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The Day Tourism Died

Larry Downing/Reuters

Travel is a big business, and it just tanked. Daniel Gross on how the shutdown could wreak havoc on a key part of the U.S. economy. (In other news, this selfie stick is a thing.)

On the mall in Washington yesterday morning, World War II vets stormed the shuttered World War II monument. In New York, the Statue of Liberty was closed. The South Dakota state government is trying to keep Mount Rushmore open. Campers in glorious Yosemite have been given 48 hours to get out.The anecdotes from government-run parks and tourist states are symbolic, and make for good images of the real-world impact of a government shutdown. (There are certain upsides, of course.

next up: oct. 17

Treasury Sets Deadline for Debt Limit

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

When the U.S. will run out of borrowed money.

Since the government is so good at deadlines, the Treasury just set another one: Oct. 17. That's the date the nation's debt limit is set to exceed $16.7 trillion, according to Secretary Jacob Lew. On Tuesday, Lew sent a warning to Congress that in little more than two weeks, the Treasury will run out of borrowed money, which, by law, cannot be exceeded. He requested an increase of the limit, and noted the department has already taken the final measures to extend borrowing.

Read it at USA Today

sad day

NYC Opera Is Also Shutting Down

Carol Rosegg/New York City Opera, via AP

Announced it is filing for bankruptcy.

Is anything out there staying open? Besides the government, the New York City Opera announced on Tuesday that it is shutting down and filing for bankruptcy. The seven-decade-old opera launched an emergency appeal for funds in mid-September but did not meet its need of $7 million. Alan Gordon, national executive director for the American Guild of Musical Artists, was not shy about calling out those who are to blame for the demise of the opera: “City Opera’s demise is the fault of people with a lot of money but no common sense, from Susan Baker’s absurd flirtation with Gerard Mortier to (board chairman) Charles Wall’s foolish support of George Steel when the singers and orchestra unanimously had no confidence in Steel’s artistic vision,” he told the Associated Press.

Read it at Associated Press

For Real

Bitcoin Erotica E-Book to Be Released

By the author of “Cougars Like It Hard.”

After taking it to the streets, bitcoins are taking it to the bedroom. Brought to you by the author of books like Cougars Like It Dirty and Cougars Like It Hard, comes an erotic e-book centered on ... you guessed it, bitcoins. King of the Bitcoin, written by Kayleen Knight, follows the life a 19-year-old Bitcoin miner named Atlas Fawkes. After a major financial collapse in 2019, Fawkes comes out of the struggle stronger than before and becomes “fabulously wealthy” and then a “sexual king.” With wildly explicit sex scenes, it’s already been deemed “unacceptable” for teens under the age of 17.

Read it at The Daily Dot

get ready, Internet

YouTube Launches Award Program

Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

Headliners include Lady Gaga, Eminem, Arcade Fire.

Because we desperately need another awards show. On November 3, YouTube will be premiering its first-ever music awards hosted by Jason Schwartzman and headlined by Lady Gaga, Eminem, and Arcade Fire. The performances will be livestreamed under the direction of Spike Jonze. “[I]nstead of bands performing to an audience on a stage, we're going to have a warehouse with all these different sets and try to make live music videos throughout the night,” Jonze says. The nominees will be announced on October 17, and crowdsourced voting will take place on YouTube and other sites.

Read it at The Daily Dot

Shutdown Farce

The Tourists Are Laughing

Spencer Platt/Getty

Visitors to New York were mostly amused to find out they couldn’t see the Statue of Liberty thanks to government incompetence. But the locals who sell them tickets and give them ferry rides are feeling the pain.

You know what's funny? An America without a government. That's what some tourists in lower Manhattan were saying on Tuesday as they mulled around figuring out what to do instead of hopping on a boat to the Statue of Liberty. It's closed, by the way. So are many other federal buildings in the city, putting an estimated 72,000 workers out of a job in New York state alone. But while the country seems gripped by shutdown fever, many tourists from here and abroad had no clue it would affect their plans.

Who Do I Make It To?

Patent Lets Authors Sign E-Books

Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

No release date for app yet.

Autographs are going digital. Apple has filed a patent that would allow authors to sign their names electronically to a reader’s e-book. The patent allows for authentication of signatures either by an embedded certificate or an uploaded picture of the author and reader. Some signatures could be authenticated only in a designated “interactivity zone,” such as a book signing. Apple has not yet set a release date for the application.

Read it at Melville House


The Cruelest Month?

Spencer Platt/Getty

With a full slate of important economic dates, rising Washington dysfunction, and a worrisome legacy, October may spook investors long before Halloween.

Halloween isn’t the only thing that has people spooked about the month of October.Historically, superstitious investors have feared the 10th month of the year. Why? On October 28 and 29, 1929—a.k.a. Black Monday and Black Tuesday—a stock-market crash helped kick off the Great Depression. Then, nearly 60 years later, on October 19, 1987, also known as Black Monday, stock markets worldwide crashed again, causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to shed 22.


Government Shutdown Could Slow Housing Recovery

Joe Raedle/Getty

Among the litany of things the shutdown will mess up, you can add our nascent housing recovery.

By Diana OlickThe fight may be in Washington, but the effects of the government shutdown will ripple through every neighborhood in America—without a fully functioning government, an already tight mortgage market may become even more prohibitive. It is exactly what the housing recovery does not need."This is going to be very disruptive to the mortgage industry and pretty much result in a freeze of the pipeline," said Craig Strent, CEO of Bethesda, Maryland–based Apex Home Loans.


Diddy Backs Music-Video Network

Scott Gries/ImageDirect, via Getty

Aims for it to be like CNN, for music.

If you’re sick of Teen Mom and want some music videos, Sean Combs might have the answer for you. The rapper is backing a new music channel called Revolt, which launches next month and will try to bring back music videos. “The way you go to CNN for breaking news or ESPN for sports—in six months to a year, we want Revolt to be that for music,” said Revolt co-founder Andy Schuon. But they might have something to learn from their predecessors: the network’s music-video outpost, MTV 2, averages just 161,000 viewers in primetime, and VH1 Classic has just 39,000.

Read it at Ad Age


Shame on You, Walmart!

With an Ohio Walmart hosting a holiday food drive for its own workers, The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky criticizes the notoriously stingy company for not paying them more.

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Daniel Gross

Latest from The Daily Beast

The Brilliance of Billy Crystal

The Brilliance of Billy Crystal

In his one-man show, ‘700 Sundays’, Crystal interweaves the bitter and sweet—growing up Jewish in Long Beach, being the token Munchkin on the school basketball team—and reminds us what great comedy is.

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The Duchess's DVF Dress Sells Out