Fung Wah, the Absurdist Transportation System, is Shut Down

The Fung Wah bus, departing hourly between New York and Boston, was a source of sheer terror and/or delight depending on your personality.  Filled with broke college students and random people from Chinatown transporting live animals, every trip was either a wonderful or awful experience.  Which you got was a bit of playing Russian Roulette.

Sadly, Fung Wah has now been shut down by “NOBAMA” and the Feds for gross safety violations, which probably should have happened a decade ago.  Sure, now you have the extremely-similar-price-but-less-disgusting Boltbus and MegaBus, but do these corporate services offer the character, nay, the Heart, that Fung Wah offered?

Actually, screw Fung Wah’s character and heart.  You always felt like you might die or puke or die from puking or puke from dying on each trip.  What will be missed however,are the Tweets.  BostInno gathers up a fine selection, using the hashtag #TheLastTimeITookFungWah:

 

Yes, an entire head of lettuce.  It gets that bad.

 

See more of the Tweets over at BostInno.

 

Photocredit: Flickr user MrMoneda

This Is How Your Tires Get Made: “How Stupid Do You Think We Are?”

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The French are known for making things. Cheeses. Wines. Peugeots. And tires. Michelin is one of the largest tire manufacturing concerns in the world, just churning out the circular rubbery things.

Titan is also a tire company, but not a French one. Titan CEO Maurice Taylor was invited to buy a tire factory in France by industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, and his response (with official letterhead, natch) is quintessentially American, and quintessentially hilarious. Choice quotes include:

Sir, your letter states you want Titan to start a discussion. How stupid do you think we are? Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tires. And what does the crazy union have? The French government.

And:

Titan is going to buy a Chinese tire company or an Indian one, pay less than one Euro per hour and ship all the tires France needs.  You can keep the so-called workers.  Titan has no interest in the Amien North factory.

I like how he calls him “sir.”

Read the whole letter at the Wall Street Journal.

 

 

Buying A Car Sucks Because Laws

 

No, this isn’t some insane Ted Nugent diatribe about the gub’mint getting in the way of Real America and Real Americans. The wonks with glasses (do they have glasses? I’m not sure. I have glasses) over at NPR’s Planet Money took a look today at why buying a new car sucks, always, without fail.

It basically boils down to “protections” put in place by state and federal governments to ensure that owning a dealership will be highly profitable and also nearly immune from competition from other dealers selling the same brand. Not only are automakers like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, etc. prohibited from setting up their own company-owned dealerships, but the privately-held dealerships are granted regional monopolies in their respective areas.

In addition, the ability to pass on your dealership to your children, grandchildren, and your grandchildren’s grandchildren is enshrined in law as well. Your grandchildren’s grandchildren suck at selling cars, and are dragging down Ford’s regional profits? Well, I suppose that’s just too bad for Ford.

But surely there’s a reason for this. Nobody is just handed anything, here, in America, capitalism.  Tammy Darvish, who sits on the executive board of the National Automobile Dealers Association, told Planet Money why they deserve it:

 

“We need these state laws to protect our investment, not just the investment in our business, but our people. We employ a little over 2,000 people, that’s 2,000 families throughout greater Washington that are dependent upon us continuing our business operations.”

 

Yes, just as the oil companies plead, Jobs and Families. Never mind the conservative principle of the free market filling the void if these monopolies were allowed to collapse, with the associated jobs that would follow. This is about Freedom, or something.

 

And, as Planet Money notes dryly:

 

“This is not the sort of argument that sways economists.”

 

These sorts of regulations have serious consequences as well. In November of 2011,Chrysler was forced to sell ts own “model dealership” in California in a settlement with the state and the California DMV.

 

It’s a bit long, but hear the whole thing over at Planet Money.

 

Photo Credit: Christopher Ziemnowicz/Wikimedia 

 

 

Québec Prepares for the Zombie Apocalypse

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It turns out Montana isn’t the only place preparing for the zombie apocalypse. In the Québec public security annual symposium next week, one of the discussions will be on how to cope with a zombie attack in the province.

Of course this hypothetical has a legitimate purpose – it’s a way of simulating a real life unexpected catastrophe.  As the director of disaster recover told CTV:

“When we’re talking about zombies, we’re talking about a training concept.”

Apparent the zombie scenario is common among disaster security training, as many U.S. states and British Columbia have already had similar scenarios. Participants will deal with a number of issues as part of the scenario: infections, infrastructure damage, death, housing issues, work absences and the resulting drop in tourism.  Because when the zombie apocalypse occurs, the number one concern will be the drop in tourism.

Read more at The Globe & Mail or CTV.

Candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor A Bit Loony, Likes Making Internet Memes About Himself

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This is Jerry Patterson, and he is a Real Man running for a Real Office in the Real State of Texas.  You might think this picture is a joke, some sort of satirical fantasy created by a detractor.  “HA! That Jerry Patterson,” you say, noting his seemingly endless devotion to guns and weapons and guns.  “He loves guns so much, he just hands them out like hotcakes for every hallmark holiday!”

But no, really, this guy does love guns.  Even more than you like alliteration.  This image was posted on his own Facebook page, with the caption reading:

 

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I’m posting a special online card for my friends each day until Thursday. On today’s card – a piece of advice for finding the perfect romantic gift for your loved ones.

Jerry Patterson has finally come full-circle, blazing past post-modernism in a chariot of glory and on to a different plane of post-ironic existence, completely misunderstanding what an internet meme is but also how they are used.  Or maybe he does get it?  And feeds off his own parody image?  Maybe it’s a big joke, some sort of performance art?

 

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Yep, he posted that on his Facebook page, too, with the caption “sometimes you see a photo that is too adorable not to share. Happy Tuesday everyone.”

 

Definitely performance art.

 

H/T to Wonkette.