Tag Archives: new york city

Has the War Already Been Won Against Public Schooling?

I come from a long line of public school teachers.  Our family believes in government-sponsored schooling that teaches facts and science and nature.  If one desires something of a Faith-infused-immersed learning, there are Churches for that; we enliven the mind not with mystery or superstition but by hard, verifiable, facts that can be reliably predicted with logic and learning.

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Quantifying Ubiquity: You Are Eight in Eight Million

There is a fun old saying — “You’re One in a Million” — that is meant to convey a specialness using data-driven facts.  What I find most interesting in the million specialness is how absolutely non-special you are depending where you happen to live in the world.

For example, in my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska — with a population of 160,000 while I was growing up — I was super-extra-crispy special, because it would take 6.25 times my city’s population to make me unique one time in a million tries.

In New York City, the story is different. There are currently 8.3 million people in The Big City — and that means my specialness is drained in the larger lake from my small pond pool of the Midwest.

Instead of being “One in a Million” in NYC, I’m now, actually, eight in 8.3 million — and that’s a pretty sobering number.

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The Frost King: Defending Helen Keller and Other Non-SuperHuman Deaf-Blind

Helen Keller — a Deaf and Blind woman who became an author and an international SuperStar against the merits of her monumental disability — is one of the most magnificent examples of the human spirit in the history of America.

I have defended the spirit of Helen Keller on this blog, and while I am a tremendous fan of her incredible mind, I’m not terribly interested in her sex life as a lesbian or not, or as the secret, fateful, lover of her teacher, Anne Sullivan’s, husband, or her role as the concubine of a local cub reporter who wrote about her early life and made her a star.

What does concern, and interest me, is the lingering slandering of her as a young child in her effort to write, at 11-years-old, a story for publication called “The Frost King” — that was too closely associated with a previously published work entitled “The Frost Fairies” — that she was accused of plagiarism that haunted and stooped her for the rest of her life.

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Clench Your Fist, it’s Time to Play: “Knockout the Jew!”

Have you heard of the “Knockout” game lately happening in Brooklyn and Hoboken and Syracuse and St. Louis?

If you’re Jewish, or old and feeble — or female! — prepare yourself for a face-meeting-sidewalk event you’ll never forget, if you live to tell about it, as young strangers on the street punch you in the face without warning.

This horrible street game is called “Knockout” because the whole idea behind the crime is to see if you can be knocked unconscious, and left “lights out” on the pavement, with a single punch to the face.

The “knockout game” that outraged the Syracuse area earlier this year when two teenagers playing it attacked and killed Michael Daniels on West Brighton Avenue is getting renewed attention as reports spread about Jews being targeted in Brooklyn and the death of a homeless man in Hoboken, N.J.

The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit is investigating reports that a group of men is playing “Knock Out the Jew” in Brooklyn. A 64-year-old man told CBS New York in a report posted Tuesday that he and his 12-year-old son were attacked. Video in the report also shows a 19-year-old Jewish man being sucker punched.

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Three Days of a Hundred Years of Darkness: Hurricane Sandy and 12 Months of Nothingness

One year ago today, 8.5 million people in the New York City area were without heat or power as Hurricane Sandy blasted the soft middle of our lives — thrusting us backward a hundred years behind a wall of water into at least three days of cold and darkness:

Monday night, at 11:00 pm sharp in Jersey City, New Jersey, the lights went out and stayed off until last night at 7:43pm.  That’s three days without power or heat.  Hurricane Sandy was a massively nasty beast, and we’re just now starting the recovery process.  We are hungry and scavenging for food.  Supermarkets are closed.  Few places have power.

For many of those directly touched by the floodwater a year ago, life has yet to return to normal, and many will never recover the good lives they once had before the storm; and that is a clear failure of the government safety net and the lack of any sort of real social fabric that meshes us together.  The King has no clothes, and we don’t, either!

When it is better, and more profitable, to cut and run and abandon than it is to stay and rebuild and recover — we all have a problem.

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YUkon 2-8888 and FAculty 1-3700: The Sweet Antiquity of New York City Alphanumeric Telephone Exchanges

I love it when the old-time New York City Magic rears its beautiful noggin to remind us all just how elegant and grand the ancient city was when stewed in its own antiquity.

Part of that temporal, New York City, Golden Age, nostalgia that still lives today can be found right in the palms of our hands and in the tips of our fingers!  The old alphanumeric telephone exchanges for certain 212 area code numbers still live, and still exist in everyday service, even if we no longer consciously need to use them to make a phone call.

The most famous iteration of the alphanumeric NYC calling can be found in the title of John O’Hara’s fine book, BUtterfield 8 — that also became a famous Elizabeth Taylor movie.

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The Second-Greatest Apple Store Genius Bar Story Ever Told

I have a terrible habit of dropping brand-new Apple products right after I get them — and yesterday morning was no exception.  While I was at the Post Office in Queens, my less-than-two-week-old iPhone 5S slipped — “sleeked?” – from my hand and smashed on the floor breaking the screen.

Have you noticed the Post Office gives you really slick and teflon-like coated printed receipts that are, like, three feet long when you just buy one stamp? When I tried to put the receipt in the same hand as my iPhone, the receipt won, and my 5S got a whole new tutorial on the real meaning of “AirDrop.”

I was sickened.  I dropped my iPhone 4S quite a few times in the past and the screen never spidered.  Maybe the Post Office concrete floor was just too much for my new 5S beauty to handle.

I was immediately reminded of my previous, Best Apple Support Story Ever Told  experience — when my brand-new iPad was knocked out of my hands — and knew I’d have to, once again, invoke my AppleCare+ status, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.

Quick end:  Apple Gave me a new phone, as you can see in the iMessage confirmation below with my husband that he captured for this story.

Longer story:  Keep reading!

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