The Talk Shop is the world's first conversation salon. An artist opened up a space in Manhattan where patrons spin a conversation wheel to talk with total strangers.
"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons." Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools." Also see: A District Divided. [more inside]
New Zealand legalises same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the Asia-Pacific region and the 13th country to do so. The bill was passed with a wide majority, with 77 votes in favour and 44 against. "In our society, the meaning of marriage is universal - it's a declaration of love and commitment to a special person," said Labour MP Louisa Wall. The declaration of the vote was followed by a waiata.
Glenn Greenwald thinks so. Noted atheist Sam Harris recently made some inflammatory comments about Islam and Muslims in his twitter feed. This is not a new development. Is this a defining characteristic of New Atheism?
Recalling 1993 lets you "Step back twenty years into New York City's past. Call from any NYC pay phone to hear what was happening on that block in 1993." Other notable public history projects include the History Pin app and Shimon Attie's installations in Berlin and Rome.
Brad Pitt's Make It Right foundation has committed millions to try and revitalize New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward by building 150 affordable, green, storm-resistant homes from designs by the likes of Gehry Partners, Morphosis, Kieran Timberlake, and McDonough + Partners. Thing is, the ward doesn't have enough residents to attract stores and services, so no one wants to live there. Meanwhile, the city continues to follow through on millions in commitments to rebuild roads on streets where no one now lives, and to erect police stations and schools for a lonely, "barren moonscape" of a neighborhood. About 90 households, primarily elderly people, are living in futuristic homes that most Americans would covet, and yet there’s not a supermarket--or even a fast food restaurant--for miles.
It might strike you as a sick Internet joke, but Gareth Morgan isn't kidding. The prominent New Zealand economist and environmentalist wants his country 100 percent cat-free and he's willing to go extraordinary lengths to make it a reality.
In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
Hurricane Sandy's proximity to Election Day means that the response to it is highly politicized. [more inside]
Lake Street Dive ("DIVE not DRIVE!") is a band from Brooklyn, NY. Maybe you've already heard of them but in case you haven't, they do infectious covers and some originals too. They'll also do an impromptu web cast in someone's basement if their outdoor gig gets rained out.
Dr. Ruth, Shmuley Boteach, Mayim Bialik, Shalom Auslander, and 23 more on ensuring a meaningful year. [more inside]
The State of New Jersey of recently passed a law requiring that your pets to wear seat belts while driving in the car. Pet owners will have to purchase a seat belt extension harness for their dog. The maximum fine for not having a seat belt on your dog is $1,000.00. Meanwhile, the maximum fine in NJ for not having a seat belt on your child is $46.00
Weavrs are a species of new autonomous, emotive, social bots. They feed off of social API streams, wandering around the real world looking at things, posting recipes and dreaming. They can be used for what some might consider evil and what some might consider good. You can extend them with your own code or create a hero's journey for them to experience. If the New Aesthetic was a movie, Weavrs would be the extras.
New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant To See
Tyler DeAngelo and some of his friends have hacked a classic 1980's Frogger arcade game - with real cars.
The Titanic Guide to New York City. An exploration of traces of the disaster, revealing history still written on the landscape.
Here are some old New Jersey maps, available online. Take a look at this map of southern New Jersey made by Dutch settlers in 1669. The Dutch labeled Cape May "Cabo May." Take a look at Delaware Bay. The Dutch called it Godyn's Bay. This 1709 map shows a division between east and west New Jersey. Probably most interesting of all is this map from 1795. Here, you can see archaic names of towns. What is now Pennington was once called "Pennytown." Lawrenceville was once called "Maidenhead." What is today called Hightstown was once called "Hiatstown." How about that little island off the southwestern New Jersey coast, Egg Island? Is that even there anymore?
The New Inquiry launched a new web-based magazine this weekend with a host of smart bloggers and cultural critique. Work on the site is released under a creative commons license. Subscriptions are gently requested though not required. [more inside]
Israeli New Wave? Yes! May I introduce The Clique. Here is their song Incubator. Here is another song called Don't Light A Candle For Me. Here are the lyrics to the second song in Hebrew and English. [more inside]
Up and coming rapper Home Brew spits the truth about New Zealand. His affinity for Crate beer, a resolve to sit back and let the world's problems unfold, and a penchant for BBQs makes for great Summer music. (hey it's summer over here alright..) Underneath the Shade , Chicken Chow Mein , Same Shit Different Day [more inside]
In 1783, John Jacob Astor set out for the United States with $25 and five flutes. Upon his death in 1848, he was the wealthiest person in the US, having amassed a fortune of at least $20,000,000, making him the third wealthiest person in American history (measuring wealth as a fraction of GDP). [more inside]
I come from Bankers and Businessmen, New Jersey. The dividing line between north and south New Jersey is the Driscoll Bridge according to one theory. The Sports Fan rule applies a hypothetical line between where NY Giant fandom ends and Philadelphia Eagle fanaticism begins. Under the Sandwhich conjecture, South Jersey's northern border is where people stop eating hoagies for lunch and start eating subs. New Jersey is too nuanced for simple binary categorization. Rigorous tests of the competing theories produce contradictory results (Monmouth County is part of South Jersey under the Driscoll theory and North Jersey using Sports Fan methodology.) Throwing out the ineffectiveness of northern and southern classifications, a recent Rutgers graduate and current state employee has produced a controversial and highly accurate visualization of a new Jersey, though some may be offended.
Perfect Storm lobster tags wash up 3000 miles and 20 years later. Here's the US version of the story. Ocean currents hero Curt Ebbesmeyer (previously), "studier of flotsam," believes the tags were likely stuck in mud, then meandered around the Atlantic until arriving last year in Waterville, County Kerry, Ireland. There is a monument to the lives of fisherman lost in Gloucester and includes over 10,000 names dating back to 1716, including those from the Andrea Gail.
Cartoonist Robert Crumb's drawing for the New Yorker was turned down by editor David Remmick in 2009. Crumb didn't take the rejection well. [more inside]
"There has never, ever been a period in the history of mankind where you have as much conformity as you have now, and yet every person is under the delusion that they are an individual. I'm not. I'm trying to fit in. " So says Michael O'Brien, victorian bookbinder, sage of Oamaru, snappy jacobian dresser and all around good guy. Working in the historic district in the pacific's last remaining Victorian harbour he has inspired a whole traditional craft community around him.
Life as an Italian American Sikh Female Taxi Driver Maria Provenzano Singh is an ordinary Italian American woman who married a Sikh man and became a taxi driver.
If you live in New Jersey, you can see what your home and the surrounding area looked like from above in the year 1930.
HappeningRightNow-Filter: New York's Wordless Music Orchestra is premiering an orchestral arrangement of William Basinki's Disintegration Loops live from The Temple Of Dendur. Stream here.
New York based Google engineer decides to go 'a little bit over the top' and propose to his girlfriend via Google maps and a treasure hunt. Awww....geek love. [Via]
Ryan Lizza profiles Michele Bachmann for the New Yorker. Of special note is the in-depth look into the of her political and theological conservatism.
Hipsters on the Hudson. The NYTimes is at it again, reporting on "Hipster Sprawl" (??).. yes, I made up that term.
They’d met in the psychology department at U.C.L.A., where Gonzaga was conducting a study on married couples. Setrakian, who had a master’s in clinical psychology, was the project coördinator. To test their procedures, they needed a man and a woman to impersonate a married couple for multiple sessions. Gonzaga and Setrakian became the impersonators, and fell in love. An article about online dating from the New Yorker.
The town of Los Alamos, NM (home of LANL and the atomic bomb) is under a mandatory evacuation due to the Las Conchas wildfire. [more inside]
Have you always longed for a comprehensive list of the shit Kiwis are really into? No, neither have we. Here it is anyway. Kiwianarama
Norman Mailer's apartment. Available now.
Talk Radio's Alex Jones, the Most Paranoid Man in America. Charlie Sheen's interviewer opens up.
Anne Hays wrote an open letter to The New Yorker, and posted it on Facebook, complaining about the gender imbalance in bylines. The Village Voice and two bloggers respond. The CBC spent an hour on it this morning.
The Time Hack: A web-based effort to challenge one person's perception of time through new and unusual experiences.
With crazy hair and wacky body movements, Detroit Free Press columnist Scott Burgess embraces new media and squeezes it to death. Vlogging the bulleted list.
Future shock? Welcome to the new Middle Ages - The 21st century will resemble nothing more than the 12th [more inside]