Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Type Of Community Based Reporting The Los Angeles Times Should Be Doing!

This morning's article by Hector Becerra on the potential affects of the new Gold Line on the real Eastside of the City of Los Angeles (which is different than East Los Angeles) is the type of journalism that can only come from someone with first hand - and life long - knowledge of the community he writes about.

It is also a story of how the actual community feels about the project and not a journalist's pre-packaged take on the story as is too often the case in the Times.

Beyond that, I have no comment - just read the above linked story.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

If You've Ever Pondered The Dearth Of Cutting Edge Episiotomy Jokes...

.... read Christopher Hitchen's Vanity Fair article - "Why Women Aren't Funny"...

Newspaper Advertising Falls Off A Cliff!

Mack Reed just sent me to the newosaur blog which lays out the bloody details of not just the record drop in newspaper print advertising of 18% in the last quarter (and a staggering 31% drop in classified ads), but also the record second consecutive quarter of online revenue drop.

And only the bravest of newsmen should dare look at the attached graph which closely resembles the north face of the Matterhorn.

It's hard to imagine papers like the Los Angeles Times continuing to publish more than another couple years if ad revenue continues to drop like this.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

MOCA Mobilization at Geffen Contemporary at 3 PM - Be There!

If you are interested in the future of the Museum of Contemporary Art - join the Facebook Group above - and then attend the group meeting at the Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo from 3 - 6 PM TODAY!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More On MOCA Meltdown!

As usual, Tyler Green has the best coverage of what is going on at our local arts institutions. His summary of recent events is so complete - there is nothing to add to it:

MODERN ART NOTES

Tyler Green

The morning after the Broad offer

Last night's Eli Broad LAT op-ed is a game-changer. Here's what it all means -- for now. (I can't remember the last time an art world news story changed so fast.

Part of Eli Broad's legacy is the founding of the most important contemporary art museum in America. Broad does not want the failure of that museum to be part of his legacy too. His bailout offer says to MOCA's trustees: Consider your legacies. If MOCA fails, its failure forever will be tied to you.

LACMA seems to have over-reached. On Thursday MAN published a post in which LACMA director/CEO Michael Govan acknowledged that he was open to MOCA and/or its collection somehow coming to LACMA. Govan's comments were the first public indication that LACMA leadership was willing to make room to absorb MOCA. I hear that MOCA figures took Govan's comments as an indication of eagerness, as an attempt to signal to some MOCA board members that the "spirit" of a contemporary art museum could and would live at LACMA if MOCA failed.

Also notable: Thirty-six hours after Govan's comments were published on MAN, the Broad offer was made public. Throughout the Broad op-ed are passages likely meant as an extremely public way of Broad saying, 'Hands off, LACMA.' For example: "It is vital that the museum remain on Grand Avenue, keep its collection and continue its tradition of world-class exhibitions," and, "While the MOCA board evaluates its options, the overarching priority should be to keep MOCA independent. Being merged into another institution would destroy the fabric of a great museum and would sacrifice the independent curatorial vision that has created an extraordinary collection and many unparalleled exhibitions."

In a related story, the Broad offer has taken the MOCA collection off the table, at least for now. Any MOCA staff or trustees that were pushing to sell off parts of the collection know that's no longer an option. For now, MOCA's path to survival is through Broad's $30 million (or more) offer.

MOCA trustees and staff who agitated for deaccessioning (or forms thereof) are now on notice that they erred. The Broad offer says to those trustees, 'You did not understand what trusteeship or stewardship is, nor did you understand your obligation to Los Angeles and to the art world." MOCA trustees who pushed deaccessioning should resign so as to make way for leadership that wants to save MOCA and not break it up.

As noted here and elsewhere last night, the Broad op-ed lists no details about Broad's $30M offer. A Broad spokesperson told the LAT that no further details would be released last night. Read the op-ed as an emergency bailout offer, an indication that MOCA's trustees were wandering so far down the road of unacceptable-to-Broad 'solutions' (such as noted above) that a bailout offer had to be made before the bailout details were final.

For now anyway, Broad's offer seems not to come with any mandates to MOCA's board about their own financial involvement in MOCA's future. That is to say, I can't find any evidence that the Broad offer has a 'string attached' that would require each MOCA board member to put up $1 million or $2 million (or whatever) in order to 'earn' Broad's $30M.

That gives MOCA director Jeremy Strick and his board co-chairs room to effectively attach that proviso themselves. If trustees won't open their wallets, 'ask' them to resign effective immediately. Requiring MOCA's trustees to put up or shut up would seperate the dedicated and the committed from the panicky. It would also lay the groundwork for a stronger MOCA board if and when this is all over. (And for the MOCA trustees who don't have that kind of liquidity and who are on the board because they're young collectors, tell them that they may make their commitment to the institution in a different way: Through gifts of art and public promises of gifts of art. It's time to bind MOCA's trustees to MOCA, to require them to be personally invested. That's been missing.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eli Broad Proves - Once Again - Los Angeles Is Eli Broad And The Seven Dwarfs!

Whenever there is a crisis in Los Angeles' cultural institutions, there is always one man who will step up and leave the rest behind to follow in his tracks. Below is Eli Broad's Op-Ed piece in Saturday's LA Times.

Saving MOCA
Philanthropist Eli Broad says his foundation will give $30 million if others will come forward to help.
By Eli Broad

November 21, 2008

With the news this week that the Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue is in dire financial straits and might have to merge with another institution, or even close, in the not too distant future, the time has again come for this city to step up.

I'd like to make a proposal to the MOCA board and to the civic angels of Los Angeles. I'll step up if you do too. The Broad Art Foundation is prepared to make a significant investment in MOCA -- $30 million -- with the expectation that the museum's board and others join in this effort to solve the institution's financial problems. It is vital that the museum remain on Grand Avenue, keep its collection and continue its tradition of world-class exhibitions.

This is not a one-philanthropist town. MOCA's needs are great and will require the financial assistance of numerous supporters. Already, civic leaders and artists have begun to rally behind the museum to keep its doors open. But with a global recession that has hit every American's pocketbook, charitable giving has declined.

The philanthropic community must not turn its back on MOCA. We must make it one of our civic priorities.

I was the founding chairman of MOCA in 1979, working closely with then-Mayor Tom Bradley to create a contemporary art museum for the city in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. Working with city officials, we also opened the "Temporary Contemporary" in Little Tokyo. Since then, MOCA has been enjoyed by millions of Angelenos and by visitors from around the world for nearly three decades.

The two downtown Los Angeles locations -- including the iconic Grand Avenue building designed by Arata Isozaki and the renovation of the Temporary Contemporary (now known as the Geffen Contemporary) by Frank Gehry -- make MOCA the most important contemporary art museum in the world.

The two spaces have been the venue for a host of ambitious and groundbreaking exhibitions, including "Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s," "Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979," "WACK!: Art and the Feminist Revolution," "© Murakami," "Andy Warhol Retrospective," "Robert Rauschenberg: Combines" and "Basquiat." I believe that MOCA's exhibitions and engagement with local artists are an important part of the reason that L.A. thrives as a center for artists and art schools.

MOCA also has one of the best and most extensive contemporary art collections in the world. As the board member who negotiated the acquisition of the Abstract Expressionist and Pop Art works in the renowned Panza collection, I know firsthand what a treasure trove of artworks it has. The greatest travesty to come out of MOCA's current financial crisis would be for it to sell any of its artworks to cover operating deficits -- an action that would be anathema for a museum.

While the MOCA board evaluates its options, the overarching priority should be to keep MOCA independent. Being merged into another institution would destroy the fabric of a great museum and would sacrifice the independent curatorial vision that has created an extraordinary collection and many unparalleled exhibitions.

The loss of MOCA's downtown location would be a blow to the Grand Avenue project, the $3-billion development project to go up adjacent to Disney Hall. The project is already delayed because of the economic downturn. We cannot lose sight of the promise of downtown's renaissance as a social, cultural and recreational center for not only those who work and live in the city's heart but also for the entire Southern California region. The shuttering of MOCA's Grand Avenue venue would severely set back the burgeoning downtown revitalization.

MOCA is one of our city's cultural treasures, and it would be tragic both for the cultural health and civic reputation of Los Angeles if this institution ceased to exist. Not since the creation of Disney Hall has a civic issue arisen requiring the bold leadership and collective support of Los Angeles.

We came together to save Disney Hall. We can do it again.

Eli Broad is the founder of KB Home and SunAmerica. He and his wife, Edythe, created the $2.5-billion Broad Foundations to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts.


How The City Of Los Angeles Can Save MOCA Without Spending A Dime!

As everyone should know by now, MOCA - the Museum of Contemporary Art, is in such financial trouble, there are discussion about it merging with LACMA - the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art. Everyone - other than some MOCA trustees - also seems to agree - this is a very bad idea. Below is a brief summary of what should be done instead:

One of MOCA’s on-going problems is that it has no physical room or logical way to expand. It cannot show even 5% of what it should be showing of its permanent collection and it cannot attract any major collectors to its board since it has no room to display what the museum already owns – much less what they will get in the future.

At the same time, the Getty Museum is building the world’s largest photography collection, but – by law – it cannot add even one square foot to its campus in Brentwood - and MOCA has a very modest photography collection.

In addition, Eli Broad is looking for a place to build the storage facility for his collection.

Adding to that mix, there are acres and acres of under-utilized infrastructure owned by the City of Los Angeles within one to two blocks of MOCA.

The obvious solution is that the Getty be given rights to part of that land for its photography museum (which would then replace the need for MOCA to spend its resources on that subject) in exchange for short term help for MOCA.

The same could be done with Eli’s collection – and he has already - supposedly - offered help for MOCA to stay independent.

There is also sufficient land for a mixed use component to help pay for the costs of the long term home for MOCA's permanent collections. There is also the possibility for reconfiguring the final phase of the Grand Avenue project to coordinate with these efforts.

Now I have already walked all these sites with various civic leaders – and each one of them has agreed – this is a physically feasible project.

So... why not?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

FREE Comedy Shows + Film at Los Angeles Theatre 8 - 10 PM - TONIGHT!!!!

All of this month’s COMEDY WALK events will be held at the majestic 2,100-seat Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, Los Angeles Thursday, November 20th from 8pm to 10 pm. COMEDY WALK will present an evening of 15 comedians straight from major comedy clubs, television and radio plus an Oscar winning short film. All free!

The evening starts at 8pm with a screening of the West Bank Story, a Oscar-winning and seriously FUNNY musical comedy short film about two warring falafel stands on the West Bank. A Q&A with actor Joey Naber who stars as Ahmed follows. This along is worth the price of admission which is – of course – FREE!
http://www.moviecitynews.com/arrays/media/2007/west_bank_story.html

Then there is the comedy show from 8:30pm to 10pm featuring American, Iranian and Israeli stand-up comedians who will collectively solve all the problems of the Middle East – in just one evening!. And you get your money back if you’re not satisfied!
Parking is only block away at Pershing Square - $6.60 after 5 PM – or at local garages for $5 or $6 but make certain your garage stays open past 10:30 PM! 5th and Hill Subway stop is also only one block away.

COMEDY WALK and IranDokht Present...

Host: Stevie Mack

8pm Stevie Mack - Intro
8:05 'West Bank Story' Screening
8:30 Q&A with actor Joey Naber
8:40 Nadine Rajabi
8:45 Noel Elgrably
8:50 Willis Turner
9pm Brian Farrell
9:05 Stogie Kenyatta
9:10 Michael Goldstrom
9:15 if.net winner Alec Sobel
9:20 Gayla Johnson
9:25 Max Amini
9:30 Stevie Mack
9:35 Jeff MacKinnon
9:40 Aurelio Miguel Bocanegra
9:45 Ara Basil
9:50 Elham Jazab
9:55 The Mooney Twins
10pm Good Night!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Comedy Walk To Solve Middle East Problems Thursday Night at 8 PM!

COMEDY WALK Solves Middle East Crisis On Thursday November 20th from 8 – 10 PM!

All of this month’s COMEDY WALK events will be held at the majestic 2,100-seat Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, Los Angeles Thursday, November 20th from 8pm to 10 pm. COMEDY WALK will present an evening of 15 comedians straight from major comedy clubs, television and radio plus an Oscar winning short film. All free!

FREE TICKETS at www.comedywalk.com, www.plays411.com or call 323-960-7773.

SHOW PROGRAM

One Stop COMEDY WALK November 20th, 2008

The evening starts at 8pm with a screening of the West Bank Story, a Oscar-winning and seriously FUNNY musical comedy short film about two warring falafel stands on the West Bank. A Q&A with actor Joey Naber who stars as Ahmed follows. This along is worth the price of admission which is – of course – FREE!
http://www.moviecitynews.com/arrays/media/2007/west_bank_story.html

Then there is the comedy show from 8:30pm to 10pm featuring American, Iranian and Israeli stand-up comedians who will collectively solve all the problems of the Middle East – in just one evening!. And you get your money back if you’re not satisfied!
Parking is only block away at Pershing Square - $6.60 after 5 PM – or at local garages for $5 or $6 but make certain your garage stays open past 10:30 PM! 5th and Hill Subway stop is also only one block away.

COMEDY WALK and IranDokht Present...

Host: Stevie Mack

8pm Stevie Mack - Intro
8:05 'West Bank Story' Screening
8:30 Q&A with actor Joey Naber
8:40 Nadine Rajabi
8:45 Noel Elgrably
8:50 Willis Turner
9pm Brian Farrell
9:05 Stogie Kenyatta
9:10 Michael Goldstrom
9:15 if.net winner Alec Sobel
9:20 Gayla Johnson
9:25 Max Amini
9:30 Stevie Mack
9:35 Jeff MacKinnon
9:40 Aurelio Miguel Bocanegra
9:45 Ara Basil
9:50 Elham Jazab
9:55 The Mooney Twins
10pm Good Night!

And Comedy Walk would like to thank the entire Delijani family, the Los Angeles Theatre, Councilman Joe Huizar of the 14th District, the City of Los Angeles, The Onion, the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council and the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Business Improvement District for their assistance in making this event possible.

Ed Hardy To Open Store On Spring Street? UPDATE!

UPDATE at bottom of post!

That's the rumor of the day in Historic Downtown Los Angeles. Fashion designer Ed Hardy, who has some of his facilities upstairs at 433 S. Spring Street in the old Title Insurance Building, is rumored to have inked a deal to take at least one of the two new glass windowed storefronts just being built out in the same building. This increasingly important fashion building next to the Spring Arts Tower at 5th and Spring is helping make 5th and Spring one of the major creative intersections of Los Angeles. To post everything that is now located within one block of that intersection would now take a full day of work so maybe I'll tackle it over the holidays.

UPDATE - There will be an Ed Hardy store, but it will be operating as a licensed store. It will also take both of the large new storefronts that were just built-out and it will be operated by the owner of the building.

Downtown's Bob Barker Puppet Theater Threatened With Foreclosure!

Below is a press release I received today from several sources:

November 13, 2008

WHAT: Emergency Campaign to generate funds to save The Bob Baker
Marionette Theater from Foreclosure

DEADLINE: $29,000 needed by December 3 or Bob Baker's theater and home
will be sold

LOS ANGELES- For more that sixty years, puppeteer Bob Baker has brought
delight and amazement to children of all ages with his innovative
marionette performances. Through shows at his Bob Baker Marionette
Theater, located just west of downtown LA and his huge list of film and
TV credits, he has entertained millions of people. Today Bob Baker's
puppet theater continues to operate on a daily basis with a crew of
young puppeteers trained by the master.

But unless you help, this magical theater will disappear in a matter of
weeks. Bob Baker, a proud man and a humble artisan, has no choice but to
reach out to his public for a lifeline.
Two years ago, Bob Baker was the victim in an elaborate mortgage fraud
operation bent on stealing his theater and home. This outrageous
mortgage, written under threatening and deliberately misleading
conditions, has left him owing ever increasing payments that are beyond
his ability to pay.

This week the situation has reached crisis point, and Bob quietly
reached out for help. Many talented people have responded to his call. A
plan for improving the theater's financial prospects is being formulated
by the Valley Economic Development Center and many of Bob's friends and
fans are working behind the scenes to protect Bob and his theater and
home from the sharks. The theater has enormous potential, Bob wants
everyone to know that he is not going out of business.

But time is of the essence, and right now, Bob Baker needs your
donations if he is going to be able to keep up with his mortgage
payments long enough to get the loans modified. As of today, Bob needs
$23,000 for past due mortgage payments on the theater, and $6,000 for
past due mortgage payments on his home. The deadline for payment in
December 3, or the buildings will be sold and Bob and his thousands of
puppets will be homeless.

If you have been entertained by Bob Baker's Marionettes, if you love the
spirit of old Hollywood creativity that he embodies, if you want to
reach out and help someone wonderful who has been terribly wounded by
the mortgage crisis and outright fraud, please open your heart and give
to Bob Baker at this difficult time. The children of Los Angeles are not
ready to be without this great entertainer, who has many more years of
magic before him.

Tax deductible donations can be made to "The Academy of Puppetry and
Allied Arts." Send your check to 1345 West First Street, Los Angeles, CA
90026 or call 213-250-9995 to make a donation by credit card.

Puppeteer Bob Baker is available for interviews. Contact Richard at
bobbakerpuppetmaker@yahoo.com, or call 213-250-9995. Legendary Puppeteer
Bob Baker Seeks Donations To Save Theater From Foreclosureback

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Massive Fire In Alhambra On TV For Over An Hour!

But not a word on the LA Times website

Daniel Libeskind Comes To Downtown Los Angeles!

When I walked into the meeting room of the monthly meeting of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Planning and Land Use Committee, I noticed the renderings of our first presentation on the opposite wall; yet another glass covered high rise condo in South Park.

But this one looked a little different than the standard glass box. So I immediately assumed it was some hack architect ripping off some 'real' architect. But as I got closer, I soon realized - I was looking a real architecture. Seriously real architecture.

And when I asked who was the architect, the presenters smiled and said - Daniel Libeskind; one of the top ten architects working today. The reason for their smile was that they had somehow managed to keep word of this project from leaking to press despite it having been before the staff at the CRA and the LA City Planning Department for... months.

So we were all... stunned.... that this project - at 1340 S. Figueroa, south of Pico - could have been lying around City Hall for months and yet none of the people from the CRA, the Planing Department or the Planning Department's Design Studio - whom many of us speak to or see on an almost daily basis - ever bothered to mention to us they were reviewing this project. And yes we mean you Emily and Simon and Patricia and both David's!

As for the project, it is a 43 story condo building with a 7 story podium for parking (the first two floors also have two restaurants - both Asian and both already leased despite the project being 3 -4 years from completion - plus a high end health spa) and two stories are below grade for more parking and mechanicals.

The best part is the presenters confirmed it was fully financed with Korean money and when I asked if the financing was in-house - I was told yes. And that is the reason why they had kept the project so quiet. Since they already have financing, they didn't want to announce it until were about to pull the permits since they can start construction - and intend to - the second they have a permit. They said they did not want their development lumped together with all the 'paper projects' out there today.

As for the architecture, it is a very buildable design with most of the flourishes at the bottom were it meets the ground with a very cool jagged edge - and extensive public space that is still being designed - and at the upper half of the tower which will be the part most visible from a distance. The parking podium's function will be hidden behind a metal scrim and there will be a light show art component to enliven that part of the facade at night. And since the podium makes the residential tower taller than the convention center - the tower will have unobstructed views to the west and it's upper profile will be visible from much of LA to the west.

To the east of the tower, two lots on Flower that are part of the project provide another entry for both cars and pedestrians plus some well landscaped surface parking - and this also gives that side of the building some view protection.

Other pieces of information given out was there will be no hotel component and that if this project goes well, the same team wants to develop a second project in Los Angeles.

Lastly, this will be the first project by Libeskind in LA despite the fact he lived in our fair city for about... five minutes... back in 1989 when he as still pretty much a 'paper architect'. He was moving here to take up a position at the Getty as a resident scholar. Unfortunately for LA, before his furniture could even arrive via a slow boat from Milan, he was lured back to Berlin to fight to get his Jewish Museum finally built there (ten long years later!) - and that was the building that... finally... made his career.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Melting Myth Of Man Made Global Warming!

It took me a long time before I could accept the fact that man caused global warming is not just a myth - but that it is - increasingly - a deliberate fraud.

And now those who support this myth are resorting to lying about the past and fabricating present day figures to support their claims of global warning while trying to hide the fact we have instead entered a period of global cooling. This coolinh due to reversal of the solar cycles that also produced the recent - and temporary - spike in global temperatures. These same people are also trying to hide the fact that even those temperatures - at their peak - were below the global temperatures of the 1930's.

The below article is from the London Telegraph:

The world has never seen such freezing heat
By Christopher Booker
12:01am GMT 16/11/2008


A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.

So what explained the anomaly? GISS's computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs, Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running.

The error was so glaring that when it was reported on the two blogs - run by the US meteorologist Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre, the Canadian computer analyst who won fame for his expert debunking of the notorious "hockey stick" graph - GISS began hastily revising its figures. This only made the confusion worse because, to compensate for the lowered temperatures in Russia, GISS claimed to have discovered a new "hotspot" in the Arctic - in a month when satellite images were showing Arctic sea-ice recovering so fast from its summer melt that three weeks ago it was 30 per cent more extensive than at the same time last year.

A GISS spokesman lamely explained that the reason for the error in the Russian figures was that they were obtained from another body, and that GISS did not have resources to exercise proper quality control over the data it was supplied with. This is an astonishing admission: the figures published by Dr Hansen's institute are not only one of the four data sets that the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relies on to promote its case for global warming, but they are the most widely quoted, since they consistently show higher temperatures than the others.

If there is one scientist more responsible than any other for the alarm over global warming it is Dr Hansen, who set the whole scare in train back in 1988 with his testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore. Again and again, Dr Hansen has been to the fore in making extreme claims over the dangers of climate change. (He was recently in the news here for supporting the Greenpeace activists acquitted of criminally damaging a coal-fired power station in Kent, on the grounds that the harm done to the planet by a new power station would far outweigh any damage they had done themselves.)

Yet last week's latest episode is far from the first time Dr Hansen's methodology has been called in question. In 2007 he was forced by Mr Watts and Mr McIntyre to revise his published figures for US surface temperatures, to show that the hottest decade of the 20th century was not the 1990s, as he had claimed, but the 1930s.

Another of his close allies is Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, who recently startled a university audience in Australia by claiming that global temperatures have recently been rising "very much faster" than ever, in front of a graph showing them rising sharply in the past decade. In fact, as many of his audience were aware, they have not been rising in recent years and since 2007 have dropped.

Dr Pachauri, a former railway engineer with no qualifications in climate science, may believe what Dr Hansen tells him. But whether, on the basis of such evidence, it is wise for the world's governments to embark on some of the most costly economic measures ever proposed, to remedy a problem which may actually not exist, is a question which should give us all pause for thought.


A few points here. First, the Russian 'mistake' was not initially a fabrication - but if Hansen had any interest in science as opposed to proving his case - even a cursory investigation into why Russia's temperatures suddenly skyrocketed by 10 degrees while temperatures declined in the rest of the world - would have uncovered the error. But when he tried to make his old, false figures work by manipulating other data - that was an attempt at fraud.

Second, his fight to keep hidden the fact that the 1930's were hotter than the 1990's in this country is another indication of his disregard of the truth.

Third, Dr Pachauri's bizarrely false claims demonstrate just how far removed from reality the Global Warming advocates have gotten. They clearly seem to feel that the bigger their lies are - the more likely we will believe them.

Lastly, there are very real reasons why we should conserve our natural resources and why we should try and reduce energy consumption. But it will be much harder to get the public to believe that once the entire Global Warming Hoax collapses.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Los Angeles Listed As One Of Seven Great Contemporary Design Cities Of Past 150 Years!

The Istanbul Modern and the London Design Museums have selected 7 cities to tell the story of modern design (starting with London's Great Exhibition in 1851) - by focusing on each city at it's cultural peak. And Los Angeles was chosen as one of the cities and it's peak year is - 1949 - no doubt due to Charles and Ray Eames' multiple ground breaking design achievements during that period.

The above link has a few other links at the bottom left hand of the linked to page (though today it moved to the upper right hand corner) - but there do not seem to be many photos on the site. A catalog however has been printed and while the show does not appear to be touring after it closes in London - but maybe local venue might step up and off it a home.

05 September – 04 January 2009

"From Morris to Muji, 150 years of (the good bits of) design are here" - Architects Journal

Design Cities tells the story of contemporary design through seven key cities at their creative height: London (1851), Vienna (1908), Dessau (1928), Paris (1936), Los Angeles (1949), Milan (1957), Tokyo (1987) and London (2008).

The exhibition features a full range of objects from textiles and fashion to industrial pieces, furniture and prints. It includes design classics such as chairs by Charles and Ray Eames, as well as work by a spectrum of designers that together evoke an impacting impression of their era. Key exhibits include work by William Morris, Christopher Dresser, Adolf Loos, Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Achille Castiglioni, Issey Miyake, Zaha Hadid and Ron Arad.

Late night openings Friday 31 October and Friday 5 December until 10pm.

Your Design City
The Design Museum has partnered with Flickr and Don’t Panic to invite you share your photography on the theme of Design Cities.

Your work could be featured in an exhibition at the Design Museum in January 2009 and one entry will be made into 80,000 specially-commissioned Don’t Panic Posters.To submit your photograph, add it to the Design Cities group on Flickr before 1 December 2008.

Find out more at flickr.com/groups/designcities

Design Cities has been organised by the Design Museum, London in association with Istanbul Modern and is curated by Design Museum Director Deyan Sudjic. The exhibition originally opened at Istanbul Modern, Turkey from 23 April until 10 August 2008.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

READ THIS STORY! Sometimes Burying the Lede Can Be A Good Thing

Washington Post writer Wil Haygood has a moving story in today's Los Angeles Times about a now retired black butler who worked at the White House from Truman through Reagan. Haygood details how Eugene Allen and his wife felt about a black man possibly entering the White House as president. But the real kicker is buried at the end - and that was the only place to put it. So make certain you read the whole story...

The butler sees a new White House
Now retired, he started when blacks were in the kitchen.
By Wil Haygood

November 7, 2008

Reporting from Washington — For more than three decades, Eugene Allen worked in the White House, a black man unknown to the headlines. During some of those years, harsh segregation laws lay upon the land.

He trekked home every night to his wife, Helene, who kept him out of her kitchen.

At the White House, he worked closer to the dirty dishes than to the Oval Office. Helene didn't care; she just beamed with pride.

President Truman called him Gene. President Ford liked to talk golf with him. He saw eight presidential administrations come and go, often working six days a week.

"I never missed a day of work," Allen said.

He was there while racial history was made: Brown vs. Board of Education, the Little Rock school crisis, the 1963 March on Washington, the cities burning, the civil rights bills, the assassinations.

When he started at the White House in 1952, he couldn't even use the public restrooms when he ventured back to his native Virginia. "We had never had anything," Allen, 89, recalled of black America at the time. "I was always hoping things would get better."

In its long history, the White House -- note the name -- has had a complex and vexing relationship with black Americans.

"The history is not so uneven at the lower level, in the kitchen," said Ted Sorensen, who served as counselor to President Kennedy. "In the kitchen, the folks have always been black. Even the folks at the door -- black."

Before Gene Allen landed his White House job, he worked as a waiter at a resort in Hot Springs, Va., and then at a country club in Washington.

He and wife Helene, 86, were sitting in the living room of their Washington home. Her voice was musical, in a Lena Horne kind of way. She called him "Honey." They met at a birthday party in 1942. He was too shy to ask for her number, so she tracked his down. They married a year later.

In 1952, a lady told him of a job opening in the White House. "I wasn't even looking for a job," he said. "I was happy where I was working, but she told me to go on over there and meet with a guy by the name of Alonzo Fields."

Fields was a maitre d', and he immediately liked Allen.

Allen was offered a job as a "pantry man." He washed dishes, stocked cabinets and shined silverware. He started at $2,400 a year.

There was, in time, a promotion to butler. "Shook the hand of all the presidents I ever worked for," he said.

"I was there, honey," Helene said. "In the back maybe. But I shook their hands too." She was referring to White House holiday parties, Easter egg hunts.

They have one son, Charles, who works as an investigator with the State Department.

"President Ford's birthday and my birthday were on the same day," he said. "He'd have a birthday party at the White House. Everybody would be there. And Mrs. Ford would say, 'It's Gene's birthday too!' "

And so they'd sing a little ditty to the butler. And the butler, who wore a tuxedo to work every day, would blush.

"Jack Kennedy was very nice," he went on. "And so was Mrs. Kennedy."

He was in the White House kitchen the day Kennedy was slain. He got an invitation to the funeral. But he volunteered for other duty: "Somebody had to be at the White House to serve everyone after they came from the funeral."

The whole family of President Carter made Helene chuckle: "They were country. And I'm talking Lillian and Rosalynn both." It came out as the highest compliment.

First Lady Nancy Reagan came looking for him in the kitchen one day. She wanted to remind him about the upcoming state dinner for German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. She told him he would not be working that night.

"She said, 'You and Helene are coming to the state dinner as guests of President Reagan and myself.' I'm telling you! I believe I'm the only butler to get invited to a state dinner."

Husbands and wives don't sit together at these events, and Helene was nervous about trying to make small talk with world leaders. "And my son said, 'Momma, just talk about your high school. They won't know the difference.'

"The senators were all talking about the colleges and universities that they went to," she said. "I was doing as much talking as they were.

"Had champagne that night," she said, looking over at her husband.

He just grinned: He was the man who stacked the champagne at the White House.

Colin L. Powell would become the highest ranking black of any White House to that point when he was named Reagan's national security advisor in 1987. Condoleezza Rice would have that position under President George W. Bush.

Gene Allen was promoted to maitre d' in 1980. He left the White House in 1986, after 34 years. President Reagan wrote him a sweet note. Nancy Reagan hugged him tight.

Interviewed at their home last week, Gene and Helene speculated about what it would mean if a black man were elected president.

"Just imagine," she said.

"It'd be really something," he said.

"We're pretty much past the going-out stage," she said. "But you never know. If he gets in there, it'd sure be nice to go over there again."

They talked about praying to help Barack Obama get to the White House. They'd go vote together. She'd lean on her cane with one hand, and him with the other, while walking down to the precinct. And she'd get supper going afterward. They went over their election day plans more than once.

"Imagine," she said.

"That's right," he said.

On Monday, Helene had a doctor's appointment. Gene woke and nudged her once, then again. He shuffled around to her side of the bed. He nudged Helene again.

He was all alone.

"I woke up and my wife didn't," he said later.

Some friends and family members rushed over. He wanted to make coffee. They had to shoo the butler out of the kitchen.

The lady he married 65 years ago will be buried today.

The butler cast his vote for Obama on Tuesday. He so missed telling his Helene about the black man bound for the Oval Office.

Haygood writes for the Washington Post.