Sharp launches charity drive with a 26-foot tower of 43 LCD TVs to be raffle…

via DVICE by Kevin Hall on 12/1/08

Sharp-43-LCD-TV-Grand-Central.jpg

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas over at New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. Sharp helped deck the halls by sponsoring the Grand Central Terminal Kaleidoscope Light Show, which lit up the main concourse with a holiday-themed laser light show set to cheery Christmas tunes.

Sharp’s biggest contribution? A 26-foot-tall, Christmas-tree-shaped stack of 43 LCDs of varying sizes (from 19 inches to 52) — and each TV is up for grabs. For every person who enters the giveaway to score a free Sharp Aquos TV, the electronics giant will donate $1 to the HOPE Program. Jump in there and start registering: Sharp will donate up to $100,000, which could really do well by HOPE, a program that helps folks get back on their feet and promotes environmentally-sustainable employment.

Check out the gallery below for more of Sharp’s LCD Christmas tree, and shots of the Grand Central Terminal Kaleidoscope Light Show.

Via Sharp Aquos Experience Sweepstakes

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EveryBlock tells you what’s happening everywhere (in 3 cities)

via Download Squad by Brad Linder on 1/23/08
EveryBlock

If you live in New York, Chicago, or San Fancisco, you have to check out EveryBlock. No really, you have no choice. It’s too cool to pass up. While there are plenty of services out there that aim to give you all the latest news, restaurant reviews, and other information about your community, EveryBlock does an awesome job of pulling together information from disparate sources to give you an overview of what’s happening in your neighborhood.

Type in your address, zip code, or neighborhood and EveryBlock will let you read business reviews, news articles, lost and found listings, crime reports, and Flickr images from your community. You can even find graffiti reports, building code violations, and restaurant inspection reports. Actually, come to think of it, EveryBlock might almost provide a bit too much information. The last thing we want is to find an excellent review of a local restaurant only to read on the next page that roaches were found in the kitchen. But if you’re not the ignorance is bliss sort, you should definitely take EveryBlock for a spin.

[via Waxy]

Giant Pac-Man spotted in waters off Manhattan, residents prepare to flee

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One of our Blog spies sent us this top-secret subway radar map that shows a giant submerged Pac-Man lurking just off the shore of Manhattan. At this time its intentions are unknown, but given that Pac-Man is just a giant mouth that exists only to feed, the outlook for New York City is not good. The mayor’s office has told us that residents are preparing to flee, while diversionary lines of yellow taxis are being placed in the streets to draw him off. It’s thought the taxis will remind Pac-Man of the yellow dots he eats to survive, thus sparing human lives.

[originating url]

New York state considers two bills banning sale of violent games to minors

It’s about time. We’re just sick and tired of all those whipper snappers, running amok in our deatmatches and stealing all our kills. Rep. Aurelia Greene (D) and Rep. Keith Wright (D), patron saints of mature gamers, have both proposed laws which ban the sale of violent video games to minors in the state of New York, and hide them away in an adults only section of the store. Rep. Wright’s law concentrates on more scandalous forms of violence and racism, while Rep. Greene seems generally down on the whole general of video game violence. Keith Wright’s law would require an ID check for anyone appearing under the age of 30 attempting to buy a violent video game, which seems to work so well at keeping alcohol and cigarettes out of the hands of minors.

[Via The Inquirer]

Mystery smell settles over Manhattan

NEW: Two people hospitalized for shortness of breath due to smell
• Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls the odor “unpleasant” but harmless
• Smell is detected throughout Manhattan and in parts of New Jersey
• Some buildings are evacuated; PATH commuter train line temporarily suspended

NEW YORK (CNN) — New York officials evacuated a number of buildings and shut down some trains after a mysterious gaslike odor was reported Monday.

A New York Police Department spokesman said an air quality test determined that the air is not hazardous, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said there is no indication terrorism was involved.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management reported no injuries, and spokesman Jared Bernstein said early Monday afternoon that the number of calls into the office had dwindled since the smell was first reported Monday morning.

Two people were hospitalized for shortness of breath related to the odor, said Bill Douster from the Jersey City Medical Center.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the smell “unpleasant” but said it posed no harm.

“One thing we are very confident of, it’s not dangerous,” Bloomberg said. “How long and what the sources are, we just don’t know.”

The pervasive odor was reported throughout Manhattan and as far away as Newark, New Jersey, 10 miles west of the Big Apple. In New York, the smell was reported from Midtown to Battery Park City.

Authorities are investigating the source of the smell. Several buildings were evacuated, and the PATH commuter trains along the Sixth Avenue line were temporarily suspended. The odor had no effect on subway service in the city.

New York police initially said no gas leak was reported, but a spokesman for Mayor Jerramiah Healy in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River, said the odor was emanating from a leak near Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.

Bloomberg later confirmed a “small gas leak” near Sixth Avenue and Bleecker Street but said the smell appears to be a natural gas additive. Natural gas has no smell, so an additive, mercaptan, is included to give it a detectable smell in the event of a leak.

However, Bloomberg said that he didn’t believe the Manhattan gas leak could account for the smell being reported in New Jersey.

“We’re all working together to pinpoint the nature of the leak,” he said. “So far, the city’s air sensors do not report any elevated level of gas.”

The mayor said that “these things are normal, happen all the time.”

The police said utility provider Consolidated Edison told officials there’s been no drop in gas pressure in the city.

Record Breaking Saturday

cherry trees by atomische

Holy crap it’s warm out there! Today is, by far, New York’s warmest January 6th since records began. The only question now is whether we will reach 73 degrees to become the city’s warmest January day ever. With winds out of the southwest and slightly drier air arriving over the last couple of hours we may do it.

The local media are having a field day with the wacky weather. Bicycle Habitat in SoHo had record sales last month, Il Laboratorio del Gelato has stocked up so they won’t run out of delicious frozen treats. Ski resorts hate the warmth and lack of snow. The Times reports that the Department of Transportation filled 17,357 potholes last month. That’s 25 percent less than the 22,685 potholes filled in December 2005!

Extreme warmth like this doesn’t last too long in January. You’ve got the rest of the day to enjoy the mid-May weather! Tomorrow will be much cooler. Our high will only be in the lower-50s, which is still way warmer than normal. Rain arrives late tomorrow night and we may cool to near-normal temperatures by mid-week.

Cherry trees at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden from atomische.com.