Cruising through the April issue of National Geographic, an edition with a global scope focused on the subject of water, my wife Susan and I were surprised to find the following Best Shot Ever from photograher Gerd Ludwig of a local body of water — Ivanhoe Reservoir — made somewhat ongoingly infamous by its artificial surface of some three million black plastic balls that were added back in 2007 to deflect UV rays and prevent the carcinogen bromate from forming.
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I’m a little late in getting this post up, considering the 27th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival (PaleyFest) has already started. You’ve only missed three events, Modern Family and Lost, which were both fantastic and NCIS, which I didn’t attend. There are 10 nights left highlighting such acclaimed shows as Breaking Bad and Dexter. The only one aside from Lost that is sold-out so far is Glee.
This is the 9th year I’ve attended PaleyFest, the ever-changing and growing celebration of television programming and its creation. It is hands-down one of my favorite annual L.A. events. For the past two years, it was held in the Cinerama Dome at the ArcLight Hollywood, a much bigger venue than the previous theater at the Directors Guild. As the festival continues to grow, it has once again moved and is being held at The Saban Theatre (formerly The Wilshire Theatre) in Beverly Hills, which can hold 1900 people.
The full programming schedule can be found here. Ticket prices are tiered based on seating section and Paley Center membership status. Seats are not assigned, just the section. Check for more information on ticket availability for the remaining shows on this site.
The Saban Theatre is located at 8440 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, 90211. The surrounding neighborhoods all have permit street parking, so be prepared to pay $10 to park in one of two designated lots.
Let us know if you plan to attend any of the events. I’ll report back on my experience at the end of the fest.
I suppose it was inevitable. This past year, social networking shot through the roof, with everyone and her grandmother (literally) on Facebook. That is in addition to the explosive popularity of Twitter, as well as websites pumping out up-to-the-minute news 24/7. At the same time, the old media NBC television network decided to tape delay its Winter Olympics broadcast on the West Coast, apparently three hours behind the East Coast, even though the events are taking place in our time zone. And finally, as do many others I’m sure, I multitask when watching television, laptop in front of me, news headlines and social networks (and Vancouver Metblogs) never more than a click away. All of these phenomena have come crashing together this month like a perfect storm, threatening to spoil my Olympics.
The problem is, I keep learning the results from these Internet sources hours before seeing them for myself. I learned of Hannah Kearney’s mogul skiing gold medal, Apolo Ohno’s record-tying silver medal in speed skating, and the generous figure skating judges doling out high scores to skaters who fell during their short program, all before seeing it on tv. I tried appealing to my Twitter peeps who aren’t located on the West Coast not to post Olympics results, but they seem to need to do so, as if their reactions won’t count unless shared electronically and immediately.
I’m sure some of you are more computer-advanced than I, and can tell us how to get a great webcast of the Games on our computer in real time, even on our big-screen hdtv. If so, I would love to hear the solutions. I investigated this briefly, and did not find a satisfactory solution — for example, the online ads I saw were even more annoying than those on NBC.
I’m afraid the only solution I have found to watch the Winter Games unspoiled by spoilers is the most radical solution of staying off the Internet altogether.
ESPN’s new online hub for local sports, ESPNLosAngeles.com, officially launched today, providing a new source for LA Sports news, as well as a new home for several LA Sports writers, including the LA Times’ (former) Lakers bloggers.
Meant as a hub for local online sports coverage one could set as their homepage, the site features SoCal-specific “SportsCenter” segments, local breaking news, and direct links to pages for all the major pro teams, including the Galaxy, Chivas USA, the LA Sparks, as well as the Angels and Ducks. There’s also a “Headlines” tab you can click to view nationwide sports headlines, in case you care about what happens outside of our little bubble. ESPN launched similar local sites for Dallas, Boston and Chicago earlier this year, and the sports network opened a new broadcast studio (along with an ESPN Zone sports bar) Downtown at LA Live this past spring.
But the best part of the site is the local team blogs and columnists, providing quick-access to news and columns about your favorite teams that is also easy to subscribe to by e-mail or RSS feed to keep up on everything. The other ESPN city sites have Twitter accounts you can follow as well, but as of this writing, @ESPNLosAngeles exists but hasn’t tweeted a thing. The @ESPNLosAngeles Twitter account is also up and running, providing links to stories on the site. So far there’s a USC blog (but no UCLA blog yet), a Clippers blog (sort of – it links to the outside ClipperBlog.com, part of an ESPN affiliate network), and of course, that Lakers Blog, which is basically a direct transplant from the LA Times’ Lakers Blog. Brian and Andy Kamenetzky, who just yesterday afternoon announced their departure from LATimes.com, pick up at ESPN right where they left off, except now the blog is called “Land O’ Lakers”. The Lakers Blog was regularly one of the most-visited on the site, sometimes getting over a million page views per month. No announcement has been made yet as to who or what will replace the brothers at LATimes.com. It seems that, at least for now, a few different staff writers are taking turns contributing posts to the Lakers Blog to keep it going.
LA Times has unveiled their new eEdition, “a reproduction of the print edition– online” for $12.99 per month. Considering that I just got a year of 7-day home delivery of the actual print edition for $75, or $6.25 per month, and they are offering print subscribers the online subscription at no extra cost, I’m wondering what the strategery is here.
Access to its archives is one thing LAT is offering as part of the deal, and they are also touting that it’s available at 5:30 AM everyday, unlike the online edition, which is available the preceding midnight, contains much more news and, um, it’s free– for now.
I guess this is a first step (and trial balloon) for the online paid subscription model we’ve been hearing about from other newpapers in dire straits– which means the vast majority of them.
As a side note, PBS.org is streaming Inventing LA, the recent doc about the Chandlers and the LA Times. Worth a look.
Shepard Fairey has released a statement and updated his filing in his fair use case with the AP. He writes:
“Throughout the case, there has been a question as to which Mannie Garcia photo I used as a reference to design the HOPE image. The AP claimed it was one photo, and I claimed it was another.
The new filings state for the record that the AP is correct about which photo I used as a reference and that I was mistaken. While I initially believed that the photo I referenced was a different one, I discovered early on in the case that I was wrong.
In an attempt to conceal my mistake I submitted false images and deleted other images. I sincerely apologize for my lapse in judgment and I take full responsibility for my actions which were mine alone. I am taking every step to correct the information and I regret I did not come forward sooner.
I am very sorry to have hurt and disappointed colleagues, friends, and family who have supported me in this difficult case and trying time in my life.”
There is more to the statement which he has posted on his site.
It’s no secret that Shepard is a personal friend of mine and I’ve been very vocal about my support him and this case. My support has not been based on the fact that we are friends, but because I really do believe in the principals and importance of fair use, and feel this issue strikes at the heart of it. I think it’s in the financial interest of the AP to limit fair use, and I think it’s in the best interest of creatives, both professional and amateur alike, for fair use to upheld. I say that as a career publisher who has worked with and for musicians, visual artists, photographers and writers for the last 16 years. This statement by Shepard is obviously shocking and disappointing, but what will be more disappointing is if this takes focus away from the real issues the case brings up. I’ve always felt that the question of which photo was used was a footnote and I fear this now threatens to overshadow the much larger, and much more important discussion.
A few short hours ago it looked like my gut reaction that the Angeles National Forest fire had been caused by a fiendish rapscallion (I’m no longer using the word “terrorist”) wasn’t far off the mark.
But wait, what’s this? A new report on KNX 1070 says that the U.S. Forest Service has retracted its earlier “human caused” statement about the fire.
What does this mean? It means my two-year-old daughter’s assertion that dragons are behind the blaze may still be a valid theory.
You can run, Puff, but you can’t hide.
Image: A Michael Martchenko illustration from Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess.
August 27, 2009 in Media
In this day and age of instant information, I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated when I can’t find an answer immediately. Just this evening, I left work and noticed fire and smoke in some hills that looked like they might be near Burbank or Glendale. Driving along the 5, I saw that the flames were close to Glendale.
Wanting to know more, I tuned my radio to a “news” station. In the span of 14 minutes, I heard about some traffic in Sherman Oaks, a dead model’s car, a professional football game, and a kidnapping victim discovery. Finally…a fire update! Two fires were mentioned, but neither was the one I was driving alongside. When I got home, I scoured the internet with no luck. The LAFD site hasn’t been updated since Tuesday (granted, I know they are very busy) and most people on twitter were questioning and speculating as well.
So, what source do you turn to for breaking news in L.A.? Please help! I need to know NOW!
August 13, 2009 in Media
Witness the new website for the LA Times: it looks like a blog – a longer scroll to the bottom, a new font, and a little more blog-like.
Before (an October 2008 screen grab of the LAT’s old website):
After (this morning’s revamped page):
What do we think?
Anderson Cooper ventured into a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles recently and brought along a camera crew to capture him ogling the goods for sale. It was one segment of a circumspect, comprehensive (for MSM, anyway) report about the movement to legalize the weed that I watched last night on his CNN news program, Anderson Cooper 360. By turns balanced and illuminating, it examined perceived pros and cons to consider in the march to legalization.
Cooper was drolly amusing as he perused the LA pot store, pausing to consider the different pot-laced goodies– brownies, cakes, sodas, biscotti, gelato (!) and of course, the dried weed itself. At one point, he paused to open a jar and took a whiff. “Smells like marijuana,” he said dryly, his blue eyes twinkling. Read the rest of this entry →
Local theater has a hard enough time drawing audiences here. Apathetic critics don’t help.
Something that Marc Haefele mentioned in his most recent post on Metblogs has stayed with me since I read it: his opening sentence wherein he mentions overhearing “the arts editor of a prominent local weekly… say she didn’t like opera and didn’t know anyone who did.”
Having been to my share of LA Opera performances, some that I have enjoyed more than others, I was shocked to hear of a supposed cultural gatekeeper in the guise of an arts editor coming forth with a blanket disdain for a particular, um, art. Perhaps she needs to broaden her circle of friends and get out more– or at least find another area of journalism to work in.
I got the same feeling today when I read a theater review in the LA Times by Charlotte Stoudt. Granted, it was a review of Octomom, The Musical, playing at the Fake Gallery on Melrose and Heliotrope. But her opening sentence may have tipped her hand about her feelings towards live theater, along with her qualifications to review it:
“It was only a matter of time before the exploits of Nadya Suleman trickled down to that most lowly of entertainment forms, live theater.”
It left me wondering where on her hierarchy of “entertainment forms” she places, say, WWF or TMZ, which she mentions being well aware of in her review. Something tells me she also is not an opera buff.
And for all we know, you could take her upfront dismissal of theater overall as a ringing endorsement of Octomom.
For everyone in L.A. who has complained about taxpayer money going toward the Michael Jackson Memorial, Mayor Villaraigosa has officially resorted to begging for money. (I’ve seen people on Twitter asking how a bankrupt state like California can afford this. It can’t, but California is not footing the bill, the City of Los Angeles is. And no, L.A. can’t afford it either.)
As an L.A. resident, I, for one, am totally OK with that (the begging, not the footing of the bill). Since us L.A. folks have basically already paid for this, I’d ESPECIALLY love it if non-Angelenos would step up and pitch in. That’s right… not only can you honor the King of Pop, your donations are also tax-deductible! (Click here for the PayPal link)
Want to snail mail your check in?
Donations are being accepted to help defray the costs of providing public safety, traffic control and related costs associated with the Michael Jackson Memorial at the Staples Center. Please submit your donations by check payable to: “City of Los Angeles”.
Donation Mailing Address:
Room 255, City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Donations of any amount will be gratefully accepted. All donations are tax-deductible.
If you’re a Michael fan, consider giving a small donation to help us celebrate his extraordinary life and music.
PS – Jackson Family, my sincerest condolences for your loss, but please step forward to help foot some of these bills. That goes for you, too, AEG — you stand to make a ton with all the footage from those rehearsal videos at Staples Center, as well as any tribute concerts that are yet to come. Seriously, help a financially strapped city out. It’s not just the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense, as well.
June 9, 2009 in Media
In a cost cutting measure, GOOD Magazine moved out of its stylish Melrose headquarters last week and into a new space a few blocks away on Citrus off of Highland.
Considering it had only moved into its previous offices at the end of last year, it’s a fast turn of events for the magazine, which skipped its second full issue of this year to instead publish a tongue-in-cheek “stop-gap” flyer about the new economic reality.
As I pointed out in a previous post about the magazine’s temporary financial woes, it also is cutting back from six to four print issues a year.
GOOD is not alone in key respects: The downturn in print media specifically, along with the global economic downturn in general in combination with its admitted overspending during headier financial times, necessitated the scaling down.
The next issue will focus on the planet’s threatened water supply, a topic any Angeleno should find relevant, what with the recently imposed mandatory water restrictions in LA.