Monday, April 30, 2012

"a personal connection"

[Steve] Soboroff has collected 15 typewriters that were owned by famous people, including Ernest Hemingway, Joe DiMaggio, John Lennon, George Bernard Shaw, Tennessee Williams and Jack London. “It’s such a personal connection, and they’re so one of a kind,” he said.

He occasionally loans them to museums to raise money for journalism students, so he doesn’t feel bad about beating out CBS [for Andy Rooney's typewriter].

Pirates! Band of Misfits

You can't take your little kids to The Hunger Games, or some busybody will call Child Protective Services on you. (There's always one.) You tried dragging your five-year-old to Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and she started demanding a pee break every five minutes. So what are you going to do with your squirming sprogs this weekend? Take them to Pirates! Band of Misfits, that's what.

Seriously, this movie is one of the rare animated films for kids that's genuinely fun for adults. It's from the people who did Wallace and Gromit. It's got David Tennant as Charles Darwin. There are some clever bits. There's an airship. It's got heart. And it's a great puppet movie about the power of pretending.

"Louise Brooks's screen presence redefined the proverbial fatality of the femmes"

Georg Wilhelm Pabst's Pandora's Box (1929) owes its iconic status not to its plot – a lurid morality tale – but the subversive sheen of its star. Louise Brooks's screen presence redefined the proverbial fatality of the femmes. Here was no temptress hell-bent on destruction but a girl whose spontaneity and unrepressed sexuality proved too hot to handle for the leering males around her.

The message was much aided by a boyish bob which, in its angular minimalism, posed an affront to cliches of femininity. "The girl in the black helmet", she was called, the gritty hue of her barnet more redolent of the dominatrix's leather boot than the flowing locks of the damsel in distress.

When the pictures were "big"

Louise Brooks and Ted Shawn in The Feather of the Dawn, 1923

The "Endless Pier"

Tourism was the Redondo Beach's main source of income in the early part of the 20th century: Redondo had a luxury hotel (the Hotel Redondo), a popular amusement area (El Paseo), a salt water plunge and a tent city where tourists could stay for a pittance and enjoy the ocean climate.

When a major storm caused considerable property damage along the Redondo Beach coastline in 1915, temporarily dampening the tourist trade, Redondo's citizens took action. They passed a $125,000 bond issue to build a structure that came to be known as the "Endless Pier."

The triangular structure was called "the most unique over-the-sea structure in the country." Its two legs met in the ocean at a plaza-like area, where a pavilion with a restaurant was built.

Tourists and fishermen loved the structure, which was completed and dedicated in 1916. Chamber of Commerce literature of the time claimed that 10,000 people could find entertainment there at any one time.

By December 1925, carousel operator Arthur Looff had opened his Hippodrome, advertised as "the Finest Hippodrome Carousel Building in the United States." The Hippodrome he had built on the Santa Monica Pier in 1916 to hold his carousel there stills stands today, and was made a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Unfortunately, the pier structure itself was troubled from the very beginning. A fierce storm had damaged the pier while it was still under construction In1916, and another storm 20 months after it opened almost destroyed it.

By 1926, the Endless Pier's concrete-and-steel construction showed signs of deterioration, so much so that amusement park promoter C.A. Langley was unable to build his planned addition to the pier unless the structure were to undergo substantial repairs. His consultant reported that the concrete pilings were weakening and the deck was sagging in some places.

In 1928, the Redondo City Council condemned the Endless Pier, and City Engineer Victor Staheli prepared plans for a replacement. The City selected contractor P.W. Krantz to demolish the Endless Pier and construct a new timber Horseshoe Pier, the forerunner to the current Redondo Beach pier, in the same general location.

Though some still refer to the current pier as the Endless Pier, the original Endless Pier only lasted for twelve years.

"The grand opening of the $930-million Expo light rail line"

Almost 60 years after the Pacific Electric Railway stopped running trains to Santa Monica, the resurrection of passenger rail service to the Westside will begin with the grand opening of the $930-million Expo light rail line.

Saturday's start of service marks the first step in an effort to bring rail service back to one of the region's most traffic-clogged areas, something transportation experts have long said is crucial to developing a workable rail network for Los Angeles County.

"fanciful plans for expanding Los Angeles' Union Station"

Architects from some of the most prominent firms in the world -- including Renzo Piano and UN Studio's Ben Van Berkel -- joined a long list of well-known local designers Wednesday in presenting hugely ambitious if  largely fanciful plans for expanding Los Angeles' Union Station.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which now owns the station and a 40-acre parcel of land surrounding it, plans to choose a single team of designers as the master planner for the station site by late June.

Above:  An expanded Union Station as imagined by EE&K and UN Studio. (Courtesy EE&K, a Perkins…)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Never Fall Down

Never Fall Down, a novel by Patricia McCormick based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond’s life, will be released May 8, 2012, by HarperCollins. Arn Chorn-Pond, founder of Cambodian Living Arts, is a Khmer Rouge genocide survivor and Human Rights spokesperson. The story begins when soldiers arrive in Arn’s hometown and he is just an eleven year old kid dancing to rock’n’roll and selling ice cream. The powerful narrative of Patricia McCormick, award-winning author, captures Arn’s voice perfectly as he figures out how to survive, play the Khim, and eventually how to adjust to life in America. The ALA Booklist review calls Never Fall Down “Powerfully, hauntingly unforgettable.” And Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu said, “Never Fall Down can teach us all about finding the courage to speak our truth and change the world.

"Adventure beyond the horizon"

Cool breeze on your face and warm sun on your neck. Black pavement below and blue skies above. Adventure beyond the horizon.

Few experiences in life can match the feeling when fit and performance combine forces on a bicycle. We love that feeling and want to share it with everyone, everywhere.

We hand-build folding and travel bicycles that fit your body and your style. We take time to get to know you and your goals, then create a Bike Friday that will grant you the freedom to live your adventure. Anytime, anyplace.

Celestial wonders and the fall of Constantinople, 1453

At the first hour of the night, there appeared a wonderful sign in the sky, which was to tell Constantine the worthy, emperor of Constantinople, that his proud empire was to come to an end.

Nicolo Barbaro 

Ho chi minh City

Ho chi minh City’s architecture and lifestyle is the reconciliation between American and Chinese influence, with many dots of modernity yet without losing Vietnamese traits.

Ho chi minh City is as much historical as it is modern. Reunification Palace is definitely the place to visit, for its significance and archival of Vietnam War. Museums are abound and the admission fees are generally low: Ho chi minh Museum, Revolutionary Museum, Vietnam History Museum, etc.

Celebrating Tet

The famous Tet celebration is held on the same day as the Chinese New Year (mid-April). Travel to Asia and especially to Vietnam during this period is difficult, since travel is so heavy.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


 Earth Hour started off in 2007 with 2.2 million people turning off all their non essential lights in Sydney, Australia. A year later and this event had captured a global audience with up to 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Famous landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Rome’s
Coliseum all plunged into darkness as the world joined together to raise awareness of climate change issues.

The popularity of the game exploded in the 1920s and this man had a lot to do with it!

A 1920 autographed photo of American baseball player Babe Ruth (1895–1948)

How long has this been going on ?

Engraving of La Marcus Thompson's Switchback Railway in Coney Island on Opening Day, June 13, 1884

Not bad for a "Used Car"

2007  Rolls Royce Phantom

Hey !!! You remember Fay . . . . . .

she starred in a movie with a gorilla in 1933 ---------------------Fay Wray

The movie ???    It was Hong Kong . . . No, let me think:  It was King Kong.

Times Square theater . . . . . . . circa 1920s

Times Square theater

In the 1920s and 1930s, painter Reginald Marsh depicted scenes from the seedy side of the city: burlesque-show floozies, Bowery bums, and life’s other bit players—including these characters hanging around the Lyric Theater on 42nd Street.

Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City in the Roaring 20s

 'Capital of the World' is a delicious but high-calorie Whitman's sampler of New York City delights during the 1920s. It is no surprise to find that it is authored by journalist David Wallace, whose publishing career is mostly comprised of tomes about Hollywood and southern California. New York is seen through the same sunny, star-studded lens; there is no hint that common people lived in New York City during the 1920s.

Venice Beach, California Circa 1930

Venice Beach was the site of many contests in the 1920s and 1930s, including pet shows and beauty shows for children and for men and women of all ages. The photo above is from a contest in the 30s.   The man on the left beat out the man on the right.

Lifeguards from the 1920s

Do you know any of these men ???

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

World Youth Go Championships

Thirteen-year-old 7 dan Calvin Sun (at right in his match against Korea) placed fourth in the recent World Youth Go Championships, representing the U.S. Nine-year-old Kevin Fang 1d was the Junior Representative, placing eighth.  ”I am happy to have this opportunity to be in the exciting WYGC tournament,” Fang told the E-Journal,  ”I got to play with the top junior players in the world.  I did not reach my goal this time, and ended up with the youngest player award.  I hope I will do better next time.”   The boys won a free trip to Penghu, Taiwan, to compete at the finals, July 22 – 28


Monday, April 23, 2012


SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE (1970). Director: Harold Prince.

"Let's not talk about the Nazis. It was bad enough when they were all over the place, strutting around, inviting themselves to dinner." -- the countess.

"You can sleep with anyone, can't you?" -- Helmuth.

"If I have to -- but I have my preferences." -- Konrad.

A sociopathic charmer named Konrad Ludwig (Michael York) arrives in the picturesque town of Ornstein and uses his body, wits, and homicidal tendencies to take over the household of Countess Von Ornstein (Angela Lansbury), who lives in a big castle with her children -- but also lives mostly on bluff [by her standards at least]. Eliminating anyone who might get in the way of his plans, Konrad beds and romances both the daughter, Anneliese (Heidelinde Weis), of a wealthy couple and the countess' attractive son, Helmuth (Anthony Corlan AKA Anthony Higgins). His plans to marry them both off to one another go awry but the clever fellow may have yet another idea up his sleeve ... The performances and story are compelling in this very darkly amusing comedy-suspense film, although some might feel the ending -- if outrageous and comical -- isn't entirely satisfying. Jane Carr is good if a little weird as the countess' strange and homely daughter, Lotte, who's wiser than she lets on --at first. Wolfreid Lier makes an impression as the stern  major domo, Klaus. Despite the free-wheeling sensuality, the movie seems to have a kind of old-fashioned sensibility to it. This was loosely based on a novel by Harry Kressing entitled "The Cook;" the screenplay is by Hugh Wheeler, who wrote many musical librettos, and who was also well-known as mystery novelist Patrick Quentin. Stage specialist Harold Prince only directed one other theatrical film and one television movie. Score by John Kander and some nice scenery as well.


Bela Lugosi

"Natural Solutions"

Oh, how far we've come from Earth Days past — when the phrase “green home” conjured images of straw-bale structures, when solar panels seemed like such an earnest novelty, when “LEED certified” hadn't yet crept into public consciousness.

With Earth Day 2012 almost upon us, nearly 60,000 homes in the United States are in the process of being certified in the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Education and Environmental Design program, according to Nate Kredich, the organization's vice president of residential market development. Need more convincing proof of just how far we've come? Take a peek at the new home of architect Ken Radtkey and landscape architect Susan Van Atta


Remember . . . . . . . . on early T V

"Our Miss Brooks": with Eve Aden in the title role while the oblivious biology teacher, Philip Boynton, was played by Bob Rockwell.

"The Man Who Could Do Anything"

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. Maurice Bernstein. In 1931 he graduated from the Todd School in Woodstock, Illinois; he turned down college offers for a sketching tour of Ireland. He tried unsuccessfully to enter the London and Broadway stages, traveling some more in Morocco and Spain (where he fought in the bullring). Recommendations by Thornton Wilder and Alexander Woollcott got him into Katherine Cornell's road company, with which he made his New York debut as Tybalt in 1934. The same year he married, directed his first short, and appeared on radio for the first time. He began working with John Houseman and formed the Mercury Theatre with him in 1937. In 1938 they produced "The Mercury Theatre on the Air", famous for its broadcast version of "The War of the Worlds" (intended as a Halloween prank). His first film to be seen by the public was Citizen Kane (1941), a commercial failure losing RKO $150,000, but regarded by many as the best film ever made. Many of his next films were commercial failures and he exiled himself to Europe in 1948. In 1956 he directed Touch of Evil (1958); it failed in the U.S. but won a prize at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. In 1975, in spite of all his box-office failures, he received the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 1984 the Directors Guild of America awarded him its highest honor, the D.W. Griffith Award. His reputation as a film maker has climbed steadily ever since.

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871: Special Effects

The flames that consumed a great part of Chicago were of an unusual character and produced extraordinary effects. They absolutely melted the hardest building-stone, which had previously been considered fire-proof. Iron, glass, granite, were fused and run together into grotesque conglomerates, as if they had been put through a blast-furnace. No kind of material could stand its breath for a moment.

Great Comet of 1882

Caption: Great Comet of 1882, as photographed by the Scottish astronomer David Gill (1843-1914). This photograph was taken on 13 November 1881, from the Cape Observatory, South Africa, where Gill was Her Majesty's Astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope. This comet was one of the biggest and brightest of the 19th century, and one of the first to be photographed. It has since been identified as a Kreutz sungrazer, a group of comets of common origin that pass very close to the Sun. This comet will return in several hundred years time. Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Another Century City . . .

Gramercy Residences @ Century City, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

"Century City Century"

Century City is recognizable from a distance with several high rise buildings towering above small apartment buildings and single family homes. A safe and secure neighborhood with convenient access to world-class shopping, quiet parks and luxury high-rise condos that have a resort like quality make this a highly sought after area. Conceived as a mini Manhattan, Century City was built to be a self-contained mixed use mini-city. Century City stands between the classic village of Westwood and the quiet, luxurious city of Beverly Hills. Century City boasts some of the most luxurious high rise living in Los Angeles with buildings such as The Century (above), a 140-unit luxury condominium 478-foot high rise with such notable residents as Candy Spelling. Residents of Century City have enjoyed full-service, secure and upscale luxurious living for years in magnificent high-rise condos such as the Century Park East, Century Tower, Le Parc, Century Hill, Century Woods and of course the Park Place Condominiums.


KnightsBridge Apartments Century City, Capetown, South Africa.

"Life Of Pi"

Ang Lee, Oscar-winning international director, is among those showbiz guys who must be glad they came to Delhi. After all, Lee got the lead actor for his next project, "Life Of Pi", from the city. Delhi schoolboy Suraj Sharma (above) is that big, mystery find who will play Pi Patel in Lee's adaptation of the famous Yann Martel book of the same name.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Heidelberg couldn't be more beautiful

Heidelberg, Germany

Look how Mannheim has changed since I was there

The Dorint Kongresshotel Mannheim is a charming and comfortable 4-star hotel in the heart of Mannheim. Modern furnishings and timeless elegance make the Dorint a home away from home for discerning guests from all over the world. Many of the local attractions and the Planken pedestrian precinct are just a stone's throw away from the hotel. Other popular places of interest include Heidelberg (15 miles), the scenic Neckartal-Odenwald nature reserve (20 miles) and the German Wine Road (likewise 20 miles). Frankfurt Airport is 50 miles away.

"Istanbul was Constantinople"

Hong Kong

"Foggy Night" by Mr. Coffee on Flickr


The KHAN EL KALILI MARKET in CAIRO,EGYPT was founded in the 14th century

"The Green Monster turned 100 on April 20"

Baseball or history lover? Both? You can save money while helping Boston's Fenway Park celebrate its centenary. The Green Monster turned 100 on April 20, but the deal lasts all season. The deal: The Hotel Commonwealth is offering a special 100th Anniversary Package priced from $339 to $479 a night during the 2012 Boston Red Sox season. The package includes lodging for two in a superior deluxe Fenway Room (470 square feet) with direct views of the ball field; two tickets to the official Fenway Park Tour, a 50-minute walking tour; and a welcome basket of Baby Ruth candy bars, old-fashioned Coke bottles, boxes of Cracker Jack and stacks of baseball cards.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Brit twins in ‘$1.2m stock scam probe’

Twins Alexander and Thomas Hunter were just 16 years old when they devised the “elaborate” online scam that fooled around 75,000 people, US officials say. In 2007 the brothers allegedly invented a fictitious “stock picking robot” and claimed on a series of websites that the highly sophisticated computer trading programme could identify stocks that were poised to rocket in value. They then targeted thousands of unsuspecting investors, mainly in the US, selling them “home versions” of the bogus software - named Marl - and an annual subscription to a newsletter that listed the programme’s stock recommendations, it is said. However, the stocks were not generated by any technical analysis and were in fact those of companies the brothers were paid to promote, asserts the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who has brought the civil action.

"A man’s best friend"

Dogs: they’re not only a man’s best friend, but also a teenager’s personal trainer. According to recent research, adolescents in families who own dogs exercise more than their puppy-less neighbors. Though the impact appears to be minimal, given the childhood obesity epidemic, any excuse to get extra activity can help Previous research has shown that adults exercise more when they own dogs, so this study sought to determine whether the health benefits carry over to their children as well. The results are hardly outstanding, however. Teenagers with dogs exercise rigorously about an extra twenty minutes per week. They also spend seven fewer minutes a day sitting inactively than their peers without canine companions. Read more at FYI Living: Read more at FYI Living:

Friday, April 20, 2012

The "Fosbury Flop" was anything but . . .

Rarely can a sportsman or woman genuinely boast of revolutionizing their event but high jumper Dick Fosbury is one of the few who can make such a claim. Fosbury won the 1968 Olympic Games gold medal in front of an amazed crowd in Mexico City and the event was never the same again. From the 1976 Olympics to the present day, every single men’s high jump medal at the Games has been won by a jumper utilizing the back-first method pioneered by Fosbury. There has been no world-class high jumper of either sex using any other technique since the late 1980s. At high school, the teenage Fosbury found the conventional high jump techniques of the time hard to master and, thanks also to the arrival of soft foam landing beds, he gradually evolved the style which became known as the Fosbury Flop. Legend has it that his technique got that name after a newspaper report of a high school competition in his home town of Medford, Oregon, described him as looking like ‘fish flopping in a boat.’ By 1968, during his junior year at Oregon State University, Fosbury started to challenge the top U.S. jumpers. He won the NCAA title and then went on to secure his place on the Olympic team with a third place finish at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Whether Fosbury would have such an indelible place in athletics and Olympic history if he had not been on the podium in Mexico City is a moot point because he literally and metaphorically rose to the occasion. He cleared every height up to 7-3¼ (2.24m) with his first attempt to hold the lead throughout the competition and then went over an Olympic record of 7-4¼ (2.24m) to clinch the gold medal and inspire legions of imitators. By Phil Minshull, Special to Universal Sports

The Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai is Stunning

Burj Al Arab is a luxurious hotel located near Jumeirah beach in Dubai, UAE. It is built to resemble the shape of ship and is one of the five tallest hotels in the world. The Burj Al Arab hotel is constructed on an artificial island and it connects to the mainland with a bridge.

Alaska Range Aerial View

He lived the life that many young boys dream about

Clarence Rhode (d.1958) traversed the Yukon River by rowboat as a boy, flew the Alaskan outback as a bush pilot during the Second World War, and supervised the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's aircraft division in Alaska following his Army service.

Serenity Supreme

Aerial view of the snow-covered Aghileen Pinnacles, Alaska Peninsula.


Olympic rings made up of 25,000 flowers are seen at Kew Gardens in London.

Photo by Paul Hackett/ Reuters

Outside the Nest

Chinese young athletes practice Taekwondo techniques before the rehearsal of ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games outside the Bird's Nest.

Photo by Feng Li/Getty

Looks like the bull's winning . . .

Spanish matador Antonio Nazare is gored in the calf by a bull during a bullfight in The Maestranza bullring in Seville.

Photo by Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters

Surfers Delight

Australia: Kirra Point and Snapper Rocks were pumping and the surfers were out in force despite the wet weather. Friday, April 20, 2012.

Photographer: Scott Fletcher