Former New York mayor Ed Koch has died, at 88 years of age, from congestive heart failure.
His grave marker bears the Star of David and a Hebrew prayer, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One,” and with the last words of journalist Daniel Pearl before he was beheaded in 2002 by terrorists: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”
In the Times: "Mr. Koch is survived by New York itself, as an old friend put it a few years ago."
A NYT photo-essay is here.
In an eerie stroke of timing, the biographical documentary "Koch" opens today in theaters nationwide.
Many LGBT and HIV activists believed he should and could have done more during the peak of the AIDS crisis. There have long been questions about his own sexual orientation; he refused to answer, and believed private matters to be private. Andrew Sullivan's remembrance is well worth a read.
In the late '90s and early '00s, I produced conferences with Jason Calacanis at Silicon Alley Reporter. We invited (former, but eternal) Mayor Koch to attend and speak more than once. He was, as amply demonstrated elsewhere, a great speaker. But he was also a gracious, down-to-earth person to us, backstage; nice to even a young nobody at the time like me.
Years later when we shot this Boing Boing TV episode with the great David Byrne, in a Manhattan building that once housed government offices, I found an old photographic slide featuring Mr. Koch. He was, of course, still alive then. But it was like seeing a ghost. As if his spirit was so expansive, his presence so wide, it permeated even the old abandoned crevices of forgotten, musty structures like the one we were exploring that day.
His life will forever be so deeply woven into the history of that city.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]