Environment, Zocalo Public Square »

Photos: Fishing off the Santa Monica Pier

Posted November 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
DSC_0292

On the lower deck of the Santa Monica Pier—below the Pacific Park solar-powered Ferris wheel, Inkie’s Pirate Ship ride, and oceanfront West Coaster—there’s a quiet community of fishermen and women.
Many tourists from the top deck stare at the anglers with awe. Fishing is these folks’ art. And it looks much easier than it actually is. The Santa Monica Pier fishers don’t make much. One …

Environment, News »

In the desert, ‘clean energy’ is a dirty word

Posted November 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
IMG_0788

On a rural stretch of Navajo Road outside Apple Valley, a mile or so from the nearest neighborhood of ranch homes, sit two shiny new farms that could be the future of the Southern California desert. Inside an eight-foot chain link fence are row after row of industrial-sized solar panels. Outside the fence, native brush and desert critters show what the land looked like before the …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews »

How Shazam is changing the music industry

Posted November 21, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
shazam effect

Here’s a question for you: Have you ever been listening to KCRW – or, yes, any radio station in your car – or stood inside a bar or music store and heard a song you wanted to identify, and then whipped out your phone and Shazam’d it?
Shazam is an app – and there are others out there as well – that listens to a …

Environment, Issues, News »

Searching for urchins and restoring a kelp forest

Posted November 20, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Kelp Forest

A decimated giant kelp forest in Southern California is making a comeback after volunteers removed almost two million sea urchins that devour the plants.
The Bay Foundation reports that the first year of the program has restored about 12.5 acres of kelp forests along the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The new forests have attracted all kinds of sea creatures – including Garibaldi, bass, spiny lobster, and …

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Environment, Zocalo Public Square »

The true-life (insect) cannibals and murderers of LA

Posted November 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Pseudacteon amuletum. Photo credit: Phyllis Sun/ Natural History Museum of LA

As you get into your car in the parking lot of the Trader Joe’s in Silver Lake, you might just be within arm’s reach of cannibals. Not the human kind – but the insect variety.
Inside a wasp that is buzzing around a nearby bush dwells a bug known as the twisted wing parasite. These tiny insects are genetically close to flies and resemble nothing …

Arts & Culture, Environment, News »

Interview with Bill Nye The Science Guy

Posted November 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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Earlier this year, a debate took place between Bill Nye the Science Guy and creationist Ken Ham at the Creation Museum in Kentucky. The debate was watched by millions and raised questions about the merits of creationism and whether scientists can still believe in God. (Nye says God, sure, but not creationism). Since then, Nye has written a book in response to that debate called …

Arts & Culture, Dogs of LA, economy, Environment, Health Care, Interviews, News »

Rethinking the future of Auschwitz

Posted November 6, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
"Thinking the Future of Auschwitz" | IDEA Office | www.ideaoffice.net

The word “Auschwitz” has come to mean more than just the concentration camp in Poland. It’s shorthand for the horrors of the Holocaust, and proof of man’s capacity for extreme inhumanity to man.
But nearly 70 years after the Second World War ended, there’s an ongoing debate among historians, architects and archaeologists about how to properly preserve the site of the atrocities, specifically the neighboring …

California Elections, Environment, Interviews, News, Warren Olney »

Interview with Democratic Candidate for State Controller Betty Yee

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
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The State Controller is the Chief Financial Officer for the state of California, and is tasked with accounting for every dollar spent. Current Controller John Chiang is termed out this November, having served in the post since 2007, and Betty Yee is the Democratic Candidate for his position. She sat down with Warren Olney to talk about her campaign.
Yee claims that her more than …

Environment, News »

Can hydrogen cars beat electric?

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
Driving his hydrogen-powered Mercedes-Benz SUV test vehicle, Loki Efaw, an IT manager at a bank, is a rare breed . There are only about 200 hydrogen cars on the streets of California. Efaw chose to lease the car, which is part of test by Mercedes,  because of his environmental convictions and interest in trying new technologies. (Photo: Saul Gonzalez)

California has big plans for hydrogen fueled vehicles in the coming years as part of its effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.
If your high school chemistry didn’t stick, here are some hydrogen facts: Sitting first on the periodic table, it’s the most abundant element in the universe, the raw material responsible for thermonuclear reactions in stars, including our sun. And, of course, when …

Environment, Issues, News »

Three coyotes killed in Seal Beach eradication effort

Posted October 14, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
coyote

A controversial plan by the city of Seal Beach to trap and kill coyotes has netted three of the animals in its first week.
Despite impassioned protests from animal rights activists, the City Council agreed last night to continue the program for three more weeks.
The program was adopted after residents claimed that coyotes were killing their pets and becoming increasingly bold.
The Orange County Register reports …

economy, Environment, Food, News, Water and the Drought »

Vintners finding sweet solace in California drought

Posted October 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
napa-VINEYARD

The drought is beginning to take a heavy toll on California’s agriculture industry – but one group of growers is grateful for a silver lining.
The Wall Street Journal reports the drought will help make some of the best wine that Napa and Sonoma counties have produced for some time.Vintners say the dry weather has led to smaller and tastier grapes. It’s also triggered earlier …

Education, Environment, News »

NASA’s JPL opens its doors

Posted October 13, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
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This weekend, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory held its annual open house, inviting the public to explore the grounds of the La Canada-Flintridge facility for two days. This was JPL’s first open house in two years as budget cuts kept the doors shut last year.
Thousands strolled from building to building at the college-sized campus to learn about current missions, future endeavors and poignant reflections of JPL’s history in exploring the …

California Elections, economy, Environment, Issues, News, Politics, Water and the Drought, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Cashing in on political popularity

Posted October 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

President Obama exited Los Angeles just as he came in: making money for Democrats, and migraines for West LA drivers.
In his 24 hours here, the president toured a business in Santa Monica, speaking about an economic recovery for millennials, designated as national monument 340,000 acres of San Gabriel Mountains land and attended two separate fundraisers.
One of which was at actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s home.
Obama has attended 30 fundraisers in Los …

Environment, Issues, News »

Irish rocker (still) seeking ok to build malibu mansions

Posted October 8, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
theedgedevelopment

U2 guitarist The Edge – a.k.a. David Evans – doesn’t give up easily.
After years of rejection from the community and state officials, the Irish rocker is now on the verge of receiving approval to build five mansions on an undeveloped Malibu ridge.
The California Coastal Commission is meeting in Newport Beach today, and it’s scheduled to vote on a scaled down version of the plan …

Environment, News »

Santa Barbara beaches reopen after shark scare

Posted October 6, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
greatwhite

Three Santa Barbara County beaches have reopened after a pair of encounters between sharks and people last week.
A surfer suffered injuries to his knee and cuts to his hands and other body parts when he was attacked by a great white shark off of Wall Beach, on Vandenberg Air Force Base. Experts say the shark was 8 to 10 feet long. That attack prompted …

Bad Driving, Commentary, economy, Environment, Interviews, Issues, LA Noir, Politics, The New Mayor, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Is LA making traffic inroads?

Posted October 3, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

I don’t know where you are right now… but if you’re reading this, chances are you’re close to a web page that will show a geographic freeway map of Los Angeles.
And the 10, 110, 101 or 405 may not be cooperating with your travel plans.
But is it getting better, or are Angelenos still languishing in congested ridiculousness, with no end in sight?
Laura J. Nelson …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, News »

Photos: Traversing Australia with camels

Posted October 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
When Robyn and her caravan reached the Indian Ocean nine months and 2000 arduous miles later, the camels were thunderstruck at the sight of the ocean. They had never seen so much water. They would stop, turn to stare at it, leap sideways, look at one another with their noses all pointed and ridiculous, then stare at it again, then leap forward again. Bub went straight in for a swim. He had not yet learnt what caution was.  © 2014 Rick Smolan/Against All Odds Productions

37 years ago, National Geographic – known for its iconic photographs of nature and its inhabitants – sent American photographer Rick Smolan on a strange and life-changing assignment.
His job was to document the travels of a 27-year-old Australian woman across the desolate outback there.
Robyn Davidson was accompanied only by four camels and a dog.
And Rick Smolan.
The 9-month, 1700-mile journey was captured in Davidson’s astonishing …

economy, Environment, Issues, Water and the Drought »

Drought taking a bigger toll on California agriculture

Posted September 29, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
farms-drought

Harvest time is starting to arrive at farms across California. And many of the state’s key crops are expected to be smaller this year than usual because of the drought.
The water shortage has led to shrinking yields of everything from rice, corn and hay to almonds, pistachios and oranges. The drought already prompted an early harvest of the state’s grape crop, which is expected …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Issues, Politics, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: American identity, deconstructed

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

America means many things to many people.
Our nation is an amalgam of ideas from myriad perspectives. And those perspectives often get drowned out in a sea of ideology and noise (see: cable news).
This week, Zocalo Public Square, along with the Smithsonian, is asking what it means to be American. With essays and exhibits ranging from the patriotic to paternalistic, from purple mountains to brown …

Environment, Issues, News, Water and the Drought »

Tumbleweeds ready to roll in Southern California

Posted September 25, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
TUMBLEWEED

The Los Angeles area is seeing something it hasn’t seen for some time: an infestation of tumbleweeds.
L.A. agriculture officials say the unusually high number of tumbleweeds blowing through the county is drought related. Dry conditions have allowed the plants to crowd out other vegetation like mustard and castor bean. Fire officials worry that the traveling weeds will lodge against homes and other structures and …

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