Slab City, CA
"is not so sinister as it is a strange, forlorn quarter of America. It is a town that is not really a town, a former training grounds with nothing left but the concrete slabs where the barracks stood. [...]
The land belongs to the state, but the state, like the law, does not bother, and so the Slabs have become a place to park free. More than 3,000 elderly people settle in for the winter, in a pattern that dates back at least 20 years." [NYT Reg Req]
posted by LondonYank
on Dec 17, 2004 -
California bill to ease "move aways" by custodial parents pulled.
Until a recent CA Supreme Court decision, it was easy for custodial parents to move themselves and their children far from their ex-spouse. The Court reversed the old rule and held that the move could be blocked if the non-custodial parent could show that it would interfere with his/her relationship with the kids. Legislation to reimpose the old permissive standard passed through the State Senate, but has now been pulled off the legislative calendar after an outcry by father's rights groups.
posted by MattD
on Aug 18, 2004 -
Having just returned to Paradise
for a little visit, I am reminded just how cool this little place is (not that I needed much reminding *whimper*), and am looking for touristy things to do here without a car. While I was on my way up on the Pacific Surfliner
train, a fellow rider told me about Santa Barbara Car Free
. Awesome! Also props to CalTrans' alliance with Amtrak in California. The trains and service and overall quality of the passenger rail system is quite a bit different from what I've experienced thus far of the stuff handled by Amtrak alone.
posted by WolfDaddy
on Aug 2, 2004 -
Getting back into the groove
: In the corner of a California university laboratory, two men are battling against time to perfect a machine that will read old recordings - using special microscopes to scan the grooves - and software that can convert those shapes into sound. Their work could bring history to life.
posted by starscream
on Jul 26, 2004 -
The Great American 'Garage Mahal'
- cars, houses and garages of the American super-sized new affluent class grow ever larger : "three separate two-car garages attached to his $750,000 brick abode: one for his son Brandon, one for his wife, Janice, and one for him. His garages' many amenities include carpeting, cable TV, speakers wired to the home stereo system and a bathroom. "I've always liked garages and I don't think you can have enough of them," " Mr. Bernard said."
posted by troutfishing
on Jul 21, 2004 -
CNN reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger is threatening to sue Bosley Bobbers
seeking to stop
production of a charity bobblehead
The doll shows the former action-actor turned Governor of
California posing in a business suit, ammo belt and assault rifle.
Arnold is arguing that he owns the marketing rights to his
likeness. The creators argue that he lost those rights when he became a
political figure. However, this seems to be a repeat of Hustler
. And courts lately have been skeptical of trademark
satire. On the other hand, there seems to be a fine line between editorial use and commercial exploitation.
posted by KirkJobSluder
on May 1, 2004 -
"Hubert Selby died often. But he always came back, smiling that beautiful smile of his, and those blue eyes of his... This time he will not be back. My saints have always come from hell, and now, with his passing, there are no more saints".
is the author of Last Exit to Brooklyn
, (tried for obscenity in England
and supported by, among many others, Samuel Beckett and Anthony Burgess), Requiem For a Dream
, Song of the Silent Snow
. He is being eulogized in the USA and UK
, but also, massively (I've just watched a fantastic TV special) in France, where he is much more popular than in his native land (Selby's death was the cover story -- plus pages 2, 3 and 4 -- in the daily Libération today -- .pdf file
): Dernière sortie vers la rédemption
, L'extase de la dévastation
. What makes all this kind of ironic -- in a very Selbyesque way -- is that Selby himself used to say, "I started to die 36 hours before I was born..." (more inside)
posted by matteo
on Apr 28, 2004 -
Two HIV Cases Put a Scare Into P9rn (LATimes)
Several major adult movie companies — including the industry's largest, Vivid — have decided to stop filming for 60 days after two stars tested positive for HIV. But other companies dismissed the plea for a moratorium, calling it "paranoid" and "knee-jerk," and vowed to keep their cameras rolling. The industry, they said, was perfectly safe."I'm against any stop in production," said a producer "It will put a lot of people out of business. You'll have people who will start losing their apartments. It's just not fair."
When do adult movies (a hugely profitable business
where unprotected sex is often performed) end being sexy and start being "Russian Roulette on dvd" scary?
The two actors who have tested positive for the HIV virus are identified as Darren James and Lara Roxx. Roxx (who's 18 or 19) had only been in the adult industry for three months
. 45 actors and actresses who subsequently either worked with James or the women he had sex with after contracting the virus, which is believed to have occurred in Brazil (where, incidentally, star and director John Stagliano
-- not completely work-safe link -- says he caught AIDS in 1997), have been identified, too. warning: except the Stagliano link, all the others are work-safe. (more inside)
posted by matteo
on Apr 16, 2004 -
The Fast and the Frustrated.
The city of Pleasanton, CA is about to install specially calibrated traffic lights which sense whether or not you are speeding. When speeding is detected, these traffic lights will change from green to yellow to red immediately, and will stay red for 10 to 30 seconds, all in an effort to stymie speeders.
posted by mosspink
on Apr 7, 2004 -
California's Tsunami Risk.
" In the open ocean, tsunami waves travel at speeds of up to 600 miles per hour... As the waves enter shallow water, they may rise rapidly. Typical peak wave heights from large tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean over the last 80 years have been between 21 and 45 feet at the shoreline... If a large earthquake displaces the sea floor near the coast, the first waves may reach the shore minutes after the ground stops shaking. There is no time for authorities to issue a warning."
40 years ago this weekend
the Alaskan Prince William Sound earthquake and its ensuing tsunami killed over 120 people -- 12 as far South as California. Nothing compared to the thousands hit in the 1998 Papua New Guinea
tsunami disaster, but still it's worth keeping an eye on California's tsunami risks
. Or the entire West Coast's activity
posted by namespan
on Mar 28, 2004 -
How We Got Homeland Security Wrong
-- If all the federal homeland-security grants from last year are added together, Wyoming received $61 a person while California got just $14, according to data gathered at TIME's request by the Public Policy Institute of California, an independent, nonprofit research organization. Alaska received an impressive $58 a resident, while New York got less than $25. On and on goes the upside-down math of the new homeland-security funding.
The TIME article uses AIR Worldwide Corp.'s Terrorism Loss Estimation Model.
posted by amberglow
on Mar 22, 2004 -
Four California activists
were arrested Tuesday while protesting the case of Kevin Cooper
, set to be executed in less than a week. Gov. Schwarzenegger denied a clemency hearing for Cooper (the first time such a hearing was denied since California re-instituted the death penalty in 1978), despite ample evidence
shedding doubt not only on the fairness
of Cooper's trial, but also his alleged guilt. Kevin Cooper is asking
people to protest
for his life.
posted by sudama
on Feb 5, 2004 -
You may be familiar with the story, reported here
, about the southern California watch maker who supplied wrist watches for Mars scientists to get to work on time
. You may not have seen these time applications that make the time story equally as compelling for the rest of us. What is interesting from a graphics standpoint is the different qualities expressed with these versions, as a table of exact times
for specific locations (this site has a lot of great detail about the mission), or as an approximate time with shadows projected on the Mars map (for Mac OS X)
Any other Mars time graphics that you know about?
posted by xtian
on Jan 23, 2004 -
LA County, leading the charge: Equipment vendors who do business with Los Angeles County received a message in November 2003 from the county's Internal Services Department (ISD) informing them that "based on the cultural diversity and sensitivity of Los Angeles County," labeling or describing equipment with the term 'master/slave' is no longer acceptable.
the slashdot comments
posted by sixtwenty3dc
on Nov 25, 2003 -
uncovers what seems to be a serious problem either with California voting machines or the vote tallying system: The Secretary of State's summary of votes
on the Davis recall shows three counties--Alameda, Kern, and Plumas--that apparently had zero
voters who didn't vote on the recall. Not one. All three counties used Diebold machines. Other counties ranged from 0.5% to 10.3% of voters not voting on the recall. More
from Rick Hasen, a top election law scholar. [Via Volokh.]
posted by monju_bosatsu
on Nov 16, 2003 -
The Kumeyaay Nation
of southern California.
'This Web site is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Kumeyaay culture. Kumeyaay.com tells the story from the Kumeyaay perspective, and is the premiere source for Kumeyaay Indian information.' With an interesting history, language and culture
posted by plep
on Nov 12, 2003 -
Santa Ana Speeds the Spread of So Cal Fires
Five separate fires are burning in San Diego County, including several densely populated suburban areas. Dozens of homes have been burned. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar has been affected, including an FAA air traffic control installation. 16,000 people in the South Bay lost electricity when a major distribution line went down. Many San Diego firefighters went up to Camp Pendelton yesterday. (1
posted by rschram
on Oct 26, 2003 -
in a free market. Southern California
is being gripped by crippling strikes by transit workers
and grocery clerks
-- both over health care -- that has stranded thousands of mostly poor commuters across Los Angeles and is expected to sap millions from the local economy.
As a person who can't drive due to a visual disability, I am personally effected by the MTA transit strike (that is rumored may last several months). State employees are not allowed to strike. Shouldn't that also be the case for essential services, such as public transit?
posted by lola
on Oct 14, 2003 -
"I will hire an outside independent auditor, free of political influence..."
Schwarzenegger breaks promise to Californians, hires Donna Arduin to head the 60-day audit of California. Arduin is "on loan" from Florida, where she is Jeb Bush's Budget director.
Arduin has been criticized by economists
and even prominent Florida republicans
for "surreal",misleading, unrealistic, and risky accounting procedures.
During her stint as Budget Director, Ms. Arduin oversaw numerous tax cuts aimed at the wealthiest Floridians, while most Floridians saw no significant decrease in taxes. Infact, today Florida has the second most regressive taxes in the nation
.The effects of these tax cuts? Unprecidented shortfalls in state tax revenues, with massive budget cuts for public schools
, child welfare
, vision services for uninsured children
Class warfare, anyone?!
posted by insomnia_lj
on Oct 9, 2003 -
Arnie wins in california,
a victory for Mr schwarzenegger. For a man whose acting ability was described as going all the way from A to B, lets hope for the sake of californians that he is somewhat more adept at politics.
posted by johnnyboy
on Oct 8, 2003 -
California voters recall Gov. Gray Davis 55-45 percent
and elect Arnold Schwarzenegger with 45 percent
of the replacement vote. That's where the money is in the Iowa Political Markets
for tomorrow's recall election. To see how well MetaFilter's pundits fare in predicting the results, I'm offering a bribe ...
posted by rcade
on Oct 6, 2003 -
If Arnold Schwarzenegger is elected California can say HASTA LA VISTA BABY to 9 billion
according to this article by investigative reporter Greg Palast. According to Palast it turns out that Schwarzenegger knowingly joined the hush-hush encounter with Ken (Enron) Lay and Michael Milken as part of a campaign to sabotage a Davis-Bustamante plan to make Enron and other power pirates then ravaging California pay back the $9 billion in illicit profits they carried off. For memories sake here are a few of the the details behind the California energy scam
in this report. Arnold has previously said that he does not remember such a meeting with Ken Lay.
posted by thedailygrowl
on Oct 4, 2003 -
The Cali candidates, Adam to Zellhoefer, are all listed at California-Recall.com
...and each gets their own page to tell you about themselves. Interesting lesser-known candidates include:
("I'm EXTRA large on top, I have a TINY waist, and my hips are JUST RIGHT!"), Joel Britton
, "retired meat packer," Art Brown
- "I started for publicity, but now that I'm running, I kind of want to run" (such enthusiasm!), William Chambers
, "railroad switchman/brakeman," Mary Cook,
an "adult film actress" who wants to tax breast implants and wire the Governor’s Mansion with live web cams ("We've had Brown, we've tried Gray, now it's time for some blonde").
Then there's Michael Jackson
(no, not that one; this guy's a Satellite Payload Project Manager), Trek Thunder Kelly
, "Business Executive/Artist," Paul "Chip" Mailander
, "Golf Professional," and Paul Mariano
- "I am the only candidate who will appoint Davis as Chief of Staff in charge of the day-to-day governance of California, the job he was duly elected to do." And many more...
posted by Artifice_Eternity
on Oct 1, 2003 -
Garret Hardin and his wife Jane were found dead last Thursday in their house of Santa Barbara (California), presumably a double suicide. His 1968 essay Tragedy of the Commons
(a critique of both communism and laissez-faire
capitalism in the light of natural resources constrains) was one of the most widely known works of this expert in population and ecology. Garret was 88 and Jane was 81 and both were in poor health. Last week celebrated their 62nd anniversary.
They were members of the Hemlock Society (now know as End-of-Life Choices
posted by samelborp
on Sep 20, 2003 -
The Gropenator will have to spin his wheels for awhile: California's Vote Delayed by Court Over Punch Cards
. And here's the kicker--it's deja vu all over again, Bizarro stylee: Bush v. Gore Outlives Its Limited Warranty for Use in CaliforniaThe Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore was meant to be a ticket good for one ride.
"Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances," the justices said in their unsigned opinion in 2000, "for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities."
Three judges on the federal appeals court in San Francisco, all appointed by Democratic presidents, decided yesterday to use it for another ride anyway.
posted by y2karl
on Sep 15, 2003 -
Metro Santa Cruz's 50 Reasons to Not Vote for Arnold for Governor
And no, none of the reasons are because of awful movies like Jingle All the Way
Real reasons like the fact that he's a chauvinist, his father was a Nazi, he used to run the President's Council on Fitness and now admits to using steroids to win bodybuilding competitions, he has no plan on how to fix the state's budget issues just that he's gonna clean house. Or the fact that he made up the story about gang raping a black woman for the Oui interview back in 77'
(think about that, he lied about participating in a gang rape, that's pretty demented behaviour).
Interesting reading and damned scary if this is the next governor of the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world.
posted by fenriq
on Sep 10, 2003 -
What Made Gas Prices Spike So Sharply in California?
One hint, it has something to do with greed and the ability to arbitrarily raise one's profit margin.
The oil refineries decided that they weren't making quite enough money so they decided to gouge California by nearly tripling their profit margin to $.69 a gallon.
My response is to say I'll vote for which gubernatorial candidate that's going to go after the corporate greedheads who seem to think its perfectly acceptable behaviour to bleed people because they can.
Are you listening Arnold
posted by fenriq
on Sep 9, 2003 -