Archive for January 11th, 2012

January 11, 2012

Limousine Liberal

bobo

radical chic

Limousine liberal is a pejorative American political term used to illustrate perceived hypocrisy by a political liberal of upper class or upper middle class status; including calls for the use of mass transit while frequently using limousines or private jets, claiming environmental consciousness but driving low MPG sports cars or SUVs, or ostensibly supporting public education while actually sending their children to private schools.

Democratic New York City mayoral hopeful Mario Procaccino coined the term to describe incumbent Republican Mayor John Lindsay and his wealthy Manhattan backers during a heated 1969 campaign.

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January 11, 2012

Bobos in Paradise

latte liberal

hipster ariel

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There’ is a book by David Brooks, first published in 2000. The word ‘bobo,’ Brooks’s most famous coinage, is a portmanteau of the words bourgeois and bohemian.

The term is used by Brooks to describe the 1990s descendants of the yuppies. Often of the corporate upper class, they claim highly tolerant views of others, purchase expensive and exotic items, and believe American society to be meritocratic.

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January 11, 2012

Yuppie

patrick bateman by Kelly Puissegur

Yuppie [yuhp-ee] (short for ‘young urban professional’ or ‘young upwardly mobile professional’) is a term that refers to a member of the upper middle class or upper class in their 20s or 30s. It first came into use in the early-1980s and largely faded from American popular culture in the late-1980s, due to the 1987 stock market crash and the early 1990s recession. However it has seen a small revival in the 2000s and 2010s.

Yuppies are derided for their conspicuous personal consumption and hunger for attention social status among their peers. Cornell University economist Robert H. Frank, author of ‘Luxury Fever,’ has remarked, ‘When people were denouncing yuppies, they had considerably lower incomes than yuppies, so the things yuppies spent their money on seemed frivolous and unnecessary from their vantage point.’ Pro-skateboarder and businessman Tony Hawk has said that yuppies give ‘us visions of bright V-neck sweaters with collars underneath, and all that was vile in the eighties,’ and he has remarked as well as that a ‘bitchin’ tattoo cannot hide your inner desire to be Donald Trump.’

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January 11, 2012

Sidney Frank

grey goose

jagermeister

Sidney Frank (1919 – 2006) was an American businessman who became a billionaire through his promotion of Grey Goose vodka and Jägermeister. He attended Brown University, but left because he could only afford one year of tuition. He later made enormous gifts to the university to ensure that no student would ever be forced to leave Brown because of inability to pay tuition. During World War II, Frank worked for Pratt and Whitney as an aircraft engine mechanic in the South Pacific.

Frank’s first wife, Louise Rosenstiel, was the daughter of Lewis Rosenstiel, founder of Schenley Industries, one of the largest American distiller and spirit importers. Frank joined Schenley after his marriage and rose to the company presidency, but was forced out in a family dispute in 1970. In 1973 his wife died and he started his own company, Sidney Frank Importing Company, where he served as chairman and chief executive officer. The company is based in New Rochelle, New York where Frank lived part of the year (he had a home in Rancho Santa Fe, California as well).

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January 11, 2012

Dye Pack

dye pack

A dye pack is a radio-controlled incendiary device used by some banks to preemptively foil a bank robbery by causing stolen cash to be permanently marked with red dye shortly after a robbery. In most cases, a dye pack is placed in a hollowed-out space within a stack of banknotes, usually $10 or $20 bills. This stack of bills looks and feels similar to a real one, with new technology allowing for the manufacturing of flexible dye packs which are difficult to detect by handling the stack.

When the marked stack of bills is not used, it is stored next to a magnetic plate near a bank cashier, in standby or safe mode, ready to be handed over to a potential robber by a bank employee. When it is removed from the magnetic plate, the pack is armed, and once it leaves the building and passes through the door frame, a radio transmitter located at the door will trigger a timer (typically 10 seconds), after which the dye pack will explode and release an aerosol (sometimes tear gas, but usually of Disperse Red 9, a dye used in smoke grenades) intended to permanently stain and destroy the stolen money and mark the robber’s body with a bright red color. The chemical reaction causing the explosion of the pack and the release of the dye creates high temperatures of about 400 degrees Fahrenheit which further discourages a criminal from touching the pack or removing it from the bag or getaway vehicle.

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January 11, 2012

Pizza Principle

pizza connection

The New York Pizza Connection, or Pizza Principle, is a humorous but generally historically accurate ‘economic law’ proposed by native New Yorker Eric M. Bram. He noted in 1980 that from the early 1960s the price of a slice of pizza ‘matched, with uncanny precision, the cost of a New York City Subway ride.’ The term ‘Pizza Connection’ referring to this phenomenon was coined in early 2002 by ‘New York Times’ columnist Clyde Haberman. He predicted the cost of a slice of pizza would increase by as high as two dollars in midtown Manhattan.

In 2003 ‘The New Yorker’ magazine proclaimed the validity of the Pizza Connection (which they renamed the pizza principle) in accurately predicting the rise of the subway fare to $2.00 the week before. They also quoted Mr. Bram (by then a patent attorney) as warning that since the New York City Transit Authority had announced the discontinuation of the subway token itself in favor of the variable-fare cost MetroCard, the direct correlation between the cost of an off-the-street slice of cheese pizza and the cost of a subway token might not continue to hold. However, in 2005, and again in 2007, Haberman noted the price of a slice was again rising, and, citing the Pizza Connection, worried that the subway fare might soon rise again. The fare did indeed rise to $2.25 in 2009 and again in 2011 to $2.50.

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