Hard Hats, Anyone?

Last week’s earthquake was admittedly mild. But it was a reminder that we have faults, too. A look at the city’s geology shows the dangers our landmarks face – the following structures lie more or less exactly atop one of Manhattan’s several fault lines: The Empire State Building * Mount Sinai Medical Center * One Police Plaza * Bellevue Hospital * The Met Life Building * Washington Square Arch * Madison Square Garden * The World Trade Center.

Next Up:
Aluminum Bats?
Paul O’Neill, the former chairman of Alcoa, is Bush’s choice for Treasury secretary. Paul O’Neill, stalwart outfielder, recently signed on for another year with the Yankees. The coincidences don’t stop there.

Bushie Paul: Rose to presidency of International Paper in 1985. Baseball Paul: Rose to major leagues in 1985.
Bushie Paul: Took home $2.95 million in salary and bonus in 2000. Baseball Paul: Earned $6.5 million in salary and bonus in 2000.
Bushie Paul: Reproduction autograph to be available on 2001-series U.S. currency. Baseball Paul: Reproduction autograph currently available on souvenir baseballs.
Bushie Paul: His boss used to own the Texas Rangers. Baseball Paul: His boss still owns the New York Yankees.
Bushie Paul: Right-winger. Baseball Paul: Right-fielder.

Titanium Blues
The Times revealed recently that part of the Guggenheim Bilbao’s shimmering, supposedly indestructible titanium skin is turning – brown! While its architect, Frank Gehry, has attributed the discoloration to pollution’s effects on a sealant spilled during construction, the reputation of the hip metal – which, thanks to Gehry, clads everything from SoHo penthouses to the new Apple PowerBook – may be permanently tarnished. So is Edward Baquero, developer of the titanium-plated Loft at 30 Crosby Street, nervous? “The military uses it,” he says. “The last thing that’s going to happen is that it’ll erode from just being outside for two years.” In any event, “the units are sold.”

Big Oil vs. Ashcroft
A few years ago, John Ashcroft was nicknamed the Crisco Kid after he “anointed” himself with the supermarket favorite the night before he was sworn in to the Senate. Ever since he was nominated for attorney general, there’s been a widely circulating e-mail campaign to make the greasy label stick: “Say no with Crisco,” it says, suggesting that anti-Ashcroft folks mail bottles of Crisco to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A call to the Senate Post Office asking about the potential oily tide received no response. (They’re all probably home frying up dinner.)

Your Opinions Are Important to Us
Last week, NYPD commissioner Bernard Kerik announced an effort to adopt consumer-satisfaction surveys. According to the Times, survey participants will be culled largely from “arrest reports, summonses and stop-and-frisk forms.” The department didn’t say what questions will be asked, but we offer a few suggestions:

If you were strip-searched, was the temperature comfortable enough for breast-lifting?
If you were nearly trampled by a police horse while participating in a demonstration, did the horse appear healthy and well-cared-for?
If you work in an Asian bordello in Midtown South, did the officers tip?
If the police leaked your juvenile record, did they, upon further consideration, kind of have a point?

Hard Hats, Anyone?