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ENTROPY UPDATE

The Progressive Review

WHEN THE TOP CAVES IN

THE CRASH OF AMERICA

APOLOGY TO YOUNGER AMERICANS

THE QUIET STORM: BLOWIN' IN THE WIND OF CULTURAL DECAY

THE AUTISTIC CONFEDERACY

THE WORST & THE DUMBEST

Decline in human dialogue

Attentiv - 99% of Americans have cell phones, but spend 26 minutes per day texting and only 6 minutes on calls. In fact, the first ever decline in global mobile voice usage occurred in 2013 and that trend is likely to continue.

About 1 out of every 4 people socializes more online than in person, 32% of people would rather text you than talk to you, and a whopping 51% of teens would rather communicate digitally than in person (even with friends).

Brooklyn gentrification

Buzz Feed - Jesse’s Deli, in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill neighborhood, has been paying $4,000 a month in rent for the last five years, owner Mohamad Itayim told Buzz Feed News. This year, however, the store’s landlord decided the raise the rent to $10,000 a month.“That’s impossible to pay,” Itayim said.

In response, the store put up posters displaying what Itayim called “fancy names, yuppie names” that include things like a “curated” extension cord set and “grass fed” tuna.

The prices for the ordinary-but-now-artisanal items have been raised to match the proposed rent hike.

The campaign drummed up considerable support. Jesse’s has been featured in local media and customers have been posting images to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #jessespricedout.

“The response has been great,” Itayim said. “We’ve been getting a lot of support and a lot of reaction to these posters.”

Despite the posters, Itayim said customers still pay regular prices when they go to check out.

Jesse’s has been in the neighborhood since 1983, but now has to leave its current location by July 31.

Kermit the Frog gives Ted Talk

Vox - Kermit the Frog gave a TEDx talk in Jackson, Mississippi, in November 2014, and the video was recently released. (Kermit is from a Mississippi swamp.) The topic: creativity.

Depending on how you feel about TED talks, this is either an inspiring look at creativity or a depressing example of Kermit the Frog being co-opted by corporate pseudo-intellectual banality that leaves you imagining him staying at Courtyard Marriotts on a corporate expense account, "networking" a little too eagerly and calling himself a "connectivity guru with an interest in B2L (business to lily pad)."

Despite the hippie sensibility we associate with Henson and Co., as recalled in Brian Jay Jones's biography of Jim Henson, the Muppets have a history of taking corporate gigs. One of Henson's first paid gigs was making ads for Wilkins coffee.

Kermit didn't display much of the showmanship or humility he's shown in other performances. Except for a vaudevillian slurp of iced tea in the middle, Kermit stayed focused on how creativity can make businesses shine:

Kermit says creativity is a "conspiracy of craziness." Kermit eagerly quotes that "creativity is the engine of our economy." Sometimes, that can require "ridiculous optimism." Kermit quotes Charles Baudelaire: "Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will." Kermit also believes that Zen Buddhism also can help us understand creativity, because "in the beginner's mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind, there are few."

For all of us who wish Kermit were less about the humor, emotion, and chaos of The Muppet Show and more about paging through quote books bought at airports, this TED talk is a relief.

Conrad Hilton III is accused of causing a ruckus aboard a more than 10-hour British Airways flight from London to Los Angeles... After turning himself in, the 20-year-old, very wealthy man-child appeared in court, accused of threatening the flight crew, smoking aboard the plane, making children cry with his profanity-laced tirades and calling everyone who dared be annoyed by his antics “peasants.”

“After 12 years, Brian Williams is coming clean, admitting the helicopter he traveled in during NBC’s coverage of the 2003 Iraq invasion never once came under fire, despite Williams’ story to the contrary,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

After sending Roger Vanderklok for jail for the audacity of asking to file a complaint, Philadelphia International Airport TSA supervisor Charles Kieser then lied about what happened on the stand in court. He fabricated an aggressive confrontation and a bomb threat, neither of which are in evidence on the CCTV footage or in the police report. His victim was help incommunicado in jail, panicking his wife who had no idea where he'd gone. Kieser gets to keep his job.

Group doctor visits

US billionaire arrives in Davos in private jet to tell Americans that their "lifestyle expectations are far too high"

Davos greedsters feature Prince Andrew

2014

British Air's war on cellos: BA have now changed the rules, so any cello in the cabin has a minimum fee of £300 long haul. So now the cello is paying almost the same as I am, with no meal, no baggage allowance, no airmiles, no online checkin, no upgrades possible etc.

Helicopter parenting out of control

Torture terrorist gets endowed law school chair at Berkeley

Social media prenup

Divorce parties

Some DC restaurants stop taking reservations

Manischewitz now owned by Mitt Romney's old firm, Bain Capital

$250 hamburger in NYC

Justin Beiber gives a a deposition

You could be fined $3 million for gossiping about that Bieber party you attended

Remembering our veterans in the Hamptons

Wealthy Manhattenites hiring disabled people to be fake family members and move kids to head of Disney World line

Being Donald Trump's son

Emails tell you you're not invited to a wedding

Get yourself a social media butler for the Obama inauguration

2012

Donald Trump wins $5 million case against Miss Pensylvania

Life in the 1%

The hazards of not having a Facebook page

Media invitation

The rules aboard the plane of Abercrombie's CE0

New and historic

PAUL SHIINKMAN, WTOP

Why vision statements should be vague and ambiguous

Boing Boing - Hammacher Schlemmer's Human Bowling Ball is a $4,500 amusement for children aged 5-12: it consists of a giant, inflatable hamster ball and an inflated bowling lane. You insert your progeny into the former and entice them to run quickly at the latter, caroming off the sides to the amusement of all.

Divorced couple fighting over 1200 designer shoe collection

More than a third of British 16 to 23-year-olds (36%) do not know bacon comes from pigs and four in 10 (40%) failed to link milk with an image of a dairy cow, with 7% linking it to wheat,

Celebrity poker circle

NYC private school to charge $40k a year...

Chicago selling naming rights to everything

Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch said it would offer "substantial payment" to MTV's The Jersey Shore's cast members to stop wearing the brand on air. "We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans," an Abercrombie & Fitch spokesperson said in a statement. "We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response."

High school seniors spending up to $5000 for professional photos of themselves

ALGONQUIN HOTEL TO BECOME JUST ANOTHER MARRIOTT

PRO FOOTBALL ATTENDANCE DROPS THIRD YEAR IN A ROW

NEARLY A QUARTER OF AMERICANS WOULDN'T MIND BEING PLUGGED IN DURING SEX

ELITE ETHNOGRAPHY: AUSTERITY CHIC

Teach your kid to be a TSA agent

What Americans have been taught: from a Gallup poll

2010

TWELVE REASONS THE US IS NOT NUMBER ONE

GAO FINDS DELIVERING MAIL 'NOT VIABLE'

COMPLETE GUIDE TO DRIVING A TOYOTA WHEN IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE A CAR IS MEANT TO

NYC SCHOOL PANEL MAY APPROVE POP TARTS, BUT BAN BROWNIES AND ZUCCHINI BREAD

PARENTS BANNED FROM PLAYGROUND BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T HAD CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECKS

BRITISH SCOUTS NO LONGER ALLOWED TO HAVE PENKNIVES

BRITISH CHILDREN BEING DISCOURAGED FROM RIDING BIKES