Do you have Gephyrophobia? Are you afraid to cross that scary bridge? Now there's a service to help you get across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge instead of going miles out of your way to go around. "Some people go miles out of their way to avoid crossing the George Washington Bridge — for example, driving to Upper Manhattan from Teaneck, N.J., by way of the Lincoln Tunnel, a detour that can stretch a 19-minute jog into a three-quarter-hour ordeal. Other bridge phobics recite baby names or play the radio loudly as they ease onto a nerve-jangling span — anything to focus the mind. Still others take a mild tranquilizer an hour before buckling up to cross a bridge."
The voyage of the MOBRO. "It was 1987. A small town businessman had what seemed like a promising idea, to transport New York trash by barge to a landfill in North Carolina, where it would be converted into methane to heat homes."
First they did the crimes. Then they made a rap video of the crime. Then they went down for the crimes with the video used as evidence to convict them. [more inside]
Are spanking fetishes now mainstream sexual behavior or are they an untreated response to childhood trauma? "I think that avoiding raising one's children to be spanking fetishists is a good reason not to spank children. It is not that I view some particular set of sexual semiotics as intrinsically inferior to any other. It is because I believe that at least some forms of spanking fetishism are the direct result of traumatic repression caused by childhood spankings. Hence, to say "don't spank your kids because you might turn them into fetishists" is really just an abbreviated way of saying "don't spank your kids because this can evoke unintegratable emotions of hatred which your child will be forced to repress and which they may then cope with by eroticizing your spankings and spending the rest of their lives feeling frustrated because their pool of available sexual partners is so small, and feeling guilty and ashamed because of how your maltreatment of them made them hate you back when they were helpless and dependent upon you." NSFW previously
John Locke builds, installs, and creates libraries in payphone booths in New York City. “There aren’t a lot of people out,” he said. “You can just go down, find a good booth, carry it out, latch it in. It takes seconds. And then just fill it up with books and let’s wait and see what happens.”
The transportation reporter for the New York Times, Scott Flegenheimer, outs himself. “Hey, one boss said to another after my ill-advised confession. Did you know our transportation reporter can’t ride a bike? He knew then, of course, and now you do, too. I cannot ride a bike." He is not alone. Adult bicycling lessons are offered everywhere.
Dog vs. Rattlesnake. Dog loses. But there is hope for other dogs. "At home, I lit candles in prayer, pleading to the universe that she would make it. I slept fitfully, realizing that this was her battle. I couldn’t will her to survive. Even so, I offered a psychic bargaining chip, promising her a trip to the ocean, which she had never seen, if she pulled through this." And, she did.
S. Victor Whitmill is suing Warner Brothers Entertainment for copyright infringement for using the design of a tattoo he created for Mike Tyson on a characters face in Hangover II. There is precedent for this action.
Father and son, bunking in G block. "Scott Peters and his father, Bernard, eat dinner together at night, then watch bowling or classic boxing matches on television together into the evening. They have an extremely close relationship: They have seen each other for at least part of nearly every one of the last 5,455 days. Every night, they sleep together in an 8-by-12-foot room, where the alarm bell rings in the morning but also at 10:30 p.m., when the guards turn off the lights in G Block, at the Elmira Correctional Facility." via NYT
Is this just another version of the minstrel show? The Pendleton Round-up is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Part of its attraction is the performance of a "American Indian" dance pageant, whose participants are compensated traditionally. "A century later, the mill still provides blankets, and families are still paid to appear, $5 per person each day at the arena. Beef and vegetables are provided, as are tokens for other food. The winner of the “Best Dressed Indian Award” at the parade gets 50 silver dollars. The winner of the “Oldest Indian Couple Award” gets 100 silver dollars in a pouch."
Have you ever spit your gum on the sidewalk. Did you know it's a social problem? New York City is dealing with it. Mexico DF is having a hard time with it. Instead of spitting you can swallow it or make a flower. [more inside]
Frank Serpico testified before the Knapp Commission in October 1971, becoming the first police officer in the United States to voluntarily give evidence against a fellow policeman. You probably have seen the movie. Frank Serpico returns. “I still have nightmares,” he said. “I open a door a little bit and it just explodes in my face. Or I’m in a jam and I call the police, and guess who shows up? My old cop buddies who hated me.”
Sick leave. In some countries it's taken for granted. In the USA it's controversial. A bill before congress would mandate 5 days of paid sick leave a year for businesses with over 15 employees. Some without sick leave are going to work sick. I'm sure you have never done this.
Nina Sankovitch is about to finish reading a book a day for a year. She not only reads them, she reviews them too. "You can’t go from ‘Little Bee,’ by Chris Cleave, which is about this young woman who witnesses torture and herself is a victim of abuse in Nigeria — a really great book, but you’re just crying or your stomach is clenched — to another book like it the next day,” she said. “If I read a book like that every day, I would have collapsed a long time ago.” Other 365 day projects have included this, this, and this.
Do you let your small children run around naked? "The sexual component of nudity — and a fear of pedophiles — is what makes some adults object entirely to letting children be naked. Jenny Louie said her husband is so uncomfortable when their 4-year-old daughter, Rebecca, is naked that, even if she is alone in her bedroom, in Los Angeles, he will immediately close her shutters."
Yesterday was self government day in Greenland. The last step before complete independence from Denmark. They played the Greenland National Anthem.
Some have questioned Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's neutrality in dealing with the elite of the financial community. Here's his calendar [150MB pdf] for the last two years. You decide.
Today marks the launch of the Tata Nano. Some see this car as the next Ipod. Some have grave environmental concerns. (previously)
Is the police blotter dying? Not so. In other parts of the world, the blotters are a little weird and violent. (nsfw)
Yet another study says the middle class are fleeing New York City. What happened to the previous studies and solutions? Bloomberg to Middle Class, "Get Out."
We should have known it was inevitable. Your local newspaper being written in India. Get ready for the outsourcing of journalism. Maureen Dowd doesn't like it.
Phil Gramm is unrepentent. "Mr. Gramm said the problem of predatory loans was not of the banks’ making. Instead, he faulted “predatory borrowers". "Mr. Gramm, ever the economics professor, disputes his critics’ analysis of the causes of the upheaval. He asserts that swaps, by enabling companies to insure themselves against defaults, have diminished, not increased, the effects of the declining housing markets." “This is part of this myth of deregulation,” he said in the interview. “By and large, credit-default swaps have distributed the risks. They didn’t create it. The only reason people have focused on them is that some politicians don’t know a credit-default swap from a turnip.”
The New York Times reports that tens of thousands of voters from swing states have been illegally purged from voter registration lists using social security numbers. Unsure whether your vote will count? Check here.
Ever have a job working for a record label on a street crew. And yer puttin up publicity posters on lightpoles for an artist like Rocko and some asshole won't stop takin yer picture. Whadda you do then? Break his friggin camera.
Checkout: Where all lanes are open. NYT article article on Walmart's new blog written by their buyers with uncensored commentary on Walmart products. "After heeding the lessons of Wal-Mart’s earlier blogs and consulting with several well-known bloggers from sites like the Huffington Post, the buyers decided the site would succeed only if they wrote in their own voice, free from censorship and corporate review." [more inside]