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Portal:Greater Los Angeles

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The Greater Los Angeles Area, or the Southland, is a term used for both the urbanized region and Combined Statistical Area (a group of interacting metropolitan areas) sprawling over five counties in the southern part of California, namely Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Ventura counties. Throughout the 20th century, it was one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States, although growth has slowed since 2000. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the Los Angeles metropolitan area had a population of about 12.8 million residents. Meanwhile, the larger metropolitan region's population at the 2010 census was estimated to be over 17.8 million residents, and a 2011 estimate reported a population of about 18.1 million. Either definition makes it the second largest metropolitan region in the country, behind the New York metropolitan area, as well as one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world.

The agglomeration of the urbanized Greater Los Angeles area surrounds the urban core of Los Angeles County. The regional term is defined to refer to the more-or-less continuously urbanized area stretching from Ventura County to the southern border of Orange County and from the Pacific Ocean to the Coachella Valley in the Inland Empire. The US Census Bureau defines the Greater Los Angeles area to include the entire Los Angeles county, Ventura County, Orange County and the two counties of the Inland Empire, making up the "Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, CA" Combined Statistical Area. However this Census definition includes large, sparsely populated and primarily desert swaths of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties that are not part of the urbanized region. The term "Greater Los Angeles" does not include San Diego and Imperial counties, whose urbanized areas are not geographically continuous with the urbanized area surrounding Los Angeles.

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Alisocreek Bridge.JPG

Aliso Creek (Spanish for "Alder Creek"; also called Alisos Creek) is a 19-mile (31 km)-long urban stream that runs through Orange County in the U.S. state of California from the Santa Ana Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, collecting seven main tributaries. The creek is mostly channelized, and as of 2004, the 30.4-square-mile (78.7 km2) watershed had a population of 149,087 divided among seven incorporated cities.

The creek flows generally south-southwest through a narrow coastal watershed at the southern extreme of the arid Los Angeles Basin in a fairly straight course. Owing to the submersion of Southern California in the Pacific Ocean as recently as 10 million years ago, the creek flows over marine sedimentary rock that dates from the late Eocene to the Pliocene. The present-day form of the watershed, with its broad sediment-filled valleys and deeply eroded side canyons, was shaped by a climate change during the previous Ice Age that produced Aliso Canyon, the creek's final gorge. more...

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Jack Parsons

John Whiteside Parsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons; October 2, 1914 – June 17, 1952), better known as Jack Parsons, was an American rocket engineer, chemist, and Thelemite occultist. A pioneer in solid-fuel rocket research and development, he was the inventor of the first castable, composite solid-propellant rocket. He was affiliated with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and was one of the principal founders of both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Aerojet Engineering Corporation.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Parsons was raised into a wealthy family in Pasadena. Inspired by science fiction literature, he developed an early interest in rocketry and in 1928 began amateur rocket experiments with school friend Edward Forman. He was forced to drop out of Pasadena Junior College and Stanford University due to financial difficulties during the Great Depression, but in 1934 he united with Forman and graduate student Frank Malina to form the Caltech-affiliated GALCIT Rocket Research Group, supported by Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory chairman Theodore von Kármán. In 1939 they gained funding from the National Academy of Sciences to work on Jet-Assisted Take Off (JATO) for the U.S. military, and upon this expansion renamed themselves the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In 1942 they founded Aerojet to develop and sell their JATO technology.

After a brief involvement in Marxism, in 1939 Parsons converted to Thelema, the English occultist Aleister Crowley's new religious movement. In 1941 he joined the Agape Lodge, the Californian branch of the Thelemite Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). At Crowley's bidding, he took over the position of lodge leader from Wilfred Talbot Smith in 1942 and ran it from his manor on Orange Grove Avenue, Pasadena. With his friend L. Ron Hubbard he began the Babalon Working, a series of rituals designed to invoke the Thelemic goddess Babalon to Earth. Parsons continued the procedure with Marjorie Cameron, whom he married in 1946. After Hubbard stole his life savings, Parsons resigned from the OTO and went through various jobs while acting as a consultant for Israel's rocket program. Amid the climate of McCarthyism he was accused of espionage and left unable to work in rocketry. Parsons died in a home laboratory explosion at the age of 37; the police ruled it an accident, but many associates suspected suicide or murder.

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