Monday, November 24, 2008

CNN, I hate your news ticker

CNN keeps a news ticker running along the bottom of their broadcast. It is very frustrating when you're reading the ticker and then the station goes to a commercial, because during commercials the scroller doesn't run. And often the stories on the ticker are not covered in the regular broadcast.

What? A woman flushed a newborn down the toilet? Tell me more!

Strangely, the weather forecast for Hawaii nevers gets interrupted, but tonight the following headline was: A woman has told a British court she accidentally flushed her newborn down the toilet because...

Wait, you're not going to a commercial, are you?

No! Not a commercial! Come back! Why was the newborn flushed down the toilet??!!

I don't know because CNN went to a commercial! Now I'll never know how a newborn gets flushed down a toilet. Too much toilet paper doesn't go down the drain. It is possible for a person to poop something large enough to plug up the toilet. While there may be a lot of similarities between a newborn and a piece of poop, I never considered size to be one of them.

It turns out that the baby wasn't flushed down the toilet. But what really happened is just as strange.

Friday, November 21, 2008

We are birds of a feather

Last month I wrote about a problem I seem to have with taking pictures of revolting things, usually things that are dead or were suddenly ejected from someone's digestive system.

Just a short while ago, Kelley sent me this picture of a colorful, dead bird. I'm taking this as proof that we are kindred spirits, birds of a feather. We both take pictures of dead things!

Dead bird with a golden burial shroud.

Then again, maybe we don't take pictures of dead animals for the same reasons. Maybe when she saw the dead bird she though of me. That's special too!

One of the things I love most about Kelley is her thoughtfulness. When she sees a toy or a shirt, her first thought is of someone who might like it. I don't play with toys, and for the most part I buy my own clothes. But I hold a special place in her heart. When she sees dead things, she thinks of me. Not you, me!

Is my problem what I am taking pictures of, or my lack of creativity when it comes to naming them?

I tried saving the picture she sent me so I could post it here, only to see the following message on my phone. Apparently I already had a file on my phone named "dead bird.jpg".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Subway style

It is very unusual for me to get on the subway in the morning and not get a seat. But this morning my disappointment made way for excitement as I discovered a heretofore unknown and incredibly awesome hairstyle.

Apart from the man with dreadlocks that stand so high he has to duck in order to get in and out of the subway car, this is the most interesting hairstyle I've seen on the F train.

The best way to describe it is this: Imagine you're watching a colorized version of Bride of Frankenstein, where they decided to use a burned out shade of red for the title character's hair color.

Next, you realize you're not watching a colorized version of the movie, but a remake from the Soviet Union. The Bride is played by a middle-aged Polish woman.

Then, somehow, one of Dr. Frankenstein's experiments goes horribly wrong, resulting in an explosion from above. The Bride's hair takes the brunt of the blast. This is what the hair style looks like.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My neighborhood 99¢ store

The "99¢ store" is a common sight throughout the city. They are stores that are packed with all sorts of stuff, ostensibly for 99¢ or less. I call them junk stores, but they can be convenient. If you're looking for something and you have no idea where in the world you might be able to find it - such as a broken mirror - a 99¢ store is a good place to start.

My neighborhood isn't known for its math literacy.

Most people in New York seem to live within a block or two of at least one of these stores. I am no exception. Around the corner from where I live is one named "Good Luck 99¢, 79¢, 59¢ & Up". I wonder why they didn't simply name it "Good Luck 59¢ & Up". That would be in better accordance with Algebra's laws of inequality.

This item wasn't flying off the racks.

Earlier in the year, my local junk store was selling a broken mirror for $13.99. Surprisingly enough, this highly sought item remained in its prominent position just outside the front door for many weeks.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Some pictures of random things

Randomness abounds in New York. Here are some things that have caught my attention recently.

Doesn't this sign almost make dismemberment look fun?

Do you think this is an explicit enough warning of the dangers posed by the baggage handling equipment at JFK Airport that parents would keep their kids from playing on the conveyor belt? Yes? Wrong.

This napkin is actually older than most people in high school today.

On the F train in Brooklyn, I noticed this napkin covering a seat. It's hard to see in the picture I took with my phone, but this was a remnant of a Bar Mitzvah party from October of 1991. It is 2008. The Bar Mitzvah boy is now a 30 year old man.

If I were a baseball fan, would this ad make me want to buy this drink?

This isn't random so much as dumb. I saw this little ad while waiting in line at a grocery store in Park Slope. Look! Purple drink is parodying corporate sponsorships with a corporate sponsorship! I guess this is designed to appeal to people who enjoy TV shows like Pushing Daisies.

I hear Red Bull helps improve spelling.

I'm not sure too many beverages require a philosophy. Let's assume that the "Most Powerful Antioxidant Beverage on the PLANET!" does. But if a drink is so mighty that it warrants its own philosophy, shouldn't its makers be able to spell "philosophy" correctly?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The official musical instrument of Harlem street parties

New York voted pretty overwhelmingly for Barack Obama, so it comes as no surprise that there were huge celebrations throughout the city.

The local ABC affiliate had video from a street party that erupted in Harlem. This scene made me laugh. In the foreground was a woman dancing wildly. Behind her was a woman playing a flute. And in the background was a man with a big smile on his face and an Obama sticker on his head.

Biting social commentary, or just a random act of music?

The flute is what really caught my attention. I'm not sure if this was a clever form of social commentary regarding Sarah Palin, or if the woman was just partying it up with a flute.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thickcrust Consumer Protection Alert

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I traveled to India in September. When I was there, I was taken - against my will - to a tourist-trap shopping center named Delhi Haat Craft Cottage Industries. I wasn't happy that my driver did this, but I changed my mind after I learned that this place would make custom shirts for me.

I didn't even want to donate this shirt to charity, it was so horribly made.

Due to the timing of my visit, I didn't have time to try on the shirts I bought until I returned to the US. The shirts were, without a doubt, the worst fitting shirts I have ever put on. I would have felt ripped off had I paid $5 per shirt.

I'm not going to describe all of the ways that the shirts were shoddy. I'm just going to move on after issuing this warning: If you ever travel to Delhi and you find yourself at Delhi Haat Craft Cottage Industries, do not buy any custom made clothes.

And I'm going to take this opportunity to also get over the fact that the proprietor of The UPS Store in Lake City, Georgia treated me like a total prick. If you're ever in the unenviable position of being in Lake City, you can make your time there a little less miserable by avoiding this guy and his overpriced little store.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

As part of my job, I meet a lot of people from around the country and around the world. One of the most common questions I am asked is if I like living in New York. I think there is an equal number of things to like and dislike. In general, one of the things I like least is the weather in New York.

This tree looked like it was on fire.

With two exceptions. The first is thunderstorms. There are many parts of the country where a thunderstorm is a very rare event. The second is autumn. The fall colors are spectacular.

This is the same tree as above. The picture doesn't do the scene justice, but I included the picture for a sense of scale.