Posts Tagged: Who Knew?

What If I Said You Could Learn Everything You Wanted To Know About Turkey In Under 30 Minutes… For Free? Is This Offer Too Good To Be True? You Tell Me

Joke on Turkish social media is that PM Erdogan wants to raze this Twitter thing to build a replica of an Ottoman Barracks in its place.

— Zeynep Tufekci (@zeynep) February 5, 2014

Taksim, in the center of the city’s European side, is considered the heart of Istanbul. The square itself surrounds tiny Gezi Park and is covered with concrete and filled with traffic, but the absence of buildings offers at least a sense of free space. Erdogan wanted to close the square to cars, build tunnels for them beneath it and replace Gezi Park and its rows of sycamore trees with a giant shopping center designed to [...]


Weird Mystery of the Day

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Serious question: Why are there so many pictures of Janet Jackson on Marion Barry's facebook page? Mar 15 19:30:06 via webAlanSudermanAlanSuderman


42-Year-Old 'New York' Magazine To Be Profitable "Next Year"

The confusing end of this bit by New York Times blogger Jeremy Peters seems to indicate that New York magazine loses money: "So has all that attention translated into being profitable? [Publisher Lawrence] Burstein pauses. [Editor Adam] Moss interjects, 'We're not,' he said. 'We do expect to be profitable next year.'" Pictured: The March 10, 1975 ad for New York inside New York.


How the Internet Works: Advertiser-Provided Editorial Infographics!

Sometimes you learn little things about how the Internet works and it's like, ohhhhhh! Of course! Here is a solicitation we received, which explains how an advertiser places editorial content on blogs. So that the content links to ("is sponsored by") what are basically spam farms. It's fascinating as a business model! It's very smart!


D.C. is the New New York!

If you fall into Washington Life magazine, and why wouldn't you, you would know that not only was there recently the Bachelors and Spinsters Ball (which we presume was a feminist take-back of "spinster"? Right?) but there was also a party called The Young and the Guestlist. Which, wow! It's like Sex and the City 3: I Peed Myself Waiting for a Mojito up in D.C. these days! In part probably because the new administration actually now sometimes hires people of color, I think, as well as that peculiar old D.C. standby, the lantern-jawed white man, there's definitely a frisson of fun in our nation's capitol! Too [...]


Is Your 2012 Mitigation Shelter Nearly Done?

"As a specific Threat Event, the anticipated catastrophic effects resulting from 2012 are far greater than the anticipated effects from WMD's, anarchy, climate change or any of the other specific Threat Events for which we have developed mitigation designs." Anarchy: it's a specific Threat Event now! But fear not: Hardened Structures Hardened Shelters LLC is here to help in the next two years and 8 months or whatever! The trickiest thing about your 2012 Mitigation Shelter is that no one yet knows what exactly what we're hunkering down about, but we'll find out! (Unless we're in a shelter.) As the builders point out: "While the shelter will be designed [...]


"The Banking System Has Become An Agent of Destruction"

"The economy desperately needs less of our bloated, unproductive and increasingly parasitic banking system…. The banking system has become an agent of destruction for the gross domestic product and of impoverishment for the middle class." -That's David Stockman. You remember! The former OMB director who watched as the gross federal debt went from $1 trillion to around $2 trillion during the Reagan administration (and came to believe, in the process of creating a debt-growing budget, that "there are no real conservatives in Congress." Yes, the one who, many years later, drove the company of which he was CEO into bankruptcy and was indicted but never prosecuted for fraud. Strange, [...]


The Other King of Comedy Was a Spy

If you’re a reviewer, once in a while you’re sent a book in the mail so chintzily produced by a publishing house too busy to edit that you wonder how it is that its sensationalist claims aren’t better known. This was certainly the case with the full-color illustrated, under-proofed Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan. Written by two journalists, Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, with Milchan’s cooperation, it tells the story of how one of the world’s most successful movie producers spent decades spying for Israel, and still had time to introduce Angelina to Brad (that Brad).

Whoa, this sounds delightfully [...]


The Strangest Things Inspire Great Passions: David Archuleta's Wikipedia Battle

"David Archuleta, American Idol runner-up in 2008, has become in 2010 the subject of a Wikipedia free-for-all, where the facts of his personal history and his career are up for grabs. On the 'most edited pages' list for Wikipedia articles, his article sits at #91-very high for an artist who's been on the scene for two years, especially as Michael Jackson is #115, Barack Obama is #110, and Lady Gaga falls outside the top 5,000."


The Vast Mystery of Cratons Is Solved!

The earth is always a-moving. "But certain parts of the continents called cratons-places in, for instance, Canada, South Africa, Australia-don't recycle. They just sit there while their plates move around them, they're a couple hundred kilometers deep, they're like stable keels, and how they manage the stability has been a mystery. The answer turns out to be not terrifically sexy."


How the Internet Art Department Works (Search, Cut, Paste!)

Now you know how the art department works: take a local trivia host who's fond of a tacky jacket-Noah Tarnow of the Big Quiz Thing-and paste Steven Slater's head onto his body and ta da, TMZ graphic. Let's hear it for transformative use… I guess!


The Great Michael Crichton Art Auction

Michael Crichton's art collection is being auctioned off soon and, uh, how had we forgotten this? Two early Rauschenbergs, a Warhol Mao, three Picassos and? "Crichton's collection of works by Jasper Johns (b.1930) is the most significant and complete to ever come to the market and contains examples that span the artist's entire career. The top highlight of the collection is Jasper Johns' Flag, 1960-66, (pictured right) a painstakingly beautiful rendition of the American flag in encaustic, has never been on the public market."


Gender Essentialist Rielle Hunter Speaks To Tabloid

The preface to the Rielle Hunter Tells All About Her Love Life with John Edwards story in GQ goes like this: "While everyone else in the Edwards drama has said their piece, in books and/or television interviews, the mistress and campaign videographer and mother of his child has, in her own words, 'kept my mouth shut.' Until now (as they say in the tabloids)." As they say in the what now? Heh. But the interview itself is a funny thing, and if the commenters at the Post are to be believed, she's a horribly human being and a trashy whore and all kinds of things. But actually she's [...]


Your Fish Makes A Tasty Lipstick/Paint/Buttery Spread

Today's Times op-ed on menhaden and the insane Omega-3 fish oil industry is pretty amazing. The practitioner of mass overfishing of the algae-chugging fish called menhaden is Omega Protein, a 40-boat company out of Houston that fishes in North Carolina and Virginia and further ashore, and that processes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia. Their board of directors is fascinating as well, including as it does an all-male cast of oil industry execs, insurance brokers, the former VP of Equus Capital Management and the "professor of Swine Nutrition at the University of Missouri." Also, you are probably spreading menhaden on your lips, ladies.


Umberto Eco: Libyan War is "Stupid"

Oh, so there is evidence of a long-running intellectual tradition that is against the war-thing in Libya: "This war is stupid and dangerous for all," writes Umberto Eco in a letter to the IHT, what must be his shortest and most-straightforward declaration of all time. (And also an attack on Bernard-Henri Lévy.)


Apparently There's Only One "How-To" Comedy Book You Should Ever Buy

"99% of comedy how-to books are a scam. The other 1% is Truth In Comedy, a book whose cover is specifically designed to make you think it's not something you should exchange money for."


The New York State Fair Is Happening! And Under Investigation!

We have a winner for press release of the day! "ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO LAUNCHES WIDE-RANGING INVESTIGATION INTO PATRONAGE, CRONYISM AND WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY AT THE NEW YORK STATE FAIR." Oh really? "The State Fair has long been plagued by allegations that it has become a patronage playground for friends, relatives and cronies of the Fair's directors and managers. The Attorney General's investigation will assess the integrity of ticketing, contracting, hiring, and other management and financial practices involving the Fair." (Subpoenas went out to, among other parties, Clear Channel Radio, which, hmm!) Anyway, this undoubtedly put a pall on this morning's "Pettis Pools' Extreme Canines stunt dog show" at [...]


Not All Gays Are Drunk the Entire Summer Long

You may hear a rumor today that not all of the gays are drunk all summer. Most are! Sure, the vast majority are coked out of their minds! Certainly, don't trust them with any sensitive work tasks on Mondays from now until Labor Day. (Especially the gay surgeons! Oh and the book editors, obviously, who are all smoking crack and hooking up with cab drivers and, oh right, screwing over their friends and semi-apologizing via memoir at a later date.) But some of the gays apparently don't actually have an IV of alcohol hooked up to their shaved, gleaming forearms, even on the Island of Gay Sexy Time [...]


Inside the Czech Gay Porn Factories

I have always wanted someone to explain the huge phenomenon of gay Czech porn, and now someone has! It is fascinating. But, of course, the Internet (let's destroy it!), and the recession, are causing a downturn. "Back then, when the internet didn't offer as much free material and models weren't so easy to find, Alan Capier made as much as 130,000 crowns a month ($7,303), more than 10 times as much as he earned as a paramedic. But he was one of the highest earners in the porn business. Most models never dreamed of making more than $2,000 monthly. Still, it was a nice income, often for no [...]


Chris Lehmann Sells Book!

Awl columnist Chris Lehmann sells book based on Awl column? Strange but true!