"It's just good to get a guy like this off the streets," said local police captain Joe Herkins. "And force him to think about what he's done while cashing a paycheck in a tropical paradise somewhere. He'll just have to oppress minorities without a gun for a few months and see how he feels about his actions after that."
The anti-social madman was forcibly given an all-expense paid vacation after managing to murder an unarmed black man, due process, and the integrity of the entire American justice system during a single, routine traffic stop.
The former playground bully, who now belongs to a national gang of superpredators responsible for countless slayings and who are known to be well-equipped with military-grade weaponry and vehicles, will thankfully be kept from prowling the streets for the small amount of time it will take him to get a wicked-nice tan.
But with his connections in high places and a strong no-snitching culture shared by fellow gang members, legal experts -- and others who have given up hope -- expect him to not only serve hard time under the hot sun of scenic Cancun, Mexico, but most likely also be legally forced by his superiors to sight see and finally visit all those places he's always wanted to check out but never really had the time to because of work.
Behold the Camden Bench. This pale, amorphous lump of sculpted concrete is designed to resist almost everything in a city that it might come into contact with. Named for the London authority that commissioned it, the Camden Bench has a special coating which makes it impervious to graffiti and vandalism. The squat, featureless surface gives drug dealers nowhere to hide their secret caches. The angled sides repel skateboarders and flyposters, litter and rain. The cambered top throws off rough sleepers. In fact, it is specially crafted to make sure that it is not used as anything except a bench. This makes it a strange artifact, defined far more by what it is not than what it is. The Camden Bench is a concerted effort to create a non-object.
As such, the Camden Bench is a strange kind of architectural null point. A piece of the city that by design will not interact with it in any way. It is a bench by the slimmest of margins -- hardly comfortable, affording none of the qualities that would make it more than simply a place to sit. This is the bench's sole concession to being part of the city, and it does it with the least conviction possible.
I'd like to see what the Camden Bench would look like if it didn't have to be a bench -- if that final design constraint was removed, what would it become? Just some nebulous lump of concrete? Would it shrink or grow? Would it even be visible, or would it exist as a space hidden behind a physical wrinkle in the map? The Camden non-Bench would be like a hard pearl in the mouth of an oyster, of the city but not part of the city, just an inert lump.
See also Unpleasant Design.
More than a decade later, the four hippos that Escobar bought from a private zoo in California have multiplied to 35 animals, an invasive species that spreads disease, predates on local fauna (including manatees) and livestock, and have been sighted as far as 150km away from Escobar's former home. The animals can live up to 60 years and there are no natural predators for them in Colombia. Further complicating the effort to control their reproduction is that it's incredibly hard to castrate a hippo: first, because it annoys the hippo; and second, because hippo testicles retract into their bodies, making it nearly impossible to sex a hippo without a rather intimate inspection.
The current strategy is containment-based: local vets and officials are trying to build a fenced-in habitat for the hippos that has everything they need to tempt them to stay, and a combination of natural and constructed barriers to keep them from wandering.
And you thought manatees were the apex predator!
I hope their kidneys are coded better than their web site. "Your browser version is Safari 9.1.1 Please update to the newest Safari version (at least 9.1) to view this website."