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CONTENT
FEATURED NEWS FEEDS


NEWS (LAST 200)
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: Ticket touts chan...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Article 50: option...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: ‘Filthy air’ f...
24/01/2017: NEWS: £ 5.30
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Speeding drivers f...
24/01/2017: NEWS: Madonna riles Gingrich...
24/01/2017: NEWS: Family planning and Pa...
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: £1.5m
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Syrian rebels...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: 45 %
24/01/2017: PUZZLES & CROSSWORD: Codewor...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: GCHQ director quit...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Seaford: the coast...
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: Pair jailed for t...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Bundles of ho...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: The Godfather of Gr...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Tunisia massacre v...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Mother of murdered...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: End of the on...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Khan calls for act...
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: Lloyds fends off ...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Roll over Beethove...
24/01/2017: OPINION: The green paper giv...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: The Gambia’...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: Corrections and cla...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: John Crace’s ske...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Fancy being t...
24/01/2017: NEWS: Poster woman ‘I’m ...
24/01/2017: NEWS: Course correction...
24/01/2017: NEWS: Spicer’s pledge ‘T...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: US-UK migration ta...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Giacometti show at...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Author to close Lo...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: 150%
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Actor shot de...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Men held afte...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: Electoral challenge...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: In praise of breath...
24/01/2017: FRONT PAGE: Lawyers tell May...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: It’s a crisis ind...
24/01/2017: NEWS: Generational change fo...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Respect us or...
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: UK fraud tops £1...
24/01/2017: FRONT PAGE: Fallon defends k...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: Stendhal, Stalin an...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Mother jailed for ...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Tributes paid as ...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Nineteen peop...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: The C-word hi...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Chinese lawye...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: Why Ukrainians don...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: 45%
24/01/2017: EDUCATION: Universities may ...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: O’Rourke, Roberts...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: What went wrong ...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Police were just d...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: East London postco...
24/01/2017: OBITUARIES: Birthdays
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: China must respect ...
24/01/2017: EDUCATION: From here to Shan...
24/01/2017: PUZZLES & CROSSWORD: Wordsea...
24/01/2017: EDUCATION: Cover blown for t...
24/01/2017: NEWS: Gender pay gap starts ...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Chiuri gets Dior h...
24/01/2017: NEWS: Lawsuit Bid to ban Tru...
24/01/2017: NEWS: £ 2.20
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: Haringey homes plan...
24/01/2017: PUZZLES & CROSSWORD: Killer ...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Scientists take fi...
24/01/2017: OBITUARIES: Gorden Kaye...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Tamil Nadu de...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: For me, Brexit mean...
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: Hong Kong prices ...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: The president has m...
24/01/2017: NEWS: From beyond the grave...
24/01/2017: OPINION: Theresa May must le...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: Five decades of hea...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: A music venue that ...
24/01/2017: FRONT PAGE: Fight the power!...
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: £59,000
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: Fan clubs and bot...
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: No black and whit...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: Trump’s camp call...
24/01/2017: PUZZLES & CROSSWORD: Guardia...
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: Hopes for industr...
24/01/2017: OBITUARIES: John Cummings...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: Lessons from watchi...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: 21
24/01/2017: NEWS: Huckleberry find: how ...
24/01/2017: OPINION: The leave vote isn...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Police recove...
24/01/2017: NEWS: Break with the past...
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Tech firms face ...
24/01/2017: FINANCIAL: 25%
24/01/2017: NATIONAL: Lucasfilm reveals ...
24/01/2017: EDUCATION: DfE fails to publ...
24/01/2017: INTERNATIONAL: Country mourn...
24/01/2017: JOURNAL: The Snow Maiden...
Star Wars hologram spurs Australian Nati...
Markets Live: Iron ore miners lead charg...
Yahoo delays merger with Verizon over ha...
Monica Lewinsky defends Barron Trump on ...
Hong Kong stocks rebound on strong resou...
Kellyanne Conway allegedly punched man a...
Dear Premier Gladys Berejiklian: Here ar...
Free higher education is possible
Hlaudi’s quotas and policies to remain...
Barack and Michelle Obama arrive in Brit...
CIMIC launches Macmahon takeover bid...
2017 Australian Open: Rod Laver has his ...
Cab driver raves about John Elway while ...
Trump signals one-on-one trade deals wit...
WA Greens senator Scott Ludlam back at w...
Celebrity chef George Calombaris welcome...
NFL TV viewership fumbles for the first ...
Venus Williams makes history at Australi...
Hollywoods next big thing? Australias Da...
Patrick Marleau scores four in Sharks 5-...
Governor collapses during major address...
JGBs track Treasuries higher, 40-year au...
I hope you like us, were Asian: Pauline ...
Ruby Rose looks gaunt on the red carpet ...
Melbourne Bourke St killer monitored by ...
Gambia’s new president, still in Seneg...
Thirty years after his astonishing journ...
Australian Open 2017: Coco Vandeweghe ch...
News24.com | Gambias Barrow vows to go a...
David Geffen sues contractors that renov...
3 dogs give avalanche rescuers hope but ...
Labor wants Gladys Berejiklian to revers...
The Latest: Lanai High, Elementary Schoo...
Venus Williams to meet Vandeweghe in Aus...
Senate roll vote confirming Mike Pompeo ...
Belinda Girl was in the wrong place at t...
If Wheeler goes, will the Reserve Bank o...
Huge slide destroys Love Creek Falls in ...
Reports of armed incident on North Shore...
New images from outer space
George HW Bush out of ICU, wife released...
11 hospitalized after predawn fire erupt...
Golden State and Cavaliers both suffer s...
Estonia sparks Brussels and Russia TENSI...
Bad holiday ends with driving conviction...
Johann Ofner Bliss n Eso Brisbane film c...
Sam Armytage slams journalist Gladys Ber...
Vandeweghe seals place in Australian Ope...
Can computers make decent music? English...
Australian Open 2017 Live: Stan Wawrinka...
This is what $20 million hidden under a ...
News24.com | UN urges halt to South Suda...
Pure Bond: Designing for 007
Auto parts stock prices plummet in wake ...
Koreas terms of trade improve in Decembe...
No potholes, no bumps: Wellington Phoeni...
Chelsea deal close: Antonio Conte seeks ...
Knicks hold off Pacers late charge for 1...
Japan Moves Into Sumos Top Tier After Tw...
Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones profanely berate...
Woori Bank wins approval for setting up ...
Hutt Valley batter Pallas Potter to capt...
Kadri scores twice to get to 20 goals; L...
Bucks 127, Rockets 114: Fun returns as 5...
BMW reviewing ambassador deal with Sonny...
Predators hope winning road trip is cata...
Trump administration tells EPA to freeze...
Texas Arlington tops 100 points for firs...
Arkansas State downs South Alabama 74-62...
G-Dragons Crooked music video tops 100 m...
Were still on: ABC hosts awkward technic...
Fran OSullivan: English should get to Wa...
Mansplaining, jazz and Priuses: all the ...
Michael Carrick: I’m impressed with Ma...
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp: Only Man Un...
Impressive Shadow Fox takes on the big t...
Adam Pacman Jones profanely berates poli...
Mel Gibson and Girlfriend Rosalind Ross ...
Terrence Jones leads Pelicans stunning w...
Troy beats Little Rock as teams combine ...
MINT in box - Samsung 40" ultraslim LED ...
Texas State tops Louisiana Monroe after ...
Wade scores 23 to lead Norfolk State pas...
Antetokounmpo scores 31 in Bucks 127-114...
Watch NZH Local Focus: Needless deaths -...
The Bachelor recap: Corrine and Taylor g...
Hour-long queue for In-N-Out Burger Auck...
All Blacks Sevens to open against Samoa...
Manassa scores 25, Savannah State tops D...
Fair and fuzzy: Bear cub separated from ...
Kiwi-owned Datacom wins share in major ...
Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel a Kiwi ...
My Kitchen Rules hosts Manu Feildel and ...
Koreas per-person rice consumption hits ...
D.C. cab driver calls John Elway his fav...
Antoine Griezmann to Man United: This is...
Capitals thrash Hurricanes, Rangers edge...
Leafs go as goaltender Anderson goes: Fe...
Bengals apologize for Pacman Jones behav...
Coach Paul Henare shrugs off Breakers tu...
Getzlaf, Bernier lift Ducks over Jets 3-...
Arsenal can catch Chelsea if they start ...

REVIEWS & PREVIEWS (LAST 60)
Unionization vote may resolve Telemundos...
Tiger Woods is ready for the next chapte...
Lundqvist slams the door on Kings in Ran...
Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM Review
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun Rev...
2016 Roundup: $1200-2000 ILCs part 2: Fu...
Sigma 12-24mm F4 DG HSM Art Review...
4 Quick Creative Rain Photography Tips...
Olympus E-PL8 First Impressions Review...
Comparison Review: Sony FE 50mm F1.4 ZA ...
Southern Section winter polls
Yahoos earnings improve, but the closure...
Review: BioLite Basecamp and PizzaDome B...
Review: PXG Golf Clubs
Kenneth Turans Sundance documentary pick...
Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon tell...
Trump administration downplays expectati...
In a final insult, Gambias ex-leader loo...
With a nod to the L.A. protests, Master ...
Trump names FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, a...
Twitter rejoices in Stacey Dashs ouster ...
Patriots fan charged with pulling alarm ...
Tidal announces partnership with Sprint...
Tales of Berseria Review
U.S. stock indexes edge down; oil prices...
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Review
Top Photography Deals & Best Sellers Tod...
Become Your Very Own Coach With These 5 ...
No bullets or body counts: How Insecure ...
Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4 E ED Tilt Shift...
Learning Photography Is On The Top New H...
Nomadic Hunter On Ice Awarded POTW Accol...
Fiction: Monica Ali on Rachel Cusk’s R...
Tamron Blog: Get All Arty With Your Tamr...
L.A.s rainfall since October 1 — more ...
United Airlines grounds all U.S. flights...
Mudlfows intensify in Duarte burn area...
Review: Sennheiser GSP 300
Dragon Ball Fusions Review
2016 Roundups: Fixed Prime Lens Cameras...
Werewolves Within Review
Basic Still Life Photography Tips
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10/LX15 Review...
Review: Yi M1 Mirrorless Camera
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Review
Sundance 2017 updates: The Big Sick, fro...
Imagining the royal court of Donald the ...
Trumps permanent campaign wont help him ...
What to expect in President Trumps first...
Massive turnout in D.C. for anti-Trump w...
Taking a look at the confusing world of ...
Freeze-dried food and 1 bathroom: 6 simu...
The coolest people are all about denim, ...
Dont expect an attorney to provide cut-r...
Spectacles might get the buzz, but for i...
32 killed, 50 injured as train derails i...
Fox News downplays Womens March on Washi...
Even More Night Photography Tips
Steep Review
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V Review...


The long-running dispute between Telemundo and SAG-AFTRA over whether actors for the Spanish language broadcaster can unionize could see a conclusion by March. The union announced Monday that a vote is set to take place to decide the fate of the network’s thousands of performers who appear in popular...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:55:00 PST )

Tiger Woods looked very comfortable in a black pullover with the distinctive swoosh, seated behind a microphone in front of an overflow crowd of media and guests at Riviera Country Club. He was there on this rainy and cold Monday morning to push the Genesis Open, a tournament run by his company...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:50:00 PST )

The chant was booming. It was faint. It sometimes involved the entire crowd, and at others it was scattered about the arena’s nosebleed seats. 

But the problem for the Kings was that, aside from a brief moment in the second period, the chant filled Madison Square Garden all night. 

“Henrik! Henrik!...

Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:50:00 PST )

Yahoo Inc.'s financial performance improved slightly during the fourth quarter while the company dealt with the fallout from massive security breaches that have jeopardized the $4.8-billion sale of its Internet operations to Verizon Communications Inc.

Yahoo also disclosed Monday that the closure...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:55:00 PST )

Chino Hills, Sierra Canyon and Santa Ana Mater Dei top the latest Southern Section Division 1AA boys' basketball rankings.

Here's the link to complete polls.

Here's the link to girls' basketball polls.

Here's the link to boys' soccer polls.

Here's the link to girls' soccer polls.

Here's the link...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 15:47:00 PST )
Here are some top tips for shooting rain creatively, both inside and out.
Read More

Source: ePHOTOzine - Photography Techniques (Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:10:03 GMT )

With a trio of assassins, I prepare to breach the outer gates. I make one of my assassins toss out a tasty flask of sake to distract a guard, while another slit the throats of two unwary henchmen nearby. The third, a sniper, perches in a high tower and finishes off the remaining enemies. A few moments later, we're ready for the shogun--our real target.

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is an elegant answer to a simple question: How do you make sneaking unnoticed from Point A to Point B compelling? Many games have built themselves around that concept, but few stealth-focused games manage to make sneaking as interesting as Gears of War makes shooting or Portal makes puzzle-solving.t

That's because the language of games, for better or worse, is usually conflict. But stealth games call for a subtler hand. Often you'll have to wait for enemies to be in the right place at the right time to make your move, and if you step out of turn and accidentally blow your cover, you may have to say goodbye to your progress and start from scratch.

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Shadow Tactics can be challenging, but isn't as punishing as most stealth games. From the very beginning, you're taught to save--constantly. If you go more than a minute without saving, a timer appears onscreen to remind you, growing more intense with each passing minute. Once saving becomes a habit--executed with a single keystroke--you grow more comfortable trying out creative strategies without fear of risking hard-fought progress.

Shadow Tactics frontloads almost all of the training you'll need for the remainder of the campaign. You have five different assassins under your control, each with their own specific skills. Some can target two or three enemies in a single turn, while others can vault up onto rooftops to gain the upper hand. By the end of the first level, you'll have working knowledge of every major tactic and ability at your disposal. After that, it's just a matter of which specific combination of abilities you'll be able to bring to any one level.

From a serene, wind-swept snowscape to the towering castles of Japan's Edo period, Blades of the Shogun's cel shaded environments are all beautifully rendered, and each one introduces a distinct mechanic that alters the rules of stealth. Guards will track footsteps through snow on one map, for example, ratcheting up tension and forcing you to be more rigorous in your approach. With its rules in flux, Blades of the Shogun is consistently tense and challenging, forcing you to plan and react in new ways as you pursue one target after another.

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At times, the complexity of any given level--with potentially dozens of guards and obstacles--can seem overwhelming. But no matter how dire things appear, there are systems in place to give you a fighting chance. You'll never be surprised, for example, by a guard's sudden attention. Their cones of vision gradually fill with color--they confirm your location when it's full and sound an alarm to summon reinforcements. In the brief amount of time it takes for an enemy to take action, you have a chance to get out of trouble, either by throwing a shuriken or quickly ducking out of sight.

If you do trigger an alarm, however, a swarm of new enemies appear and stick around for the rest of the scenario. This presents a series of interesting choices for you to make. You can, if you so choose, take the spike in challenge in exchange for removing one or two particularly pernicious henchmen. They may be replaced, but the newbies won't pick up the exact patrol pattern or position, so, in some cases, it's still worth it.

No matter how dire things appear, there are systems in place to give you a fighting chance.

Sudden turns also help develop the relationships between Shadow Tactics' five main characters. They'll trade barbs and anecdotes as they tell one another about how they came to this line of work and why they chose to fight. Party members range from the sturdy samurai, Mugen, to the lithe master of disguise Aiko. Hayato is the de facto leader, a dyed-in-the-wool ninja and master of stealth. The thief, Yuki, is faster and lighter, relying on traps and tricks to take down most foes. Last is Takuma, a wise old man and a patient sniper.

Each of their abilities can be chained into the skills of other characters, requiring extremely tight coordination. Over the 20-hour-plus adventure, they grow and learn together as they face mounting challenges and an uncertain future. The story isn't groundbreaking by any means, but the repartee is relatable and earnest, providing sufficient context for the adventure.

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Across thirteen dense, beautiful areas that can each take a couple of hours to work through, you'll pick and probe, chopping through complex patterns against what seem like impossible odds. If there's one complaint, it's that while each of its parts work together seamlessly, it can often feel like there's only one correct solution--like you're trying to find the solution to a puzzle instead of working within a living, breathing world. However, those frustrations are blunted somewhat by ever-present tension, as you'll often face unexpected twists that prevent you from feeling too comfortable.

Shadow mode, as the game calls it, leads to glorious moments where you get to see all of your hard work, your observation, and attention to detail pay off. It tests your ability to keep track of all the moving pieces in a level and put a plan in motion. You can have a samurai kill off a small band of guards with his special ability, then snipe an officer as he moves in to investigate. Then you can have your other characters stash the bodies to avoid detection--all before the next set of troops rounds the corner. When a plan comes together, it's a thing of beauty--a symphony of action.

Shadow Tactics understands what makes stealth games so special. It pushes you to organize your own plans such that you’re never seen at all, living up to Thief's thesis that masterful warriors are ghosts that wreak havoc on the unsuspecting. And it takes this concept step further, giving you enough options to ensure you're never trapped or stuck without recourse. Shadow Tactics' basic ideas are masterfully executed, making it one of the best stealth games in recent memory.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Sun, 18 Dec 2016 19:32:00 -0800)
Review: BioLite Basecamp and PizzaDome Bundle
With the Pizza Dome on top of this efficient camp stove, your camping menu gets a little more diverse. The post Review: BioLite Basecamp and PizzaDome Bundle appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Mon, 19 Dec 2016 11:53:06 +0000 )
Review: PXG Golf Clubs
The billionaire founder of GoDaddy wanted to make a better golf club, no matter the cost. The post Review: PXG Golf Clubs appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Mon, 19 Dec 2016 12:00:08 +0000 )
Sundance 2017 updates: In her new short film, director Kristen Stewart deals with past relationships (and maybe Robert Pattinson) Jan. 23, 2017, 1:47 p.m. Filmmakers come to Sundance with stories that reveal personal truths -- the Park City festival isn't one for shallow blockbusters -- and the... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:54:00 PST )
Sundance 2017 updates: In her new short film, director Kristen Stewart deals with past relationships (and maybe Robert Pattinson) Jan. 23, 2017, 1:47 p.m. Filmmakers come to Sundance with stories that reveal personal truths -- the Park City festival isn't one for shallow blockbusters -- and the... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:50:00 PST )

Back in January 1973, when the U.S. was still entangled in Vietnam and President Richard Nixon was inaugurated, a protest came in the form of a “counter-inaugural” concert at the Washington National Cathedral. Leonard Bernstein led a choir and a pickup orchestra in Haydn’s “Mass in Time of War,”...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:45:00 PST )

The last act of a dictator who ruled his country for 22 years was massive embezzlement, according to the new government of Gambia, where Yahya Jammeh was forced to give up power under West African military and diplomatic pressure.

Jammeh tried to cling to power after losing elections last month,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:45:00 PST )
Trump signs orders pulling out of Pacific trade deal, freezing government hires Jan. 23, 2017, 1:49 p.m. This is our look at President Trump's administration and the rest of Washington: Trump formally pulls U.S. out of Trans-Pacific Partnership Group challenges Trump's business holdings as violation... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:49:00 PST )

President Trump on Monday  designated Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission and an outspoken opponent of new net neutrality rules, to be the agency’s new chairman.

Pai, 44, would take over for Tom Wheeler, a Democrat who stepped down on Friday. Wheeler’s term had...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:50:00 PST )
Today in Entertainment: Full 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' title revealed; A look at Trump's musical choices Jan. 23, 2017, 12:39 p.m. Things have heated up in the entertainment world with the the Sundance Film Festival and much of Hollywood focused on the new presidency Donald Trump and Saturday's... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:23:00 PST )

A Boston man described by his lawyer as a “die-hard Patriots fan” has pleaded not guilty to pulling a fire alarm that roused the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers from their hotel beds ahead of their playoff game against New England.

Dennis Harrison was released on personal recognizance at his arraignment...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:45:00 PST )

Jay Z’s artist-owned streaming service, Tidal, and Sprint announced a new partnership on Monday that will give the company’s 45 million customers unlimited access to Tidal, including exclusive content.

In the deal, the telecommunications company acquired a 33% stake in Tidal; Sprint CEO Marcelo...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:45:00 PST )

Just from the title, there are a few things you can expect from a Tales game: a lengthy story, melodramatic writing, dated visuals, and a real-time battle system. For the most part, Tales of Berseria sticks to the same formula. The story is long and punctuated with both predictable and unexpected plot twists, the writing can swing from tender moments to cringe-worthy ones, and the real-time combat is engaging but becomes stale near the end. Where Tales of Berseria differentiates itself from its recent entries is its mature story and characters.

Velvet Crowe, the protagonist, is introduced as a wholesome young woman taking care of her younger brother in a world overrun by demons and an evil presence known as Malevolence. After her brother is sacrificed in order to quell the evil in the world, Velvet is transformed into a demon and locked away in prison. The opening hours are slow, but after they come to a close, Tales of Berseria quickly spirals into a story of revenge. When we revisit Velvet years later, she’s no longer the innocent, wholesome girl from the prologue. She is angry. What’s striking about Velvet, as opposed to past Tales protagonists, is that she’s driven by rage and vengeance. Velvet isn’t trying to save the world. In fact, she is trying kill the man who saved it.

The darker tone makes up for Tales of Berseria’s slow opening hours. While the series has never shied away from heavy themes, it’s refreshing to play as a character in a Tales game who’s willing to do whatever it takes in order to get what she wants. She’s not afraid to kill, steal, and threaten when it’s necessary. Her apathy can be exhausting at times--even frustrating--but her motives are believable. The same can be said about the supporting cast of party members. Eizen is an infamous pirate trying to find the captain of his ship, Rokurou is a demon trying to slay his brother, and Magilou is an unpredictable witch who’s always looking for trouble.

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As with the previous Tales games, the best way to get to know these characters is through optional skits. These are fully voiced conversations between your party members that show off some of the game’s best writing--and some of its worst. They can be funny, serious, awkward, witty, random, or just boring. In one entertaining scene, Rokurou and Magilou bet on whether or not Velvet will break before the journey ends, while in a far-too-lengthy skit, Eizen drones on about his pirate creed.

However, the standout character is Eleanor. Unlike the rest of the team, Eleanor is virtuous. She tries to help people and do what she thinks is right. But after she follows Velvet and her crew into an otherworldly dimension, Eleanor’s forced to work with them in order to escape. Throughout most of the game, she’s at odds with the company she keeps and finds herself stuck between two very different worlds. This foil creates an uneasy tension, and, at times, adds a much-needed reprieve from Velvet’s cruelty.

The other half of the experience comes in the form of combat.The trademark Tales real-time battles return, but not without some changes. Encounters take place in an open 3D space where you’re free to move, attack, and block at your own pace. Tales of Berseria removes the Technical Points bar and replaces it with the Soul Gauge--which is similar in that it dictates how long you can chain together combat and spell artes. However, unlike in previous games, you can steal souls from your opponents by knocking them out or stunning them. The Soul Gauge doesn’t change the flow of combat too much, but it does add a bit more fluidity to it. This system forced me to rethink my normal tactics; rather than targeting smaller enemies, I emptied my Soul Gauge on bigger foes and then focused my attacks on smaller ones in order to absorb souls.

Tales of Berseria's combat allows for plenty of experimentation. The game offers a wide variety of artes (abilities) across all six party members, and as long as you have enough souls, you can chain any of them together to create unique combos. Tales games have always allowed for this kind of experimentation, but linking artes hasn’t felt this fluid or interesting before. Once you have three or more souls, you can unleash a break arte. These drain your Soul Gauge but can have a devastating effect. As long as you time your break artes and carefully choose your hidden artes, you can keep the momentum of battle alive.

Unlocking artes and experimenting with new combos is initially delightful, but when new artes begin to dry up about halfway through the game, combat becomes increasingly repetitive and somewhat rote. Near the end, I found myself focusing more on avoiding enemies rather than trying different characters or testing out new artes.

Like Tales of Zesteria and Tales of Xillia, Berseria doesn’t have an overworld. Instead, you travel from town to town by trekking through large, sectioned-off areas. These landscapes aren’t all that inspired, either. Throughout the 50-hour adventure, you’ll visit grasslands, tundra, meadows, and mountainous regions which could easily be confused with locations from previous Tales games. It would’ve been nice if these areas followed suit with the darker themes, but they don’t. There isn’t much to see or do in these areas, either, apart from fighting enemies and hunting for treasure chests. After venturing through these sections a few times, I found myself fixated on the minimap whenever I had to retrace my steps.

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Dungeons consist of long corridors that occasionally branch off, simple puzzles, and dozens of similar enemies. Apart from a palette swap, these multilevel dungeons look identical from floor to floor. Textures and objects are reused from corridor to corridor, making it a pain to navigate. The puzzles don’t require much thought, either. In most cases, you flip a switch or light a torch, and a door opens. These puzzles require minimal brainpower and usually had me backtracking through dungeons just to hit a switch I missed.

It doesn't help that Tales of Berseria looks dated. At times, it’s indistinguishable from 2013’s Tales of Xillia. Textures lack detail, side characters look bland, and, outside of battle, animations can be stiff. The art direction can go a long way at times to mitigate the poor graphics, especially in some later dungeons, but don’t expect to blown away by it.

Tales of Berseria’s weak presentation and dull world design may not excite, but they only account for a piece of an otherwise enjoyable tale. The refined combat, and the darker tone, paired with the sinister characters, makes for a more engaging experience overall . In these ways, Tales of Berseria actually takes the series in an intriguing new direction.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 09:00:00 -0800)

U.S. stock indexes edged lower in early trading Monday as investors pored over the latest crop of company earnings. Energy companies were down the most as crude oil prices headed lower. Utilities led the gainers. Traders also had their eye on the White House as President Trump reaffirmed plans...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 07:40:00 PST )

We didn't know it at the time, but Resident Evil 4 was the beginning of the end. Though in many ways the series' best game, it also signaled the start of Resident Evil's transformation from survival-horror into something far scarier: forgettable, derivative action. By contrast, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has been heralded as a return to form--a classic, uncompromising frightfest. And indeed, it is. In place of blockbuster pandering, the game delivers intimate horror with a tightly focused scope and all the trappings you'd expect from a survival game. No superfluous skill trees or meaningless fetch quests, just the stomach-churning tension of guiding a relatively helpless character out of a waking nightmare.

You do gradually gather weapons as you progress, but you could never mistake this for an action game. Every time you start to feel powerful enough to kick some ass, the game finds a way to pull the rug out from under you. I'm going to do my best to avoid spoilers, so let's just say it respects series traditions and that there's a lot more to RE7 than what you've already seen. And while the setting and characters have no obvious connections to any previous Resident Evil game, the series' DNA can be felt in everything from the puzzles and keys to the subtle psychological tricks used to cultivate dread.

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But RE7 clearly takes cues from modern horror games as well, most notably by opting for a first-person perspective. Fans of games like Outlast may recognize a lot of structural similarities in large portions of the campaign, which--outside of some optional backtracking to collect items--follows a linear and highly scripted series of events. Annoyingly, that sometimes means wasting ammo on enemies who aren't scheduled to die until later fights, but at least those moments reinforce the tense, oppressive atmosphere that persists from start to finish. The results aren't always explicitly terrifying, but I was pretty damn stressed out for the duration.

The experience starts to drag a bit by the end, though, as you end up performing similar tasks throughout the entire game. The campaign could have benefited from a slightly higher density of unique, memorable moments. But make no mistake: there are memorable moments, and when they hit, they hit hard. Despite its clarity of vision and prudent restraint in pursuit of that vision, RE7 still takes a few bold chances to refresh the campaign and renew the horror as you progress.

Some of these chances stem from its story, which follows series newcomer and all-around average guy Ethan Winters. After receiving a cryptic video from his wife Mia, who's been missing for three years, Ethan ends up in a dilapidated manor deep in the Louisiana bayou, where he discovers a demented family and a whole lot more questions. Thankfully, the narrative never devolves into trite "damsel in distress" cliches. In fact, the story's never really about Mia; it's about escaping a nightmare.

In true survival-horror fashion, you'll be totally defenseless for a surprisingly large portion of the early game.
In true survival-horror fashion, you'll be totally defenseless for a surprisingly large portion of the early game.

Overall, the narrative delivers. The twists are generally predictable, but it's still exciting to see them unfold--and the game never lingers on a reveal for too long. The writing remains thematically consistent and drives towards a clear goal, making your circumstances feel that much more dire. The same can said of the setting: every moldy floorboard, every oozing entrail, every flickering light feels unbearably real. The textures, details, and sounds are, without exception, utterly gross in the best way, and impressively, RE7 relies far more on this atmosphere than cheap jump scares.

RE7 also smartly uses each family member to different effect. The father Jack provides in-your-face terror and drives much of the game's early combat. The mother Marguerite demands a stealthier approach, which provides some of the tensest moments and arguably the game's best boss fight. And the son Lucas sets elaborate, Saw-like traps that'll keep you off balance and make you wary of things you once took for granted. These different approaches add welcome variety in a way that feels completely natural in the context of the world, enhancing your immersion while mixing up the gameplay.

Outside of the family, collectible VHS tapes add even more variety. Each one contains a playable flashback from a different character's perspective, which works beautifully as both a narrative device and a way to break up Ethan's exhausting mission. You'll also encounter puzzles, though unlike early Resident Evil games, these play only a minor role overall, and most are simple and easy to solve. It certainly would have been nice to see a few more intricate, challenging tests, but like the VHS tapes, the puzzles fit well within the world and don't impede the campaign's momentum.

There are, of course, a few things that go bump in the night as well, and for those occasions, Ethan has access to a small but diverse collection of weapons. The game contains more guns than I expected, but I never felt super-powered. Not even close. Even the final chapter mainly relies on horror and tension (with one big action sequence exception). By and large, RE7 keeps it simple, prioritizing tone over action. Only one weapon feels truly outlandish, and you'll struggle to find more than a few rounds for it anyway--though in true survival game fashion, everything is in short supply. You'll need to manage your limited inventory and carefully scour areas for essential items, though if you're patient and vigilante, you'll likely find what you need. RE7 makes item collection tense without teetering into "unduly punishing."

Unfortunately, I found most generic enemies to be a little less capable than I would have liked. If they catch you off guard or confront you in a bottleneck, they can be tough to put down. But I could frequently see them coming, and they're neither fast nor smart enough to catch you when you simply run the other direction. Knowing when to run away is arguably part of any horror game, but I still would have preferred something more threatening, especially since I was playing on the highest difficulty available out of the box (you do unlock a higher difficulty after completing the game).

Boss fights were also a bit of a mix. One thrilling battle recaptures classic Resident Evil boss design by throwing you into a creepy, intricate arena that allows your opponent to surprise you over and over. But another more action-oriented fight was a real struggle...right up until the game showed me a prompt explaining how to perform a power attack with the weapon I'd received specifically for that fight. As soon as I knew that, I immediately won after many failed attempts. Thankfully, the game's pretty generous when you die, respawning you nearby with all your ammo and healing items intact. You're left terrified and upset, but at least you don't lose much time.

You will occasionally find safe rooms where you can save your progress. These spaces are relatively rare, however, so you may want to backtrack from time to time.
You will occasionally find safe rooms where you can save your progress. These spaces are relatively rare, however, so you may want to backtrack from time to time.

While RE7 does not contain multiplayer, you can play the entire campaign on PSVR. Fundamentally, the content remains the same, but the way you experience that content certainly differs. Overall, VR works well: the graphics hold up, aiming feels intuitive (especially since you can partially aim simply by turning your head), and horror just generally feels more real and immediate when it occupies your entire field of view. And importantly, RE7 does everything it can to deliver a top-tier experience, including a robust suite of options designed to minimize discomfort. While I can't imagine playing the entire 12-hour campaign with a headset on, RE7 is undoubtedly an amazing option for VR fans.

By the end of the campaign, I was ready for the game to be over, but that's okay. RE7 ends just as it starts to outstay its welcome, and after the fact, I felt like I'd survived a truly harrowing journey. The boss fights may be slightly inconsistent and certain sections might drag after a while, but RE7 is still a remarkable success. It has a clear vision and executes it with impressive patience and precision. By returning to horror, Resident Evil has once again become something special.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 08:00:00 -0800)
Take a look at these top photography deals and what the best selling photography essentials are on Amazon UK today.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:01:26 GMT )
Become Your Very Own Coach With These 5 Athletic Gadgets
Athletes can employ a variety of wearable body sensors to get useful coaching advice. The post Become Your Very Own Coach With These 5 Athletic Gadgets appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 12:00:34 +0000 )

Actress and writer Issa Rae grew up in South Los Angeles, but in a different world from the bullets and body counts that Hollywood portrayed.

Back in the 1990s, gang violence exploded and the Southside burned during the days of rioting. Popular culture reflected the tough times through movies such...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 04:00:00 PST )
John Riley reviews the new Nikon PC Nikkor 19mm f/4 E ED Tilt-shift lens for full-frame Nikon cameras.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:24:04 GMT )
More Brits are wanting to take up photography as a hobby, a recent survey has revealed.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 11:06:16 GMT )
A stunning documentary style image of a nomadic hunter has been awarded the POTW accolade.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:32:01 GMT )
“Transit” is the second novel in a trilogy by Rachel Cusk that began with “Outline.” Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:00:01 GMT )
Abstracts are fun to shoot and you can even capture them from the comfort of your own home.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 08:00:06 GMT )
Storm slams Southern California: Roads flooding and warnings issued around the region Jan. 22, 2017, 8:09 p.m. The National Weather Service is warning that the storm hitting Southern California on Sunday could be the strongest since 2010. The heaviest rain is expected this afternoon and evening,... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 20:09:00 PST )

United Airlines says all of its domestic flights are grounded on Sunday because of a computer problem.

Company spokeswoman Maddie King said in a brief statement that it issued a ground stop in the U.S. because of an "IT issue." It did not give any more details, and it was not immediately clear...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 17:55:00 PST )
Storm slams Southern California: Roads flooding and warnings issued around the region Jan. 22, 2017, 4:48 p.m. The National Weather Service is warning that the storm hitting Southern California on Sunday could be the strongest since 2010. The heaviest rain is expected this afternoon and evening,... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 16:48:00 PST )
Here are five tips to help you get started in still life photography.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - Photography Techniques (Mon, 23 Jan 2017 00:10:10 GMT )

There's a certain thrill to a well-designed lie. You know it's something you're not "supposed" to do, but crafting an airtight fib is a test of imagination, improvisation, and grace under pressure. There are a lot of ways a lie can fall apart, though. Someone who knows for a fact that you aren't telling the truth can call you out on your deception. Do you double down and accuse this person of lying, come up with a new lie, or clam up because you know you've been caught? The best moments of Ubisoft's Werewolves Within test your ability to handle those precise situations.

Werewolves Within is a multiplayer VR game for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR, and the basic concept should be familiar to anyone who ever played Mafia, Werewolf, or similar card games. Players are placed into groups of eight and then assigned a role to determine their win conditions. Villagers have to work together and figure out who the Werewolves are. Werewolves have to lie and misdirect the Villagers, or ensure their victory by having themselves and any other Werewolves vote unanimously for the saint. The Deviant has to convince everyone else that they're a Werewolf--if the Deviant is voted out, they win.

If you're a non-Saint villager, things start off relatively straightforward. You can tell everyone else your role. If you're a Tracker or a Gossip or an Astrologer, you have abilities that reveal information about the roles of those around you. Houndsmen can "sniff" the players sitting next to them and learn their roles. Trackers know if there's at least one "Werewolf" in half the group to one of their sides. Gossips have information that may or may not be true about members of the group.

But Werewolves and Deviants throw wrenches in these plans. If you're a Werewolf, how do you throw the party off your trail? One tactic is to wait for another member of the group to claim they had one specific Villager role--and then say they were lying, and that you have that role, casting aspersions on other party members. Deviants add even more chaos because it's their job to act as suspicious as possible.

As a Villager, it's impossible to have perfect information about the party because you never know who is lying to you. Good werewolves sow dissent amongst the party til it's total chaos and all of the villagers are at each other's throats because they don't know who to believe. The best deviants will be so wily that they'll have you convinced they're a werewolf who barely understands the rules of the game and is just asking to be caught.

For a game built entirely around social interaction, Werewolves Within unfortunately doesn't have enough safeguards in place to deal with abusive or inappropriate players. The game offers "mute" and "kick" options, but muting another player is pointless because all players need to be able to speak in order for the game to work, and kicking a player requires a majority vote from the group--a rare occurrence.

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No Caption Provided

Bad apples aside, Werewolves Within proves that VR doesn't have to feel like an isolating experience. The immersion it affords makes you all the more convinced that you’re sitting in a circle, conversing group of people. Your avatar's head follows where you, the player, are looking, so if you're lying to another player about your role, there's a good chance you're looking them right in their "eyes" as you do it.

It isn't just the immersive nature of VR that makes the social stuff work so well. Player avatars are thoughtfully animated; when you speak, they move their mouths and gesticulate to communicate a wide range of emotions. The avatars can be so convincing that they become almost indistinguishable from the player controlling them after only a few rounds. The only exception is when a player's voice is dropped mid sentence--a bug that's unfortunately common.

There are so many ways that a Werewolves Within match can go down that it's also a shame the overall game is somewhat threadbare at launch. There's a single game mode, and that's it. Additionally, there’s no ranking system or even a way to keep track of your stats. If you want to know how often you win as a Werewolf versus how often you win as a Villager, you're out of luck. The game keeps track of no information of any kind besides trophies, which is a shame, because the core game offers so much to pick apart.

A week after launch, Werewolves Within has a seemingly dedicated player base, though not one big enough to prevent occasionally waiting 20 minutes for a "quick match." But the best matches--with a good group--are hair-raising, pulse-quickening experiences that are worth the wait. If Ubisoft can find a way to expand the community and add more incentives to return to the game, it's easy to see Werewolves Within becoming a regular haven for players looking to test their guile in VR.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Sun, 18 Dec 2016 11:39:00 -0800)

Humor is an element of the Dragon Ball series that often goes overlooked in games. Where many Dragon Ball Z games effectively showcase superpowered combat, Dragon Ball Fusions is an attempt to embrace the sillier side of Dragon Ball in gaming form--though, sadly, it falls victim to repetitive combat and dull progression systems.

In some ways, Fusions feels like a companion game to the Dragon Ball Xenoverse series. Much like those games, you start off by designing a custom character based on one of the various races from the show, picking facial features, a hairstyle, and an accompanying voice. Once you're done, you’re immediately thrust into the colorful world of Dragon Ball. The bright, often surreal environments and structures from the Dragon Ball universe are beautifully rendered on 3DS, and although the ability to view the game in 3D had to be sacrificed in the process, it's not a huge loss.

Your adventure begins as you and your pal Pinnich--an original character created for Fusions--find the last of the Dragon Balls, earning the right to make a wish. Pinnich is a pretty simple-minded type: he wants to have the biggest, baddest tournament ever to determine the strongest warrior in all of the Dragon Ball universe. Before you know it, a wide range of the series' locales are combined into a towering vertical universe, and everyone from across the franchise’s history is now trying to find teammates for the upcoming brawl. Pinnich has gone his own way, but you make fast friends with familiar faces: Trunks, Goten, and young Goku. With the help of other Dragon Ball favorites, you’ll meet and recruit numerous other characters to your team, ascend further skyward, and hopefully take the title of the greatest fighters the universe has ever seen.

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No Caption Provided

In between battles, you’ll soar around 3D environments, exploring and battling foes that cross your path while finding the means to progress further. There are towns to visit along the way that offer side quests, places to shop, and people to chat with. Fitting with the game's overall lighthearted tone, your chats with NPCs tend to be on the silly side--though they may be ally or foe, you’re more likely to discuss things like food and puns than you are to address the bigger conflict at hand. Unfortunately, Fusions' localization leaves something to be desired: there’s no English voice acting, some character names are inconsistent across menus, and there are times when dialogue in text boxes cuts off entirely.

You control up to five characters in a flat, overhead-view 2D space, fighting against a team of up to five opponents. As you battle, you and your foes move around the arena. This positioning proves to be very important in numerous ways. For example, if you’re close to friendly characters, they can help the fighter you’re currently commanding land some extra damage. If you’re launching a melee attack against a foe, you can try to knock them in a direction where another ally character will hit them, or you can smash them against another enemy for a pool-style ricochet effect. If you decide you want to fight with ki blasts or special moves instead, you can try to hit multiple enemies in a line or go for an area-of-effect technique. If you manage to knock an opponent out of the arena entirely, you’re treated to a cutscene, extra damage, and you reset their turn. But you must stay on your guard, since these same rules apply to your foes’ attacks as well.

Attacks big and small are accompanied by an unskippable cutscene. While these initially replicate the dynamism of the fights in the anime and manga, repeatedly seeing the same animations greatly diminishes their impact over time.

Zenkai attacks, which use stock from a bar that charges over the course of battle, briefly turn the game into an action aerial dogfight where you slug it out one-on-one with a chosen enemy for big-time damage. The titular Fusions allow you to combine characters using the ever-so-ridiculous Fusion Dance, granting the resulting character stat buffs and access to advanced techniques--along with some pretty funny-looking character hybrids.

There's even a fusion skill that combines all five characters participating in battle into a single, superpowered warrior, who then launches an intense assault for a huge burst of damage. While this last option consumes a lot of resources, more or less emptying your power bar, it’s immensely fun and provides benefits beyond just incredible damage, such as reviving warriors on your side who might have been knocked out. Again, your foes can also do these techniques, meaning that you’re technically on equal footing in terms of your combat resources--though, depending on their level and team makeup, their abilities may vary.

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No Caption Provided

This all sounds pretty cool on paper, but in practice, it quickly turns into a slog. Attacks big and small are accompanied by an unskippable cutscene. While these initially replicate the dynamism of the fights in the anime and manga, repeatedly seeing the same animations greatly diminishes their impact over time. Fighting low-level enemies to farm energy and, eventually, recruits becomes an exercise in tedium.

Characters are designated as power, speed, or technique types in a triangular advantage/disadvantage system, which can be a real pain if you wind up in a lopsided fight. Even then, most of the non-boss fights in this game aren’t hard--they’re just drawn-out and repetitive. The frustrating elements of fighting come to a head at Fusions’ end, where the game starts asking you to perform very specific actions in combat in order to win battles--a sharp contrast to the free-form fighting seen earlier in the game.

Ultimately, Dragon Ball Fusions feels like a game with some great ideas that could’ve been executed better. The interpretation of the Dragon Ball world is great, and the fun of allowing all kinds of fan-fiction-style character fusions is a strong basis to build a fan-service-laden romp around. If the progression felt a bit less stilted and fights weren't drawn out, repetitive affairs, this would be one of the strongest Dragon Ball games out there. Alas, just like Hercule in the series, Dragon Ball Fusions postures and promises more than it actually delivers.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Sun, 18 Dec 2016 10:22:00 -0800)
Review: Yi M1 Mirrorless Camera
Like the action camera before it, the Yi M1 sells for close to half the price of competing cameras in its class. The post Review: Yi M1 Mirrorless Camera appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Sun, 18 Dec 2016 11:17:26 +0000 )
Review: Sennheiser GSP 300
Gamers will be happy to get a comfortable and good-sounding headphone that doesn't make their eyes bleed. The post Review: Sennheiser GSP 300 appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Sun, 18 Dec 2016 14:24:11 +0000 )
Sundance 2017 updates: 'The Big Sick,' from Judd Apatow and Kumail Nanjiani, emerges as a film to watch Jan. 22, 2017, 1:50 p.m. Though the March on Main is still very much on the minds of the filmmakers and attendees of the Sundance Film festival, attention has turned back to the movies -- and... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 13:50:00 PST )

In 1976, 10 presidential terms ago, an advisor to then-President-elect Jimmy Carter told him he should keep campaigning forever, even after his inauguration.

“Governing with public approval requires a continuing political campaign,” Patrick Caddell told Carter. The doctrine became known as “the...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 04:00:00 PST )
Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 04:00:00 PST )

President Trump’s unorthodox quest for the White House was fueled by his disregard for convention and the nagging sense that he — and ultimately his supporters — were underestimated and disrespected.

Now sworn in to office as the 45th president, Trump and his team are determined to deliver quickly...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:00:00 PST )

On just his second day in office, President Trump has already scored a major achievement.

The nation’s physical fitness improved greatly Saturday as hundreds of thousands of demonstrators poured onto the National Mall to march in defiance of the newly installed Tweeter of the Free World. Crowds...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:00:00 PST )

Dear Liz: I was recently denied a credit card and told my score was 150 points lower than what my credit reports show. Why would this be? Am I being deceived by the credit reporting agencies? It was such a low number that it’s a little hard to believe since I have been approved for other cards...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:00:00 PST )

The company behind Snapchat has two offerings — that beloved, 5-year-old app for messaging and video streaming, and Spectacles, a months-old, $130 pair of sunglasses that double as a camcorder.

The Los Angeles company has promised more gadgets will follow. But even with a significant increase,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:00:00 PST )

Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months eating mostly freeze-dried foods — with an occasional treat of Spam — and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for privacy.

The simulated stay on Mars with a carefully selected crew of researchers embarked...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:00:00 PST )

Throw out everything you think you know about caring for bluejeans, and listen for a moment to Marie and Jim Shaffer, who named their company Jeans Genius for a reason.

The Shaffers are experts on denim: how it fits, how it looks, how it feels, how it sells. They consider themselves “jeaners.”...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:00:00 PST )

Question: I’m in settlement talks with my homeowner association over a complicated problem that we finally resolved during a long internal-dispute-resolution meeting. I want to include two concerns in our agreement, so the association told me to write the clauses and return the final draft. But...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 03:00:00 PST )

An overnight passenger train derailed in southern India, killing at least 32 people and injuring 50 in the latest accident to hit the country's massive, disaster-prone rail network. 

Seven coaches of the Hirakand Express were thrown off the tracks around midnight Saturday, some landing on a goods...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 02:00:00 PST )

The three main cable news networks may have been equal in their wall-to-wall coverage of Friday’s inauguration and its festivities, but during Saturday’s coverage of the Women’s March on Washington, the historical divide between Fox News and its compatriots had been firmly reinstated.

CNN, MSNBC...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 19:55:00 PST )
Take a look at Edwin Brosen's night photography tips and shots taken in Antwerp.
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Source: ePHOTOzine - All Photography Articles (Sun, 22 Jan 2017 00:10:03 GMT )
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Source: Depreview - All Reviews & Previews (Tue, 29 Nov 2016 15:01:00 Z)

The Photographer's Guide To Scotland is the newest edition to Ellen Bowness' successful series, helping people to find the best photos in the UK's most photographed places.

Previous off...
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Source: ePHOTOzine - Book Reviews (Tue, 12 Apr 2016 15:53:53 GMT )

Mountains are far from uncommon in open-world exploration games, but even in the most impressive ones, they're normally little more than pretty white fences encircling a greener playfield. Steep reverses this concept with some success. Here, it's the valleys and green spots of the world that trigger the invisible walls and the mighty Alps that fill its rocky, snowy sandbox. Steep's gameplay unfortunately falls short of matching the grandeur of its open world, but it's a tough act to follow.

Steep lets you seamlessly zip down mountain ranges via snowboards, skis, wingsuits, or paragliders with a quick click of a radial menu. At any time, you can leap from below the treeline to miles-high "drop points" you've discovered--either by walking or taking a helicopter--and partake in events and challenges that pepper the slopes. The races and time trials you find are fun ways to test your skill against everything from smooth powder to tougher rocky paths. Meanwhile, the freestyle events celebrate and grant experience points for general showmanship, and the "Bone Collector" events add some humor by inviting you to throw your body off a cliff as spectacularly as an avalanche.

The trouble with Steep is that beyond the gratification you get from simply moving about it's impressive world, the best rewards it offers are cosmetic items, like fluffy bunny suits, and newly unlocked events that closely resemble ones you've already played before. The gameplay itself never changes: Your wingsuit might eventually look cooler with that sleek GoPro branding, but it always handles the same way regardless of how it looks. Nor does Steep actually embrace its "play as you want" philosophy as thoroughly as initial appearances suggest; you'll need to rank well in most events in order to level up, even if you find the paragliding events as appealing as a snowman might find the Bahamas.

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That wouldn't be such a problem if some equipment wasn't considerably more enjoyable to use than others. Snowboarding is the best by far--performing spins, flips, and short glides off rocky prominences remains thrilling even hours in, as does navigating through narrow snowy chasms and deserted, half-buried villages. Skiing comes in a close second, although with a slightly more ponderous sensation of weight.

Whether you snowboard or ski, you're bound to encounter frustrating controls. Even after hours of experience, timing jumps remains more of an art than a science, and sometimes your character may refuse to respond to commands that should have sent them flipping through the air for tricks that generate more points.

Steep often comes off feeling like the collaborative effort of two wildly divergent personalities--a John Muir-like wilderness sage, say, and a loud-mouthed Red Bull announcer.

The wingsuit supplies a different brand of excitement, allowing you to jump off piers far up in the peaks and hurtle yourself face-first near powerlines and mere inches above jagged slopes for greater points. The physics involved sometimes seem wonky and fantastical, but they're never impossible to master and the wingsuit events yield an entertaining alternative to the ground-based trials. Steep also allows you to paraglide, but from a mechanical perspective, this approach comes off as painfully dull. Watching Europe's grandest mountains pass below as you glide overhead is initially awesome, but the paragliding suit's simple controls leaves a lot to be desired; it demands little more than occasionally steering toward pockets of air in humdrum events that can drag on for a quarter of an hour. They're not even particularly challenging--in many cases, you can skip off the designated course, over a neighboring peak, and glide right down to the finish line.

Taking everything into account, Steep often comes off feeling like the collaborative effort of two wildly divergent personalities--a John Muir-like wilderness sage, say, and a loud-mouthed Red Bull announcer. In its finest moments, swishing past the pines over a landscape awash in varying shades of white for long stretches at a time, it invites slipping into the meditative trance. But then, without fail (unless you turn him off in settings), the extreme announcer butts into that tranquility and drags you back to garish corporate reality, complete with Red Bull logos emblazoned on the sides of helicopters. The HUD itself sometimes ruins the mood, as the gaudy markers showing the locations of the many events stand out as starkly as billboards might in an Ansel Adams photo.

Some of Steep's commendable exploratory features can tend toward the goofy, as in the "mountain stories" that personify peaks like France's Pointe Percée by giving them voice actors who brag about how they're "the showman, the bombastic" and how "you'll shred snow-caked ruins below my summit." There are lingering bugs to contend with as well, which usually amount to mere inconvenience, but might send you falling under the mountain like Gandalf and the Balrog.

Still, Steep's reflective moments and the sheer joy of its exploration can outweigh some of its rougher points, and some of the most fun it offers comes from simply traveling to undiscovered locations--just you against the mountain. Most players on the slopes seem to favor this playstyle despite Steep's easy grouping options and its insistence on online play; time and time again, it's challenging to find people interested in grouping up. Most of the time, unless you have some friends to invite along for some real competition, the multiplayer implementation seems best for watching others pull off complicated tricks.

Steep is a game that's never really sure what it is, and its vagueness and lack of meaningful rewards causes it to suffer in any comparisons to the likes of SSX. But there's a quiet thrill to exploring the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc, and snowed-in Alpine villages. It's a strangely attractive approach for all its qualifications, and there's a constant sense that Ubisoft is channeling George Mallory's famous response when asked why he wanted to scramble up Mount Everest: "Because it's there."

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Fri, 16 Dec 2016 15:25:00 -0800)

One of President Obama’s perhaps lesser-known achievements — the recent expansion of a national marine monument in his native Hawaii — receives a well-deserved spotlight in the lovely and vital, if decidedly brief, conservation documentary “Sea of Hope: America’s Underwater Treasures.”

Director...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Movie Reviews (Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:05:00 PST )
0.5 stars out of 5: BOO-RING
It's hard out here for a ghost. Always having to think up new ways to scare suburban people in movies. You make the kids' toys come alive and play creepy music, and all the other ghosts hold up signs with straight 1.5s across the board. You're...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Sat, 23 May 2015 09:29:13 GMT )
2.5 stars out of 5: You can fly. Eventually.
In your initial visit to Tomorrowland, you're not really there at all. That's what scientifically-named Casey Newton (The Longest Ride's Britt Robertson) discovers when she first goes there by touching a tiny, metal, "T"-emblazoned pin. She takes...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 22 May 2015 05:11:54 GMT )
2.5 stars out of 5: Songs about butts.
Pitch Perfect 2 begins with a crazy, performance-based, wardrobe malfunction, one that, in the film's words, exposes the "down under" region of one of the a cappella Bellas. For this accidental offense they are mocked, chastised, and stripped of...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 15 May 2015 05:04:29 GMT )
5.0 stars out of 5: Death to the patriarchy.
"Who killed the world?" yells a minor character in Mad Max: Fury Road. This outburst comes after an earlier moment where camera pauses on the question painted on a cave wall. And since it's one of only a couple dozen complete and comprehensible...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 15 May 2015 05:05:45 GMT )
3.5 stars out of 5: Much Avenge About More Things
They're building a giant machine now, a machine made of movies. To participate in the machine's agenda of taking your money, it will not help to begin by looking at this perpetual motion installment and working backwards, trying to catch up. You...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 01 May 2015 00:39:50 GMT )
1.5 stars out of 5: History written by the winners.
First-time director Russell Crowe has stepped in it, probably without meaning to. But it's happening all the same. His film, entirely devoted to an exploration of the aftermath of a key, nation-defining battle in Australian war history -- the...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:26:41 GMT )
2.5 stars out of 5: Proustian mush
It begins with a shot of the Earth from space, and omniscient narration. (The voice of Hugh Ross, narrator of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, whose low-key, somewhat conspiratorial, post-sincere, NPR reporter tone turns...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:25:37 GMT )
2.5 stars out of 5: A little much.
The past few years have seen a marked rise in the number of Christian-themed films getting wide theatrical distribution, but to call it a "new wave" of faith-based cinema is probably inappropriate. That designation is usually reserved for a...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:27:52 GMT )
Review: UA Sport Wireless Heart Rate
The apps-and-apparel company's first attempt at a pair of wireless workout headphones misses the mark. The post Review: UA Sport Wireless Heart Rate appeared first on WIRED. Read More

Source: WIRED - Product Reviews (Sat, 17 Dec 2016 11:44:36 +0000 )
Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES, by Gary Chapman
2. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
3. CRAZY LOVE, by Francis Chan with Danae Yankoski
4. THE LOVE DARE, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick with Lawrence Kimbrough
5. RADICAL, by David Platt Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Fri, 05 Nov 2010 01:34:57 GMT )
Top 5 at a Glance
1. SCAREDY-CAT, SPLAT!, written and illustrated by Rob Scotton
2. LLAMA LLAMA HOLIDAY DRAMA, written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney
3. FABULOUS FASHION BOUTIQUE, by Jane O’Connor
4. KNUFFLE BUNNY FREE, written and illustrated by Mo Willems
5. HEADS, written and illustrated by Matthew Van Fleet Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Fri, 05 Nov 2010 16:16:30 GMT )
Top 5 at a Glance
1. SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE, by J. Michael Straczynski and Shane Davis
2. Y: THE LAST MAN - DELUXE EDITION, BOOK 4, by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra
3. THE WALKING DEAD, BOOK 6, by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
4. THE EXILE: AN OUTLANDER GRAPHIC NOVEL, by Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen
5. THE ADVENTURES OF OOK AND GLUK, by George Beard and Harold Hutchins Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Fri, 05 Nov 2010 01:18:07 GMT )
Rankings are based on October figures. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Sat, 06 Nov 2010 05:22:46 GMT )
Rankings are based on October figures. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers ( Sat, 06 Nov 2010 05:27:10 GMT )
Keith Richards’s autobiography, “Life,” hits the hardcover nonfiction list at No. 1, unsurprisingly. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers ( Fri, 05 Nov 2010 15:46:40 GMT )
Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson
2. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson
3. THE FINKLER QUESTION, by Howard Jacobson
4. LITTLE BEE, by Chris Cleave
5. CUTTING FOR STONE, by Abraham Verghese Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Fri, 05 Nov 2010 01:25:44 GMT )
Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE LOST SYMBOL, by Dan Brown
2. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson
3. THE RECKLESS BRIDE, by Stephanie Laurens
4. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, by Stieg Larsson
5. 61 HOURS, by Lee Child Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Fri, 05 Nov 2010 01:26:35 GMT )
Top 5 at a Glance
1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. INSIDE OF A DOG, by Alexandra Horowitz
3. STONES INTO SCHOOLS, by Greg Mortenson
4. THE GLASS CASTLE, by Jeannette Walls
5. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Fri, 05 Nov 2010 01:27:40 GMT )
Top 5 at a Glance
1. BAREFOOT CONTESSA: HOW EASY IS THAT?, by Ina Garten
2. DOUBLE DELICIOUS, by Jessica Seinfeld
3. THE TATTOO CHRONICLES, by Kat Von D with Sandra Bark
4. DELIVERING HAPPINESS, by Tony Hsieh
5. BOBBY FLAY'S THROWDOWN!, by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Miriam Garron Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Fri, 05 Nov 2010 16:14:42 GMT )
Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE CONFESSION, by John Grisham
2. WORTH DYING FOR, by Lee Child
3. AMERICAN ASSASSIN, by Vince Flynn
4. THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, by Stieg Larsson
5. SIDE JOBS, by Jim Butcher Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Fri, 05 Nov 2010 01:20:56 GMT )
Top 5 at a Glance
1. LIFE, by Keith Richards with James Fox
2. BROKE, by Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe
3. EARTH (THE BOOK), by Jon Stewart and others
4. THE LAST BOY, by Jane Leavy
5. AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN, VOL. 1, by Mark Twain Read More

Source: The New York Times - Best Sellers (Fri, 05 Nov 2010 01:24:49 GMT )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 1:14 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:00:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 1:14 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:04:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 1:14 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:06:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 1:14 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:14:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 1:14 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 13:14:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 12:11 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:11:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 12:11 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:11:00 PST )
Updates on the inauguration of President Trump Jan. 21, 2017, 12:07 p.m. This is our look at President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration: A dark vision of America in Trump's inaugural address Trump has not signaled that he will try to unify the country Protests in Washington dispel thoughts of... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:07:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 12:11 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:06:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 12:11 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:05:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 12:11 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:05:00 PST )
Women's marches live updates: Hundreds of thousands march in L.A. and around the world following Trump's inauguration Jan. 21, 2017, 12:11 p.m. A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, hundreds of thousands nationwide and around the world are marching in support of women's rights.... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 11:56:00 PST )

Clippers forward Blake Griffin has ramped up his workouts over the last several days with designs on playing sometime during the team’s three-game trip.

Griffin said he won’t play Saturday night when the Clippers meet the Denver Nuggets, but his hope is to play either at Atlanta on Monday night...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 11:55:00 PST )

With songs, chants and a few tears, hundreds of thousands of women and their supporters marched in the nation’s capital Saturday, for a huge and raucous rally meant to send a message of defiance and hope to President Trump on the day after his inauguration.

More than doubling earlier estimates,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sat, 21 Jan 2017 11:05:00 PST )


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