The Chinese art of queue jumping

Capn Design reports on how the Chinese have apparently reduced queue jumping to an art form. And there are different methods depending on who you are, how many people you are with and if you have children. These were apparently witnessed at the 2010 Shanghai Expo:

Jumping the Kid – The technique uses your kid as an “advance man”. How it works: Your small child “accidentally” wanders away, snaking his/her way through the queue advancing just far enough so that you can see him/her. You begin yelling at your child, “you’re a very bad boy or girl.” As you yell, your entire family pushes its way through the queue line to retrieve the child, inserting yourselves as far forward as possible. Once you reach the child, repeat.

The ‘Screaming old man’ technique is absolutely bonkers.

The InPark Magazine article (PDF, p14) referred to in the post details another method where you simply lift or crawl through the barrier (the ones where you’re forced to walk up and then down repeatedly), thus inserting yourself further down the queue. It works because other people in the queue are reluctant to cause a fuss:

Find an area of the queue where there is no guide. Lift or crawl through the queue line barrier inserting yourself directly into the queue. You can even do this with your entire family and group! Your chances for success are quite high, as many people in line will say very little or nothing and let it go to avoid a confrontation.

The Art of Queue Jumping via Capn Design


The Ghosts of Pickering Trail

Fascinating article from The Atavist: What happens when you move your children 3000 miles across country to escape the trauma of losing their father, only to later discover your new home has it’s own deathly secrets?

Milliken noticed that the house attracted a strange sort of attention. On Halloween night, she was standing on her front steps when she spotted a group of girls in costumes rounding the sidewalk outside her house.
“That’s where that thing happened,” one girl giggled. The group moved on without stopping for candy.

The story prompts an interesting question: should sellers of property be legally obliged to mention bad things that have happened there?

The Ghosts of Pickering Trail via The Atavist Magazine

You Just Got Out of Prison. Now What?

Carlos and Roby are two ex-convicts with a simple mission: picking up inmates on the day they’re released from prison and guiding them through a changed world:

Eventually, Dale Hammock appeared. Hammock was 65, white, his head shaved completely bald, both arms wrapped in black tattoos. He wore sweat shorts, a white T-shirt, canvas slip-ons and white socks pulled up near his knees. All his clothes were bright and brand-new. As he approached Carlos and Roby, he thrust his chest toward them as far as it would go. Inside, this might have signaled strength and authority, but out here, it looked bizarre, as if he had some kind of back deformity.

You can’t help but feel for the ex-convicts, suddenly cast adrift in the outside world. Having lived a life on the inside for decades, this new reality seems overwhelming, confusing and terrifying:

Roby took a picture on his phone, showed it to Hammock, then zapped it off to the team at Stanford. Hammock was amazed. ‘‘Everything now, you just touch it, and it shows you things?’’ he asked. It was like having breakfast with a time traveler. Was he correct in noticing that men didn’t wear their hair long anymore? Was it true that everyone had stopped using cash? Later, in the restroom, he wrenched the front of the automatic soap dispenser off its base instead of waving his hand under it.

The accompanying New York Times Magazine article is here.

Rent-a-Cop vs Real Cop

Fascinating article from the New York Times about the private police force in New Orleans’ French Quarter:

The block had become so rough in recent months that, as Cavett later explained, ‘‘I wouldn’t take out my garbage without a gun.

I find it staggering that in the United States private police officers currently outnumber their publicly funded counterparts by a ratio of roughly three to one. Apparently, one of the largest private security forces in the US is the University of Chicago Police, ‘which has full jurisdiction over 65,000 residents, only 15,000 of whom are students.’

Who Runs the Streets of New Orleans?

Sunday routine

I love the idea of having a weekend routine. Unfortunately, having a toddler around the house means our weekends tend to be unstructured and dependent on various factors. Just sitting together in the kitchen having a leisurely late breakfast is an impossibility.

I recently came across the Sunday Routine series in the New York Times and plan to make my way through the archive. I mean, imagine this:

Every Sunday, Tim Gunn puts on a suit and walks through Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

It’s a sacred place for me, with all this incredible history and gorgeous work. I want to present myself properly. I just feel it’s an honor and a tribute to the work… [In the park] I go through a section called the Pinetum, an arboretum devoted almost exclusively to pine trees… I go to the Greek and Roman Galleries first. I’ll choose different objects to fixate upon… Then I go to the Balcony Lounge on the second floor and I have a glass or two of wine, and tea sandwiches. It’s really civilized. I always have my iPad. Frequently I’ll be researching something I’ve just seen.


via Austin Kleon

Sunday Routine