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In California they don’t throw their garbage away, they make it into TV shows. Woody Allen
Californians devised a system of electricity sales that ignored every dimension of the free market. P J O’Rourke
Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries. Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Dean’s California – wild, sweaty, important, the land of lonely and exiled and eccentric lovers come to forgather like birds, and the land where everybody somehow looked like broken-down, handsome, decadent movie actors. ibid.
It was a splendid population – for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home – you never find that sort of people among pioneers – you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day – and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, ‘Well, that is California all over.’ Mark Twain, Roughing It
Everyone knows that America is going to be struck by a devastating earthquake. For years the people of California have been waiting for the day when the San Andreas Fault unleashes the big one. But all the time an even more powerful hazard has lain undiscovered. A giant mega-thrust earthquake just like the one that hit Indonesia threatens America’s Pacific north-west. Horizon: The Next Megaquake, BBC 2005
Mega-thrust earthquakes cause damage at astonishing distances because they create tsunamis. ibid.
The 26th January 1700 at 9 p.m. On that winter’s night a mega-thrust earthquake, just like the Boxing Day earthquake of 2004, struck the Pacific north-west. It drowned forests and turned land into sea. It sent a tsunami hurtling across the Pacific and it spawned a legend that would be passed down through a dozen generations. ibid.
The seismic waves which carry the shaking would be travelling through the Earth at over ten thousand miles per hour. Much faster than the tsunami. In just a few seconds the earthquake would reach the land. ibid.
I like being a foreigner. For me, to live in California is very pleasant – I’m more comfortable not feeling a part of everything, not feeling responsible for the government or the roads or the health system. Eric Idle
On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
‘This could be Heaven or this could be Hell’
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say ...
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (any time of year)
You can find it here. The Eagles, Hotel California
Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said, ‘We are all just prisoners here, of our own device’
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast.
Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
‘Relax,’ said the night man,
'We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave. ibid.
All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray.
I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day.
I’d be safe and warm if I was in LA;
California dreamin’ on such a winter’s day. The Mamas and the Papas, California Dreamin’
I wish they all could be California girls. The Beach Boys, California Girls
Southern California ... A bed of unusual stones on the sea floor. So what are these stones? And could they prove Hui Shen made it to America fifteen hundred years ago? ... These large round stones, some weighing over a hundred and thirty kilograms, bear a striking resemblance to stone anchors used on Chinese ships as early as the time of Christ. Who Really Discovered America? History 2010
Polynesia 1000 A.D. Four hundred and ninety-two years before Columbus ... Did they also sail by the stars to North and South America? ... Chickens they may have introduced to South America ... Sweet potatoes are not believed to be native to Polynesia, but they are native to South America: a possible clue ... But it’s more than the word for this canoe that’s important, it’s also the canoe itself which has a design that turns out to be rare, very rare ... And there’s more evidence: fish hooks ... found off Catalina Island near Los Angeles. ibid.
Death Valley: Yet here strange tracks keep appearing on the baked surface left by huge boulders. Stones would seem to move under their own power, curving and looping for hundreds of yards and even miles. Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World, ITV 1980
Off the coast of California these divers know that beneath the waters of the Pacific they will find puzzling archaeological treasures. In 1975 skipper Bob Meistrell retrieved a strange stone from the ocean floor: a hole had been drilled clean through it. The divers are looking for some more. The stones had obviously been carved deliberately. Experts recognised an uncanny resemblance to anchors used by fishermen in Old China. Meistrell thinks American history should be re-written. Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious Universe
After just six years the gold rush is over. Of the three hundred thousand who rush to find gold less than one out of a hundred strike it rich. The fortunes are made by the merchants and land owners who supply the miners. From dirt and dreams come the great cities of California, but the new nation’s hunger for goods triggers another kind of revolution. America: The Story of the US: Westward, History 2010
Ordinarily, the man who loves the woods and mountains, the trees, the flowers, and the wild things, has in him some indefinable quality of charm, which appeals even to those sons of civilization who care for little outside of paved streets and brick walls. John Muir was a fine illustration of this rule. He was by birth a Scotchman — a tall and spare man, with the poise and ease natural to him who has lived much alone under conditions of labour and hazard. He was a dauntless soul, and also one brimming over with friendliness and kindliness.
He was emphatically a good citizen. Not only are his books delightful, not only is he the author to whom all men turn when they think of the Sierras and northern glaciers, and the giant trees of the California slope, but he was also — what few nature lovers are — a man able to influence contemporary thought and action on the subjects to which he had devoted his life. He was a great factor in influencing the thought of California and the thought of the entire country so as to secure the preservation of those great natural phenomena — wonderful canyons, giant trees, slopes of flower-spangled hillsides — which make California a veritable Garden of the Lord. Theodore Roosevelt, ‘John Muir: An Appreciation’, Outlook vol 109 16 January 1915
John Muir talked even better than he wrote. His greatest influence was always upon those who were brought into personal contact with him. But he wrote well, and while his books have not the peculiar charm that a very, very few other writers on similar subjects have had, they will nevertheless last long. Our generation owes much to John Muir. ibid.
No man was more influential than John Muir in preserving the Sierra’s integrity. If I were to choose a single Californian to occupy the Hall of Fame, it would be this tenacious Scot who became a Californian during the final forty-six years of his life. It was John Muir whose knowledge wedded to zeal led men and governments to establish the National Park Service. Yosemite and Sequoia in California, the Petrified forest and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and the glacier wilderness of Alaska are what they are today largely because of this one man, in whom learning and love were co-equal. More than any other, he was the answer to that call which appears on the Courts Building in Sacramento: Give me men to match my mountains. Lawrence Clark Powell
65,900. If you think about all the gains our society has made, from independence to now, it wasn't government. It was activism. People think, ‘Oh, Teddy Roosevelt established Yosemite National Park, what a great president.’ BS. It was John Muir who invited Roosevelt out and then convinced him to ditch his security and go camping. It was Muir, an activist, a single person. Yvon Chouinard, Sierra Magazine