UPDATE: Added another image or two after the jump.
Compared to a hawk on a back deck. Also from today. . .
Bertha, Seattle's deep-bore tunnel digger, isn't the only mammoth, controversial piece of equipment that's stuck in the Northwest these days.
This afternoon, about a dozen climate-change activists from Rising Tide Seattle showed up at the Bellevue offices of RCCI, a subsidiary of General Electric, to protest the shipment of a "megaload" evaporator that is currently bogged down in Eastern Oregon, trying to make its way to the tar sands oilfields in Alberta, Canada.
Activists and members of the Umatilla and Warm Springs tribes have been blockading the megaload shipment for weeks, which can only travel at night because its size disrupts traffic. "This thing is forty stories tall," said activist Kyle Miskell on his way to the office occupation this afternoon. "It's like they're shipping a skyscraper—and it's going through reservation areas against their wishes."
"The Alberta tar sands are the most environmentally destructive projects on the planet right now," he added. "As long as companies like RCCI are helping to develop the tar sands, they can expect resistance."
This evaporator is one of three that was scheduled to leave the Port of Umatilla in late November, but has faced a series of blockades including people locking themselves to the rig and one Umatilla woman, a 60 year-old grandmother, lying down in the road. (She was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.) Adam Gaya of Rising Tide Seattle says that, due to the delays and some weather issues, the megaload has only moved 100 miles since late November, setting the timeline for shipping the evaporators back several weeks.
"People are digging in their heels about this because both GE and Omega-Morgan are looking for a permanent route to ship equipment to the tar sands fields, and roads where they can make modifications," Gaya said. "This is a test run for them and folks feel like if we can prevent or significantly delay these loads from arriving in Alberta, we might be able to shut off one of their last available routes."
I am a 34-year-old straight, single female. My fantasy is to be blindfolded, bent over a table/couch/whatever, and fucked by whoever happens to walk by. I realize this would have to take place in a safe environment, but most sex clubs or parties tend to be for swingers, specifically couples. There's a sex club nearby that looks like it might cater to my fantasy, but can I just walk in off the street and bend over? Do I need to go a few times first and talk to people? That kind of kills the fantasy of it, really. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Take A Number
My response after the jump...
(Thanks, Slog tipper Jesse. We miss you.)
It's a sucky, sucky budget that under- or de-funds a ton of worthy programs while pretty much maintaining the status quo on a lot of awful stuff—but it's a sucky, sucky Congress, so yeah, I guess we're better off now that the Republican-controlled House has passed a bipartisan budget than we would be in another government shutdown:
On the plus side, the legislation will increase overall spending levels in the short-term, but will reduce the deficit over the next decade with back-loaded spending cuts and revenue increases. It will also take the possibility of another government shutdown off the table.
That being said, the legislation fails to extend emergency unemployment benefits, which are set to expire at the end of the year and will leave 1.3 million families without benefits.
Also, a farm bill extension rather than the all new farm bill we really need, and as far as I can tell, it does nothing to stave off yet another bullshit debt ceiling showdown this spring. But it's better than a shutdown. So congratulation's to Washington State's own Senator Patty Murray for achieving the impossible: Getting Republicans to agree to compromise!
Oh, Rob Ford! What next? In today's edition of Toronto Mayor Rob "I Only Smoke Crack When I'm Drunk" Ford, the Toronto Star's city hall reporter, Daniel Dale, has filed a libel notice against Mayor Ford and demanded an apology and retraction from the TV station that broadcast Ford's comments. In the interview, Ford said he'd found Dale "taking pictures of little kids"—Mayor Ford's kids, to be exact—in a May 2012 incident. Police investigated the incident at the time and found "no evidence" with which to charge Dale.
In the Toronto Star today, Dale has written a first-person piece about exactly why he plans to go to court:
Goodness. As the mayor likes to say: enough’s enough.
I have served Rob Ford today with a libel notice, the first step in the process of pursuing a defamation lawsuit. I am also serving Vision TV, which twice broadcast Ford’s vile and defamatory remarks to Conrad Black even though their interview was filmed days before it aired.
It had become clear to me that, if I had done nothing, the mayor would make his smears some sort of political talking point. His comments to Black were no one-time slip; they seemed to be the first shots in a bewildering campaign against my good name. At a Tuesday news conference, he pointedly said he stands by “every word.” Today, he repeated many of his false claims on American radio...
As my libel notice says, I’m asking Ford to immediately retract the false insinuation that I am a pedophile and all of his false statements about my conduct on May 2, 2012. I’m also asking Ford and Vision owner ZoomerMedia to apologize immediately “publicly, abjectly, unreservedly and completely.”
If Ford does not do so, we’ll see if he is willing to repeat his lies under penalty of perjury.
No American city is even close to keeping up with Toronto for city hall entertainment right now.
A whole lot of people, especially online, are missing the point of that Colorado baker who was sued for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Slog tipper Heidi wants you to see this ThinkProgress article which refutes every single idiotic argument that's being tossed around about the case. The bullet points are:
It Doesn’t Matter If The Bakery Otherwise Serves Gay People
This Case Has Nothing To Do With Whether Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal
Cakes Do Not Constitute “Speech”
The Act Of Selling Cakes Also Does Not Constitute “Speech”
Baking Cakes Is Not Religious Conduct
You should go and read the supporting evidence for each of these claims. It's been dismaying to see otherwise level-headed people completely miss the point of this case. This article goes a long way toward articulating why this case is so important and what it stands for.
The most amazing thing just happened. Look!
I thought of this, and said so aloud to the editorial department, and everyone went, silently, in their minds, "Would you shut up about Sylvia Plath already? Second time today." Bethany might have vocalized a response; I can't remember. I was too busy taking closeups.
Here's Sylvia Plath reading "Black Rook in Rainy Weather" in her weird, wavering, wonderful voice.
It's Thursday. It's shitty out. Sometimes you just need one of these in your day.
Thanks, Slog Tipper Seija!
India's law minister said Thursday that the government has not abandoned efforts to make homosexuality legal, and that the country must take swift action to challenge a Supreme Court decision banning same-sex relations.
The minister, Kapil Sibal, said he was for decriminalizing homosexuality, hinting that the government could seek a judicial review of Wednesday's Supreme Court decision or that Parliament could enact a new law.
It's true that when your goal is to decriminalize gay sex, you've got a long way to go as a society. But the United States just technically legalized sodomy ten years ago, and look how far we've come in that time.
The California Department of Public Health has halted shipment of the glorious rooster sauce until mid-January, for what sounds like kind of bogus reasons. "Customers are furious and restaurants are panicking!" says this alarmist teevee news report that is not at all worth waiting through the ad for. UPDATE: It also autoplays! Teevee news, you're going after the jump.
If you are old like me, you might not have seen Anchorman since it was first released in movie theaters back in 1927. (I believe it was the first "talkie.") So if you're planning on seeing the sequel, which is cleverly titled Anchorman 2, you might need a refresher on the original film. If that's the case for you, SIFF Cinema has you covered: They're screening Anchorman parts un and deux as a double feature on December 17th, and they're supplying fake mustaches to enhance your enjoyment of the film. For $18, it's a bargain.
I think this sort of thing is exactly what movie theaters need to be doing to fight consumer apathy. And even the big corporate theater chains are starting to play, too. AMC Theatres is selling a so-called "superticket" for Anchorman 2 for $31. It gets you in to a screening of Anchorman 2, but it also gets you a download of Anchorman 2 and a download of the weird limited-edition special-feature sequel to Anchorman, Wake Up, Ron Burgundy. (Plus a $5 concession gift certificate, but that's kind of bullshit. Why not just knock $5 off the price and trust Americans to buy gigantic sodas of their own free will?) Of these two deals, I know which special screening I'm going to attend, but it's nice that theaters everywhere are learning to make an event of going to the movies.
No wonder Lululemon's asshole Ayn Rand-loving founder had to step down. Turns out, blaming the female body for the failings of poorly made clothing isn't a good strategy for a retailer. Quartz's John McDuling writes:
Lululemon posted its third-quarter earnings this morning and Wall Street isn’t impressed. Sales were up 20%, but that is the slowest growth since July 2009, and it’s only adding to concerns that the yoga-pants maker’s incredible run of growth, completely at odds with the woes most brick-and-mortar retailers have been experiencing in the last few years, could be behind it.
The company also cut its earning forecasts for next year, and its shares have tanked about 10% in early trading.
Quick! What would Ayn Rand do? Actually, she'd probably double down on her asshole comments. Never mind. Keep apologizing, I guess! Maybe that'll work.
In a ruling issued today (pdf), King County Superior Court Judge Jean Rietschel has tossed out the heart of Washington State's charter schools law on the grounds that it violates the constitutional provision that state education revenues be "exclusively applied to the support of the common schools."
But, Judge Rietschel concludes: "A charter school cannot be defined as a common school because it is not under the control of the voters of the school district. The statute places control under a private non-profit organization, a local charter board and/or the Charter Commission."
In other words, charter schools may not be funded with state dollars dedicated to funding our state's common schools.
This is a big, though not unexpected loss for charter schools proponents. The initiative's effort to classify charter schools as common schools always seemed a bit of a legal stretch. I'll have some more thoughts after further study.
Both parties asked for and received summary judgement, and given the urgency of the case, it will likely be appealed directly to the state supreme court.
UPDATE: I just saw the Seattle Times headline that claims that "Judge upholds most of state charter school law." I'm not sure how they come to that conclusion. Judge Rietschel ruled that charter schools are not common schools, and Article IX, Section 2 of the Washington State Constitution is quite clear:
SECTION 2 PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM. The legislature shall provide for a general and uniform system of public schools. The public school system shall include common schools, and such high schools, normal schools, and technical schools as may hereafter be established. But the entire revenue derived from the common school fund and the state tax for common schools shall be exclusively applied to the support of the common schools.
Unless I'm missing something, that would seem to rule out state funding. And I'm not sure how charter schools work without it.
Second, on many of those elements of the law Judge Reitschel did not toss out, she didn't as much uphold them as merely rule that the plaintiff's arguments were not justiciable because the provision in question has not yet been implemented, or because the plaintiffs did not make "a sufficient showing for facial invalidity."
So I'm sticking with my headline.
UPDATE, UPDATE: To clarify, the "state tax for common schools" which Article IX, Section 2 refers to appears to be the state portion of the property tax, about $2 billion a year, almost a quarter of state public school funding. (Though personally, I'd argue that language could be read more broadly to include all state taxes spent for common schools.) The "common school fund" is a separate fund that funds construction.
From this week's Loose Lips:
Dayna Hanson's The Clay Duke, a kaleidoscopic reenactment of a real school board shooting, blew people's minds at On the Boards last weekend. Wade Madsen and Thomas Graves were outright eerie as the shooter (yes, two men playing one, often standing right next to each other). Among other odd/riveting parts: Sarah Rudinoff in bureaucratic drag, Peggy Piacenza elaborating the contents of a purse, and a whole animal-mask thing.
The Clay Duke was a 90-minute spin-out based on a seven-minute video—if you saw the piece but haven't seen the video, you should watch it to fully appreciate what Hanson did with her source material. It begins with the shooter, Clay Duke, interrupting a school-board meeting with "I have a motion," then talking about how his wife lost her job with the district, how they're going broke, how elected officials screw people with taxes and budget-slashing, and how he's prepared to die.
You can read more about it in last week's preview, as well as comments left by Duke's daughter:
A comments thread about an extremely sensitive subject that starts upset and resolves with warmth and gratitude—it's like an internet miracle.
...but they're all here online. Cheers!
• ARAGONA • downtown: From acclaimed chef Jason Stratton (Spinasse, Artusi), it's an extremely hotly anticipated restaurant focusing on the foods of Spain, with the acclaimed David Nelson (Tavern Law, Spur, Il Bistro) in charge of the bar. Aragona is kitty-corner from the Seattle Art Museum, in the neato space where Thoa's used to be. (96 Union St, 682-3590, aragonaseattle.com, $$–$$$)
• ALTSTADT BIERHALLE & BRATHAUS • Pioneer Square: Brendan McGill, chef/owner of the well-liked Hitchcock on Bainbridge Island (and winner of Food & Wine's "People's Best New Chef") runs this great-looking old-school beer hall—big long tables, exposed brick walls, house-made bratwurst and pretzels, house-fermented sauerkraut, and big ol' steins of beer. "Altstadt" means "old town" in German, as befits its Pioneer Square location. (209 First Ave S, 602-6442, altstadtseattle.com, $$)
• HUARACHITOS • Rainier Valley: This family-owned Mexican place is especially beloved for its namesake huaraches—corn cake "sandals" smeared with beans and topped with cheese, meat, and veggies. The original Huarachitos on MLK closed due to a fire in June 2011...
You must, and you have through the weekend to do it.
For now, here's a chunk of an interview Kathleen Hanna did with The Dissolve's Sam Adams, as part of the "Mad Love" series, wherein "entertainers defend movies they love that are generally hated." Hanna's film: Lizzie Borden's Born in Flames, which imagines feminist struggles after a socialist revolution, and reminds Hanna of one of riot grrl's great limitations, on which she holds forth honestly and eloquently.
THE DISSOLVE: One thing that’s amazing about Born In Flames is how it encompasses what were then and are now very sharp debates within the feminist movement. There’s this concern within the movie from the Women’s Army and the feminist press about presenting a united front, and then there are black women and lesbian activists saying “Wait a minute....We actually need to be united before we present a united front, rather than just putting up a wall.”
KATHLEEN HANNA: That’s something that didn’t happen in riot grrrl that makes me really sad when I look back on it. I didn’t think there was going to be a movement, first of all. What I learned was, you have to be inviting women of color if you’re having a meeting, or going to meetings or events that women of color are having, and being supportive of people who are different from your own projects and plans in what they’re doing. If you don’t do that early on, you can’t add it in later, and start having these conversations three years down the road when already you’re in the predominantly white situation. What happens is all these white women arguing about who is more or less racist, or who is more or less classist. It just becomes this shame-and-blame thing, and that was a big part of what was called the riot-grrrl movement deteriorating. I think that lesson from Born In Flames is why at the very first [riot grrrl] convention, I insisted on having an Unlearning Racism workshop, which was hosted by me and a woman of color—of course I can’t remember her name, because she was a member of the Peace Center, and she was somebody I had never met before. It did not go well. Now, even looking at the title Unlearning Racism, the women of color who were there didn’t need to unlearn racism. Maybe internalized racism, but why did I choose that name? The assumption was, we were speaking to a white audience. Right then and there during that particular workshop, women of color walked out. A lot of them ended up making zines that were critical of the riot grrrl movement, but that very much became a part of it, that very much shaped the conversations that began to happen.
Read the whole interview here, and see The Punk Singer at SIFF through Sunday.
The Seattle City Council is screwed. And it screwed itself. The council's moderate/conservatish majority gained collective security over the last four years by circling their wagons. Consensus was their religion, and by sticking together, they made themselves immune to most criticism and challenges. Together they detested the mayor, shoved through expensive freeway projects, and deferred urgent transit planning. As the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission reported in 2012, these incumbent politicians also amassed so much money from the same small circle of lobbyists that they intimidated challengers from even running against them.
But in two years, most of those council members will be pitted against each other, flushed from office, or pushed into early retirement.
Voters went nuclear on them...
I know Savage doesn't think Christmas is sexy, but what about THESE suckers:
I'd love to hide something like this in my stepmom's flawlessly perfect tree.
h/t to Sheer Tara, via Twitter!
The Christian media is now buzzing over the Mark Driscoll plagiarism scandal. Most notably, Andy Crouch published a great essay at Christianity Today about the whole mess that gets to the root of Driscoll's real problem:
Mark Driscoll is a human being, created in the image of God, with great gifts, real limits, and very likely a genuine calling to ministry. But "Pastor Mark Driscoll," the author of "literally thousands of pages of content a year," the purveyor of hundreds of hours of preaching, is in grave danger of becoming a false image. No human being could do what "Pastor Mark Driscoll" does—the celebrity is actually a complex creation of a whole community of people who sustain the illusion of an impossibly productive, knowledgeable, omnicompetent superhuman.
The real danger here is not plagiarism—it is idolatry.
Patheos noted that prominent Christian John Piper agreed with Crouch on Twitter. I don't think this scandal is going away just because Mars Hill now blames the whole thing on a "research assistant." I think a lot of Christians have become very nervous about what Driscoll has built himself into, and this plagiarism scandal simply gives them the opportunity to talk about their unease with Driscoll's self-aggrandizement. It'll be interesting to see how Driscoll responds to criticism from within the Christian community. He's not a humble guy, and he's prone to taking his persecution complex out for a spin at any opportunity. This could get messy.
(Thanks to ace Slog tipper Shawna for the links.)
The Muppets and How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segal will costar with Jesse Eisenberg in a new movie called The End of the Tour, Jeff Sneider at The Wrap reports:
Segel will play David Foster Wallace, the author of “Infinite Jest” who committed suicide in 2008, while Eisenberg will play Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky.
James Ponsoldt (“The Spectacular Now”) will direct from a script by playwright Donald Margulies, who adapted Lipsky’s book Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip With David Foster Wallace.
Lots of people are expressing disbelief that Segal can play Wallace. I'll reserve my judgment, although it must be noted that Wallace is an incredibly difficult role. (Very smart people are tough to get right.) But there's an even greater problem with this production: Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself is a terrible book. I reviewed it when it came out back in 2010. The book is exemplary of the worst kind of magazine profile writing, in which Lipsky is too obsessed with himself and making sure that he comes across as cool. He seems to miss the point of Wallace entirely while at the same time obsessing over trivial facts about Wallace's writing. It's possible that Eisenberg could capture Lipsky's off-putting neediness and turn his performance into a meta-commentary on the book, but if this production turns out to be a sincere take on Although Of Course, this movie will be very difficult to love.
Just to make the joke about Buzzfeed clear, Sarah Miller also reviews really good books with the same smarmy happiness that she reviews really bad books. Here's the review of Moby-Dick:
“Moby-Dick” was written in a cozy study with original fixtures in a beautiful house in the Berkshires—which is just spectacular at this time of year—by a talented writer and devoted husband and father named Herman Melville (who might have been gay, and that’s O.K.!). “Moby-Dick” is about a whale. This is good news because the ocean, a whale’s habitat, is majestic and powerful, and as we stand at its edge we are able to experience both transcendence and humility, which is such a gift.
The characters are as rollicking and fun as the ocean setting. The narrator, Ishmael, is just a really good guy, while Ahab, a ship’s captain, allows us to remember that anger happens when we don’t process our sadness, which is every bit as precious as our joy. Ultimately, “Moby-Dick” is a gripping story about a diverse group of men putting aside their differences to create lifelong friendships on a hand-crafted sailboat.
I can't think of a better illustration of why all-positive book reviews all the time is a bad idea. Click here for similar "reviews" of Fifty Shades of Grey, Bill O'Reilly's Lincoln book, and "The First Phone Call from Heaven" by Mitch Albom.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis! Pearl Jam! Slog! We are in a fierce competition this holiday season to raise money for YouthCare’s Orion Center. And to find out whose fans will are the best fans! Whose fans will do the most to help homeless youth right here in Seattle? Slog is not in the lead! But that's okay! There's still plenty of time (until December 24th) for Slog fans to pull ahead and CRUSH Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans and Pearl Jam fans and prove that Slog fans are the best fans out there!
• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans have donated: $30,918.14
• Pearl Jam fans: $24,188.27
• Slog fans: $8,961.00
Fans of those obnoxious, snot-nosed, GIF-pimping upstarts at Seattlish are still donating: $1,895.00 so far! And let's check back in and see how Seahawks fans are doing: Seahawks* fans have donated $0 so far!
Don't forget: Donate and you could win a pair of three-day passes to the 2014 Capitol Hill Block Party PLUS two nights at the Hotel Monaco! Every damn band that plays, plus sleeping it off in style. Just donate by noon on Friday, December 13 (any amount counts!), then forward your receipt and tell us in 100 words or less why you want to party at the Block Party and what you're going to do in your hotel room after. The best reason wins! The winner will be announced Friday afternoon on Slog! Donate to the Orion Center right now!
• Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
• Pearl Jam fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
• Slog fans: GO HERE TO GIVE!
Seattlish fans can go here to give and make a note that it's pro-Seattlish! The fans that raise the most for the Orion Center by December 24th WIN the title of the Best Fans of the Best Band or Best Blog in the Universe Forever!
And give at least $25 to the Orion Center, then forward us your receipt and your commenter handle, and we'll give you a commenter tag on Slog that says SLOG FAN, MACKLEMORE & RYAN LEWIS FAN, or PEARL JAM FAN! Your choice!
* Again, and in all fairness to Seahawks fans, they weren't part of this charity challenge and there's no landing page where Seahawks fans can donate as Seahawks fans. But is that any excuse? Seattlish fans didn't have a landing page and weren't part of the challenge when I called them out for failing to donate even single dollar to save the Orion Center. And what did Seattlish do then? They jumped in, created their own damn landing page, and started raising money to save the Orion Center! And Seattlish fans have raised nearly $2,000! But the total donated by Seahawks fans remains stuck at zero dollars?!? Don't Seahawks fans care about homeless teenagers? GIVE!
Is this discussion about Santa's race the dumbest three minutes of television news to air this week? If it isn't, I don't think I want to watch the dumbest three minutes of television news to air this week. The climax of this clip sums up Fox News's advice to minorities everywhere: "Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change." And she follows that up with this beauty: "I mean, Jesus was a white man, too."
I know some people who claim that Megyn Kelly is really smart, and that she considers her role at Fox News to be performance art. I just can't buy that.
That subject line doesn't tell half the story. From this week's Last Days: The Week in Review:
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3 In more predictable news, the week continues with a rain of drugged mice falling on the US territory of Guam. Details come from NBC News, which identifies the cause of Guam's drugged-mouse rain as the brown tree snake, an invasive species that "likely arrived in an inadequately inspected cargo shipment sometime in the 1950s" and has since grown into an expensive, slithery nuisance. In addition to feasting on the region's exotic birds, the estimated two million brown tree snakes in Guam routinely cause trouble for the island's industrial complexes, which are "regularly bedeviled by power failures caused when the snakes wriggle their way into electric substations—an average of 80 a year, costing as much as $4 million in annual repair costs and lost productivity," reports NBC. Lucky for Guam, brown tree snakes "have an Achilles' heel": acetaminophen, with one-sixth of a standard Tylenol pill containing enough to kill a brown tree snake. Which brings us to the aforementioned rain of mice, each one of which was stuffed with a deadly dose of acetaminophen, tied to a cardboard parachute, then dropped from a low-flying helicopter, with roughly 2,000 such mice rained down on the forested areas of Andersen Air Force Base this past Sunday. As you read this, snakes are OD'ing all over Guam. Let this be a lesson to us all to adequately inspect our cargo shipments.
Indulge your nostalgia for last week with the rest of Last Days here.
Remember how a couple weeks ago Boeing's machinists rejected the company's
last best only contract offer to build the new 777X in Everett, and Boeing announced that it would not return to the negotiating table, and instead request bids from other (mostly non-union) regions? And remember how all the serious people who've never lifted a wrench in their lives yet know what's good for Boeing machinists better than Boeing machinists do, sighed in unison that even a job with lower pay and no pension is better than no job at all, and then cursed the short sightedness of union members for not caving to the company's demands?
Yeah, well, Boeing is back at the negotiating table after all, because maybe the machinists aren't as stupid as the serious people presume them to be. Because maybe Puget Sound Boeing workers have a little leverage being the best-trained and most productive aerospace workforce in the world, working at existing facilities that would take billions of dollars and several years to reproduce elsewhere? And maybe they understand Boeing better than casual outside observers do, no matter how serious these observers believe themselves to be?
Not saying that this is a done deal or anything. Boeing and the machinists still might not be able to come to terms. But this idea that the machinists were powerless to do anything but accept management's initial offer was just plain stupid. And suicidal from the perspective of what's left of our nation's labor movement.
A Ban on Gay Sex: India's supreme court recriminalized gay sex illegal all over again after a previous ruling decriminalized it. The UN says the ban violates international law. Clearly this calls for civil disobedience...
Bertha Will Be Stuck for Weeks, at Least: Tunneling experts predict it will take a long time just to figure out what's blocking tunnel-digger Bertha, which/who has been lodged under downtown since last Friday, let alone remove the blockage. Officials say they might need to send in divers (who work under high-pressure air in front of the machine) to break up the obstacle or dig six stories down to extract the object. That could take "several weeks." But remember, nothing could possibly go wrong.
Cute Blond Texas Teen: He ducks a prison term for killing four people while driving drunk because, no shit, his lawyers made a case that he'd been raised wealthy and didn't respect the consequences of breaking rules. Instead of incarceration, he has to do a stint at an expensive rehab center in California.
Some Movies: About some stuff were nominated for some awards.
Narrower Seats in Coach: Airbus wants to slim down the middle and window seats so that it can widen the aisle seat. As WSJ reports: "The new seat would be ideal for the expanding market of very large passengers, Airbus said [in obviously the greatest pun evar]."
Retail! Sales are up 0.7 percent last month, filling corporations with holiday cheer.
Humans Have Macabre Traditions: Throngs of people are waiting in the sweltering South African heat to view a week-old body.
That "Fake" Sign-Language Interpreter at Mandela's Funeral? His name is Thamsanqa Jantjie, and he's gotten complaints about signing for the African National Congress before. Jantjie claims that at Mendela's service he was hit by a schizophrenic episode in which he had hallucinations and he believed he was being chased. Here's he is, in his own words:
"What happened that day, I see angels come to the stadium ... I start realizing that the problem is here. And the problem, I don’t know the attack of this problem, how will it comes. Sometimes I react violent on that place. Sometimes I will see things that chase me,” Jantjie said...
Asked how often he had become violent, he said “a lot” while declining to provide details.
Blogger: She wants (a) a free meal from a restaurant on Christmas Eve and (b) is now charging $75 to people who want to talk to her.
From the ABC TV show “What Would You Do”:
What happens when a black man brings his white girlfriend into a barbershop in Harlem?
I recall once stepping into a cab in the middle of Midtown Manhattan and requesting a ride to some place in the upper part of Lower Manhattan. The driver (a black African) thought for a minute (there was a red light ahead and traffic building behind us) and decided the money wasn't good enough and told me he didn't want to drive me there. When I stepped out of the idiot's cab, a driver in the truck behind the cab honked repeatedly and loudly at me (the light was now green and the cab was gone). I looked at him. The driver (a white male New Yorker) looked me, threw up his hands up, stuck his head out of the window and said: "What the hell are you doing? If you are in the cab, the driver has to take you where you want to go. That's rule. Don't you understand that? Those are the rules."
Despite all of their problems, New Yorkers of all colors have an usually deep sense of an urban ethic.