Mal on the Street

“In conventional business attire, trusty Mohawk at their side, the two would waylay pedestrians and proprietors. Clandestinely recording each conversation, they would retreat to the curb to rewind: The Mohawk used quarter-inch metal cassettes and rewinding the tapes required the operator to manually turn a handle like a fishing reel. Then they’d hook up the earpiece and listen to their latest. If they only collected usable material every two or three days, they were happy.

The best of these hidden-mike recordings is a long encounter with a druggist, from whom Coyle solicits advice about performing home surgery on Sharpe, who is complaining of chest pains. The druggist is aghast at Coyle’s medical “experience” — third-year high school, plus a few days of home study. They offer to do the surgery in a station wagon outside. The druggist begs them not to, saying they’re running huge risks for no reason. Coyle replies, “He’s willing to take the chance, and it would be very interesting for me.”

-Staff, “Mal on the Street.” SF Weekly. May 25, 1995

Fun with HTML: ‮ Writing Backwards ‭ / Writing Backwards

The HTML Entity for changing the directionality of text from right-to-left (rtl) is 8238. To change it back to left-to-right (ltr), use 8237.

Repeating the paragraph above with rtl and ending with the ltr:

‮”The HTML Entity for changing the directionality of text from right-to-left (rtl) is 8238. To change it back to left-to-right (ltr), use 8237.”‭

Possible legitimate use: if it is used in a profile that might be scraped, it will likely throw unexpected results, such as reversing text in auto-generated spam email.

But, there’s a few situations where this could be used to amusing effect or to be jackass. Don’t be a jackass.

h/t Tim Carry.

Banksy Shreds

“There was a lot of buzz around the last lot of the auction – Banksy’s Girl With Balloon. Done with spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on board, signed and dedicated on the reverse, and framed in thick ornament artist’s frame the piece was said to be the best version of one of the most iconic images by the artist, so the world was watching how far the auction would go. And it went far. Selling for 1,042,000 GBP (1,357,726 USD including premiums), it was a grandiose ending to a successful week when the most bizarre thing happened.

According to the people in the room, just as the hammer fell down confirming the sale, the painting started shredding itself through the thick frame. The alarms went off, the staff took away the painting, and we’re yet to learn what actually happened there tonight.”

—”Banksy Canvas Shredded @ Sotheby’s Auction in London,” Juxtapoz Magazine. October 5, 2018.

Ironically, the shredding makes this art piece more valuable to collectors, not less.