Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Very Worst Mall Santa of All Time Has Been Found

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM

A mall Santa in England has been fired from his job after telling three children under the age of 10 every terrible detail of last week's shooting in Newtown, then pulling aside the oldest of the group to let him in on the secret that he was not, in fact, the real Santa and that no such mystical person exists. Which would be funny if it happened on, say, Curb Your Enthusiasm as opposed to an unsuspecting group of real life children. And, unbelievably, this story actually gets worse.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Slideshow: The ReStore Red Hook Tattoo Benefit

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Yesterday, ReStore Red Hook teamed up with Rivington Tattoo to host a benefit for Red Hook's small business community, still struggling to recover from Sandy. Ethan Morgan, Red Hook resident and tattoo artist at Rivington, put together an afternoon of beer and tattooing (always a smart combo) at Kidd Studios on Imlay Street. There was also a silent art auction and live music. If you ever wanted to get a "Zone A" tattoo for charity, this was your chance.

Red Hook Tattoo Benefit
Red Hook Tattoo Benefit Red Hook Tattoo Benefit Red Hook Tattoo Benefit Red Hook Tattoo Benefit Red Hook Tattoo Benefit Red Hook Tattoo Benefit Red Hook Tattoo Benefit Red Hook Tattoo Benefit

Red Hook Tattoo Benefit

By Audrey Ference

Click to View 12 slides

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The 10 Biggest Brooklyn News Stories of 2012

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 5:00 AM


It’s been a long year. With a lot of news. But do you remember all of it? I mean, a year is a pretty long time. I barely remember what happened earlier this week. But I drink to excess. So, maybe you do remember? If not, don’t worry, because what follows is a comprehensive list of the biggest news stories that happened in Brooklyn in 2012.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

The Racist Subway Ads Are Back, This Time With 9/11 Images

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Noted racist and crazy person Pamela Gellar is back with more of those anti-Islam subway ads everyone hates (and vandalizes), this time dropping $70,000 for a new series of posters that are larger, more prominently placed and feature a giant image of the burning twin towers on 9/11 alongside a quote from the Koran saying, "Soon we shall cast terror into the hearts of unbelievers."

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Berlin is Trying To Evict All Its Hipsters, The Hipsters Have Responded By Forming An Antifa Movement

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Très Berlin.
  • Très Berlin.
Here in America, we handle controversy over hipsters and gentrification by making nervous, self-conscious jokes about it and hoping someone changes the subject. Over in Germany, they take things a little more seriously. Seriously enough that in response to the persecution, Berlin's hipster sympathizers have formed their very own Antifa organization.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Unverified but Worth Repeating: Reports of Multiple Attacks on Women in Bushwick

Posted By on Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 9:31 AM


Last night people were retweeting this note cautioning that five women had been attacked in Brooklyn this past week. The story hasn't been confirmed, which normally means I would not be telling you about it, but if people's safety is at risk, better mention it. So DON'T hunt down anyone matching the attacker's description vigilante-style, but DO be extra careful if you're someone, especially someone female, walking around Bushwick alone. More from Bushwick Daily:

Several of our readers have reported that they have heard about multiple attacks on women in the past week in Bushwick. We are trying to obtain more information from NYPD. So far, DCPI NYPD informed us that there were no sexual crimes reported in Bushwick in the past week, which however doesn’t exclude other violent crimes.

Brooklyn Bike Patrol, which escorts women from subway stations to their homes safey in the late evenings hours, however posted on their Facebook page a warning:

“A dear friend of BBP informed me that there have been 5 attacks of women in Bushwick. People we service that area. Please pass the word of our service to any love ones who live in that neighborhood. Stay safe with BBP.”

Call Brooklyn Bike Patrol if you are not feeling safe at 718-744-7592, they will escort you home. [Bushwick Daily]

So yeah, take extra precautions, because even if this turns out not to be true, what's the worst that could happen? You get home extra safe?

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Monday, December 10, 2012

UFOs May Have Invaded Brooklyn Last Week

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Gosh, sometimes it seems like Brooklyn's so popular even people (do we call them "people?") on other planets are into us. Eh, eh? Oh, laughs.

But really, speaking of easy ways to segue into totally preposterous subject matter, did UFOs visit us last week? Maybe, according to an indecipherable video and a few people on the internet.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Barbie Assures Us That Girls Can Play with Construction Toys Too

Posted By on Tue, Dec 4, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Good news. It seems as though Barbie manufacturer Mattel has concluded that girls' sexual orientation will not be affected by playing with toy construction sets. Behold! The Mega Bloks Barbie Build ’n Style line for the feminist toddler/budding architect in your life—the first construction-oriented product in Barbies' 53-year history.

It is apparently still very important to remember that pink is for girls and blue is for boys, though, which explains why the sets' building blocks come mostly in fuschia (specifically Pantone 219, Barbie's signature color because it helps highlight her cheekbones.) (I made that last part up.) And none of this racetrack riffraff stuff for the ladies, please: package choices include a mansion, a fashion boutique, an ice cream cart, and a beach house.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

This Couple That Got Married at West Point This Weekend is Basically the Cutest

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 10:45 AM

  • jeff Sheng

West Point's cadet chapel hosted its first same-sex wedding ceremony this weekend, and omg are the brides the cutest thing you've ever seen. Brenda "Sue" Fulton and Penelope Gnesin and their fancy Times wedding announcement:

Ms. Fulton, 53, is a marketing director in Madison, N.J., for Pfizer. Last year, President Obama appointed her to the military academy’s Board of Visitors; she is the first openly gay or lesbian member to serve on its board. She is a founding board member of OutServe, an organization in Washington for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual service members and veterans. She graduated from West Point in the class of 1980, the first to include women. She was honorably discharged from the Army as a captain and was last posted to Flak Kaserne in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Ms. Gnesin, 52, is the director of Giving Voice, the women’s choir at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Monmouth County in Lincroft, N.J. She graduated from Rutgers. [Times]

A UU choir director! Penelope, you are adorable.


As her Aunt Sue and Aunt Penny became the first same-sex couple to marry at West Point Military Academy's Cadet Chapel, 15-year-old Amanda Fulton thought she should have gone with waterproof mascara as she felt tears run down her cheeks.

"It wasn't just me," Amanda said. "I was so teary and just blushing from smiling so much." [ABC]

Aw. DO ask and DO tell, Amanda.


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Supreme Court Considering Considering Gay Marriage Tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 10:33 AM

Team Sotomayor
  • Team Sotomayor
Prop 8, the shitty law that passed in California lo those five years ago banning gay marriage, has finally worked its way up to the Supreme Court. At the most recent appeal, Ninth Circuit Court struck down the law. Now, tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court justices will decide whether they're going to review the case. It could be a very historic review, if they decide to go for it:

Welcome as it was, that decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was a narrow one that at this point fits only the particular circumstances of Proposition 8. A three-judge panel decided that the initiative was unconstitutionally discriminatory because gay and lesbian couples in California had, for a brief period, enjoyed the equal right to marry.

In other words, if the Supreme Court declines to review the 9th Circuit's ruling and it stands as it is, bans on same-sex marriage in other states will remain in place. [LA Times]

Marriage equality joins reproductive rights and voter ID laws in the "it's 2012 HOW ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS" category. We've got some really scary climate stuff to deal with, so let's quit pretending marriage equality isn't going to happen. C'mon Supremes.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jersey "Gay Conversion Therapy" Center Was Abusive, Awful

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 10:20 AM

  • Richard Drew/AP
As details emerge in the lawsuit against the Jersey City anti-gay "therapy" group JONAH, or Jews Offering New Alternatives for Healing, it's clear that they were doing a lot more than trying to pray away the gay. The entire concept of conversion therapy repugnant, emotionally damaging, and futile, but what these poor kids went through is another whole level of abuse. Awful.

Chaim Levin, 23, of Brooklyn said his mother, Bella Levin, spent more than $10,000 on his counseling over 18 months. He said he was brought into a locked, mirrored room with a male counselor twice his age and told to strip.

“I felt it was an unsafe environment. I was naked with a man twice my age and he told me to touch myself,” Levin said. “I resolved never to go back . . . never to talk about it.”

Benjamin Unger, 25, of Brooklyn said he was ordered to beat a pillow with a tennis racket and shout “Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom!” in synchronization with each blow.

“I had to beat my mother up to heal from being gay,” Unger said. JONAH counselors, he said, believe mothers are to blame if their sons are gay. Unger said he didn’t talk to his mom for months after that, but they are on good terms now.

The young men said they also were repeatedly placed in situations where others in therapy sessions screamed humiliating words like “faggots” and “homos” at them in mock locker room and gym settings. They said the goal was to make them mad and get in touch with their masculinity. [NY Daily News]

Are there really parents who would prefer abuse to a gay and happy son? Fuck that.

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Good News From The Rockaways: The Radio Days House Survived Sandy

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Not that anyone's playing favorites, but this is really nice to hear: the Rockaway Park house used as Woody Allen's childhood home in 1987's Radio Days seems to have made it through Sandy relatively unscathed.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Crossing Picket Lines, Foregoing Turkey: Early Black Friday Seems to be a Success

Posted By on Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Having never really understood the whole Black Friday deal, starting it during prime dinner time on Thanksgiving sounded to me like wild overreaching on the part of retailers. Shows what I know. Apparently, there is a giant swath of people who don't care about turkey or making people who work retail show up for work during dinner, but do love shopping on Thursday.

At Toys R Us, the line of customers waiting for the 8 p.m. opening stretched several blocks along Times Square.

Erica Williams, 32, of Brooklyn, said, “I’m looking for an Xbox and an iPod. I’m saving about $200 on the Xbox, and with the iPod bundle, I’ll save about $100.

“I’m getting all my shopping done tonight, just tonight, no Black Friday, no Cyber Monday, none of that. I’m a pro at this.’’

And this year, she won’t have to resort to paying “a homeless person to sit in line for me." [NY Post]

Despite a walkout planned by Walmart workers to protest low wages, bad benefits, and overall terrible treatment by their corporate overlords, Walmart says they've already had the best Black Friday ever.

A press release from Walmart reports that the retailer experienced the best Black Friday ever. Starting at 8 p.m., Walmart sold more than 1.8 million towels, 1.3 million televisions, 1.3 million dolls, and 250,000 bicycles. [CS Monitor]

So I guess early Black Friday is here to stay.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Today is TDOR, Transgender Day of Remembrance: A Day for Honoring the Dead and Protecting the Living

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 9:03 AM

  • Transgriot
Today is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day set aside to remember and honor trans people killed over the previous year for being trans. Yes, it happens that often. Here is a partial list of the dead. It's always a partial list, since it relies on people knowing what happened and taking time to report it. Reading the list is heartbreaking.


Secil Anne
Location: Antalya, Turkey
Cause of Death: throat cut, face slashed.
Date of Death: July 10, 2012


Paige Clay
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Cause of Death: Gunshot to the face.
Date of Death: April 16, 2012
Paige was 23 years old.


Thapelo Makutle
Location: Kuruman, South Africa
Cause of Death: throat cut, partial decapitation, genitals stuffed in mouth.
Date of Death: June 09, 2012


Lorena Escalera
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Cause of Death: Fire
Date of Death: May 11, 2012

Guys, we have to do better by trans people. It's a messed up situation when a community has to hold an annual vigil for people killed in hate crimes. Often, the T in LGBTQ gets left behind when groundbreaking anti-hate crime or anti-discrimination laws are getting made, and people are dying. We can't allow this to continue.

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Monday, November 19, 2012

5 Places You Need to Avoid Until the Holidays Are Over

Posted By on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Do not even talk to me about Santacon. I cant with that stuff.
  • Do not even talk to me about Santacon. I can't with that.

The Holidays are upon us! Are you ready? Of course you are not! This shit creeps up every year, but especially this year, between Sandy, Athena, and election. But it's here, and with it the holiday crowds. Every year I fool myself into thinking it won't be so bad, go to one of these places, have a meltdown, and yell at some poor person trying to enjoy the crowded magic of the city Holiday Season. So here is a reminder, to you and to me, to avoid the following areas until 2013.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Everyone is Talking About Petraeus, Nobody is Talking About the New Air Force Sexual Assault Report

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Yesterday, the Air Force released a report about the culture of sexual assault that had developed on Lackland Air Force Base.

The scandal at basic training in San Antonio has already cost two commanding officers their jobs, led to charges against 11 military training instructors that resulted in five convictions. One MTI was convicted of rape; others were convicted on charges involving inappropriate relationships with recruits. So far, 25 MTIs are, or have been, under investigation, and the number of possible victims has climbed to 49. [Military Times]

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Miscarrying Woman Dies Completely Preventable Death Because Irish Hospital Refused Her an Abortion

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 10:15 AM

31-year-old Savita Halappana died of septicemia on October 28th, for no medical reason other than the doctors treating her were legally unable to abort her fetus.

Savita Halappanavar, who was 17 weeks pregnant, died of septicaemia a week after presenting with back pain on 21 October at University hospital in Galway, where she was found to be miscarrying.

After the 31-year-old dentist was told that she was miscarrying, her husband reportedly said that she had asked for a medical termination a number of times over a three day period, during which she was in severe pain.

But he said these requests were denied because a foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told at one point: "This is a Catholic country." [Guardian]

When asked by the BBC if he thought his wife would still be alive if the termination had been allowed, Mr Halappanavar said: "Of course, no doubt about it."

He said Savita had been "on top of the world" before experiencing difficulties.

"It was her first baby, first pregnancy and you know she was on top of the world basically," he said.

"She was so happy and everything was going well, she was so excited.

"On the Saturday night everything changed, she started experiencing back pain so we called into the hospital, the university hospital."

He said she continued to experience pain and asked a consultant if she could be induced.

"They said unfortunately she can't because it's a Catholic country," Mr Halappanavar said.

"Savita said to her she is not Catholic, she is Hindu, and why impose the law on her. [BBC]

So even though the fetus was dying, even though she asked for an abortion, and even though not giving her one created an incredibly medically dangerous situation (this writer compares the infection risk of an open cervix to that of an open head wound), she was denied the care she needed because of the dogma of a religion she did not even share. What an awful, senseless death.

What happened to Ms. Halappanavar is horrific, and I do not mean to generalize what happened to her and her family. But her situation illustrates the absolute disregard for human life that any hard-line "pro-life" stance takes. Abortion is absolutely an essential medical tool.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Twitter Crowdsources the Real Truth of Petraeus Resignation

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 11:40 AM

When you hear that the head of the CIA is resigning because of an extramarital affair, even the least conspiracy-minded person raises an eyebrow. The timing is odd, the reason is flimsy, the position of top spy is too tantalizing not to wonder about. But the farther you go out onto the fringes in both directions, the more exciting the explanations get (which is sort of sweet! This scandal is bringing the country together after a brutal election cycle).

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Friday, November 9, 2012

The Internet Responds To A Week Without the L and G Trains

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 9:30 AM

  • DNAinfo/Victoria Bekiempis
With the L stuttering back to life last night and the G train back in action earlier this week, North Brooklyn's highly specific portion of Sandy fallout has largely come to a close. But not without discussion. Lots of it.

While some people calmly signed petitions for temporary shuttle bus service, others inevitably, hysterically, nonsensically, took to the internet to help themselves deal. Now that the whole thing is behind us, we can fondly reminisce over some of the stranger responses the internet managed to cough up in the midst of this unprecedented civic crisis. It got a little weird around here.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Puerto Rico Expresses Desire for Statehood

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 1:13 PM

In a two-part referendum, roughly 54% of participants in Puerto Rico have come forward to announce their desire for some sort of change in their relationship with the United States. Of that group, 61% opted for full statehood rather than the other choices offered: complete independence, or status as a sovereign free association.

What has to happen now is for Congress to debate whether to act on the results of the referendum. This year, the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status stated that the U.S. would enact legislation to “honor the choice of the people of Puerto Rico,” which for now seems clearly to be statehood.

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