Things to Do in Los Angeles

Things to do 1: Tour some of the big news organizations in L.A.

This page last updated: Feb. 2017.

Note: CNN doesn’t give tours of this branch, weirdly. I don’t know why. They give tours of their Atlanta headquarters and, from what I’ve read, their New York office. But not the giant CNN building in L.A. Neither, from what I’ve read online, does ABC, CBS or FOX.

This page is mostly for contact information and to find out one one page where you can see. There are a number of sites out there that will tell you more about some of the tours: Seeing-Stars, Los Angeles Attractions, Trip Advisor (which doesn’t describe the tours as well, but does have reviews).

Here’s a list of places you can try calling to see if they can show you around. Some have regular tours, some don’t.

Papers and Magazines

L.A. Times: Please call (213) 237-5757 for current tour information.
Note: Tours are about an hour long, walking around the building, and there are 2 types: Editorial tour and printing tour. They do these around 11 am and 1 pm often it seems (the printing is the earlier one). And not every day. You can call, and they’ll call you back and you can work out a day.

L.A. Daily News (second-largest publication): Main line: 818-713-3000

L.A. Daily Journal (legal magazine): Phone: (213) 229-5300

L.A. Weekly:

The Hollywood Reporter (film news): Main: 323.525.2000

Variety: Phone: 1-800-552-3632 (U.S.) / +1 818-487-4561 (outside of U.S.)


CBS Television City: Main Office: 323 575 2345. No tours. You can sit in their live television audiences (live tapings of TV shows) for free though.

KSET: No tours any more.

You can get free tickets to shows in LA from various places for various shows and studios, including live TV audience shows, first screenings for new films, etc.:

Some specific show: Family Feud, Price is Right,


Note: A lot of these are in little covered vehicles, but also outdoors. I’m not sure how much a rainy day effects these studio tours.

Paramount: I’ve heard this one isn’t as exciting as Universal/Warner, but is more about running a studio, so could be of more interest to people who work in AV.

Universal: Perhaps most famous tours – kind of like an amusement park, they seem to me.


Warner: Second-most famous tours – kind of like Universal.




LACMA, a big art museum with good visiting shows (Picasso etc). Rules for photography:

The Broad, another museum with post-WWII art, including Koons.

Getty Center


Hammer Museum public events:


West Hollywood City Hall meetings
LA city meetings




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Things for journalists to read

Things for journalists to read

Here you will find interesting things to read like about how to ask good questions,

This article will be updated.

You are a person asking a question in a dark room.

How to ask good questions, by Julia Evans (a coder). “What’s a good question,” she asks. “Our goal is going to be to ask questions about technical concepts that are easy to answer.” NOTE: There is another items in her list besides those illustrated in the 6-panel comic strip: “Ask questions to show what’s not obvious.”

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way, by Eric Steven Raymond

“The Art of Asking Questions,” page 19 of Etsy’s Debriefing Facilitation Guide.



How is something proven to society, that has no data points to show?

Testimony of a convincing amount of credible people, i.e. their stories: “…and you better believe we’re going to look into it—and we’re gonna be hearing many stories. Not just the story you’re telling, but many stories.” – Orange is the New Black

Working the other way, you have a bunch of data or testimony, but don’t know how to focus it:

“There’s really only one thing for you to focus on: discovering the story behind the story. That is your north star.” – John Allspaw, Morgan Evans, Daniel Schauenberg in their Etsy guide


We don’t want your opinions; We want your observations

“When asking questions with “why,” substitute “how” instead. Asking “how” enables us to hear other people’s stories. Asking “why” creates a story of our own and tends to elicit only the evidence that supports our story.” – John Allspaw, Morgan Evans, Daniel Schauenberg in their Etsy guide

Quality journalism is more worthwhile than opinion

Readers comments at Financial Times (pay) – Even the best comments are such low quality compared with journalism




How reporters can become better self editors
“When I read my own work out loud, I hear things that my eyes look over.”




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Some Haiku

Haiku’s continuing use in Japan is evinced by the estimated 800-1000 “little haiku magazines” published today in the country, and around 10 million Japanese are writing. In the words of literary critic Makoto Ueda, “Haiku is one of the shortest verse forms in the world. It is easy to write one. For Japanese people, the 5-7-5 syllable pattern is the basic rhythm of the language, and even elementary school children can produce works without difficulty.”

The following haiku are arranged in no order, and will be added to.


          under the autumnal
          sky, a wild chrysanthemum
          lacking one petal

Translated by Makoto Ueda from Takahama Kyoshi’s “Shûten no shita ni nogiku no kaben kaku”

          an octopus pot—
          inside, a short-lived dream
          under the summer moon

Basho, translated by Ueda

          on the boy’s desk
          a map
          and an empty cicada shell

          that peace is nowhere
          in the winter sea

Two haiku by Ôki Amari, translated by Ueda

          in the Land of the Rising Sun
          an angel
          with tangled hair

          a wound
          on the full moon—meat, meat
          vegetable, meat

Natsuishi Ban’ya, translated by Ueda

“Isn’t it true however far we’ve wandered” quote – W.H Auden, Letters from Iceland

Letters from Iceland

“Isn’t it true however far we’ve wandered into our provinces of persecution, where our regrets accuse, we keep returning back to the common faith from which we’ve all descended, back to the hands, the feet, the faces? Children are always there and take the hands, even when they are most terrified. Those in love cannot make up their minds to go or stay. Artist and doctor return most often. Only the mad will never, never come back. For doctors keep on worrying while away, in case their skill is suffering or deserted. Lovers have lived so long with giants and elves, they want belief again in their own size. And the artist prays ever so gently, let me find pure all that can happen. Only uniqueness is success. For instance let me perceive the images of history. All that I push away with doubt and travel, today’s and yesterdays alike, like bodies.”

LETTERS FROM ICELAND—W. H. Auden & Louis MacNeice, published in the late 1960s.

Auden photographed in the 1970s
Auden photographed in the 1970s

(I will update this quote to include the full poem, which is a “letter”, when I return to my books)

Another excerpt from the book, in which Auden writes about Iceland itself:

“If you have no particular intellectual interests or ambitions and are content with the company of your family and friends, then life on Iceland must be very pleasant, because the inhabitants are friendly, tolerant and sane. They are genuinely proud of their country and its history, but without the least trace of hysterical nationalism. I always found that they welcomed criticism. But I had the feeling, also, that for myself it was already too late. We are all too deeply involved with Europe to be able, or even to wish to escape. Though I am sure you would enjoy a visit as much as I did, I think that, in the long run, the Scandinavian sanity would be too much for you, as it is for me. The truth is, we are both only really happy living among lunatics. . . .

For Tourists [excerpt]


In the larger hotels in Reykjavik you will of course get ordinary European food, but in the farms you will only get what there is, which is on the whole rather peculiar.

Breakfast: (9.0 a.m.) If you stay in a farm this will be brought to you in bed. Coffee, bread and cheese, and small cakes. Coffee, which is drunk all through the day — I must have drunk about 1,500 cups in three months — is generally good. There is white bread, brown bread, rock-hard but quite edible, and unleavened rye bread like cake. The ordinary cheese is like a strong Dutch and good. There is also a brown sweet cheese, like the Norwegian. I don’t like cakes so I never ate any, but other people say they are good.

Lunch and Dinner: (12 noon and 7 p.m.). If you are staying anywhere, lunch is the chief meal, but farmers are always willing to give you a chief meal at any time of the day or night if you care. (I once had supper at 11 p.m.).

Soups: Many of these are sweet and very unfortunate. I remember three with particular horror, one of sweet milk and hard macaroni, one tasting of hot marzipan, and one of scented hair oil. (But there is a good sweet soup, raspberry coloured, made of bilberry. L. M.)

Fish: Dried fish is a staple food in Iceland. This should be shredded with the fingers and eaten with butter. It varies in toughness. The tougher kind tastes like toe-nails, and the softer kind like the skin off the soles of one’s feet.

In districts where salmon are caught, or round the coast, you get excellent fish, the grilled salmon particularly.

Meat: This is practically confined to mutton in various forms. The Danes have influenced Icelandic cooking, and to no advantage. Meat is liable to be served up in glutinous and half-cold lumps, covered with tasteless gravy. At the poorer farms you will get only Hángikyrl, i.e. smoked mutton. This comparatively harmless when cold as it only tastes like soot, but it would take a very hungry man indeed to eat it hot.

Vegetables: Apart from potatoes, these, in the earlier part of the summer are conspicuous by their absence. Later, however, there are radishes, turnips, carrots, and lettuce in sweet milk. Newish potatoes begin to appear about the end of August. Boiled potatoes are eaten with melted butter, but beware of the browned potatoes, as they are coated in sugar, another Danish barbarism.

Fruit: None, except rhubarb and in the late summer excellent bilberries.

Cold food: Following the Scandinavian custom, in the hotels, following the hot dish there are a number of dishes of cold meats and fishes eaten with bread and butter. Most of these are good, particularly the pickled herring. Smoked salmon in my opinion is an overrated dish, but it is common for those who appreciate it.

Sweets: The standard sweet is skyr, a cross between Devonshire cream and a cream cheese, which is eaten with sugar and cream. It is very filling but most people like it very much. It is not advisable, however, to take coffee and skyr together just before riding, as it gives you diarrhoea.

Tea: (4 p.m.). Coffee, cakes, and if you are lucky, pancakes with cream. These are wafer-thick and extremely good. Coffee and cake are also often brought to you in the evening, about 10 p.m. Those who like tea or cocoa should bring it with them and supervise the making of it themselves. . . .


For the curious there are two Icelandic foods which should certainly be tried. One is Hákarl, which is half-dry, half-rotten shark. This is white inside with a prickly horn rind outside, as tough as an old boot. Owing to the smell it has to be eaten out of doors. It is shaved off with a knife and eaten with brandy. It tastes more like boot-polish than anything else I can think of. The other is Reyngi. This is the tail of the whale, which is pickled in sour milk for a year or so. If you intend to try it, do not visit a whaling station first. Incidently, talking about pickling in sour milk, the Icelanders also do this to sheeps’ udders, and the result is surprisingly very nice.

Learn New Words You Actually Can Use – Vocab 1

Learn new words

If you know a word that can be used regularly, add it in the comments below.

Specious. superficially plausible, but actually wrong. Misleading in appearance, especially misleadingly attractive.

“A specious argument.” “The music trade gives Golden Oldies a specious appearance of novelty. “Specious reasoning.”

Hyperbole. Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

“I am so hungry I could eat a horse.” “I have a million things to do.” “I had to walk 15 miles to school in the snow, uphill.”

Heuristic.  Enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves.

“He made the young students learn by a ‘hands-on’ or heuristic approach.”

Underwrite. Sign and accept liability under (an insurance policy), thus guaranteeing payment in case loss or damage occurs, or; Pledge to buy all the unsold shares in (an issue of new securities).

“A large portion of NPR’s revenue comes from dues and fees paid by our Member stations and underwriting from corporate sponsors.”

Status quo ante. Latin for “the way things were before.” In law, it refers to the objective of a temporary restraining order or a rescission in which the situation is restored to “the state in which previously” it existed.

“Nevertheless, so far the local populations seem to have come to terms with ISIS control and sometimes even support it. They do so especially in view of its ability to provide basic services, restore daily life to the status quo ante, and fill the administrative void that was created.”

Dust-up. A fight; a quarrel.

“You and Larry had a dust-up over Val?”

Franchise. an authorization granted by a government or company to an individual or group enabling them to carry out specified commercial activities, e.g., providing a broadcasting service or acting as an agent for a company’s products.

Hothouse. A heated building, typically made largely of glass, for rearing plants out of season or in a climate colder than is natural for them.

Concatenate. Link (things) together in a chain or series.

“I’ll never hire good people. I’ll never be able to concatenate 10 mediocre people to do what one great one can do. And you have to manage good people. And if I can only get 35 great ones, that’s it.”

Precipitous. An action done suddenly and without careful consideration.

“Take some precipitous action that causes the Kingdom to have to interrupt that. I’d like them to continue to make progress in the way we want them to.”

Nexus. A connection or series of connections linking two or more things.

“The nexus is great between housing and health care.”

Halcyon days. A period of peace and happiness, or: A fortnight of calm weather during the winter solstice.