Modern Primate

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Posts Published October 2012

  1. upper east side slow internet

    Damn my Internet is slow.

    That’s about the extent of how Hurricane Sandy has affected me. Well, add to that the fact that the parks are all still closed, (so the dog has a mad case of cabin fever so he requires at least three times the amount of attention) but aside from that, really slow internet access with intermittent failures is about the only inconvenience we’ve suffered up here in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

    Out on the street, 10 year old kids with French accents and better clothes than I’ve ever owned run around in gangs, reveling in the freedom that is school cancellations. Apart from some trash and fallen branches, the UES has gone relatively unscathed. You’d almost never know there was a hurricane up here. Friends in the East Village tell me they’re still without power, heat, water, even cell reception. They may not be back up and running for at least five days. Since my internet is too slow to stream videos I found myself going to the local video store to rent some DVDs. Did you know they still have video stores? It’s nuts! I have to bring these things back to the store on Saturday so someone else can rent them! It’s like when we were young!  Read More »

  2. Hurricane

    Hurricane Sandy has caused untold damage and problems to people all across the Eastern Seaboard; this much is true and cannot be denied. I have a lot of friends who live on that side of the United States and I, like most people in similar situations, have been worrying about them and checking the status of the storm and whatnot since yesterday. I live in Los Angeles, where for the past two days it’s been sunny and in the mid-70s. It’s very hard to comprehend how such horrible, destructive weather could be happening at the same time as a pleasant autumn in Southern California. Surely there are people in the country for whom Hurricane Sandy is simply a news story and their day-to-day activities aren’t impacted in the least. I understand this. However…

    Last night I received an e-mail from (a business I give lots of money to every year) saying, in part, the following:

    “Hurricane Sandy may impact fulfillment of some orders. If you anticipate that your seller-fulfilled orders will be impacted, we encourage you to take actions to minimize the effects on customers and protect your performance metrics.

    If you have orders to be shipped to areas potentially impacted by Hurricane Sandy, we encourage you to contact buyers about the status of their orders.

    If you anticipate that you cannot meet your shipping service levels, we encourage you to temporarily set your listings to inactive. ”

    There’s a lot I dislike about this, and almost none of it is Amazon’s fault. What this e-mail is telling me and other sellers to do is twofold. 1) If sellers are shipping things TO areas impacted by the hurricane, we’re to inform customers that they won’t get their stuff until the couriers start running again; and 2) if sellers are shipping things FROM areas impacted by the hurricane, we’re to inform customers that they won’t get their stuff until the couriers start running again. Either way, you want to do this lest your “performance metrics” aren’t negatively affected.

    I hate what this implies about people, specifically the “consumer” mentality of immediate gratification.

    Read More »

  3. Disney acquires Lucasfilm for $4.05 Billion. [engaget]

    Transportation Nation has up-to-the-minute updates about the progress of NYC’s ongoing metro transit repairs. [transportationnation]

    Princess Leia is now a Disney Princess. [cheezburger]

    Ethiopian kids who had never seen a written word hack their OLPC Motorola Zoom tablets to re-enable the disabled-by-default camera. [dvice]

    People are cranking out the Disney Star Wars mashup fanart like it’ll win them an award or something. [the fw]

    Some East Coast airports are open again after the hurricane. [consumerist]

    Up top: Really though, Disney bought the rights to give Jar Jar his own animated spinoff if they really wanted to. [endlessorigami]

  4. Hey, did you guys know that sometimes people go on the Internet, and they just like make stuff up? Well, they do. And like, Twitter is really good at detecting the lies and preventing them from spreading. Except when they’re not and then people go ahead and spread the falsehoods.

    Luckily, there are for-profit content aggregators who can save the day by reporting the identities of the falsehood-tellers, and present them in a list of the Top 10 Most Despicable Things Anybody Has Ever Done to Capitalize On The Hurricane.

    I don’t really have anything else to say. Donate to the Red Cross. Volunteer some time if you’ve got it. Just don’t go thinking that clicking a Like button on a gallery of The Most Devastating Images of The Disaster That You Must See is going to do anything to help people in need. Real effort, time, and money are what will help.

  5. Photo via David S. Spivak.



    Living in New York, especially Manhattan, means you live in the most important place on the planet. And that means that if something doesn’t affect you, then it didn’t really happen. Given that Hurricane Irene didn’t really affect New York (I mean, it only caused the state $55 million in damage) then it didn’t absolutely batter North Carolina, Vermont, New Jersey, and others. It didn’t totally destroy some people’s lives or anything. And if we know one thing, it’s that if you’ve been through one storm, you’ve been through them all, because every storm is exactly the same as the last.

    Hurricane Sandy is slowly but surely making its way up the East Coast, and as we have all heard, is expected to combine with some other freaky storms to form an unprecedented Frankenstorm — possibly the worst conditions in 100 years or more. But my neighbor from across the street doesn’t think there’ll be any storm, and as she proudly proclaimed to me last night, she didn’t bother stocking up on food, water, batteries, or anything. My partner and I foolishly believed in the notion of being better-safe-than-sorry, and now here we are with all these pesky canned vegetables and wind-up flashlights needlessly taking up space in our cabinets when we could just as well be cool and unprepared like our wise neighbor who’s seen a few storms in her day.

    Read More »

  7. darkwing

    It seems like everybody I know loves Halloween. It’s never been my favorite. In fact, I think I might like Arbor Day more than Halloween. Not that I dislike the atmosphere inherent in the holiday, and you all know how much I love watching horror movies, but there’s always so much pressure to A) go to a party or four and 2) come up with some clever or inventive costume to wear to said parties. I’m a grown up; I thought I’d moved beyond the expectation to have a Halloween costume when I hit middle school. I remember when I loved dressing up for school on H’ween party days and not really caring what other people thought. What changed? Perhaps it’s time to again talk things over with my 8 year old self to get the bottom of this.

    Read More »

  8. Magician Rich Ferguson sneezes his head off in this ingenious trick. [dvice]

  9. We ordered Nathan’s velociraptor costume two weeks ago, and, well, puppies can do a lot of growing in two weeks.

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