Monday, November 30, 2009

"Lone Cypress tree"

Buck Forester says "I recently made the 17 Mile Drive loop near Carmel while in the area watching my nephew play golf. This was early evening at the infamous Lone Cypress tree." For more photos by Forester, click on the heading above.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How to make "dummkopfs"

CBS' 1965-71 sitcom "Hogan's Heroes" revolved around a slick American colonel and his colorful band of fellow prisoners at a Nazi POW camp. Every week, these wily prisoners made dummkopfs of their German captors. Shown above is Werner Klemperer's Col. Klink who was bamboozled weekly by Bob Crane and his fellow prisoners on the TV series.

All six seasons of the series arrived on DVD this week in the 28-disc "Hogan's Heroes: The Complete Series, Kommandant's Kollection," from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment. Extras include a new interview with Richard Dawson, best known as the kissing host of "Family Feud," who played the cockney Cpl. Peter Newkirk; a segment of the old variety series "Hollywood Palace," featuring the cast of "Hogan's Heroes"; and an extended version of the pilot episode, "The Informer."

"Massteria" as produced by the Jonas Brothers

Looking at Both Sides -- starting Friday

Memories are wonderful . . .

This picture is from the 1976 reunion of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis at the MDA telethon at the Sahara in Las Vegas. Frank Sinatra was the one who orchestrated this memorable event.

(Photo from the Coolness is Timeless blog and posted by Keith. For more "coolness" click on the heading above.)

Do you remember THIS Wayne Newton ???


Walt Disney and Mickey

"Shining Mountains"

To Native Americans it is known as "Shining Mountains" but most Americans know it as Glacier National Park.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Apparently, they deliver . . .

Photo from "Your Scene" (Los Angeles Times) -- "North 605 at Rose Hills" by dcsjeeep (Strange But True, Weird L.A.)

"You'll Never Know . . . "

The BMW Werks brings a wild, futuristic supercoupe concept to the stand, the Vision EfficientDynamics – lousy name, though. With doors that open like dragonfly wings and a composite body with LED welting as seams, the car is dazzling, if only in sheer candlepower. The doors, for example, are photochromatic polycarbonate – they lighten and darken depending on lighting conditions. The Vision ED is a demonstration platform of BMW’s current best hybrid thinking: A 1.5-liter turbodiesel (163) backed up by a 51-hp electric motor and a six-speed dual clutch transmission. All that feeds the rear wheels, while a separate high-hp electric motor drives the front wheels (if needed). Sum it up: 356 hp in a car that weighs less than 3,000 pounds. Probability of production? What’s less than zero?


Constructing a forest of 'artificial trees' is one of the most promising technologies to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, according to a report published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in the UK. The report also calls for a national UK programme for research and development into "geoengineering" projects that could provide a better understanding of the risks and costs of manipulating the climate. The artificial "trees" shown above along the highway would take in more carbon dioxide than do real trees.

Most attempts to deal with climate change involve reducing emissions of CO2 and in December the United Nations Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen will attempt to set binding targets for lowering such emissions for the first time. Yet even an agreement to cut CO2 emission by 50% by 2050 may not be enough to stop the planet's average temperature rising by 2 °C by the end of the century.

Geoengineering – deliberate intervention into the climate system to counteract man-made global warming – offers an alternative approach. The new report, Geoengineering – Giving us Time to Act?, looks at different geoengineering options for tackling climate change, including adding iron to the oceans to produce phytoplankton blooms that then absorb CO2 and constructing giant sunshades in space that can reflect the Sun's rays.

Jet Man forced to ditch by the weather

Yves Rossy, the Swiss adventurer nicknamed Jet Man, was forced to ditch in the sea during a failed bid to make the first intercontinental flight using a jet-powered wing attached to his back.

Rossy, 50, planned to fly 24 miles across the the Strait of Gibraltar from Tangier in Morocco to Atlanterra in southern Spain, at a speed of almost 140mph, a flight that should have taken about 13 minutes.

The former fighter pilot planned to jump from a plane at 6,500ft and use his four-cylinder jet pack to power the eight-foot carbon fibre wing at speeds of up to 180mph from Africa to southern Spain. He was then going to cut his engines, open his parachute and land in Spain.

After about 15 minutes into the flight, however, Rossy disappeared from live television pictures.

Organisers wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter: “He may be in the sea. We have a search and rescue team in place.” Television pictures later showed Rossy in the Atlantic, swimming around beside his parachute, while a helicopter prepared to winch him to safety.

Friday, November 27, 2009

"Brazilian protests greet Ahmadinejad at start of South American tour"

"The problem, not surprisingly, is money"

The latest piece of architecture to disappear into the economic abyss? It's Toyo Ito's remarkable design, above, for the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

Unveiled last year with some fanfare, Ito's plans for a new home for the museum, known as BAM, suggested a light, airy spin on the idea of the white-cube art gallery -- a series of spaces with their paper-thin walls curling in memorably on themselves, like stickers half-peeled from their backing.

The building was meant to replace BAM's current home along the south side of the UC Berkeley campus, a notable piece of architecture in its own right, by Mario Ciampi, that opened in 1970 and is plagued by seismic problems. Along with the crisp appeal of the Ito design -- the Tokyo-based architect's first project in the U.S. -- the big news of the plan was that it promised to deliver a university art museum and film center into the heart of downtown Berkeley, outside the campus proper.

Last week, though, the museum announced it was abandoning plans for the Ito building. The problem, not surprisingly, is money.

"sailing along between the skyscrapers"

A vision of green kicked off New York's famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade yesterday when a 60-foot-tall Kermit the frog floated high above Manhattan's streets.
Thousands of tourists and holiday revellers gathered to watch giant inflatable versions of their favourite characters - including Dora the Explorer, Spiderman and Father Christmas - sail along between the skyscrapers.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"battered by winds, changed by time"

Director David Lean would do many films in his 83 years, but he would become a master of sweeping historical dramas, "Doctor Zhivago" and "A Passage to India" among them. On Friday night, the Egyptian Theatre will have one of Lean's greatest in "Lawrence of Arabia." The 1962 film won seven Oscars and became a career changer for its star, Peter O'Toole. The tragedy is that too many movie buffs have never witnessed O'Toole as Lawrence on the big screen -- racing on horseback across an endless desert, battered by winds, changed by time. The sheer beauty and magnitude of the images will truly take you away. For those of you who've never experienced Lean in breathtaking 70-millimeter (and no, a 60-inch plasma doesn't count), celebrate the day after Thanksgiving watching instead of shopping. Who knows when Lawrence will return again?

"creating the werewolf effects for "The Twilight Saga: New Moon"

Darkness may be a visual effects artist's best friend, but his biggest enemy isn't bright sunlight -- it's the overcast day. So adding all those CG werewolves to scenes shot in cloudy Vancouver, Canada, was a particular challenge for "New Moon" visual effects supervisor Phil Tippett and his team. "On a sunny day, you get really nice contrasts, but with flat lighting and a furry thing -- the fur really soaks up the light and everything appears flat," Tippett said. "So to make it appear three-dimensional, we had to goose reality. We emphasized their shadows and used rim lights" to make the wolves stand out from the background. But that's not the only way Tippett and company played with reality. When that wolf checks out Bella, it's not a wolf's eyes, it's Jacob's. "We brought Taylor [Lautner] in and had him haul his eyelids back as far as possible and shot close-ups." They then added those eyes to the giant animated timber wolf used in the scene.

-- Patrick Kevin Day

"Three Stooges" Festival

The Alex Film Society is going for the nyuk-nyuk-nyuks on Saturday as it presents "At Your Soivice -- Professional Mayhem With the Stooges," its annual Three Stooges festival at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. The program features four Curly titles and a Shemp, Moe and Larry short in 3-D. On hand will be Allison Booth, of the Stooges' 1939 comedy "Three Sappy People." The film society is offering a matinee and evening of Stooge insanity.

"unseen for nearly 70 years"

A major work by French painter Paul Delaroche, thought to have been virtually destroyed during a World War II German air raid on London in 1941, has been unrolled and found to be in good condition.

"Charles I Insulted by Cromwell's Soldiers," depicting the British king shortly before his execution in 1649, was damaged in a May 1941 bombing. The 1837 canvas was taken down, rolled up and moved to a country house in Scotland, where it has remained unseen for nearly 70 years.

Representatives of the National Gallery in London and the National Gallery of Scotland asked if they could inspect the work ahead of an exhibition on Delaroche to be held in London from Feb. 24-May 23 next year.

They discovered about 200 tears caused by shrapnel but, contrary to expectations, the painting was "almost entirely legible and has lost none of its emotive intensity."

Bold Venture

Ira "Babe" Hanford, who as an 18-year-old apprentice jockey rode 20-1 shot Bold Venture to victory in the 1936 Kentucky Derby, died Saturday in Ocala, Fla., after a long illness, said his wife of 67 years, Virginia. He was 91.

He was the oldest living jockey to have won the Derby and the only apprentice to have done so.

Hanford did not get a chance to ride Bold Venture in the Preakness because racing officials suspended him for 15 days after the Derby. He retired in 1953 without running in another Derby. He is one of 22 jockeys to win the Run for the Roses in their only appearance.

Hanford said officials never told him why he was suspended, along with two other jockeys. He said in a 2006 interview that he suspected it had to do with the rugged nature of the sport at the time.

Back then, the starting gate didn't have front or rear doors to lock the horses in a somewhat uniform line. They were led in and stood there until a bell rang.

Hanford looked to his right and saw Bien Joli standing at an angle and about a neck in front of him and Bold Venture. He called out to jockey Lester Balaski to straighten his horse.

"I didn't get 'horse' out of the mouth and the bell rang," said Hanford, who as an apprentice got to carry less weight than senior riders. "When he made the first or second jump out of the gate, he hit me and turned me almost sideways."

Hanford and Bold Venture careened to the left and into Granville, knocking jockey Jimmy Stout to the ground.

Bold Venture's trainer, Max Hirsch, replaced Hanford with George Woolfe for the Preakness, which the horse won. Bold Venture did not run in the Belmont.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Morning Over Mono Lake"

Photo by Los Angeles Times Your Scene by KAbraham.

"Blue Jay about to perch"

Photo from Los Angeles Times Your Scene by dotunderscore.

"The Princess and the Frog"

The Princess and the Frog will be released to theaters on December 25, 2009.

"the intermittent click-click sound of the cranking"

Films may have been silent a century ago, but the film projectors weren't. Back in 1909, projectionists would stand in the middle of a venue and hand crank 10-minute one-reelers. Some moviegoers would even sit near the projector because they liked the intermittent click-click sound of the cranking.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is re-creating the sights and the sounds of the moviegoing experience 100 years ago with its "A Century Ago: The Films of 1909 -- The Stars Are Born" on Monday evening and "A Century Ago: The First Films of Mary Pickford" on Tuesday. Both events take place at the Linwood Dunn Theater.

Besides Michael Mortilla's live accompaniment to these vintage films, Joe Rinauldo will be hand-cranking the movies on a restored 1909 Nicholas Power Co. Model 6 Cameragraph.

Throughout the silent era, projectionists hand-cranked film. "It was an art of pride," says Rinauldo. "A lot of these itinerant projectionists would travel to towns that didn't have theaters. They would usually travel in a wagon or old truck, bring a piano and would set up tent shows."

And it was a real skill to crank correctly. "The frame rate is kind of a tricky thing," says Rinauldo, who fell in love with old films as a boy.

"The mean speed was around 16 frames a second. One turn of the crank handle is 16 frames with one crank equaling one second. Movie cameramen would hum 'The Anvil Chorus' in their mind to keep their speed even. But often cameramen wouldn't hold their speed and different cameramen would film a scene."

So just as 100 years ago, Rinauldo adjusts his cranking to correct any problems with the frame speed.

Rinauldo will be projecting an eclectic mixture of films both nights, including early films of comic Ben Turpin and stage star Maurice Costello.

For the "couch potato"

For the true TV lover, Thanksgiving is the greatest day of the year. If you aren't cooking -- and you aren't part of one of those wacky families that actually interacts -- you're probably planning to spend the better part of the afternoon parked on the couch, remote control in hand. And if changing channels sounds too taxing, there is more than enough TV to fill the hours, flip-free. There are many to choose from.
The Brady Bunch" marathon will provide lighthearted entertainment that will take your mind off your scary in-laws. Get the theme song stuck in your head starting at 9 a.m. on TV Land.

Thr Zeppelin is back !!!

The 246-foot zeppelin Eureka, which can carry 13 passengers and a crew of two, flies over Long Beach Harbor, with the Queen Mary in the background. The German-made airship, which is filled with nonexplosive helium gas, is permanently based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It will offer a limited number of Southland scenic tours out of Long Beach Airport.

The last time something like this was seen in Los Angeles was 1929, when the Graf Zeppelin dropped in on Westchester's Mines Air Field before starting its nonstop Pacific crossing during its record-setting around-the-world flight.

The era of the rigid-framed zeppelin came crashing to an end in 1937, when the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg exploded as it attempted to land at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. Thirty-six people were killed. But now the zeppelin is back and filled with non-explosive helium. A privately run company based at the Bay Area's Moffett Field has returned the German-made craft to California skies.

Although airships such as the Goodyear blimp are a common sight in the Los Angeles area, blimps are smaller than zeppelins and carry only six passengers. The 246-foot zeppelin, called the Eureka, can carry 13 passengers and a crew of two. Those on board have unobstructed views of landmarks through giant plexiglass windows that line all sides of its cabin.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Getty Gardens

We all knew they would be beautiful -- and they are. (Los Angeles: Photo by tfb on Your Scene/Los Angeles Times)

Leiden, Netherlands a Dutch haven

Snow dusts trees along a canal in Leiden. The city, about 25 miles southwest of Amsterdam, was a refuge for the Pilgrims, who eventually came to America.Snow dusts trees along a canal in Leiden. The city, about 25 miles southwest of Amsterdam, was a refuge for the Pilgrims, who eventually came to America.
Leiden, which is like a compact Amsterdam, is also laced with canals.
A worker tends a pond containing giant Victoria lilies in the Hortus Botanicus, founded in 1594. The botanical garden cultivated some of Europe's first tulips, a flower emblematic of Holland.

"as if it happened yesterday"

A team of Canadian and U.S. marine archeologists has discovered a long-lost shipwreck in the depths of Yukon's legendary Lake Laberge that is being hailed as a "national treasure" and a "time capsule" from the Klondike.

The "perfectly preserved" 19th-century sternwheeler A.J. Goddard — named for an intrepid U.S. shipping merchant who pioneered Yukon River transport during the wild race for Canadian gold in the 1890s — went down in a storm more than a century ago in the setting made famous by the Robert Service poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee."

In the ghoulish rhyme, a Tennessee gold-seeker's frozen corpse finds blissful relief from the fatal Yukon cold in the fiery boiler of a sternwheeler stranded in ice on Lake Laberge.

The lake, a widening of the Yukon River north of Whitehorse, was a key leg in the treacherous, five-day journey by steamboat for tens of thousands of "stampeders" who came from across the U.S., Canada and elsewhere to search for gold in the Yukon's Klondike region in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

Many of the miners trudged from Skagway, Alaska — which could be reached by Pacific steamers — across dangerous mountain passes to the Yukon River headwaters in northern British Columbia.

Goddard took the same arduous route with the materials used to build his sternwheeler, which was assembled on the shores of B.C.'s Lake Bennett and became the first steamboat to reach Dawson — then only a tent city filled with fortune hunters — in June 1898.

Goddard's historic arrival at Dawson in his self-named boat — to the thunderous cheers of miners — has become part of Klondike lore, recounted in the works of author Pierre Berton and other Gold Rush chroniclers.

The ship sank in October 1901, and three of the five crewmen on board at the time drowned.

Doug Davidge, president of the Yukon Transportation Museum, and B.C. archeologist John Pollack, a research associate with the Texas-based, international Institute of Nautical Archaeology, had led several searches for Klondike-era wrecks before discovering the sternwheeler in 2008 and positively identifying the 15-metre wreck earlier this year.

"She is, indeed, a Gold Rush time capsule," INA president James Delgado, former director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, told Canwest News Service.

"The boiler door is hanging open with the firewood they'd thrown in," he said. "There are bags of tools and somebody's coat lying there on the deck, and the boots that the engineer probably kicked off as he was drowning lie close to his station."

In a statement announcing the find, the researchers also describe how a trapper camping on the shore of Lake Laberge in 1901 "saw Goddard's tiny pilothouse, torn off the sinking steamboat, with two survivors, half frozen, clinging to it. He saved them . . . Diving on A.J. Goddard, it is as if these events happened yesterday."

Above, the steam-powered sternwheeler A.J. Goddard, loaded with men, supplies and firewood, heads toward the Klondike gold fields along the Yukon River in 1898. Photograph by: Handout, Alaska State Library

Little tramp

A long-planned museum dedicated to Charlie Chaplin, pictured, will be constructed at the site of the actor's former home in Switzerland. (Radio Suisse Romande)

Photo: Charlie Chaplin with Virginia Cherrill in a scene from "City Lights." Credit: Los Angeles Times

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Stimulus of the Season"

Shoppers watch a demonstration by aerialists at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles. The mall plans to hold 60 free holiday performances starting Friday. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

She "Dreamed a Dream"

The upcoming debut album by British singing sensation Susan Boyle has become the largest global CD pre-order in the history of, the online retailer said Thursday.

Boyle's album, "I Dreamed a Dream," will be released Tuesday by Sony Music Entertainment.

It is the first album since the 48-year-old church volunteer from Scotland took the Internet by storm with her unlikely star turn on the TV show "Britain's Got Talent" in April.

Amazon said Boyle's album is not only the top CD pre-order in the United States, but it's also the biggest around the world in the 14-year history of its website.

"Downtown on Ice"

Take your mittens and scarves out of the closet, strap on your skates and prepare to glide into winter. Pershing Square transforms into a winter wonderland at Downtown on Ice, L.A.'s biggest outdoor holiday skating rink. Noon to 10 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Adults, $8. Includes skate rental. Pershing Square Park, 532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles. (213) 847 4970.

"a sea of suds"

The former Karma Coffeehouse was known for its vegan treats, organic coffee and bathroom graffiti. Now, in keeping with the continued gentrification of the Cahuenga Corridor, it has been transformed (by Spacecraft) into Stout, a beer-focused bar with 30 taps featuring several obscure brews paired with big, thick burgers. Beers include Delirium Tremens, Thelonious and Dale's Pale Ale, to name just a few.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Will the 710 Freeway ever find its way ???

No hint of swagger here

George W. Bush was a lightning rod of a politician. His presidential library is meant to be anything but.

Architectural plans released today for the $250-million, 225,000-square-foot George W. Bush Presidential Center, to be built at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, carry no hint of the swagger, bravado or taste for confrontation that Bush was known for as president.

Designed by New York's Robert A.M. Stern, arguably the country's leading historicist architect, the library is a handsome, contextual piece of architecture wrapped in Texas limestone (which may sound like a euphemism, like "Texas tea," but isn't) and red brick. Though on its main facades it uses classical themes in a mostly abstract way, rather than literally, it is very much meant to complement SMU's predominantly Georgian-style landmarks.

Hitchcock's FIRST "Man Who Knew Too Much"

The once-threatened film program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art continues to thrive, and this excellent series is a chance to show your support and watch some splendid films in the bargain. Directed by the master of suspense, between 1930 and 1939, the series features crackling thrillers both known ("Sabotage" on Saturday, "The 39 Steps" on Nov. 27, "The Lady Vanishes" on Nov. 28) and little-seen ("Murder" on Friday, "Number 17" on Nov. 27). Start your weekend right with "The Man Who Knew Too Much" on Friday and prepare to be entertained.

-- Kenneth Turan


This Oct. 27, 1958 file photo shows Rep. Robert C. Byrd. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2009, Byrd will become the longest serving member of either house of Congress. (AP Photo)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"A Python's Life"

An Evening With John Cleese The "Monty Python" alumnus discusses his hilarious life and career. The Academy Award nominee shares the humorous sides of his many problems and dilemmas, including his latest plan for world peace. Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St., Long Beach. 8 p.m. $50. (562) 985-7000.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Bonnie and Clyde" return and return and . . .

Before dying at age 25 in a hail of lawmen's bullets, Clyde Barrow had achieved the fame he sought -- and he had killed 14 men, directly or indirectly. His loyal moll, Bonnie Parker, may never have shot anyone. But as one of their cohorts in the Barrow gang said, "She was one hell of a loader."

The notorious 1930s bank robbers were transformed into mythical outlaw lovers by director Arthur Penn, actor-producer Warren Beatty and screenwriters David Newman and Robert Benton in the 1967 film "Bonnie and Clyde." That myth has yet to be dispelled, despite the revisionism of time and two recent books about the couple's 1932-34 crime spree.

Now a new musical, "Bonnie & Clyde," is in previews at La Jolla Playhouse and director Jeff Calhoun says of the show, "Ironically, this may be the most truthful account yet of the lives of Bonnie and Clyde, even though it is a musical."

2012: Triumph of Disaster

It's the end of the world as we know it! And Sony Pictures feels fine. "2012" took in $65 million in its opening weekend domestically and another $160 million abroad. Even the Maya probably didn't see that big a debut coming. Disney's "A Christmas Carol" had a strong second week, and "Precious" looks destined for bigger things. Box office analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Variety and Deadline. Cable network FX didn't even wait for "2012's" second weekend to buy up the basic-cable TV rights, says the Hollywood Reporter.