Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"He was First in the First"

Ray Harroun won the 1911 Indianapolis 500, but it took him almost 7 hours, driving his Marmon Wasp.

"A new generation of weaponry"

A new generation of weaponry is being readied in clandestine laboratories across the nation that puts a priority on pintsized technology that would be more precise in warfare and less likely to cause civilian casualties. Increasingly, the Pentagon is being forced to discard expensive, hulking, Cold War-era armaments that exact a heavy toll on property and human lives.At L-3 Interstate Electronics Corp. in Anaheim, technicians work in secure rooms developing a GPS guidance system for a 13-pound “smart bomb” that would be attached to small, low-flying drone.

Engineers in Simi Valley at AeroVironment Inc. are developing a mini-cruise missile designed to fit into a soldier’s rucksack, be fired from a mortar and scour the battlefield for enemy targets.

We haven't always honored our heroes, not all of them

Sixty years ago in Three Rivers, Texas the only funeral home in town refused to hold a wake for Felix Longoria, a decorated Mexican American soldier killed in battle during World War II.

The owner told Longoria’s widow he couldn’t be waked in the funeral home because “The whites wouldn’t like it”.

Those words became front page news across the country, sparking outrage and setting off a series of events that would come to be known as The Longoria Affair. They launched a national civil rights movement, led by Mexican American veterans -- and bitterly divided Three Rivers for generations to come.
Behind closed doors, two stubborn and savvy leaders, newly-elected Senator Lyndon Johnson and veteran/activist Dr. Hector Garcia, formed an enduring alliance over the incident.

Over the next 15 years, their complex, sometimes contentious relationship would help Latinos become a national force for the first time in American history, carry John F. Kennedy to the White House, and ultimately lead to Johnson’s signature on the most important civil rights legislation of the 20th century.

"Saying 'GOOD BYE' on your own terms"

“Is it the book and the kit?” asked the first police officers to arrive on the scene. The paramedics nodded knowingly. “Yep.”

These materials were assembled and sold to Klonoski last June for $60 by a company that calls itself the Gladd Group, which is not really a group at all. It’s a woman from the San Diego suburb of La Mesa, California, named Sharlotte Hydorn. She is 91 years old.

Each of the kits Hydorn assembles by hand is a simple contraption designed for a single purpose: people kill themselves with it by encasing their head in a bag of helium, which is lethal in pure form. People like Klonoski, the son of a U.S. district judge and whose funeral was attended by more than a thousand people. The Gladd Group’s estimated annual sales are $98,000. That means Sharlotte Hydorn sells more than 1,600 suicide kits every year.

"single-handedly knocked out two German machine gun nests and took 24 prisoners"

BALTIMORE-During the Battle of the Bulge, Paul J. Wiedorfer charged 150 yards across a snow- and ice-covered field under intense enemy fire, single-handedly knocked out two German machine gun nests and took 24 prisoners. His spectacular feat earned him the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor.

Wiedorfer died Wednesday of heart failure at a retirement home in Baltimore. He was 90.

"We did not take over the homepage of pbs.org although we could have"

Attackers said they hacked the PBS website in retaliation for the Frontline television program's portrayal of Bradley Manning, who's suspected of leaking a massive number of files to WikiLeaks. But in a message posted to Pastebin, the attackers emphasized that they didn't delete--or in Unix-speak, rm (remove)--files: "We rooted the boxes. We did not destroy the boxes or content. No rm's. We did not take over the homepage of pbs.org although we could have."


A 15-year-old has created a free-music service by harnessing YouTube's vast library of music videos.

Muziic, created by teen developer David Nelson, has built an iTunes-like interface on top of YouTube. The service enables users to stream YouTube's music to their PCs without fiddling with videos. Users can build playlists and organize songs in a way similar to iTunes.

"Sustainability Base"

The new, environmentally friendly building at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. is being named "Sustainability Base" in honor of the first humans to walk on the surface of another world from their Tranquility Base Apollo 11 lunar landing site 40 years ago. It will serve as a highly efficient collaborative support facility providing workspace for a wide range of NASA's aeronautics and space exploration missions.

“The Green Rebirth"

With the post “The Green Rebirth Of An Old Naval Air Station” , it is no secret that Forced Green is always impressed with the goings on at NASA Ames Research Center. And it is also no secret that one of Forced Green’s favorite innovative subject’s is Unimodal’s amazing SkyTran .

This past January, Plum TV’s Masters Of Innovation series with host Jim Brasher presented an episode called “Space Age Green”. This episode covers how the cutting-edge technology designed for space travel at NASA Ames Research Center is being re-purposed to make life on this planet a whole lot greener. From carbon net-zero office buildings to more efficient air travel, SkyTran’s Jetson-like pods for commuters and mushroom’s that clean up oil spills. Proving that of all the corporations and government entities talking the green talk, NASA is actually walking the green walk with a plethora of environment-friendly game-changers.

"Are they meeting their goal ???"

The mission of Alaska Airlines Magazine is to be the best travel, lifestyle and business publication covering the Alaska Airlines route system. It is designed to engage, entertain and inform the passengers of Alaska Airlines, a sophisticated audience of business and leisure travelers. Insightful, timely and cleanly designed, the magazine reflects the quality and integrity of Alaska Airlines.

We focus on the people and places of the Alaska Airlines route system, exploring the issues, trends and events that shape these regions. With superior writing and striking photography, Alaska Airlines Magazine spotlights the cultural and visual diversity of Alaska Airlines markets: from the wilderness of Alaska to the beaches of Southern California; from the rich Latin flavor of Mexico to the cosmopolitan intrigue of cities that range from Vancouver to New York.

They call him Thomas "Ten"chum!

Thomas Finchum fans react after a dive in the senior 10m platform final during the 2008 USA Diving Olympic Team Trials at the Indiana University Natatorium on June 22, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

(June 22, 2008 - Photo by Harry How/Getty Images North America)

Monday, May 30, 2011

"second-closest finish in '500' history"

Marco Andretti, making his first Indianapolis 500 appearance, nearly completed the storybook ending as he piloted the #26 NYSE car to a second-place finish in the second-closest finish in '500' history Sunday afternoon at the 90th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Endeavor's last voyage

The crew of the space shuttle Endeavor waved their final goodbye to the astronauts remaining on board the International Space Station. The six crewmembers now face two days of travel before NASA's second-to-last manned shuttle mission arrives back on Earth. It's the last such voyage for Endeavor, however—the space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to liftoff on NASA's final crewed shuttle voyage July 8.

The parting goodbyes between the International Space Station crew and the six members of the Endeavor crew–led by shuttle commander Mark Kelly–took place around 7 a.m. EDT today, terminating around 11 total days of connection between the two spacecraft. Kelly was the final crewmember to walk—er, float—off the ISS.

"One of so many who gave their all"

Army Pfc. Lyndon A. Marcus Jr., Age 21

Died May 3, 2004 serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom

Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.; assigned to the 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, Vilseck, Germany; one of four soldiers killed May 3 when their military vehicle left the road and flipped over in a canal in Balad, Iraq.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"Why does the media always twist my words by quoting me verbatim ???"

The presidential hopefuls are coming out of the woodwork, and that means it’s time for Republicans to turn up the crazy. And you didn't think they could turn it up any higher.

"Where 'normal' reconfigures to 'intrigue'"

Normally, the ghost town of Gold Point, located 140 miles from Pahrump, hosts an all out Memorial Day celebration of music, food, free camping, vendor booths, partying and a huge veteran’s memorial celebration on the day.

This year, plans have changed and a comment on goldpointghosttown.com states the “…event, a tradition for many years, is now strictly history. The times, they are a changin’.” In some respects, the comment is true, the gathering is on, but the format has changed.

Ghost Town Operations will host a weekend party, and Sheriff Stone and Red Dog Lil will still be on site. There will still be food, alcohol, dry RV and tent camping and an outdoor party, but instead of a veteran’s shindig, it will be a hunt for the paranormal Friday and Saturday nights.

Participants will pay $30 per person to search for ghosts in the dark, $60 includes breakfast and dinner. Feel free to bring ghost hunting gear and dress appropriately. Flashlights, solid footwear and jackets are recommended.

The Nye Gold Seekers and Gold Searchers of Southern Nevada will be searching for gold, demonstrating panning techniques and handing out membership information.
Vendor table space may still be available.

Call 775-482-4653 or 702-813-2187 for additional information or to reserve space. The website ghosttownoperations.com has breakfast, lunch, dinner and alcohol prices listed.

Two Views of One Scene

Skyline of Nairobi, Kenya

"sacrosanct ???"

LOS ANGELES—Not much is sacred in Hollywood. Classics are remade; final cuts are subjected to focus groups and re-edited.

But the Hollywood sign? That is sacrosanct.

Plans to erect a “Wellywood” sign mimicking the Hollywood sign in Wellington, New Zealand — part of an effort to promote that city’s growing film industry — have riled Hollywood insiders.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which holds the trademark to the sign, insists that Wellington Airport needs permission to use the image and is threatening legal action.

“Over the years, we’ve been contacted by a lot of people who want to mimic the sign,” Leron Gubler, president of the chamber, said. “We usually tell them, ‘Do something of your own.’ ”

"One of the world's most scenic waterfalls"

Kaieteur Falls is a high-volume waterfall on the Potaro River in central Guyana, Potaro-Siparuni region. It is located in Kaieteur National Park. It is 226 meters (741 ft) when measured from its plunge over a sandstone and conglomerate cliff to the first break. It then flows over a series of steep cascades that, when included in the measurements, bring the total height to 251 meters (822 ft). While many falls have greater height, few have the combination of height and water volume. This has given Kaieteur Falls the misleading label of "largest single drop" waterfall in the world which is often misinterpreted as "tallest single drop." However, it is likely one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world.

Kaieteur Falls is about five times higher than the more well known Niagara Falls, located on the border between Canada and the United States and about two times the height of the Victoria Falls located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa. It is a single drop waterfall which is the 123rd tallest (single and multi-drop waterfall) in the world, according to the World Waterfalls Database. The same web site lists it as 19th largest waterfall in terms of volume, and in their estimation, Kaieteur is the 26th most scenic waterfall in the world.

"Mad Dogs & Englishmen British Car Faire"

"Mad Dogs & Englishmen British Car Faire"

July 10th 2011 ( Sunday ) | 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

21st Annual "Mad Dogs & Englishmen British Car Faire"

Sunday, July 10

All day family fun car show open to all British made vehicles. Features cars for sale, swap area and car games. Over 350 vehicles on the show field.

Enjoy people's choice judging, car games, and rides in the Museum's Austin London Taxi or the Double Decker bus. Bagpipers and Tea Time, too! This year the show will feature Rolls-Royce & Bentley vehicles. (Shown above is the British Steam Car).

Special Event Admission of $9.00 includes all museum exhibits at no extra charge - those under 11 FREE!

To pre-register online visit
269-344-5555 or email britishcars@maddogsandenglishmen.org

"World's Smallest"

Every year on Memorial Day weekend, Brian Ranch Airport hosts the "World's Smallest" Air Show. This event draws pilots and aviation enthusiasts from all over the western United States. The air show features ultralights, light sport aircraft, and general aviation in flying and static displays, manufacturers, and children's activities. Memorabilia and food are available.

Listen to radio interviews with Felice Apodaca about the Air Show on Ultraflight Radio.

The "World's Smallest" Air Show is a USUA Signature Event. Location: 34810 Largo Vista Rd., PO Box 355, Llano, CA 93544, (661) 261-3216.

"You can discover scandals and mysteries here"

At the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the stars are waiting for you. Here you can learn about Hollywood's past and present and see the graves of stars such as Rudolph Valentino, John Huston, Peter Lorre, Jayne Mansfield, Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, "Alfalfa" from the Little Rascals and many more! Hollywood Forever is a vast, immaculately landscaped cemetery boasting mausoleums, exhibitions, monuments, and gardens. It's a return to the storied past as you navigate the labyrinth of the present as you discover the highlights, history, scandals and mysteries of Hollywood Forever.

We give our thanks to the brave men, some of whom have given their lives to protect us

The Palm Springs Air Museum’s Annual Memorial Day Flower Drop commemorates the important role of those who fought in World War II with a flower drop of 3,000 red and white carnations from the museum’s B-25 aircraft. The flower drop takes place from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on May 30.

Mongolian Culture in L A

Mongolian Cultural Festival & Fair
Events will include mask dancing and Mongolian wrestling.

When: June 4th : 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Price: $5

Venue: Los Angeles City Hall

200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA, 90012

Phone: 213-473-7000 (Phone)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Kind of Town . . . Chicago is . . .

Chicago's Magnificent Mile hosts numerous, upscale stores, as well as landmarks like the Chicago Water Tower.
Chicago or /ʃɪˈkɔːɡoʊ/, local pronunciation /ʃɪˈkaːɡoʊ/ is the largest city in the U.S. state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous city in the USA, after New York City and Los Angeles. Its metropolitan area, commonly named "Chicagoland," is the 27th most populous urban agglomeration in the world and the third largest in the United States, home to an estimated 9.5 million people spread across the U.S. states of Illinois, Indiana,... and Wisconsin. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second largest county in the United States by population after Los Angeles County, California. Chicago was founded in 1833, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed. Today, the city retains its status as a major hub for industry, telecommunications and infrastructure, with O'Hare International Airport being the second busiest airport, in terms of traffic movements, in the world. In 2008, the city hosted 45.6 million domestic and overseas visitors.

"the heart and soul"

“Very few things in life are perfect just as they are – Old Tony’s is one of them, a rare circa 1952 jewel that stands out from all the rest.” “A waterfront restaurant that symbolizes everything that makes living here in Southern California delightful…Revitalizing the pier is one thing, but removing the heart and soul of it would be a big mistake.”

Tony Trutanich shortly after opening his restuarant on the pier 60 years ago.

"Jimmy Surf N’ Turf"

“It’s like a reunion. It’s what we did growing up,” said Fonoimoana, on the May Sunday that felt like mid summer, with a waist high wind swell and blistering hot sand on the volleyball courts. The Dig For Jimmy Surf N’ Turf benefits Dig for Kids and the Jimmy Miller Foundation. Shown above is Zaun Kelly.

"South Bay's Sean Scott Succeeds"

Many professional beach volleyball players received their wish last weekend when the uncertainty of where they would play in 2011 became clear. This happened when the upstart National Volleyball League (NVL) held it first tournament of the season in the infield of the Pimlico Race Course prior to the Preakness Stakes near Baltimore.

After the dissolution of the Association of Volleyball Players (AVP) last year, many players were left wondering if they still had a career as a professional and, if so, where would they be able to compete.

The top seeded men’s team of John Hyden (Sherman Oaks) and Sean Scott (Redondo Beach) swept fourth-seeded Billy Allen and Matt Prosser 21-16, 21-15 to capture the league’s first men’s title in the history of the new league.

“exotic medley of flavors" -- NO WAY !!

Eat Smart Snacks assures us this is a “gourmet flavor.” Effusive prose on the back of the bag extols the “exotic medley of flavors.”

I should know by now that when food packaging pats itself on the back for the brilliant achievement of its contents, I’m being handed a clue to the questionable judgment of the thing’s begetter. Someone at Eat Smart Snacks headquarters wasn’t thinking right to greenlight this exotic medley. Someone’s tastebuds in the Eat Smart Kitchen weren’t functioning right since those buds failed to convey the distasteful flavor of these things. They’re awful. I know that’s a subjective opinion. But they’re really awful. And the cost of $3.99 for five ounces adds insult to injury.

Avoid at all costs.

(According to Mike Ettner)

"Long may he fly"

The Confederate flag is most often used as a tool for oppression, yet one artist working in the Chelsea district of Manhattan is turning this around. Michael Holman uses the Confederate flag for a higher purpose, exploring the many facets of his family history and personal identity through this loaded symbol.

Whether through film, music, collage, or paint, Michael Holman is an artist of many capacities. In the 1980s, Michael first made a splash in New York creative circles by playing music with Jean-Michel Basquiat and hosting of the hip hop television show, Graffiti Rock. Twenty years later, he still takes a non traditional approach to exploring his identity.

Soccer team together for over a decade heading off to college

After 13 years of playing together, the Manhattan/Hermosa AYSO team that calls themselves the Sissies, played their last game on Sunday.(Top row, left to right) Coach Derek Levy, Avery Jett, Chris, Cody Smith, Travis Taylor, Adrian Pinter, coach Tony Fitzgerald, Cody Espresso, Bryan Linnel and Thomas Brunner; (middle row) Jan Van Soest, Patrick Fitzgerald, Luke Levy, Andy Hershey, Alex McCarthy, Joe Valenzuela; (bottom row) David Slay, Chuck Pitts, Shane Sisson and Oliver Thomas

Derrick Levy and Tony Fitzgerald began coaching their sons’ AYSO team in 1998 when their sons Luke and Patrick were five-years old. Sunday afternoon, at the Manhattan Village soccer field, the two coaches, their two sons and the 16 other members of their team, all of whom played for or against one another over the past 13 years, played their last game together.

The unbeaten Manhattan team faced an unbeaten Hawthorne team for the Under 19 league championship. It was a hard fought, emotional game. Manhattan scored first, but Hawthorne tied the game shortly before halftime. In the second, half yellow cards and then red cards began flying. Following a pushing match, the referee and coaches from both sides rushed to separate the teams before the incident could escalate. Then, with time running out, Hawthorne scored the winning goal.

The Manhattan coaches were disappointed, but philosophical about the loss. “We told them what we’ve been telling them every practice for the past decade. Soccer is a beginning, not an end,” said Fitzgerald, who played on professional soccer teams in England and Belgium in his youth. His parents insisted he give up the sport to go to college, where the players he coached are headed next year. ER

"The Cyclone rollercoaster and Wonderwheel"

Beginning after the Civil War Coney Island became a major resort destination as transportation to the beach was built and Manhattanites looked for a vacation spot within a few hours of the City. Luxurious hotels where built on the sandy beaches and millions of visitors packed Coney Island every summer. Hotels such as the Manhattan Beach, the Oriental, and the Brighton Beach featured lavish ballrooms, hundreds of guest rooms, and were the epitome of luxury.

With the building of the railroads that would eventually become today's subway lines millions thronged to Coney Island. As vacationing New Yorkers flocked to the beach the upscale resort quality of Coney Island transformed to one of amusements, sideshows, and entertainment for the masses. Coney Island in many ways was the birthplace of the American tradition of Amusement parks, thrill rides, and circus entertainment. Coney Island was a playland for New Yorker's of all ages. On a hot summer day the beaches would be packed so that you could barely see the sand. Like a glittering jewel the amusement parks would light up with thousands of twinkling little lights every night.

Since its glory days in the early 20th century Coney Island has fallen on hard times. The classic beauty of the architecture, the glamour, and the spectacle have declined. All of the original resort hotels have fallen victim to time and redevelopment. The amusements, theaters, and shows that were once a jewels on the ocean have also fallen victim to the wrecking ball. The Cyclone rollercoaster and Wonderwheel are all that remain of this time. They are reminders of the faded glory and of the glamour and opulence that once defined this far-flung Brooklyn community.

"Tiki Culture"

Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker is an artist / resident of the active volcanic island of Hawaii. His art journey began when he was thrown out of an advanced painting class at UCLA, by a professor who told me him could not be taught because he was "an illustrator not an artist!" For many years he believed this. He believed the "Art World" axiom that "painting is dead". But soon he discovered that art was rising from the grave! Robert Williams was breaking down the walls between lowbrow and highbrow and showing art that made Parker's heart sing and dance, and made his DNA mutate! Brad transitioned from a commercial illustrator into a fine artist. He ceased taking all Hollywood storyboard and illustration jobs, spent every red cent he had, and moved to the Big Island to be near the source: the burning hot lava center or the environmental/geological catalyst the spawned the birth of "Tiki" art hundreds of years ago. Later tiki art, washed tsunami-like onto American shores as "Hawaiiana" in the 50's, and again as "Tiki Culture" in current hipster-kitsch vernacular.

"What I create has little to do with traditional Hawaiian art, or the art most galleries in Hawaii show: tourist art of dolphins, and sea scapes. What I do is Polynesian pop-surrealistic art. Living and making art on the edge of this volcano, I witness the natural beauty, the cataclysmic clash of cultures, and the strange devolution of primitive art into kitsch and evolving back up again into Modern Pop Art and yet again into my own personal obsession. I cannot stop pealing away the historic layers of icons so changed that they have become the opposite of what they started out as. Figures feared as war gods placated by human sacrifice and used in possible black magic death rituals are now copied out of museum catalogs and reproduced over seas as plastic good luck Tikis and handed to children. Which is the point. Man looks at the horror and meaninglessness of life, and tires to make sense of it. Time steps on and horror becomes comedy, yet still we seek the meaning of it all. What happens when we face our last sunset? Is there any strange idol or being waiting for us on that twilight shore to take us and show us where we go next? I think my art is hopeful. The human imagination raging against the void. Nothing is certain, so anything is possible."

CHARACTER in every line

(Source unknown)


Korken Alexander made a big splash when he performed at LA's award-winning supper club "Sterling's Upstairs" at the legendary Vitello's Restaurant in Studio City, CA. His show: Embracing Your Inner Geek was a big hit. You'll also remember him from Salam Shalom at the Greenway Court Theatre where he played Yaron in this unusual and riveting tale.

Learning More About A Very Special Performer

PERFORMER PROFILE --------- Ron Velasco

Gender: Male
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 170 lbs
Age Range: 20 - 30
Physique: Athletic
Hair Color: Black
Hair Length: Short
Eyes: Brown
Ethnicity: Asian, Pacific Islander
Voice Type: Bass, Baritone


Performance Skills: Voiceover, Host
Athletic Skills: Volleyball, Surfing, Snowboarding, Swimming, Ice Skating, Figure Skating
Accents: Texan, Asian
Spoken Languages: Italian, Spanish, Filipino
Musical Instruments: Recorder, Guitar, Clarinet, Sax


"Downtown SF is getting better and better"

All of our patient waiting has finally paid off – the final design for San Francisco’s new transit center was finally revealed last week! The San Francisco Transbay Transit Center is designed to hold 12 transit systems and will also house the future high speed rail terminus. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, the final design for the center includes some changes from past incarnation, most notably an awesome 5.4 acre green roof and public park that will have an amphitheater for music performances and movie screenings. Downtown SF is getting better and better, now let’s get that HSR line under construction!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Marvelous subject and technique!

The Fifth Avenue Art Gallery at 1470 Highland Avenue in the Eau Gallie Arts District of Melbourne invites photographers to participate in a juried exhibition. This exhibition is open to all photographers 18 years, living and working in central Florida. All subject matter, techniques and styles are welcome.

"Portland" -- Looks like a good place to be!

Photo by Jeff Jahn.

"High Tide"

Oil Painting,"High Tide" is by Bee Gossett.