I know digging throughout your old high school box of memories is a drag and a chore — my mother has been trying to get me to clean that stuff out of her house for like a decade now — but, and this is just me talking here, let’s say I had gone to the prom with Barack Effing Obama, I might have shared these things a few years ago. Maybe, like, January 20, 2009 to be exact? All the same, here they are now published in Time magazine, unearthed after all these years by an old classmate named Kelli Allman (née McCormack). Yeah, but where’s the full, uncropped photo? Donald Trump is wondering right now.
As Time writes:
Barry spent his days at the Punahou School in Hawaii studying, shooting hoops and goofing off with his friends. Greg Orme, a fellow varsity basketball player, was Obama’s constant companion. “They were like brothers,” says Allman. On prom night, the pair double-dated. Obama and his date Megan Hughes, a student at the Hawaii School for Girls at La Pietra, joined Orme at Allman’s house, where the two couples sipped champagne before going to the dance and then an after-party. “It was a really fun, happy time. We were all cracking up, and everyone was smiling,” says Allman. “It was pretty typical from there out as far as what happens at prom: the dinner and the dancing and the photos.”
Even better that the 1979 style, and Obama’s dope AF white suit here, is the note the president left in Allman’s yearbook that year, which you can see here.
Kelli, it has been so nice getting to know you this year. You are extremely sweet and foxy, I don’t know why Greg would want to spend any time with me at all! You really deserve better than clowns like us; you even laugh at my jokes! I hope we can stay in touch this summer, even though Greg will be gone. Call me up, and I’ll buy you lunch sometimes. [phone number]. Anyway, good luck in everything you do and stay happy. Your friend,
P.S. Don’t ever reveal all of the stuff I told you about my Muslim past in Indonesia, as I plan on running for national office one day.
Wowie wow wow. Couple things to point out here. Ok, so I made that last part up obviously, but how about the rest of the real note? Obama is stepping to his buddy’s girl here, am I right? No question. He wanted a piece of that, and I tell you what, he probably got it too. Also, is this the first instance of a high school senior ever using a semicolon appropriately in a yearbook note? That dude had it all figured out, didn’t he?
Here’s an awesomely inspiring study that comes courtesy of the University of Amsterdam: amongst Western nations, people have lost an average of 14 IQ points since the Victorian era according to a metric that measures visual response time. Their reasoning is that genetic selection has become far more casual, as it’s much easier to have babies and keep them alive in 2013 as it was a few centuries ago. More significantly, intelligent women are having children at a lower rate. The uncharitable, idiotic interpretation would be that women’s lib is making us dumber, because all of those smart ladies aren’t around to stick at home, pop out babies, and teach them the right things they need to get through life; instead, our nation’s mothers are teen moms and dum dums who don’t know fuck about shit.
But you can obviously push past that to recognize that equal opportunity between genders still isn’t a thing, and that there are plenty of women who aren’t given that same chance to delay the parenting process and explore their options. We should be having less babies, period, because the world is getting overpopulated; we should also be making sure that as many of the babies that are being had are being brought up by at least one parent who knows what’s going on. So we’re stuck in an awkward middle point, where the options are to regress or progress. It should be clear what the answer is.
Super Mario Dog Is the (New) Greatest Vine Ever, announces E!. Super Mario Dog Powers Up In Awesomest Vine Ever, trumpets the Huffington Post. ’Mario Dog’ Is The Best Vine There Will Ever Be, proclaims Uproxx. So that’s settled then. Best Vine ever. Admittedly, the list of actually watchable Vines is pretty short. There was that Ryan Gosling Refusing to Eat Cereal thing that we’re all still into, then, uh, my friend showed me one he uploaded of me eating cheese off a plate while standing in the middle of a crowded kitchen at a party once, and that was pretty good. Got to be some somewhat memorable porn clips out there I’m guessing too, right? Maybe a baby taking its first steps, say, for one other example of a potential application of Vine that you would take, then share, and someone might watch. Someone at a concert pointing their camera at the stage? I bet that happens a lot. But, yeah, sure, on top of all of those things, then yes, this thing, which combines two of the internet’s lasting obsessions, animals in clothes, and remembering the ’90s. Pack it in, Vine users, because this is as good as it gets. Nicely done.
It’s been a mixed bag of a month for people concerned about our country’s ability to recognize the basic civil rights of American citizens regardless of sexual identity. On the one hand, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Delaware all recently legalized gay marriage. This is wonderful news. On the other hand, a New York City man, Mark Carson, was taunted with homophobic slurs by a deranged piece of shit who murdered him in the middle of the street. This was, mind you, in New York City, in a particularly gay-friendly area at that. That certainly wasn’t the only hate-crime perpetrated in the city, or elsewhere throughout the country in recent months.
The slow trudge onward to the point where we can put this ridiculousness behind us, and go about the business of, you know, outrageous decency, takes a few steps forward, even as it takes a few more back. What compels a person to snap so violently at the mere thought of two human beings expressing love for one another remains baffling. An incident today in Paris, however, gives us some hope for a possible way to steer ourselves through these somehow, amazingly, still bigoted times. Is gay marriage driving you literally insane? How about instead of murdering an innocent man, you shoot yourself to death? It will silence the voices in your head, and rid the world of one homophobe at a time. Sounds like a win win we can all get behind.
That’s what Dominique Venner, 78, a far right author in France did today, when he entered the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, placed a letter on the altar, and committed suicide in front of some 1,500 church-goers.
“In a final essay on his website Tuesday, he railed against France’s adoption of a law legalising gay marriage and adoption, urging activists to take measures to protect ‘French and European identities,’” Agence France-Presse reported.
“In a possible reference to his suicide, Venner wrote: ‘There will certainly need to be new, spectacular, symbolic gestures to shake off the sleepiness… and re-awaken the memories of our origins.’
While the public method of his suicide is clearly disturbing, Venner has performed exactly the role that hateful homophobes like he and his far right idealogues throughout Europe and the United States are supposed to do: die off. It’s going to happen to all of them at some point soon enough, so I don’t see any harm in them helping that day come a little sooner by speeding up the process with their own hands.
Ever since the apartment $ubletting $ervice Airbnb, ba$ed in $an Fran$ico, launched in New York City, official$ have been arguing that it violate$ the city’$ law$ here, by $kirting the regulation$ that hotel$ normally have to follow.
Because they’re worried about your safety probably. That has to be it, right?
A judge has finally ruled against a resident who rented out his apartment, assessing $2,400 in fines, a significant discount from the $7,000 they were originally threatening
The New York case is centered around a 2011 law that makes it illegal for New York residents to rent out a property for less than 29 days. It was originally aimed at landlords who bought up residential properties and turned them into hotels. Airbnb has been lobbying legislators to change the law so it clearly protects hosts, like Warren, who are not trying to turn their homes into hotels. CNET
So, the bad news is, you have to think twice now before letting a complete stranger stay in your home while you’re away. On the plus side, you have to think twice now before letting a complete stranger stay in your home while you’re away.
Airbnb has addressed the case, which they were assisting in defending, for obvious reasons.
This decision runs contrary to the stated intention and the plain text of New York law, so obviously we are disappointed. But more importantly, this decision makes it even more critical that New York law be clarified to make sure regular New Yorkers can occasionally rent out their own homes. There is universal agreement that occasional hosts like Nigel Warren were not the target of the 2010 law, but that agreement provides little comfort to the handful of people, like Nigel, who find themselves targeted by overzealous enforcement officials. It is time to fix this law and protect hosts who occasionally rent out their own homes. 87 percent of Airbnb hosts in New York list just a home they live in — they are average New Yorkers trying to make ends meet, not illegal hotels that should be subject to the 2010 law. Gizmodo
So, sorry kids, you’re going to have to come up with a new, fancy way to spread your bed bugs around now I guess. Or at least be more circumspect about doing it. We had a good run. I’m writing this, by the way, from a hotel in New York City, for which I paid about 8 billion dollars for a two night stay.
The sheer power of a tornado can be hard to fathom, until you’ve seen one in action. Monday’s tornado, which devastated Oklahoma, looks to be one of the more destructive examples in recent memory, with dozens reported killed as of this morning. This video, uploaded by a Reddit user (via Uproxx) gives us a pretty clear look at exactly how such destruction can happen. The user who shared the video, taken by his father, explained more:
He was out that way for work today and just happened to be in the right place at the right time. He was worried it was going to come back at him and was searching for a way to scoot out it’s way once he was able to gauge how insanely close it was to him. He hung in there, though. Unbelievable. (via)
Sadly, it is.
When R&B suave-meister Miguel took the stage at last night’s Billboard Music Awards, he had no idea that the following day, thousands of very bored people would be photoshopping an image of him caught in a mid-air leap, onto everything from a scene in Breaking Bad to a good ol’ fashioned rodeo. But that’s what happens when said leap lands on someone’s face. Congratulations Miguel Jontel Pimentel, you’re now a meme. It happens to all of us at one point or another. But who does Miguel owe his newfound internet fame to? The answer is Ethan Miller, a workhorse photographer for Getty Images, and who was front and center at the award show. But this wouldn’t be the first time Miller snapped his shot at exactly the right nanosecond. Above, we found 14 other examples of Miller’s uncanny knack at capturing what Cartier-Bresson dubbed, “The Decisive Moment.”
Cultural tourism takes plenty of malodorous forms, but there’s a mild difference between drunken co-eds wearing Native American headdresses at music festivals and what’s been found at a Bronx bus company advertising “a ride through a real New York City ‘GHETTO’” which just turns out to be… the Bronx. The New York Post has a galling account of going on a tour with Real Bronx Tours, which shepherded a bus full of “mainly white Europeans and Australians” through some of the Bronx’s less immediately photogenic spots such as a food pantry line, while dropping insensitive narration intended to other for the audience delight.
This quote was a particular lowlight—“I might encourage you to walk with a New Yorker, not because you’re going to get shot, just because sometimes people take advantage if they know you’re a tourist, either charge you too much or maybe someone would pick your pocket”—but the whole trip is fairly appalling, because it’s 2013 and yet there are people treating an entire borough like it’s a novelty to gawk at from behind a safe space. There’s already a stereotype of New York City as glamorous Manhattan and artisinal Brooklyn only, with less attention paid to Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island—and with stuff like this, it’s easy to see why. See all the poors congregating to be fed! Joke about all the murders that used to happen 30 years ago! This and more for the low, low price of your empathy and/or common sense. Come, let us shame this shitty business into change or fiscal insolvency.
The annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic is underway, with two booze-filled days left to go. It’s a chance for bartenders and industry types from around the world to get together and share their knowledge with each other (aka get wasted for work). There’s a full lineup of panels, tastings, and lectures about the wide world of spirits going throughout the city today and tomorrow, which you can see here, including events at some of the best cocktail bars in the city, like Mayahuel, and Pouring Ribbons. Last night, in the pursuit of truth and knowledge, I subjected myself to a bar crawl through the East Village for you, and found some of the best cocktails you need to try, whether or not you’re interested in all the biz-talk. Here are a few bars you need to check out this week, and the cocktails you’ll want to order. Apologies for the progressively worsening quality of the pictures, but, you know: cocktails happened.
The Beagle. Try: Gin, aquavit, ginger, line cucumber
Evelyn. Try: S. George gin, green chartreuse, cardamon, agave, lime, grapefruit bitters, absinthe
The Wayland. Try: Bourbon, Cynar, chiptole infused agave nectar, bitters, mezcal rinse.
You love using your Tumblr blog because you are a Real Live Youth™, bred on the Internet with no substitute. Because RLYs are a demographic in inelastic demand, media conglomerate Yahoo has reportedly begun discussions about acquiring Tumblr for an almost unthinkable price of $1 billion in order to improve their dwindling status amongst the Internet relevancy ranks. That seems like an incredible amount of cash to burn on a website that’s mostly used for Game of Thrones GIFs, James Deen, and weird James of Bones porn mashups. But remember that $1 billion was paid for Instagram, a price which seems… actually still kind of ridiculous for a photo filter service.
But I am not a Tech Guy and thus do not know the proper metaphysical valuation for any Tech Thing. According to those early reports, cherubic overlord David Karp would stay on as the company’s CEO while Yahoo would bring in their more business-minded team to ensure that their purchase doesn’t become an un-monetizable dot com albatross. Can you think of even five ways for Tumblr to make money at face value besides the increased proliferation of sponsored animated GIFs promoting The Great Gatsby or whatever? I cannot. But again, I am not a Tech Guy, and surely there’s some algorithmic mojo Yahoo could splice into its own DNA to save it from the slow death it’s been staving off ever since the failure to acquire Facebook. Maybe every corporation gets more than one chance to reach the RLYs. I can’t wait to participate in an E-book oral history of pre-Yahoo Tumblr.