Posts Tagged: New York Times

NY Times: Airbnb Horror Story

Early in the evening of July 4, Micaela Giles’s mobile phone started sounding alerts, and a series of messages straight out of a horror movie began scrolling down her screen.

Her 19-year-old son told her that his Airbnb host in Madrid had locked him in the fourth-floor apartment where he was supposed to be staying and removed the key. The host was still there, he said, rattling knives around in the kitchen drawer and pressing him to submit to a sexual act. He begged his mother for help.

New York Investment Banker Vows to Unlock Mysteries of Midwestern Brain

“The key lies within the Midwestern brain and the nodules, which rise on the surface of the skull,” said Walsh, an investment banker turned amateur phrenologist. Photo: http://goo.gl/5bmfND

“The key lies within the Midwestern brain and the nodules, which rise on the surface of the skull,” said Walsh, an investment banker turned amateur phrenologist. Photo: http://goo.gl/5bmfND

New York—The Midwesterner: they grow our food and raise our children, but what do we really know of these simple folk from the hinterlands of the United States? That question has plagued, Jeffrey Walsh, an investment banker residing in Manhattan. Recently, he hired marc&mark to teach his nanny how to cook without a microwave, cream of mushroom soup, or dried onions. The company was recommended by Stephanie Johnson and her husband, Dan Yashiv, because “their nanny, [Erela], from Wisconsin, does not always know the difference between quinoa and couscous.”

“While we may be able to teach a Midwesterner to tear lettuce and wash their hands, we’re only treating the symptoms and not the problem,” said Walsh. “The key lies within the Midwestern brain and the nodules, which rise on the surface of the skull.”

Walsh has studied and cataloged over 100 midwestern skulls. Photo: http://goo.gl/1Mo7JI

Walsh has studied and cataloged over 100 midwestern skulls. Photo: http://goo.gl/1Mo7JI

Having been rebuffed by neuroscientists, Walsh turned to the time-honored practice of phrenology as practiced by Franz Joseph Gall. “If you have the money, it’s far easier to get human skulls than you may think,” Walsh said, pointing to the wall in his study. “Of course, I haven’t purchased any skulls from the East Coast, that would be uncivilized.” So far, his anecdotal experience has backed up his hypothesis. “The Midwesterner. They’re a different sort. See how the eyes are set and the bone is denser around the frontal lobes of the cerebellum? They’ve obviously evolved to live a simpler, agrarian lifestyle.” The biggest surprise of his research has been the Michigander skulls. “They’re almost Canadian,” Walsh said.

While Walsh isn’t sure where his research will take him, he does offer advice for New Yorkers who are in the market for midwestern help. “Safety pins and patience. Pin notes to their coats. Pretend you’re talking to a child. Forgive them their Crocs”

A Master’s in Chick Lit

I’m a genre writer. Gary Shteyngart hasn’t blurbed any of my novels, and Marion Ettlinger has never photographed me for a book jacket. I’m more at ease with the sequins and shirtless men at the Romantic Times conference than I am with the serious eyewear at poetry readings.

Are our overwhelmed, besieged, haphazardly recruited, variably trained, underpaid, not-so-elite teachers, in fact, the potential weak link in Amplify’s bid to disrupt American schooling? Klein said that we have 3.5 million elementary- and middle-school teachers. “We have to put the work of the most brilliant people in their hands,” he said. “If we don’t empower them, it won’t work.” Behind the talking points and buzz words, what I heard him saying was Yes. New York Times, “No Child Left Untableted.”