| May 1, 2013
| 3:05 PM
There's a big, raw-boned appeal to "Kon-Tiki," the Norwegian film based on its native son explorer Thor Heyerdahl and the 100-plus days he and a crew of six spent on a balsa wood raft crossing the Pacific to prove a point. Carried by currents from Peru to...
| Oct 21, 2013
| 6:00 AM
FORT CHIPEWYAN, Canada — In the Cree language, the word "athabasca" means "a place where grass is everywhere." Here in Alberta, the Athabasca River slices through forests of spruce and birch before spilling into a vast freshwater delta and Lake...
| Nov 3, 2013
Many powerful Californians have left their mark on the state. But I'd argue that the most lasting legacy, for better and for worse, belongs to a controversial man of the cloth born 300 years ago this year: Father Junipero Serra.
The trail of missions he...
| Dec 23, 2013
| 11:18 AM
If you missed it over the summer or fall, there's still time to explore the remarkable exhibition, "Junípero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions," at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.
| Dec 31, 2013
| 9:59 AM
It is almidón sagrado, or "sacred starch," in the poetry of Dr. Marinaelo Medrano, author of the collection "Diosas de la Yuca" (Goddesses of the Yuca).
Yuca bears no resemblance to the similarly spelled, flowering desert plant called yucca, although...
| Jan 2, 2014
For food, fashion and fast trains, few labels are more sought after, and rightly so, than "Made in France." But when it comes to the making and unmaking of empires, not so much. Take the case of the Central African Republic.
Three weeks ago, as bloody...
| Nov 17, 2013
| 6:23 PM
A Northern California school district is recommending that its main high school’s Apache mascot be changed.
The Apache, adopted decades ago, has long been a sensitive issue for Vallejo High School, and altering it has been raised several times...
| Nov 21, 2013
| 10:58 AM
A Northern California school district on Wednesday decided to drop its controversial Apache mascot.
The Apache, adopted decades ago, has long been a sensitive issue for Vallejo High School, and altering it has been raised several times over the years, ...
| Nov 29, 2013
Some celebrate Christmas, some Hanukkah and some Kwanzaa, but to me the coming holiday time is potlatch season, and it's starting earlier every year.
A potlatch was a festival of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest during which the host...
| Nov 29, 2013
| 1:39 PM
Two schools have decided to pull out of a charity toy drive after being challenged by the American Humanist Assn. over separation of church and state issues.
East Point Academy in West Columbia, S.C., and SkyView Academy in Highlands Ranch, Colo., have...
| Dec 4, 2013
| 8:13 PM
With their soaring pillars, immense bronze doors and dimly lit interiors, banks used to make small depositors feel even smaller – but at least they believed their money would be safe.
By the 1950s, though, banks were eager for a friendlier image...