Dianne Feinstein has lost the California Democrats' Senate-race endorsement to a left-wing insurgent long-shot

Kevin De León has done the impossible: he flipped nearly every undecided vote on the California Democratic Party executive board to win the party's endorsement in the upcoming Senate race with 65% of the vote, defeating the incumbent, far-right Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who has a long track record of backing the finance industry, war, and mass surveillance -- who scored a mere 7% of the vote. Read the rest

John Waters introduces DEVO at Burger Boogaloo: "Trump is a feckless prick"

DEVO headlined Burger Boogaloo this past weekend in Oakland. John Waters introduced them to the stage in an epic nearly four-minute-long speech that attacked Trump and celebrated the band:

...Originally from Ohio, why-oh-why-oh-Ohio, they started their careers like I did: pissed off. And they had a real reason to be nuts, their fellow friends were killed at Kent State University by the police. So they started a De-Evolution that we're still feeling. They challenged illegitimate authority, they said, and so should YOU. It's worse now than it ever was. Trump is a feckless prick. A shithole of a president. An orange anus, as Rosie McDonnell called him. Who kidnaps children. Tosses paper towels to hurricane victims. It's so dumb he stares at the eclipse with that stupid wife who's a clueless dresser who no drag queen would ever imitate. What better band to protest his stupidity and first-degree asshole-ism than our boys tonight from outer space. But our political situation is not science fiction, it's real. Before New Wave, ahead of Industrial, "alternative" way before the word was coined, this band was no media invention, it was a grassroots movement that everyone here has embraced. David Bowie loved them, Iggy loved them. I loved them. One of the bandmates even told me once that I was in a titty bar with them doing coke. I thought, "What was *I* doing in a titty bar?" I was under DEVO's spell, that's it. And tonight even more so, with my friend Freddy Armisen playing the drums.

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Beach Toy Library: Borrow a sand toy, leave a sand toy

There have been all kinds of neat alt-libraries, places where you can check out things other than books. There are ones for tools, American Girl dolls, and musical instruments (and undoubtedly lots more).

Here in Alameda, at the entrance of a charming estuary on the west end of town called Crab Cove, there's a Beach Toy Library. You can "check out" a sand-friendly toy to play with out of the wooden box, or leave one that you found. I love the spirit of this but given the condition of the toys in the box, I suggest people leave some new toys they "find" at the store.

photos by Rusty Blazenhoff

(I Love Alameda) Read the rest

Deep-fried filet mignon, spaghetti donuts, and "unicorn-specific" foods debut at the San Diego County Fair

The San Diego County Fair, the largest one in the United States with an estimated 1.6M visitors annually, is known for its quirky, over-the-top vendor food. This organizers of this year's fair themed it "How sweet it is" and asked its vendors to come up with at least one rainbow-colored "unicorn-specific" dish.

One vendor took the unicorn-food challenge and created these cotton candy ice cream sandwiches:

Yes, those are Fruity Pebbles.

San Diego Union-Tribune podcasters Abby Hamblin and Luis Gomez humorously rated the taste of five of the fair's more unusual food offerings:

Deep-fried filet mignon:

[Abby] This dish wins the award for ugliest presentation with the best taste...

Not an actual donut (sad face)

Spaghetti donut:

[Luis] This dish was exactly what I had imagined, which is just a bunch of pasta shaped as a doughnut. It’s not fried. And it tasted just as I imagined, just pasta. It wasn’t disappointing, but it wasn’t totally exciting either...

Lasagna nachos:

[Abby] This was my favorite of the day. It tastes like pasta but feels like a nacho...

More: San Diego County Fair food diary: 5 unique dishes to try and What to eat at the San Diego County Fair this summer

The fair is open now through July 4 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

screenshots via The San Diego Union-Tribune Read the rest

We know how to fix homelessness, we just won't do it

The largest, wealthiest cities in America are filling up with tent cities -- especially on the west coast, where East Coast style right-to-shelter laws are rare -- and if the spectacle of human misery doesn't alarm you, perhaps you should be thinking about communicable disease epidemics. Read the rest

Enjoy the psychedelic sounds of West Coast Fog Radio

West Coast Fog Radio is the absolutely wonderful podcast of garage psych, avant-rock, desert drone, loner folk, ambient cut-ups, spoken word, and other far-out sounds hosted by Erik Bluhm, former editor of the greatly-missed "Great God Pan," a killer 1990s 'zine about outré California culture and news. Turn on, tune in, burn out.

Your host Erik Bluhm takes you on an audio tour of the West you might be unaware of, visiting obscure moments in musical history along the way. You might hear folk rock and proto-raga rock 45s from the mid ‘60s, rural psychedelic private LP meanderings, self-released audio poetry and sound collage, obscure history lessons and readings, New Age/ambient/ethno-honky visionaries, DIY art/synth, punk, and post punk sides, and/or experimental nothingness in tape form.

West Coast Fog Radio (Thanks, Jess Rotter!)

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California State lawmaker Miguel Santiago says he's a Democrat, but he's single-handedly killing state Net Neutrality

California Assembly member Miguel Santiago [D-83/@SantiagoAD53] is the chairman of the Communications and Conveyance Committee, where he is single-handedly sabotaging the state's outstanding proposed Net Neutrality bill. Read the rest

LA's high-tech, thoughtful water management is cause for cautious optimism about adapting to climate change

Southern California is almost totally dependent on Sierra snowpack and the Colorado River for its water, and both sources are endangered by climate change, even as SoCal's cycle of long droughts and catastrophic, torrential rains gets more extreme thanks to climate change. Read the rest

For sale: (1) California ghost town

Nestled between two national parks, Sequoia and Death Valley, there is a ghost town for sale. For a little under a million dollars, you could own a piece of the American West: an abandoned silver mining town founded in 1867 called Cerro Gordo.

Mental Floss reports:

Located in Owens Valley near the town of Lone Pine, the $925,000 property comes with over 300 acres of land, mineral rights, and no shortage of peace and quiet. There are 22 structures on site, including a historic hotel, bunkhouse, saloon, chapel, and museum—plus all of the artifacts that come with it.

“The site has been extremely well protected from diggers, artifact looters, and Mother Nature herself,” reads the listing, posted on a website specially created for the property that's aptly named ghosttownforsale.com. “Restoration has been undertaken on most of the buildings, and the rest are in a state of protected arrested decay.”

From its listing:

Held by the same family for decades and only available for purchase now. The site has been extremely well protected from diggers. artifact looters and Mother Nature herself. Restoration has been undertaken on most of the buildings. and the rest are in a state of protected arrested decay.

The site is historic as the first major mining camp south of the Sierra Nevada. Cerro Gordo is a privately-owned Mining Town located in the Owens Valley near Lone Pine, California. The town was the silver thread to Los Angeles, being partially responsible for its growth and economic development.

Read the rest

Bernie Sanders rallies Disneyland employees for a $15 minimum wage

Disneyland employees' average hourly wages have decreased in real terms every year for more than 15 years, while the company has taken in record municipal subsidies from the city of Anaheim and soared in profitability, returning high dividends to its shareholders. Read the rest

Southwest wouldn't let mixed-race family fly until mom "proved" parenthood

Last Monday, UC Berkeley woman's basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb and her fiance Patrick Martin tried to board a Southwest flight with their one year old, biracial son; they presented the check-in clerk with their son's passport, but the clerk refused to let them fly until she showed the clerk Facebook posts or a birth certificate to prove that she was her son's mother. Read the rest

California Senate votes to reinstate Net Neutrality, now it goes to the State Assembly

Yesterday, the California Senate passed S.B. 822, voting 23-12 on party lines; the bill restores strong Net Neutrality protections to the state by banning ISPs from providing services to government entities if they engage in throttling, paid prioritization, zero-rating or other discriminatory practices. Read the rest

Just the Tip: Documenting San Francisco's (undeniably phallic) Salesforce Tower

If you've been to San Francisco lately, no doubt that you've seen the 1,070-foot architectural monstrosity known as the Salesforce Tower. The new skyscraper is hard to miss as it's now the tallest building in the city's skyline and because it looks like a big, shiny phallus.

You can't escape it. It can be spotted from nearly everywhere you go in the city. I can even see it from various points in Alameda.

Married couple Nikki and Stone Melet noticed it too. They were so amused by it that they started the site "Just the Tip SF" as a humorous way to document what I have dubbed, the "TechBro Dick."

Nikki told ABC7News, "I was dropping my daughter off at school and I saw the tower. I was driving down the street and I saw the tower. I'm like, this is crazy, you can see the tip from everywhere."

People are encouraged to send in their own photos of "just the tip" from wherever they may see it.

photo by Rusty Blazenhoff, taken from Pier 39 pedestrian bridge Read the rest

California proposes location-tracking, e-ink license plates that display "STOLEN" if a car is boosted

A new California pilot program will let drivers replace their metal license plates with e-ink versions that will eliminate the need to use stickers to prove that you've renewed your tags, allow you to display arbitrary vanity messages when the car is stationary (the license plate number shrinks down and displays in a corner under these circumstances, allowing meter-maids to still ticket you), and to remote switch your plate display to STOLEN if your car is ripped off. Read the rest

Superstar Limo: The story of Disney's "worst attraction ever"

We can all take some comfort that even Disney, with all its money and creative resources, can fail.

Take for instance, Disney's epic failure, a long-gone ride called Superstar Limo. The dark ride, that was once in California Adventure's Hollywood Pictures Backlot area, took guests in a sparkly purple limousine through a distorted version of Hollywood and Los Angeles. It was open just under a year and was later (and as you'll see in the video, hilariously) repurposed as the Monsters, Inc. ride.

Kevin Perjurer of the YouTube channel Defunctland describes it as their "worst attraction ever" and offers this critical history of it. His video is 20 minutes long but worth a watch, as his research goes deep and this "Superstar Limo" truly has to be seen to be believed. Be sure to stay to the end to see the reactions of the cast of The Drew Carey Show and Rosie O'Donnell when they all took a whirl in it together.

Also, in case you're curious, here's a look at the ride without commentary:

Read the rest

The Empire Strips Back: "Star Wars" burlesque show soon to tour the West Coast

Hey Californians, a burlesque show is headed your way for a short tour all the way from Australia starting on May 31. Not just any burlesque show though, this is "The Empire Strips Back: A Burlesque Parody."

Yep, a Star Wars-themed burlesque show.

It started off in 2011 as a one-off event in Sydney but apparently the demand is high for sexy, stripping Stormtroopers. Its organizer Russall S. Beattie soon found himself extending its run, and then extending it some more. In 2014, he directed its full-blown production.

It was booked in a 150 capacity room with the expectation that he might get three nights out of it. Those three nights sold out in record time and the show has since succeeded beyond any expectations. Four national tours and one complete overhaul later, the show has delighted an audience of over 50,000 people since then. February 2016 saw a Huffington Post online video article on the show go viral, with its 20 million views in a few days spark the interest of many international promoters, thus an international tour is planned with the show heading overseas indefinitely within weeks/ days of the latest Australian tour ending.

Six lucky California cities will host the tour: Riverside, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento, with a final show in San Francisco. Tickets are available now.

Btw, this is how they get around the legality of using the almighty Star Wars brand:

(HuffPost) Read the rest

For decades, it was an open secret that patients of USC's only full-time gynecologist were complaining about sexual assaults during exams

For nearly 30 years, there was only one full-time gynecologist on staff at the University of Southern California's student health clinic: Dr. George Tyndall, about whom there was a widespread understanding among staff and students that he sexualized his examinations, making overt sexual remarks to the teenagers under his care, fondling them, and waxing creepy about his predilection for Asian women. Read the rest

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