Tag Archives: san francisco

A stunning light installation for 75th anniversary of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco

For the 75th anniversary of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge the city is installing a world-class art installation. It will feature 25,000 white LED lights strung all across the bridge – some 1.5 miles wide and 500 feet high. And will be on display from February 2013-2015.

An artist rendition:

 

 

The artist is Leo Villareal who creates pieces composed exclusively of light. One of them is on permanent display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.:

 

 

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California begins offering $1 trips on Greyhound from LA to SF

Profiled by a Los Angeles Times travel writer, it reminds me of the $1 DC to NYC bus ride.

One traveler finds the ghost of Jack Kerouac and more on a bus trip up California’s spine. At $1 each way, it has to be the best bargain in all of travel.

Mindful that great American road trips occur in all sorts of vessels — heck, Huck rode a rickety raft — we’re on a Greyhound bus heading up California’s flat, slender belly.

“Why?” you ask.

That’s a sensible question, but let us open our hearts and heads to this for a few seconds:

By the time we’re done, we’ll meet a vagabond grandma and a former prostitute, an impish computer genius and just maybe the ghost of Jack Kerouac, who looked at Greyhound and California’s wide-open roads as gateways to the finest American right of all: the right to wander.

So, climb aboard. No security checkpoints, no luggage fees. No pillows or drink service either, but also no charge. A few of my fellow passengers, some more hollow-eyed than even I, have prison on their faces. A few are students, but most look like the same sorts you see on commercial airlines these days.

The full storyGreyhound Express: new spin on an old-fashioned ride

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Apple’s WWDC 2012 Conference Preview – iOS 6, new Macs, iCloud update

This Monday, June 11, Apple will host one of its biggest events of the year, WWDC, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. First thing in the morning will be the famous Keynote presentation where Apple’s top brass takes the stage to preview the latest treasures in their chest.

Here are just a few of those expected to be announced:

  • iOS 6 – the banners advertising this at the conference are already being hung – a small update compared to iOS 5, but it does introduce Apple Maps (and kicks out Google Maps). A complete Facebook integration and bringing Siri to the iPad, among the rumors.
  • iCloud – photo-sharing to social media sites and video stream, where videos are synced in the cloud.
  • New Macs –  the consensus seems to indicate that the entire Mac lineup will be refreshed with Retina Displays. With that as the primary change there could also be a shrinking of the MacBook Pro size and multiple spec updates.

With Apple’s notorious secrecy there is the potential for multiple big surprises. Plus, this will be the first WWDC without Steve Jobs so it will be interesting to see how Tim Cook and crew pave the way.

For an in-depth look at all these new features9to5 Mac – WWDC 2012 Roundup

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The official program from opening day of Golden Gate Bridge in 1937

The 1937 guide contains articles on the amazing architectural achievement as well as 130+ advertisements. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

 


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Klout – using data to determine your influence and then give you free stuff

I love this story of Klout founder Joe Fernandez:

With his jaw still clamped shut, recovering in his Lower East Side apartment, Fernandez opened an Excel file and began to enter data on everyone he was connected to on Facebook and Twitter: how many followers they had, how often they posted, how often others responded to or retweeted those posts. Some contacts (for instance, his young cousins) had hordes of Facebook friends but seemed to wield little overall influence. Others posted rarely, but their missives were consistently rebroadcast far and wide. He was building an algorithm that measured who sparked the most subsequent online actions. He sorted and re-sorted, weighing various metrics, looking at how they might shape results. Once he’d figured out a few basic principles, Fernandez hired a team of Singaporean coders to flesh out his ideas. Then, realizing the 13-hour time difference would impede their progress, he offshored himself. For four months, he lived in Singapore, sleeping on couches or in his programmers’ offices. On Christmas Eve of 2008, back in New York a year after his surgery, Fernandez launched Klout with a single tweet. By September 2009, he’d relocated to San Francisco to be closer to the social networking companies whose data Klout’s livelihood depends on. (His first offices were in the same building as Twitter headquarters.)

via Wired

 

Fast forward a few years and Klout has become a big deal (in social media).

One more interesting element of the story:

As the child of a casino executive who specialized in herding rich South American gamblers into comped Caesars Palace suites, Fernandez saw up close and from a young age the power of free perks as a marketing tool.

Which provides the final piece to the puzzle. The perks that Klout gives out allow the company to connect users with brands, and monetize their business.

It’s brilliant because it gives everybody something they want, whether it be free stuff or engaged customers.

Lightning strikes Bay Bridge in San Francisco eight times in 20 seconds (photo)

There is a storm sweeping down the coast of California. Here in Southern California the rain is pouring down. Yesterday it hit San Francisco with some lightning…

They say that lightning never strikes twice, but this amazing photo proves otherwise.

An incredible eight bolts struck the Bay Bridge in San Francisco last night which was captured in this incredible shot by photographer Phil McGrew, who took the photo through the rain-soaked window of his apartment.

“You can count the strikes, the Bay Bridge has four distinct towers and you can see the lightning hitting each tower.”

via Mail Online

// Thx to Brett Lider

Are you ready to rent out your car? – ‘Personal Car Sharing’ brings in $2-300/month

Have you ever thought about renting out your car, like an automobile version of Airbnb?

The trend is catching on as “personal car sharing” comes to Los Angeles in March 2012. It already exists in Boston and San Francisco as a distinct service compared to Zipcar, which rents out cars owned by Zipcar-itself.

RelayRides, based in Boston, is expanding a service that allows car owners to rent their vehicles to other licensed drivers by the hour or the day.

Personal car sharing was legalized in California last year, but RelayRides and the other two companies that offered the service in the state (Getaround and Spride) operated only in San Francisco.

“AB 1871 allows Californians to rent their cars by the hour to offset their costs of ownership, as well as cars’ impact on the environment. Previously, California law prevented personal cars from being rented for commercial use.

Under the new law, individuals who rent their personal cars need to carry auto-insurance levels at least three times greater than the state’s current minimums of $15,000 for injury/death to one person, $30,000 for injury/death to more than one person and $5,000 for damage to property.” via Greenspace

Car sharing would seem to work best where “it’s easy to live without a car,” Clark said, meaning a dense city with good public transportation. In areas such as L.A., where the opposite is true, Clark expects car sharing will be used as an alternative to buying a second or third car.

“A lot of families always need one car and sometimes need two,” Clark said. “Right now, their only option is to round up. The only way to access that car when they need it is to own one.”

The starting price for RelayRides rentals is $5 per hour and includes gas, 20 miles of driving and insurance. RelayRides keeps 35% of the rental cost. The remaining 65% goes to the car owner. Monthly payments, which average $250, are sent to owners.

via LA Times

 

From RelayRides:

Total convenience - No more walking a mile to some gas station to pick up a car: RelayRides cars live where you live! Whether it’s down the block, across the street, or in your neighbor’s driveway, RelayRides cars are always conveniently located.

 

Go local: an explanation of foodsheds

With all this talk about eating local and counting miles I thought it would be good to explain what it really means. The foundation for local eating starts with a foodshed.

Foodshed: a region or area from which a population draws its food.

The typical limit on these regions is 100 miles. Draw a 100-mile circle around where you live and that is your foodshed.

In economic terms this is ideal distance a farmer, or her goods, can travel to reach a market. That way it arrives on your plate as fresh, ripe, and nutritious as it can be.

Go outside of this limit and there is an increasing reliance on fossil fuels and a decreasing quality of the food.

For those concerned about pollution, global warming, or oil-addiction these “food miles” are a cause for concern. Farmers face similar concerns, albeit from the other side, with a rising cost of gas and oil-based fertilizers that narrow their profits.

Still for others the “go local” movement represents a desire to get the very best food they can find, and that is the fundamental reason for foodsheds.

I’ve tried to document what happens to our health with the advent of low quality foodour acceptance of it, and the difference in nutritional content.

These rings of farmland surrounding our communities represent the ideal of sustainable living. Where the countryside is not poverty-stricken, but instead a vibrant economic sector known as much for its wineries and ‘farm-days’ as it is for fresh meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

Even more these areas are often recession proof as evidenced by their continual rapid growth during the past half-decade.

It is for all these reasons that the locavore movement is popular and gaining momentum, there is something in it for everyone. Even the beefiest of meat eaters.

For further reference I’ve pulled together several maps of America’s foodsheds. Take a look.

san francisco california foodshed map 100 mile local locavore
Click for a larger image.

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