Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Figurines by Amanda Visell

A post shared by Amanda Visell (@amandavisell) on

A post shared by Amanda Visell (@amandavisell) on

A post shared by Amanda Visell (@amandavisell) on

"Divers seek [Falcons receiver] Julio Jones' lost treasure in Lake Lanier"

"The superstar of the Atlanta Falcons lost his diamond earring while jet skiing. That was when he apparently hit a boat wake and was tossed into the water. He came back up, but his earring, worth more than $100,000 didn't."

Disney's augmented reality"Magic Bench" (this would be great for horror)

"To cast the children in the film, [Angelina] Jolie looked at orphanages, circuses, and slum schools, specifically seeking children who had experienced hardship"


In order to find their lead, to play young Loung Ung, the casting directors set up a game, rather disturbing in its realism: they put money on the table and asked the child to think of something she needed the money for, and then to snatch it away. The director would pretend to catch the child, and the child would have to come up with a lie. “Srey Moch [the girl ultimately chosen for the part] was the only child that stared at the money for a very, very long time,” Jolie says. “When she was forced to give it back, she became overwhelmed with emotion. All these different things came flooding back.” Jolie then tears up. “When she was asked later what the money was for, she said her grandfather had died, and they didn’t have enough money for a nice funeral.”

That authentic connection to pain was awakened in everyone involved, says Jolie

"Inside Trump’s snap decision to ban transgender troops"


House Republicans were planning to pass a spending bill stacked with his campaign promises, including money to build his border wall with Mexico.

But an internal House Republican fight over transgender troops was threatening to blow up the bill. And House GOP insiders feared they might not have the votes to pass the legislation because defense hawks wanted a ban on Pentagon-funded sex reassignment operations — something GOP leaders wouldn’t give them.

They turned to Trump, who didn’t hesitate. In the flash of a tweet, he announced that transgender troops would be banned altogether.

"Players Attempt to Draw Their Team's Logo at Big Ten Media Days"

"Their attempts, as well as those from the 40 other players in attendance, are presented below without further comment."

"Even more disturbing, said Lisa, was the environment of sheer terror that the drones created in small Afghan communities"


in more traditional scenarios, planes fly overhead only to drop ordinance. But armed drones can circle overhead for many hours, leaving the people below in constant fear for their lives. She compared the endless circling to walking through town while carrying large machine guns, pointing them at people randomly. It felt to her like a terrorist tactic.

She also said that she'd signed up for the military to work for her country, not for corporations. A big part of the push for drones is coming from military contractors like Raytheon, which stand to profit from the adoption of their machines. Lisa said it became obvious to her while in the military that corporate interests were guiding military decisions.

When she left the military, Lisa got two commendations for her work. One said that she'd affected the lives of more than 100,000 Afghanis with her work, and the other said she'd killed hundreds.

Nightmare fuel

Our world today.

"This Is What Happens When A College Football Fixer Goes Rogue"


If you had asked me when I was a student at the University of Florida who is Huntley Johnson, my answer would have been this: The guy who represents all the football players. Football players exist in the bizarre NCAA unreality where those in power refuse to pay their most necessary workers a living wage but somehow they still land the best defense lawyer in town every time. Johnson was and is a very good defense lawyer and a Florida alum; the popular photo of him shows a pile of Gators caps in his office.

That’s the expected narrative. What’s happened lately is different; Johnson has turned his investigative prowess on his alma matter itself.

"Flagstar Bank was ordered to pay $37.5 million in damages to mortgage customers and in fines ... for mishandling requests for loan modifications and, in some cases, illegally foreclosing on homes"

That's from the Detroit News in 2014. Today's news is "The Detroit Pistons and Flagstar Bank announced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that Flagstar is the team's jersey ad sponsor.

Two $1.99 books picked up from my wishlist:


A thrilling collection of twenty-one original stories by an all-star list of contributors—including a new A Game of Thrones story by George R. R. Martin!


Featuring all-new stories by

Joe Abercrombie • Daniel Abraham • David W. Ball • Paul Cornell • Bradley Denton • Phyllis Eisenstein • Gillian Flynn • Neil Gaiman • Matthew Hughes • Joe R. Lansdale • Scott Lynch • Garth Nix • Cherie Priest • Patrick Rothfuss • Steven Saylor • Michael Swanwick • Lisa Tuttle • Carrie Vaughn • Walter Jon Williams • Connie Willis
The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction):

Named ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by more than a dozen publications, including The Washington Post • Entertainment Weekly • The Wall Street Journal • Los Angeles Times • San Francisco Chronicle

"Inside The Weird World Of EVE Online's Corpse Collectors"


There exists a small fraction of the EVE player base that chooses to take part in the trade of virtual human bodies. The frozen remains left behind in the wake of massive space battles is useless in the game, but can still fetch a pretty penny on the open market—depending on whose body it is.


Most corpse connoisseurs I spoke to weren’t particularly introspective about their choice of hobby, saying they pack their ships with human cargo for “sport” or “the lulz.” But some offered more compelling explanations.

“Well, besides collecting ‘for fun’, I grew up playing Diablo 2, with the ear system,” said one. “Where when you killed a player in PVP, their named ear would drop, and I used to PVP all the time, so the ears would be my trophies in my stash.” When this player picked up EVE, he carried that habit over. “Call it a reminder to myself to stay somewhat humble and calm in PVP, and to remind myself that everybody dies,” he said.

Some players keep a few corpses around as reminders of major victories. Some just hoard all the bodies they can find.


His collecting habits would also cause other sorts of trouble for the fleet. “I have had situations where after a long fleet I might have 20+ corpses in cargo, and then for whatever reason I lose my ship in a fight, the corpses pop out of the wreck as individual items in space,” he said.

This sudden flooding of the battlefield with dozens of corpses causes other player’s overviews to be suddenly flooded with bodies