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Entries in Cool or Not Cool (85)

Wednesday
Jan162013

COOL OR NOT COOL: CHRISTMAS TREES HANGING FROM A WIRE OVER 8TH AVE?

via Drucie Belman

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...three dead Christmas trees hanging from a wire above 8th Avenue? What...how...why???? Is this a prank? An art installation? A protest against pagan rituals? I do think it looks sort of beautiful, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to drive under them. Didn't the people who did this ever see that public service video in elementary school where the vandals drop a rock off an overpass, and it hits a car windshield and blinds the lady driving and causes a multi-car pileup?

Despite the beauty, I think it's too dangerous and very uncool. What say you?

 

Thursday
Dec272012

Cool or Not Cool: Publishing the Names and Addresses of People With Gun Permits?

Following the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT and the recent cold-hearted shooting of two volunteer fire fighters upstate on Monday, folks in this country are all fired up about gun control. Sane people think we need to do more to make owning and using fire arms more difficult. Crazy people think we need to arm everyone even further because clearly, we as a nation need to solve the problem of guns with guns. Others are finding some unconventional ways to call out gun owners, like the lower Hudson Valley's paper, The Journal News. 

According to Gawker, the small newspaper has published the names and addresses of all those who have gun permits in both Rockland and Westchester counties. Not only that, they created an interactive map that shows exactly where each of those permit holders live. And according to the Freedom of Information Act, it's completely legal. 

Dwight R. Worley, The Journal News reporter, explained how this is possible: 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec202012

Cool Or Not Cool: Canceling Potentially Upsetting Movie Screenings in the Wake of Tragedy?

For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume that everyone is aware of the recent, incredibly horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, and just get right down to the nitty gritty of this thing.

We recently received an email from an irate BAM member, who was upset that the organization cancelled recent screenings of John Waters' Female Trouble and Silent Night Bloody Night out of respect for the victims of Newtown, Connecticut. When this particular BAM member asked why the screenings were cancelled during a film series meant to depict “dark visions of the holiday season,” this was the reply that he received:

 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct252012

Cool or Not Cool: Parents Trying to Ban Standardized Exams?

This week Park Slope parents hit the street to protest a very important issue: standardized testing. Their kids don’t need the pressure from these “high stakes” test and they refuse to take the matter sitting down! So they are organizing a boycott, gosh darnit.

Nevermind the fact that studies --  like one conducted by Martin Carnoy and Susanna Loeb of Stanford -- show that standardized tests do make a difference... just not to students who typically come from the socioeconomic classes you find in Park Slope. But for sub-par teachers and low-income students, the structure imposed by standardized tests make a significant difference. Studies done by the University of Michigan found that these system closed a quarter of the gap in math achievement between black and white fourth graders.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct112012

COOL OR NOT COOL: CHARGING FOR WATER AT SWEET MELISSA'S?

I must say, after living in Park Slope for five years, I've noticed that one of the major polarizing topics of the neighborhood is not Democrat or Replican, Gay or Straight, or Team Jacob or Team Edward related: it's whether or not you love or hate Sweet Melissa. I was sort of on the fence myself...until I rec'd the following email from FIPS reader Josh. Now I'm on Team Hate. 

Click to read more ...