Wednesday Reads: Look out open thread

phoscao223Good Morning

This certainly has been a hellish few days, and while I feel better now…the bacteria infection has taken its toll. I’ve no idea what has happened in the world outside my little sphere in the land of banjos and “friendly” porch folk…so this is going to be a quick post of links I have saved along the way.

Please comment on the big news items today, cause I have a feeling there some busy newsy “thing” that may even be spectacular enough to get MSNBC to drop the Zimmerman trial. (No that won’t happen, but imagine the waiting…for the GZ jury’s verdict and the Royal Baby…what headline sells more?)

Cartoon by Rob Rogers - Muslim Brotherhood

First off, the cartoon up top: Muslim Brotherhood – Political Cartoon by Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 07/09/2013


It is a shame to see things change, little things. I understand money is everything but sometimes it is the tangible memories that tie observations together. I read that The Met is no longer going to use the little round colored metal tags for “tickets” at the museum of art…and it made me so damn sad. Metropolitan Museum Sheds Its Metal Admissions Tags –

The “French Connection” was in theaters. The Mets and the Yankees finished in fourth place. The city referred to itself as the Big Apple for the first time in advertising campaigns. And that same year, 1971, the Metropolitan Museum of Art introduced a colorful piece of metal as its admission ticket, a tiny doodad that came to occupy a large place in the reliquary of New York City, along with Greek-themed coffee cups, I ♥ NY T-shirts and subway tokens.

Now the Met’s admission button will go the way of the token. Citing the rising cost of the tin-plate pieces and the flexibility of a new paper ticket system using detachable stickers, the Met will end the buttons’ 42-year run on Monday, the same time it switches to a seven-day-a-week schedule instead of being closed on Mondays.

That is heartbreaking. I loved to keep my little tags from the times I went to the Met…it was not very often, only a few times, each visit was special to me but not as dramatic as the first time I went to the Met.

My first trip to Manhattan I was 30 years old, I went to visit my husband who was working on Wall St for huge firm, this was before the company transferred him to NYC and we moved there….way before September 11th and the mess that followed.  Anyway, I never lived on my own…hell, I went from my dad filling my car’s tank of gas to having a husband take over the task. So here I was, alone in the City…at the Soho Grand on Canal and West Broadway. Dan was working that week and I could do whatever I wanted…the first place I went was the Met.

I walked the streets to the station. By myself. I rode the subway there. By myself. And I spent the entire day there. Alone. I had never done anything alone before in my life, and here I was in New York City. It was so empowering. I felt so proud. That was such an important trip to me, and that first visit to the Met holds such a special place in my heart…the little pink tag souvenir is my physical connection to that space in time. Something I can touch with my fingers…worn and patina over the years.

So, as you can see…the news that these lovely metal memories will now be replaced with crappy stickers really got me pissed off.

Over the years of its existence, the button became an accidental tourist totem — evidence not only that the city had been visited but also that high culture had been revered. And the button became a kind of art object in its own right, described once by Met curators as a kind of coin with a “multilayered tissue of readings and meanings.” It has been recycled into artworks like Ji Eon Kang’s “Dress,” made from hundreds of the buttons assembled like chain mail. Its design has been incorporated into Met mugs and T-shirts. And it has been collected by the hundreds by a certain kind of Met devotee. (Collecting all 16 colors could also help you slip into the museum without paying the suggested $25 admission price; the colors are changed daily in random order.)

A guide to the Met's colored buttons.
Karsten Moran for The New York Times

A guide to the Met’s colored buttons.

The current design, bearing an “M” adapted from a 16th-century woodcut illustration based on a Leonardo drawing, figures in the Met’s sense of its own identity, including the museum’s internal newsletter, which uses the button in its nameplate. Even the announcement that the Met would be open seven days a week borrowed the familiar iconography; it showed a line of six shiny buttons representing the days of the week, with a seventh added for Monday.

The buttons were introduced a year after the Met instituted a suggested-price admission system, replacing paper tickets and stickpins, and they seemed to capture the spirit of the new admissions policy, acting as a souvenir instead of a receipt.

“That badge became the un-ticket,” said Ellen Lupton, senior curator of contemporary design at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. “You weren’t paying to get into the museum; you were making a donation. And in exchange you got this beautiful little thing that also has a control function.”

To keep up with the more than six million people who visit each year, the museum orders 1.6 million of the buttons four times a year, Mr. Holzer said, and they now cost about three cents per button, up from two cents only a few years ago.

The new paper tickets will cost only about a penny each, and they will give the museum the space to promote shows, new and soon to close,

Fuck these only a penny “paper” tickets to be given as a token of remembrance of you visit to the museum…

and, Mr. Holzer added, a space “to sell to corporate sponsors” for advertising.

Ugh…for shits sake…they are’t costing a thing you jackass, they are making money, which is all that matters.

The new ticket-stickers will incorporate a version of the Leonardo “M,” evoking the button. But in an era in which physical objects seem to be rapidly dematerializing into the digital, the loss of a durable little chunk of the Met will undoubtedly be missed.

“It’s sad,” said Monica Mahoney, a 46-year-old fashion designer who recently moved to Los Angeles from New York but was back on Thursday and paying a visit to the museum, as she often does. “Everyone now will keep these, like they keep subway tokens. But it’s just a memory of New York.”

It is a shame, we are loosing touch with so many “real” tiny honest pieces of our past…It is funny that I kept my little pink “Piglet” colored Met badge in my jewelry box all these years…turns out it became a lost treasure after all.

Rest of links in dump fashion…

The End of Car Culture –

Ancient white man’s skull has Australians reconsidering their origins | The Raw Story

Should the U.S. Have a Secretary of Culture? – Megan Garber – The Atlantic

Seagulls Killing Whales Near Argentina | Geekosystem

Bread in the Middle Ages –

Someone Invented a Baby Wig, So Your Little Girl Won’t Be Bald- Jezebel



The last words and final moments of 38 presidents – Mental Floss

And the last link for you….

Soledad O’Brien Is Her Own Boss — and That Means No Jodi Arias Stories | The Wrap Media

I am glad Soledad is getting her own show over at Al Jazeera America…looks like it will be kind of a 60 Minutes thing….Soledad kick ass style.

That is all for this morning. I honestly don’t know if I have enough in me to make any comments today, or even post something tonight. Y’all have a good day, ciao!

Wednesday Reads: Link Dump, Cheaters and Muppets

2318187700_4d91d6e5bbGood Morning

I have only a few links for you this morning. On Monday I went to the neurologist, and it turns out I did have a seizure last month. The doctor put me on Topamax, aka “dope-a-max.” As if I needed any more help in the loopy department…

The side effects are scary, I am very sleepy and my fingers are tingling like the dickens. One possible thing I am looking forward to, is this medication causes loss of appetite, weight loss and anorexia.  I know there is no way in hell I will become anorexic, but shedding some pounds is a big plus. However, as my dad says…with my luck, fat chance.

On with the news reads.

WTF is it with the GOP and their hypocrite candidates?  Mark Sanford wins GOP nomination in South Carolina

It makes me want to puke…meanwhile, in Queens, NY:

Malcolm Smith Accused of Bribery for Spot on Mayoral Ballot

BTW, Smith is a Democrat…but he wanted to run on the Republican ticket.

N.Y. Lawmakers Charged in Plot to Buy Spot on Mayoral Ballot

What the senator, Malcolm A. Smith, wanted to do, the other man explained, was going to cost “a pretty penny.”

“But it’s worth it,” replied Senator Smith, a Democrat, according to a transcript of the January meeting. “Because you know how big a deal it is.”

His plan, described by federal prosecutors in a criminal complaint unsealed on Tuesday, was as ambitious as it was audacious. Mr. Smith was going to bribe his way onto the ballot to run for mayor of New York.

But he needed help, from a disparate cast of characters, including a Republican City Council member from Queens, Daniel J. Halloran III, and two Republican leaders from Queens and the Bronx, Vincent Tabone and Joseph J. Savino. And he needed the help of the other man in the car, who, unbeknown to Mr. Smith, was a cooperating witness for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was recording the whole conversation.

There is a graphic here: Untangling the Arrests in the N.Y. Corruption Case

In Atlanta, cheating is in the news headlines these days.  Here is coverage from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:


Ex-Atlanta schools chief Hall leaves Fulton jail

Indicated APS educators
Beverly Hall leaves the Fulton County Jail on Tuesday night. | Ben Gray/AJC

All but a few of the 35 educators indicted in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal have turned themselves in to authorities.

Raw: Hall arrives at jail
Shirley Franklin: ‘Lynch mob’
Beverly Hall’s bond lowered
Photos: Jail scene
Booking photos
Video: Educators surrender
Photos: Who is indicted
Gallery: AJC reports
Read the indictment
Join Twitter conversation
AJC: Cheating Our Children
AJC editor on CNN

What a mess!

There is also some sad news as well, yesterday Jane Henson passed away, she was 78. Jane Henson, matriarch to Muppets, dies at 78

This 1960 handout photo provided by The Jim Henson Company shows Jane Henson, right, with Jim Henson and the cast of Sam and Friends, in Washington. Jane Henson died in her Connecticut home on April 2, 2013 after a long battle with cancer.

This 1960 handout photo provided by The Jim Henson Company shows Jane Henson, right, with Jim Henson and the cast of Sam and Friends, in Washington. Jane Henson died in her Connecticut home on April 2, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. / AP Photo/The Jim Henson Company, Del Ankers

Those are some scary looking muppets, must be the earlier models….but then again, nothing is more frightening than Elmo…especially now that we know what made him laugh like that. (Oooo, that was a little over the top huh?)

Well, my fingers are feeling like they are falling asleep, just think of this as an open thread.

September 11 Photo Connections

Photo: CUNY, The 911 Digital Archive. Please click for more image info.

My daughter Bebe wanted her dad to come to her history class this morning and talk about his experience as a survivor on September 11, 2001. He did not want to do it…it still hurts.

Getting Dan to talk about that day is very difficult. Sometimes he will mention a few descriptions of images or thoughts or smells, but it is very rare. His nightmares have subsided, at least ones that are so real too him they wake me up.

Last year I wrote about my family’s personal experiences, and my own thoughts about that day…you can take a look at that post here…Sunday: September 11th…2011 « Sky Dancing

So for this, the eleventh anniversary of September 11, 2001, I thought it would be good to find some photos of what that day was like for my husband and so many other survivors who still remember that war zone as vividly as if it happened yesterday.

First, I want you to click on this link to a Flickr Slide Show.  These are images of Liberty St., Maiden Lane, Battery Park and the Financial District Downtown NYC on September 11, 2001 and the days that follow. (If that slide show does not load, click here for the photo stream.)

I also came across this blog, which has some fascinating pictures and thoughts…13 Days: The World Trade Center, Day One

Day One: September 11

9:02 am 11:02 am

Woke up to sirens and radio reports of an incident at the World Trade Center. I grabbed my camera and was out on the street by 9:00.

This blog discusses the first 13 days and the first 13 weeks and the first 13 months after the attack on World Trade.

Fall, 2001

The collapse of the World Trade Center is one of those rare tragedies that people will ask of us in the future, in who knows how many languages, “Do you remember where you were, on that day?”

These pages are about exactly that: the weeks that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

These pages are also a thank you. For additional photographs, please see 13 Days and 13 Months.

Jonathan Corum

That is a wonderful place to spend some time, and get a perspective of what NYC residents had experienced during the days and months after those Twin Towers collapsed.

The photo up top, of the shoe covered in dust is from The September 11 Digital Archive « American Social History Project | Center for Media and Learning

On September 11, 2001, people around the world reacted to the attacks by using the Internet and digital media. This project is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and presentation of the history of that day and its aftermath. The Archive contains more than 150,000 digital items, including more than 40,000 emails and other electronic communications, more than 40,000 first-hand stories, and more than 15,000 digital images. In September 2003, the Library of Congress accepted the Archive into its collections, an event that both ensured the Archive’s long-term preservation and marked the library’s first major digital acquisition.. An unprecedented experiment in digital archival collecting, The September 11 Digital Archive became the Library of Congress‘s first major digital acquisition. The site was produced by ASHP/CML and the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Visit The September 11 Digital Archive:

Unfortunately, those photos from the Library of Congress are only thumbnail size. You can only see full sized images on the LoC computers…which is really a shame because not everyone can get to Washington, DC.  That is a real disappointment for me at least, I really would have liked to see the images larger than those 190 pixels.

Then there are a few more photos I came across while gathering links for this post:

Liberty Plaza

Liberty Street or Maiden Lane

Downtown Hell

From Time Magazine: 9/11: The Photographs That Moved Them Most – LightBox

Robert Clark—INSTITUTE
Kent Kobersteen, former Director of Photography of National Geographic“The pictures are by Robert Clark, and were shot from the window of his studio in Brooklyn. Others shot the second plane hitting the tower, but I think there are elements in Clark’s photographs that make them special. To me the wider shots not only give context to the tragedy, but also portray the normalcy of the day in every respect except at the Towers. I generally prefer tighter shots, but in this case I think the overall context of Manhattan makes a stronger image. And, the fact that Clark shot the pictures from his studio indicates how the events of 9/11 literally hit home. I find these images very compelling—in fact, whenever I see them they force me to study them in great detail.”
David Surowiecki—Getty Images
Patrick Witty, International Picture Editor of TIME;
former freelance photographer
“After the towers fell, I walked back to my apartment on the Lower East Side, completely in a daze. I had shot black and white film that morning and there was a small lab in the kitchen of my neighbor’s apartment where I could process and scan. When I walked inside, covered in dust and a ripped t-shirt, my neighbors were there and we looked at each other in silence, in disbelief. Another photographer was there who I didn’t know, named David Surowiecki. At the time he was an editor at Getty Images, along with my old roommate Craig Allen. David and Craig were scanning film and transmitting the images from the apartment since Getty’s offices had been evacuated. David’s film from the morning was on a light table near the film dryer in the kitchen. I started looking at his film with a loupe and will never forget the feeling of despair when I saw this one particular image. It was a bizarre and terrifying, yet almost calm image, split down the middle with four tiny bodies falling to the ground. I saw bodies falling when I was near the burning towers, but I didn’t shoot it myself. I couldn’t.

That gallery has 23 images, some of them you may have seen before, but it is good to look at them again. My husband has told me that he saw groups people jumping together. A chain twenty-two people, holding each others hands and choosing to jump to their death. Horrifying.

Here is a link to the  National September 11 Memorial & Museum | World Trade Center Memorial. The website had a live stream of the Memorial service from Ground Zero…hopefully you can catch a recorded video at that link if you missed the live broadcast.

You can find some interactive information here at this link: National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Please join us in commemorating this year’s 9/11 anniversary. This page offers suggestions and tools including a downloadable 2012 Commemoration Planning Guide that provides resources for commemorating in communities, schools, through social media, and as an individual. Should you have any questions, please email us

Thank you for helping to honor and remember.

Commemoration Resources
Promotional Materials for Your Commemoration
Education Tools
Fundraising Tools
Web Resources 
Share Your Plans

Commemoration Resources
2012 Commemoration Planning Guide 
Commemorate in your Online Community
Downloadable Suggestions for Talking to Children about 9/11
Downloadable List of Names on the 9/11 Memorial 
Online Guide for Locating and Searching Names on the 9/11 Memorial
September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

Promotional Materials for Your Commemoration
Newsletter/Email Template
Press Release Template
Sample Blog Post Template
Web Banners
Downloadable Poster
Facebook Cover Photo

Educational Tools
9/11 FAQ
Interactive Timelines
Introducing the 9/11 Memorial Lesson Plan
Symbols of Remembrance and Reflection Lesson Plan
Creating a Memorial Museum Lesson Plan

I don’t know how I feel about this, but they even have a Museum Shop. 

9/11 Memorial Bowtie

See what I mean? I know that net proceeds go towards the museum, but there is something twistedly morbid in wearing a 9/11 memorial bowtie. (Yeah, I just made up my own word there…) Let’s just end this post with some news links that are connected with 9/11.

And thank you for taking time out today to remember and reflect on this…

September 11.

Late Night: Pedophiles, Parks, and Playgrounds

Kids playing in Central Park, NYC

A few years ago I was at a children’s playground with my sister-in-law and my two nephews. The younger boy was about 3 years old. My sister-in-law usually reads while the kids are playing, but being a doting aunt, I like to hang out with them as much as I can.

This day that I’m talking about, a small man, probably in his 50s, was hanging around by himself, watching the kids. He was carrying what looked like a very expensive camera. He started following my 3-year-old nephew around, snapping numerous pictures of him. He even asked me how old my nephew was and said, “he’s such a beautiful boy.”

Right away I had a bad feeling about the guy, so I asked him what he was doing. He gave me a hokey story about wanting to try out his new camera. So why do that in a kids playground? I asked if one of the kids was his, and he said no. From that point on, I didn’t leave my nephew’s side, and eventually the guy moved on.

I tried to talk to my sister-in-law about this incident, but she kind of blew me off. She seemed to think it was no big deal that this older man was hanging around a kid’s playground taking pictures.

Tonight I read a blog post that validated the thoughts I was having that day–that the man taking pictures was a pedophile who could very well be trading his photos with other pedophiles on-line. Most people don’t realize that child pornography is big business–especially now that photos can be shared on the internet.

If you wish, you can read the post via a link at The Hinky Meter. When you click on the link, you’ll get a warning that the material in the post could be disturbing. I didn’t find it all that surprising, but as a psychologist I may be more familiar with the behavior of pedophiles than many other people are.

In case you choose not to read the post, I’ll just say that it describes an outing by young schoolchildren in New York’s Central Park and the efforts of several fathers to chase off men trying to photograph the kids. The solution I learned from the post is to take photos of these guys and let them know that you’re hanging onto pictures of their faces for future reference.

The man who confessed to murdering Leiby Kletzky had been observed staring at neighborhood children and hanging around schoolyards and playgrounds. Now, it is being reported that he previously tried to abduct other boys. I’m not sure what can be done about people like this. It’s not against the law to take pictures of children, so I guess parents and other caregivers need to be on the lookout for these sickos.