In my time in New York, I’ve lived in a walk-up tenement, a Tribeca loft, and now an 1880s-era Brownstone. One trait has always stuck with me throughout my moves– a lack of organization. Whether I’m working with a shoebox-sized room or a giant walk-in closet, I’ve never been able to keep my living area tidy. Chalk it up to my excessive shopping habits, but somehow my shoes and bags have always been in piles and my closet rod stuffed to the max with wrinkled
Archive for July 28th, 2011
A surprising list of things increase along with unemployment: vasectomies (for obvious reasons), chipped and broken teeth (because the unemployed grind more), and applications to substitute teach.
Following the economic downturn that began in 2007, USA Today wrote that school districts nationwide were flooded with applications from people who wanted to work as substitute teachers. Those applying included a laid-off finance manager for Harley-Davidson and a vice president of a collapsed financial institution, willing to work for a national average of $105 per day. In fact, so many people from other walks of life began to beat down the doors for this historically undesirable job that the nation’s three largest school districts — New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — took the unusual step of closing
Like most summer blockbusters, we’re all pretty sure we know how this is going to end.
Choose your hero: the noble Mr. President, or the brave Mr. Boehner. Contemplate the danger: the shameful triumph of the rich and powerful, or a pathetic capitulation to big
Students and alumni of Howard University’s Department of Radio, Television and Film recently circulated a petition to save the undergraduate program from rumored budget cuts and program merger in the School of Communication. Citing years of financial neglect against its impact and foundation for professionals of color in media culture, the past and future graduates of the program hope to save it from a sweeping trend at HU and other HBCUs in cutting once-popular degree programs.
The department at Howard carries a little more weight than other program cuts we’ve seen around the country. Few other institutions, HBCU or PWI, have done what Howard has done to produce capable professionals, executives and content creators in the media arts. But even the Mecca is not immune from the challenging realities of the business of higher
Glen Park is on the outer-edge of San Francisco, one neighborhood past Noe Valley. It even has its own river, Islais creek, steep hills and a huge canyon with a path that goes from the bottom of the neighborhood up to Diamond Heights Shopping Center. It’s also a place where dogs congregate, morning, noon and night.
This morning, walking my dog, Penny, an almost 14-year-old Bichon Frise, we passed the street called Paradise with the word “end” on top of it. But this is hardly the end of paradise this July morning, slightly cool as it often is in San Francisco summers; hundreds of birds chirp and guardians (not owners — a linguistic law in SF) walk their dogs into the mouth of Glen
Congressional conservative Republicans present themselves as ideological champions of states’ rights and a diminished role for the federal government. But when states’ rights clash with their ideological agenda, they can reverse field on a dime and become stalwart centrists.
The double standard is very much on display in the enforcement of federal pollution laws. In the case of the Clean Water Act (CWA), Republican lawmakers complain that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is overreaching and hurting the economy (i.e. their corporate donors) by imposing a “one size fits all” anti-pollution standard on
At age 86, Cleo L. is a survivor. She has outlived three children and her husband. She has beat back a drug addiction and remains clean and
Did you watch this week’s episode of The Bachelorette? Ashley and the remaining three bachelors escaped to the Fiji Islands, one of the most perfect vacation spots in the world, where Ashley talked repeatedly about just how perfect everything was there. She even talked about just how perfect each bachelor was for her and just how perfect their final dates were (except of course Constantine who decided that despite the perfection, he wasn’t feeling it for Ashley). With every scene we heard the word perfect more times than we heard the word amazing in the previous episodes. Ashley also talked about how protected she felt in her perfect
Privately-held businesses are aggregately performing better now than at any point since the recession — sales are growing across the board, and profit margins are increasing, too. With such objective evidence of success, privately-held businesses should be celebrating. Instead, they are cautious.
The National Federation of Independent Business reports the Small Business Optimism Index, a measure combining ten factors including plans to invest, planned hiring and expected economic expansion. For the month of June 2011, supposedly two years after we cleared the recession, the Optimism Index was “stagnant,” dropping from 90.9 in May to 90.8 in
It is no coincidence that the two main success stories of the “Arab Spring” — Egypt and Tunisia — were both non-violent and non-western in nature. These anti-authoritarian protests across the Middle East and North Africa have been a time of awkward shuffling for much of the western world, and for the Obama administration in particular, which had been quite content with the status quo of corrupt, repressive dictatorships in the region while putting a polite face on the continued militarist and corporatist policies of the Bush era. Nowhere did this become more evident than in the tiny Gulf nation of Bahrain, where I headed in early March to join the demonstrations and learn about this unprecedented uprising in a Gulf country.
Around that time, it was an almost festive occasion — men and women, young and old alike gathered in Pearl Square, bearing signs like “Down Down with the Crown,” holding flowers and waving the red and white colors of the Bahraini flag.
Soon after arriving, I was given a gift: a button that read Not Sunni, Not Shi’a, but Bahraini.”
Tents were erected where the men smoked sheesha, grilled kebabs, and listened to the radio for news about the chain reaction of uprisings all over North Africa and the Middle
Cheap Grace at Fenway
Cross-posted from TomDispatch.com
Fenway Park, Boston, July 4, 2011. On this warm summer day, the Red Sox will play the Toronto Blue Jays. First come pre-game festivities, especially tailored for the occasion. The ensuing spectacle — a carefully scripted encounter between the armed forces and society — expresses the distilled essence of present-day American
Washington is an island drowning in its own self-interest, surrounded by a hurting and unhappy nation of deeply patriotic citizens who hunger for shared national purpose but find our politics to be sickening, insulting and corrupted.
Today huge numbers of the workers of our nation are jobless. The finances of our nation are sinking to banana-republic incompetence. The unity of our nation is being shredded by squabbling factions masquerading as leaders.
The people of our nation view the bastions of power, from Washington to Wall Street, with contempt because they believe, correctly, that those bastions are contemptuous of them, and that those bastions are citadels of selfishness and corruption.
Mr. President, you might pretend you don’t care what is said about you on television or written about you in The Hill newspaper, but you know, and I know, you
In today’s world of constant economic turmoil, it’s fair to address the question of, “How can I afford dental care?” So that’s what we will discuss today — dentistry on a budget.
To begin, we’ve already gone over dental insurance in a past post, the basic premise being that dental insurance is severely lacking. And we’ve gone over the costs involved with crowns and root canals and the like (they aren’t cheap). So it does beg the question I asked at the start of this post — Just how can people afford dental care in this day and age?
I do believe there is an answer. It’s not the popular answer, but I do feel it’s the correct
My young friend, Lila, who just celebrated her 57th birthday, told me that her mother, Elizabeth, was reluctant to see her friends anymore because, as Lila said, “She wanted them to remember her as she used to be.”
How sad. Elizabeth is only 83, and is quite healthy by my standards. I will be 94 in February, 2012; I can’t walk more than one block without running out of air, and I take lots of pain killers to ease arthritical pain. When I look in the mirror in the morning, I see an old face, but one with a vibrant look of curiosity in the
I first learned that there were black people living in some place called other than the United States in the western hemisphere when I was a very little boy, and my father told me that when he was a boy about my age, he wanted to be an Episcopal priest, because he so admired his priest, a black man from someplace called Haiti. I knew that there were black people in Africa, of course, unfortunately because of movies such as Tarzan. And then, when I was 9-years-old in 1960, our fifth grade class studied “Current Affairs,” and we learned about the 17 African nations that gained their independence that year. I did my best to memorize the names of these countries and their leaders, though I wasn’t quite sure why I found these facts so very appealing.
But it wouldn’t be until I was an undergraduate at Yale, and was enrolled in my sophomore year, 1969, in Robert Farris Thompson’s art history class, “The Trans-Atlantic Tradition: From Africa to the Black Americas,” that I began to understand how “black” the New World really
In the face of adversity, people throw this phrase around: That which does not kill you makes you stronger. It’s supposed to be one of empowerment. But to me it’s not empowering at all. It’s a hopeless, helpless statement, as if we have to go to the edge in order to
Dreading the day ahead? Quietly repeat: My mind is at ease and I am capable of doing everything. Continue until you are in touch with your greatness!
Do you have a Chill Pill you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below.
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“To err is human, to forgive divine.” – Alexander Pope (AKA a really big Debbie Downer and probably a terrible bullsh*tter)
“Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty” – Plato
It’s no secret that lying can get you ahead. It’s also not terribly surprising that if you get caught lying, you’re in for a boat ride up a certain creek without a paddle. But is there some foolproof system that allows you to get away with your lie every time? Can you bluff your way out of any situation you find yourself in? Is there a way you can come out charming the pants off anyone you meet and even seem knowledgeable on any subject that comes your way? Well, of course there is. And by no coincidence, the answers happen to be found in my new book, “The Bullsh*t Artist: Learn to Bluff, Dupe, Charm, and BS with the Best of ‘Em” (Adams Media, a division of F+W Media; July
Last night I had a chocolate milkshake for dinner. I don’t eat like this all the time, but often enough. I eat lots of salads, but I also eat cheeseburgers. And if I’m tired I eat pretzels or skip eating
An Open Letter to Michael Bromwich, Director of the Bureau
of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
Re: Shell’s push to drill in the Arctic
Dear Director Bromwich:
You recently said that you were studying how to treat “[offshore
drilling] operators who may have behaved badly in the past and whether they
should be allowed to continue operating in the future.” I’m writing to
tell you about one company that has not only been “behaving badly” in the past
but plans to continue doing so into the future. Shell Oil is pushing to drill
in America’s Arctic Ocean – an area pristine and untouched, home to some
of our nation’s most beloved species of wildlife and relied upon for thousands
of years by local indigenous peoples –with no effective way to clean up
an oil spill in the Arctic’s ice-covered, remote and extreme conditions.
In the wake of the largest environmental disaster in our
nation’s history – one year
later, 491 miles of Gulf coastline remain contaminated by oil – Shell
should not be allowed to destroy America’s one and only Arctic.
Shell is pushing an aggressive plan to drill 10 wells in the
Arctic’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas that more often than not, are covered in
thick, vast sheets of
Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s latest creation wills people to stop for a minute and think. This year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is constructed under the concept of hortus conclusus–an enclosed garden, or in this case, a garden within a garden.
The Pavilion’s structure is made with lightweight timber wrapped with scrim and coated with black Idenden. The black edifice in London’s Kensington Gardens holds within it a serene contemplative garden designed by Piet
A couple of weeks ago, I came across a most galvanizing article by Niklas Maak – a writer and arts editor for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The text entitled ‘Goodbye Retro-Futurism’ read beautifully about the topic – the trend in the creative arts showing the influence of depictions of the future. The article claims retro-futurism is dead and this brought about the realization I was not in fact ready to say ‘goodbye’ to this optimistic, oddly nostalgic and sometimes unrealistic way of seeing our future.
Retro-futuristic buildings have always been a soft spot not only for me, but also for most people involved with architecture. I cannot really think of a better explanation for this than what Nicolai Ouroussoff said in ‘Future Vision Banished to the Past’ ardently opposing the proposed demolition of Nakagin Capsule Tower:
There is a certain quality about the 60s dream of the future that strikes a chord in everyone’s
Who wouldn’t want luxury furnishings at clearance prices? Right! In the past five years, we’ve witnessed the Internet turn retail upside down in markets such as clothing, electronics, and more. And I don’t just mean business-to-consumer e-commerce, or consumer-to-consumer selling and shopping (think eBay), but even the member-only discount shopping websites, perhaps the most famous of which is Gilt. Now home decor has joined the ranks with with a company by the name of One Kings Lane, Founded by Ali Pincus (wife of Zynga Co-Founder, Mark Pincus) and Susan Feldman in 2009, funded by Silicone Valley heavyweights Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, First Round Capital, TriplePoint Capital, and various angel investors.
The concept is as straightforward as can be: submit yourself to become a member of One Kings Lane and receive enormous discounts as high as 70% off luxury home
Many furniture and apparel brands are marketing products in the marketplace as “socially responsible” and “fair trade”, using celebrity curators to group them under a global umbrella. Most notably, CB2′s one-of-a-finds are original works created in collaboration with passionate artisans from around the world. Each product is made in limited quantities with variances indicative of hand-made artisanal products. This marketing strategy is in response to the emerging customer trend in which consumers want to see the hand of the maker in the products they