Thursday, August 29, 2013

"an unprecedented trajectory"

James Stewart and Kim Novak star in "Vertigo." (UCLA Film & Television Archive) Bid goodbye to summer in style with a drive-in screening of "Vertigo," the Alfred Hitchcock film that's had an unprecedented trajectory. Dismissed on its original 1958 release, it has steadily risen in critical estimation to the point where it displaced "Citizen Kane" as the best motion picture of all time in Sight & Sound's recent poll of film critics worldwide. "Vertigo's" view of San Francisco might be the most elegantly spooky vision of an American city ever put on film, and no chance to see it on a big screen should be missed. More than that, the film showcases Hitchcock's ability to take two of the biggest stars of his day, James Stewart and Kim Novak, and use them to create as dark and deeply personal a scenario as anything that's appeared at Sundance. Screening at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Electric Dusk Drive-In's 24-foot-by-18-foot screen at the City Market, 1000 San Julian St. near downtown. Tickets are $10 (online) and $13 (cash at the door). Gates open at 6:30 p.m. More information at:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Alkaline "Mono Lake" is bizarre

Ending decades of bitter disputes over fragile Mono Lake, Los Angeles and conservationists on Friday announced an agreement to heal the environmental damage caused by diverting the lake's eastern Sierra tributary streams into the city's World War II-era aqueduct. The controversy over alkaline Mono Lake, which is famous for its bizarre, craggy tufa formations and breeding grounds for sea gulls and migratory birds, is one of California's longest-running environmental disputes. The settlement resolves all of the issues among weary combatants, including the city of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Trout and the Mono Lake Committee. It calls for construction of a $15-million adjustable gate in Grant Dam, an earthen structure 87 feet high and 700 feet long designed to impound tributary water. The goal is to release pulses of water along a seven-mile stretch of Rush Creek to mimic annual flood cycles, distributing willow seeds and promoting healthy trout populations. The settlement will not affect water levels at Mono Lake.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Husband Sues Over Housework, Japanese Court Sides With Wife August 02, 1997|From the Washington Post TOKYO — A Japanese court has ruled in favor of a 33-year-old woman who divorced her husband after he demanded that every day she cook him breakfast, press his pants and clean the house. The woman worked full time, but the husband said it was the wife's job to do all the housework. The husband, a 35-year-old public servant, filed a lawsuit demanding that his wife pay him about $38,000 in damages because she did not live up to her end of the marriage arrangement.

"best safety rating"

Here's another extraordinary accomplishment by Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk. The electric car company announced yesterday evening that its famous 'Model S' sedan has achieved the best safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of any car that's ever been tested in history. The company says it received 5 stars in every possible category (something that's awarded to just 1% of cars) and that the Model S set a new record for lowest likelihood of passenger injury. Read more:

Monday, August 19, 2013

"2013 Best In Show winner"

Hard decisions have been made, score sheets have been tallied and a new car now reigns over the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The 2013 Best In Show winner here at Pebble is the 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria owned by Joseph and Margie Cassini of West Orange, NJ. We'll give you a second to memorize that name. The vehicle that beat out a huge field of worthy competitors is special indeed, despite being relatively unknown outside of the concours set. A giant open touring car – typical of the American metal of this social strata and era – the very scale of Packard is massive by modern standards. Well-known coachbuilder Dietrich stretched elegant flowing fenders, closed in the rear, to encompass the Packard's 140-plus-inch wheelbase. Powered by a pristine, L-head V12 engine, probably pushing something in the neighborhood of 150 horsepower, the pre-war coupe is more of a stroller than a sprinter. But the judges aren't bound to take performance into consideration when it comes to the utterly patrician field of competitors.

"a complete exterior transformation"

The Petersen Automotive Museum announced today that it will mark its 20th anniversary in 2014 by commencing a complete exterior transformation and a dynamic redesign of the interior, resulting in a world class museum that will showcase the art, experience, culture and heritage of the automobile. Displays will feature the prominence of the automobile in Southern California, as well as cars, trucks and motorcycles from around the world. In addition to the facility upgrade, the new Petersen will feature a refined and upgraded permanent collection and an expansion of rotating displays, galleries, technology and story-telling, providing visitors with fresh, new experiences throughout the year. The exterior design by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates will transform the Petersen building into one of the most significant and unforgettable structures in Los Angeles. Long ribbons of stainless steel will wrap around three sides and over the top of the deep red building, making a visceral statement that evokes the imagery of speed and the organic curves of a coach-built automobile. At night, the color and forms will be lit from within to accentuate the steel sculpture and act as a beacon in the neighborhood known as The Miracle Mile.

"The new Shang Shidong Industrial Museum"

The illustrious 19th century Qing dynasty politician, Zhang Zhidong, is primarily remembered for modernizing the Chinese army and for establishing the steel industry in Wuhan. It seems appropriate then that the new Shang Shidong Industrial Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind, should be built in the city of Wuhan. Even more fitting is that the museum, which will celebrate the city’s iron and steel culture, will be built on the manufacturing site of the Hanyang-made rifle and will preserve the famous Hanyang ironworks and Hanyang arsenal.

Petersen Automotive Museum: Aerodynamic design from art to science?

1955 Ghia Gilda: Sleekest looking car ever? Click on the link for information about the Petersen Automotive Museum show: "Aerodynamic design from art to science"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

This 1887 Photograph is of a group of about 30 people (men, women and children) posing in front of Pascual Marquez's bath house -- the first bath house in Santa Monica Canyon. A stagecoach -- the Santa Monica Canyon State -- drawn by a two-horse team stands in front. An American flag flies from the roof of the single-story wood structure. The nearly vertical rocky canyon wall looms behind. A sign on the roof reads "Pascual Marquez bath house". Historical Notes This was the first bathhouse on Santa Monica’s beach. It was built by Michael Duffy beneath the Santa Monica Hotel in 1876 and had 2 structures with 16 rooms with their own freshwater bath and shower. It closed in 1892.*^*^ These type of wagons transported visitors from Los Angeles to Santa Monica before the arrival of train service to the area
"brilliant or wacky"

The Hyperloop transportation scheme proposed by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has created quite a stir in transportation circles. But Musk is hardly the first to turn heads with a transport idea that's either brilliant or wacky.

Ever since man first dreamed of flight, humans have been trying to come up with a better way of getting from point A to point B.

While some of the efforts were more creative than practical, all of them highlight the power of the human imagination to lift our spirits — even if they don't always keep them aloft.

 [Photos of Super-Fast Hyperloop Travel Concept]

Artist conception of a monorail envisioned for Los Angeles Civic Center in 1976; when funding dried up, project was abandoned. (Aerospace Corp),0,2960642.story 

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Wilshire Grand in Downtown Los Angeles Will Redefine the City's Skyline

Downtown Los Angeles is getting a significant (read: very tall) new landmark that promises to draw more visitors to heart of the business district: the 73-story Wilshire Grand, a hotel and office skyscraper designed by locally-based AC Martin Partners. At 1,100 feet (including the spire and a sail-shaped architectural feature), it will become the tallest building west of Chicago when it is completed in 2017, surpassing the nearby 1,018-foot-tall U.S. Bank Tower, designed by Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

According to the final plans released last week for the $1 billion project, by the developer Korean Air, the new glass-clad tower will feature 900 hotel rooms, 400,000 square feet of office space on 30 floors, and 45,100 square feet of ground floor retail. High speed elevators will transport hotel guests to the lobby on the 70th floor; the 71st floor will house a restaurant. The roof will feature a pool and lounge area with views of the Pacific Ocean, Hollywood Hills, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

The site of the new building, 930 Wilshire Boulevard, was home to the 1952 Wilshire Grand hotel, which was demolished starting last year.

"A Gehry-designed  project in his hometown of Santa Monica, CA"

Forty years into his career, celebrated architect Frank Gehry has never designed a project in his hometown of Santa Monica, CA.

That would change under a proposal by a local development team headed by M. David Paul Associates and Worthe Real Estate Group, which has unveiled a proposal to build a 125-room hotel and residential property, a museum and 30,000 square feet of retail in downtown Santa Monica.

The project by architect Frank Gehry would be the first developed by the celebrated building designer in the town long associated with his practice: "After 25 years, I am excited to finally design a project in my hometown of 40 years," he said on a web site presenting the project to the public.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

1918 Fokker DR.I Triplane

Designed by Dutch designer Anthony Fokker, the Fokker D R, I Triplane was Germany's response to the new Sopwith Triplane that appeared over the Front in early 1917.  By late 1917 The Dr.I Triplane was in full production by the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke and wreaking havoc over Europe in the Great War.  Although its time in operation was very short the Triplane was the most iconic airplane of World War I.  Manfred von Richthofen "The Red Baron" scored many of his 80 victories in a  Dr.I and his life was lost while flying one.  Built from scratch by volunteers at the Golden Age Air Museum in Bethel, Pennsylvania the triplane has an authentic rotary engine and  is built to full operational condition.  It is painted in the colors of Lothar von Richthofen, brother of Manfred, who also served in Jasta 11.  Lothar scored 40 victories and survived the war.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

"unrealized visions for Los Angeles"

A spiraling, 1,290-foot tower built of magnesium. A rapid-transit system with hundreds of miles of subways and elevated tracks. A comprehensive network of parks, beaches, and open spaces linked by greenbelts and parkways. These are just a few unrealized visions for Los Angeles featured in an upcoming exhibition at the Architecture and Design Museum, "Never Built: Los Angeles."

Curated by Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell, the exhibition draws on plans preserved in the region's archives to present an alternate history -- and an alternate present -- for a place where inspirational solutions to the city's problems have often been downscaled, defeated, or altogether forgotten.

Lloyd Wright's Civic Center plan of 1925.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

X Games Moto X

This is the Big One, the event that put X Games Moto X on the map. The riders compete to nail the biggest wildest tricks on a big course with multiple ramps. They get a bike, ramps, and a time limit and can try any trick they think they can pull off. They are judged by execution, style, and originality.

The Athletes Taka Higashino won Gold at X Games LA 2012 with a run featuring a never before seen in competition backflip Rock Solid double grab. He is looking to add another title at Foz, competing with Rob Adelberg Andre Villa,  Jackson Strong and Dany Torres -- shown above.

the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo in Portugal's beautiful Azores

The world's best cliff divers will be landing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean for the third stop in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2013.

Set in the remote and unique location of the Islet of Vila Franca do Campo in Portugal's beautiful Azores, this challenging stopover will truly test the mettle of the skilled competitors.

Hamster balls

Hamster balls are hollow spheres made of clear plastic into which hamsters, gerbils, degus and other small rodent pets are placed, allowing them to run around outside their cages without the risk of running away, getting lost under furniture or in walls.[1] The balls also produce an audible rumble across many surfaces, making the hamster easier to find.

Most hamster balls are made of durable, transparent plastic with air holes and a small door or lid to allow the owner to insert or remove the hamster from the ball.[2] Hamster balls are supposed to provide exercise for hamsters.[3]

Although hamster balls are designed to protect hamsters, there are hazards such as stairs and other high places from which hamsters can fall, resulting in injury or even death. So in order to protect the hamsters, the owners place hamster balls on the lower level of their house, away from any stairs.[4] Some also create a simple barrier near the stairs, so that they will not roll down the stairs.

Although hamster balls have air holes, hamsters should be allowed to take breaks and leave the ball regularly due to a lack of water that could potentially induce heatstroke or exhaustion.

Hamster and other small pet owners should also be advised that it is important to keep watch over the hamster ball at all times while the pet is inside.[1] Some hamster owners have noted that at times the ball can pick up too much speed, causing the hamster to somersault inside and potentially be injured.

Hamster balls are recommended by the manufacturers for use with hamsters, gerbils, mice, degus and small rats only; they should not be used for rabbits, chinchillas or guinea pigs, as their size and body structures are different from small rodents, posing a serious hazard to them if placed inside


Friday, August 02, 2013

"the longest gloved ring battle on record"
Jack Burke (1869–1942) was a boxer who fought in the longest gloved ring battle on record in the late 19th century.

Burke went 111 rounds with Andy Bowen in New Orleans on April 6, 1893, in a bout which lasted seven hours and 19 minutes. The marathon fight was called "no contest" by referee John Duffy when neither man could continue. Burke broke all the bones in both of his hands and considered retiring after the fight, but chose to continue competing.

The boxer died at Mublenberg Hospital in April 1942.

" the world's most expensive hotel "

The hotel, which has 2,560 rooms costing from £350 a night, was officially opened in 2010 with a concert by Diana Ross.

The Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, estimated to have cost £2billion when it opened in 2004, was previously the world's most expensive hotel.

But with its indoor canal, opulent art, casino, outdoor plaza, convention centre, theatre, crystal pavilion and museum shaped like a lotus flower, the Marina Bay Sands has taken its crown.

Waterfront redevelopment remains a passionate topic in Redondo Beach

Redondo Beach officials late Tuesday pushed ahead with efforts to revitalize the city's waterfront, agreeing to launch an environmental review of a proposal for a new hotel, movie theater, shops, restaurants and more.
The City Council's 3-2 vote also extends an agreement with the El Segundo firm that was selected last fall to spearhead the eventual overhaul of King Harbor and much of the city pier. Since then, CenterCal Properties has held eight meetings to gather community feedback.

Waterfront redevelopment remains a passionate topic in Redondo Beach, where officials have been talking for at least a decade about making changes to the town's aging harbor and horseshoe pier. And that was apparent by the spillover crowd that showed up Tuesday night at City Hall, where many people stood waiting for hours outside the council chambers and watched the meeting on a television set that had been rolled out onto the sidewalk.