Metropolis II – A glimpse of the city of the future, Hot Wheels on steroids at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Metropolis II - A glimpse of the city of the future, Hot Wheels on steroids at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Metropolis II - A glimpse of the city of the future, Hot Wheels on steroids at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Link to see a video of Metropolis II at LACMA:

Los Angeles is the city of the automobile. The culture of LA is based on the car. Come visit LA without a car, and you will find yourself wishing for one after 2 minutes. LA is a city of freeways, and people refer to distance in terms of how long it will take you to drive from here to there.

We recently when to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and got to see a glimpse of the city of the future, or Hot Wheels on steroids – which is what I called Metropolis II; the kinetic sculpture by Chris Burden now showing at LACMA.

“The future of automobile transportation is that there won’t be drivers anymore,” proclaimed Chris Burden to audible gasps and some giggles at the opening of Metropolis II, his giant kinetic sculpture now installed at LACMA.

He used 1,100 customized Hot Wheels cars whirring through a city of building-block skyscrapers is a scale model of Burden’s vision for L.A.’s future: Cars that are swiftly autopiloted along pre-determined routes, moving ten times faster than they do today. Included in the ‘sculpture’ are also trains and trams weaving in and out of buildings and ‘roads’.

The customized Hot Wheels cars are dramatically lifted to a height of 8 feet by a magnetized conveyor belt then let loose through the city on a roller coaster network of plastic roadways, which weave thier way through the buildings which are constructed with Legos and Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets (a nod to his 2008 Rockefeller Center installation), and stacking slotted cards that echo the House of Cards created by the Eames Office. A dozen out-of-the-box electric trains chug casually through the sculpture to add the concept of light rail.

Metropolis II’s focus might be on the driverless car, but one of the most compelling features is human: one of Burden’s assistants must stand at the center of the city and monitor the tracks for potential Sigalerts. “It’s just like real life on the 405,” said operator Rich Sandomeno, pointing to safety measures like tiny brushes that slow the cars down around dangerous curves.
“It’s a hopeful future,” Chris Burden offered. “Cars will have an average speed of 230 miles per hour as soon as Google gets all their cars up and running.”

Of course he was alluding to Googles recently patented driverless car program.

This may have been surprising to any art critics in the room, but the transit nerds like me nodded in agreement. According to transportation theorists, autonomous automobiles may be the only hope for curing L.A.’s humiliating gridlock. Giddy chatter of bike lanes peppers our conversations, but Metropolis II might be the more realistic visualization of L.A.’s transit future.

No matter what, it is mesmerizing to watch, and to see the joy in the children’s eyes when they first see it, is truly amazing.

Link to see a video of Metropolis II at LACMA:

Metropolis II - A glimpse of the city of the future, Hot Wheels on steroids at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Metropolis II - A glimpse of the city of the future, Hot Wheels on steroids at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)


Contradictory phrases

Contradictory phrases, oxymorons and other crap.

Contradictory phrases, oxymorons and other crap.

Lately I have been hearing a lot of self-contradictory descriptions, contradictory phrases or statements, so I decided to throw up on this blog the one I can think of, since I feel guilty not posting much this year.

I think these are also considered Oxymorons – which I always thought were high-school kids with acne who used too much Oxy5 on their faces…


  • Amusing artlessness
    An exciting baseball game
    Atheist’s belief
    Austere charm
    Authentic indications
    Authoritative critic
    Autocratic power
    Automatic termination
    Available data
    Avenging fate
    Average excellence
    Benevolent Dictator
    Burdensome business
    Butt heads
    Carping critic
    Clean Coal
    Christian Objectivism
    Collectivist Individual
    Definate maybe
    Derogatory denial
    Efficient bureaucrat
    Emphatic earnestness
    Fair tax
    Fat-free doughnut
    Fawning flatteries
    Gathering gloom
    God given ability
    Good grief
    Government organization
    Harmful CO2 emissions
    Heathen hordes
    Indelicate impetuosity
    Industrial-scale green energy
    Innate knowledge
    It’s in the mail
    Jumbo shrimp
    Labored levity
    Laissez-faire Communist
    Maddening monotony
    Middle-East peace
    Non-violent boxer
    Partial Fractions
    Personal attraction
    Personal predilection
    Positive government bailout of (insert industry name here)
    Pro-Man Altruism
    Rational faith
    Reason-free Objectivims
    Reversing backwards
    Revert back
    Ripe reflection
    Savage satirist
    Superbowl winner (pick one: Saints, Vikings, Falcons, Texans, Eagles)
    Tart temper
    Temporary Government Program
    Terribly pleased
    The Department of Redundancy Department
    Unenvied insipidity
    User-friendly tax code
    Vicarious virtue
    Violent love
    Well-meaning Altruist

Write me with others, and I will add them to the comments.

World’s Largest Digital Photograph is a 70-gigapixel panorama of Budapest.

World’s Largest Digital Photograph is a 70-gigapixel panorama of Budapest.

World’s Largest Digital Photograph is a 70-gigapixel panorama of Budapest.

Last month, 360world, a Hungarian company took two 25-megapixel Sony A900 cameras fitted with 400mm Minolta lenses and 1.4X teleconverters and a robotic camera mount from 360world to the top of  Janos Hill on the outskirts of the Buda side of Budapest. It was no easy feat to make the 70-gigapixel photo, and it took two days to shoot, and two solid days of post-processing that resulted in a single 200GB file — not to mention a 15-meter-long printed copy of the photograph to display it to the public.

It’s just been a few months since a 45-gigapixel panorama of Dubai claimed the title of world’s largest digital photograph, but it’s now the 70-gigapixel, 360-degree panorama of Budapest is the new king of the hill.

To see the photo:

When you go to the site, use the tools on the left side to zoom in and out, and to move around the picture left click the mouse and move it.

It is incredable that you can zoom in to the windows on a house on the other side of the river!!

The photos on the bottom of the main photo are links that cause it to zoom into sites of the city and the photo.

Have fun with this!!!

Happy New Year!!!! – 2010

San Fransisco New Year 2010 - Bay Bridge

San Fransisco New Year 2010 - Bay Bridge

It’s about time that I posted something again, it has been about 3 weeks since my last post.

The end of the year was very hectic as I have to clean up and finalize a lot of work and had no time to blog.

So, here we are – 2010

The 00’s were a wild roller coster of a decade, and I decided to finish it with the same way I started it – in San Fransisco!!

Food – On of my favorite hobbies is eating, and SanFran is a great place to go for food.

The 2 most memorable meals of the trip:

1) Perbacco –

This is a high class Italian resturant in the financial district in downtown SF, with wonderful Italian dishes. Each month Chef Staffan Terje will be offering a special dinner menu revealing the best traditional and seasonal dishes he has found in the individual Italian provinces of Piemonte. We paid about $70 per person with wine, and needed to make our reservation about 2 months in advance. Exceptional food, and really wonderful atmosphere.

2) Pizzeria Delfina –

We found this by accident, just walking around the Fillmore district, and stumbled in and found God’s pizza place. Really, one of the best pizza’s I have ever had – rivaling even Bottega Louie in LA – the hand made fennel sausage pizza is to die for and the butternut squash pasta soup was simply incredible!!

NOTE: We did NOT receive payment of free food or serves in return for these reviews, they are our personal experiences of the find eating places.

Pizzeria Delfina had the best pizza and a sense of humor

Pizzeria Delfina had the best pizza and a sense of humor

So welcome 2010, the end of 2009 was really great.

My wish is for everyone is the same as for myself, may 2010 be a wonderful year full of health, love and happiness!!

San Fransisco - January 1, 2010

San Fransisco - January 1, 2010

Well, soon it will be party time, so me and my girls got on-line lookin for some costumes.

We looked on several sites, but in the end we did a bulk order (saves on shipping) for a couple of costumes from

My friend Chaz got herself a Star Wars Princess Leia costume for $48, which looked pretty good on her and we felt was very good quality for the price.

I went all out, cuz I am a costume nut and got the Official Batgirl costume which was really expensive at $356, but it is so realistic:

BatGirl Halloween costume from

BatGirl Halloween costume from

We like the CostumeHell website, great variety of costumes from $10 to $1000 (like the official Darth Vader – WOW!!) – when we have kids (someday…) this will be the place. I like the easy of use of the site, a fun site and ordering was easy and the shipped it fast.

I will take pictures at the Halloween party this year, and post them up here later.

Note: We did not get free products or were paid for this review

Happy YK

Happy Yom Kippur for those who celebrate it – although I don’t know if ‘happy’ is the right word, but you know what I mean.

It seems that several organized religions has days of fasting, and I think it is good.

It give your body time to clean itself out, and combining it with some yoga would really clean it out.

Fasting seems to mean different things to different people.  I have several practicing friends who today fast in different ways, some don’t eat  or drink anything, and others feel that it is OK if you drink  just water, or some light fruit juice.

I guess it just depends on which traditions you choose to practice.

Note about yoga: If you fast for 24 hours, but are allowed to drink water, then doing yoga in the morning will really clean out your system because yoga simulates and massages the lymph glands, liver and other internal organs – with the ‘toxins’ getting flushed out by drinking a lot of water afterwards.