Sunday, June 17, 2012

The City That Became Safe

Good news about crime rates, even in New York City...

By way of Vaughan Bell at Mind Hacks blog... 

The Open University’s blog has a fascinating piece on why New York City has seen an astonishing drop in crime, against the predictions of most social theories.

Indeed it does.

The article by law professor and prolific author, Franklin E. Zimring, is drawn from his recent book, The City that Became Safe: New York's Lessons for Urban Crime and Its Control, which demonstrates that the rate of serious crime has plummeted in NYC despite the community's failure to resolve many issues which have long been assumed to serve as precursors to disorder.  Other solutions are at work in The Big Apple.

A Couple More LSE Podcasts

That are definitely worth your time... 

Anders Dahlvig, former President and CEO of IKEA and author of The IKEA Edge, presented a talk titled The new growth strategy: How responsible companies are profitable companies.  He's not a dynamic speaker and he suffered from a persistent cough throughout, but the story of how IKEA treats its suppliers, employees, and customers stands in stark contrast to the methods applied by the likes of WalMart.  

What Money Can't Buy - the moral limit of markets, was presented by a panel composed of Professor Michael Sandel, Stephanie Flanders, Professor Julian Le Grand, Right Reverend Peter Selby.

It does my heart good to see some folks getting it right.  Give a listen.

Another Guilty Pleasure

Vies for a place in the canon...

Rock of Ages may just join a very special list of mine that contains three Roland Emmerich classics, Independence Day (1996), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), and 2012 (2009); two Luc Besson masterpieces, The Professional (1994) and The Fifth Element (1997); The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001), and Resident Evil (2002).  These are movies I will watch at any time for no reason at all.

As for Rock of Ages (which is also a Broadway musical), Rotten Tomatoes has mixed feelings about it and more than a few hardcore rockers think this movie musical trivializes the 1980s rock and roll scene.  Okay...  I never took the soundtrack of my life all that seriously, but some people do.  Rock of Ages is both silly and trivial, but it's also funny and physical.  I especially enjoyed the several Pat Benatar standards performed by a club full of seriously athletic exotic dancers...  Where was I?  Oh, yeah, Russell Brand delivers a performance that is almost nuanced compared to his other "work" and Alec Baldwin - still the most skilled of all the Baldwin brothers - continues to not take himself too seriously.  Tom Cruise channels his inner nut job, and Katherine Zeta Jones appears to have as much fun as anyone on camera.  I'm pretty sure my toes didn't stop tapping until the credits began to roll.