California Sun

Happy Sunday.

Here are a few stories you missed in the California Sun over the last week.

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Sun sampler


The largest creature known to have ever existed, the blue whale seems to belong to its own category of life. It has a tongue as heavy as an elephant, a heart that drops as slow as two beats per minute, and vocalizations among the loudest of any animal on earth — audible to other blue whales as far as 1,000 miles away. To witness a blue whale breach the ocean’s surface and send a spout 30 feet into the sky is a delight few get to experience. But one of the best places to try is the California coast, where a population of blue whales thought to be the world’s largest visits every summer in search of krill. Some whale-watching groups have already reported sightings. A drone operator with Newport Coastal Adventure captured this gorgeous video of a blue whale shooting a rainbow from its blowhole last week. @newportwhales


Daniel Monterrubio walked a highline off Taft Point above Yosemite Valley on June 12.

Scott Oller/Scott Oller Films

Two brothers from San Francisco say they set the record for the longest highline ever traversed in California. Moises and Daniel Monterrubio, along with a group of friends, strung a narrow strip of fabric some 2,800 feet — about half a mile — across a gap along the south side of Yosemite Valley. The rigging was arguably the most challenging part, requiring six days of work in difficult terrain. The walks across, which were tethered, took less than an hour. S.F. Chronicle | A.P.

As a couple wed on Taft Point, the highliners became the ultimate wedding photo bombers. Fox26 News


Two ciphers attributed to the Zodiac killer, who terrorized the Bay Area in the 1960s and ’70s, have baffled cryptographers and amateur sleuths for decades. In December, a 38-year-old French engineer named Fayçal Ziraoui read an article about the mystery and became obsessed. Two weeks after starting his quest, he claimed to crack the ciphers, revealing as the killer a career criminal in South Lake Tahoe who had been a suspect in the case. Many are skeptical. N.Y. Times |


The Michael Jordan of disc golf is a 30-year-old from Huntington Beach named Paul McBeth. When he first started playing in professional tournaments a decade ago, he crisscrossed the country in his father's 1978 Dodge Ramcharger, winning $4,000 for a first-place prize in 2011. Now McBeth collects six-figure purses and has signed a $10 million endorsement deal with the disc golf manufacturer Discraft, setting a new standard for the sport. The Ringer wrote about "one of the world’s most improbable multimillionaire athletes."

"What a shot!" A McBeth highlight reel. 👉 YouTube


A detail from Diego Rivera's “Pan American Unity,” which celebrates the Americas.

Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico D.F./Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, via City College of San Francisco

“Pan American Unity” — a 30-ton, 74-foot-wide mural by the Mexican painter Diego Rivera — has been mounted in the lobby of a theater at City College of San Francisco since the early 1960s, hidden away from the art world. After a mammoth, four-year undertaking, it's now been carefully extracted and moved across town to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where it will go on display June 28. The N.Y. Times has a cool time-lapse of its installation. N.Y. Times | S.F. Chronicle


Look magazine

Pictured above is Judith Love Cohen, a pioneering aerospace engineer, posing with a satellite at Space Technology Laboratories in Redondo Beach in 1959.

Gifted in math from a young age, Cohen recalled a high school counselor once telling her, “You know, Judy, I think you ought to go to a nice finishing school and learn to be a lady.” Instead, she earned engineering degrees at USC in the late 1950s and early 1960s without ever meeting another female engineering student. Her career included roles working on the Apollo space program and the Hubble Space Telescope. In retirement, she published popular children's books that encouraged young girls to pursue science.

In a remembrance of Cohen, who died in July of 2016, one her sons recounted how, when going into labor with her fourth child, she grabbed a computer printout of a problem she was working on and brought it to the hospital. "Later that day," Neil Siegel wrote, "she called her boss and told him that she had solved the problem. And ... oh, yes, the baby was born, too."

The newborn's name: Jack Black, who inherited his mother's tenacity even if he channeled it in a very different direction.


Audrey Hepburn and Pippin at a supermarket in 1958.

Bob Willoughby

Audrey Hepburn had a pet fawn that would follow her around Beverly Hills. In 1958, the starlet was asked to bond with the animal, Pippin, for a movie in which she portrayed a girl living in the Venezuelan jungle. Hepburn brought the deer everywhere: to restaurants, parties, the grocery store. When the movie wrapped, she was said to be heartbroken to give Pippin back. But a year later, after Hepburn suffered a miscarriage, her husband tracked Pippin down and brought it in as a pet. They made a bed for the deer out of a bathtub. The Guardian

Here are 26 pictures of Hepburn and Pippin. 👉 Vintage Everyday


Thanks for reading!

The California Sun is written by Mike McPhate, a former California correspondent for the New York Times.

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