Perhaps you've heard of Don Grundmann, a California man who founded the National Straight Pride Coalition. The organization's goal is to defend "heterosexuality," "Caucasians," "Western Civilization," and, of course, promote "nationalism," according to his website. He's garnered attention for partnering with Modesto resident Mylinda Mason to hold a "Straight Pride" event later this month. At a meeting with the Modesto City Council Wednesday to defend his intentions, Grundmann revealed the truth about his organization, a "totally peaceful racist group," leaving the audience and council members in a fit of laughter.

Don Grundmann Gaffe “We’re a totally peaceful racist group” www.youtube.com

Culture

California Plans to Offer Free Solar Panels to Its Poorest Citizens

It may not be the “Sunshine State,” but when it comes to responsible solar energy, California is beginning to see the light.

image via (cc) flickr user ucirvine

While the sun may shine on each and every one of us equally, so far solar power has largely been a much less democratic affair. As solar energy panels become more and more efficient, their application, per a 2013 Center for American Progress study, remains mostly limited to middle-class homes with a median income of between $40-90,000. But a new plan in California will bring free solar power to its poorest citizens, saving each of them hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in electrical costs.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

How Much Water Could California Save?

Almonds and other crops are sucking up California’s water supply. Even nuttier: The state’s inefficient farming methods.

California’s in the middle of its most significant drought in half a millennia. According to Jay Famiglietti, senior water cycle scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Golden State’s reservoirs contain only a one-year supply* of water. If California continues to be caught in this drought through 2016, America (and much of the world) might be a whole lot hungrier. By many calculations, 80 percent of California’s developed water supply is dedicated to agricultural needs. The state’s vast and historically fertile lands, particularly in the Central Valley, have made it the nation’s number one producer of countless desirable crops: walnuts, strawberries, avocados, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, grapes, lettuce, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, artichokes…

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

I’m on a narrow road punched with potholes and uneven gravel. To both sides of me are fields of water stretched to the far edge of the horizon. If I were on an airplane looking down, I’d see a gorgeous mosaic of mirrors, silvery and still, divided into perfect rectangles.

Rice farmer Charley Mathews Jr.’s family has been working the land in California’s Sacramento Valley since the late 1800s. We’re standing near the water-swollen paddies that populate his 700-acre farm in Yuba County, an hour north of Sacramento proper. The soil is compacted, and the hardpan, a few feet beneath the surface, restricts fluid percolation. This is a good thing. The land, once regarded as wasteland, is perfect for rice farming, turning fields into giant bathtubs. Mathews’ great-grandfather, who came to California from Ireland, started his business growing produce to feed the miners in the gold fields. “Miners, all they had was gold dust. They were starving,“ Mathews says.

Keep Reading Show less
Features

If You See One Iranian Vampire Western Movie This Year, Make it This One

The chador-wearing, skateboarding, vampire protagonist of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night would fit right in to a John Hughes movie

If the phrase “Iranian vampire western” doesn’t get you interested in watching A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, then you should know the film is actually a John Hughes high school romance in disguise. The chador-wearing, skateboarding, wide-eyed vampire protagonist of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night spends her evenings slaying misogynistic men before she falls in love with Arash, a James Dean-look-a-like who has his own personal demons to slay. Ana Lily Amirpour’s feature-length directorial debut has generated a large volume of critical praise—The New Yorker called it a “tightly scripted, pictorially lavish, downbeat romantic fantasy” in one glowing review. We talked to Amirpour about her first feature film, story-telling, and how she humanized her teenage vampire protagonist.

Keep Reading Show less
Articles

This summer I embarked on a cycling journey across America, pedaling 4,700 miles on a bamboo bicycle handmade in Ghana. My aim was to inspire Americans to start living a happier healthier lifestyle—and each and every day I spread environmental awareness. In an extreme attempt to lead by example, I followed a set of rigorous ground rules:

Keep Reading Show less
Articles