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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Banksy at Occupy London: See the Street Artist's Monopoly Sculpture Before It Got Vandalized

Banksy Occupy London
Colin Young-Wolff
​Angelenos aren't strangers to the works of British street artist Banksy. His participation in MOCA's street art show was a (predictably secret) given, and the man plastered L.A. during the run-up to the Oscars, inspiring residents of Westwood Village to petition for his works to remain. And don't get us started on the career of Mr. Brainwash, Bansky's special present to our fair city. LA Weekly photographer Colin Young-Wolff just got back from a tour of Europe, and he sent over a photo from Occupy London that is reputed to be a Banksy sculpture and has since been tagged over.
A blogger at ArtLyst explains: "The downside of leaving this amazing work of art in the middle of the grounds of St Paul's unprotected is that other protesters have drawn graffiti all over the sculpture to highlight their own particular brand of causes. Banksy has never been concerned with creating lasting or permanent works of art."
True that. The piece was made to be vandalized. But at least Colin got a great pic before it happened.

Colin Young-Wolff

20 Unusual Uses for Salt

Because salt is for more than just high blood pressure.
Diamonds might be prettier and more durable, but there’s another translucent rock that’s even more valuable to us. We may not devote songs to salt or parade around with big hunks of it on our fingers, but we need it to survive, it makes food a hell of a lot tastier and it’s got hundreds – if not thousands – of practical uses. Here are 20 unusual and surprising household, beauty and health uses for salt, from cleaning the chimney to brightening your skin.

Drip-proof candles
Don’t you hate it when candles drip down as they burn, making a mess that’s practically impossible to clean? Prevent this from happening by soaking new candles in a strong salt solution for 2-3 hours.
Clean smelly food spills
A little cinnamon in a pinch of salt will make dripped-on messes in the oven easier to clean, and prevent them from stinking up the house. Just sprinkle the mixture onto the drip soon after it occurs, while the oven is still hot. Once it has cooled, brush away the salt and the mess will come with it.
Test egg freshness
Got a questionable egg? Add two teaspoons of salt to a cup of water, and drop in the egg. If it’s fresh, it will float; if it’s past its prime it will sink right to the bottom.
Sanitize sponges
Used sponges harbor a shudder-inducing variety of bacteria. To restore them and kill some of those germs, suds them up, rinse them thoroughly and then soak them in cold, heavily salted water for an hour or two.
Kill poison ivy
Nobody likes poison ivy, the irritating vine that has ruined many an otherwise pleasant outdoor experience. Three pounds of salt mixed with a gallon of soapy water, applied to the leaves and stems of poison ivy with a sprayer, will kill this tenacious pest of a plant.

Extend broom life
Natural fiber brooms can last a lot longer if you use this easy trick: soak them in hot, salty water before their first use.
Soothe a bee sting
Remove the stinger, wet the sting and immediately shake on a paste of salt and water. Let it dry, and it will reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Remove soot from chimney
A handful of salt thrown onto the flames in your fireplace will not only produce pretty, vivid yellow flames, it will help loosen soot in the chimney, preventing chimney fires and improving air flow.
Relief for canker sores
A saltwater gargle will take the bite out of a toothache and ease the pain of canker sores and sore throats. Dissolve two teaspoons of salt in 1/4 cup of warm water and swish it around in your mouth for at least 20 seconds, gargling if you have a sore throat. It will likely burn at first, but it works.
Keep clothes from freezing on the line
Add a little salt to the rinse water when washing a load of laundry to keep the clothes from freezing stiff on the clothesline. Soaking the clothesline in salt water will also prevent clothes from sticking to it in cold weather.

Restore artificial flowers
Who has time to clean every individual petal of a bouquet of silk or nylon flowers? There’s an easier way. Just toss the flowers in a gallon-sized zip-lock bag along with about a cup of salt. Shake the bag well, and the salt will whisk away the dust and debris.
Keep milk fresh
Sour milk is the worst, especially if you don’t realize it’s gone bad until you’ve already poured it into your cake batter or coffee mug. Keep it fresh longer by adding a pinch of salt to the carton, pinching the spout closed and gently shaking to mix.
Make coffee less bitter
Over-brewed coffee that has taken on a bitter taste can be much improved with a tiny pinch of salt, which will also enhance the flavor.
Remove blood, wine and perspiration stains
Blot up spilled wine and then pour salt on top to absorb what’s left, pulling as much of it out of the fabric as possible. Blood-stained linens can be restored in cold saltwater followed by a wash in hot, soapy water. To remove perspiration stains from clothing, dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of hot water and sponge it on.
Prevent sliced fruit from turning brown
Dip sliced apples, pears and other fruits susceptible to browning in lightly salted water to preserve their fresh look. If your apple slices have withered, salt water will also perk them up.

Keep windows frost-free
To keep frost from accumulating on the windows in your home and your vehicle, dip a sponge in salty water and run it over the inside and outside of the glass, then rub dry with a soft cloth.
Deodorize shoes
Suck the stink-worsening moisture out of canvas shoes by sprinkling a little salt inside them and then wiping it out. Don’t use this trick on leather or synthetic shoes, as it could dry them out too much and cause them to deteriorate.
Reduce eye puffiness
So you caught a late-night airing of The Notebook on cable and went through a box of tissues – nobody needs to know. Obliterate the evidence by mixing a pinch of salt in a little hot water and applying it to puffy, swollen areas around your eyes with a cotton pad. The salt will help draw out the moisture and tighten the skin.
Give your skin a glow
Massage a mixture of salt and olive oil into your skin in circular motions, leave it on for a few minutes and then wash it off. The massage increases circulation to your skin, the olive oil moisturizes and the salt buffs away dead skin cells.
Brighten yellowed linens
Dingy whites can be brought back to their crisp, white best without the use of bleach. Boil cotton or linen items in a big pot of water with a few tablespoons of salt plus a few tablespoons of baking soda.

5 Free iPhone Apps You Need for Family Travel


Photo: Britt Reints
With iPad apps to keep kids entertained and GPS systems to keep Mom and Dad from getting lost, today's family vacation has gone high-tech. We're not complaining. In fact, we're recommending a few more ways to let technology improve your next trip. The good news is all of these iPhone apps are free!

1. Sit or Squat

sit or squat travel iphone app
A long day of sightseeing is guaranteed to be interrupted at least once by a bathroom break. Sit or Squat helps you find the nearest public restroom, including ones that don't require a purchase to use them. Make your own contribution to the community by rating the bathrooms your family frequents.

2. TripIt

The free TripIt app syncs with your free TripIt account, where you can keep track of all of your travel plans and reservations. Long gone are the days of digging through your purse for print outs and confirmation numbers; the TripIt app keeps everything a finger click away. You can also check in to your flight, call your hotel, and get directions to the restaurant where you've made reservations -- all without leaving the app.

3. HopStop

hopstop app
Whether you're in your favorite American city or heading to Europe for the first time, chances are you'll find the directions you need to get around town in HopStop. This free app makes navigating public transit a breeze and can also provide directions by taxi or by foot. Do not leave home without it.

4. SnapShot Postcard

snapshot app
Choose a picture from your phone's photo album, type a message, and choose a mailing address from your contact list. BAM! Personalized postcards from your family vacation are printed and mailed for you by SnapShot Postcard. Each card costs as little as $0.80 per piece to print and mail (or as much as $1.99, depending on how many credits you buy at once.) Before you hit the road, set up a SnapShot account and purchase your credits so you're ready to send you favorite memories back home.

5. RoadAhead

road ahead app
Planning an epic family road trip? Plan to download RoadAhead before you go and you'll be able to see into the future. OK, not the future, but down the road and off the exit ramp. This app helps you plan where to pullover for gas and food, showing you which merchants are available at each exit, how far off the exit they're located, and which gas stations have the best price.