Monday, March 06, 2006

monday media

with the oscars taking up most of the local news coverage (crash? seriously? crash?!), kind of hard to find a few interesting links today. or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. but here you go:

  • two good articles in the LA alternative this week [via archinect]: they spend an afternoon at the getty villa, and really capture the architecture, the gardens, the irony of the getty's scandals, and the "eerie" cleanliness and newness of the villa itself. they also explore the dark side of whole foods - can an employee working at whole foods afford to shop there? stan cox did a similar analysis with wal-mart back in june 2003, working on a simple premise: "In view of Wal-Mart’s vast range of merchandise and “Always Low Prices,” could a family whose breadwinner worked at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Salina, Kansas, afford to supply its minimum needs by shopping there?" he repeats the analysis for whole foods here.
  • the british are coming! tesco, a large supermarket chain in england, is coming to california and trying to beat wal-mart at its own game. slate keeps characterizing tesco express as a convenience store, but when I lived in london, it was my go-to grocery store, and hardly seemed small (but I grew up in nyc so my perception of supermarket spaces is admittedly skewed). it had a bakery, a wine shop, fresh produce and meat and cheese and those handy semi-cooked meals you finish off with a saute. I say bring it on - I can only hope tesco succeeds where walmart has failed so miserably.
  • not LA specific - but the nytimes mag this week is the real estate issue. I haven't read it all, but it covers everything from building affordable housing, to trying to build an ecologically sound home, to the freakonomic guys' retread on their chapter on real estate agents.
  • bonus brits! my favorite british food writer finally gets his props from the new york times.
  • bonus data bites! yes! you know how much I love fun little data facts. the nytimes, reliably 6-12 months behind on sociological technology trends, discovers that some people don't actually pay for wireless - they piggyback on their neighbor's. shocking! but the article had this little gem:

Humphrey Cheung, the editor of a technology Web site,, measured how plentiful open wireless networks have become. In April 2004, he and some colleagues flew two single-engine airplanes over metropolitan Los Angeles with two wireless laptops.

The project logged more than 4,500 wireless networks, with only about 30 percent of them encrypted to lock out outsiders, Mr. Cheung said.

can I do that on my next american airlines flight?

and because I can't just post without putting in my 2 cents on the oscars. last nght's crash win and brokeback loss will go down in history as one of those monumental mistakes akin to giving the best pic oscar to driving miss daisy the same year do the right thing was released, or forrest gump instead of pulp fiction. crash, like those others, is a completely forgettable movie, notable only for its heavy handedness and melodrama. history will not be kind to that movie, while brokeback's stature will only increase with the passage of time. oh, and matteo and I agree paul haggis must have sold his soul to the devil for this career. its the only explanation.


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