Saturday, June 24, 2017

Miracle Merchant characters

Some of the Miracle Merchant characters by Thomas Wellman. (In the upcoming game, a steady stream of customers request custom-made potions.)

Deluxe House of M Iron Man available for preorder

Marvel RE:EDIT #12 House of M Armor Iron Man Figure.

The just-revealed Ripley and Vasquez figures are also available for preorder.

Orson Randall Iron Fist custom action figure

By Loosecollector.

"A terrifying threat from Tropical Storm Cindy: Floating masses of deadly fire ants"


“Floodwaters will not kill fire ants,” the warning states. “Instead their colonies will emerge from the soil, form a loose ball, float and flow with the water until reaching a dry area or object.”


Loftin said the rafts can look like floating dirt or mulch to people who aren’t paying attention. Because the ants are looking for dry ground, anyone in a boat should go out of their way to avoid the insects. Loftin said the threat posed by the rafts doesn’t disappear overnight.

“Studies have shown that colonies that have plenty of brood — larvae, eggs and pupa, which gives them buoyancy — can stay in that raft formation for as long as 12 days,” he cautioned.

"Tourists, students flee as protests spread in India's Darjeeling tea lands"


On Friday protestors offered a 12-hour window for more than 7,000 boarding school students to safely evacuate the hills -- home to some of the best boarding schools in India. Father Divya Annandam, Vice Principal at St Josephs School, told CNN some school dormitories are already facing food shortages.

The crisis started in mid-May when the government of West Bengal, the Eastern Indian state of which Darjeeling is a part, made Bengali language courses compulsory in schools across the state.

The government's decision was viewed with hostility among the area's Nepali-speaking community.

A theory on why Lord and Miller were fired

A theory shared by The Ankler:

I cannot think of another situation where someone was fired that far into principal photography, save for one.
Hal Ashby got fired from 8 Million Ways to Die on last day of principal. And it was for a very specific reason that I bet is in play here.

They'll debate credit later.. There'll be a formula. If it's determined Lord/Miller directed more than 50% they'll get credit. But If a director finishes a film, DGA contract mandates they have to be allowed to have 12 weeks to deliver their first directors' cut unmolested and the studio isn't allowed to recut/kick out of editing room until after that point.

With Ashby, they fired him specifically so they could lock him out of editing.

I suspect something similar here. Maybe they wouldn't have been able to get reshoot changes they want on timetable schedule if Lord/Miller objected to them.

Gelatinous Cubes

For sale in the MedievalMiniatures Etsy shop.

"A prominent venture capitalist admitted to sexually harassing women in the tech industry, saying he leveraged his 'position of power in exchange for sexual gain'"


"six women had accused Caldbeck of 'unwanted and inappropriate advances', with several saying the misconduct occurred when they sought funding or guidance while trying to start businesses."


Three women went public with their claims.


Three other anonymous sources shared stories with the Information about sexually explicit text messages and advances from Caldbeck despite their professional relationships. In the original piece, Caldbeck said: “I strongly deny the Information’s attacks on my character. The fact is, I have always enjoyed respectful relationships with female founders, business partners, and investors.”

Binary also initially issued a statement that dismissed the claims as “a few examples which show that Justin has in the past occasionally dated or flirted with women he met in a professional capacity”.

But after the story spread in Silicon Valley

"California’s Wine Industry was Built on Slave Labor"


The discovery of a gold nugget on the American River in 1848 prompted thousands of men to leave their homes and jobs, and rush to California’s gold fields in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. So many people were panning for treasure in the hopes of making it rich, quick, that there was nobody left to harvest grapes and other crops, even though the demand for food was great.

California, which had been part of Mexico until 1848, tried to solve the labor shortage in the spring of 1850 with a law that essentially enslaved Native Americans so they could be put to work in the vineyards.

Nicknamed the Indian Indenture Act, which was, in fact, the very first legislation that the state passed, cruelly stripped California’s Native Americans of most of their rights. It allowed any white man to identify a Native American as vagrant, lazy, or drunk, which would permit a marshal or sheriff to arrest and fine him. Since most Native Americans could not pay theses fines, a week’s worth of their labor would be auctioned off to the highest bidder, who would then pay the fines. The Native Americans couldn’t protest against their treatment because the law also prohibited them from testifying against white men in court

"World's ugliest dog, Martha, crowned in California"


Martha, a Neapolitan mastiff


The Associated Press news agency said Martha immediately won over the judges by obliviously sprawling across the stage, with no intention of doing any tricks.


The panel based their decisions on first impressions, unusual attributes, personality and audience reaction

"Turkey has removed the concept of evolution from its high school curriculum, in what critics fear is the latest attempt by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to erode the country’s secular character"


It “uses religion to get votes,” said Jenny White, an expert on the changing role of Islam and secularism within Turkey. “But they do not have a coherent theological, religious ideology.”
Relatedly: "Thai activist arrested for commemorating democratic revolution"
In recent years small groups of democracy activists have gathered each anniversary to lay flowers on a small bronze plaque marking the spot where revolutionaries proclaimed the end of absolute monarchy in a fiery speech lambasting the king.

But the 30-inch plaque was mysteriously removed from Bangkok's Royal Plaza this April and replaced with a new marker bearing a royalist message.

Authorities have not offered an explanation for the incident and earlier this month police banned people from gathering around the memorial on the revolution's anniversary.

On Saturday an activist, Ekachai Hongkangwan, was taken to a Bangkok military base for "attitude adjustment" after he tried to lay a replica of the original plaque on top of the new one, said Phanurat Lukboon, deputy Metropolitan Police commissioner.

The Start of Walter Chaw's review of The Beguiled


Her films are examinations of the liminal field between girlhood and womanhood, littered with casualties and trenches, the one left behind and the other ahead, maybe eternally out of reach. Her moment is immortalized one way in father Francis Ford Coppola's decision to cast her as the main love interest in The Godfather Part III, a late replacement for Winona Ryder. Sofia's failure, and her father's betrayal of her by failing to protect her from it, is traumatic, though perhaps not much more than any adolescence--just public, cast into the collective, as it were, for the wolves to worry. It is one of a select company of misfires that is almost universally known. Sofia immortalizes the devastation of her experience in movies that speak, lyrically, to the tragedy of coming-of-age for a young woman.