The Art of Peeping at Your Neighbors

The most fascinating news from around the Web on May 17, 2013

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  1. There Goes the Neighborhood

    While I occasionally spend a few hours standing on my front stoop scantily clad and in a suggestive pose hoping to gain a little notoriety on Google Maps Street View, I still expect a certain amount of privacy when my family (and several of my neighbors) say it’s time to go back into the house. For some New Yorkers, that expectation of privacy in their own homes went right out (or at least through) the window with the debut of a new photography show at a Chelsea gallery. Photographer Arne Svenson took photos of the residents of the building across the street and created a collection called The Neighbors. According to Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams: “None of the photos show the subject’s faces, but the residents of the luxury condo across the street from Svenson are understandably none too thrilled to see their asses turned into artwork — that’s fetching up at up to $7,500 a print, all without their consent.”

  2. Witness Protection (and Frequent Flyer) Program

    When the Feds get certain terrorists to flip and provide valuable information about their colleagues, they place them into the witness protection system where they are given new identities. Unfortunately, in at least two cases, those new identities were not added to the no-fly list. So the terrorists boarded a commercial airline and took off.

  3. Weekend Reads

    In most countries where bull fighting is popular, it’s the human that gets all the fame. In Costa Rica, things are a little different. “There is only one rule — although the bull may kill you, no one kills the bull.” And at least one of the bulls has achieved a significant level of celebrity for his homicidal abilities. SB Nation’s Ashley Harrell and Lindsay Fendt on: The Legend of Malacrianza, Costa Rica’s Badass, Killer Toro.

    + Lyndon Baty has suffered many ailments that often make it impossible to attend school. But he still has a pretty great attendance record thanks to a little help from his robot. From The Dallas Observer, the inspiring story of Lyndon Baty and the robot that saved him.

    + Before he phoned home, E.T. went on one hell of a bike ride. From Narrratively, here’s the untold story of the BMX boys of E.T.

  4. No One Gets Iced in Iceland

    US law student Andrew Clark was in Iceland when a stranger pulled over in a Jeep and said, “You want to get in?” And Clark did. He felt safe in doing so because he was in the country to try to answer the question: Why is violent crime so rare in Iceland.

    + A lot of researchers are trying to better understand the causes behind the violent crime trends in another country. The U.S. is on track for its lowest murder rate in 100 years.

  5. The Pipe Leak

    In a leaked video, it looks like he is “sitting in a chair, wearing a white shirt, top buttons open, inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe.” That’s not a line you want to read about yourself in The Toronto Star. Especially when you’re the mayor of Toronto.

  6. The Eye RS

    “The nation’s tax collectors have long made it a practice to look for discrepancies, omissions and suspicious activity to uncover tax evasion and fraud. And lately, the IRS has expanded its monitoring to include social media.” Maybe it’s not such a good idea to Like deductions. From NBC News, how to tell if the IRS is eyeing you.

  7. For Whom The Taco Bell Tolls

    At select locations, Taco Bell is introducing the Waffle Taco. I guess it wasn’t enough to target people who partied until three in the morning, now they want some business from those who partied all night.

    + But before you doubt any new product offering from Taco Bell, you should know that they’ve now sold over a half a billion Doritos Locos Tacos.

  8. The Literary Canon Backfires

    “While the story did have a great moral to go along with it, it was about dirt! Dirt and migrating. Dirt and migrating and more dirt.” The Morning News has a great collection of one-star Amazon reviews of some of the most heralded books ever written.

    + 16 wildly successful people who majored in English. As an English major, the fact that they capped this list at 16 is not exactly awe-inspiring. Of course, they didn’t include getting retweeted a lot in their definition of “wildly successful.”

  9. Roll Your Own Social Life

    New research suggests that some people smoke marijuana to buffer the pain caused by social exclusion. I suppose that makes some sense. There’s definitely no shorter path to social inclusion than showing up at a gathering with a bag of weed.

  10. The Bottom of the News

    Kjerstin Gruys got tired of stressing out over the way she looked (or at least her own perception of the way she looked). So she tried an experiment. She didn’t look in the mirror for a year.

    + A New York theater critic spent nearly an entire show being irritated by a woman who was using her cell phone. So he grabbed it and chucked it across the theater. And I’m sure there were about thirty other people in the audience who caught the action on their own smart phones.

    + Technology (along with reality) has made signing our names a farce.