Friday, December 26, 2014

Look what's cooking in South Park

A skyline-altering retail, residential and hotel complex with three
high-rise towers in the bustling South Park neighborhood in downtown Los
Angeles is finally moving forward.

Chinese developer Oceanwide
Real Estate Group began leveling several structures this month on a
sprawling parking lot across from Staples Center on Figueroa Street,
paving the way for an early 2015 groundbreaking. The demolition ends
years of inactivity at the 4.6-acre lot — long envisioned as the
shopping section of the L.A. Live entertainment complex.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Booming South Park

Work has begun on another large-scale housing and retail project in South Park, a booming neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles east of Staples Center.
Olive & Pico, as the $54-million complex will be known, is under construction on the block surrounded by Pico Boulevard and Olive, 12th and Margo streets.
The seven-story complex being developed by the Wolff Co. of Scottsdale, Ariz., will have 293 apartments over street-level shops and restaurants. It was designed by TCA Architects and should be completed by mid-2016.

Wolff Co. also plans to develop a 347-unit apartment and retail complex nearby at 12th Street and Grand Avenue.

Monday, May 12, 2014

UFO or APPLE ???

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple's ring-shaped, gleaming "Spaceship Headquarters" will include a world class auditorium and an orchard for engineers to wander. Google's new Bay View campus will feature walkways angled to force accidental encounters. Facebook, while putting final touches on a Disney-inspired campus including a Main Street with a barbecue shack, sushi house and bike shop, is already planning an even larger, more exciting new campus.

More than ever before, Silicon Valley firms want their workers at work.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has gone so far as to ban working from home, and many more offer prodigious incentives for coming in to the office, such as free meals, massages and gyms.

This spring, as the tech industry is soaring out of the Great Recession, plans are in the works for a flurry of massive, perk-laden headquarters.

"We're seeing the mature technology companies trying to energize their work environments, getting rid of cube farms and investing in facilities to compete for talent," said Kevin Schaeffer, a principal at architecture and design firm Gensler in San Jose. "That's caused a huge transition in the way offices are laid out."

New Silicon Valley headquarters or expansions are under way at most of the area's major firms, including eBay, Intel, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia and Oracle. Many will be huge: Apple Inc.'s 176-acre campus will be one of the world's largest workplaces. On the outside, many of the new buildings boast striking architectural designs and will collectively be among the most environmentally friendly in the country. Inside, there are walls you can draw on, ping pong tables, Lego stations, gaming arcades and free haircuts.
Critics say that while some workplace perks and benefits are a good thing, the large, multibillion dollar corporate headquarters are colossal wastes of money that snub the pioneering technology these firms actually create.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Enjoy "Autumn Tunnel"

Photographed in glorious autumn colors by Kevin McNeal, this tree tunnel is simply astonishing! The picture was taken on the way up to Smugglerâs Notch, a Vermont state park.
The eye-catching foliage starts changing its color in the northern region, in response to many environmental factors, and spreads south as the fall season advances.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"Festival of Color in Barcelona"

People throw colored powders in the air during celebrations for the Holi Festival of Color in Barcelona, Spain, on April 6. The festival is fashioned after the Hindu spring festival Holi, which is mainly celebrated in the north and east of India.

Friday, March 21, 2014

"a swanky outpost of the James"

A striking new hotel under construction on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood will be a swanky outpost of the James, an upscale boutique brand in major urban centers.
The 286-room hotel at the southeast corner of Sunset and La Cienega boulevards is part of a $300-million complex under construction at the intersection. The development, known as Sunset La Cienega, will also have apartments, shops and restaurants.

"A Work of Art"

Geisel Library – University of California San Diego Campus



"over-the top Gothic statemen"

Opened in Bombay in 1887 on the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria's ascension, the Victoria Terminus train station was an over-the top Gothic statement about the supremacy of the British Empire. That ended soon enough, but the station, now known as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, is still a landmark in the city, itself renamed Mumbai. Many Americans have been in it, at least via film: The climax of 2008's Best Picture, Slumdog Millionaire, was filmed here.

An immense body of work

By the time of his death, William  Pereira had over 400 projects to his name. Among the structures he designed throughout Southern California were CBS Television City, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, and the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. He is also responsible for creating the monumental Spanish-inspired facades that defined Robinson's department stores for nearly 20 years, and he was the architect of Pepperdine University at Malibu, named by the "Princeton Review" as the most beautiful college campus in America. Out of his immense body of work, three have really stood out in the public mind: the master-planned cities of Irvine and Newport Beach, and the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco (shown above).

USC got its start with 53 students . . .

It was in this rough-and-tumble town of Spaniards, Mexicans, Indians, Europeans, Easterners, and Midwesterners— this pueblo of aspiration and of experiment—that USC got its start with 53 students taught by 10 faculty. They gathered in a two-story building perched on a donated parcel of land that the Los Angeles Daily Herald unenthusiastically described as “covered with a rank growth of mustard.” In those early days the school had no electricity, and students tended wood-burning stoves to earn part of their tuition. Transportation to the university was provided by horse-drawn rigs, including a horse-drawn streetcar that operated on a line established by USC’s principal founder, Robert Maclay Widney. Students had to follow specific rules of conduct that forbade them from leaving town without the permission of the university president, wearing firearms in their classes, and shooting jackrabbits from the platform of the streetcar.


Oriental DreamWorks is developing the Dream Center, an integrated tourism destination in Shanghai that will open in 2016.

The Dream Center, to be located in Zuhui Riverside, will include theaters, restaurants, tourist attractions, cinemas, waterfront hotels, galleries, studios and other commercial facilities. The visionaries plan to create an "Oriental paradise for all dream seekers." That could explain the proposed “Dream Walk”, the world’s largest IMAX theatre to be used for film premieres.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

" slowing global warming using fantastical technologies "

WASHINGTON — As international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions stall, schemes to slow global warming using fantastical technologies once dismissed as a sideshow are getting serious consideration in Washington.

Ships that spew salt into the air to block sunlight. Mirrored satellites designed to bounce solar rays back into space. Massive "reverse" power plants that would suck carbon from the atmosphere. These are among the ideas the National Academy of Sciences has charged a panel of some of the nation's top climate thinkers to investigate. Several agencies requested the inquiry, including the CIA.

At the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, scientists are modeling what such technologies might do to weather patterns. At the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., a fund created by Microsoft founder Bill Gates — an enthusiast of research into climate engineering — helps bankroll another such effort.

"There is a level of seriousness about these strategies that didn't exist a decade ago, when it was considered just a game," said Ken Caldeira, a scientist with the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University, who sits on the National Academy of Sciences panel. "Attitudes have changed dramatically."
Even as the research moves forward, many scientists and government officials worry about the risks of massive climate-control contraptions.

This rendering above shows a cloud-brightening scheme by scientist John Latham in which a ship sprays salt particles into the air to reflect sunlight and slow global warming. (John MacNeil),0,3602250.story 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Built in 1971 , Azadi tower is the symbol of Tehran with a height of 45 meters. the design of the building is s derivation of ancient Islamic architecture.  Despite State Department warning, the U.S. does not block travel to Iran.

"gentle giants"

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia is now the world's largest sanctuary for manta rays, after officials were persuaded by evidence that the gentle giants known for delighting tourists are worth more alive than dead.

The government on Friday announced that manta rays within the archipelago's 5.8 million square kilometers (2.2 million square miles) of ocean will be protected from fishing and export. It will take time and cooperation at multiple levels to enforce the ban on poaching in the biggest global shark and ray fishery

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!

Some folks of failing memories or tender years may ask this question, but many of us still remember.  We remember that in 1976, while our nation was still writhing from the agonies of the Vietnam War disaster and our mega corporations were launching themselves upon the global scene, a strange phenomenon appeared in our neighborhoods.   People were going around screaming

I'm mad as hell and I'm not 
going to take it anymore!

   What happened?

  The 1976 Oscar-winning movie NETWORK is what happened. 

   NETWORK was a biting,  hilarious, prophetic satire of empty minded entertainment mills masquerading as news programs chaired by pontificating talking heads, a biting indictment of an America heedlessly, destructively rushing to global dominance, recklessly driven by a totally out of control financial sector that
cares about nothing except its bottom line and special privileges.;postID=6744134812119473239


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"one of the tallest buildings in downtown Los Angeles"

With 52 floors, Two California Plaza is one of the tallest buildings in downtown Los Angeles. It has been acquired by Hollywood developer CIM Group. (Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles Times / February 13, 2014),0,7927635.story


When IDS Realty put the long stalled Metropolis development on the market earlier this year, they commissioned a series of renderings showing the approximate size and scope of the project's full build out.  The 6.3 acre site is entitled for a total of 1.65 million square feet of hotel, residential, office and retail uses divided between five towers.  The completed development would include roughly 400,000 square feet of office space and up to 1,676 hotel rooms.  Entitlements also allow for some of those hotel rooms to be replaced with as many as 555 residential units.  The towers could stand as tall as 456-feet above grade.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

A-12 Avenger II

The McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II was a proposed American attack aircraft from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics. It was to be an all-weather, carrier-based stealth bomber replacement for the Grumman A-6 Intruder in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Its Avenger II name was taken from the Grumman TBF Avenger of World War II.

The development of the A-12 was troubled by cost overruns and several delays, causing questions of the program's ability to deliver upon its objectives; these doubts led to the development program being canceled in 1991. The manner of its cancellation was contested through litigation until a settlement was reached in January 2014.

The manner in which the program was canceled led to years of litigation between the contractors and the Department of Defense over breach of contract. On 1 June 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the U.S. Navy was justified in canceling the contract. The ruling also required the two contractors to repay the U.S. government more than US$1.35 billion, plus interest charges of US$1.45 billion. Boeing, which had merged with McDonnell Douglas, and General Dynamics vowed to appeal the ruling.  In September 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would hear the two companies' arguments, that the government canceled the project improperly and that the use of a state secrets claim by the U.S. prevented them from mounting an effective defense.   In May 2011, the Supreme Court set aside the Appeals Court decision and returned the case to federal circuit court.   In January 2014, the case was settled with Boeing and General Dynamics agreeing to pay $200 million each to the U.S. Navy.

111 years ago

NEW YORK – April 20, 2011 – The name Porsche has been associated with pioneering automotive engineering innovations since the beginning of the last century. In 1900 Prof. Ferdinand Porsche unveiled his Lohner Porsche, an electric car with wheel-hub motors driving the front wheels. Soon after, this car featured all-wheel drive and four-wheel brakes, another world first. A highlight of his early years as an automotive designer was the Lohner-Porsche Semper Vivus that went down in history 111 years ago as the first functional hybrid car.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Roller Coaster at the Arcadia Hotel

SAN MARINO (CNS) – The Huntington Library has purchased the extensive photographic collection of Ernest Marquez, a descendant of Mexican land grantees who owned what became known as Santa Monica and Rustic canyons and parts of Pacific Palisades, it was reported today.

Amassed over 50 years, the 4,600-image compilation includes rare photos of 1870s Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

“The group of photographs is the best and most comprehensive collection of its kind in private hands,” Jennifer A. Watts, curator of photographs at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, told the Los Angeles Times.

She declined to reveal the price but said this was the Huntington’s costliest purchase of photographs since the days of Henry E. Huntington.

Above, E.G. Morrison (ca. 1827–1888), Roller Coaster at the Arcadia Hotel, Santa Monica, late 1880s. Albumen print, Ernest Marquez Collection. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. © The Huntington.


WELLESLEY, Mass. (AP) — A remarkably lifelike sculpture of a man sleepwalking in nothing but his underpants has made some Wellesley College students a bit uncomfortable, but the president of the prestigious women’s school says that’s all part of the intellectual process.

The sculpture entitled “Sleepwalker” of a man in an eyes-closed, zombie-like trance is part of an exhibit by sculptor Tony Matelli at the college’s Davis Museum. It was placed at a busy area of campus on Monday, a few days before the official opening of the exhibit, and prompted an online student petition to have it removed.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Satan Arrives

Satan might be sitting at the Oklahoma Statehouse if a purported satanic group gets its way. The Satanic Temple submitted plans for a "Satan Statue" to be erected in the wake of new state laws that paved the way for a 10 Commandments monument.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

" a 21-mile underground journey to Rome"

ROME — In a verdant valley east of Rome, Fabrizio Baldi admires a forgotten stretch of a two-tier Roman aqueduct, a stunning example of the emperor Hadrian's 2nd century drive to divert water from rural springs to his ever-thirstier capital.

But Baldi, 36, is less interested in the graceful arches than in where the aqueduct's span ends, hidden in a wooded slope across a stream, halfway up the side of the valley. Scrambling through thick brambles, he comes across a large hole in the ground that appears to be the start of a tunnel.  "This is where the water poured off the aqueduct and started a 21-mile underground journey to Rome."

Baldi is one of about 80 amateur speleologists who spend their weekends crawling down underground channels with laser scanners and GPS in an effort to conclusively map the city's network of 11 ancient aqueducts for the first time in modern history. In doing so, they have turned up underground stretches that nobody remembered.,0,2669673.story

" Paris to New York in four hours and fourteen minutes"

Supersonic passenger travel was stopped when Air France and British Airways cancelled their transatlantic Concorde service, however the Aerion Supersonic Business Jet aims to change this, with the impressive ability to carry up to 12 passengers and able to travel at speeds of up to mach 1.5 for more than 4,000 miles. The jet is currently undergoing extensive testing to reach this perfection before its grand unveiling.

Making it possible to travel from Paris to New York in four hours and fourteen minutes, this supersonic jet is causing great excitement amongst travellers and jet lovers across the globe.