On Twitter, Matthew Yglesias of Vox has been arguing with people about why San Francisco smells so much like urine. Some people think it’s because it’s a dry city, so such smells aren’t washed away so often, while others have opted for a much more straightforward reason: people in San Francisco pee in public a lot.
(I don’t know San Francisco well—does it really smell like pee?)
The debate has had one clearly important positive by-product, which is that it introduced me to the existence of this utterly amazing map, put together by a data visualization enthusiast who goes by simply “William,” which illustrates all of the sightings of “human waste” in San Francisco from the summer of 2008 until the present day—and there are a lot of them.
Amusing as it may be, the map does serve an absolutely useful purpose, which is to help make the case that cities need more public bathrooms—but perhaps San Francisco especially so.
Yglesias’ final words on the subject are worth quoting:
I conjecture that street pooping and street peeing tend to be closely correlated and that in San Francisco’s case the underlying cause is an epidemic of homelessness—an epidemic generated, in part, by overly restrictive zoning that prevents the construction of enough new homes to accommodate the number of people who want to live in the Bay Area.
Now your ears can also “Feel the Bern,” thanks to Seattle artist, Thais Marchese. Marchese makes some of the strangest, coolest studs for your ears (like the ones of Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, above) that I’ve seen in a long time.
Jack Nicholson as “Jack Torrance” from The Shining
Marchese uses images of pop culture heroes like Steve Buscemi, Jack Nicholson (as Jack Torrance, both above), and director Wes Anderson, and like many of us, it appears that Ms. Marchese is quite a devotee of Anderson, as many of her studs feature colorful characters from Anderson’s many films, such as Margot and Richie Tenenbaum from The Royal Tenenbaums, and runaway teens Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop from Moonrise Kingdom.
Each pair will run you nine bucks and can be obtained over at Marchese’s shop, Sleepy Mountain. A small price to pay to have Steve Buscemi quite literally in your ear.
More images of the other tiny studs in Marchese’s shop after the jump…...
Welp, here’s another story that is headed straight for the ever-growing Stoner Hall of Fame.
According to a story from the Seattle Times published yesterday (via The Youngstown Vindicator), last Friday a 22-year-old Ohio man called 911 because he had apparently gotten “too high” smoking marijuana. I don’t think any amount of police training could have prepared the cops for what they found upon arriving at the abode of the stoner in question.
According to a report filed by the Austintown Township police, the man was found in a fetal position on his floor, with an assortment standard stoner junk food like Doritos, Goldfish crackers and Chips Ahoy cookies scattered around him. He also complained that he “couldn’t feel his hands.” Which is sad because it sounds like he was really hungry. Johnny Law found his stash, but have yet to charge him with a crime. Although they did take away his car keys. Now how is he going to get to 7-11 the next time he gets the munchies? Poor guy.
I’ve often said that the most dangerous thing a stoner has ever done is eat too much junk food such as polishing off an entire box of Cap’n Crunch (with Crunch Berries of course) in one sitting. But the image of this guy (which is captured pretty accurately in the photo above I think) really takes the cake. I don’t know about you, but I’d do just about anything to see the “crime scene” photos from this caper.
Giant papier-mâché masks at the Venice Beach Mardi Gras Festival, 1935
On August 16th, 1935, California’s fabled Venice Beach kicked off its very first Mardi Gras Festival. The celebration (which was inspired by New Orleans’ Mardi Gras) included events such as parades, the Miss California Beauty Pageant, the coronation of Queen Venetia by King Neptune, and a gala ball that concluded the three-day celebration.
Miss California on her float surrounded by giant papier-mâché masks during the Venice Beach Mardi Gras, mid-1930s
Clark Gable mask, Venice Beach Mardi Gras, mid-1930s
Before you yell “I’M SO OFFENDED! THESE BUTT LAMPS ARE SOOOOO MISOGYNISTIC!”—hey, they could easily be naked man butts as well, okay? Designed by Londoner Joseph Begley, the “Slap It” silicone butt-shaped lamps change to ten different colors when they’re slapped, squeezed or pinched to turn on.
October 1958: Jack Kerouac appears on The Ben Hecht Show to discuss the Beat Generation and his latest novel Dharma Bums. Kerouac was still riding high on the first wave of success that came with the publication of On the Road in 1957, and then its follow-up The Subterraneans the following year. Now he was beginning to reap some of the rewards brought by all those long years of hard work and toil, traveling America, honing his writing to a “spontaneous prose,” where first thought was best thought—though this disguised the rewriting involved in being “spontaneous.”
As for Ben Hecht, well he was a famous journalist, author, playwright and screenwriter whose contributions to cinema earned him the nickname “Mr. Hollywood.” Between 1927 and 1964, Hecht wrote or contributed to over 150 movies—often uncredited. While some may not know the name, Hecht’s work is instantly recognizable in such classics as Hitchcock’s Notorious, Spellbound, Rope, Foreign Correspondent and The Paradine Case; or such other gems as the original Scarface with Paul Muni, or Gone With the Wind, or Stagecoach or The Front Page. Hecht was a prolific screenwriter though he thought of Hollywood as a 9-5 job rather than his career. However, he did win considerable praise and acclaim for his film work—being nominated for five Oscars, winning two, and credited with being the first writer to bring powerful and realistic dialog to the screen.
‘The Dharma Bums’ meets dapper Mr. Hecht.
Hecht had started off as a war reporter in Berlin before returning to Chicago as a crime reporter, where he mixed with the lowlifes and hustlers and learnt the language of street—this, of course, he later used to inform his screenplays. Kerouac had similarly lived the low life and learnt the lingo, and one would think this connection would have brought the two writers together, but in his interview Hecht is condescending, almost dismissing Kerouac and the Beats as the latest supermarket fashion rather than a serious literary movement.
Hecht opens with a question on the naming of the Beat Generation, before quizzing Kerouac about his philosophy being a mixture of “Catholicism and gin,” wanting to know in what proportions? Jack is stumped by the question. “G-I-N? Gin?...” he asks, before adding, “I don’t understand your question.” This is where the interview turns into an an awkward dance with both wanting to lead. Hecht asks about Kerouac’s politics (was he a Republican? No, but he liked Eisenhower) and did he believe in the Devil (again a no, as the Devil had been defeated) and what about God? and so on, and so forth. Hecht’s problem is he does not wait or listen long enough to allow Kerouac to give any insight or substance to his answers, preferring to keep the questions moving onwards to some unidentifiable conclusion that is never ultimately reached.
Kerouac sounds bemused and comes off the better of the two. While Hecht (sadly) sounds like a crusty square looking to ridicule the “Drama” bums—as he mistakenly calls them.
Not much on the Internet makes me say the words “holy shit” anymore. But no other words really came to mind after I saw this big-ten-inch (10.2 inches to be exact) ceramic dildo, with the face of comic book, television, and film hero Batman, on the grip.
“Batman” ceramic dildo
An Etser located in Poland that operates under the moniker Small Town Planet, has been making these strange “toys” since 2014, and there are several versions of this caped crusader sex toy for sale in Small Town’s store. In addition to “Batman”, there are also a few other bizarre dildos including one of an entirely too content-looking Satan sticking his tongue out (his ears have been replaced with two penises for reasons I can’t explain) and several that have been molded onto a ceramic revolvers (the revolver part being the grip) because, well, I don’t know why.
White ceramic “Batman” dildo is having none of this
This is like something straight out of Gotham! (Okay, no, not really.) Apparently there was a “Maxipad [sic] Bandit” on the loose for several days earlier this week in Apple Valley, California.
A gentleman, by the name of Gary Victor aka “The Maxipad Bandit,” used sanitary napkins to conceal his identity while very publicly robbing an auto-parts store.
Because the video was so clear — and because police say they’ve dealt with the suspect before — he was tracked down and arrested this morning. He’s been identified as Gary Victor, 51. Police believe he was under the influence of something.
“We had a pretty good picture of his face cause he came to the store the first time and looked in the window without his maxipad on,” Wedell said, chuckling somewhat. “But when he came back and he had the maxipad over his eyes I guess he thought it was going to take care of everything.
Today I learned maxi pads do not do a very good job of concealing one’s identity. If only he would have used some tampons instead?
There is a well-worn myth about Peter Cook that his career went into sad, alcoholic decline after his longtime comedy partner Dudley Moore, who became a famous Hollywood star, ended. Poor old Cook supposedly spent his days pissed out his brains, counting his millions, bemoaning the loss of his once great talent while raging with jealousy over Moore’s success. Of course the truth is never quite as simple or as boring—in fact Cook rarely stopped using his talents to amuse, entertain, experiment or just fuck about for the hell of it—albeit at times on a somewhat smaller stage.
In 1979, while bringing down the house as the judge in The Secret Policeman’s Ball—where he ruthlessly lampooned the dubious summing-up in the infamous trial of Liberal politician Jeremy Thorpe for the attempted murder of his alleged lover Norman “Bunnies” Scott—and hosting the chaotic punk music TV show Revolver, Cook squeezed in time to record two improvised adverts for Sparks’ album No. 1 in Heaven. These ads were hidden on the inner grooves of the twelve inch singles for the Mael brothers’ hits “Beat the Clock” and “Tryouts for the Human Race.”
Picture discs, colored vinyl, 12-inch singles and alike were all part of the many gimmicks used to sell records in the late 1970s, and credit must be given to whoever it was that thought up the jolly wheeze of hiding a wee plug from the subversive Mr. Cook on the latest toe-tapper from Sparks—it was certainly a novel way to shift merchandise.