LABJ's LA Stories

Deeper Mean-ing

Mean, an irreverent pop culture magazine that shut down after the 2001 terrorist attacks, plans to relaunch in June.

Publisher and creative director Kashy Khaledi said the Hollywood-based mag, which had a four-year run with a circulation at its peak of 50,000, is looking to double that.

Khaledi is comfortable forecasting that the 96-page magazine, geared toward 21- to 36-year-old men who want "an alternative to the bikini clad," will include 20 advertising pages with articles on film, music, fashion, novelists and gaming.

Plans include taking the title bimonthly, then monthly by its third year.

"I put Mean on a hiatus after 9/11. We took a serious look in the mirror and contemplated which direction to go," said the 27-year-old publisher.

Pat Maio

Dem Bones

The USC Institute for Genetic Medicine may seem an unlikely place to house an art gallery, but not when considering the latest show: "Bones Interior & Exterior Architecture."

Through June 30, the gallery features the works of artists who either find inspiration in things skeletal or actually incorporate human remains in their work.

"It's the nexus of art and science," said Lynn Crandall, who helped organize the show as chairwoman of the health science campus cultural guild.

Among the artists whose works on are display is Sylvia Glass, who uses twigs, bones, and other materials in order to create a feeling of "aged" objects. Then there's Francesco Finotti, an Italian artist who uses a latex mold of himself to show what we would look like without a skeletal infrastructure.

Crandall maintains that the theme lends itself to all sorts of connections as in "the thigh bone connected to the hip bone" that she and the curators are trying to exploit through the "Interior & Exterior Architecture" reference in the title. "From that, you can hit off every metaphor you want to go to," she said.

Laurence Darmiento

Beaming Up

Gravity tends to cause steel beams, among other things, to sag. In order to offset this effect in construction, structural engineers compensate by "cambering," forming beams opposite to the expected pull.

The science is the subject of an exhibit called "Camber" at the SCI-Arc Gallery.

Five 40-foot long, half-ton steel bars will be suspended from the ceiling of the gallery at the downtown architectural school. One bar, the control, will remain un-cambered, and will bend. The other four will be cambered in different formations, so they should appear straight. But nothing's certain.

"Because it's sort of experimental, my guess will be that there will be variations with the four cambered beams," said Wendy Heldmann, SCI-Arc's public programs coordinator. "When I look at the plans and I think about it, I think that there will be variations."

The making of the exhibit will be documented in video and stills that will be part of the display. SCI-Arc students are completing the installation this week for its opening Friday (9th).

Steve Silkin

Branching Out

After a recent L.A. Stories report on city tree-planting projects in North Hollywood, Palms and the Hancock Park area, a reader e-mailed to question whether this was the same program that resulted in the San Fernando Valley's Woodley Avenue trees, which were beautiful at first, but later died due to lack of watering.

Randal W. Ridges, manager of the Corps' Urban Greening Programs, said he has received several calls asking about the dead trees.

"I believe it's well meaning people who don't understand the characteristics of some trees," Ridges said. The trees, he explained, are not dead. Just naked.

The corps planted deciduous trees, Ridges noted. That means trees that shed their foliage in autumn, such as sycamores, white alders, Western redbud and Mexican sambucas.

Ridges offered assurances that the trees should be sporting their leaves again soon, now that spring is here.

Steve Silkin

The Roving Eye

Knit Fit

Is knitting the new yoga? What once was assumed the province of the geriatric crowd has captured the interest of young women thanks to new yarn styles that make knitted garments look less like your grandmother's scarf, according to Lisa Garcia, manager of The Knot Garden, a knitting and crochet supply store in Sherman Oaks.

"The new thing in the last couple years is fashion yarns," Garcia said. "Especially the people designing for the European mills are making more innovative yarns that are prettier, softer, more varied and have all different textures."

Anna Branson, a 26-year-old makeup artist, started knitting a year ago to pass the down time on the set. "I was so excited to find this thing to do," said Branson, who stocks up on supplies and gets tips weekly at Suss Design, a West Hollywood knitting shop. "It lets me be creative, and it's fun to make something I can wear. It's insane how many people are into it now in the film industry."

Suss Cousins, owner of Suss Design, made her mark as knitter to the stars when she started making sweaters for Bill Cosby in the late 1980s. In 1992, she opened her Beverly Boulevard shop, where she sells knitted clothing, knitting supplies including her own line of fashion yarn and teaches knitting.

Cousins herself knitted 250 quirky sweaters worn in the Jim Carrey film "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and the rough-hewn, post-apocalyptic sweaters worn by Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne in "The Matrix" films.

Cousins saw business at her store triple after the terrorist attacks in 2001. "All the classes filled up and we sold out of yarn and knitting equipment," she said.

Matt Myerhoff

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