Monday, June 30, 2008

Sometimes it's Hard to Understand

The Dodgers' current hitting woes have Vin Scully thinking back to other difficult times in team history.

On Sunday, a day after the Dodgers won, 1-0, despite being no-hit by the Angels' Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo, Scully talked to The Times' Mike DiGiovanna about a time when the team wasn't giving Sandy Koufax (above right) and Don Drysdale (above left) much support.

On June 4, 1964, in Philadelphia, Koufax pitched the third of his four no-hitters -- the fourth was a perfect game in 1965. Drysdale wasn't at the game, and it was Scully who told him later at the team hotel that Koufax had pitched a no-hitter.

Scully said Drysdale's response was: "How did we come out?"

In this case, the Dodgers won, 3-0.

Scully also recalled a classic line from Leo Durocher, the Brooklyn Dodgers' manager in the 1940s. Scully, who joined the Dodgers in 1950, had heard that Durocher, during a particularly bad hitting slump, once said that "managing this team is like going to war with a broom."

Mark Gardner of the Montreal Expos pitched nine no-hit innings against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 26, 1991, but lost in the 10th, 1-0, when Darryl Strawberry knocked in the lone run against Expos reliever Jeff Fassero. On June 14, 1965, Jim Maloney pitched 10 hitless innings for the Cincinnati Reds against the New York Mets, then lost, 1-0, when the Mets' Johnny Lewis led off the 11th with a home run.

Probably the most famous losing no-hit performance was turned in by Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Milwaukee Braves on May 26, 1959. Haddix took a perfect game into the 13th inning.

A fielding error by Don Hoak ended the perfect game. Then came a sacrifice, an intentional walk to Hank Aaron and a two-out home run by Joe Adcock.

The final score should have been 3-0, but in the confusion Aaron left the basepath and was passed by Adcock for the second out. Eventually National League President Warren Giles ruled Adcock's homer a double, so only the first run counted and the final scored ended up 1-0.



It’s fitting that Dana Point, which was raided by real-life pirates in 1818, should provide landlubbers with the swashbuckling-themed Pyrate Adventure Sail. Hosted by the Ocean Institute, the cruise provides hands-on activities, such as raising the 8,000-pound sails of the Spirit of Dana Point, pictured, and dispels a few Disney-style myths about the ocean’s notorious human predators. “Buried treasure is one of the biggest myths,” says maritime program director Brent Rudmann. “Once they returned to shore, pirates spent their money very quickly. There was never enough to bury.”

2-4:30 p.m. Sun.
24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive
$36 adults, $19 children 4-12

(949) 496-2274;

The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre is a Los Angeles Treasure

This unique open-air theatre was built in 1920 and is one of the oldest performing arts amphitheatre in Los Angeles. Designed in Judaic architecture to resemble the gates of Jerusalem, the theatre offers a wide array of performances featuring world music, jazz, dance chamber music, theater, pop music, and family events during the months of May through October. Compared to the Hollywood Bowl it's a very intimate experience.

John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
2580 Cahuenga Blvd.
E. Hollywood, CA 90068
(323) GO-1-FORD (461-3673)


ICE features 42 of Russia's most disciplined and athletic ice performers, guiding audiences on a magical journey from the bitter cold of Moscow to warmth and vibrant colors of the Las Vegas desert. Their story is told through dazzling ice skating at top speeds combined with stunning aerial acrobatics.

Riviera Hotel & Casino $68.15 - $77.25
Versailles Theatre
2901 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas NV 89109

Phone Number (Local): (702) 734-5110
Phone Number (Toll-free): (800) 634-6753

Show Time: Sat - Thu 8pm
Dark Date(s): Friday

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park

This 745-acre park of unique geological rock formations is located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs, California. The park features a history trail tour of the Tatavian Indians and Spanish settlers. Other activities include: campfire nature talks, equestrian programs, a junior ranger program, seasonal special events, hiking and horseback riding. Picnic areas are provided. Organized youth group camping and school tours are by reservation only. The park is also available for motion picture filming, weddings, and large group picnics and parties.

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park
10700 W. Escondido Canyon Rd.
Agua Dulce, CA 91350
(661) 268-0840

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Breathing Fire

A Sichuan Opera actor performs fire breathing during a show of traditional operas at the Mei Lanfang Grand Theatre on Feb. 26, in Beijing, China. Getty Images

Which one is dumber?? Man or Beast??

A bear rides a motorcycle on a ropeway during a performance at the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Park on April 23, 2008 in China. The Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Park is an entertainment center with about 1,300 tigers and 400 bears. The center stages animal performances and live feeding shows every day. The shows have come under scruntiny by many international animal rights organizations.

Getty Images

The Most Advanced Robot Hand in the World

The Shadow Robot company's dextrous hand robot, performs a task at the Streetwise Robots event on May 6, 2008 in London, England. The Dextrous Robotic Hand has a bank of 40 Air Muscles which make it capable of 24 movements and the most advanced robot hand in the World. Getty Images

The Many Sides of the Supernova

An image provided by NASA is a false-color picture showing the many sides of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. Astronomers have unearthed secrets from the grave of the star that blasted apart in a supernova explosion long ago. The discovery represents the first time astronomers have been able to resurrect the life history of a supernova remnant in our own galaxy. Cassiopeia A is the burnt-out corpse of a massive star that died 11,300 years ago.

Mexican Bicycle Race is a Disaster

This photograph taken last year by a city official captures the moment of impact when a car rammed a bicycle race near Monterrey, Mexico. One person died and 10 others were injured. Police investigator Jose Alfredo Rodriguez says the 28-year-old driver was apparently drunk and fell asleep when he crashed into the race.

Wouldn't it be simpler to just carry a sign ???

Hey!!! It's up here!!!

Oakland Athletics' Jack Cust ducks before being hit in the helmet with a pitch by Chicago Cubs' Sean Marshall in the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game in Phoenix, Ariz., Saturday, March 8, 2008. Cust left the game after the pitch. The Athletics won, 7-6.

A Couple of Swiss "Misses" here, cheering their national soccer team on !!

Legendary Matador Gored

Spanish matador Jose Tomas is gored by the bull during a bullfight at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Sunday, June 15, 2008. Jose Tomas who returned to Las Ventas for the second time this month after a six-year absence, is known for his fearlessness and is often regarded as one of the greatest bullfighters of all times.

A One-Handed No-Hitter

Former Angels pitcher Jim Abbott is now 40 and spends much of his time as a motivational speaker.

Born without a right hand, Abbott not only made it to the major leagues, he also threw a no-hitter against Cleveland in 1993 at Yankee Stadium -- after he had been traded to New York.

Abbott told Newsday that he mentions the no-no as part of the speech he gives to businesses and schools because, in his previous game he had surrendered seven runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"I was frustrated, down and disappointed," Abbott recalled. "I was wondering how I was going to turn it around, and then five days later I had one of the great moments of my whole life."

The point, he said, is that "you might be down now, but you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."

"The Wind of May"

This torch-like sculpture titled "The Wind of May" is located near Fushan Bay in Qingdao, China, a popular vacation destination. The city is the beach capital of northern China, where the mainland meets the Yellow Sea. Qingdao, formerly known as Tsingtao, is also known for the beer that has been brewed in the city for more than 100 years. When the Olympics come to China this summer, the yachting events will be held in Fushan Bay.
(Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times)

Fabulous Flamingos

This amazing photo is by Luis Sinco of the Los Angeles Times.

"Nothing is Forever"

Visitors peer down in search of blooms, but the famous lotus beds in Echo Park Lake appear to be in their final throes. It’s likely that there will be no lotus at all for the first time in the 31-year history of the city's annual Lotus Festival.

The lake in Los Angeles used to house the largest, lushest lotus beds in the nation. All that remain are a few sickly leaves. The city is working to revive them, but experts say it may be too late.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Kinda makes you nervous, doesn't it ???

Ducati MotoGP rider Casey Stoner of Australia takes a corner during the qualification practice of the Dutch Motorcycling Grand Prix at the TT circuit in Assen, eastern Netherlands June 27, 2008. REUTERS/Robin van Lonkhuijsen/United Photos (NETHERLANDS

Sharks You Can Be Friends With

Shark Reef is fun for the whole family and is located at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. It is the only aquarium in North America that revolves around the predators of the ocean! You will see Sharks, Piranha, Reptiles, Green Sea Turtles and lots of unusual fish in this aquarium. The jellyfish, Lionfish, Pufferfish and Barracuda are fascinating to watch as they float and swim through the water. The many types of sharks at Shark Reef include the: Blacktip Reef Shark, Sandbar Shark, Nurse Shark, Sandtiger Shark, White Tip Reef Shark, Epaulette Shark, Gray Reef Shark, Wobbegong Shark and the unusual Zebra Shark.

As you journey through the aquarium, you travel through a jungle, a temple and a shipwreck full of sharks! There are two walk-through tunnels where you encounter sharks and fish swarming all around you.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Scene Stealer: The Cone of Silence on 'Get Smart'

While preparing the big-screen update of "Get Smart," director Peter Segal got an interesting bit of trivia from his visual effects supervisor. According to a friend who once worked in the CIA, the Cone of Silence, the original series' bit of poorly designed spy-tech, had been used in the early '70s in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. "It was a plastic device that people got under and they played music so they could have conversations and not be wiretapped. It didn't work very well," Segal says.
Segal wanted to give the device an updated look -- a silvery, stretchy beam of light. On the set, the new cone was just a small metal device that emitted a blue light. In post-production, a CGI electronic beam was added, that, Segal says, would "bounce off the ceiling and surround anything that was a heat source -- i.e. a body." To get the full comedic effect, Segal took the half-page scripted scene and let the actors run wild, ending up with an original cut of the scene over eight minutes long.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Keep Your Eye on the Ball"

Germany's Christoph Metzelder eyes the ball behind Turkey's Kazim Kazim (18) during their Euro 2008 semi-final soccer match at St Jakob Park stadium in Basel June 25, 2008.

"Boulevard Hausman" 1926

"Boulevard Hausman" by Edouard Cortes - (French 1882 - 1969); oil on canvas; $90,000

For more fine art click on the link below:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Two-Story Outhouse

This two-story novelty outhouse at Hole N' the Rock is near Moab, Utah. The upper room is reserved for the "Mine Boss;" the lower for "Miners."

World's First UFO Landing Pad

St. Paul, Alberta - World's First UFO Landing Pad
Created as a town landmark in 1967 and officially recognized by the Canadian government, the UFO Landing Pad includes a tourist information center. The center displays an exhibit of UFO photos and other unexplained phenomena. [Eliyanna Kaiser, 05/14/2007]

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Mighty Joe the Gorilla"

Mighty Joe has undergone many changes. He was known as "George" when he stood 25 feet above a South Jersey go-kart track. Others knew him from even earlier times, when he towered over the beachfront boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey as "Kongo-Pongo" and "Magilla."

For the interesting tale of "Mighty Joe" -- click on the link below:

A Maverick who created the World's Largest Flag

Thomas "Ski" Demski was 72 years old when he died in 2002. He once came in last in a Long Beach City Council race, getting only 61 votes. He ran for mayor every time they had an election, and never won. But the mayor of Long Beach was not in George W. Bush's inaugural parade, and Ski Demski was. That's because Ski Demski owned the World's Largest Flag, "Superflag," as designated by the Guinness Book of World Records. It is an American Flag. It measures 505 feet by 225 feet and weighs 3,000 pounds. It takes 500 people to unfurl. Each star is 17 feet high.

Superflag wasn't in the Bush inaugural. It was too big. Superflag, Jr. at 47x82 was, carried by 55 ROTC cadets. A 56th cadet pushed Demski alongside in a wheelchair. Demski is a true patriot in the happiest crank sense: he had a tattoo of Old Glory on his chest, using an old operation scar as its flagpole.

Picasso's place

The Picasso Museum on the French Riviera, closed for renovation since February 2006, will reopen next month (tentatively July 20). The museum occupies the historic Château Grimaldi in Antibes, owned by a branch of Monaco's royal family until the little Côte d'Azur port town became part of France in 1608. Picasso (pictured above), who was in Antibes with his companion, Françoise Gilot, in the mid-1940s, decorated the château's walls with "Ulysses and the Mermaids" and completed other paintings there, including "La Joie de Vivre." In 1966, the Château Grimaldi was officially renamed the Picasso Museum. Subsequent bequests by Picasso family members and collectors have made the museum one of the best places to see Picasso's work.
Info: /eng/culture/
musees/picasso/index.html. -- Susan Spano

For more spectacular artwork by Picasso and others, click on the link below:

America's Galapagos

Channel Islands National Park

Birds take flight into the rising sun over Anacapa Island. Sea birds are everywhere, especially during nesting season. But mind your step — gulls have been known to nest almost in the middle of a trail, and they’re very protective.
(Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)

A humpback whale shows off his aquatic acrobatic skills near Anacapa. The big boy kept propelling his 45-ton body out of the water, then slapping back down in backward somersaults. Between breaches, he took mini-breaks, rolling over on his back to expose his white underbelly, then waving his pectoral fins languorously at passengers on a ferry.
(Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)

A kayaker navigates around Arch Rock on the eastern end of Anacapa. The rocky, treeless shores have been eroded by wind and waves, creating towering sea cliffs, caves and natural bridges, including 40-foot-high Arch Rock, the symbol of Anacapa and the Channel Islands.
(Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)

Beautiful but Deadly

Hikers trek across the sand dunes near Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley.
(Los Angeles Times)

We're havin' a heat wave: What's your remedy?

Water, water, everywhere: A young visitor to Wild Rivers Waterpark in Irvine cavorts beneath a waterfall.
(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Shining Light on the Past

The lighthouse at Point Montara was never the biggest or brightest, but its historical legacy is now secure. In news that set beacons spinning among lighthouse fanciers, researchers have revealed that the tower that has guided mariners into San Francisco Bay for the last 80 years had an earlier life guiding mariners into Wellfleet Harbor on Cape Cod in the late 1800s.

A signpost points to faraway places at the southern end of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which encompasses 75,000 acres along the Northern California coastline.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I know you're from New York . . . you've got "Yankees" written all over your face.

What have I done to deserve this?

Joe Girardi: Fired after one year as Florida Marlins manager. During the 2006 season, Girardi led the Marlins, who had the lowest payroll in baseball, to a 78-84 record and had them in contention for the National League wild-card spot. Girardi was fired because of disagreements with the Marlins' front office. Six weeks after his firing on Oct. 3, Girardi won the NL manager-of-the-year award. Girardi is now manager for the New York Yankees.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reluctance of Stardom

Julie Christie's performance in "Away From Her" is superb, and has garnered her the National Board of Review's Best Actress Award.

Julie Christie fans who have waited decades for the handful of films made by the luminous star wonder "Would we have wanted it any other way? We are the Red Sox fans of the movies, once again rewarded with a world-class masterpiece by our heroine. Perhaps, like all human beings, we want more, but we have learned over the last thirty-five years to be content with the diamonds that are Julie's leading performances that she gives just once a decade, content to feel that these are a surfeit of riches, our surfeit of riches, so great is their luminescence."

Whoopi Goldberg "flew in" for the 2008 Tony Awards Show

"You Are Under Surveillance"

WASHINGTON -- From a dimly lit room in a secure command center, 21 streaming video feeds from 4,775 surveillance cameras around the nation's capital are projected across three screens and monitored at all hours. Every few seconds, footage from a different location pops up -- a busy road, a picnic bench, the entrance to the new baseball stadium.

Seven years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is trying to set up one of the most comprehensive centrally controlled visual surveillance systems in the world. In the nerve center, which opened last month, the city's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency can monitor video from four city agencies -- covering streets, schools, housing projects, parks and roads -- for threats and other nefarious activities.

For those who have accepted the city's fate as a prime terrorist target, this may be cause for relief. But to the many civil liberties groups headquartered in Washington, the move undermines privacy, encourages abuse and represents the first step toward a surveillance system like London's, where a person's every public move can be tracked on about 10,000 government-funded cameras that have been dubbed a "ring of steel."