James Frey Official Website
Join the JAMES FREY mailing list

Edmund de Waal @ Gagosian

from The New York Times

Poetry Written in Porcelain


Andrew Testa for The New York Times

LONDON — In England, Edmund de Waal is a celebrated potter, known for installations of impeccably made vessels in soft shades of celadon or white, many of them permanently displayed in places like the Victoria and Albert Museum here. But in the United States Mr. de Waal is known primarily as a writer whose 2010 family memoir “The Hare With Amber Eyes” became a surprise best seller. Despite countless rejections from publishers, it ended up selling more than 1.5 million copies, has been translated into 26 languages and was recently optioned for a movie.

Chronicling the journey of 264 Japanese netsuke — wood and ivory carvings of animals, plants and people, none larger than the palm of a hand — that Mr. de Waal inherited from his great-uncle Iggie, “The Hare With Amber Eyes” is a sweeping story that begins in Paris in 1871 and progresses through five generations of the Ephrussi family, whose collection of netsuke made its way to Vienna, where it was thought to have been confiscated by the Nazis, and decades later ended up in London. “My making and my writing is one thing,” Mr. de Waal explained, adding, “Pots turn into words, and words turn into pots.”

Like the netsuke, Mr. de Waal’s own work is three-dimensional, tactile and painstakingly fashioned, but in his own Minimalist and modern language. He produces objects like wafer-thin cylinders, plates and pitchers, carefully arranged to tell a story. While collectors like the cosmetics heir Ronald S. Lauder and Sotheby’s vice chairman Charles Moffett have purchased examples of Mr. de Waal’s porcelain, there has never been an exhibition of his work in the United States. But after the dealer Larry Gagosian read the memoir, he was curious to see Mr. de Waal’s art. “They’re really poetic installations,” Mr. Gagosian said of his decision to present a major show of Mr. de Waal’s porcelain at his Madison Avenue gallery, opening on Sept. 12.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 31, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

We’re All Martians Now

from Sky News

Life On Earth Started On Mars, Say Scientists

There is growing evidence we are really Martians and that “life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock”.
NASA's Curiosity rover celebrates one year on Mars
Images from NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars

Life on Earth may have started millions of miles away on Mars, according to scientists.

An element believed to be crucial to the origin of life would only have been available on the surface of the Red Planet.

These “seeds” of life probably arrived on Earth in meteorites blasted off Mars by impacts or volcanic eruptions, Geochemist Professor Steven Benner claims.

Prof Benner, from The Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology in the US, said: “The evidence seems to be building that we are actually all Martians; that life started on Mars and came to Earth on a rock.”

[ click to continue reading at Sky News ]

Posted on August 30, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Chimp The Artist

from BBC News

US chimp Brent wins Humane Society art competition

Art work by Brent the chimpanzee
A US chimpanzee who paints with his tongue has won a $10,000 (£6,450) prize in a chimpanzee art competition.

Brent, 37, created a delicate, vibrantly coloured work featuring daubs of violet, blue and yellow on paper.

The entries were judged by noted primate researcher and conservationist, Jane Goodall.

The prize in the contest, sponsored by the Humane Society of the US will benefit Chimp Haven, Brent’s sanctuary in the US state of Louisiana.

Cheetah and Ripley won second and third prizes in the competition that garnered 27,000 votes.

Brent is a retired laboratory animal, and the Humane Society says he is protective of an elder companion, named Grandma, and “loves to laugh and play”.

click to continue reading at BBC News ]

Posted on August 29, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Pickled People-meter

from edible geography

The Pickle Index

By NICOLA | Published: AUGUST 14, 2013

TwoHeadsZhacai 460

IMAGE: Two heads of whole zha cai with chilli paste; photograph by Sjschen via Wikipedia.

Chinese officials, charged with moving 250 million rural farmers into cities over the next decade under the central government’s sweeping “National Plan for Promoting Healthy Urbanization (2011-20),” have developed a “pickle index” for measuring the movement of migrant workers.

According to the South China Morning Post, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission has found that sales of zha cai, a pickled mustard tuber, provide a better guide to population flows than often unreliable provincial statistical data. As an unnamed planner explained to the Economic Observer:

Under normal circumstances, urban consumption levels of convenience foods such as instant noodles and pickled mustard is essentially constant. Therefore, we can assume that volume changes are mainly caused by a city’s floating population.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 28, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Citi Bikes Encouraging Prublic Dunkeness

from The NY Times

Riding Away From a Bar Crawl With Citi Bikes


Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times
It started as a normal date night: Shawn, a bearded graduate student who favors lumberjack plaid, went to Williamsburg for dinner and drinks with his girlfriend. But instead of taking the L train from their Chelsea apartment, they decided to ride Citi Bikes there and back.

A couple of cocktails at the Wythe Hotel led to beers at Mable’s Smokehouse and a nightcap at Post Office, a dive-like whiskey bar. After four or five drinks, they undocked a pair of blue bikes and rode home over the Williamsburg Bridge.

As usual, Shawn sped ahead, and as they ascended over the East River, he turned around to see where his girlfriend was. That’s when he lost his balance, kicked his foot into a bridge railing and broke his toe.

“I really wasn’t that drunk,” said Shawn, 30, who uses the bike-share program about 20 times a week. (Shawn, like many of the people interviewed, asked that his full name not be used; drinking and cycling is not really something to toot your bike horn about.) “I’ve never blackout Citi Biked.”

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 27, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

John Lennon To Be Cloned From Rotted Tooth

from Paste Magazine

Dentist Who Bought John Lennon’s Molar at Auction Wants to Use the Tooth to Clone the Late Singer


 It looks like the plot has thickened in the never-ending tale of John Lennon’s decayed tooth. In an interview with The Sun, Canadian dentist Michael Zuk announced his intentions to extract and sequence the late Beatle’s DNA from his molar, a tooth that has become the most, erm, sought-after dental relic in rock music.

You may recall a peculiar enough story from a couple years ago, in which the dentist and avid tooth collector paid over $30,000 at auction for Lennon’s molar. The fabled tooth had been passed along for decades prior to Mr. Zuk’s purchase, first as a memento in the hands of Lennon’s housekeeper and later as an artifact resigned to the dreary existence of making publicity appearances at charity events. The tooth is currently in the possession of Kirsten Zuk, the dentist’s wife, who displays it alongside her art projects to raise awareness for cleft-palate surgery.

Dr. Zuk has even gone so far as to issue a press release on the matter, in which he declares that his ambitious dream might just be one of the “best decisions of his life.” More information on Dr. Zuk’s noble pursuit can be found on his new website, the eloquently titled and SEO-friendly

[ click to continue reading at Paste ]

Posted on August 26, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

America’s bespectacled caricature of male chauvinism and The Mob.

from ESPN

The Match Maker

Bobby Riggs, The Mafia and The Battle of the Sexes

by Don Van Natta Jr.

Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante Jr. and Frank Ragano, left to right, were among a group of mobsters and attorneys who dined at La Stella Restaurant in New York after appearing before a grand jury in the 1970s. Paul Demaria/NY Daily News/Getty Images

“HELLO AGAIN EVERYONE, I’m Howard Cosell. We’re delighted to be able to bring you this very, very quaint, unique event.”

On Thursday night, Sept. 20, 1973, 50 million Americans, fatigued by Vietnam and Watergate, tuned in to see whether a woman could defeat a man on a tennis court. Dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes,” the match pitted Billie Jean King, the 29-year-old champion of that summer’s Wimbledon and a crusader for the women’s liberation movement, against Bobby Riggs, the 55-year-old gambler, hustler and long-ago tennis champ who had willingly become America’s bespectacled caricature of male chauvinism.

Before 30,472 at the Houston Astrodome, still the largest crowd to watch tennis in the United States, the spectacle felt like a cross between a heavyweight championship bout and an old-time tent revival. Flanked by young women, Riggs, in a canary yellow Sugar Daddy warm-up jacket, was imperiously carted into the Astrodome aboard a gilded rickshaw. Not to be outdone, King, wearing a blue-and-white sequined tennis dress, sat like Cleopatra in a chariot delivered courtside by bare-chested, muscle-ripped young men. Moments before the first serve, King presented Riggs with a squealing, squirming piglet. “Look at that male chauvinist pig,” Cosell told viewers. “That symbolizes what Bobby Riggs is holding up. …”

click to continue reading at ESPN ]

Posted on August 25, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »


from Entertainment Weekly

See the trailer for the next ‘I Am Number Four Novel’, ‘The Fall of Five’ — EXCLUSIVE


The countdown is ending … The Fall of Five is coming on Tuesday, and Pittacus Lore has beamed over a new trailer for fans. It’s told from the point of view of Sam’s father Malcolm, and recaps the last three novels and gives a few clues as to what’s going to happen in The Fall of Five. See it below:

In the newest installment, the Garde have always believed in strength in numbers, but after facing off with Mogadorian ruler Setrákus Ra, they realize they are hopelessly outgunned. So it’s back to Nine’s penthouse to perfect their legacies and emerge stronger than ever before. And when they find a crop circle in the shape of a Loric symbol, they think that might have found Number Five… unless it’s a trap.

[ click to read at Entertainment Weekly ]

Posted on August 24, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Literary News, Projects | | No Comments »

STAR WARS DR. STRANGELOVE Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor Gone

from The Los Angeles Times

‘Star Wars’ cinematographer Gilbert Taylor dies at 99

"Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" (1977)On the day "Star Wars" thundered into theaters on May 25, 1977, the film's producer Gary Kurtz appeared on a radio call-in show. Kurtz recalled: "This guy, this caller, was really enthusiastic and talking about the movie in really deep detail. ... I said, 'You know a lot abut the film.' He said, 'Yeah, yeah, I've seen it four times already.' And that was opening day. I knew something was happening." (Lucasfilm)

“Star Wars” cinematographer Gilbert Taylor died Friday at the age of 99, leaving behind a rich cinematic legacy.

Over the course of an impressive, decades-long career, Taylor amassed a lengthy résumé that included a number of landmark films, including Roman Polanski’s “Repulsion,” Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Frenzy.”

He also served as the cinematographer on the Beatles’ film “A Hard Day’s Night,” Richard Donner’s horror film “The Omen” and 1979′s “Dracula” starring Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier, in addition to working with George Lucas on the original “Star Wars” film.

– Gina McIntyre

click to read full article at ]

Posted on August 23, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Too Many Friends

Placebo // Too Many Friends (with Bret Easton Ellis) from Saman Kesh on Vimeo.

Posted on August 22, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Queen’s Mute Swan Barbecued In Act Of Treason

from The Daily Mirror

Queen’s swan found barbecued near Windsor Castle riverbank

WARNING: Graphic image. The bird was butchered and cooked before its remains were dumped close to the river


One of the Queen’s swans has been found killed and barbecued on the riverbank near to Windsor Castle.

The cooked swan’s carcass was dumped near Baths Water, and was discovered by Wendy Hermon, 46, a volunteer for charity Swan Lifeline, which cares for sick and injured birds.

She described the scene as ‘sickening’, and admitted she would have been distraught if her young son was with her when she made the grisly discovery after being called out by a council warden last Sunday.

“We could see that whoever did this had taken the breast out.

“It was done neatly, presumably to get at the meat. We have no idea how it was killed, it could have been shot or beaten.”

It is considered an offence to kill a wild mute swan as it is believed they are the property of the Crown, though centuries ago, their meat was considered a delicacy.

The birds are now protected under under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and killing or injuring a swan used to be classed as treason under a law dating back to the 12th century.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Mirror ]

Posted on August 21, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Elmore Leonard Gone

from The Hollywood Reporter

Elmore Leonard Dies at 87

by Hilary Lewis, Andy Lewis, Duane Byrge

Elmore Leonard, considered by many to be the greatest crime writer of modern times, has died due to complications of a stroke. He was 87.

He wrote 45 novels, many of which were adapted for movies or TV over the years.

His most recent TV hit was the FX series Justified, starring Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, which was based on his short story “Fire in the Hole.”

Films based on his work included Hombre52 Pick-UpOut of SightGet Shorty and Jackie Brown.

The film version of Leonard’s The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston, Mos Def, Tim Robbins and Isla Fisher, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. At the time of his death, he was at work on another novel, which was set in the world of competitive bull riding.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on August 20, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Literary News, Los Angeles | | No Comments »

Hic Sunt Dracones.

from The Washington Post

Oldest globe to depict the New World may have been discovered

By Meeri Kim

An Austrian collector has found what may be the oldest globe, dated 1504, to depict the New World, engraved with immaculate detail on two conjoined halves of ostrich eggs.

The globe, about the size of a grapefruit, is labeled in Latin and includes what were considered exotic territories such as Japan, Brazil and Arabia. North America is depicted as a group of scattered islands. The globe’s lone sentence, above the coast of Southeast Asia, is “Hic Sunt Dracones.”

“ ‘Here be dragons,’ a very interesting sentence,” said Thomas Sander, editor of the Portolan, the journal of the Washington Map Society. The journal published a comprehensive analysis of the globe Monday by collector Stefaan Missinne. “In early maps, you would see images of sea monsters; it was a way to say there’s bad stuff out there.”

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 19, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

News Corp. Peddling In VICE

from Deadline New York

Fox Paid $70M For 5% Stake In Vice Media

By DAVID LIEBERMAN, Financial Editor

VICE logo from CISION Navigator

The deal just came to light although it was made before the end of June when News Corp split into separate entertainment and publishing companies. But it gives 21st Century Fox a foothold in a trendy digital media, TV, and publishing company that has captured the imaginations and financial support of former MTV chief Tom Freston, WME’s Ari Emanuel, WPP, and The Raine Group as well as comedian Bill MaherVice plans to use the cash and connections with Fox to expand overseas, especially India. “We get to make all the content we want? With the best platforms in the world? Grow our brand exponentially? Become the next global media brand? And all the while own the vast majority of the company and vote 95% of the board? Where-do-we-fucking-sign?!” Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith says.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 18, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Sharks Make Movies Better

from tumblr

Sharks Make Movies Better

[ click for more Shark movie one-sheets at tumblr ]

Posted on August 17, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Mirth | | No Comments »

New Petzval

from Kickstarter

A Legendary 19th Century Lens. Reinvented For Use With All Nikon F & Canon EF Mount Analog & Digital SLR Cameras.

In the 19th Century, the vast majority of photos were shot with the extremely popular Petzval lens. The lens was invented by Joseph Petzval in Vienna in 1840 and had a huge impact on the development of photography. Photos shot with a Petzval lens are immediately recognizable for their sharpness and crispness, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field. The totally distinctive look of Petzval photos is all about the fantastic lens design that gives you the satisfaction of the instant optic experience that goes far beyond using photo editing software and filters.

For this Kickstarter project, we are reinventing the Petzval Lens for 21st century photographers and videographers. It doesn’t matter whether you shoot analog or digital; the brand new Lomography Petzval Portrait Lens is designed to work withCanon EF and Nikon F mount cameras. So, for the first time, you can easily get the fantastic Petzval photographic look with 35mm analog cameras and DSLR cameras too. This will bring with it a whole new world of possibilities; from shooting Petzval photos with your 35mm SLR or DSLR, to creating amazing DSLR movies with the lens!

[ click to continue at Kickstarter ]

Posted on August 16, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Steinway Pianos Bought For Only 1/2 Billion $

from Crain’s

Famed piano maker Steinway sold for $499M

After a last-minute bid canceled a planned sale to Kohlberg & Co., Steinway is selling itself to Paulson & Co. for a $3-per-share premium over the earlier offer.

(AP) — The famed piano maker Steinway is being sold for $499 million.

The company terminated an existing sales agreement with Kohlberg & Co. after it was outbid by another investment firm, Paulson & Co.

Paulson topped Kohlberg’s offer by $3 per share.

Steinway, which is being taken private and operates a flagship store on West 57th Street in Manhattan, will have to pay a termination fee of about $6.7 million.

[ click to continue reading at Crain’s ]

Posted on August 15, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »


Posted on August 14, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

Too Much Johnson

from The Telegraph

Unfinished Orson Welles film found in Italy

A long-lost film directed by Orson Welles in 1938 has been found in a warehouse in a small town in north-eastern Italy where it will be shown for the first time in October.

By Josephine McKenna, Rome

“Too Much Johnson”, starring a young Joseph Cotton as a playboy who flees the violent husband of his mistress, is one of the first films made by the legendary director and was due to be screened at the Mercury repertory theatre in New York but it was never finished.

The film print was found by a Padua courier company in 2005 and sent to the Cinemazero art house cinema in Pordenone, 50 miles north of Venice.

Cinema staff tossed the box in its warehouse and only realised that it had a rare piece of Hollywood history when a projectionist checked the box in 2008.

The previously only known copy of the film was lost in a fire that destroyed Welles’ home near Madrid in 1970.

[ click to read complete article at The Telegraph ]

Posted on August 13, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

I Am Number Five

from io9

10 Cinematographers Who Turned Science Fiction Movies into Great Art

10 Cinematographers Who Turned Science Fiction Movies into Great Art

5. Guillermo Navarro (All of Guillermo del Toro’s movies, I Am Number Four, Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Night at the Museum)

The Oscar-winning cinematographer told an interviewer a while back: “I want to design and create images as opposed to working on a contemporary piece where realities exist right outside your window and all you have to do is register them… I believe in [Guillermo del Toro] as a filmmaker. He is a very visual director and someone that understands the contribution that cinematographers offer is important not only for the creative process, but as a film language.”

[ click to check out full list at ]

Posted on August 12, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Projects | | No Comments »

Tiger Salad


Tiger Salad

This cooling and refreshing salad—with cilantro standing in for the lettuce—is great alongside spicy foods, like our Sambal Chicken Skewers.

Recipe by Alison Roman / Photograph by Peden + Munk

Tiger Salad


  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves with tender stems, cut into 2 inches pieces
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 small cucumbers or 1/2 large, thinly sliced
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper


  • Whisk vinegar, oil, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Add cilantro, celery, cucumbers, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

[ click to continue reading at BON APPÉTIT ]

Posted on August 11, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

The First Million Martian Meeting


Applicants for One-Way Mars Trip to Descend on Washington

by Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer 
Credit: Mars One/Bryan Versteeg

A coterie of aspiring Martians will descend on Washington, D.C. on Saturday (Aug. 3) for the first Million Martian Meeting.

The group consists of applicants for the Mars One mission, a one-way trip to establish a colony on Mars. The meeting will feature talks by Mars Society president and founder Robert Zubrin, Mars One CEOand co-founder Bas Lansdorp, and five Mars One applicants.

Lansdorp announced plans for the Mars One mission in May 2012. The nonprofit Mars One Foundation, based in The Netherlands, plans to land humans on Mars in 2023. Teams of four people will be launched to the Red Planet every two years, and anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to apply.

As of May 7, about 78,000 people had applied for the one-way trip.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 10, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

[He] was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived a plane crash; tunnelled out of a POW camp; and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them.

from Foreign Policy

Is This the Most Interesting Opening Paragraph Wikipedia’s Ever Published?

Posted By Elias Groll

Most Interesting Man in the World, meet your match.

On Sunday, Twitter user Matthew Barrett created something of a sensation by linking to the obscure Wikipedia biography of the British army officer Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart. His tweet — “This guy surely has the best opening paragraph of any Wikipedia biography ever” — has been retweeted more than 3,200 times over the past several days.

So who was this man of extraordinary valor? A Daily Mail profile last year relays much of the same information contained on Carton de Wiart’s Wikipedia page: By the end of his life, the British soldier had been awarded his military’s highest honor for bravery during World War I and served in the Second Boer War and World War II, commanding troops in a daring World War II raid in Norway. He wore a black patch to cover a missing eye, and had been wounded in the skull, groin, ankle, and stomach. A missing hand betrayed a grisly backstory — he had once chewed off his own wounded fingers. He had tunneled out of an Italian prisoner-of-war camp, and had wound up there after crashing his plane in the Mediterranean. To top it all off, he had also served as Winston Churchill’s special representative to China’s Chiang Kai-shek. He had indeed remarked that he “enjoyed” World War I, going on to add that “it had given me many bad moments, lots of good ones, plenty of excitement and with everything found for us.” (Readers in the U.K., you may want to go check out Carton de Wiart’s 20-bore, double-barreled shotgun, which just went on display in Leeds.)

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 9, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »

Karen Black Gone

from Showbiz 411

Beloved Actress Karen Black (Nashville, Five Easy Pieces) Dead at 74


UPDATE: Karen Black has died at age 74. She ran with a cool crowd when she burst onto the movie scene– Fonda, Nicholson, Hopper, DeNiro, Altman. She was a unique talent. God bless.

Earlier: This is a terrible story. But beloved actress Karen Black is dying of cancer. Her husband has posted a blog and a video updating her deteriorating condition. Black is living in a nursing facility and the situation sounds pretty dire. If you’re too young to know, Karen Black made a name for herself in the 70s in “Five Easy Pieces,” “Nashville,” “Easy Rider,” and other classics.

[ click to read at Showbiz 411 ]

Posted on August 8, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

The Longest Words From Around The World

Posted on August 7, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

George Duke Gone

from NPR

George Duke, Legendary Jazz Keyboardist, Dies


George Duke, the legendary jazz keyboardist, died on Monday, his publicist tells NPR.

Duke’s career spanned five decades and he always straddled the line between disparate genres, collaborating with artists such as Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Frank Zappa, George Clinton and some of Brazil’s top musicians.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 6, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art | | No Comments »

The Predator Wasp

from The Los Angeles Times

Citrus growers use predator wasp to fight disease threat


Invasive species expert Mark Hoddle coaxes a vial of predatory wasps to the tip of a citrus branch infested with psyllids. The tiny wasps become parasites to a species of psyllid that has been spreading a deadly bacteria in citrus trees throughout the Southland. More photos

California citrus farmers import a parasitic wasp from Pakistan to battle citrus greening, a disease threatening their groves.

Pesticides haven’t worked. Quarantines have been useless. Now California citrus farmers have hired an assassin to knock off the intruder threatening their orchards.

The killer-for-hire is Tamarixia radiata, a tiny parasitic wasp imported from Pakistan.

Its mission: Rub out the Asian citrus psyllid, which has helped spread a disease that turns citrus fruit lumpy and bitter before destroying the trees.

The pest is wreaking havoc in Florida’s 32 citrus-growing counties. In California, it’s been detected in nine counties, most of them south of the commercial growing areas in the Central Valley. Farmers are hoping the Tamarixia wasp can help keep it that way.

The wasp, which flew coach in a carry-on bag from Pakistan’s Punjab region, is a parasite half the size of a chocolate sprinkle. But it kills psyllids like a horror movie monster, drinking their blood like a vampire. The female wasp can lay an egg in the psyllid’s belly. When it hatches, it devours its host.

The wasp “is going to be our number one weapon to control to Asian citrus pysllid,” said Mark Hoddle, an invasive species expert at UC Riverside, who, over several trips, brought legions of wasps to California.

“We have no other choice except to use this natural enemy or do nothing. And the ‘do nothing’ option is unacceptable.”

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 5, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Weirdness | | No Comments »


from The LA Times

Review: A city’s unrealized ambitions in ‘Never Built Los Angeles’

By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic

Los Angeles has never been big on regret.

For most of the city’s history we’ve been so busy charging forward, inventing and reinventing the future, that we’ve rarely paused to wonder what might have been.

In architecture, when we do look back, we usually focus more on mistakes of action than inaction. We mourn the landmarks we’ve knocked down rather than the ones we failed to build in the first place.

But how do you catalog a history of mistimed, misguided or ill-fated ambition? What about a preservation movement for the ideas and designs that almost made it?

“Never Built Los Angeles,” a revelatory new exhibition at the Architecture and Design Museum on Wilshire Boulevard, is a first step in that direction, an attempt to corral the city’s most beautiful architectural ghosts and put them on public view.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 3, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Los Angeles | | No Comments »

A Year Of Reading The World

check out this exceptionally cool reading list…


[ click for complete list at ]

Posted on August 2, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Literary News | | No Comments »

THOSE WHO WANDER (from New Canaan)

from New Canaan News

New Canaan’s fledgling filmmakers attract funds, star power

Tyler Woods

Abigail Schwarz (left) and Nico Scandiffio (right) are full steam ahead with their New Canaan-centric film, "Those Who Wander." The pair recently picked up $70,000 in funding and the support of the famous and controversial novelist James Frey. Photo: Contributed

Abigail Schwarz (left) and Nico Scandiffio (right) are full steam ahead with their New Canaan-centric film, “Those Who Wander.” The pair recently picked up $70,000 in funding and the support of the famous and controversial novelist James Frey. Photo: Contributed

Two young New Canaanites picked up $70,000 in funding and the surprise aid of a best-selling novelist in their pursuit of filming a feature-length movie in town.

The pair, writer Abigail Schwarz and producer Nico Scandiffio, both 20, have been working on the film for more than a year. “Those Who Wander” is a coming-of-age story about a group of friends’ spring break road trip to rural Georgia. Schwarz and Scadiffio have made the project a community-based one by choosing to shoot in New Canaan and by getting friends and peers from New Canaan High School involved in acting and musical roles. All they needed was money to finance the project.

On June 20, they started a page on, which allows people to request a specified amount of money to fund a project over a certain number of days. If the goal is not met, donors get their money back and the project doesn’t get made. Schwarz and Scandiffio, who have already raised funds through their friends and family, asked for $70,000. They had 30 days to meet that amount.

In support of their Kickstarter, the pair interviewed with local media, printed 1,500 cards advertising their project which were placed near the cash registers of 20 to 30 stores in town, put up 70 posters around town, and relentlessly made phone calls to potential donors, they said.

One person who heard about the project is bestselling author and New Canaan resident James Frey. Frey said he learned of the film when a friend sent him a link to a news story profiling the duo, and it struck a chord with him. He contacted the pair and said he’d come on board to help however he could.

“I was in their position once, young and ambitious and trying to raise money to shoot film. I think it’s good to pass the type of support I received on to the next generation of storytellers,” he wrote in an email. “New Canaan is a beautiful place and will look great on film. And it will be fun to see a crew out shooting.”

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on August 1, 2013 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Projects | | No Comments »