Posts Tagged ‘New York’
New York, December 9 – Followers of New-York-area sports teams are expressing considerably less shock at the death of a man in a policeman’s chokehold than other populations, surveys indicate, because they are accustomed to the phenomenon of watching their chosen clubs choke.
A study of Knicks, Mets, Islanders, Rangers, Yankees, Jets, Nets, and Giants season ticket holders and of subscribers to the satellite or cable channels carrying those groups’ games shows that the demographic in question has developed a much higher tolerance for observing others choke than has the population at large. A control group expressed revulsion in approximately twice the intensity at seeing people choke than did these sports fans.
Choking has been a part of the New York sports experience at least since 1960, when the Yankees failed to put away the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series and ended up succumbing on perpetual underachiever Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off home run in game seven. Since then New York fans have lived through the futility and occasionally tantalizing periods of real potential embodied by their teams only to see them come crashing down after flirting with success.
Most prominent among the dubious group are the Knicks, who came oh-so-close to glory several times in the 1990’s only to choke famously against the Bulls, Rockets, and Pacers – with Reggie Miller of the latter club memorably gesturing toward the Knicks with his hands around his neck, thus capturing in an instant the essence of Knicks underachievement.
Choking has plagued New York on several other prominent occasions, including the Yankees’ 2004 inability to defeat the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series despite a 3-0 series lead. That letdown followed 2001 and 2003, when they lost the World Series in seven games. In more recent seasons they have failed to perform to expectations – with the highest payroll in all of professional sports – seldom advancing beyond the first round of postseason games if they have managed to reach the postseason at all. The lone bright spot of the 2009 championship has only served to highlight the sense of failure and choking under pressure every single other year.
The study authors intend to conduct similar research in other cities with perpetually disappointing performances by sports teams. Los Angeles features prominently as a candidate location, with the Dodgers consistently following a dominant season with a poor performance in the playoffs.
If LA becomes the venue, the researchers will be challenged to distinguish between adaptation to Los Angeles underachievement and residual tolerance for the choking that moved there from New York – first in the 1956 Bobby Thomson home run that gave the rival Giants the pennant, and more recently in the team’s Manager Don Mattingly, whose only playoff experience with the Yankees was in 1995 when his team dropped a five-game Division Series to the Mariners after leading two games to none.
New York (AP) – New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has announced that his first move as Mayor on the first of January will be to empower New York City Police and concerned citizens to shoot the owners of dogs that leave excrement on the ground and neglect to clean it up within minutes.
De Blasio called a press conference this morning to publicize his intention and to give New Yorkers notice of the impending policy change. Until now, dog owners and walkers have been subject to fines of up to $500 for the violation, but de Blasio asserted that he has received unending complaints from residents of all five boroughs that canine fecal matter can still regularly be found adorning various parts of the city. He hopes to gain City Read the rest of this entry »
New York (AP) – Organizers of the New York City Marathon have announced that they are canceling the event this year and do not intend to schedule one for the foreseeable future, citing the realization that it is monumentally stupid to run 26.2 miles.
The New York Road Runners, the body that administers the race, issued a press release and online notices to the effect that the annual competition held every November would no longer Read the rest of this entry »
Liverpool, United Kingdom (AP) – After nearly fifty years of research, scientists have finally been able to supply a satisfactory answer to a query first posed in a 1966 paper by noted social researcher Sir Paul McCartney regarding the origins of people with few or no intimate relationships. They point to New York, where millions of people live and work, and work very hard to avoid making eye contact.
The original paper, Eleanor Rigby: Lonely People in Aeolian and Dorian Modes, looked at the lives of two Lancashire residents who had no apparent friends or nearby relatives, one of whom died during the period of observation. The authors – McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Pete Shotton – took pains to set the particulars of the subjects’ lives against the meta-questions affecting socially limited individuals, repeatedly returning to the question of where such individuals originate. Read the rest of this entry »
San Francisco (AP) – Seismologists have concluded that the origin of San Francisco’s relatively high incidence of earthquakes and tremors results from the city’s foundation’s composition of rock and roll.
For decades, scientists have attributed the unstable ground of the San Francisco Bay area, along with much of western California, to its location along the fault line where two tectonic plates meet and move against each other. As a result of the constant shifting, the theory went, the tremendous pressure would be released when one or more portions of the area gave way, resulting in sometimes severe earthquakes. Read the rest of this entry »
Brooklyn, August 27 (AP) – The laws of physics were thought to make it impossible, but this afternoon, vehicles on a stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway were clocked at a full 33 miles per hour.
At approximately 1 p.m., the westbound side of the roadway just beyond the Kosciuszco Bridge had cars and trucks moving at the highest speed ever recorded on a major Brooklyn thoroughfare, let alone the BQE, which was specifically designed by Robert Moses not to allow any vehicle to reach speeds in excess of 30 mph. Eyewitnesses alerted police cruisers, which used radar, to confirm the bystanders’ suspicions: at least one hundred vehicles attained speeds between 30 and 33 miles per hour for nearly eighty feet before again succumbing to congestion, potholes, confusing signage, worn out markings, glare from office tower windows, and a team of semi-trailers specifically tasked with taking up space in order to slow traffic.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” gushed Fishel Horowitz of nearby Boro Park, who travels along that route every weekday on the way to his jewelry store in Midtown Manhattan. “I got one look at the speedometer thingie and said to my carpool mate Moishe, ‘Moishe, you got to see this! Look at this!’ He barely had time to see the needle point past the thirty before we hit traffic again, but there it was, plain as day.”
Police spokesman Crowne Victoria told reporters that several officers had recorded radar speed readings in excess of the 30-mph plateau, indicating that the witnesses’ reports were correct. “This represents an exciting, and, at the same time, troubling development, a sign that the measures in place to keep the BQE crowded, miserable, and murderously frustrating may not be sufficient,” he said at a news conference.
Enoch Cain, a professor of Urban Planning at Columbia University, echoed police concerns, and added that according to his preliminary calculations, the odds of such an occurrence are longer than those of [New York Yankees third baseman] Alex Rodriguez becoming likable. “Really, we should see the Mets win the World Series six times in a row, starting this year, before we ever see traffic moving like that on the BQE.”
Previously, the highest speed reached by a vehicle on any of the outer borough roadways was a child’s Flexible Flyer sled coasting down an exit ramp of the Grand Central Parkway near Astoria, Queens, just after the blizzard of January 7, 1996. The sled, operated by then-ten-year-old Sumaya Khan, achieved a velocity of 27 miles per hour before encountering the powerful magnets under the road surface that keep cars from accelerating too much, lest their occupants get to their destination in a timely fashion.
Victoria noted that the NYPD has had a fleet of cruisers deployed around the clock just to prevent the expressway from becoming anything other than an unpleasant place to drive. “First of all, it was constructed in Brooklyn and Queens, which should already turn off anyone with a sense of aesthetics, or just plain sense. Add to that the fleets of vehicles specifically devoted to blocking, slowing, and endangering everyone. then you have the fact that it was built inland, not along the water, where there would have been plenty of room. And you have all the constant construction.”
Victoria did note that the continued success of the BQE interdiction policy rests on the population of Brooklyn and Queens remaining as clueless, masochistic, or some combination thereof, as it has always been. “Fortunately, we see no sign of that changing,” he said, pointing to Williamsburg residents who pay obscene amounts for coffee with pretentious names.
New York, July 25 (AP) – Concerned that the latest revelations of Anthony Weiner’s sexually explicit online behavior have given him a publicity advantage, other prominent candidates for New York City Mayor are publicizing their own indiscretions.
Former Congressman Weiner resigned from his seat in the House of Representatives after being caught sending suggestive pictures to a woman other than his wife, in 2011. After a public apology and an attempt to rehabilitate his image, Weiner declared his candidacy for mayor. This week, he admitted to more recent indiscretions involving text messages.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, considered the leading candidate, soon confessed to reporters that she routinely traffics in inappropriate online images and videos. “And I’m a lesbian, which should make this tidbit even juicier,” she said at a press conference today.
MTA Chairman Joseph J. Lhota, as well, posted at least two dozen erotic photos of himself on his campaign’s Facebook page in an album he titled, “Get a Lhota These.” Remarks attached to the photos suggested they were taken over a period of eighteen years, and most recently last month, apparently an attempt to establish that Mr. Lhota’s extensive documentation of his deviant online behavior extends back years and was not simply a reaction to the attention given to Mr. Weiner.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, also campaigning to succeed Mayor Mike Bloomberg, did not release any photos or texts, but made known to reporters that he specifically visits Las Vegas to partake of legal Nevada prostitution, and that he has been a proud subscriber to several online pornography sites for years, and before that, an avid consumer of print media in the same vein.
City Comptroller John C. Liu also made a valiant attempt to demonstrate his irresponsible use of the internet by inviting, via Twitter, prominent officials and media representatives to participate in what he termed, “Liu-ed acts.” Given Liu’s reputation as conservative in his personal habits, the initial reaction to the tweet has been skeptical. “It doesn’t seem sincere to me,” said New York Times correspondent Alison Leigh Cowan, who has been covering this aspect of the mayoral campaign. “But I must say I’m intrigued and flattered to be included, so I’ll probably attend and make my personal assessment afterwards.”
John A. Catsimatidis, the grocery store billionaire, leveraged his corporate and retail clout to display offensively sexual images of the candidate in the windows of his Gristede’s supermarket chain. Between posters touting tomatoes for $2.99 per pound and a special on pork loins, Catsimatidis is easily identified in enlarged photos of the man in suggestive poses with multiple partners of both sexes. A warrant has been issued for his arrest, leading Cowan to suggest that the added publicity of such a development could only help Mr. Catsimatidis, who has been trailing in the polls.
“What Weiner – and Elliot Spitzer, for that matter – have proved is that getting yourself on the map politically actually becomes easier if you have a sexual scandal or two under your belt,” she said, apparently without a trace of irony. Spitzer, the former NY governor, resigned after reports of his visits with prostitutes while in office. He is also running an election campaign, for City Comptroller. Catsimatidis, said Cowan, is banking on a similar dynamic with his own candidacy, which could only benefit at this point on the campaign trail.
Whoever wins, says Cowan, will be the one who proves they are proficient at screwing many people at once, preferably 8.3 million of them.