aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Burger King 911 (reprise)
I saw it when it made the rounds last year - but didn’t trust it - then saw it again Friday in a Good Morning America report that 911 is swamped with non-emergency calls:
Woman: I asked them four different times to make me a Western Barbeque Burger. Okay, they keep giving me a hamburger with lettuce, tomato, and cheese, onions, and I said, “I’m not leaving . . .”
Dispatcher: Okay, what exactly is it you want us to do for you?
Woman: I . . . send an officer down here. I . . . I want them to make me . . .
Dispatcher: Ma’am, we’re not gonna go down there and enforce your Western Bacon Cheeseburger.
Arrested for asking for quiet at the movies
Last night at the movies the people behind us were chatting away, annoying our entire group of seven.
I’m a defender of going out to the movies. People here, like much of America, prefer staying in. A friend with a widescreen projector and DTS setup in his living room has the venue of choice.
Pauline Clayton was enjoying a matinee screening of Brokeback Mountain in a Texas cinema when her day suddenly turned ugly.
The former Sunshine Coast councillor said about halfway through the movie, a mobile phone started ringing nearby, a woman answered it and started talking.
“I put one finger up to my mouth to shoosh her,” Ms Clayton said… When the “very large” woman failed to end her call, Ms Clayton again touched her on the shoulder and that was when the woman exploded.
Ms Clayton said the woman stood up over her, started shouting expletives at her and then stormed out of the cinema, in the town of Webster, just outside Houston.
A short time later two Texas police officers walked into the cinema and escorted Ms Clayton out.
She said the police took her to the food bar and explained that the woman had accused Ms Clayton of “invading her private space”. The woman had made a complaint of assault because Ms Clayton had touched her.
“They were very apologetic,” Ms Clayton said. “They were very uncomfortable.”
Ms Clayton said the officers had tried to dissuade the woman from making a complaint and had even told the woman that if she did make the complaint, police would charge the woman with disorderly conduct and using a profanity for her outburst in the cinema.
The woman refused to back down and not only was Ms Clayton charged, but the woman is now also due in court after being charged over her behaviour.
Interestingly, the article doesn’t name the rude patron complainant.
Via Boing Boing.
The psychology of shipping charges
“Academic research shows pretty convincingly that people have separate accounts in mind, one for the item itself and one for shipping,” said John Morgan, an economist who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley. Using eBay auctions as his real-world laboratory, he showed that changing the ratio of item price to shipping charge, while keeping the total price constant, produces sharply different customer responses.
On eBay, Mr. Morgan found that bidders happily accepted outrageously high shipping charges if they thought they were getting a good deal on the item price of a used CD. Amazon, however, faces the opposite problem: its customers accord more weight to the shipping charge, even if modest, than to the discount on the item itself.
Investors on Amazon and Google
TALK to Wall Street analysts who cover the Internet, and one company stands out as the least forthcoming, most furtive, least transparent and most difficult to work with - and it isn’t Google.
Yes, Google has a bad-boy reputation for refusing, as a matter of principle, to give Wall Street forward-looking guidance. But the company offers more detailed information than Amazon about its actual operations. By contrast, Amazon is happy to talk about future projections, but it appears to hate to talk about the present.
Amazon.com’s shareholders, who are starved for information that would be helpful in understanding the many different businesses the company is in, have endured more than their fair share of periodic disappointments. This month, Amazon released its fourth-quarter results, and, again, unwelcome surprises arrived: earnings fell 43 percent from the period a year earlier. It was the fourth consecutive quarter of declining profits, versus year-earlier figures.[...]
A sizable number of investors have lost patience and bailed. As of the close of business on Friday, the stock had fallen 22 percent from its recent holiday-season high.
Barron’s on Google’s “mind-googling” challenges:
INVESTORS HAVE BEEN FIXATED on Google the past few weeks, as its shares have tumbled nearly 25% from a peak of $475—and the fact is, there could be a lot more tumbling ahead. The share price could well be cut in half over the next year as the Internet giant grapples with growing competition from Microsoft and Yahoo!, increased pricing pressures in its online ad sales and mounting concern about what’s known as click fraud.
Where are America’s gay actors?
Sir Ian McKellen has said openly gay US actors are prevented from having successful Hollywood careers.
“It is very, very, very difficult for an American actor who wants a film career to be open about his sexuality,” the gay British actor said.
“And even more difficult for a woman if she’s lesbian. It’s very distressing to me that that should be the case.”
The Lord of the Rings star added: “The film industry is very old fashioned in California.” [...]
The actor, who came out in 1988, is one of the film world’s most high-profile openly gay stars.
A number of other British actors such as Rupert Everett, Simon Callow and Sir Anthony Sher have publicly acknowledged their sexuality.
But fewer US actors have been willing come out and big names such as Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift hid their sexuality for most of their lives.
McKellen says things are different on Broadway, where people are “very at ease with being open and honest.”