Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Los Angeles: 101 Slow Jam

February 10, 2016

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti delivered the bad news about traffic slowdowns last weekend with a Slow Jam, backed by the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band from Boyle Heights. The 101 freeway was closed for 40 hours to allow demolition of the 84-year-old 6th Street Bridge. A replacement bridge will be completed in 2019.

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Cults of Silicon Valley

May 22, 2015

Cults of Silicon Valley

“In 2015, cults are being discovered and rebranded in Silicon Valley as a way of modeling the twenty-first century corporation. ‘You should run your startup like a cult,’ one of Silicon Valley’s most successful investors, Peter Thiel, advises …. For Thiel it is the very excesses of cultish sociality, that have typically been proscribed and demonized, that make it useful for business. ‘Taking a merely professional view of the workplace, in which free agents check in and out on a transactional basis, is worse than cold: It’s not even rational,’ Thiel argues, working to transform the cult from a social model typically associated with irrational, decadent, violent excess to what Thiel argues is the most rational way to model a startup business.”

— “Cults at Scale: Silicon Valley and the Mystical Corporate Aesthetic,” Kate Losse, DisMagazine.com

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Laboratory Cheese

August 26, 2014

Laboratory Cheese

Bay Area biohackers are trying to figure out how to make cheese without involving cows or other animal moms. A joint team from Counter Culture Labs and BioCurious is planning to make Vegan cheese by “milking” modified yeast cells, microscopic fungi. They’ve crowd-sourced $26K, almost double what they asked for. Obviously, Vegans really miss pizza.

“Wait!” you say, “Generically Modified cheese?” No, the baker’s yeast will be modified but the milk proteins will be separated out.

But it takes 6 to 10 pounds of animal milk to make a pound of cheese. We wonder if there could ever be enough yeast milk in the world to produce an economically viable volume of these laboratory Vegan cheeses. If it can be done, potential customers include Vegans, the lactose-intolerant, and observant Jews (Kosher cheeseburgers, anyone?).

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Appeals Court Turns Down Donald Sterling’s Suit to Keep the Clippers

August 14, 2014

Appeals Court Turns Down Donald Sterling's Suit to Keep the Clippers

Donald Sterling’s effort to obtain a stay of the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team was denied by California’s 2nd Court of Appeals. So Steve Ballmer now owns the Clippers, and Donny Sterling will just have to take his $2 billion dollars and go home.

Update:

“Steve Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to focus on L.A. Clippers,” Benjamin Snyder, Fortune

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Donald Sterling, Clipped

May 2, 2014

Donald Sterling, Clipped

“Ball Is in the N.B.A. Owners’ Court,” Harvey Araton, New York Times

“The Clippers, Like Many NBA Teams, Have a Majority-Minority Fan Base,” Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight

“Why Would The NAACP Honor Donald Sterling Anyway?” Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR

“Head of LA NAACP resigns after Donald Sterling scandal,” AP via CBS News

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Tarnished Sterling

April 29, 2014

Tarnished Sterling

“The Non-Sports Fan’s Guide to Donald Sterling,” Jordan Sargent, Gawker

“Your Complete Quotable Guide To Decades Of Donald Sterling’s Racism,” Timothy Burke, Deadspin

“NAACP won’t award Donald Sterling,” Darren Rovell, ESPN.com

“Donald Sterling: Slumlord Billionaire,” Dave Zirin, The Nation

“The NBA’s Ownership Society,” Josh Levin, Slate

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Bakersfield

October 18, 2012

Recently, Mark Bittman described California’s Central Valley as a “land of oil derricks, lowriders and truck stops with Punjabi food.”

That lower “oil derrick” stratum is built out of Okies, Texans & Arkies. They came to work in agriculture and the oilfields and some stayed to make music. Homer Joy (1945-2012) wrote the song “Streets or Bakersfield” in 1972 for Buck Owens, who nailed the “Bakersfield Sound” in the 60s. Dwight Yoakum covered the tune in 1988 as a duet with Buck and added Norteño accordion player Flaco Jiménez. Probably needs a new version with added Hmong Đàn môi (jews harp) and Punjabi rebab or harmonium.

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Cream, Sugar, and None of Your Hipster Talk

August 17, 2012

Cream, Sugar, and None of Your Hipster Talk

San Francisco’s Four Barrel coffee house offers weekend alfresco coffee service at a counter in the alley, but apparently the customer chatter irks the neighbors. The java joint’s Barrista General has plastered the walls with directives for drinkers: No talking about “annoying hipster topics” or who you slept with last night.

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New Year for the GLBT Museum

December 27, 2011

New Year for the GLBT Museum in SF

Among the many celebrations this season, the museum of San Francisco’s GLBT Historical Society marks its first year of operation. From the website:

“Often referred to as San Francisco’s ‘queer Smithsonian,’ the GLBT Historical Society houses one of the world’s largest collections of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender historical materials. The society’s new GLBT History Museum is the first full-scale, stand-alone museum of its kind in the United States.”

More:

“GLBT museum celebrates fight for social justice.” Steven Short, KALW-FM

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Beach Boys Re-Play

December 17, 2011

Beach Boys Re-Play

Southern California has a new senior citizen employment program. The Beach Boys will embark on a 50-date 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour starting in February in support of “Celebration,” their new album. Group frontman Brian Wilson will turn 70 during the tour.

“Daddy, who are the ‘Beach Boys,’ and what’s an ‘album’?”

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