Origins of the Bowers Museum's Bell Rock and Maze Stone

Photos by Joel Robinson
Bell Rock at Bowers Museum Courtyard
Have you ever been to the old courtyard in Bower's
Museum? If so, did you notice the
large granite boulders placed amongst the landscaping? If you look closely, you'll find that
one of the boulders is called the Bell Rock Its surface is strewn with cupules and the underside is curved like the palm of a hand. The other one, tucked away in some old cactus, is known as the Maze Stone, which has faint carvings of a maze-like pattern on its surface. Both boulders were relocated to Bowers from the Santa Ana Mountains in the 1930s--and this is where our story begins.

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Hixson Metal Finishing May Get State Order to Cut Toxic Emissions of Known Carcinogen

Categories: Environment


A Newport Beach chrome plating and anodizing company for the aerospace industry may receive a state order to reduce toxic emissions.

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As Quake Aftershock Wakes Up La Habrans, USGS Warns of Phony "Big One" Letter

As aftershocks continue to spook folks in Greater La Habra--a magnitude 2.8 shaker centered a mile south of the city woke some folks up at 6:02 this morning--the U.S. Geological Survey is warning Southern Californians about a fake alert that went out on the agency's letterhead about a Big One coming.

"USGS had no part in this letter or any alleged alert," responds the agency. "USGS does not predict earthquakes."

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SoCal Edison Won't Charge Ratepayers For SONGS Clean Up Costs

Categories: Environment

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It's (almost) official: SoCal Edison won't be able to stick consumers with the estimated $1.4 billion price tag to clean-up and dismantle its shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, or SONGS.

According to the terms of a settlement announced yesterday, the power company will be on the hook for $1.2 billion of that cash, with San Diego Gas & Electric, which owns 20 percent of the facility, paying $286 million. Fee-paying customers of the power companies will however be charged with the cost of replacing the power since the plant was shut down in January 2012, after problems were discovered with faulty replacement steam generators.

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Did St. Michael's Abbey Cut Down Historic Orchard on Holtz Ranch Without Permits? Yes and No

Categories: Environment

Sherry Meddick
Father on a tractor!
What's with priests in the canyon wanting to cut down trees and kill wildlife? Isn't that like, a part of God's natural kingdom, and stuff? According to activists in Silverado Canyon, The Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey don't seem to think so.

Last month, St. Michael's chopped down a whole orchard of avocado, walnut, and various other fruits trees on Holtz Ranch--and critics say they did it without obtaining necessary permits from the county. But the truth, as Jeremiah said, is always more interesting.

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County Passes Along Tsunami Survival Tips

See the update at the end of this post on things you can do to protect against tsunami damage.

ORIGINAL POST, MARCH 26, 7:09 A.M.: If you live in Huntington Beach, and especially along the coast there, you'd be wise to figure out a quick route to reach higher ground.

That's the advice of Lucy Jones, Southern California media's go-to expert on earthquakes and tsunamis.

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The Straight Poop on Hyundai's Hydrogen Car

Hyundai Tuscon
We've previously told you about local research (at UC Irvine) into a fuel produced by a local source (your pee and poop, dear readers) that is collected by a local supplier (Orange County Sanitation District).

But did you know there is a local connection to some of the actual test cars?

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International Water and Political Leaders to Brainstorm in Newport About Water Reuse

Senator Feinstein
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has been invited to participate in a water reuse and wastewater recycling roundtable coming to Newport Beach that is to include America's ambassador to Qatar, a Singapore national water agency official and the chairman of the Orange County Water District board of directors.

The Big Ripple Effect on Water Reuse: the 2014 WateReuse California Conference is scheduled for Tuesday morning at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel at Newport Center.

It comes as the Orange County Water District prepares in June to receive from Singapore the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Prize in recognition of Central Orange County's Groundwater Replenishment System, which captures waste water, treats it beyond government standards for drinking water and injects it into aquifers for future use.

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Film Shown in Irvine Tonight Chronicles 2013 Solar Decathlon in City to Preview 2015 Return

Power Houses, a feature-length documentary about collegiate students competing in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO last October at the Great Park in Irvine, premieres at 7:30 this evening in the Irvine City Hall council chambers. The City of Irvine hosts the free screening of the ICTV-produced documentary, and the Energy Department's Solar Decathlon Director Richard King is scheduled to preview the 2015 event that's also set for the Great Park.

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Santa Ana Tap Water Takes the Gold

Categories: Environment

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We sometimes knock the city of Santa Ana around the block, catch up to it, and then knock it around the block the opposite way, mainly for shits and giggles.

But in one positive way, "Orange County's Downtown" will not be denied, and that is when it comes to the quality of its drinking water, which has taken the nation's top honor for "Best Municipal Water."

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