"They’re reminiscent of the Cobra Kai team in Karate Kid, yelling, 'Sweep the leg! Sweep the leg!' because they are unwilling to get into a Karate fight of their own." —Usually I would be all, "Guess who! GUESS!" but oh my God it's so depressing.
"There are five better sinkholes than that in Brooklyn alone." – New Yorkers living in DC.
— Ryan Avent (@ryanavent) March 12, 2013
It's tough to imagine a news cycle more exciting than waiting for a gaggle of old men in white dresses who are quietly thinking about consensus (and decades-long organized coverups of global pedophilia rings operated by the Catholic Church), but a miracle has occurred in Washington, D.C., to turn our attention away from the Vatican: There is a sinkhole in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. We know, we know, How could anyone tell?
The reaction has been as fast as it has been snide.
DC IS [...]
The story that we do not mention under any circumstances has won a Pulitzer Prize-Gene Weingarten's second in three years. (So he had a so-so '09, so sue him!)
Response and social desirability biases have actually made this BBC discussion poll interesting! It seems that if you start with the proposition that maybe homosexuals should be slaughtered, you'll get a lot of people saying, "Um, NO?" and also some people saying, "Well, not slaughtered, but…." In this way, we can find out what people actually do think of the gays.
Paris fashion week slides to a greasy halt. Largely it was a tepid affair, punctuated by the saddening Chanel outing and the unbelievable Alexander McQueen show, and, let us be honest, I spent like 45 minutes talking about his shoes last night, again. And there were some other secret fashion week bits that we heard less about. For instance, the new Walter Steiger shop, where you don't know how much anything costs. "After all, why bother asking asking the price of a made-to-measure boot in astrakhan, shaved mink, and blond fox?" writes fashion week correspondent Matthew Hicks. Except don't you want to know that they cost something like [...]
Oh, in case you were wondering of what Michael Jackson died, somehow, it was the drugs. Also his hands and feet were basically pincushions, it sounds like. Update: Oh and it is now called a homicide. Go read People if you want to know a LOT more; this is totally my station and I am getting off this train now.
"Of all the things I’ve been called in my time, the one that surprises me the most is 'California Writer.' When I hear that, I look over my shoulder, certain that the phrase must apply to the writer behind me or to my left. It’s the way I feel when I am addressed by my husband’s last name. It takes me a moment to realize his mother is not in the room. Categories trouble me."
"The male bear, known as M13, was shot dead by wildlife rangers on Tuesday, said Adrian Aeschlimann, spokesman for the Federal Office for the Environment. 'The cull was carried out according to the management plan for bears in Switzerland,' he told AFP on Wednesday." —Imagine that quote in the original German.
It's the new nightmare job: 'content screener' at one of the outfits hired by MySpace and Yahoo! and Microsoft and the like. Someone's gotta screen out all that homemade porno and true crime and wife-beating. You get paid between $8 and $12 an hour; somehow, you supposedly click by 80,000 images a day, if you work at Telecommunications On Demand. (Um, that's 166 images a minute per employee, by the math, which is impossible, but they do claim that their staff of 50 review 20 million images a week. Maybe it's in big thumbnail batches! But with thumbails big enough so that you can see if any of [...]
There is a new iPhone app called "2Balls1Cup." I don't know what it's about, because THERE IS NO WAY you will get me to look at that. Look for yourselves, if you want, I don't care, it's your life.
Someone is paving the way for a bailout of the Federal Housing Administration, the agency that insures about 1 in 5 American mortgages. For some reason, a dude who used to help run Fannie Mae is pitching this idea down in D.C. at a hearing. And the FHA is all like "that is so not true!" But yes: "Who would have guessed that the quadrupling of mortgages insured since 2006, approved without credit score standards and requiring as little as 3.5% down, could lead to trouble?"
Something about the combination of Ted Kennedy being concerned about the forthcoming vacancy of his Senate seat (because of, perhaps, his own forthcoming vacancy) and the big palliative care article in the Times was, unsurprisingly, totally gloom-inducing! For instance, this part: "In one study by Dr. Christakis, doctors who privately believed that patients had 75 days to live told them they had 90; the actual median survival period was 26 days." I am never going to see my doctor again! Who is younger than me. And totally a liar, no doubt. Although before that, when I went to see a gay doctor who was like 15 years older [...]
Mad scientists have recreated an extinct frog known for puking up its own babies, hooray for science! The gastric-brooding frog, or Rheobatrachus silus, is described by the Daily Mail as being "long extinct" because the last one died in … 1983. That was a long time ago! Luckily, early forms of refrigeration existed in 1983, so one of the last of these extinct frogs was kept in a freezer all this time.
'We are watching Lazarus arise from the dead, step by exciting step,' said Mike Archer, a professor at the University of New South Wales and the leader of the Lazarus Project team. 'We’ve reactivated dead cells into [...]
Okay, well, after a weird couple of weeks where the natural order of things was forced to contend with the grave disturbance of front-loaded holiday time, we have returned to what is more or less the first real week of the year. How does it feel? Yeah, I know, me too. Let's ease back into things as casually as possible, by which I mean funny animal stories (I think we've got an otter post coming up for you at some point this morning) and bear videos. If you are expecting the dulcet tones of Choire Sicha in this space alerting you about events around town, I am sorry [...]
If you haven't read the Twilight books (or, like me, read the plot summaries on Wikipedia), then you may not know how the shiny vampire series ends. So I won't "spoil" it in the interests of bringing you this insane and terrifying quote from the screenwriter. But now that I've given you the chance to look away…
"So far, violence has been scattered, with the security situation over all fairly calm," reports the Times team from Haiti last night, noting also that people are fleeing to the countryside left and right. But never by boat! Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Christopher O'Neil tells the paper that "anyone caught leaving the island and heading toward Florida would be returned to Haiti." But what if they are, you know, heading towards Jamaica, or Cuba? Or East Caicos! Or, even, you know, the other way-towards Puerto Rico? And: "Haiti's ambassador in Washington, Raymond Joseph, recorded a message in Creole to his countrymen, urging them not to leave. 'If [...]
How did we miss the story about the airplane pilots that blew right on by Minneapolis? (Or were getting blown.) Ignoring radio contact from the ground for an hour? Like, the pilots could have ended up anywhere, if a flight attendant didn't call up and be like "HEY YOU GUYS we are in Wisconsin now." But you know, the pilots are being paid less than me right now so I guess I don't expect much good service about arrivals and stuff.
The Awl's Tom Scocca takes Underparenting to a new level: "Diapers are for catching urine and feces. They represent neither entertainment nor education…. Butt Elmo, by contrast, represents a world in which it's not merely branding that's out of control but cross-branding. Every space is a promotional opportunity for something else."