Disgusting Food Museum coming to Los Angeles

Sweden's Disgusting Food Museum is opening a touring exhibition in Los Angeles's Architecture and Design Museum. The exhibit runs from December 9 to February 17. "What we find disgusting has to be learned -- it's purely cultural," says curator/psychologist Samuel West. This is a fine opportunity to taste foods you've been curious about, like fermented shark, durian, maggot-infested cheese (above), bull penis (seen below), or mouse wine (also below). From CNN:

...American favorites such as root beer and Jell-O salad sit in the museum alongside fried tarantula and cooked guinea pigs. "If you give root beer to a Swede they will spit it out and say it tastes like toothpaste, but I think it's delicious," he notes...

While many food-related "museums" of late have mostly just been opportunities for novel selfies, West is adamant that the Disgusting Food Museum is there to help people learn and think critically, not just to pose for photos. The downside? "One of my worries that it will start stinking in here," West says.

Also see posts about Samuel West's previous Museum of Failure here and here.

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The Groundlings launch original sketch comedy video series

The Groundlings — the comedy troupe that boasts top-notch alumni like Paul Reubens, Cassandra Peterson, Phil Hartman, and many more — are now producing original sketch comedy shorts on YouTube.

Here is a look at what they've got so far:

If you're in the Los Angeles area, check out their live sketch comedy Halloween show this Friday or Saturday. Read the rest

Los Angeles's homelessness epidemic has created a typhus epidemic

Los Angeles county has some 104,000 homeless people, thanks to a real-estate bubble that has priced housing out of reach of working people, while programs to reduce homelessness have been incoherent and unwilling to take the only proven step for reducing homelessness. Read the rest

To do in LA this Saturday: I'm speaking at the Pasadena Loves YA festival!

Angelenos! Bring your teens to the Pasadena Loves YA festival this Saturday; I'm chairing a panel on graphic novels with Mairghread Scott and Tillie Walden; other panels and events go on all day, from 11-4PM, at the Central Branch of Pasadena Public Library, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena CA 91101. Admission is free! Read the rest

A public bank for LA: instead of sending hundreds of millions to predatory finance, Angelenos' taxes can fund community development

The City of Los Angeles sends the nation-wrecking finance industry more than $100MM/year in the form of fees and penalties for its banking business, supporting the institutions whose racist lending practices, financial engineering and mortgage fraud have wreaked untold harm on the city's residents. Read the rest

LA libraries replace fines for young readers with in-library "read-offs"

Stan Rehm writes, "An uncommonly sensible new policy in Los Angeles libraries now allows children with overdue book fees to 'read off' their fines in the library." Read the rest

To do in LA this weekend: Scottworks, celebrating visionary composer, inventor and musician Raymond Scott

Cory Councill writes, "Musician, inventor, and visionary Raymond Scott (1908-1994) (previously) will be feted on September 8 at the Colony Theatre in Burbank, CA. As influential today as he ever has been, Scott’s musical and technological achievements have become more widely known over the past 20 years." Read the rest

LA County will switch to all open source vote-counting machines

California voting officials have certified an open source vote-counting package for use in the upcoming LA elections, in the first of a series of planned improvements to the County's voting system (other plans include improved absentee voting ballots). Read the rest

Burbankers! There's a Save Magnolia Park meeting on August 13th at Geeky Tees

The parade of evictions and rent hikes in Burbank's lovely, independent-dominated Magnolia Park retail district is up for debate: the Save Magnolia Park coalition is having a public meeting on Aug 13th at Geeky Tees (2120 W Magnolia Blvd) at 7PM (alas, I'll be in Edinburgh, but I'm there in spirit!). Read the rest

HGTV not saying how much it paid for the Brady house

The Hollywood studio that crushed Lance Bass' dream of buying the Brady Bunch house has been revealed. It's HGTV. But the amount they paid has not yet been disclosed.

'N Sync singer Lance Bass ... was “heartbroken” when his deal fell through after the bidding deadline. In an Instagram post, he wrote that an undisclosed corporate buyer wanted the house "at any cost."

Bass doesn't seem to have any hard feelings, though. In a tweet published Tuesday, the singer explained, "How can you be mad at HGTV? My television is stuck on that channel." He added, "Kudos, HGTV. I know you will do the right thing with the house. That was always my biggest worry. I can smile again."

Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced the sale Tuesday morning:

“One of our projects for HGTV will speak to those Brady Bunch fans on the call... You may have heard that the house from the iconic series was recently on the market in California. I’m excited to share that HGTV is the winning bidder and will restore the Brady Bunch home to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can. More detail to come over the next few months but we’ll bring all the resources to bear to tell safe, fun stories about this beloved piece of American TV history.”

Buy, buy, buy.

Previously:

Here's the story of how 'N Sync's Lance Bass won and then lost the Brady Bunch house

For Sale: The real-life Brady Bunch house

(The Wrap) Read the rest

Vintage photos of L.A. restaurants that were shaped like the food they served

With L.A.'s iconic Eddie Blake's Tail o' the Pup hot dog stand set to reopen, LAist posted a brief photographic history of the city's fantastic history of "'programmatic architecture,' buildings designed to look like food, animals or other items."

"LA's Awesome History Of Weird, Food-Shaped Restaurants" (via NextDraft)

images: Los Angeles Public Library Collection Read the rest

Lucy Sparrow's all-felt supermarket now open in LA

UK artist Lucy Sparrow is back with a new shopping opportunity for lovers of her fantastic felt products.

Until August 31, at The Standard hotel in downtown Los Angeles, Sparrow is showing her most ambitious exhibit yet: the Sparrow Mart Supermarket. This is her fifth and largest all-felt installation (it features 31,000 handmade products) and her first West Coast one.

She writes, "As a child, I was obsessed with the exotic, turbo-charged technicolour glow emanating from across the Atlantic. The source of this neon rainbow was Los Angeles – a seemingly mythical place to a child growing up in grey, post-recession Britain – and one that has hugely influenced my artistic practice. Thanks to the amazing team at The Standard, Downtown, the felt is finally coming home to the city of endless possibilities and colour.”

The store is quite spectacular. There's aisles of handmade awesomeness, including a felt ATM, as you can see here:

According to Sparrow (in this video), it took her and five assistants exactly one year to create all the items in the shop.

Special thanks to my friend Michael Fleming for the heads up on this! I hope I can get myself down to LA before the end of the month to check it out for myself. For those of you who don't know, I'm a Fluff superfan (long story). So, when Michael texted me from the store to see if I wanted one of Sparrow's felt Fluff jars, I was ecstatic. He delivered it today and it already as a special spot in the Fluff section of my trophy case. Read the rest

An LA gallery is selling "Molotov cocktails" from a vending machine

They aren't for throwing, but an art gallery in Los Angeles is selling Molotov cocktails from a vending machine.

Think Tank Gallery on Melrose Ave. writes:

This is an art object, not functional as a molotov cocktail.

“What’s More American Than Violence?” is a sculptural installation and series of dysfunctional art objects inspired by Edward Abby’s “The Monkey Wrench Gang.” The installation features a fully-functional molotov cocktail vending machine, full of converted Mezcal El Silencio bottles, customized with a limited edition, hand signed and numbered, spot-UV instructional art sticker, and custom “STEAL THE FIRE” bandana, each designed by artist Phil America and designer Dino Nama. The piece seeks to call attention to the ease of access to deadly weapons in America, and a large portion of proceeds of each sale are donated to Every Town.

This series is limited to 200 bottles available online, and an extremely limited number of bottles available for $5 at the vending machine on Melrose Ave, released at an undisclosed date and time leading up to and during the “We Stole the Fire” art exhibition.

Thanks, Chris!

images via Think Tank Gallery

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California home-buyers are increasingly reliant on parental gifts to afford their down-payments

California's housing bubble has pushed prices so high (the median Californian home sells for double the national average) that, in some cities, 48% of first-time buyers could only afford to purchase their homes because their parents gave them the downpayment. Read the rest

Wealthy investors are buying Long Beach's old low-rent buildings and evicting everyone, making them homeless

Unlike neighboring LA, the city of Long Beach has no restrictions on evicting tenants from old buildings by doubling or tripling the rent and then booting them out. Read the rest

Karaoke casemod: it's surprisingly easy to hook up a karaoke machine's CRT to a Raspberry Pi

Brett writes, "As a critique of the IoT buzz, I hacked a portable karaoke machine, stuffed a Raspberry Pi in it, connected it to the internet, and installed Docker on it." (tl;dr: he needed a portable CRT for an installation, found one embedded in a thrift-store karaoke machine, and got it wired up to the Raspi on the first try and discovered it made a perfect and delightful casemod). Read the rest

Photographers capture the beauty of LA car culture

German photographer Stefan Eisele and Markus Weber spend most of their time doing commercial shoots of high-end cars, but they have also created a remarkable series of street shots that capture LA car culture. Read the rest

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