Saturday, March 10, 2007

Another update on what the hell I've been writing.

A quick recap of some of my favorite recent entries at

First is a "series" I put together counting down the Top 25 Legends of Los Angeles - conspiracy theories, rumors, tall tales, urban legends, etc. About nine other writers contributed to the project, including some amazingly well researched and written entries on assorted legends, including the one about Jamie Lee Curtis being a hermaphrodite, that there is "earthquake weather", and that Scientology is based on Satanism. The entries were involved throughout the week, requiring interested readers to click back frequently to see what what was next on the list. The link above is my "guide" that provides links to all of the legends.

Speaking of legends, I discovered the whereabouts of legendary LA conman Fred Brito in New Mexico. Brito made the front page of the LA Times in 2005 after he was fired by UCLA officials, who he worked for as a fundraiser, after the discovered he'd been hired using a false name and a fabricated resume. He was also arrested on the spot for violating terms of his parole - Brito had previously spent twelve years in prison for assorted charges, including grand theft and embezzlement, and was required to disclose his criminal history to employers. As if this wasn't crazy enough, after the article appeared, Brito had already been hired by a local Red Cross chapter, again using a false name and resume, and it was a month after the LA Times article went to print before they discovered who he was. A couple weeks after finding out Brito had moved to New Mexico and speculating that he was probably doing the same thing there, he was, indeed, fired from working as a fundraiser at a non-profit for using a false name. (original entry here, second here).

I've been very happy with how my occasional, boringly titled "Question of the Week" series has been going, where I engage our readers in conversation on a myriad of topics relating to the city we live in. Fluff questions include asking what their best movie going experience has been, or what movie candy they thought LA theatres needed (we don't have Twizzler here - instead something called "Red Vines"). I also asked for a new definition of what a suburb is, for readers to let me know the name of their local gang, what their favorite local urban legend was (in prep for the series), and the one that received the most response was asking if street art helped encourage graffiti.

Other posts include an accusation that the LAPD sent me spam, tips for LA drivers on how to drive during the light dusting we got (they called it a "snowstorm"), a "scoop" that British Petroleum was building an "eco-friendly" gas station in LA, a critique of a local political blog that resulted in their head writer devoting a length post in return calling me an idiot, a reposting of an LAPD warning about a burglar wherein some readers responded by saying they'd recently been in a fender bender with the suspect, notification that February is the Federally recognized "Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month", a warning to people who've been installing train horns on their cars, some pics from my visit to a Barack Obama rally, and a rant against some tourists from Old Lyme who whined about the Oscars ruining their trip to Hollywood.

I'll update again in a couple month. For now, if you want to keep up with what I'm writing there, or to see the full rundown, check out this page.

Friday, January 26, 2007

School bans lunchroom talking so they can hear if students are choking

From the Associated Press (via Breitbart):

A Roman Catholic elementary school adopted new lunchroom rules this week requiring students to remain silent while eating. The move comes after three recent choking incidents in the cafeteria.

No one was hurt, but the principal of St. Rose of Lima School explained in a letter to parents that if the lunchroom is loud, staff members cannot hear a child choking.

To begin with, instead of reacting to three recent choking incidents by telling students to pipe down, why not instead teach the ankle biters on how to properly chew their meal?

Had the staff bothered to simply with the school nurse, or just had remedial knowledge of first aid, they'd also be aware like most Americans that if you can hear someone coughing or gagging, its pretty unlikely they're actually choken. In fact, rule of thumb is that if you're considering using the Heimlich maneuver on someone, don't dare if you can hear them making sounds - it means air is moving from their lungs.

Heck, even the folks at Lifetime know this:
» Know the signs that someone is choking: wheezing, inability to breathe or speak, turning blue, a frightened look, bulging veins.
Of course, this was a Catholic School...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Highlight Reel

Thanks for still checking here. As stated many times before, all of my efforts have been spent writing for In the sidebar you'll see a link to my most recent posts, and is constantly updated.

Here's a few recent posts I've done over there that I'd like to get more people to check out:

Katy Sullivan
- I've been posting video work from LA filmmaker who aren't at Sundance this week, including one about a local actress who recently started running even though she was born without legs.

Madge - A rant I typed up while at the doctors office with my girlfriend. In short, doctor's receptionists often suck.

All California Starbucks Required to Have Restrooms
- A more in depth, journalistic piece, with possibly (cough:: likely) flawed facts. Thats the beauty of blogs though, as I'll be posting a follow up soon. If I was a real journalist, I wouldn't be allowed to make mistakes.

How To Survive Your First Day of Jury Duty - Some tips for virgins and the more experienced.

Metroblogging's 7 Gifts to the World - This is an epic listing of posts made at other Metroblogging sites around the world. I just wrote the briefs, which was an epic project into itself.

LA Comedy Club to Ban the Word Nigger - I live close to where Michael Richards called some black patrons "the name that white people shall not speak." This post is my take.

The rest of the items I post tend to be of local or immediate interest, but these are some maybe friends and family will appreciate. Check out the comment threads, where readers don't hesitate to correct or cheer me on.