Did you know that yesterday was the last day of "International Swastika Rehabilitation Week"? It was — at least according to an organization called The International Raelian Movement, whose members believe that the symbol was brought to Earth millions of years ago on a spaceship, along with some other stuff. To celebrate, the Raelians paid $2000 to have a plane to fly a banner featuring a swastika superimposed over a Star of David, an equation suggesting that a swastika means peace and love, and their website's address over Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and the Rockaways on Saturday afternoon. While any reasonable person would be unlikely to appreciate the sign, it was particularly awful because the neighborhoods where it was spotted is home to a significant number of WWII and Holocaust survivors.
At around 6:30 on Saturday night, the 29-year-old detective was off-duty and standing with a friend (the Post says a cousin) on a platform at the 6 station on 23rd Street station when he got into an argument with a man nearby. According to the Post, the man became angry when the cop's companion began "bothering" a panhandler and eventually punched the cop in the head before running away with two female friends. The victim is now in a medically-induced coma at Bellevue, while the suspect — described as a 5'10", 200-pound black man in his early 40s — is still at large.
The World Cup comes to an end this afternoon in Rio, when Germany and Argentina meet in the tournament's final. It’s Germany’s eighth appearance in the final (they’ve won three times), and it’s the fifth time Argentina will play for the title (they’ve won twice). The game is sure to draw monster ratings, with both die-hard fans and casual observers tuning in. And so if you're the type who only watches soccer once every four years, here's a primer to get to ready for the big match.
Every other time it's been played, the World Cup's third place game has been a colossal waste of time that no one wanted any part of. It was different this year, at least for Brazil. While Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal said the game "should never be played," the host team desperately needed a chance to erase its 7-1 drubbing at the feet of Germany in the semis. And in a sense, the Brazilians did that, replacing the memory of Germany kicking their ass with a new memory of the Netherlands kicking their ass. At least Brazil only lost by three this time. Here are the GIFs to prove it:
If one good thing came from the United States losing in the World Cup, it's been the freedom Americans have to cheer for any nation with no regard for imaginary lines on a map. So before tomorrow's final between Germany and Argentina, ask yourself if you prefer schnitzel or empanadas? Hasselhoff or Lorenzo Lamas? An obelisk or a gate?
Whether it's Germany or Argentina for you, you're going to want to bone up on a few key phrases to make yourself seem like an informed fan, even if it's only for a couple hours. So read this, go buy a big dumb hat (see above), and then read it again. You'll be ready come kick off.
The Glen Falls Post-Star reports that parts of a Queensbury, New York road were shut down for hours this week after "dozens of chunks" of meat appeared on it, for some reason. The already weird and gross situation was downright hellish for people who drove through the aforementioned meat, because their cars took on its rotting smell. "My guys had to step out for a while, it was so bad," said the owner of a car wash that dealt with at least 35 such vehicles. (Meanwhile, turkey vultures hovered above the state Department of Transportation workers tasked with the cleanup.) According to the AP, "Police believe meat fell off a truck that might have been heading from a farm or slaughterhouse to a rendering plant, but no one has come forward to claim it." We can't imagine why.
Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that an unnamed 60-something-year-old woman had become trapped in a hyperbaric chamber at Pure Flow, a fancy spa in Chelsea. Upon discovering that the zipper of the coffin-sized, oxygen-filled tube was stuck, she (understandably) panicked and became short of breath (or, possibly, it was the other way around). When spa employees did not respond to her cries for help, she texted a friend, who then called 911. But by the time rescuers arrived, the woman had already managed to free herself and was standing outside the supposedly relaxing device unharmed. On Saturday, the New York Daily News published a follow-up revealing that the hyperbaric chamber's victim was renowned artist and musician — and, yes, the widow of Lou Reed — Laurie Anderson.
On Friday, extremely controversial photographer Terry Richardson teased some images from an upcoming 100-page special issue of Playboy titled "California Dreamin'" (NSFW photos can be seen here on his blog). In an email to Jezebel, a spokesperson for the magazine called Richardson "a great partner" and said that while the issue was originally set to come out in September, it won't actually be available until Valentine's Day 2015. (How romantic!) Meanwhile, Playboy plans to keep releasing teaser spreads (like this one in the current July/August issue) in the December and January/February issues. Basically, Playboy will troll you until you couldn't care less when the actual issue drops in seven months.
On Friday morning, many local people and publications (this one included) got very freaked out by a flyer posted by someone who claimed that their pregnant pet Mexican Red Rump tarantula, Penelope, had escaped her home in Park Slope. "She's mostly active at night and likes to hide in dark corners. She shouldn't bite but sometimes jumps when frightened," wrote Penelope's supposed owner, who asked that members of the public try to capture the spider in a Tupperware bowl. But, by the afternoon, some had begun to question the "missing" sign's authenticity. And on Friday night, the New York Times reported that it was indeed a hoax.
Tracy Morgan is suing Walmart for negligence in the June car crash on the New Jersey turnpike that left him and several others hospitalized and killed fellow comic James McNair. According to the suit, Morgan and others allege Walmart was "careless and negligent" because the company "knew, or should have known" that the driver, Kevin Roper, who had to commute over 700 miles before starting his shift, had been awake for over 24 hours prior to the accident. The suit alleges that this was "unreasonable" and that Roper's hours were not in compliance with federal standards to combat driver fatigue. Furthermore, they claim that Walmart "not only failed to condemn, but condoned this practice of its drivers routinely violating" federal regulations.