Thursday, November 27, 2014

Learn to Play Chess From These Websites

November 11, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Chess is often considered a sophisticated game, beloved for its strategic, logical thinking and the seemingly endless possibilities in each match. If you want to learn how to play this great game, these fun and interactive websites can teach you how to play:
Packed full of everything you need to know about the history, rules, and pieces in chess, is an all-inclusive resource for all of your chess needs. Here you can read up on the strategy behind the game and learn how each piece moves, and once you feel confident you can even play chess online against the computer or other players.

Chess Corner
This is an incredibly detailed website describing all aspects of the game of chess. It lists the basic rules of the game, what each piece does, how to set up the board, and a few key strategies. For the more advanced player, Chess Corner also describes popular tactics like forks, pinning, and skewers, and it even offers puzzles to help you determine which is the best move in a variety of situations.

National Parks Near the Bay Area: Get Up Close and Personal With Giant Sequoias

October 14, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Two national parks line the Sierra Nevada mountain range, just a few hours drive away from the San Francisco Bay Area. While some may say the parks rival each other, both offer an array of their own breathtaking landscapes and famous landmarks.

Known primarily for its waterfalls and granite cliffs, Yosemite National Park is about a four-hour drive from San Francisco. An average of 3.7 million people visit the park every year, and most spend their time in a small, seven-square mile area of Yosemite Valley. It's home to the popular rock-climbing destination El Capitan, which is beloved in part due to its year-round accessibility. There are also three Giant Sequoia groves located within the park.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is located east of Fresno, California. At the park's Redwood Canyon, you’ll find the largest grove of giant sequoia trees in the country, which grow on average to an astounding 200 feet tall and 23 feet in diameter. It is home also to the General Grant Grove of sequoias. Beyond the groves lies Kings Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the United States. Visitors to the park enjoy year-round horseback riding, camping, and hiking throughout the glaciated valley.

East Meets West Center for Holistic Medicine

October 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous


Check Out These Fun Facts About Flax Seeds

September 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Flax seeds have been buzzed about quite a bit lately among healthy eating communities, but most people don’t know much about these tiny superfoods.

Here are a few interesting facts about flax seeds if you're considering adding them to your diet:

  1. Flax seeds are full of beneficial nutrients. They're loaded with a laundry list of good-for-you nutrients, including healthy fats, fiber, protein, and omega 3s. They’re also full of vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and lignans, which can help to prevent against cancer.
  2. You may notice that your grocery store carries both golden and brown flax seeds, but both contain the same nutritional benefits. Which type you choose depends on your own taste.
  3. Like many other foods in Mediterranean diets, flax seeds may help to prevent against many chronic diseases. They may reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as the risk of hormone-dependent cancers.
  4. There are many ways to eat flax seeds. Whether you add ground flax seeds to your baked goods, sprinkle them on your salads or use them to top your yogurts, you can incorporate them into your diet without much effort.

Frequently Asked About Flax [Ameriflax]
What's New and Beneficial About Flaxseeds [The World’s Healthiest Foods]
Flaxseeds [Vegetarian Times]
Cooking with Flax [Flax Council of Canada]

Elegance Meets Gourmet Fare at These Fine Dining Restaurants in Los Angeles

August 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Los Angeles is one of the country’s most stimulating cities, from its movie sets to its picturesque beaches. The city's vibrant restaurant scene is also exciting to the senses, and these two fine dining restaurants are some of the best in LA.

Mastro’s Steakhouse
With its sleek, modern decor and a old Hollywood charm, Mastro’s Steakhouse just looks like the type of restaurant where famous actors would hide from the snooping paparazzi. Comfortable leather booths line the walls, and the rustic, wooden bar glistens with a wide variety of spirit bottles on every shelf. The menu includes steakhouse classics like beef carpaccio and shrimp cocktail to start, and the impressive wine and beer list features a handpicked selection of favorites. Entrees include high quality steaks and chops with potato and fresh vegetable sides, and traditional desserts such as cheesecake and key lime pie are the ideal ending to any meal.
246 N. Canon Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90210; (310) 888-8782

The Bazaar by Jose Andres
Traditional Spanish cuisine gets a modern, creative makeover at this stylish indoor piazza. The Bazaar features a wide assortment of dining spaces and lounge areas each based on a different theme, including a stark white room with elegant chandeliers and a rustic, red room with Southwestern influence. The menu is full of seafood prepared with a Mediterranean flair, Catalan salads, flavorful desserts, and crafted cocktails with equally as much pizazz.
465 S. La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Grove, CA 90048; (310) 246-5555

What Porsche Has Up Its Sleeve

August 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

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Fire Station 61 Lunch

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

The Park La Brea leasing office made a homemade lunch for Fire Station 61 on Wednesday, July 16th. Fresh homemade bread, Southern ribs, macaroni and cheese, salads and desserts were just some of the fare.

Just a small thanks to the hard-working guys serving our community.

Party Safe: Tips for Serving a Safe Food Buffet

July 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

When you have a large group of people over for dinner, serving food buffet-style ensures that everyone gets exactly what they want. But how can you be sure that everything stays fresh, from appetizers to dessert? Here are a few tips for serving a safe food buffet.

  1. Buy foods at the proper temperature. Things like fried chicken, casseroles, and ice cream should be kept at the same temperature from the store to the buffet table, as changing their temperatures too much can cause food to spoil.
  2. Know the proper temperatures. Hot food should be kept between 140° and 165° Fahrenheit, while cold food should be kept at 40° Fahrenheit and lower.
  3. Don’t leave food out for longer than two hours. Be sure to include preparation and serving in your count.
  4. Use the proper tools. To ensure that food is kept at the proper temperature, use things like slow cookers, warming trays, and nesting dishes in bowls of ice. To prevent guests from mixing foods, make sure that you provide a separate spoon, spatula, or tongs in each dish. Also provide individual bowls for dips to discourage guests from double-dipping.

Serving Up Safe Buffets [FDA]
Serving Prepared Foods Safely [Whole Foods]
Holiday or Party Buffets [USDA]

5 Vegetarian Recipes That Are Way More Than Just Tofu

June 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous

Just because you're a vegetarian doesn't mean you have to exist solely on plain tofu and vegetables! There are a wide variety of colorful dishes that are also meat-free, and they certainly don't lack taste. If you’re a vegetarian (or even just a healthy eater!) who loves to prepare creative, flavorful meals, these meatless recipes will be a welcome addition to your recipe box.

Pappardelle with Mushrooms [Cooking Light]

Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps [Cooking Light]

Eggplant Parmesan [Cooking Light]

California Barley Bowl [101 Cookbooks]

Summer Vegetable Curry [101 Cookbooks]

Staying Informed with MySafe:LA

May 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Miscellaneous


May 2014

MySafe:LA is working to keep
Older Adults Safe during
"Older Americans Month" in May …and the whole year through.

MySafe:LA is committed to protecting the safety of Older Adults. That's why we've created a curriculum on Older Adult safety that we're presenting around Los Angeles, thanks to a grant from FEMA. Folks 55 and better are one of the fastest-growing segments of our population, and can be some of the most vulnerable members of our society. MySafe:LA has just wrapped production on a video that deals with fire and life safety for older adults, featuring real people who live in the Park La Brea Apartment complex in LA's Miracle Mile area, where MySafe:LA did a fire and life safety presentation back in March. The site was chosen because of its mix of high-rise and garden-style apartments, and long-time residents who are active and involved in staying safe and healthy. Stay tuned for more on this exciting new video from MySafe:LA.

Learn more about Older Americans Month and Fall Prevention

The MySafe:LA Production Team: (from left) Director David Barrett, Cinematographer Cameron Barrett, Assistant Director Javielle Chavarria, Riverside Firefighter and Drone-camera-operator Eric Peniata take a break during an Older Adult video shoot at LAFD Fire Station 61.


MySafe:LA welcomes a new Board member

MySafe:LA and the Safe Community Project are pleased and proud to announce that Retired LAFD Assistant Fire Chief David Yamahata has joined the Board of Directors. Chief Yamahata brings more that 36 years of experience to the organization. That experience and breadth of knowledge will be a tremendous asset to MySafe:LA going forward.

Read more about Chief Yamahata joining the Safe Community Project and MySafe:LA

Fire Service Recognition Day 2014

The MySafe:LA Team poses in front of LAFD Station 27 in Hollywood during Fire Service and Recognition Day 2014. MySafe:LA members fanned-out across the City of Los Angeles to 11 "focal-point" stations from the San Pedro to the San Fernando Valley to present the "Fire Burns, Smoke Kills" smoke-alarm awareness program to the people who turned-out for the LAFD's annual open house event. LAFD members gave away free smoke alarms to folks who filled out a Pledge Card, promising to install and maintain working smoke alarms in their homes. It's all part of the LAFD and MySafe:LA effort to get working smoke alarms in all homes in Los Angeles, and comes in the wake of an alarming spike in fire-fatalities in 2014 involving homes with no working smoke alarm present.
In the photo (from left): Cameron Barrett, David Barrett, Carl Ginsberg, Chris Nevil, Javielle Chavarria, Todd Leitz, and Bill Whitney.

Families look on as LA firefighters at Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks prepare to demonstrate how they tear apart a car to extricate trapped passengers after an accident. These types of demonstrations are a highlight of Fire Service Day.


Large-Scale Evacuation Drill

Los Angeles Fire Chief James Featherstone speaks to his command staff and other agency participants after a massive evacuation drill of LA's Mandeville Canyon.

One-Way-In, One-Way-Out:

While early-season wildfires raged in San Diego County, the LAFD and LAPD joined forces to stage a valuable evacuation drill of LA's Mandeville Canyon ahead of a mock wildfire. With only one way in and one way out of this large canyon, the thousands of residents need to make evacuation plans in case a wildfire, like the one in 1978, threatens their lives and property. Fire and police officials — with the cooperation of Mandeville Residents — executed the evacuation smoothly and without incident, learning valuable lessons along the way about communications and notification of evacuation orders. After evacuating their homes, resident congregated at the staging-area — Paul Revere Middle School on Sunset Boulevard — where various organizations, including MySafe:LA distributed information and materials related to fire safety and emergency preparedness.

MySafe:LA, the LAFD, First Alert and Councilman Felipe Fuentes team-up to bring Fire Safety Education to Sylmar

Making a Difference!

MySafe:LA organized a fire safety education event at Harding Elementary School with the help of the office of Sylmar-area LA City Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, who came to the school to introduce the program to 4th and 5th grade students, explaining the importance of being prepared for brush-fires or residential structure fires. Each of the kids who indicated they needed a smoke alarm were given one, free of charge, thanks to First Alert, which donated the alarms to MySafe:LA and the LAFD for their ongoing smoke alarm program: "Fire Burns, Smoke Kills".
(pictured from left: MySafe:LA Instructors Chris Nevil and Todd Leitz, LAFD PIO Captain Jaime Moore, First Alert Director of External Affairs Deborah Hanson and MySafe:LA Executive Officer David Barrett)

See Council District 7's Blog-Post about the Event

Watch a MySafe:LA video of the Event

Sowing the Safety Seeds planted in Hawaiian Gardens


Special Delivery! MySafe:LA wrapped-up an LA County pilot-program in the small city of Hawaiian Gardens this month, delivering smoke alarms to Hawaiian and Furgeson Elementary schools following fire and life safety presentations to 4th through 6th grade students at the two schools. The program was made possible in part by a grant from Fireman's Fund Insurance, and will be used as a template as MySafe:LA branches-out of the City of Los Angeles to bring its safety message throughout California.


MySafe:LA Photo of the Month


MySafe:LA Childrens' Safety Ambassador Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers poses with some great kids from Rosemont Elementary School in LA's Echo Park during a MySafe:LA Public Service Announcement shoot.

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