The story behind Sriracha
With a distinctive bottle and taste, Sriracha has gone from an unpronounceable challenge to a staple sauce for many Americans. In the U.S. alone, $60 million worth of the sauce was sold last year alone.
But it wasn’t always such a prevalent item on store shelves. David Tran, the man responsible for popularizing the hot sauce, had a long journey beforehand:
When North Vietnam’s communists took power in South Vietnam, Tran, a major in the South Vietnamese army, fled with his family to the U.S. After settling in Los Angeles, Tran couldn’t find a job — or a hot sauce to his liking.
So he made his own by hand in a bucket, bottled it and drove it to customers in a van. He named his company Huy Fong Foods after the Taiwanese freighter that carried him out of Vietnam.
Read more via our profile of Tran, and his beloved hot sauce.
Photos: Gina Ferazzi, Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
Looking back at the origins of kung-fu films
The latest installment of Movies Now’s looks back at classic Hollywood examines the sudden surge of kung-fu flicks that followed after Bruce Lee’s classic “Enter the Dragon” in 1973.
From Stephen Chin, who donated his huge collection of kung-fu posters to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
“There was an intensity, realism, dynamism and energy to this stuff that no one had ever seen before.”
And, of course, the posters for even the lesser-known kung-fu films are still fantastic.
Photos: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Stephen Chin collection, Bruce Lee Enterprises
Artist mourns loss of her work on African lesbians: Burglars stole hard drives that held an archive of five years’ worth of images celebrating the community.
It was a most unusual burglary. Thieves got in through the bathroom window and walked past the flat-screen TV, DVD player, expensive camera and a couple of brand-new cellphones. Instead, they took 20 external hard drives and some digital camera memory cards.
It didn’t make sense to Zanele Muholi, an art photographer and activist, the victim of the April theft.
Something cold shifted inside her. Could this be another hate crime against lesbians?
The stolen hard drives, all hidden in different locations around her apartment, were the archive of five years of Muholi’s extraordinary work photographing marginalized lesbians in many African countries.
Photo: South African photographer Zanele Muholi’s portraits of Thobeka Mavundla, left, and Vuyelwa Makubetse are among the works featured at the Documenta festival in Kassel, Germany. Credit: Zanele Muholi
To find out how you can help Zanele Muholi by contributing towards replacing her equipment and rebuilding her archives, click here.
Damn, this is most rank.
Former Black Panther patches together purpose in Africa exile: In America, Pete O’Neal was an angry man, an ex-con who found a kind of religion in 1960s black nationalism. In a Tanzania village, he’s been a champion of children.
Photo: Many of the young orphans gather round to watch, and lend their support, as Pete O’Neal has fresh ink applied to his fading black panther tattoo. credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times
Avery Tyler, 12, said she was initially scared of the sprawling tents, but her perspective quickly changed.
“People care so much about this, they come down here and stay here,” she said. “One guy was talking to us and he said we’re all doing this for the future children. That really made me feel proud.”
Photo: Nathaniel “Nat” Stern, 11, who attends the private Sequoyah school in Pasadena, visited Occupy L.A. on Tuesday as part of a field trip to City Hall. Credit: Matt Stevens / Los Angeles Times
Phone apps can let users outsmart the law: There are phone and tablet apps that help you hack text messages, let you stalk co-workers and let you evade police after a night of drinking. Legal experts say the software is free speech protected by the 1st Amendment.
Photo: Eric Fonoimoana, a real estate agent from Hermosa Beach, relies on PhantomAlert, one of the DUI apps banned by the app stores, to ensure a smoother commute. “Sure you can use it for bad purposes,” he said, “but a lot of people just use it to avoid traffic.” Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times
A kindergarten teacher in Mexico led her class in a singalong during a shootout that occurred outside the school. Daniel Hernandez reports:
In the video, the frightened but determined voice of a schoolteacher is heard as she attempts to maintain calm among a group of kindergartners lying on the floor before her, asking them to join her in a singalong as gunfire shatters the air outside.
I like the fact that this entry is hashtagged with “education” simply because this took place at a school. Good going L.A. Times. :-|
Check out Daniel Hernandez’ personal blog HERE. I’ve been following it for a few months now. He knows what’s up.