Inside the Loew’s 46th St. Theater 

Friday, February 13th, 2015

It is amazing that a theatre space like this could exist unused for over four decades in New York City. Of course, a similar space in Boston has lain dormant for over 70 years.

The once-great theatre

The post’s tip about fire escapes is a fascinating one, as is the shot of found objects include an old Crunch bar wrapper.

Barvd: 2014 in Review

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Just over a year ago, the world was introduced to the Barvd emoji. Lamentably, however, there hasn’t been an official edition of Barvd since last January. Fortunately, plenty of awful was collected since then, so let’s take a look at 2014 in unpleasantness.

January

Gotta figure by this point, thousands of divorced dads have accidentally sexted their daughter
@scottsimpson

Thanks, Scott! It’s always good to kick things off with a truly horrifying thought.

February

There are lots of sounds you don't want to hear in the next stall over, but the iPhone camera shutter is pretty high up there.
@redkeg

I’m not saying you should visit RateMyPoo.com, because you shouldn’t. Hell, that’s why I didn’t even make that a link. But you should be aware that a bowel movement rating site exists, and allow that fact to color your impression of humanity.

March

Much like the Olsen twins on Full House, the role of 'weird lump on my bathroom wall' was played by 15,000 spiders
@scottsimpson

This horrifying tweet from @heidihitschildren was a runner-up in February, and helped Scott to his second appearance here in just three months.

April

My sleep-mind said 'Whatever, it's fine if the cat pukes on my back, I'll clean it up later.' Luckily I woke up enough to prevent that.
@commanda

The cat grosses me out, but the sleep-mind cracks me up.

May

Soup is a great way to eat wet meat out of a little bathtub.
@AlisonAgosti

Probably the worst thing about this is that it’s technically correct, which is the best kind of correct.

June

We have an intermission here, as much like in August of 2013, no one grossed me out in June of 2014. It seems like my gag reflex takes summer vacations. Ah well — moving on!

July

'My dad worked in a sub-zero meat locker. He said the worst thing about it was, farts would hang in the still air forever. Eight hours a day.
@mrgan

And now, a passage from my upcoming novel “Mumphrey’s Downfall”, set amongst the backdrop of world diplomacy and international intrigue:

  • “As soon as he said it, he knew he’d made a terrible mistake. Forks and glasses clattered to the floor, and then the room fell silent. His words hung there, like a fart in the freezer.”

I am currently accepting bids from publishers.

August

'90 percent of hotel beds have bedbugs. But look at your own bed. It’s entirely made of bedbugs. Now look in the mirror. Yes. You are, too.
@Moltz

It seems 2014 was a good year for gross-out tweets about bugs.

September

'Almost forgot: @magnetbox's foot says Hi
@ems

I particularly like the way Michaela’s tweet does not transcribe this as a quote from the foot. Rather, it is a simply statement of fact.

October

I guess sushi is okay, but it makes the microwave smell terrible and by the time the fish is cooked through, the rice is overdone.
@mccreath

Sushi does not work that way!

November

Old man at urinal. Both hands on hips. Possibly prehensile penis.
@biorhythmist

Just re-reading this, I had a visceral gag. Awful, Matt, just awful.

December

Special Garlic Dipping Sauce in a Keurig
@Clarko@Clarko@Clarko

Please allow my earlier comment, as well as @antichrista’s, to serve as a reply:

Jesus, Dude

Damn straight. Insta-Barvd of the year, is more like it. Thanks a lot, Clarko. Jesus Crist.

That’s a Wrap

Sometimes, I stop and take stock of things. “Self,” I’ll ask, in these moments of introspection, “are you really spending time compiling all the gross things people put out there on social media?”. Yes. Yes, I am, so if you’ve seen an awful tweet, Instagram pic or other post, send it in or just tweet a link to @PBones.

Until next time!

Zoo Security Drills 

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Apparently, zoos in Japan and China perform security drills to prepare for the possibility of an animal escaping. Ok, sure, that makes sense. Using humans in oversized animal costumes makes…less sense. The Atlantic has a series of rather hilarious images, like this one:

Man in Tiger suit, and a real tiger
“BRO! Are you okay?!”

You’re likely to find yourself cracking up by image three, and wondering what the hell animal that’s supposed to be in image seven.

This Might Only Prove No One Visits The Grammy Museum 

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

I don’t know why there’s a Grammy Museum, but there is, and they just got pranked oh-so-well.

Jesus Crist 

Monday, February 9th, 2015

The situation surrounding same-sex marriage in Alabama is currently a mess. A federal judge stated that same-sex marriages must be recognized and performed and the Supreme Court declined to overrule this. However, Alabama’s State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ray Moore ordered officals to disregard the ruling and enforce the state’s ban on marriage equality, under threat of legal action by the governor. You can read all about Ray Moore over on Wikipedia, including this gem:

He is noted for his refusal, in 2003, in his first term as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments he commissioned in 2001 from the Alabama Judicial Building despite orders to do so from a federal judge. On November 13, 2003, the Alabama Court of the Judiciary unanimously removed Moore from his post as Chief Justice.

Anyhow, the Washington Post has a brief summary, which included this amazing image.

Protest Signs in Alabama

If nothing else, can we all agree that you should be able to spell the name of the religion you’re trying to impose on everyone else?

Instagram’s Raison D’Être

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Back in 2010, I discussed Twitter’s Raison D’Être, determining that Twitter existed to provide things like a parody of the mind of the greatest basketball player of all time (which has migrated to a new account here). Facebook, as everyone knows, is a tool for being disgusted by the political whackjobery of people you vaguely know. But what exactly is Instagram for?

Recently, I worked out the answer. Instagram is a social network for talking to hotels about malfunctions in the area of signage. I realize that seems like an awfully specific reason to create a photo-sharing network with over 200 million users, but the evidence is overwhelming.

It all started with this photo, taken in 2012 while staying at the InterContinental on Howard Street in San Francisco:

Boarding Ass
Caption: “4 Star Hotel”

Allow me to publicly state that I was in no way involved in this juvenile bit of vandalism, nor do I know who the feckless, immature perpetrators were. I merely documented their destruction, because come on, that’s funny. The only way to top it would be to remove the “B“ as well and replace it with the “H” from “Telephone”.

To my great amusement/horror, however, shortly after I posted the image I received a Twitter reply from the hotel’s official account:

The InterContinental's reply, reading: 'Thanks for informing us, we’re working on getting this taken care. If there is anything you may need during your stay, tweet us.'
I believe my thought then was “Companies can do that?!”. It was a simpler time.

Following this unexpected success story, later that same week I documented a sign which had been busted for months, if not years:

Hot L Pickwick
Come stay at the Hot L Pickwick

Lamentably, I neglected to geo-tag this photo, and thus it’s likely that the Hot L Pickwick (as it has been known to all and sundry ever since) never saw the post. The sign had been burnt out for ages before I captured it, and it remained burnt out for many moons after.

Things then went quiet for a spell, until two years later. While staying in New York City at the Fairfield Inn, I captured a shot of the New Yorker Hotel. To get this picture, I had to stick my phone out of one of those tiny angled windows, ten stories up. I made sure to geo-tag the location where I almost smashed my phone:

The New Yorker Hotel

However, as there was no issue with the New Yorker’s sign, there was no response from either hotel. I’m pretty much just including this image because it’s a damned good photo. Hey, it’s my website, I’ll do what I want with it!

But back to the matter at hand: figuring out why Instagram was created. The next step on my path to enlightenment came with this shot of the sign for Boston’s famous Union Oyster House:

Union Oyster Hose
You see it’d be a hose, except instead of water, it sprays oysters.

This photo was properly tagged with the Union Oyster House’s location, and while they’re one of America’s oldest restaurants, they’re also hip enough to be on Instagram. Yet the sign has remained broken (and has in fact gotten worse — I believe we’re currently down to NION YSTER HOSE). There can be only one explanation for this, and that is that the Union Oyster House is not a hotel.

The final confirmation as to Instagram’s purpose came just a couple of weeks ago, when I snapped this nighttime pic:

DoubleTree Suits
Their selection of menswear was honestly just awful. It was scattered between hundreds of different rooms across dozens of floors, with no coherent organization.

Not long after I posted the image, I discovered this comment on it, from Doubletree Suites themselves:

A reply: Haha! Nice catch @pbones! We'll let engineering know. #caughtbysurprise

Jackpot! Another broken sign successfully reported to a hotel! It simply cannot be denied that Instagram is providing a platform for informing hotels about signage malfunctions. These results are irrefutable. Further, they indicate that this is a very functional service for the hospitality industry, touting a 67% success rate.

The comments on the last photo didn’t end there though, as my old pal John Moltz offered his congratulations:

WAY TO ENGAGE WITH BRANDS, PAUL

In the immortal words of Dr. Zoidberg, “Hooray! I’m helping!” Now if I could just get Doubletree to hand over some of those warm cookies.

They Went Inside and Had a Wedding 

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

On October 6th, 2014, marriage equality came to five states, including Oklahoma. Now, the deeply conservative state must adjust, and Monica Hesse has a wonderful look.

This is also a good time to link to Make It Equal, the site of the Flag of Equal Marriage, which tracks the state of same-sex marriage across the United States. It’s the brainchild of Carl Tashian, and I’ve done some work for the site for the past two years. After following the slow progress since Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-sex marriages in 2004, it’s been incredible to see so many stars light up in the past year, with more likely to come soon.

The Flag of Equal Marriage as of February 5th
A downright spangled banner

God Bless You, Herr Schabowski 

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

This link is over five years old, and it’s about an event which took place a quarter-century ago. And yet, since I read it a week ago, I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. Give it a read to learn how an accident caused the Berlin Wall to come down.

The Curious Case of the Disappearing Polish S 

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Marcin Wichary dissects a fascinating bug where Medium users were unable to type just one of the Polish language’s 32 characters: Ś. It all starts with rather ancient technology used in somewhat more modern times:

I grew up in Poland. My first computer — the glorious Atari 800XL—was an original 1979 technology, repackaged in 1983. We got it in 1986. Used.

The circumstances causing this bug are simply amazing, and detailed well by Wichary.

In an amusing side-note, the Ś character actually makes a “shh” sound. On Medium, it was so silent that it disappeared entirely.

Scientology at War With Film Critics 

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

The new film “Going Clear” is not going to be good for Scientology. So, they’re using their tax-free earnings in a campaign against it.

Previously in Scientology Shenanigans: Don’t Lie to Your Readers