It’s your first day back at work/school in what must seem like a European summer month, so we’re here to gently ease you back into the system. Take a few moments, read what follows, fill your head with the news and nonsense you’ll need to survive, then slowly make your way back into normal society. You’re all good. No worries. Hakuna matata. Happy New Year. You smell terrific. Go get ‘em.
[Suicide Saved] We start off the year with a little serendipity. New Yorkers will tell you that the city that never sleeps has been the city that never collects its garbage for the past week. Trash has been piling up all over the Big Landfill since the massive storm paralyzed much of the city. Collections will resume today, but the Sanitation Department’s incompetence saved a man’s life over the long weekend: “A despondent West Side man took a leap out of his ninth-floor window this afternoon — but was saved when he landed onto a huge pile of garbage that’s been collecting since New York’s devastating post-Christmas blizzard, officials said. Vangelis ‘Angelo’ Icapatos, 26, apparently attempted his death leap at 12:04 p.m. from a building on W. 45th St. between 8th and 9th avenues, police said. Icapatos landed on his back and was taken to Bellevue Hospital.” Now he’s suicidal and smells like street trash.
[RIP That Guy] Sad news to report from the UK: Oscar-nominated British actor Pete Postlethwaite passed away at the age of 64, according to a spokesman for the family. Postlethwaite has had a long, storied career of fine acting and fantastic roles, but you’ll probably remember him most from his role as Keyser Soze’s stoic wingman in the hit, mindfucking film The Usual Suspects. Or Jurassic Park. More here.
[Of Course] Nothing says “listening to the will of the American people” like the new Congress coming in and getting to work on partisan hackery. Up first for the Republican-led Congress? Pointless investigations and the repeal of the new health-care law. Yup, that’ll help the economy.
[Facebook Taking Over] Eventually we’ll see the largest IPO in history. For now, another private deal that put Facebook’s value above companies like eBay, Yahoo and Time Warner: “Facebook, the popular social networking site, has raised $500 million from Goldman Sachs and a Russian investor in a deal that values the company at $50 billion, according to people involved in the transaction.”
[Sex Scandal Nine] By now you’ve no doubt seen the story of the mother/daughter combo diddling the same 14-year-old minor unbeknownst to each other (allegedly). It’s a perfect lead in to a great, sad, tragic, awesome piece from Barstool Sports naming The 2010 Sex Scandal Teacher Starting Lineup.
[Lede of the Day] You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better introductory line than this one from the AP: “A junior college in suburban Kansas City is defending its decision to kick out four students who posed for photos with a human placenta.” Delicious.
[Bad Vibrations] Chile began the year with more of the same. Like 2010, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked Chile on Sunday. No harm to its people has been reported.
[Same Father, Though, Ye?] Brandon Lewis and Ashley Fansler are the proud parents of twins, Madisen and Aiden. They were born in Rockford, Illinois mere seconds apart, but in different years.
[You Get a Network…You Get a Network…You Get a Network] Oprah Winfrey’s OWN is on the air, and it’s receiving pretty positive reviews. None of us got new cars, though.
[Playoffs? You kiddin’ me?] The New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers each won 10 games. They will sit home while they watch the 7-9 Seattle Seahawks continue their season. The Seahawks won their division with a losing record, the first team to ever accomplish that feat. Not only that, they HOST a playoff game this coming weekend (if the defending champ New Orleans Saints don’t win by 27 or more we’ll be shocked). Click here for the full NFL Playoff schedule, and plan your weekend accordingly.
[The Will of the People?] Sorry, wealthiest two percent, but we’re gonna need that money if we’re ever gonna balance the budget, says 61% of Americans: “Sixty-one percent of Americans said that increasing taxes to the wealthy should be the first step toward balancing the budget, said the new poll released Monday. By contrast, 20 percent of adults prefer cuts to defense spending as the first option, while four percent said that cutting Medicare would be the best way to start cutting the deficit. Three percent of Americans prefer cutting Social Security. Increased taxes on the wealthy tops those four options even among higher earners who might be most affected by a tax hike, the poll suggested.”
[Huey Lewis: Optional] HV’s resident stage actor/sound-offer Dan Hoyle isn’t too thrilled with what’s happening with the gory and rapid death of quality journalism. So he’s asking for a new year’s favor: Buy a newspaper. Read the articles. Tell your friends. Keep the source of 85% of re-blogged articles alive.
[Postcards from the ‘Jing] The last time we heard from our intrepid reporter over in China, JB told us all about the smell of piss everywhere in Beijing. Now she’s back with a brand new edition of culture shock — what’s up with the Chinese taking public power naps all over? At the office, on the subway, in IKEA…how are these people supposed to take over the world if they’re so tired all the time?
[Bury the Meatstick] There were some amazing celebrations on New Year’s Eve, but Madison Square Garden may have hosted the wildest of them all. Watch:
That’ll do it for the first Hype AM of 2011. Same rules apply. Send e-mail suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and feel free to like it, share it, e-mail it and pass it on. The gospel. Spread it.