Early in 2015’s Love & Mercy, a film based on the life of Brian Wilson, a foxy blonde in cat’s-eye sunglasses addresses the Beach Boys leader. “Hey, Brian? I think you might have screwed up here,” she says, gesturing to the sheet music with her pencil. “You’ve got Lyle playing in D, and the rest of us are in A major. How does that work? Two bass lines in two different keys?”
As she often was in real life, that blonde bassist Carol Kaye is the lone woman in the studio, and the only female member of an informal, unheralded lineup of talent — drummers, guitarists, percussionists, piano, and horn players — that you hear on the Beach Boys’ legendary Pet Sounds. She’s also on a jukebox’s worth of hit songs from the ’60s: Ritchie Valens’s “La Bamba,” Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’,” Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” to name a few.
Mostly, these musicians were jazz players brought in from Los Angeles’s teeming nightclub scene to lend their chops to the recordings of rock bands, some of whom (like the Monkees) rarely touched an instrument inside a studio. So, dramatic liberties aside, it’s unlikely that “How does that work?” was a phrase uttered by the now 81-year-old Kaye, whom Wilson and Quincy Jones have called the greatest bassist in the world.
And yet, because so few people know her name, it’s all too easy to fictionalize a woman who made such a big and influential noise while working in the shadows, and in a nearly all-male world.
Kaye never exactly expected to be remembered. Most session musicians thought they were creating ephemeral pop hits, not lasting touchstones. “Music up to that time had a life span of about ten years,” says the chatty, gray-haired Kaye, speaking from the sofa in the living room of her home on a warm day in early April, her white poodle mix Rusty beside her. “We’re shocked those songs lived on.”
Legacies are complicated affairs. As anyone who shares success with other people knows, collaboration and dispute tend to go together. For instance, session drummer Hal Blaine claims he, Kaye, and their colleagues were known as the Wrecking Crew, a sobriquet he came up with after older studio hacks expressed a concern that these firebrands would “wreck” the music industry with their faddish rock. As nicknames go, the group’s is pretty badass — except, according to Kaye, it’s an ex post facto bit of mythmaking from Blaine. “We were never called that,” she says bluntly, and it bugs her that the term has stuck.
Not in dispute, though, are Kaye’s bona fides. “Carol’s genius was to look at extremely basic songs and figure out a way to make them interesting,” says Michael Molenda, editorial director of Bass Player magazine. “She’d listen to the musicians and just find that hooky, memorable bass line to drive the song forward.” She could show up at a session for Sonny & Cher’s “The Beat Goes On” and rescue the tune with a bouncy lick in F, or improvise, on a lark, a zippy bass solo on Mel Tormé’s classic “Games People Play” that makes the song.
Kaye doesn’t record much anymore, but she gives lessons via Skype, and if you order any of her 40 or so educational books and DVDs, you might receive some cool memorabilia, like a photocopy of her check for playing on the Mission: Impossible theme song ($70). Two years after moving into her one-story house here on the edge of the Mojave in Antelope Valley, California, and she still hasn’t finished unpacking decades’ worth of stuff, but her instruments are resting prominently in the living room.
“We liked [rock] because it was so easy, see,” she says of sessions that typically lasted a few hours and yielded five or six songs. “That meant we could do a whole album in six hours.” Assuming that album wasn’t for fellow bassist Wilson, that is. Pet Sounds, which turns 50 next month, took more than a year to finish, with upwards of 30 takes on tracks like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and Kaye’s favorite, “Sloop John B.” Wilson was heavily influenced by Phil Spector’s symphonic productions for the Ronettes and the Crystals, and Kaye worked for that notoriously difficult producer, too. Once, when a very pregnant Kaye needed to use the bathroom, Spector told her to maneuver through a studio packed tight with musicians without touching any of the mikes placed precariously around the room.
Wilson was less dictatorial, more experimental. “He’d say, ‘Okay, can you do a dooba dooba dooba?’ ” recalls Kaye, “and we’d go, ‘What’s a dooba dooba dooba?’ ” Kaye was unaware she was helping to create a masterpiece with Pet Sounds and on an instrument associated with Wilson. “[Pet Sounds] was just some more work for Brian,” she says. “By that time, he was having hit after hit after hit, so we thought, Okay, this is just another one.” Not quite. When Paul McCartney rhapsodizes about how the bass lines on that album partially inspired Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, he’s talking about Kaye’s performance.
Carol Kaye (born Smith) grew up too fast like a lot of Depression-era children. Her parents were musicians, but her father sold her mom’s piano to finance a move from Washington to Wilmington, California, at the start of World War II. He was abusive, which is partially why Kaye takes a complicated view of Beach Boy patriarch Murry Wilson, who allegedly smacked Brian so hard he went deaf in one ear. “I’m not trying to stick up for him,” she says. “But most of us got hit back then. [In our house] the only thing that stopped the fights was music. I got the picture: If you do music, it makes things all right.”
At 9, Kaye encouraged her mom to divorce her father and took odd jobs cleaning apartments to earn some extra income. Perhaps noticing young Carol singing around the house, Kaye’s mom saved up $10 and bought her 13-year-old daughter a steel guitar from a traveling salesman. “Probably to get me out of her hair,” Kaye says. She took lessons from a teacher in Long Beach, who eventually set her up with gigs playing bebop in L.A. nightclubs.
But jazz didn’t pay much, and Kaye worked day jobs, including as a comptroller at Hughes Airport, to support her mother and children. She’d had a baby at 16 and pretended to be a widow until she married musician Al Kaye two years later. They had a second child but divorced soon after. “He drank a lot, and I couldn’t stop it,” she says.
One night in 1957, producer Robert “Bumps” Blackwell, an early associate of Ray Charles, walked into Hollywood’s Beverly Cavern looking for a guitarist to play on Sam Cooke’s “Summertime.” Kaye hesitated, because studio work often spelled the end of a jazz career, but it paid more than she made in a week.
The work became regular. One day a bassist was a no-show, Kaye switched instruments, and after that she was first call — the highest compliment you can bestow upon a session musician. Kaye estimates she was making the equivalent in today’s dollars of almost $10,000 per week by 1965. She booked so many dates that she would lay down on her case to catch a few minutes’ sleep. Fellow musicians’ “wives would come down to the studio, and I’d joke, ‘I slept with your husband today!’ ” she says.
Kaye’s second husband didn’t approve of her job’s late hours, and he especially didn’t like it when she was playing with black musicians, which was often — the late virtuoso drummer Earl Palmer was a close friend. So one night, Kaye came home late from a session for Ike Turner, who had paid the crew in cash, and woke her husband up by dumping the money on the bed. “That’s what the ladies of the evening got back then,” she says with a grin. Kaye divorced him not long after, got a live-in nanny, and said, “Screw it, I’m working.”
Even in retrospect, Kaye doesn’t necessarily see that kind of career-oriented attitude as feminist. Honing her craft in jazz clubs, where women weren’t an anomaly, she didn’t consider gender an issue, so whenever she was treated to an insult, Kaye would hurl it right back with a “Well, you play good for a guy.”
It got to be so that if she couldn’t make a date, producers asked other bassists for “the Carol Kaye sound,” which she says boils down to clean lines, perfect timing, and hard picking that let her “dance on top of the beat,” which she does most gloriously on “Good Vibrations.” You can hear other prime examples on the opening to Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman,” on which her playing somehow translated the song’s feeling of mystical whimsy, and in the verve of her lines on Joe Cocker’s “Feeling Alright.”
As she talks, Kaye is momentarily distracted by an ice-cream truck cruising down the cul-de-sac, blasting a ragtime tune. “He stopped in front of my yard one time,” she says, eyeing the screen door. “I said, ‘Move that fucking truck!’ Excuse my language. I was shy for a while, but working with men all the time, it’s like, ‘Ugh, screw off.’ ”
A roundtable in 2015’s The Wrecking Crew documentary gives a sense of what it was like not to be a white guy in a studio in the ’60s. “I don’t think anyone ever really felt that [Carol] was a woman-woman,” says Hal Blaine, which probably passed for respect at the time. Meanwhile, guitarist Tommy Tedesco teases Kaye about the sexual-harassment lawsuits she could have filed. (Kaye did sue Tedesco in the early ’80s for allegedly calling her a “dumb cunt.”)
By 1969, Kaye was exhausted. She was sick of drinking multiple cups of bad coffee every day, and the music started to sound “like cardboard.” Things were even worse at home. Within the span of two weeks that year, Kaye’s first husband and fiancé both died, and her house was robbed. She got into a car accident on the way to one of the funerals, and then Charles Manson, whom she had met with Brian Wilson, masterminded a killing spree. “Everybody got scared,” says Kaye. “We pulled our names and phone numbers out of the union books so fast.” Some of her colleagues began carrying guns to work.
By then, Kaye had started a publishing company to release her book, How to Play the Electric Bass. She still went to the studio, but it was mostly for soundtrack work — that’s Kaye on the theme songs to M.A.S.H. and Shaft. More and more, rock bands felt that having other musicians on their albums was inauthentic.
“We knew that someday [the rock sessions] would stop,” says Kaye, who ended up on food stamps for a while after signing a crooked publishing deal (which she prefers not to discuss). Circumstances eventually improved, and she was content to return to playing jazz and transition into teaching. She estimates she makes a few thousand dollars a year in residuals from her studio days, though she has to be vigilant about tracking down contracts in order to prove that, yes, it’s her on Ray Charles’s “America the Beautiful.” It’s just another aspect of what’s become a minor battle for control over the Wrecking Crew narrative — getting credit, something Kaye doesn’t have an appetite for.
“I don’t need somebody to say ‘You’re great,’ because they could easily say ‘You’re terrible.’ But you can’t take away a person’s musicianship,” she says. “Everybody wants to be somebody. What is that? When you’re born, you are somebody. Why do you have to keep proving yourself all the time?”
*This article appears in the April 18, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.
Ever had a box of Pocky — the chocolate-covered pretzel sticks packaged in slim red boxes, found at every Asian grocery story and some American ones too? This is the snack you spent your allowance money on after school if your parents didn't happen to put a box in your lunch. And if they did, you...
Now that cannabis is legal and more and more places, we're going to start seeing pot bouquets! Cannabis is taking its turn in fabulous wedding greenery and this styled shoot is no exception. Let's spy the marijuana bouquet, boutonniere, and centerpieces all among the Rocky Mountains in Colorado — where it's all completely legal!
Venue: Lake Dillon, Dillon, CO • Planning: Petal & Bean • Floral: Petal & Bean • Photography: Marianne Brown Photography • Hair & Makeup: Majestic Mountain Beauty • Tables & Chairs: Hastins & Scout • Models: Correen "Bo" Roark & Phil On
Would you carry a pot bouquet? Tell us in the comments!
The 15-year-old actress who voices the cartoon character Dora the Explorer has been accused of peer pressuring her classmate into vaping, leading to the classmate's expulsion, BuzzFeed reports. Actress Fatima Ptacek wasn't directly named in the lawsuit filed by her classmate's parents against the high school, but was identified by being referred to as "the voice of Dora the Explorer."
The classmate, identified only as M.S., attended the elite Manhattan high school Avenues: The World School and was allegedly caught vaping caramel-flavored water in the school bathroom with Ptacek, the New York Post reports. Both girls are said to have confessed to vaping after at first denying it; Ptacek was reportedly suspended for three days, but M.S. was expelled for being "untrustworthy." According to reports, the classmate's parents think their daughter is being blamed as a "scapegoat" and that Ptacek got off lightly for being a celebrity.
The parents want their daughter to be readmitted to the school, and are seeking $40,000 in damages. "[M.S. did it] because [Ptacek] is older than M.S. and is a celebrity, being the actress who does the voice of Dora the Explorer on television and having a movie nominated for the Oscars," the lawsuit argues.
Neither a representative for Ptacek or Avenues: The World School has commented on the incident.
Finally, someone has combined the childhood fun of making s’mores with the adulthood pleasure of drinking by creating a custom shot that is filled with delicious goodness.
The s’mores Fireball shot is, much like actual campfire ooey-gooey delicious s’mores, surprisingly easy to make. You can find the full recipe on Delish, and the ingredients are everything you’d expect to get the full s’mores taste. A marshmallow and graham cracker mix coat the rim of the shot glass itself, while the actual drink itself is a tasty mix of chocolate liqueur, vanilla schnapps, and Fireball whiskey.
While the first two alcohols obviously add the famously sweet s’mores-like flavor, the Fireball addition is somewhat surprising only because you don’t expect a little cinnamon zest in your typical s’more. But in thinking about it, it’s the Fireball that really makes the whole thing distinctly delectable (and, in doing so, helps give the shot its name). By adding a hint of cinnamon and a little tingle to the shot, really makes you warm up immediately like you would if you were right by a campfire.
Not to mention, making these shots will give you the perfect excuse to go find some adorable little mason jar shot glasses. Can you imagine giving these out as wedding favors instead of the traditional “make your own s’more” kit? And who doesn’t want an excuse to go on a search for something fun and adorable?
The only real foreseeable problem with these drinks is that they’ll be too irresistible and (much like when you’re eating s’mores themselves) you may go a bit overboard and your body will regret it. We also should warn you to definitely keep the Fireball far, far away from any real campfires you may have burning in the vicinity. But, hey, YOLO because yum yum, am I right? Oh alcohol, is there really nothing you can’t improve?
Check out the video on how to make these scrumptious shots below:
The post Um, these s’mores Fireball shots are the stuff of dreams appeared first on HelloGiggles.
Gabby Warner craved a Google Glass headset when it first became available so she could search the web. But now, she’s using it for a more profound purpose.
“It’s helped me to understand some people’s emotions,” says Warner, who has autism. “I can tell when a friend is upset better now Read More …
Source:: Future of You – tagged “kqedscience”
Life is scary enough on dry land. If you ever set foot in an ocean, you'll have a better chance of emerging in one piece with a Sharkbanz shark-repellent wristband ($65), says HiConsumption.com. Created by two shark-fearing surfing enthusiasts, the band emits magnetic waves that disrupt the animals' electro-receptors. For the shark, the experience is similar to being in a dark room and suddenly confronting a very bright light: The flight instinct instantly kicks in. The band's patented technology works to depths of 200 meters, and no batteries are required because it's powered by Earth's magnetic field.
“The poor fellow died of Nostalgia,” said a war surgeon in 1861. “Deaths from this cause are very frequent in the army.”
During the Civil War, physicians believed that acute homesickness was a genuine disease and a sometimes fatal one. Symptoms included heart palpitations, fever, lesions, lack of appetite, incontinence and bowel irregularities and, ultimately, dementia. A veteran of the war described homesickness as a “vampyre-like,” sucking the life out of soldiers.
“The soldier’s dream of home” (Library of Congress):
Writing for the New York Times, historian Susan Matt writes that “between 1861 and 1866, 5,537 Union soldiers suffered homesickness acutely enough to come to a doctor’s attention, and 74 died of it.” Some believed that homesickness was the single most deadly threat to soldiers, above and beyond the war itself.
Physicians debated how best to avert nostalgia. Some said not enough letters from home caused it; others said too many could do so. Some units prohibited music that reminded men of home or sang its praises. They wondered whether young men — barely more than boys — were most susceptible. Or whether it was grown men, like the man in the image above — accustomed to the comforts of domestic life — who would miss home the most. If homesickness was untreatable, soldiers would be granted a furlough as a last resort and a few were honorably discharged, simply unable to function away from home.
Susan Matt, who has written a book about the history of homesickness, points out that Americans don’t think of themselves as homebodies anymore. They’ve re-cast themselves as natural adventurers who seek novelty and new experiences. When Europeans arrived on the East Coast, they didn’t sit there, they went West! Today, people get the “travel bug.” We are now a nation of tourists.
And when people do express homesickness, Matt observes, writing for the Council on Contemporary Families, we see it as a different kind of pathology: weakness or immaturity. When young adults don’t want to leave home, we call it “failure to launch,” “boomerang kids,” or “the Peter Pan syndrome.” Colleges now shoo away “helicopter parents” and have “parting ceremonies” symbolizing a “cutting of the cord” between parent and child.
But the word “homesick” reminds us that it wasn’t always that way, nor was it always so easy to dismiss feelings of nostalgia and isolation. The notion that we should be ruggedly independent and eager to set out on our own is only about 90 years old. So, the homebodies out there who first heard the word “staycation” and said YES! are holding up a true American tradition.Lisa Wade is a professor at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
People who don't know any better like to say Los Angeles has no seasons, but that isn't true; it has five overlapping seasons: the winter rainy season, spring, gloomy early summer (also known as jacaranda season), miserably hot late summer, which lasts through October, and Santa Ana season. For non-Angelenos, the most LA season is that brief spring, when the days are 72 degrees and sunny. But for Angelenos, who have a far more intimate relationship with both nature and apocalypse than the 72-degrees-and-sunny crowd will ever allow, the most Los Angeles season is Santa Ana season.
The mythology around the Santa Ana winds is potent enough that "Santa Ana winds in popular culture" has its own robust Wikipedia page, and they appear everywhere from Steely Dan's "Babylon Sisters" to Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero to a season four episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. But the most-known and most-cited appearances are in the opening to Raymond Chandler's story "Red Wind":
There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.
and the first part of Joan Didion's essay "Los Angeles Notebook":
There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension. What it means is that tonight a Santa Ana will begin to blow, a hot wind from the northeast whining down through the Cajon and San Gorgonio Passes, blowing up sandstorms out along Route 66, drying the hills and the nerves to flash point. For a few days now we will see smoke back in the canyons, and hear sirens in the night. I have neither heard nor read that a Santa Ana is due, but I know it, and almost everyone I have seen today knows it too. We know it because we feel it. The baby frets. The maid sulks. I rekindle a waning argument with the telephone company, then cut my losses and lie down, given over to whatever it is in the air. To live with the Santa Ana is to accept, consciously or unconsciously, a deeply mechanistic view of human behavior."
In a New York Times article in 1963, Eugene Burdick (who'd grown up in LA!) wondered for several pages how on earth California had recently passed New York to become the most populous state in the country. In 2016, his scene setting reads like a parody:
One summer day when a "Santa Ana" wind swept tons of desert dust aloft to combine with the smog to give Los Angeles a brown, hazy atmosphere, I visited Muscle Beach at Santa Monica. Sitting on a bench, peering through the warm, brown swirling air, were a dozen senior citizens watching a group of young men and women go through the tortures which produce heavily muscled and almost ridiculously perfect physiques.
Like every other common thing in Los Angeles, like everything else around here that Didion has turned her heavy-lidded eyes to, the winds have become a part of the story we tell ourselves about being Angelenos, like earthquakes and irritating development executives at parties, a mysterious force exotic enough to the folks Back East that they can use it to dismiss us.
Pleasant summer winds form over the Pacific Ocean. Santa Anas start in the Great Basin, beyond the Sierra Nevadas, in winter, when the air is cold and the jet stream leaves behind high-pressure systems, which spin clockwise, cold and dense, until the heavy air starts to slide down the mountains toward the coast. Lower pressure at the coast helps by sucking that cold air through the mountains toward Southern California. As it cascades down toward the Los Angeles basin, the air heats up and dries out, and it speeds up as it snakes its way through narrow passes and canyons, barreling out, finally, in the flats, blowing 110 miles per hour and 110 degrees, some days.
Santa Ana season lasts from October to April, but the winds blow just as hard (and sometimes harder) in September and May. Since the air in the Great Basin starts out hotter in those months, the Santa Anas blow hotter in Los Angeles, and they have a lot to do with those miserably hot late summers. "Typically the hottest daytime temperatures along the coast of Southern California have been recorded during Santa Ana winds," Alexander Gershunov, a research meteorologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, says.
Gershunov coauthored a paper published last month in Geophysical Research Letters about what he calls "the longest and probably most detailed record of Santa Ana winds available"—from 1948 to 2012. (The lead author was Janin Guzman-Morales, also of Scripps.)
The record reveals patterns in the wind’s behavior. They follow "a well-defined diurnal cycle," says the paper, where they're strongest in the morning "and decay to their minimum in the late afternoon." They're more common in El Niño years, when storms off California drop the pressure way low on the coast. They blow most often in December, which is predictable, "because that's when you have the coldest air masses, the longest nights in the High Desert…The longest nights and the weakest solar radiation." But some of the strongest winds have blown in the early fall.
That's bad news. In early fall, hillside plants have had all summer to dry out; the Santa Anas suck out any last moisture, and then all it takes is a poorly stamped out cigarette butt and the hills are on fire, flames fanned by more Santa Anas. Santa Ana fires burn harder, hotter, bigger, faster, and more often than other LA fires, and they burn closer to the city.
Or maybe Los Angeles is lucky and there is no fire on this particular Santa Ana day, but trees are uprooted, power's lost, you wake up to a sickly yellow-pink sky and the dog skidding in frantic circles on the hardwood and the escalating feeling you've forgotten something annoying but important.
Can we blame the winds? Raymond Chandler isn't the only one who holds the Santa Anas responsible for bad behavior—they're said to cause migraines, irritability, even suicides and murders.
In the 19th century, the winds were thought to be cleansing—an 1886 report from the California State Board of Health called them "health-giving" and informed Californians that, after a bout of Santa Ana, "the atmosphere becomes wonderfully clear, pure, and invigorating."
That report also noted an improbable sounding electricity in the Santa Ana air:
During the progress of this wind the air is highly electrified. Horses' tails stand out like thick brushes, the hair of the head crackles sharply when rubbed with the hand, and metallic bodies resting on an insulating material, such as dry wood, discharge themselves with visible sparks when a conductor is brought near. In one instance, it is said, the telegraph line between Los Angeles and Tucson, some four hundred and fifty miles in length, was detached from the battery and operated by the earth currents alone.
A man who wrote to the LA Times in 1893 to complain about the name of the Santa Anas still had to acknowledge that "it is generally admitted that the winds are beneficial to health, purifying the atmosphere and destroying germs of disease."
But nothing that powerful could possibly be good. By the 1960s, the Santa Anas had developed a reputation bad enough to attract a small amount of academic interest—in 1968, a geologist named Willis Miller published his findings that on about two-thirds of Santa Ana days, the homicide count in LA was above average. It's not terribly convincing data, and since then only journalists seem to have looked into the connection. In 2008, Los Angeles magazine tallied up a 22 percent increase in domestic abuse reports made to the LAPD during a string of Santa Ana days, and a 30 percent increase in reports to the Santa Ana PD.
I have neither heard nor read that a Santa Ana is due, but I know it, and almost everyone I have seen today knows it too. We know it because we feel it.
- Joan Didion
Didion wrote that the wind's effects force us to accept a mechanistic view of human behavior. So then what is the mechanism?
The Santa Anas are more or less a type of foehn, an ill wind that blows hot and dry down a mountainside, like the chinook in the far northwest of North America, the khamsin in North Africa, the zonda in the Andes. These hot winds might just be able to blow an electron off an air molecule, creating a precarious but possibly mischievous positive ion.
In the 1950s, a bacteriologist named Albert Krueger found that positive ions in the air could drive up the serotonin levels in a mouse's blood and drive it down in the mouse's brain. Serotonin can influence mood, migraines, breathing, and nausea. In 1974, a pharmacologist named Felix Sulman found high serotonin levels in the urine of Israelis who were sensitive to the sharav winds, and prescribed a strong dose of negative ions as the cure.
In 1981, social psychologists Jonathan Charry and Frank BW Hawkinshire published research suggesting that
mood changes…were present for most [subjects] when exposed to positive ions, [but] assessment of individual differences in susceptibility was essential for detecting effects on performance and physiological activation. For most [subjects], mood changes induced by ion exposure were characterized by increased tension and irritability.
They also found that when "ion-sensitive" subjects were exposed to positive ions, their skin became less conductive (this is a common psychological gauge) and their reaction times increased.
And in 2000, a group of neurologists published a study that found some migraineurs were more likely to get migraines on days before the chinook blew or on especially windy chinook days. But only two of their subjects got migraines on both types of days, and most got none at all.
So if you've gotten high off ions, get ready for the comedown: a 2013 meta-analysis of ion/mood studies carried out between 1957 and 2012 found "no consistent influence of positive or negative air ionization on anxiety, mood, relaxation, sleep, and personal comfort measures." (It did conclude that negative ions might be able to reduce depression.)
The meek little wife Chandler evokes is a convenient lie. She's just a psychopath or has snorted too much cocaine. That anxious feeling is really a hangover we don't want to admit to ourselves and who ever knows why the dog does what she does. The science doesn't make a difference; Chandler and Didion and the rest of us just notice late in the afternoon when the air is staticky dry and hot that all day we've been getting the sense that something just beyond our reach has gone sour. It's not the ions. It's just the wind.
No one is too eager to tell the truth about the Santa Anas, least of all the Santa Anans of Orange County, whose city is miles away from the Santa Ana Canyon the winds are named for.
Santa Ana fires have burned pretty regularly from at least as far back as 1425, but no one seems to have asked or documented what the Tongva or Chumash called the winds. The earliest Anglos didn't have a name—in a 1943 article in California Folklore Quarterly, Terry Stephenson cites Dana Point namesake Richard Henry Dana's recollection of "a violent northeaster" in 1836.
Like a very boring noir, the Chamber of Commerce seems to be behind so many wrong things we all say about the Santa Ana winds.
By the end of that century, though, they were the Santa Ana winds. That 1886 California State Board of Health report says the Santa Ana got its name "because it frequently issues from the Santa Ana pass." An angry Santa Anan wrote to the LA Times in 1893 that the winds "take the name of Santa Ana by reason of their passage through the Santa Ana mountain cañon" (which was a "gross injustice to Santa Ana and Orange county"). In 1912, the LA Times said that "Early settlers in this part of Southern California gave the wind its name, because it was alleged to gain access to the region through the Santa Ana Canyon." The 1930s WPA guide for the region says the canyon "gave its name to the hot dry Santa Ana winds that occasionally sweep the southern California coastal counties."
Once he has made clear that "old-timers…have always known that the wind got its name because it swept out of the mouth of the Santa Ana canyon," Stephenson documents all the lies about how the winds got their name—a general named Santa Anna was known for his dust-kicking cavalry, there was a notable wind on St. Ann's day (in July!) during the Spanish era, and the one that has stuck:
The idea was that everybody was mistaken about the name of the wind. It should be called a Santana, which, the Chamber of Commerce was told, was an Indian name for a desert wind...Nobody has ever named the tribe that was supposed to have used the name, and nobody has any story as to how away back yonder in the '70's settlers in the Santa Ana Valley managed ingloriously to twist the name into Santa Ana.
By 1967, this story had twisted into this story, in the LA Times:
Others said the Spanish padres translated the Indian term for devil wind into "viente satanas" (wind of Satan).
Satanas and Santana had been corrupted into Santa Ana, they said.
Santa was and still is widely believed to be the true name of the winds which originated with the Indians.
However, a recognized authority on Indian language says no such word as Santana ever existed.
Like a very boring noir, the Chamber of Commerce seems to be behind so many wrong things we all say about the Santa Ana winds. In 1912, the LA Times reported that they had
fathered a movement and campaign of education to get rid of the name Santa Ana as attached to the desert wind that pays occasional visits to parts of Southern California. The directors have passed a resolution asking the newspapers to call the wind a norther or a desert wind, anything so long as it be no longer designated as a Santa Ana wind. The public is called upon to refrain from referring to the wind in letters and conversation as a Santa Ana wind.
Some Orange County businessmen threw a tantrum and now here we are a century later saying "Devil Winds." On the other hand, as Stephenson writes, "at Santa Ana and everywhere else the wind was still a Santa Ana."
We don't seem to have changed the winds, but we have accidentally helped to make them more dangerous.
Global warming is expected to heat the Great Basin faster than the coast, which should mean less cold air and high pressure to fuel the Santa Anas, but so far that hasn't happened. "There already has been a warming—not as much as we expect in the future—but we don't see any reduction of Santa Ana winds activity in the long record of Santa Ana winds," says Gershunov. He says that the strength with which the winds blow in warmer months like September "tells me the intensity of Santa Ana winds is not controlled just by the temperature of the cold air mass over the Great Basin…In the global warming context, it seems that the answer is more complicated."
Actually, Gershunov and his coauthors "didn't really see any significant changes in wind frequency or anything else" over 65 years of Santa Anas. Except for one thing: "extreme Santa Ana winds seem to be getting more common, at the expense of run-of-the-mill events," but they don't think that has anything to do with global warming; it seems to correspond instead to the Great Pacific Climate Shift of the 1970s (which is pretty much what it sounds like, but we'll talk about it another time).
"We don't really understand right now how the Santa Ana winds might change in a warming climate," but scientists have a much better idea of how precipitation will change: there's probably going to be a lot less of it in Southern California. Southern California fire season comes in the fall, later than the rest of the western United States, because of the Santa Anas. But parched vegetation is the fuel, and the longer the dry season lasts into winter, the longer vegetation stays parched, the longer Santa Ana season has to set it all on fire.
We'll leave our mark before we're done here in the basin, but the Santa Anas were blowing long before Los Angeles began and they'll be blowing long after it's gone. The city they dishevel today isn't the same one Chandler and Didion wrote the myths of so many decades ago—here at the beginning of the 21st century, we have different priorities and we're writing new myths. But while we might demolish the freeways and the stripmalls, or build towers on every block, the mountains will always rise up in a ring around Los Angeles; the cold, high air will always be pulled down through the canyons, taking on heat, whipping up any palm leaves that are left, unsettling the locals, whatever beasts they may be.
Scott Baio has found one place where he isn't in charge: His local Starbucks.
— Scott Baio (@ScottBaio) April 2, 2016
The former teen idol and vocal Donald Trump supporter shared on Twitter that last week, he went to buy his wife a cup of coffee, and asked that the barista call out "Trump" when it was ready. He tweeted out a photo of the cup, clearly emblazoned with "Trump," and said the barista refused to say the name aloud. "Must be a Bernie voter," he mused.
Later, he retweeted photos from followers who used "Trump" in lieu of their own names at Starbucks and a random fast food restaurant, and took credit for starting the "give the Trump name" trend. Over the weekend, Baio told Fox News he's a fan of Trump because the Republican frontrunner is a "straight shooter" and "when he talks, I understand him." Starbucks has not commented on the issue, and in the barista's defense, she was probably just really confused as to why he didn't want the cup to say "Charles."
Some little girls dream of becoming Princesses. Others dream of movie stardom. And still others dream of a world where cats and dogs can serve side-by-side on the police force. At least that’s what the 5-year-old Eliza Adamson-Hopper dreams of. And, despite her young age, this girl knows how to make her dreams a reality.
After a conversation with her father about police dogs, Eliza asked the very logical question as to whether or not man’s other best furry friend served on the police force. When she found out that there were no felines on the force, she decided to write a letter voicing her concern and making a convincing cat case. She argues that they’re great at hearing for danger, have excellent directional skills, and are excellent climbers who could help people stuck in trees (as they often are themselves).
— Mashable (@mashable) April 2, 2016
Touched by her letter, Chief Constable (and fellow cat-lover) Barton responded that she made some great points, and even included a drawing of his own cat.
— Renee’ Martin (@sachikoko) April 2, 2016
And the Chief Constable wasn’t kidding. He discussed the idea with higher ups because, according to the Huffington Post, they also responded to Eliza’s letter. The Durham Constabulary Dog Unit (her local police force) thanked her for the idea. They said that while it was an excellent one, the police dogs on the force may not always get along with their cat friends, blaming the dogs for being too bossy. But they then invited her to several educational events to learn meet the existing police dogs and learn more about how animals help out the officers.
Eliza and her family seem to be excited about the responses, even if they didn’t (yet) result in uniformed kittens. The family was grateful that Eliza and her creative suggestion was taken seriously and respectfully responded to.
Who knows? Maybe someday the little girl will be so inspired by the kindness of the officers that she’ll join the force herself and create her own cat task force. When you’re already making waves at 5-years-old, anything is possible.
We’re rooting for you, Eliza. Not only because you’re a young go-getter, but also because we really want to see more cats in uniform.
The post Police cats might soon be a thing thanks to this little girl’s convincing letter appeared first on HelloGiggles.
The huge sign asks neighbors to be grateful for construction noise, skyrocketing property values
An incredibly tone deaf sign posted outside of a Highland Park home under construction has been getting plenty of attention today, as social media users have been reposting images of the sign as a symbol of the ongoing gentrification wars in one of Los Angeles's most rapidly changing neighborhoods.
As Eastsider LA reports, the sign was posted by frustrated contractor Roger Scalise, who was apparently tired of receiving noise complaints from fed up neighbors. In its full text, the sign reads:
PLEASE Be PATIENT we are almost done. Instead of COMPLAINING you should be thanking Nikki and Jeremy the owners of this house for bring [sic] UP your PROPERTY VALUE. Have a NICE Day.
TV writer Steffen Schlachtenhaufen was one of the first to weigh in on Scalise's words of advice (above). Subsequent commenters were a little less measured in their criticism of the condescending and erratically capitalized message.
Thank the nice white people for bringing up home values in the barrio (that you can no longer afford) https://t.co/wLSuzc7ieL— Dennis Romero (@dennisjromero) March 29, 2016
As LAist points out, a sign asking for neighbors to be grateful for rising housing values is bound to touch a nerve in a neighborhood where longtime renters are being priced out, and in many cases evicted as landlords sell high on buildings that have seen enormous surges in value recently.
All the commotion seems to have inspired homeowner Jeremy Buchan to issue a response. In a tweeted reply to Schlachtenhaufen, Buchan says that the story behind the sign is complicated, but that it will be coming down. Apparently conscious of the sign's gentrification connotations, he was also quick to point out that his wife has lived in the home for the past 30 years.
Is this odd, fun, troublesome house destined for the wrecking ball?
Judging from the listing for this weird, 1970s Sierra Madre pad, things aren't looking too promising for its future: "Property sold 'as-is' condition for land value only, possible build up to 6500 SF new house."
Not a huge surprise, considering that the partly mirrored pyramid reportedly gets hot as a "jungle greenhouse" in the summer—a problem a previous owner sought to alleviate by simply turning the sprinklers on and letting the water wash over the mountain of glass—and, according to the listing copy, is in need of "a lot" of repairs.
Sited on a roughly one-acre property, the glassy structure holds two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a spiral staircase that once occupied a London sewer, and is reportedly entered by a giant round door that guests have to physically roll open.
The main residence/pyramid shares the property with a one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest house, a wide patio, and a dusty hot tub. Last sold in 2014 for $790,000, it's back now, asking $990,000.
Probably won't go until the kids are back in school in September, but it's been cool to see the castle on the top of the hill every time I drive by.
Here's the full menu — and yes there will be Butterbeer.
Come April 7, guests will be able to traipse through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, transporting themselves to Hogwarts and the surrounding Hogsmeade Village. Faux-rustic buildings and quaint shops are certain to fit the bill with fans of the book, but it's the meals at Hog's Head Pub and Three Broomsticks that everyone's sure to be most excited about.
Below is an entire menu of what's to come at Three Broomsticks, the core dining space found inside the Wizarding World park area. Leaning on heavy British pub fare, guests should expect everything from shepherd's pie to fish & chips, with an ongoing prime rib 'Sunday roast' as well. What's more: the park will actually be open for lunch, serving both English and American-style breakfasts from inside Three Broomsticks as well.
Hog's Head Pub is adjacent to the dining area, but carries slightly more of an over-21 feel. Guests needing just a sip to take the edge off can grab a small variety of mixed drinks as well as the usual slew of big name beers. There are also three brews made specifically for the park: a Hog's Head Brew red ale, a Dragon's Scale lager, and a Wizard's Brew porter.
Perhaps most importantly, both Three Broomsticks and Hog's Head Pub will be serving Butterbeer, the beloved drink from the book that (surprise, surprise) is actually non-alcoholic, and tastes more like a butterscotch float than anything else.
Though prices aren't listed on the above bill of fare, don't worry — nothing is too spendy here. Most main entrees clock in at or around $15, with a more inexpensive children's menu available as well.
By the time the doors open on April 7, Universal Studios should have a Honeydukes in place as well. That's the famous sweets shop from within the Harry Potter universe, which will supply everything from simple chocolates to curiosities like Every Flavor Beans and Toothflossing Stringmints.
When it opens in April, expect The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to gather up some massive crowds of teens and adults alike, both of whom have connected with the film and literature series for well decades now. Now they'll be able to eat their way through the books as well.
The chair and its always smiling occupants have been spotted around Sawtelle
Apparently there's a guy regularly scooting around the Sawtelle area of West Los Angeles in a papasan chair mounted to a motorized wheelchair, because when someone posted a picture to Reddit yesterday of the chair on Olympic Boulevard (via CBS LA), the first comment was "This guy again" with a link to more photos of the creative gent and his unusual mode of transport out on the town on Sawtelle Boulevard.
Commentary on the most recent photo, snapped at Olympic and Bundy (not at Pico, as the original post indicated), includes some insight from a Reddit user claiming to be the cousin of the young man who created the wacky mobile chair. The cousin described the papasan driver as a smart guy from "a long line of pranksters with good senses of humor." That explains him performing a few 360-degrees spins in a parking lot for some random strangers:
The papasan pilot and his female companion are always smiling in the candid photos taken of them—and Reddit commenter reports of papasan sightings elsewhere in West LA note the same—so maybe the ride is just as fun as it looks. Or maybe, because it's a papasan chair, they're just stuck and are trying to make the best of their situation in a graceful way.
One Reddit user notes in the comment thread that this guy and his tricked-out chair are "so West LA it hurts," which sounds like a solid endorsement of the neighborhood, for anyone considering moving there.
The all-female bike crew Ovarian Psyco-Cycle fights against gentrification
The Ovarian Psyco-Cycle Brigade is the subject of a new documentary that played to critical acclaim last week at South by Southwest. The film, directed by Kate Trumbull-LaValle and Joanna Sokolowski, is called Ovarian Psycos and documents the all-women group of bicyclists that has been riding through the streets of Boyle Heights and East LA since 2010—their faces often covered by black bandanas featuring illustrations of female anatomy.
Working with activist groups within the community, the OPC advocates on behalf of bicyclists without fully embracing the "neighborhood revitalization" mindset of other pro-bike groups. According to the brigade's website, "OPC exists in Los Angeles because LA is dominated by car culture, and bike culture is dominated by middle and upper class white men. We believe that it is dangerous to live in a society that doesn’t cultivate community, sisterhood, brotherhood and compañerism@."
Boyle Heights is in the midst of a mighty struggle with the forces of gentrification, and the members of OPC are trying to walk the fine line between creating a more bike-friendly environment and creating an environment that caters to outside interests. In an interview with Good magazine, OPC founder Xela de la X said that "one of the telltale signs of gentrification in our communities is [the appearance of] bike paths." She argues that, while bike paths make cyclists feel safer, they also act as welcoming beacons to potential gentrifiers.
In a separate interview with Fusion, De la X said that "Coming from working-class, under-resourced communities, we fight back against gentrification, the war that threatens our access and mobility, as we fight against deportation and detention centers."
In 2013, OPC organized a six-city event dubbed Clitoral Mass, which brought together feminist activists and bicycling groups across the country. "Access and mobility is very important to us, because that’s been taken from us," De la X said to Good. "It’s been a very limited experience for most of us growing up. I don’t want my daughter growing up fearful. I want her to fucking navigate. We run this shit. And we have sisters that will run this shit with us."
In Portland, two wealthy people are battling over something exceedingly strange—the right of a mother to be listed as a genetic parent to an infant son they created through IVF and welcomed through a surrogate.
Have you ever looked at your food—let’s say you’re eating a sandwich—and thought, “Whoa, what if the bread and the turkey and tomato were fucking right now, like having a threesome or whatever? Oh wait, the lettuce is there too. It’s a fucking like, uh, a fucking foursome. HAHAHA WAIT THERE ARE TWO SLICES OF FUCKING BREAD. IT’S A FUCKING FOOD ORGY OH MY GOD,” and laughed so hard you couldn’t finish your sandwich? If so, Sausage Party might be right up your alley.
The police in the Massachusetts town of Charlton have told residents to keep their eyes peeled for men looking to challenge pedestrians to "rap battles," The Associated Press reports. According to the police, a black SUV full of men in their late teens or early 20s pulled up to three teenage boys last Saturday:
One of the men — described as having brown hair and a pale complexion, wearing a gray T-shirt, gray pants and open-toed sandals — got out of the vehicle and started rapping while the other men asked the boys if they wanted to "spit some bars" with them.
When the boys declined, the SUV drove off. [WCVB]
The police said the incident didn't appear to be an abduction attempt but that the behavior "was suspicious." Anyone with information is asked to contact police, although another advisable course of action might be brushing up on the Nicki Minaj verse of "Monster."
thought this blind item was about me (after all, are we not all potential future EGOT winners?)
This potential future EGOT winner has been eating Ramen the past few days because she could not find a guy to take her to dinner and she can’t cook. Apparently she will not dine alone and all of her friends were busy too.
I used to live with three girls and their respective boyfriends. One of the boyfriends was a beardo with homemade tattoos who never locked the bathroom door when he was taking nude shits at night. Anyway. Tom was really into illegal raw milk, and the fridge was always full of it. Whenever he'd talk about a new "source" or the clandestine ways he'd get raw milk from rings that were in danger of being busted up by the po-po, I always imagined a Donnie Brasco style hipster undercover cop with a handlebar mustache on a tall bike who has to infiltrate crowds of artisanal youths and ask all smooth, "Heyyyy, brosephs, know where I can get my hands on some raw?" "How do we know you're not a cop?!" etc.
Lawmakers in West Virginia got pretty sick in the days after passing a bill to legalize raw milk — and now some are wondering if there is a relation between the two events. According to an anonymous complaint made to the Department of Health and Human Resources, the lawmakers came down with their illness after drinking raw milk to celebrate the bill's passing, WSAZ reports:
[Pat] McGeehan and some other lawmakers drank raw, unpasteurized, milk to celebrate the passing of a bill that makes it legal before getting sick.
Several lawmakers say a delegate who sponsored the bill, Scott Cadle (R-Mason, 13), brought in the drinks.
"[Cadle] caught me in the hallway, offered a cup to me, and you want to try to be a gentleman," McGeehan said. "I had a small sip and walked away and tossed the rest of it."
"I highly doubt raw milk had anything to do with [the sickness], in my case," McGeehan said. [WSAZ]
However, the CDC warns that "unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause foodborne illness and results in 13 times more hospitalizations than illnesses involving pasteurized dairy products." McGeehan nevertheless insists that there is a stomach bug making the rounds and the timing of his illness is entirely coincidental. Decide for yourself, and watch below.