The Right Stuff

Anything was possible. The following video is taken from our production for Smithsonian Week in Long Beach 2008. It highlights how aviation (military, private and commercial) was born in Long Beach and how even now with the plant mostly decommissioned the love and spirit of aviation will live on with the instillations of art throughout Douglas Park by the local artists.


Douglas Park

A lot of people have been finding this site through google when looking for information on Douglas Park. Please watch the video above to learn about where this development came from and what it means to the thousands of people who made the planes that made history.

Kelsey and I have been working the last week on a video about the artwork and redevelopment of the Douglas manufacturing facility at the Long Beach Airport. A few years ago they tore down the hangers that they used to build DC-3s and C-47s during World War II, the many cargo planes, fighter jets in the Korean and Vietnam war, the jetliners like the DC-8, DC-10, MD-11, MD-80 and the Boeing 717 after they acquired McDonnell Douglas in 1997.
It has been very trying for the community of Long Beach since the aviation manufacturing industry was the main employer next to the port. The plans for what the new land should be turned into have been changing a lot over the past three years. It was going to be mixed use with residential, commercial and retail in 2006. Now it seems that they have decided on light industrial and research. There was no honest hope of ever having housing so close to an airport. Long Beach Airport has already been crippled enough by the residents who live on either side of the flight path. The daily flights have a cap and no commercial plane can land after 10:00 pm. That is insane because if a flight is delayed and will be arriving later than 10, they must be diverted to Burbank or another airport. People who live near airports should appreciate that airports bring huge amounts of revenue and jobs and are the backbone of our modern world. Without local airports that provide easy access for tourists, commercial and shipping companies, our disintegrating infrastructure will have even more load to bear. Without local airports, people wouldn't learn to fly and we would be running out of commercial pilots.

I really wanted the parcels that are next to the taxiway to be sold as homes with hanger access like John Travolta's house in Florida. If you go the link below, you will see that they even do weddings at the clubhouse there :-) Jumbolair is a private airport, however. Long Beach is public and might not attract million dollar air estates. That would be cool though.
I have been immersing myself in Douglas airplanes to help find the best way to tell the story. There are so many DC-3 videos on youtube it is amazing, you can even learn how to start one! Engine number two first.

The video will be shown at the Smithsonian Week opening Gala on March 9, so you can all see it there. I will post it here as soon as it is done. On the top of this post is a photo with the crew from the shoot.

Back to work.


The Youtuber Generation

I was reading in one of my favorite magazines, The Economist, that 2008 is the United Nation's International Year of the Potato! Potatoes are great, especially if they are served during the reception and we are hungry from running around all day. Rosemary potatoes, garlic potatoes, they have Twice Baked Potatoes at Anaheim Hills Golf Course that are very good. I'll bet some of you even had a Mr. Potato Head toy!

Here is the article:

IT IS the world's fourth-most-important food crop, after maize, wheat and rice. It provides more calories, more quickly, using less land and in a wider range of climates than any other plant. It is, of course, the potato.

The United Nations has declared 2008 the International Year of the Potato (see article). It hopes that greater awareness of the merits of potatoes will contribute to the achievement of its Millennium Development Goals, by helping to alleviate poverty, improve food security and promote economic development. It is always the international year of this or month of that. But the potato's unusual history (see article) means it is well worth celebrating by readers of The Economist—because the potato is intertwined with economic development, trade liberalisation and globalisation.

Unlikely though it seems, the potato promoted economic development by underpinning the industrial revolution in England in the 19th century. It provided a cheap source of calories and was easy to cultivate, so it liberated workers from the land. Potatoes became popular in the north of England, as people there specialised in livestock farming and domestic industry, while farmers in the south (where the soil was more suitable) concentrated on wheat production. By a happy accident, this concentrated industrial activity in the regions where coal was readily available, and a potato-driven population boom provided ample workers for the new factories. Friedrich Engels even declared that the potato was the equal of iron for its “historically revolutionary role”.

The potato promoted free trade by contributing to the abolition of Britain's Corn Laws—the cause which prompted the founding of The Economist in 1843. The Corn Laws restricted imports of grain into the United Kingdom in order to protect domestic wheat producers. Landowners supported the laws, since cheap imported grain would reduce their income, but industrialists opposed them because imports would drive down the cost of food, allowing people to spend more on manufactured goods. Ultimately it was not the eloquence of the arguments against the Corn Laws that led to their abolition—and more's the pity. It was the tragedy of the Irish potato famine of 1845, in which 1m Irish perished when the potato crop on which they subsisted succumbed to blight. The need to import grain to relieve the situation in Ireland forced the government, which was dominated by landowners who backed the Corn Laws, to reverse its position.

This paved the way for liberalisation in other areas, and free trade became British policy. As the Duke of Wellington complained at the time, “rotten potatoes have done it all.”

Read the Full Article from The Economist