A few years ago after some social media sites started telling me whenever #superbowl was trending, I got into the habit of responding by posting photos of majestic owls tagged #superbowl.

Just over 3 years ago I decided that the joke was wearing thin — but that it could be rescued by taking it to the next level. I got spousal buy-in to throw an actual Superb Owl party. (I would like to take a moment to say that this was before Colbert.)

The first year we went to extra lengths to make it clear that it was an owl-related party, and that there would be absolutely no sporting events on TV — just owls. Strangely some people seemed to doubt this beforehand, thinking that the whole owl thing was some sort of joke. Well, in a way it was, but not in a superficial way — I had a full-length owl documentary playing on the TV. The event proved surprisingly popular, and several people who learned about it afterwards said that they wanted to go to an owl party.

For SuperbOwl II we had an owl cake, owl cookies, and owl-shaped crackers. We also had Hitachino Nest beer, and Bubo Wines. I even picked out a selection of ads from YouTube which featured owls, so that we could have a SuperbOwl Commercial Break.

This year was SuperbOwl III: The Owls Are Not What They Seem. To shake things up a bit, we went with a Twin Peaks (and owls) theme, and served brie and baguettes, chocolate bunnies, cherry pie, damn fine coffee, smoked cheese, cherries on the stem, and so on, accompanied by the music of Angelo Badalamenti.


I’ve already got ideas for SuperbOwl IV, but I’d like to suggest that other people take the idea and run with it next spring. It’s a hoot.

Mahdi Hashi, a young man of Somali origin who grew up in London, had never been to the United States before he was imprisoned in the 10-South wing of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan in November 2012, when he was 23. For over three years, he has been confined to a small cell 23 hours a day without natural light, with an hour alone in a slightly larger indoor cage. He has had no physical contact with anyone. Apart from occasional visits by his lawyer, his human interaction has been limited to brief, transactional exchanges with guards and a monthly 30-minute phone call with his family.

Yet most of Hashi’s time in solitary confinement occurred before he had been deemed guilty by the justice system

If NYPD carries out a drug raid on your home and you’re found innocent, don’t expect the trouble to end there. Cops are now filing nuisance abatement actions to kick families out of their homes for suspected drug dealing, even if they’ve been exonerated. You can be permanently barred from your home, even if you have never even been charged with a crime — and there’s no right to an attorney. Coincidentally, I’m sure, this is mostly happening in black neighborhoods