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Vermin Got You Squirmin’? Here’s 10 Things We Learned at Rat Academy

Rat Academy graduates collecting their free rat-proof garbage bins. Photo: Shannon Barbour

In a city with as many rats as there are children, New York has taken on several methods of eliminating the pests from city streets, homes and sewers. Birth control, dry ice, and bait have all been employed to curb the ever-growing population. Just last month Mayor de Blasio declared a $32 million war on rats, which has already proven to be successful in the East Village. But rats aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and they’ve even been linked to a Bronx resident who was killed by leptospirosis this year. So last night, a few dozen New Yorkers scurried over to Midtown to attend the third annual Rat Academy and get schooled on all things vermin by a health department rat expert, Caroline Bragdon. Graduates of the talk, hosted by Council Member Corey Johnson, walked away with brand-new rat-proof garbage bins and two hours worth of rat facts. Here are 10 lessons we learned at Rat Academy.
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Ben Sargent’s Lobstah Bike Is Finally Ready to Roll

(Photo: Courtesy of Ben Sargent)

(Photo: Courtesy of Ben Sargent)

Remember Ben Sargent (aka. Dr. Klaw) and his underground lobster-roll delivery service, conducted from his basement apartment in Greenpoint? If you do, you’ll probably recall that he went radio silent for a while, only to resurface a couple of years ago on social media with cryptic messages about a “crazy idea” involving a trip, an epic search for Dr. Klaw, and a bewildering image of a motorcycle dressed as a lobster. He finally revealed his plans to us back in April, and now it’s official: Sargent just launched his Kickstarter, grandiosely titled “The Hunt for Dr. Klaw – Take Back the Underground.” That custom ride we’ve seen peeks of? Turns out its name is “Lobby The Lobstah Bike.”

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Forget What You Know, the East River Is Full of ‘Free Protein’ (Well, Sort Of)

We’ve all seen em: the fishers who, poles in hand, sit alongside the East River, gazing forlornly into the putrid, black waters below. Everything in our bones tells us that we’re witnessing something wrong here. The East River? And food? They simply do not compute.

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