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It's a small town after all.

Charles Phoenix's Disneyland Tour of Downtown Los Angeles... featuring Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. Feel like taking your own walking tour of Downtown? Here you go. But hey, why not stop and gorge yourself on a giant pancake breakfast at The Pantry first, just because? Open 24 hours a day, it hasn't closed since 1924 so the doors don't even have locks. Just like Disneyland!
posted by miss lynnster on Apr 21, 2007 - 25 comments

The Traveling Rings of Santa Monica Beach

The Traveling Rings At Santa Monica Beach
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 5, 2007 - 12 comments

There are no windows and no doors. Of course, there's always MY way out.

Virtual Space Mountain! Wheeeee! (Click on the second video where you sit in front. What are you, a wuss?) Real video just can't do Space Mountain justice, but it does a pretty good job of capturing some other rides. Feel like revisiting some original Magic Kingdom rides without leaving home? Well here you go... Pirates, Mr. Toad, Small World, Haunted Mansion, Tiki Room, Thunder Mountain, Star Tours, Indiana Jones, Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Cruise, Matterhorn, Roger Rabbit, the late Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse and a bunch of people covered in lightbulbs dancing to the world's most excruciatingly annoying synthesized music. During your virtual day at the park, please just remember to watch out for Goofy. That dude is nothing but a messed up troublemaker. And don't forget... the parking trams do not go to aisles B as in Bambi & C as in Cinderella.
posted by miss lynnster on Mar 26, 2007 - 23 comments

The Salton Sea

Jonson takes pictures of The Salton Sea, which is a strange place, like some kind of huge, perpetual, Burning Man, but by a huge, salty, polluted, manmade lake with distant shores, dying fish, has-been resort towns, Salvation Mountain, fundie dinos, fountains of youth, and nice churches. [via mefi projects] [previously] [howdy]
posted by brownpau on Jan 30, 2007 - 36 comments

Economic States

California = France? Norwegian bløgger Carl Størmer (via THE BIG PICTURE) made a U.S. map substituting the state names for other countries of equivalent GDP. Some of the substitutions are funny: Illinois = Mexico? Texas = Canada? New Jersey = Russia? Hawaii = Nigeria? Oregon = Israel? But your economic mileage will vary: apparently California no longer has the "sixth-largest economy in the world", no matter what The Governator says. Wikipedia chimes in, while some Californians don't want to be bothered with facts.
posted by wendell on Jan 16, 2007 - 39 comments

Mr. Universe's muscular agenda

California's Governor Seeks Universal Care: Under a plan by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California would become the largest state to attempt to provide near universal health coverage.
posted by kliuless on Jan 8, 2007 - 53 comments

You can't get there from here.

On May 17, 1995, Shawn Nelson stole a tank and took it for a little drive (Google Video, YouTube).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 15, 2006 - 36 comments

The Cliff House Project

The Cliff House was San Francisco Mayor Adolph Sutro's amazing 7-storey Victorian chateau built in 1896 and destroyed by fire in 1907. The Cliff House Project (photos) has a large and absorbing database of related material. [via the indefatigable gmtPlus9 (-15)]
posted by peacay on Dec 14, 2006 - 14 comments

An Otter Family Album

An Otter Family Album — for over 20 years, zoologist/educator J. Scott Shannon has been observing the "Clan", five generations of ocean-going river otters living in the bay [YouTube] below the historic town of Trinidad on California's northwest coast.
posted by cenoxo on Nov 13, 2006 - 25 comments

Why not just sue the drivers?

NewsFilter: California launches lawsuit against automakers for causing global warming. via
posted by knave on Sep 20, 2006 - 42 comments

"Everything is foggy. Everything is not clear. He was alive when we got to the other side. And now I have brought him back dead. Whatever hopes we had, that's where they ended."
The Summer of the Death of Hilario Guzman (BugMeNot)
posted by matteo on Sep 3, 2006 - 13 comments

Forestiere Underground Complex

In the early 1900's, Sicilian immigrant Baldasare Forestiere moved from New York the San Joaquin valley, California. Working alone during his spare time and using only hand tools, he spent 40 years sculpting an underground home and garden [Real] that's a work of art and architectural engineering known today as the Forestiere Underground Gardens. [Gimages]
posted by CodeBaloo on Aug 19, 2006 - 11 comments

Darlene Rockey's walk of pain

"I choose to hang on to the anorexia" (requires Flash, disturbing images)
posted by matteo on Aug 17, 2006 - 45 comments

Prophets and Profits on the Burning Shore

From organically-farming Zen centers to celebrity-cultivating Scientology centresTM, California is a seedbed of the most earnest (and most frivolous or worse) branches of spiritual inquiry. What's in the water in the Golden State that has made it The Visionary State? In an interview with editor Geoff Manaugh of the excellent BLDGBLOG, author Erik Davis -- whose published passions have ranged from an analysis of Philip K. Dick's "divine invasions" to erudite musings on Led Zeppelin's fourth album to an ode to the joys of being a teenage bongeur -- talks about the formerly chic devil-worshipper Anton LaVey, Beat Zen, Aldous Huxley, the Watts Towers, and beyond, with great photos by Michael Rauner, who collaborated with Davis on the new book.
posted by digaman on Aug 10, 2006 - 30 comments

Shake It

ShakeMovie The Near Real Time Simulation of Southern California Seismic Events Portal. Earthquake animations from Caltech.
"These movies are the results of simulations carried out on a large computer cluster. Earthquake movies will be available for download approximately 45 mins after the occurrence of a quake of magnitude 3.5 or greater."
posted by thatwhichfalls on Aug 9, 2006 - 2 comments

More pain at the pump?

Prudhoe Bay oil production shut down. A large percentage of the largest major oil field in the US will be shut down, possibly for months, on news that the transfer pipelines which move the oil to the main Trans-Alaska Pipeline are badly corroded. [more inside...]
posted by zoogleplex on Aug 7, 2006 - 39 comments

Read all about it!

Extra! Tabloid photographs from the Los Angeles Herald Express (1936-1961), showing celebrities, fashion, tragedy, (early) CHiPs, and babes with guns. Via the Virtual Gallery at the LA Public Library, which has many other fine exhibits, such as California in the 20s, the 1932 Olympics, celebrity golf, and a wonderful collection from the golden age of travel posters.
posted by Gamblor on Jul 28, 2006 - 15 comments

Toxic Water in Demand

"It's filthy. It's toxic. But it's water. And as we know in California, people are fighting over it." It's North America’s most polluted river, made up of 70% waste material and raw sewage. The New River, which starts in Mexicali, Mexico, flows past homes in the California border town of Calexico and winds up in the Salton Sea. The river contains a nightmare stew of about 100 biological contaminants, volatile organic compounds, heavy metals, and pesticides including: DDT, PCB, selenium, uranium, arsenic and mercury. The scary part? It's enough water for about 300,000 homes. Filthy or not, that’s real water. So L.A.’s Metropolitan Water District has filed a claim on New River water.
posted by thisisdrew on Jul 6, 2006 - 38 comments

Now leaving Potato Land.

Spirit was an American jazz/hard rock/psychedelic band founded in 1967, based in Los Angeles, California. Their 1970 album Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus is highly regarded for originality and uniqueness and is considered by many to be one of the best albums made by a Los Angeles group [source]. Among the many bits of fascinating rock trivia surrounding the group: founder and frontman Randy California jammed with a pre-fame Jimi Hendrix. Curious fans can also peruse unofficial sites for original members and founders Randy California and Jay Ferguson.
posted by joe lisboa on Jul 3, 2006 - 39 comments

"If I allow the fact that I am a Negro to checkmate my will to do, now, I will inevitably form the habit of being defeated".

The Jackie Robinson of architecture. An orphaned African American boy from downtown Los Angeles, Paul Revere Williams wanted to be an architect, and when he mentioned his career goal the high school guidance counselor ”stared at me with as much astonishment as he would have had I proposed a rocket flight to Mars... Whoever heard of a Negro being an architect?”. Therefore, Williams learned to read and draw upside down -- he knew that white clients would not sit next to him -- graduated from USC and in 1924 became the first certified African American architect west of the Mississippi. In a 50-year long extraordinary career, he designed landmarks like the Theme restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport (with Welton Becket), the LA County Courthouse, the Hollywood YMCA, Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, restored the Beverly Hills Hotel. Some of his most interesting buildings, like the La Concha Motel in Las Vegas have either been razed to the ground or, like the "Batman house", aka 160 S San Rafael mansion in Pasadena, have been destroyed by fire. Now, Williams' historic Morris Landau House has been cut into 21 separate pieces and sits in a Santa Clarita storage yard, rotting away. More inside.
posted by matteo on Jul 2, 2006 - 25 comments

Rocking and rolling... California style!

San Andreas primed to "explode." Growing up in SoCal, we constantly practiced earthquake drills in anticipation of the "Big One." Now, new evidence suggests that the Big One will be even worse than we all feared. At the moment, everything looks calm though. People say we're crazy for living in either San Francisco or Los Angeles, of course we think living in New Orleans is crazy too. But cities are rebuilt. And no matter where you go, you really can't escape natural disasters. Besides, some of the biggest earthquakes in the United States were in Missouri! In any case, Forbes compiled a list of the safest and least safest places to live in the U.S. in regards to natural disasters. Apparently... we should all move to Hawaii!
posted by RockBandit on Jun 23, 2006 - 48 comments

Duncan Hunter next on the corrupt Califonian Congressmen list?

Randy Cunningham, Jerry Lewis... Duncan Hunter?
Is Duncan Hunter - the California Congressman who staged the cynical pull out of iraq vote/stunt last spring, the next powerful washington insider to be implicated in the growing list of corrupt or questionable California Congressmen?
posted by specialk420 on Jun 9, 2006 - 13 comments

2%

2%. (bugmenot login fleeb@fleeble.com, password fleeble) That is the percentage of students in UCLA's incoming freshman class that self-identify as black. Only 96 students in an entering class of 4,852, and the lowest percentage since 1973. Many believe Proposition 209 is to blame, but some want to stop collecting this data altogether.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang on Jun 8, 2006 - 46 comments

Save the South Central Farm!

Save the South Central Farm! (video) Sure, Daryl Hannah is a little nutty, but she got behind a good cause here, helping urban farmers in LA.
posted by usedwigs on May 25, 2006 - 14 comments

What’s a dog worth?

What’s a dog worth? Los Angeles kills more animals in its shelters than any other metropolitan area in the United States. For that to change, we will have to figure out what to do with the pets none of us want.
posted by PenguinBukkake on May 13, 2006 - 56 comments

Trans-California Ramble

Walking to Yosemite from San Francisco, just like John Muir.
posted by xowie on Apr 3, 2006 - 6 comments

Rivers of Light

Rivers of Light Hypnotic night-time helicopter shots, floating over downtown LA offices and highways. From Grass Collective. Flash interface, so find your way to the fifth column from the left ('free downloads'). [Large (91MB, 146MB) zipped QT files - a smaller (12MB) sample here]
posted by carter on Mar 23, 2006 - 12 comments

"There it is. Take it."

Eighty years ago, William Mulholland completed his final project: the St. Francis Dam, which converted San Francisquito Canyon--about 5 miles northeast of what is now Santa Clarita, California--into a 38,000 acre-foot reservoir for Los Angeles/Owens River aqueduct water. You're probably familiar with Mulholland's name --he designed and built the Los Angeles Aqueduct and the beginning of the system with which Los Angeles is supplied water from the Central Valley--and as a gesture of gratitude, the city named its most scenic highway in his honor. Mulholland, the California Water Wars, the aqueduct, and the dam were also referenced and alluded to extensively in Roman Polanski's Chinatown. But the man who helped build an immense metropolis by bringing water to the desert has only a small fountain as a memorial to his legacy. Three minutes before midnight, on March 12, 1928...
posted by fandango_matt on Mar 13, 2006 - 20 comments

Through All the Lousy Luck

I first read "Ask the Dust" in 1971 when I was doing research for "Chinatown". I was concerned about the way people really sounded when they talked, and I was dissatisfied with everything else I had read that was written during the '30s. I wanted the real thing, as Henry James would say. When I picked up Fante's "Ask the Dust," I just knew that was the way those kids talked to each other—the rhythms, cadences, racism.
Robert Towne on adapting John Fante's novel for the big screen. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 4, 2006 - 17 comments

A little fiefdom, like Valkenvania.

Vernon Shoo-Ins Shoo Outsiders. A little town in which 44,000 work, but only 93 live, fights against holding its first election in decades. [bugmenot for the LA Times]
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 13, 2006 - 21 comments

Bling Bling In The Sun

This is great, California is going to be dropping some serious money on solar programs 3 BILLION!! dollars. Once you get past the idea that we spend about 6 billion A MONTH in Iraq, you will notice that this is a lot of money for a solar program. With 2005 being the hottest year on record worldwide, its about time someone (anyone) start doing something to get us off our oil addiction.
posted by stilgar on Jan 13, 2006 - 29 comments

Tipsy Tow

AAA of Northern California will give you a ride home, and tow your car for free tonight. Good in Norcal, Utah and Nevada. Have a safe one all.
posted by bitdamaged on Dec 31, 2005 - 20 comments

Christ in the Classroom

The Problem With Emily Dickenson "On August 25, six students, along with their school, Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta, California and the Association of Christian Schools International filed a federal lawsuit against the University of California where, according to the LA Times (August 27), admissions officials have been accused of discriminating against high schools that teach creationism and other conservative Christian viewpoints." One of the textbooks used to teach literature has this to say about Mark Twain: "Twain's outlook was both self-centered and ultimately hopeless. Denying that he was created in the image of God, Twain was able to rid himself of feeling any responsibility to his Creator. "
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Nov 29, 2005 - 90 comments

What is the sound of a "No Hearing Hearing"?

California holds a "No Hearing Hearing" on Diebold certification. "In June, over 200 people traveled to Sacramento to voice their concerns at a public hearing before a panel of advisors to the Secretary of State on voting systems. Since then, every scheduled meeting of the Voting Systems Panel has been cancelled, and now the Secretary has simply disbanded the VSP without notice, without hearings, without any type of due process." This isn't the only jurisdiction in which Diebold is attempting to circumvent legal requirements - in North Carolina they filed for and received a broad exemption from new disclosure rules recently passed into law. The EFF are now suing to force Diebold to comply with the law. As if that wasn't enough, an official Certification Test (PDF) for Diebold's Optical Scan voting machines confirms an earlier threat analysis test (PDF) that the memory cards on these machines run uncertified and arbitrary executable code, a charge that Diebold has vigorously denied.
posted by dinsdale on Nov 22, 2005 - 30 comments

Guvenator loses

Newsfilter: All eight ballod initiatives in the California special election fail. $250 million down the drain. Were they all bad measures, or were voters just showing their displeasure with those in power?
posted by team lowkey on Nov 9, 2005 - 107 comments

The Grapes of Wrath

European Wine Fighting For Survival
posted by Gyan on Nov 7, 2005 - 35 comments

"A snapshot in time"

WWII soldier found frozen in ice. (pics)(video)
posted by xowie on Oct 20, 2005 - 46 comments

Looking back on the Golden State

The Online Archive of California brings together historical materials from a variety of state institutions, including museums, historical societies, and archives. These materials include letters, legal documents, manuscripts, works of art, diaries, and historical photographs. Thousands of photographs.

From just the Bancroft Library at Berkeley: Artistic homes, 1887-1890, agricultural laborers, 1906-1911, the San Francisco earthquake and fire, construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Quentin Prison, and war relocation camps. And that's barely scratching the surface.
posted by Gamblor on Oct 17, 2005 - 5 comments

From Skid Row to Disney Hall

"I haven't been in a concert hall in 4 billion years". Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, 54, had been excited about an invitation to see the Los Angeles Philharmonic in action at Disney Hall. "The anticipation is horrible". He'd started showering daily at a shelter, to gussy himself up as much as possible. Nathaniel was a music student more than 30 years ago at the Juilliard School when he suffered a breakdown. Today, as he continues to battle the schizophrenia that landed him on skid row, he plays violin and cello for hours each day in downtown Los Angeles, lifting his instruments out of an orange shopping cart on which he has written: "Little Walt Disney Concert Hall — Beethoven." After the Philharmonic's rehearsal, Ayers has played Disney Hall -- the real one, this time. Without the bow at first, picking the strings with his right hand, Bach's Cello Suite No. 1: Prelude. Several Philharmonic staffers heard the music and wandered over, peering in to see a man of the streets, tattered and elegant, close his eyes and drift into ecstasy.
posted by PenguinBukkake on Oct 9, 2005 - 14 comments

Oil Prices, Giffen Goods, and the American Landscape

Running on Fumes -- a fascinating essay by the Nation's Sasha Abramsky on what rising gas prices will do to poor exurban communities.
posted by digaman on Oct 4, 2005 - 165 comments

The Anaheim Flood of 1938

New Orleans wasn't the first American city destroyed by flooding. In 1938, Orange County was devastated by over 15 feet of floodwater after two weeks of rain. 2000 were homeless in Anaheim alone after the Santa Ana river overflowed its banks. Most of those made homeless were Mexican immigrants and the flood was quickly forgotten.

An eyewitness description.
posted by huskerdont on Sep 21, 2005 - 24 comments

The Chinese in California

The Chinese in California 1850-1925. The site is poorly designed. To get to the content click Essays & Galleries. To get to the photos, click on the (practically hidden) gallery link at the top right of each short essay.
posted by OmieWise on Sep 9, 2005 - 8 comments

California passes same-sex marriage bill

California passes same-sex marriage bill The California Assembly, on a mostly party-line vote, passed Assembly Bill 849, and the California Legislature becomes the first legislative body in the country to pass a same-sex marriage bill.
posted by kirkaracha on Sep 6, 2005 - 33 comments

Modern housing

Contemporary buildings and interiors by Johnston Marklee & Associates, including The Sale House in Venice, CA, and The Hill House in Pacific Palisades
posted by growabrain on Jun 25, 2005 - 6 comments

What's my bail for a WMD offense in California?

What's my bail for a WMD offense in California? If against a person, or water or food: $1 million. But for just $100k, you can use WMDs against animals, crops, or natural resources and be out free by dinnertime.
posted by Kickstart70 on Jun 11, 2005 - 8 comments

Californian Heritage Photos

San Joaquin Valley & Sierra Foothills Photo Heritage

Includes (among other things): portraits, workers, railways, disasters, group shots, parades , native Americans and some curios.
(nearly 3000 images accessible)
posted by peacay on Jun 11, 2005 - 6 comments

Here Come The Sharks

Huntington Beach, California (Surf City, USA) is home to surfing's walk of fame and the International Surfing Museum. See the Duke with the Duke, other legends, pioneering photographers, and kings of the surf both local and international alongside other icons in the collection and exhibits.
posted by breezeway on Apr 29, 2005 - 12 comments

"He suggests living is language".

The Language of Saxophones At 55, L.A. musician and poet Kamau Daáood is finally beginning to acknowledge the possibility of his own place in local letters with his debut book of poetry, The Language of Saxophones, a 30-plus-year retrospective published by City Lights. Though he’s recorded a solo CD and read nationally and internationally, Daáood had never seen fit to collect his material in a book. Until now. “I never liked the idea of poetry sitting on a shelf somewhere, lost in all those book spines”.
posted by matteo on Apr 17, 2005 - 2 comments

AB 1147: Good for Cali

What's Matt Smokin'? (In response to "Dumb as a Potted Plant.")
posted by xowie on Apr 14, 2005 - 31 comments

John Lautner's Chemosphere: part Jetsons, part Bond and vintage L.A. Modern.

The most modern home built in the world. "From the outside it looks like a spaceship you cannot enter. But if you go inside, it feels very cozy… very Zen and calming. Maybe because you are floating above the city, in the sky". John Lautner's Chemosphere residence is the product of a fortuitous union of architect, client, time and place. Leonard Malin was a young aerospace engineer in late-1950s L.A. whose father-in-law had just given him a plot north of Mulholland Drive, near Laurel Canyon. The only catch: at roughly 45 degrees, the slope was all but unbuildable. Lautner sketched a bold vertical line, a cross, and a curve above it. "Draw it up," he told his assistant. Now publisher Benedikt Taschen owns Chemosphere (NSFW), and after 20 years of neglect the house has been beautifully restored (.pdf) by Frank Escher.
posted by matteo on Apr 7, 2005 - 24 comments

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