Tag Archives: Paris

Greg Gutfeld: After month of terrorism, Democrats debate guns

Those still awake 40 minutes into the Democratic debate Saturday night heard the candidates argue how they’d deal with ISIS and Syria, but not until the moderators set the candidates against each other on the issue of guns and gun control. Fox News host and author Greg Gutfeld made note of how the candidates were happy to discuss their plans to place restrictions on gun rights in the United States.

What, this?

Don’t tell us to watch your “high-stakes” debate and then hassle us towake up.

‘Hulk’ actor Mark Ruffalo wouldn’t like you when you’re angry

Finding a liberal actor in Hollywood isn’t much of an accomplishment, but we have to give Mark Ruffalo some credit for being consistent in his beliefs whatever the issue, you’ll find him committed to thefar left side of it. Is it ironic that Ruffalo plays the Hulk in the “Avengers” movies, the big green guy whoseimmeasurable strength grows in direct proportion tohis rage? Moviegoers might love the Hulk, but Ruffalo doesn’t want to set a bad example on film, or in reaction to the terrorist attacks on Paris.

That’s a lot of retweets, but we disagree; the intended outcome of the Paris terrorist attacks was to kill as many innocents as possible and frighten the survivors into compliance.

Ruffalo also retweeted this bit of rhetorical Fruit Stripe gum to chew on from MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, who made his debut on Twitter crying into his sweater but confessedto becoming “physically enraged” at the Supreme Court’s “gutting” of the Voting Rights Act.

What Love Taught Me About Blackness

A year in Paris and a complicated relationship — with a man and with my hair.

Jenny Chang/BuzzFeed

It was spring of 2010, the end of my freshman year of college abroad in Paris, and I let a man convince me to leave my hair behind. It wasn’t the fact that Omar claimed he was not French but actually Senegalese, even though he had a French passport, French driver’s license, and French minor crime record. It wasn’t because he had lived in banlieues, complicated neighborhoods on the outskirts of Paris, all his life and had a sort of streetwise charm to him.

Or that I often found myself mesmerized when he pursed his lips around a joint, with an amused look in his eyes when I always said no. Stop. It was not that he towered six inches above my 5-foot-5-inch frame as he spoke a little too enthusiastically about Allah, God’s mercies, the importance of Ramadan, and the beauty of Islam, with tiny bits of spit flying from his mouth to the tip of my nose. It definitely wasn’t when he giggled like a small girl, shoulders shaking, and nestled my mane of hair into his chest when I pointed out that he barely visited the mosque and drank too much Hennessey to be a good Muslim.

Maybe it started with the brief bout of college-age rebellion I felt that night when my mother called and shot horrified questions at me, after I told her I had been on a few dates with a 24-year-old man. I imagined her pacing up and down her office in the dusty, small town of Arusha, Tanzania, phone in hand, eyes hard behind her rimless glasses and immaculately braided hair, treading the line between the mother she was at home and the lawyer she was in the courtroom.

She just wanted to care, the right way, even though she was on another continent, trying to lasso a leash onto a lost child, heaving her voice all the way from Tanzania to my small studio in the heart of Paris. “Did you have sex with him?” After all, I needed to remember that I was Christian. We could not be together. If we were, there would be a price to pay. I kept silent. “You know he’s too old for you, and you never know, people might have AIDS. You just don’t know.” After all, we weren’t the same type of “black” or “African” that went together, and she wasn’t the type of mother who believed in romantic bullshit. He was muscular, dark, scraping lower middle class with a low-paying administrative job, and francophone; I was short, baby-faced, and fresh from a Long Island Christian boarding school, with an upper-middle-class family, a Zimbabwean passport, and British tendencies. “Are you there doing work? You know we sent you there to do well.”

I didn’t know what I was doing. But I pretended I did. That year, I refused to be naked for anyone. I wanted to be a serious writer, the kind who went to war zones, Marie Colvin-style, with an African twist. Not the kind who wrote about not knowing what to do with boys, or what to do with their own hair. I wanted to be my mother with a pen – the woman who held her faith close enough to her heart for it to mean something, but the same woman with an incisive brain and logic that carried her from the rural farm life in Buhera District, Zimbabwe, to a trial room at the U.N. I wanted to end the phone call, but she did first, with a prayer that left me with guilt that sat at the bottom of my conscience like dregs of bad wine.

But it was never about sex. It was about the divided soul I didn’t know I had, the one that struggled to let Omar touch my hair. For years, I had pretended that it was “just hair” and shrugged when boys asked why I didn’t get my “hair did” well enough. At boarding school, I hid it under dozens of weaves that made my skin itch, heavy extensions that would latch onto my fragile front strands, and hair relaxers that burned and left scabs on my sensitive scalp. In my hair’s natural state, I was almost as ashamed of it as I was of my chubby feet, which swelled out of my shoes during hot weather because of my mild lymphedema. When Omar would wait a little too long after walking me to a hair salon, I would squirm in my seat, hoping he would leave before the stylist started complaining about my crazy hair. He never did.

But as my hair shed when he gingerly unknotted it with his long fingers and combed it out in my apartment, my guard went down as well. My awkward problems, the ones I didn’t want to say out loud — being the only black student in my classes, feeling like the only one lost for words and conjugations on the streets of Paris — disappeared for hours at a time as he tried to sing along to pop songs in English blaring from my laptop, occasionally lifting the comb from my hair to his lips.

Beyond the hair, our problems with blackness were still embarrassing — like the times taxis wouldn’t stop for him but would stop for me if I stood a few feet away from him and pretended not to know him. The complications of blackness in Paris came in layers and genders and classes and accents. We laughed about it, but it stung. We laughed almost as hard as we did at my bad French between yassa and fish at his favorite Senegalese restaurant. Almost as hard as the time purple bissap juice oozed out of my nostrils in front of everyone.

On many weekends, we tried to do some of the iconic “Parisian” things I’d read about in high school textbooks. We planned to go to Père Lachaise cemetery, where people like Oscar Wilde were buried, and where couples supposedly left letters at the foot the tomb of Abelard and Heloise — two doomed lovers from the Middle Ages. Omar met me at the Gambetta Metro station near my apartment and declared last minute that we needed to go to a happier place. We took the train to the Latin Quarter instead and ate too much bread in a small bistro. We planned to go up the Eiffel Tower hand-in-hand but never made it there. We attempted to visit the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay but it rained before we even got to the train, and we ended up in my apartment eating soggy falafel. There was never a candle-lit dinner with very old wine at a very expensive restaurant. We were never that kind of pair.

As my French got better, he listened as I recalled the day I left Zimbabwe when I was 10, not knowing that the home as I knew it was gone forever. I listened to his stories about the women he had dated, the police chase he had escaped in Spain, and the time when he was 17 and got caught with a bag of cocaine at the airport. He said all this slowly, unraveling, sometimes lowering his eyes in shame, as if I would be there forever. He detangled my hair and swept the floor and unclogged the shower drain too many times, with too much patience, as if I would not be leaving, as if our souls were not divided, as if this was that story about that deep black love I’d always heard about.

And I thought leaving would be much easier than staying. At the end of spring, I had promised Omar there would be no grand speeches of deep friendship the night before my departure, no talk about what could have been or never was. No long, lingering hugs after loading my luggage into the taxi and no crying in public when I got my boarding passes. He was not to see me off at the airport. The day before, I walked two of my favorite footbridges across the River Seine alone, as if I had shown them to myself. I gazed forward as I checked in my bags at Charles de Gaulle, spoke fast and casually as if I were ordering a meal from a fast-food joint. When the plane left the runway and took off, I went to sleep as if my heart didn’t hurt.

Fall moved slower in New York than it did in Paris, as I sat in parks, phone card in hand, watching yellow leaves lick the pavement, and wondering how much longer the calls would last. The calls got rationed: once a week, then once a month. Soon I ignored the foreign number. When I did summon the courage to answer, often after another bad fling with a college boy, too often after said boy had asked why I didn’t get my rowdy “hair did” for the date, Omar would shoot questions at me in frustrated, fast French. “You don’t want to talk anymore?” Silence. “Could you please make sure to find someone good?” Silence. “Someone who really knows you and wouldn’t want sex from you?” Silence. “Someone who knows the difference?”

The calls broke me. He was there, I was here. Even if I were there, same language, same god, no hair, we would always be in a state of away-ness, where I overthought everything and knew how to express nothing. I was the writer who didn’t know how to talk about feelings. Even at 19, I knew my feigned aloofness was crippling. I couldn’t help it. We would fail. As usual, I stopped answering — somehow thinking my silence would postpone the hurt.

I knew it was the end when I started thinking about the beginning. Since Paris, I had been more at peace with my hair, letting it be and grow out the way Omar had encouraged me to. I stopped straightening and frying it until it lay limply to the side. I cut all the lifeless ends off. I shot back confidently when, on a date, a boy asked me to get a hair relaxer. And when I washed my hair — which I had grown to love for the first time since elementary school — I stupidly played the first scene of that journey over and over again, as if it were the only song I had left.

It was the time I first met Omar in the Metro station during my first few weeks in France. My hair was a mess, as usual, even with tiny braids at the roots, there to fight the power of late-summer sweat and heat until I got it together. My bra strap hung to the side under my sleeve and my sneakers were slightly torn at the right toe, but I didn’t care. I had only a two-euro coin in my pocket, a stupid ploy to stop me from spending money on pastries between school and my apartment, but just enough for a train ride home. Omar, seeing the foreign mess that I was, offered, in a broken mixture of French and English, to take me out for dinner. He said he liked my hair.



Disney’s Paris Haunted House Just Got Creepier When A Body Was Found Inside

At one point in Disney’s famous Haunted Mansion attraction, the “Ghost Host” proclaims that the estate is the home of “999 happy haunts,” and that “there’s room for a thousand.”

Well, it seems the creepy host just got his wish, as the dead body of a Disney employee was recently found in the Disneyland Paris version of the ride. It seems one of the most popular dark rides in the world just got that much darker.

While repairing a light fixture at Disneyland Paris’ take on the popular Haunted Mansion ride, Phantom Manor, a 45-year-old Disney employee was believed to have been electrocuted.

The man, who had worked at the park since 2002, was found by other Disney employees between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. By 10 a.m, he was declared dead.

The ride was immediately shut down for investigation.

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This is not the first death to occur at the European resort. In 2010, a 53-year-old employee became trapped underneath one of the boats in the It’s a Small World ride and died on the way to the hospital.

More recently, in 2013, a five-year-old guest fell out of one of the boats on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and was trapped between the boat and the exit platform. The boy was in critical condition when he arrived at the hospital but, thankfully, survived.

Getty Images

In a statement to BBC, Disney commented on the death of their beloved employee saying, “We are truly saddened to learn of the passing of one of our Cast Members, and our hearts go out to his family and friends during this very difficult time.”

Despite the incidents listed above, Disneyland Paris has seen very few deaths in its 23 years of existence. It’s pretty admirable, considering the number of complex and sometimes dangerous machines the employees have to deal with on a daily basis.

She Was Removing Some Old Wallpaper When She Found This Chilling Note Underneath

Ah, Paris…the City of Light.

While much has been written about the romantic destination, all the novels, poems, and letters in the world cannot match the experience of actually being there.

But while Paris is magical to visit, it also harbors a less well-known and wholly creepy side…something that Redditor wingspantt learned all too well during her time studying abroad there.

Wingspantt writes that she spent one semester living and studying in Paris while attempting to learn French. During this time, she stayed with her aunt, whom she had never met before.

iStock

Her aunt lived in an older, quaint apartment. Toward the end of wingspantt’s time in Paris, her aunt asked her to help remove some old, ugly wallpaper in one of the rooms. Seems simple enough, but that’s where you’re wrong…

iStock

As they started to remove the wallpaper, they found these old and decidedly creepy writings in French.

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As her French was not that great, wingspantt’s aunt translated. Turns out, it was a long, rambling letter addressed to the man’s wife (or ex-wife, or maybe even a lover) and daughter. While the subject isn’t clear, a few of these translated sentences will send shivers down your spine…

“One day you will understand, my dear child, that I could have watch you grow old, and that the savage behavior of your mother prevented me to do so. And to think that I created [something] so that one day i could be home every night, but your mother didn’t understand the subtlety of the game. I leave, I don’t know where, but I promise with all my heart that I will come to see you very often.”

“My child, I no longer have the morale and I can no longer find the strength to fight with your mother because I loved her far too much.”

“You must understand that it has become necessary for us to halt this union in which your mother has no sense of life as such.”

“(Something) I’m incredibly tired I want to… I want to sleep and… (something) my beautiful daughter. You must (something) this life.”

“Your mother has no idea what she really is.”

“You were wonderful, I was so deeply happy. Despite everything, I still love you. Goodbye.”

Naturally, this made her aunt curious about the man who used to live in her apartment. After asking around, the neighbors told her he was a quiet man and worked as a political cartoonist. He mostly kept to himself, they said, then one day, he just disappeared.

(source Reddit)

Now that is what I call a mystery! Even though I’m not sure what went down in that apartment, if I were her aunt, I’d move…

If you want to see some theories on who the man was, just check out this thread.

European Rabbis Train In Self-Defense, First Aid After Attacks

The training of dozens of rabbis was organized by the European Jewish Association at an annual conference in response to recent attacks in Copenhagen and Paris.

1. Several dozen rabbis in Europe took part in self-defense and first aid training Tuesday, prompted by concerns of rising violence and anti-Semitism in the region.

Petr David Josek / AP

2. The training was part of an annual conference organized by the European Jewish Association and held this year in Prague.

Petr David Josek / AP

3. Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the association, said the training was planned in response to the recent attacks in Copenhagen and Paris.

Petr David Josek / AP

In a statement, he called for more action by government officials to increase security around synagogues and other Jewish institutions.

“We call on European governments, as well as EU institutions, to heed our calls for the establishment of a pan-European task force in order to increase security around Jewish institutions and enhance education against the rampant anti-Semitism,” he said.

4. As part of the training, the rabbis were given knives to practice fending off an attack, the Associated Press reported.

Petr David Josek / AP

Petr David Josek / AP

Petr David Josek / AP

7. The basic training also included first aid.

Petr David Josek / AP

8. “It’s very important,” Binyomin Jacobs, chief rabbi in the Netherlands, told the AP. “I’m very happy with this. Happy and sad that it is necessary.”

Petr David Josek / AP

13 Terrorism Attacks That Were Successfully Stopped Before Tragedy Occurred

Following the attacks in Beirut, Baghdad, and Paris, our newsfeeds were flooded with death tolls and prayers for survivors. We should all take the time to mourn those we’ve lost.

But we can’t let our grief get the best of us. We must also remember how many lives are saved because of the quick thinking of first responders and the government agencies that act predominantly behind the scenes. Because of them, so many people have been spared from harm.

Here are just a few of the many terrorist attacks that were stopped before anyone was hurt:

1. On December 22, 2001, Richard Reid attempted to detonate a shoe bomb.

Nearly 200 people were aboard the international flight. Heroic passengers subdued Reid and the plane made an emergency landing in Boston.

2. In 2003, Iyman Faris, a double agent for Al Qaeda positioned in the FBI, was caught for possible plots to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge.

Each day, some 125,000 motor vehicles, 4,000 pedestrians, and 2,600 cyclists cross the bridge.

3. Dhiren Barot was arrested in 2004 for suspected plots against the New York Stock Exchange, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Citigroup Center.

It later surfaced that Barot planned to use limousines filled with “dirty” bombs for the attacks.

4. Shahawar Matin Siraj and James Elshafay were arrested in 2004 for plots to bomb the 34th Street – Herald Square subway station.

The popular station — close to Macy’s and Penn Station — is the third busiest stop in NYC’s entire subway system.

5. Back in 2006, seven men were arrested after allegedly plotting to bomb the Sears (now Willis) Tower and FBI offices.

The tower features 110 floors of office, retail, and recreational space.

6. Abdul Kadir, a former member of Guyana’s parliament, was arrested with three other men in 2007 in connection with plans to bomb the jet fuel line at JFK Airport.

Kadir was sentenced to life in prison.

7. Nineteen-year-old Hosam Maher Husein Smadi was arrested in 2009 for a plot to bomb a Dallas skyscraper.

The 60-story Fountain Palace is the fifth tallest structure in Dallas.

8. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was taken down by fellow passengers before he could detonate a bomb on a flight over Detroit.

He confessed to the Christmas Day incident and admitted to carrying plastic explosives in his underwear.

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9. In 2012, Amine El Khalifi was arrested for a plot to carry out a suicide bombing at the United States Capitol.

The Moroccan man believed he was working with Al Qaeda, but he was actually in contact with undercover FBI agents the whole time.

10. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rezwan Ferdaus was arrested in 2011 for plots to attack the Pentagon, United States Capitol, and U.S. soldiers abroad with IED devices.

Ferdaus was working with and supporting Al Qaeda.

11. In May 2010, Faisal Shahzad was arrested for an attempted car bombing in Times Square.

He was captured 53 hours after the failed plot, boarding a flight with Pakistan as the final destination.

12. In 2007, six men were arrested when plans were discovered targeting New Jersey’s Fort Dix base.

According to The Washington Post, their aim was “‘to kill as many American soldiers as possible’ with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and guns.”

13. Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee were caught after videotaping Washington-area buildings.

Before their arrests, they sent the footage to a London-based jihadist website.

Thanks to quick decision-making paired with countless hours of investigation, thousands — if not millions — of lives have been saved. It’s important to always remember and thank those who don’t get enough recognition. We salute you!

This Video Lets You See The City Paris From Above…A Real Bird’s Eye View.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what Paris looks like from the back of a bird (and really, who hasn’t?) then this is clearly the video for you. It will give you a (literal) bird’s eye view of the city.

Watch as Victor, a white tailed eagle, takes off from the summit of the Eiffel Tower. He then glides before plunging down at 110 mph (180 km/h) to the Trocadero, onto the hand of one of his handlers.

The whole POV (point of view) footage was captured on a Sony Action Cam Mini attached to the eagle’s back.

(Source: FREEDOM)

Now I know what the Hobbits felt like at the end of The Lord of the Rings. Amazing!