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Hot 20 2009: Gina Bianchini, Co-Founder of Ning

Photography by John Lee.

In many ways it was the diversity of the Bay Area itself that inspired Gina Bianchini to launch, the social platform for the world’s interests and passions. Ning, which means peaceful in Mandarin Chinese, houses more than 1.5 million networks, with 4,500 new ones (and counting) created every day around varying topics—ranging from Twilight fanatics (183,000 members) to the Indian Premier Cricket League (713,000 members). Ning is on fire, and not just because tech-gossip blog Valleywag dubbed Bianchini a “Web 2.0 hottie;” new network creation accelerated 26 percent in July to 30 million registered users.

Hot 20 2009: Author Stephen Elliott

Photography by Anön.

A recent entry from writer Stephen Elliott’s Twitter page: “Interning at McSweeney’s today and then heading to a porn shoot.” An illuminative morsel, to say the least. The Mission resident does not, in fact, intern at the Valencia Street publishing house; he merely bleeds its free Wi-Fi.

Hot 20 2009: The Mad Men, Andrew O’Dell and PJ Pereira

Photography Erik Almås

The scene couldn’t have been more Jerry Maguire: Two ad executives are sitting across from each other with their laptops in a Starbucks, their temporary office, the day after leaving prestigious corporate positions to start a new kind of firm—one that makes the consumer the priority. Both are thinking, "Oh, my God, what have we done?" But cliché or not, within weeks of that meeting, PJ Pereira and Andrew O’Dell had landed Lego as the first client of their namesake firm.

Hot 20 2009: Anastasia Griffith, Actress in NBC'S 'Trauma'

Judging from Anastasia Griffith’s riveting performance as a drug-using minx-cum-restaurateur on FX’s Emmy-winning drama Damages, it’s only a matter of time before the Paris-born actress starts raking in the award nominations. For now, earning distinction as one of this year’s Hot 20 evokes an acceptance speech from the modest Londoner. “I’m definitely under 40, so I qualify,” says Griffith, who stars as a paramedic in Trauma, NBC’s new high-octane medical drama set in SF. “I’m fairly of-the-moment, working on a show that’s being filmed in San Francisco. I’ve never received accolades before, so this is very flattering.”


photography by Misha Vladimirskiy

For the debut of the Musicbox live music showcase hosted by Heineken and indie rocker Chris Clouse got the feverish rockers to get down and dirty at Notte in Cow Hollow.


(Not So) Permanent Vacation

Courtesy of UCLA Film & Television Archive

Greetings and salutations
film nerds. I’m still on my much-needed sabbatical from the Reel. In the meantime, here’s a list of film happenings around town. Until we meet again, be bad and, get into trouble baby.

Happenings About Town:

Shredding Air

photography by Misha Vladimirskiy

At the second annual Bay Area regional Air Guitar Championship held at the Independent contestants rocked out and got their invisible shred on while donning mullets, leather and headbands. The winner of the of contest was the formidable Ricky Stickfingers. Rock on Ricky!

Full Feist

photography by Misha Vladimirskiy

Canadian singer-songwriter and member of Broken Social Scene Leslie Feist better known simply as Feist performed two sold out shows at the Fillmore. Brooklyn-based indie "it" band Grizzly Bear opened both shows.


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