Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thousands of Bees Escape and Swarm Bed-Stuy

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 2:28 PM

The bees before they made a break for it
  • The bees before they made a break for it
Several thousand bees escaped a station wagon on Madison Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Tuesday, drawing police who shut down the street and arrested the beekeeper, the Times reports. Michael Hegedus was in his backyard teaching a beekeeping class when the bees in his Mercedes chewed their way out of their containers and fled out the open windows, swarming the vehicle. "He said he believed the cause of Tuesday's episode was an equipment failure," the paper reports. The "starter hives, which he bought in Brewster, N.Y., were constructed with cheap plastic materials instead of the sturdier, metal casings he was accustomed to using."

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Gallery Pointers for Giant BOS Friday Night

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Just dont land on the sculptures. Or the chickens.
  • Just don't land on the sculptures. Or the chickens.

In case you haven't heard, Bushwick Open Studios, always a great big event, is very seriously, this year, gargantuan—a proper Nimrod to the hood's resident Himrod.

As such, try though one might, it's really impossible to narrow down recommendations for the weekend to anything along the lines of manageable, for recommenders and recommendees alike. Unless one limits oneself to one night, perhaps. And to more or less one of the festival's various aspects.

So that's what I figured I'd do by putting Friday alone in the spotlight, and by focusing on gallery openings and inaugurations and other launch-type things. That way, perhaps, if you make it to a bunch of these at the get-go, you can then spend the weekend milling around and about the hundreds of wide open artist studios.

Below are some spaces and shows and so forth. For at least relative navigational ease, I have split the list into a couple big groups according to the L stops implied by the broader area's unofficial (and extremely, indeed gravely unpopular) moniker, Jekalb's Morgue.

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Bloomberg to Ban Large Sodas

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 12:46 PM

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First, he wanted to tax soda, but the idea died in Albany. Then he wanted to stop food stamp recipients from using the program to buy sugary beverages, but the feds told him he couldn't. Now Bloomberg plans to ban soda and other sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces from being sold in any establishment that reports to the health department, including restaurants, movie theaters, and ballparks, the Times reports. The ban would not apply to no-sugar-added fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milk shakes, or diet sodas and unsweetened teas. It would also not affect sales at bodegas unless the stores are designated as "food service establishments." (Those that are have letter grades posted to their windows.)

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Pretty Shady: Fifty Shades of Grey's Fanfictional Origins Getting Shoved Down the Memory Hole

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 11:55 AM

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Fifty Shades of Grey, the mommy-porning Newsweek-covering, Kindle-inhabiting bestseller that's got all us ladies making panty slaw these days is trying to cover up its somehow-even-more-embarrassing-than-Fifty-Shades-of-Grey Twilight fanfic roots.

I guess the submissives over at the Wayback Machine have fallen under the spell of Christian Grey's smoldering eyes and multiple grey ties (Isn't that what the book is about? I don't know, I don't have a Kindle) and disappeared the evidence of Snowqueens Icedragon's—aka EL James's—early work on Fanfiction.net as dug up by Galleycat a while back.

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Soundtrack By Tangerine Dream: A Video Mixtape

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 10:57 AM

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The German space rock group Tangerine Dream (1967-) was one of the first-ever bands to adopt the synthesizer. Like Kraftwerk, Neu! and Can, they emerged from the same late-60s counterculture as the directors of the New German Cinema. Signed to the British Virgin Records in the early 70s, Tangerine Dream was less nationally identified than some of their Krautrock contemporaries. Throughout the 80s, they composed scores for dozens of American movies, helping to define the sound of the decade. Repertory nerds have long hoped for a Tangerine Dream retrospective, and it’s finally happening at BAM, June 1-7. What follows is a video mix of some of the best soundtrack moments in the series.

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Burger Chain Moving to Coney Island

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 9:50 AM

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The new Coney Island will soon be crowded with outposts from local institutions: Tom's Restaurant, Zito's Sandwich Shoppe, Grimaldi's, and Cha-Cha's are all opening new spots. Joining them will be Checkers, the national burger chain whose menu includes the Baconzilla, Brooklyn Daily reports. Because the chain's burgers start off frozen, the owner of Tom's thinks his diner's fresh ground beef will give him an advantage. As for Checkers's hot dogs? "Checkers may be on Nathan's turf," said the man who runs the hot dog eating contest, "but their hot dogs won't be able to compete with Nathan's."

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Miami Man Whose Face Was Eaten Graduated from Stuyvesant

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2012 at 8:57 AM

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Police have identified the homeless Miami man whose face was eaten on Saturday as 65-year-old Ronald Poppo, a graduate of Stuyvesant High School, class of '64, the Daily News reports. As a student he was a member of the Latin Club and worked in the guidance office, according to his yearbook, while his arrest record reveals a string of petty crimes committed in Florida over the last four decades.

Newly released surveillance footage reveals that the crazed assailant, Rudy Eugene, possibly high on "bath salts," fed on the unconscious Poppo, "actually swallowing pieces of the man's face," one police source told the News, for 18 minutes before being shot by a police officer.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Brooklyn Cyclones To Host "Williamsburg Night"

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 1:47 PM

HIPSTERS
  • HIPSTERS
July 5 will be "Williamsburg Night" at MCU Park when the Brooklyn Cyclones play against the Williamsport Crosscutters (a hipster team from Pennsylvania, see right), Sheepshead Bites reports. This means, you see, that it's Hipster Night. Ready for the jokes? "Any bearded fans receive special vouchers," those with Cyclones tattoos will win a customized jersey, and that there will be a "skinny jeans post-game run the bases," according to a promotional flier. There will also be a skeeball tournament.

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Sausage, Beer & Chicks: A Recap of the 5 Boro PicNYC on Governors Island

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM

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It was hot and muggy all Memorial Day weekend, but the rain waited just long enough to keep the crowds sitting pretty on picnic blankets at Governors Island. Most of them had come to check out the island's inaugural food event, the 5 Boro PicNYC, hosted by Food Karma Projects. The same team that has held two-day tasting events like Pig Island and CookOut NYC filled the island's Colonel's Row with blues bands, hot sauces, a chicken coop, and about 20 food vendors serving up small bites.

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Cannes 2012: In the Fog, Student and the Awards

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 11:40 AM

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This is the last of Glenn Heath's dispatches from the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, which concluded over the weekend.

In the Fog’s title is indeed overtly symbolic and quite literal: war blurs the line between reality and perception, good and evil, creating a desperate environment of ambiguity, unanswered questions, and crushing heartache. But director Sergei Loznitsa’s harrowing examination of three Belarusian soldiers trying to survive Nazi occupation is not simply an example of blunt proselytizing. Entirely constructed from brilliant long tracking shots that stalk worn-out characters slowly traversing a landscape dominated by silence and sudden violence, In the Fog explores the organic overlap between ideology and physical action within a volatile space. The background of each fluid frame momentarily hints at other experiences grappling with same dynamic, people caught in the middle of life-changing moments.

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Park Slope Police Station Has Bedbugs

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 10:45 AM

The new Pavilion
The 78th Precinct station house on Sixth Avenue, whose officers patrol Park Slope and Prospect Park, has bedbugs, the Post reports; a prisoner complained over the weekend that "the insects were nipping at him," the paper writes.

Motorists suspected of intoxication in Brooklyn are brought to the station for blood-alcohol level testing; DWI arrests are now being processed in Staten Island. Other prisoners are being held in the 72nd Precinct house in Sunset Park, on Fourth Avenue.

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Women With a Vision HQ Set on Fire: How to Help

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM

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Women With a Vision, a very awesome New Orleans-based advocacy group for sex workers, low-income women, women with substance abuse issues, and other at-risk populations, was broken into and set on fire last Thursday. Many of their outreach materials were burned, and Jordan Flaherty at Monthly Review theorizes the attack was retaliatory:

WWAV has made national news for leading the fight against Louisiana's Crime Against Nature Statute, which targeted poor women of color, transgender women, and anyone forced to trade sex for food or a place to sleep at night. The law forced women to register as sex offenders in a state database and placed a "sex offender" label on their driver's licenses, among other requirements. With the grassroots leadership of WWAV, a national coalition that also included the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Loyola Law School, and police misconduct attorney Andrea Ritchie was able to get the law off the books and has won a series of further victories in the process of removing the sex offender registration requirements for those convicted in the past.

The attack seemed political in its nature, directly targeting the crucial information, files, and materials needed for WWAV's work. According to an email report from Bill Quigley, a social justice attorney and friend of the organization, "Major fire damage was done to a room which contained education and outreach materials. The arsonist seemed to have deliberately targeted this room. Destroyed were: three plastic and silicone breast models which were used to help people learn how to do self-examinations for breast cancer; a plastic pelvic model of a vagina; a two feet by one and a half foot plastic model of a woman's reproductive system; boxes of male and female condoms; flip charts demonstrating the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV; several wooden penises which were used for condom demonstration; and boxes of educational materials. The fires in that room seem to have been set with some accelerant and scorched the walls, ceiling fan and ceiling and destroyed everything in the room. . . . The offices were ransacked leaving drawers pulled out and papers and files on the floor. A TV and a laptop were taken but many valuables were left including computer monitors, office equipment, even some beer left over from a reception held earlier in the week. Several small fires were started inside the offices, in the bathroom, the hallway and in a sitting room."[Monthly Review]

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Jennifer Egan Tweets New Short Story

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 8:58 AM

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Detractors of Jennifer Egan's novel A Visit from the Goon Squad often mention "the PowerPoint chapter"—a 75-page slideshow in which a teenage character narrates scenes from her family life. Fans, though, might point to this chapter as evidence of Egan's willingness to break free of old strictures, and of her facility with storytelling in new media.

She's again playing with a new mode of storytelling: The New Yorker is currently publishing the Fort Greene resident's latest short story on Twitter, the Fort Greene-Clinton Hill Patch reports.

"Black Box," which will also be published in the magazine and features a character from Good Squad, is being tweeted in installments, one per minute for an hour, starting nightly at 8 p.m., the Local Fort Greene reports. The tweeting began on Thursday, and continues through Saturday.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Insider Tips for This Weekend's Behemoth Bushwick Open Studios

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Para-Projections is one of a great many things to see at BOS this weekend.
  • Para-Projections is one of a great many things to see at BOS this weekend.

Arts in Bushwick, the volunteer-fueled creative entity behind a number of yearly Bushwick-wide events, is gearing up for its biggest iteration yet of its biggest annual event, Bushwick Open Studios.

To help you sift through the well over 500 listings this year, and to introduce you to some of the festival's special features in 2012, I asked one of the volunteer coordinators, Holly Shen Chaves, a few questions about what's new, what's neat, what she's particularly into.

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Calexico Coming to Park Slope

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 2:15 PM

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The owners of Calexico, the popular taco truck turned brick-and-mortar restaurants known for their "crack sauce," plan to open a new outpost, their third, in Park Slope, Here's Park Slope reports. They're taking over the old Blue Ribbon Sushi space on Fifth Avenue, near 1st Street. (Blue Ribbon Sushi is now a part of Blue Ribbon, which is next door; confusing, I know.) "We are a family business (3 of the 4 partners are brothers) and we are local (Pete lives just steps away from the restaurant)," the owners wrote in a note taped to the door. "We are very proud of the fact that we have never had a noise complaint. We have always supported local charities, schools, sports teams, and we intend to carry on that tradition in Park Slope." That's the sort of thing Park Slope likes to hear!

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Did That IKEA Bookcase Cost The Ruin Of An Ancient Forest?

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 1:23 PM

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It seems that something more sinister may lie behind IKEA's minimalism and meatballs. Despite the company's sustainability-touting slogan of "We Love Wood" the Guardian reports that an international alliance of NGOs has condemned IKEA for its role in destroying ancient Russian forests.

Field reports from conservation group Protect the Forest, Sweden and Russian environmental organization SPOK have found Swedwood, IKEA's own subsidiary industrial group, responsible for clear-cutting forests with trees up to 600 years old. But it's not only the age that matters—along with harboring significant biodiversity, old-growth forests serve as invaluable "carbon sinks" by sucking up carbon dioxide and working against the process of climate change.

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RIP Doug Dillard, So Let's All Listen to "Why Not Your Baby"

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 12:31 PM

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Doug Dillard, the crossover bluegrass star of the 60s, died earlier this month, though the Times just ran an obit over the weekend. He's best known, in these quarters at least, as being the rootsy yin to Gene Clark's hippie yang in Dillard & Clark, the cosmic American music concern which Clark started subsequent to the Byrds.

The Byrds' druggy, jangly forays into traditional American country, together as solo artists, and with enablers from more conventional country backgrounds, are rightly and enduringly revered by generations of indie rock bands (see Teenage Fanclub's "Gene Clark"). I first heard Dillard & Clark via a cover, by Velvet Crush, of "Why Not Your Baby," from The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark (1968; strings, about which some YouTube commenters are ambivalent, arranged by Van Dyke Parks). How did Dillard get swift, expert banjo picking to sound so sad?

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Chernobyl Diaries: Extreme Tourism in a Nuclear Nightmare

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 11:43 AM

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The most serious threats are invisible in the nuclear nightmare Chernobyl Diaries. Sure, there's a bear, wild dogs, and eerie architecture, but the most dangerous hide either in shadows or in plain sight, given away by a glimpse from the camera or a bleeping Geiger counter—they're radiation and its mutated victims. First-time director Bradley Parker—who cut his teeth doing visual effects for Matt Reeves, James Gray and others—exploits silence and darkness more than their opposites, keeping his monsters hidden from view, instead warming you to his charismatic actors before threatening them with simple thuds and other vaguely menacing sounds. He's an expert tension creator: his camera sticks too close to characters when you wish it would pull back (like Ti West's in The Innkeepers), and hangs back too far when it ought to be closer; you feel like you're watching, but also like you're being watched.

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Set Your Sights On Manhattanhenge Tonight

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 10:52 AM

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  • haydenplanetarium.org
Today, Manhattan streets will receive the rare, cosmic blessing that is Manhattanhenge: the biannual, half-hour event in which the setting sun lines up directly with the street grid.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and current director of the Hayden Planetarium, claims to have coined the term in 2002. He explains that Manhattanhenge occurs on days other than the equinoxes because the city's grid is skewed 30 degrees east of geographic north. That means that this year, the sunset will harmonize with the streets on May 29 and July 12. One can also catch the full, aligned disc of the sun before it fully sets on May 30 and July 11. To view the bisected or whole sun touching down on the concrete horizon, Tyson advises the following:

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After Another South Slope Sex Attack, Detective Assigned to the Case

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2012 at 10:00 AM

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Following last Wednesday's South Slope grope attack, where puzzlingly the cops declined to hold or question the man a neighbor had nabbed for them, on Thursday, a man attempted to push open a Sunset Park woman's door and rape her.

Is this just the usual pattern of sexual assaults that any big city sees, or is the South Slope/Sunset Park area being target again? It's not possible to say yet, though it looks like the NYPD is paying attention, at least. The police have released a video of the guy from Wednesday's attack, and have assigned Detective Victor Paribello to the case. Per KARMA Brooklyn:

The 72nd Precinct's Detective Victor Paribello has been assigned to investigate the sexual assault that took place on 16th Street this past Wednesday, May 23rd. Anyone who has information about the case—no matter how much or how little—is urged to call him at (718) 965-6336, the phone number for the Detective Squad.[KARMA Brooklyn]

Welp, keep your eyes peeled and guard up, I guess. At least we're allowed to wear skirts this time, because it is hot as balls out there.

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