Sunday, October 23, 2016

Neill Blomkamp-directed short film for BMW

"San Francisco's 58-story Millennium Tower is upscale, but literally sinking fast"


While a paper trail of concern about potential settling leads back to early 2009, even before the Millennium Tower was ready for occupancy, most residents of the building knew nothing about any issue with the foundation until they were summoned in early May to a private meeting in a lounge on the tower’s club level.

Identification was checked at the door. Residents were told that what they were to hear must be kept a secret. A lawyer introduced a structural engineer who delivered, as Buttery and others recall, a simple statement that startled the packed room:

“The Millennium building is too heavy for its foundation.”

Not only had the tower settled by far more than the four to six inches originally forecast for the life of the building but, “most importantly,” recalled Jerry Dodson, a retired patent lawyer and a vocal critic of the tower’s builders, the engineer said “it wasn’t stopping.”

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

"LAUSD teachers earn too much to live in the affordable housing apartments built for them"


Two below-market apartment complexes were built on unused district land and a third is under construction. Today, both are fully occupied. But not one L.A. Unified teacher lives in them.


The problem for teachers, as district officials learned after they had signed the lease agreements and developers had secured funding, was that even the newest hires earned too much to qualify for the units.


Mark Hovatter, the district’s chief facilities executive, said the district knew what the eligibility requirements would be. But at the time, he said, district officials thought it possible that a new teacher with a large family and no other source of income would qualify.

"Facebook is choking off reach in the news feed, so publishers are" paying celebrities to share their articles

"In the past week alone, Takei has shared a dozen Mic stories, and nearly 20 Knowable ones."

The Pro Bull Riding World Championship's most feared bucking bull, Air Time, is owned by former NFL star Jared Allen


“Eighty percent of how good your bull ends up being has to do with the mother they’re out of,” said Matt Scharping, stock contractor for Allen’s team. “We spend tons of time, money and energy trying to get the female side of the breeding process correct, because a cow that doesn’t work eats as much as a cow that works. You look at a cow’s traits and think about what you can complement them with by envisioning the calf.


“Air Time was an accident,” Sharping explained. “A buddy of mine got a heifer calf from some partners of his. The heifer was supposed to be open, meaning not bred. All of the sudden, she gave birth to this little, spotted calf. They had to figure out what happened. It turned out that the heifer hit a heat cycle early and a bull jumped the fence and bred her.”


“We don’t practice him, but you see the work that goes into conditioning and feeding him in the shoots,” Allen said. “He had some shoot issues at first, but I liked that. I liked that he was a little unstable. He gets into the minds of the cowboys. There’s something that’s just not quite right about him.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"there was this age where, below it, you assumed Darth Vader was lying"

From a lengthy interview with Tom Scioli about Transformers vs. GI Joe, Super Powers, and why he dislikes the Fantastic Four:

For Star Wars George Lucas mentioned that he spoke to many child psychologists and that there was this age where, below it, you assumed Darth Vader was lying when he tells Luke that he is his father and above that you believe him and that yes, it is a deeper truth.

"RNC Asks Members to Avoid Poll Watching, Other ‘Ballot Security’ Activities"


As part of a 1982 settlement in a lawsuit brought by Democrats, the RNC agreed to curb its efforts to monitor and challenge voter eligibility at the polls, especially in districts where the racial or ethnic composition of the electorate could be a factor in the outcome.

RNC general counsel John Ryder wrote to members on Wednesday to “remind you of the restrictions placed on the RNC by the consent decree.”

"Apocalyptic dystopia plays directly into that sense of irrelevance, comforting men with the assurance that they will always be useful in a world that needs men to rebuild it"


Dystopia offers a fantasy of those very aspects of masculinity that feminists supposedly condemn becoming crucial in a scenario in which you must not get torn apart by raiders from the bunker next door. For the alt-right imaginary, that means traditional patriarchy of the sort that only ever existed in febrile myth.


The dystopian fantasies that attract many alt-righters are ones in which they finally get to be the hero on terms they recognize—as the rugged frontiersmen battling gamely against a world gone rotten
Relatedly, the horror movie They Look Like People is on Netflix:

“I don’t think the consumer business [for 3D printers] is real, because there’s no use for it”


All of the moves point toward the perceived way forward for the industry: 3D printing for production, moving past a single-minded focus on prototype to an end use product. For GE, the move means the flexibility to build custom parts like fuel caps, built with the latest metal-based additive manufacturing.
Relatedly, The Democratization of Airpower: The Insurgent and the Drone:
Until recently, the hard part of making EFPs was the precision machining necessary to create the copper cone. Poorly machined cones will not form effective projectiles. This is why the Iraqi insurgents relied on Iranian-provided cones to build their IEDs. However, dramatic improvements in 3D printing mean inexpensive home metal printing is now commercially available. Fused deposition printers, which can print metal, are now available for under $1,000 — or roughly half the cost of a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.


This pilot has clearly developed the skills to intercept and follow a moving target. He even demonstrates that he can fly the length of a column to evaluate the value of targets and pick a specific one. Lest you think his drone would be fairly easy to engage with small arms, consider the skills drone pilots in France have demonstrated in racing drones through the woods. Amplifying the threat, the pilots do not have to see the drone or the course to successfully execute high speed maneuvers on a forest trail. Any of these pilots could launch from inside an urban area or a covered rural position and fly his drone to the target without ever being visible to anyone. The speed and maneuverability show it will be very hard to hit one of these systems.


The low cost of some commercial drones – even autonomous ones — mean they can be expended as rounds of ammunitions. In 2014, a team at the University of Virginia developed a fully autonomous, 3D printed drone.