Finally, to finish off clearing the links, here’s the potpourri of what remains:
- From the Umm, No Department: Forbes has an article on Dinner in the Sky, a dining experience that features a 200-foot-high crane that hoists a 22-person table 150 feet into the air, where “sky chefs” and flighty mixologists serve a four- or five-course meal as you dangle over LA Center Studios in Downtown LA. Just looking at the pictures gives me the willies.
- From the Color Me Home Department: It turns out the color you paint a room can have a significant effect on your home’s resale value. Lifehacker recently shared a study conducted by Zillow that analyzed photos from over 50,000 sold homes. Paying close attention to the colors of main rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, dining room, and living room, Zillow found that homes with yellow kitchens sold for around $1360 above their expected values, while homes with white kitchens fell an average of $82 short of their estimated values. The data also showed that homes with oatmeal or beige-colored bathroom walls came in $283 over value, while light green to khaki-colored bedrooms yielded an average of $1331 above expected value, and terracotta living rooms translated to around $793 less when all was said and done. One of the biggest discrepancies was with dining room paint colors, where shades of purple could put sellers $1122 above expected values, but certain shades of grey could place them $1122 below estimates.
- From the Free Concerts Department: If you have used Ticketmaster, free tickets (or at least some discounts) may be in your future. Log into your Ticketmaster account, and look for active vouchers. I did, and I had quite a number. However, all of the current free concerts were sold out; even if they weren’t, nothing was of interest. I might use their ticket discounts, however, for a future Hollywood Bowl event.
- From the Card Check Department: The DOD may be getting rid of the Common Access Card. It turns out that the barcode on the front contains PII, unencrypted.
- From the I Gotta Go Department: Do you think we should have this at our next Golf Tournament? A golf club that you can pee into for those times on the course when you just gotta go.
- From the Paying Your Dues Department: Our Men’s Club has eliminated dues, going instead to voluntary contributions — and it has been successful. We’ve tried to persuade our congregation, but no luck so far. Here’s an article on Ner Simcha, a Westlake congregation that has bit the bullet and eliminated dues. They are going on faith that it will work. At Temple Ner Simcha, everything will be free, including classes, services, events and High Holidays.
- From the Speed Monitoring Department: Have you been driving down the freeway, and seen a “Speed Observed by Aircraft” sign, and wondered if it was just a decoy. Wonder no more: It isn’t, but your odds are low of being caught unless you’re stupid.
- From the God Bless You Department: It appears the Ashman/Menken musical based on the Vonnegut novel “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater” may be revived. With James Earl Jones. Wow.
Continuing with my post-Hollywood Fringe Festival (FB) clearing of the links, here are some articles with some interesting historical notes:
Now that the Hollywood Fringe Festival (FB) is over, save for the encores, and now that the writeups are done, it’s time to start clearing the links. Here are some accumulated links from the last two weeks related to food:
Before I start writing up this week’s Fringe shows, let me clear out a bit of news chum. Here are a bunch of articles, all related to Los Angeles (the city I love) and its environs:
- Interchange Transformance: “A Simple Change Transformed One of LA’s Busiest Intersections Into One of its Safest“. At one intersection in Hollywood, LADOT made a simple change and dramatically transformed the intersection’s safety profile. What did they do? They changed Hollywood and Highland into a scramble-crosswalk interchange.
- Finding Food in the City: “Urban Foraging: Unearthing The Wildcrafted Flavors Of Los Angeles“. One wouldn’t think you could find food growing wild in Los Angeles. You can… if you just know where to look.
- Bar-be-que Yum Yum: “12 Smoky Barbecue Destinations in the San Fernando Valley“. What’s most interesting is that I don’t know most of these, and they omitted a number of my favorites. I still think their first item is overrated. In general, their choices for the west, central, and east valley are just bad or non-existent. What places do I think of? I wrote a bunch up in a February post, although it looks like Roger’s may have succumbed to the Pho-King Curse of Kenny Rogers. Related to the main BBQ article is this list of “Four New School Barbecue Options to Try Right Now in LA“
- Lovin’ the Valley: “70 Things to Love About the Valley“. Ah, the valley. Where it is going to reach over 115 this week! But the valley is still a great place to live, and the article demonstrates why.
- Burmese Food: “New Silver Lake Restaurant Finally Brings Burmese Food To Los Angeles“. While we were in Berkeley, our daughter took us to a Burmese restaurant. Interesting food. One just opened in LA; we’ll have to give it a try.
- Development the First: North Hollywood / “Here Are the Two Possibilities for Huge Transit Hub Development“. They are talking about doing some massive development in and around the North Hollywood Red Line station. It is just going to be miserable while they do it, and I’m not sure I’ll like the results.
- Development the Second: Westchester / “340 Acres Near LAX Getting Total Overhaul“. Over near the airport, the community of Westchester may also see new development: this time, it is the space that is between the residential neighborhood and the runways.
- Development the Third: Burbank / “Revealed: Big Plans to Redevelop the Burbank Ikea Site“. There is a massive overhaul coming up to the Burbank Mall and the soon to be former Ikea facility. There’s going to be the new-style residential/business mix (first major residential push in Burbank in a while). There will also be an attempt to re-think and re-work the mall.
- LA Theatre News: Two theatre related items. In the first, LA Stage Alliance has announced an Allies program for those that aren’t member theatres. I’ve signed up for it; hopefully you will as well. Second, it has been announced that Hamilton’s Phillipa Soo will be the lead in the upcoming Broadway version of Amalie. Why is this LA news? Amalie will be getting a pre-Broadway tryout in Los Angeles with Soo.
- For CSUN Lovers: Lastly, seen on Facebook: A Sweatshirt that says “Never underestimate an old woman that went to CSUN“. I’d get one for my wife, but she’s not old.
This is another busy weekend, so I should probably put this pot of news chum on the stove to simmer. What’s in it? A collection of articles and other items I’ve seen on the web this week that have stuck in my head. Let’s lift the lid and find out what is in this pot:
- “The Ever-Tightening Job Market for Ph.D.s“. It is graduation season. This means that metric tonnes of newly minted graduates with Bachelors, Masters, and PhDs are going to be flooding the job market, and in many professions, it will be bad for the PhDs. The linked article talks about a recent report finds that many newly minted Ph.D.s complete school after nearly 10 years of studies with significant debt and without the promise of a job. Yet few people seem to be paying attention to these findings; graduate programs are producing more Ph.D.s than ever before.
- “How Unions and Regulators Made Clothing Tags an Annoying Fact of Life“. Clothing tags. Those things at the back of your shirt that annoy you. Did you ever wonder where they came from? Wonder no more.
- “Bookstore down: Mystery and Imagination & Bookfellows in Glendale“. Another independent bookstore bites the dust: Mystery and Imagination, which was across the street from another recent closure, Brand Books. Although some independent bookstores are thriving, others are closing… and it is a sad thing. Amazon may be great for music, but it is a pain for discovering new books. It is not just bookstores that are closing: Orphaned CDs, which was around the corner in Northridge, has been put on the market, sold, and moved to Sunland.
- “Offbeat L.A.: A Cherry on Top- Fosters Freeze, the History of California’s Original Soft Serve“. I had never realized that Fosters Freeze had originated in Los Angeles, the product of an attempt to bring Dairy Queen to LA. I’ve enjoyed them over the years (particularly, the fudge dip that crunches afterwards). Interesting read.
- “Want to Make America More Inclusive? Start With Stamps“. I used to be a stamp collector. I guess I still am, although I haven’t updated the collection in years. Stamp collecting has gone out of favor as a hobby, with the advent of self-adhesive stamps (that don’t soak off), pre-printed postage, and the decline in physical mail. Stamps are interesting, and have always been a reflection of a country in its values. The linked article looks as how America and other countries demonstrate their inclusivity through the images they put on their stamps (and the people that end up collecting them).
- “Pacific Bus Museum in Fremont: showcasing a piece of Bay Area history“. I’m into transit history: be it trains, planes, automobiles or buses. I’m a member of a train museum, but I haven’t seen a similar attempt to save buses. Well, until I read this article.
- “Going to Universal Studios Hollywood with food allergies“. As a reference for those attending this year’s ACSAC — an article on dining at Universal with allergies. Alas, the picture isn’t the greatest at the present time. Disney still wins hands down in this competition.
This is a busy weekend, with the start of the Hollywood Fringe Festival (we’re seeing 5 shows this preview weekend), a Bat Mitzvah this morning, a MoTAS meeting with Erin speaking tomorrow, and picking up the new car tomorrow afternoon. So its probably best to clear out the accumulated links before all the posts related to the above begin:
- “Op-Ed: History isn’t a ‘useless’ major. It teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty more of “. Although perhaps grammatically challenged (ending a sentence with a preposition), a good point is being made: History teaches loads of skills, including the ability to think critically. It also teaches its students to see that simple solutions are often not the right answer; life, like history, is often complicated by a myriad of factors. As the article notes: “A historian, however, would know that it is essential to look beyond such simplistic logic. […] The utility of disciplines that prepare critical thinkers escapes personnel offices, pundits and politicians (some of whom perhaps would prefer that colleges graduate more followers and fewer leaders). But it shouldn’t. Labor markets in the United States and other countries are unstable and unpredictable. In this environment — especially given the expectation of career changes — the most useful degrees are those that can open multiple doors, and those that prepare one to learn rather than do some specific thing.” An op-ed piece well worth reading. PS: If you want to exercise the critical thinking skills of a history major, especially one that knows Yiddish, Jewish Studies, and Native American studies, I know of one looking for work.
- “Op-Ed: Why I hate Waze“. I agree with this article quite a bit. The point is not that Waze is useless, but our growing dependence on it and similar aps is leading people to lose their connections with where they live. Waze reduces navigation to points on a map. It is not a substitute for knowing your city, how it is laid out, the neighborhoods, the character. As the author writes: “Navigation, to me, is what the city is all about, and not just navigating the streets but the people. It’s one of the secret thrills of urban living, knowing how to get along, how to carve a passage amid the millions with whom we share the territory. […] This is why I avoid the apps; they strip us of authority, adaptability. They replace the subtleties of memory, of hard-won knowledge, with a device whose skills are generic — even, at times, incorrect.”
- “Date of First Riviera Tower Implosion Confirmed: June 14“. And more Vegas history goes down into a pile of rubble. The Riviera is one of the last hotels still standing from 1950s Vegas. All that will be left on the strip will be the two-story wings of the Tropicana. Next is Caesars and Circus-Circus, dating to the 1960s. I’m not arguing to save the Riv — that ship has sailed. Rather, this is a recognition that Las Vegas is a town where the past is bulldozed, tilled under, and reborn. Vegas does not create memories that can be revisited; it creates experiences that are lived in the moment.
- “There’s an Art Deco Airport Lying Ruined in Brooklyn“. Name your New York airports. You probably think JFK, La Guardia, and Newark. How about Floyd Bennett Field, New York’s first airport in Brooklyn. This article is a fascinating exploration of that field, which is still standing. “Long before JFK and LaGuardia, there was Floyd Bennett Field, New York City’s first municipal airport. Designed in stunning Art Deco style, it was once the most modern airport in the world, a glittering gateway into America’s principal metropolis. Many of the leading aviators of their day started daring adventures here during the golden age of aviation—pilots like Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh and Roscoe Turner, the latter of whom flew with a lion cub as his co-pilot. […] But today many of the old hangars lie empty and abandoned. The deserted control tower looks over runways covered in weeds.” Fascinating read; c’mon 99% Invisible, how about a story?
- “How The FAA Shot Down ‘Uber For Planes’“. The sharing economy. We’ve seen apps for sharing unused space in cars, unused space in houses, and unused spaces at the dinner table. What about that unused seat on a private aircraft? The links in this discussion explore a startup that tried to address that space… and that got shot down when the FAA said it was a common carrier and would need to follow all of the rules of the big boys. Yet another example of the laws not catching up with our technology.
- “((( How Twitter Is Teaming Up to Mess With the Nazis )))“. You may have seen the articles going around at the end of the week about a Chrome App that was being used by White Supremacists to identify “Jewish names” on the Internet so they could attack them. This app surrounds Jewish names with ((())) [the app has now been pulled by Google]. This article, which might be OBE, explores how a group of Twitter users decided to combat the antisemites in a different way: by everyone — Jewish or not — putting (((around))) their names. As the article noted: “It’s worth noting that the internet’s anti-Semites hate when their culture is appropriated by their opponents.”. How they must have felt when “It turned out a lot of people—not just Jews—liked the idea. Some anonymous accounts even outed themselves as Jews to show solidarity. Muslims, Christians, and Hindus changed their names to show their support. As of now, hundreds of accounts have appropriated the Nazi symbols as their own.”
- “Audio fandom: exploring the ambient noises of stfnal spaceships“. Have you ever watched Star Trek, and thought about the background noise? The Enterprise had a distinct hum (at least in TNG), which was very different than the background noise on DS:9. Those noises come from somewhere, and this article is an explanation of that “where”. It discusses how the sound and art designers come together to create an almost subliminal image statement about the ships.
- “How a Lost Marx Brothers Musical Found Its Way Back Onstage“. I know, you think I’m talking about the Marx’s interpretation of Chekov’s The Bear, as seen in “A Day in Hollywood, a Night in the Ukraine“. I’m not. There’s another Marx musical — one that has been unseen since the 1920s, when it was the Marx’s first show. This article explores how “I’ll Say She Is” — the first Marx Bros. musical (before Cocoanuts), which has been reconstructed and is about to reopen off-Broadway.
- “The Long Quest to Find Ashkenaz, the Birthplace of Yiddish“. As I type this, I’m digitizing some Yiddish cassettes for my daughter. Have you ever wondered where Yiddish might have come from? Where the “Ashkenaz” in Ashkenazi comes from? “The place name Ashkenaz occurs three times in the Bible, but by the Middle Ages the exact origin of Ashkenaz was forgotten. Because of the migration of the Ashkenazic Jews it later became associated with Germany. This led to all German Jews being considered “Ashkenazic”, a term which was then applied to central and eastern European Jews who follow Ashkenazic religious customs and who speak Yiddish.” This article attempts to explore that question, and is a very interesting read.
- “How to Listen to and Delete Everything You’ve Ever Said to Google“. You might not have realized it, but Google records and keeps everything you say: “Every time you do a voice search, Google records it. And if you’re an Android user, every time you say “Ok Google,” the company records that, too. Don’t freak out, though, because Google lets you hear (and delete) these recordings.” This article explains how to do that.
- “City Museum: A 10-Story Former Shoe Factory Transformed into the Ultimate Urban Playground“. If you are ever in St. Louis, this is a fascinating place to explore … and isn’t just for kids. “Housed in the former home of the 10-story International Shoe Company, the sprawling 600,000 square-foot City Museum in St. Louis is quite possibly the ultimate urban playground ever constructed. […] So what can you find at the City Museum? How about a sky-high jungle gym making use of two repurposed airplanes, two towering 10-story slides and numerous multi-floor slides, a rooftop Ferris wheel and a cantilevered school bus that juts out from the roof, subterranean caves, a pipe organ, hundreds of feet of tunnels that traverse from floor to floor, an aquarium, ball pits, a shoe lace factory, a circus arts facility, restaurants, and even a bar… because why not? All the materials used to build the museum including salvaged bridges, old chimneys, construction cranes, and miles of tile are sourced locally, making the entire endeavor a massive recycling project.”