Scientists Study Jill Abramson's Speech, Find it Unusual

Linguists have actually taken measures to study the famously unusual speech patterns of New York Times executive editor and noted dog-lover Jill Abramson. A video of Abramson talking, in case you're unaware:

You'll be shocked to know that scientists at Penn have found that Abramson's speech differs from other people's.

More »

What's So Special About Apple's Siri?

Anticipation and hoopla surrounded the release of the iPhone 4S, but when people discovered Apple wasn't debuting the iPhone 5, the launch was dubbed a dud. 5 is one better than 4! Why are you robbing us of 5? On the evening Steve Jobs died,'s main headline was about how the iPhone 4S was a disappointment before they quickly replaced it with the news of his passing. Contrary to early predictions, the iPhone 4S is now breaking sales records. Additionally, people are raving about Siri, the phone's voice recognition application.

More »

Ambassador Says 40% of Male Visitors to Philippines are Sex Tourists; Apologizes via Text

via Wikipedia
Ambassador Harry Thomas
At a human trafficking conference last month, the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines said that 40% of male visitors to the country are sex tourists. Harry Thomas, who was appointed as the ambassador last year, sent a text message to the Philippine foreign secretary to apologize for using an unverified figure. "I should not have used the 40% statistic without the ability to back it up. I regret any harm that I may have caused," the Guardian reports his text message said. Good to see that's all cleared up, then.

More »

Improv Everywhere's Latest Effort Tries to Get New Yorkers to Say Nice Things

It's been a while since the latest effort from Improv Everywhere, and in this one, the group known for going without pants on subways and coming to a total standstill in Grand Central Terminal seems to go a little soft. That is, they set up a podium in Union Square with a megaphone and a plaque that says "Say Something Nice," in an effort to get New Yorkers to be all mushy with each other.

More »

Here Are Your Comments That Made Us LOL This Week

Hi guys! This week instead of awarding you for your smartest or most well-said or snarkiest comments, not that you don't have plenty of those, we're giving a shout-out to the comments that made us laugh for whatever silly reason -- their inexplicable quality, their bizarreness, their semantical tenacity, or their clear bot-ness. If any of these are yours, contact Francesca Stabile, and she will give you a really great (seriously, it's soft and comfy and washes well) Village Voice T-shirt, and you can wear it and say you made the Runnin' Scared team (or, at least, me, because I got to guest-select these comments today) giggle and maybe even snort out their Diet Coke once or twice, and that is something to be said, even if I'm punch-drunk on a Friday. So, here goes.

More »

Times Square Meeting Bowls Offer New Opportunity to Sit In a Giant Basket

meeting bowls .jpg
via Times Square Alliance
The subways, buses, cramped apartments, and crowded bars of New York City are being joined by a new way to sit in a small space with other people. Please welcome the Meeting Bowls (or "tourist cages," as Animal NY calls them), a new public art installation in Times Square. They're exactly what you see in the picture: three huge basket things full of people.

More »

A Guy Bought a Hundred 212 Numbers for $3,000

Dennis Mykytyn is likely the man (outside of the phone company, or another corporate entity) who would win the Guinness Book of World Records spot for holding the most phone numbers with the 212 area code -- the most prestigious area code there is in this town, until Brooklyn is completely repopulated by Manhattanites. He spent $3,000 on 100 numbers, which means, for those of us with questionable math, they were $30 apiece.

Why would anyone buy a hundred 212 numbers for $30 apiece?

More »

Barack Obama Launches Bid for Re-election in 2012 [Video]

President Obama has announced his 2012 re-election campaign this morning. Included in an email that went out to supporters was this video, in which Obama himself doesn't actually address anyone. Instead, supporters hailing from states like North Carolina, Nevada, Michigan, and Colorado speak. Mike, a New Yorker too young to vote in 2008, gives his two cents as well.

More »

Man Actually Converses With People on New York City Subway [Video]

Filmmaker Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change, aggrieved by lack of human interaction (notwithstanding spaghetti fights) and, really, humanity, on the New York City subway, decided to talk to people to ask them the hard questions, like, "Why are you here?" "What motivates you more, fear or love?" and "What's the meaning of life?" The results of his interviews are pretty moving.

[via Roger Ebert's Journal]

More »

10 Crazy Facts Learned From New York City's Complaint Records

New Yorkers love to complain. When we walk down the street we get sidewalk rage, and when we're at home, we can't stop complaining about everything around our homes. 311 just released an interactive map that lets you track complaints over the past year in categories from noise to traffic and everything in between, including public pools. We combed through the database and pulled out 10 things most of you probably haven't even thought to complain about yet.

More »