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Liberal_in_LA's Journal
Liberal_in_LA's Journal
November 15, 2014

Italian Artist Searches For Needle in Haystack for Two Days, and finds it

Italian artist Sven Sachsalber sifted through a haystack for a second day on Friday as he continued to search for a hidden needle as part of a unique installation at Paris’s famous Palais de Tokyo museum.

Sachsalber’s installation “Inside” is being filmed live (see video below) over the two days he estimates it will take him to find the proverbial sewing implement.

The New York-based artist said he will continue if he fails to find it by the end of the day on Friday.

The needle was hidden in his haystack by Palais de Tokyo director Jean de Loisy on Thursday.

Sachsabler is no stranger to quirky art. In the past he has eaten poisonous mushrooms in front of a rapt audience, and spent 24 hours in a locked room with a cow.

November 14, 2014

Coyote Stuck in Car Grill After Being Hit

Coyote Recovering After Accident

Mark Armour thought he hit something on his way work as a train conductor in Illinois last week, but he didn’t see anything, so he kept driving. When he arrived at the station, his stunned co-workers told him there was a coyote stuck in his car’s front bumper. "I felt horrible," Armour told the New York Daily News. The staff called animal control for help at 6:30 a.m. An officer responded right away and safely freed the coyote, and brought him to Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation. The coyote, who’s been named Vern, had three fractured legs but is now resting comfortably and is expected to recover. Armour is helping the center raise money to take care of Vern. They hope to release him into the wild in the spring. — Read it at the Chicago Sun-Times


An adorable coyote was taken on a hair-raising ride after becoming lodged inside of a man's bumper when struck on an Illinois road.

The battered animal was photographed while hanging out of the driver's front bumper after the man pulled into work last week to bewildered looks by his fellow co-workers.

"I felt horrible," Kenosha resident Mark Armour, who admittedly struck the dog on Sept. 24th, said with a photo shared on his Facebook wall.

"Not knowing he was there, I continued to drive to work, and discovered him upon arrival," he stated.

The rattled driver said he immediately contacted Waukegan animal control whose workers were able to rescue the dog — Armour has named him "Vern" — and transport it to Flint Creek Wildlife in Barrington.

November 14, 2014

The Unfinished Suburbs of America - what should happen to Zombie developments? - (pics)

The Unfinished Suburbs of America
Thousands of acres across the country were partially developed during the housing boom. What should happen to them now?

Then the recession hit, and building stopped. The streets and the sidewalks were still there, as were the lots, with red and black electrical wires sticking out of the ground. But only a few houses had been completed. None were anywhere near the Milhorn's house. Out of one window, the Milhorns could see the manicured lawns and bright gardens of their neighbors in the completed development. Out of the other, they saw a bleak field with street signs and lamp posts, but no houses.

That field soon began to look like a garbage dump. There were overgrown weeds, beer bottles, shopping carts. Discarded children's toys and car seats and plastic bags. People from all over town would come to get rid of their old mattresses or party at night. Coyotes and skunks found the open space appealing too. Sometimes, Milhorn would come home from working a night shift and find a skunk sitting in her yard.
In some cases, a few people have moved into homes in these half-built subdivisions, requiring services to be delivered there. In others, the land is empty, except for roads, sidewalks, and the few street signs that haven't been stolen yet.

“It’s kind of horrible,” Milhorn said, standing in her front yard, staring out onto the abandoned development next door, as a man on a motorcycle gunned his engine, speeding in noisy circles around the empty streets.

Milhorn and her husband erected a fence on their property’s boundary to keep out the animals, but that doesn’t stop the people who come in to cruise around the empty streets or party in the tall grass. A road block that had been erected to keep out trespassers was taken down after a drunk driver rammed into it in the dark. Now, the empty streets of the cul-de-sac have turned into a track for drag racers and bikers.

“One of them bit the dust in the middle of the night and was screaming out here in the dark,” Milhorn said, shaking her head.


Some of the homes in this Stockton community are occupied. But many lots are empty, and no one maintains their lawns or sidewalks.

Many of the streetlights in zombie subdivisions don't work any more, since people have stolen the wires from them.

There's room for driveways in this "rock star" subdivision, but there are no cars or homes so far.

Grass is starting to peek through the sidewalks in the Rio Vista development, which was to be called Hearth and Home.

This walled-off zombie subdivision, off a Stockton highway, has a playground and lights, but no homes.

Racers leave tire tracks on this shuttered road in northern Stockton, where development has been halted.

November 14, 2014

Regarding Arkansas Gov pardoning son - why not pardon everyone with drug felonies?

Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says he will pardon his son, Kyle, in connection with a felony drug conviction from more than a decade ago. Also on Wednesday, he backpedaled on his intention to pardon another man with personal ties to him.

The Arkansas Parole Board recommended the pardon of Kyle Beebe, now 34, last month. He was in convicted in 2003 for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and sentenced to three years' probation. According to parole board documents, police found two ounces of marijuana in Beebe’s home.

He completed his probation in 2006, and, his father said Wednesday, has learned from his mistake.

“He’s grown up a lot,” the elder Beebe told Arkansas TV station KATV. “Kids, when they’re young, do stupid stuff. He was no different.”


November 12, 2014

fully insured woman taken to "wrong" hospital - four tenth mile will cost her 50k


woman facing bankruptcy because she was taken to hospital that didn't take her policy while she was in cardiac arrest
Megan Rothbauer's heart stopped at work in September 2013 and she was taken to the nearest emergency room -- Madison's St. Mary's Hospital
But St. Mary's is not in Rothbauer's Blue Cross-Blue Shield network -- nearby Meriter Hospital is, however
A four-tenths of a mile difference has now cost Rothbauer $50,000

A fully-insured Wisconsin woman may soon have to file for bankruptcy after she suffered cardiac arrest and was taken, while unconscious, to an emergency room that wasn't in her healthcare network.

Though Madison's St. Mary's Hospital was just three blocks away from where Megan Rothbauer was in September 2013 when she had a heart attack at just 29, it's not part of her Blue Cross-Blue Shield network.


Blue Cross Blue Shield says they've done their part by covering the maximum they'd cover for anyone and pointed to the prices at St. Mary's.

St. Mary's says they've knocked off such a large amount from Rothbauer's bill that they don't plan to negotiate further.

November 11, 2014

Nestle tweeted a sick sick "joke" - has been apologizing all day

Nov 11, 2014
Nestlé Crunch Tweet in Mexico
Nestlé has issued the following statement in response to questions about a tweet from a Nestlé Crunch account in Mexico.
“We sincerely apologise for this completely unacceptable Tweet, which is entirely contrary to the values of our company and we deeply regret any distress it may have caused.
We understand and share the public’s concern about this post. We take this matter extremely seriously. In addition to launching an internal enquiry, we have asked the police to investigate.
We will take prompt and appropriate action once the facts of this matter are established.


They say that the key to good brand humor is the sweet spot between the benign and the totally inappropriate. So late Sunday night, @CrunchMX — the Mexican Twitter account for Nestle’s Crunch candy bar — made a go of it:

“A los de Ayotzinapa les dieron Crunch,” the account tweeted, a little pun on its namesake candy bar. Translation? “They crunched those from Ayotzinapa.”

… “Those from Ayotzinapa” being the 43 trainee teachers who were apparently abducted, killed incinerated and ground up by a local drug gang in late September, and whose disappearance has sparked a national outcry.

As far as social media mess-ups go, this one is a doozy. Nestle and the Crunch brand, in particular, have spent much of the past 24 hours apologizing and condemning the message — mostly in vain.


November 11, 2014

inspired by Occupy camps, Oregon allows bare bones permitless shed village for homeless,



Bathroom building

The city agreed to donate an acre plot of land to the project and gave them a year lease as a pilot project. Heben and the other organizers raised $100,000 in cash donations and about another $100,000 worth of donated materials to build the village, which would ultimately provide shelter for 42 previously unhoused people. (By contrast, the median value of a single family home in Eugene is $250,000.)

Heben's idea to help Eugene's homeless was to move from a model of scattered and temporary "tent cities" to a consolidated village of "tiny homes.

They built small wooden sleeping units measuring either 8-by-8 feet or 8-by-10 feet. (Heben eventually replicated plans for some of the units and formed a company called Backyard Bungalows to supply them to others interested in the designs. However, his village designs predate the company, and neither he nor the company made any profit from the Opportunity Village project.) They also put up several smaller, domed shelters called conestoga huts, designed by Michael Carrigan, a community organizer and Opportunity Village board member. Kitchen and bathroom facilities for everyone are located in communal buildings.

None of the shelters fit the city code’s definition of a dwelling or residence, so, while a building official did inspect them for safety, the units were given an exemption from official building code restrictions.

“If you get the right people supporting a project, they can find a way to do it if they want to,” Heben says. Wisth, who was the city’s lead staff person working with Opportunity Village, says the mandate from city council led him and other city staffers to make it happen. “We interpreted the building codes in terms of what applied to the project. It was like finding the roundest square peg to fit in an octagonal hole,” he says.

Today, Opportunity Village features brightly painted shelters, garden boxes, a communal yurt with public computers, weekly village meetings, and a seven-member council working continually to improve the quality of life of the village’s residents. It would be wrong to glorify the place as as a permanent way out of homelessness for the people living there, but the community is something special in its own right.
November 11, 2014

Republican Gets Electoral Comeuppance for Sleazy Slur on Black Voters


November at a GOP event, Ron Natinsky, a candidate who ran for Dallas County judge in the recent election cycle, thought it would be a good idea to jab at a national Democrat's voting base with a common GOP slur.

“We don’t want to motivate her voters,” Natinsky said of Democrat Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson during his appearance at the Coppell Republican Club. “What we want them to think is: ‘There’s no reason. She doesn’t have an opponent. I don’t need to go to the polls. I’ll go spend my food stamp money at the grocery store, or whatever, you know, on Election Day.’”

Natinsky ended up losing to his challenger Clay Jenkins, and Rep. Johnson won her reelection bid by a landslid. 

Using stereotypes about food stamp recipients stretches back decades, but we don't need to take a stroll down Bigoted Memory Lane to hash out the obvious stereotypes in Natinsky's loaded remarks (which he happens  not to recall making). He was clearly making the assumption that, if Johnson's African-American base didn't show up in large numbers at the polls, it would strengthen his and other Republicans' chances of winning their respective campaigns. Ironic, given how much Republicans claim to want more African-American support for their party. Republicans have administered a drubbing on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also called food stamps. In February, Congress passed a nearly $1 trillion farm bill that was designed to cut more than $8.6 billion from the federal food stamp program over a decade, according to Slate. 

November 11, 2014

8 women dead in India after government paid them $10 to be sterilized

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/11/11/eight-women-dead-20-others-seriously-ill-in-india-after-government-paid-them-10-to-be-sterilized/India has the world’s highest rate of sterilization among women, with about 37 per cent undergoing such operations compared to 29 per cent in China, according to 2006 statistics reported by the United Nations. During 2011-12, the government said 4.6 million Indian women were sterilized.

DELHI — Eight Indian women have died and 20 others were in critical condition Tuesday after undergoing sterilization surgeries in a free government-run program to help slow the country’s population growth.

A total of 83 women, all poor villagers under the age of 32, had the operations Saturday in a hospital outside Bilaspur city in the central state of Chhattisgarh, officials said. All 83 surgeries were conducted within six hours, said the state’s chief medical officer, Dr. S.K. Mandal.


“Their condition is very serious. Blood pressure is low,” said Dr. Ramesh Murty at CIMS hospital, one of the facilities where the sick women were taken. “We are now concentrating on treating them, not on what caused this.”

The state suspended four government doctors, including the surgeon who performed the operations and the district’s chief medical officer. It also will give compensation payments of about $6,600 to each of the victims’ families.


November 11, 2014

dont call 911 from the corn maze


maze works too well — panicky patrons call 911
By Kale Williams Updated 4:51 pm, Monday, November 10, 2014

Matt Cooley, who has been running the maze for a dozen years or so, said the 911 calls might be a sign that the labyrinth is getting too big for its own good.

“My brother, who designs the maze, always wants to make it bigger and better,” he said. “But we might scale it back a little next year.”

Cooley said that although the 911 calls have been getting more attention, this has actually been a pretty quiet year for Cool Patch Pumpkins.

“In past years we’ve had people who have passed out in there,” he said. “Nothing like that this year though — just a bunch of people who have gotten confused and called 911.”

Cooley said the proprietors provide maps for everyone entering the maze with explicit instructions not to call 911. Despite the warning, Cooley said, there’s always someone who freaks out in the middle of the maze.

When the sheriff contacts him with one of those cases, he generally takes one of three courses of action.

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