569 posts tagged with california.
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Sex, Drugs, Guns, Death (California Edition)

There are 17 propositions on California's ballot this year (average is 18). According to the L.A. Times, California voters will be asked on Nov. 8 to sort through the longest list of statewide propositions since the PlayStation 2 was on the market and the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl. Trying to make sense of each of them is going to be a project, so here we go, one by one. First links are to the official ballot measures. Controversial measures have more links. Add to the discussion with more links in comments. [more inside]
posted by Sophie1 on Oct 17, 2016 - 103 comments

"It should be dead, but it's not. Just like a ghost."

The mystery of California's ghost redwoods may have been solved.
Brilliant October sunshine filters through the high forest canopy, where the silver-green needles of healthy trees soak up rays and turn them into fuel. But the albino tree lacks chlorophyll, the green pigment that allows plants to make food from light via photosynthesis. It is incapable of the one thing that all trees must do to live.… The mystery of the albino redwood has stumped researchers for more than a century. The trees are so improbable that those who haven't seen them up close sometimes question whether they can exist at all. But Moore is convinced that this ghost story has a scientific solution - one that should change how we view not just the albino trees, but also the entire forest.
[more inside] posted by Lexica on Oct 7, 2016 - 26 comments

She was the PTA mom everyone knew. Who would want to harm her?

FRAMED: A Mystery In Six Parts. The LA Times' Christopher Goffard brings you a truly bizarre bit of true crime, involving planted drugs, PTA moms, sexy firemen, self-published novels, cold-blooded revenge, and a whole lot more. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Aug 31, 2016 - 104 comments

The worst of the worst.

Where the Death Penalty Still Lives. In the U.S., 20 states and the District of Columbia have abolished capital punishment and four others have imposed a moratorium on executions. Of the 26 states that remain, only 14 handed down death sentences last year for a total of 50 across the country — less than half the number six years before. California, which issued more than one-quarter of last year’s death sentences, hasn’t actually executed anyone since 2006. A new geography of capital punishment is taking shape, with just two percent of the nation’s counties now accounting for a majority of the people sitting on death row. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 25, 2016 - 18 comments

Due Process

A Family Matter. Each year, California’s child protective services agencies remove thousands of kids from their homes. Some parents decided to fight back.
posted by zarq on Aug 19, 2016 - 64 comments

Bucolic for visitors, but less so for those working on them.

Fruits of labor: sunny California is no paradise for farm workers (slTheGuardian)
posted by Kitteh on Aug 15, 2016 - 16 comments

"Welcome to last year."

Last summer, the Rocky Fire, followed by the Valley Fire, followed by the Jerusalem Fire, tore through Lake County, California. Yesterday, the Clayton Fire began. Now, just over 24 hours later, the fire is at 2000 acres with 5% containment, and has destroyed most of Lower Lake. Thousands are evacuating in a small community that is primarily low-income families, and there are reports that the elementary and high school are burning. Once again, the traditional news organisations are less useful than Twitter in distributing updates, videos, and devastating pictures. Many people following the fire on Twitter have had to teach the traditional media how to use Twitter. [more inside]
posted by guster4lovers on Aug 14, 2016 - 24 comments

$4,100 Gets You 6 Almonds

"During one of the hikes, she sat down in the middle of the trail and refused to go any further. She was screaming and crying, and then the trainer sat down next to her and realized she was high. Later, the program directors discovered she had a cache of pot brownies in her room. (Edible marijuana products were not on the DO NOT PACK list, specifically.)" Inside The Ranch 4.0 "wellness retreat" where celebrities and the wealthy drop in for long weekends of brutal exercise and just enough food deprivation to feel ecstatically light-headed.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 2, 2016 - 74 comments

What if it's an egg sac of some sort?

Scientists fight crab for mysterious purple orb discovered in California deep. The E/V Nautilus team are working 5,000ft below sea off Santa Barbara, analysis has revealed a foot and proboscis, making it ‘a gastropod of some kind
posted by Lanark on Jul 30, 2016 - 56 comments

New gun regulations in California and Hawaii

This past Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed new gun control legislation for California, enacting bills that limit magazine capacity to 10 bullets; require a background check for those purchasing ammunition; and restrict the lending of firearms, and other effects from the six bills he signed, while vetoing five others. These laws further set California as one of the top states for gun laws, though gun rights activists area already saying they won't comply with the laws. But California wasn't the only state to act, with a recently passed law Hawaiian law placing gun owners into a national database, which expands the existing federal system known as "Rap Back" to track ongoing criminal history reported on individuals holding positions of trust, such as school teachers.
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 3, 2016 - 168 comments

Displacement for the Many and Homesteading for the Few

"America has always been about displacement for the many and homesteading for the few. Our national optimism allows us to see this as easily as it allows us to deny it. We believe things can change. We believe they already have. We believe it’s up to us, and we believe it’s our fault if we can’t." Carvell Wallace writes about The Negro Motorist Green Book and Black America’s Perpetual Search For A Home for The Toast.
posted by ChuraChura on Jun 29, 2016 - 14 comments

"Beautiful country burn again."

"This is not about Patricia Hearst. It is about me and the peculiar vacuum in which I grew up, a vacuum in which the Hearsts could be quite literally king of the hill." Joan Didion's notes for a never written story about the Patricia Hearst trial.
posted by Kattullus on May 4, 2016 - 4 comments

How do I stay

In his documentary "the Drew", about a summer basketball league in South Central Los Angeles, 2-time NBA all star Baron Davis uses a basketball league to convey the compassion and the loyalty that allowed him to go from South Central to an exclusive Los Angeles high school to U.C.L.A. and the N.B.A. without leaving home.

“It is a ’hood story and it’s a positive ’hood story,” Davis said in a recent interview. “There’s good stuff in our neighborhood: good people, good leaders, good mentors. That was the beauty of the film.
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 3, 2016 - 3 comments

age quod agis

How Jerry Brown Quietly Pulled California From The Brink [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 20, 2016 - 43 comments

Booming Business

Scrapper, directed and produced by Stephan Wassmann, is a film about a group of survivalists, desperadoes, and range runners who risk their lives scavenging scrap metal from exploded and unexploded ordnance from the impact areas of the U.S. Navy and Marines Aerial Gunnery Range in the Chocolate Mountains of southeastern California.
posted by mattdidthat on Feb 17, 2016 - 18 comments

UNiversal ARticulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science

Meet Unarius, the world's most stylish UFO reincarnation cult.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 30, 2016 - 37 comments

Sacramento Meditations

Jeff Enlow photographs the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Behind the Levees (with video) [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 14, 2016 - 12 comments

Native ants are diverse; they're beautiful.

Argentine ants altering California's ecosystems as homeowners give them shelter The Kentucky woman found herself waging war on a freezer full of Argentine ants. Thousands of them had set up shop inside the appliance's insulation, and a steady stream of tiny bodies poured out of the cracks to forage in the kitchen. "There was a fortress within the freezer walls," said Cliggett, who set out baits but still spent nearly an hour a day wiping up the fallen soldiers' carcasses.
posted by Michele in California on Jan 9, 2016 - 67 comments

Nobody walks in LA, and for fleeting moments, no one drives there either

Some years back, Matt Logue photoshopped cars and people out of Los Angeles street scenes for a photo series titled Empty L.A. (see also, previously). More recently, Alex Scott has been wandering around L.A. freeways in the middle of the night to catch moments where the roadways are empty.
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 7, 2016 - 13 comments

Who’s Been Killing the Feral Peacocks of Palos Verdes?

A string of peafowl deaths has the neighborhood divided. Over the years the Retzes had seen a handful of dead peafowl, usually casualties of old age or coyote attacks. But the bird in front of Kurrasch’s house was different. Even peacocks, which are lousy at flying, don’t simply plummet to their deaths.
posted by headspace on Jan 6, 2016 - 25 comments

"The leak accounts for 25 percent of daily greenhouse gas emissions"

Two months in, Porter Ranch [California] gas leak compared to BP Gulf oil spill: More than 1,800 families have been relocated by the gas company and more than 1,000 remain on a waiting list. Some say they can’t remember a displacement of residents this large since the Northridge earthquake in 1994, when 20,000 people were left homeless. Two local elementary schools have been impacted, with nearly 2,000 schoolchildren and staff slated to be moved to other schools in January. Enough methane gas is being released to fill the Empire State building each day, state officials have said, and the concern has even reached the Federal Aviation Administration, which issued temporary flight restrictions over the area for small aircraft and helicopters. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jan 2, 2016 - 51 comments

"There's the Jamaican bobsled team, so TAKE THAT, stereotypes!"

Black Folk Don’t...” is an open conversation that invites everyone to take a second look at the grey areas between us all, no matter the race, and most importantly to do it with a sense of humor. This documentary web series is a special presentation of BlackPublicMedia.org, directed and produced by Angela Tucker, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Did you know that black folk don't… [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 17, 2015 - 14 comments

My Dark California Dream

My Dark California Dream. Confusing one’s own youth with the youth of the world is a common human affliction, but California has been changing so fast for so long that every new generation gets to experience both a fresh version of the California dream and, typically by late middle-age, its painful death. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Nov 30, 2015 - 51 comments

Say Hello To My Little House

The four-bedroom/nine-bath house at 631 Parra Grande Lane in Montecito has been sold. Built on ten acres in 1906, El Fureidis--originally called Gillespie Estate or Gillespie Palace--is one of five homes designed by American architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. If you're not familiar with El Fureidis and its long and dignified history, here's a tour, and a video of an infamous owner's wedding.
posted by mattdidthat on Nov 29, 2015 - 31 comments

DeMille's Lost City

“You have lost your mind,” telegraphed Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount Pictures. “Stop filming and return to Los Angeles at once.” DeMille refused. “I cannot and will not make pictures with a yardstick,” he wired back to the studio. “What do they want me to do?” he was rumored to have said, according to Higashi. “Stop now and release it as The Five Commandments?” Excavating the "City of the Pharoah," the biggest set ever built for a Hollywood film in the 1920s. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 18, 2015 - 10 comments

The $700 billion man

- 2014 gubernatorial candidate for the state of California... [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Nov 17, 2015 - 20 comments


"San Bernardino is the poorest city of its size in California, mired in its fourth year of bankruptcy. Industries left, the middle class shrank, the working poor struggle to rise and the destitute fall. Yet there are people in San Bernardino who work tirelessly to resurrect the city for the next generations. Although their paths are different, their trajectories meet at the same question — can San Bernardino be saved?"
A slow, powerful documentary by photojournalist Liz O. Baylen about a sad, desperate city not far from here.
posted by growabrain on Nov 8, 2015 - 20 comments

Reader, I married them...

Tuesday night, after Amy Poehler had wrapped up her interview with Carrie Brownstein at a Pasadena, California event to promote Brownstein's new memoir, Hunger Makes me a Modern Girl, they turned to the audience to ask if anyone had any questions for Carrie. Two young women, Kendall and Genevieve, raised their hands and asked if Brownstein, who recently became a licensed wedding officiant in California, would marry them. She said yes.
posted by Toekneesan on Nov 5, 2015 - 19 comments

Last Mass and the Canonization of Junípero Serra

"In some ways I see it as my personal protest of Father Serra and his anticipated canonization." In light of the recent canonization of Father Fray Junípero Serra by Pope Francis yesterday, (the first canonization ceremony to be held in the United States and Serra being the first native saint of the Balearic Islands), it seems a good time to recommend Last Mass a new book by former Californian, current Georgia, (USA), resident, Jamie Iredell. [more inside]
posted by Francis7 on Sep 24, 2015 - 18 comments

"It’s almost like a parallel government structure has been created."

Who's Funding Kevin Johnson's Secret Government? — Deadspin's detailed report on a developing scandal involving Sacramento, California mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson's alleged misuse of the power of his office to benefit for-profit charter schools. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Sep 19, 2015 - 53 comments

North America: timelapse in 4K

An 8:44 long timelapse in 4K resolution on Vimeo and YouTube. Includes Yosemite, Yellowstone, Olympic, Banff, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Acadia, Rocky Mountains, Mesa Verde, Arches, Mount Rainier, Mount Revelstoke and Zion. Also Seattle, Los Angeles, Vancouver, St. Louis, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Plus Mount Rushmore, New Orleans, Toronto, Boston, Calgary, Springdale, Three Rivers, Pagosa Springs, Swift Current, New York, Niagara Falls, Lake Palourde, Keene Lake, Horseshoe Bend, White Mountains, Hobson and the Mississippi River. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 19, 2015 - 17 comments

California is STILL burning

After two devestating fires - Rocky and Jerusalem - Lake Country is hit again. This time with the Valley Fire. Lake County is an hour north of Napa in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has spent the past three months more or less constantly on fire. In just under seven hours, the fire has burned an estimated 20,000 acres. This time, it's heading straight for two of the larger communities in the area: Middletown and Hidden Valley Lake. Four firefighters have been treated for second degree burns received while fighting this new, explosive fire. [more inside]
posted by guster4lovers on Sep 12, 2015 - 108 comments

“It allows for individual liberty and freedom, freedom of choice,”

California Legislature Approves Assisted Suicide [New York Times]
In a landmark victory for supporters of assisted suicide, the California State Legislature on Friday gave final approval to a bill that would allow doctors to help terminally ill people end their own lives. Four states — Oregon, Washington, Montana and Vermont — already allow physicians to prescribe life-ending medication to some patients. The California bill, which passed Friday in the State Senate by a vote of 23-14, will now go to Gov. Jerry Brown, who will roughly triple access to doctor-assisted suicide across the country if he signs it. Mr. Brown, a former Jesuit seminarian, has given little indication of his intentions.
posted by Fizz on Sep 11, 2015 - 35 comments

Bay Gold: the brand appropriate to a junior vice-president of GT

Big Pot: the California Democratic party added marijuana legalisation to its party platform - "Earlier this year Founders Fund, a venture capital firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, led a $75m investment round into Privateer, a private equity group focused on cannabis. It is the biggest single investment in the US cannabis industry to date: 'What Privateer is doing is looking like a Procter & Gamble or a Coca-Cola approach. The real value in the market is going to be having the Coke-calibre brand...' Meanwhile, a distinctly California-style backlash is already growing [and] the US has become an exporter of illegal cannabis to Mexico, as cultivation in the US has increased." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 18, 2015 - 73 comments

California is burning. What the hell are you going to do about it?

The Rocky Fire, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, has defied projections and containment for more than a week. Almost 1/3 of the firefighters dispatched to California's wildfires are working on the Rocky Fire, which is over 100 square miles and only 40% contained. Last weekend, aided by the hot, dry weather, the fire doubled in size in five hours. This fire season has been one of the worst in California, particularly because of the drought and years of budget crises. It is so big that the smoke can even be seen in space. "'It has gone in every direction with intensity,' including downhill said Scott Upton, a unit chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and an expert on fire behavior. 'It’s like an amoeba.'" [more inside]
posted by guster4lovers on Aug 6, 2015 - 38 comments

Mile... Mile & a Half

"Mile... Mile & a Half" is the answer that hikers give when you ask 'How far from here to there?', according to this documentary: Five artists/friends left their daily lives behind to hike California’s historic John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. The trip lasted 25 days and was funded by a successful kickstarter campaign a few years ago. The movie will wake the wanderlust feelings in you, and is available on the usual channels.
posted by growabrain on Jul 21, 2015 - 11 comments

Mystery meat, bologna soup and maggots

What it’s like to actually eat the food in Oakland County Jail.
posted by ellieBOA on Jul 16, 2015 - 37 comments

"one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country"

California Gov. Jerry Brown signs new vaccination law, one of nation's toughest "The bill, one of the most controversial measures before the Legislature this year, was introduced because of concern about low vaccination rates in some communities and an outbreak of measles at Disneyland that ultimately infected more than 150 people." (LA Times) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 30, 2015 - 182 comments

L.A. To Nepal

America’s first responders, California Task Force Two follows disaster around the world.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 20, 2015 - 1 comment

"I call it the war on suburbia."

As California's drought worsens, those who live in Rancho Santa Fe — one of the wealthiest communities in the US — seem to agree: "We’re not all equal when it comes to water."
posted by a lungful of dragon on Jun 14, 2015 - 153 comments

Lowest ebb and highest tide

Hiking from Death Valley to Mount Whitney - the Lowest to Highest Trail.
posted by Chrysostom on Jun 9, 2015 - 19 comments

After Water

Susie Cagle writes about California's drought impact on the people of Porterville
posted by boo_radley on Jun 3, 2015 - 18 comments

The market is as wide open as a walk-in closet in a sprawling McMansion

George Zimmer Starts an 'Uber for Tailors' - David Gelles, NYT
"Mr. Zimmer, whose net worth has been estimated to be $150 million to $800 million, is the chairman and the financial force behind zTailors. Other people and wealthy families have contributed money to the start-up, he says, but no venture capitalists are involved, despite the Oakland, Calif., company’s proximity to Silicon Valley.

In recent months, zTailors has been in stealth mode, operating in several major cities around the country, and it already has 600 tailors signed up. The plan is to be operating in all 50 states by the end of the year, with more than 1,000 tailors."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 1, 2015 - 53 comments

Santa Monica says "Later, dude!" to AirBnB

Tuesday night, the Santa Monica (CA) City Council unanimously passed one of the most restrictive laws in the nation on short-term rentals. The ordinance (which strengthens and enforces laws already on the books) explicitly bans vacation rentals – rentals of 30 days or less where the primary occupant of the home or apartment is not present – while legalizing and taxing “home-sharing” – i.e. renting a couch, spare room or backyard cottage - providing at least one of the primary residents lives on-site throughout the stay. Santa Monica (pop. 92K) receives over 7 million visitors annually; Salvador Valles, the city's acting chief administrative officer for Planning and Community Development, estimates the number of available listings on home-share sites would go from 1700 to 300. The ordinance goes into effect June 15. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 14, 2015 - 80 comments

The Vine Nerds

But to a growing cadre of A-list winemakers, there’s actionable intelligence in the data. Many of Fruition’s clients are altering their irrigation techniques, turning laggard vineyards into top performers and using far less water than they ever imagined. Along the way they’re extracting lessons that could extend far beyond this rarified corner of agriculture. By gaining insight into the relationships between water, sunlight, yield, and taste, Fruition Sciences is showing the way for farmers of all stripes to increase productivity and quality in a world of shifting weather patterns and decreasing supplies of freshwater.
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 10, 2015 - 18 comments

So many more stories of fascinating and brilliant women to be told

"Every one of these sites is worthy of visiting." Sophia Dembling highlights U.S. women's museums and sites for The Toast. Related: Women in Game Developement, a recently opened exhibit at the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment in Oakland, California. This exhibit features the work of early developers like Roberta Williams, Carol Shaw, Amy Henning, and more — see MADE's webpage for full list and game screenshots.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on May 1, 2015 - 5 comments

Compton's cowboys: the urban oddity of Richland Farms

When [Griffith Dickenson Compton, a Methodist minister and leader of a temperance group] donated his land to incorporate and create the city of Compton in 1889, he stipulated that a certain acreage be zoned for agricultural purposes only -- thus Richland Farms was born.
This isn't such a unique thing, except Richland farms is still focused on agriculture, while the rest of Los Angeles County became urbanized. It's here you can find Compton's cowboys who support the Compton Jr. Posse, which focuses on ranching, riding, education and outreach. And if you watch the rodeo circuit, you might have seen Tre Hosley representing his community. You can read much more about Richland Farms and its residents in KCET's online Communities series.
posted by filthy light thief on May 1, 2015 - 10 comments

Water Table

California's crippling drought has prompted conservation efforts, such as replacing grass lawns and minding how long you leave the tap water running. But what about the food on your plate? Agriculture uses 80% of California's water supply, and producing what you eat can require a surprising amount of water. The LA Times' Interactive Water Footprint tells you How much water is used to produce your food? [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Apr 22, 2015 - 42 comments

Slip, sliding along

The Town That Creep Built
In Hollister, Calif., fault creep shows that no matter what we create the earth will keep on doing what it wants. If we're lucky, our concrete will serve to mark the changes we cannot stop.
posted by dame on Apr 19, 2015 - 31 comments

The Local Eyes Project

The Local Eyes Project is an effort to explore the Americas through the eyes of 12 local residents in Canada, the United States, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, by sending them a disposable camera and asking them to take "travel photos." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 10, 2015 - 3 comments

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