Posts Tagged ‘ spring ’

Chris Hedges: Mind Rape and the Christian Right – Chris Hedges’ Columns – Truthdig

July 24, 2013

Noel Lyons, a member of the

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Green Diamond Guide – Jewelry Trend 2012

April 12, 2012
Green Diamond Guide – Jewelry Trend 2012

Vibrant gems are so coveted this spring that Diamond & Estate Trust is devoting this entire week to gorgeous colored diamonds . Although we’ve all spotted celebrities wearing pink, yellow, and brown diamonds at recent Red Carpet events, there’s one colored diamond so rare that most people go their entire lives without seeing it: the green diamond. Here’s a quick primer on the legendary, elusive green diamond. A fancy vivid green diamond from the Diamond & Estate Trust collection How rare are green diamonds? If you’ve been reading our colored diamond blogs this week, you already know that all natural colored diamonds are extremely rare: Only one in 10,000 diamonds mined is a color other than white. But within the spectrum of colored diamonds , the green diamond is one of the rarest of them all (second only to the red diamond). It’s estimated that only about 10 green diamonds enter the marketplace each year, which explains why even A-List celebrities and the world’s nobility have a difficult time getting a hold of a green diamond. How do green diamonds get their color? Diamonds take on a green color when some type of natural radiation occurs while they’re forming within the Earth. Although all naturally-occurring green diamonds are extremely rare and, therefore, extremely valuable, the three most coveted green diamonds are fancy , fancy intense, and fancy vivid green. Whereas most colored diamonds are valued for a rich, deep color , green diamonds classified as fancy deep or fancy dark often lose their luster and resemble emeralds more than diamonds , making them a less desirable option. Because a green diamond is caused by natural radiation , it’s often difficult to tell whether a green diamond has been artificially heat-treated with radiation to achieve its color. Even more so than with other colored diamonds , it’s crucial to check the gem’s certification to determine that it was not artificially treated. What are some famous green diamonds? The Dresden Green The Dresden Green diamond is by far the most famous green diamond in the world. The 41 carat diamond is the largest known apple green diamond, and gets its name from the capitol of Saxony, Germany, where it has been housed for centuries. Although not as vibrantly green as the Dresden Green, the Orlov Diamond is another notable green diamond . Discovered in India, the 189.62 carat rose-cut Orlov Diamond is part of the Diamond Treasury of Russia. Its faint bluish-green tint makes it an extremely light – yet still extremely striking – example of a green diamond. Only a few green diamonds have ever been sold at auction. One green diamond, a 3.19 carat fancy green diamond ear pendant, was sold along with a yellow diamond ear pendant for $343,498 at a Christie’s auction in 2000. The largest green diamond ever sold at auction, a 2.52 carat vivid green diamond, fetched $3.08 million at a 2009 Sotheby’s auction in Geneva. What cuts work best for green diamonds? Like most colored diamonds , green diamonds look the most striking in cuts such as princess, radiant or round brilliant, all of which emphasize the depth and hue of a diamond. Green diamonds and Diamond & Estate Trust If you’re searching for the rarest, most exquisite gem the world has to offer, the green diamond is the perfect choice. Diamond & Estate Trust ’s collection of colored diamonds includes extraordinary loose gems in all colors of the rainbow, including green. View our constantly evolving collection of gems, diamonds and vintage jewelry to see what new colored diamonds we’ve acquired. Diamond & Estate Trust is Southern California’s premier buyer and seller of diamonds, gems, vintage jewelry and luxury watches . For the ultimate vibrant statement piece, we invite you to explore our exquisite collection of colored diamonds . Want to learn more about colored diamonds? Be sure to check out yesterday’s post on the pink diamond, and visit our blog everyday this week for a profile on a different colored diamond . Follow this link: Green Diamond Guide – Jewelry Trend 2012

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Pantone Spring 2012 Color Guide Inspired Jewelry – Part II

March 29, 2012
Pantone Spring 2012 Color Guide Inspired Jewelry – Part II

Spring 2012 is finally here, and that means one thing — it’s time to pack away your winter accessories and make room for  your spring collection. Do you need a new gorgeous gem to breathe life into your spring jewelry collection? If so, there’s no better guidepost than the Pantone Color Institute’s Spring 2012 colors list. Here are last five hues on Pantone’s Spring 2012 color palate, each paired with a gorgeous gem of a similar hue! And be sure to check out Part I of this series for a recap of the first five colors on the Pantone Color Institute’s Spring 2012 color list! Margarita This dusty green shade is all about a soft glow — and you’ll add the same soft radiance to your look when you wear a Peridot ring or earrings . Just look for a more subtle Peridot hue that matches the pastel aspects of the Margarita shade. Sweet Lilac This fresh baby pink shade adds whimsical romance to Pantone’s Spring 2012 colors list. And there’s undoubtedly only one choice when it comes to pink gems: the pink diamond . This gorgeous fancy pink radiant cut diamond in Diamond & Estate Trust’s collection is the vision of springtime romance. Driftwood This charcoal grey neutral brings to mind the beautiful, dark luster of grey diamonds . And if a grey diamond doesn’t suit your sense of style, Driftwood is a perfect complementary color to any brighter hue, making a yellow, green or blue colored diamond a striking choice for pairing. Bellflower Of all the colors on the Pantone Color Institute’s Spring 2012 color list, Bellflower is probably the hue that will transition most seamlessly into the fall season. Just at this ornamental purple shade can carry you through the year, this gorgeous vintage amethyst ring from our collection will be in vogue no matter the season. Cockatoo Our favorite color on Pantone’s Spring 2012 list is this tactile blue-green shade. When you’re in the mood for some Cockatoo flair, an aquamarine ring such as this 30 carat vintage stunner in the Diamond & Estate Trust collection is sure to make your spirits soar. Let Diamond & Estate Trust help you find the perfect piece of jewelry to match the beauty of each Pantone Spring 2012 color. Whether you’re infatuated with Cockatoo, romanced by Sweet Lilac, or knocked out by Cabaret, we have the perfect gem with a vibrant hue to match. And for the ultimate jewelery look inspired by Pantone’s Spring 2012 colors, we will create you a custom piece that embodies your style and the spirit of the season. Diamond & Estate Trust’s collection of loose gems such as diamonds , colored diamonds , rubies and sapphires , as well as estate jewelry make us Southern California’s premier luxury jewelry buyer and seller . Excerpt from: Pantone Spring 2012 Color Guide Inspired Jewelry – Part II

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10.16 Carat Burma No Heat Sapphire Ring

March 29, 2012
10.16 Carat Burma No Heat Sapphire Ring

Given the vibrancy and elegance of the sapphire , it’s no surprise that the sapphire ring has become a Red Carpet staple in 2012 among some of the world’s most revered fashion icons. And when it comes to selecting a sapphire ring, there is no choice more exquisite than this 10.16 carat no-heat Burma sapphire and diamond ring from the Diamond & Estate Trust collection. If there’s one place in the world synonymous with gorgeous sapphires, it’s Burma . Many of history’s most exquisite sapphires have been discovered in Burma’s famed Mogok mine, which is renown for producing sapphires with an unmatched, superbly concentrated blue hue that shines brilliantly from every angle. Along with the Kashmir sapphire , the Burma sapphire is one of the most coveted sapphires in the world. One look at the magnificent no-heat Burma sapphire in this ring and you’ll know why the Burma sapphire has been captivating jewelers, nobility and fashion icons for more than 1,000 years. At a magnificent 10.16 carats, this Gueblin certified no-heat sapphire is one of the largest Burma sapphires we’ve ever seen. Striking facet work brings out all the depth and dimension in the sapphire’s perfect powder blue hue. This stunning ring also features a strong classic mount and two lustrous white shield-cut diamonds , which flank the Burma sapphire in pure elegance. This ring’s luxury and bold flair are unmistakable. This Burma no-heat sapphire and diamond ring would make the ultimate luxury statement day or night. And with spring finally here, this ring’s vibrancy is even more chic. When you wear this piece from the Diamond & Estate Trust collection , you’ll join the likes of Beyonce , Jay-Z, Victoria Bekham , Penelope Cruz , Kate Middleton and other celebrities who have made a sapphire ring their favorite Spring 2012 jewelry accessory. Diamond & Estate Trust is the premier buyer and seller of luxury jewelry, including estate pieces, signature pieces, designer jewelry and watches, and loose stones such as diamonds , colored diamonds , sapphires and rubies . We scour the globe to ensure the gems, jewelry and estate pieces in our collection are the most exquisite the world has to offer. Go here to see the original: 10.16 Carat Burma No Heat Sapphire Ring

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UPDATE: Sue Mengers House Sells

December 12, 2011
UPDATE: Sue Mengers House Sells

SELLER: estate of Sue Mengers BUYER: Allen and Deborah Grubman LOCATION: Beverly Hills, CA PRICE: currently unknown YOUR MAMAS NOTES: It was only a few short weeks ago that Your Mama and just about every other celebrity real estate and/or property gossip went bat shit crazy about the legendary John Elgin-Woolf-designed Beverly Hills, CA residence of recently deceased Hollywood über-agent Sue Mengers. The house, a touchstone of high-Hollywood real estate if there ever was one, was listed (mostly) to architectural oohs and aahs with an asking price of $4,995,000 just a few short weeks after the kaftan-clad pint-size dynamo went to meet her maker in mid-October 2011. The somewhat out-dated, old-school and divinely enigmatic property, according to the New York Post , has been sold to New York City-based law man Allen J. Grubman and his wife Deborah Grubman, a superstar slinger of swanky New York City condos, co-ops and townhouses. The sale price was not reported but Your Mama hears from an usually very well-informed Bev Hills real estate mover and shaker that Mister and Missus Grubman paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,500,000 for the single-story abode situated in a prime neck of the Beverly Hills woods just above Sunset Boulevard and–super conveniently–an easy stumble and bumble to the various hooch and food emporiums at the Beverly Hills Hotel . Miz Mengers , a star in her own right, purchased the house in the spring of 1988 and spent the better part of the last 20-some years kibitzing with everyone who is (or was) anyone in Showbiz. As far as we know, which is nothing, none of the Kardashians ever kibitzed with Miz Mengers but Fran Lebowitz, Barry Diller, Tina Fey, Warren Beatty and Angelica Huston, Elton John, Sidney Poitier, and Jennifers Lopez and Aniston did , to name just a few. The very modestly-scaled by Beverly Hills standards house

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Spring Street’s Brand New Green Bike Lane Already Needs a Fresh Coat of Paint

December 2, 2011
Spring Street’s Brand New Green Bike Lane Already Needs a Fresh Coat of Paint

Have you ever washed your car the day before it rains only to have to wash it all over again? Well, something similar happened with Spring Street’s brand spanking new day-glo green bike lane . more › Here is the original post: Spring Street’s Brand New Green Bike Lane Already Needs a Fresh Coat of Paint

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Beau Bridges Lists (Again) In Horsey Hidden Hills

November 19, 2011
Beau Bridges Lists (Again) In Horsey Hidden Hills

SELLER: Beau Bridges LOCATION: Hidden Hills, CA PRICE: $2,850,000 SIZE: 7,000 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Always working actor and Tinseltown scion Beau Bridges–his father is Emmy-nominated Lloyd and his younger brother is Oscar-winner Jeff–briefly had his house in the horsey Hidden Hills enclave in the far western suburbs of Los Angeles, CA on the market in the spring of 2010 with an asking price of $3,250,000 . Alas, there were no immediate takers and the 1.16 acre estate was taken off the (open) market. In real estate what comes around often (and doesn’t sell) often comes back around at a lower price and sure enough Mister Bridges and his wife Wendy have recently re-listed their long-time estate with a new and much lower price tag of $2,850,000. Mister Bridges successfully skipped around Hollywood since the early 1960s with a professional resume a mile or more long . Over the course of his long career he’s earned 10 Emmy nominations, mostly for guest appearances on hit shows ( My Name is Earl, Desperate Housewives, The Closer ) plus three Emmy statuettes for starring roles on a trio television mini-series ( Without Warning: The James Brady Story, The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, The Second Civil War ). The 70 year old actor shows no sign of retirement from the Business of Show. He’s got a number of film projects in the hopper and in the last couple of years Mister Bridges has appeared numerous times on both the big screen ( Rockford Files, The Descendents ) and the small screen, most notably on Brothers & Sisters , a guest starring role that earned him yet another Emmy nomination. Property records indicate Mister and Missus Bridges purchased his house in the upscale, semi-rural equestrian community back in May 1988 for $1,200,000. Current listing information shows the multi-winged Marshall Lewis -designed English Tudor-style residence measures around 7,000 square feet and includes a total of 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. The open-plan main living areas have wood (and wall-to-wall carpeted) floors, stained glass windows, wood ceilings criss-crossed by heavy wood beams. Many of the main rooms pinwheel around a monumental brick and mortar fireplace and include country-casual formal living and dining rooms, a billiard room with curved carved wood staircase, and a massive L-shaped family room with wet bar and sunken conversation pit with fireplace. Despite the basket weave-patterned brick floor, heavy wood beams and lethal-looking pot racks, the eat-in kitchen takes on a (more) contemporary vibe with streamlined Shaker-style Poggenpohl cabinets, granite counter tops, and every high-grade appliance money can buy including Viking-brand warming drawers, double ovens, side-by-side Sub-Zero fridge and freezers. In kitchen dining and snacking can be done at the snack bar or in a greenhouse-style breakfast nook with garden view. Listing information indicates four of the six bedrooms are on the second floor and include three sizable family/guest bedrooms each with direct access to a bathroom, all with vaulted and beamed ceilings and at least one with a sleeping loft accessed by a tightly spiraled staircase. The expansive master suite has a massive brick fireplace, sitting area, high-pitched beamed ceiling, a stained glass window or two, multiple closets plus dressing room, private bathroom and adjoining office with steeply-peaked wood-beamed ceiling, green and black marble fireplace and wine closet lined with custom-built bottle racks. The acre-plus grounds are mostly landscaped and include a long drive way that sweeps around to motor court at the side of the house with three-car attached garage, wide-swathes of gently undulating lawns dotted with mature shade trees and at least one hanging tepee, extensive vegetable gardens, a greenhouse, a fountain or two, and a big ol’ brick-lined entertainment terrace with built-in barbecue that extends off the rear of the house. Between the house and the fenced tennis court there’s an azure blue heated swimming pool and spa. Beyond the swimming pool and spa there’s a tennis court but what there isn’t, unlike the vast majority of the other estates in Hidden Hills, are equestrian facilities. Currently listing information does not include many photos but the fine folks at Luxist presented the property back in April 2010 and many images of the interior spaces and grounds can be seen there . Property records show that Mister Bridges has owned a 6.25 acre spread a fair distance from the beach near Kilauea on the Hawaiian island of Kauai since at least May 1997. listing photos: Sotheby’s International Realty See the article here: Beau Bridges Lists (Again) In Horsey Hidden Hills

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Why Doesn’t George Clooney Have A Star On The Walk Of Fame?

October 7, 2011

LOS ANGELES — Engelbert Humperdink has one. Clint Eastwood does not. John, George and Ringo – yes. Paul McCartney? Not yet. And George Clooney would be in the club if only someone could convince him to show up for the ceremony. When it comes to receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the sidewalk tourist attraction that encompasses 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of intersecting Vine Street, it’s not so much who you know, but whether you’re willing to play by the rules. For starters, someone in the celebrity’s camp must first fill out an application form that includes the star’s signed promise that they will attend the ceremony. No pledge? No ceremony. Which is why Eastwood, Julia Roberts and Clooney aren’t among the 2,450 honorees lining Hollywood’s sidewalks. A five-member committee meets annually in June to consider some 250 to 300 applicants from five categories of the entertainment industry – film, television, music, broadcast radio and theater, a category added in 1984. As you might imagine, some of the candidates possess light resumes. Others wouldn’t be able to show up for obvious reasons. “We’ve had applications from Santa Claus and the duck that represents an insurance company on commercials,” says Walk of Fame producer Ana Martinez, who attends the voting meeting and decides where the stars are eventually placed on the street. “Somebody insisted Shakespeare should have a star,” Martinez adds. Typically, the Walk’s committee annually selects 20 to 24 new honorees, who must then pay a $30,000 sponsorship fee. This covers the cost of constructing the three-foot-wide stars as well as the cost of the ceremony. A portion of this money also goes to the Walk’s trust fund for continued maintenance. Of course, the honorees themselves rarely foot the bill. Recipients have five years to schedule their ceremony. Most celebrities time the event to coincide with a promotional opportunity. “Stars like to make it a big deal,” Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president Leron Gubler says. “That’s the way they are. They get a little more bang for their buck out of it when they time it right.” Thus, September’s star recipients Neil Patrick Harris and Jon Cryer scheduled their ceremonies to coincide with the fall premieres of their long-running television series, “How I Met Your Mother” and “Two and a Half Men,” respectively. The shows’ production companies each paid the $30,000 fee. Rock star Melissa Etheridge, a recent honoree, saw her star unveiled in front of the Hard Rock Café, which, not coincidentally, paid her bill. Etheridge used the ceremony both to thank her fans and launch Hard Rock’s Pinktober breast cancer awareness campaign. Etheridge, 50, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and has been a spokesperson for the event for the past six years. “It’s forever,” Etheridge says of her star, following a morning ceremony attended by an estimated 500 people, including many fans who traveled on their own dime from across the country to be at the event. “We’ve been playing this fame game for 100 years here in this city of dreams,” Etheridge adds, noting she came to the Walk of Fame when she visited Los Angeles as a teenager. At 51, the Walk of Fame is roughly half of Hollywood’s age, and many of its stars are in need of a little cosmetic surgery. Tree roots along Vine Street have caused the stars’ black and pink terrazzo concrete to crumble. Heat and foot traffic are factors, too, contributing to the buckling of the stars’ brass name lettering, borders and emblems. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce initiated a restoration project in 2008, grading each of the walk’s stars. Nearly 800 were targeted to be repaired or replaced. Raising the $4.2 million needed to complete the project hasn’t been easy. Corporate sponsors have donated about half the total, to go along with money from private donors and a portion of the proceeds from the star ceremonies. Though still short of the goal, Gruber says he hopes work can begin next year. “We don’t have the money to do the whole walk,” Gruber says. “We’ll start with the worst sections and go from there.” Redevelopment, including the Hollywood and Highland complex and its Kodak Theatre, the permanent home of the Academy Awards, have bolstered the fortunes of the walk’s west end in the past decade. The Walk of Fame, along with the famous movie star footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, remain popular attractions for tourists visiting Los Angeles. “They’re iconic places that still resonate with people, though what’s in the imagination probably doesn’t align with the reality,” says USC professor Leo Braudy, whose book “The Hollywood Sign” covers another area landmark. “It’s a way for people to connect with their favorite celebrities,” Braudy continues, “though if you really want to meet one, you’d have a lot more luck going to the nearest supermarket.” ? Read more from the original source: Why Doesn’t George Clooney Have A Star On The Walk Of Fame?

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Bob Burnett: It’s the Water, Stupid: The Perils of Clearcutting

October 7, 2011

When you fly to the west coast, you usually pass over the Sierra Nevada mountain range. On a clear day you’ll notice the surrounding forests are irregular; they’ve been “checkerboarded.” Millions of acres have been logged and “clearcut.” While problematic on many levels, clearcutting imperils the drinking water for 45 million Americans. Clearcutting is a logging technique where all trees in a given area are cut down. The valuable timber is hauled away and the residue, the “slash pile,” is burned. Then the ground is scraped and sprayed with herbicides to suppress native vegetation. The area is replanted with one species, typically pine. In recent years, this process has been rebranded as “even-age” timber management. In California, clearcutting is only permitted on private land and usually occurs on property owned by Sierra Pacific Industries — the largest private landowner in the state holding over 1.7 million acres. Since 1990 Sierra Pacific has received permission from the California Forestry Board to clearcut over a quarter million acres. In 2000, the California legislature debated a bill that would have banned all clearcutting because of concerns about its environmental impact. Democratic Governor Gray Davis killed the law by declaring he would only sign legislation “that was the result of compromise between environmentalists and loggers.” (Sierra Pacific made significant contributions to Davis’ campaign and on July 13, 1999, hosted a fundraiser that raised $129,000 for the governor.) Clearcutting has two major consequences. First, it impacts biodiversity. Replacing native trees and plants with a solitary species, pine, may simplify logging but it disrupts the habitat for plants and animals. Clearcutting fractures the fragile forest ecology causing species to migrate and, in some cases, disappear. And, wherever there is clearcutting there are roads for logging trucks; these roads also impact the environment directly by the introduction of polluting vehicles or indirectly by increasing the number of landslides. Second, clearcutting has a savage impact on water resources. 60 percent of California’s water supply comes from watersheds in the Sierra Nevada — 15 percent comes from the Colorado River and the remaining 25 percent from groundwater. The logging practices of Sierra Pacific have three impacts. The initial clearing process leaves the Sierra Nevada topsoil exposed and vulnerable. Winter rains often carry the best soil away, clogging streams and damaging habitat far away from the logging site. That’s the problem at Battle Creek a stream that descends from Mount Lassen in California’s Shasta County. The US Bureau of Reclamation is overseeing a $128 million project to revive the Battle Creek Salmon population; five dams are being removed and four others modified so steelhead and winter- and spring-run salmon can return to their spawning habitat. Tragically that same habitat is threatened by erosion resulting from upstream Sierra Pacific clearcutting, authorized by the California Department of Forestry. California doesn’t require loggers to monitor water quality and the agency charged with overseeing fish habitat, California Department of Fish and Game, has been decimated by budget cuts. The second impact of clearcutting is alteration of the rate of rainwater absorption. In a natural forest, native tree root systems trap and filter rainwater; as a result water percolates slowly through the soil, gradually recharging streams and aquifers over California’s dry months. In “even-age” forests, this process is altered and water is primarily distributed when it’s not needed. In the summer there is less stream water and this negatively affects fish habitat as well as plants and animals on adjacent properties. The third impact is from the introduction of herbicides. Each year an average of 200,000 pounds of herbicides are used to domesticate California private forests. Until recently, the most commonly used herbicide was Altrazine. In 2004, the European Union banned Altrazine “because of its persistent groundwater contamination.” US researchers are alarmed by Altrazine’s effects as an endocrine disruptor and its epidemiological connection to low male sperm count. (Health problems from aerial herbicide spraying have been reported in Triangle Lake, Oregon where most residents have tested positive for atrazine in their urine.) Recently, Altrazine has been replaced by Roundup, the most widely used US herbicide. The European Union classed Glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, as “dangerous for the environment” and “toxic for aquatic organisms”. In 2006, the Union of Concerned Scientists reported on Global Warming and California’s Water Supply : “By the end of the century, if global warming emissions continue unabated, statewide annual average temperatures are expected to rise into the higher warming range (8-10.5°f). This temperature rise will lead to more precipitation falling as rain instead of snow, and the snow that does fall will melt earlier, thus decreasing the spring snowpack in the Sierra Nevada by as much as 90 percent… spring stream flow could decline up to 30 percent.” There are many signs that California’s water supply is imperiled by global climate change. Clearcutting increases the probability that the Sierra Nevada watershed will be furthered diminished or rendered unfit for consumption. It’s time for Governor Brown and the Legislature to ban clearcutting in all circumstances. Go here to read the rest: Bob Burnett: It’s the Water, Stupid: The Perils of Clearcutting

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