Breaking News – Quake Alert Issued for Southern California

The alert was posted Friday [16 March 2007] online, on a site called Syzygy Job ( The prediction was nothing new – that the southern end of the San Andreas Fault was going to let loose with a Big One, the inevitable euphemism for a major earthquake. The only difference is that this time around, the prediction is that a moderate-to-large quake could be imminent, occurring sometime within the next couple of weeks.

Been There, Done That

Historically, some of the biggest temblors in Southern California have occurred in the first quarter of the year and in conjunction with a lunar eclipse. That isn't some mysterious bit of wizardry: it's a fact that lunar gravity generates an enormous pull on Earth. This time around, though, the planet is sending off some ominous warnings, generating a whole new set of red flags. The lithosphere (the outer layer of Earth's crust) has exhibited unusual, rapid decompression of late, something Syzygy author Frank Condon, of GeoSeismic Labs, claims could be precursor to a significant quake in the region. In his posting, Condon referred to a 2.7 magnitude earthquake that rumbled beneath the Los Angeles area Friday evening, saying it was just the warm up.

A lunar eclipse is due to arrive on March 19, 2007, in a syzygy, an astronomical event in which the sun, moon and earth line up.

Not Just For California Any More

Canadian scientists issued a similar alert in February, warning west coast residents that undersea shakes signaled a period of heightened earthquake danger. That prediction fizzled, producing no notable quake, though some media outlets mocked the prediction as a sham.

The trouble with earthquake prediction is that it's a very new science and nowhere near perfected. Experts are torn between the damage to their reputations if they predict a quake that never materializes, or the possible human cost if they see signs and don't issue a corresponding alert. They also express concerns about the "cry wolf" syndrome. If experts issue earthquake alerts and no quake results, people could become blasé about the whole process, dismissing an urgent warning prior to major earthquake event.

Syzygy Speaks to Us

In a phone call Saturday,'s owner, Jim Berkland, said that this is not a new concept. Peruvian natives accept the quake-eclipse link as simple fact. Meanwhile, Berkland was effectively blackballed for daring to cite the phenomenon in his public capacity.

Berkland comes into this project with an impressive set of credentials. He spent six years on staff with the US Geological Survey and twenty-one years as geologist for Santa Clara County, the first person to hold the post for any California county. Past professional affiliations include the U.S. Bureau or Reclamation, and the University of California at Davis, among many.

Berkland explained that this month's lunar event is a red zone because the syzygy occurs in conjunction with a perigee, the moon's closest approach to Earth. It was just such an astronomical conjunction that hit at the time …

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20 Songs About California and New York: East Coast Vs. West Coast

According to Monsters and Critics, Katy Perry recently admitted that she wrote her hit song "California Gurls" out of jealousy over Jay-Z's anthem for New York, "Empire State of Mind". So her "state of mind" got me thinking: are songs about New York or California better? Perhaps it's not the best idea to try and start another East Coast vs. West Coast battle, but I'm going to compare some of the best songs about California and New York anyway. So get ready for a East Coast vs. West Coast showdown full of great songs and see if Katy Perry and her bikini that shoots whipped cream remain supreme:

"California Gurls" by Katy Perry vs. "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z – Well, I guess I'll go ahead and get the most obvious East Coast vs. West Coast song showdown out of the way. I'll make this one short and sweet: sure it's one of the kitschiest pop songs that will ever assault your ears, but I'd much prefer to indulge my sweet tooth with a quickly-melting Popsicle than to hear Alicia Keys bang out the same chords over and over again.

"Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou Reed vs. "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses – Two very different sounds from two very different eras, these songs both describe their cultures in very different ways. Lou Reed's New York is a place where creatures can shave their legs and go from a he to a she, something he makes sound like a splendid idea in his laid back, mellow voice (it really might tempt you to take a walk on the wild side). But while he soothingly sings the praises of a trip to the city safari, Guns N' Roses shouts at you about the dangers of the California jungle, a warning punctuated with plenty of machine gun fire stutters. So when it comes to East Coast vs. West Coast songs about the local wildlife, I'd definitely prefer Lou Reed as my tour guide.

"Talkin' New York" by Bob Dylan vs. "Hollywood Nights" by Bob Seger – These two songs are both about heading to the big city and the adventures to be found there, although Bob Seger's California tune is love story full of sand and sun, while Bob Dylan's song is set against a New York cold that cuts like a knife, featuring stark subways and people blowing aimlessly around the city like the dirty snow swirling around them. Sure Bob Seger's love story doesn't have a happy ending, but when it comes to these East Coast vs. West Coast songs, I prefer Bob Dylan's less glitzy and glamorous one.

"NYC" by Interpol vs. "Californication" by Red Hot Chili Peppers – Both of these songs capture the sordid side of life in two of America's most populous states, with "NYC" describing the dying heart of New York and its congested arteries like this: "the subway is porno". However, I can't help but enjoy the more …

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Top Hotels Laguna Beach, California

Laguna beach is a oceanfront destination on the Pacific coast of Southern California. Laguna is south of Los Angeles. The many points of interest in the Los Angeles area are convenient from this dramatically beautiful oceanfront setting.

Attractions in the vicinity include Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, San Juan Capistrano, John Wayne Airport and L.A. Airport. San Diego is about 70 miles south of Laguna Beach. Attractions in San Diego include the San Diego Zoo and Sea World. Visitors to Laguna Beach can enjoy Whale Watching or can go on a Dolphin Safari off of Dana Wharf

For many, the best attraction of Southern California is the natural Pacific coastline, which can be enjoyed from Laguna Beach. The oceanfront setting offers water activities, such as snorkeling, and is a beautiful location for a oceanfront stroll. Visitors to Laguna Beach have a choice of many fine accommodations. Following are some of the best hotels in Laguna Beach, California.

Surf and Sand Resort. This oceanfront hotel is celebrating 60 years of hospitality on Laguna Beach. Guest rooms feature private balconies offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Aquaterra Spa offers a complete menu of spa treatments, such as massage therapy, boy treatments ad skin care. Splashes Restaurant has an oceanfront setting and serves contemporary American Coastal Cuisine. AAA Four Diamond. South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach 1-888-869-7569.

Montage Resort Laguna Beach. Montage Resort is situated on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The architecture and decor of Montage Resort celebrates the Laguna Beach history as an arts community on the beach front. The craftsman style architecture is situated on the rugged bluff, with dramatic views of the coastline. Oceanfront SPA Montage offers a full selections of treatments and massage therapy. The Mosaic Pool has a mosaic bottom and overlooks the ocean. Adjacent to the Mosaic Pool is a whirlpool and cabanas. Restaurants at Montage Resort include Studio, Mosaic Bar and Grille, The Loft and Lobby Lounge. AAA Four Diamond. South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California. 1-949-715-6000.

Best Western Laguna Brisas Spa Hotel. Best Western advertises that it is “99 steps from the beach.” The Pacific Ocean beach rejuvenates the senses while enjoying the newly remodeled accommodations. Enjoy views of the expansive ocean and Catalina Island from the scenic rooftop terrace. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, outdoor spa, sun deck, covered underground parking, elevator, complimentary computer usage in hotel lobby, complimentary hi speed wireless Internet and complimentary deluxe breakfast. South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California. 1-888-296-6834.

Best Western Laguna Reef Inn. This inn is in the heart of the Laguna Beach resort area. Features include complimentary continental breakfast, outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, spa and steam room. Best Western Laguna Reef Inn has a special access to a one mile segment of Aliso Beach. South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California. 1-9490499-2227.

By the Sea Inn Laguna Beach. North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California. 1-949-497-6645.

Holiday Inn Laguna Beach. 1-800-228-5691.

Inn at Laguna Beach. This inn is perched on top of …

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Wolf Cuisine in Los Angeles, California

Wolf Cuisine in Los Angeles makes life very easy for the foodie and or budding chef, or work from home person who dreams of a few minutes to step out and enjoy fine fresh cuisine – but why bother when someone will bring it to you? The brainchild behind the business concept at Wolf Cuisine, who will make your dream come true, is Chef Phillip Lee and partner Sylvain Allard, who will both not only see to it that you receive exquisite food and service but will also insure you will definitely want a repeat performance.

In this economy with everyone trying to save but still wanting the finer things of life, the concept available from Wolf Cuisine is an excellent one indeed. In the comfort of home you can enjoy a tasting menu created to ensure you have an excellent dining experience while enjoying the creative fruits of the labor of the team of chefs at Wolf Cuisine in LA.

So, how exact does this work? Wolf Cuisine clearly has the high-end delivery service down to a fine science as every month the head chef Phillip Lee and this team of sous chefs create a new tasting menu made up of ten courses. Expect fresh seasonal items in addition to extremely creative and delicious dishes.

To partake in the joy of enjoying a tasting menu at home, clients of Wolf Cuisine call in the order request a week ahead of time which can be for up to eight guests. The meal service is delivered to the client a few hours prior to the serving of the meal. What is really cool is that Chef Lee includes presentation instructions in addition to hints on eating certain items such as foie gras. Definitely a more than fabulous concept the unique high-end version of fine food on wheels is approximately $200 per person but worth every penny particularly for special occasions and making a lasting impression.…

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Top Hotels in Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach, is an oceanside city in the Los Angeles area of southern California. The oceanfront community is a great getaway destination that is both fashionable and charming.

Communities within Newport Beach include Balboa Island, Corona del Mar, Santa Ana Heights, San Joaquin hills and Newport Coast. Attractions in Newport Beach include Balboa Peninsula, Fashion Island Mall and Crystal Cove State Park. The Balboa island Ferry transports pedestrians, bicycles and cars across the harbor channel between Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula.

Following are some of the top hotels in Newport Beach, California.,

The Island Hotel Newport Beach. The Island Hotel overlooks islands of Balboa, Lido and Catalina. The Spa at The Island Hotel offers soothing treatments in an island of calm. Amenities include a fitness center swimming pool, high speed Internet access and more. Dine at the Palm Terrace Restaurant and Lounge or poolside Palapa Bar. Pet Friendly. AAA Five Diamond Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, California 1-949-759-0808.

Balboa Bay Club and Resort. Balboa Bay is a waterfront paradise along the California Riviera. The hotel is reminiscent an Italian villa. The First Cabin Restaurant offers unique fine dining and an impressive wine selection. The exclusive Spa is reserved for members and hotel guests. AAA Four Diamond. 1-888-445-7153.

Fairmont Newport Beach. The Fairmont combines European traditions with California flair. Hotel amenities include large outdoor heated swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness facilities and more. bambu Restaurant and Lounge serves California cuisine and cocktails. Small pets allowed. Pet fee is $25 per pet per night. MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach, California. 1-949-476-2001.

Best Western Newport Beach. This beach hotel is just steps from the Pacific ocean. Best Western is located near Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza. The hotel is minutes away from Catalina Cruises, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach. Balboa peninsula is ideal for outdoor recreation. Amenities include complimentary continental breakfast and outdoor heated swimming pool. Pet friendly. Coast Highway, Newport Beach, California 1-949-642-8252.

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. Amenities include three outdoor swimming pools, fitness center, whirlpools, high speed Internet access, business center. Restaurants on the premises include Sol Restaurant, Jazz Festival, Sandbar Lounge and The Buzz Stop. 1-949-729-1234.

Newport Beach Marriott Bayview. Amenities include swimming pools, whirlpool, fitness center. Restaurants on the premises include Herons Restaurant, and Lobby Bar. 1-949-854-4500.

Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Amenities include swimming pools, whirlpool, fitness center, spa. Restaurants on the premises include Sam & Harry's, The Lounge at Same & Harry's and Starbucks Marketplace.1-949-640-4000/

Information is subject to change. Contact the hotels for additional information and to make reservations.

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Downtown Fish Joint in San Diego, California

Located on the trolley line at C Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in downtown San Diego, Downtown Fish Joint is a favorite lunch spot for the locals. It is a small eatery that seems to cater to carry-out orders. The dining room is small and is adorned with fewer tables than one would expected. It is rather nice that the large glass windows up front allows good view of C St (and the trolley line) from practically any table.

The menu here is basically fried or grilled fish and other seafood meat in various combination anchored to land by a small selection of chicken tenders (in taco, burrito, quesadillas, or sandwich). You can have good fried fish tacos here for as low as $3.50, but most of the dishes are $8 and up…. with the exception of the New England style clam chowder, which is pretty good and quite reasonably priced (go for the one served in the sourdough bowl! At $6.95, it is a very good deal).

My usual order here is the cod fish & chip ($8.50), which is quite a meal (or two, I've never managed to finish the whole thing in one sitting) of 6 long strips of breaded fried fish with crisscross fries, slaw, and tartar sauce. The fish itself isn't particularly remarkable (rather bland compared to a few other places in downtown), but the fries are always perfectly salty and chewy. The slaw often looks rather dated and tasted quite old and vinegary… practically wilting in your mouth. Disgusting stuff, I must say.

The star item on the menu for me is the garlicky shrimp burrito ($11.95). I've only ordered it once, since spending over $10 for a burrito is hard on my conscience. The portion size here is very generous, and the garlic and the shrimp turn out to get along quite well when soaked in salsa sauce, a good and fresh bed of shredded lettuce and onion and wrapped in a soft tortilla.

Service is quite friendly and fast. This is a mom and pop eatery, and pop loves getting the business done with before chatting – a trait I really admire in restauranteurs! The place can get quite crowded during lunch hours (this place is only 2 blocks from the City Hall and a block north of Broadway, downtown's main thoroughfare), but I've never had to wait more than 14 minutes for my food.

It's too bad they are only open for lunch from 10:30AM-5PM Monday through Thursday, and from 10:30AM-7PM on Friday and Saturday. No alcohol. Major credit cards accepted.

Downtown Fish Joint: 407 C Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues), San Diego, CA 92101. Tel. (619) 239-3506.…

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Jumpin' Jellyfish Disneyland Ride – California Adventure

Jumpin' Jellyfish is a Disneyland ride that lives up to its name. Guests board vehicles that look just like giant colorful jellyfish, and the vehicles jump up and down, making a mild thrill ride perfect for kids.

The theming of this ride is adorable and colorful, and the line is never too long. While there's a height requirement for this ride, it's very low, so even young kids can enjoy it.

Jumpin' Jellyfish offers a mild thrill for adults, too. Parents can ride with their kids, and the whole family can enjoy the laughs that are sure to come. The jellyfish jump up and down from several different heights to give you a varied ride experience that will thrill every time.

Even if you don't have kids, this ride is worth checking out if the wait isn't too long.…

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Los Angeles, California, Crime News

North Hollywood – A passenger Edwin Chavez, 25, was pulled over on Laurel Canyon Boulevard just north of Saticoy Street and got out with a TEC-9 semiautomatic pistol and began shooting at the police officers who pulled the car over. Police officers fired three rounds at Chavez, hitting him in the shoulder. He was taken to the hospital where he was listed in stable condition. Police charged Chavez with assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer. Luckily none of the officers that pulled over the driver and Chavez was unharmed.

Los Angeles – Patrol officers who were driving in the area of Drew Street and Weldon Avenue became alerted when they heard semi-automatic gunfire. Police then pulled over on Weldon and saw three reputed gang members in a small black, four door vehicle. As the car passed the police car, shot were fired in the officers direction. Officers returned fire, the suspects however disappeared and have not been located as of today. The Robbery Homicide Division is investigating the alleged attempted murder of the police officers that had been shot at.

Granada Hills -William Campos,18, was shot and killed at a birthday party on June 8, 2007 on Haskill Avenue. The Los Angeles Police Department have taken a 16 year-old alleged gang member into custody with the shooting of Campos. Party goers who were at the party identified the unnamed suspect and he was arrested without incident June 15. Charges are expected to be filed against the teen. Campos was also an alleged gang member was transported to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center after the incident occurred, however he died from a single gun shot wound to his chest.

Los Angeles – A late night crash shut down the Santa Ana Freeway when a car who officers tried to stop for reckless driving, slammed into a tractor trailer killing it's passenger. The crash had the highway for more than four hours according to the California Highway Patrol. The driver of the car whose name was not immediately was arrested at the scene.

Los Angeles – Los Angeles Police who are currently retired may be called back to active duty for up to a year so that seasoned veteran officers can stick around long enough to help train rookie cops. The LAPD's Recall / Bounce program could go into affect as early as this year. Police Commission President John Mack said " The idea really is to make it possible for the department to have the benefit of expertise and experience of some individuals who have been with the department for a period of time…. and we're trying not to lose the benefit of that".

Los Angeles – Two people and an officer were injured when a tour bus broadsided a police patrol car in Chinatown. The officer had to be freed from his car by firefighters and it is possible that he suffered a spinal cord injury. No other information is available as of today. The two other …

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Top Hotels in Redondo Beach California

Redondo Beach is a popular seaside destination on the sunny Pacific coast of yjr Los Angeles area in Southern California. The beaches on Redondo have sunshine, sand and the relaxed way of life that California is famous for. Beachfront activities, such as beach volleyball, surfing, sailboarding, kayaking and inline skating are all part of the Redondo Beach experience. Following are the best hotels in Redondo Beach.

Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club. Portofino is a haven located only six miles from Los Angeles n the quaint beach town of Redono at King Harbor. Portofino Hotel is directly on the waterfront, with beautiful views of King Harbor and the tranquil Portofino marina. Portofino boasts scenes of breathtaking beauty, with sunsets, sailboats and the California sea lions on King Harbor. The hotel has recently completed a $11 million renovation, showcasing a new ocean inspired theme in the lobby. Guests rooms and baths have a contemporary nautical theme. Hotel amenities include complimentary beach cruiser bikes, 24 hour fitness center, heated outdoor oceanfront pool and whirlpool, fireplace seating at The Living Room Bar and Waterfront dining at Baleen Los Angeles. 260 Portofino Way, Redondo Beach, California 90277. 1-310-379-8481.

Crowne Plaza Redondo Beach Hotel. Crowne Plaza is just a block away from the white sand beach front. This hotel is just seven miles from the LAX Airport. The onsite European Day Spa offers a chance to relax while receiving healthful treatments. Relax at the outdoor swimming pool while enjoying a great ocean view. Splash Mediterranean Bistro is the restaurant on the premises. 300 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, California, California. 1-310-318-8888.

Best Western Sunrise at Redondo Beach by Pacifica. Best Western is a coastal hotel that captures the relaxed essence of Southern California with amenities including a heated swimming pool, whirlpool,complimentary high speed wireless Internet access and complimentary breakfast. 400 North Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach, California 90277. 1-888-334-7384.

Best Western Redondo Beach Inn is just nine miles south of Los Angeles International Airport. Amenities include a heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, exercise room, sauna, business center and exercise room. 1850 South Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA. 1-310-540-3700.

Redondo Pier Inn. This inn is located just 2.5 blocks from the Redondo Pier and beach. 206 South Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA. 1-800-841-9777.

Information is subject to change. Contact the hotels for additional information and to make reservations.

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The Fishwife in Seaside, California: Moderately Priced Seafood

In an unassuming older commercial neighborhood in Seaside, California, – just north of Monterey – we recently discovered an alternative to the pricey tourist-oriented seafood restaurants up and down the Monterey peninsula. It is called The Fishwife. There same people own and operate three other eating places in the area. There is a Mexican/Belizian-oriented taqueria next door called Turtle Bay and an additional version of each 'brand' a bit further south in Pacific Grove, home of the famous Asilomar Conference Grounds and the renowned and much visited Monarch butterfly sanctuary.

You can eat really nicely prepared and presented seafood at The Fishwife for about half what the touristy places charge. It feels like a bargain – And sure as heck tastes like one!

Serving a wide assortment of fresh, generously proportioned seafood dishes, The Fishwife is open at lunch time and serves lunch or dinner until closing late in the evening. There is no ocean view nor are there sounds of waves crashing. No cloth napkins or Art Deco light fixtures. No overdressed servers or encyclopedic wine lists. It is simply a neighborhood restaurant about a half mile from the beach. What it DOES have, however, more than makes up for what it lacks.

The lunch and dinner menus are similar and we noticed that the many locals and obvious 'regulars' used them interchangeably. Each presents a couple of dozen main seafood entrees. Many local varieties, including swordfish, snapper, halibut, sand dabs, shrimp and salmon are available in various styles and preparations.

All are done "Carribean" style with an appropriately suggestive, but not overpowering, dusting of spiciness. Nothing here is bland, but you won't need a pitcher of iced water to survive the meal with either. My wife and I are tough customers when it comes to sea food, and thought that The Fishwife got things just right!

We actually came across it in an ad in the phone book in our hotel room. A member of the staff at the hotel, when we asked him for directions to it, smiled broadly and told us that his grandmother and he had been frequenting The Fishwife since he was a child. We took that as a good recommendation!

Unpretentious and simple, The Fishwife in Seaside has a small dining room holding only about 30 people. Unlike the larger, overpriced competition in the area, it is quiet and a pleasant place to eat. The room you first enter has a couple of tables and a fresh fish counter where you can buy the raw makings for your own cooking any time.

The night before we came across The Fishwife, we spent about $30. a piece on a seafood dinner at a waterfront restaurant about a mile away. It was OK – But, the food at The Fishwife was honestly better prepared, more tasty and the portions were nearly twice the size of those served the night before at about half the price ($12 – $14 per entrée.) Our dinners were prepared in …

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