TODAY’S ESSENTIAL NEWS
» L.A. Poet Amanda Gorman Performs At Karen Bass’ Inauguration Los Angeles native Amanda Gorman performed an original poem at Mayor Karen Bass’ inauguration, echoing her January 2021 star-making turn as the youngest presidential inaugural poet in U.S. history. Gorman, who turned 24 in March, appeared Sunday at the Microsoft Theater, wowing the crowd from a circular side stage. Her 3½-minute recitation drew a standing ovation. “The time of never before is officially past,” Gorman said. “For the world must learn this and learn it fast. While we may be the first, we are far from the last. The way forward isn’t a road we take. The way forward is a road we make.” [L.A. Times]
» “A Remarkable Sign”: Flurry Of Wolf Births Offers Hope For California Comeback In a year of environmental ups and downs, a hopeful story of recovery is afoot in California. A grey wolf pack gave birth to eight pups this spring, offering signs of a remarkable comeback after the species was wiped out in the state more than a century ago. The births in the Whaleback wolf pack, based in northern California’s Siskiyou county, happened sometime this spring but were only confirmed by California’s department of fish and wildlife in November. They may be a sign that wolves who entered the state from Oregon several years ago are thriving. [Guardian]
» USC QB Caleb Williams Wins Heisman Trophy Fourteen months ago, USC quarterback Caleb Williams was a freshman backup at Oklahoma. Now, the 20-year-old is a Heisman Trophy winner. Over the course of 13 games this season, the former five-star recruit from the Washington, D.C., area dazzled with his play, throwing for 4,075 yards and 37 touchdowns with only four interceptions and rushing for 372 yards and 10 touchdowns. [ESPN]
» L.A. Film Critics Name Best Picture of 2022 On Sunday, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association named both Everything Everywhere All at Once and Tár as its best pictures for 2022. Living actor Bill Nighly and Tár star Cate Blanchett were both named for best lead performance. This was the first year that LAFCA introduced gender-neutral acting categories, including two awards for best lead performance and two for best supporting performance. Tár took home several awards, including Todd Field being named for best director and best screenplay. [THR]
» L.A. Girl Licensed To Own Unicorn Madeline, an equally enterprising and imaginative young girl, got her wish granted after making an impressively forward-thinking request: “Dear L.A. County, I would like your approval if I can have a unicorn in my backyard if I can find one,” she wrote to Los Angeles animal control authorities. The first-of-its-kind permit came with strings attached: The mythical creature must be provided ample exposure to sunlight, moonbeams and rainbows and have its horn polished at least once a month. Director Marcia Mayeda sent the girl a heart-shaped metal tag with “Permanent Unicorn License” emblazoned on it, along with a white fuzzy unicorn doll. [AP]
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ONE MORE THING
Elon Musk Investigated for Potentially Illegal Sleepovers at Twitter HQ
Tired Twitter Commander Elon Musk abhors employees working from home… But he’s apparently super psyched to have them crashing at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco if it helps cut corners in running the oily social media company he probably never meant to buy in the first place.
Typically, on-site worker dormitories are a feature of developing countries, but Musk has reportedly ordered his remaining workers to go “extremely hardcore” if they want to keep their jobs, and bunking up with one’s fellow pixel-eyed drones is part of the deal, as far as Musk is allegedly concerned.
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