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Mary asks…

What are some decent cities in between Los Angeles and Long Beach, California?

We currently live in Houston Texas and are considering moving to California. My husband will be working in Long Beach, and I will be working in or near the Los Angeles area. We have 2 children, an 8 year old and an almost 2 year old, so decent nice neighborhoods are important! Thanks!

Tijuana answers:

It’s just not like that here. What you’re asking for doesn’t exist around LA.

I finally figured that out after visiting enough cities. In other cities, you can be 10 miles out of downtown, find a nice little place with a yard for a reasonable price, and live comfortably with a commute you can handle. However, LA is not like that at all. It defines the term “urban sprawl”.

If you start in downtown LA, you have to go more than 100 miles in any direction to find anything resembling small town. It’s strip malls, suburban tracts, and commercial development for at least 100 miles. And when you get past that 100 miles, you’re either in the desert, Mexico, the San Joaquin Valley, or Central California.

The LA-Long Beach Metro area is one solid mass of residential, commercial, and industrial sections. Yes, there are cities in between, but from the air, it all looks like one solid mass with no open space in between.

Sorry, but when you move here, you’re going to have to adjust to the reality that is LA. I can recommend nicer places to live, but it’s not going to have that “small town” atomosphere.

One thing about living in LA is that everybody does their own thing… There’s a casual indifference about the people who live here. That means you can be yourself, whatever that may be, but don’t expect a homey, communitiy atmosphere like in other parts of the country. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is here.

You might want to start looking in La Mirada, Cerritos, Bellflower, and Artesia. These have good school districts. LAUSD is generally a mess. Long Beach isn’t much better (Mrs. Obviousman is a teacher). Start with those areas and see what you can find.
Like I always say, LA is not for everybody. If you can’t deal with that, don’t move here.

Daniel asks…

How many videos are hosted on youtube all together?

Does anyone know where I can find out? I am just curious, but can’t seem to find the answer. Thanks in advance!

Tijuana answers:

Here are a bunch of interesting statistics which I have
compiled from various sites over the past few months.
Since some of these numbers date from the last year,
they’re not necessarily the most current or up-to-date
(thus I’ve made a couple of “calculated” adjustments):

Total number of YouTube videos — over 120,000,000

Number of videos uploaded per day — about 200,000

Time required to see all the videos — over 600 years

Number of videos watched daily — over 200,000,000

Amount of content uploaded every minute — 13 hours

Number of accounts on YouTube — over 300,000,000

Percentage of videos violating copyright — over 12%

The top categories of uploaded videos — music 20%,
entertainment 15%, people/blogs 14%, comedy 13%
sports 7%, educational 6%, automotive 5%, film 5%

The source of videos — amateur 80%, professional
(meaning “partners”) 15%, commercial/corporate 5%

Top countries uploading videos — United States 35%,
United Kingdom 7%, Philippines 4%, all of the these
countries have around 3%: Australia, Brazil, Canada,
France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Turkey

Amount of bandwidth used — about the same as for
the entire internet in the year 2000

The most visited popular sites on the entire internet
— #1 Yahoo, #2 Google, #3 YouTube

The most visited popular sites for watching videos
— YouTube 60%, MySpace 16%, Google Video 8%,
Yahoo 3%, MSN 2%

Yearly cost of YouTube’s bandwith — $360,000,000
Yearly cost of buying music rights — $250,000,000
Yearly cost of all other expenses — $100,000,000
Expected ad revenue for this year — $240,000,000
Money YouTube will lose this year — $470,000,000

My most recent reference for some of these stats:
http://www.slate.com/id/2216162/?GT1=38001

HERE ARE SOME OF THE REALLY WILD THINGS
THAT I HAVE DISCOVERED ON YOUTUBE ITSELF:

YouTube video with the longest “run-time” — 4:36:03

YouTube video with the most thumbs — over 13,000
http://youtube.com/watch?v=2AEtAccR3XA
(click “Comment(s) marked as spam: Show”
to see a lot of other thumbs in the +5,000s)

My vote for the strangest YouTube video of all-time:

My vote for funniest/oddest thing ever shown on TV:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=KQ4v9ZSIL3U

Ken asks…

how is chocolate produced-right from the cocoa farmers in africa to factories and manufacturers in england?

To those who are wondering why I want to know – I’m doing a research project, hope that explains.

Tijuana answers:

I don’t know much about the process except the growing part. I went to a country in central america a few years ago and visited a cacao plantation. The cacao fruit looks like this~
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cacao
The farmer split one open and it looked like this~
http://www.cacaolatino.com/images/530_cacao1.jpg
The white stuff, when the fruit was ripe, was really sweet-sour and tasted like a candy. We would suck it off like a hard candy.They let us try as much as we wanted. Inside the white stuff is the cacao bean. On the farm, they would remove the white stuff, and then send them to a factory in that country, where they would prepare them and roast them, then send the cacao beans to the USA.
They gave us some of the cacao beans to take back to the village we were staying in and one of the Mayan ladies took them and spread them on a cloth in the sun until they were dry. Then they husked them, kind of, and passed them between two bowls outside to get the ‘chaffy’ stuff off. Then she roasted them, and ground them with a pestle into a powder. She made us a chocolate drink, but it was interesting because it had no sugar and it was made with water instead of milk. : )
This may not answer your question entirely, because this isn’t the commercial way they do it, but it’s still really interesting.

Oh, and a lot cacao plantations are in C.America or S. America.
Brazil, Equador, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Peru, and Venezuela are in the top 15 producers.

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