Today, dollar vans and other unofficial shuttles make up a thriving shadow transportation system that operates where subways and buses don’t—mostly in peripheral, low-income neighborhoods that contain large immigrant communities and lack robust public transit. The informal transportation networks fill that void with frequent departures and dependable schedules, but they lack service maps, posted timetables, and official stations or stops. There is no Web site or kiosk to help you navigate them. Instead, riders come to know these networks through conversations with friends and neighbors, or from happening upon the vans in the street. (via New York’s Shadow Transit | The New Yorker)

Today, dollar vans and other unofficial shuttles make up a thriving shadow transportation system that operates where subways and buses don’t—mostly in peripheral, low-income neighborhoods that contain large immigrant communities and lack robust public transit. The informal transportation networks fill that void with frequent departures and dependable schedules, but they lack service maps, posted timetables, and official stations or stops. There is no Web site or kiosk to help you navigate them. Instead, riders come to know these networks through conversations with friends and neighbors, or from happening upon the vans in the street. (via New York’s Shadow Transit | The New Yorker)

"Brown bears in the Russia’s far east have been spotted sniffing discarded oil cans full of waste products of kerosene of and gasoline. The neglectfully treated waste has been left in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve where the nearby wildlife picked up on the strong smell. The Kronotsky Nature Reserve in South Kamchatka, is home to more than 700 brown bears, some of the largest in the world."

 (via Russian Bears sniffing Jet Fuel, getting high and passing out | The Mortem Post)

right now, I can’t tell whether I do or don’t want this to be true.

"Brown bears in the Russia’s far east have been spotted sniffing discarded oil cans full of waste products of kerosene of and gasoline. The neglectfully treated waste has been left in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve where the nearby wildlife picked up on the strong smell. The Kronotsky Nature Reserve in South Kamchatka, is home to more than 700 brown bears, some of the largest in the world."

(via Russian Bears sniffing Jet Fuel, getting high and passing out | The Mortem Post)

right now, I can’t tell whether I do or don’t want this to be true.

(via Being a Times Square Elmo : The New Yorker) and I have to say today is the day I re-subscribed to the New Yorker. 

"The characters in Times Square work for themselves. They do not have employers and do not belong to a union. The characters pocket their own earnings, up to two hundred dollars for eight hours, on a good day, but usually less than a hundred dollars. They buy their own costumes, which cost anywhere from two hundred and fifty dollars (for a standard Elmo getup) to four hundred dollars (for a souped-up Mickey Mouse, with a moving mouth and eyes that open and close). Reyes sends away for hers, paying by cash, from a designer in Lima. (“See those superheroes?” she asked, motioning toward a threadbare Batman. “They’re not from Peru. They look like Halloween costumes. Like, from Party City!”) They also set their own hours, which, for Reyes, typically amount to eight-hour shifts five days a week, with breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday, when there’s a lull in tourist traffic.

If their autonomy is a point of a pride, it’s also a liability. A few days earlier, at Forty-second Street, I had discussed this with Emer, a fifty-year-old Peruvian, who was dressed as Woody and didn’t want to provide his last name. “I don’t work for anybody,” he boasted. “I’m free to do things my way.” Emer had been there almost five hours, and had earned about fifty dollars; it was already dinnertime, though, and he was about to go home, to New Jersey. Ebbs in traffic and a glut of competition mean diminished returns. “Normally, with work, you know how much money you’ll get based on the hours,” Reyes said. “Here, there’s no telling.” She had spent eight hours on the same corner a week earlier and came away with fifteen dollars; she was still distraught about it, and told me that she’s started looking for another job.

To hear Emer and Reyes tell it, they suffer all sorts of indignities. There are daily torrents of verbal abuse (most of them variations of “You illegal Mexicans!”) and constant struggles to find public bathrooms and places to have lunch without being turned away. Reyes used to dress as a minion from “Despicable Me,” but she “kept getting beat on by people, kids and older guys, just knocking me around.” A wayward punch broke her nose several months ago. She chalks up some of it to malice, and the rest to Disney-influenced confusion: “In the movie, the minions are always beat on. I think some kids just think it’s part of the game.”

When the Times Square characters do shed their masks and make the news, it’s usually not for their acts of endurance. Earlier this month, two Statues of Liberty got into a fistfight over disputed turf, and one was arrested. A judge, two weeks ago, found a Spider-Man guilty of harassing a family that had allegedly shorted him money while taking a picture. The police have a loose policy of begrudging acceptance toward them, with the occasional lashing out. (“You can’t stand there!” “Move along!” “How much money did he just give you?”) The police lord it over them that so many are immigrants without papers, Emer said. He was in the middle of a story about a policeman when two teen-age girls walked past. Emer’s mask was up, and his flushed face was exposed. “Hey, baby,” he called out, in shaky English. “Want to take a picture?”

(via Being a Times Square Elmo : The New Yorker) and I have to say today is the day I re-subscribed to the New Yorker.

"The characters in Times Square work for themselves. They do not have employers and do not belong to a union. The characters pocket their own earnings, up to two hundred dollars for eight hours, on a good day, but usually less than a hundred dollars. They buy their own costumes, which cost anywhere from two hundred and fifty dollars (for a standard Elmo getup) to four hundred dollars (for a souped-up Mickey Mouse, with a moving mouth and eyes that open and close). Reyes sends away for hers, paying by cash, from a designer in Lima. (“See those superheroes?” she asked, motioning toward a threadbare Batman. “They’re not from Peru. They look like Halloween costumes. Like, from Party City!”) They also set their own hours, which, for Reyes, typically amount to eight-hour shifts five days a week, with breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday, when there’s a lull in tourist traffic.

If their autonomy is a point of a pride, it’s also a liability. A few days earlier, at Forty-second Street, I had discussed this with Emer, a fifty-year-old Peruvian, who was dressed as Woody and didn’t want to provide his last name. “I don’t work for anybody,” he boasted. “I’m free to do things my way.” Emer had been there almost five hours, and had earned about fifty dollars; it was already dinnertime, though, and he was about to go home, to New Jersey. Ebbs in traffic and a glut of competition mean diminished returns. “Normally, with work, you know how much money you’ll get based on the hours,” Reyes said. “Here, there’s no telling.” She had spent eight hours on the same corner a week earlier and came away with fifteen dollars; she was still distraught about it, and told me that she’s started looking for another job.

To hear Emer and Reyes tell it, they suffer all sorts of indignities. There are daily torrents of verbal abuse (most of them variations of “You illegal Mexicans!”) and constant struggles to find public bathrooms and places to have lunch without being turned away. Reyes used to dress as a minion from “Despicable Me,” but she “kept getting beat on by people, kids and older guys, just knocking me around.” A wayward punch broke her nose several months ago. She chalks up some of it to malice, and the rest to Disney-influenced confusion: “In the movie, the minions are always beat on. I think some kids just think it’s part of the game.”

When the Times Square characters do shed their masks and make the news, it’s usually not for their acts of endurance. Earlier this month, two Statues of Liberty got into a fistfight over disputed turf, and one was arrested. A judge, two weeks ago, found a Spider-Man guilty of harassing a family that had allegedly shorted him money while taking a picture. The police have a loose policy of begrudging acceptance toward them, with the occasional lashing out. (“You can’t stand there!” “Move along!” “How much money did he just give you?”) The police lord it over them that so many are immigrants without papers, Emer said. He was in the middle of a story about a policeman when two teen-age girls walked past. Emer’s mask was up, and his flushed face was exposed. “Hey, baby,” he called out, in shaky English. “Want to take a picture?”

Flashbulb memories are clear episodic memories of unique and highly emotional events. People remembering where they were or what they were doing when they first heard the news of President Kennedy’s assassination or of 9/11 are examples of flashbulb memories.”
But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.”
We rich people have been falsely persuaded by our schooling and the affirmation of society, and have convinced ourselves, that we are the main job creators. It’s simply not true. There can never be enough super-rich Americans to power a great economy. I earn about 1,000 times the median American annually, but I don’t buy thousands of times more stuff. My family purchased three cars over the past few years, not 3,000. I buy a few pairs of pants and a few shirts a year, just like most American men. I bought two pairs of the fancy wool pants I am wearing as I write, what my partner Mike calls my “manager pants.” I guess I could have bought 1,000 pairs. But why would I? Instead, I sock my extra money away in savings, where it doesn’t do the country much good.”

The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats - Nick Hanauer - POLITICO Magazine

Not a Nick Hanauer fan, and there are things in this post that set my teeth on edge, but there’s also a lot I agree with.

And while I know a few hyperwealthy people who might (or do) agree with all the sentiments here, it takes a certain conviction to state it publicly.

Worth reading the whole thing, and then forgetting a few really gross parts in the middle.

humansofnewyork:

"I’d like to design algorithms to apply machine learning to quantitative market research."

humansofnewyork:

"I’d like to design algorithms to apply machine learning to quantitative market research."

Reblogged from College Life
discoverynews:

Bees To Get Help from White House
The U.S. federal government is getting serious about the decline in bees and other pollinators, forming a federal task force to address the crisis. Read more

I feel certain that the last President of the United States would have simply found a way to wage war on, um, whoever the fuck is responsible for this.

discoverynews:

Bees To Get Help from White House

The U.S. federal government is getting serious about the decline in bees and other pollinators, forming a federal task force to address the crisis. Read more

I feel certain that the last President of the United States would have simply found a way to wage war on, um, whoever the fuck is responsible for this.

Reblogged from DiscoveryNews
(via Stroszek (1977) - IMDb)

Hey IMDB. Werner Herzog’s “Stroszek” is many many things, but one thing it’s NOT is a fucking comedy.

(via Stroszek (1977) - IMDb)

Hey IMDB. Werner Herzog’s “Stroszek” is many many things, but one thing it’s NOT is a fucking comedy.

Reblogged from Surfing With The Alien

Ad on Iraqi TV to vilify ISIS, the 10,000+ militia unleashed — broadly speaking — by Iraq’s enforced descent into chaos.

Notable in that ISIS has a couple of T-55 tanks and UH-60 Blackhawks, and that they won’t probably be bothered by this ad because I don’t think they watch a lot of TV.

installator:

"A giant statue of actress Marilyn Monroe was dumped at a garbage collecting company in Guigang, China. The almost 30-foot tall stainless steel statue, which weighs about eight tons, was made by several Chinese artists over two years, based on the famous scene from her movie "The Seven Year Itch.’" (nbcnews.com)

installator:

"A giant statue of actress Marilyn Monroe was dumped at a garbage collecting company in Guigang, China. The almost 30-foot tall stainless steel statue, which weighs about eight tons, was made by several Chinese artists over two years, based on the famous scene from her movie "The Seven Year Itch.’" (nbcnews.com)

theparisreview:


A look at Cincinnati’s old public library, erected in 1874 and demolished in 1955.

theparisreview:

A look at Cincinnati’s old public library, erected in 1874 and demolished in 1955.

(via Fish-eating spiders discovered by scientists – video | World news | theguardian.com)

Interesting, to me, for three reasons:

1. We’re talking about settling on Mars, as if we understand ecosystems, and somehow haven’t noticed in 10,000 years that spiders eat fish.

2. This wasn’t published in Nature, or whatever. It was published, instead, in PLOS ONE:

“… built on several conceptually different ideas compared to traditional peer-reviewed scientific publishing in that it does not use the perceived importance of a paper as a criterion for acceptance or rejection. The idea is that, instead, PLOS ONE only verifies whether experiments and data analysis were conducted rigorously, and leaves it to the scientific community to ascertain importance, post publication, through debate and comment… the journal’s aim is to “challenge academia’s obsession with journal status and impact factors”.

Being an online-only publication allows PLOS ONE to publish more papers than a print journal. In an effort to facilitate publication of research on topics outside, or between, traditional science categories, it does not restrict itself to a specific scientific area.”

3. It’s a fucking spider, catching and eating a fish.

minicheck:

Photographer Martin Klimas’ breaking porcelain figurines.

From a height of three meters, porcelain figurines are dropped on the ground, and the sound they make when they hit trips the shutter release. The result: razor-sharp images of disturbing beauty—temporary sculptures made visible to the human eye by high-speed photography technology. The porcelain statuette bursting into pieces isn’t what really captures the attention; the fascination lies in the genesis of a dynamic figure that replaces the static pose. In contrast to the inertness of the intact kitsch figurines Klimas started out with, the photographs of their destruction possess a powerfully narrative character.” (martin-klimas.de)

Perfect.

Via Imgur.