Form and Landscape is a stupendous collection of photos documenting the electrification of Los Angeles, culled from ConEd's archives (Edison International underwrote the exhibition). The pictures are presented with fascinating articles in Spanish and English, and are curated by William Deverell and Greg Hise.
The documentary record tells a story of better living, improvement, and uplift all made possible through the power of electricity or “white gold,” the company’s term of art for its product. Boosters spoke fervently about the opportunity a regular supply of electricity created and the benefit it would provide a mass of people for whom ready access to white gold meant extended hours of productive labor, enhanced quality of their leisure hours, and greater safety while traveling in and about the company’s service area by foot, by mass transit, or by automobile. It is a story of private enterprise elevating individual and collective wellbeing and in doing so contributing toward the public good by taking the smoke out of manufacturing; by making the labor of workers, both wage-earners and domestic, more efficient; by increasing safety and deterring crime; by improving health.
About the Project — FORM and LANDSCAPE
(via The Guardian Art and Design)
(Image, above: "Commercial Lighting Doug White (No date)")
I've included some of my favorites below:
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Have you seen a video floating around showing a guy on the hood of a moving pickup truck, begging people to call the police? When I saw it, I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on, but thankfully, some context is now in hand: it's all down to Baton Rouge's notorious "sign guy," a hoarder who confiscates roadside signs put up by local businessmen and fills his backyard with them:
BATON ROUGE, La. - A man pleaded for help after jumping on the hood of a moving truck on Coursey Blvd. after his sign was picked up, according to Baton Rouge Police Cpl. Tommy Stubbs.
Stubbs says the man was on Coursey selling shrimp when another man driving a pickup truck pulled over and picked up his sign.
When the man in the truck went to pull off with the sign, the man selling the shrimp jumped on the hood of the pickup.
Man pleads for help on hood of truck in Baton Rouge [Troy Gaulden/WBRZ]
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On Super Punch, set of photos of a beautiful, enbubbled, betailfinned Los Angeles land yacht spotted on the 101. Hoo-ah.
Saw a this on the 101 in Los Angeles today. It was caravanning with a bunch of classic cars.
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The Koch Brothers -- billionaire ultra-conservative puppet-masters and Tea Party funders -- are rumored to be in talks to buy eight newspapers, including the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant from the Tribune company, which is emerging from bankruptcy protection. Half of the LA Times's newsroom has threatened to quit if the Kochs take over.
One thing sure to happen if the Koch brothers take over the paper is a conservative agenda on the editorial page. As other newspapers have cut back on editorials and endorsements, the Times is now often the only LA news outlet that issues endorsements on political candidates and on ballot measures and initiatives. This is particularly crucial in California, where even the most educated voter is left clueless and confused -- or worse, tricked -- after reading the state propositions put on the ballot by Californians who simply gathered enough signatures to push a private agenda.
If the Times' editorial page is filled with the Koch brothers' libertarian opinions, other journalists in LA will need to step up and voice opposing views.
If Koch Brothers Buy LA Times, Half of Staff May Quit (VIDEO) [Kathleen Miles/HuffPo]
(Image: LA Times, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from 24293932@N00's photostream)
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Here's a short and beautiful documentary on Cydwoq's factory and manufacturing techniques.
Disneyland fans have created many of their own theme days, some of which I've been lucky enough to happen upon or attend -- Bats Day (goths); Gay Days, and more. But I didn't know about Dapper Day, where 10,000+ people descend on Disneyland and Walt Disney World in natty outfits and style their way through the fun park. Just looking at the official gallery makes me want to mark this in my calendar for next year.
"People are looking for an excuse to dress up," said Justin Jorgensen, who started Dapper Day in 2011 and has organized five of the events, all at Disneyland. The latest Dapper Day — the same Sunday as the Oscars, Hollywood’s own dress-up day — drew an estimated crowd of 10,000 to the Anaheim park and about 1,000 more at Florida's Disney World.
"Everything, including the workplace, pushes this idea of being casual," said Jorgensen, 38, of Burbank. "When do I get to wear my great stuff?"
Most of those in attendance that day were in their 20s and 30s. They had come of age in a time of shoulder-padded power suits, windbreakers in neon colors and frizzy hair — not exactly a time that will be remembered for its classic elegance.
"I think people like history, people love nostalgia," said Heather A. Vaughan, a historian studying 20th century fashions. "People love imagining a time they didn’t live in."
Dapper Day at Disneyland, the nattiest place on Earth [LA Times/Rick Rojas]
(Photo: Christina House)
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In April 1988, the LA Times Magazine published a cover article predicting what the spring of 2013 would look like for the typical Angeleno family. In a story that is bound to give you disconcerting flashbacks to Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains"
, a family of four (and their automated house full of whirring robots) goes about a full day — from mandatory staggered work times beginning at 5:15 am, to 11:00 pm, when the lady of the house sits down with her laser disc of The Collected Works of Jackie Collins
. (Creepily, the story ends with the house catching fire. I'm not kidding about the Bradbury shout-outs.) Not all the predictions were totally off base
, but, as a whole, it's definitely a neat example of how hard it is to look at current technology trends and correctly extrapolate them out to the future. Read the rest
Zack Kopplin, the 19-year-old anti-Creationism/pro-science activist I wrote about last month
, has won the TroubleMaker Award
, which comes with a $10,000 prize.
Wired reports on a nearly complete Kickstarter to mount an exhibit of grand and glorious LA buildings that were never built, including the design for LAX shown above:
Wired: What is it with Los Angeles and mega scale architecture?
Goldin: Los Angeles had room to grow, with few geographical limitations, except the Pacific Ocean. All that open space engendered a spirit of wide imagination, and the two fed off each other. Los Angeles has also always been a place to jettison the past and begin anew, and from the beginning the city developed a reputation for embracing originality and reinvention. The happenstance of early aviation and aerospace and the creative, sometimes over-the-top spirit of Hollywood, only further fueled the imagination. Everything seemed possible.
Documenting the Never-Built Dreams of the City of Angels [Wired/Tim Maly]
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The Los Angeles Maker Space is an inspiring project that comes along only once in a while, and many people apparently realize this. They reached their $15K funding goal within 30 hours of starting the plea. They are now guaranteed to have an expensive laser cutter and a couple of 3D printers in their space, yay kids!
However, these amazing tools will sit unused a lot more than they should if they do not reach their secondary funding goal of $25,000. This money will pay for live, talented adults to open and supervise the space on weekends. Recent events have shown us how important our children are, and how important qualified, responsible supervision of them is. Please visit their kickstarter page today and lets see their second goal hit the rear view mirror too, done, and done.
LA Makerspace needs 3D Printers, a Laser Cutter, and Open Project Time for Members to Innovate.
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Katie from the Library Foundation of Los Angeles
sez, "The Library Store On Wheels, a mobile truck version of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' beloved Central Library gift store (which LA Weekly named 'LA's Best Gift Shop'this year) hits the road December 10
. Over the next two weeks, we'll be taking the mobile store around to different Los Angeles Public Library branches, as well as Amoeba Music. Packed to the gills with the most lovingly-curated selection of lit-themed gifts and nostalgic library decor, all proceeds from the store will go to benefit the Los Angeles Public Library." Read the rest
Caviar vending machines have been installed in three upscale malls in LA. In addition to $500/oz caviar, they also dispense blinis, mother of pearl spoons, and other caviar essentials. The vending machines (they're billed as "ATMs for caviar") can be found at Westfield Century City, Westfield Topanga, and the Burbank Towne Center. Apparently, these are old news in Russia, where they are favorites of oligarchs and their entourages.
Finally! Caviar by ATM
(via Super Punch) Read the rest
Dan sez, "Two LA-based photographers shot photos of voters 'to document and celebrate the diversity of the Los Angeles electorate. All photographs were taken outside of polling locations across the city on Election Day, November 6th, 2012.' I especially like this one.
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Secret Headquarters, my favorite comic store in LA (a very competitive field!), has opened a sister-store called Thank You Comics and Books, in Highland Park.
. It's bound to be one of the great awesomesauce emporia on the west coast. Read the rest
Further nutritional oddments from a touring author (see yesterday's installment). I stopped into the most excellent indie bookstore Diesel at the Brentwood Country Mart in LA for my Pirate Cinema book tour, and noticed that the ice-cream parlour next door was advertising bacon-spiked ice-cream sliders, as well as a corn and spicy cheese crisp ice-cream sandwich.
I'll be in Lansing, MI tomorrow (tell your friends), and look forward to discovering more characteristic local cuisine.
Bacon and spicy corn Ice Cream Sliders, Brentwood Country Mart, Los Angeles, California, USA
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Yo, Redondo Beach! You're my last west coast stop on this leg of the Pirate Cinema tour
, and I'll be at Mysterious Galaxy today at 2:30PM (I'll be back on this coast later to visit Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle). Tomorrow, I'll be in Lansing, MI, before a multi-day Chicagoland extravaganza. The tour has stops in cities across the US and Canada -- see the full schedule for details
. Come on out and meet your fellow happy mutants! Read the rest
Hey, Pasadena! I'm signing and speaking at Vroman's Bookstore this afternoon at 3PM, as part of the Pirate Cinema tour
. I'll be in Rendondo Beach at Mysterious Galaxy tomorrow, before heading east to Lansing, MI, then Chicago, NYC, Bethesda, Edmonton, and many other cities in the US and Canada. Here's the full schedule
-- I'm looking forward to meeting you! Read the rest