Went for a bike ride on Saturday across the George Washington bridge from Manhattan and up the Palisades a bit. All together a great outing. There was one snag getting from Riverside Park to the bike path for the bridge; had to make a detour the long way around the block.
Turns out that was a helpful bit of fate. As we approached the NJ side, where the bridge is still quite high, but over the little bit of low coast there was an emerging commotion. A man had jumped just prior to our arrival. Bystanders were eager to relay the details “we saw him crawl up on the railing” “landed right on his back”. You couldn’t see the landing spot due to some thick brush and trees. Not to be too callous about a tragic death, but this wasn’t a good spot to land — way too much foliage to break the fall. People have survived parachute failures and this wasn’t high enough to guarantee a quick death. Police and paramedics were quickly on the scene and we managed to get away without serious emotional scars since we missed both the jump and the gore.
Another remarkable aspect of this was the complete, total lack of news coverage. Not even a passing comment on NY-1. So sad to say, but when it happens often enough it’s no longer news.
If you take the Iraq war down to the core, you will find a deadly simple rational.
We were attacked on 9/11, the White House needed to strike back, show significant force. Afghanistan was too easy a victory. It didn’t do enough to strike enough fear. I won’t spend time caveating this Iraq war statement with endless words on the long term benefits of democracy in the middle east, regime changes, etc. I believe those all to be simply supplementary justifications of a core emotion. There is enough nuance in this argument to keep people talking forever, but check this frank piece out from The American Conservative via Matthew Yglesias on TPM Cafe:
The Pentagon, acting under instructions from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, has tasked the United States Strategic Command (STRATCOM) with drawing up a contingency plan to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States. The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option. As in the case of Iraq, the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections.
So they’re saying if we are attacked by terrorists of any nationality or background on a big enough scale, Iran’s gonna get nuked, no questions asked. The whole trying-to-manufacture-evidence-of-wmd thing is too much work and hassle.
Also, for sake of hammering this point home, one of the commenters adds this nugget from last week:
(AP) -- A Colorado congressman (Rep. Tom Tancredo) told a radio show host that the U.S. could "take out" Islamic holy sites if Muslim fundamentalist terrorists attacked the country with nuclear weapons. … Talk show host Pat Campbell asked the Littleton Republican how the country should respond if terrorists struck several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons. "Well, what if you said something like -- if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered. "You're talking about bombing Mecca," Campbell said. "Yeah," Tancredo responded. [cnn]
The thing is — these quotes clearly illustrate my original point. Our war today and future wars are going to be about revenge. And I know a whole lot of Americans are fine with that.
I am 29 years old, born in 1975.
For myself and many, many people my age that I’ve talked to, when world events of childhood are mentioned, the year that comes back again and again and again is 1986.
Sprol (a blog dedicated to using Google Satellite Maps and Google Earth to exploring environmental disasters and such) today has a feature on the Chernobyl meltdown. You saw this coming, the year? 1986.
Let me outline the real common memories that come up:
- Space Shuttle Challenger explodes. I can’t overstate the affect this had on us as kids. Many of us were watching the launch live.
- Mets win the world series of baseball, Bears win Super Bowl XX. Both released singles on the radio!
- Hands Across America
- The Statue of Liberty is reopened to the public, also it’s centennial
- Paul Simon’s Graceland released
- Top Gun, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Stand By Me come out.
Wikipedia has a pretty good list, but I’m more interested to hear yours.
Add NY summer evening heat, a faint fish market odor and rocking hiphop to your sensory cortex while viewing and you’ll get the whole event feel.
Clockwise from top left: Corey & Hesta • Sprout and Spero • set list • import Nike • on stage • glamour
Amazing how busy the Seaport is and I don't know anyone that ever goes there outside of some event like this.
It is just when things at work aren’t going well (see previous post) that a host of small things collude to ruin your day.
Exhibit A, this email from our facilities people:
I was told by building management that the third elevator on the Broadway side (of the building) will not be repaired until at least the 29th of July because a part has to be manufactured by their vendor. According to building management, the elevators are so old that some parts are no longer stocked by the company that maintains their elevators. They asked me to convey their apologies for the elevator being out of service for a month.
As far as I know this is not Photoshopped. Supreme Court nominee’s kid gets DOWN at the press briefing the other day.
Also, what kind of outfit did they put him in? The whole “life was best in the 50’s” theme these Republicans have got going is quite creepy.
Wednesday, July 20th • South Street Sea Port • 89 South Street/Pier 17 • New York, NY • FREE SHOW • ALL AGES • 7 pm • with Army of Me • www.northernstate.net
Previous coverage here: northern state cold rocked the party
Over this last trip I did a little unpaid modeling work. I did a “business traveler” and an “Asia hiker”. I developed a character; I named him Sven. Sven is married (see the ring) and was a total primadonna, natch.
This is an outake — the guy in the back ruined it. Photo taken at “the long bar”, Cathay Pacific lounge, Hong Kong airport.
My iTunes dual soundcard tip from back in March seems to be no longer valid with Quicktime 7, at least with the public preview.
They actually removed the ability to select a specific sound device for use by Quicktime. I sent them an email, but Apple, not being a company known for taking feedback, hasn't acknowledged the receipt of my email, let alone addressed it or, gasp, fix the issue.
I’m pretty peeved about the functionality being removed, but a whole not more peeved by the fact that there is nothing I can do about it.
BAR-Honda F1 car to run at Bonneville:
BAR-Honda, at the request of sponsor Lucky Strike, has announced their intention to run one of their Formula 1 cars at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The goal is to run a car that’s as close to F1 specifications as possible, aside from aerodynamic trim and the addition of required safety gear such as a parachute. The run is planned to take place sometime in October, with one of BAR’s junior drivers taking the wheel. The team expects the car will do at least 250 MPH.