Posts Tagged ‘California’

Tumbling Tumbleweeds

April 23, 2018

Tumbleweeds are tumbling all over Victorville, California, home of the old Roy Rogers Ranch. The town is buried in the things after wind gusts of 35 to 70 mph swept the thorny brush balls in from the high desert. The thorns will rip your hands if you don’t wear gloves, and the dry, accumulated brush is a fire hazard.

“Tumbleweeds — which, for many, only exist in movies or shows about the Wild West — have a history of invasion. Known as the Russian thistle, the invasive weed is thought to have been introduced to the U.S. in the 1870s through contaminated flax seeds brought by Russian immigrants to South Dakota. Once the plant matures, it breaks off at ground level and spreads seeds by tumbling with the wind.”

— “‘A nasty nightmare’: Homes in California, Utah invaded by prickly tumbleweeds again,” Allyson Chiu, Washington Post

More:

“Attack of the giant tumbleweed: California town swamped in invasion” Rory Carroll, The Guardian

“‘Houses Disappeared’ When Tumbleweeds Rolled Into This California City,” Amy Held, NPR

Related:

“The Weed That Won the West,” Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, National Geographic

 

Video: “Tumbling Tumbleweeds,” written by Bob Nolan, recorded by Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers, 1934.

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Bummer, Dude. Global Warming Will Swallow Good Surfing Beaches.

July 21, 2017

Bummer, Dude. Global Warming Will Swallow Good Surfing Beaches.

“It may seem that stronger storms and swells would be a boon to surfers. But as with many aspects of living in a changing climate, the outlook is far more complicated.

As a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey predicts, by 2100 many of Southern California’s most popular surfing spots could be subsumed beneath rising seas. Others could simply wash away.” 

— “California May Lose Popular Surfing Spots to Rising Seas,” Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian

West Coast surfers will have to hit the beaches of North Carolina, where sea level change is against the law.

More:

“Will Climate Change Wipe Out Surfing?” Sam Kornell, Pacific Standard

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Image (“The Great Wipeout Off Kanagawa, after Hokusai”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 28, 2016

2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is back in Washington DC, June 29th to July 4th and July 7th to July 10th. You’ll find it on the National Mall between Fourth and Seventh streets, north of the National Air and Space Museum. The free festival features Basque culture of the Old World and the Americas (music, dance, craft and foodways), music of California, and the cultural impact of Immigration.

The festival schedule is here. See you on the line at the food concessions.

Festival map. Festival blog.

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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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Image (“Dashboard Savior in a Prius”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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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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International Banana Museum

February 18, 2013

The International Banana Museum is located in Mecca, California. 17,000 banana-related items are on view, and banana flavored treats and banana-related gifts may be purchased.

International Banana Museum
98775 Hwy 111
North Shore, California 92254

Friday through Monday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Fred Garbutt, proprietor.

Directions: Nine miles south of Mecca, on the southbound side of Hwy 111. Look for the old-style Skip’s Liquor sign; the museum is in the building next to it.

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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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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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Court Strikes Down California Gay Marriage Ban

August 4, 2010

Court Strikes Down California Gay Marriage Ban

A federal judge has ruled that a California ban on same-sex marriage violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. “Proposition 8,” the “California Marriage Protection Act,” had restricted marriages in the state to opposite-sex couples.

Excerpts from Judge Vaughn Walker‘s  136-page ruling:

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