‘So rough our pit bull got stolen’: Growing up in America’s most violent small town


When people ask me where I grew up, I have a throwaway joke: ‘Pine Bluff, Arkansas—a town so rough that our pit bull got stolen.’

Since I was a kid, Pine Bluff has been famous for all the wrong reasons. The headlines are grim: Most recently, it was named the second most dangerous metropolitan area in America after Detroit based on violent crime statistics such as murder, rape and kidnapping.

Forbes.com ranked city the seventh most dangerous for women. Walking around gives you a one in 10 chance of being a victim of violent or property crime.

It’s also home to an army installation that housed chemical weapons. An X-Files episode where Mulder and Scully are faced with a biological element that melts human skin is called ‘The Pine Bluff Variant’ after the Pine Bluff Arsenal.

When a reporter visited the town recently to do a police ride-along, acting Police Chief Jeff Hubanks said that ‘the little old white lady with the kitten on her lap is perfectly safe in this town’. He seemed to infer that crime was confined to drug dealers and rough areas.

But violence in Pine Bluff isn’t limited to the wrong side of the tracks. These days the town’s nickname is ‘Crime Bluff’, and the last time I drove through I saw a boarded-up Main Street that looked like the zombie apocalypse had already happened.

Will Facebook Graph stalking become the new drunk dialing?

Forget pre-Googling a first date: Facebook’s new Graph Search takes online stalking to a whole new level. The technology isn’t publicly available yet, but after only ten minutes of using the beta version I predict that online dating will never be the same.

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company was rolling out the mysterious ‘third pillar’ – after News Feed and Timeline – he explained how the Graph is totally different from other web searches. Instead of sending a list of links, it scours data from friends and friends of friends including posts, check-ins and recommendations to get an exact answer.

Zuckerberg says that new feature will evolve based on people use it. One Facebook executive used finding a spicy meal in San Francisco as an example search.

Seriously? If I want barbecued rib recommendations I can go to Yelp.

I may be recently married, but as someone who has spent several years writing about relationships I was dying to know if the new technology could help with a much more elusive query: ‘Where are the single men in Manhattan?’ READ MORE

sugar daddy datingGoodbye sugar daddy, hello ‘Splenda daddy’: Older men who fund younger girlfriends’ lifestyles are making LESS money than ever

According to SeekingArrangment.com, a site that pairs wealthy older men with younger women, the average sugar daddy salary dropped from $321,482 to $273,301 between 2007 and 2013.

The site surveyed the number of users in major metropolitan areas to find the top 20 sugar daddy cities. Atlanta, with 5.98 per 1,000 men, unseated San Francisco to become the sugar daddy capital of America. [Read more]

craigslist ‘I’m not a creep, just looking to help out’: The lusty landlords using Craigslist to offer free rooms in exchange for ‘maid service’ and sex

Most seasoned single women in search of housing have come across ads posted by Craigslist creeps. These are the ones that seem too good to be true by offering ‘free rent’ – until you notice that the rest of the title reads ‘for female only’.

Now there’s a new twist. Many of the lusty landlords aren’t satisfied with just sex for rent – they want maid service and cooking thrown in, among other things.

And their demands are getting more and more bizarre. [Read more]

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