Parenting

The Luckiest Kid in the World

Whoops!

A Taiwanese boy on Sunday punched a hole in an extremely valuable Paolo Porpora painting at a Taipei exhibition after apparently tripping and trying to catch his balance on the artwork, according to the surveillance tape provided by the organizers on Monday.

The 12-year-old boy may have gotten lucky, however, because the organizers will not ask the boy's family to pay for the cost of restoring the damaged painting, displayed as part of "The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius" exhibition at Huashan 1914 Creative Park.

According to Sun Chi-hsuan (孫紀璿), the head of exhibition co-organizer TST Art of Discovery Co. (京銓藝術), the 200-centimeter tall painting is around 350 years old and valued at over NT$50 million (US$1.5 million).

Was the painting insured? If so, calm down everyone.

America Will Never Be Rid of the Palins


When things like this happen, all you can do is wish the best for the lucky couple and imagine what the next few years are like, what with the death of irony and the elimination of self-respect from American political discourse.

The Palins are forever and you're just living in their world.

How is This Even Legal?


Damn, life is so inconvenient:
Pam McGonigal, who began using Uber last year to ferry her 14-year-old daughter from dance class in Silver Spring, Md., back home to Chevy Chase when she got stuck at work in the District, said she had never considered a taxi for the job.

“I just have reservations about my pretty little girl going out and hailing a cab,” she said.
But Uber’s competitors question whether that trust is misplaced.
Dave Sutton, spokesman for the Rockville-based Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association, noted that officials in Los Angeles and San Francisco have questioned the company’s methods for screening drivers. He said unlike the taxi industry, Uber’s background checks don’t include fingerprinting. Uber officials said the company does not use fingerprinting as part of its background checks, but said they think the process they use is more comprehensive.

“Obviously, everybody loves their kids, but the idea of placing a young person with someone who hasn’t received a criminal background check is terrifying,” Sutton said. “We’re working to make sure that people understand that.”
Oh, yeah--that screening process for cab drivers is embedded in the psyche of the American consumer. Did that cab driver pass his background check, no one has ever asked, ever. Why not just admit you're a shill for the cab companies and Uber made you crap yourself for days at a time?

Some people love their kids more than other people love their kids, and Uber is proof of that? 

No, the proof of that is found in exactly how much of your life you are willing to surrender to the idea that the safe transportation of your children from one place to the other is kinda your own damn responsibility. We are now in an age where it's okay to outsource the schlepping of your offspring to someone who has a car and needs money. No judgment, please. Life is such a pain in the ass for busy people who want to live somewhere nice and do everything all of the time without thinking of the consequences.

They're your kids. You had them. They want to do activity stuff. You're busy. It's easier to put them in a car with a complete stranger and hope like hell everything works out for the best. Yay! No guilt necessary. Don't be a shamer. Be a sharer of space in a car. Get with the program, grampa. 

Jeebus.

This is How You End up Broke


Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets let his parents "manage" his affairs. Here's what they did to him:
Miller was the first lender, extending a $1.56 million loan on March 9, 2011, that Johnson’s parents used to buy the home in Manhattan Beach, a third of a mile from their son’s residence, while he played for the Kings.
Johnson, a source said, believed that his parents took out a mortgage using money left to them in the will of a relative who had recently died.
The loan — which carried a 12 percent interest rate, almost three times the market rate — quickly went into default because it called for an initial payment of more than $1 million. (The contract extension Johnson signed with the Kings didn’t kick in until the following season, and he didn’t have that much in the bank.)
One day after the home loan was signed, on March 10, 2011, the Johnsons borrowed $2 million at an interest rate of 12 percent from a software developer in Iowa named Rodney L. Blum, who this month won a seat in the U.S. House.
Blum’s office did not respond to interview requests left with Blum’s spokesman by The Dispatch. It’s unclear how Johnson’s family came to know him or why he was making a personal loan at a high interest rate.
Barely a month later, on April 14, 2011, the Johnsons borrowed $3 million — at 24 percent — from Pro Player Funding in upstate New York, a company that “monetized” several NFL players’ contracts during a work stoppage. Former NFL stars Vince Young, who went bankrupt, and Bryant McKinnie, who was sued for default, were among the company’s clients.
Johnson was sued by both Blum and Pro Player Funding within a month of the loans being signed. He signed settlements, according to court documents, without appearing in court to contest the lawsuits.
To settle Blum’s suit, Johnson had $41,800 — or 25 percent — garnisheed from his bimonthly Blue Jackets paychecks over much of the past two seasons.
The next two years brought additional loans and additional defaults, sources said, but the next loan that ended up in the court system was extended on Sept. 13, 2013: a $400,000 loan at 18 percent from EOT Advisors in Tarrant County, Texas.
They essentially used Johnson's future earnings as collateral and "monetized" his contract, which has bankrupted him. When you're borrowing money at an interest rate of 24%, you've essentially entered a financial zone reserved for Rent-a-Center customers and payday lenders. They could have each taken a million dollars and that would have left Johnson solvent and in great shape. Instead, they used a series of loan schemes to take everything this kid had, and then some.

In other words, a professional hockey player who signed a contract worth $30 million dollars in 2011 has about $50 grand in the bank, if that.

Johnson has severed himself from his family, by the way, and has no idea if his 16 year-old brother is being taken care of by his parents. Now that the gravy train has stopped, hopefully they've been able to get jobs and start paying back their son.

Yeah, right.