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This day in San Francisco history

Courtesy ** D. Helder **: sfgate.com | Here's a look at the past. Items have been culled from The Chronicle's archives of 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago.
1933 Oct. 28: Behind an impenetrable blanket of fog that shrouded the California coastline from San Diego to the Golden Gate, the Navy's giant dirigible Macon gave to the nation its greatest single demonstration of its efficacy as a war machine. Between daybreak and 9 p.m. it had accomplished the following: It had traversed the California coast from San Diego to San Francisco, flying far inland at times, without so much as a half dozen human eyes glimpsing its great bulk during its maneuvers. It had coursed its way for more than an hour - from 7 to 8:15 p.m. - over the bay and city of San Francisco, defying the vain efforts of the giant searchlights of Uncle Sam's warships, at anchor in the harbor, to ferret it out of the murk above the city. The drone of the dirigible's great motors was plainly heard over the city, but that was all. From the Macon as it passed over came word that San Francisco, hidden beneath the fog, appeared not to be a city but a vast cluster of sparkling red and white jewels whose luster was blurred by a silvery gray veil. Searchlights of the battle force in the bay were pictured as "nervously swinging back and forth." San Francisco had a picture of what London knew in the days of 1915 when zeppelins cruised over the city's fogs and dropped bombs upon it.
1908 Oct. 26: An illustrated lecture on milk was delivered by Professor M.E. Jaffa of the University of California before a large audience in Mission Promotion Association Hall, Valencia and 16th streets. The stereopticon proved an attractive aid to the lecturer in presenting facts to the audience. He said that skimmed milk and bread combined are more nutritious than a meal of meat, potatoes, turnips, bread, butter and coffee, and 1 cup of skimmed milk contains more nutriment than 4 1/2 gallons of coffee. To demonstrate the truth of these assertions, the professor showed tables on the screen giving the results of experiments and analyses of the contrasted beverages. And he claimed that coffee is valuable as a nutrient only through the sugar and milk in it. The effect of preservatives on milk was demonstrated by tables of experiments on kittens. The kittens fed on milk containing borax preservatives all died, even when the borax was but 60 grains to a gallon. The same results followed feeding kittens with milk preserved with formalin. That unsanitary milk spreads disease was proved by the spreading of typhoid and diphtheria from infected dairy farms. The professor said that the best the citizens of San Francisco could hope for was sanitary milk.

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October 24, 2008

San Francisco to amp up Noise Control

New plan to police noise in San Francisco

This is timely.

Across from our apartment is the beer garden of a pub. Typically it's a bit noisy until 9pm or so, and then they close the garden. Starting this week, however, they've been blaring pub trivia starting at 9pm and going up until nearly midnight. This is not as peaceful as it sounds.

The "Noise Control Ordinance" updates for the first time in more than three decades how the city regulates loud noise from mechanical sources like garbage trucks and ventilation systems along with bass and drum noise from nightclubs, which currently have no restrictions.

"We live in a big city. This is not a small town and we do have to have some latitude around noise levels, but I do think that in certain cases the goodwill and patience of constituents is taken advantage of," said Supervisor Tom Ammiano, who is sponsoring the proposal heard by a supervisors' committee Thursday. The measure should be in front of the full Board of Supervisors for consideration on Nov. 4.

The current noise laws are essentially unenforceable because the original law, passed in 1973, based regulations on zoning, when there were only 19 types of zones. Today, there are more than 90, according to city leaders. The technology used to measure sound also has changed radically.

October 22, 2008

R.I.P. Rudy Ray Moore, "Dolomite" star and hip-hop inspiration

NY Daily News | 'Dolemite' comedian Rudy Ray Moore, inspiration to hip hop culture, dead at 81 years old
Rudy Ray Moore, the comedian, singer and actor who inspired rappers like Snoop Dogg and whose Dolemite character was one of the great street culture figures of the 20th century, died Sunday night at a nursing home in Akron, Ohio.... His best-known character was Dolemite, who started as a player on Moore's comedy records of the '60s and migrated to a series of low-budget movies in the mid-1970s. Dolemite was a pimp, kung-fu expert and all-around bad-man hustler with a subtle sense of self-aware humor, a less polished cousin to Shaft and other black stars of the era.