Burbankers! Tell city council to enact a rent freeze between now and when statewide rent control kicks in

On Jan 1, 2020, Californians who rent will gain new protections under the law, thanks to AB 1482, which comes on the heels of the defeat of Prop 10, which was shattered by a lavishly funded dirty tricks campaign by the state's dominant private-equity landlords, who have snapped up much of the state's rental stock, driving up rents, evicting tenants, and slashing maintenance budgets. Read the rest

LA is going to get cheap nighttime power from a massive solar and battery array in the Mojave

LA's next source of energy: a massive solar panel and lithium battery array in the Mojave, operated by 8minute Solar Energy, and capable of supplying 6-7% of the city's energy budget, with four hours of nighttime use. It will cost an eye-poppingly low $0.03.3/kWh, cheaper than natural gas. Read the rest

Charles Phoenix's "Raw" Turkey Tiki Meatloaf Mug

Pop culture humorist Charles Phoenix (previously) has been busy this year. He's written a book:

Holiday Jubilee is loaded with original eye-popping “test kitchen” recipes and over 500 vintage images, serving up an intoxicating, action-packed extravaganza of America’s favorite seasonal traditions past, present, and future. Your imagination will be inspired and your spirit will soar!

And he's created this hilarious and kitschy "Raw" Turkey Tiki Meatloaf Mug ($80). This "meatloaf pan-shaped Moai" is inspired by his Tiki Turkey Dinner, an alt-Thanksgiving recipe found in the book.

Hey! Charles will be at Soap Plant WACKO in Los Angeles this Sunday, September 15, signing that new coffee table book of his from 2 to 4 p.m. This line alone, from the event page, makes me want to hop down to LA this weekend: "LIFE ALTERING SNACK and ARTIFICIALLY COLORED AND FLAVORED REFRESHMENTS will be served." Read the rest

Los Angeles invites doggos to swim in their public pools on Labor Day

Who let the dogs out... and into the swimming pool? L.A. County does, as part of their third annual "Pooches in the Pool" event.

Come Monday, September 2, 2019, doggos will get the opportunity to swim (doggy paddle?) in select Los Angeles-area public pools. Little dogs can swim from 5 to 6 p.m., and big ones from 6 to 7 p.m. at these eight participating locations:

City Terrace Park - 1126 N. Hazard Ave., City Terrace Don Knabe Park - 19700 Bloomfield Ave., Cerritos El Cariso Pool - 13100 Hubbard St., Sylmar Knollwood County Club - 12040 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills Lane Pool - 5520 W. Ave., L8, Quartz Hill Loma Alta Park - 3330 Lincoln Ave., Altadena Martin Pool - 35548 N. 92nd St. E., Littlerock Victoria Park - 419 E. M.L.K. Jr., Carson

But wait, you have to fill out a form and there are rules.

KTLA5:

Before their pooch can jump in, dog owners will have to present current licensing and vaccination documents, and fill out a form.

There are a few rules, like there must be one handler for every two dogs and they can only be off-leash on the pool deck. Click here for a full list.

This is the final event before the pools are closed and cleaned for the season. What a terrific idea!

image via L.A. Read the rest

Watch the 1983 breakdancing documentary that inspired the movie Breakin'

Directed by Topper Carew, "Breakin 'n' Enterin'" (1983) documented the Los Angeles B-boy scene emerging at Venice Beach and MacArthur Park's Radio-Tron nightclub. Keep your eyes peeled for a young Ice-T, Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers, and Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" Quinones who all appeared the following year in Breakin'. The dancing in this documentary is much better than in the feature film though -- more complex, raw, and aggressive.

Read the rest

To do in LA this weekend: laugh your head off at PUBLIC DOMAIN THE MUSICAL at the Hollywood Fringe

Last night, I went to see Public Domain: The Musical at the Actor's Company Theater in West Hollywood. I had no idea what to expect, but I was prepared for the worst (I've been to shows at fringe festivals where I would have walked out in the first five minutes, except I was the only person in the audience), and I was totally wrong. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard. Read the rest

In homeless LA, the families, retirees and working people who live in their cars are desperate for overnight parking

LA's homelessness epidemic continues to rage unabated as housing prices soar and wages stagnate; the result is a "wheel estate" boom of people living in cars and vans, with the greatest proportion of vehicles-dwellers being seniors, families with children, and working people. Read the rest

Los Angeles! Come see me at Exposition Park library tonight talking about Big Tech, monopolies, mind control and the right of technological self-determination

From 6PM-730PM tonight (Thursday, May 23), I'm presenting at the Exposition Park Library (Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Library, 3900 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90062) on the problems of Big Tech and how the problems of monopolization (in tech and every other industry) is supercharged by the commercial surveillance industry -- and what we can do about it. It's part of the LA Public Library's "Book to Action" program and it's free to attend -- I hope to see you there! Read the rest

LA! Come see me this Saturday at the Nebula Awards Conference, and next Thursday at Exposition Park Library!

This Saturday, May 18, I'll be appearing at the Nebula Awards Conference, at the Marriott Warner Center in Woodland Hills: I'll be participating in the 1:30PM mass signing in the Grand Ballroom and then I'll be on the "Megatrends for the Near Future" panel at 4PM in A/B Salon. Read the rest

Uber drivers across America are going on strike -- UPDATED

Update: Shona from Gig Workers Rising clarifies: "Gig Workers Rising isn't organizing the national day of action. Drivers in each of the 6 cities taking action are coordinating the day of action together. Drivers in LA with Rideshare Drivers United Los Angeles called a strike and asked other cities to take action on the same day. Gig Workers Rising supports and educates drivers who are organizing across the state. We are not organizing drivers."

On May 8, Uber drivers are organizing a nationwide shutdown of Uber, with drivers turning off their apps in protest over low pay: so far, seven cities' drivers are signed up: Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Minneapolis, LA and DC. Uber and Lyft have both slashed pay for drivers and raised prices as they try to assuage the capital markets. Read the rest

Come see John Scalzi and me today at the LA Times Festival of Books!

I'll be at the LA Times Festival of Books today, with a signing at 1PM at the Mysterious Galaxy booth (#368) and then a 3-4PM "in conversation" with John Scalzi, moderated by Maryelizabeth Yturralde from Mysterious Galaxy. I sure hope you can make it! Read the rest

Come see me at UCLA tonight and then with John Scalzi on Sunday at the LA Times Festival of Books!

Tonight, I'll be one of the participants at LA Cryptoparty and README's After Disruption event at UCLA from 7-930PM; it's a panel and workshop on "Big Tech, the future of labor, and how systems have successfully been co-opted in the past." Read the rest

Los Angeles! I'm launching my new book Radicalized with Lexi Alexander tonight (next: San Diego, NYC, Toronto...)

Tonight is the launch for my latest book of science fiction for adults, Radicalized: I'll be at the Barnes and Novel at The Grove in Los Angeles, in conversation with director/activist/stuntwoman/champion kickboxer Lexi Alexander, starting at 7PM. Read the rest

Calls of 'active shooter' lead to evacuation of Century City Mall, Los Angeles police respond to reports of 'Man with a Gun'

“Nothing has been confirmed,” an LAPD officer told LA Times. “We’re trying to resolve the situation.”

I'm going out on tour with my new science fiction book RADICALIZED and I hope to see you!

Radicalized is my next science fiction book, out on March 18 from Tor Books: it contains four novellas about the hope and misery of our moment, from refugees resisting life in an automated IoT hell to health care executives being targeted by suicide bombers who have been traumatized by watching their loved ones die after being denied care. Tor Books is sending me on tour with the book in the US and Canada and I hope you can make it to one of my stops! Read the rest

Shirtless "hot Lincoln" statue from 1939 inspires jokes and fanfic

Presidents' Day was Monday and what better time for an 8-foot-tall statue of a shirtless Abraham Lincoln to be making the rounds. On Twitter, @MuseZack rediscovered this gem of a sculpture.

Witty names like "Honest Abs" and "The Gettsyburg Undress" are being used to describe it. And @PKtje has dug up "shirtless Lincoln" fanfic.

And, yes, it's real. "Young Lincoln" was sculpted in the late thirties by James Lee Hansen (who may or may not be this James Lee Hansen). A year out of art school and frustrated by his lack of success in the real world, a friend prompted him to enter a sculpture competition at the Federal Building.

From a Los Angeles Times article dated March 13, 1941:

“I don’t know,” Hansen replied, “I’ve only done one piece of sculpture in my life.”

He was interested, however, and checked up—only to find that the contest, under way for several months, closed for the model entries in a week. Hansen got a supply of plaster and made a small figure of Lincoln. Like the other contestants, he submitted it anonymously to the Fine Arts Section of the Federal Works Agency.

No one was more surprised than Hansen when he was notified his entry has won $7,200 and a commission to do the Lincoln statue.

Read the rest

Owner of civil war reenactment business sues school district that canceled field trips after his far-right social media came to light

Riley's Farm is a staple of Los Angeles overnight school trips (my daughter visited last year with her elementary school); it's an apple farm with a pick-your-own apples sideline that branched out into civil war re-enactments, with some students staying overnight in tents. Read the rest

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