Southern California breaking news and trends

Lindsay Lohan and Jack White bring SNL their 2nd biggest ratings of the season

Lindsay Lohan


A still image of Lindsay Lohan as a promo for Saturday Night Live

Lindsay Lohan SNL

Dana Edelson/ NBC

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1614 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Lindsay Lohan, Bobby Moynihan, Kenan Thompson -- (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC)

lindsay lohan saturday night live


Lindsay Lohan delivering her opening monologue on Saturday Night Live

Lindsay Lohan's appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend was a huge success, reeling in the biggest ratings the sketch comedy show has garnered since Charles Barkley hosted the season premier. 

The former child star who recently appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine had nothing new to promote on this, her 4th appearance on SNL, but that didn't stop audiences from tuning in to watch her and musical guest Jack White. The combo brought in a 5.5 overnight household rating. 

The good news is people watched. The bad news was, they watched closely. And like a nation full of Mean Girls, they judged.

47% of those who participated in an Entertainment Weekly poll clicked the option that read: "That was, unquestionably, the worst host job of the season. It was bad. Like, January Jones bad."


Emerson College goes Hollywood with architecturally significant $110M L.A. campus

cooper union

Emerson's LA campus is designed by architect Thom Mayne, whose Culver City firm designed The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art building in New York. (Photo by: Wally Gobetz via Flickr Creative Commons)

Emerson College, stopping just short of lovingly pre-chewing students and spitting them directly into the mouth of hungry Hollywood, will be opening a new $110 million campus in Los Angeles. A higher education finishing-school for many entertainment and media types, Boston-based Emerson hopes to further strengthen its ties to the industry.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled next Thursday for the architecturally significant, Sunset Blvd. building located a few blocks east of Gower. The 10-story, 37,350-square-foot, potential new landmark was designed by architect Thom Mayne and will hold classrooms, housing for students and faculty, and an auditorium, The Wrap details.

"Los Angeles is a leading city in arts and culture and entertainment and drama and film, and we’re moving there to take full advantage of what it has to offer to our students, many of whom will go on to become the future leaders in Los Angeles in those various fields,"  President Lee Pelton told TheWrap. 


Security black hole? NASA hacked, laptop with Space Station codes disappears

Mars rover Curiosity

NASA/Paul E. Alers

A model of the Curiosity, NASA's most advanced mobile robotic laboratory, which will examine one of the most intriguing areas on Mars, is seen prior to a news briefing, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C.

In space, no one can hear you hack. 

NASA issued a report this week detailing startling breaches that suggest a universe of trouble in the agency's security department. 

Last year, NASA's Pasadena-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory was attacked by hackers with an IP addresses originating from China. Intruders had full control of the networks, the report revealed, accessing NASA employee credentials, and opening sensitive files with the ability to alter, copy and delete. 

The report went on to disclose that NASA was the target of 47 such cyberattacks -- sophisticated, well organized, and well funded -- in 2011. But this is just the tip of the meteoroid. 

In total, the space agency suffered 5,408 information security incidents "that resulted in the installation of malicious software on or unauthorized access to its systems" over the course of two years, CNN reports.


LAUSD and other big districts can directly compete for Race to the Top money

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa, Michael Bloomberg and Rahm Emanuel with Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the "Education Now: Cities At The Forefront of Reform" summit on Friday.

So far, California’s been shut out of the federal education grants known as “Race to the Top.” But Education Secretary Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan wants to open up the competition to individual school districts, soig districts like LAUSD will be in a position to compete with their own states for the money.

The announcement happened at an education forum that brought together the mayors and school superintendents of the nation’s three largest cities. Duncan said the government wants to be a good partner with local schools, and he offered districts a shot at half a billion dollars in federal grants. "The next round of 'Race to the Top' will be at district level competition."


405 freeway closures: 'Not on the same scale' as Carmageddon, says Metro

Los Angeles's 405 Freeway Closes Completely For Bridge Repair

David McNew/Getty Images

Carmageddon, meet Schlepgate. The same stretch of 405 freeway that closed in an end-of-days campaign last July will be worked on again, but this time only at night.

In total, six nights of Sepulveda Pass closures are planned for the portion of the freeway between the 101 and Getty Center Drive. Work will begin on the northbound lanes Friday night, with ramp shutdowns starting at 7 p.m. and lane closures starting at 10 p.m.

We talked to Metro spokesperson Marc Littman and asked why there seemed to be much less fanfare and public outreach about the upcoming closures.

The closures are expected to disrupt significantly fewer drivers than last summer's full freeway stoppage, Littman said, because the construction is being done one side at a time, and late at night from midnight to 5 a.m.

He called the situation "not on the same scale" as the Carmageddon stoppage though "it will be on the same scale next summer." City offices and media outlets were notified, he emphasized, pointing the public to information and detour maps on the Metro site.