It’s time to get CERT-ified

With all the brouhaha going on across the world it’s time to remind all of us Angelino’s that we’re living on top of a ticking time bomb and we all should do our parts to be prepared. A few years ago a bunch of the Blogging.la crew went out and got CERT training. For the un-initiated, CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team and the training is provided free of charge to everyone 18 and older living in the city of Los Angeles.

Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation.

CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens may initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference. While people will respond to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.

The course is one day a week for seven weeks with a total of 17.5 hours training time. In the classes you’ll learn to:

  • Manage utilities and put out small fires,
  • Treat the three medical killers by opening airways, controlling
  • Bleeding, and treating for shock,
  • Provide basic medical aid,
  • Search for and rescue victims safely,
  • Organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective,
    and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.

I missed the initial classes but now that I’m back in LA I’m getting my training at the first available class. If this sounds like something you’re into (and it should be dammit) check their calendar for a class near you! You can also peruse the class manual online.

Month of Photography in full swing

The Month of Photography – Los Angeles is in full swing and there are a ton of cool events and openings coming up. These are a few that caught my eye. Especially the LA Times Pop-Up Gallery happening tonight. Check out the full list of events for more info on what’s happening for the second half of the month.

April 14th, 2011

Los Angeles Times Photo: Pop-Up Gallery at Downtown Art Walk

Where: Los Angeles Times, 145 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
When: 6pm-10pm
Cost: Free

In association with MOPLA, Los Angeles Times Photo and Video is presenting a special, one-night-only pop-up gallery during Downtown Art Walk from 6pm-10pm. The exhibit will celebrate the power and explore the craft of visual storytelling through a curated collection of recent work from Times photojournalists. The multimedia-savvy crew will also give a nod to its history with a chronological array of images, spanning from the present back through the decades. Join Los Angeles Times’ award-winning staff for this ephemeral event and block party, outside The Times iconic building on the corner of 2nd & Spring. Sounds by Big Sonic Heaven’s Darren Revell. Refreshments by 213 Nightlife.

More Info:
http://latimesframeworkparty.eventbrite.com/
http://www.latimes.com/frameworkevent

Pints and Pixels: The Cell Phone Edition

Where: Julia Dean, 755 Seward St, Los Angeles, CA 90038
When: 7pm-10pm
Cost: General $10, Students $5

ASMP Los Angeles and MOPLA present the second annual projection event Pints and Pixels: The Cell Phone Edition. The event showcases projections of cell phone images from competition finalists. A book printed by A&I with the featured photographs will be sold as well and the proceeds will be donated to SnapShop — a photography workshop series for at-risk high school students.

More Info:
http://www.asmpla.org

More events after the jump

Joooooin Us!

Burns, holding court

It’s time to shake things up! We’re looking for some fresh blood so we’re opening up the doors for 10-15 new bloggers and feature writers to join our team.

Are you a local with awesome insights and passion about this great city? Can you translate that passion and insight into words and photos? Do you know how to blog using WordPress? Are you not a flake and can punch out at least 2-3 posts a week? And can you do it all for the sheer love of it and the love of your soon to be adoring public? Then you might be ready to join the ranks of the Granddaddy of LA Blogs.

If that person isn’t you don’t despair, the dream isn’t over yet! We’re also looking for locals that don’t have time to do regular blogging but have something more specific to contribute and can commit to one feature post per week that’s about a specific aspect of life in LA. It could be from mainstream topics like sports or art to the utterly absurd. This is an experts only position.

All the details after the jump

As seen in Silver Lake

I took a trip over to Intelligentsia get some Black Cat with @seanbonner yesterday and took a few snaps on the walk. What the hell was up with the 101 yesterday and what GENIUS decided to close a lane on the 134/101 interchange? It took me an hour and a half to get from the valley to the west side. It was totally worth it for the Black Cat though ;-)

BarCampLA is back!

After a 2 year hiatus BarCamp, the premier ad-hoc technology conference returns to LA Sunday April 30th through Sunday May 1st. The event will be held this year at Mt Washington Elementary at 3981 San Rafael Avenue. Tickets are $35 right now for the whole weekend and there are student and group discounts available.

If you’ve never been to one I have to say that BarCamps are more like a weekend at tech camp than a conference. Anyone can give a presentation (but make sure you’re there early to get the prime spot) and the topics can vary wildly but they’re almost always fun and insightful. I’ll definitely be there!

Get tickets early because it’s definitely going to get sold out fast. Not to mention you can skip the Procrastinator edition tickets which are an extra $20 if you just get them now.

http://barcampla.org/ on the web
@BarCampLA on Twitter
Facebook

$4.44 a gallon? Seriously?

I filled up my little 2 door Ford Focus this morning and my jaw dropped when the bill was over $40. I haven’t driven very much since I got back to LA so it was quite a shock and I’m sure most of you already knew this but I tend to lead a very sheltered life ;-) So as soon as I got home I went for a bike ride since I can guarantee I’ll be doing a lot more of that until prices come down but I also went on the hunt for a price finder. Low and behold on the first try I found losangelesgasprices.com which is basically a sub-site of gasbuddy.com which tracks gas prices nation wide. They’ve got a free mobile app so you can check out the cheapest gas prices while you’re out and about. I just tried it and if I’d have had it this morning I could have saved about $5. So if you’re a commuter with a mobile phone (that’s roughly 99.999% of LA) go get this thing. It’s free and it’ll save you a bunch of dough.

Alive in Silver Lake is Alive!

Today is the Transmedia, Hollywood 2: Visual Culture and Design Conference being held at UCLA. Our very own Tara Brown is attending and announced the launch of her new Transmedia (yes, no one has a definition for what that is yet) and it’s called Alive in Silverlake. On her kick off blog post today she described it as:

This project is for the people of Silver Lake and surrounding neighborhoods. This is for anyone that likes to read stories and uncover easter eggs. This is for people that are interested in weird, unexplainable things. This is for the experimenters out there that have an idea and are unsure if it’s stupid or if it will take off.

This “experiment” has no real beginning and an indefinite end.

I am using everything in my arsenal that I have accumulated over the last 15 years of my career: software development, social media, community building, local blogging, fiction writing, crowdsourcing, interactive media, and my big old imagination.

I’ve always been a big fan of Alternate Reality Games and stories using the broad swath of as many mediums as possible so I’m excited to see what she does with it. So start following along now so you’re not left behind. And how can you not be a fan of the teaser…

Five Rockband roomies in Silver Lake (Los, Angeles, CA) solve eerie mysteries involving ghosts, zombies, and other unearthly phenomena between gigs at the local bars and their day jobs.

Follow along at http://aliveinsilverlake.com/ and on Twitter at @alivesilverlake

Blogging.la Turns 15K!

I don’t know wether to laugh or cry at this but we’ve hit our 15,000th post published mark this week! The post in question was from frazgo titled Buy clothes that fit… mildly nsfw. The post stirred up a little dust on the merits of blogging in general but all in all good fun.

I can’t believe we’ve made it this far. There have been some incredible writers through our doors over the past 7+ years and we’re going to be opening up the floor for more people next week so if you want to join in on the Granddaddy of LA blogs get your links handy and I’ll be posting details on Monday on how you can become one of the crew.

Here’s to the next 15k!

New Freerunning Academy opens in LA

What could possibly be coolest school in the world opened in LA last week. It’s called the ‘Tempest Freerunning Academy‘. If you don’t know what Freerunning is here’s the definition from Wikipedia:

Free running or freerunning is a form of urban acrobatics in which participants, known as free runners, use the city and rural landscape to perform movements through its structures. It incorporates efficient movements from parkour, adds aesthetic vaults and other acrobatics, such as tricking and street stunts, creating an athletic and aesthetically pleasing way of moving. It is commonly practiced at gymnasiums and in urban areas (such as cities or towns) that are cluttered with obstacles.

Freerunnung reminds me of skateboarders ripping through a city on a day they forgot to bring their boards with them. It can be beautiful and terrifying and if I was 25 years younger with working knees I’d be signing up for classes immediately!

Their 7,000 sqft facility was designed by famed ramp builder Nate Wessel and looks like a dream world where Mario Brothers, Tony Hawk Pro Skater and an Olympic training facility had a weird 3-way. It has built in foam pits, trampolines, a spring floor and my personal favorite… a 14ft warped wall right out of Sasuke!

They offer classes from beginner up to advanced (although the advanced classes are by invite only) but if you just want to go and play on their gear they have an un-monitored open gym for the adults and a monitored open gym for the kids.

Check out their amazing trailer video after the jump.

Big Brother Season 13 Casting Tomorrow!

Big Brother is one of those guilty pleasures I still admit to watching. I know it’s rotting my brain from the inside out but screw it, life is short. So if you’re a narcissistic loony who likes to be on camera 24/7 you should head down to Spot 5750 tomorrow from 1pm to 4 pm and try your luck at the open auditions. You can download the online application before you head down. Good luck!

LA Crime Stoppers

Since moving back to LA a month I’ve been trying to find cool local resources I didn’t know about and this is definitely one of them.

The purpose of Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers is to prevent and reduce crime, by forming a partnership among the community, law enforcement and the media to offer anonymity and cash rewards to anyone providing information leading to an arrest, thereby making the community a safer place for all who live or work in the region.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm86qvNQAHo

It’s a pretty cool approach to tipping off the Po-Po. You can either call or send in a web tip and they give you a code to use to keep the communication open but without giving your details so you can remain anonymous. If you’re tipping on a crime that has a reward attached you can make up to a cool $1k. So if you’re an armchair detective you can finally monetize all those hours of Murder, She Wrote re-runs you’ve been watching. Check them out.

http://lacrimestoppers.org/

Neil Strauss book release & how to get in on the action

emergency_book_cover
This book might just save your life indeed.

Neil Strauss aka Style, the LA author who changed the lives of single people looking for love forever with his books The Game & Rules of the Game has a new book out. This new title, Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life hit the shelves earlier this week. And while The Game was about getting some ass, this one is quite literally about saving it. Neil has spent the past 3 years training to turn himself into a one man survival machine. ‘Emergency’ is his story of learning how to track people and animals to living off the land to learning to fly and ride motorcycles and many many other skills. I’m almost finished reading it so I won’t spoil the ending but what I will say is if you live in Los Angeles you should read this book because there are some basic lessons on surviving ‘when the shit hits the fan’ that we all could take away from it.

In the book Neil takes a course on Urban Escape and Evasion from the New Jersey based OnPoint Tactical. A group who specializes in training members of the military, law enforcement, and government security contractors but also has courses for us civies too. The same course that Neil took in the book, Urban Escape and Evasion, is being offered next week here in LA and a few of us Metbloggers have already signed up. We’re looking forward to learning about lock picking, escaping from car trunks as well as blending into any urban environment. Sean, Burns! and I will be there and last time we checked there were a few spots still open so if this sounds interesting to you at all I’d recommend signing up for this class too – once the book is on the shelves a little longer I suspect these classes will be full full full. Plus, you’ll get to take it with us!

And if that’s not enough fun Neil is having a Book Signing here in LA tomorrow night.

Friday, March 13th at 7:00 PM
H.Wood Club in the Hollywood and Highland Complex
1738 N. Orange Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028 – map

More information about the signing can be found on Neil’s site. I hear talk that Neil may be bringing a live Wolf with him. With the huge fanbase he has here in LA I’d suggest showing up EARLY. It’s bound to be quite the shindig.

Anti-Bush Graffiti in Hollywood

bush_grafitti_jpd.jpg

This little beauty is on the corner by my apartment at the corner of Franklin and Highland and was getting lots of honks when I was out taking this picture. Anyone else got any good anti-Bush graffiti showing up in their neck of the woods?

Voterlicous!

jpd_voted.jpg

Just got back from voting with Mr. Fogarty and his wee missus and it went over very well. We used a genuine dead tree ballot with an actual physical receipt and even got a loverly sticker. See photo for proof! The people staffing the center said we got there in the only lull they have had all day. We didn’t have to wait in any kind of line. Walked up, got handed a ballot and was trained on it’s use and hit the booth within a minute and a with my handy cheat sheet prepared this morning I was done and out in 4 minutes. Very smooth. no fucking touch screens. No mis-punches. Nothing. It was flawless so here’s my hats off to voting in Hollywood. Oh yeah… I support Kerry