It’s Saturday, and you know what that means: Time to clean out the accumulating links and see what sort of stew it makes:
- Risks of the Internet of Things. Working in cybersecurity, I’m well aware of the risks of the IOT: that these untrusted unprotected devices could be a stepping stone into a private network for attacks. But there’s an even larger functionality risk, demonstrated this week by Nest’s announcement that they will no longer support the Revolv hub: The manufacturer can render your expensive connected appliance useless by simply shutting down the server. Just imagine it: refrigerators and HVAC equipment that no longer works because they can’t check in to their home bases. TVs and audio equipment that fail because they can’t sync. Cars that become doorstops when their underlying site goes down.
- Expressing Your Love. Steve Julian is a long time host on public radio here in Los Angeles. He’s been fighting a losing battle — on his terms — with brain tumors. LA Observed had an interesting article on how the digital community is coming out to support Steve and keep his spirits up. We often don’t realize the value of the community we build on places like Facebook, Livejournal, Dreamwidth, and other such social sites.
- Drug Schedules. With all the talk of new rules for Hydrocodone and Oxy, I’ve been worried about impacts on the T3 I use for migraines. As such, I found this description of what the Federal Drug Schedule is and how it is determined fascinating. I was relieved to see that Oxy was in a different category than T3. Of course, most people are reading it about pot, but I’m not most people.
- The New Costco Card. Costco will be changing our credit cards from Amex to CitiVisa. In the process, they are moving to a card with outstanding deals. This might entice me to use the card at gas stations, although I’m sure that the gas rebate is less than the discount I get for the private gas company cards (which are charged like cash).
- Yiddish Roots of Hollywood/Angel’s Flying. With my daughter’s love of Yiddish, article on the subject catch my eye. Here’s an exploration of Hollywood’s Yiddish roots. If that doesn’t interest you, read about how the Angels flew to Anaheim.
- Celiac Disease and DNA. It appears they are finding more and more information about the root causes of Celiac Disease. This time, they’ve identified more of the trigger DNA sequences.
- Darwin and Drives. Thumb drives, that is. It appears that surveys show that a majority of people, when they find a thumb drive lying in the street, will plug it into their computer to find out who owns it. They do, and — blam — they are pwned. Leave the investigation of drives to the trained professionals.
- Porn Economics. Here’s a detailed article exploring the economics of porn, including the fact that most porn sites are run by one company, and that the search terms they choose insidiously propagate particular attitudes and preferences designed to denigrate. It is a fascinating read if only for that access: the tremendous amount of data these sites collect from you. Our society and our electronics used to be somewhat anonymous: your iPod didn’t report your music preference to Apple, that clerk in the adult store didn’t collect names and preferences when cash was used, payphones weren’t tied to individuals. Welcome to the world of big data, and all hail our ubiquitious all-knowing all-collecting overlords.
- Moving to Encryption. WordPress has moved to encryption by default of all wordpress.com websites. They’ve also moved to encrypting all domain names they host. This is something I need to do one of these days (once I figure out how), both for tasnorthridge-motas.org (which is homed at enomcentral but really on wordpress.com) and cahighways.org (which is homed on enomcentral, but hosted on Westhost).
If you didn’t see the earlier chum this week, they were on food and controversial subjects.
This collection of news chum may be controversial. It touches on a number of hot button topics: religion, racism, trolls, and sexism.
- To Bear or Not to Bear, A Cross Too Far. The origin of the user pic to the right is a battle from many years ago when Los Angeles County redesigned their county seal to remove the cross. A few years after that, one of few Republicans on the Board of Supervisors got it added back. A judge has just ruled that the cross must go: that a cross has no place on a county seal.
- Dress Shirts and Racism. When sizing a shirt, what questions can you ask? This was an issue faced by an internet startup that wanted men to be able to order shirts that would fit them perfectly. He started collecting statistical data, and found out that one of the best predictors was… race. He then discovered that just asking the question put him into a cultural minefield. As the article notes: “There’s no denying the satisfaction of a smartly tailored shirt. But with this one question, the once mundane world of dress shirts is now dabbling in a kind of racial profiling. Are we ready to dredge up centuries of racial strife, simply for a perfect fit?”
- The Troll Under the Bridge. Have you ever thought about the characteristics that define an Internet Troll? Boing! Boing! did, and came up with a quad chart of seriousness and sincerity. It came up with four categories that it categorized as Squares / Jesters / Worms / Trolls. It turns out, when pressed, there was a diagonal correlation: Squares to Trolls, and Jesters to Worms. A fascinating theory.
- Gaming and Sexism. I’d seen the source article on this, but Vox had a great summary of a new issue that, is in a sense, an outgrowth of GamerGate: Sexism and Tabletop Gaming. I’ve been boardgaming for years, and I haven’t seen it in the community; then again, I might just have blinders that need to be recalibrated. But I can certainly believe it in the role playing and heavy wargaming communities. We’re learning more and more about the sexism and aggression that was under the surface, that just wasn’t seen. Part of me longs for the days of my youth when we didn’t need to worry about this, but then I realize that although seeing these aggressions and problems is uncomfortable, it is necessary in order to move society above those problems.
Our life is a litany of interesting news articles, of news chum, ripe for the discussion. Shall I enumerate? I shall.
- A is for Apple. Apple turned 40 this week. Amongst the various articles out there commemorating the occasion was this one, which explored why the iPod was Apple’s definitive invention.
- B is for Bagel. LAist attempted to list the 11 best bagels in Los Angeles. They were smart enough to include my favorite on the list, Western Bagel.
- C is for Cabrillo. Here’s the first part of an interview with Lewis Wilkenfeld, the Executive and Artistic Director of Cabrillo Music Theatre, which just announced it is closing down at the end of the season. What’s interesting are the reasons for the demise: a shrinking large donor base, lack of broad community support, and problems with the attitude and management at the Civic Arts Plaza. There was one telling line: the large donors didn’t want to feel that they were the only ones supporting Cabrillo. That echos what I’ve heard at shul. Hence, I’ll emphasize the importance of giving — even if it is only $5 — to those groups you believe in. They need to know the community is there for them. Here’s the second part of the interview.
- D is for Downtown. In this case, downtown San Diego, and an interesting article on wayfinding signage. The notion is that people should look up and feel comfortable that they’re going in the right direction and have the sense that they can explore and experience the city (without looking down at a map or a phone).
- E is for Education. Here’s a map of 169 preschools that are (supposedly) too close to a freeway. This list concerned me, as our synagogue pre-school was one the list (we’re next to a freeway), and that could have an impact on the opening of the infant toddler center. First the Porter Ranch gas leak, and now this.
- F is for Frugal, as in Frugal Cooking. Here are a list of 10 Frugal Cooking Blogs: blogs that help you cook on a budget.
- G is for Gun. Here’s the stupid (or, I guess, brilliant) idea of the day: Let’s invent a gun that looks like a cell phone. Just what we need: an easier way for people to bring weaponry into inappropriate places.
- I is for Ivory. When I first went to Hawaii as a teen, I picked up some small pieces of scrimshaw, a traditional Hawaiian whaling art. But thanks to the misuse and crimes in the acquisition of ivory, scrimshaw may become an endangered art. There are plans to prohibit the sale of any ivory, even that acquired when it was legal. I’m sure it will be possible to have a synthetic substitute, but what about the existing items?
- J is for Jumping Ship, as a number of people have threatened to do if Trump (Clinton) wins. Here’s an article that shows why that is a bad idea, from the viewpoint of an American living abroad.
- L is for Los Angeles, and an exploration of how Los Angeles can shape politics. In this case, it is how Los Angeles shaped the politics of folksinger Woody Guthrie.
- M is for Money, specifically in the form of Student Loans. Here’s are some suggestions of what to do when paying your student loans is difficult.
- N is for Nipper, as in Little Nipper, the mascot of RCA. Nipper, famously, listened to “his master’s voice” on the records and radio. The article explores that history, as well as how voice commanding as moved to applications like Siri.
- P is for Park-ing. Two items here: First, how the city of LA wants to use giant paper airplanes to shade downtown’s Grand Park. Before you go WTF?, it is actually an interesting artistic idea. The second concerns the other end of the MetroRail from downtown: the various lots such as North Hollywood, which will soon no longer have free parking. Good idea, but they could have done the execution better (such as just tap and go (or take a ticket) when you enter, and when tap and go when you leave).
- R is for Radio. AM and FM radio is collapsing, thanks to folks like me who listen to their iPods, and folks like you who listen to streaming music. iHeartMedia is on the verge of collapse, and radio in San Francisco is undergoing a bloodbath with the decimation of the news team at KGO. [ETA: And the other shoe has dropped in San Francisco, with KFOG’s evisceration on the FM dial by the same owners. (h/t to Gary Cohn from camp for the link)]
- S is for Solar. For years, I’ve been getting talks to convince me to put in solar; just got one 10 minutes ago. I’ve generally felt it was a rip-off, due to the problems with the lease terms and the power companies. However, one of my credit unions had an interesting offer; might be worth exploring.
- T is for Theater. StageLA has an interesting exploration of the problems facing the mid and large theaters in Southern California. Actors Equity believes that their approach of making it economically impossible for the intimate theatre to survive will make mid and large theaters grow. Will it happen? Not when such theatre are dying on their own due to lack of support.
- U is for Underwear. Here’s an interesting exploration of how new underwear companies are trying to find a niche between granny panties and thongs. I find this an interesting economic and stylistic exploration.
- V is for Vegas. Plans have been announced for the implosion of the Riviera. Perhaps I should say two implosions, as they are doing it in two pieces. In a related note, a historic sign collector (not the Neon Museum) plans to restore the Riv’s spectacular neon (or at least some of it)
- W is for White Rage. Lastly, a very interesting article on der Trumpster. Trump has created an outlet for pent up “white rage”: the rage of the former powerful and privileged, or at least socially supported, majority in this country, who have been increasingly rankled at the ascendance of minority power and attempts to do away with privilege inherent in the system. They’ve turned to Trump, who has bluntly expressed their views. Where will that rage go when (note I don’t say “if”) Trump does not win? It may not be pretty; the civil war didn’t end at Appomattox.
- Y is for Year, as in Ugly Political Year (or You Can’t Win). In related news: Donald Trump is now the least popular politician in three decades. Less popular than Obama (who actually is at peak popularity), less popular the GW Bush, less popular than Chaney, less popular than Clinton (either), and probably less popular than even Nixon or Carter. Mind you, this is not likely to significantly change to “popular” before November, and this is that man that the Republicans will likely nominate for November. Further, if they somehow don’t nominate him, there is likely to be a party split, as he and his followers are unlikely to unite behind whomever the RNC chooses. Given that you’ve got similar splitting between Sanders and Clinton supporters, and the presumptive nominee Clinton doesn’t have strong popularity either, this is going to be an ugly ugly political year.
Before I work on the writeup from last night’s show, I want to clear out the accumulated news chum links. I don’t have the time to put them in any particular theme or order, but I’ll try to give some idea why I thought they were of interest.
- LA Metro Stations and Parking. Here are the first three Metro stations that will charge for parking. North Hollywood will be in the second batch of statements converted (I’ll edit in a link on that). What’s interesting is how the process will work, with exception tickets when you exit. I predict confusion; they could have gone with a much much simpler system (including using your TAP card to pay for the parking)
- Why Two Spaces after a Period Isn’t Wrong. Yes, it is the second eternal argument: to place one space or two after a period. It is as strong as the .9999999 repeating == 1 argument.
- Bad Reviews are So Fun. Why Gods of Egypt is Like Beast Wars crossed with Bad Internet Porn. You can thank me later.
- Feeding the Pig. Michael Johnathan over at Woodsongs had an excellent blog post called Feeding the Pig, about how arts institutions are destroying the art they claim to want to protect.
- Anthem vs. Express Scripts. Seems there is a nasty fight going on between my health insurer (Athem) and their Prescription Benefit Manager (ExpressScripts). Why do I predict there will be no winners.
- Morning vs Evening People. It seems that if you are not a morning person, you never will be. I’m a morning person. My wife isn’t.
- Why the iPod Matters? Here’s an interesting blog post on why the iPod Classic is important: it was the last of our portable devices that wasn’t tracking our every move and interest, and sending it back to the mother ship. Yet another reason I like my iPod Classic.
- Deciphering LA Parking. There may soon be an app to decipher LA Parking Signs. Could be useful.
- Jews in the News. Two interesting Jewish items. (a) 17 Yemini Jews have escaped civil war for a new life in Israel. Whatever your take on the politics of the Israeli government, Israel still serves a significant purpose as a haven for Jews wherever they are persecuted … and as long as the risk of that persecution exists, Israel is needed. (b) Rabbi Gershom Sizomu has been elected as the first Jewish member of the Ugandan parliament. Rabbi Sizomu is an interesting fellow; he spoke at our congregation a few years ago.
- Taking Things Apart. Meet Liam, the robot who will take apart your iPhone for recycling. Of course, if they made the iPhone easier to repair in the first place, this might not be needed.
- Understanding Donald Trump. An interesting article in HuffPo on the phenomenon that is Donald Trump. The first two paragraphs say it best:We should just call it what it is: Donald Trump is the leader of the White Lives Matter movement. Someone had to start it — they were gettin’ out of control. First, one of them became president and now they’re in the streets protesting every time a Black thug gets shot. They’re gettin’ a little too free.
Then Trump arrived like white supremacy’s version of Santa Claus with a bag full of gifts. He gave them swagger. He gave them unadulterated machismo — Trump is the most macho presidential contender ever. And Trumpy KKKlaus reminded them that a white man who employs good ol’ fashioned white toughness is unstoppable. And everywhere he looks there’s someone to fight. In Trump’s mind, everything in society is aligned against white men — Washington, Mexico, China, Democrats, Black Lives Matter, everything; it’s a total disaster. So little time, so many asses to kick. Entitlement is a powerful drug and Trump’s a big-time dealer.
- Shaking to the Core. Dr. Lucy Jones, our well-known earthquake spokesperson, is retiring from USGS. Who do we turn to now?
- Geography and LA Theatre. Another good article on the uniqueness of the LA Theater Ecosystem, which shows why we are very different from New York.
- Trees and Termites. A tree fell down in UCLA due to termites. Why do I care? The tree in our street median has termites, and there’s little we can do about it. I can’t remove it (city tree), can’t kill it (city tree, get fined), but they won’t come out and take care of it.
- LA’s Record Stores. An article on the nostalgia of LA’s record stores. Alas, they left a number of favorites off the list.
- Thinking About Ketchup. A nice article on a recent Reply All that addressed diversity and Twitter, and why where you store your ketchup is an important question. Well worth listening to.
- No Windows 10. If you are tired of getting nagged to upgrade to Windows 10, you need to read this and follow what it says.
- I Can’t Read You. Old, but always interesting: Why the Wingdings font exists.
These have been a crazy couple of weeks, and I haven’t any time to get out generic news chum articles inbetween all the other stuff. But I need to clear out the links, so here’s a first salvo: a collection of food related news chum:
This themed collection of news chum all has to do with transitions — and I’m not talking about recent obituaries (such as Charlie Tuna, George Kennedy, George Martin, or Nancy Reagan, or even the death of civility in political rallies). Here are some different transitions of interest:
- Black Oak Bookstore, Berkeley. Another independent bookstore bites the dust: this time, Black Oak on San Pablo. When I last visited Berkeley, I had a wonderful time in this store, which was walking distance from not only the AirBNB where I was staying, but a used record shop a great tea joint. According to my daughter, more and more indie bookstores in Berkeley are closing. This is sad; used bookstores make a great college town. I still think the decline of Westwood started when University Bookstore on Westwood closed.
- Oakland Tribune. The Oakland Tribune is closing, being merged into an East Bay conglomeration by it’s owner, BANG (Bay Area News Group). BANG is also doing something similar with the San Jose Mercury News. This should be a warning for Los Angeles: BANG is owned by Digital First Media, who also own the LANG (LA News Group). LA News Group, in turn, owns the LA Daily News and a bunch of smaller papers in the region ripe for consolidation. Digital First also just made a bid for the Orange County Register and Press Enterprise. They will be competing with Tribune Publishing (LA Times) and a group of OCR investors.
- Western Federal Credit Union. Following the trend of credit unions to move away from their original member group origins, WFCU is becoming the Unify Financial Credit Union. Otherwise known as Single UFCU, from Double UFCU. At least it isn’t Logix. I still remember when it was Westernaire Federal.
- Target. It appears that changes are in store for Target, our favorite non-department department store. Target executives have laid out a plan to become the ultimate one-stop grocery, apparel and home destination for American families. When they are done, a shopping trip through Target’s app or online and finishing it in a store will become more seamless, with text notifications when online orders for in-store pickup are ready and dedicated areas of the store for these orders. Online orders will ship faster, as Target transitions more of its physical stores to double as fulfillment centers.
- San Fernando Observatory. The San Fernando Observatory, originally started by The Aerospace Corporation, has found a new home at CSUN. This is great news for the CSUN Astrophysics program.
- 747, marked down to 740. The 747 aircraft continues its descent into oblivion. This time it is United Airlines accelerating the retirement of the aircraft. So production will stop, and this great aircraft will be relegated to special purpose and cargo usage.
- Valley Outreach Wanders No More. Valley Outreach Synagogue, long wandering across the valley, has finally found a home. They are now preparing a new home in Calabasas. In addition to a sanctuary, the 15,000-square-foot facility will have offices, learning spaces and a social hall for bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings and other events.
Ready for the third course of news chum? This part of the meal is a collection of articles related to cybersecurity:
- Help! I’m DROWNing. This week, researchers announced yet another attack against TLS, the protocols used to secure the traffic that you see as HTTPS://. More than 11 million websites and e-mail services protected by the TLS protocol are vulnerable to this low-cost attack that decrypts sensitive communications in a matter of hours and in some cases almost immediately. The attack works against TLS-protected communications that rely on the RSA cryptosystem when the key is exposed even indirectly through SSLv2, a TLS precursor that was retired almost two decades ago because of crippling weaknesses. The vulnerability allows an attacker to decrypt an intercepted TLS connection by repeatedly using SSLv2 to make connections to a server. In the process, the attacker learns a few bits of information about the encryption key each time. While many security experts believed the removal of SSLv2 support from browser and e-mail clients prevented abuse of the legacy protocol, some misconfigured TLS implementations still tacitly support the legacy protocol when an end-user computer specifically requests its use. The most notable implementation subject to such fatal misconfigurations is the OpenSSL cryptographic library.
- More Exposure at Berkeley. No, I’m not talking exposure of a student body, but exposure of the student body. The University of California, Berkeley, has admitted to a second data breach which may have exposed the data of 80,000 people to misuse. Current and former students, faculty members and vendors linked to the university are among those who have been warned about the incident, which took place through financial management software which contained a security flaw, allowing an attacker — or group — to access internal services. In total, 57,000 current and former students, including student workers, 10,300 vendors and others — at a ratio of roughly 50 percent of current students and 65 percent of active employees — could have had their information taken.
- Dealing with Ransomware. Our biggest worry used to be viruses. Those were the days. Today, the big fear is ransomware — malware you get by a drive-by-download or clicking on a bad link in an email. These attacks encrypt the data on your computer and require you to pay a ransom if you want to have any hope of decrypting it. Here’s a reasonably good PCWORLD article with somethings you can do to prevent attacks. As usual, it boils down to the 4 “E”s: Use the engineering in your system to stop attacks by having a good always-on malware and dangerous site scanner; have usage policies and enforce them about not clicking on links, using non administrative accounts, etc.; educate your users on what to look for, and what not to do; and plan for emergency services by having a external disk backup that is not always connected using a reliable back tool.
- Dealing with Requests. This article from ComputerWorld explains what really is at risk in the Apple vs FBI fight. The issue is not encryption or encryption backdoors. The FBI is not trying to break the encryption on the phone. They are trying to unlock the phone, which will decrypt it. To find that key they need to do a brute force attack; to do that attack, they can’t have the system wipe the phone after 10 failures. So what they want Apple to do is put up a special signed software update that the phone will automatically install that will remove the limit. In other words, this request is to force Apple to put up an untrustworthy software update that weakens the phone. That’s the precedent that Apple does not want to set. In particular, such an update can’t be limited to just one phone, and if a faked update can get out, then the entire spider-web of automatic software updates becomes untrustworthy. If it becomes untrustworthy, people won’t automatically install updates, and that will result in known holes being unpatched, which means weaker systems.
It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve made some news chum stew, and I’m hungry for a nice heaping bowl. Please join me, and let’s discuss some of these:
- Inclusion and Integration. Let’s start with an article I chose just for the graphic, which is appropriate for the Oscars tonight and #OscarsSoWhite . I had seen others use this graphic before with respect to diversity discussions, and I realized that it is also wonderful to explain security system engineering, and how security truly needs to be included in the engineering discussion, not just considered in a separate area.
- Food and Health. Here are two articles related to food and health.The first explores how the proton-pump inhibator heartburn meds (such as omeprazole, which I take) may be associated with a higher dementia risk. This is of concern to me; it is why I’m trying to wean down on the meds (I’m at every other day). Specifically, a new study links the widely used PPIs — which include Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec — to an increased risk for cognitive decline, though researchers caution the study has limitations, and does not show a definite cause. PPIs have recently been linked to kidney disease, heart disease, and deficiencies of B12 and other vitamins. While patients have reported side effects of the drugs, not taking them often results in stomach pains and worse heartburn as the drug leaves their systems.
The second highlights a fascinating finding about pasta: Reheating your pasta makes it healthier for you. When pasta is cooled down, your body digests it differently, causing fewer calories to be absorbed and a smaller blood glucose peak. And reheating it is even better – it reduces the rise in blood glucose levels by a whopping 50 percent.
- Cruz and Gluten Free. It seems society just wants to hate and bully. We’ve all seen various people, shapes, and trends become scapegoats for society’s extended mockery. Recently, Ted Cruz marched into the frey by declaring the military shouldn’t provide gluten-free meals. This promped a lovely editorial in HuffPost asking people to stop making fun of the gluten-free diet (which was the real article that prompted this item). Yes, I know there are many folks doing it because the diet is trendy and they believe it will help them. The problem is that if people start feeling that folks only do it for trendy reasons, then they won’t be careful in making things truly gluten free. That can create significant health problems for those that are Celiac and truly must eat gluten free.
- Kitchens and Shopping. If you’re a cook, you’ve probably gone shopping at those high end kitchen supply stores. Have you gone to a restaurant supply store. It’s quite fun. We’ve gotten a few things there that we use every day. Here’s a good article on what you should be buying at a restaurant supply store. I particularly recommend the cutting board advice: get a really large one you can sit over your sink. You can then rinse and cut without the water going over your counters, and scrape the cuttings right into the disposal. They also have colored boards, so you can segregate vegetable from meat boards.
- Humor and Jews. This article got an incredible amount of shares when I posted it on FB: Mad’s Al Jaffe explaining how Mad helped make American Humor Jewish, bringing in Yiddish along the way.
- Calculators and Caller ID. Recently, an app on my Android Phone informed me it was using Caller ID, and I needed to go into its settings if I didn’t want that. The app, PowerCalc, and yes — it is integrating CallerID to make money for its authors. Needless to say, I want to find a different calculator app now.
- Cars and Satellites. Here’s a real interesting one. I work in El Segundo, and regularly drive now Nash Street. I’ve never thought about why it was named what it was. However, a posting in an LA History group on Facebook provided some fascinating history. Evidently, what is now the Boeing Satellite Facility at Imperial Highways and Hughes Way used to be the Nash-Kelvinator Assembly Plant. Thus: Nash Street.
- Names and Processors. A number of years ago, picking a processor was easy. You went for the latest x86 and clock speed. Then came Pentium and Celeron and Atom, and now there are Cores and iX and more. Here’s the first cogent explanation I’ve found of Intel Processor naming. This will be a big help next time I go processor shopping. I wonder how they differ architecture-wise, in particular in memory mapping and privilege rings — things us cybersecurity folks care about.
- Tuna and Pianos. Get it? Piano Tuna? Nevermind, I’m here all week. You may have seen the recent Android commercial where they play one song on a regular piano, and one song on a piano where every key makes the same note. You might have wondered whether they made a square piano to do it, in order to have all the strings the same length (remember: a piano has the same number of strings as a harp; it is just that they are buried in a box and hit with a hammer). Here’s a Scientific American article on what they did, and exploring if you could make all strings sound the same just through tuning.
- A, B, C, D, E, and F. If you are old enough, you remember the days before “forever” stamps, when postage changed so frequently they issued lettered stamps worth make up postage between the old rate and the new rate. One wonders if they would issue negative postage stamps now, given that stamp prices are set to go down 2c in April. That’s right. Down. From 49c to 47c. I’d wait to buy that “forever” postage.
- Maps and Places. We’ve all heard about it, but is it really done? Atlas Obscura explores the legend of fictitious place names on maps. Can they really be used to copyright a map?
- Restaurants and the San Fernando Valley. A couple of articles on restaurants and the valley. The first explores 118 Degrees, a new raw vegan GF restaurant. The second is supposedly the essential valley restaurants, although I find some a bit trendy for my taste (and as usual, then tend to think only of the Boulevard, instead of the Northern valley). This becomes clear when they mention Lum Ka Naad’s outpost on the boulevard, instead of mentioning the original location near CSUN (which is about a mile from where I live). PS. While we’re talking about the valley, here’s an obit of interest: Rabbi Gordon of Chabad in the Valley has passed away. Z”L.
- Malls and ShoppingTowns . In the news recently was an article noting how the Beverly Center mall near Cedars Sinai is getting a makeover. I remember this area well: I remember when the mall was built in the 1970s (drove by it on the way to WBT). It replaced the beloved Beverly Playland. The redevelopment is part of a trend of mall redesign, where developers take what were indoor malls and make them outdoor strolling areas. Think “the Grove” or “Americana at Brand”. What goes around, comes around, I guess. I remember when this was done at places like Fallbrook; I also remember when outdoor malls were turned into indoor malls (Panorama Mall; Sherman Oaks Fashion Center). They are about to do a similar transformation on the Westside Pavillion (which folks remember used to be a little lovely outdoor shopping center with a Vons and May Company). Should be interesting to watch.
Lastly, I’d like to highlight a few “GoFundMe”s of interest, related to folks I know. Orlando de la Paz was the scenic painter at the Colony; he recently had a stroke and is raising support funds. Jolie Mason worked with me at SDC; she’s now running the LA Radio Reading Service, a group that is raising funds for studio upgrades. Bruce Kimmel, a producer out here in LA, is raising money for an LA Themed Musical, which will premiere at LACC around May 13 for two weeks. The family of one of my counselors from camp days is raising funds for his care; he’s dealing with a brain tumor and the prognosis isn’t good. The LA Theatre Community is raising funds for its legal fight against Actors Equity; they’ve already raised 75K. Lastly, the Men of TAS are raising funds to improve the Social Hall Kitchen; we’d love it if you could help.