A retrospective of the week’s events around town
by Kendra Hartmann
Published - 06/13/12 - 04:41 PM | 9803 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Left, members of the Heali'i's Polynesian Revue perform at the Survivor Beach event on June 10. (photo by Don Balch) Center, the home dangling off the seventh floor of Jacobs Hall at UCSD is meant to evoke thoughts about home. (photo by Sharon Hinckley) Right, Watermelon Queens Ari Ananda and Rachna Gulati toss a watermelon from the seventh floor of Urey Hall while a crowd below watches. (Photo by Don Balch)
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A trail of surfboards leads the way for cancer survivors and their supporters

Beachgoers at La Jolla Shores on June 10 were witness to a record-breaking event involving surfboards — but not one that took place in the water. The beach last Sunday was the site of a nearly 3,000-foot line of surfboards, laid end-to-end, stretching down the beach as far as the eye could see.

The event was the sixth annual Survivor Beach, which drew about 300 beachgoers — including cancer survivors — to create, in partnership with UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, a line of surfboards extending more than eight football fields down the length of the beach.

Sponsored by Genentech and founded by Jessica Yingling, Survivor Beach aims to support those fighting cancer and raise awareness of the need for cancer research. The event preceeds the annual Luau and Longboard Invitational on Aug. 19, which raises funds for research, patient care, and outreach and educational programs at Moores Cancer Center.

Last weekend’s event saw a trail down the beach comprised of 344 boards (nearly double the number from last year’s event) that stretched 2,595 feet. At the event, local musician Rob Mehl sang surf-inspired songs while Heali’i’s Polynesian Revue performed authentic Polynesian dances.

“The line of surfboards conveys the aloha spirit felt at both Survivor Beach and the Luau and Longboard Invitational,” said Yingling. “It is a visual reminder of the saying, ‘Many hands make light work.’ Fighting cancer takes many hands: the strength of the patient, the attentiveness of the doctors and medical staff, the persistence of the researchers and the support of family, friends and the community. The line reminds us that together we are stronger than one. Together we can fight this disease and win.”

Cancer survivors — including Yingling’s mother, who fought and beat cancer when Yingling was 13 years old — shared inspirational stories about their fight against the disease at Survivor Beach.

The Luau and Longboard Invitational has raised more than $5 million for cancer research at Moores Cancer Center. For more information, visit www.longboardluau.org.

A star falls at UCSD

Visitors walking past UC San Diego’s Jacobs Hall might think, if they happened to look up, that Dorothy’s house had landed not in Oz, but rather on the school’s campus. The small house attached to the roof of the building at a dizzying angle, however, is not a hapless dwelling from Kansas, but the work of artist Do Ho Suh.

Called “Fallen Star,” the house was hoisted into place last November, and on June 7, it opened to the public as a life-size art installation, part of the school’s Stuart Collection.

At 15-by-18 feet, the house is furnished with slightly worn furniture and decorated with homey knicknacks — including baby pictures of some UCSD faculty and others connected with the work. The plants growing outside are all real, and include a plum tree, a wisteria vine and tomatoes. The lights in the house come on at night, as does a TV. Viewers might sometimes catch steam rising from the chimney, inviting the notion that someone inside is just settling down by the fire.

A visit to the home, meanwhile,e might prove a bit disorienting for some. The house itself is built at a 10-degree angle, while its floor sits at a 5-degree angle to the flat roof of Jacobs Hall’s seventh floor. Not to worry though — the house was built according to California’s earthquake standards, and is designed to withstand 100 mph winds.

The Stuart Collection plans to open “Fallen Star” for a few hours a week, as well as by appointment. Call (858) 534-2117 or visit stuartcollection.ucsd.edu for more information.

A spectacular splat

As part of an annual event that has become something of a legend on the UC San Diego campus, about 150 students gathered in front of Urey Hall to watch as a sacrificial fruit was flung off the seventh floor of the building for the 48th annual Watermelon Drop.

In an impressive display of terminal velocity, this year’s watermelon created a splat measuring 133 feet, 7 inches — the second-largest splat in the history of the school’s oldest tradition. The record of 167 feet, 4 inches was set in 1974.

The event was started in 1965 by physics professor Bob Swanson. The first year’s splat measured 91 feet. The fruit was flung off the building by Watermelon Queen Elizabeth Huller.

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