Grown-ups, don’t try this: A few weeks...
Grown-ups, don’t try this: A few weeks ago we published a drawing of Beckjord’s Cube, an earthquake protection bed with a pipe frame. We thought it was the end to our fears of living in seismic California.
The inventor, Jon Erik Beckjord, had been inspired by a story saying that actor Jerry Van Dyke apparently survived the 6.8 quake “due to (a) four-posted bed that propped up his falling room.”
We had no reason to doubt the scientific credentials of Beckjord because he is, after all, the curator of the Crypto-Phenomena Bigfoot Museum in . . . well, it’s currently homeless. Anyway, Beckjord offered the design for free.
Alas, now we hear from Grant High math teacher Harold Jacobs that “Beckjord’s cube is not as practical as it might seem.” Jacobs points out that “quadrilaterals, unlike triangles, are not rigid. Consequently, a cube made without any triangular braces has no real strength.”
Not that it would make any difference to Bigfoot.
A hardcover Only: Jacobs, by the way, is the author of the textbook, “Mathematics: A Human Endeavor,” which, we’re proud to say, contains a mistake that first appeared in this column. No, it wasn’t the time we mixed up a cockapoo with a cockatoo. This was a photo by reader Al MacInnes that showed the word only spelled with a reversed N on the pavement of a freeway off-ramp. Only in L.A. took it personally.
This should be an exhibit in the Temporary Contemporary Museum: Edward Conklin notes that a never-say-die sign in Hermosa Beach just celebrated the eighth anniversary of the date on which it was supposed to be removed.
Training for bras: We phoned up a Northern California artist named Nicolino to see how he was progressing on his majestic plan to stretch 10,000 bras across the Grand Canyon. There have been a few hitches, he says.
Nicolino, you may recall, traveled by train from San Francisco to L.A. to El Paso in December, asking for donations of bras at each stop. His artwork is intended to be a spoof on the preoccupation of Americans with their bodies.
Unfortunately, he has amassed only 2,000 pieces of lingerie so far. (In case you were wondering, none of them appears to be the Madonna bustier that was stolen from Frederick’s of Hollywood during the L.A. riots of 1992.)
Nicolino is planning once again to “whistle-stop for bras,” as he puts it, pulling into L.A. near the end of April.
Although hundreds of people greeted him with bras in El Paso last time, Nicolino picked up only three during a two-hour stopover in L.A. He has a theory about that. “There’s less to do in El Paso,” Nicolino said.
Not such a Grand idea: This just in! A fax from Nicolino announces: “After discussing this project with the Grand Canyon National park officials, Nicolino is now exploring an ALTERNATE PROJECT SITE. The project is becoming increasingly problematic . . . jeopardizing a successful permitting process.”
Perhaps our readers can offer, by letter or fax, (213) 237-4712, a site in L.A.
On to G-strings: Linda Deutsch of Associated Press came upon a flyer for a housekeeper who does windows, but only when the shades are drawn.
Point Dume, located off the coast of Malibu, is sometimes given the melodious pronunciation of Doo-MAY. Actually, it’s just DUME. It was named for a priest named Francisco Dumetz.