Daily Archives: April 29, 2014

Come on, it’s as old as Cinderella

 

(Different version)

(Different version)

Women having surgery to fit into designer shoes. This is somehow supposed to be a moral for our times (well, The New York Times), but remember the Grimm story of Cinderella, and her nasty stepsisters who cut off their toes and heels trying to fit into the glass slipper? And the Chinese practice of foot binding wasn’t a day at the races either.

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Somewhere in Riverside, Splash Curtis is sweating

 

But he's got an idea on how to keep customers coming

But(t) he’s got an idea on how to keep his customers coming

Nissan develops first self-cleaning coating for cars, endangering car washes.

The paint, developed by engineers at the Nissan Technical Centre in the UK, is hydrophobic and oleophobic. That means it repels water and oil. That means the gunk and goo that normally sticks to your ride slides right off. It’s like wax, but better. Nissan’s engineers have applied the finish, called Ultra-Ever Dry, to a Nissan Note and say it does a remarkable job repelling rain, spray, frost, sleet and standing water. If the video is to be believed, mud literally slides right off.

There’s nothing new about hydrophobic or oleophobic coatings–Rust-Oleum offers a hydrophobic spraythat works (mostly) as advertised, and the iPhone features an oleophobic coating to reduce fingerprints on its precious screen. Still, it’s new to cars, and Nissan will continue testing it. Nissan says it has no plans to offer the paint as standard equipment, but will consider making it an option.

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Probably the wrong time to propose her for ownership of the Clippers

 

At least she's got the flag behind her

At least she’s got the flag behind her

Democrat mayoral candidate caught on tape: “we don’t want no f…ing N…ertown here.”

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Effect and cause

Brown University students celebrate free speech by shouting down Ray Kelly

Brown University students celebrate free speech by shouting down Ray Kelly

From James Taranto:

Fox Butterfield, is that you?

  • “Only 13 percent of Americans approve of the job the U.S. Congress is doing. Yet Brown alumni continue to go to Washington to work on Capitol Hill.”–article blurb, BrownAlumniMagazine.com, March/April issue

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Price war in Old Greenwich, for the second time

 

2 Fairgreen Lane

2 Fairgreen Lane

2 Fairgreen Lane, in Shorelands, asked $2.299 and sold for $2.350. Last time it sold was 2002, when it was priced at $2.1 and sold for $2.2. It’s a nice older (1921) house, sitting up high and dry on a hill in one of the favorite Old Greenwich neighborhoods, so no mystery about its appeal.

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New Listings

 

45 Old Stone Bridge

45 Old Stone Bridge

45 Old Stone Bridge is for sale, asking $2.250 million. This caught my eye because, before the crash, that’s about where Old Stone Bridge values topped out and I’ve been sensing that they’ve come back. In this case, almost. The current owners paid $2,287,500 for it in 2006 and did some extensive renovation in 2011. So not all the way back, but getting there. I really like this neighborhood, and it offers good value, compared to Riverside and Old Greenwich.

33 Twin Lakes

33 Twin Lakes

And speaking of Riverside, David Ogilvy’s trying again with 33 Twin Lakes (Gilliam Lane South, for traditionalists), this time at $5.6 million. This may do it, too, considering that one-acre lots without houses around the corner on Carriglea routinely fetch $5, and this is a better street (says I, proud Gilliam Lane alumnus).

This place started out at $8.2 million in ’07 and sat, price unchanged, for a full year (duh). In 2009-2010 it came back at $7 million and never dropped below $6.750, which also failed. Now it’s at just about land value, with a very nice house thrown into the bargain.

One note of caution: the listing reports that the owner can bring “his 36′ boat to the dock at high tide”, which I imagine is true, but these are shallow mudflats out here, and they go dry – like, no water- far ahead of deeper parts of Cos Cob Harbor. You want to swing by at the peak of high tide, pick up a couple of passengers and scram you can do it, but you probably have a fifteen-minute window to accomplish it.

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I wonder how carefully they sort these things?

 

Why is this man smiling?

Why is this man smiling?

GPD collects 150 pounds of unwanted prescription and over the counter drugs, which is a good idea; from what I read, dumping drugs down the toilet, while a favored practice during police raids, spreads all sorts of bad things into our waters. But this makes me curious:

“The 150 pound we collected ran the gamut from weird, natural remedies to male enhancement pills to expired Tylenol,” said [Lt. Kraig] Gray. The collected drugs will next be lightly sorted through to remove any potential harmful items for proper destruction, police said. The majority of items will then be sent to Bridgeport, where they will be incinerated.

Percocet? Viagra? Do those get culled and kept along with the rare, antique weapons witless widows bring to headquarters during gun turn-in days?

Just asking.

(Second question: who tossed out hubby’s Viagra, and what’s that say about the state of their marriage?)

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Pending deals

 

3 Konittekock

3 Konittekock

3 Konittekock Road, asking $3.2 million. Started at $4.5 million in January, 2013; when the owners got real, so did the buyers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

47 Midwood

47 Midwood

47 Midwood, $5.575. A typical Deer Park charmer, on 2.5 acres, and it’s no wonder that it went in just three weeks. Deer Park’s one of the nicest neighborhoods in town, and good houses there are, if not rare, uncommon. Alice Duff listing.

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Greenwich Democratic Party stands by its standard bearer, Lee Whitnum

Lee Whitnum enjoys a reflective moment at the Greenwich Democrat campaign clam bake

Lee Whitnum enjoys a reflective moment at the Greenwich Democrat campaign clam bake

“She denies biting anyone,” Francis Fudrucker, Democrat Chairman told FWIW, “let alone a state marshall, and that’s good enough for us. Onward to November, onward to victory!”

Story here.

Greenwich Democrat Lee Whitnum, who is hoping to run for governor on a judicial reform plank, released a statement on her website this morning in response to her arrest last week for allegedly creating a disturbance the library of state Superior Court in Stamford.

4-29-14 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – In response to the breach of peace charge against her gubernatorial candidate Lee. Whitnum responded today: “I never tried to bite anyone. The Judicial Marshals surrounded me for some unknown reason. They told me to leave.  I said I would.  I walked 25 feet never stopping; I was almost to the door, within five feet of the door when six marshals attacked me from behind and threw me up against the wall,” said Whitnum.  “I still have no idea what I did wrong.” Whitnum is filing a civil suit against librarian Pamela Kaufman. “I have no idea what that woman told the Judicial Marshals,” said Whitnum.

You can read the article about her arrest here: Greenwich’s Whitnum charged with breach of peace

 

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Forget the soccer, they should be broadcasting this farce

Ain't happening

Ain’t happening

I’m no soccer fan, but I love harmless disaster, and watching Brazil’s hopeless attempt to get ready for June 12th’s World Cup is better than the best episode of the Flintstones (is that show still on?) If they pull it off at all, they’ll probably be playing the games on the streets of Rio, because no way will the stadiums be ready.

International Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates on Tuesday piled pressure on 2016 host Rio de Janeiro, blasting its preparations as the worst he has ever seen.

The Australian, who has made six visits to Rio as a member of the IOC Coordination Commission overseeing the Games, painted a dire picture of the progress being made, which he said was of “critical concern”.

He told an Olympic Forum in Sydney that the IOC had been forced to take “unprecedented” action, embedding experts in Rio’s Organizing Committee to ensure the sporting spectacle proceeds.

“The IOC has formed a special task force to try and speed up preparations but the situation is critical on the ground,” he said, adding it was “the worst I have experienced”.

And if viewers tire of the Brazilians, they could tune into Qatar, whose 2022 World Cup host bid was achieved through bribery and lies and is already utterly and hopelessly behind despite using slave labor to construct the promised number of stadiums and infrastructure. 

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Required viewing for old hippies and, maybe, young investment bankers

Chris R sent along this video of Alan Watts on Music and Life

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Any Obama fans out there to object? Buehler? Buehler? Anyone?

 

Endangered species

Endangered species

DOJ targeting “undesirable businesses” by shutting down their bank accounts. Today, it’s porn, payday lenders and ammunition manufacturers. Tomorrow?

Under “Operation Choke Point,” the DOJ and its allies are going after legal but subjectively undesirable business ventures by pressuing banks to terminate their bank accounts or refuse their business. The very premise is clearly chilling—the DOJ is coercing private businesses in an attempt to centrally engineer the American marketplace based on it’s own politically biased moral judgements. Targeted business categories so far have included payday lenders, ammunition sales, dating services, purveyors of drug paraphernalia, and online gambling sites. “Operation Chokepoint is flooding payments companies that provide processing service to those industries with subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and other burdensome and costly legal demands,” wrote Jason Oxman, CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association, at The Hill.

Targeting porn performers or not, Operation Choke Point represents an incredible abuse of regulatory power. In a recent American Banker op-ed, former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman William M. Isaac called it “a direct assault on the democratic system and free-market economy.”

In a March 2013 hearing before a Senate Banking subcommittee, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) pointed out the obvious: that DOJ has “no statutory authority” to be doing this. But why bother with statutory authority when you can just secretly strongarm highly regulated businesses into doing what you want?

Back when I wasted my time arguing with the likes of Dollar Biil, I’d point to that the liberal’s flexible  “situational principles” were no principles at all, and that failing to oppose unlawful executive actions and regulatory overreach if they approved of the objective meant that one day, the same government power would be used against them. No response, but maybe the disappearance of Dollar Bill’s favorite porn challenge will cause him to stand up and be counted.

 

 

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So why have public hearings?

 

Traffic calming, Greenwich style

Traffic calming, Greenwich style

Our DPW has a plan to eliminate the triangle at the intersection on North Street and Fairfield Road and yesterday they held a public hearing to allow residents to comment. Which they did, and their comments were all negative, disputing the “hazard” the DPW claims its project will eliminate and vociferously objecting to the lane widening the plan will require. According to Greenwich Time,

DPW has been working toward reconfiguration of the intersection since 2007, having explored improvements twice before with neither project coming to fruition. Now, officials said the time is right for significant changes thanks to a grant received through the DOT’s Local Accident Reduction Program. The grant would cover 90 percent of the project’s cost, an estimated $314,000.

The availability of other peoples’ money (or, in the case of Greenwich, recovery of stolen property) raised suspicions among the residents, suspicions that are probably justified:

“The town has this overwhelming need to fix something that’s not broken,” said Bruce Dixon, a District 11 member and a former traffic operations supervisor for the DPW’s now-defunctTraffic Engineering Division.

“People are saying this is money in chase of a project,” said District 11 chair Despina Fassuliotis.

Right. But acknowledging that I know nothing about traffic safety (although quite a bit about government spending and bureaucracies), I was struck by the reaction of the DPW to the residents’ concerns which was, basically, “take a hike”.

[T]he DPW isn’t budging: Officials said they had made minor alterations to their initial designs after a March 27 public hearing, but the project is now largely set. To them, Tuesday’s public hearing is an opportunity to dispel misunderstandings they said have dogged the project.

“We’ve seen a lot of information,” said Town Chief Engineer Jim Michel, “and some of it has been misinformation. We want to make sure everyone is clear on all the data and all the different positions, and reasons we’re doing this.”

So in effect, all the notices of a “public hearing”, including signs posted at the intersection in question, were nothing more than an announcement that the DPW has made up its mind and the public was invited to vent their  opposition and the reasons therefor onto deaf ears.

Big cities aren’t expected to listen to their citizens but, at one time, small municipalities like Greenwich were.

Peter Tesei was unavailable for comment.

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