Tag Archives | New York City

NYC Schools Want to Ban ‘Loaded Words’ From Tests … Like ‘Dinosaur’

Stegosaurus

Illustration: Hgrobe (CC)

Great job, NYC! Brian Vitagliano reports on CNN:

Divorce. Dinosaurs, Birthdays. Religion. Halloween. Christmas. Television. These are a few of the 50-plus words and references the New York City Department of Education is hoping to ban from the city’s standardized tests.

The banned word list was made public – and attracted considerable criticism – when the city’s education department released this year’s “request for proposal” on March 8, 2010. The request for proposal is sent to test publishers around the country trying to get the job of revamping math and English tests for the City of New York.

The Department of Education’s says that avoiding sensitive words on tests is nothing new, and that New York City is not the only locale to do so. California avoids the use of the word “weed” on tests and Florida avoids the phrases that use “Hurricane” or “Wildfires,” according to a statement by the New York City Department of Education …

Read More: CNN

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Name (And Eat) A Cockroach For Valentine’s Day

First drawing of ArchyVia ScienceDaily:

Valentines Day is upon us and there is no better way to say “forever” than with the gift of a cockroach.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is offering a light-hearted way to make sure your loved one knows your feelings are forever — with a roach in their name and a 100 percent solid dark chocolate COCOA-ROACH.

Last year thousands of hopeless romantics from around the world named real live Madagascar hissing cockroaches at WCS’s Bronx Zoo after their favorite loved one, “ex,” or mother-in-law. The zoo is again offering the opportunity to name a new crop of cockroaches for Valentine’s Day 2012. Each gift comes with a colorful certificate emailed to your loved one announcing that a cockroach has been named in his or her honor.

To make the offer even sweeter, this year you can also purchase a COCOA-ROACH for that special someone — a genuine artisanal 100 percent solid dark chocolate likeness of a Madagascar hissing cockroach — the world’s largest member of the roach family.

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Take Off Your Pants And Ride The Subway

Today is No Pants Subway Ride day, in New York City and around the world, wherever subway (underground) trains are to be found (all sorts of places, not just the obvious ones like London's Tube and the Paris Metro). Started by comedy group Improv Everywhere, this is what it's all about:
The No Pants Subway Ride is annual event staged by Improv Everywhere every January in New York City. The mission started as a small prank with seven guys and has grown into an international celebration of silliness, with dozens of cities around the world participating each year. The idea behind No Pants is simple: Random passengers board a subway car at separate stops in the middle of winter without pants. The participants do not behave as if they know each other, and they all wear winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The only unusual thing is their lack of pants. You can participate in the next edition, taking place this Sunday, January 8, 2012, around the world. [New York Details and Details for Other Cities]
A documentary about Improv Everywhere is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. Here's the trailer showing how No Pants started:
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Letter To The NYPD On Evicting The Protesters From Zuccotti Park

6183994286_7707032ecbAs of now, it appears that the forced removal and/or arrest of Occupy Wall Street protesters at Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s behest has been postponed. Via n+1, an open letter to the police concerning their possible marching orders:

Last night, we learned that because of the complaints of Brookfield Properties, the company that owns Zuccotti Park, Mayor Bloomberg has ordered the Occupy Wall Street protesters to remove themselves and their supplies from the Park at 7 AM tomorrow. If the protesters don’t leave, Bloomberg likely will order you and your colleagues to forcibly remove and arrest the men and women who have come there to protest the policies, politicians, and financial leaders responsible for the continuing economic crisis. As concerned citizens, we ask you not to follow this order.

Bloomberg and Brookfield Properties claim that the protesters must be removed in order to clean the Park. Anytime thousands of people assemble in a small space, it is not easy to keep things neat.

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JP Morgan Chase Donates $4.6 Million To NYPD On Eve Of Protests

167451-occupy-wall-streetWondering how much it costs to buy off the police department? JP Morgan Chase just gave the New York City Police Foundation the largest donation in its history. How the police show their gratitude will presumably determine whether they receive similar donations from companies in the future. Via Naked Capitalism:

No matter how you look at this development, it does not smell right. From JP Morgan’s website, hat tip Lisa Epstein:

JPMorgan Chase recently donated an unprecedented $4.6 million to the New York City Police Foundation. The gift was the largest in the history of the foundation and will enable the New York City Police Department to strengthen security in the Big Apple. The money will pay for 1,000 new patrol car laptops, as well as security monitoring software in the NYPD’s main data center.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly sent CEO and Chairman Jamie Dimon a note expressing “profound gratitude” for the company’s donation.

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New York Times Scorns The Occupy Wall Street Protests

Occupy Wall Street

Photo: David Shankbone (CC)

Peeved by the mainstream media “blackout” of the Occupy Wall Street protest? Worse than those who have ignored it is the New York Times, which ran a steaming turd of an article (titled “Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim”). The takeaway is more or less that the protesters have no legitimate grievances, and the piece concludes with a wise middle-aged Wall Street trader lampooning the activists for owning Apple laptops. (The protesters favor higher taxation of the super-rich, yet they also own computers! What hypocrites!) Their coverage:

By late morning on Wednesday, Occupy Wall Street, a noble but fractured and airy movement of rightly frustrated young people, had a default ambassador in a half-naked woman who called herself Zuni Tikka. A blonde with a marked likeness to Joni Mitchell and a seemingly even stronger wish to burrow through the space-time continuum and hunker down in 1968, Ms.

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NYC’s Beloved Monster Island Closes

MONSTER2-popupSurprisingly, the demise of non-profit music and art venue Monster Island (which was as weirdly charming as it name would imply) drew a write-up in this past weekend’s New York Times. Like its brethren Market Hotel and Silent Barn (both of which also shuttered their doors this past year) Monster Island stood in stark, defiant contrast to the commercially-oriented music club model. It helped to foster some of the city’s most acclaimed and exciting bands in recent years, before falling prey to the incessant steamroller of gentrification:

The concert was particularly poignant for the hundred or so people who stood listening intently in the bright light off the East River in Brooklyn because it was the last time they would be able to gather for a block party at Monster Island, a collection of performance spaces and studios in a faded commercial building covered with murals near the Williamsburg waterfront.

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Occult Map Of New York

Screen shot 2011-08-05 at 8.47.12 AMLast year the venerable Watkins Books published a Spiritual Sightings Map of London. The intent was always to expand the map globally and now disinformation author Gary Lachman (Turn Off Your Mind) has contributed an Occult Map of New York:

I had already been living in New York on East 10th Street for a few months when in the early spring of 1975 I was asked to play bass in a fledgling rock band that would later become fairly successful. Their name was Blondie and their bass player had quit to join another group, Television.

CBGB on the Bowery was just starting to make a name for itself and would soon become the home of an honest-to-goodness scene. Soon after joining the group I had to give up my place on East 10th, and I moved in with the singer and guitarist. Their tiny flat in Little Italy, however, quickly proved too small for the three of us, and by that summer we had found a new nest, an illegal sub-let in a loft space above a liquor store (off license) at 266 Bowery.

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