The Times profiles Hyman Strachman, a WWII veteran who, at 92, copies bootlegged movies and sends them to troops overseas:
Originally, Mr. Strachman would use his desktop computer to copy the movies one tedious disc at a time. (“It was moyda,” he groaned.) So he got his hands on a $400 professional duplicator that made seven copies at once, grew his fingernails long to better separate the blank discs, and began copying hundreds a day.
In February, Mr. Strachman duplicated and shipped 1,100 movies. (“A slow month,” he said.) He has not kept an official count but estimates that he topped 80,000 discs a year during his heyday in 2007 and 2008, making his total more than 300,000 since he began in 2004. Postage of about $11 a box, and the blank discs themselves, would suggest a personal outlay of over $30,000.
Let’s hope that the MPAA and studios leave this guy alone.
The Times looks at how many people Manhattan could hold:
The night’s calculations revealed that packing Manhattan as tightly as Kowloon Walled City, river to river, would mean jamming in 65 million people. That’s if every surface was built on. If the current streets and parks were left intact? About half that many, or nearly the population of California.
While that may not be ideal, expanding Manhattan by a mile might be.
Joe Nocera pens a Times op-ed piece on Howard Schultz’s attempt creating jobs:
Here we are two months later, and Schultz is back with Big Idea No. 2. It is every bit as idealistic as his first big idea, but far more practical. Starbucks is going to create a mechanism that will allow us citizens to do what the government and the banks won’t: lend money to small businesses. This mechanism is scheduled to be rolled out on Nov. 1. This time, Schultz is not tilting at windmills.
So am I. With the government and banks unwilling or unable, it’s time we took matters into our own hands. At this point, who else can we count on?
It’s a very interesting idea, and rather sad that we need the CEO of Starbucks to come up with it.
Update: The Create Jobs for USA website is now up.
From the NY Times Complaint Box comes a complaint about misnomers run amok.
Let’s understand: I was not working on anything. I had left the office. Completed my errands, finished my shopping. I was relaxing. Dining. I was practically a guest. Except every five minutes the server popped up to ask if I was still working. But the server was confused. He was working. I was eating.
I have to agree with this. I hate when stores refer to me as if I’m special but don’t follow it up by treating me special.
The Times has an excellent interactive graphic showing average NYC taxi use throughout the city between January and March 2009. The weekdays are pretty much the same, but the distribution Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights shows how hot certain parts of Manhattan are, most notably, the Lower East Side, the West Village, and Chelsea.
However, when you really need one, they’re no where to be found.
Researchers studied the Times most emailed article list and found some surprising results:
People preferred e-mailing articles with positive rather than negative themes, and they liked to send long articles on intellectually challenging topics.
Perhaps most of all, readers wanted to share articles that inspired awe, an emotion that the researchers investigated after noticing how many science articles made the list.
And now I’m jonesing for someone to actually write an article that demands the headline, “How Your Pet’s Diet Threatens Your Marriage, and Why It’s Bush’s Fault”.
The Times has a profile of Ernie Anastos, the NYC anchor who’s infamous for the “Keep fucking that chicken” slip. On page three of the article, he addresses the faux-pas, and maintains that he said, “Keep plucking that chicken”.
Months later, he said that he is certain he said “plucking,” but that pretending it did not happen would have been a mistake. “If you keep saying, ‘I didn’t really say that,’ it doesn’t sound right,” he said. “This is New York. That particular word is practically ‘hello,’ the way it is used.”
The New York Times has a two part series on the 100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do (part two is here).
I thought a lot of them were just common sense, but I’m starting to learn that common sense isn’t that common.
5. Tables should be level without anyone asking. Fix it before guests are seated.
58. Do not bring judgment with the ketchup. Or mustard. Or hot sauce. Or whatever condiment is requested.