Monday, June 11, 2007

Burger King Spam

Miami-based Burger King is now offering Spam as part of their breakfast menu at their restaurants located in Miami and Hawaii.

MIAMI -- For many Americans, spam is a four-letter word for unwanted e-mail. In Hawaii, Spam is a beloved comfort food, with cans of the gelatinous pork bricks found in virtually every cupboard.

Hoping to cash in on Hawaii's love affair with the pinkish meat product, Burger King Corp. last month began offering Spam for breakfast -- going head-to-head with rival McDonald's Corp., which has been featuring Spam in the islands for years.

Miami-based Burger King is offering the Spam Platter -- two slices of Spam nestled between white rice and scrambled eggs. The fast-food giant also offers the Croissanwich or Biscuit Sandwich with Spam.

I haven't eaten Spam since my college days, but back then there was nothing better than pan-fried Spam slices on toasted bread with mayo, lettuce and tomatoes. Then again, I also ate tons of Kraft Mac & Cheese and cheese pizzas. Growing up and having to eat responsibly really blows.

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Big Ass Gator Grabbed In Medley Today



12 foot, 500 pounds: needed a forklift to move the sumbitch. More pictures at Owenized.

Thanks for the tip, Steve.

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Crash? What Crash?

Another day, another list of expensive homes in South Florida. Forbes has a slideshow of the 10 most expensive. For some folks the bubble never bursts and the crash never happens (Shaq wants $35 mil for the Star Island mansion he bought in 2004 for $18.8 mil).

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South Bend Gets It

Who would ever think that the editorial board of a South Bend, Indiana, newspaper would ever be able to so succinctly articulate the absurdity of the U.S.'s trade embargo and travel restrictions with Cuba? But they do.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently was in Canada on a trade mission. He reportedly bought a legal Cuban cigar in a country that legally imports and sells them.

Even so, if the cigar was Cuban, Schwarzenegger broke the law. U.S. law, that is. Not Canadian law.

[...]

Are there any reasons to cling to the embargo?

There are no trade-related reasons, to be sure. Schwarzenegger's cigar illustrates the ridiculousness of the United States trying to apply a trade embargo to the global realities of the 21st century.

There is no humanitarian reason. Millions of Cuban-Americans are separated from loved ones still living in the Caribbean nation, where deprivation of daily essentials is the norm.

Ah, but there is a political reason. No president, Democrat or Republican, has been willing to risk alienating the vehemently anti-Castro Cuban-American voting block in Florida.

That could change. There is a growing voice of moderation among Cuban-Americans as more come to understand that there are more sensible approaches than simply outliving Castro. It would be refreshing to hear presidential candidates in both parties address the Cuba question frankly.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But sometimes a cigar is a symbol of an outmoded foreign policy and a self-serving political view. This time it's a symbol.

To put it quite simply...bravo.

-photo via redmann's Flickr

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Skin And Bling, Baby


Hey Dr. Beach? You can keep your pansy, boring beach ratings. Who cares about turbidity or slope (and dude, seriously, untuck that polo shirt). We are #1 where it counts:

TripAdvisor(R), the world’s largest travel community, has announced their the top 10 beach scenes in the world - those with the hottest beaches and coolest night life - according to TripAdvisor travelers and editors.

1. Scene of the Prime: South Beach, Miami, Florida
Miami is the land of the beautiful, and home to the best people watching this side of the equator. SoBe is the epicenter of sexy, with celebrities, locals and tourists competing in a game of skimpy attire “can you top(less) this”. The city’s white sand-covered beaches are among the finest in the world, and there might not be a better combination of sand, clubs and nightlife anywhere.

Yep, that's what we are all about!

......

Rick comments:

Ummmm...we need to talk about those "beautiful people."

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Orlando Learns From Miami's Mistakes

There's a silver lining to the PAC budget fiasco after all. If we don't learn from our mistakes, at least other people will.

Here's some advice for the folks planning Orlando's performing-arts center: When estimating utilities, maintenance and security costs for your new buildings, don't use inaccurate assumptions or stale data. And, for heaven's sake, don't figure the cost of air conditioning by the square foot. Use cubic feet, if you aim to cool the air above the floor, too.


But Orlando PAC planners don't think they'll have the same problems as Miami. Why? Well, for one thing they know the difference between square and cubic footage. They also have an ace up their sleeve:

The Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center, slated to open by 2012 on 9 acres across from Orlando City Hall, will have a similar management structure. It will be owned by the city but built and operated by the nonprofit Orlando Performing Arts Center Corp.

Yet developer Jim Pugh, the corporation's chairman, vows the Orlando center's opening year will go far more smoothly than Miami's and will not be blemished by financial woes. The primary reason: The corporation is also developing condos, hotels and 500 residential units on the site, and revenues from those developments will be pumped back into the center's operating costs.


The solution was condos all along? Who would have thought? One final piece of advice, Orlando: don't forget parking.

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Sopranos Spoilers Abound

If you didn't catch the finale last night, if you were travelling, watching the NBA finals or whatever... don't open the paper, look at the internet or listen to radio. Everybody is spoiling the damn ending, including above the fold at the Herald.

The if-not-official-should-have-been party was at the Hard Rock casino (what, not at the Bing? Madonn'!):

Several characters of The Sopranos -- both living and whacked -- walked past hundreds of fans on the red carpet at Hard Rock Live! concert hall at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood for a private dinner party Sunday night celebrating the show's finale.

''We are all proud of [the series],'' said Steven Van Zandt, who played Silvio Dante, who finished last week's episode in a coma. ``But everything comes to an end. We are all gonna miss it, though.''

Other cast members who appeared were James Gandolfini, who played Tony Soprano; Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Melfi); Steven Schirippa (Bobby Bacala); Vince Curatola (John ''Sack'' Sacramoni); and Oksana Lada (Irina, Tony's Russian mistress).


Paulie, Phil Leotardo and Artie were there too.

So, what did you think of the finale? Masterpiece, letdown, total BS?

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Designer Belly Buttons...

...or "How To Make That Outtie An Innie."

MIAMI · Nips and tucks are always on display in perennially bikini-clad South Beach. And now, nestled between chiseled abs, is the latest plastic surgery has to offer -- the perfect innie belly button.

Thrust into the spotlight by the popularity of low-rise jeans, belly rings and midriff-baring celebrities, the itty bitty belly button is getting a lot of attention from plastic surgeons, who are reporting an increase in the number of umbilicoplasties they're performing.

"I've had patients that come in that want them rounder, wider, larger, smaller. It's like breast surgery," said Dr. Brad Herman, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Miami, who performs about 150 a year.

You know, there may not be a more perfect place in the entire world than SoFla to do belly button enhancements. You have the sun, the sand, the skimpy clothes and the skimpy minds with the not-so-skimpy bank accounts necessary for button tucks to be the rage.
The most popular request is turning the ostracized outie to the coveted innie, but vertical belly buttons and hooded ones are also common. It's a fairly simple procedure that lasts between 30 and 90 minutes and costs between $2,000 and $5,000, according to doctors.

I share The Cranky Guy's confusion as to what vertical or hooded belly buttons are as well as why someone would want to spend thousands of dollars to get one. Part of the answer may be found in Ayana Cannon's explanation of why she got one.
Ayana Cannon says she never bared her abs because she had an outie.

"I didn't wear a bikini because I thought it was strange. It is something that I always wanted to change," said the 29-year old medical student from New York.

After having an umbilicoplasty in February, she bought a bikini and flaunted her new abs during a vacation to Greece.

Let's see, it looks like Ayana has been studying medicine now for at least 7 years, she's vacationing in Greece and she's had her belly button fixed.

The mystery is solved. Why are people really getting umbilicoplasties? They have absolutely and unequivocally run out of things to do with their money.

-Link to story

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Memorial Day Lingerings

According to the police report, officers spotted Kulesz on the night of May 27 sitting on a police motorcycle near 14th Street and Collins Avenue and repeatedly asked him to leave. Kulesz allegedly rolled his eyes behind sunglasses, raised his arms and began to verbally protest. He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.

Kulesz's version of events differs greatly.

He said while he was talking on a cellphone with a friend, police officers surrounded him and yelled, ``Do you want to go to jail?''

Kulesz said he protested, and was hit in the face by an officer and later arrested. He was placed in a paddy wagon, where he continually kicked on the door in protest.

''I didn't do anything wrong,'' he said.


Boy, to be the judge on this one. I don't believe for a second somebody would sit on a police bike and not get off when asked. Nor do I believe the cops would just arrest him or talking on the phone. But kicking the door of the paddy wagon... that certainly tells you he's a meek lamb, right?

If this is the kind of complaints we are talking about, then yeah, MDW was a success story (double murder aside). The article also mentions complaints on blackbeachweek.com, but besides the one guy they highlight (who sounds like an idiot, complaining about prices at Miami Subs while proclaiming "I'm a celebrity" in all caps) the other comments are positive.

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A New Week, A New Poll

It wasn't even close, folks. Respondents to last week's question, "What browser do you use?" overwhelmingly prefer Firefox.



Meanwhile, here's the browser stats from the last 500 visitors to SotP.



Although Firefox doesn't enjoy the same lopsided advantage it does with poll respondents, it still does a pretty good job against Microsoft. It's also interesting to note that the once popular Netscape now enjoys the same obscurity as Opera and Camino.

Next up...the Marlins.

The Florida Marlins have played 30 games at home this year and are averaging just over 11,000 in attendance for each game. How about you? How many Marlin games have you attended this year? Take the poll!


How Many Florida Marlin Games Have You Attended This Year?
0
1
2
3
4
5
Over 5
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com




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AM Chuckle




-via The Ybor City Stogie

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday End




-via vinka*'s Flickr

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SotP SoFla Darwinian Moment Of The Week

Today we learn that the theory of natural selection is valid even on Sundays.

MIAMI -- A man who was sitting in the street tying his shoes was struck and killed by a pickup truck early Sunday. The driver of the truck did not stop, Miami police said.

The man, in his 60s, was tying his shoes at 1832 NW 17 Ave., when a bystander told him to get out of the street. The victim ignored her warning and continued tying his shoes. Moments later, a large pickup truck struck the victim, then sped southbound on Northwest 17 Avenue, and turned west on Northwest 18 Street. The elderly man died on the scene. Police did not release his name on Sunday.

And it wouldn't be SoFla if the driver of the vehicle actually stopped, rendered aid, and then called 911. That, dear readers, apparently only happens in another universe.

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Football Sandwich Shop: Home Of The Zonker



Miamism recently profiled an out-of-the-way neighborhood restaurant called the Football Sandwich Shop.

So here's the scoop. This is a family owned establishment that has been in the same location ever since I can remember. Their subs are to die for, I always have a Steak Sub or a Turkey Sub, but they have everything from Grilled Chicken Phillys to Corned Beef and even Cuban Sandwiches. They also have Deli-Sandwiches and are known as the "Home of the Zonker" (Ham, Salami and Provolone Cheese).

The place is always Jam-packed and you can sit outside or in, can pick up through the drive through window and they even deliver.

The Football Sandwich Shop is one of those small town community places that you cannot miss. You will always be greeted by one of the owners, everyone there is super friendly and always very attentive.

I love finding out about these great eateries that only the locals know about. Consistently good food that is time tested is what it's all about. The Football Sandwich Shop is not much to look at from the outside but you might want to check it out if you find yourself in the neighborhood.

Football Sandwich Shop
8484 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami
305.759.3602
305.756.7996
Health Inspection Report

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Where We Live: A South Florida Pictorial



Lincoln Road Mall area, Miami Beach

-via miami fever's Flickr

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Jim DeFede: Patient

Joan Fleischman reports that popular South Florida radio talk show host and television commentater, Jim DeFede, is recuperating at Mercy Hospital after undergoing surgery to drain fluid that had built up around his heart.

''Eight or nine days ago, I started feeling short of breath,'' says DeFede, 44. ``Every day, every hour, it was getting worse.''

On Monday, he had a stress test. ``Went through that with flying colors.''

On Tuesday, he had an echocardiogram. The tech said, ''you're not going anywhere'' and paged DeFede's cardiologist, Dr. Glenn Barquet, who has an office adjacent to Mercy. Barquet ``literally got a wheelchair and wheeled me to the hospital.''

Dr. Romualdo ''Peter'' SegurolaJr. operated early Wednesday. ''More than a liter of fluid was pressing up against my heart,'' says DeFede, a former Miami Herald columnist. Doctors suspect a viral infection.

Fleischman explains that the chest cavity isn't the only area DeFede has been recently accumulating fluid.
DeFede underwent surgery in April at Jackson Memorial Hospital -- a fluid buildup in his scrotum.

Alllll righty, then.

TMI, Joan. TMI.

SotP would like to wish Jim a quick recovery and the strength and motivation to live a lifestyle that blends a healthy diet and exercise.

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South Beach World Naked Bike Ride A Bust (UPDATED)

So when duty calls, I answer. Duty this time meant covering the World Naked Bike Ride on South Beach for SotP. Someone had to do it.

So I arrived in the area at Alton and Lincoln Road around 5:20 PM. Word was that participants were to begin gathering at 5:30 at the silver marquee. I immediately noticed a news cameraman set up across the street at the Wachovia Bank.



So I joined him over there figuring that I would have a great shot of the festivities as they happened. Already, the police were mustering.



But, yet, there was no one around. My hopes were peaked several times when pedestrians I hoped were planning on getting involved passed by.





But, alas, they remained fully clothed and left the area.

Around 5:35, weirdness showed up in front of the Regal Cinema wearing a Lucky Strike costume.



But at 5:45, the marquee looked like this.



Even the police had left.

But then I spotted them. Standing on the north side of the Regal Cinemas there was a small group of college-aged kids carrying backpacks and being interviewed by some guy who was furiously scribbling notes. Intermixed with them was a number of photographers with lenses hanging everywhere.



Right across Lincoln Road from this group stood a guy I just knew was going to become part of the parade when it started.



But people just stood around talking until around 6:10 when The Man showed up in force and began talking to the group of suspected prospective nudists.



Nothing was happening and nothing looked like it was going to happen so at around 6:15 I headed east on Lincoln and started making my way back to the parking garage. About a block from all the excitement the meeting, what could have been sat in the shadows of the Colony Theater.



[Sigh] Someday this cub reporter will get his big story.

......

Unbeknownst to me, Miami Beach 411 was also on the scene. Check it out here.

......

World Naked Bike Rides done right.

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Sunday Start




-via justcam's Flickr

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

SotP Saturday Night Turndown Service




Ana Vidovic, Cavatina (from The Deer Hunter)

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Food Fight!

Lee Klein, food critic at New Times, is peeved that his Herald counterparts apparently stole an idea (his Ask The Food Critic vs. Q&A; Herald forums). Peeved enough to call three food critics at the Herald "experts" (yeah, complete with ironic quotation marks). IMO Klein can be catty, and he has a penchant for liking places I don't, and dissing some I do. On the other hand, I've never found Victoria Pesce-Elliot, for example, exceptionally insightful either so I have no horse in this race.

While I find Kleins protestations a bit exaggerated ("Ask the ____" gimmicks are as old as blogland) what strikes me is how badly designed both executions are. If you want to ask the Herald critics, you have to dig down through a bunch of sections and pages to get to the link (here's Martin). If you want to ask Klein:

Meanwhile, I’m still waiting for my email page to light up with your questions about restaurants, recipes, food history, or anything culinarily related. Write "Ask the Food Critic" in your subject line and email your queries to (email link)


In other words, if you miss this post, you'll never know you can ask Klein questions. Methinks a permalink more prominently displayed will light up that mailbox just fine Lee. And you are wrong BTW. Joe's is never, ever, worth the two hour wait.

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Shot On The Palmetto

Guy is following his wife's car, guy sees another guy tailgating and giving his wife the finger, guy shoots his pistola. Oh yeah, he "thought that the guy in the car was going for a gun", the excuse the jour after the new stand-your-ground law passed. Now instead of being home with wife and kids, he's charged with aggravated battery (btw, what's up with that? The bullet did hit the other guy.)

Is this what guns advocates believe is a good state of affairs? People shooting each other on the highways? Welcome to the Wild West.

Update: more happy gunplay!

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SotP Word Of The Day: Brise Soleil

South Beach Condo Blog recently highlighted an architectural styling feature that I had seen around South Florida but never realized that it had a name or was used in so many varied ways. From Wikipedia:

Brise soleil, sometimes brise-soleil (breez-soh-ley, from French, "sun break") in architecture refers to a variety of permanent sun-shading techniques...

[...]

In the typical form, a horizontal projection extends from the sunside facade of a building. This is most commonly used to prevent facades with a large amount of glass from overheating during the summer. Often louvres are incorporated into the shade to precent the high angle summer sun falling on the facade, but allow the low angle winter sun to provide some passive solar heating.

SBCB has photos of a couple more examples of brise soleil that one can find around Miami Beach.

SotP: striving to improve your vocabulary every day.

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Another Tale From Paradise

One of the interesting things about living in South Florida is that just when you think you've heard every variation of news story, just when you think nothing else could faze you, the people of SoFla come through and manage to deliver another wonderful tale of life in paradise.

PORT ST. LUCIE — A mother of three young children was arrested on a charge of attempted murder Friday, accused of slashing her autistic son's throat with a 12-inch steak knife as she drove the family's GMC van toward Port St. Lucie.

Gema S. Jimenez, 24, of Hialeah tried to kill her 4-year-old son after arguing with her boyfriend on a cellphone early Friday, police said. Although the woman told police she cut the boy accidentally while trying to retrieve the knife from him, her boyfriend, Alexander Ojito, said Jimenez threatened to kill all of her children and herself during an earlier phone call.

[...]

Alexander Ojito, who lives with Jimenez at 1725 W. 58th St., Apt. 101, in Hialeah, is the father of her 2-year-old child, police said. In addition to his statements, Jimenez's 6-year-old daughter told police, "Mommy cut (my brother)."

Slashing your 4 year-old autistic son's throat to get back at your boyfriend. Now there's one I would have never thought of.

Good thing SoFla is "paradise" because after reading this story, someone might have been able to convince me that all this happened in Hell.


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AM Chuckle

First, watch this.



Then, read this.

Not so much funny, as it is depressing.


-thanks to Transit Miami for the video tip

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Driving Around South Florida




Signs of the times...

Miramar Parkway and Palm Avenue, Miramar

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Dr. Beach's Best Beaches

Florida International University professor Stephen Leatherman has created an industry out of his annual review of America's best beaches. He's got the website, he's got the book, and he's got the TV appearances. And, of course, he's got the annual rankings.

Leatherman ranks beaches on 50 criteria, using a 1 to 5 scale.

[...]

He considers only swimming beaches, which leaves out those along the Maine and Oregon coastlines, where the water is just too cold. Beaches with lifeguards get high points, as do those that balance the natural environment and the built environment.

This year's rankings are out and I'm sure you'll notice something.
1. Ocracoke Lifeguarded Beach, Outer Banks, N.C.

2. Caladesi Island State Park, Clearwater, Fla.

3. Coopers Beach, Southampton, N.Y.

4. Hanalei Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

5. Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Mass.

6. Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii

7. Main Beach, East Hampton, N.Y.

8. Coronado Beach, San Diego, Calif.

9. Lighthouse Point Park, Daytona Beach, Fla.

10. Siesta Beach, Sarasota, Fla.

That's right. Not one SoFla beach in sight.

Here's what some Miami Herald readers are saying about that.

RJ:
From Ft. Lauderdale to the tip of SOBE there is a common theme : dirty beaches , rude people , crowding , expensive parking . The boardwalk area in Hollywood is great on a weekday and Key Biscayne is nice but can vary due to high levels of trash except in front of the Ritz as they keep the beach clean . Miami beach went from glamorous to ghetto in 60 seconds and don't expect it to regain any kind of ranking any time soon..

Anonymous:

I am not surprise. The beaches here are dirty, congested, no parking, full of undesirables, everyone playing their ghetto music for everyone on the beach to hear. etc.

I don't know about you, but I like going to the beach to relax, get some sun and drink a couple of Coronas. I don't need sand being kicked at me by some idiot playing ball on top of others, some little child screaming or anyone else's music forced in my brain or anyone fighting over who's got the better wheels, girl, etc.

Will:
Everyone goes to the beach for different reasons. Some go to party, some go to get sun, some go for a quick dip and leave. Personally, I love the beaches here in SoFla. For such an urban center, to be 10 or 15 minutes away from a quick dip in the rolling waves of the great Altantic ocean is one of the only reasons I stay in SoFla. I love a good swim in the waves. Haulover, Mid-Beach, that state park in Dania...all glorious. I can't stand the Gulf of Mexico..the sand might be wonderful for some, but the water , in the summer , is like a boiling kettle -so hot! Nahh, give me a real ocean any day.......

And then, because you gotta have this said at least one time when people are beating up on SoFla, there's Pepe:
Wow, I see that someone people are not happy to live here or are unhappy with things are done here. Do yourselves a favor: Leave Miami already!!!!or the entire state. We can do better with fewer drives and fewer beach goers.

I swear it's easier than predicting whether the sun is going to rise tomorrow or not.

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Flashback Friday



The Pretenders, Talk of the Town

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So What Are You Doing this Weekend?

Lots to do this weekend including the afore-mentioned World Naked Bike Ride tomorrow evening. I might actually have to try to make that one. Critical Miami, Daily Candy and Miami Beach 411 have the other, clothing required activities for you.

So what are you doing this weekend?





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Google Maps And Privacy


The new Google Maps feature, Street View, is awesome (it saved me a trip to take a picture and I just used it to check out a hotel in NYC). It has also raised concerns about privacy, including one from a Miami abortion clinic (older article in the NYT, registration required; also Drudge, who apparently started the whole thing).

But the feature has created an uproar from people concerned about where they might appear online and Miami abortion facility director Elaine Diamond is one person who is worried. She is troubled by a Google Maps picture showing protesters outside the abortion facility and worries that future pictures might include other abortion business and photos of women entering them for abortions. "I wish they would replace it," Diamond said, according to media reports. "I couldn't contact them. I tried quickly. It's not easy."

(Yes, I found the place. I'm not linking to it, but it's not hard to find. I don't see how Google could "replace" it -the protesters pretty much camp there every day). There's also online obsession with things like Steve Jobs' house. Google's standard answer is “Street View only features imagery taken on public property. This imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see walking down the street." and they are right. We live in a rapidly changing world and many more people will find their expectations of privacy challenged.

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$350,000 Toilet

Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd think $250,000 to $350,000 (btw, that's a big range, what gives?) plus $30,000 a year for maintenance is a hell of a lot to pay for one toilet. Tell you what, you give me that money, I'll install ten toilets and keep them spic-span. Of course I don't have lobbyists or friends on any city commission.

It sounds like a pain in the butt to use too:

The robo-john gives you a prescribed number of toilet paper squares. Government officials will decide how many squares you get to start with, although if you insist, you can get more. It's impatient, too. Don't dilly-dally. The automated public restroom's door flies open after a set number of minutes. Again, the timing isn't up to you; that's a call your elected city commissioners will make. But it warns you, first: "You have exceeded your time limit. Please leave immediately." If you refuse, it sounds an alarm and calls the authorities.

Flings the door open and sounds an alarm so that everybody can gawk at the constipated tourist who doesn't understand robotic English. Well, that's going to be entertaining.

BTW, those things are popping up everywhere. Pittsburgh and Boston for example.

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The Bug Up Terence Riley's Arse

Just look at that picture. This is not one happy man. But what has Miami Art Museum's imported-from-Manhattan director so riled up? Our provincialism, of course.

“Miami can’t have Art Basel come here once a year and then ignore the fact it doesn’t even have a third-rate museum,” Riley complained. “The one thing even the most confused adolescent knows is that he or she has to grow up.”

Darling, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you haven't raised teenagers yet. Because you'll know that insults, confrontation and disdain is not a way to ingratiate yourself. Yep, Miami is confusing and capricious. If you didn't know that before coming down, the joke is on you. Other choice quotes:

“It’s quite frustrating in general,” he said. “I waste too much time on politics when I could be talking to architects.

Oh, the guy who's supposed to be the main cheerleader for the project -the guy who has to help raise over $100 million- is missing his quality time with his celebrity architects. Wait, I have to dry a tear.

“I thought before I came here there was more of a solid political backing,” he continued. “Because I wasn’t aware there wasn’t, I wasn’t visiting those commissioners [who have expressed doubts]. There was a vacuum of information and half-truths were able to fill the day.”

[...]

“There are only three people opposed to this,” he said. “How a few people can simply, by sending a lot of e-mails, raise questions about the vote — that makes me worry a bit about the democratic process. [Activists Steve] Hagen and Bush and [Judy] Sandoval are implacably against this project. They will say the wildest things.”


I emphatize with Riley here, I'd rather shoot myself than having to kibbitz our commissioners (on the other hand, I'm not the one with the glamorous job). But I don't know, seems to me that activists sending email and bugging the hell out of elected officials is a great example of the democratic process. Something we should have here more often. Hey Riley, instead of complaining, fight back. You got the big guns, and a few foot soldiers in the elitist ranks, maybe you can convince them to send a few emails on your behalf?

There's more on the article, including prominent art collector Marty Margulies dissing MAM's plans, collection and attendance, the skittishness over cost overruns ala PAC (I don't buy for a second this thing can be built for $200 mil) and a well deserved reprimand to the parkies, who allowed Bayfront to langish without much noise.

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SotP Detour Of The Day

In the fog that shrouds the debate over Vamos a Cuba, C.L. Jahn emerges with a post at Man or Maniac that reminds us of what should be the obvious: the controversy is not over what is in the book. The debate is about what is not included.

Take an insightful Detour.



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Immigration Bill Goes Down



Color me surprised. I think this was but an recon foray to see where the lines were drawn on the issue vis-à-vis presidential election politics.

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AM Chuckle




Extreme ironing...yes, it's exactly what it looks like.








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Thursday, June 07, 2007

World Naked Bike Ride On South Beach

Saturday evening, folks, 6 p.m. at the corner of Lincoln and Alton.

Ride/skate/blade east towards the ocean on the south side of Lincoln Road Mall to Washington Avenue, do a U-turn, and ride back on the north side of Lincoln Road Mall back to the starting point.

Hula skirts, lamp shades, phallic socks, body paint, G-strings, pasties, or any creative design of your imagination is encouraged.

Phallic socks? Didn't Wal-Mart just have a sale on those last week?

Why would anyone want to bike ride nude down Lincoln Road?
It's Miami Beach! Everyone's going to be hot, naked and sweaty. Of course, you can always start a WNBR in northern Iceland if you'd prefer...

But as Riptide discovered, participants should be forewarned...
Public Information Officer Robert Hernandez didn’t get specific on enforcement or penalties, but he did have this to say about general Miami Beach policy on nudity:

“It is illegal to expose your sexual organs. Weather you are on a bike or not. On the beach, topless men/women is acceptable. Once you leave the beach the top must come back on.”

I'm not sure what will be more entertaining, watching the nude parade of people moving past Nexxt or seeing them all hauled off in squad cars.

This might be fun. Bring your cameras, you perverts.

-World Naked Bike Ride: Miami website


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Where We Live: A South Florida Pictorial



Freedom Tower, Miami

-via ImageMD's Flickr

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Karaoke

"I don't speak a word of Spanish," Louie admits. "Not a word. But we get a huge Latin crowd; they can't believe the songs I have. And I tell my Spanish customers what I tell everyone: If we don't have it, tell me, and I'll get it."


New Times profiles Studio, the karaoke slash dive bar at the Shelbourne. I can attest they have more songs in Spanish than you can shake a maraca at, and that the description of Louis, the owner, as Andre the Giant's tropical brother (for full effect see his pictures next to diminutive waifs like the Olsen twins or Ally Hilfiger) is hilariously accurate.

I've never mustered the courage to go up on stage though. I have this theory that "Shook me all night long" may be good, since you can get away with screaming more than singing. What about you guys: have you ever done it and what song you pick?

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Time To Count The Money When The Dealing's Done


Since I have no interest in losing money as a source of entertainment, by all means go ahead and vote Yes if slot machines are on the ballot for Miami Dade.

"Why should people go up north to Broward?" asked Sally Heyman, one of the sponsors of a resolution that would put a slots question on the ballot in January. "We already have gaming. Why not tax the hell out of it?"

Supporters say the political climate has changed in Miami-Dade. Bush is out of office. And Broward's experience has shown no real drawbacks, Heyman said.

"You haven't seen massive crime, prostitution or any of the other vices," she said. "If you don't want to be for gaming, you can take that stand. But it's here."


I think this is a very reasoned position. Why should the Lotto, the online casinos, the cruises, the gambling boats, and the Miccosukee/Seminoles get all the revenue from our gambling aficionados? And the notion that we won't want gambling because it will bring crime and vices to Miami is laughable to say the least.

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Miami International Airport: Not British Friendly



A Telegraph reporter rips MIA a new one.

Ever been to Miami airport? Don’t bother. It must be one of the worst stop-overs in the world.

Not only do you have to pass through immigration (notoriously unfriendly, even by the US’s standards) – even if in transit, which can take up to two hours. But there is also pretty much nothing to do.

[...]

Take the shops. I had a six-hour stopover and thought, given the weak dollar, that Miami airport would be the perfect place to buy a digital camera. Big mistake. When I asked at an info booth about where I could buy one, the two acne-splattered ‘information officers’ rolled their eyes dramatically.

“You wanna buy a camera? In the airport?” They guffawed in synch, as if they’d been practicing. “I don’t think so, maam.”

So, no camera. How about a nice meal, then? Well, the choice past immigration was either a Starbucks or a Mexican restaurant which served lukewarm, stomach-churning tacos.

No shopping, no decent food. The only alternative was to get drunk.

But we even failed on that count. The bar was so dark and dingy that we downed our bottles of beer and fled.

Ouch. I have to agree that when you put MIA up against the likes of a Denver or a DC Reagan, it blows. Having said that, there are plenty of airports that are just as bad, if not worse, than MIA, such as Atlanta, Dallas and Fort Lauderdale.

Face it: flying in the U.S. is like riding Greyhound without the diesel fuel stink.

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The Problem With A Jury Of Your Peers

Sometimes you get idiots like this:

For six weeks, jurors in the trial of Kenneth Wilk sat in court and heard a lot of evidence about how easily people can get tripped up by their online comments.

On Wednesday, an alternate juror got kicked off the jury after she admitted posting a comment online about the case during the trial. The woman was not one of the 12 jurors who convicted Wilk on Tuesday for the murder of Broward Sheriff's Deputy Todd Fatta, but she had been scheduled to return to court today for the death penalty phase of the trial.


[...]

Martin said she did not read the news report but clicked on a link at the bottom of the article, read other readers' comments and added her own.

"I didn't think I was really violating [the order] by reading the comments," she told the judge. "I didn't think it was facts, I thought it was opinions... I also thought I didn't discuss the case."


Ooooh, such BS! Who doesn't read the news article, but clicks on the link to make comments? And she didn't read any of the comments before hers? Judge should have held her in contempt.

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This Week's SotP Reader's Favorite


Favorite Place to Buy A Nice Bottle of Wine in SoFla

What makes it so special? The location? The selection? Tell us all about it.





[You can review and get links to all the SotP Reader's Favorites here.]



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Question And Answers

To the people who can understand why a hit and run driver who dragged a woman for two miles did what he did (yes, they are out there), I have to ask:

At what point is it safe for the driver to stop and talk to the person he just had an accident with? Is it just after the person falls off the hood of your van traveling at 70 mph or is it 2 miles later when that person finally is dislodged from the undercarriage of your vehicle?

And as a follow-up: When is it appropriate to call the police to report all these justified reactions of yours? Would it be before or after you left the country less that 48 hours after the accident?

Answers?

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And, in fact, being afraid is exactly the reason the suspect is using to justify his actions.
The suspect in the weekend dragging death of a Fort Lauderdale woman drove off because he feared for his life, his attorney, family and friends said Wednesday.

[...]

"It's my understanding that he was in fear for his life," he said. "There were several people and possibly some threats made."


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SotP Thought Of The Day

When your heroes include someone who planned to blow up an auditorium full of college students and patriots are South Floridians who illegally possess explosives, detonator cord, automatic weapons, and grenade launchers, among other things...is there any mystery why people sometimes use the word "crazy" to describe you or have a hard time taking seriously anything you have to say?

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Tricks And Treats



They may be "bungling bandits" and "dumb desperadoes" and any other number of things that the wordsmiths at the Miami Herald can dream up, but the bottom line, as the Pulp notes, is that they haven't been caught yet. Plus they have some kick ass Halloween masks.

Just before noon, the two men stormed into the SunTrust Bank, 8250 Miramar Pkwy., and ordered everyone to the floor.

[...]

A teller handed them several plastic bags filled with stacks of money. One of the stacks was made specifically for robberies -- it had a small dye device hidden inside the bills, Robertson said.

The gunmen didn't have a clue.

Money bags in hand, they ran outside and hopped into the getaway van. Earlier Wednesday, the GMC 1500 had been reported stolen in an armed carjacking in Miami-Dade County.

As police raced to the scene, the thieves sped east on Miramar Parkway.

They didn't get far.

From inside the bank, a teller activated the dye device, staining the stolen money bright red. The small explosion also released a plume of smoke into the van, forcingthe robbers to roll down the windows.

That's when money started flying everywhere.

At one point, the driver of the minivan slammed on the brakes, allowing a male passenger to jump out. He tried to recover the cash from the road, said [witness Wilkins] Pujols.

Pujols said the robbers weren't the only ones stopping to pick up the loose money.
''Money was flying out of the van,'' Pujols recalled. ``Tens. Twenties. You name it. Some people even got out of their cars and tried to grab it.''

Ah, yes. Because when a speeding van roars past with money flying from the windows, the first thing South Floridians think about is what's in in for them. Why am I not surprised?

For the good folks who took the time to stop and gather up the dye-stained money that wasn't theirs, the real fun begins when they buy something with it. They best factor in lots of time to explain things to detectives after emerging from that Circuit City.

The bank robbers eventually ditched the minivan a church parking lot and are still on the loose.

-CBS4 has a video

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AM Chuckle



The Dogone Thong...because canine flatulence is part of life.









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