When Jeff Olson used chalk to draw an octopus whose tentacles were full of money, and to write "No thanks, big banks," and "Shame on Bank of America," on a San Diego sidewalk, Bank of America complained to the Republican City Atty. Jan Goldsmith. Goldsmith threw the book at him, charging him with misdemeanor vandalism and threatening him with 13 years in prison for writing in water-soluble chalk. Goldsmith was not swayed by the mayor's disapproval of this course of action -- Mayor Bob Filner said it was "stupid" and a "waste of money" -- and pressed on.
Yesterday, a jury acquitted Olson on all charges. The #chalkgate tag is full of congratulatory messages and photos of supportive chalking.
San Diego jury finds protester not guilty in chalk-vandalism case
The University of California, San Diego and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation are launching a major center to better understand, enhance and enact the gift of human imagination.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke created extraordinary visions of the future that continue to provide insight into the human condition. He transformed our lives by developing the ideas of GPS and satellite communication. We are inspired by this legacy and want to continue it by focusing on Sir Arthur's greatest gift: imagination.
We will bring together thinkers and doers in the arts and information technology, in neuroscience, cognitive science and the physical sciences to help us understand the nature of imagination and to build tools and develop methods that will extend imagination.
We have developed our initial approach with a cross-disciplinary team of some of UCSD's world famous scientists, artists and scholars, linking them with a group of award-winning science fiction authors birthed at UCSD.
Uh, birthed? As in, born in the university hospital? I honestly have no idea what they mean here. Maybe "berthed" (sleeping on campus)? Or maybe metaphorically "birthed" by graduating from UCSD?
Center for Human Imagination
A San Diego cop beat up a man whom he was ticketing for illegal smoking, after the man refused to stop video-recording the experience. The cop told the man that he feared the phone might actually be a gun disguised as a phone, before smashing the phone and tackling the man and smashing his face into the boardwalk. He was taken away in an ambulance.
It all seemed pretty civil until the cop writing the citation told him to stop recording, which Pringle refused to do.
“Phones can be converted into weapons …. look it up online,” the cop told him.
Last month, a South Florida cop confiscated a man’s phone citing the same reason, so maybe this is a new trend.
When Pringle tried to talk sense into the cop, the cop slapped the phone out of his hand where it fell onto the boardwalk and broke apart.
The other cop then pounced on him, slamming him down on the boardwalk where he ended up with a laceration on his chin.
“Blood was everywhere,” Pringle said. “I was laying on my stomach and he had one knee on my back and the other knee on the side of my face.
“They kept telling me ‘to calm down,’ that ‘you’re making this worse for yourself,’ that ‘you have no right to record us.’”
He didn't get the cop's name, and the SDPD won't give it to him.
San Diego Police Attack and Arrest Man Video Recording Them, Claiming Phone Could be a Weapon (Updated) 294
Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell, who was involved in the making of the Kony 2012 video, was detained in San Diego yesterday morning after being found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars, running through traffic and screaming in his underwear. NBC San Diego reports:
Several people attempted to calm him down and when officers arrived they said he was cooperative.
"He was no problem for the police department however, during the evaluation we learned that we probably needed to take care of him," said [Lt. Andra] Brown at a press conference. "So officers detained him and transferred him to a local medical facility for further evaluation and treatment."
The SDPD suspects Mr. Russell was under the influence of something.
Invisible Children Co-Founder Detained: SDPD
Aspiring science fiction and fantasy writers have two weeks left to get their applications in to this summer's Clarion Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego. I'm a Clarion grad, instructor and board member, and yup, I really believe in it. The Clarion format -- a mix of intense writing and critiquing, along with extended personal instructions from six instructors in six weeks -- is a great way to bootstrap your understanding of how to write sf, along with detailed business and professional advice.
Established in 1968, the Clarion Writers' Workshop is the oldest workshop of its kind and is widely recognized as a premier proving and training ground for aspiring writers of fantasy and science fiction.
Our 2012 writers in residence are Jeffrey Ford, Marjorie Liu, Ted Chiang, Walter Jon Williams, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.
Clarion Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego
The Clarion Writers' Workshop is a sort of bootcamp for science fiction and fantasy writers. You write something like six stories in six weeks, critique your fellow students' stories for several hours every day, and get a new instructor every week who combines lectures, workshops and one-on-one meetings. It's all held on UC San Diego's beautiful La Jolla campus.
The workshop has is open for applications, and this year's instructors are Jeffrey Ford, Marjorie Liu, Ted Chiang, Walter Jon Williams, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. I'm a Clarion grad (1992) and instructor, and I am a volunteer board member for the Clarion Foundation, which oversees the workshop. Clarion isn't for everyone, and you can certainly develop your writing without Clarion, but when Clarion works for a writer, it really works. It really made me the writer I am today.
You've got until March 1st to send in two short stories and a letter explaining your reasons for applying.
Clarion Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego
Democratic congressional candidate Ray Lutz was arrested for registering voters in San Diego's public Freedom Plaza (AKA Civic Center Plaza), where the local Occupy protest has taken place. The San Diego police arrested Mr Lutz for trespassing and confiscated his voter registration forms.
I've been skeptical of the "this is what democracy looks like" slogan (since mostly, democracy looks like boring things like long meetings, constituency consultations, and voter booths). But by any measure, registering voters in a civic square is assuredly "what democracy looks like." And arresting people who register voters? Well, that's something else altogether.
Ray Lutz being arrested at Freedom Plaza - Occupy San Diego