Recent Posts in general
November 19, 2015
The Oxford Dictionaries 2015 word of the year was revealed and...
That's right - for the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a pictograph: 😂, officially called the 'Face with Tears of Joy' emoji, though you may know it by other names. There were other strong contenders from a range of fields, outlined below, but 😂 was chosen as the 'word' that best reflected the ethos, mood, and preoccupations of 2015.We just thought you should know.
November 6, 2015
Rashad Owens, the man who killed four people and injured 20 others at SXSW 2014 when he drove through crowds on a pedestrian-only stretch of Red River Street, has been found guilty of capital murder today in Austin, TX. Reports the Austin Statesman:
After a little more than three hours of deliberations, a Travis County jury on Friday found Rashad Owens guilty of capital murder in the wreck that took the lives of four people during the South by Southwest Music Festival in March 2014.In her closing arguments, prosecutor Ann Meredith told the jury, "There is no other answer than that the defendant knew what he was doing -- and he didn't care. He didn't care who was in his way. He was not going to be stopped. He was not going to go to jail."
The verdict means he will automatically spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
About 50 people crowded into the courtroom to hear the verdict. Family members shed tears and embraced as the verdict was read.
September 28, 2015
Class War "Fuck Parade" on London's Brick Lane on Saturday (via @jamieosman)
London's Brick Lane, once home to dozens of curry shops, has become gentrified with high-end boutiques, clubs, galleries, and the Cereal Killer Cafe which only serves breakfast cereal (at around $6 a bowl). An anarchist group called Class War held a protest on Saturday, September 26 targeting the Cereal Cafe as part of their third-annual "Fuck Parade":
Hundreds of protesters attacked a cereal cafe in east London on Saturday night, daubing the word "scum" on the shop window and setting fire to an effigy of a police officer.One of the protesters talked anonymously to The Gaurdian:
Riot police were called in to defend the Cereal Killer Cafe in Shoreditch after it was targeted by a large crowd of anti-gentrification activists carrying pigs' heads and torches.
The owners of the cafe, which has been seen by some as a symbol of inequality in east London, said on Sunday that the attack left customers including children "terrified for their lives".
Gary Keery, 33, who founded the cafe with his twin brother, Alan, said: "It's senseless violence, isn't it? We've had some letters through the letterbox saying 'die hipsters' and stuff but nothing to this extreme. It just doesn't make sense." - [The Guardian]
At the weekend I was one of hundreds of demonstrators who took to the streets of Shoreditch in London, in the third incarnation of Class War's fuck parade, a protest-cum-street-party against gentrification. During the evening some paint and cornflakes were thrown at the Cereal Killer cafe on Brick Lane, which received a lot of attention, while the issues at the heart of the protest - inequality and social cleansing - were largely ignored.You can check out footage from the protest, shot from inside Cereal Killer Cafe, below.
While I sympathise with the workers who had to clean up on Sunday, and am deeply sorry that some children were intimidated by the protest, the petty vandalism that occurred pales in comparison to the brutality of the gentrification that is destroying the lives and demolishing the homes of some of London's most vulnerable people.
July 2, 2015
One of life's little pleasures may soon be a thing of the past. Sealed Air Corp, the New Jersey company who invented Bubble Wrap and have been making it since 1960, just unveiled the new version of their product...that doesn't pop. As the Wall St. Journal reports, the product, called iBubble Wrap, comes flat and is inflated by the shipper with a custom-made pump. Somewhat like what Amazon currently uses, it inflates in columns, not poppable clusters.
Sealed Air Corp says they'll continue to make the old kind, but it currently not very pop-ular, only making up 03% of the company's sales.
If you've ever wondered how Bubble Wrap is made, you can watch a video (and a video of DZ's single of the same name), below...
April 20, 2015
An email list has always been the most requested new feature here at BrooklynVegan, and we finally have one!
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March 20, 2015
photo: a hip (sad) day in Hoboken for Maxwell's last show, 2013 (more by Ken Bachor)
A website called FindTheHome recently published an articles declaring they've determined the "19 Most Hipster Cities in America." Topping the list: Hoboken, New Jersey. #2 is Ames, Iowa. Neither New York City or Brooklyn made the list. (Neither did Austin or Portland.) How exactly did they determine what a Hipster city was?
Using our places data, we at FindTheHome determined four important attributes that define a "hipster city" and found 19 cities that fit the bill (and surprisingly, Portland is not one of them). We first decided to only look at cities with over 50,000 people that also had a high population of people between the ages of 20 and 34. Then we looked at the cities with a fairly educated population (a high percentage of residents with at least a Bachelor's Degree), many cafes and yoga studios.You can check out the full list here.
May 28, 2014
I tried to copy Maya's fluid voice early on but failed miserably. But because of her I found my own... RIP Maya Angelou and thank u - @QtipTheAbstract
And we have lost our wisest woman - the maker of the most beautiful words. I couldn't love you more Dr. Maya. Thank you. Fly free. - Kimya Dawson (@mrskimyadawson)
Momentarily took the air out of me hearing you passed over. Then I smiled for you. REST IN GLORY MAYA ANGELOU. Luv! - @Nas
"I was thinking about her lately. GOD Bless the Soul of one if my heroes. Dr Maya Angelou" - @Common
"i was very fortunate to meet and have dinner with maya angelou some years back in nyc. what a remarkable woman we've lost." ― @Moby
Maya Angelou, the memoirist and poet whose landmark book of 1969, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" -- which describes in lyrical, unsparing prose her childhood in the Jim Crow South -- was among the first autobiographies by a 20th-century black woman to reach a wide general readership, died on Wednesday in her home. She was 86 and lived in Winston-Salem, N.C.We lost one of America's most distintive voices today. Rest in peace, Maya Angelou. Your words live on.
Her death was confirmed by her longtime literary agent, Helen Brann. No immediate cause had been determined, but Ms. Brann said Ms. Angelou had been in frail health for some time and had had heart problems.
As well known as she was for her memoirs, which eventually filled six volumes, Ms. Angelou very likely received her widest exposure on a chilly January day in 1993, when she delivered the inaugural poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," at the swearing-in of Bill Clinton, the nation's 42nd president, who, like Ms. Angelou, had grown up poor in rural Arkansas. - [NY Times]
Watch her read "On the Pulse of Morning" at Clinton's inauguration and read President Obama's tribute to her, below...
May 2, 2014
by Wyatt Marshall
(photo via Vice)
In 2012, Oklahoma State Representative Mike Ritze paid to have a statue of the Ten Commandments placed outside the state Capitol. Usually that would be a no-no due to the separation of church and state, but the donation was considered OK as he paid for it with his own money. Seeing open season for religious monuments at the Oklahoma Capitol, The Satanic Temple -- prominent proponents of the First Amendment -- announced it would donate a monument of The Evil One to the capitol building.
The Satanic Temple (who last year tried to adopt a highway in New York City) started an Indiegogo campaign hoping to raise $20,000 to pay for a statue, and, according to Vice, the campaign ended up raising nearly $30,000. The Satanic Temple then hired a classically trained sculptor to make a statue, and it totally rules. Behold and hail. Unfortunately, any chance for the statue to land in front of the Oklahoma State Capitol are stalled while an ACLU suit against the placement of the Ten Commandments statue is resolved.
According to Vice, who spoke with Satanic Temple spokesman Lucian Greaves, the Temple wants to cast a mold so they can make as many copies of the statue they want. You can buy Satan gear at The Satanic Temple's website and, Vice writes, the profits go towards funding the completion of the statue.
November 1, 2013
After years of being told to turn off your electronic devices during airplane takeoffs and landings, you'll finally be able to use them (MP3 players included), as was revealed in a new announcement by the FAA (via CNN)...
Until now, passengers in the United States were prohibited from using the devices until their plane rose above 10,000 feet. The timing of the changes will depend on individual airlines, but an FAA statement said it expects "many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year."--
"Each airline will determine how and when this will happen," FAA administrator Michael Huerta told reporters at Reagan National Airport.
The periods of flight in question are fairly short. The ascent of an aircraft to 10,000 feet usually takes 10 minutes or less, depending on the airport and weather conditions, said Patrick Smith, a commercial airline pilot and Askthepilot blogger.
Delta Air Lines and JetBlue wasted no time announcing Thursday morning that both airlines have filed plans with the FAA to allow for use of approved electronic devices below 10,000 feet on their flights. Both carriers had representatives on the FAA advisory panel.
he FAA had long claimed that using electronic devices during takeoff and landing posed a safety issue and that radio signals from the devices could interfere with an aircraft's communications, navigation and other systems.
But a panel the FAA established last year to study the issue concluded that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals.
Before an airline switches to the relaxed rules, it will have to prove to the FAA that its aircraft can tolerate the interference. Airlines have, over the years, built newer planes with portable electronics in mind, hardening them against electromagnetic interference.
The FAA did outline an exception to the new rule: "In some instances of low visibility -- about one percent of flights -- some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device."
October 31, 2013
20-year-old Chance the Rapper will not be able to buy his cigarettes when he visits NYC
Heads up to the young smokers in NYC: buying cigarettes is about to get (theoretically) harder, at least until you're 21. The New York Times reports:
The legal age for buying tobacco, including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars and cigarillos will rise to 21, from 18, under a bill adopted by the City Council and which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has said he would sign. The new minimum age will take effect six months after signing.--
The proposal provoked some protest among people who pointed out that New Yorkers under 21 can drive, vote and fight in wars, and should be considered mature enough to decide whether to buy cigarettes. But the Bloomberg administration's argument -- that raising the age to buy cigarettes would discourage people from becoming addicted in the first place -- won the day.
"This is literally legislation that will save lives," Christine C. Quinn, the Council speaker, said shortly before the bill passed 35 to 10.
The new law is a capstone to more than a decade of efforts by Mr. Bloomberg, like banning smoking in most public places, that have given the city some of the toughest antismoking policies in the world.
In one concession to the cigarette industry, the administration dropped a proposal that would force retailers to keep cigarettes out of sight. City officials said they were doing it because they had not resolved how to deal with the new phenomenon of electronic cigarettes, but others worried that if the tobacco industry lodged a First Amendment challenge to the so-called display ban, it could have derailed the entire package.
The smoking age is 18 in most of the country, but some states have made it 19. Some counties have also adopted 19, including Nassau and Suffolk on Long Island. Needham, Mass., a suburb of Boston, raised the smoking age to 21 in 2005.