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February 16, 2013

Photo Gallery: Mark Twain’s House, Hartford, CT

I want to go to there. This is the most beautiful house I've ever seen. arpeggia - Mark Twain’s House, Hartford, CT Photo by Frank...

Before you put down new carpet, why not do this to your floor?

Smash! Smash! SUH-MASH!

Dear Landlord: On the danger of relying on free internet services

Right after this guy posted this, Posterous announced they were shutting down. Dear "Landlord" - raganwald's posterous
I used to sell things for a living. One thing I remember is that there is a tremendous gulf between free and a dollar. In companies, you can’t spend a dollar without having to justify it to someone, to make a case for it. Everyone wants to know who the vendor is, how long they’ve been around, whether we can trust them, and whether what they’re selling is worth a dollar. So, although your offices are crowded, that actually doesn’t provide me with any security that other people have thought things through and decided you are a good bet. For all I know, they could decamp tomorrow for some other hot, free thing. This feels like fashion, not business, and it’s going to keep feeling that way until you can show me some tenants who actually pay, not just squat. I have a more serious problem with your offices. A lot of folks just like you build these great offices, lure people like me in, and then wind up getting jobs as architects working for someone else. Sometimes, what we thought were office buildings ended up being exhibits in someone’s portfolio, whether deliberately or by happenstance. I think the real estate guys call this the “talent acquisition” business: A bigger company buys the office building, gets the designers as employees, and promptly knocks the building down. Who needs it now that the architects found high-paying jobs doing something else? Me, that’s who. If I move in, I’m committing my business to your place. I don’t want to read a six-page letter telling me what a great ride it’s been and how much fun you had building this place and how much you’re getting to sell out, and oh yes, the loading dock is open 24 hours to help me move my stuff the hell out before you bulldoze. Architecture models often have these tiny plastic figurines that look like people walking around. If I'm supposed to move in before you sort out your “monetization strategy” and “exit plan,” this isn't an office and I'm not a tenant. It's a model of an office and you're asking me to be the plastic figurine sitting at the foamcore desk.

February 15, 2013

Stay classy, Delta passengers

Delta Passenger Accused Of Slapping 19-Month-Old Across The Face, Using Racial Slur – The Consumerist
According to the agent, a 60-year-old male passenger became so upset with a crying infant seated next to him on the plane that he allegedly told the mother to “shut that ni**er baby up,” and then slapped the child across the face. The child’s mother told the FBI that her son had begun crying as the plane began its descent. She attempted to calm the child, but could not. This is when the alleged assault occurred. Her story is corroborated in the affidavit by a male passenger on the plane, who told the FBI that he heard derogatory language coming from further back in the plane. He says he got up out of his seat to investigate and witnessed the baby being slapped. However, the passenger tells TSG that he didn’t strike the child nor did he use any racial slurs. He did admit to asking the mother to “quiet the child.” He also says he was not intoxicated and only had one alcoholic drink during the flight. The mother of the child counters this man’s claims of sobriety, telling TSG that he “reeked of alcohol” when boarding the plane and was “stumbling around wasted.” She also says he consumed several double vodkas during the short flight.

Facebook made a billion dollars in 2012, paid no taxes

And received $429,000,000 in taxpayer money. Facebook Paid No Taxes In 2012
Between 2008 and 2011, 26 major corporations were able to pay no federal corporate income tax, despite making a combined $205 billion in profits. According to a new report from Citizens for Tax Justice, Facebook joined that illustrious club last year, receiving $429 million in tax rebates despite making more than $1 billion in profits: Earlier this month, the Facebook Inc. released its first “10-K” annual financial report since going public last year. Hidden in the report’s footnotes is an amazing admission: despite $1.1 billion in U.S. profits in 2012, Facebook did not pay even a dime in federal and state income taxes. Instead, Facebook says it will receive net tax refunds totaling $429 million. Facebook’s income tax refunds stem from the company’s use of a single tax break, the tax deductibility of executive stock options. That tax break reduced Facebook’s federal and state income taxes by $1,033 million in 2012, including refunds of earlier years’ taxes of $451 million