New Anti-Teen Weapon: Harbinger of Bleak Future?So in an attempt to rid the outside and stairwells of the apartment building he manages of the pesky teens who hang out there, last week Sean Mann of Jamaica, Queens, became the first person in New York to install a device known as the Mosquito. A small wall-mounted box that emits a high-pitched screech only audible to people in their teens and early twenties, the Mosquito was created in Britain to deter teen loiterers, and so far, it seems to work. “It’s obnoxious, high-pitched and painful,” 19-year-old Kristin Hankins told the Post, when they tried it out in Washington Square Park the other day. Weird. While we’re not too bothered that someone has devised a way to shut up teenagers, what if this is merely the beginning?
The ‘Times’ Touches Upon Checkbook Journalism — With Two Fingers, Of CourseMEDIA
• “OK!, the celebrity magazine, could not possibly have purchased all the attention it enjoyed in late December after it got the scoop that Jamie Lynn Spears, the younger and until then less sensational sister of the troubled pop queen Britney Spears, was three months pregnant. Or could it?” [NYT]
• Josh Stein isn’t actually leaving Gawker; Emily Gould will write for Jezebel; Choire Sicha will continue contributing columns; and recently departed Wonkette editor Ken Layne returned after just a few months off the job. Can anyone escape the tentacles of Nick Denton? [HuffPo]
• The Writers Guild plans to picket Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Conan O’Brien as the three late-night hosts return to the air. Letterman gets off easy since he struck a deal with the writers and may get a big boost since big stars (like Robin Williams, natch) won’t have to cross the pickets to go on his show. [NYO, NYT]
So. That was some Sopranos last night, eh? The critic-y kids over at Vulture count a full five hits in this penultimate episode: the rat garroted by Silvio, the Ukrainian father and daughter, Bobby, Sil, and Tony’s therapy. The worst damage of all, however, is undoubtedly yet to come: There’ll be some in next week’s finale, sure, but also lots to those poor Baccalieri kids, doomed to be raised by Janice. What else caught Emily Nussbaum’s eye? Find out at Vulture.
UPDATE: Plus an obituary for Bobby Bacala, “the biggest sad-sack, nice-guy murdering mobster we’ve ever met.”
‘The Sopranos’: Melfi Whacks Tony
in other news
Joe Bruno Plays the Ponies
Our nomination for most sweetly quaint sentence ever about an FBI inquiry into the business dealings of a powerful politician: “Mr. Bruno bought two mares from Mr. Mack.” The former is, of course, Joe Bruno, the state’s top Republican; the latter is Earle Mack, a fellow Thoroughbred enthusiast and a former ambassador to Finland (okay, now it’s turning into P.G. Wodehouse). The Albany Times Union followed the money, as today’s Times reports: Bruno bought the mares from Mack for $50,000, bred them, and auctioned off the three resultant foals for $425,000 (nice, um, flip?). The buyer of one of the foals, at $105,000, was, you won’t be shocked to hear, Mr. Mack. There’s nothing illegal about the transaction, of course, except the persistent impression that Mack, a major GOP donor, either (a) is the world’s most eccentric businessman or (b) wanted to make Bruno very happy. In either case, here’s a question: Why can’t all political scandals be about horses? Let the noble animal, at least, confer some dignity on the participants.
Bruno Inquiry Scrutinizes Thoroughbred Transactions [NYT]
Will Someone Please Call Family Services on Dina Lohan?Dina Lohan, the “white Oprah,” is in talks to do a reality show for E! in which she’ll try to turn her two youngest kids into stars. And Lindsay’s DUI arrest made it tough for underage girls to get into L.A. clubs after the MTV Movie Awards. Michael Moore has lost 30 pounds eating whole grains and sleeping more. Harvey Weinstein is an investor at Bungalow 8 doorman Armin Amiri’s new club, Socialista. Angelina Jolie is spending time with her children at the expense of spending time with Brad Pitt. Gwyneth Paltrow and David Byrne are bad tippers. Cameron Diaz gave André Balazs a neck rub.
Book Expo: Read All About It! (Ha!)
Book Expo America — the annual, enormous books-biz tradeshow that invaded the Javits Center last Thursday — reached its final chapter yesterday. Heartbroken you missed all the excitement? Buck up, little reader: Vulture’s correspondents were there, and they brought back all sorts of goodies for you (if by “goodies,” you mean “brief dispatches”). Julianne Moore! Tina Brown! An animatronic-ish Margaret Atwood! Foreskins! Everything you ever wanted to know about Book Expo awaits at Vulture.
Book Expo [Vulture]
Wish It Were Sunday
We’re even more depressed than we usually are on Monday mornings.
New York, NY [Weather.com]