News Quiz

Wreck Creation

A key component of Japanese financial reform.

No. 116: “Wreck Creation” By Randy Cohen
The list is: drawing, arts and crafts, watching television, and playing bingo. List of what?

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Responses to Tuesday’s question (No. 115)–“Newer Rochelle”:
It’s the centerpiece of the New Rochelle, N.Y., urban renewal plan, and developer Louis Cappelli says: “It’s exhilarating. It’s for anyone from 7 to 80 years old, and it takes all of 30 to 45 seconds.” What is it?
“Laura Petrie’s Wild Ride.”–Meg Wolitzer“Beating up 6-year-olds in the town boxing ring.”–Nell Scovell“Successor to the Great American Back Rub, the Great American Blow Job.”–Nancy Franklin“Cup-A-Soup.”–Merrill Markoe“Tossing gasoline-soaked rags toward Yonkers.”–Jennifer Miller“Electrocution.”–Juris Odins“Cynthia Ozick kissing booth.”–Andrew Cohen Click here for more responses. Randy’s Wrap-Up
The knock on gentrification is that it’s urban renewal for people who don’t yet live there. One step lower, then, is touristification, urban renewal for people who will never live there. They come, cavort, and depart, leaving behind a residue of squandered cash and local resentment. When the same municipal government that presided over a city’s collapse decides to revive it, the results tend toward such bland excrescence as New York’s South Street Sea Port, the sort of place that would be out of place anyplace. The seaport is an attraction, not a part of actual city life but an alternative to it. Through the 1980s, the vogue in urban attractions ran to the municipal aquarium. Our national appetite for trout-watching being, apparently, unlimited, great big fish tanks opened in Baltimore, at Connecticut’s Mystic Seaport, and in New York’s Coney Island, among many other places. The highest artistic expression that has evolved in these environments is the Dolphin Show. (Was it Howard Bloom who asked, “Where is the Shakespeare of the aquatic mammals?” Sea World.) Lately, however, gambling has superseded performing fish, and any group who can persuade the authorities that it is an Indian tribe or a city is eager to run a casino. If I were a highly paid consultant employed by New Rochelle, and if the word “synthesis” were in my vocabulary, my report would comprise a single hyphenated word: Aqua-Gambling.
There’s No Such Thing as a Free Fall Answer
The Space Shot, an amusement park ride that drops a dozen people 180 feet in a brief free fall, letting them experience weightlessness.
The tower would be built atop a three story entertainment center called New Roc, on the site of a failed inner-city mall. Created by S&S Sports Power Inc., Space Shot currently is installed in 55 amusement parks, but New Rochelle would be the first city to use it for urban renewal.
“The tower to us is like an icon for the new millennium,” said developer Louis Cappelli.
“I’ve been getting a lot of calls on this, and people seem to be against it, 9-to-1,” said Timothy Idoni, New Rochelle’s mayor.
But Surely There’s More News of New Rochelle Extra
“Libel, indecency, undocumented allegations, attacks on personal integrity, and the techniques of harassment and innuendo”–required techniques in the student publications of New Rochelle’s Iona College. (By “required” I mean, of course, “forbidden.”)
Two poems were removed and a third was bowdlerized in the Cornelion, the student literary magazine of this small Catholic school. “I make no apologies about what we did,” said Brother James Liguori, Iona’s president. “It’s a question of a mission-sensitive publication which should reflect the mission of the college and allow people to briefly experience weightlessness.”
(Last seven words added by “News Quiz.”)

It’s a Gay World After All Extra:
“Bottom Puts Yanks on Top”–headline, New York Times

Randy Cohen writes “News Quiz” for Slate.

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