« November 2013 | Main | January 2014 »

December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!


| permalink | December 31, 2013 at 09:06 PM | Comments (0)

Gittin' Hitched

Having just watched this, I thought it would be important for people to know which states permit marriage at 15 or 16. Based on this Wikipedia page (which may not be 100% reliable) I have prepared a little list of absolute minimum ages to marry in the various states. Usually when you are below the age of 18 there are additional requirements, and at even younger ages those requirements can become quite onerous. In Virginia and West Virginia, for example, there is no minimum age for a female if she is pregnant.

Here's the list:
18: Delaware

17: Mississippi men, Nebraska, Oregon

16: District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii men, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, South Carolina men, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia men, West Virginia men, Wisconsin

15: Utah, Hawaii women, Indiana, Mississippi women, North Carolina

14: New Hampshire men, New York

13: South Carolina women, New Hampshire women

The remaining 24 states have no absolute minimum age.

Another of his points is that the Bible and God are required before you can hunt. IOW, anyone not a Christian or Jew can eat only domesticated animals and plant products. Before the Bible was assembled, that rule applied to everyone. It had to be quite a cultural challenge to domesticate animals while everyone was a vegetarian. I suppose eggs and dairy were in a sort of gray zone.

To wrap this up, if you Google that Washington quote you'll find an ample number of scholarly websites that say there is no good evidence he ever said that. It was first attributed to Washington in 1835 - 36 years after his death.

Filed under History,Nutjobs,Religion | permalink | December 31, 2013 at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)

Utah Requests Stay

The State of Utah has filed a request for a stay of Judge Shelby's decision. The request was submitted to Justice Sotomayor today. You can read the request here (PDF).

The state cites the Windsor decision (the one that invalidated section 3 of DOMA) because that decision required the federal government to accommodate the various state laws on marriage, including laws that permit same-sex marriage. They say that by the same reasoning, the federal government should respect Utah's ban on same-sex marriage.

They point out that Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito indicated in their dissent from the Windsor decision that they believe states can constitutionally restrict marriage to man-woman unions.

They cite Loving (interracial marriage) in support of the state's view!

The contrast with Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. at 10-12, which involved an invidious system bent on racial oppression, could not be more stark. Here the district court begged the question in presuming that gays and lesbians are entitled to the same judicial protection accorded racial minorities, especially where the traditional definition of marriage exists not to oppress homosexuals but to further other vital social ends.

They make the argument that banning same-sex marriage increases the likelihood that children will grow up with both of their biological parents who will be married. They claim that the way this works is that when the state holds up man-woman marriages as the preferred arrangement then that increases the likelihood that they will exist, stay together, have kids and raise them. And you can see how well that works by looking at divorce rates. Legislatures certainly hold marriage to be preferred over divorce and Utah's legislature even more so. Utah's divorce rate in 2011 was 3.7 per 1,000 people. Nationally the rate is 3.6 per 1,000 people. Massachusetts, which has permitted same-sex marriage longer than any other state, enjoys a divorce rate of 2.7 per 1,000 people. Damn those statistics!

The Attorney General's office covers its collective ass by saying that even if their theory is wrong, it's what some legislatures think and the courts can't say otherwise. IOW, a state legislature can never be overruled by a court. And that's why we still enjoy all the benefits of Jim Crow law today!

Utah has said it will involve counsel from outside its own Attorney General's office for this process. That outside counsel is still unidentified. It has been estimated that the appeal may cost the state $2 million.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | December 31, 2013 at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

Tenth Circuit Schedules Utah

The opening brief in the appeal of Judge Shelby's recent decision on same-sex marriage will be due January 27, 2014. Response due February 18. Reply brief due February 25. After that there will be oral arguments.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | December 31, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

The Man Burns In 242 Days

And the construction of some art projects is underway. A group calling itself "The Pier Group," because they are the ones who built the Pier in 2011 (neat how that works), is building a wooden structure called "Embrace" that will be "two 70-foot androgynous tree people who are wrapped in a moment of close connectedness." They will be submitting the design for consideration as the temple. It doesn't sound like any temple we've had at Burning Man before, but that doesn't mean it can't be. I think if you are picked to be the people to design and build the temple, you get access to a lot bigger subsidy from the Burning Man organization.

The construction of "Embrace" is happening at "The Generator," a 35,000 square foot community art warehouse in Sparks, Nevada. The Executive Director of The Generator is Matt Schulz who is also the lead artist in The Pier Group. More than 27 large art projects were built at The Generator last summer. He sees The Generator as a way to make Reno a better place and to create jobs.

"We want to ensure that by the end of 2014 the Generator is a source for inspiration for everyone in this community and that we have sparked a really incredible creative renaissance across the entire board where everyone across the nation can look at Reno and say, 'This is an amazing city.'"

The Reno Gazette Journal has this video of Mr. Schultz at The Generator.

Filed under Art,Burning Man | permalink | December 31, 2013 at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2013

Angelus Rosedale Cemetery

I forgot to upload the photos I took at Angelus Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles on Thanksgiving Day.

Hattie McDaniel (3877)
Hattie McDaniel
. She has a memorial in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, but couldn't be buried there because that cemetery did not permit blacks at the time of her death. Her Wikipedia page.

"Rosedale was the first cemetery in Los Angeles open to all races and creeds."

Hattie McDaniel
The pink stone in the lower foreground is Hattie McDaniel's memorial in Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Angelus Rosedale Cemetery (3882)
The Veterans section
- mostly Civil War.

Angelus Rosedale Cemetery (3885)
"Wounded at Five Forks VA."
"Dead Oh No Life Everlasting"

Angelus Rosedale Cemetery (3887)
Grand Army of the Republic.

View the rest of the photos here.

In 1887 this cemetery had the only crematory west of the Rockies, and only the second one in the U.S. Find A Grave lists 65 famous people who are buried in Angelus Rosedale Cemetery. Two that I'd like to find are Art Tatum and Anna May Wong, but the site doesn't give a location for either of them. If anybody's got a clue to give me, send it along.

Filed under Film/Movies,History,Photography | permalink | December 30, 2013 at 08:13 PM | Comments (0)

Judge Shelby

The N.Y. Times has an article about Judge Shelby who ruled that Utah's Amendment 3 was unconstitutional about 10 days ago.

  • Registered Republican
  • Combat engineer in the Persian Gulf conflict
  • Recommended by Senator Hatch
  • His nomination was endorsed by Senator Mike Lee, a "Tea Party Republican"
  • He's been on the bench less than two years
  • Born in Wisconsin
  • Lives in Utah
  • Has a wife and two kids
  • In private practice he worked in white-collar criminal defense, commercial law and serious personal injury lawsuits
  • Part of the defense team when Olympic officials were accused of bribery in the effort to get the 2002 games
  • Used to do free legal work for poor defendants - usually two a year
  • The only political contribution the Times could turn up was $50 in 2010 to a Republican running for state legislature
  • Religion unknown to the public
  • "I believe it is the judge's responsibility to reach decisions based exclusively on the application of established precedent to the specific facts presented."
  • Referred to the plaintiffs by first name in his ruling

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | December 30, 2013 at 07:02 PM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2013

Great L.A. Walk 2013 Photos (part 2 of 2)

These are some photos from the last half of the Great L.A. Walk 2013. These start at Whittier Drive and Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills, proceeding southerly on Whittier to Wilshire Boulevard and then west on Wilshire to the very end. This link will put you in the middle of the complete set of photos at Whittier and Wilshire.

modern home
This striking modern home is right on the corner of Whittier and Sunset in Beverly Hills.
I didn't catch the actual address, so my Googling has turned up nothing. If you know anything about this house (owner, architect, history, occupant, anything) please let me know.

modern home

Something more traditional


Beverly Hilton
We've reached Wilshire Boulevard and that's the Beverly Hilton you see

Beverly Hills sign
I didn't get a photo of the one where I entered Beverly Hills
, so here it is as I look back upon departing that fine city. Then there was a long stretch as Wilshire passed through the middle of a golf course.

West of that golf course the character of Wilshire changes completely and becomes almost all high-rise residential buildings
. On the 9th floor of the building on the right you can see how they solve the problem of a resident who wants a satellite dish. They bust out a window on the balcony and point the dish out the opening.

Wilshire Boulevard
This is the corner where the other Great Walker with a GoPro (William Campbell) caught up with me
. Click here to see a photo Mr. Campbell captured of me just as my camera shot the photo above.

Westwood United Methodist Church
Westwood United Methodist Church

This doorman (well, in NYC he'd be called the doorman; I don't know if they use different nomenclature in L.A.) pointed at my GoPro and said "Hey, that's nice!"
I haven't yet decided if he was being sarcastic or not.


residential building
Some of the residential buildings showed a little creativity and broke from the dominant late-20th Century look

University BIble Church
University BIble Church

Westwood Presbyterian Church
Westwood Presbyterian Church

I was taking a photo of the garden
, but now I see that this building is Showtime Networks, Inc.

federal building
The federal building at Wilshire Boulevard and the 405

young couple
This couple thought it would be great to get all affectionate right by the pedestrian walk button at the 405!
I had to walk right up to them to push the button and I could tell the man thought I was getting into their space a little bit. Oh, hey, that's one of the new overpasses on the 405 in the background.

Westwood Veterans Center
The Westwood Veterans Center
. The California AIDS Lifecycle ends at the Veterans Center every year.

Wilshire Boulevard
The lady in the foreground was asking a few questions about how the GoPro functions
. I think she was planning to buy one as a gift for someone. I recommended the Silver Edition.

Santa Monica
Santa Monica
. I think this is the first time I've seen this sign in daylight.

The Big Wave by Tony DeLap
The Big Wave by Tony DeLap welcomes me to Santa Monica
. This is a piece of public art owned by the city. When I Googled I found a couple of sites that listed Santa Monica's public art and neither of them included this. Here's more information about it. Erected in 1989, it was totally rehabbed almost three years ago and the original fiber optics were replaced with LEDs.

Whole Foods
Whole Foods

Wilshire Boulevard

Pacifica Christian High School
Pacifica Christian High School

W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz
W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz

iPad Mini
A non-Apple Store Apple dealer


After miles of high-rises in Westwood followed by solid commercial zones, it was a surprise to see this lone little bungalow on Wilshire
. It looked like it had been converted for some sort of non-residential use, but appeared to be vacant.

The streetlights came on at about 4:49 PM as I crossed Lincoln Boulevard, 11 short blocks from the ocean. At this point I was counting every block as a small miracle.

, a Mexican restaurant that was the official end-of-walk spot to eat and celebrate with all our co-walkers. I don't know if people actually continue on the ten blocks to the ocean and then come back to here, or if they consider this close enough and maybe finish the walk after dinner and drinks. In any case, the idea of socializing with a group of almost complete strangers never appeals to me at the end of this walk, so I've never participated.

man crossing street

automobile moving
The amazing GoPro camera reveals what my eyes were following

people on Wilshire
These ladies with the little kid on that classic trike (not a Big Wheel) said they had seen me walking "way back there" as they drove by and wanted to know what was up
. I told them and was curious how far back "way back there" was. Beverly Hills? Lincoln Boulevard? I didn't ask.

one block to go
One block to go
. This is where I had caught the bus to Echo Park at 7 AM.

Ocean Avenue
Ocean Avenue
and I just need a green light.

Pacific Ocean
Can't go no farther

sunset in color
Worth the walk

Filed under Architecture,California,Cities/Urbanism,GoPro,History,Photography,Religion | permalink | December 29, 2013 at 07:56 PM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2013

The Smart Robot Wing Of NASA Seems To Be In California

NASA researchers at Ames Research Center are working on this much more practical robot that would be able to drop onto another planetary body unassisted and then begin exploring. First probable destination for this device is Titan.

More info here. NASA Ames page about it here.

Filed under Science,Technology | permalink | December 28, 2013 at 07:44 PM | Comments (0)

Meet The Glamcocks

The Glamcocks are one of the high level gay camps situated in the heart of the gayborhood at Burning Man. I have no documentation to support this, but they are the only camp I know of at Burning Man that includes some physical requirements as well as all the other good community requirements to join. It can't be a coincidence that they all have extremely low body fat. I'm sure there isn't a waist line bigger than 30 inches in that camp.

So they made an hour long video called Meet The Glamcocks which starts out all Glamcocky, but gradually broadens out and addresses Burning Man more generally. Of course, if you've never been to Burning Man you may not be able to identify what's specifically Glamcock and what's generally Burning Man.

I don't want to upset all the fans of Spark, but this Glamcock video might be a better documentary of what it's really like to be at Burning Man. Yes, there's a history to Burning Man and there's office politics in San Francisco year 'round. But when you're on the playa, you don't see any of that. All you see is your little corner of the flood of light, sounds and smells. I recommend this for anyone who is thinking of someday making that journey to a better place.

Filed under Burning Man,Gay Issues | permalink | December 28, 2013 at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

Great L.A. Walk 2013 Photos (part 1 of 2)

These are some of my photos from the Great Los Angeles Walk of 2013, which took place on the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving. It was from Echo Park to Santa Monica via Sunset, Whittier and Wilshire. I managed to finish just after sunset so there enough light to continue getting photos with my GoPro the whole way...although in the last few blocks of Wilshire there were a lot of blurry ones. In this post I've got photos from only Echo Park and Sunset Boulevard - roughly the first half of the walk. (The complete set can be seen here). Most were shot with the GoPro, but there are some I shot with a regular, handheld camera.

Great LA Walk 2013 GPS Route
The route.

[09-02-51] Echo Park - Queen of the Angels
We met up at the Queen of Angels in Echo Park.

Echo Park Lake
Echo Park Lake.

Echo Park restrooms
This quaint restroom building in Echo Park holds a surprise inside.

Echo Park restroom
Open a door on the restroom, go inside, and you will find yourself plunged into darkness.
The only light inside leaks down from a vent high in the wall overhead. There are no electric lights - and no missing electric lights. It is nothing but a very small, but tall cubicle, with a prison toilet and a toilet paper dispenser. You had better memorize the position of everything before you close the door, because you won't be able to see it after the door is closed, unless you've brought a flashlight, and I had not. This photo makes it look much brighter than it really is.

Great L.A. Walk 2013
We start off and a few people notice my GoPro.


House of Intuition
House of Intuition.

Sunset Boulevard

Acid Fuzz
"Boutique Stompboxes"
by acidfuzz.com

Olive Motel
The Olive Motel on Route 66/Sunset Boulevard
. Built in 1946. Have to leave a $5 deposit for the TV remote, even if you don't want to watch TV, according to the Yelp reviews. A number of reviewers praise the water pressure and availability of unlimited hot water. For example:

Well, let me clarify that this is NOT a "3 star hotel" - it is a half-star motel. But! If you are passing through town, or passing out in town as my friend and I were at 4am after a bit of a bender, you cannot beat a $42 room (that's $42 dollars - cash - in total) in this seedy, run down parking lot compound.

But there is hot water in the shower in the morning and, really, the room isn't dirty or anything. It's right near Echo Park, I believe, and, I can only imagine that once the right hipster or band or culturati stay here, it's cache will increase 100-fold. Stay here, enjoy the price - I have stayed in plenty worse for plenty more - and party on!

VW Garage

Diablo Urban Taco Fabricator
Diablo Urban Taco Fabricator

dumpster diving
Good timing by my GoPro camera

Sunset Boulevard
There's a lot of sidewalk dining on Sunset Boulevard.

hipsters on Sunset Boulevard
Hipster street gang with what is called a "Silver Lake pitbull."

Bushmills bus stop
The message is: drink Bushmills and say "Yeah, bitch!"
I'm pretty sure.

Art on truck
Movable graffiti

Burning Man bicycles
Horror of horrors! This is exactly the sort of commercialization that BMORG does not permit
, especially if Burning Man isn't getting a cut of the action.

Rudy's barber shop
Near Hollywood & Sunset

medical marijuana facilities
Last year I documented every marijuana facility we passed, but this year there seemed to be a lot more
. Fewer, however, than restaurants offering sidewalk dining. This particular location at Hollywood & Sunset was the flashiest.

Kaiser Permanente on Sunset
The bridge from Kaiser Permanente to the Children's Hospital
...which is just west of the marijuana doctor's office above.

I didn't need their test to know if my personality was free or not.
Right across from Kaiser.

Self-Realization Fellowship
Self-Realization Fellowship

The dogs get bigger as you move west into Hollywood.

Sunset Boulevard
More sidewalk dining

US 101
Crossing the 101

KTLA tower

Emerson College
Emerson College

Superman ad
Superman ad

Chase Bank
Chase Bank at Sunset & Vine
, designed by Millard Sheets. Originally it was a Home Savings bank and stands on the site where the first full length Hollywood movie was made. It's not easy to find out what the first full length Hollywood movie was, but I think it may have been The Squaw Man by the Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company in 1914 (Jesse Lasky and Sam Goldwyn, partners). It was Cecil B DeMille's first production. Photos of the interior of the bank can be seen here.

The Flight of Europa
The Flight of Europa
by Paul Manship.

Cinerama dome
The Cinerama dome

Amoeba Music
Amoeba Music

Location of the first Emmy Awards
Location of the first Emmy Awards - January 25, 1949

Crossroads Of The World
Crossroads Of The World
- Built in 1936, it is known as " America's first outdoor shopping mall."

L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly

Hollywood Center Motel
The Hollywood Center Motel
which looks pretty creepy even from across the street. It has a 7-Up branded soda machine in front. When was the last time you saw one of those? Three Yelp reviewers were brave enough to admit staying there and none of them liked it. It has what purports to be its own Facebook page, but it might be just the creation of a "fan." It includes posts like "Don't forget, it took a really bad father to make such a good prostitute; at the Hollywood Center Motel" and "AUTUMN SPECIAL -- 10% off if you can prove your bed bug infestation originated here." It was used as a shooting location for at least four movies and TV programs, the most well known of them being L.A. Confidential. IAmNotAStalker.com tells us this was where Matt Reynolds (played by Simon Baker) died.

In the scene filmed at the Hollywood Center Motel, Hush-Hush magazine editor Sid Hudgeons (Danny DeVito) and Detective Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) set up a sting operation to catch the Los Angeles District Attorney in an illicit rendevous with homosexual prostitute [Simon Baker].

Real people have died there, too. From the December 7, 1986, L.A. Times: "The name of Dean Karny, the prosecution's star witness in both cases, has come up in connection with the murder of Richard Mayer, 21, whose decomposed body was found Oct. 18 stuffed in a trunk in a room at the Hollywood Center Motel."

A description of its place in Rock 'n Roll history is found in "Where the Action Was: On the Inside of the Evolution of Rock 'n' Roll" by Mark 'Hoss' Amans (Facebook):


Back to Los Angeles

I moved into the Hollywood Center Motel on Sunset Boulevard. For anyone in this business, the Hollywood Center Motel was the beginning, the middle, and sometimes, the end of the road. More dreams began and ended there than any other place in town. No one ever passed through there without being adopted by the manager, whom we always affectionately called Mom. Mom gave me special treatment and a discount on the room. I lived there at two different times. There was a large building behind the motel where groups used to rehearse, so there was always a lot of rock 'n' roll being played. Being a night person, I always slept in until about noon if 1 didn't have to go anywhere. One day I woke up and heard Buffalo Springfield rehearsing. Dewey Martin, who I had talked about earlier as being the first drummer for Kris Kristofferson, was in the Buffalo Springfield, and so was David Crosby. A lot of groups used to rehearse there, and I would go over and watch sometimes. It was just right around the corner. I have a lot of fond memories of the Hollywood Center Motel. Mom always had pictures of the groups that had stayed there in the office on the wall, and there were a lot of them, including the Raiders. To this day, it is still there. I have driven to it and looked around a couple of times; it brings back memories, but it is pretty run-down now. But it is definitely a landmark in Hollywood for rock 'n' roll. It is on Sunset Boulevard and Highland.

Dream Garden
Dream Garden

Hollywood High
Hollywood High
whose mascot is the Sheik, which is supposed to be based on the Rudolf Valentino film. I can't find any reports of any controversy about that name. A list of celebrities who attended Hollywood High is here. Big names: Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Carole Lombard, Alan Ladd, Laurence Fishburne, Cher, many more.

Liberal and Household Arts Building
The Liberal and Household Arts Building at Hollywood High
. Built with aid from the Public Works Administration and completed in March 1938 at a cost of $230,425. The architectural firm was Marsh, Smith and Powell.

In-N-Out next door to Hollywood High.

Sunset Boulevard
7039 Sunset Boulevard
looks like it should be architecturally interesting, but I was able to find an interior video shot by a real estate agent and it's just a dull little office building set back from the street behind an iron fence.

Guitar Center
Guitar Center

Sunset Boulevard

Fuck Everything

Botox Fill Freezefat
They also have flavored oxygen.

bikes in entryway

Sunset Boulevard


gated entryway

The Griddle Cafe
The Griddle Cafe
gets nothing but 4- and 5-star reviews. After walking past dozens of cafes with sidewalk dining, all with immediate seating available, it was a surprise to come across this crowd. The line stretched quite a way down the sidewalk. The food I saw being served was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Huge pastries/pancakes/sump'n that filled entire plates, oozing brown sugar, syrup, powdered sugar, and probably pure glucose as well. Yelp reviewers mention the Chocolate Chip Crusted French Toast, Apple Cobbler French Toast, Pancakes with Kahlua and Bailey's Whipped Topping, Pancakes With Oreos & Whipped Cream. See photos of the food here. The Griddle Cafe menu lists all their rich, sugary breakfast items, plus creative egg dishes, and lunch and dinner meals. You can get salads and fresh fruit, too.

Directors Guild Of America
Next door to The Griddle Cafe is the Directors Guild Of America
. The lady in the foreground is one of only two non-Great Walkers who commented on my GoPro. She asked "Looking for some intense action shots in Hollywood?" Then she headed into the Directors Guild, so maybe she could have offered me professional advice.

you need help

Laugh Factory
Laugh Factory

That giant iPhone was aqua colored.

stripper bar
Welcome to the Sunset Strip!
The Sunset Strip was the stretch of Sunset Boulevard that was not in Los Angeles. Today it is part of West Hollywood.

Carney's, where many of the walkers had lunch
. 4-stars on Yelp. Burgers and dogs.

This one's for Ric

House of Blues
House of Blues

Comedy Store
The Comedy Store

people on Sunset Strip

GNC billboard
GNC billboards

8760 Sunset Boulevard
8760 Sunset Boulevard
was built in 1967 for plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Alan Franklyn. The architect was Oscar Niemeyer who designed civic buildings for Brasilia. Today the building is occupied by Mutato Muzika, the music production company of Mark Mothersbough, founder of Devo.

The Viper Room
The Viper Room
was partly owned by Johnny Depp until 2004. River Phoenix died here in 1993. Long before it was The Viper Room it was a hangout of Bugsy Siegel and Mickey Cohen. This mural of Johnny Cash was created by David Flores.

Whisky a Go Go
Whisky a Go Go

Bonnie & Clyde ad
Bonnie & Clyde

Sunset Strip
The western end of the Sunset Strip where we transition from West Hollywood to Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills
Sunset Boulevard through Beverly Hills is fairly uninteresting
. It's almost 100% residential, enclosed behind high walls and foliage.

Well, this was a little bit interesting

underground reservoir
I believe this is an LADWP underground reservoir

Beverly Hills Hotel
And then there's the interesting Beverly Hills Hotel

Will Rogers Memorial Park
Will Rogers Memorial Park

modern architecture
Modern architecture is rare in Beverly Hills

Filed under Architecture,California,Cities/Urbanism,Film/Movies,GoPro,History,Marijuana,Music,Naturism-Nudism,Photography,Religion | permalink | December 28, 2013 at 04:37 PM | Comments (4)

December 27, 2013

Short Dramatic Video Shot With GoPro

This is the first use of a GoPro I've seen to tell a fictional story. The character with the camera seems to be a stuntman skilled in Parkour. Features lots of gruesome movie blood and violence.

Filed under Film/Movies,Photography | permalink | December 27, 2013 at 06:28 PM | Comments (0)

December 26, 2013

Christmas Day Hike

Xmas Pano
360° panorama in the Mecca Hills
during our annual nude Christmas day hike. You can see us about an inch from the left edge. Larger versions are available. See more photos here.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Naturism-Nudism,Photography | permalink | December 26, 2013 at 06:33 PM | Comments (0)

All Utah Counties In Compliance Now

After the office of the Attorney General threatened non-complying counties with contempt of court, they saw the light and began issuing marriage licenses to all comers today. Also, the Governor has ordered state agencies to change procedures for the delivery of state services. The state is now accepting food stamp and welfare applications from same-sex, married couples. "'We have no choice,' [San Juan County Clerk Norman] Johnson said Thursday. 'The scales have tipped. It's not the way I want to see things go. But the law's the law, and I accept it. It's time.'"

The couple that took the first steps of a lawsuit against Utah County were among the first to get a marriage license in that county today. The county clerk said he just needed to wait for the 4th refusal to issue a stay before he decided he had to do anything. He claims this was his "due diligence."

The State of Utah has decided to give Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor another day of rest. The Utah Attorney General has said it will be several days before they ask for a stay. Sounds to me like they are either trying to do deep, deep research and blue-sky brainstorming to come up with some untried argument to support a ban on same sex marriage, or they are preparing to roll over.

Winburn And Fowler
The Salt Lake Tribune photographed the Missuz Winburn and Fowler celebrating Christmas as newlyweds.
In a close up of the marriage certificate you can see that Utah already had gender neutral certificates. "'It feels really weird calling her my wife, saying we're married,' said Winburn, her green eyes darting to find Fowler's blue ones. 'But it also feels really cool.'" I leave it to someone else to repeat the old joke about lesbians and U-Haul.

In an opinion piece the Denver Post laments that Utah got there ahead of Colorado.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | December 26, 2013 at 05:07 PM | Comments (0)

Christmas Eve Hike

Here are some photos of the hike I did with Great Outdoors on the 24th. It was a one-way downhill hike from the vicinity of Indio Hills, along Pushwalla Canyon, ending near Sun City.

GOPS Pushwalla Hike (5536)

GOPS Pushwalla Hike (5538)

GOPS Pushwalla Hike (5541)

You can see the rest of the photos here.

Filed under Coachella Valley,Photography | permalink | December 26, 2013 at 04:09 PM | Comments (0)

Panono Panoramic Ball Camera

Shoot 360° spherical panoramas with a throwable ball camera equippped with 36 lenses. It shoots all 36 cameras simultaneously, eliminating the problem of subjects moving around while shooting. It's not for sale yet, but you can get in on the Indiegogo funding campaign and pre-order a camera for $499, which they say is a $100 discount from what the regular retail price will be. Expected to be available in "September." September comes once a year, but the video was uploaded in November 2013, so they probably mean availability in September 2014.

In the following video watch for the guy who looks at a Panono image on an iPad while rotating on a Segway. Nerdgasm.

Best use for one of these? Throwing at low-flying drones! It would capture 360° at the moment of impact.

Filed under Photography,Technology | permalink | December 26, 2013 at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

December 25, 2013

Queen Elizabeth II Grants Christmas Pardon

Of Alan Turing, more than 60 years after his death.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | December 25, 2013 at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

Courts Still Giving Utah Lumps Of Coal

Four times was not a charm for the State of Utah. For the fourth time the 10th Circuit has refused to stay Judge Shelby's decision that Utah's Amendment 3 is unconstitutional and unenforceable. And this time it was on Christmas Eve. But they haven't given up. Sometime on the morning of Boxing Day U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor will be getting a phone call from the office of the Utah Attorney General. She has three choices: grant a stay, deny a stay, take the stay to the full Supreme Court.

If it's relevant, and it probably isn't, Justice Sotomayor concurred with the majority in the Supreme Court's DOMA decision, but dissented on the Prop 8 decision.

If there is no stay, the marrying keeps happening through the appeals process.

Filed under Gay Issues | permalink | December 25, 2013 at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2013


Download this template and make one yourself.

| permalink | December 24, 2013 at 08:09 PM | Comments (0)

Petrified Life

It used to be, decades ago, that I would be willing to travel a bit and pay money to see good time lapse that was filmed in nature. Koyaanisqatsi I'm talking about. With advances in technology and dropping prices, anyone of modest income who is willing to work their ass off, travel and hike great distances, and has the patience of a tortoise can whip one of these out (a powerful computer helps). Stunning videos of celestial movements, flowing clouds, traffic have become so numerous that I skip most of them. But here's one I didn't skip. I recognize Lake Powell and (probably) Joshua Tree as locations, but there are others for you to identify. Scientist Phil Plait points out three particular moments to watch for:

  • 3:15 - there's a greenish cast to the light low in the sky which he says is airglow which is difficult to see with the plain (some say naked) eye.
  • 3:50 - a meteor burns up. You can't miss this one. "It left what's called a persistent train, a trail of ionized vapor from the solid bit of meteoroid as material blew off it."
  • 4:32 - the bright rising light is the moon, although it looks as bright as the sun. What's interesting is that when it's first visible it's a disc, then transforms into a crescent. When it looks like a disc you are looking at reflected earthglow. Phil Plait says you can see the bigger craters on the moon. Phil Plait has a much bigger display than I do.

Filed under Photography,Science | permalink | December 24, 2013 at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)