Lawsuit: Rikers Guards Ignored Dying Teen as His Heart Ruptured

Enid Shaw · 08/18/14 07:27PM

The rest of the world might be falling apart, but Rikers Island is still reliably horrific. A New York mother is suing Corizon, the company that provides healthcare at Rikers, New York City's largest jail complex, saying her 19-year-old son died in a cell there last year after being denied adequate medical treatment.

Baltimore Is One Step Closer to Being a Zero-Newspaper Town

Tom Scocca · 02/21/14 01:03PM

It's not even possible to get mad at the Baltimore Sun now. The Baltimore Sun is a nursing home where newspapering goes to die, or to sink into terminal urine-soaked frailty and confusion. Yesterday it announced it had received the commitment papers for City Paper, the city's alternative weekly, b. 1977 – d. TK But Soon.

Devo Guitarist Bob Casale Dead at 61

Tom Scocca · 02/18/14 04:55PM

Rhythm guitarist Bob Casale of Devo—"Bob 2" to lead guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh's "Bob 1," and younger brother of bassist Gerald Casale—died yesterday, reportedly of heart failure. Here is the band putting a cold shiny bolt-gun to the forehead of the staggering no-longer-youth culture of the '60s and '70s, covering "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and thereby repudiating everything that the song had come to stand for.

Tom Scocca · 08/14/13 03:21PM

Political reporter and columnist Jack Germond—variously known as a Boy on the Bus, Fat Man in a Middle Seat, and the round half of the Baltimore Sun's long-running and nationally ubiquitous Germond and Witcover tandem—died today at the age of 85. The Washington Post quotes him: "I have always argued that newspapers should not have any civic purpose beyond telling readers what is happening."

Hot Air Balloon Explosion Kills 19 in Egypt; Worst-Ever Accident of Its Kind

Max Read · 02/26/13 08:04AM

Nineteen tourists are dead and two are injured following a hot air balloon explosion 1,000 feet above Luxor, Egypt. The balloon apparently collided with a high-pressure electrical cable, detonating one of its gas cylinders; as it plummeted to the ground, some passengers leaped out "from about the height of a seven-story building," a witness told the BBC. Eighteen, including tourists from the UK, China, Japan, France, Hungary, and Egypt died at the scene, their bodies strewn about the field where the balloon crashed, while the nineteenth victim died in surgery five hours later. The two survivors, the pilot and one passenger, a British tourist, may have saved their lives by jumping. A 2009 hot air balloon accident in Luxor, in which more than a dozen tourists were injured, prompted a six-month suspension of flights as safety standards were tightened and pilots were re-trained; today's accident, by all accounts the worst-ever of its kind, has prompted the city to indefinitely suspend flights. [BBC | AJE]

Robert Bork Was a Terrible Human Being and No One Should Grieve His Passing

John Cook · 12/19/12 12:25PM

Robert Bork has died. Bork is best known in public memory for his failed Supreme Court nomination, which thankfully foundered on the rank extremism of his beliefs. And those beliefs were vile—not because of the stark principles that purportedly undergirded them, but because of the bigotry and contempt for modernity they masked. But more vile than his reactionary agenda was his hatred for democracy and his fealty to incipient tyranny, as expressed in his willingness to follow anti-Semitic madman Richard Nixon down the rabbit hole of criminality.

Louis Peitzman · 08/13/12 10:19PM

A hearse driver died driving to a funeral. Police don't suspect foul play, but they agree this is a weird coincidence.