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“Earthquake--The Big One” suffered a minor disaster,...

<i> From staff and wire reports</i>

“Earthquake--The Big One” suffered a minor disaster, and it wasn’t one that Universal Studios Tour had planned.

Refunds were given to 600 visitors who missed the simulated 8.3-magnitude earthquake because workers were tinkering with a real-life malfunction.

The problem was that the attraction’s subway set was minus one explosion.

“There is a slab of concrete that falls from above and (a fuel) truck is supposed to slide down and explode, but it didn’t do it like it was supposed to,” explained spokeswoman Joan Bullard.

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The procession of tourist-crammed trams was held up for 90 minutes while workers tried to induce the truck to blow up. Finally, in the ensuing logjam, the drivers of several tourist-filled trams decided to bypass the quake. They no doubt felt it was a matter of either leaving the scene or rechristening the attraction “Traffic Jam--The Big One.”

The names of Burns and Allen are united again, this time at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

In recognition of the entertainer’s $2-million donation, the hospital on Monday honored Burns, 93, and his late wife and comedy partner, Gracie Allen, by unveiling the Burns and Allen Chair in Cardiology Research.

It’s the latest in a long list of institutions named after philanthropic members of the entertainment community, including the Jerry Lewis Neuromuscular Research Center and the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA, the George Lucas Instructional Center at USC, the Anthony Quinn Library in East Los Angeles, William Hart High School in Newhall and Will Rogers, Leo Carrillo and Dan Blocker state beaches.

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Other memorials include John Wayne Airport in Orange County and the Ronald Reagan State Office Building under construction in Los Angeles.

Chevy Chase Country Club, however, was not named after the screen comic.

First, apples and grapes. Now, a bunny ban?

That would be the preference of the county Department of Animal Care and Control, which points out that every year parents get caught up in the spirit of Easter and buy their children rabbits. The big-eared creatures are initially cute and cuddly but much more difficult to take care of than dogs and cats in an urban area.

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The agency points out that county law also prohibits the sale of baby rabbits, ducklings and chicks, which often die or wind up in ill health at animal centers “after the vigorous handling and haphazard care” they receive from children.

And, as though it needed saying, it is also illegal for any animal to be dyed or stained.

It was a heartening sight after the recent reports of delays in the construction of Metro Rail.

An entrance sign near City Hall said “Subway.”

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However, a closer look revealed that the sign stood over a dummy station that was a prop for a television movie about a New York newspaper columnist.

Even the hot dog vendor next to the subway was a fake, although his cart did conceal a birthday cake for someone in the cast.


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