Hard Times: Cardboard Signs of Panhandlers

Design Observer just posted an incredible slideshow called "Hard Times," a collection of signs that Michael Zinman bought from panhandlers.

Being a collector, once infected, you pursue the thread, and over the past eight years, I have been accumulating a number of other, similar, signs. Some are facetious, but most are sincere pleas for help. The signs were acquired across the United States — New York, Miami, Palm Beach, St. Louis, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Some of my friends in the bookselling community, learning of my quest, purchased signs on their own and sent them along. Robert Rulon-Miller sent a particularly interesting one, and took the time to catalogue it as a serious broadside (which, when you consider it, it is.)


I'm pretty impressed by the range of strategies in sign-writing, and surprised by the length of a few of the more narrative examples. Usually, when you encounter one of these signs, you're doing your best to either look away or muster up a bit of compassion. But, as Zinman writes, "the cumulative effect of looking at the signs assembled here is rather different," and you realize that for a lot of people, these are very hard times, indeed.

View the slide show.

Via Kottke.

via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading