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The possibly sad truth about the "magical" bipedal bear of New Jersey

You may have seen stories about a magical bear in New Jersey who walks on its hind legs like a person (if not, here's a video and a second.) Sadly, this might be because it's front paw is injured, possibly "suffering a partial amputation." For another example of a bear making do with less, here is a three-legged bear walking on its hind legs at times.
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 10, 2014 - 25 comments

Fallout: New Jersey

"When Dystopia Rising went well, there were moments that felt natural, perfect. My first night was filled with gang warfare and hunts for a cult of radiation-worshipping Social Darwinists, but one of the parts I remember best was sitting next to a busker who played me a song from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, gave a mythologized retelling of the musical, and ended up explaining the origins of a group I believe was called the Church of Daft Punk" -- The Verge on playing in the massively complex post-apocalyptic LARP ( Live Action Role Playing) game, Dystopia Rising.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 9, 2014 - 10 comments

Traction Park, redux

The World's Most Dangerous Amusement Park Opens Its Gates Again: (Class) Action Park, perennial MetaFilter favorite, is back in business! [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 8, 2014 - 56 comments

#peakedinhighschool

In March, Lawrenceville School Student Body President Maya Peterson, the first Black woman to be elected to that position, posted a photo to her Instagram account where she depicted what she described to be a “Lawrenceville boi”: white, Republican, and cockily holding a hockey stick. She used the hashtags “#romney2016,” “#confederate,” and “#peakedinhighschool." In response to the backlash from the photo, Maya, who is headed to Wesleyan in the fall, chose to step down. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 7, 2014 - 314 comments

"I didn’t want my shop burned down."

A Maryland gun store owner recently spent the night in his store to guard against retribution for his store's (now-reversed) decision to sell the Armatix iP1 Smart Pistol, the first smart gun to be marketed in the United States. Andy Raymond, co-owner of Engage Armament in Rockville, Maryland, initially supported the iP1 as a way to reach "fence-sitters", but backed down after receiving death threats. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on May 6, 2014 - 391 comments

There's Nothing in the World Like Action Park!

Action Park was an amusement park located in Vernon, New Jersey, (in)famous for its dangerous rides. "You'd see a kid in the summer cover in friction burns, and you'd be like 'How was Action Park?' " (13 minute documentary on DailyMotion.) Relive some of those memories with 9 minutes of commercials from 1979-80, including an actual record of people on Cannonball Loop, and almost six minutes of rides and attractions from 1991.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 16, 2014 - 40 comments

One of Christie’s flaws “is that he makes enemies and keeps them.”

When Christie was fourteen years old, he heard [now former NJ Governor Thomas] Kean, who was then a member of the state legislature, speak at his junior high school. He told his mother that he wanted to become a politician; she drove him to Kean’s house and told him to knock on the legislator’s door. “Sir, I heard you speak,” he told Kean. “I think I want to get into politics. How do I do it?” Writing for The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza provides an account of Chris Christie's political history from start to Bridgegate.
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 8, 2014 - 29 comments

The NYPL's Open Maps Project adds 20,000 High Res Maps

The New York Public Library has released more than 20,000 high resolution cartographic works (maps!) for free, to view and download. "We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions." All can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page and downloaded through their Map Warper. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2014 - 11 comments

The Rise and Fall of Chris Christie

"It was one of the most effective optical illusions in American politics—until it wasn’t." Alec MacGillis, in the New Republic, describes why "Chris Christie's entire career reeks. It's not just the bridge."
posted by spitbull on Feb 13, 2014 - 99 comments

NYC events this weekend inc.: Lunar New Year, concerts, football game.

NFL holds Super Bowl in NYC; NYC unimpressed. While the stadium is technically in New Jersey, it is considered equally if not primarily a New York stadium, and the NFL turned Times Square and Broadway into Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered By GMC. Visitors can kick a football, watch television, ride a toboggan, shop, enjoy a free slice of Papa John's pizza, play XBox, take a photo with the oversized Roman numerals 'XLVIII', use relevant Twitter hashtags, and more. It is not decadent and depraved, though Vice and Gothamist would tend to disagree. The Times discusses less vehement disapproval and disappointment, while Business Insider wishes ill upon the city. Ticket sales are faltering relative to recent years, with the new mayor among those skipping out.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth on Jan 31, 2014 - 104 comments

Shakedown on the Hudson

MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki has been collaborating with NJ journalist Brian Murphy on some investigative journalism about the Chris Christie administration's alleged withholding of Sandy Relief funds until the Mayor of Hoboken agrees to fast-track a real-estate development. Hoboken was one of the hardest-hit communities and has so far received $6 per resident. Christie became governor after leading a US Attorney investigation which convicted NJ politicians of crooked real-estate deals.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jan 18, 2014 - 118 comments

"Time For Some Traffic Problems In Fort Lee"

Email Links Top Christie Aide to GW Bridge Scandal. The week of September 9, 2013, traffic was bad on the approach to the George Washington Bridge -- the busiest bridge in the world. Cars were backed up into the streets of Fort Lee, NJ, gridlocking the entire city on the first week of school. The reason? Two tollboths leading to the GWB were closed by the Port Authority of NY and NY. The PA claimed it was for a traffic study, except that the head of the Port Authority, Pat Foye, appointed by New York Governor Cuomo, was not told about the closure, and neither was anyone else. [more inside]
posted by 1970s Antihero on Jan 8, 2014 - 780 comments

The Sorrows of Camden

Apocalypse, New Jersey Matt Taibi looks at the sad story of Camden, N.J.
posted by angrycat on Dec 13, 2013 - 68 comments

An eye pleasing NY/NJ rail map.

Inspired by the Massimo Vignelli NYC subway map and the upcoming Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, NJ Transit unveils a new Regional Transit Diagram (pdf) to help people take public transit between New York and New Jersey. [more inside]
posted by fings on Dec 12, 2013 - 28 comments

The 1952 Mongol "invasion" of New Jersey

"By figuratively sticking her foot in America’s front door and keeping it wedged there long enough for an anonymous band of war-tossed Mongols to navigate around daunting racial barriers, Countess Tolstoy not only became the architect of the Mongol “invasion” of New Jersey and the country’s first ethnic Mongolian community, she also served as the midwife for the birth of Tibetan Buddhism in America." -- tells the amazing story of how a small band of Kalmyk Mongols (all WWII Wehrmacht veterans) established Tibetan Buddhism in America, as told by David Urubshurow, who was one of them. Featuring Leo Tolstoy's youngest daughter, Cold War CIA and Ivy League intrigues, how the Dalai Lama came to America and why this was only possible under president Carter and more.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 8, 2013 - 15 comments

Married on Monday

New Jersey court to allow same-sex marriages. A stay was not granted to an earlier ruling allowing gay people to marry in New Jersey. Asbury Park and Newark are already issuing marriage licenses for couples to marry at the first possible time on Monday. This defeats a long-term move by governor Christie and conservatives to push a statewide referendum rather than go ahead with the court's ruling. New Jersey is now the fourteenth state to allow gay marriage.
posted by graymouser on Oct 18, 2013 - 55 comments

Points for creativity?

"In a bizarre case involving threats of kidnapping, beatings and physical torture — including the use of an electric cattle prod— two rabbis were charged in New Jersey on Wednesday in a scheme to force men to grant their wives religious divorces." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 10, 2013 - 131 comments

It's Marven Gardens, Actually...

What the Monopoly properties look like in real life.
posted by reenum on Oct 1, 2013 - 33 comments

The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever

The story of New Jersey's infamous Action Park is retold by visitors and those who worked there and Part 2
A more detailed look at the history of the park (previously)

posted by Blasdelb on Sep 28, 2013 - 32 comments

Bruce Springsteen, Movie Buff

Next weekend, The Showroom, an arthouse movie theater in Asbury Park, New Jersey, presents Bruce Noir — a screening and discussion series on film noir and its influence on the life and music of Bruce Springsteen. The series will be hosted by crime novelist Wallace Stroby (Kings of Midnight), who once loaned Springsteen a DVD copy of Two-Lane Blacktop, and will include appearances by Springsteen biographer Peter Ames Carlin (Bruce) via Skype and Jersey Noir photographer Mark Krajnak. The films being screened are Gun Crazy, Badlands, Out of the Past, Atlantic City, and Thunder Road. (Not screening is Woody Allen's Stardust Memories. It's not a noir, but as the story goes, a fan spotted him alone at a screening of that film and eventually asked him to come home and have dinner with him and his mother. Springsteen agreed, making him not just a world-class rock-and-roller but also an A+ film buff in the eyes of many admirers.)
posted by Mothlight on Aug 18, 2013 - 9 comments

It felt like you were inside a Bruce Springsteen song

Summertime At The Jersey Shore: Asbury Park, c. 1979
posted by boygeorge on Jul 18, 2013 - 14 comments

Lincoln Highway, the first (attempt at a) transcontinental US highway

On July 1, 1913, a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry officials established the Lincoln Highway Association "to procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all description without toll charges," and to be a lasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Highway efforts started about three years before the first federal road act would provide funding to states to improve the broad network of roads. Never officially finished, the first transcontinental highway eventually became renumbered as various interstate and US routes. To celebrate its centennial, there was a cross-country tour in June. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 17, 2013 - 33 comments

He stood in a backyard and waited for his life to begin.

New Jersey Children Forced to Shun Sad, Friendless Bear.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jun 4, 2013 - 73 comments

[redacted]

"WNYC and The Record asked, separately, for documentation of NJ Transit’s hurricane preparedness plans. Both news organizations received the same reply: a three-and-a-half page document with the words “New Jersey Rail Operations Hurricane Plan” atop the first page. Everything else was blacked out." [more inside]
posted by 1970s Antihero on May 14, 2013 - 37 comments

It broke the loop

BREAKING NEWS: Groundhog supervillain terrorizes NJ Little League then escapes from animal hospital. Suspect is still at large.
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 8, 2013 - 39 comments

I'm in love with the way you're in love with the night

Every Word Handwritten is a new short film by New Jersey rockers The Gaslight Anthem centered around the lifespan of a single vinyl record. It's title comes from a line in Handwritten, a song off their album of the same name. The Gaslight Anthem have long written about the power of old music formats, from their proclamation that they're the 'last of the jukebox Romeos' on their first album to their many invocations of the mythical 'radio' on songs like Angry Johnny and the Radio and Queen Of Lower Chelsea to 45, another song from Handwritten.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 19, 2013 - 4 comments

It'll surely come... here it comes again.

The ballad of Red Buckets. "Richard Mason was a high school kid in Boston when he formed his band Insteps and recorded his first songs sounding much like the early Cure. ... Red Buckets began at University of Pennsylvania around 1982, and eventually brought Richard and the band into the context of Crazy Rhythms-era Feelies, the Hoboken music scene at Maxwell’s, Dream Syndicate passing through, and the proto-Yo La Tengo record machine."
posted by mykescipark on Jan 20, 2013 - 2 comments

RT @CoryBooker: "We have a shared responsibility that kids go to school nutritionally ready 2 learn"

Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, NJ, will spend a week or longer living on food stamps, in response to a Twitter user who told him that, quote, "nutrition is not a responsibility of the government." [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 20, 2012 - 117 comments

"The only real depression is a depression of individual ingenuity" George Daynor's Palace of Depression

"As the story goes, [George] Daynor was a former gold prospector who’d lost his fortune in the Wall Street crash of 1929. Hitchhiking through Alaska, he was visited by an angel who told him to make his way to New Jersey without further delay. Divine providence had dictated that Daynor was to wait out the Great Depression there, building a castle with his bare hands. Daynor had only four dollars in his pocket when he arrived in Vineland, NJ.... For years he slept in an abandoned car on the mosquito-infested property, living off a steady diet of frogs, fish and squirrels while he built his elaborate eighteen-spired, pastel-hued Palace of Depression out of auto parts and mud. His primary objective? To encourage his downtrodden countrymen to hold onto their hope and stay resourceful, no matter what." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Jul 14, 2012 - 20 comments

Traction Park Memories

In a somewhat unusual move, the staff at Longform.org has chosen as today's Editors' Pick the Wikipedia entry on New Jersey's notorious Action Park. [more inside]
posted by chaff on Jun 26, 2012 - 52 comments

Dharun Ravi Found Guilty

A jury found a former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi guilty of 15 charges of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation (under a relatively new New Jersey hate-crime statute) for secretly recording his roommate Tyler Clementi, who later committed suicide.
posted by to sir with millipedes on Mar 16, 2012 - 186 comments

Good News/Bad News

Gov. Chris Christie vetoes New Jersey bill granting marriage equality. Meanwhile, the Maryland House narrowly passes such a bill. The MD Senate passed a similar bill last year, and no senators have announced any plans to change their votes, and Gov. Martin O'Malley has promised to sign it.
posted by Navelgazer on Feb 17, 2012 - 160 comments

"No minority should have their rights subject to the passions and sentiments of the majority."

Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker Responds to Question about NJ Marriage Equality Referendum (proposed by Governor Chris Christie) (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by beisny on Feb 7, 2012 - 55 comments

'Legends of the Cassette Underground'

When not terrorizing Mr Bond, from the late 1970s until 1994, Mike Mangino and Chris Shepard were in a basement full of musical toys, novelty space microphones, a TR-606, and a SH-09 in Piscataway, NJ recording cassettes as the band Smersh. In 1981 Smersh released their first cassette under their own label of Atlas King. They never rehearsed, they couldn't read music, and they never played live, and they contributed to far too many compilations throughout the known world. In the early eighties they established a unique sound that is known and loved, combining cheap electronics and wild guitar sounds with distorted vocals. By trading cassettes they garnered international acclaim leading to releases on dozens of other labels. [more inside]
posted by wcfields on Dec 22, 2011 - 5 comments

Very last year

Last Year Next Year This Year New Year [co-starring Debbie Harry] is a follow up to the classic 2006 John Roberts video The Christmas Tree [previously] both starring your Mom. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 10, 2011 - 10 comments

The Jersey I Know

"Driving Jersey represents and reflects the most misunderstood and misrepresented place and people in all of America." In this series of calmly paced, short documentaries featuring profiles, atmosphere, landscape, and interviews, filmmakers Steve Rogers and Ryan Bott travel 21 counties to capture some of the true character and cultural nuance of the Garden State. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Sep 12, 2011 - 54 comments

when the change was made uptown and the big man joined the band

King of the World, Master of the Universe: Rest in peace, Clarence Clemons. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Jun 18, 2011 - 144 comments

The aquarium is nice.

I'm not afraid, because if the terrorists fly over Camden they'll think they have done it already. Camden is the poster child of postindustrial decay. It stands as a warning of what huge pockets of the United States could turn into as we cement into place a permanent underclass of the unemployed. Camden is one of the most dangerous places in the United States and now the troubled city is facing another crisis as half the police force is set to be laid off.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Jan 19, 2011 - 152 comments

My F*$#ing Bush!

A dispute outside a shoe store in Livingston, New Jersey, between a skater and the store's owner is posted to YouTube. [NSFW language] Now the fight has spread to the store's Facebook page and Google listings. [more inside]
posted by Ljubljana on Nov 10, 2010 - 179 comments

It's the beginning of a lot of things

Life Magazine: The Real Boardwalk Empire: Nucky Johnson's Old Atlantic City [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 7, 2010 - 23 comments

Mother Leeds' Spawn, Geotagged

Mapping the Jersey Devil
posted by Miko on Oct 28, 2010 - 26 comments

Jewish newspaper: "Sorry for being so inclusive! It won't happen again."

Two weeks ago, a Jewish newspaper in New Jersey, the Jewish Standard, published a wedding announcement for a same-sex Jewish couple. Now they're apologizing for it and saying it won't happen again. [more inside]
posted by Tin Man on Oct 5, 2010 - 152 comments

A City for the Motor Age

New Urbanism (previously) is a hot topic these days, yet its core idea of building walkable cities that rely less on automobiles can be traced to a city plan created almost a century ago: the Radburn Design. [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Aug 6, 2010 - 20 comments

"I am the enemy."

"I am the enemy. I never realized this until your election to governor. In a few short weeks, you have made this fact explicitly clear to me." Steven Derion, a 2007 nominee for the Governor's Teacher of the Year Award, writes New Jersey governor Chris Christie a letter.
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 11, 2010 - 198 comments

BA holders, rejoice.

What can you with an anthropology degree? Bust an illegal organ transplant ring, apparently. [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte on Jul 25, 2009 - 43 comments

Butthole Surfers were one hell of a live band

Mickey Ween: A security guard came onstage and Gibby threw the alcohol on him. The dude just started backing away, it was clear that Gibby probably would set him on fire. And now, knowing Gibby like I do, it was definitely within the realm of possibility.
Mark Pesetsky: And Gibby just gave me that psycho look with the Charles Manson eyes. He grabs a bottle of the rubbing alcohol and throws it on me and then starts walking towards me with a lighter. And John, the other bouncer, just jumps offstage. It was every man for himself at that point.
Gibby Haynes: Oh yeah, I do remember that. I mean, I've lit kids' heads on fire and they were smiling!
An Oral History of May 3, 1987: The Day The Butthole Surfers Came to Trenton, New Jersey. Butthole Surfers interviewed in bed, parts 1 and 2, playing The Scott & Gary Show on their first run through New York, parts 1 and 2, playing live in 1985 [low quality], live footage from the 80s. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Mar 6, 2009 - 51 comments

The Uncle Floyd FPP!

Deep in the Heart of Jersey you'll find "Uncle Floyd" Vivino, roaming the streets of various towns and cities, kibbitzing with the locals. In Belleville. Nutley. Bloomfield Avenue and Ferry Street in Newark. Kearny. Cliffside Park. Main Street, Paterson. An abandoned lot in Paterson. What, you never heard of Uncle Floyd? [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Jan 6, 2009 - 47 comments

The Lackawanna Cut-Off

A glance will show / Why Phoebe Snow / Prefers this route / To Buffalo.
And Phoebe's right / No route is quite / As short as Road / of Anthracite.


In 1908 the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad began work on the New Jersey Cut-Off to make its New York to Buffalo mainline (the Road of Anthracite so liked by Phoebe Snow) even shorter and faster. It was to have no grade crossings, and was to be as straight and level as possible — through hilly terrain. The 28-mile Lackawanna Cut-Off, as it is now known, was built over three years, cost $11 million, and was an engineering marvel of massive reinforced concrete bridges, enormous cuts, and the largest railroad embankment in the world. All of this has been abandoned for years, though there are plans afoot to restore the Cut-Off for commuter rail. [more inside]
posted by parudox on Dec 24, 2008 - 17 comments

She's not a brick house

Thomas Edison's Concrete Houses From 1902 to roughly 1917, Edison was in the concrete business, and concrete houses would be one of his biggest failures. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Dec 3, 2008 - 37 comments

Princess Chunk - she ain't heavy, she's my fuzzy buddy

Are you looking for a nice, big kitty to let into your heart? Princess Chunk, at 44 pounds, might fit the bill nicely. Just two pounds shy of the world's record, the pudgy kitty was roaming sans collar in Voorhees, NJ and is now in good hands at the Camden County Animal Shelter. Chunker's owners have until Saturday to claim their big pal - after that, this big quarterback of a kitty is ready for a loving home.
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 30, 2008 - 61 comments

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