New York City

Photo Of The Day [Updated]

The Amazing Scene, Just Before Impact. The B-25 collided with The Empire State Building on the north side, around the 78th Floor. Immediately upon impact, the plane's fuel exploded and flames shot out from the gaping hole where the plane had entered the building. The explosion could be felt several floors above and below the point of impact.

The Amazing Scene, Just Before Impact. The B-25 collided with The Empire State Building on the north side, around the 78th Floor. Immediately upon impact, the plane’s fuel exploded and flames shot out from the gaping hole where the plane had entered the building. The explosion could be felt several floors above and below the point of impact. Updated, this is not the B.52 bomber plane, this photo was taken on a different day and a different plane in photo. The correct caption should read: Empire State Building in New York City, Sept. 4, 1945. (AP Photo)

B-25 Bomber Crashes Into

Empire State Building

At 9:50 am on Saturday July 28, 1945, impossibility became a reality. A B-25 “Billy Mitchell” bomber belonging to the US Army Air Corps crashed into the Empire State Building. The plane was enroute to the Newark Airport located in New Jersey when it struck the 102-story structure. The odds against such an incident ever happening were computed as being 10,000 to 1. But weather flying conditions at the time helped contribute to the incident.

Office workers were carrying on as usual in The Empire State Building, when a sudden thud knocked them from their desk chairs and on to the ground. Smoke quickly filled the room. The B-25 Bomber, on a routine mission in heavy fog, had crashed into the 79th floor. The harrowing experiences of the survivors—and those that died—are stories that have been rarely recounted since.

There was a thick haze of fog over New York City on the morning as employees such as Betty Lou Oliver, an elevator attendant at The Empire State Building, made their way to work.

Overhead, a B-25 Bomber with two pilots and one passenger aboard was flying from New Bedford, Massachusetts to LaGuardia Airport. Because of the fog, air-traffic controllers suggested that the plane might try to land at Newark Airport instead. This required a new flight plan, one that would take the B-25 through Manhattan and the crew were advised that the skyscrapers would most likely not be visible due to the immense fog.

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Photo of the day

Ma

The Queen of Thieves’

New York’s First Female Crime Boss

During the Gilded Age, New York City’s first crime ring came into power under a leader who taught the city’s best criminals, bribed those in power, and made a fortune. Meet ‘Marm’ Mandelbaum.

She had the eyes of a sparrow, the neck of a bear and enough business acumen to build an empire as the “Queen of Fences.”

The press called her a “Queen Among Thieves” and the person who “first put crime in America on a syndicated basis.” In 1884, The New York Times named her “the nucleus and centre of the whole organization of crime in New York City.” During the Gilded Age, Fredericka Mandelbaum, a German-Jewish immigrant, rose to power as the country’s premier fence—seller of stolen goods. Described as “a huge woman weighing more than two hundred and fifty pounds” with “extraordinarily fat cheeks,” Mandelbaum was the head of one of the first organized crime rings and a driving force behind New York City’s underworld for more than twenty-five years.

Mandelbaum was better known as Marm, and a mother is exactly what she was. She set up shop in New York City sometime around 1864, and for 20 years she built up a reputable gang of thieves, pickpockets, and bandits—who all trusted her to pay them fairly for what they stole. It’s estimated that she and her gang handled merchandise that would today be worth somewhere around around a quarter of a billion dollars when adjusted for inflation. Part of Mandelbaum’s success was due to the way she treated her network of thieves. She stood by her own, and always kept a law firm on retainer for any of her gang who got caught. She was famous for handing out bribes to police and judges, encouraging them to look the other way. Unlike most of the other street gangs, a large number of Mandelbaum’s crew were women.

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Photo Of The Day

On March 13, 1964, Catherine 'Kitty' Genovese, 28, was repeatedly stabbed to death over a 30-minute period in two separate attacks by the same man. For decades it was believed that her cries of distress were totally ignored.

On March 13, 1964, Catherine ‘Kitty’ Genovese, 28, was repeatedly stabbed to death over a 30-minute period in two separate attacks by the same man. For decades it was believed that her cries of distress were totally ignored.

The Kitty Genovese Story

For decades, students have crossed their arms during introduction to sociology lectures and said: “I would never do that.” They said it when Stanley Milgram’s experiments suggested ingrained obedience to authority could lead anyone to commit Nazi atrocities. They said it when the Stanford Prison Experiment suggested even a mock institutional setting could spark brutal, fascist torment. And they said it when learning of the Kitty Genovese murder, in which a young woman was stabbed in the middle of the night as 38 witnesses sat in the safety of their apartments and didn’t even bother to telephone the cops.

On that last one, the students may have it right. The 1964 murder, which has stood as a symbol of urban apathy and inspired musings by everyone from Harlan Ellison to Alan Moore to Malcolm Gladwell to Phil Ochs, may not have been quite the nihilistic horror show we were taught.

The notion of a building full of people who “didn’t want to get involved” was perpetuated by a New York Times story (38 Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call Police) later expanded by Times editor AM Rosenthal into a book.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Corbis Images. 21 January 1957. "Mad Bomber" George Metesky Smiling in Jail. Bomber Behind Bars---Happy Terrorist.--Obviously enjoying the white light of publicity, George Metesky grins happily from behind the bars of Waterbury jail after his arrest as the "Mad Bomber" who had terrorized the New York area for more than 16 years with his planted homemade bombs.

Photo: Corbis Images. 21 January 1957. “Mad Bomber” George Metesky Smiling in Jail. Bomber Behind Bars—Happy Terrorist.–Obviously enjoying the white light of publicity, George Metesky grins happily from behind the bars of Waterbury jail after his arrest as the “Mad Bomber” who had terrorized the New York area for more than 16 years with his planted homemade bombs.

Mad Bomber Arrested!

Serial killers must continuously kill simply because they are addicted to the feeling they get through the process. They’re rationalizing every aspect of their behaviour so they don’t see any good reason to stop doing what they’re doing. That’s when the headache for investigators comes into the game – how to get even a smallest idea of who the killer may be?

This kind of problem solver is criminal profiling, also known as psychological profiling. The origins of criminal profiling date back to the Middle Ages, where the inquisitors were trying to profile heretics. In 19th century, the potential of profiling was realized by Hans Gross, Alphonse Bertillon, Jacob Fries, Cesare Lombroso, but their researches were generally considered to be prejudiced.

Psychiatrist Dr. James A. Brussel is credited to be an author of the first systematic profile within a criminal investigation, while chasing a person, best known as “Mad Bomber”, responsible for a series of indiscriminate bombings spanning 16 years in New York.

On November 16, 1940, an unexploded bomb was found on a window ledge of the Consolidated Edison building in Manhattan. It was wrapped in a very neatly hand-written note that read,

CON EDISON CROOKS-THIS IS FOR YOU.

The police were baffled; surely whoever delivered the bomb would know that the note would be destroyed if the bomb detonated. Was the bomb meant to not go off? Was the person stupid …or was he just sending a message?

No discernible fingerprints were found on the device and a brief search of company records brought no leads, so the police treated the case as an isolated incident by a crackpot, possibly someone who had a grievance with “Con-Ed,” the huge company that proved New York City with all its gas and electric power.

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Daesh is threatening New York and Washington DC now

Boing Boing reports:

ISIS, or as they hate to be called, Daesh, released a video online Wednesday threatening an imminent attack on New York City.

The jihadi propaganda clip mentions Times Square, and displays what is said on the video to be a man assembling an explosive device, and a suicide bomber zipping his jacket over a suicide belt.

The New York City Police Department told CNN it was aware of the video, and that officers from its new anti-terrorism squad will be deployed just in case.

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Photo Of The Day

Bill Ray’s unforgettable picture of Marilyn, alone in the spotlight.

Bill Ray’s unforgettable picture of Marilyn, alone in the spotlight.

The Night Marilyn Sang to JFK

Here, on what would have been JFK’s 97th birthday, Marilyn Monroe sings “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy, New York, May 19, 1962.

Fifty-plus years ago, on a spring night in New York City, 35-year-old Marilyn Monroe — sewn into a sparkling, jaw-droppingly tight dress — stood alone in a spotlight on a dark stage. She took a breath, began to sing — and 15,000 men and women who filled the old Madison Square Garden that night knew, simply knew, that they were seeing and hearing something that they would never, ever forget.

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Face of the day

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller is planning a “Draw the Prophet” event in Garland, Texas in the same location as a Muslim group held a “Stand with the Prophet” conference in January. The First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest will be hosted by the Curtis Caldwell Center, which is owned and operated by the Garland Independent School District.

Geller’s event comes on the wake of the Islamic terrorist attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in January. Following the attack, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) scheduled the “Stand with the Prophet” conference at the public school district’s conference center. Geller, the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), scheduled a protest outside the event that was attended by approximately 2,000 people.

During the Free Speech Rally in Garland, Geller spoke with Breitbart Texas about her reaction to the large and loud crowd of protesters. She said that Muslims are trying to impose restrictions on free speech like they are doing in Paris. “Thousands of Americans said ‘no way!’”

“The media can smear us and the President can stand with them,” Geller said. “We the people are not having it. If there is any proof of that, it’s today. We dwarfed them.”

“If the Western media ran the Danish cartoons back when this Islamic supremacist movement first started gaining steam, the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo would be alive today,” Geller stated in response to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas. “That said, the European press ran the Hebdo cartoons in the wake of that jihad slaughter. But the American press would not. The beacon of freedom, the shining light on a hill, is running scared. Well, that’s not who we are. The elites do not represent the people.”

“Enough is enough,” she explained. “They’re just cartoons. We’re holding this exhibit and cartoon contest to show how insane the world has become — with people in the free world tiptoeing in terror around supremacist thugs who actually commit murder over cartoons. If we can’t stand up for the freedom of speech, we will lose it — and with it, free society.”

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Photo Of The Day

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images. August 1966: A woman stands outside the Adele Ross clothing design store, looking at an Anti-Miniskirt Sign, in New York City. The sign reads 'If the necklines get any lower and the skirts get any higher...You can use the dress for a belt.'

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.
August 1966: A woman stands outside the Adele Ross clothing design store, looking at an Anti-Miniskirt Sign, in New York City. The sign reads ‘If the necklines get any lower and the skirts get any higher…You can use the dress for a belt.’

The Mini Skirt

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Free thinking people and student success terrifies Teacher Unions everywhere

The teacher unions oppose charter schools, they can’t tell you why, just that they don;t work.

The Labour party opposes charter schools, they can’t tel you why, just that they will abolish them.

The Green party opposes charter schools, they can’t tell you why, and they haven’t even visited a single one, but they don’t want them either.

What those three groups are all afraid of is people thinking for themselves and giving people choice.

But everywhere in the world where choice exists charter schools flourish and so do the students.

In November 2003, Eva Moskowitz, then a freshman member of the New York City Council, held explosive public hearings about how union contracts imposed inane work rules on public schools. The city’s political establishment was astonished.

Mosowitz—a former history professor, public school teacher, and self-proclaimed liberal, whose politics up until that point seemed to resemble those of every other Democratic politician in New York—was sacrificing her political career to take on organized labor. Exposing the consequences of teacher union contracts was a direct affront to the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which wields enormous influence in New York City elections.  Read more »

A very important article on the public school benefits of Charter Schools

Eva Moskowitz writes in the Wall Street Journal about the positive impact of charter schools…and shows clearly the much improved outcomes for children/families.

This is the sort of stuff the teacher unions don;t want you to hear.

Upon his re-election in 2006, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein offered the free use of underutilized school facilities to a bumper crop of charter schools opening that year—including my first. Fueled by this policy, charter-school enrollment in the city grew from 11,000 to almost 70,000 by the end of Mr. Bloomberg’s second term in 2013, and my one school grew to 22.

As the founder and CEO of Success Academy Charter Schools—free public schools open to all children in New York City through a random lottery—I’ve seen firsthand how allowing “co-location” with district schools has helped charter schools and their students thrive. Success Academy currently has 32 schools spread across the Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Queens boroughs and recently was granted approval from our chartering authority, the State University of New York, to open 14 more.

Three-quarters of our students are poor enough to receive subsidized lunch, and 94% are children of color. Our students have excelled. They not only rank in the top 1% in math and top 3% in English among all state schools, but they take top honors in national debate and chess championships. They compete in ballroom dancing, soccer and track and field.

The unions can’t possible deny those stats…but they do, and they continually try to destroy a system that is clearly working.

Critics charge, however, that the academic successes posted by our schools and other charters result from cherry-picking the best students—and that since the harder-to-educate students are dumped in district schools, any academic gains by charters are offset by losses in district schools.

It is now possible to evaluate that claim.

New York City has 32 community school districts. The availability of free facilities in some of them has spurred rapid charter-school growth, while in others, the absence of such facilities has thwarted it. As a result, charter enrollment varies widely, from nearly half of students in the Central Harlem district to none at all in other districts.

This divergence, much like Germany’s division after World War II into a free-market West and a Communist East, has created perfect conditions for a real-world experiment. We can examine the 16 districts where charter school enrollment is highest (charter-rich districts) and the 16 districts where it is lowest (charter-light districts) and see how their relative rankings, based on their results on statewide English and math proficiency exams, changed between 2006 and 2014.

Of the 16 charter-rich districts, 11 rose in the rankings. And of the eight among those 16 with the highest charter enrollment, all rose save one. The district that jumped furthest, rocketing up 11 spots between 2006 and 2014, was District 5 in Central Harlem, which has the city’s highest charter-school enrollment (43%).

And what about the 16 charter-light districts? Thirteen fell in the rankings, and not one rose. For example, District 12 in the Bronx, which in 2006 ranked higher than Central Harlem, now ranks 13 spots lower. District 29 in Queens, which in 2006 ranked 15 spots higher than Central Harlem and has fewer poor students, now ranks lower.

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