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Julius Shulman, photographer of iconic California architecture

NPR article and slide show of the works of Julius Shulman. If you've seen anything by Shulman, you've seen this one. Gas station buffs probably favor this. And, if this one wasn't in Playboy, it should have been! And, bunches more though a google image search. And, at 98, he's still capturing images!
posted by HuronBob on Mar 26, 2009 - 5 comments

Pirkle Jones, 1914-2009

Photographer Pirkle Jones, best known for his images of California's migrant workers and changing landscape (including a collaboration with Dorothea Lange) and his iconic Black Panther pictures, has died at 95.
posted by scody on Mar 24, 2009 - 8 comments

The Great Divorce

A new California proposition attempts to neutralize Prop 8 by substituting "domestic partnership" for "marriage" in state laws, thus leaving marriage to the Mormons and other interested parties. Getting the government out of marriage entirely has been proposed countless times before. (Previously: 1, 2, 3, 4)
posted by benzenedream on Mar 14, 2009 - 142 comments

Green Grow the Rushes Go

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is signalling that marijuana policy will now be considered a matter of state jurisdiction. For obvious reasons, medical marijuana champions are celebrating the administration's committment to depart from the Bush and Clinton eras' previous policies of conducting frequent DEA Raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in California. But with recent signs of a U.S. economy in even more rapid decline than anyone anticipated, and with California being particularly hard hit, some California politicians are suggesting the time has finally arrived to end the prohibition and put full legalization of marijuana on the table, pointing to potential windfalls in the range of a billion dollars in new tax revenue annually. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Feb 27, 2009 - 124 comments

The Audacity of Dope

With its $41 billion deficit spiraling out of control and federal judges ordering its prisoners released to relieve overcrowding, can legal marijuana save California?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Feb 12, 2009 - 82 comments

Bob Wilkins, 1932-2009

If you were a fan of late-nite horror movies in Northern California during the 1970's, you likely spent Saturday nights watching Bob Wilkins, the droll, cigar-smoking host of Creature Features. An unlikely horror-show host, Wilkins' deadpan delivery and apparent disdain for the show's films (he reguarly suggested his audience change the channel) made Creature Features a show not to be missed. Bob Wilkins passed away today after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jan 7, 2009 - 24 comments

Please don't divorce my papa and daddy.

Please don't divorce us. An emotional argument for overturning Prop 8.
posted by desjardins on Dec 26, 2008 - 112 comments

One Pair of Eyes

Architectural critic and writer Reyner Banham loved Los Angeles. (Last link is a BBC documentary, circa 1972, 52 minutes -- NSFW at 47 minute mark) [more inside]
posted by miss lynnster on Dec 1, 2008 - 2 comments

Coming to a town near you... Prop 8 Protests

Proposition 8. Saddened? Curious? Outraged? Happy? Dont Care? On Saturday, November 15 in every state across America and even in cities worldwide there will be a day of action. The response has been so overwhelming the website organizers needed to open up a sister website to handle to traffic overload. In many cases, police are being updated repeatedly by event coordinators with exponential expectations for attendees. [more inside]
posted by Glibpaxman on Nov 13, 2008 - 114 comments

Operation Arizona Bay

This morning millions of Southern Californians dropped, covered, and held on as part of The Great ShakeOut. The largest earthquake preparedness exercise in U.S. history simulates a 7.8 quake rocking the southland. [more inside]
posted by Curry on Nov 13, 2008 - 15 comments

What happens when the Big One hits?

Is Oakland supposed to...ripple like that? [more inside]
posted by rtha on Nov 12, 2008 - 63 comments

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

It's morning in America again -- but for the thousands of committed gay couples who got married in California [warning: Dan Fogelberg music, sweet visuals], the long nightmare of intolerance and hate is not yet over with the probable victory of Proposition 8. Supported by the anti-equality stances of Sarah Palin and "divinely" inspired others, and paid for by members of the Mormon Church and the mother of Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, many of the ads for Prop. 8 featured the faces of Obama and Joe Biden, who declared their opposition to the initiative but refused to support equal marriage rights for all, preferring to talk about "civil unions." Even excellent Democratic-leaning politics sites like Talking Points Memo were saturated with the deceptive ads, which overwhelmed those comparing the proposition to other forms of discrimination in California's history.
posted by digaman on Nov 5, 2008 - 720 comments

The states of marriage

Just as a California campaign for a Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (allowed since June 16, 2008) is heating up the Connecticut Supreme Court has followed suit and overturned bans on same-sex marriage in that state. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Oct 10, 2008 - 86 comments

"I can name that tune in 300 yards..."

"I can name that tune in 300 yards ..." Not for much longer, though. Honda prepared for an upcoming commercial by cutting grooves in a road in Lancaster, California. These grooves, if driven over at just the right speed and in just the right car (one guess!) should play something resembling the William Tell Overture. But once filming was done (and I'm sure the commerical will be as impeccably produced and successful as Honda's other ads), locals and tourists were left with the driver's equivalent of that huge floor keyboard in Big, with some drivers lining up to play over and over again. Result? The city will pave over the road today. But hey, we'll always have Anyang. And Japan (previously). And Denmark.
posted by maudlin on Sep 23, 2008 - 29 comments

Prop. 8 is a money boon

While millions are flowing into California on both sides of the gay marriage battle, California's anti-gay leaders are raking it in through their nonprofit orgs.
posted by nospecialfx on Sep 9, 2008 - 80 comments

Credo Quia Absurdum

E Clampus Vitus is a fraternal organization rooted in the California Gold Rush. Although some of its primary functions are beer drinking and implicitly poking fun at stodgier fraternal orders, it has also developed into a locally important benevolent organization. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Aug 15, 2008 - 14 comments

Bad medicine

The owner of a California medical marijuana dispensary has been found guilty of violating federal drug laws. [LA Times] FTA: ...jurors had a clear sense that Lynch was not an ordinary street-corner drug dealer, but the fact that he was dispensing medical marijuana didn't matter under federal law. [...] "It was a tough decision for all of us because the state law and the federal law are at odds." Detailed coverage of the trial by Reason TV. Federal raids on California's medical dispensaries were recently featured on MeFi.
posted by kid ichorous on Aug 7, 2008 - 80 comments

Carlos Is an Asian at Heart

Why do Asian-American students achieve higher grades than Latino-American students? Despite the fact that the students come from the same socioeconomic background (median annual household incomes below $50,000 in working-class Los Angeles neighborhoods), Asian-American students disproportionately get better grades, attend AP courses, and go to college than their Latino-American counterparts. Students at Lincoln High School sit down for a frank discussion of why that is.
posted by jabberjaw on Jul 23, 2008 - 234 comments

Why Learn Algebra? I'm Never Likely to Go There.

EducationFilter: California becomes the first state to mandate all 8th graders take Algebra; in part because U.S. students constantly trail their peers from other nations in mathematics. At least one person thinks it's a bad idea ("If only 25 percent of this nation ever earns a college degree, why insist that all children take algebra in eighth grade?"). Here's the algebra curriculum 8th graders will have to learn. [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw on Jul 10, 2008 - 124 comments

Bible gets sued

As the gay marriage fight unfolds in California, some gays (and others) are fighting back: one gourp is boycotting a rich hotel owner, others are standing apart and one is suing the Bible (who gets subpoenaed for that one?). Meanwhile, a key opponent to gay marriage keeps its doors open (and its ballot committee going) despite being suspended. They say they're working on it, but no changes yet.
posted by nospecialfx on Jul 10, 2008 - 34 comments

Is this really worth a shorter sentence?

Hans Reiser leads police to the body of his wife. Software engineer Hans Reiser, who was convicted in the murder of his wife, Nina, long denied he killed her. His defense was based on the theory that she was hiding out in her native Russia and her body could not be found. Today, in a possible exchange for a shorter sentence he led police to the shallow grave of Nina Reiser, just a moment's drive from the house he lived in with his mother and two children. Previously, previously.
posted by parmanparman on Jul 7, 2008 - 131 comments

Sitting With Fire

Sitting With Fire is a blog running from Tassajara, one of the oldest Zen monasteries in the US. It provides information on the status of Tassajara's residents who have stayed behind to combat the Basin Complex fire. [more inside]
posted by whir on Jul 7, 2008 - 20 comments

Wish You Were Here

Drive-through trees, Olvera Street, Knott's Berry Farm, and lots of other images and postcards of California at Image Archaeology.
posted by optovox on Jun 28, 2008 - 5 comments

Vector Portraits (1989-1997)

Los Angeles-based photographer Andrew Bush mounts a camera on the side of his car to capture freeway drivers in the southwestern United States. [more inside]
posted by dhammond on Jun 24, 2008 - 33 comments

Tough Luck

The public shaming of Orange County billionaire Henry Nicholas continues apace. While his financial crimes may not have drawn more than a passing reference, his drug use and other, more unsavory acts, have gotten widespread coverage -- as early as last year. Perhaps, it's because Nicholas was famously involved in supporting tough sentencing laws (his sister was murdered by her boyfriend in 1983.) However, some of the "tough on crime" policies he has backed as recently as a few months ago are said to unfairly worsen the punishment for those who commit crimes much less serious than those for which he was just indicted.
posted by noway on Jun 7, 2008 - 22 comments

A Friend in Weed Is a Friend Indeed

"Try Legal Weed" is the slogan printed on bottle caps made by Weed, California brewer Mount Shasta Brewing Company's latest microbrewed lager. The ATF has ordered the brewer not to use the caps, as they may "mislead consumers about the characteristics of the alcoholic beverage." [more inside]
posted by whir on May 29, 2008 - 44 comments

Coming Soon: A pink hotel, a boutique and a swinging hot spot

The [US] National Trust for Historic Preservation has released its 21st annual list of the nation's Most Endangered Historic Places. Among them: Sumner Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, (where Linda Brown tried to register for school, resulting in Brown vs. Board of Education); New York City's Lower East Side; California's State Parks; Philadelphia's Boyd Theatre, and several others. The previous 20 years of Most Endangered Historic Places can be found in the Archive. [more inside]
posted by Miko on May 20, 2008 - 16 comments

Goin' to the chapel and we're / Gonna get ma-ha-harried!

NewsFilter: The California Supreme Court has just overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriages. Read the decision.
posted by Faint of Butt on May 15, 2008 - 239 comments

Paying For The 1%

Fiscal Pressures Lead Some States to Free Inmates Early, says the Washington Post. Across the United States, a financial crisis is brewing in our nation's correctional systems. California, which has the largest prison system in the nation, (housing 170,000 inmates with a capacity of only 100,000), plans to increase the budget for new prison construction by 7 to 14 billion dollars, on top of releasing 22,000 nonviolent prisoners on unsupervised parole. Other states, especially Michigan, face an even more dire situation... [more inside]
posted by Avenger on May 5, 2008 - 41 comments

Kumeyaay Information Village

Kumeyaay.info welcomes visitors and indigenous peoples of all tribal nations and provides a casual village environment to share and network their culturally relevant creative work, information and opinions. (previously)
posted by netbros on May 2, 2008 - 2 comments

Well, I'm running down the road trying to loosen my load

A few years ago when I was visiting Alaska, one of the more interesting portions of the trip was the 45-minute drive from Anchorage to Girdwood along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. This is one of the world's rare bodies of water that features bore tides, an amazing scene. The highway is one of only 15 roads in the United States that have been designated an "All-American Road." What about some of the world's greatest highways? [more inside]
posted by netbros on Apr 17, 2008 - 17 comments

Prohibido. Caution.

Prior to 1990, over a hundred illegal immigrants died attempting to cross the I-5 in Southern California. The answer? Put up a sign, of course. The sign has been seen as racist, and sometimes as a joke. The L.A. Times profiles the man who designed the sign, a Vietnam veteran who grew up on a Navajo reservation. The sign in question has become iconic in the debate on immigration policies, and a copy of it now sits in the Smithsonian. Via Strongly Worded Letter.
posted by jabberjaw on Apr 12, 2008 - 51 comments

Wild Wolverines in Tahoe National Forest

Ferocious-looking mystery creature in Tahoe National Forest confirmed to be a California wolverine, thought to be extinct since 1922. A motion-detecting camera snapped a compelling photo behind the beast last month, and the California Department of Fish and Game just confirmed the discovery with a clear profile shot. Notably, both photos appear to show the same animal.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 25, 2008 - 53 comments

GNARBUCKET

VBS.TV presents "Epicly Latered"[~80 min, 16 parts, gnarly skateboarding], the story of John Cardiel.
posted by auralcoral on Mar 24, 2008 - 7 comments

Esalen, where "California" bubbled up

Esalen: Where "California" Bubbled Up (one photo mildly NSFW) For many others in America and around the world, Esalen stands more vaguely for that metaphorical point where “East meets West” and is transformed into something uniquely and mystically American or New Agey. And for a great many others yet, Esalen is simply that notorious bagno-bordello where people had sex and got high throughout the 1960s and 1970s before coming home talking psychobabble and dangling crystals. In short, Esalen is in every way, even geologically, California at its most extreme. It is its caricature, as well as its noblest expression.
posted by jason's_planet on Feb 11, 2008 - 14 comments

Also, make sure to bring a number two pencil

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark California. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 5, 2008 - 33 comments

Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.

Changing Times: Los Angeles in Photographs, 1920-1990
posted by miss lynnster on Jan 13, 2008 - 15 comments

Urban[e] Renewal

Postcards from Our Awesome Future. [via] An art exhibition stemming from the minds of Packard Jennings (whose illustrations have appeared in Adbusters) and Steve Lambert (of Anti-Advertising Agency fame); using San Francisco's infrastructure as a model for improvement, the duo answered the siren call of Objectivism through an arcology devoid of “...budgets, beauracracy [sic], politics, or physics”. [more inside]
posted by Smart Dalek on Jan 8, 2008 - 11 comments

Earle of the land of Imagination

4 Artists Paint 1 Tree, a segment from Disneyland included on the recent DVD release of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, features the artistic process of one of my favorite painters and cartoon modernists, Eyvind Earle. If you've seen Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp, Paul Bunyan or Peter Pan, you're familiar with the fantastical and brilliant landscapes he produces. His paintings show a particular fondness for Big Sur and Central California.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Dec 10, 2007 - 5 comments

2.2 Square Miles, Most of It 6 Feet Deep.

Colma, CA is a necropolis created when San Francisco banned burials within the city limits in the late 1800's because of space and public health concerns. A town of 2.2 square miles, 73% is devoted to cemetaries and the dead outnumber the living thousands to one. Buckethead named an album after it. There's a musical about it (sort of). Other necropolises around the world.
posted by rollbiz on Dec 7, 2007 - 22 comments

I've seen 'em come and go and I've seen them die

High-resolution images of Death Row at San Quentin State Prison, California.
posted by fandango_matt on Nov 12, 2007 - 54 comments

TroutUnderground Battles for Your River Access

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the bed and banks under all rivers, lakes, and streams that are navigable, for title purposes, are owned by the states, held in trust for the public. Mineral extraction interests and other parties often challenge this 'public use' designation by using/abusing the navigabilty designation to keep out fisherman and other recreational users in order to exploit the rivers for private gain. The Upper Sacramento River and McCloud Rivers of Northern California are the latest battleground in recreational river access. In what has become all too common, an ugly fight pitting sportsmen and nature enthusiasts against private interests is unfolding. One blogger has led the good fight to keep the rivers public. He could use your help... but it doesn't look good, and there is not much time!
posted by james_cpi on Nov 9, 2007 - 10 comments

California Burning

Pictures of California Wildfires. Some fire resources: Fire maps, Official Information and an up to the moment news blog. In related news, Twitter proves to be useful, while anger rages as evidence of arson mounts. More Photos here and here.
posted by psmealey on Oct 28, 2007 - 19 comments

California has been delta tough situation

"California has a decision to make. We either brace ourselves for long-term [water] cuts that threaten our economy and our very way of way of life, or we invest in a solution to fix the [San Francisco Bay] Delta and expand our water toolbox so we can meet future challenges head-on.” [more inside]
posted by salvia on Sep 16, 2007 - 41 comments

What. The. F*ck. Clean Air Act (2005)?

The US Clean Air Act makes it illegal to sell highly environmentally-friendly cars in 42 states. Apparently.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 4, 2007 - 42 comments

Gallery on Lockdown

You’d need years to really study these murals of Califonia’s history - the artist certainly had a lot a free time to create them. You'd probably also need a special invitation to engage in a multi-year study in the gallery - and you probably don't want one.
posted by rtha on Aug 20, 2007 - 8 comments

Mo' money, mo' legislation

Is there a link between donations given and bills passed? MAPLight.org aims to help you find out, giving you the ability to compare contributions with how legislators voted. [Via]
posted by djgh on Aug 15, 2007 - 38 comments

Give Your Heart to the Hawks

The California poet Robinson Jeffers, though once popular enough to make the cover of Time Magazine, is for various reasons now a somewhat obscure figure- however, he has attracted increased interest in recent days both for the quality of his work and his pantheistic personal philosophy, which anticipated much future environmentalist thought. [more inside, with links to poems]
posted by a louis wain cat on Aug 9, 2007 - 24 comments

That's amazing! I've got the same combination on my luggage!

California Restricts Voting Machines: after a source code review of voting machines turned up "significant, deeply-rooted security weaknesses" in voting machines by Diebold, Hart, and Sequoia, the California Secretary of State decertified all three vendors' systems. These weaknesses have been well covered here at MeFi, but some are bad enough to shock even the well-jaded, including the revelation that Diebold "uses at least two hard-coded passwords -- one is 'diebold' and another is the eight-byte sequence 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8." Time to think about open voting?
posted by jacobian on Aug 5, 2007 - 48 comments

Farms Fund Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers

Farms Fund Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers
posted by jason's_planet on Jun 26, 2007 - 27 comments

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