Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: Photo of the Week

Ticket pic of the week: But are the meters running?

Greek Taxi Drivers protest the government's planned deregulation of the industry

What an amazing coincidence that every taxi in Athens would be enroute to the airport on the very same street at precisely the same time the other day.

Of course, it was no coincidence. When Greek cabbies strike, they don't walk a picket line. They clog the streets. For two days.

Their protest was aimed at Greece's troubled government caught between demands for strict financial reforms by its foreign creditors and EU governments and the Greek population, which doesn't like sudden stringencies.

The cab drivers were protesting the central government's plan to deregulate the taxi industry to encourage more competition and save money.

So, take the train instead.

RELATED:

Nothing says royal wedding like red panties

From California to Mars, the journey begins

Here's one White House Obama who's shovel-ready

-- Andrew Malcolm

While you're waiting, follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle.Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP/ Getty Images.

Ticket pics of the week: Atlantis--out of sight and out of this world

NASA Atlantis Over the Bahamas 7-10-11 as seen from the International Space Station

One week into its last flight, the sole surviving U.S. space shuttle Atlantis is docked now with the International Space Station about 250 miles above who-knows-where-at-this-moment.

The four-member crew on the space truck has delivered supplies for the next year, weighing some five tons if they were on Earth, which they aren't anymore.

The orbiter will bring back refuse and completed experiments. And a close inspection of itAtlantis clears the Launch rTower 7-8-11 Jay Catalanos 3,000 heat shield tiles deemed them worthy to handle the searing reentry process next week.

See bonus pic below of the last U.S. space shuttle space walk Wednesday.

These shuttles were designed for 100 flights apiece. However, without some miraculous reprieve, Atlantis (now on its 33rd mission) will like Discovery and Endeavour before her, undergo removal of its toxic chemicals and classified instruments and prepare for very public retirements.

Atlantis will reside at the Kennedy Space Center's Visitors Complex. Discovery will go to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington. And Endeavour is bound for sunny Southern California at the California Science Center south of downtown Los Angeles.

The Johnson Space Center headquarters in Houston gets nada.

RELATED:

What space life is really like

Behind the scenes of a shuttle launch

Atlantis is up and the space shuttle program is up in smoke

NASA the Last US Shuttle Spacewalk Atlantis 7-13-11 with MikeFossum

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: NASA (Atlantis on her last flight passes over the Bahamas); Jay Catalano (Atlantis clears the tower, July 8); NASA (Astronaut Mike Fossum makes the last U.S. space shuttle spacewalk, via Atlantis, July 13).

Ticket pic of the week: Nothing says royal wedding quite like red panties

Monaco Prince Albert II marries Charlene Wittstock this weekend

Nothing says royal wedding quite like a pair of bright red panties.

At least in this lingerie shop in Monaco. Prince Albert II marries Charlene Wittstock there this weekend. (In the principality, not the lingerie shop.)

It is an event so large and so romantic that one Earth day is insufficient. The ceremonies will stretch over two days.

Naturally, this shop sought to make a euro off the royal affair.

They could have charged more. But since Monaco is not America, these panties are not even signed by the royal couple.

RELATED:

From California to Mars, the journey begins

Here's one White House Obama who's shovel-ready

Ticket pic of the week: Bad hair days not a problem

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle.Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Eric Gaillard / Reuters

Ticket pic of the week: From California to Mars, another rover's long journey

NASA JPL Mars Rover Curiosity befoire leaving Pasadene 6-11

Regular Ticket readers may have detected here a fondness for and fascination with things space.

First photos of Mercury from orbit. Not many more U.S. space photos like this.

Well, here's the amazing latest: The newest Mars rover, Curiosity, has finished assembly at the JPL-Caltech facility in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., and begun its 14-month, 354 million-mile journey to the red planet.

The rover and its new rocket-powered space crane now reside at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida preparing for their launch around Thanksgiving this year. The space trip will take them 255 days at about 58,000 miles an hour.

You may remember the first two rovers -- Spirit sand Opportunity -- were supposed to last three months after their 2004 landing on the surface of Mars. Spirit was just shut down and Opportunity continues to explore. That pair landed, in effect, in immense inflated bouncing balls that eventually came to rest, deflated, righted themselves and disgorged the rovers.

The new rover, however, weighs about a ton on Earth, too much for the ball strategy. So it has its own rocket sky crane attached, which will maneuver to the best landing site and lower the rover to settle, hopefully not too hard, on all six wheels to begin its far-away explorations.

As usual, the engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have produced an impressive animated video showing Curiosity's planned flight and landing in August 2012. The video is viewable here. Highly recommended.

There is also a diagram here showing the timeline of Curiosity's last few minutes of flight and complex descent.

Bon voyage.

RELATED:

Here's one Obama who's shovel-ready

Ticket pic of the week: Bad hair days not a problem

You won't see space photos like these for long

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle.Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech (New Mars rover Curiosity after construction before leaving on its way to Mars; ETA August, 2012).

Ticket pic of the week: Here's one Obama who's shovel-ready

Michelle Obama wields a shovel building a new playground in Washington 6-15-11

You know, maybe as the photographer you want to stand back a little bit farther.

First Lady Michelle Obama doesn't look too happy this week as she helps build a school playground in Washington.

However, this coming week she is taking her mother and two daughters on a weeklong visit to Africa, with stops and public events in South Africa and Botswana and including a private safari experience.

Related:

Ticket pic of the week: Bad hair days not a problem

You won't see space photos like these for long

Ticket pic of the week: A face in Japan to touch your heart

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Yuri Gripas / Reuters (Michelle Obama works on a school playground in Washington, June 15).

Hello, I'm John Edwards, and if you're on the jury, I'd like your vote: The official 2011 campaign mug shots

john Edwards Mug Shotse

John Edwards.

Even posing for his official federal mug shot, Edwards' hair is perfect and there's that cheesy smile that finished second in the 2008 Iowa Democratic caucuses.

The 58-year-old former senator, former vice presidential nominee, former presidential candidate and former philanderer of a wife dying of cancer, is under six federal felony counts, including conspiracy.

They stem from alleged irregularities involving hundreds of thousands of his campaign fund dollars going to secretly support Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, the mother of the child he fathered back in 2008.

Edwards' estranged wife Elizabeth died of cancer in December.

Edwards is also a wealthy former trial lawyer. Aren't they all?  So, he should know well how the upcoming courtroom scenario will unfold.

RELATED:

Photos: Rielle Hunter

Read the federal indictment of John Edwards

John Edwards pleads not guilty: 'I did not break the law'

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: John Edwards. Credit: U.S. Marshals Service

Ticket pic of the week: You won't see new space photos like this for much longer

NASA space shuttle Endeavour and the international space station as seen from a Russian Soyuz craft 5-23-11 Paolo Nespoli

Rare are the stand-away photos of the entire International Space Station and a docked shuttle.

This photo, taken from a Russian Soyuz spacecraft May 23 by Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency, shows the last docking up there of the U.S. space shuttle Endeavour, now retired and headed for a Los Angeles space museum.

As a June Saturday bonus scroll down for a second photo of Endeavour's final landing at the Kennedy Space Center.

NASA Endeavour's Last Landing 6-4-11

One last shuttle flight is scheduled, in early July for Atlantis. Then, according to the Obama administration's plans for NASA, it too will be retired, and any space-bound Americans will rent seats on Russian rockets for the foreseeable future.

Related:

Ticket pic of the week: Bad hair days not a problem

Ticket pic of Week: A little father-son time in Libya

Ticket pic of the week: A face in Japan to touch your heart

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Paolo Nespoli / European Space Agency (Endeavour docked with the International Space Station, May 23, 2011); Joe Skipper / Reuters (Endeavour's last landing, June 4, 2011).

Ticket pic of the week: Bad hair days not a problem

Friday ladies prayers at  Tehran University

What to wear to Friday prayers is not a complicated decision for women at Tehran University.

Related:

Ticket pic of Week: A little father-son time in Libya

Ticket pic of the Week: Did Gallup poll her on Obama?

Ticket pic of the week: A face in Japan to touch your heart

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: AFP

Ticket pic of the week: An Endeavour out of this world

NASA Endeavour Spacewalk ndrew Feustel Right and Michael Fincke 5-11

Extraordinary things have become ordinary over time, thanks to the skills and courage of the NASA folks.

While Earth people fuss over everyday matters, the crew of the shuttle Endeavour continues construction on the International Space Station a couple of hundred miles overhead.

Here, this week, astronauts Michael Fincke, left, and Andrew Feustel stow equipment in the shuttle bay.

It's the last of almost three dozen space flights for Endeavour. Discovery has already been retired. One more later this summer with Atlantis.

And that's it.

Then, the United States of America starts renting seats on Russian spacecraft.

Related:

Ticket pic of Week: A little father-son time in Libya

Ticket pic of the week: A face in Japan to touch your heart

Ticket Pic of the week: Year of the Rabbit off to rough start for this guy

Ticket pic of the week: Even pandas need to play too

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: NASA (Endeavour's last flight, a spacewalk with Andrew Feustel, on the right, and Michael Fincke storing equipment, May 26).

Ticket pic of the Week: Encouraging signs of commercial decadence spotted in China

Harmonyland in Japan

For those worried about the 400 million Chinese students studying math and science around the clock to somehow surpass lazy American kids in failing schools, here's some good news.

Our colleague Brady MacDonald brings the uplifting word that authorities in China have officially, knowingly and wittingly allowed the importation of Hello Kitty, a feline-based cult of souvenirs and other merchandise.

Hello Kitty was first spotted by public health officials in Japan in 1974. In only two years it somehow crosHello Kitty Toastersed the immense Pacific Ocean to infect the minds of little girls across North America.

Since then, the annoying Hello Kitty virus has spread into countless products such as computers and toasters that burn the Hello Kitty kitty into each slice of bread.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not even tried to control the epidemic of stupidity caused by the darling fictional cat with the perfect jaunty bow; they learned their lesson trying to stamp out Steamboat Willy.

Now, Brady tells us, the iconic kitty has spread into mainland China to accomplish the total domination that even the Imperial Japanese Army could not in the 1930s.

Construction starts in July on a 150-acre, $215-million theme park in Zhejiang province. An estimated 1 million volunteers a year will expose themselves to the Hello Kitty plague starting in 2014. That's a full year before Shanghai Disneyland is scheduled to open.

Over time, those Hello Kitty girls will grow into young women and have their own little girls to share the Hello Kitty paraphernalia with. Eventually, a growing majority of the proletariat's female minds will be infected with the commercialized cat and the rest of the world can resume its normal naptimes.

Related:

Ticket pic of the week: Better to fly over this thing than into it

Ticket pic of the week: A little father-son time in Libya

Ticket pic of the Week: Some foreign fans displeased with the NFL

Ticket pic of the week: A face in Japan to touch your heart

Ticket Pic of the week: Year of the Rabbit off to rough start for this guy

Ticket pic of the week: Even pandas need to play too

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle.Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Harmonyland in Japan

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics


Categories


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: