Tag Archives | California

Beach Rocks that Burned California Woman Had Elevated Phosphate Level

Map: Lencer (CC)

An update to this story, a California woman who brought home a handful of greenish rocks her children found on the beach had a very painful surprise when the rocks caught fire in her pocket. She suffered second and third degree burns due to the flaming stones. Her husband suffered similar injuries while attempting to help her.

Lab reports indicate that the rocks contained “elevated” phosphate levels, most likely contamination from a man-made source. San Clemente Island, just miles off the coast where the woman’s children found the rocks, is owned by the military. They’ve denied any responsibility for the pollution and injuries, and for now the investigation continues.

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Andy Caffrey Plans To Smoke Marijuana on the Steps of the U.S. Capitol (If Elected)

Andy Caffrey For CongressInteresting report from Austin Johansen on death and taxes:

Andy Caffrey is a 54 year-old candidate running for Congress from California’s 2nd District. Aside from the Crocodile Dundee-esque hat and his sweeping, silver ponytail, Caffrey is a fairly unassuming man in the state of California. He’s tired of both Republicans and Democrats, loves his country and has his own ideas to make improvements, which is more than some politicians can say. He also takes pride in being a part of the Green Movement … in more ways than one *cough cough.*

In the 1991 Oakland Firestorm, Andy “lost everything.” He writes on his website that he spent five years as a homeless man and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following his sister’s suicide. His ailment led him to become a prescribed medical marijuana patient, and he’s on the campaign trail to make his defense of its medicinal use perfectly clear … or a little hazy.

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Mysterious Flaming Rocks Spontaneously Ignite, Severely Burning Woman

The flaming rocks. Photo: Orange County Health Care Agency

The flaming rocks. Photo: Orange County Health Care Agency

California beachcombers may need to be more careful about picking up cool looking rocks to take home, although no one can explain how these combustible rocks arrived. Rick Rojas reports for the LA Times:

What could possibly cause rocks picked up at a popular state beach to ignite in the pocket of a woman’s cargo shorts?

To scientists, the answer is — well, there is no clear answer.

The case of an Orange County woman severely burned after rocks collected last weekend from San Onofre State Beach ignited in her pocket has puzzled scientists, who say they’ve never seen anything like it and aren’t quite sure how it happened.

“It’s pretty implausible,” said Larry Overman, a professor of chemistry at UC Irvine.

The 43-year-old San Clemente woman, who remained hospitalized Thursday with second- and third-degree burns, visited the northern San Diego County beach last Saturday with her family, authorities said.

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DEA Leaves Innocent Student In Cell For Five Days Without Food Or Water

Is this the new War on Drugs method for teaching college kids not to smoke pot? Californian Daniel Chong was swept up by authorities in a raid of a friend’s house where 4/20 was being celebrated. His harrowing adventure began as he was then left in a DEA holding cell for five days, given no food or water, began hallucinating and lost his sanity, and shattered his glasses and slashed himself in a suicide attempt. He survived only by drinking his own urine and consuming some methamphetamine which, amazingly, he found in the cell:

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California Meteor Found Packed With Alien Organics

Murchison MeteoriteVia the Daily Galaxy:

A sonic boom heard in California last week had an out-of-this world origin as ”a large meteoric event” according to NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. Scientists now estimate the blast measured in near 5 kilotons or roughly 1/3 the power of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan during World War II. Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, estimates the object was about the size of a minivan, weighed in at around 154,300 pounds.

“Most meteors you see in the night’s sky are the size of tiny stones or even grains of sand and their trail lasts all of a second or two,” said Don Yeomans of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Fireballs you can see relatively easily in the daytime and are many times that size — anywhere from a baseball-sized object to something as big as a minivan.”

The meteor appears to be much more valuable than scientists first thought.

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San Diego Says Yarn-Bomber’s Stop Sign Flowers Must Be Stopped

stopsignIs it art? Is it vandalism? The city of San Diego is putting the kibosh on one of the most extensive yarn-bombing campaigns in history, in which 100 stop signs were turned into flowers via knitware. San Diego CityBeat relays a message from the artist:

I started planting flowers in earnest starting March 1st. The 100th one was planted last night. But today I got an email from Bill Harris who works for the city. I had expected it, and was considering an obstinate stance. After a 15 minute phone call, I decided to work with them, and plan an ending.

He started the call with “Congratulations on making it to 100.” He explained how people within the city had gone to great lengths to find a way to keep them. They even contacted other cities to find out what they did. “Even Berkeley takes them down,” he told me. The problem is that the stop sign is a traffic sign.

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Radioactive Particles from Japan Detected in California Kelp

Kelp ForestReports Victoria Kim in the LA Times:

Radioactive particles released in the nuclear reactor meltdown in Fukushima, Japan, following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami were detected in giant kelp along the California coast, according to a recently published study.

Radioactive iodine was found in samples collected from beds of kelp in locations along the coast from Laguna Beach to as far north as Santa Cruz about a month after the explosion, according to the study by two marine biologists at Cal State Long Beach.

The levels, while most likely not harmful to humans, were significantly higher than measurements prior to the explosion and comparable to those found in British Columbia, Canada, and northern Washington state following the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, according to the study published in March in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Giant kelp, or Macrocystis pyrifera, is a particularly good measure of radioactive material in the environment because it accumulates iodine, researchers said.

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Life In The California Desert’s Slab City

Reuters offers a hypnotic glimpse inside a desert community which blurs the line between homeless encampment and off-the-grid utopian commune. Populated by hippies, the blue collar elderly, and families with young children, it features a golf course, a 24-hour library, an internet cafe, and plenty of good times:

Somewhere on the edge of reality is this place. A former military base that was closed after World War II, Slab City is a place on the fringe both geographically and philosophically. It attracts a variety of people, including jobless and financially struggling recession refugees who can no longer pay for food and housing.

slabcity

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California is America’s Most-Hated State

ArnoldDennis Romero writes in LA Weekly:

​Don’t hate us because we’re beautiful. Or do.

It turns out the left-most state is also America’s most-hated, according to a recent survey by Public Policy Polling. And California’s left-leaning politics seem to have a lot to do with it. The Golden State is the most-disliked in the union, and Hawaii is the most-liked. In fact, ours was one of only five states that received majority-negative views by our fellow Americans, according to PPP:

Americans generally have a favorable view of most states. Only five are in negative territory, led by California (27% favorable and 44% unfavorable), Illinois (19-29), New Jersey (25-32), Mississippi (22-28), and Utah (24-27).

Barack Obama’s home state of Hawaii was the most-loved, with 54 percent of us viewing it positively. (Of course — it’s America’s vacation state) …

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California Court To Rule Whether SeaWorld Whales Are Illegal ‘Slaves’

killerwhaletRegardless of the slim odds of a favorable ruling, it’s a groundbreaking case in its use of the Constitution to fight for intelligent animals’ freedom. Via PhysOrg:

A California federal court is to decide for the first time in US history whether amusement park animals are protected by the same constitutional rights as humans.

The issue arises from a lawsuit filed by rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in a San Diego court on behalf of five orcas named Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka and Ulises. The whales perform water acrobatics at the SeaWorld amusement parks in San Diego and in Orlando, Florida.

PETA argues that continuing the whales’ “employment” at SeaWorld violates the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits slavery. District Judge Jeffrey Miller heard arguments in the complaint Monday and reviewed the response from SeaWorld, which asked that the lawsuit be dismissed. His ruling is expected to come later.

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