Posts Tagged: Disasters

The Great Crypto Stagecoach Robbery

Anyone holding Bitcoins—or pretty much any cryptocurrency, really—has taken a substantial hit in the last few months, with the exchange rate of dollars to Bitcoins dropping from a high of around $1200 last November to around $550 today. But it's possible that those whose Bitcoins were parked at the long-troubled Mt. Gox exchange have suffered a near-wipeout, or even a total one, in what may have been the catastrophic theft of some 744,000 Bitcoin from that exchange.

Mt. Gox was the first big Bitcoin exchange; as such it attracted the most attention, the most traffic, and the most trouble. It was hacked repeatedly because, at one time, it was [...]


South Brooklyn Has Lost Its Real Estate Mind

Over the last three years, everyone bought everything in South Brooklyn. Now, the dregs are being dumped onto the market, for surprising—some would say shocking!—prices. Obviously the big palatial townhouses of Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Carroll Gardens still get listed at $2 and $3+ million. (Also, haha, here is an awful one-bedroom for $760K.) 71 3rd Street, which is two tiny, tiny stories and a basement, recently sold for $1.2 million. 339 Hoyt Street, which was harrowing, if largely untouched—the stairs were made of plywood, held together by little brackets—sold for $1.47 million a few months ago. And now it gets worse.

Exhibit A: a [...]


Burn It Down: The New Terrible Million-Dollar Brooklyn Apartment

Thar she blows! How much would you pay for an apartment in Carroll Gardens that is basically two unattractive low-ceilinged rooms on a "ground floor" plus a walk-in closet (or cozy "home office"), with a (truly) big backyard and 16 by 11 feet of storage in the basement? If you said $1,095,000, then you are 1. correct and 2. INSANE.

If you put 30% down (and WHY WOULD YOU, THAT IS MORE THAN $300K), then your mortgage and maintenance and taxes are a grand total of $5000 a month, because, oh yes, the taxes are $700 a month.

This is it. This is Peak Apartment. It's all over. [...]


Rich People Actually Don't Understand Business Either

Remember how a former co-CEO of Goldman Sachs became governor of New Jersey and then became CEO of a derivatives brokerage that then had a $191.6 million quarterly loss (its fourth quarter of loss!) and was probably going to file for bankruptcy and was suspending from doing business by the Fed? Makes you think.


The End of Lou Reed: HP's "Everybody On" Ad

HP's new "Everybody On" campaign is just about the least cool thing I've ever seen. And I was an Eagle Scout! And I'm a birder! And I was on the debate team! And I went to debate camp!

Did you miss those lyrics? Here's a transcription!


What If Tumblr Is Gone FOREVER???

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Tumblr has been down a long time. Hipsters should meet at Starbucks and pass around Moleskine diaries until it's back up.Mon Dec 06 17:35:31 via tGadgetpourmecoffeepourmecoffee

THE GREAT TUMBLR PANIC OF LATE 2010 IS STILL ONGOING. Tumblr DOWN For 13 Hours And Counting! Victim Of Its Own Success: Tumblr Redefines The Concept Of “Back Shortly"! The frightened headlines even finally crept onto CNN: "It bills itself as 'the easiest way to blog.' But the hip website Tumblr crashed on Sunday night and hasn't been online since." [...]


Understudies! "Carrie": The Worst Musical Ever

There are many flops in the annals of Broadway history, but none-not even "Anna Karenina"-are as notorious as "Carrie," the 1988 musical adapted from the Stephen King novel and Brian De Palma film. The musical was co-produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, responsible for more high-brow and conceptual productions that were not intended to be coupled with cheesy pop-rock scores for American audiences who expected to understand what the hell is going on. Initially, critics even claimed that the subject matter was too dark for a musical, which is hardly the case; serious musicals like "West Side Story," "Sweeney Todd," "Evita," and-in the previous Broadway season-"The Phantom of the [...]


This Witch Wrote My Book!

August 11th was a huge day in my life. I was at Think Coffee on Fourth Avenue. I had just finished, at age 27, my very first novel. I told the barista, who gave me a high five. This was nice of him, given that this probably happens at said coffee shop way more often than we'd like to think.

I had been working on it for two-and-a-half years, showing it to no one, periodically reading it aloud to only two people—my partner and my ex. The book was a story about the Baba Yaga, the witch from Ukrainian folklore. I first encountered her as a child in Neil [...]


How To Not Kill Your Pets in a Hurricane

It's very easy to kill your household animals in a hurricane. The easiest way is to suddenly panic and have to leave your house and lock your animals in it. Or, if you live in Red Hook, perhaps you will lock your chickens in their coop and then leave the neighborhood, forcing your neighbors to risk their lives in chest-deep water to save them. In other parts of town, people locked up or tied up dogs and cats, because they didn't know what to do, and left birds in cages—and abandoned them. These things happen! Most of us would agree that it is better to save yourself first [...]


Long Island "Death Yacht" Only Technically a Yacht

Yesterday they raised the "Kandi Won," which is the "DEATH YACHT" (as per the Post) that sunk on the 4th of July, on Long Island, killing three children. It's not really germane to that tragedy, but when the tabloids went wild over "Long Island Yacht Disaster" and the like, I most certainly was not picturing this wee 34-foot Silverton. (On which I would no sooner board 27 people than I would try to land a helicopter on it.) Anyway, terrible story, very sad, and I blame the media.


How the Media Treated Mexico's Mass Murder

Last week, 50-some people were murdered in the torching of a building in Mexico, in Monterrey. (People were trapped in the casino after gunmen stormed the building; they were ordered out but many panicked and ran to the second floor.) Here's a look at the amount of front-page web real estate given to the event by English-speaking news organizations, as expressed in the formula of pixel-per-victim. (What the analysis doesn't take into account is the depth or complexity of coverage, and also the amount of play, as measured in time, of that coverage.) For instance, the Times gave up 0.27% of its digital "front page," though it should be [...]


2010 and 2011: To What Were We Paying Attention?

I was just asking someone: what was that thing that happened, that then everyone stopped covering/talking about/reading about Haiti? Here's a chart of what we've been giving our eyeballs to over these last 15 months.


The Tragedy of 1375 Dean Street, Brooklyn

Why, look, it's "the Only Known Freestanding, Mid-19th Century Wooden Country House Remaining in the Northwestern Section" of Crown Heights!

A brief recent history: 2006: Landmarked by the city; sold for $800,000. 2007: Listed for sale at $799,000. 2008: Listed for sale at $699,000. 2009: Listed for sale at $425,000. 2010: Currently listed for sale at $299,900.


New Gulf Oil Spill Models Released: Panic Now, Miami

"Florida Keys, Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas" have a "61 to 80 percent" chance of being "oiled," "due to the potential influence of the Loop Current. Any oil reaching this area would have spent considerable time degrading and dispersing and would be in the form of scattered tar balls and not a large surface slick of oil."


Lisa Exits "The Room"

About ten minutes into The Room, a film that is considered the worst ever made, the actress Juliette Danielle has to make love to her fiancé, who is played by the film's writer and director, Tommy Wiseau. They are atop a bed of rose petals. Soft R&B plays. The camera lingers over Johnny’s pale bottom. Cascades of mermaid-length black hair spill over his back cleavage. As he thrusts into what seems to be Lisa’s belly button, she looks at him chidingly, as if he’s a soused comic who’s just told a fairly racist joke at an open mic.

Like most soft-core sex scenes, the love scene in The Room is [...]


Will Snor'eastercane Sandy Destroy NYC? This Weatherdude Says "OMG YES"

Our latest snor'eastercane update. My odds for NYC impacts from #Sandy are now 2-in-3:

— Eric Holthaus (@WSJweather) October 24, 2012

Here she comes. Hurricane Sandy terribly abused Jamaica last night, and is en route, possibly, maybe, up the Eastern seaboard, where she has a hot date with a nor'easter blowing across the U.S. This has weather folks very excited. But none are more excited than the Wall Street Journal's Eric Holthaus. We'd like you to get to know him. He's the most fun of all the weather dudes who are absolutely freaking out right now. Then go out and buy all the [...]


Did You Survive the Weekend with Your Face Intact?

"The bizarre syndrome, first diagnosed in Miami, transforms its typically sane victim into a slobbering, raging, supernaturally strong menace hell-bent on self-destruction," wrote the Miami New Times in 2010. "Excited Delirirum," is a focus of inquiry the Department of Neurology at the University of Miami School of Medicine; identified in the 80s among cocaine users, it's not necessarily drug-induced, but it sure helps (cocaine interferes with dopamine transportation in the brain, then things go haywire (technical term)). And then, next thing you know, you're naked on the side of the highway, chewing off someone's face: "After an officer approached… 'The guy just stood, his head [...]


The Great New York City Children's Day Fireworks Scandal

Why, you may have asked, do we keep telling you that there will be fireworks to see each weekend, and then, when you venture down to the river or up to the rooftop, you find no fireworks at all?

Malfeasance. Potentially mismanagement. Possibly even great evil. Perhaps even a deep-seated hatred of children?

According to (the recently dismembered) Time Out, Saturday, June 18th was to be "Children's Day NYC, at the South Street Seaport. (Not to be confused with Missing Children's Day, which is held on May 25th, and is totally different.) "More free family entertainment closes the day with the Target Fireworks Spectacular," they and many other [...]


Bomb the Ace Hotel! Every Geek and Blogger Now A Microcelebrity!

Do you know what is apparently happening in New York City right now? "Forget Socialites. Social Mediaites are at the new people to pine after. And the new dream? Let's just say it has a lot less to do with moving from the midwest to Manhattan for a chance to schlep uptown in stiletto's [sic] to fetch coffee for a Conde Nast editor. The new 'it' job is clearly a chance to manage Dennis Crowley/Lockhart Steele/Kevin Kearney and co.'s facebook fan pages." Okay, for starters, updating these people's "Facebook fan pages" is not actually a job, so it can't even be an "it" job? For seconders, and I [...]


Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Wins! Is Biggest Ever!

Yay! We made the biggest (unintentional!) oil spill in human history! (Bonus: the second-largest oil spill ever was also in the Gulf of Mexico.) What do we win? Is it a new planet? Called Pandora? With flying ladies and dragons and magical sources of energy? Even better news: according to the NOAA forecasts, as you can see in their most recent forecast, all the oil is gone! Hooray. Oh… all the surface oil. Hmm. Also: "The annual summertime dead zone caused by low oxygen levels in water along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline this year is twice as big as last year's." It's the size of Massachusetts. [...]