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Archive for California

The Ferrari 458 Italia: Can A Ride Be TOO Hot? via [theepochtimes and yahoo]

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Ferrari recalls 1,250 sports cars after some catch fire

AFP

AFP/File – A model poses next to a Ferrari 458 Italia on display at the Beijing Auto Show near the capital’s …

ROME (AFP) – Italian automaker Ferrari announced Wednesday it had recalled all versions of its model 458 Italia sports car produced before July 2010 after four of them caught fire.

“Our dealers are going to call clients and tell them to bring back their cars so that the necessary modifications can be carried out,” a spokesman told AFP. The recall involves 1,248 vehicles worldwide, the official said.

via [YouTube]

Ferrari last week opened an enquiry after four of its vehicles caught fire spontaneously in California, China, France and Switzerland.

The investigation had shown problems with the mounting, adhesive, heat shields and wheel arch assembly, the spokesman said.

“High outside temperatures and intensive use of the vehicle cause a distortion and the vehicle catches fire,” he said, adding that the modification will include replacing the heat shields.

Another Ferrari 458 Italia Supposedly Catches Fire via [epochtimes]

By Jack Phillips
A new Ferrari 458 Italia that caught on fire in China

Ferrari 458 Italia owners are not having a good year.

After reports emerged that 10 of the supercars either caught on fire or were involved in an accident, a video of a supposed 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia catching on fire in China popped up.

If so, this would bring the grand total up to 11 mishaps since the car was unveiled last September.

The video shows the car, red in color with slanted headlights, already engulfed in flames on the side of a road with lush greenery.

The website http://www.wreckedexotics.com first noted that the owners of the Ferrari 458 Italia hit a bad streak and they confirmed that the latest video is in fact the 11th mishap to befall the owners of the $260,000 vehicles.

“It’s the first wreck in China (city of Ningbo),” the website stated on Wednesday, saying it “caught fire after only about 1,000 miles on the odometer.”

Ferrari told the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph they are taking the accidents and fires seriously, and will conduct separate investigations into each incident. The company says that the cars have no known issues and say each incident is separate.

The Ferrari 458 Italia can go zero to 60 miles per hour in just over three seconds, and can top speeds of just over 200 miles per hour.





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Modern Houseboat Living via [msn/realestate]

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Life on a modern houseboat

By Abigail Peterson

A day in the life of a houseboat

Not everyone needs to spend a couple of weeks earning their sea legs
to feel at home. But that’s what happened to Matt and Jennifer Harvey
in January 2009, when they moved into a 1,000-square-foot modern prefab
houseboat on California’s Richardson Bay with their children, Jack and
Grace.

The transition wasn’t without trade-offs — including a major
downsizing of belongings — but when the sun is shining and the tide is
high, the family can’t imagine living anywhere else. “We open all the
windows and doors,” Matt Harvey says, “the breezes come in, and it’s
instantly summer.”



A  day in the life of a houseboat (© Thomas J. Story)

© Thomas J. Story

7 a.m. – Wildlife watch

Matt and Jack Harvey enjoy aquariumlike views from the living room
window.

“Jack always says he’s looking for sharks and jellyfish out his
window, and it’s true, he really is — it’s not make-believe. Sometimes
we even wake up at night to the heavy breathing of seals surfacing
outside our bedroom window.” – Jennifer Harvey

7  a.m. - Wildlife watch (© Thomas J. Story)

© Thomas J. Story

7:30 a.m. – Tide check

The Harveys live by the tide charts, their plans dictated by the
bay’s water level throughout the day.

“Out here, it’s like we’re in touch with a different measure of
time. It’s beautiful at high tide, when you’re floating and the water
is all around you, but then we appreciate the low tide too: The mud
summons the herons and sandpipers out to look for food.” – Matt Harvey

7:30 a.m. - Tide check (© Thomas J. Story)

© Thomas J. Story

10:15 a.m. – Morning walk

Jennifer and Grace Harvey check for mail at the head of their dock,
the neighborhood hub.

“We’re definitely a community. In the city, you might know who lives
next door, but your neighbor two or three doors down? Sometimes this
much closeness can feel awkward, but it’s better — and healthier — than
the isolating urban alternative.”– Jennifer Harvey

10:15 a.m. - Morning walk (© Thomas J. Story)

© Thomas J. Story

Noon – In to lunch

A superefficient kitchen means meals run smoothly.

“Ultimately, a tight kitchen is a huge advantage. I’m not running
back and forth all the time from the fridge to the counter to the
stove. I set up just what I need, and things go right in the dishwasher
when I’m done. It just seems natural to me now, that this is the way I
cook.” – Jennifer Harvey

Noon - In to lunch (© Thomas J. Story)

© Thomas J. Story

3:40 p.m. – Land errands

Everything from the outside world must be carried in or, more often,
wheeled in via repurposed shopping carts from the marina parking lot.

“We live green by necessity. It’s a long dock, so it’s ‘pack it in,
pack it out.'” – Matt Harvey

3:40 p.m. - Land errands (© Thomas J. Story)

© Thomas J. Story

5:10 p.m. – Friend by kayak

Jack Harvey thinks it’s totally normal that his best friend arrives
by boat for a get-together.

“Jack doesn’t even need to put on his shoes to go over to his
buddy’s house — he just needs his life jacket.” – Matt Harvey

5:10 p.m. - Friend by kayak (© Thomas J. Story)

© Thomas J. Story

7:30 p.m. – Evening paddle

Matt and Jennifer Harvey enjoy after-dinner escapes on the water
near dusk, one of their favorite times of day.

“When dinner is finished and the kids are in bed, one of us will
grab the kayak and take a quick paddle around the neighborhood. It’s
peaceful, but it’s not exactly quiet. There are constant squeaks and
creaks and knocking from the boats and the gangways. That was something
we had to get used to when we first moved here.” – Matt Harvey

7:30 p.m. - Evening padde (© Thomas J. Story)

© Thomas J. Story

8:35 p.m. – Impromptu soiree

With friends close by, impromptu gatherings are the rule.

“When the weather’s warm, we do a lot of, ‘Hey, we’re opening a
bottle of wine on the roof deck. Want to come over?’ We’ll sit and talk
and enjoy the night sky. Because we’re so far from the streets, there
are no lights above and you can really see the stars.” – Matt Harvey

8:35 p.m. - Impromptu soiree (© Thomas J. Story)

© Thomas J. Story

Making 1,000 square feet work for a family of four

  • Be strict about capacity. Reach a point of equilibrium with your
    stuff and stick with it. “Our kids know when they get a new thing, they
    have to say goodbye to something else,” Matt Harvey says.
  • Embrace imperfection. “I’m a cluttery person,” Jennifer Harvey
    says. “It’s when I stop pretending to be perfect and figure out a
    solution that the house works best.”
  • Store it where you use it. In the kitchen, oven mitts and spatulas
    are to the right of the stove, and the blender and mixer reside on the
    countertop where Jennifer Harvey bakes.
  • There’s always room for memories. “My grandmother’s waffle iron
    lives permanently on our stovetop,” Jennifer Harvey says. “I love it,
    so I make space for it, and we use it every day.”

Making 1,000 square feet work for a family of four (© Sunset)

© Sunset

Fete Accompli : LSN Charity Ball in San Francisco

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LSN board member, Pamela Joyner with designer, B. Michael

For more information on how you can help visit www.landminesurvivors.org

Couple, Pamela Joyner with husband and LSN board co-chair, Fred Giuffrida
(Photos:NYSD)

Power couple, Pamela Joyner and her husband Fred Giuffrida hosted a masked ball benefiting the Landmine Survivors Network (LSN) at their gorgeous home in San Francisco. Along with 300 guests, Pamela and Fred raised an impressive $200,000 for the globally recognized charity, which helps ensure that survivors of violent conflict have the medical care needed to regain and maintain their health by providing direct service, information and outreach counseling and support. Enabling survivors to reclaim their lives. I love Pamela’s million dollar smile, it just lights up a room.

For more information on how you can help visit www.landminesurvivors.org



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The Photography Of Eva Mueller via [ifitshipitshere.blogspot]

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Bavarian-born photographer Eva Mueller
is best known for her projection photography – projected light, shape
and texture on nudes. But frankly, I find those are the least inventive
and beautiful of her work.

With an enormous portfolio that includes
everything from CD and album covers to lipstick ads, her large body of
work is quite diverse, despite certain stylistic commonalities. She
often acts as the art director for her own shoots, utilizing her
knowledge of graphic design for both the concepts and compositions.
Minimal and graphic, bold and clean, Mueller says her vision is that of
“less is more.”

Once you pour over the following images, you’ll
find that whether it’s gritty and black and white or slick and bright,
indoors or outdoors, stylized or natural, her work has an undeniable
beauty.

Some of her photos of men:




Some of her photos of women:



Some of her beauty and make-up
photography:



Some of her projection photography:


Some of her music photography:



Some of her personal work:



The photographer:

She’s shot for American and British
record labels, editorials for the New York, Vellum and Zink magazine,
ad campaigns for Steve Madden, Panasonic, Master Card and Guinness. her
personal work, which consist largely of nudes, has been displayed in
galleries and museums in London, Germany and the US.

To see her
complete portfolio, visit EvaMueller.com
all images and info courtesy of the
photographer.



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American Casino: a NEW Documentary Expose’ on the Mortgage Industry’s Fraudulent Sub Prime Lending Practices and the Stories of their Victims. via [American Casino film site, Credit Writedowns, and Associated Press]

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American Casino movie trailer from Leslie and Andrew Cockburn on Vimeo

“American Casino is a powerful and shocking look at the subprime lending scandal. If you want to understand how the US financial system failed and how mortgage companies ripped off the poor, see this film.”

Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize-winning economist

“FASCINATING! A TERRIFIC documentary chronicling the subprime-mortgage mess and the financial collapse of the past two years…
With a rare cohesive power, the Cockburns fill in the lines of connection. They function a little like Raymond Chandler as he traces the corruption that produces, at the end of a long chain of circumstances, the lady in the lake…
The movie is a lucid and comprehensive picture of a rotten system.”

David Denby, The New Yorker

“sensationally effective”

New York Magazine

“Politicians and the media like to talk about the relationship between Wall Street and Main Street, but investigative journalist Leslie Cockburn’s debut feature gets to the guts of the matter, visiting defectors from Bear Stearns and Standard & Poor’s and other high-level players in the subprime mortgage gamble and, on the flipside, visiting the working-class Americans who were the unwitting chips on the table.”— Tribeca Festival programmers 2009

“It is rare that a documentary director has the privilege to shoot a film that, while in production, becomes the greatest story of our time.   The “worst case scenario”  of January 2008, when we began work on American Casino, turned into reality in the year that followed. We were able to follow our characters through Wall Street’s collapse, foreclosure, bankruptcy, homelessness. We watched whole neighborhoods ravaged by the subprime meltdown. I have spent much of my career filming in war zones and post apocalyptic societies — Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan. But I never expected such a disaster at home. To be there, with a camera, while it was happening, telling the story, was certainly the highlight of my career.”— Leslie Cockburn, Director

via [YouTube]

American Casino: How foreclosures breed mosquitoes

Posted by Edward Harrison

A number of new films have been produced chronicling the misadventures in America’s residential property markets and financial system.  One such story is American Casino.

I have yet to see the film.  However, below is a clip from the filmmakers Andrew and Leslie Cockburn on one unforeseen consequence of the recent financial crisis. Abandoned homes in newer California sub-divisions are a breeding ground for mosquitoes, increasing the threat of West Nile virus.

via [Credit Writedowns]

A Recent Mortgage Scandal news story:

Neighbors: Exec. moved into bank-owned beach home surrendered by Madoff duped couple

106 Malibu Colony Road

The Malibu Colony beach home, third house from left with a dark patio, was last owned by Lawrence and Linda Elins. The home’s value was recorded at $12 million when the property was transferred May 13, 2009, to Wells Fargo Bank. (Kenneth & Gabrielle Adelman / California Coastal Records Project)
MALIBU, Calif. (AP) —

Wells Fargo & Co. has fired an executive who reportedly partied and stayed at a bank-owned $12 million beach house in the exclusive Malibu Colony, the bank said Monday.

Bank spokeswoman Jennifer Langan confirmed that Cheronda Guyton, a senior vice president, was the only employee involved in the alleged violation of company policy.

“We deeply regret the activities that have taken place as they do not reflect the conduct we expect of our team members,” the bank said in a statement.

A Wells Fargo & Co. executive who oversees foreclosed properties hosted parties and spent long summer weekends in a $12 million Malibu beach house, moving into the home just after it had been surrendered to Wells Fargo to satisfy debts, neighbors said.

Neighbors told the Los Angeles Times they saw Guyton’s family at the house and that it was used for at least one party where guests were ferried from a yacht.

The previous owners of the beachfront home in Malibu Colony — a densely built stretch of luxury homes that has been a favorite of celebrities over the years — were financially devastated in Bernard Madoff’s massive fraud scheme, real estate agent Irene Dazzan-Palmer said.

The couple signed the property over to Wells Fargo last spring, and the bank subsequently denied requests to show the house to prospective buyers, Dazzan-Palmer said.

Residents in the gated community told the Los Angeles Times that a woman they believe was Cheronda Guyton took up occupancy at the home in May. Residents said they obtained Guyton’s name from the community’s guards, who had issued her a homeowner’s parking pass.

Residents also wrote down the license plate number of a 2007 Volvo sport-utility vehicle they say was parked in the home’s garage. A check of state motor vehicle license plates by the Times found the vehicle was registered to Guyton.

Guyton is a Wells Fargo senior vice president responsible for foreclosed commercial properties, resident Phillip Roman said.

“It’s outrageous to take over a property like that, not make it available and then put someone from the bank in it,” said Roman, who lives a few homes away from the property.

Residents said Guyton, along with her husband and two children, often hosted guests at the home, including a large party the last weekend of August. Malibu Colony is about 25 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Wells Fargo said in a written statement that it would conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations by neighbors, but said it wouldn’t “discuss specific team member situations/issues for privacy reasons.”

Guyton’s home number is unlisted, and attempts to reach her at her Los Angeles office after work hours were unsuccessful.

The bank’s agreement with the prior owner required it to keep the home — a 3,800-square-foot, two-story structure built in the early 1990s — off the market for a period of time, Wells Fargo said in the statement. The bank said it planned to list the property for sale soon.


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A Photo Gallery of the Most EXPENSIVE Homes in the U.S. via [msn]

America‘s most expensive homes

By Francesca Levy of Forbes

$150 million

The Manor

Holmby Hills, Calif.

America's most expensive homes (© Coldwell Banker/Hilton &  <br/>Hyland)

The home that Candy Spelling, widow of television producer Aaron, put
on the market in 2008 outprices every other property in the U.S. The
56,500-square-foot English-style mansion has a bowling alley, wine
cellar, rooms for gift-wrapping and silver and china display, a library,
gym and media room. Its 4.6 acres include pools, a spa,
landscaped gardens, a waterfall and parking for more than 100 cars. Jeff
Hyland of Hilton & Hyland Real Estate and Sally Forster Jones of
Coldwell Banker Previews International have the listing.

$125 million

Fleur de Lys

Beverly Hills, Calif.

Fleur de Lys (© Coldwell Banker/Hilton & Hyland)
This 35,000-square-foot home, listed in 2007, is said to be modeled
after Versailles, and the mansion makes no attempt at understatement.
Its 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, 50-seat screening room, Italian marble
and gold-embossed leather walls ooze wealth. Owner Suzanne Saperstein
hasn’t compromised on the price in three years. After all, it’s a
relative bargain compared with the manor, just a few blocks away. Shari
Chase of Chase International has the listing.

$100 million

Tranquility Estate

Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Tranquility Estate (© Luxury Portfolio)
Tommy Hilfiger co-founder Joel Horowitz’s 210-acre spread features
the third-highest price tag in America. The 20,000-square-foot main
house has extras like a cigar lounge, art studio and sports gym, while
its grounds feature a golf course, boathouse and views of Lake Tahoe. A
staircase in the home replicates the stairs of the S.S. Titanic. The
home has been on the market for almost four years. Shari Chase of Chase
International has the listing.

$80 million

Kaiser Estate

Honolulu

Kaiser Estate (© Sotheby's International Realty, Inc.)
Separately, the three coastal parcels that comprise the former estate
of industrialist Henry J. Kaiser wouldn’t make this year’s list, but
together, the 5.5-acre property becomes one of the country’s most
expensive. The island getaway offers coastal views and a sleek,
midcentury-style 15,000-square-foot home, extensively landscaped
tropical grounds and a 12,000-square-foot boathouse and marina. Tech
tycoon Fred Chan and his wife, Annie, put the home on the market in
January 2009. Mary Worell of Sotheby’s International Realty has the
listing.

$75 million

Humming Bird Nest Ranch

Simi Valley, Calif.

Humming Bird Nest Ranch (© Sotheby's International Realty, Inc.)
Though it’s named after the tiniest of birds, this property spans 123
acres. In addition to a 17,000-square-foot Spanish-Revival-style main
house, six guest homes and 10 town houses grace the estate, as do a
fully equipped equestrian center and parking for 200 vehicles. If
driving doesn’t suit you, there’s also a helicopter pad. It has been on
the market since late 2007; Joyce Rey of Sotheby’s International Realty
has the listing.



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Break out the NEW Bubbly: Camitz Sparkling Vodka via [Wine&Spirits Daily] 

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Camitz Sparkling Vodka


I’ve tried the O2 sparkling vodka but I’m intrigued by the new Camitz vodka because it’s topped with a champagne stopper (the O2 has a screwcap and was only mildy fizzy). The Camitz Vodka comes from Sweden and is made from water from the underground springs of Töllsjo and grains from the fields of Västergötland near the distillery. The vodka is distilled five times before carbonation.I haven’t tried it yet but The Strong Buzz reports that it delivers a satisfying pop when opened and has a nice fizz with a bit of acidity and needs to be chilled before serving. It sells for $45 and will soon be appearing in key markets in New York, Florida, Nevada and California.

[via Wine & Spirits Daily]


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