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Blood, Edge and Danger

from The Mirror

Inside world of bare-knuckle boxing where fights are full of blood, edge and danger and the injuries are very real

Know as Ultimate Bare Knuckle Boxing (UBKB) it’s run by Netflix star Shaun Smith who admits ‘because there are no gloves, the punches have far more impact’

By Tom Duffy & Andrew Gilpin

The vicious fight between Atkin and Clark (Image: Getty Images Europe)

Bare-knuckle boxers sit battered and bruised, their faces cut and bleeding, the bandages on their hands covered in blood.

These are men like Jay ‘BamBam’ Eggleston, 35 from Sheffield and Paul Stredder, 35 from the Wirral, who had to be checked over by a medical team during their brutal bouts last night.

As these shocking pictures reveal, all the matches were brutal, bloody affairs.

Bare-knuckle boxing now looks set to shed its underground image and become more mainstream as the sports moves from pubs and car parks to bigger, more established venues.

Last night at the Bowlers Exhibition centre in Stretford, Manchester, the main event saw two-time World Bare-Knuckle Boxing Champion Luke Atkin, 30, from York, take on Dom Clark, 35, from Bournemouth during the Rogue Elite world title bout.

It was a bout Clark won in a ferocious match up.

Know as Ultimate Bare Knuckle Boxing (UBKB) and run by promoter Shaun Smith, the sport sees men of all ages battle out one of the rawest forms of legalised sport.

The first formal bare-knuckle boxing bout in Britain was recorded in 1681 with the sport popularised by the end of the 17th century.

The introduction of gloves into boxing with the Queensberry rules in 1867 eventually pushed bare-knuckle underground.

[ click to continue reading at The Mirror ]

Posted on August 5, 2018 by Editor

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Long Tail Boat Racing

Posted on August 2, 2018 by Editor

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Shadowy Racing

from The Drive

Behind the Shadowy Billion-Dollar Payouts of F1, NASCAR, and IndyCar

We take an in-depth look at who makes the money—and how much—in the world’s top-tier racing series.

BY JERRY PEREZ

GETTY / Scott Dixon is rumored to be the highest-paid IndyCar driver, earning around $2-3 million per year.

If you want to make a small fortune in auto racing, start with a huge fortune. That old saying is more relevant than ever. The finances behind high-stakes, competitive motorsports are ruthless—even more so than in any other mainstream sport.

The variables behind how teams, drivers, and sanctioning bodies like IndyCar, NASCAR, and F1 make their money aren’t only wildly complex, but they can also change frequently, depending on evolving business needs, market conditions, and any number of other factors. Plus, the principals are deeply secretive, with most members of the racing fraternity unwilling to discuss contracts, salaries, or sponsorship deals.

Racing is a performance business. Only the best, the fastest, and the smartest can survive for long. The historical, decades-long losses sustained by, say, the Cleveland Browns, would never fly in motorsports. Whether open-wheel or stock cars, the basic rules of capitalism are applied with neither mercy nor sentiment: a team with top-10 overhead can’t finish outside the top 10 and expect prime sponsors and drivers to stick around. The flashy decals will stop arriving and the talent will jump ship. And once that happens, it’s game over.

[ click to continue reading at The Drive ]

Posted on August 1, 2018 by Editor

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QUEEN AND SLIM – Lena Waithe Mashes It Up With James Frey

from INQUISITR

Lena Waithe Tabs Daniel Kaluuya To Star In New Movie, ‘Queen & Slim’

by

Get Out and Black Panther actor Daniel Kaluuya has been tabbed to take the lead role of Slim, in an upcoming film, Queen & Slim, a romance drama written by Emmy award-winning writer Lena Waithe.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the script is being described as the black version of Bonnie and Clyde’s love story. The film will focus on a black couple out and about enjoying their first date together when things take a turn for the worse. The couple ends up killing a police officer in self-defense and have no other option but to head to Cuba.

“Queen & Slim is an exploration of America’s social and political climate through the lens of a genre-defying love story,” according to Variety.

The movie is said to be based on an idea and treatment from best-selling author James Frey (A Million Little Pieces) and story created by Waithe and Frey. Melina Matsoukas is also set to join the star-studded team as director, making this her directorial debut for a featured film. Matsoukas is known for her work on HBO’s Insecure and has directed a number of music videos, including Beyonce’s “Formation.”

[ click to continue reading at INQUISITR ]

Posted on July 31, 2018 by Editor

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Happy Half-century to The Big Mac

from AP

50 years on, McDonald’s and fast-food evolve around Big Mac

By CANDICE CHOI

As with many of its popular and long-lasting menu items, the idea for the Big Mac came from a franchisee.

In 1967, Michael James “Jim” Delligatti lobbied the company to let him test the burger at his Pittsburgh restaurants. Later, he acknowledged the Big Mac’s similarity to a popular sandwich sold by the Big Boy chain.

“This wasn’t like discovering the light bulb. The bulb was already there. All I did was screw it in the socket,” Delligatti said, according to “Behind the Arches.”

McDonald’s agreed to let Delligatti sell the sandwich at a single location, on the condition that he use the company’s standard bun. It didn’t work. Delligatti tried a bigger sesame seed bun, and the burger soon lifted sales by more than 12 percent.

After similar results at more stores, the Big Mac was added to the national menu in 1968. Other ideas from franchisees that hit the big time include the Filet-O-Fish, Egg McMuffin, Apple Pie (once deep-fried but now baked), and the Shamrock Shake.

“The company has benefited from the ingenuity of its small business men,” wrote Ray Kroc, who transformed the McDonald’s into a global franchise, in his book, “Grinding It Out.”

[ click to read full article at AP ]

Posted on July 30, 2018 by Editor

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Art of the Car

from artnet

Putting Art in the Back Seat, Kenny Schachter Goes to Venerate the Old Masters of the Racetrack at the Festival of Speed

With a lull in the art calendar, our columnist went off to pursue his second all-consuming passion—classic cars—at a tony British hillclimb.

Seventeen-time Le Mans entrant, and driver of my car, Nic Minassian. Photo courtesy of Kenny Schachter.

As an isolated, overweight child growing up in Long Island with zero exposure to culture, cars were my gateway drug to art. It was the industrial design that initially drew me in, and now I when I sit down to write I have a car directly under my desk, in my office that was once a garage and which I have since converted into a hybrid office-cum-carpark. The reasoning: when you drive a vehicle you don’t see it, and when you park, you leave it. I am drawn to the lines, smells, and furniture (aka car seats), all of it. I love to look at cars, except when I write about art—then I black out, see nothing but the page, and listen to the same song 200 times in a row. (The Strokes recently, ugh.)

Goodwood House, in Chichester, West Sussex, was built in 1600 and acquired by the Duke of Richmond in 1697; the 12,000-acre estate features car and horse racetracks, an airport, two golf courses, a hotel, and an organic farm. (I wandered into a pig patch and got challenged by a 300-pound beast.) The headquarters of Rolls Royce are also situated on the premises. There are George Stubbs hunting scenes, a Caneletto London-scape, Van Dycks, and a Veronese on the walls, lest I forget. The present Duke, Charles Richmond, established the Festival of Speed (FOS) 25 years ago, a hillclimbing event where competitors race against the clock on a vertiginous course—in this case, the service road in front of the Duke’s pile (UK slang for a rather large abode). Five years later he launched the Revival, where visitors dress in period attire to embrace the early days of motorsport.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on July 29, 2018 by Editor

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Save The Clark Bar!

from CNN

NECCO, the oldest American candy company, suddenly shuts its factory

by Talib Visram

The future of Sky Bars and Sweethearts is in limbo after the NECCO factory closed this week.

The NECCO plant in Revere, Massachusetts, was shut suddenly Tuesday by its owner, Round Hill Investments LLC, The investment company, owned by billionaire C. Dean Metropolous, bought NECCO out of bankruptcy in May for $17.3 million.

The news was first reported by The Boston Globe.

“We are disappointed that Round Hill could not follow through on the enthusiasm it expressed when it acquired Necco barely two months ago,” said Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo in a statement.

Arrigo said he was disappointed that the city received no advance word about the plant’s closing, but he was encouraged that six private food service companies have already expressed interest in interviewing the former NECCO factory workers.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on July 26, 2018 by Editor

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Everything We Think We Know Is Wrong

from NPR

14,000-Year-Old Piece Of Bread Rewrites The History Of Baking And Farming

by LINA ZELDOVICH

When an archaeologist working on an excavation site in Jordan first swept up the tiny black particles scattered around an ancient fireplace, she had no idea they were going to change the history of food and agriculture.

Amaia Arranz-Otaegui is an archaeobotanist from the University of Copenhagen. She was collecting dinner leftovers of the Natufians, a hunter-gatherer tribe that lived in the area more than 14,000 years ago during the Epipaleolithic time — a period between the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras.

Natufians were hunters, which one could clearly tell from the bones of gazelles, sheep and hares that littered the cooking pit. But it turns out the Natufians were bakers, too –at a time well before scientists thought it was possible.

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on July 24, 2018 by Editor

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James Frey to CAA – A MILLION LITTLE PIECES to Festivals

from Deadline

CAA Signs James Frey As Sam & Aaron Taylor-Johnson Ready ‘A Million Little Pieces’ Film For Fall Festivals

by Mike Fleming Jr

James FreyREX/Shutterstock

EXCLUSIVE: CAA just signed best-selling author James Frey. This comes as Brad Weston’s Makeready and The Picture Company prepare to launch A Million Little Pieces, the screen version of the semi-autobiographical and controversial addiction novel that was adapted into a feature by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Sam Taylor-Johnson, the latter of whom directed her husband in the lead role. The film, which also stars Billy Bob Thornton, Giovanni Ribisi and Odessa Young (Assassination Nation), will be launched as an acquisition title in the fall festivals.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

 

Posted on July 23, 2018 by Editor

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Go Ask Alice

from LEMONWIRE

“Go Ask Alice” (1973) offers an anti-drug message with a side of rock ‘n’ roll

By Dodie Miller-Gould

Now streaming on YouTube is a 1973 movie based on the once- alleged true story of a young drug addict named Alice. The movie is based on the book of the same name that was published in 1971. While the book’s origin was once steeped in controversy, it is mostly forgotten now.

“Go Ask Alice” the movie is significant to fans of rock music and history by the way it contextualizes rock music of the late 1960s and attempts to show the means by which even a girl from a good family can fall into the trap of drugs and their attendant misadventures.

“Go Ask Alice” 45 years later

Watching the film version of the book is as close to watching a time capsule as some people will get. There is a bit of editorializing as the opening credits appear and what sounds like a cover version of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” plays. Viewers are shown “examples” of kids of the time period. Kids with glasses, boys with long hair; moody-looking girls with very long hair; there were even two black students. The song “White Rabbit” contains the line from which the title “Go Ask Alice” derives.  The fashions and the moods clue viewers in on what life was probably like 50 years ago. The movie is interesting on that basis alone.

“Go Ask Alice” and controversy

Years before James Frey and the “Million Little Pieces” scandal, there was “Go Ask Alice” and the theories about who wrote the book. The author is listed as “Anonymous.” The book was purported to be the real journal of a 15-year-old girl who was the Alice of the title.

Once thought to be nonfiction, “Go Ask Alice” is categorized as fiction now. The controversy about the book’s authorship has done nothing to negatively impact the book’s popularity. However, the American Library Association challenges the book’s suitability for young audiences because of its language and depictions of sex and drug use.

[ click to continue reading at LEMONWIRE ]

Posted on July 22, 2018 by Editor

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Giant Jeff Goldblum

from VICE

Finally, the World Has a Giant, Shirtless Jeff Goldblum Statue

Behold, one of the greatest artistic achievements of our time.

Photo via NowTV / Fever PR

Jeff Goldblum is iconic in everything he touches, but there is no role quite so canon as his turn as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, and no scene that captures his essence quite as well as that brief, beautiful moment where he’s sweaty as all hell and shirtless for some reason.

It’s been 25 years since that cinematic touchstone graced this world, and to commemorate it, London’s NOW TV has constructed one of the greatest artistic achievements of our time: A 25-foot statue of a half-naked Jeff Goldblum.

It was an audacious move on the artist’s part to even try to recreate such an impeccable expression of the human form, but the risk paid off. No detail was spared: The stubble is perfectly rendered, so subtle you’d miss it if you didn’t take a closer look. His hand hangs loose from the wrist in that quintessentially Goldblum-ian attitude of effortlessness, of ease with the self. And those eyes: They gleam with a confluence of fear and knowledge—a mirror image of the look Goldblum flashed the camera just after Dr. Malcolm nearly lost his life to a T. Rex.

[ click to continue reading at VICE ]

Posted on July 18, 2018 by Editor

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Seventy Years of Hells Angels

from RealClearLife

Hells Angels at 70: Rebels With a Cause

The infamous motorcycle gang now does brisk business selling branded merchandise and politicking.

By Kevin B. Sullivan

Motorcycles are parked on the street outside the Hells Angels motorcycle club headquarters in New York. (AP Photo/Tom Hays, File)

In the early hours of December 11, 2016, while cruising New York City’s East Village neighborhood, 25-year-old David Martinez and his friends encountered a problem. Driving down E. 3rd Street, the group suddenly found themselves stuck behind a livery cab. Noticing an orange parking cone obstructing their way around the cab, Martinez hopped out of the passenger side door of his black Mercedes-Benz in order to move the cone and squeeze by the livery cab.

Unfortunately for Martinez and his companions, that cone had been deliberately placed there by the notorious Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, who have long called that stretch of 3rd Street between First and Second avenues home. The club’s illegal practice of saving spaces for motorcycles in front of their East Village clubhouse was common knowledge for those in the local know, but one with potentially deadly consequences for the uninitiated.

A melee ensued over the cone, as Martinez and his friends clashed with a handful of Hells Angels members. It was then that Anthony Iovenitti – a security guard and reported “prospect” with the club – pulled a firearm and shot Martinez in the stomach.

[ click to continue reading at RCL ]

Posted on July 17, 2018 by Editor

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Lost Kubrick Script Found

from The Guardian

Lost Stanley Kubrick screenplay, Burning Secret, is found 60 years on

Script co-written by director is so close to completion it could be developed into a feature film

Stanley Kubrick on the set of Barry Lyndon in 1975The legendary American director Stanley Kubrick on the set of Barry Lyndon in 1975. Photograph: Corbis via Getty Images

His first world war classic, Paths of Glory, is one of cinema’s most powerful anti-war movies, widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, as was his Roman epic, Spartacus, both of which starred Kirk Douglas. Now a “lost” screenplay by director Stanley Kubrick has been discovered – and it is so close to completion that it could be developed by film-makers.

Entitled Burning Secret, the script is an adaptation of the 1913 novella by the Viennese writer Stefan Zweig. In Kubrick’s adaptation of the story of adultery and passion set in a spa resort, a suave and predatory man befriends a 10-year-old boy, using him to seduce the child’s married mother.

He wrote it in 1956 with the novelist Calder Willingham, with whom he went on to collaborate on Paths of Glory the following year.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on July 15, 2018 by Editor

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KISS Bag

Posted on July 14, 2018 by Editor

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Resale Royalties

from The Observer

Should Artists Get Royalties if Their Work Is Resold? Europe Says Yes, US Says No

Frank Stella’s Delaware Crossing (estimated at $8 to 12 million) and Picasso’s Femme assise sur une chaise(estimated at $25 to 35 million) from the collection of A. Alfred Taubman being sold at Sotheby’s in 2015. Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Sotheby’s

Artist resale royalties in the United States, like Old Marley in the Dickens story, are as dead as a door-nail. On Friday, July 6, an appellate court in California ruled that the state’s 1977 Resale Royalties Act, which grants artists an unwaivable right to five percent of the proceeds on any resale of their artwork under specified circumstances, is incompatible with federal Copyright law and deserved to be struck down.

California was the only state to adopt such a law in the U.S. But all have somehow been thwarted. A similar effort in New York State did not get as far as a vote, and federal legislation—the A.R.T. [American Royalties Too] Act—introduced in 2014 into the House of Representatives by Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and in the Senate by Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ed Markey (D-MA) also has not advanced. “It isn’t a matter that artist resale royalties are incompatible with the U.S. constitution,” said Boston-based art lawyer Nicholas O’Donnell. “It’s just incompatible politically, as there really isn’t any interest in this concept on the part of any party.” Again, dead as a door-nail.

Let’s run an obituary.

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on July 13, 2018 by Editor

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Mont Blanc Tunnel Cool

from WIRED

JULY 16, 1965: MONT BLANC TUNNEL OPENS

by Keith Barry

1965: After 19 years of planning and construction, the Mont Blanc Tunnel officially opens. The new tunnel stretches 7 miles, linking the French town of Chamonix and the Italian town of Courmayeur. Buried 1.5 miles under the Alps’ highest peak, it becomes the world’s deepest road tunnel beneath rock and gains infamy after a deadly 1999 fire.

Until the opening of the tunnel, road traffic in the Alps between France and Italy wended its way over hairpin turns and sharp grades, with mountain passes closed the majority of the year because of snow. Italian construction teams began drilling a tunnel into Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco on their side) to build a year-round route in 1946. The next year, France and Italy signed an agreement to build the tunnel together.

Construction, however, did not begin in earnest until May 30, 1959, with the help of an 82-ton tunnel-boring machine. Tunneling began at 4,091 feet on the French side and at 4,530 feet on the Italian side.

It took 783 tons of explosives to complete the drilling. The French and Italian teams met Aug. 4, 1962, with a discrepancy of only 5.12 inches between the two sides.

[ click to continue reading at WIRED ]

Posted on July 7, 2018 by Editor

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California Missions

from The LA Times

A history of California’s missions

Spanish explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo sails into San Pedro Bay and claims the California coast for the king of Spain.

Spanish Catholic missionaries from the Jesuit order begin colonizing Baja California, beginning with Loreto. Sixteen more missions will follow in the next 70 years.

About 300,000 Indians live in Alta California, organized into about 80 autonomous groups, sustaining themselves mostly through hunting, gathering and fishing.

Spain expels the Jesuits from Baja California and gives control to another Catholic order, the Franciscans.

Spanish soldiers and Franciscan friars, led by 55-year-old Father Junípero Serra, found the first Alta California mission in San Diego. Spain’s king is eager to strengthen his hold on the region before Russian fur-traders can move south from Alaska. Once baptized, Indian converts (known as “neophytes”) are typically forced to remain and are taught farming, weaving, carpentry and leather-working.

As the missionaries advance up the coast, European diseases spread among Indians, killing thousands. A native group attacks the Mission San Diego, killing Father Luís Jayme.

Serra dies at age 70 in Carmel, having established nine missions. Father Fermín Lasuén takes over the chain. Friars and soldiers expand the network of farms and ranches, using Indian converts as captive laborers.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on June 12, 2018 by Editor

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Racy KATERINA Billboard Rejected by Javitz Center

from The San Francisco Chronicle

Publishers embrace, and ponder, audiobooks’ rise

NEW YORK (AP) — As the audiobook market continues to boom, publishers find themselves both grateful and concerned.

The industry gathered over the past week for BookExpo and the fan-based BookCon, which ended Sunday at the Jacob Javits center in Manhattan. The consensus, as it has been for the past few years, is of a stable overall market: physical books rising, e-book sales soft and audio, led by downloaded works, expanding by double digits.

…Conventiongoers lined up to meet Sally Field, Tony Kushner and Charlaine Harris, among others. They also stood (and sat) patiently for the once-notorious James Frey, whose “Katerina” will be publushed this fall by Gallery Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint.

A decade ago, Frey’s addiction memoir “A Million Little Pieces” was revealed as being extensively fabricated and the author himself was chewed out on television by Oprah Winfrey, but not before her initial endorsement had helped the book sell millions. But Winfrey and Frey later reconciled, Frey now openly writes fiction and Gallery is openly promoting his old work, whether billing “Katerina” as “Written in the same percussive, propulsive, dazzling, breathtaking style as ‘A Million Little Pieces'” or highlighting the memoir in a billboard ad for his new novel.

“‘A Million Little Pieces’ is a beloved and brilliant book, regardless of the controversy, so we did not think twice about using it in our advertising,” Gallery spokeswoman Jennifer Robinson said.

But one change was made for the convention.

“The Javits Center did reject our first design for the billboard as it showed a bit too much flesh,” Robinson said. “We had to make a little less of ‘Katerina’ visible.”

[ click to continue reading at the Chronicle ]

Posted on June 11, 2018 by Editor

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor

from The Village Voice

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and Mister Rogers Insist Humanity Can Be Better Than This

by LARA ZARUM

If your cold, cold heart doesn’t melt at some point during Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the documentary about Fred “Mister” Rogers, well, I don’t know what to do for you. Watching this movie is like freebasing sincerity — a scarce resource in our current entertainment hellscape. It’ll give you warm fuzzies for days.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? takes us back to an honest-to-God simpler time, when the idea of a minister with an “abiding interest in children,” as one newscaster describes Rogers in the doc, didn’t immediately raise eyebrows. Early in the film, the late Rogers — whose legendary children’s show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, aired for more than thirty years starting in 1968 — expresses his desire to help children make sense of the world “through the mass media.” He made this comment back when television was still a fairly newfangled technology, and when a few well-intentioned folks like Mister Rogers thought to use “mass media” to spread wholesome education rather than dogged consumerism.

Through archival footage of Rogers both on and off the set of his iconic show, as well as interviews with his family, friends, and former crew members, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? draws a flattering yet complex portrait of its subject, who died of cancer in 2003. What is most remarkable is Rogers’s grasp, even in the medium’s nascent years, of how television can shape young minds. “What we see and hear on the screen is part of who we become,” he insisted. Rogers understood, earlier than most, that television — that oh-so-intimate medium that catches us at home, unguarded, the screen perhaps just inches away from our faces — profoundly alters the way we see one another and ourselves. “Television,” young Rogers argued, “has the chance of building a real community out of an entire country.”

[ click to continue reading at The Village Voice ]

Posted on June 10, 2018 by Editor

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The Water Wars

from the LA Times via Bristol Herald Courier

One of LA’s oldest community gardens thrived for decades. Then the water wars began

For more than 40 years, Italian, Mexican, Croatian, Filipino, Indonesian and Laotian gardeners have built productive mini-farms on the parcels. Jason Neubert / Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — The old Italian men pass their mornings near the top of the hill, tending thick grape vines and rows of fava beans, smoking crumbling Toscano cigars, staying out of the house. If you try to call Francesco “Frank” Mitrano at home, his wife will brusquely tell you that he’s at “the farm.”

The farm is a patch of soil by the 110 Freeway, where he harvests enough tomatoes from his crop to make spaghetti sauce for his family’s weekly Sunday dinner. “Twenty-one people,” he exclaims.

A half-century ago, Filipino seafarers re-created a piece of the old country on this weedy hillside in San Pedro.

Italian fishermen quickly joined them, as did others with horticultural skills honed all over the world — Mexico, Laos, India, Japan, Indonesia, Croatia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Arizona and Lawndale.

More than 250 parcels are connected by a maze of trails and pipes and hoses. Avocado trees soar as high as 60 feet. Giant banana leaves, ratoons of sugar cane and bright orange guavas — set amid a jumble of sheds, trellises, fences and retaining walls — give the hill the look of a rural village carved from jungle.

The community garden — thought to be the oldest in Los Angeles — grew quietly and off the grid, with unlimited water and little oversight.

But now, in a time of drought, it faces an existential crisis after the city drastically cut its water supply.

Though the heavy rains helped last year, the plots they have nurtured for decades are getting thirstier every day.

Mitrano, 83, barrel-chested with a burl of a nose and a sail rigger’s forearms, sneered at the hose that dribbled at his feet.

“No hay presion,” said Mitrano, using Spanish, the lingua franca of the garden. There is no water pressure.

[ click to continue reading at Bristol Herald Courier ]

Posted on June 9, 2018 by Editor

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Andrew Solomon On Suicide

from The New Yorker

Preventable Tragedies

By Andrew Solomon

Anthony Bourdain was almost inconceivably high-functioning; the gap between public triumph and private despair is treacherous. Photograph by Mike Coppola / Getty

The pattern of highly accomplished and successful people committing suicide is transfixing. It assures the rest of us that a life of accolades is not all that it’s cracked up to be and that achieving more will not make us happier. At the same time, it reveals the fact that no one is safe from suicide, that whatever defenses we think we have are likely to be inadequate. Kate Spade’s handbags were playful and fun. Her quirky look was unmistakable and bespoke exuberance. Anthony Bourdain was almost inconceivably high-functioning, and won so many awards that he seemed ready to give an award to his favorite award. High-profile suicides such as these cause copycat suicides; there was a nearly ten-per-cent spike in suicides following Robin Williams’s death. There is always an upswing following such high-profile events. You who are reading this are at statistically increased risk of suicide right now. Who knows if Bourdain had read of Kate Spade’s suicide as he prepared to do the same thing? We are all statistically more likely to kill ourselves than we were ten years ago. That increased vulnerability is itself depressing, and that depressing information interacts with our own unguarded selves. If life wasn’t worth living for people such as Bourdain and Spade, how can our more ordinary lives hold up? Those of us who have clinical depression can feel the tug toward suicide amped up by this kind of news. The gap between public triumph and private despair is treacherous, with the outer shell obscuring the real person even to those with whom he or she had professed intimacy.

There has long been an assertion popular in mental-health circles that suicide is a symptom of depression and that, if we would only treat depression adequately, suicide would be a thing largely of the past. We learn of Kate Spade’s possible marital woes as though marital woes rationalized a suicide. It is true that, in someone with a significant tendency to suicide, external factors may trigger the act itself, but difficult circumstances do not usually fully explain someone’s choice to terminate his or her own life. People must have an intrinsic vulnerability; for every person who kills himself when he is left by his wife, there are hundreds who don’t kill themselves under like circumstances.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on June 8, 2018 by Editor

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Karma

from Real Clear Life

Plot Twist: The Strange Story of Douglas Parkhurst

He became a hero in the last moment of his life—but did he redeem himself?

By Steve Huff

It was the first day of June, the unofficial beginning of summer, and a maroon car was careening across a Little League baseball field in Sanford, Maine’s Goodall Park. Players rushed to get out of the way as the driver—police later identified her as 52-year-old Carol Sharrow— barely missed them, curving toward home base then away again. She was looking for an exit and spotted a gate. More kids were in danger on the other side.

A witness named Justin Clifton later told a Maine news station what happened next. He said he “saw the car pull out of the […] and this guy had some kids with him.”

Clifton said that when the car “came to the gate, the older guy pushed the kids right out of the way. He took the hit for the kids.”

So, Douglas Parkhurst, age 68, died taking that “hit for the kids.” The Vietnam vet was the hero of the moment and a tragic one at that. A man who in photos appeared ruddy, fit for his age, with a winning smile. It was a moving, powerful story.

For the second time in five years, Douglas Parkhurst’s name was in the news along with the phrase “hit-and-run driver.”

The first time was a very different story.

[ click to continue reading at RCL ]

Posted on June 6, 2018 by Editor

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Kate Spade Gone

from NPR

Fashion Designer Kate Spade Found Dead In Apparent Suicide

by AMY HELD

Kate Spade, the designer who built a billion-dollar brand of luxury handbags and accessories, was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday. She was 55.  Bebeto Matthews/AP

New York Police Department officials said that police received a call around 10:30 a.m. and that officers found Spade unconscious and unresponsive in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

“It was a suicide,” NYPD spokeswoman Arlene Muniz told NPR, without providing further details.

The exact cause of Spade’s death will be determined by a medical examiner.

[ click to continue reading at NPR ]

Posted on June 5, 2018 by Editor

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von Furstenberg III

from WaPo via SFGate

Fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg is ready for her third act

Diane von Furstenberg in her New York office. As the designer tries to step back from the brand she has long defined, she is setting lofty new goals for the future. Photo: Photo For The Washington Post By Jesse Dittmar / Jesse DittmarPhoto: Photo For The Washington Post By Jesse Dittmar

NEW YORK – After more than 45 years in fashion, Diane von Furstenberg has been looking for a graceful exit. She is 71, and she has designed a lot of frocks. But the one that matters most is the classic wrap dress, a few yards of slinky jersey that manage to flatter not all but most figures. It’s not cheap, but it isn’t terribly expensive. It has a knack for being appropriate in a multitude of situations. And it comes with its own empowering narrative: that women can have dominion over their own reality with a single sexy, authoritative dress.

That’s a heck of a lot more than most fashion brands have done for women.

The dress landed her on the cover of Newsweek in 1976. It made von Furstenberg – who married and divorced a European prince and dazzled this city’s disco society – even richer and more famous. It gave her independence.

But now, von Furstenberg is ready to be done with fashion. “I don’t want to do another color palette,” she says. “I’ve had three acts. The first was the American Dream, the young girl coming to New York, the wrap dress, blah, blah, blah. The second: I started over. Now, I’ve been thinking, now is the time for the third act. How do I turn this into a legacy, so the legacy will last after me?”

[ click to continue reading at SFGate ]

Posted on June 4, 2018 by Editor

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Whopper Juniors and Chocolate

from The Telegraph

Macon woman turns 105, credits chocolate

BY WAYNE CRENSHAW

Virginia Pair Witherington holds a photo of herself in her younger days during her 105th birthday party on Sunday.Virginia Pair Witherington holds a photo of herself in her younger days during her 105th birthday party on Sunday. Wayne Crenshaw wcrenshaw@macon.com

MACON, GA – Virginia Pair Witherington puts it simply when asked her secret to living to 105, and not looking near her age to top it off.

“Because I take care of myself,” she said among a din of noise as she celebrated her birthday with friends at La Parrilla Mexican Restaurant on Sunday. She turns 105 on Monday.

She worked 30 years as a bookkeeper for the Macon Water Authority, among other places. Her late husband, Joe Witherington was Macon’s first engineer, said Mary Ussery, who says Witherington “adopted” her about 12 years ago. They have been close friends ever since.

“Nana gives really good advice,” Ussery said. “She lives by her philosophy. She’s kind to everyone. She’s the most graceful person I’ve ever met.”

Ussery said Witherington has previously credited her long life to living well and eating a lot of chocolate. She also loves Whopper Juniors and pizza.

[ click to continue reading at The Telegraph ]

Posted on June 3, 2018 by Editor

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Crucifixion Find

from LIVE SCIENCE

How Jesus Died: Rare Evidence of Roman Crucifixion Found

How Jesus Died: Rare Evidence of Roman Crucifixion FoundThis cross was erected inside the Roman Colosseum as a monument to the suffering of early Christians in Rome. The Christian Bible describes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as occurring in Jerusalem under Roman rule at the beginning of the Christian era.
Credit: Jared I. Lenz Photography/Getty

The body of a man buried in northern Italy 2,000 years ago shows signs that he died after being nailed to a wooden cross, the method used for the execution of Jesus described in the Christian Bible.

Although crucifixion was a common form of capital punishment for criminals and slaves in ancient Roman times, the new finding is only the second time that direct archaeological evidence of it has been found.

A new study of the skeletal remains of the man, found near Venice in 2007, reveals a lesion and unhealed fracture on one of the heel bones that suggests his feet had been nailed to a cross. [8 Alleged Relics of Jesus of Nazareth]

[ click to continue reading at LIVE SCIENCE ]

Posted on June 2, 2018 by Editor

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$100k Levi’s

from Fox News

Vintage pair of Levis, 125 years old, go for close to $100,000

The vintage look just got a whole lot more expensive. A buyer in Southeast Asia has purchased a pair of 125-year-old Levis for almost $100,000.

And you thought your jeans cost a pretty penny.

The jeans, originally bought in 1893 by Solomon Warner, a storekeeper in the Arizona Territory, have a drastically different look than today’s Levis. Warner’s jeans had but a single rear pocket, a button fly and no belt loops — remember, men favored a good set of suspenders back in the day.

The denims, size 44 with a 36-inch inseam, suggest that Warner was no small man.

Warner, it turns out, had a colorful history that had nothing to do with his jeans. He established one of the first stores selling American dry goods in Tucson, and survived being shot by Apaches in 1870.

[ click to continue reading at Fox News ]

Posted on May 31, 2018 by Editor

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Tsar Ivan The Terrible And His Son Attacked

from Reuters

Famous Russian painting damaged in vodka-fueled attack

Andrew Osborn

MOSCOW (Reuters) – One of Russia’s most famous paintings, which depicts Tsar Ivan the Terrible cradling his dying son, has been badly damaged after a man attacked it with a metal pole after drinking vodka.

The canvas, “Ivan the Terrible and His Son Ivan on November 16, 1581,” was completed by renowned Russian realist Ilya Repin in 1885 and portrays a grief-stricken tsar holding his own son in his arms after dealing him a mortal blow, a historical incident whose veracity some Russian nationalists dispute.

The gallery in central Moscow where the painting was displayed, the State Tretyakov Gallery, said a man had attacked the canvas just before closing time on Friday evening.

It said he had somehow got past a group of gallery employees, picked up one of the metal security poles used to keep the public back from the painting, and struck its protective glass covering several times.

“As a result of the blows the thick glass … was smashed,” the gallery said in a statement. “Serious damage was done to the painting. The canvas was pierced in three places in the central part of the work which depicts the figure of the tsarevich (the tsar’s son).”

[ click to continue reading at Reuters ]

Posted on May 28, 2018 by Editor

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Punk Rock Porn

from The Daily Beast

The Punk-Rock Porn Movie That Lays Waste to the Patriarchy

Acclaimed queercore filmmaker Bruce LaBruce’s ‘The Misandrists’ centers on the men-overthrowing Female Liberation Army. And it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

by 

“Pornography is an act of insurrection against the dominant order,” states Big Mother (Susanne Sachsse), the matriarch of an all-female boarding school, in The Misandrists, and those familiar with the work of writer/director Bruce LaBruce (Otto; or Up with Dead People, Gerontophilia) will immediately recognize it as a sly proclamation of his own philosophy.

For the past thirty years, whether helming short or feature-length productions, or working as a writer and photographer, LaBruce has pushed boundaries with a pure, unadulterated transgressive spirit. An assured filmmaker who rose to prominence as a vanguard of 1990s queercore cinema, he’s akin to a more extreme John Waters, blending philosophy and comedy with explicit sexual material in order to poke, prod and reproach any and all status quos.

Having spent much of his career making films about—and with—gay male actors, LaBruce turns his strict attention to the fairer sex with his latest, although it’s not fairness that his female protagonists are after, but rebellion and domination. Playing like the bonkers bastard child of The Beguiled and Cecil B. Demented, The Misandrists (debuting in New York on May 25, and L.A. on June 1) situates itself in Ger(wo)many circa 1999, at a remote institution of revolutionary learning run by Big Mother, the charismatic leader of the Female Liberation Army (FLA), who sports long bleached-white locks and two crutches to help her get around. At this forested place of higher learning, Big Mother tends to a group of girls committed to the cause of overthrowing the hegemonic capitalist patriarchy and establishing a system in which women don’t simply stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their male compatriots, but cast them aside in order to establish an estrogen-infused new world order.

[ click to continue reading at TDB ]

Posted on May 27, 2018 by Editor

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The Oldest Tree In Europe

from National Geographic

Oldest European Tree Found—And It’s Having a Growth Spurt

A Heldreich’s pine discovered in southern Italy has been thriving in a remote part of a national park for 1,230 years.

By

Picture of millennium-old pine tree, named Italus,Scientists determined the age of this 1,230-year-old Heldreich’s pine, nicknamed Italus, using a novel combination of tree-ring analysis and radiocarbon dating. PHOTOGRAPH BY GIANLUCA PIOVESAN

A craggy pine tree growing in southern Italy is 1,230 years old, making it the oldest tree in Europe that has been scientifically dated.

Moreover, the ancient pine seems to be living it up in its old age, researchers reported last week in the journal Ecology. Examinations show that the tree had a growth spurt in recent decades, where larger rings were added to its trunk even though many trees in the Mediterranean region have been experiencing a decline in growth.

The discovery shows that some trees can survive for centuries even when subjected to extreme changes in climate. This ancient pine, for example, would have germinated in a cold period during Medieval times and then lived through much warmer temperatures, including periods of drought. (Find out how scientists brought a 32,000-year-old plant back to life.)

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on May 26, 2018 by Editor

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Bowie Outside Rehearsal

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Editor

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The Return of the Second Incarnation of The Funk

from PASTE

George Clinton & Parliament Just Ambushed Us With a New, Digital-Only Album, Their First Since 1980

By Ellen Johnson

If you’re in the frame of mind that funk has been asleep for approximately the last 38 years, you’ll be pleased to know it’s awake now: George Clinton and Parliament just dropped their first new album since 1980, a surprise, digital-only recording called Medicaid Fraud Dogg, streaming now. Clinton, the deeply influential forefather of funk (and all its winding genre successors), formed Parliament in the early ‘70s as part of his famed Parliament-Funkadelic collective. The group teased this release earlier in the year with a single called “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me,” but their most recent LP was 1980’s Trombipulation. Medicaid Fraud Dogg, as the title might suggest, examines the shortcomings of America’s modern medical institutions—in the most funky way possible.

In April, the groovy maestro also announced he’ll be retiring from touring. But don’t worry, Clinton is still currently on the road as part of the international Parliament-Funkadelic 2018 tour, the dates for which you can find on the Parliament website. This weekend’s May 26 show at the famous Greek Theatre in L.A. will kick off the final leg of Clinton’s touring excursions, wrapping up a year from now in May 2019, according to a press release.

Much of today’s hip-hop, rap R&B and trap music can be traced back to sounds defined by the legendary Clinton and his groovy cooperatives. As he recently pointed out in an “Ask Me Anything” Reddit thread, he’s following that funk lineage, listening to “Flying Lotus, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z’s new album, Tra’Zae, and all that shit coming out of Atlanta. All that trap shit. I’m trapped in it.” Fragments of hip-hop and rap can certainly be heard on Medicaid Fraud Dogg, such as the Scarface-featuring “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me,” though Clinton also retains his distinctly funky warp, recognizable in his music as early as Parliament’s 1974 record Up For The Down Stroke.

[ click to continue reading at PASTE ]

Posted on May 23, 2018 by Editor

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$17 Billion Holy Grail, Waiting For Retrieval

from WBUR

‘Holy Grail Of Shipwrecks’ Found Near Colombian Coast, Woods Hole Says

By Mark Pratt, The Associated Press

A Spanish galleon laden with gold that sank to the bottom of the Caribbean off the coast of Colombia more than 300 years ago was found three years ago with the help of an underwater autonomous vehicle operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the agency disclosed for the first time.

New details about the discovery of the San Jose were released on Monday with permission from the agencies involved in the search, including the Colombian government.

“We’ve been holding this under wraps out of respect for the Colombian government,” said Rob Munier, WHOI’s vice president for marine facilities and operations.

The exact location of the wreck of the San Jose, often called the “holy grail of shipwrecks,” was long considered one of history’s enduring maritime mysteries.

The 62-gun, three-masted galleon, went down on June 8, 1708, with 600 people on board as well as a treasure of gold, silver and emeralds during a battle with British ships in the War of Spanish Succession. The treasure is worth as much as $17 billion by modern standards.

[ click to continue reading at WBUR ]

Posted on May 22, 2018 by Editor

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