Wandering Eye: Lenny Kravitz's junk makes headlines, gender bias in publishing, and more

Lenny Kravitz makes headlines after flashing a crowd in Stockholm

Two companies overcharged the federal government for weatherization services in Maryland and Washington, D.C., an inspector general reported. C&O Conservation of Hagerstown and Maryland Energy Conservation, of Fallston, together collected $1.5 million in improper fees and charges, according to a July report by the inspector general for the Department of Energy, the Washington Post reported. C&O challenged the inspector general's thoroughness and blamed the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development for the problems. The I.G. report says C&O tacked on a $300 fee for furnace replacements and found 33 cases in which the company billed for a higher grade of insulation than it used. The funding came from a federal program that has spent some $74 million in Maryland since 2009. A 2013 audit found that Baltimore City's Department of Housing and Community Development lacked documentation for $2.3 million in program support charges. Baltimore City cut off ties with C&O for breach of contract, according to a Board of Estimates agenda item from January which authorized payment to one of its subcontractors that worked on two city addresses, saying that work was inspected and found to be good. "The U.S. government has barred C&O and Maryland Energy Conservation from doing federal business for three years as a result of the findings, and the matter has been referred for possible criminal or civil charges," The Post reported. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

One of the all-time great moments in rock 'n' roll history happened yesterday. Rocker Lenny Kravitz was playing his guitar so furiously and epically that when he squatted down mid-shred, his leather pants split and his penis popped out. Yes, it's true. For a very brief moment, Kravitz showed his junk to a large crowd in Stockholm. Gawker has all the details, including a video, GIF, and tweeted picture from a different angle that shows some kind of jewelry near Kravitz's member. Later, Kravitz acknowledged the event on Twitter by tweeting out a screenshot of a text message from Steven Tyler with the hashtag #penisgate. Tyler's words? "Dude . . . No underwear and pierced . . . Fuck me . . . You never showed me that shit." (Brandon Weigel)

 

As if there wasn't enough evidence out there about unconscious gender bias and the ways it holds back women, Jezebel has an anecdotal example of a writer, Catherine Nichols, who decided to send out queries to agents about her novel both under her name and under a made-up male name. The results? "Total data: George sent out 50 queries, and had his manuscript requested 17 times. He is eight and a half times better than me at writing the same book. Fully a third of the agents who saw his query wanted to see more, where my numbers never did shift from one in 25." Even the feedback on the writing between Catherine and "George" was drastically different: For Catherine, "The responses trickled back with a number of similar rejections, mostly: 'beautiful writing, but your main character isn't very plucky, is she?' and of course, a lot of silence." But "George's work was 'clever,' it's 'well-constructed' and 'exciting.' No one mentioned his sentences being lyrical or whether his main characters were feisty." (Anna Walsh)

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