Chinese Air Pollution Reaches Los Angeles

This article was originally published at 8Asians.com and has been reposted here with permission.

While smog is yet one of the many problems afflicting Los Angeles, this blog entry points out that some of LA’s famous air pollution comes all the way from China.   According to this report, some days have a third of the air over San Francisco and Los Angeles coming from Asia, and along with it, up to three fourths of black carbon particulate air pollution, among other pollutants.  Just how does Chinese pollution get to the US?  Is it just the fault of the Chinese?

Some of this pollution begins as naturally occurring dust plumes from the Gobi desert, whipped up by storms every spring and summer.  As the dust travels west, it picks ups pollutants as it travels through heavily industrialized parts of China.  Those pollutants include the end products of coal burning, a common source of power in China.

While the US may complain about the pollution, it does contribute to the problem.  Various loopholes and subsidies are driving up the export of coal from the US and Canada to China, which gets burned and exported back through the atmosphere.   The US demand also drives production in some of those Chinese factories.

To me this shows how much the world is shrinking – what happens in one part of the world can unintentionally affect other parts.  Our atmosphere is something we all share.  While Beijing’s “airpocalypse” may seem far away, it really isn’t.  Not only can that pollution reach my family and me here in the Bay Area, but conditions were not much different here some 50 to 60 years ago.

(Photo Credit: Norman Kuring, SeaWiFS Project, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

Kylan Arianna Wenzel Is First Transgender Woman Allowed To Compete In Miss California Pageant

Regardless of the outcome of the 2013 Miss California USA pageant, when Kylan Arianna Wenzel takes the stage at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium representing Century City, she will make history as the first transgender woman to compete in the U.S. pageant since a rule change in 2012 allowed transgender competitors. In order to compete in this year’s pageant, Kylan moved up her gender reassignment surgery my six months, quit her job, and has been preparing for the pageant.

According to her webpage:

Kylan Arianna Wenzel was born on October 14, 1986 in Daegu, South Korea. She was born to a German-American father, and a South Korean mother. She has a twin brother, and was primarily raised by her father and step-mother.

At the age of 2, her family was stationed at Clark Air Base, on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. In June of 1991 the air force base was evacuated when the volcano, Mount Pinatubo erupted. She arrived in the United States for the very first time that summer.

Being in a military family, she moved often. She has lived in towns and cities throughout multiple states. Thatcher, Arizona is where she finished her last months of middle school before heading back to Seoul, South Korea to attend high school. Although being somewhat isolated in another country, her high school offered unique opportunities. She was able to visit surrounding countries numerous of times through school events. Upon graduating high school, she relunctantly[sic] accepted admission to the University of Washington in Seattle despite her heart being set on an education in London.

After Seattle, she moved to California to pursue a career in entertainment.

She finally had her gender reassignment surgery in August of 2013[sic]. She hopes to eventually become a TV Host/Journalist. Kylan is currently pursuing her dream in winning the Miss Universe title.

In addition to standing for equal rights— she believes that same-sex couples should have the right to marry– she is also a supporter of LiNK, which brings awareness to the Human Right Crisis in North Korea.

Q&A with Dan Lin, Producer of ‘Gangster Squad’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qilrVR0miPU

This article was originally published at 8Asians.com and has been reposted here with permission.

Terminator Salvation. Sherlock Holmes 1,2, and 3. Lego: The Piece of Resistance. Godzilla. Stephen King’s It. Death Note. Justice League. What do all these disparate movies past, present, and future have in common? One amazing Taiwanese American producer, Dan Lin.

And you might have heard of his latest film Gangster Squad, an LAPD period movie about a battle to take back LA from the mafia. Named back in 2008 by Variety as one of top 10 producers to watch, Lin has definitely lived up to the title, and with all the classic blockbusters being tacked to his name, he and everything he does will be worth watching for long after Gangster Squad hits the streets this Friday.

Here are 8Questions with Dan Lin about his new film and more from a roundtable press interview:

Continue reading Q&A with Dan Lin, Producer of ‘Gangster Squad’

Downhill Boarders just outside of L.A

I spotted this on the Smoking Tire’s channel this morning.  Pretty awesome downhill boarding just outside the city limits.  Interesting to note that these guys had helmets on, much better than the yahoos I was behind recently on Laurel Canyon doing this WITHOUT helmets.

Smoking Tire for those of you who don’t know is owned by Matt Farah who runs Smoking Tire.com and was interviewed by me a couple of years ago.  Good guy, great cars and car reviews all taking place in and around Los Angeles.