Dorothy Gambrell illustrates everything you wanted to know about California’s prison labor program, but were afraid to ask. They can only sell inmate-made goods to the state, and if the state cuts back, those prisoners lose their jobs. Jeez, in jail AND laid off? Can this prison sentence get any worse????
Prison labor, once best known for making license plates, has grown to 57 factories doing such work as modular building construction, toner cartridge recycling, shoemaking and juice packaging. Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek
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Ready for the battle of the burgers?
Who molds the most delicious patties? Who dashes the most finely-tuned selection of seasonings on those perfectly succulent bits of meat? Find out in this year’s annual Battle of the Burgers, an all-out brawl over who can find the best combination to put between a bun!
Last year’s winners are seen above, and all of the corresponding recipes can be seen here,
So to join this elite burger echelon, submit your own recipe to the our food section’s Facebook page starting tomorrow, and find out if your homegrown recipe can top the competition.
Photos: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
Big duck in the big city
The gigantic duck seen above is the work of Dutch conceptual artist, Florentijin Hofman. Titled “Spreading Joy Around the World,” the 16.5 meter-tall rubber duck has been traveling the world since 2007, appearing in 10 countries and 12 cities.
But after suffering structural damage, the duck has been unfortunately been deflated for repairs.
Photos: Jessica Hromas / Getty Images, Vincent Yu / Associated Press
Handing out Abercrombie clothes to shame a self-absorbed brand
Recent USC graduate Greg Karper, along with a friend, has taken to the street of Los Angeles to voice his disgust with comments from Abercrombie Chief Executive Michael S. Jeffries that have recently resurfaced.
“Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
To counter that “exclusionary” bend, Karper has purchased bundles of used Abercrombie clothes to hand out to the homeless of L.A., and is hoping that more people will do the same.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week begins next week (something we didn’t know existed until just a bit ago), and as a prelude to the festivities. the postal service has released a list of the cities with the most reported attacks on postal workers by dogs. And just look at who comes out on top…
From L.A.’s acting postmaster Ken Snavely:
“If our letter carriers deem your loose dog to be a threat, you’ll be asked to pick up your mail at the Post Office until it’s safe to deliver.”
Photo: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times
Click here to find a delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe perfect for your own noms.
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Angelina Jolie’s not the first to make a drastic choice as cancer looms
Jolie surprised the world earlier this week with the announcement that she had undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer, a decision that Los Angeles Times writer Anna Gorman is all too familiar with.
Fear of cancer is a horrible thing. It stays with you all day long, and it wakes you up at night.
I didn’t want to live with that, especially when I knew I could do something about it.
Like Angelina Jolie, I have a genetic mutation that increased my odds of getting breast cancer to nearly 90%. Also like Jolie, I chose to get my healthy breasts removed to reduce that risk to less than 5%.
Nearly five years after her surgery, Gorman is doing absolutely fine, her scars have faded and she’s glad that Jolie is bringing the tragic genetic condition that prompted both of their decisions to the forefront of the national conversation on cancer.
Read Gorman’s emotional story in full, as a part of our Column One series.
Photos: Anne Cusak / Los Angeles Times
Solar flares galore!
Last night, the fourth major solar flare of the week burst onto the scene in a flash of ultraviolet radiation. And there may be even more just around the corner:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasters say there’s a good chance that more solar flares are on their way. The agency says there is a 50% chance of X-class solar flares and an 80% chance of less powerful M-class solar flares, in the next 24 hours.
You can read more on the flares over at Science Now, but for the time being, we’ll step back and let you look at the crazy photos above a bit longer.
Photos: NASA Solar Dynamic Observatory / Associated Press
The Guardian has a multi-part, video heavy media set on climate refugees in America. I’d argue that the title “first” is a misnomer and would point to the coastal communities in Texas, New Orleans, and the Carolinas who’ve been retreating from the coasts for several years. But, the point is made - that sea-level rise and coastal erosion is much more aggressive than at anytime in history. Thus, tens of thousands of people are at immediate risk, especially the poor.
The above is one minute.
The people of Newtok, on the west coast of Alaska and about 400 miles south of the Bering Strait that separates the state from Russia, are living a slow-motion disaster that will end, very possibly within the next five years, with the entire village being washed away.
The Ninglick River coils around Newtok on three sides before emptying into the Bering Sea. It has steadily been eating away at the land, carrying off 100ft or more some years, in a process moving at unusual speed because of climate change. Eventually all of the villagers will have to leave, becoming America’s first climate change refugees.
Some great work here!
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Another rough day for the White House
Today continued the rough-and-tumble week for the Obama administration, following…
- Friday’s sudden discovery that the IRS had disproportionately screened conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
- The ongoing controversy over the administration’s handling of last year’s terrorist attack in Benghazi.
- And, finally, the sudden revelation yesterday that the Justice Department had secretly seized months of phone records from the Associated Press.
Attorney General Eric Holder today recused himself from the investigation into his own department’s probe of multiple AP reporters and editors, while announcing an extensive investigation into the IRS matter.
Holder also defended the seizure of AP records, claiming the AP’s leaked information posed a danger to the public:
“It put the American people at risk and that is not hyperbole. And trying to determine who is responsible for that requires aggressive action.”
White House Jay Carney refused to comment on the AP scandal, citing an ongoing investigation, but did say the White House, to his knowledge, had no idea about the IRS screening until just a few weeks ago.
Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Mark Lennihan / Associated Press
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Good news, everyone!
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“You don’t have to get my permission; go destroy them.”
Nader Haj Kadour, a classically-trained painter, always wanted to paint animals, landscapes and spoke to the Times at one point while painting a butterfly.
But for decades, the main subjects of his art were the late President Hafez Assad and his son Bashar, who is currently embroiled in the bloody Syrian civil war.
Their faces have dominated walls, storefronts and car windows all over Syria, a visual declaration of loyalty to the dictators. Their images — sometimes partially hidden behind sunglasses, other times in military uniform but always stern and slightly foreboding — were the ubiquitous reminders that Big Brother was watching.
Now, with the country in the midst of a longstanding civil war, and Kadour no longer under the thumb of the government, he works with rebels to paint caricatures of the Assads, and welcomes rebel fighters to tear down his representations of the brutal Syrian president and his family.
Read the full story in our latest Column One feature.
Photos: Raja Abdulrahim / Los Angeles Times
The photo above won the 2013 World Press Photo of the Year. It was photoshopped.
the event itself isn’t a fake — there are lots of other photos online that show the children being carried through the streets of Gaza — but the photo itself is almost certainly a composite of three different photos, with various regions spliced together from each of the images, and then further manipulation to illuminate the mourners’ faces.
-Jody, BL Show-
Another reminder to often take things with a grain of salt!
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Allegations of brutality, coverup by police in death of Kern County man
David Sal Silva, 33, a father of four, was declared dead last week after being beaten by Kern County sheriff’s deputies. The grisly event was caught on tape by two individuals present, but in a move that has riled the area ever since, police detained them until they seized the footage.
The scene, according to witnesses, was grisly. Ruben Ceballos, who was woken up by the sound of screaming only to find deputies pummeling Silva described it:
“I saw two sheriff’s deputies on top of this guy, just beating him. He was screaming in pain … asking for help. He was incapable of fighting back — he was outnumbered, on the ground. They just beat him up.”
From another witness’ call to 911:
“The guy was laying on the floor and eight sheriffs ran up and started beating him up with sticks. The man is dead laying right here, right now. I got it all on video camera and I’m sending it to the news. These cops have no reason to do this to this man.”
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood told the Times that it was too early to reach any conclusions on the matter, and that the footage was taken to preserve the integrity of the evidence. But local station KERO-TV Channel 23 has broadcasted a security feed showing figures assaulting a figure on the ground.
Photos: Henry A. Barrios / The Californian