Monthly Archives: July 2010

Contraband: Taryn Simon’s Photos of Items Seized at JFK

Taryn Simon presents Contraband, a collection of 1,075 photos taken over 5 days at JFK International Airport, depicting items confiscated from luggage and shipping parcels.

According to Taryn Simon, ”You have people arriving from different cultures with the normal parts of their everyday life, and then these suddenly take on a wild identity under U.S. Customs,”

Among the items seized by The Man:

  • Khat, dried
  • Lard
  • A dead falcon (?!)
  • 29 sets of Lost: Season 4 DVDs (that one’s kind of meta)
  • Deer penis (O_o)

The miscellany of prohibited objects — from the everyday to the illegal to the just plain odd — attests to a growing worldwide traffic in counterfeit goods and natural exotica and offers a snapshot of the United States as seen through its illicit material needs and desires.

Contraband will be a touring exhibition, so maybe you’ll have a chance to at least see a photo of your dead falcon that got ganked by Johnny Law.

via Taryn Simon, Strange Cargo at Kennedy Airport


NYC MTA Proposes the Death of the Fun Pass: Subway Changes

Some empty seats that nobody peed on. Yet.

The MTA released its 2011-2014 financial plan (PDF), and it’s a shocker. Take that how you will. Basically, the Fun Pass is slated for execution, since hardly anybody uses it.

The biggest change would be the Monthly Pass: $99 will only get you 90 rides, or three rides per day. That’s the opposite of unlimited. Another option would be to hike the price by $5 to keep it unlimited.

The biggest O_o moment was reading that it costs the MTA 15¢ to collect each $1 in revenue. At that point, rider behavior ceases to be the issue, and the MTA must deal with how it does what it does.

While they’re at it, the MTA should look into fixing the stinky waterfall that pours through Canal Street Station every time it rains.

Poll: Will You Pay More To Keep Unlimited MetroCard? – Gothamist.

Canada Has a Problem with Luggage Stickers Depicting Cocaine, Kidnapped Stewardesses

Sex Toy Stickers Are Not Welcome, Either

Canada has a problem with luggage stickers depicting:

  • bricks of cocaine
  • kidnapped flight attendants
  • sex toys
  • wads of presumably illicit cash

The Ministry of Transport spat the dummy when it found out about the somewhat-provocative luggage stickers, and promptly banned them.

Canada needs to lighten up, but, until the land of moose, maple syrup and Japandroids does so, will no longer ship its eyebrow-raising luggage stickers to Canada.

Come on. I mean, I think most airport security staff are idiots, too, but am willing to concede that they can tell the difference between an actual kidnapped stewardess and a sticker depicting a kidnapped stewardess.

‘The full force of the law’ is too strong a statement to risk and we hope that at some point the Government will look around the world at some other reactions and re-consider their position. Stops Sales of Suitcase Stickers In Canada

Below is the bales-of-coke sticker. Or is it a sticker of a photo of a sticker depicting cocaine? Canada can’t tell the difference, apparently.

Southwest Bumps Woman from Flight to Make Room for Obese Teen

Southwest Airlines just cannot seem to get it right. First they kick Kevin Smith off a flight for supposedly being too large, and now they bump a standby passenger off a plane because someone else is too large.

Here’s what happened: a “regular sized” standby passenger got the okay to board a flight from Vegas to Sacramento. After she was seated,  an obese 14-year-old shows up late at the gate. As his seat was next to the standby’s seat, the standby was told to get off the plane.

Furthermore, the airline staff had a go at her for expressing her outrage.

Thing is, though, the standby passenger was right, and Southwest was wrong. That’s how standby process works, and Southwest would do well to study it more carefully: if you have a standby position on a flight, and you get the go-ahead to board, you are no longer a standby passenger. The seat is yours. This is because a ticketed passenger failed to show up at the gate in time to board the aircraft.

The teen should have had to wait for the next flight unless another passenger was willing to volunteer to get bumped or get switched to an empty seat.

In their haste to avoid embarrassment (for the teen and themselves), the Southwest staff screwed the situation up even more than it already was.

What would the staff had done if the standby passenger hadn’t been a standby passenger? (This is a trick question, of course, since, once seated, she wasn’t a standby passenger)

The comments on the Neatorama story are quite mean: the decision to bump the standby passenger was not made by the kid, after all

Southwest Bumps Thin Woman from Flight to Make Room for Plus-Sized Teen via Neatorama

Beer-per-Mile in San Francisco Half Marathon

Some guy decided to run the San Francisco Half Marathon while drinking beer.

Not just drinking beer, but seriously drinking beer. One beer per mile. That’s thirteen beers. While running a half marathon.

Amazingly, he actually finished the run. He mapped out the liquor stores along the route, accomodating for the fact that no bottle shops appear on the Golden Gate Bridge or its approaches.

This guy, who posts as djtennessee has a blog dedicated to working out while smoking and drinking. Personally, I have to get my exercise done before the first beer of the evening.

My final time is five hours, seven minutes. Probably an hour of that was confused wandering, but time is time and that’s my time. It’s funny how I un-blacked out right at the finish line, and all three vomits also came there at the finish line. You gotta wonder how much of blacking out and vomiting is psychological.
But beer is a very good thing for a run of six miles or less. After those six miles, it slows you down too much and it begins to taste completely awful.

Via Exercising While Intoxicated.

Vancouver Fireworks Festival: Spain Sets It Off

Our friend Marc invited us to his palace in the sky for a stellar view of the Celebration of Light fireworks festival. Spain brought everything that could be blown up, and proceeded to blow it up. Fantastic.

Over half a million people line Vancouver’s beaches to watch the show, with some people staking out blanket space 12 hours before the first rocket is launched. Anyone who has access to a roof grabs a brick, props open the fire door, and brings out the folding chairs. A secret vantage point is only secret to the people below.

Not being kids anymore, some of us have kids of our own, and watching them watch the fireworks was by far the best part.

Photographic Time Travel

York Street Subway Station

Photographic Time Travel
York Street. Next Stop: East Broadway

I took this photo in the York Street subway station on the way to work. I would later work for Lomographic Society International, whose US office was (and is) based in DUMBO, and ended up taking loads of pics in this station.

My York Street photos always turned out as if shot in 1977. This was taken in October 2001, most likely shot on expired ASA100 film.

Waiting for the F-Train, a popular pastime is playing Count the Rats.

Rolling Stones Setlist from 1978

When the Rolling Stones played Anaheim Stadium in 1978, this was their setlist. Thrilled to see Tumblin’ Dice on there, since it’s pretty much the best song ever.

I finally got around to watching Shine a Light on DVD, having last seen it in IMAX (This film requires the biggest screen you can possibly beg, borrow or steal).

They say that everyone’s either a Beatles person or a Stones person, and I definitely fall into the Stones category.

The Rolling Stones Setlist Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, CA, USA 1978, Some Girls

Homeless Man Reopens Bar with No License or Lease

We all know that rooftops, parking lots, or any unused space in Melbourne will get turned into a bar (after all, nature will take its course), but this phenomenon occurs elsewhere int the world, too.

For example, take Penryn, California, in which an intrepid would-bebar owner opened a bar without the benefit of a liquor license… or a lease.

You have to admire this guy’s style. Unless you’re the police, who arrested him for burglary.