Photo by Derek Midgley
The Baffler,  November 13, 2014

Daily Bafflements

Photo by Derek Midgley
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• “Only the Birds Will Be Shocked” is the title of a photo slideshow accompanying a New York Times feature on the “master (or mistress) of the universe bathrooms” in New York penthouses, with floor-to-ceiling glass sides. “It was like you were peeing on the city,” one interview subject recalls of his experience in a similar room. “It was a very powerful feeling.” (Via Lois Beckett and Charles Bergquist.)

• If you missed it yesterday, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar wrote a piece for Jacobin about the exploitation of college athletes, and what he thinks athletes should do about it. “Without the power of collective bargaining, student-athletes will have no leverage in negotiating for fair treatment,” he wrote. “History has proven that management will not be motivated to do the right thing just because it’s right.”

• Here’s your daily reminder that government regulations need teeth to make a difference: NPR and Mine Safety and Health News report on the thousands of mine company owners in the U.S. who collectively owe nearly $70 million in fines for safety violations, have failed to pay, and keep operating anyway.

• The Seattle Times reports on a growing trend among employers—making workers sign non-compete clauses, even for low-wage hourly jobs. When Benny Almeida took a $15-an-hour job with a cleaning company, and then later wanted to leave, he found that he “couldn’t work in any water- or fire-damage job, janitorial, office cleaning, window washing, floor or carpet cleaning or other job ServiceMaster does.” (Via @_Middleman.)

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