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24 Feb 15:25

Guy Fieri Officiates Mass Gay Wedding in Florida Flavortown

by Kelly Faircloth

Terrible news: if you're half a gay couple looking to tie the knot in Miami, you just missed your chance to be joined in joyous matrimony by none other than Food Network personality Guy Fieri. The love boat has passed you by, my friend.


18 Feb 18:00

Ribbon Chapel by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

by Caroline Williamson

well this is beautiful

Ribbon Chapel by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

This is a wedding chapel unlike any other wedding chapel out there. Located in the garden of a resort hotel in Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan, the freestanding Ribbon Chapel boasts panoramic views of the Inland Sea, which can be viewed from its two spiral stairways that are intertwined. Hiroshi Nakamura, of NAP Architects, designed the spiraling structure with two stairways to help make the volume more structurally sound.


The two ribboning forms seamlessly join together, just like the two lives getting married, after going through twists and turns, before uniting together as one at the very top.


Centered at the core of the structure is the light-filled chapel that’s hugged tightly by the smooth spirals on the exterior.


There’s a summit at the top for the couple to meet.



The stairways widen at points to help protect the chapel from the sun.


The chapel is set up with a particular route in mind – the bride walks down the aisle with her father and after the ceremony, the aisle becomes the departure route for the bride and groom. The bride and groom then climb the stairs to meet at the top where they are to ask heaven’s permission to join as one. They then walk down the stairs together.














Photos by Koji Fujii / Nacasa & Partners Inc.

17 Feb 19:58

Los Angeles Things: Los Angeles is the Least Sprawling Big City in the US

by Bianca Barragan

[Image via Atwater Village Newbie / Curbed LA flickr pool]

It sounds like a joke, but it's not: a new study proclaims Los Angeles to be the least sprawly large metro in the US. The study, conducted by a sociology doctoral student at NYU, uses aerial images of Census tracts in the 150 largest US metros (according to 2010 data) to estimate the portion of the metro population living below three "thresholds": 3,500, 8,500, and 20,000 people per square mile. Then, explains CityLab, those thresholds are averaged to get a metro's index number—the higher the index number, the more sprawl in that metro. Of the 150 largest metros, Los Angeles has the lowest index number, meaning that despite its spread-out rep, it's actually not so bad at all.

Los Angeles's "sheer lack of very low-density development" helped the region get its highly non-sprawly status, which is great because the analyst goes on to quantify all the negative effects of sprawl: "For every 10 percent increase in sprawl, there is an approximately 5.7 percent increase in per capita carbon emissions, a 9.6 percent increase in per capita hazardous pollution, and a 4.1 percent and 2.9 percent reduction in the owner and renter housing affordability index, respectively." Ooof, bit of a double-edged sword there, sprawl. It makes sense that less polluted, less sprawly places are more expensive to live in—who wouldn't want to live in them? And that certainly does ring true in LA, which is both one of the most unaffordable places to live and, by this study's count, the least sprawling large metro in the nation. (You can also see how its many suburbs cancel out some of the benefits of its urban density.)

If this sounds bogus, keep in mind that this is not the first time LA's been found surprisingly non-sprawls; an analysis last year by Smart Growth America called LA the "biggest success story" in the scaling-back of sprawl and Census data from 2012 showed it was the most densely populated urban area in the US.

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· A New Index to Measure Sprawl Gives High Marks to Los Angeles [CityLab]
· Los Angeles is the Biggest Anti-Sprawl Success Story in the US [Curbed LA]

12 Feb 23:18

"Excerpt" from 50 Shades of Grey

by: me

Christian Grey was 50 Shades of Grey, there was no doubt about it.

Sometimes he was hungry, sometimes he was confused, and sometimes he was angry, like when he thought about bar napkins being smaller than regular dinner napkins. But no more than 50. That was all the shades he had.

"Today, I am dark Grey. VERY Dark Grey." He was Dark Grey because somebody just explained what ‘Casual Friday’ was to him, and honestly, he couldn’t believe it.

"Wouldn’t that be just black?"

Annabella KhakiPants was very beautiful, in a way that could be described as ‘plain, but with a little extra.’ She always had a book in her hands. He sure didn’t know if that added to her beauty or not, but he did like that sometimes the book would change.

"No, it’s not BLACK."

Something about her indigination made him 22 shades of horny. Honestly, I should mention right now that his shades were 26 shades of horny, 20 shades of angry, then hungry, confused, and ‘on a plane.’

"I want to show you my sex room."

He said this abruptly, furiously, like he said all things. Even take out orders. He also only liked lemon juice on his salads, he was that insanely sexy and bonkers. No oil or anything. That way, he could lips could pucker sexily even while eating.

"Idk Christian, I don’t really know what sex is. Sometimes my body gets wet, which I think is sex, but also I’m in the shower when I’m wet, so maybe not."

He hands her his extra laptop, even though he was p sure she went to SCHOOL and should KNOW THIS. He is so rich, he has an extra laptop in his bags at all times. Once, he gave it to a dog, just to watch him chew on it. It was one of the nicest moments of his life.

"Google it. Let me show you the room first, though. Then you can Google it. I don’t have time for this. I have to fly to Japan, just so I can feel what it is like to pound my fist on a table in Japan. My job…me…I’m very complicated." Christian Grey didn’t always have time for full sentences.

He takes her to the Red Room of Pain, which is what others feel when they have to talk to either of these people. He painted the room himself, with paint from Home Depot. He chose red because it only has one shade, because if you give it different shades it becomes pink or blood orange. He likes that, because he is 50 shades and more complicated and better.

"There’s just a bunch of Christma lights and chains here. that..where you lift weights?"

"I can lift two ladies worth, or maybe two large dog’s worth. But that’s not the point, how well I lift. We all know I lift well, Armando. That’s not the point."

"I’m feeling very nervous."

"Great. That’s what sex is, Aladdin. Feeling nervous…and also letting me kinda slap you and stuff." He says this last part very rushed and quiet, like how he used to say "idiot says what" when he was a young lad, and his teachers would say what, and they would be idiots.

"Hit me during sex?"

"Please say DOING IT in front of me. It’s the first rule in a series of arbitrary rules I have. And yeah, I mean, a little light hitting and also a lot of control over your life, basically. Relax. Like light slapping and then, you know, control everywhere else."

"Like BDSM? I read about that in one of my many books that I hold around you."

"No, thanks, I’m not hungry."

" B..D..S..M?!"

"I don’t know what you’re talking about, Alex. Don’t say letters I don’t understand. I just want to control every aspect of your well-being, and control you mentally. Will you sign this contract? All people sign contracts before doing it, because it’s copyrighted."

"Let me Google Sex, and then I’ll get back to you."

Inside, Allebellxa Khakipants felt something, but it’s too boring to even describe, and basically it was being horny. She isn’t too good with knowing what things her body does. Last week, she went without peeing for a week because she thought that she was just feeling excited.

"I hate that you are making me wait." Christian Grey’s eyes narrowed, which was one his A+ ways of letting women know he was angry, because he was always angry at women. This should be a warning sign for literally everyone who came across him. The guy was an animal.

"No, thanks, I’m not hungry." Alessandra went to sleep on the weight lifting station.

Christian Grey hated that she was making him wait, yes, but he also liked it. These warm feelings were new to him.

"Maybe I am more than 50 Shades after all," he thought, as he locked her in the room and went to burn one of his many suits, just to see how it felt.

13 Feb 01:05

It Came From Craigslist: Lonely Young Glendale Resident Begging Hipsters to Move In

by Bianca Barragan

[The Glendale Galleria is just part of the problem. Image via Chris / Curbed LA flickr pool]

Glendale was voted Curbed LA's 2013 Neighborhood of the Year, but it probably didn't win for its exciting nightlife or hip cafes. In a sad Craigslist post titled "Looking for Young Hip Folks to Move to the Glendale Area," a Glendale denizen who's lived in the area for an unclear amount of time makes a plea for, well, someone—anyone—young and cool to move to Glendale. But the writer of this ad doesn't want to trick anyone into moving; as LAist points out, they're brutally honest about what they see as the quintessential aspects of Glendale: "mean, old people" everywhere, a plethora of vape stores, plentiful kabob shops, and "ugly as hell" architecture.

This Craigslister also puts a positive spin on Glendale's "notoriously aggressive and racist" police and slow-moving street construction—constant road closures because of construction? More like bike lanes everywhere!— as well as the fact that the city's most prominent landmarks are two malls right next door to each other. Wow! "Is the line too long at the Americana to recover all the chiptunes on your broken mac book air? No worries! Walk fifteen seconds to the Glendale Galleria and have them take a look at it."

The author clearly hates Glendale, the people they are trying to appeal to, and maybe even themselves a little bit for wanting some awful Echo-Park-castoffs to come to Glendale just so they can see a person their own age on the street. "[Reason] 10. Please. I would like some friends my age. Even if being this age is extraordinarily useless." Aw. Our hearts go out, young Glendalian.

Why is this person still living in Glendale when they clearly hate it? Probably for the same reason many people live where they do instead of where they'd like to: the rent is nice. At least, it seems like affordability might have something to do with it. Not only does the ad's author address potential readers as "my financially instable peers," but they also refer to Silver Lake disdainfully as the kind of place where people don't so much apartment-hunt as they "just drive around in their LEXUS (??) point at whatever building pleases them the most then purchase the damn thing on the spot."
· Looking for Young Hip Folks to Move to the Glendale Area (Glendale) [Craigslist]

09 Feb 22:15

Before & Afters: See the Big Transformation at Hollywood's 1924 Taft Building

by Bianca Barragan

i used to work here


Late last month, the historic Taft Building at Hollywood and Vine unveiled the result of a $15-million series of upgrades that exposed some of the structure's original beauty and beefed up its ability to withstand earthquakes. Originally opened in 1924 as Hollywood's first high-rise office building, the Taft was once filled with movie biz tenants like Will Rogers, Charlie Chaplin, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and numerous publicists and agents, says the LA Times. In the 1980s, a remodel put in some then-fashionable, now-dated features like drop ceilings, carpet, and coverings for the handsome brick, completely hiding so many of the attractive features that newish owners DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners are now proudly showing off. These before and after photos show how the light of this historic gem was hidden under a bushel of drywall and high-traffic carpeting. The results are very much the stylish office space, but also pretty practical; central air and heating will be introduced in phases as new tenants come in.


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· Taft Building, an aging Hollywood hot spot, gets a makeover [LAT]

06 Feb 18:31

Prickly New Litter at Denver Zoo

by Andrew Bleiman


Denver Zoo has an adorable new prickle of baby Hedgehogs!    



20150202_baby_hedgehogs077_CBPhoto Credits: Denver Zoo

The babies were born in the zoo’s education department. They are currently with their mother, off exhibit, but once old enough, they will be used for outreach and other programs sponsored by Denver Zoo.

Depending on the species of Hedgehog, the gestation period is anywhere from 35-58 days. The average litter is 3-4 young for larger species and 5-6 newborns for the smaller species. Hedgehogs have a relatively long lifespan for their size. Larger species live 4-7 years in the wild, and smaller species live 2-4 years (4-7 in captivity).

Hedgehogs are born blind with a protective membrane covering their quills, which dries and shrinks over the next several hours, after birth. The infants are born with quills beneath the skin, like pimples, and pass the skin after they have been cleaned. Eventually, the young will shed their baby spines (called “quilling”), and they will be replaced with adult spines.



05 Feb 19:01

18 Celebrity Mormon Feminist Allies

by Guest

this is really weird

Mormon feminists are everywhere, but it’s not always easy to identify each other. There are many Mormon males who are feminist allies and also a number of non-Mormon allies (male and female) who support Mormon feminism—maybe even more than you might think. Once in a while, they give us outward cues indicating their solidarity. These images are rare and hard to come by, but they do exist* and I took the time to compile them all into one place. You’re welcome.

*except these are all totally fake.

Benedict Cumberbatch was photographed wearing this dashing Feminist Mormon Housewives sweater. I want one!

Jennifer Lawrence is quoted as saying, “[Wear Pants to Church] is such an insignificant, innocuous thing, but that’s what worked so well about it. It sends a supportive message to those who need it and the negative reaction to it kind of perfectly illustrated the problem and brought a lot of awareness to inequality in LDS church culture. Brilliant.”


Ryan Gosling also supports Wear Pants to Church Day. Last year he wore a purple suit, shirt, and tie, and even attended a local ward house that day. Hey girl.

George Clooney hearts Mormon feminists.

Of course we all remember Beyonce’s controversial performance at the 2014 VMAs dedicated to Mormon female empowerment.

Tina Fey poses in front of a wall featuring a quote by Emmeline B. Wells. Wells was the fifth Relief Society General President of the church, serving from 1910 until her death in 1921. She was also a noted women’s rights advocate.

It looks like Emma Watson is enjoying Joanna Brooks’ memoir Book of Mormon Girl. I bet it’s a signed copy.

Here’s Bradley Cooper sporting a Carol Lynn Pearson t-shirt. Everyone loves CLP.

Idris Elba is committed! He’s got a giant “Mormon Feminist Ally” tattoo on his chest. He’ll always be Stringer Bell to me.

Justin Timberlake holding up a Heavenly Mother art piece. Thanks, JT!

Mr. Darcy himself, Colin Firth, wearing a #mofem shirt at some sort of white Celestial photoshoot.

Vintage Denzel in an FMH shirt. This is hot.

Tom Hiddleston looks excited to start reading his copy of Women at Church by Neylan McBaine.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt lends his support to his Mormon feminist sisters.

Brandon Flowers, one of only two actual Mormons on this list (unless you count Ryan Gosling’s childhood), got a tattoo indicating the desire to bring Heavenly Mother back into LDS discourse. I agree with him!

Amy Poehler gives a shoutout to FMH’s own Crazy Woman Creek. My wife is jealous. So am I.

This is pretty bold. President Uchtdorf wearing a “Let Women Pray” lapel pin while giving a talk in General Conference. The Silver Fox strikes again!

I had to throw this one in.

Scott Heffernan is a designer and photographer in Seattle. He is co-founder of Modern Mormon Men. You can find him on Twitter @ScottHeffernan.

15 Jan 17:54

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Gets Late Christmas Gift

by Andrew Bleiman



Keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo had a late Christmas present when ‘Flora’, the Pygmy Hippo, gave birth to a much needed boy on Boxing Day.


Pygmy-hippo-calf-(4)Photo Credits: ZSL Whipsnade

The Zoo’s keepers say they are especially proud of the baby’s mum, 28-year-old Flora, who has been battling cancer. Flora was featured in ITV’s documentary series ‘The Zoo’ last year, and although she is still living with a tumor in her mouth, vets say she has responded fantastically well to the treatment and the cancer did not affect her pregnancy at all.

The tiny hippo calf is a particularly welcome addition to the Zoo because there is a shortage of male Pygmy Hippos within the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme.

Senior Keeper, Steve White said, “Flora’s calf was due on Christmas Day, but the little one kept us waiting until the evening of Boxing Day. We knew Flora must be going into labor because she went off her food, which never happens! After six hour labor, the calf was born, a 7 kilo, perfect miniature of his mum. Since then, the baby hippo has been happily waddling around and seems to love spending time in water. On his first weigh-in, he was so slippery it was like picking up a big bar of soap!”

“We’re delighted for Flora, who has come through a difficult year and is now proving once again to be an attentive, experienced mum. She’s contributed three calves to the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme and she’ll now retire from breeding.”

Pygmy Hippos (Choeropsis liberiesis) are classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and teams at international conservation charity ZSL are working in Liberia and Sierra Leone to research and protect the species.

02 Feb 04:30

Map of Literally Every Goat in America Is Most Important Map Ever

by Rebecca Rose

Map of Literally Every Goat in America Is Most Important Map Ever

Here is a map that is the only map you will ever need ever again in your entire map. Delete all your Google Map links, burn all your Rand McNally maps and take that stupid globe and chuck it in the dumpsters. Because none of those maps include goats and are therefor entirely irrelevant.


01 Feb 00:15

Saturday Night Social: Saved By The bell hooks

by Collier Meyerson

Saturday Night Social: Saved By The bell hooks

When world's most important feminist bell hooks meets Saved by the Bell you get the incredible saved by the bell hooks. Best tumblr of 2015.


23 Jan 19:10

Wow. This Penn Badgely Tweet Will Really Make You Think. 

by Jia Tolentino

Lol shit we are *reclining* on New York City. I'm posted up like its a futon. Talk about an image of white privilege🙈

— Penn Badgley (@PennBadgley) January 23, 2015


16 Jan 13:29

Boy admits he didn't actually go to heaven; publisher pulls his book

Alex Malarkey, co-author of the best-selling Christian book The Boy Who Came back from Heaven, has admitted he made the story up.

The book, billed as a true story, described Malarkey's alleged visit with angels in heaven after being paralyzed in a car crash and spending two months in a coma.

Malarkey, who is now a teenager, wrote an open letter published on the Pulpit and Pen website that the story was fabricated. The book's publisher, Tyndale House, has pulled the book out of print following the announcement.

"I did not die. I did not go to Heaven," Malarkey wrote in the open letter. "I said I went to heaven because I thought it would get me attention. When I made the claims that I did, I had never read the Bible."

13 Jan 22:00

Tweet of the Day: Bec Rawlings' nude take on new age feminism (NSFW)

by Anton Tabuena

Bec Rawlings stripped down as she shared her take on modern feminism. Photos may not be safe for some workplaces.

The Ultimate Fighter 20 cast member 'Rowdy' Bec Rawlings took to social media to share her stance on new age feminists. Accompanying the 25-year-old's twitter message was a photo of her posing naked with a sign that says "F*ck feminism I believe in human rights for all!!!"

Check out the tweet from the UFC strawweight:

New age feminists don't want equal rights they want to demonize men & belittle women who don't conform!!

— 'Rowdy' Bec Rawlings (@RowdyBec) January 13, 2015

She followed up with a post on instagram as well:

I am not oppressed.. the only people that oppress me are the feminists & white knights that judge me & want me to conform to their agenda... I believe in human rights FOR ALL. My boys are not monsters, I am not a bad mother because I don't like pants, I am not being objectified... because I AM NOT WEAK, I make my own choices & I do what i want because I am freeeeee!! #WomenAgainstFeminism #IAmRowdyHearMeRaaaawr

15 Jan 14:58

Check out this abandoned 75,000 square foot tunnel complex beneath Dupont Circle in Washington, DC

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the nation's capital built a fairly extensive trolley system. After World War II, they reorganized the traffic around Dupont Circle, putting the trolley underground. But in the early 60s, the whole system was abandoned in favor of automobile hegemony in transportation (a decision many in the district now bitterly regret).

However, even after they put the Metro system right under Dupont, the old trolley tunnels, complete with a vast station complex, remained at a lower level. They're empty and unused today, but a group called the Arts Coalition has leased them out and is planning to get them back in use. Check it out. -- Ryan Cooper

The Forgotten Space Below Dupont Circle from PBS Digital Studios on Vimeo.

14 Jan 18:38

Curbed Features: Deep in the Arizona desert, about...

by Adrian Glick Kudler


1arcosanticeramicsapse.jpgDeep in the Arizona desert, about an hour north of Phoenix, is a utopian eco-city called Arcosanti that residents believe holds the key to extreme sustainable living. The project is the brainchild of late architect Paolo Soleri, who began construction in 1970 amid a wave of similar non-religious utopian communities. Most of those other projects failed, but Arcosanti survives, built by volunteers. Curbed National takes a look at Soleri's vision and what Arcosanti is like today. Read on. [Curbed National]

14 Jan 18:04

Potty Time: West Hollywood is Starting the Genderless Restroom Revolution

by Bianca Barragan

[Image via Mike Bellavia / Curbed LA flickr pool]

The small-bladdered and impatient have long ignored the gender-specific signs on single-stall restrooms in businesses and restaurants, along with the judgy looks of restroom-sign-policing jerks, but now all who've gotta go in West Hollywood can, by law, feel comfortable using whichever bathroom opens up first. FINALLY, some common sense in bathroom labeling: a new law in the city requires all existing and future single-stall restrooms in businesses and public spaces to be gender neutral, says Wehoville.

Businesses have 60 days to switch their restroom signs; the law doesn't apply to restrooms with multiple stalls. The new law is aimed at making all restrooms more accessible and accommodating to transgendered people and non-gender-conforming folk, as well as people with disabilities and parents with kids of a different gender. The ordinance was approved in June, but goes into effect this month; it's the first of its kind in California, though there are similar laws in DC and Philadelphia.
· Lower That Toilet Seat! WeHo's Gender-Neutral Restroom Law Goes Into Effect [Wehoville]

13 Jan 22:11

Imogen Heap just reinvented music with a pair of magic gloves. No bigs.

by Sophia Elias

Imogen Heap just reinvented music with a pair of magic gloves. No bigs.

Imogen Heap just reinvented music with a pair of magic gloves. No bigs.

Aside from her distinctively melodic voice, Imogen Heap is best known for mesmerizing lullabies like “Hide And Seek,” “Breathe In” and the ultimate cry-in-the-shower song, “Let Go.” So, what’s cooler than being a musician with incredible sensibilities? Pioneering the future of music (of course!).

Rather than simply fusing musical genres, Imogen Heap is instead fusing wearable technology and music with her ingenious invention, Mi.Mu gloves. The gloves “put the power to create an entire musical composition right at [your] fingertips.” No keyboard or laptop required. It kind of sounds like the Wii of musical instruments.

She explained to CNN:

“In the past the only way that I could interact with the computer (to make music) was by using a mouse and a keyboard and this is very two-dimensional. . . I wanted to be able to have something which. . .was directly from (the) brain—to quickly be able to manipulate sound just by intuitive gestures.”

Being able to physicalize sounds as a musician seems like a dream come true, particularly for those artists who rely on machinery to perform their music. Rather than simply standing in front of your audience, engaged by a machine, these Mi.Mu gloves give artists the opportunity to conduct their own orchestra of sounds in a highly performative and beautiful way. Heap spoke to this idea citing her own experience, saying that “audience members will understand what I’m doing rather than fiddling around on a keyboard and mouse…I could just be doing my emails”.

Believe it or not, these gloves were born from Heap’s visit to MIT’s Media Lab back in 2009. Heap met engineer, Elly Jessop, who was creating musical gloves of her own. Inspired, Heap went about pursuing her Mi.Mu gloves and devised a kickass team of professionals to make her dream become a reality.

The post Imogen Heap just reinvented music with a pair of magic gloves. No bigs. appeared first on HelloGiggles.

13 Jan 17:27

This Site Will Send a Glitter Bomb To Your Enemies Anywhere on Earth 

by Andrew Liszewski

This Site Will Send a Glitter Bomb To Your Enemies Anywhere on Earth 

The only thing worse than all the junk mail stuffed in your mailbox is finding a card that's actually addressed to you, but is covered in mounds of glitter. The shiny stuff ends up all over your hands, your face, and your home, and it's all but impossible to clean up. So that's why a glitter bomb, courtesy of, is the perfect prank.


13 Jan 03:39


12 Jan 23:58

Kawaba Rice Ball, A New Onigiri Spot Rolling Onto Melrose Avenue

by Keyla Vasconcellos

YESSSSSSS musubi foreverrrr

Shrimp Fry or Chicken Curry musubi sound good? Check out Kawaba Rice Ball at the end of the month.

Move over Sunny Blue, because another Japanese musubi (onigiri) store is on the horizon. Kawaba Rice Ball, a Japanese deli, will tentatively open on January 30 on Melrose. For those unfamiliar with Japanese onigiri, they are delicious, fluffy rice balls with varying fillings. Also, it can be wrapped with or without nori. As a staple of Japanese bento or lunch boxes it's casual and perfect for eating on the go.

Kawaba Rice Ball gets its name from Kawaba Village, a small town of only 3,500 people. The owner operates a musubi store there, where exceptionally high-quality rice called Yukihotaka is grown and used. Their mission is to create the new Japanese taste sensation this side of the Pacific, starting with LA.

At Kawaba, the menu will include organic and natural ingredients and the high-grade rice will come directly from Kawaba Village. Additionally, fillings will consist of meat, fish or Japanese-style pickled veggies. One can look forward to perfectly soft, warm and handmade quality musubi for a simple meal, yet a gourmet experience.

Kawaba Rice Ball
7368 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Check out the Menu below:

Kawaba Rice Balls

09 Jan 12:45

What precious things would you grab in a house fire?

by Mayday
Fake house facades on fire. Photo by: Joseph KrawiecCC BY 2.0

What precious things would you grab in a house fire?

It's a "what if" question that gets bandied around often. I've heard, and given, many different answers over the years. My dog. My cat. Photo albums. A jewelry box. Signed books. Family heirlooms.

It's all bullshit. You don't have the time to run through the house, collecting all your possessions. You grab what you see on the way out the door.

May 2011, I "grabbed" two purses, two laptops, the house phone, and my hysterical mother.

Lightning had hit a tree across the street; the tree's roots were wrapped around a water pipe, which created a perfect conductor for the electrical current. The neighbor whose yard the tree was in lost their fridge when the water/ice dispenser shorted out.

Our hot water heater caught fire.

In the end, while it could have been a lot worse, we still lost a lot. The fire ran rampant through the attic. We lost years' worth of heirlooms. My mother's wedding bouquet. Christmas ornaments that my brother and I made in kindergarten. Baby clothes. Pictures. Paintings. Books. Furniture my great-grandparents had owned.

When major traumatic events happen, people always react differently. My father became short-tempered and mean. My mother became prone to sudden crying fits when she thought about certain things. My brother, thankfully, had moved out and missed a lot of this.

I shut down. Completely. Utterly. Shut down. I missed only one day of work because I literally had no clothing to wear. I locked myself up so tightly that I eventually started wishing I had been asleep when the fire had started, that I hadn't woken up…

That was the sign that it was time to talk to a doctor to get some help, and it was when my parents realized that I wasn't being a zombie just to hurt them.

We lived in a hotel for a month before we found a house to rent. Three months after we'd moved into the rental house, I went to the UK by myself for two weeks. I'd planned a trip and everything was long pre-paid before the fire.

It's a very humbling experience to have literally everything you own in a camping backpack. And, for me, it was… freeing. I could do whatever I wanted. I could go wherever I wished. I didn't need permission, or accountability, or anything past what I had with me.

In a way, the fire was a good thing for me…

I moved to California — I took the chance. I had confidence. I had everything I truly needed. I had nothing to keep me in Louisiana. Six weeks after I moved, I met my fiance. After being unemployed for nine months, I went back to school. I've gained so many friends and my family is expanding more and more each year.

Recently, on a drive to work I saw smoke rising over the mountains. I was suddenly terrified again. Even if you logically know that you can't run through and save things, your mind still flashes to what's important, what you want to protect.

Luckily the fire was far enough away that we didn't need to worry. Besides, this is what fireproof boxes and renter's insurance are for. But it was a good reminder.

So, what do you think you'd try to save in a house fire?

Recent Comments

  • Bryony: I'm so sorry you went through the pain of this experience, but so glad you found positives from it. Sometimes … [Link]
  • CatCaptain: Pillow cases, boxes, washing baskets with pillows stuffed on top, down your shirt or wrapped up in your skirt, bundled … [Link]
  • Erinnyes: Your comment helped my fear. I'm a writer, and I'm terrified of losing my laptop with my two novels … [Link]
  • Kristin in Alaska: December 2009 in the Midwest we had an ice storm and snow lightening (it's freaky cool if you ever get … [Link]
  • Tara: I also live in an area prone to flash floods. I thought our apartment was pretty safe though until … [Link]

+ 27 more! Join the discussion

09 Jan 15:00

A Wheelchair That Might Disrupt the Industry

by Nanette Wong

A Wheelchair That Might Disrupt the Industry

Rather than let a spinal injury stop him from achieving his dreams, Andrew Slorance used it to completely redesign the look and function of the wheelchair.

Carbon Black Wheelchair-5

For Andrew, he decided to design a wheelchair that’s not only practical, but is equally focused on design. “I felt that wheelchairs were horrible medical devices, and couldn’t understand why companies didn’t advance their wheelchairs in the same way bike companies did with their products. By the time I was sixteen I had decided that one day I would re–invent the wheelchair.”

Carbon Black Wheelchair-4

Six years later, he created the Carbon Black, a clean and stylish wheelchair that’s also minimalist and lightweight. Made out of carbon fiber, the chair was made with the motto “more person, less chair.”

Carbon Black Wheelchair-3

The Carbon Black is a bespoke, monocoque based design that makes the life of a user easier. It doesn’t have a separate frame – rather, the seat is a key part of the wheelchair, making it stronger and stiffer with less components. The result is a sleek, sexy wheelchair that’s both functional and good looking.

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09 Jan 20:10


by Ken Jennings

Breaking Bad aired its last episode well over a year ago, but I just got the Blu-rays for Christmas and am currently doing a massive binge-watch. So pardon the nostalgia, but…

As you no doubt remember, whether you were a fan or not, the show’s protagonist is Walter White, an Albuquerque high school chemistry teacher turned meth lord. As a nod to Walt’s two jobs, the show’s credits design is based on the periodic table.


Every single person credited at the top of every episode has part of their names boldfaced as an IUPAC chemical symbol.


At one point, I noticed, the show accidentally invented a chemical element (chimerium?) for the credit of DP Michael Slovis. This was soon noticed and fixed.


Slovisgate got me thinking: are there people who could not be cast/hired by Breaking Bad because their names contain no chemical symbols? And not trivial cases like Mr. T or RZA. Actual, plausible names.

There are thirteen elements with one-letter symbols, so half the alphabet is out right there. ‘A’ and ‘E’ are the only eligible vowels. But remember that many names with A’s and E’s are verboten as well. Someone named “Alex” might seem like a perfect candidates, since all four of those letters are unused by any one-letter elements. But Alexes, rejoice! Your name is Breaking Bad-eligible after all, because aluminum is Al.

Are there names that would break Breaking Bad? Bonus points if someone with that name has an IMDb entry.

07 Jan 19:15

Watch Astonished Kids Learn Where Babies Come From (Not 'The Butt')

by Mark Shrayber

"How did Tia Alice have her baby?" "The butt!"


06 Jan 17:52

Why Won't These 22 A-List Celebrities Respond to Our Mass Email?

by Sam Biddle

ladies love dog 11

Why Won't These 22 A-List Celebrities Respond to Our Mass Email?

President Obama, North Korea, the White House, the FBI, and a host of despairing executives have said their piece about the colossal Sony hack of 2014. But what about the actual Hollywood stars whose correspondence was leaked in the hack? We emailed them at their personal email addresses and asked. All at once.


06 Jan 18:00

The Cake: A New, Modern Pastry Shop in Kiev

by Caroline Williamson

the only thing worse than koons is imitation koons

The Cake: A New, Modern Pastry Shop in Kiev

What do you do when you want to serve delicious modern pastries and need a place to do it in? You hire 2B.GROUP to design a ridiculously cool restaurant space – that’s what! Located in Kiev, Ukraine, THE CAKE is a fairly neutral modern backdrop to some colorful swag and yummy eats that make up the brand-new restaurant.


With handcrafted elements included in the design, the diverse interior comes together with the help of modern furnishings, like the seating and the giant pink balloon dog in the center.


Each of the geometric tiles, all 10,000 of them, was handcrafted and organized into a random, puzzle-like pattern on the floor.


The dog sits in the middle like a glazed cake, the designer’s intent.












How cool are the monochromatic toilet stalls?


Photos by Andrey Bezuglov and Slava Balbek.

01 Jan 17:29

Taco Bell is Inflicting Free Doritos Locos Tacos on Us Starting Now

by C.A. Pinkham

Taco Bell is Inflicting Free Doritos Locos Tacos on Us Starting Now

To ring in the new year, Taco Bell is unleashing Doritos Locos Tacos upon us for free (as if that makes it better) starting today. For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a Locos Taco yet, for all the heartburn mine.


02 Jan 15:22

Man has turn signal removed from arm after 51 years

by By Catherine Garcia

Classic car collectors might want to give Arthur Lampitt a call: The 75-year-old from Illinois just had the turn signal lever from a 1963 Thunderbird removed from his arm.

1963 Thunderbird turn signal was embedded in the arm of Arthur Lampitt 75 yrs old for 51 years

— Georgi (@Georgi29) January 2, 2015

In 1963, Lampitt survived a head-on collision with a semi-truck, which resulted in a broken hip and ribs and several cuts, the Los Angeles Times reports. About 15 years ago, his arm kept setting off a metal detector in a courthouse...

31 Dec 22:14

The Weather: Temps Just Fell Below 60 in DTLA For the First Time in 375 Days

by Bianca Barragan

[Classic LA Christmas: t-shirts and shorts. Photo via Karol Franks / Curbed LA flickr pool]

Don't be distracted by your own frozen hands: in spite of this recent and sudden chill, 2014 was HOT. In fact, it was California's warmest year in 120 years, says KPCC, and though that's only counting the first 11 months of the year (December's data isn't out yet), experts say that this month would have to be "the coldest on record and by quite a large margin" to pull the state out of record-making territory. December's been warmer than usual, so that's probably not going to happen, but it has been cold enough to break a 375-day streak of temperatures above 60 degrees, according to a public information statement on Weather Underground.

Yesterday, Downtown dropped to a chilly 56 degrees, breaking a warm period that's lasted more than a year. It's the second-longest super-60 stretch in Downtown's history; from late February 1993 to November 1994, the 'hood stayed above 60 for 629 days.

Meanwhile, 2014 was only California's twenty-third driest year on record, based on data for January through November, so even though we had a bevy of shocking visuals documenting the state drying up before our eyes, it could have been worse. (Yay?) Here in LA, we've been getting some nice, long showers; when the numbers are tallied, we're still only at about normal rainfall levels.

That's fine and good, but not too helpful when California's dealing with a years-long drought. If anything, the record-setting heat exacerbated the dryness, a climatologist with JPL tells KPCC. "The drought by itself is painful enough, but when it's coupled with an exceptionally hot year like we had this year, the evaporation – what we call the evapotranspiration – is accelerated. It makes the drought even worse."
· 2014 was California's hottest in 120 years [SCPR]
· This is California's Worst Drought Since 800 AD [Curbed LA]