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Last month alone, visitors surrendered seven dangerous weapons, 61 cans of pepper spray and Mace, and 588 knives - an average of about 20 blades a day, according to Park Police statistics.

That’s from a New York Daily News piece on weapons confiscated from visitors heading to the Statue of Liberty. In the past year U.S. Park Police have confiscated, “more than 5,000 other ‘miscellaneous weapons,’ including screwdrivers and other tools.” The National Park Service is clear that any “‘dual-use’ items that could be dangerous” are prohibited, which probably explains why Lady Liberty frowns on screwdrivers.

-LB

[NYDN, @thisisjendoll]

It was like watching an episode of Roosters Gone Wild.

Jen Doll shared this nugget from a DNA Info piece on a bird hunt in Fort Tryon Park on Sunday. A rooster and its hen had been hanging around the park for the past few weeks, according to DNA Info, and were not willing to go peacefully. The rooster out maneuvered two Urban Park Rangers and an off-duty MTA worker by ducking into bushes and flying away, but his partner was not so lucky. The hen is now in Animal Care and Control custody.  

“We got his wife, so who knows, maybe he’ll give up soon,” a Park Ranger told DNA Info.  “We’ll be back.”

-LB  

[DNA Info, Jen Doll]

Is This The Last We’ll See of Anthony Weiner? Rep. Weiner announced he was stepping down from Congress on Thursday, twenty days after misfiring a photo on Twitter. Late Thursday, Politico’s Maggie Haberman told Chuck Scarborough that she still thinks Weiner has his ambitions and that the former Congressman “believes he can come back in some form.”

-LB

All Fun Games Now Deemed “Risky.” New regulations from New York State Department of Health label childhood favorites freeze tag, kickball and wiffle ball as “risky.” Under the new law, programs that organize any two “risky” activities will be forced to register as summer camps, requiring a $200 registration fee and medical staff. Good on the state: You’d be amazed how many ways a kid can hurt herself slide into second base. And “freeze tag” is just a way to immobilize a kid until something can plow into him.

-LB

[Benjamin Kabak, NYDN, the20s]

It has been impossible to have a normal night without shouting, partying, abusive behaviour by youngsters who have no respect for their neighbours and excel in arrogant behaviour.

That’s a resident of Florence talking to a local newspaper back in May 2010 about what Florentines see as the increasingly inappropriate behavior of the estimated 7,000 American students there. Today, rumors are flying that the Jersey Shore cast’s trip to Italy has been delayed because (among other reasons) producers are having a difficult time nailing down filming locations in Tuscany. This is not a surprise.

-LB

[Popcorn BizNPRThe Florentine

(via the20s)

New Twitter Homepage Is Seriously Less of a Headache. For the past few years, Twitter has been trying in vain to convince the world that it is not overwhelming. First, they created lists to help you organize all those people you accidentally followed. Then, they began recommending new people to follow based on things other than celebrity.
A new home page takes that mission one step further: To keep you from running away the first time you click over to Twitter.com, the colors are muted, and the constantly updating twitterfeed and trending topics ticker apear to be gone. Possibly more telling, the “follow your interests” tag replaces “the best way to discover what’s new in your world,” giving people a clear call to action that aligns nicely with the recent launch of Discover, that page where famous people talk about what they like about Twitter.
-LB
[brooklynmutt, thenextweb, @antderosa, the20s]

New Twitter Homepage Is Seriously Less of a Headache. For the past few years, Twitter has been trying in vain to convince the world that it is not overwhelming. First, they created lists to help you organize all those people you accidentally followed. Then, they began recommending new people to follow based on things other than celebrity.

A new home page takes that mission one step further: To keep you from running away the first time you click over to Twitter.com, the colors are muted, and the constantly updating twitterfeed and trending topics ticker apear to be gone. Possibly more telling, the “follow your interests” tag replaces “the best way to discover what’s new in your world,” giving people a clear call to action that aligns nicely with the recent launch of Discover, that page where famous people talk about what they like about Twitter.

-LB

[brooklynmutt, thenextweb, @antderosathe20s]

But while they were my sanctuary from the city, in a weird way, they were also nagging reminders of what I hated most about it: perfect surrogates for the aspects of the New York personality — the flightiness, iciness, self-interestedness and overdeveloped sense of entitlement — that I found the most intolerable to bear. My indulgence of and obsession with their inconstancy was both masochistic and instructive.

That is Anna Holmes discussing cat love and cat death in The New York Times. In “We Were Kittens Once, and Young,” Holmes examines the way her feline friends slowly became her family and grounding force in the city, and how they absorbed to her projected fears, much like any human companions.

(Dog Lovers: Doree Shafrir has you covered).

-LB

[The New York Times]

(via the20s)

It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.

That’s from a much-criticised article in The New York Times discussing the gang rape of an 11-year-old in Texas. Outrage spread across the internet about the way The Times covered the alleged sexual assault, which lead to the arrest of 18 suspects. Jezebel lead the charge, accusing Times’ writer James C. McKinley Jr. of failing to balance some locals’ “blame the victim” mentality with the voice of the young girl. The Frisky, Salon, doublex jumped in with similar points.

It’s true that in the article, the townsfolk quoted appear to mourn the fates of the alleged perpetrators more than the victim — at one point McKinley Jr. paraphrases locals who wonder “how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?”

But with a story like this, subtext always matters. barthel writes,

It’s not that sexist attitudes are being presented without comment - the horror of the crime’s details provides a powerful implicit counterpoint to the excuses some people in the story make for the defendants’ behavior.

The horror of the crime is indisputable. By sharing locals’ hopes that the assault “could end in a better light,” the author is painting a picture of this town and how it has dealt with an unspeakable crime. But he apparently doesn’t see it as his role to condemn that town, or the people whom he interviews, for their reactions.

-LB

the20s@alexmleoThe New York Times, JezebelThe FriskySalondoublexbarthel]