Tag Archives: southern

Astronomers discover black hole with 140 trillion times more water than Earth

Two teams of astronomers have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.

“The environment around this quasar is very unique in that it’s producing this huge mass of water,” said Matt Bradford, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “It’s another demonstration that water is pervasive throughout the universe, even at the very earliest times.”

A quasar is powered by an enormous black hole that steadily consumes a surrounding disk of gas and dust. As it eats, the quasar spews out huge amounts of energy. Both groups of astronomers studied a particular quasar called APM 08279+5255, which harbors a black hole 20 billion times more massive than the sun and produces as much energy as a thousand trillion suns.

Astronomers expected water vapor to be present even in the early, distant universe, but had not detected it this far away before. There’s water vapor in the Milky Way, although the total amount is 4,000 times less than in the quasar, because most of the Milky Way’s water is frozen in ice.

 

And, the instruments they used:

Bradford’s team made their observations starting in 2008, using an instrument called “Z-Spec” at the California Institute of Technology’s Submillimeter Observatory, a 33-foot (10-meter) telescope near the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Follow-up observations were made with the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-Wave Astronomy (CARMA), an array of radio dishes in the Inyo Mountains of Southern California.

The second group, led by Dariusz Lis, senior research associate in physics at Caltech and deputy director of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, used the Plateau de Bure Interferometer in the French Alps to find water.

 

Source: NASA - Astronomers Find Largest, Most Distant Reservoir of Water

 

 

Continue reading

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

Big Wednesdays – a summer surf movie series – with 5 films

The California Surf Museum and California Surf Festival are bringing together a 5-piece film festival, spread out over the summer. Every few Wednesdays they will show a modern or classic surf film.

Tickets are $10, shows start at 7pm, and located in Oceanside, California.

See the poster at bottom for the full details.

 

June 20 - BoardRoom: Legends of Surfboard Shaping

BoardRoom is a feature-length documentary featuring the legends of early surfboard shaping.

Continue reading

Hello, Silicon Beach – the burgeoning tech scene in Los Angeles

What could be better than beautiful weather, beaches, and your favorite scrappy start-up?

Two cities in Los Angeles are slowly becoming hubs of technology, Santa Monica and Venice.

In the spread out landscape of Los Angeles these two cities are adjacent close-knit urban areas, with ample office space, coffee shops, restaurants, and apartments. But, not the typical high-rise or pre-fab buildings, these are old school one-story remodeled spaces.

Think fun, diverse, and in some places gritty (i.e. hipster).

Recently, both held town hall meetings with local companies and government officials to strategize growth:

Santa Monica devoted much of its annual State of the City address to promoting the tech community, with Mayor Richard Bloom declaring: “Today we are not just Santa Monica, but Silicon Beach and the Tech Coast.” (In an unofficial vote later, hundreds in attendance overwhelmingly threw their support to the Silicon Beach name.)

“Our technology-qualified workforce, creative workplaces and leading broadband infrastructure will keep our economy well-positioned for future growth,” Bloom said.

After the mayor’s address and a short video touting the rise of tech companies in Santa Monica, Jason Nazar, who is chief executive and co-founder of local start-up Docstoc.com, moderated a panel of people connected to the tech scene.

via LA Times – Technology

Silicon Beach is spreading to Venice.

The quirky beach-side community drew hundreds of attendees to a packed town hall meeting dubbed The Emergence of Silicon Beach.

Executives from Google, local start-ups Viddy and Mogreet, and accelerator Amplify were on hand for a panel moderated by Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who repeatedly told audience members that they were witnessing a “Venicessance.” Nearly two dozen tech companies set up booths to tout their products and ideas to about 400 attendees.

“Ten years ago, it was very hard,” James Citron said. “You had to fly up to San Francisco and do the Sand Hill Road dance, for those of you who know the venture capital world. Now they’re coming down here looking for great companies, so that’s a big fundamental change.”

via LA Times – Tech Now

 

It also helps that Google Los Angeles has set-up shop in the, Frank Gehry-designed, Binoculars Building in Venice.

For more on the start-ups in the area, including who’s hiring, Los Angeles Times reporter, Andrea Chang, has been doing a great job covering all of the start-ups in Silicon Beach.

Here are a few of them:

Downtown Santa Monica, the 3rd Street Promenade

 

//Photos – majunznk, …love maegan

Where’s the coldest surf spot in Orange County?

Surfing in Southern California means you hang out in water normally 55-65 degrees. Pretty cold and worth a wetsuit most of the time. Every once in a while the wind gets going and blows away the entire surface of the ocean, revealing the frigid lower layer. As that current comes up (upwelling) the water drops drastically, like 10 degrees or more.

It happened once last summer, in the middle of August. The water went from 65 to 50 overnight. I couldn’t believe it and, of course, nobody was in the water. Except for me, that is, I put on some booties and enjoyed the least crowded day all summer.

It turns out that these upwellings happen an awful lot in one particular spot.

 

 

So where’s the coldest surf spot in Orange County?

Blackies in Newport seems to be, thanks to the Newport Submarine Canyon trenched just offshore…. which explains why a wind/ water upwelling event like we had yesterday Sunday March 18, 2012, with 25-40 knots winds for a 24 hour period, turned the water from colder to coldest, at around 50 degrees at first light this morning…. But we’re over it. Can’t we just get our normal cold water back?

via Ghetto Juice

 

LA Times Festival of Books – largest in the country, includes Stan Lee, John Cusack, Betty White, Anne Rice

If you’re free this weekend, April 21-22, 2012, you might want to attend the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The largest book festival in the country with more than 140,000 attendees, 400 authors, 300 exhibitors, 100 panels, cooking demonstrations, and poetry readings.

The festival is a free public event held on the campus of University of Southern California (USC).

One note is that the panels require $1 reservations, not sold the day-of. These will be some of the most interesting events, including movie screenings, celebrity authors, and special releases, so it is worth it to get them now before they sell out.

Out of the 120+ panels, here are the ones that tickled our fancy:

  • DIY Revolution
  • Future Books: Media in the Digital Age
  • Disposable Nation: Trash & Consequences
  • Anne Rice in Conversation with Scott Timberg
  • The Nerds Shall Inherit the Earth

We will be there all-day Sunday and hope to see you!

 
To learn more about the festival, here is an article from the LA Times:

What do Sugar Ray Leonard, Judy Blume, Betty White, T.C. Boyle, Rodney King, Joseph Wambaugh and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have in common? They’re just a few of the high-profile personalities appearing this weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

This year’s festival blends familiar features with newer events reflecting what’s hot today in the literary marketplace. While festival goers can…listen to novelist Anne Rice discuss her latest supernatural fiction (Sunday) and Ben Fong-Torres’ memories of his Rolling Stone days (Saturday), actor John Cusack will discuss not a book but his latest book-related project, the film “The Raven,” in which he portrays Edgar Allan Poe, on Saturday.”

The U.S. Postal Service will conduct its opening ceremony for the stamp series “Twentieth-Century poets” Saturday at the Poetry stage; though graphic novels receive their fair share of panel attention, thanks to USC’s School for Cinematic Arts there will also be screenings of a director’s cut of the movie”Watchmen”and the documentary “With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story.”

Reveling in Ranunculus

Ranunculus, with their layered, crepe-like petals that explode in blooms of red, yellow, orange, white and pink, are cheery in the Fall and equally festive in the Spring. The bright beauties spread their rainbow happiness in small pots on tables, as part of larger plant containers and along the front of home borders. They are also a favorite among Spring brides.

Those available during bulb season in October and November are sold as dormant tubers, and grow into the beautiful, tall plants that make excellent cut flowers. These start their lives right here in Southern California in the famous “Flower Fields’ of Carlsbad. When planting these “bulb” varieties, known as Tecolote ranunculus, in flower beds, it’s best to place them in the middle so other plants can conceal their shaggy bases.

Flower Fields of Carlsbad, CA

In England, the common name for Ranunculus is “Buttercup,” apparently because of various legends linking it to dairy cows and butter. There’s also supposed to be a Native American myth associated with the varieties that grow in the Pacific Northwest: Coyote was tossing his eyeballs in the air for fun, and either Eagle or Buzzard swooped by and took them. So Coyote took Ranunculus to use as his new eyes. Hence, the common name in that region, “Coyote Eyes.”

via, my favorite nursery, Roger’s Gardens

 

// Photos – Kanonn, Superfem, Sakura Chihaya+, Hello-Julie

Thanksgiving stuffing the Southern way – cornbread dressing

Thanksgiving has a knack for highlighting regional fault lines and exposing local prejudices. Consider stuffing, the holiday’s quintessential side dish. The very word invites conflict, since many Southerners call it “dressing,” whether it’s stuffed into a turkey or baked separately from the bird. But the vital controversy arises over substance: Depending on where you’re from and who your ancestors were, you might make it out of white bread, out of rice or other grains—even out of chestnuts.

In which cases you’d be sorely mistaken, because the correct way to make stuffing is out of cornbread. Cornbread is the only foundation for stuffing that provides real character

You’re Doing it Wrong: Stuffing

In my family nobody owns this sacred dish and next year I plan on making it my own.

I’m soaking up stuffing recipes like a sponge (err, like stuffing) in preparation. L.V. Anderson really sells cornbread but it may not be enough to take me away from Religious Rolls (aka my favorite bread lady at the farmers market).

We finally made it to California

I feel compelled to write this after Amy’s posts on being bicoastal and her dream of living the ideal life. I am part of this too…well, half of it.

I also want to live in both Washington, DC and Southern California. Each one is home to a lifelong love of surfing and politics.

In both places I have learned who I am as a man, what I love,  what I want to do, and how I want to do it. Now it’s just a matter of achieving it.

So here I sit, day two, of making it all happen. Amy and I are in Southern California after packing up our belongings into a Washington, DC storage unit. We have no rent due since we’re staying at my parents.

Which isn’t so bad since are close to the beach and surfing, they have plenty of room and wifi and it let’s us reconnect while looking for a place to live in LA. All in all, it makes the transition super easy.

More importantly, it frees us up to focus on exactly what we need to:

  • Working from home
  • Establishing solid and productive work habits
  • Bringing together the final parts of our social campaign business
  • Enjoying the whole process