It's snowing. Again. It's real cold. Again. It's 30 degrees but feels colder, and the weather forecast says much of the city is currently experiencing something called "snow fog," which sounds absolutely disgusting. The National Weather Service is warning that we should expect six to eight inches, "treacherous" driving conditions, and terrible visibility. It's also heavy, wet snow that's hard to clear, or what they cheerily call "heart attack snow." According to the Federal Aviation Administration, flights arriving at LaGuardia are delayed by an average of 4 hours and 13 minutes. According to the Department of Education, the schools are open but field trips are cancelled, the cruelest combination known to man.
Image via Twitter user @Beanielouisfab But seriously. Eff this.
At this point, we've moved through all the stages of winter: initial wonderment and excitement, hot chocolate-making, mild complaining, major cabin fever, a brief feeling of relief at yesterday's miraculous 50-degree respite, and back to complaining. And today, finally, we've reached cursing. Lots and lots of cursing.More »
What in God's name are we supposed to do with this weather? I ask you. This morning, we were all waffling over whether it was safe to change out of our Hoth-weight coats and back into something built for merely freezing temperatures. That gamble paid off: it was in the upper 30s to low 40s this morning in most parts of the city and it was great. For once, we all made it to work with our fingers, toes and nose-tips intact. Didn't even have to break out the desk liquor when we got here.
In which we feel how this dog looks.
But say goodbye once again to those nose-tips, because according to the National Weather Service, an Arctic front is moving in fast this afternoon, bringing with it possible gusty winds of up to 45 miles per hour. Seriously. Seriously. Which one of you pissed off the Weather Gods?More »
Good morning, everything is all messed up. Around midnight on Fifth Avenue near 13th Street, a water main ruptured, according to the fire department, which caused massive flooding and just a general sense that maybe we should all hit the sheets again and not deal with this shit right this minute, you know?
Image via NYCT Subway Scoop Emergency crews on the tracks near West 4th Street this morning
It took 60 firefighters until 5:30 a.m. to control the flooding, but there are still plenty of issues this morning. The Metropolitan Transit Authority warns that the B, C, D, F, M, and Q lines are all delayed or rerouted; you can check here for the latest. Seriously, check it before you leave the house. Everything is crazy.More »
It's been a little while since the Westboro Baptist Church made it all the way up to New York. The Topeka-based church/family/professional lawsuit-filing operation has been busy elsewhere, picketing funerals, football games, and whatever else might give them two seconds of attention from the larger culture. One of the last times they were in New York was to picket an LGBT synagogue in 2011, thus wiping both gays and Jews from the face of the city. (Our office has been very quiet ever since.) They came back later that year to protest same-sex marriage, another social movement that just hasn't picked up any steam.
Image via. A WBC member parodies Duck Dynasty.
But it appears the church has been drawn northwards once again by the Duck Dynasty debacle. After Phil Robertson, the star of the "reality" show, was briefly suspended last week for telling GQ that homosexuals are "illogical" and black folks were "singing and happy" during the Jim Crow era, Westboro stepped up to show their confusing, hate-tinged brand of support.More »
'Tis the season when Fox News just has tons and tons of material, bless their tiny hearts. The channel's annual "War on Christmas" meltdown has become a bit of a running gag with the rest of the world, "a gift to busy news producers trying to fill the airwaves," as Politico put it earlier this week. This year, of course, the big controversy has been over whether Santa is a white guy (Megyn Kelly says yes, everyone else whispers nervously, "She knows that dude is imaginary, right?")
Image via. A still from the billboard.
But now White Santagate is being replaced with something even more fun: Earlier this month, the American Atheists, the country's largest atheist group, put up a 40-by-40-foot digital billboard in Times Square. It begins, "Who needs Christ during Christmas?"More »
It's not particularly surprising or original any more to talk about how terrible Black Friday is; it's materialistic, dysfunctional, and every year someone dies or is gruesomely injured; you can pretty much count on a video of a horrible stampede somewhere by about 9 a.m. Not even the Wall Street Journal can summon any enthusiasm for it, pointing out that the "discounts" most chain retailers offer aren't real: Many of them reverse-engineer their Black Friday prices, setting higher original costs so that the "sale" price still nets them the profit margin they wanted.
Video still via HoodratchednessTV The crowd at Macy's Herald Square during Black Friday 2012
And yet at many stores, Black Friday begins on Thanksgiving now, meaning that right this minute, while some of us are nodding off into our gravy-stained hoodies, other people are already punching in, or haven't gotten to spend the day with their families at all. And the National Retail Federation wants us to know that's awesome.More »
Today in news you won't know what to do with: A woman is suing Grace Funeral Chapels in East New York, saying that shortly after she hired them to take care of her mother's funeral, they sent her an extremely explicit e-mail describing having sex with her mother's body.
Image via grace-ny.com Grace Funeral Chapels' Brooklyn staff.
Pamela Johnson filed the lawsuit herself last month in Kings County Supreme Court. At the time, she seemingly couldn't bring herself to describe what the e-mail said, writing only that the e-mail indicated that "my mother was disrespected and defiled." On October 7, her attorney filed a new suit detailing the message.More »
Watching interactive talk shows is like playing Russian roulette. There's no telling who is going to call in and say something bananas on live television. (You also never know if Cher might have a thing or two to say about the state of affairs in Washington, but I digress.) NY1's The Call got the loaded chamber on Tuesday when show host John Schiumo fielded a call from a woman known only as "Joan." Claiming to be from the Upper West Side, Joan excoriated stop and frisk, but she would rather keep the program going in the outer boroughs, because Manhattan is "special". What?
Whitey Bulger was found guilty on 31 of 32 counts yesterday. The mobster's sprawling criminal enterprise in 1970s and '80s landed Bulger in front of a jury for racketeering, conspiracy, and 19 murders (he was convicted of 11 of them). The verdict puts a coda on a story that saw Bulger evade capture and punishment for crimes for over 16 years. The Daily Caller decided to accompany its coverage of the trial with the front-page slideshow, "11 Whiteys Who Give Us Bulgers." It's a sad day for the Internet.