Saturday, February 28, 2009

LA Transportation: Part 1 - Sprawl

A follow up to this New York Times Transporation Post.....this article is the first in the six article series.... "Sprawl"

"In a previous post I challenged you to identify which of six common stereotypes about transportation and land use in Los Angeles is actually true. The first is that Los Angeles has developed in a low-density, sprawling pattern.

Answer: False.

As of the 2000 census, the Los Angeles region’s urbanized area had the highest population density in the nation. Yes, that was the word “highest,” not a smudge on your monitor. At 7,068 people per square mile, Los Angeles is considerably denser than New York-Newark, which ranks fourth at 5,309 people per square mile (behind San Francisco-Oakland and San Jose as well as Los Angeles). How could this be?
Facts and Fiction

Eric Morris discusses stereotypes about Los Angeles transportation in this six-part series.

* Los Angeles Transportation: Facts and Fiction, Introduction

It is true that Los Angeles’s downtown disappoints, especially when compared with such thriving urban cores as Midtown Manhattan, Downtown San Francisco, or Chicago’s Loop. See this paper from my U.C.L.A. colleagues Donald Shoup and Michael Manville for more on this phenomenon and why it may have occurred......"

read the rest of the article here....

(via New York Times Opinion)

This Heart's On Fire- Wolf Parade

This Hearts On Fire (Album) - Wolf Parade

Molly of Life + Limb

Great post from DesignSponge...

portland, oregon has some of the best shops around. one of those is LIFE + LIMB, an indoor plant and modern home accessories shop run by graphic design trained molly quan. luckily for those of us not in portland, molly just opened an online shop, but today is all about her home. i’m just bummed that this time around we don’t get to see her skateboard ramp that was hit hard by a december storm.
View more photos here.

Journey Journal

Cute travel gift idea from the Etsy shop Cracked Designs.
It includes pages for official information, a checklist, a pre-planning list, a 12 day trip journal, a page for after thoughts and a nifty compartment so you can safely store all the treasures you collect on your trip.

(via The Speckled Egg)

Friday, February 27, 2009

This week's LOST...

Brooke sent me a text on Thursday: "Team Ben? Or team Widmore?" I had not yet watched this week's episode so I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. Until now.

Current vote: Team Widmore... but as you know, these plots are on hyper speed this season. Things change quickly. So,
  • Where does Richard Alpert stand in all of this? Why doesn't he age? Has he mastered the time travel jumping?
  • When is Charlie coming back?
  • Remember the days when the only thing they used to be scared of was the smoke monster and the polar bear? How things have changed...
Below is NY Mag's recap on this week's episode of LOST.

John Locke, best (and most original) character on the show, light of our life, fire of our loins, anti-hero of our favorite episodes! In this excellent installment, our miserable savior is snubbed, bitchily psychoanalyzed, crippled (per usual), puppeteered by both sides of the Global Game of Find the Island, and, in a genuinely disturbing sequence, strings up a noose of electrical cord.

Good thing Ben knocks on the door.

Also, our friend who is always defending Ben, coming up with baroque explanations for how he's the good guy? Abandon hope.

In a dark room, a man rifles through spooky charts, conceals a gun. A sultry woman joins him — they are Caesar and Ilana, but when she asks what's in his bag, he says "Just a flashlight." There's a be-suited man in the water, and over expositional chitchat, they walk to the beach. Caesar introduces himself, and the camera reveals a calm John Locke.

On the Mainland: Jeremy Bentham Spoke in Class Today
Sultry Ilana offers Locke a mango, then explains, "the woman and the pilot" stole a boat. We say, what? WHAT WHAT? Because we're deeply slow on the uptake, and it takes us forever to suss out that these are the Ajira passengers — with Caesar the guy who offered Jack condolences, and Ilana that chick who guarded Sayid. Locke's confused too, so he requests a passenger list, but Ilana needs to ask Caesar. There's mango enjoyment, Locke-ish opacity, and an explanation of that suit: It's what they were going to bury him in. Because Locke remembers DYING. Whoa.

Flashback to the donkey wheel! Locke lands in the Tunisian desert; vomits, is crippled; sees cameras, calls for help; is finally truck-transported to a hospital, then dosed by a manic, hairy doctor. Behind a curtain, Abaddon (a.k.a Lieutenant Daniels) lurks. Oh cripes: What in God's name are they doing to Locke's leg? He passes out, as do we.

When he wakes, Widmore is bragging about getting him quieter medical care. Then he fills Locke in on how they know each other: They met two episodes ago, which is to say, when Widmore was a 17-year-old Other, that day Locke and Richard had their time-loop tête-à-tête. Widmore suggests Ben tricked Locke into leaving the Island, explaining he can relate: Widmore, too, was King of the Others before he was exiled.

Locke says, no, he chose to leave. Widmore infers that Locke is there to retrieve the O6 and waxes manipulative (but accurate): Yer friends? They're liars! Liars for three years! Back to normal lives! Nonetheless, he'll help John, because there's a warrrr coming, and if Locke isn't on the Island, the wrong side will win.

Widmore gets Locke the Jeremy Bentham passport, plus spy photos, and they debate who should trust whom. Widmore argues Ben is Mr. Lie. Locke objects that Widmore sent a freighter to blow them up! Widmore cuts to the center of Locke, beneath many rings of trauma: Locke's SPECIAL, so SPECIAL! He's got to have some of the Island's attention. And while Locke believes he must die, Widmore won't let that happen, and so he introduces Evil-Concierge Abaddon and his car service of hidden agenda.

And we're off to Santo Domingo! Where Sayid is sweating some Habitat for Humanity project, having shrugged off Ben's yoke of mind games. If he hadn't left the Island, he'd never have spent nine magical pre-murder months with Nadia; so no, he won't return. And while Locke insists he's no dupe, Sayid gently suggests that perhaps Locke feels he has nowhere else to go.

Locke asks for his ex Helen, but first visits Tall Walt. Walt's been dreaming about Locke, threatened on the Island; Locke gently elides Michael's death. And because "Walt's been through enough," Locke leaves. Across the street, Ben lurks with possessed schoolboy eyes.

Next up: Hurley, who assumes Locke's dead. Hilariously hard to convince, Hurley freaks when he realizes John is real — and like Sayid, just says no to the Island, especially since he ID's Abbadon as Evil Oceanic Dude.

In the car, Abbadon reminds Locke that he was the orderly who first convinced him to go on the Australian walkabout; yep, John remembers. "I help people get to where they need to go to. That's what I do for Mr. Widmore."

Next stop: Kate. Another no. Is that why Locke was so desperate to stay on the Island, because he'd never loved anyone?, non-sequiturs Kate bitchily. Wrong-o, Locke says — what about Helen? Which, okay, ended because he was "angry, obsessed." Look how far you've come!, Kate snarks, because Kate is Miss Perfect and has not, say, burned her stepfather alive.

John's exasperated that Abbadon hasn't found Helen, so we're off to a graveyard. Oh, sad. Helen died of a brain aneurysm. "Is life inevitable or a choice?" — and then Abbadon is shot and killed, and Locke peels away in a panic, spinning into a collision.

In the hospital, Depressed John is attended by none other than Depressed Jack. And not only does Jack — like Hurley, Kate, and Sayid — nix Locke's destiny pitch, he's downright dickish. Fate! Probability! Someone trying to kill me! "They don't want me to get back because I'm important!" "Maybe you're just a lonely old man who crashed on an island. That's it." (Except for the whole "healed from paralysis" bit, spinal surgeon, but okay.)

Locke's comeback zinger: "Your father says hello." Jack goes ballistic, screams his dad is dead, Jack won't help, leave the O6 alone!

In a decrepit motel, Locke scribbles his suicide note: "I wish you had believed me." He makes a noose, then clambers on the table. It's freaky-sad: How often do we watch beloved characters commit suicide? Luckily, Ben bangs on the door, and gently talks angry Locke down, claiming he's been keeping them safe — trying to PROTECT Locke, in fact.

Ergo, Ben killed Abbadon. And Locke (and we) are totally confused as Ben spins out his side, as opposed to Widmore's side. Locke can't kill himself! He has no idea how important he is! Locke insists he's a failure, couldn't get anyone to come back, he's no leader.

Ben informs him that Jack booked a plane ticket, then kneels before him: John, you can't die, you've got too much work to do. He helps Christ from his cross — until Locke makes a tragic error, revealing his promise to Jin. As Ben gathers cord, Locke adds that they should visit Eloise Hawking. Yep, Ben knows her, he says blandly. And then he strangles Locke to death, gasping like the monstrous fetus of evil he is.

Pocketing the ring, Ben makes it look like a suicide. "I'll miss you, John. I really will."

Luckily for Locke fans, vengeance is nigh: On the Island, Locke joins Caesar as he inspects Dharma files. Locke explains, sorta, his time line. Caesar has a mystery too: He was sitting across from Hurley when he disappeared. Locke might have some answers for him, but again requests the flight list, then visits the "people who got hurt" — a ward of wounded passengers. One of them being Ben Linus: "He's the man who killed me."

What We Know Now
• Ben killed Locke.
• Helen is dead(ish).
• The non-O6 passengers survived the crash, losing their luggage but not their hidden agendas.

The Wha? Factor
• What's Widmore's game? Not to mention his backstory.
• Where did Frank take that boat, and who is the woman with him?
• Who is Caesar, why is he the boss of everyone, and can he get me a passenger list, please?

Are Lost’s Writers Crazy Enough to [Insert Huge Spoiler Here]?

There's a huge rumor going around the Internet today about a character on a popular island-based TV show (we won't say which). Is it true? We have no idea. But if you're the type of person who likes to be surprised by completely unforeseen events in your televised entertainment, we'd recommend that you stop reading this post immediately.

Okay. You promise not to leave us angry comments if we spoil this for you? Read on!

We've always assumed that the question of whether Kate would choose Jack or Sawyer would be resolved in one of Lost's final episodes in 2010 — but if today's rumor is true, she may not live to see this year's season finale. According to Zap2it, Evangeline Lilly is currently auditioning for pilots to air in the fall of 2009, signaling her availability during the time when Lost's sixth season is set to film. If this is true, and Kate doomed, we hope it's because the writers had long planned to kill her off with a case of Island-nosebleed disease and not the result of Lilly coming down with Shelley Long disease.

[via: NY MAG]

LA Transportation: Facts and Fiction

My friend Mike brought this NY Times article to my attention.. and despite the at first glance boring headline... I found this article (and subsequent follow up articles) incredibly interesting.

We at U.C.L.A. hear from reporters a lot, and they are often looking for a few quotes to help write a familiar script. In it, Los Angeles is cast in the role of the nation’s transportation dystopia: a sprawling, smog-choked, auto-obsessed spaghetti bowl of freeways which meander from one bland suburban destination to the next. The heroes of the picture are cities like San Francisco, or especially New York, which are said to have created vastly more livable urban forms based on density and mass transit.

But this stereotype is as trite and clichéd as any that has spewed from the printer of the most dim-witted Hollywood hack. And it is just as fictitious. The secret is that Los Angeles doesn’t fit the role it’s been typecast in.

I have not yet been granted authorization to distribute the coveted Freakonomics schwag, but challenge yourself with the following quiz anyway.

Exactly one of the following statements about transportation in Los Angeles is indisputably true. Two are (at best) half-truths, and the rest are flat-out myths. Can you figure out which of the following is accurate?

1. Los Angeles has developed in a low-density, sprawling pattern.

2. Los Angeles’s air is choked with smog.

3. Angelenos spend more time stuck in traffic than any other drivers in the nation.

4. Thanks to the great distances between far-flung destinations, and perhaps to Angelenos’ famed “love affair” with the car, Angelenos drive considerably more miles than most Americans.

5. Los Angeles is dominated by an overbuilt freeway system that promotes autodependence.

6. Los Angeles’s mass transit system is underdeveloped and inadequate.

Answers to follow over the next few weeks.

(via New York Times Opinion)
(photo via respres)

Clint Eastwood gets lifetime Palme d'Or


Clint Eastwood on Wednesday became only the second person to receive a lifetime achievement honor from the organizers of the Cannes Film Festival.

The actor/director received the honorary Palme d’Or during an intimate news conference and cocktail party at a restaurant.

“I’m very, very flattered that you’ve chosen me for this,” Eastwood said. “French cineastes have always been very supportive of me along the way. When I directed my first movie, French cineastes and critics encouraged me, while in my own country, everyone was much more reticent. France is the first country to approach and appreciate cinema as an art form.”

Read the rest of the MSNBC article here...

(photo via

Swim Party "Twenty-Five"

Twenty-Five - Swim Party

A local band...
Miss the days when Modest Mouse was modest and Arcade Fire was just a spark in the indie-rock blaze? Even though they aren't exactly new to the scene, you should get behind Swim Party pronto. Songs like "Twenty Five” and "On Bloom and Line” show enough promise that they'll be cramming scenesters into Scolari's for a huge collective arm-cross in no time. Singer Eric Tremblay has the perfect indie-rock voice, lost in space somewhere between Isaac Brock and Ian Curtis. Add lush orchestration, a great rhythmic sense and a taste for experimentation and the result is one of the most original sounds to emerge out of the scene in quite awhile.

Check out their myspace page here.

'Local boys' free dolphin ...

Three dolphins had been trapped for a week by drift ice in the harbor of Seal Cove, Newfoundland. Residents of the small community appealed to the local department of fisheries and oceans, but received no response.

Four local men finally took their own 16-foot boat, rammed it up on the ice, jumped out and began hacking a channel to the open sea…

“You’d hear them crying, every night,” said one of the men in the boat, Rodney Rice, 39. “I went down there last night and you could hear them trying to break up more ice. . . . They wouldn’t have lasted another day.”

“I had a floater suit on,” said Banks, “And they would come up and rest their head on me and I would keep their head out of the water so they can breathe through their blowhole.”


Thursday, February 26, 2009


A beautiful wedding...

The wedding and rehearsal dinner took place in Bristol, a town that straddles the Virginia/Tennessee border, and Sharon's hometown.

140 guests joined in the fun at The Olde Farm for the rehearsal dinner.

Sharon wore a dress by Miu Miu and shoes by Sigerson Morrison.

The evening was planned in the spirit of "cheap and cheerful." Red bandannas used for napkins were purchased from Oriental Trading. Red geraniums from a local garden center were placed in basket from the Texas Basket Company as living centerpieces.

Since Sharon and Francis live in New York City, and Francis is from England, they thought it would be fun to treat their out-of-town guests to some Southern food and music - barbecue and and bluegrass (a local bluegrass band played)! Dinner was catered by The Olde Farm, and included Southern favorites like pulled pork, barbecue chicken, baked beans, and slaw. Beer was kept cold in big galvanized tubs full of ice, with vintage bottle openers hanging from ribbons tied to the handles.

Strawberry shortcake was served in red- and white-checked paper trays.

There was also homemade ice cream in a variety of regional flavors such as peach and Southern Comfort pecan.

Sharon designed the paper napkins and wooden spoons to match a motif on the invitations (she is a graphic designer at Yours Etcetera).

The large barn was decorated with custom papel picado banners from Mexican Sugar Skull - a great keepsake!

To make the huge barn seem more intimate, they "lowered" the ceiling by hanging the paper banners and strings of round party lights.

The piñata in Sharon and Francis' initials was a huge hit. It was filled with all kinds of adult-appropriate goodies, like mini liquor bottle chocolates, candy cigarettes, fake engagement rings, little metal bird and bug pins from Silver Crow Creations, and old fashioned candy from Economy Candy in New York. The pins and rings were wrapped in small glassine bags, sealed with a red dot sticker from Staples.

The red lanterns were purchased from Oriental Trading.

The evening ended with a big bonfire and s'mores - graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate were in little bags nearby, along with sticks for marshmallow roasting.

via: snippet & ink

Work Hard & Be Nice to People

Anthony Burrill "Work Hard"

Anthony studied at the Royal College of Art, London. He has produced advertising for DIESEL, NIKE and The Hans Brinker Budget Hotel. Alongside collaborator Kip Parker he has created web sites for Kraftwerk and AIR. Anthony has recently produced a set of safety posters for London Underground and led a British Council workshop in Kenya, producing a series of anti-corruption posters. He has exhibited at the Barbican and the Pentagram Gallery in London as well as in Tokyo and Stockholm.

"In print, London based Anthony Burrill takes the ordinary and makes it loud. Turning up the visual volume, way past comfort level, and soon the generic is quite alien... Burrill's schemes all use the technique of displacement, he takes the normal and makes it strange."

Check out more from Soma's Gallery

Crisis of Credit Visualized

This video is a must watch. In just 12 minutes this man explains the credit crisis. It's amazing and incredibly easy to follow. (Thanks Dad)

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

More from Dark Was The Night

Another one of my favorites from the Dark Was The Night Compilation ...

Happiness - Riceboy Sleeps

Riceboy Sleeps is an artistic collaboration between Jón Þór Birgisson (singer for the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós) and his partner, and also boyfriend Alex Somers. Not only do they make visual art, but they also create ambient music. The music tends to be more ethereal and experimental than that of Sigur Rós.

Interiors & Exteriors

From Dark Was The Night...

One of my favorite songs from Dark Was The Night...

Service Bell - Grizzly Bear + Feist