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Liz Gannes

Sosh, a service that gives people interesting and personalized local recommendations, has been live in San Francisco for a little more than a year. The company combines a heap of analysis of online postings with a sliver of hands-on curation to figure out good stuff to do.

SoshIn San Francisco, the site and app have signed up one in eight people between the ages of 21 and 40 (and these are real people; Sosh requires Facebook Connect). In certain circles — and not just the techies — you hear about Sosh all the time.

Now Sosh is trying its first remote launch, in New York City. So New Yorkers, if you’re looking for secret menu items and special shows and quirky events, you can try it, too.

By the way, Sosh doesn’t monetize yet, and you won’t find discount deals on the service — this is a venture-funded company that thinks it can build a marketplace for the interest graph — eventually.

Next up for Sosh: Chicago, Boston, L.A. and Seattle.

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How Do You Get Off That Thing?: Bobby Gadda at TEDxUCLA

Bobby Gadda is a bicycle activist and interactive performance artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. For the last three months he has been touring on a tall bike from Vancouver BC all the way back to LA. He co-founded and is board president of CicLAvia, LA's premiere car-free happening. Bobby volunteers at the Bicycle Kitchen community bike project and works at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) as a program coordinator. Bobby is passionate about car-free living and believes that bicycles are a very practical and fun way to get around! Bobby lives at the Los Angeles Eco-Village and keeps bees on the roof. AboutTEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
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Superstorm Sandy struck the U.S. East Coast leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Hugo Chavez sealed another term as Venezuela’s President and the space shuttle Endeavour took its final voyage through the L.A. streets.

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proportional_1000_1479_largeview.jpgFourth of July #2, Independence, Missouri, by Mike Sinclair

Photographers, mark your calendars! 2009 Ne Plus Ultra Mike Sinclair's debut solo show in NYC, at Jen Bekman Gallery, is but mere days away. An opening reception for Public Assembly will be held on Friday, May 11th, 2012, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., and the show will be on view Saturday, May 12th, through Saturday, June 24th.

Mike impressed our panelists with his ephemeral portraits focusing on "crowds at sun-soaked fairgrounds, beaches and baseball games," and he adeptly captured a sense of nostalgic Americana that we simply couldn't get out of our heads and hearts. Soon, he was creating limited-edition prints with 20x200 to share with collectors all around the world. We are thrilled for Mike's success, which includes being published in the New York Times, Metropolis, Architectural Record and Interior Design, as well as having his work in private and public collections in the U.S.

+ Photographer Daniel Seung Lee, who was a contender in a past round of our competition, was selected to participate with 20x200. Two of his photographs are now available as limited editions on the site.

+ April is almost over, and with it the Month of Photography Los Angeles (MOPLA). If you're in L.A., there are major ongoing exhibitions you can catch, like Robert Adams: The Place We Live and Fracture: Daido Moriyama at LACMA, as well as In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945-1980, Herb Ritts: L.A. Style and Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity at The Getty.

+ Smaller shows were also taking place across town that featured Jen Bekman Projects artists. You can still catch Taj Forer's solo exhibition, Stone by Stone at LeadApron through May 19th.

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There were a lot of things that launched the environmental movement 40-some years ago—the pea-soup shroud of smog that used to hang over L.A., the sight of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River on fire. But nothing quite matched the power of the pictures beamed back to Earth by the Apollo astronauts on their way to the moon. We’d been seeing our home planet from low-Earth orbit for a number of years by then. What was always missing were human eyes that got far enough away so that the planet’s entire, 360-degree face fit into frame. Once we had that perspective, we saw our world anew: a tiny, fragile bauble in an infinity of blackness, something manifestly worth taking better care of.

Of all the pictures shot on all the moon trips, it was an image from the final one—Apollo 17—that made the greatest cultural impression. Dubbed ”Blue Marble,” the picture which mission records suggest was taken by lunar module pilot Jack Schmitt) shows Africa and the Middle East, largely unobscured by clouds, from a distance of 28,000 miles (45,000 km).

Now, NASA has recreated the picture, without getting any farther than 581 miles (931 km) away, thanks to the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Satellite (Suomi NPP), which orbits the planet pole-to-pole rather than east to west. The relatively low altitude (compared to the Apollos at least) would make a full planetary profile impossible, but the ship was able to capture different high-def swatches of the planet and knit them together
into a single image. To capture that shot for real, a spacecraft would have to be 7,918 miles (12,743 km) away. While the satellite has never journeyed nearly so far, it did do Apollo 17 one better, taking portrait-quality images of both Earthly hemispheres, including North America. Somewhere down there, too tiny to see, is an L.A. with relatively clear skies and a Cuyahoga River now largely free of filth—and entirely free of flame. Sometimes it just takes a good look at ourselves to make us behave a whole lot better.

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A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connected with more than 50 fires. The series of fires set the last four days has left residents of West Hollywood and Hollywood on edge. Many of the fires were set within blocks of each other;  most were  started in cars, carports and trash cans, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman said.

Police said calls started coming in shortly after midnight with reports of car fires in West Hollywood. Flames consumed three vehicles near Sunset Boulevard and Curson Avenue, and several apartment buildings were damaged as flames spread from the burning cars to the structures.

The suspected arson incidents included the former home of the  late rock star Jim Morrison, police said. It took 56 firefighters 35 minutes to put out that fire, authorities said.

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As 2011 draws to a close, Framework looks back on an eventful, tumultuous year, documented by the photojournalists of the Los Angeles Times.

It was a year marked by the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan; the Arab Spring in North Africa and the Middle East, with rebel uprisings and hard-fought battles resulting in the fall of Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, and the capture and death of Libya’s Moammar Kadafi; and the humanitarian crisis of continued famine in Africa.

2011 also saw the somber 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks of 2001; the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement; the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in London and their subsequent Southland visit; and the involuntary manslaughter trial, conviction and sentencing of Michael Jackson’s personal physician.

Carmageddon in Los Angeles, anticipated with dire predictions of monumental gridlock, turned out to be not so disruptive after all.

Almost nine years after the invasion of Iraq, the war was declared officially over with the withdrawal of all U.S. combat troops and their return home — in time for the holidays, no less.

As always, the worlds of entertainment, sports and celebrity are part of the gallery, adding a light, colorful touch to a memorable year.

Enjoy the look back with us, and have a wonderful 2012.

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