Laura watches The Bachelor for this entire office, so my knowledge is limited in this field. Still, I know enough that this season’s bachelor was from Dallas, his name is Sean Lowe, and, according to US Weekly, he doesn’t like fame.
“I’ve always said that I’m not looking for fame,” he told reporters in a teleconference Tuesday. “In fact, I don’t like the fame aspect of being the Bachelor or being on Dancing With the Stars. I wish I could — you know, I can’t go out in Dallas with my buddies anymore because I’m left taking pictures the whole night because people — you know, they recognize me and they want to take pictures.”
There seems to be a very simple solution to all this: stop signing up for reality television shows. And stop doing teleconferences with reporters.
- It’s at State Highway 121 and Plano Parkway
- It’s for Nebraska Furniture Mart’s 560,000-square-foot retail showroom and 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center
- Nebraska Furniture Mart will anchor Grandscape, a 3.9 million-square-foot monolith that will probably have the capability to detach from Earth and self-sustain, should the need arise
Last point: the first person to snag a picture of themselves in the chair will win a free year’s subscription to D Magazine. I will pay for it myself, since I can’t imagine our marketing team is too keen on the idea of a contest where I tell folks to trespass. And I don’t mean next to the chair, or one of those photos where your fingers look like they’re smushing the chair. IN IT. Get to snappin, and send the photo to email@example.com.
UPDATE: I assumed an email like this would land in my inbox today. From Jeff Lind, chief strategy and development officer for Nebraska Furniture Mart:
“I’m contacting you because safety is a huge priority for Nebraska Furniture Mart and I believe this could put someone at needless risk of injury. I’m sure it was for fun but I can’t bury my head in the sand when safety is involved. Any action you could take to cancel the ‘contest’ could potentially help avoid an injury. I hope you will consider this course of action and I encourage you to do so. Thank you very much.”
So, contest off. It was fun (?) while it lasted.
Slate’s Matthew Yglesias headed to a JC Penney in Wheaton, Md. this week to see if the troubling news for the Plano-based company — a $427 million loss this quarter, a comparable-stores fall of 32 percent, possibly the “worst quarter in retail history” — was really that bad. Turns out, yep:
So I took the Metro to the Maryland suburbs for a visit to the JCPenney in the Wheaton Plaza Mall to see if Johnson really is reviving the legendary chain. There is no evidence that Johnson has remade much of anything. Everything that I always find alienating and unpleasant about the basic department store experience is still there. The store is too big and too disorganized. Products are sometimes clustered by functional category and sometimes by brand, with a confusing mix of house brands and real ones. Right at the door a sign invites you to enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout the store, which really is a change. But why would you want that? There’s no place to sit in the store and no synergy between laptop use and shopping there. Just for kicks, I had my iPhone hop on the Wi-Fi network only to discover that the connection speeds were noticeably slower than Verizon LTE.
Nobody was ever driven into bankruptcy by unreliable Wi-Fi, but that’s the Ron Johnson Era in a nutshell. Instead of building on what the people who like JCPenney liked about JCPenney, he undertook a series of essentially arbitrary changes that alienated some without drawing anyone new in.
At least they didn’t lay off a bunch of workers then tweet “We made it to Friday. #GroupHug #Cheers.” Wait.
A bill filed recently by San Angelo Rep. Drew Darby would limit challenges to the West Texas radioactive waste dump owned by Dallas billionaire (and evil genius) Harold Simmons. The bill, according to the Texas Observer, is “a grab-bag of measures that would put up roadblocks for groups or individuals challenging the company even as it allows Waste Control to bring in ‘hotter’ waste.”
“It guts the protections of that assure citizens get a fair hearing on any changes in the radioactive waste dump,” Tom Smith of Public Citizen told the paper.
Darby has received $20,000 in campaign contributions the past two years from the dump’s parent company, Waste Control Specialists. Darby’s chief-of-staff characterized the bill as aiding “operational flexibility.” Complicating the site’s regulatory process is the fact that while it sits in Andrews County, the closest and most affected town is actually in New Mexico. (Here’s a Google Map view of the Waste Control location, and Eunice, New Mexico. There’s also a review of Waste Control that calls the dump’s owners “Possibly some of the biggest criminals in the history of our state.”)
“The upshot of this is that it allows the dump to be quickly filled by highly profitable radioactive materials from out of state,” Public Citizen’s Smith told the Observer, “enriching Harold Simmons now. As a result when we need the dump 30 years form now for the South Texas Project nuclear reactor or the Comanche Peak reactor, there won’t be space.”
The most interesting nugget in this morning’s pillaging of J.C. Penney in the Wall Street Journal was this tidbit:
During January 2012, the 4,800 employees in Plano had watched five million YouTube videos during work hours, said Michael Kramer, a former Apple executive brought in by Mr. Johnson as chief operating officer.
5,000,000 videos total ÷ 4,800 employees ≈ 1042 videos per employee (per month)
This means that, on average, every single J. C. Penney employee was watching over one thousand videos per month. It is also possible that one J.C. Penney employee was watching five million videos per month.
1,042 videos per month ÷ 21 workdays ≈ 49 videos per day.
49 videos per day ÷ 8 hours in the average work day ≈ 6 videos (per hour)
This means that, on average, every 10 minutes an employee of J.C. Penney would drop what he or she was doing to watch a video on YouTube. This employee would, say, write an email, then stop writing the email, then watch a YouTube video. After that, the employee would finish writing the email, go to the bathroom, then come back and watch a YouTube video. The employee would download a PDF of sales figures, refresh his or her email, read the first two pages of the PDF, and then watch a YouTube video.
(Looks over shoulder at Tim and Zac, does quick calculation, goes home and destroys college diploma, clicks on video titled “Gallon Smashing: the thing that beats the HARLEM SHAKE.”)
The screen-grab above pretty much sums it up, but the Washington Post grabbed the family for a chat:
…they were also pregnant with their first child, and were struggling to come up with a name. And Vega suggested the winner would get to choose the baby’s name.
“She didn’t really disagree with that at all, but she started saying she would name it Troy Aikman or Emmitt Smith, all these old Cowboys,” he recalled. “I would die if my son grew up to be a Cowboys fan. That’d be awful. I don’t even know how I’d feel.”
Still, they agreed on the bet. If the Redskins won, Vega could pick the name. If the Cowboys won, Pena, 31, was in charge. Each of them was granted one veto; Vega nixed “Emmitt Vega,” and Pena said no to “Darrell Green Vega.” They each chose again; Vega went with “Robert Griffin Vega,” and Pena chose “Austin Miles Vega,” after her favorite active player.They had a Thanksgiving gathering with family members. Pena’s whole family was in Cowboys gear. Vega and his mom wore Redskins attire. And he became terrified when reading about Tony Romo’s near-flawless turkey day record.
“I was second-guessing the whole time, like, What am I thinking?” Vega recalled. “If she’s gonna name him after a Cowboys player, there’s no doubt he would be a Cowboys fan. My son, as a Cowboys fan? I might have to disown him.”
While I was looking forward to sharing a message of hope and Christ’s unconditional love with the faithful members of the historic…
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2013
… First Baptist Church of Dallas in April, due to new information that has been brought to my attention, I have decided to cancel my…
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2013
…upcoming appearance. I will continue to use the platform God has blessed me with to bring Faith, Hope and Love to all those…
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2013
…needing a brighter day. Thank you for all of your love and support. God Bless!
— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) February 21, 2013
Had this brother never heard of Google before agreeing to this?
One of the necessary evils of journalism is fact-checking. It’s dry, tedious, and, thus, inescapable for those of us lowest on the editorial totem pole (i.e., interns). I was never warned, though, that fact-checking could be fraught with peril.
I arrived at the office today, café mocha in hand, resigned to the task of verifying the minutia of our next issue’s event listings. Dull, indeed, but — as a consolation — ostensibly riskless. I tore through Sedaris at Winspear and Bernini at the Kimbell when I arrived at the listing for a Bunny Yeager exhibition at Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery. Bunny Yeager was a ’50s pin-up model and pin-up photographer. This fact was of little import to me, though: her listing was merely another hurdle to clear before I could get back to doing anything but fact-checking.
In responsible intern form, I dutifully opened several links in my browser, each discussing the exhibition and featuring a sampling of Yeager’s works—namely, black-and-white photographs of busty women (e.g., Bettie Page) seductively sprawled/spread-eagled/bent in all (or, at least, most of) their glory.
In one of the most bizarre stories you’ll read, ever, FreedomWorks — the conservative group formerly chaired by Dick Armey — apparently created a video of a fake panda fellating a fake Hillary Clinton, and planned to show it at the July 26, 2012 FreePAC event, held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Mother Jones has the whole insane story:
The short film hailing FreedomWorks was intended to play on the large video screens inside the arena.
In one segment of the film, according to a former official who saw it, [former FreedomWorks EVP Adam] Brandon is seen waking from a nap at his desk. In what appears to be a dream or a nightmare, he wanders down a hallway and spots a giant panda on its knees with its head in the lap of a seated Hillary Clinton and apparently fellating the then-secretary of state. Two female interns at FreedomWorks were recruited to play the panda and Clinton. One intern wore a Hillary Clinton mask. The other wore a giant panda suit that FreedomWorks had used at protests to denounce progressives as panderers. Placing the panda in the video, a former FreedomWorks staffer says, was “an inside joke.”
Another FreedomWorks staffer who worked there at the time confirms that ”Yes, this video was created.”
Days before the FreePAC event, the video was screened for staff. “My mouth was wide open,” a former official recalls. “‘What the hell is this?’” Several FreedomWorks staffers were outraged and stunned that Brandon, the group’s second-in-command after [president Matt] Kibbe, had overseen the video’s production, appeared in it, and intended to show this film at the conference, which would be attended by many social-conservative activists. They raised objections to the film.
I think those objections were probably relevant. This story came to the surface due to an internal investigation of the conservative advocacy group, after questions were raised about the group’s use of funds. Bet they didn’t think they’d find this.
I understand this happens sometimes. You’re unfamiliar with an intersection or set of on-ramps, and you accidentally take off the wrong way. I’ve done it, then corrected myself in a matter of seconds. A woman in Burleson last night went the wrong way for 15 miles. That’s like getting on Central Expressway in downtown Dallas, and staying on it until you hit the George Bush Turnpike. But you’re in the wrong lane.
Probably needless to say, she was eventually slapped with a DWI, after hitting two cars and getting taken down by a police spike-strip.
Yesterday, Dallas’ Park Board approved the city’s new and improved parks master plan, the one with the capes and the superpowers and all that. You can read the whole thing here (thanks DMN, for uploading it). In the report, four parks are labelled as “priority parks”:Â Carpenter Plaza, Harwood Park,Â Pacific Plaza, and West End Plaza. If the city’s smart, they’ll fund all of these spaces, whether that’s through private donations or whatever.
The one that’s the best for the city, however, is Pacific Plaza. It balances the needs and wishes of old – read: car-dependent, 20th-century – Dallas with new Dallas, in a way that doesn’t sacrifice the mission of downtown parks. The city already owns much of the land it needs for the park, which would sit between Harwood and St. Paul, north of Live Oak. (Live Oak will be closed in this new plan, though, newly minted parks director Willis Winters said yesterday. Anyway, point of reference.) On it right now is a surface parking lot, one that sucks the life out of any walk from the Arts District to downtown.
The problem, Winters said, is that the neighboring buildings don’t want to lose the parking. Understandable, Winters said, so here’s a plan: buy the land from us, build an underground parking garage, and, as a stipulation, throw a park on top. The master plan mentions this in passing – “Underground parking for 840 cars with ingress/egress of Harwood Street” – but if the city pulls this off it could, in theory, satisfy both sides of the downtown base.
Dallas now has its own entry into the Rebecca Black/”It’s Thanksgiving” Wall of Honor. His name is Corbin Corona and, as you can tell by the headline, he’s a clown. Back in October he released his video “Oh My,” which (poorly) name-drops Al Biernat’s:
“I’m out here in the streets all day, lifestyle sh*t I’m talking Al Biernat’s”
Undaunted by the need for talent, Corona forged ahead, releasing a video for “SuperStar” in late December. This week it’s found its way to a variety of blogs, through a well-placed link on Reddit’s “Cringe” page. A YouTube comment sums up the video well: “great. now I have to know you exist.”
To save you all the time of watching the video, I look the liberty of live-blogging my first viewing of it:
A report by the Miami New TimesÂ today indicates that Texas Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz may have received steroids or human growthÂ hormones from a Â Miami clinic that also catered toÂ San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, Oakland A’s pitcher Bartolo ColÃ³n, Cuban boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa, and even Alex Rodriguez.
The clinic in question isÂ Biogenesis, an “anti-aging” clinic that abruptly closed shop last month. A former employee gave the company’s customer spreadsheets to the New Times. As for Cruz’s alleged participation:
But there are also several prominent professionals in Bosch’s records who have never before been linked to steroid use. According to his July 2012 client sheet, Bosch sold $4,000 of product to Nelson Cruz, whom he nicknames “Mohamad.” Cruz, the power-hitting Dominican outfielder for the Texas Rangers, has whacked 130 bombs in his eight-year career without any links to performance-enhancing drugs. Until now. Bosch writes in his 2012 book: “Need to call him, go Thur to Texas, take meds from April 5-May 5, will owe him troches and… and will infuse them in May.”
The Rangers, according to DMN reporter Evan Grant, said only that the team was contacted by theÂ Miami New Times and that it then contacted MLB. The team had no further comment.
A Denton County man was arrested over the weekend for posing as a fire marshal to avoid a bar cover charge and receive free drinks, the Star-Telegram reports.Â According to the paper, Charles Brandon, 33,Â faces a charge of public intoxication and impersonating a public servant after pretending to be a fire marshal on New Year’s Eve atÂ Glass Cactus, a nightclub at the Gaylord Texan.
“Grapevine’s fire marshal was there that night when someone said that there was another Grapevine fire marshal already there,” Grapevine police officer Sam Shemwell told the paper. “The city’s fire marshal found him, contacted him, and asked him about it. He said at the time that they just misunderstood him and that he never said he was from Grapevine. He said he was from Dallas County and showed a badge. The real fire marshal was so busy that once he saw the badge, he just went on with his work that night.”
This past Sunday, another fire marshal was at the club when “Glass Cactus employees told the fire official that the ‘other’ fire marshal was also at the bar.” Brandon was subsequently arrested and charged. A few things:
1. 33? 33 years old?
2. If you were a bartender, wouldn’t you be concerned that a fire marshal was asking for free drinks?
3. Bud Heavy, right? He looks like a Bud Heavy guy, or maybe rail whiskey.