Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1971 Ford Pinto

Built to a $2,000 base price, the subcompact Pinto lacks protection for its rear-mounted fuel tank. It earns a reputation as a fire-prone death trap and Ford pays out millions in judgments.

1958 Edsel Corsair ( Ford Motor Company )

1958 Edsel Corsair

( Ford Motor Company )
Ford went hunting for a market niche that wasn't there with a redecorated Mercury that had been beaten with an ugly stick. The legendary flop of all automotive flops. 

Superman and Wonder Woman kiss in new Justice League comic

New couple alert: Superman and Wonder Woman are totally hooking up.

Their simmering relationship has been the subject of much speculation over the past few months, and it becomes official when Justice League #12 hits comic-book stores on Wednesday (Aug. 29). The issue's cover depicts the two iconic DC heroes in an embrace, their lips nearly touching. Inside, they reveal it's not a tease: That looks like one pretty passionate kiss.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Energetic 'Hermano' scores

The Venezuelan film "Hermano" tells a familiar story of slum-born wishes and possible escape, but with a bristling visual energy.

Director Marcel Rasquin's debut feature, which he wrote with Rohan Jones, introduces us to soccer-playing youths Julio (Eliu Armas) — tall, tough and captain of his barrio's team — and his more withdrawn younger sib Daniel (Fernando Moreno). Adopted as a wailing baby after being abandoned in a pile of garbage, Daniel's grown into a serious-minded 16-year-old field phenom.

When a Caracas Football Club scout offers a life-changing tryout to the brothers, the trappings of their lives come into sharp focus, especially when violent tragedy befalls the family at the same time and threatens to split apart Julio and Daniel.

What exacerbates the strain is both Julio's fealty to a local criminal boss, and the shaky peace Daniel tries to keep long enough to make their professional soccer dreams come true.

Rasquin's approach is simple and kinetic, tied emotionally to the pleasures of close bonds and the anguish of goals derailed, but expansive enough visually to capture barrio life in both its claustrophobia and its communal openness. The acting, largely naturalistic, is also a plus.

"Hermano" is well-trod acreage, but there's a vitality here that's easy to appreciate.

Robert Abele

Shown above:  Eliu Armas and Fernando Moreno in "Hermano." (Music Box Films / August 23, 2012)


                                  Of Two Minds - The Film

An award-winning feature documentary directed by Lisa Klein and Doug Blush, following extraordinary people living, struggling and succeeding with bipolar disorder. OPENING IN NEW YORK AND LA FOR A FULL WEEK


$64-million performance hall coming to Orange's Chapman University

A new $64-million performance hall is coming to the campus of Chapman University in Orange County. The multi-purpose space is expected to begin construction in early 2013 with a completion set for fall 2015, according to William Hall, dean of the school's College of Performing Arts.

The new space will have a capacity of 1,050 seats and will be built to accommodate various types of performances, including theater and classical music. The private university has hired famed acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, who also worked on Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Shown above is a rendering of the exterior of the planned Center for the Arts at Chapman University.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Manhattan Beach Centennial Group Photograph

Manhattan Beach Centennial Coin

100 years -- Manhattan Beach -- 1912-2012


"I told them the offer was quite irregular"

As a doctoral student at what is now Claremont Graduate University, Marvin W.  Meyer (1948-2012) and his mentor, James Robinson, who founded the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity there, were part of a team that prepared some 4th century papyrus manuscripts known as the Nag Hamadi Library for publication in 1978.

The ancient Gnostic texts, which had been hidden in a jar buried by monks hoping to preserve them from destruction, provided alternative perspectives on Jesus that were hailed as significant additions to the understanding of the formative years of Christianity.

Robinson went on to become one of the world's great New Testament experts, and railed against scholars who tried to restrict access to biblical texts. Meyer received his doctorate and soon established himself as one of the foremost experts on Gnosticism and early Christianity.

In June 2005, he was tapped by representatives of the National Geographic Society to help translate what it said was an important Gnostic text. But Meyer had to sign a confidentiality oath before they would even say what it was.

"I told them the offer was quite irregular," Meyer recalled in an interview. "They said, 'You won't be disappointed.' So I signed."

Meyer learned that the society had the only known copy of the Gospel of Judas, a Coptic translation from the original Greek that had been the subject of tantalizing rumors but had never surfaced publicly.
He helped the society's team translate the Coptic into English, then traveled to Egypt to film a made-for-TV documentary about the discovery. He was prepped for a publicity tour that would have him for the first time traveling by limousine and staying in ritzy hotels.
"We used to laugh about all that because he was just as happy flopping out in flea-bag hotels in remote corners of the world," his wife recalled. "But he was excited about the opportunities that being on a world stage provided in terms of sharing his work on a scale that he never thought possible."

In Meyer's view, the gospel portrayed Judas as a hero, not a villain, for betraying Jesus. Instead, Judas acted on Jesus' orders and betrayed him to set in motion the Crucifixion. In the gospel, Jesus confides to Judas: "Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal."

In September 2005, Meyer let it slip to Robinson that he knew a lot about the long-rumored Gospel of Judas but couldn't talk about it. After Robinson demanded to know more, Meyer responded in a terse e-mail: "I'm sorry, but I must say, no comment. Marv."

As the publication of Meyer's "The Gospel of Judas" neared in 2006, Robinson was asked by a publisher to write his own Judas book, which he finished in a month. Rushed to print, Robinson's "The Secrets of Judas" criticized the National Geographic Society for withholding the gospel from other scholars.

Meyer, however, argued that publishing the gospel through National Geographic brought an important obscure text to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.
Through it all, the mentor and protege remained friends.


Michael J. Fox turns his life into sitcom

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/08/22/3773966/stargazing-michael-j-fox-turns.html#storylink=cpy

NBC won an intense bidding war to bring the former “Family Ties” star home to the peacock network.

Fox will star in a comedy that draws inspiration from his own life. He’ll play a husband and father of three in New York City dealing with family, career and Parkinson’s. Fox was diagnosed with the disease in 1991.

No word yet on the cast. The show is set to premiere next fall.


Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/08/22/3773966/stargazing-michael-j-fox-turns.html#storylink=cpy

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Operation Death Trains

Wounded but safe ... bloodied survivor checks
his mobile phone after Atocha blast yesterday


in Madrid and MIKE DARVILL

ISLAMIC terrorists last night claimed they launched “Operation Death Trains” in which 199 people died and 1,421 were injured in Madrid.

Ten bombs hidden in backpacks tore apart four packed commuter trains at breakfast time yesterday.
Suspicion was mounting that Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network was behind the horrific attack as TWO Islamic groups claimed responsibility.

And one warned that BRITAIN was among countries next on its hit-list — and an imminent attack on America was “90 PER CENT READY”.

Three of the Spanish capital’s railway stations were devastated by massive blasts in the space of a few minutes.

Bombs planted in carriages left platforms littered with bloodied bodies and limbs.

Icons Legend of the Week #5: Ryan Giggs

As the most decorated player in English football history, Ryan Giggs was an obvious choice for Icons Legend of the Week #5.

In a glittering career that has spanned two decades at the very top; the Manchester United winger-turned-playmaker has won just about every trophy going in club football. I mean talk about staying power, back when Giggs won his first trophy it was known as the Rumbelows Cup.

He turns 38 in November, and he is now entering his 21st season with Manchester United. Since that League Cup win in 1992, the Welsh Wizard has added 12 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, and two Champions League medals to his bourgeoning CV. Throw in eight Community Shields, three more League Cups and a FIFA Club World Cup and you still haven't covered it.   Icons.com

America's foremost crusader against hate crimes

Morris Dees is America's foremost crusader against hate crimes. He co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit group of lawyers that specializes in civil-rights violations and racially motivated crimes.  The center exposes and undermines American hate groups, ranging from the Ku Klux Klan to anti-government militias.

In 1981, when Klan members lynched a black man in Mobile, Dees and the Southern Poverty Law Center sued the Klan for inciting violence and won a $7-million judgment. The importance of this victory cannot be overstated. The precedent was established that criminals cannot hide behind organizations. Membership in groups that espouse and encourage crime makes the member liable for damages caused.

Dees also successfully prosecuted and won a $12-million judgment against Tom Metzger, racist leader of the hate group known as "White Aryan Resistance". Metzger had encouraged some skinheads in Portland, Oregon to "defend the Aryan race" by violence. Later that day, when Metzger was far away, the young men beat and stomped an innocent Ethiopian man named Mulugeta Seraw, to death. Dees established Metzger as the proximate cause of the crime and make him accountable. In these two cases, Dees was able to attribute the murders to the hateful beliefs of a larger organization, thus "holding accountable once and for all" groups that advocate violence as a means for advancing their ideas, he said.

Dees' life has been threatened on many occasions, and the vicious hate group known as "The Order" actually planned to kidnap and torture him prior to their capture by the authorities. Yet he continues to crusade against hatred, racial injustice and the abuse of the desperately poor. He denies any status as a hero, but his quiet determination that evil will not go unremarked or unchallenged marks Morris Dees as a great man, and is what makes him one of our heroes.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Legends:  Phyllis Diller and Buddy Hackett

LOS ANGELES — Phyllis Diller — the housewife turned humorist who aimed some of her sharpest barbs at herself, punctuating her jokes with her trademark cackle — died Monday morning in her Los Angeles home at age 95.

‘‘She died peacefully in her sleep and with a smile on her face,’’ said her longtime manager, Milton Suchin.


The Vincent Thomas Bridge is a crown jewel of Los Angeles' southern port cities.

Named after California assemblyman Vincent Thomas of San Pedro, the span is a 1,500-foot-long suspension bridge, the fourth longest such structure in California.

Built in 1963, the bridge was built to replace the ferries that connected the port cities of San Pedro and Terminal Island to mainland Los Angeles.

For years, the VT Bridge, as it became known, was derided as a bridge to nowhere, but that changed in the 1970s when Los Angeles and Long Beach began to supplant San Francisco Bay cities as the state's principal port areas.

I wonder if this "Tony Bennett" can sing?  He seems to be able to do everything else ???

Two-time Mid-Continent Conference player of the Year (1991, 1992) ... Mid-Con Newcomer of the Year (1992) ... Four-time all-conference honoree, including three first team selections ... Tournament MVP in 1991 ... Three-time selection to all-tournament team ... Named GTE Men's Basketball Academic All-American of the Year in 1992 ... Honored as an Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America in 1992 and was a two-time UPI Honorable Mention All-America (1991, 1992) ... NCAA all-time leader in career three-point percentage (49.7 %) ... Selected in the second round, 35th overall, by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1992 NBA Draft ...  Played three seasons for the Charlotte Hornets ... Won a Bronze medal as a member of Team USA at the 1991 Pan American Games ... Stint as assistant coach at Wisconsin (1999-2003)  included a Final Four appearance ... Served as assistant coach at Washington State before being promoted to head coach ... Received a trio of national coaching honors in 2007 as AP Men's Basketball Coach of the Year, the Naismith College Coach of the Year and won the Henry Iba Award after leading WSU to a 26-8 record ... Current head coach at Virginia.


Self Portrait by Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett returns to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury for two shows on Saturday and Sunday, November 17th & 18th.  The legendary singer of popular music, standards, show tunes and jazz will be joined by his daughter, Antonia Bennett for these two special nights.  His new album, VIVA DUETS, will be available October 23rd.


The Jonas Brothers

After three years, Jonas Brothers will return to the stage with an exclusive one night only engagement on Thursday, October 11th at Radio City Music Hall. The concert is their only U.S. show planned for 2012. The band will perform their hits, and will also debut highly anticipated new music set for release in 2013.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Waverider X-51A

The Waverider X-51A test was a failure. The vehicle was launched successfully from a B-52 bomber Tuesday over Point Mugu Naval Air Warfare Center Sea Range at about 11:35 a.m. PT. But 16 seconds after launch, “a fault was identified with one of the cruiser control fins.” Then, about 15 seconds after the craft separated from the rocket booster, the cruiser lost control.

“It is unfortunate that a problem with this subsystem caused a termination before we could light the Scramjet engine,” said X-51A Program Manager Charlie Brink via a news release Wednesday.  “All our data showed we had created the right conditions for engine ignition and we were very hopeful to meet our test objectives.”

The test is a blow to the Waverider program, but also a setback for the development of hypersonic flight, since the control subsystem responsible for the failure had proven “reliable” in past flights.


Michaels of Los Feliz.

In 1942, a chicken restaurant named Willard's opened in Los Feliz. It was later purchased by Laughlin Park-resident Cecil B. DeMille, who converted it to a Brown Derby, ultimately the last one in operation. During that time its interior served as the interior of Mildred Pierce's joint in the film of the same name.  In 1960 it became Michaels of Los Feliz. and in 1992, it became a nightclub, The Derby.


1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

A prized 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster, one of a handful of such cars by the German automaker left from prewar Nazi Germany, was sold Sunday for $11.77 million at an auction in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where the rooftops are HOME  in Zhuzhou, Hunan province

Four unfurnished villas that sit on top of a shopping mall in Zhuzhou, Hunan province, have led to questions about their safety, but city planners said on Wednesday the structures were built legally and with the required documentation.

The buildings, which have electricity and water pipes already installed, will be offices for the shopping mall developer's 160 real estate management employees, said Li Li from the Zhuzhou city planning bureau.

The bureau conducted an on-site investigation after media reports voiced concern over alleged safety Whazards and the legal status of the four buildings.

The developer, Zhuzhou Jiutian Real Estate, used modern designs and landscape decorations to make the buildings look like villas, but never intended to sell them, Li said.

The construction of the shopping mall — including the rooftop buildings in the mall’s four corners — obtained authorities' approval, he said


David Beckham gets transformed into a chiseled silver statue for new H&M underwear campaign

Larger than life: A silver statue of David Beckham has been erected in New York to promote his new underwear line for H&M

Futuristic supercar inspired by 1960s space race goes on sale at a stratospheric $950,000

The Chrysler Plymouth XNR was built in 1960 and is the only model in existence. It is due to be sold at auction in Monterey, California, this weekend. 

VOTE REPUBLICAN -- It's easier than thinking !!!

You got me -- maybe it's a tea party ?

200th anniversary of French invasion of Russia

24 June marked the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. He entered Russia with half a million soldiers and left after defeat with only a few thousand stragglers. Russians literally chased him out, killing his troops as what was left of his Grand Armee retreated.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Vintage Los Angeles, circa 1940"s

Bullock's Wilshire tower and the Town House hotel in Los Angeles


The Carlyle Residences on Wilshire Blvd

The Carlyle Residences on Wilshire Blvd - 10776 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
From the developers of the Plaza Hotel in New York (Elad Properties) comes The Carlyle, 78 Luxury condos in a new 24-story tower on the Wilshire Corridor in Los Angeles.

Five units have been listed on The MLS from $2.8 Million for a 2-Bed 3.5-Bath condo to over $13 Million for a 3-Bed 4.5-Bath penthouse.

Prices range from $1000 - $2500 per square foot.

Amenities of this luxurious new development include a fitness center designed by Sport Club LA, 24hr valet, security & concierge services.

The Carlyle is ideally situated in Westwood on the Wilshire Corridor, close to Beverly Hills and Century City.

The Carlyse Residences are listed by Alan Perry Mark of The Mark Company and Valerie Fitzgerald of Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills North.


Rose Bowl Renovation Plans

Proposed Stadium Improvements - “The Next 100 Years”; The proposed improvements to the stadium, although subtle, will make remarkable improvements to your experience while maintaining its iconic and historic status; new press box, less clutters stadium rim, new video board, wider tunnels, added aisles, elliptical field, restoration of historic field hedge, added concessions, and added restrooms.
Proposed Concourse Plan - Your time is valuable to us; The concourse will be expanded from 2.5 to 4.5 sf per person, concession points of sale will be increased from 92 to 225, restroom fixtures will be increased from 733 to 1000, while exiting time from the stadium will be decreased from 35+ minutes down to approximately 12-14 minutes.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

2012 OLYMPICS:  "The Agony of Defeat"

Damien Hopper of Australia looks back at the staggered Marcus Browne of United States. Hopper won their light heavyweight boxing match. 

( Scott Heavey / Getty Images / July 30, 2012 )


Olympic Gold for China in Gymnastics 2012
China's men's gymnastics team, from left, Zhe Feng, Weiyang Guo, Yibing Chen, Chenglong Zhang and Kai Zou celebrate winning the gold medal in the men's gymnastic team competition.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonny prove that work ethic and attention to detail can reap Olympic rewards

Alistair and Jonny Brownlee made their mum and dad the proudest parents in Britain today when they won gold and bronze in the triathlon.

The Brownlees would have liked to cross the line together, arm in arm, to celebrate their togetherness, the fact they live and train together. But such familial sentiment is frowned upon by the Olympic movement who insist on the continuous display of effort.
So, with a couple of laps to go, Alistair moved out in front, ahead of the silver medallist Javier Gomez of Spain. It was a remarkable run of power and pace, breaking all competition with its relentlessness.
The result had barely been in doubt from the moment the brothers dived into the grey, choppy waters of the Serpentine.
Together with 46 other athletes, they were performing in front of the biggest ever gathering in their sport’s history. Hyde Park was rammed with spectators, 200,000 of them taking the opportunity to engage with these incredible Olympics for free without a ticket.
Everyone was invited, but the park seemed particularly populated by wiry middle-aged men in Lycra, triathlon’s natural constituency. And they were to witness an astonishing show of strength by the young Yorkshire pair.

After 16 minutes of thrash and splash, the brothers emerged just behind the leader Richard Varga from the water and galloped into the transition area to climb aboard their bikes. Jonny got on his a touch too quickly and was punished with a 15-second penalty he was obliged to serve during the run. Abetted by their team-mate Stuart Hayes, whose role was to act as domestique to the brothers.

He did his job brilliantly, guiding Alistair round Buckingham Palace, through Hyde Park corner and round the lake seven times. So successful were they that they arrived first to change into their favoured pursuit, the run.
And then Alistair took control. He eased away, his stride fluid and certain. Jonny, after serving his penalty on the second lap, dropped back, obliged to run for third.

Alistair’s final running lap was that of a triumphal coronation, the Union flags flying in his honour. So comfortable was he in victory he grabbed a flag off a spectator and ambled over the line, draped in glory in an Olympic record time of one hour 46 minutes, 25 seconds. When Jonathan arrived, 30 seconds behind him the pair hugged in delight, the happiest siblings in the country.

Starting young: Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee show off one of their very, very many triathlon medals.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

She used to be big but it's the "pictures that got small."

Great photo below where Gloria Swanson appears to be ready for her close-up (with William Holden).


Inspired Decadence From Early Days

Here's Alla Nazimova in the 1923 production of Salome.  The silent film star was the owner of the Garden of Allah.


"I call it Late Wicked Witch"

With lavender in glorious bloom, the Franklin Hills house of Jamie Schwentker, an architect who specializes in landscapes (Schwentker Watts Design), and Franco Giacomo Carbone, a film production designer, features mango-hued shingles with moss- and celery-colored accents. "I call it Late Wicked Witch," Schwentker said, "which is partly a nod to the whole movie thing and partly because it looks like a fairy-tale house. Like 'Alice in Wonderland.'" 


Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Olympic spirit continues to swell throughout London invoking a frenzy of fan activity at this year’s Summer Games. Wigs, posters, hats, kangaroos, face paint, and for some, butt paint, adorn these super fans as they cheer their champions on to victory.

Fans hold cutouts of Ryan Lochte of the U.S. as they watch the evening session of swimming events at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre August 2, 2012.

(David Gray/Reuters)


Charis Tsevis has just released some of his most fantastic work

Athens, Greece-based visual designer Charis Tsevis has just released some of his most fantastic work to date. Created for Yahoo!'s coverage of the London 2012 Olympic games, they're six illustrations that show "once-in-a-lifetime moments that happen every four years." Tsevis made three images for three different sports (diving, gymnastics and running) with an extra image for running to represent celebration and victory.

Who better to represent the graceful and energetic movements of the Olympic athletes than Tsevis? His incredible, color bursting illustrations seem to jump off the screen.


The only thing I can say about this image is "I'm impressed."

Judo at the London 2012 Olympics

You can tell how many people are in this photo by counting the legs.


Wednesday, August 08, 2012


"The Royal Relays"


"World Number One in his Category"

The bitter row over the non-selection of Aaron Cook has caused the British taekwondo team "unwanted and significant" distractions ahead of the Olympics, but UK Sport insist such controversies will be addressed for future Games.

Cook was overlooked for the taekwondo team despite being world number one in his category, and there has been criticism about the lack of transparency surrounding the sport's selection policy.


Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Michael Phelps Makes History with 19th Olympic Medal!

Michael Phelps‘ teammates from the U.S. Men’s Swimming TeamConor Dwyer, Ryan Lochte, and Ricky Berens – celebrate as he makes history during the Men’s 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay final on Day 4 of the 2012 Summer Olympics at the Aquatics Centre on Tuesday (July 31) in London, England.

The 27-year-old swimmer became the most decorated Olympian of all time with a record 19 medals when his team picked up the gold medal for the relay.

"We've only just begun"

The 2012 Summer Olympics are just about at the halfway point and there has been no shortage of storylines. From Michael Phelps' slow start to a cheating scandal in badminton, these Olympics have been getting HUGE television ratings ...and track and field hasn't even begun yet.