Tag Archives: los angeles

Attending the first non-profit film festival from Public Interest Pictures

The greatest challenge for a non-profit is to get the message out. And often the best way to do that is with a video shared on the social networks and with supporters – with the hope it goes viral. But creating one can cost more than a non-profit budget can spare.

A problem the production company, Public Interest Pictures, solved for eight Los Angeles non-profits with the Non-Profit Short Film Festival. They brought together eight teams of professional filmmakers to create short inspirational videos for each non-profit, and in just 48 hours the results were spectacular.

I attended the film festival in downtown Los Angeles – at the HUB LA - and walked away motivated to learn more about each non-profit. My favorite was the glean club, Food Forward, that organizes volunteer parties to pick fruit in the city. Southern California is a former agricultural powerhouse and the ruins of that empire are everywhere. Every neighborhood has a lemon and orange tree with a sprinkling of avocado, persimmon, grapefruit, and more.

A better explanation is in the video from the film festival:

 

The soundtrack is great with the song Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place. But, the winner for best video goes to local beekeepers and lovebirds – Honey Love:

 

 

There are six more videos from the festival each with a great message. They should do wonders for each group when shared on the internet. And for those in attendance the event was great fun, with the crowd hooting and hollering for each non-profit. Plus, many of those filmed in the videos were there – including the latino family from the children’s video below. The little girl was so excited to see herself on the big screen.

It was an inspirational event from Public Interest Pictures - who has made previous social interest films Hacking Democracy and Broadcast Blues - and I hope they continue it next year.

 

10 places in Los Angeles to get a damn good cup of coffee

In the last few years Los Angeles has found its coffee roots. After a slow start the city is booming with exceptional baristas serving high quality beans. And that includes all the features coffee drinkers love: expensive machines, specific dairy options, local roasters, fair trade, and even vendors at farmers markets.

There is also a competition to create the perfect coffee experience. Shops are experimenting with interior design and culture programs – like banning laptops, offering no seating, and – in true LA spirit – wide open outdoor spaces.

This makes visiting the top ten coffee shops in Los Angeles a fun adventure. Here they are, from LA Weekly, with the address included – for more details on each shop read the full article.

 

1. Espresso Cielo - 3101 Main Street, Santa Monica

2. Balconi Coffee Company - 11301 W. Olympic Blvd #124, Los Angeles

3. Coffee Commissary 801 N. Fairfax Ave., #106, Los Angeles

4. Farmers’ Markets – at the Crenshaw market, USC market, Hollywood Yamashiro market

5. Cafecito Organico - 2 locations in Los Angeles - 534 N. Hoover Street & 710 N. Heliotrope Drive

6. Spring for Coffee - 548 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles

7. CoffeeBar - 600 S. Spring St., Los Angeles

8. Intelligentsia - 3 locations:

  • 3922 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles
  • 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
  • 55 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

9. Cognoscenti Coffee - 3156 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles

10. Cafe de Leche - 5000 York Boulevard, Los Angeles

 

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Close a 10-mile section of highway – air quality immediately improves by 83%

This weekend scientists were able to measure freeway pollution when a 10-mile section was shut down for construction. The results were surprising. Within minutes of the traffic shut-down, air quality for the region improved by 83%. It also improved by 75% in the surrounding cities and 25% for the 30 miles in every direction.

The findings even shocked the scientists, from UCLA News:

“The air was amazingly clean that weekend,” Suzanne Paulson said. “Our measurements in Santa Monica were almost below what our instruments could detect, and the regional effect was significant. It was a really eye-opening glimpse of what the future could be like if we can move away from combustion engines.”

But just as quickly as the clean air came it was gone. Within a week of cars returning the pollution levels were back to normal. Still, it gives a peek into a future with electric vehicles and much cleaner air.

Read the full article - ‘Carmaheaven’: Closure of 405 in 2011 improved air quality up to 83 percent

 

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Cool accounts on Pinterest to follow – The Los Angeles Times Photography

Here is the perfect Pinterest account to follow, The Los Angeles Times. The paid photographers of newspapers and magazines are the ideal users of Pinterest. After all, they are trained professionals in the art of awesome photography.

While most of us are creating boards called “Things I like” and “My Style” they are doing things like “Cityscapes at Dusk” and “Photos of Celebrities at the Oscars”. Getting to places we often can’t get to and going to places we are too busy (or lazy) to go to.

At least, that’s my thought on the subject, and my argument for print publications to rock Pinterest. They can only make the site better.

Because, I mean, haven’t you fallen in love with Pinterest?

 

Los Angeles Times on Pinterest

 

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There is a mountain lion in central Los Angeles, prowling around Griffith Park

It’s true, in fact, there are several of them but mostly in the nature reserves of the Santa Monica Mountains. This one is different because it is truly in the heart of LA, Griffith Park.

 

 

Surrounded by freeways on two sides, Hollywood and downtown on the others, this is truly an urban area. Which makes it all the more interesting that the lion even made it into the park:

In an odyssey of perhaps 20 miles, the cat had to cross concrete and backyards, dodge commuter traffic and thread an obstacle course of culverts, bridges and roads…(it) might have traversed a bridge or culvert to cross the 101 and 405 freeways to enter the park. It’s possible, however, that the cat sprinted across lanes of traffic — and got very lucky. In a study of the 405, scientists have documented two deaths of lions killed by motorists. – L.A. Times

Fortunately, the cat (also known as a cougar) is extremely solitary and mostly nocturnal. It shouldn’t pose any harm to park-goers while enjoying the plentiful mule deer in the area. Not to mention, the beautiful views of downtown Los Angeles, the celebrity-packed Hollywood Hills, and that never-ending traffic of LA.

The L.A. Times has a nice write-up about the history of lions in the park, including the fact that several Angelenos claimed to see a lion and nobody believed them until now - Mountain lion makes itself at home in Griffith Park

Also, check out the spread of mountain lions from their dominant home, the Western U.S., and back into the Midwest (North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin).

 

 

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When it arrives in Los Angeles, Space Shuttle Endeavour, will slowly ‘commute’ through the city

Another epic journey for the retirement of a space shuttle. This one is Endeavour and it is destined for Los Angeles. It will arrive at the airport, LAX, on September 20, where it will be moved through heart of the city to the California Science Center.

This will be the first time a spacecraft has been moved through a city and it should be quite a spectacle.

Moving the shuttle — which measures 57 feet tall at the tip of the tail and has a wingspan of 78 feet — will be no easy task. Trees will be pruned back or taken out. Power lines will be raised. Traffic signals will be removed.

At its top speed, the transporters carrying the shuttle will travel about 2 mph along the city streets.

full storySpace shuttle Endeavour to make 12-mile trek on L.A. streets

 

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Maps of where Olympic athletes are born and where they move to

The map above shows the birthplace of the 500 athletes the United States sent to the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. The break down:

  • 9 percent (43 athletes) – are from Los Angeles
  • 3.6 percent (17) – are from the Bay Area
  • 3 percent (14) – are from greater New York
  • 2.3 percent (11) from Dallas.
  • 8 percent were born abroad

This map shows where these athletes are currently living:

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Orange County has become a dominant location for Olympic athletes to live/train

There seems to be a competition between San Diego (who is sending 80 athletes) and Orange County, for the king of the Olympics:

 

If Orange County was a nation it would have ranked among the top 10 in gold medals at each of the past two Summer Olympics. At the 2004 Games in Athens, Orange County athletes won as many golds (nine) as Great Britain, or one more than Brazil and Spain combined. Four years later, O.C. athletes brought home 19 medals, as many as Ethiopia, the Czech Republic and Argentina combined.

Athletes with O.C. ties also produced two of the most iconic moments of the 2008 Beijing Games. Irvine’s Jason Lezak kept Michael Phelps’ bid for a record eight gold medals alive in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with what has been called as the greatest anchor ever. Phelps later edged Serbia’s Milorad Cavic, a Tustin High grad, by a mere hundredth of a second to win the 100-meter butterfly to equal Mark Spitz’s then-Olympic record of seven golds.

In London, Orange County athletes could put up even bigger numbers.

A record 79 O.C. athletes will compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, more than double the 31 who participated in the Athens Games just eight years ago. And unlike some other Olympic hotbeds like Kenya’s Rift Valley or Australia’s Gold Coast, Orange County’s Olympic success is not limited to just one sport. In London, O.C. athletes could win gold medals in as many as nine sports.

 

Source: OC Register - For Olympics, Orange County has become a powerhouse

 

 

If you add in the athletes from Los Angeles then 1 out of 3, or even half, of all Olympic athletes hail from Southern California.  Continue reading

Couple starts backyard garden – now growing for farmers markets in Beverly Hills

Is it possible to turn a passion for home gardening into a career growing for farmers markets? Such is the hope of Jennifer Little and James Imhoff, who gave up successful jobs to start Little Farm Fresh in their San Gabriel yard. They have gained a cult following for their unusual heirloom produce, including cape gooseberries, Black Cobra chiles and Richmond Green Apple cucumbers, and believe that their goal — “spending time together doing what we love” — is within sight.

They met as high school sweethearts in Palmdale 19 years ago and stuck together after he was injured in a car accident. A decade ago they bought a home a few blocks from the San Gabriel Mission, and Little attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College. She became a pattern maker for a local wedding dress designer, Camille DePedrini, while he worked his way up to be lead stage manager for Sunset Bronson Studios.

But his health suffered as the job forced him to work up to 100 hours a week, and she longed to spend more time outside in the garden. Two years ago they started offering their garden’s bounty with a small delivery service. Still, it was only after a stroke of luck — a horse in which they had just bought a share, TJ’s Passion, won its first race at Golden Gate Fields — that they felt inspired to take a risk.

 

Keep reading to learn how they finally arrived - “Two years ago we were digging up the lawn in our San Gabriel yard, and now we’re selling in Beverly Hills”

L.A. Times - Market Watch: Passion for gardening leads to Beverly Hills

 

 

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Maps of Southern California’s – Marine Protected Areas

A map of all the Southern California MPA’s (marine protected areas), defined as:

A space in the ocean where human activities are more strictly regulated than the surrounding waters – similar to parks we have on land.

They are supposed to form a network of safe areas for marine life ro repopulate and bring back big populations to our oceans. You can see that they aren’t that large, nor extensive, but serve as a good starting point.

 

 

Here are maps for each of the regions: San Diego, Los Angeles (Santa Monica Bay), Orange County, Santa Barbara, Catalina Island.

**Full-size graphics are available at Cal Oceans – Maps

 

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