Category Archives: Random

Cast no ballots?

L.A. primary elections, March 3.

Literally 10 minutes ago, as I was leaving  St. Matthew’s Luthern Church after casting my ballot in L.A.’s primary elections, a grateful pollworker yelled, “thank you for voting!” as I hopped onto my bicycle.  I was the last voter of the night, he told me (polls close at 8 p.m., and in typical procrastinator fashion, I didn’t start researching the candidates until late afternoon).

It seemed like this election didn’t get enough publicity, he said; he and other volunteers at the North Hollywood church were expected 1,900 voters to walk through their doors.

Only 85 showed up.  That’s less than five percent of voters registered at that location.

Was it bad publicity, apathy, or voters who simply went to a different polling place?  How could Angelenos not find interest in the mayoral race in which one candidate goes by the nickname “Zuma Dogg” and another, Craig X. Rubin, is a 420-friendly pastor?

Video Testing…

Just playing around with video embedding; here’s a short one for strictly testing purposes!  I promise to keep the cuteness to a minimum on this blog.  FYI, this is my pet dwarf hamster adopted from a university psychology lab.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Video Testing…“, posted with vodpod

Guerrilla Health Warning

Arizona Green Tea warning

What's hiding behind the label?

A couple months ago I spotted this almost official-looking label on some jugs of green tea during a grocery run.  Guerrilla health warning, or just the work of a merry prankster?  It reads:

“This product is largely made up of high fructose corn syrup.  High fructose corn syrup has been proven to make you very tired and unmotivated.  It gives kids attention deficit disorder (A.D.D.) and problems learning in school.  It has been designed to convert intelligent, motivated citizens into unhappy, needy consumers.

We get rich off your bad health.

Statement required by law under provision 10602.411″

I saw that Corn Refiners Association ad for the first time last night (I’m not a big TV watcher, so I’m not too sure how long this has been running), and it reminded me of the above photo I took in November.   Whether or not I’m feeding the hunger of an attention-starved underground marketing firm, or taking up the cause of a guerrilla health awareness group, I thought I’d investigate the intentions of the labelers.

An October 2008 New York Times article cited a study from Loyola University’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, which found that “people who drank two or more sugary sodas a day were at 40 percent higher risk for kidney damage, while the risk for women soda drinkers nearly doubled.”  The article also talks about other health risks posed by HFCS, such as liver disease, along with the effects of HFCS production on the environment.

More recently, an article in yesterday’s Guardian in the U.K. reported that U.S. researchers discovered HFCS contains traces of mercury.  Ouch.  The CRA issued a press release rebutting the Guardian’s story, saying that the evidence was outdated.

Debate aside, I just want to know who’s behind the home-made warning labels.  A search of the numbers “10602.411” came up with no results; however, 10602 is the zip code of White Plains, NY (Any relevance? Who knows). Perhaps the triangles are a symbol?  Comments/tips on this are encouraged!

For the record…I’m not advocating, nor discouraging, the purchase of the above branded green tea.

In the meantime, a couple of reposts while the gears start working

While I get back into the groove of things, here are a few of my posts originally published on CSUN Scene, a blog maintained by my fellow journalism classmates as part of a class.

Missile radar sites surround L.A. as part of the city's efforts to protect itself during the Cold War

Missile radar sites surround L.A. as part of the city's efforts to protect itself during the Cold War

L.A.’s “Ring of Supersonic Steel”: The City of Angel’s Cold War past can be revisited in the many missile radar bases in the surrounding mountains. This post takes a look at the radar site off Mulholland Drive.

Meet Dumbledore: A quick interview with an army vet-turned-Santa-turned-theatre actor/Hollywood Boulevard character.

Where the wild things were: In 1956, Los Angeles got a new zoo. Instead of bulldozing the old one, which had already been falling into dilapidation, they simply cleared out the cages – most of the animals had already died from malnutrition anyway – and left it there. The site of the original zoo is now a picnic area in Griffith Park.

Lincoln Heights Jail’s current (and past) inhabitants: The old prison has a rich history… The site had been used to house prisoners since the days of the Gold Rush until and was “used as a drunk tank” up until the 1960s, according to, and is a favorite in Hollywood as a filming location (The movie, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” shot scenes in the jail’s basement). And just like any old building with a past, it’s supposedly the home of the spirits of its past inhabitants.

Found: Art at Moorpark & Laurel Canyon: Outside a Top Thai Massage in Studio City is a makeshift art gallery.

L.A. Farmer’s Market through the pen of an artist: For two & 1/2 hours every other week, graphic artist and native Canadian Mark Kalesniko finds inspiration for his characters in the tourists and regulars that flow through the market.