My dad's workshop:
The "purse-hanger" my mom carries around:
"As you’re exploring the grounds, don’t miss Isamu Noguchi’s doughnut-shaped onyx sculpture, “Black Sun,” that inspired Soundgarden’s grunge anthem, “Black Hole Sun.”"Soundgarden just gets all sorts of inspiration from Seattle, huh?
"Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains. One worker, Jdimytai Damour, 34, was thrown back onto the black linoleum tiles and trampled in the stampede that streamed over and around him. Others who had stood alongside Mr. Damour trying to hold the doors were also hurled back and run over, witnesses said."Then, there was this that happened a few months after I got to Japan.
"Three top U.S. comedians next week will bring variety shows to television and one, Rosie O'Donnell, believes the format could stage a comeback amid the slumping economy if families start gathering around TVs for cheap entertainment."
But among many of Ishiki's 32,000 population, one-in-eight of whom depend on the sea to survive, the talk is of now one thing: the extinction of their livelihood. "In 40 years on a boat I've never seen it so bad," says one inhabitant, Yoshiju Kukeya. "Nakamura-san is lucky today. The fish are not there any more."
Atsushi Sasaki, 61, a fisherman-turned-conservationist who is sounding the alarm bell increasingly desperately about Japan's and the world's free-falling tuna stocks, speaks of imminent extinction: "If the situation continues, it is inevitable that tuna will disappear from the seas."
"Japanese millionaire Daisuke Enomoto had planned to dress up as his favourite cartoon character in outer space and spent $21 million to make it happen. Now he claims the company that was supposed make his dream come true brushed him aside with little more than a 'sorry, no refunds.'Just so you have an idea of what Char Aznable looks like:
A federal judge heard arguments Friday in Enomoto's lawsuit against Virginia-based Space Adventures, a firm that made its name brokering deals with the Russian space agency to put half a dozen 'space tourists' in orbit for fees of $20 million or more.
Space Adventures wants the lawsuit thrown out, saying that Enomoto was disqualified because of a chronic kidney-stone condition. They say his money is nonrefundable.
Enomoto claims the kidney stones were an excuse and that he was not allowed to launch in part because he refused Space Adventures' demands for more money.
Enomoto, an eccentric entrepreneur who planned to dress up as anime character Char Aznable, had plans to be the first tourist to do a spacewalk. He spent most of eight months at the Star City training facility near Moscow in 2006 preparing for his flight."
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Gleaming new Mercedes cars roll one by one out of a huge container ship here and onto a pier. Ordinarily the cars would be loaded on trucks within hours, destined for dealerships around the country. But these are not ordinary times.And it gets worse.
For now, the port itself is the destination. Unwelcome by dealers and buyers, thousands of cars worth tens of millions of dollars are being warehoused on increasingly crowded port property.
But the inventory glut in Long Beach is not limited to imported cars. There has also been a sharp drop in demand for the port’s single largest export: recycled cardboard and paper products.This material typically goes to China, where it is used to make boxes for new electronics and other products that are sent back to the United States. But Chinese factories reacting to sharply falling demand are slowing production, so they need less cardboard. Tons of paper are piling up recycling businesses around the port, the detritus of economies on hold.Our biggest export is stuff to make boxes for the Chinese to ship crap back to us.
"Two towns called Obama, which means "small shore" in Japanese, are already promoting their names and selling T-shirts, chopsticks and traditional sweets."It's amazing what having a Japanese-sounding name can do for one's popularity in Japan.
"Christopher Lloyd, the Hollywood actor and star of the Back to the Future films, has lost his home to the wildfires which are sweeping parts of California. Mr Lloyd, who played the zany scientist 'Doc' in the Back to the Future trilogy, showed ABC's 'Good Morning America' programme around the ruins of his former home."While you can see that video at a couple of different websites, I linked to the BBC because I like that they described Doc as "zany". All the other articles I've found kept calling Doc "crazy". Obviously, that's a personal pet peeve of mine. Doc was eccentric, he wasn't nuts.
...memorabilia, which I kept delaying to go through to store. But, kinda don't have to worry about that now.As I've mentioned before, I'm what Sam Gosling refers to as a "sentimental hoarder" in his book Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You.
"Suddenly, the flames were curling seventy feet above my living room, whipped on by seventy-mile-per-hour winds that sent them ripping across the dry brush like maddened horses. I tried to call the fire department, but the phone was dead. I tried to turn the lights on, but the electricity was gone. I went upstairs again, to see that the flames, which minutes before had been a distant knife of orange cutting through a hillside, were now all around me, the view through the picture window a wall of flame."After a few paragraphs describing his escape, he finishes the chapter with:
"I got taken to a friend's house, went across to an all-night supermarket to buy a toothbrush, and started my life anew."It's tragic, but - and may everyone who lost their home in such a way forgive me for saying this - I'm almost envious.
"Japan's demand for services fell for a second month as squeezed profits began to affect employment and paychecks, dimming prospects for consumer spending to support the world's second-largest economy.Grim.
USJ Co., the operator of theme park Universal Studios Japan, last month reported a 21 percent decline in profit in the first half of this fiscal year, citing fewer visitors and sluggish sales of food and drinks.
Japanese are thinking twice about buying lattes and going to the movies. Discretionary spending fell 7.5 percent in September from a year earlier, accounting for three quarters of the drop in household purchases. Starbucks Coffee Japan Ltd., an affiliate of the world's biggest coffee chain operator, last week lowered its full-year profit projection 32 percent because of weak sales."
"Christopher Lloyd's home has been torched to the ground."I hope he's OK and that it was just a summer home. More details as I get them.
Access has also learned that Christopher Lloyd, from “Back To the Future,” lost his home to the fire. Lloyd’s realtor told Access she saw the actor’s 4400 sq. foot home engulfed in flames on the news. Fortunately, the actor is safe in Vancouver shooting a film.I'm glad he's OK.
* Updated: Times Hot Property columnist Ann Brenoff reports a dramatic scene from the home of actor Christopher Lloyd:
The caretaker for actor Christopher Lloyd's house "fled for his life" in a firestorm last night, said Lisa Loiacono of Sotheby's International Realty. Loiacono manages the property for Lloyd, who is filming on location in Vancouver, Canada, and was not in Montecito. Loiacono said the property's 8 acres were all "torched," and the house "at least partially burned, if not totally." Loiacono was unable to enter the area this morning.
The house, Lloyd's main residence, had been listed for sale in the spring of 2007 at $11.3 million but was recently withdrawn from the market while he made upgrades. He owns a second, smaller, home in Montecito that is still on the market for $3.6 million.
The property believed lost is one of Montecito's more unusual homes. The 5,500-square-foot main house has one bedroom, and there is a separate guesthouse. The house was built in 1972 from adobe bricks made on site. And the living room and bedroom share an outdoor area with a large patio and stone-lined reflecting pool.
Lloyd personally cared for many of the rare and exotic plants on the grounds. It is also believed that the Mountain Drive home of Eva Loggins, Kenny Loggins' ex-wife, was destroyed by the fire.
Update 2: Here's more from The Times' Louis Sahagun in Montecito:
Buildings located on Christopher Lloyd's property sustained major fire damage, with ruins continuing to smolder Friday afternoon. The property looks out over a panoramic view of a canyon studded with luxury homes, the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands.
Lloyd is said to personally care for many of the rare and exotic plants on the grounds, some of which perished in the fire. Among the debris was the metallic nameplate for Orphium frutescens, a South African shrublet that grows pink flowers and is commonly known as the sea rose, and Erythrina latissima, a slow-growing South African tree, commonly known as the broad-leaved coral tree, that has scarlet flowers and leathery green leaves. Besides the nameplate, all that remained were ash and a stump covered in blackened leaves.
"In the original 'Back to the Future' movie, Doc Brown uses plutonium to power his time-traveling DeLorean.C'mon, Mr. Fusion. Any day now...
In the sequel, he no longer needs radioactive chemicals to fuel the vehicle, because the DeLorean has been modified to run on common household trash.
Turning garbage into energy was science fiction in the 1980s, but is now a reality in Cumberland County.
The Cumberland County Improvement Authority cut the ribbon Friday on a new gas energy system at its Deerfield Township landfill, which converts methane gas from decaying trash into electrical power."
"USB 3.0 will be unveiled next Monday, and so far the new specs for the protocol look incredible, promising 25GB transfers in a mere 70 seconds. To put that in perspective, the same transfer would take 13.9 minutes with the current USB 2.0 protocol and 9.3 hours on USB 1.0. Looks like the future of wired syncs and backups is bright and blazing."(via Lifehacker)
"The transmutation of garbage into energy is a particularly modern form of alchemy. We've seen it done on a smaller scale in the past, but now a company called Geoplasma is assembling the country's first plasma refuse plant in St. Lucie County, Florida. Scheduled to go online by 2011, the plant will process 1,500 tons of garbage a day, adding 60 megawatts to the power grid -- enough energy to power 50,000 homes. The plant works by vaporizing refuse with a 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit stream of plasma. The organic components (food, fluids, paper) create a pressurized gas that is then used to turn a turbine, while any inorganic refuse (metals) that may be present condenses, later to be collected for industrial uses. But will it power a Flux Capacitor?"Now, if we could just do something about Marty's kids.
"The web has resurrected a rare alternate ending to a 1986 musical about a monstrous, blood-sucking plant.Click through to watch Part I, Part II, and Part III. If you're a movie fan like me, you should find it fascinating. I loved the movie version of "Little Shop" (and used to listen to the soundtrack in the car so much it wore out the cassette). The puppetry is still impressive as hell, too. Had they made this movie in the last few years, it would have been all CGI and, I think, would have lost a lot of its charm.
The spectacular 24-minute sequence shows an army of giant plants rampaging past city skyscrapers, overturning cars, swallowing railroads, and demolishing New York City, Godzilla-style. The U.S. army discovers the plants are bulletproof, and as helicopters flee, the plants swarm over the statue of Liberty.
It cost $5 million, took 11 months to produce, and has never been released.
Well, almost never."
"But this year, even Santa is getting downsized. It's too expensive for the struggling old lumber town to hoist him up to the roof and keep him twinkling.I hope they fired this guy:
With budgets tightening and corporate sponsors vanishing, communities from coast to coast have moved to trim the trimmings. They're hiring fewer elves and renting smaller floats for their Christmas parades. They're stringing fewer lights.
Santa bookings have dropped so steeply that the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, which represents 700 jolly souls in red velvet, held a series of meetings to discuss their economic survival."
"Dr. David Delman's license plates say 'E Fluxed.' In his car's back seat, there's a model of a so-called 'flux capacitor.' Scattered flyers on the vehicle's floor read, 'Save the clock tower.'Great Scott!
Unlike Doc Brown's DeLorean in the movie, Back to the Future, however, Delman's car doesn't use a nuclear reaction to produce 1.21 gigawatts (pronounced 'jiggawatts' in the movie) of power. Instead, it employs a much more conventional method for producing a small fraction of that power: Thirteen 12V lead-acid batteries drive a series-wound nine-inch DC electric motor that's mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The motor and manual transmission combine to give the car excellent acceleration, Delman says.
'It's a little quicker than a real DeLorean,' Delman says, comparing it to the 1980s vehicle that was immortalized in the famous 1985 movie. 'I've had this car over 88 miles per hour.'"
"Burnout Paradise is about to go Back to the Future with this Delorean look-alike. Not only does it look like the famous car from the classic movie, my pressing down the L3 button on the controller, it freaking hovers."My sentiments exactly.
"For longtime U.S. expatriates like me — someone far more accustomed to being targeted over unpopular policies, for having my very Americanness publicly assailed — it feels like an extraordinary turnabout."That's what I'm talking about.
Best-selling author and filmaker [sic] Michael Crichton died unexpectedly in Los Angeles Tuesday, after a courageous and private battle against cancer, according to a statement released by his family. He was 66.While I can't say that I've read any of his more recent books, Michael Crichton's early work has certainly played a major role in my life. Crighton wrote Jurassic Park, which brought to life Alan Grant, one of the characters I played in Japan (despite my not looking anything like Sam Neill). Also, his book Travels was a huge influence on me when I returned from Australia (and still, in my opinion, has the best opening line ever).
Crichton is best known as the author of 'Jurassic Park' and the creator of 'ER.' His most recent novel, 'Next,' about genetics and law, was published in December 2006."
Businesses like Starbucks, Ben and Jerry’s, Krispy Kreme and even Zoo Atlanta had offered freebies or half-priced items to those sporting “I voted” stickers. But after learning such rewards were deemed illegal, many expanded their election-day largesse to anyone who walked in the door.Two things:
10 MPH is a comical documentary that follows a pair of aspiring filmmakers as they quit their jobs and turn a friend's ludicrous idea into a movie. The impulsive purchase of a two-wheeled Segway scooter sets this story in motion when the two friends decide to travel from Seattle to Boston at 10 MPH in an attempt to change their lives forever...Can't say I've heard of it, much less seen it, but I'm sure Doc Brown would be proud: