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Watch All These People Eat Shit While Trying To Cross A Railway On A Bike

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jbasirico
9 days ago
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Anthony Scaramucci's absolutely-bananas quotes to the New Yorker, ranked

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The

New Yorker's Ryan Lizza published a piece

Thursday night detailing a phone conversation he had the previous evening with Scaramucci -- a call that came in the wake of

Lizza reporting

that the communications director was having dinner with President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, Fox News host Sean Hannity and former top Fox News executive Bill Shine.

The call, as reported by Lizza, was bananas. Like b-a-n-a-n-a-s.

"I sometimes use colorful language,"

Scaramucci tweeted

in the wake of the story posting. "I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump's agenda. #MAGA"

You should read

the whole thing

yourself. But here are the high/low-lights, ranked by how disastrously bad they are for Scaramucci and the Trump White House.

12. "The lie detector starts..."

Lizza reports that Scaramucci broke off this thought without finishing it -- amid a broader rant about how leakers had broken the law. This quote is like Kwame Brown -- so much upside, unrealized.

11. "OK, the Mooch showed up a week ago. This is going to get cleaned up very shortly, OK."

Nothing truly damaging here but a) the fact that Scaramucci referred to himself in the third person and b) called himself "the Mooch" is truly amazing.

10. "Yeah, let me go, though, because I've gotta start tweeting some shit to make this guy crazy."

This was Scaramucci's sign-off with Lizza. As Lizza notes, Scaramucci then sent the tweet about leaking his financial disclosure -- a tweet in which he tagged Priebus. This quote then puts to lie Scaramucci's explanation that he tagged Priebus in the tweet to show it was a united front against the leakers.

9. "I've done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they're going to have to go fuck themselves."

Not sure they're going to "have to" do that. I mean, it's certainly an option. But far from a necessity.

8. "Reince Priebus -- if you want to leak something -- he'll be asked to resign very shortly."

This would be a disastrous quote in any other circumstance. The new communications director telling a reporter that the chief of staff is going to resign! In this interview, it doesn't even come close to cracking the top five.

7. (tie) "What I'm going to do is, I will eliminate everyone in the comms team and we'll start over."

"I'm going to fire every one of them, and then you haven't protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks."

"They'll all be fired by me. I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I'll fire tomorrow."

To pick a favorite among the "firing trio" is too hard. (It's like picking your favorite Sand Snake.) But, can you imagine Scaramucci showing up for work tomorrow and facing the staff? "Hey everybody, I know I told a reporter that I was going to fire all of you. But, you know, people say stuff, right? Who's with me?"

(crickets)

4. "You're an American citizen, this is a major catastrophe for the American country. So I'm asking you as an American patriot to give me a sense of who leaked it."

Any political reporter whose been at it for a while will tell you that attempts to guilt you into not writing something come in all shapes and sizes. But the appeal to patriotism is a new one -- especially when you consider that this isn't about classified intelligence. This is about Scaramucci having dinner with the President, the first lady and Sean Hannity.

3. "What I want to do is I want to fucking kill all the leakers and I want to get the President's agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people."

Ok. So, here's the plan:

1. We kill everyone who leaked anything.

2. We succeed for the American people.

3. Resign in glory.

2. "I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to suck my own cock."

That this bit of insight into the White House chief strategist's flexibility isn't the number one most damaging thing that Scaramucci says is truly remarkable. It's like how James Harden didn't win the MVP because Russell Westbrook averaged a triple double.

It takes only a once-in-a-lifetime effort for this quote to be the runner-up.

1. "Reince is a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac...'Let me leak the fucking thing and see if I can cock-block these people the way I cock-blocked Scaramucci for six months.'"

There's so much here. The bashing of Priebus' state of mind. The imitating of Priebus. The words themselves. This is a hall-of-fame-type quote. And Scaramucci wasn't even supposed to start as communications director until August 15!

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jbasirico
20 days ago
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A D.C. Man Fell Into a Trash Chute Because of His Phone

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This past Sunday, July 23—around 3 A.M.—a D.C.-area apartment-dweller decided to finish up his weekend chores. He tied up a bag of garbage, pulled it out of the bin, walked it over to the building's trash chute, and sent it tumbling down.

In a flash, he was struck by a familiar sinking feeling—had he dropped his cell phone? Bending down to check, he found himself overcome by a slightly less familiar sinking feeling: he had fallen into the trash chute.

Luckily, there was enough room in there to maneuver around. As the Washington Post reports, the man managed to get himself upright, find his phone—whether it had actually fallen in with the trash, or had just been in his pocket the whole time, remains unclear—and call 911, which dispatched a rescue crew.

Video from WTTG shows about a half dozen firefighters gathered in the apartment's hallway, discussing strategy and checking up on their victim through the wall.

After pumping fresh air down into the chute with a hose, the firefighters eventually got a harness on him and pulled him back up out of the muck. He was treated on the scene, and released in good condition (and with his phone) about an hour after he had fallen in. Not a bad start to the week.

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jbasirico
22 days ago
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Under Trump party planner, HUD ends Obama's battle against segregation in Westchester.

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Sheila Thomson/Flickr

For eight years, Rob Astorino has led Westchester County, New York in its refusal to comply with the terms of a federal consent degree to hasten the integration of New York City’s racially stratified wealthy northern suburbs.

Ten times, the county submitted a self-satisfied examination of how county zoning impacts racial segregation and what leaders planned to do about it. (Conclusions: It doesn’t; nothing.) Ten times the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development rejected that “analysis of impediments.”

In April, a few weeks after HUD deemed the county’s latest effort “unacceptable," a federal appeals panel declared that Westchester—the swath of small towns and cities between the Hudson River and the Long Island Sound—was “engaging in total obstructionism” by failing to comply with the 2009 settlement. That agreement, signed by Astorino’s predecessor, was the result of a U.S. District Court ruling that Westchester had “utterly failed” to comply with the Fair Housing Act. The Anti-Discrimination Center sued Westchester in 2006 after the county accepted $52 million in HUD grants but falsely certified in the paperwork that it had conducted a proper fair housing analysis.

Then came Lynne Patton, Trump family party planner turned HUD administrator. In June, Patton took office as the head of HUD Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey.

Lo, the 11th time was the charm. On Friday, HUD Regional Director Jay Golden wrote that Westchester’s latest analysis—which, like its previous efforts, did not find any evidence of exclusionary zoning in the county—was good enough, although Astorino staff told the Journal News the document was “essentially the same” as its precursors.

“Westchester vindicated!” Astorino wrote on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. “HUD capitulates after 7 years. Zoning not exclusionary—like we said all along. #honor”

In April, HUD regional director Jay Golden wrote to Westchester that its analysis of impediments was “unacceptable.” Golden’s letter faulted Westchester for failing to acknowledge both the segregation of white residents and of minorities in towns like Larchmont, Pound Ridge, and Ossining.

As an example, Golden cited the county's analysis of the Village of Sleepy Hollow, which concluded there was no correlation between zoning and concentrations of black and Hispanic residents. “This conclusion is not supported by the data presented in the analysis,” Golden writes. “Areas zoned as multfamily/two-family have 8.5% African American population and 57% Hispanic population, compared to less than 1% and 10% respectively in single family housing residential zoned areas.”

The county’s strategies to overcoming impediments (most of which it had denied) included “fair housing posters, attending award ceremonies, and participating in panel discussions.” Those also struck HUD planners as insubstantial.

The most recent letter from HUD to Westchester is just one paragraph, with Golden writing that he “appreciates the County’s commitment to reaching an amicable resolution in this matter.” Still, the analysis appears to have barely changed. With respect to Sleepy Hollow, for example, the revised document concludes simply that “both minority populations reside throughout the village.”

Astorino had made resistance to the consent decree his calling card, both locally and in his failed 2014 bid to unseat Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In an ad that aired in Nassau County, the Long Island home of Levittown, a suburban street sprouted high rise apartments as the blue sky turned black and yellow. (Westchester’s Yonkers, where the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero dramatized the racial housing animus of a previous generation, has its own agreement with HUD, as do the county’s other major cities—which also happen to be among the county’s 9 communities with double-digit black populations.)

Westchester also served as a rallying cry for a larger cohort of conservatives who saw the Obama administration’s attempts to enforce the Fair Housing Act as radical overreach. In a 2015 editorial that his later statements on housing have convinced me he did not actually write, HUD Secretary Ben Carson called Obama HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s policies a “government-engineered attempt to legislate racial equality.”

The Obama Administration didn’t pass any new housing laws. But it did try to finally fulfill the promise of the 1968 law to “affirmatively further fair housing.” Nixon HUD chief George Romney, who viewed racial segregation as the federal government’s preeminent housing challenge, made America’s most promising foray down this road with Operation Breakthrough, which tried to overcome local zoning restrictions as part of a larger national building campaign. Opposition, the New York Times wrote in 1970, was "based on public fear that Washington is simply trying to foist a fancy new form of public housing, with a preponderance of poor and black residents, upon the localities.” Opponents called the plan “socialistic” and “totalitarian." Romney was subsequently dismissed, and Washington never touched the subject again.

At that time, federally enforced housing segregation was in every adult's living memory. Today, it’s easy to pretend America’s segregated settlement patterns are a result of personal preferences and the racial wealth gap. In reality, they helped create the racial wealth gap—and have been, as Richard Rothstein succinctly shows in his new book The Color of Law, enforced through law and federal policy since the late 19th century. Zoning is foremost among those tools that enforce segregation: Single-family residential zoning was largely popularized as a way to circumvent judicial bans on racial covenants and racial zoning.

This is why the Obama-era HUD made cautious efforts to overcome the restrictions that keep the suburbs segregated. Its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule asked jurisdictions to prepare reports on how zoning impacted racial segregation within their boundaries. More or less the type of document, in other words, that Westchester County was asked to draw up—and failed, 10 times in eight years, to do properly.

In the end, Westchester won: Its tenacious resistance outlasted reform politics at HUD. All it took was putting a party planner in charge.

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23 days ago
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Before the Bikini: Vintage Beach Photos

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When the sun's out and the mercury's rising, that can only mean one thing: summer is officially here. As illustrated by the images above, the beach has been the quintessential summer destination since the turn of the 20th century. But from the fashions to the activities, so much has changed since then 

Beach vacations started as early as the late 1800s after railroads became a viable source of transportation, according to Victoriana Magazine. Swimwear consisted of fully covered gowns and bloomers that revealed very little. Although the sun’s harmful UV rays were an unknown danger at the time, this conservative beachwear would have provided a good deal of protection.

By the early 1900s, beach resorts were becoming a popular destination. But water activities such as swimming and diving were a burden due to the bulky Victorian-style swimsuits, especially for the women, the magazine reports. Thus, by the 1920s, fitted swimwear that modestly conformed to the body became a part of beach fashion. Susan Sessions Rugh, an American history professor at Brigham Young University, points out that as the years passed, swimsuits became smaller and smaller.

“Earlier in the century, the sexes were often segregated on the beach and women were chaperoned, even though today their swimsuits look ridiculously modest,” Rugh said in an interview with <a href="http://Weather.com" rel="nofollow">Weather.com</a>. “Swimsuits shrunk over the years as new stretch fabrics and manufacturing methods allowed a more form-fitting garment.”

Rationing of fabric during the war created women’s clothing in America that was somewhat more revealing, possibly inspiring the production of two-piece bathing suits, which exposed women’s midriffs.

After the war, in 1946, the bikini was introduced and a trip to the beach hasn’t been the same.

French engineer Louis Reard created the first modern bikini, promoting it as "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit," according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal newspaper. Originally banned in Italy and Spain as it was considered indecent, the bikini didn’t become a popular fashion trend till 1956 after French actress Brigitte Bardot was seen wearing one, reports AmericanHeritage.com.

“By the sixties, influenced in part by the sexual revolution, the bikini became the preferred suit for the young and adventurous,” Rugh explained.

(MORE: Resort Town Left to Rot)

Today, bikinis are a common sight on the beach. But one thing's for certain, even as fashions come and go, the beach will always be a perfect destination for a summer vacation.

“It's a great getaway from our daily cares and work,” Rugh said. “Watching the waves and listening to the birds can be soothing. It is also educational for children, who pick up shells and drag seaweed out of the surf.”

The collection above features a vintage look of vacationers and beachgoers from around the world from the early 1900s to the end of the 1970s. For more information on the evolution of the family vacation, read Rugh’s book, “Are We There Yet?: The Golden Age of American Family Vacations.”

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24 days ago
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Road Covered In Wriggling Eels And Slime Following Horror Nightmare Crash

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Racing driver, talent scout, and Porsche Motorsport coach Sascha Maassen had been traveling for six weeks straight when I reached him via Skype. He was speaking from the Red Bull Ring in Austria, fresh off a flight from Japan where he had been at Fuji Speedway attending Round 3 of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. In Austria, he was waiting for three of his students to arrive. It’s a week before the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Porsche will be defending champions, but Maassen won’t be there: He’s earned a break.

Besides, Maassen has been there before. Of the nine times he’s raced Le Mans with Porsche, he placed second in his class three times, and won twice: in 2003, with teammates Emmanuel Collard and Lucas Luhr, and a year later, with Patrick Long and Jörg Bergmeister. Stateside, he won his class at the American Le Mans series four times, including three GT-class victories at the grueling 12 Hours of Sebring, across scarred airfield pavement. In 2002, right in the midst of that winning streak, he and Luhr won seven out of the 10 races. Finally, in 2012, at 43, Maassen paused factory driving to begin a career as a talent scout.

Maassen specializes in training drivers for the Carrera Cup in Germany and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which supports all European F1 races. Both are one-make race series in brand-new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars, all identical with 485 horsepower, sequential gearboxes, and built on the same assembly line as any other 911. Since 1998, according to Porsche, more than 2,600 Cup cars have been built. These cars are the vehicles by which young drivers get the chance to become pros. So Maassen travels from track to track, around the world, meets new faces, watches them drive, and maybe, just maybe, invites them to join the family.

“I’m covering those races where the young talents get to try Porsche for the full time,” he said, “and of course where they can learn the most. Once they go up the ladder, they will be more on their own.”

Most of these drivers are between 18 and 25, and will have developed their skills in karting at a young age. Some of them might have experience in a Formula series, or a lower-class GT or Touring Car series. And at some youthfully exuberant point in their life, maybe after a hard-fought victory or during a driver’s meeting, the scales will tip from expensive hobby to genuine skill, and a question will cross their mind: Could I do this for a living?

For the ones who answer yes, Porsche has a straightforward (albeit difficult) route to becoming a racing pro. The Porsche Junior program, launched in 1999, is where Maassen recruits. Anyone with racing experience between the ages of 18 to 25 is eligible.

“Everybody in the world who thinks they would be the perfect thing can apply,” Maassen told me. “But also we go around and look for talents. We go actively and search and motivate the right people for us.” That would explain the travel schedule — Maassen is currently coaching three Junior drivers (who hail from Australia, Norway, and Austria), while also supporting two drivers in Asia and keeping an eye on six more.

For at least a year, selectees take part in intense fitness regimens, heart-rate monitoring, stress management, classroom workshops on topics like vehicle dynamics and suspension setup, customer meet-and-greets, and media training.

Then, they actually have to drive the cars. Maassen coaches them through every step. If you set the fastest time, you get 150,000 Euros, up to three years of training, and support in the Carrera Cup Germany. And if you’re fast there, you get entry into the Mobil 1 Supercup, an FIA-supported series that tags along with Formula One across Europe and around the world (this year, it’s Mexico).

Even with Porsche’s support, it can take a driver up to three years to hone their skills and comfort level. And then, a reevaluation: Will you get better from here, will you feel comfortable in a GT or even Le Mans Prototype car, or is this the finish line? Maassen says it depends. “We had one driver who is driving the LMP1 car in Le Mans, he was already at 95% and we didn’t have to teach him a lot; it was more discussing with him, exchanging thoughts. He was just very, very mature and professional already. There are other drivers we see after three years of coaching that we have to decide if it makes sense or not.”

And sometimes the coaching process is quicker. Another driver with just two years of experience, “had such natural talent that we chose him, and now he’s a paid driver in the Porsche family,” said Maassen. “His performance shows that he has a very high potential to be very good.” That driver, Matteo Cairoli from Italy, joined the Porsche Junior program in 2015 at the age of 18, when he won the Carrera Cup Italia. Next week, he’ll be driving at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The potential Maassen searches for is both innate and teachable. “We’re looking for the whole package. They have to have everything. But, everything can be learned: If you don’t speak English, we can teach that. If they’re not fit enough, we can train them. But if they don’t have natural speed, it’s very difficult to get them to be fast. Also, their mindset has to be correct from the beginning.” Meaning what, exactly? “You have to be really willing to win, wanting to sacrifice everything else for this matter,” he said.

The proof is in the pudding for Maassen’s work: Four of his students, including Cairoli, competed at Le Mans this year. Last year, his three students in the Porsche Supercup placed first, second, and third in the championship: a “very, very satisfying experience,” Maassen said.

There are surely thousands, if not millions, around the world with similar dreamy aspirations: Drivers who grew up following Formula One, staying up to watch Sebring or Le Mans, maybe even advancing in shifter karts. For these potential racers, Maassen advises them to seek out as much expertise as they can — find trustworthy professionals, and listen to them.

He also warns against making “beginner’s mistakes” which can lead to losing interest: One such mistake is starting too early in higher and faster classes, instead of becoming successful in entry-level classes before making the step up. It’s a thin line between striving for the next victory and giving it all up and going back to the office — the self-doubt is always looming.

And even though Maassen has hung up his own helmet, he’s now in a position to live vicariously. “In the end, I’m still a racer,” he said. “Instead of trying to win races by myself I’m competing through my students.”

Blake Z. Rong is a writer, journalist, and photographer who’s wasted much of his life so far writing about cars and motorcycles. He has contributed to Jalopnik, Road & Track, and Autoweek, among other fine publication. He lives in Austin, Texas.

This post is a sponsored collaboration between Porsche Motorsport and Studio@Gizmodo.

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