be on their way north in a few weeks.
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An economic downturn upends three corporate Americans in this redemptive recession drama

In the wake of 2010’s unyielding recession and the threat of a takeover, conglomerate GTX decides to secure the company’s bottom line by laying off thousands of workers.

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A few Hail Marys might have saved this horror movie

Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue: The Tudors) doesn’t want to join the family funeral business. To escape this morbid life, Kovak joins a seminary, hoping for a free education. As far as the drawbacks — the whole celibacy thing, the fact that he doesn’t believe in God — Kovak figures he’ll just quit before he makes his vows.

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A fun action flick with a buzzkill for a lead

In Seth Rogen’s (Funny People) latest leading role, which he wrote for himself, he creates a superhero with all the personality faults of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man but without any of the charm or competence. It’s a bold choice to craft a possible superhero franchise around a tiresome jerk, but Rogen relishes the challenge. 

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Digging up the origin of Jumpers Hole Road led to a few facts and plenty of fiction

Part of our What’s With That series has been a challenge to you, dear reader. We invite you to write in your queries, with the promise of an upcoming solution in our pages. 

Turns out, this was a foolish assertion. 

Pat Nesbit of Arnold wrote seeking the origin of the name Jumpers Hole Road. After a day of research, I got a bad feeling that I was about to be stumped.

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He’s Got His Mother’s Nose

He doesn’t have a name yet, but the National Zoo’s baby giant anteater already has a photo blog and a ghostwriter. Keeper Marie Magnuson has been posting status updates and photos of the long-nosed baby boy since his birth in December.

Magnuson had close contact with the baby in the early days, because mother Maripi wasn’t producing enough milk to keep the little guy gaining weight.

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Come for a love story, stay for an emotional evisceration

Blue Valentine isn’t a romantic drama; it’s a horror movie for romantics. Derek Cianfrance’s (Cagefighter) film asks questions that most modern romantic movies attempt to avoid: What happens to a married couple when they fall out of love? What if you’re not meant to be with the person you married?...

Finding the source of a local river

“What on earth does Magothy mean?” asked a guest as we walked down to the river by my Pasadena home.

“It’s the name of the river,” I explained.

“But what is it? Is it a person? Or a special word?” persisted my curious guest.

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A B-movie with an A-List cast earns a failing grade

A priest, some crusaders and a witch wander into the woods. Turns out the joke is on whoever pays to see the movie. An overwrought, overstuffed tale of medieval mysticism, Season of the Witch fails on every possible level, from storytelling to acting to star Nicolas Cage’s improbable hairpiece.

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The Latest Addition to the National Zoo Has a Nose for Trouble

Born on the seventh of December, the latest addition to the National Zoo has already caused a fuss among the zookeepers. The giant anteater pup was found lying outside his mother’s cage with a dangerously low body temperature. The month-old cub was rushed to the vet, then given the all-clear to go back to his mom.

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