Off the beaten path...
Topic: Insider Stuff
Off the beaten path…
Back in Rochester New York, the home of the Kodak Corporation, where the modern photographic industry was born, we used to joke that the movie industry ended up in southern California because, with all the sunshine, it's the world's largest soundstage, while the actual film industry stayed in Rochester, as it was the world's largest darkroom. Yes, it's often a dreary place.
When you're in Rochester you can visit the Eastman House. It's pretty cool. Out here, Eastman Kodak, the world's largest maker of photographic film, has always been a part of Hollywood. Of course the new home of the Oscars is the Kodak Theater at Hollywood and Highland. That's for the tourists. Where the real work is done is at Eastman Kodak's Hollywood campus down on Santa Monica Boulevard, where they have just under four hundred people who supply the movie industry with that they need. It's not on any Hollywood tour.
Here's how it looked April 14, 2006 - one of the rare rainy days in Los Angeles, when Hollywood looked a lot like Rochester.
Note, when George Eastman got fed up with dry-plate photography his solution was to coat paper with a layer of plain, soluble gelatin, and then with a layer of insoluble light-sensitive gelatin. After exposure and development, the gelatin bearing the image was stripped from the paper, transferred to a sheet of clear gelatin, and varnished with collodion - a cellulose solution that forms a tough, flexible film. So that was that. Then he worked out transparent roll film and the roll holder, and folks out here were in business.
This photograph was taken with a digital camera - no film involved at all. No wonder the Kodak folks aren't doing that well these days.
America and China: Los Angeles' Chinatown
America and China: Los Angeles' Chinatown
President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao met in Washington on Thursday, April 20, 2006. It didn't go that well, as noted below.
As they were meeting this was the scene in Los Angeles' Chinatown, starting with the dragon at the gate.
By the way, this is the "new" Chinatown, as the original one was torn down in the thirties to make way for Union Station. This one opened on June 25, 1938, with some touches provided by Cecile B. DeMille himself - full details here. This one has become mixed - Vietnamese and others moving in. The bulk of the Chinese in Los Angeles are out east, in Monterey Park.
Regarding events in Washington, from the Associated Press, China Mistakenly Called By Taiwan's Name -
The meeting between President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao began with a gaffe Thursday when an announcer referred to China by the formal name of Taiwan, which China considers a rebellious province.
As Bush and Hu stood at attention outside the White House, an announcer said, "Ladies and gentlemen, the national anthem of the Republic of China, followed by the national anthem of the United States of America."
"Republic of China" is the formal name of the island 100 miles off the Chinese mainland. China is known formally as the People's Republic of China.
Taiwan is a most delicate issue for China. Beijing claims sovereignty over the self-governing island, which split from the mainland in 1949 as civil war ended on the mainland.
The losing nationalists fled the communists and established their rump state on the island and for many years claimed to be the rightful government of all China. Recent Taiwan governments have spoken of trying for formal independence, which China has said repeatedly might be met by military force.
And then the other matter, explained here by the BBC's Jonathan Beale -
No kidding. But everything was fine in Los Angeles.
... Okay, this was not the official state visit that the Chinese government had wanted, but when President Hu arrived in Washington DC he still received a 21-gun salute, a guard of honor and marching bands - all witnessed by every senior figure of the Bush administration.
But it then all unraveled. The Chinese may have been willing to overlook the foul-up as their National Anthem was introduced as that of "the Republic of China" - the other name for Taiwan - the part of China that has rebelled and broken away from the mainland and sought security from the United States.
But to have their president's speech interrupted by not just a protester, but one from the banned quasi-religious group Falun Gong, would have been difficult to swallow.
In Beijing, television screens showing the BBC and CNN went to black as the cameras focused on Wang Wenyi shouting out "President Hu, your days are numbered".
President Bush apologized to his Chinese guest for this unfortunate incident - but it showed the gulf that remains between these two countries.
The answer to the issue of our more than two billion dollar trade deficit with China -
One of the problems Chinese President Hu Jintao might have with Los Angeles' Chinatown -
But no place is wonderful, as you by these signs on the fence at the elementary school on College Avenue in the middle of our Chinatown. Choose your language.