Friday, March 31, 2017

An April Fool's joke, I assume, but I'd like to see the Wonder Twins in Injustice 2

Marvel blames slumping sales on fan rejection of "diversity"

ICV2:

Now the million-dollar question. Why did those tastes change?

I don't know if that's a question for me. I think that's a better question for retailers who are seeing all publishers. What we heard was that people didn't want any more diversity. They didn't want female characters out there. That's what we heard, whether we believe that or not. I don't know that that's really true, but that's what we saw in sales.

We saw the sales of any character that was diverse, any character that was new, our female characters, anything that was not a core Marvel character, people were turning their nose up against. That was difficult for us because we had a lot of fresh, new, exciting ideas that we were trying to get out and nothing new really worked.

It was the old things coming back in that time period, three books in particular, Spider-Man Renew Your Vows, that had Spider-Man and Mary Jane married, that worked. The Venom book worked and the Thanos book worked. You can take what you want out of who might be enjoying those three books, but it is definitely a specific type of comic book reader, comic book collector that really liked those three series.
PS:


Batman Classic TV Series figures available for preorder

Including Batmobile With Batman & Robin, and King Tut and Mr. Freeze figures.

Passive Aggressive Art Gallery, documenting messes left by roommates



Submissions welcome.

"Denver Restaurants Feel Unexpected Sting From Pot Tourism"

BB:

“Our work force is being drained by the pot industry,” he said bluntly. “There’s a very small work pool as it is. Enter the weed business, which pays $22 an hour with full benefits. You can come work in a kitchen for us for eight hours a day, in a hot kitchen. It’s a stressful life. Or you can go sort weed in a climate-controlled greenhouse. It’s a pretty obvious choice.”

...

Dayton has also documented a small decline in liquor sales that he attributes to people eating a pot-infused gummy bear and then forgoing a glass of wine or shot of whiskey. His alcohol sales are down about 2 percent, or $100,000, at both Acorn and Oak. He compared notes and found out that his distillers and distributors report sales down by about that percentage.

"The Best Thing About This Year's WrestleMania Is A Brutally Personal Reality-TV Feud"



DS:

Miz and Maryse, with chips on their shoulders and Miz in particular clearly having a blast, rose to the occasion. They honed in on something that fans had noticed for years and was sometimes the subject of chatter backstage: Cena and Nikki don’t come off like a real couple.

...

The Mizanins cut deeply personal promos about what awful, plastic, shallow, fake human beings Cena and Nikki were, eventually culminating in their magnum opus: Total Bullshit, a multi-part “lost episode” brutally skewering Total Bellas, the spinoff to Total Divas.

New Hail, Caesar! tee at Last Exit to Nowhere

New Warriors tee, also.

"The Galaxy S8’s facial scanner can, unsurprisingly, be tricked with a photo"

"Just days after Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8’s new facial-scanning feature..."

"Chase Had Ads on 400,000 Sites. Then on Just 5,000. Same Results"

NYT:

But as the risks around the far reaches of the web have been cast into stark relief, some advertisers are questioning the value of showing up on hundreds of thousands of unknown sites, and wondering whether millions of appearances actually translate into more sales.

...

Of the 400,000 web addresses JPMorgan’s ads showed up on in a recent 30-day period, said Ms. Lemkau, only 12,000, or 3 percent, led to activity beyond an impression. An intern then manually clicked on each of those addresses to ensure that the websites were ones the company wanted to advertise on. About 7,000 of them were not, winnowing the group to 5,000.
Relatedly:
The Deck, an ad network whose founding members included Daring Fireball, Kottke and Waxy, announced today that it’s shutting down.

Nightmare fuel: Charlie Hunnam's horror stories from filming Lost City of Z

"Hunnam explained that it was 3 a.m. and he didn’t want to wake anyone, so he decided to 'MacGyver this' . . . . at which point he decided to call the producers, who eventually called for a trip to the hospital." (The book is very good.)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

"Authorities charge 2 Irvine women in suspected U.S.-wide sex trafficking ring"

OCR:

Headed by two women described as “boss ladies” based in Irvine, authorities say the enterprise involved transporting women — mainly Chinese nationals — to businesses and private residences scattered around the metro area, including Oakdale, Cottage Grove, St. Paul, Blaine, Maplewood and St. Louis Park.

Women also were sent to more than 20 other states across the country.

"Are You Aware That The Yankees' New Right Fielder Is Extremely Large?"

"Newly named starter Aaron Judge is listed at 6-foot-7, 275 pounds." (Photo gallery)

"People in town call them Dutch Harbor pigeons. The rest of us call them bald eagles"

Great photo gallery:

Andres Ayure, a Coast Guard lieutenant, has lived in Dutch for just over a year. On his third day in Alaska he’d decided to hike up Mount Ballyhoo, a gorgeous, sweeping mountain on the edge of town. On his way down, a juvenile eagle decided he or she didn’t like the look of Ayure in his American Eagle hoodie and dive-bombed him more than ten times — scaring him to death. “I was like, ‘No way. Third day in Alaska. I didn’t want to come here, and now I’m going to die by the hand of an eagle. This is B.S.’”

Ayure barely escaped. When he patted the front pocket of his sweatshirt he realized he’d lost his phone and his keys while ducking and sliding away from the bird’s talons. He looked back up the mountain, just in time to see the eagle fly off with his phone.

"Otherlab has built prototype drones out of cardboard that are designed to airdrop things like medicine, batteries, and communication devices into dangerous or hard-to-reach places"

"The gliders are pre-programmed with their landing destination, then launched from a cargo plane or other aircraft (in tests, one was launched from a bigger drone). A small electronics package then steers each craft to its target. But with no motors and no need of a battery or fuel, they are meant to have as much room as possible for payload."

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

First podcast episode of S-Town is very good

"JOHN DESPISES HIS ALABAMA TOWN AND DECIDES TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. HE ASKS a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life."

21% off in stock items at Entertainment Earth

Such as the very nice Force Awakens Millennium Falcon, Saw Gerrera figure, and Star-Lord mask. Use code CELEBR8.

"Compton's Former Deputy Treasurer Accused Of Stealing More Than $3.7 Million From City"

LAi:

According to the criminal complaint, Galvan would take anywhere between $200 to $8,000 a day by skimming money off funds from parking tickets, business license fees and other city services.

The signs, apparently, were evident. According to a release from the Department of Justice, one of Galvan's supervisor's said that he went from driving an "old Toyota" to driving an Audi sedan. The supervisor also said that Galvan had claimed he'd purchased a home in La Mirada just to demolish it and build a new one.

"Sailor performs a dental cleaning on a Colombian patient"



US Navy.

TIL the word boycott is from a protest against Captain Charles Boycott

Wik:

In 1880, as part of its campaign for the Three Fs (fair rent, fixity of tenure, and free sale) and specifically in resistance to proposed evictions on the estate, local activists of the Irish Land League encouraged Boycott's employees (including the seasonal workers required to harvest the crops on Lord Erne's estate) to withdraw their labour, and began a campaign of isolation against Boycott in the local community. This campaign included shops in nearby Ballinrobe refusing to serve him, and the withdrawal of services. Some were threatened with violence to ensure compliance.

The campaign against Boycott became a cause célèbre in the British press after he wrote a letter to The Times. Newspapers sent correspondents to the West of Ireland to highlight what they viewed as the victimisation of a servant of a peer of the realm by Irish nationalists. Fifty Orangemen from County Cavan and County Monaghan travelled to Lord Erne's estate to harvest the crops, while a regiment of the 19th Royal Hussars and more than 1,000 men of the Royal Irish Constabulary were deployed to protect the harvesters. The episode was estimated to have cost the British government and others at least £10,000 to harvest about £500 worth of crops.

"Three reasons streaming is replacing the Let’s Play industry"

A lengthy discussion:

The fact that Twitch, Hitbox, Beam and other services allow multiple chat moderators is a killing blow over YouTube comments. You can get anywhere from twenty to 1,000 new comments a day on all your videos once you’ve had some success, and you’re not allowed to delegate the work of cleaning those up to other users.

This is a feature YouTubers have been asking for for a long time, and the only recourse was YouTube Heroes, a wonderful non-solution where people you don’t know are designated by YouTube’s algorithms to figure out what’s an acceptable level of audience communication for you!

Wonder why they scrapped that.

So your choice is to either give up and know the comments on your YouTube videos will be terrible, curate them by hand from your one account or turn them off completely. Each option is uniquely bad.

Most Twitch streams are transitory; you just need a group of good mods to be around for a couple of hours. And, odds are, they’re there because they enjoy the community as well, so it’s win-win! Bad actors only have a relatively brief window of time to be an asshole before the chance to troll the stream is gone forever, and they can be shut down instantly by your moderators. If you have a friend or viewer who wants to help keep your chat clean and friendly for a few hours a week, you’re in business.

Monday, March 27, 2017

"Controversy Erupts in Open-Source Community After Developer's Sex Life Made Public"

"According to the developer, several people had orchestrated a gossip campaign that culminated in informing Drupal's authorities about his unconventional sexual and romantic proclivities, which are based on the 'Chronicles of Gor' sci-fi series."

Little girl meets a "robot"



Nike's Russell Wilson Alpha Menace Elites



"The spines are adorned with WILSON on the right and DANGERUSS (his tagline) on the left"

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Iron Fist: "really, I was learning the fight scenes 15 minutes before we actually shot them"

"I had three weeks of very intense martial arts and weight training preparation. But then unfortunately once the show started . . . my schedule didn’t allow me to continue the training as much as I really hoped."

Also:

From my wishlist, Number9Dream is $1.99 today

"Number9Dream is the international literary sensation from a writer with astonishing range and imaginative energy—an intoxicating ride through Tokyo’s dark underworlds and the even more mysterious landscapes of our collective dreams." $1.99 today at Amazon.

Friday, March 24, 2017

AMA with Midway's Mark Turmell

AMA:

Q: How difficult was it change the NBA's view of the game so that they would give you the license?

A: Very hard! Their understanding of arcades was solely based on Times Square in NY, which was very seedy and dangerous at the time. We made videos of normal arcades to win them over.

Q: Can you describe some of the "never seen before" NFL Blitz footage? Is it lost forever or is there a chance we see it in the upcoming "Insert Coin" doc?

A: We removed >20 animations from the game to eek into NFL approval status, but I still have a hard drive with the incorporating all of them. Haven't spoken to Josh much re the Insert Coin doc, but maybe I'll dig that up and send to him.

The moves were indeed violent. Grabbing the face mask and flinging around, kicking the player while he's down, stomping, and wrestling moves. Suplex, etc.

Q: Can you please speak on the rumored NBA Jam made for specific NBA players with Michael Jordan included?

A: I have it!

NBA Jam was made and tested in Chicago. Jordan was in all those early games, and weeks before we were to ship nationwide he pulled out of all NBA licensed products due to his Nike deal.

"Ecologist Evon Hekkala travels to Madagascar to help protect a village from a man-eating crocodile"



Good podcast about the making of the NatGeo special "Man-Eaters of Madagascar."

Nike's Experiments in Style



"a new generation of designers explore the concept of walking on air"

"a 'wildness creator'—a hypothetical artificial intelligence that would autonomously protect wild spaces"

Atl:

In Australia, autonomous killer robots are set to invade the Great Barrier Reef. Their target is the crown-of-thorns starfish—a malevolent pincushion with a voracious appetite for corals. To protect ailing reefs, divers often cull the starfish by injecting them with bile or vinegar. But a team of Australian scientists has developed intelligent underwater robots called COTSBots that can do the same thing. The yellow bots have learned to identify the starfish among the coral, and can execute them by lethal injection.

Spidey working out

A post shared by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on

Kong Skull Island skull crawler design

"During the year I spent working at a coffee shop:"

"Reminder: this was within the space of a single year."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

GI Joe Subscription Figures in stock, including General Flagg

At the BBTS.

Vintage action figures repackaged



By Sucklord (site is NSFW).

"TV show contestants spend year in wilderness – with no one watching"

"For the contestants of the Channel 4 programme Eden, coming back from isolation means not just coming to terms with 2017 but also the news that their year of toil in the wilderness barely made it on to television."

"Theranos Offers Shares for Promise Not to Sue"

WSJ:

said Theranos director Daniel Warmenhoven. “Elizabeth elected to contribute her own equity to protect any dilution of shares held by other parties.”

He said Ms. Holmes showed “a level of selflessness and grace reflecting her commitment to the company’s success.”

...

Theranos reached a separate agreement to buy back the shares purchased in early 2015 by Rupert Murdoch for about $125 million, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Murdoch is executive chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox Inc. News Corp is the parent of The Wall Street Journal.

Under the terms of that deal, Theranos agreed to pay Mr. Murdoch a nominal amount equal to a tiny fraction of the original purchase price, the people said. One person familiar with the matter said the amount was just $1.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"Tom Brady's stolen Super Bowl jersey - more footage revealed"



Crime-solving when there's ample high-quality video.

Classic Spider Man Mystery Minis available for preorder

Including Kraven, Spider-Gwen.

"Last week I had the opportunity to briefly converse with a Disneyland insider familiar with the park’s current long-range plans"

MC:

After the Fantasyland makeover, it will be Disney California Adventure’s turn with the formal start of an entire Marvel-themed land, which will consume a large chunk of Hollywood Land and the area around and behind Bugs Land. The Marvel Land will connect with Cars Land and don’t be surprised if Bugs Land is a casualty.

After that, Tomorrowland will finally get its rehab. That puts groundbreaking at least seven years from now

...

So while, to the naked eye, Tomorrowland and Mickey’s ToonTown are in most desperate need of a refresh and should be next, my correspondent says that’s part of the reason why they won’t get it. Imagineering is determined to correct Tomorrowland once and for all, adding dramatic upgrades that have staying power, and no one can come to a consensus on just what those would be.

iOS game Card Thief is really good

Detailed review.

"Blackwater's founder plans to build new bases in China, a move to support the One Belt and One Road initiative"

GT:

Frontier Services Group (FSG), a company that helps businesses operating in frontier markets overcome complex security, logistics and operational challenges, is planning to built two operation bases in Northwest China's XinjiangUyghur Autonomous Region and Southwest China's Yunnan Province, Erik Prince, executive chairman of the firm, told the Global Times in mid-March.

Prince, 47, is better known as the founder of the private military company Blackwater, now known as Academi

Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #5 cover



By Julian Totino Tedesco.

Good podcast interview with Noah Hawley

80% Legion, 20% Fargo.

"Accusations of research fraud roil a tight-knit community of ecologists"

Sci:

At the heart of the case is a three-page paper that made headlines after it was published in Science* on 3 June 2016. It showed that, given a choice between a natural diet and tiny plastic fragments, perch larvae will consume the plastic "like teens eat fast food," as a BBC story put it. This unhealthy appetite reduced their growth and made them more vulnerable to predators. It was a dire warning, suggesting the plastic trash washing into rivers, lakes, and oceans was creating ecological havoc.

...

The outcome may have an impact well beyond four lives and careers. Sweden is still recovering from the scandal around celebrity surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who was fired last year for ethical breaches that his university, the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, had initially dismissed. The case shook confidence in Swedish science and raised concerns about Swedish universities' ability to investigate their own researchers. If UU, too, bungled its investigation, as the whistleblowers in this case claim, it could bolster support for a plan released last month that would take misconduct investigations out of university hands and transfer them to a new government agency.

The case has raised a host of other issues as well. Dominique Roche of the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, one of five scientists supporting Sundin and Jutfelt, is critical of Science, which didn't issue a so-called editorial expression of concern about the paper until December 2016. Roche says the journal itself should have investigated the paper, which has racked up 36 citations. Others argue the case shows that the fields of ecology and evolution have been too slow to adopt the kind of transparent practices that build trust and help prevent misconduct.

"A 13th-century handscroll, Chen Rong’s 'Six Dragons,' with a low estimate of $1.2 million, sold at the Christie’s auction for $49 million"

"Surprising Sale at Christie’s Lifts Asia Week New York." Via.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rabbit getting blowdried

A post shared by Modern Farmer (@modfarm) on

"The president can wax endlessly about walls and offshoring jobs, but the technological revolution could make Trump the biggest political loser in history"

VF:

One of the big promises of driverless cars has been that the technology will help erase the preponderance of automobile accidents. There are currently some 33,000 people in the United States who died each year in car crashes, and 94 percent of accidents, indeed, are caused by human error. Yet even this hopeful, life-saving efficiency will negatively affect doctors, ambulance drivers, people who work in body shops, glass-repair shops, and other related industries. Then there are auto auctioneers, the telemarketers who answer the phone at call centers when you need to call A.A.A., or get a new lease quote. Loan underwriters, credit managers, actuaries, rental-car agents, people who work in driving schools.

The list goes on and on. Traffic courts will completely vanish. (You can’t speed if you’re not driving.) And think about all the easy money that would be siphoned away from the car industry and government. Americans rack up $6.2 billion in speeding tickets a year. Gone. Billions of dollars in parking tickets. Gone. A truck with no one behind the wheel doesn’t need to stop to get a burger in the middle of the night or use the restroom. All of this makes the people who work at rest stops and motorway hotels useless.

A detailed look at the BT-1 and 0-0-0 Villain Pack.



Preview the set.

"To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America's heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that's cracked in Eastern Europe"

MB:

Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform "unauthorized" repair on farm equipment

...

a fear I heard expressed over and over again in talking with farmers, is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn't be anything a farmer could do about it

"Smokers who purchased cigarettes exclusively at CVS stores were 38 percent less likely to buy tobacco after the national chain stopped selling cigarettes"

"In addition, cigarette sales dropped 1 percent - or by 95 million packs - in 13 states in the eight months after CVS left the tobacco market in September 2014"

Hulk #7 cover



By John Tyler Christopher.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Dark Tower Gunslinger original art by Laurence Campbell available



Pages are $150-$170.

"Billionaire bunkers: How the 1% are preparing for the apocalypse"

"'Your father or grandfather's bunker was not very comfortable,' says Robert Vicino, a real estate entrepreneur and CEO of Vivos, a company he founded that builds and manages high-end shelters around the world."

Contest to redesign New York's “I Voted” sticker

"Submissions will be accepted from March 20, 2017 through April 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm ET."

Marvel Select Guardians of The Galaxy figures available (comic book appearance)



At the BBTS.

"Brazilian Meat Giants Rush to Contain Scandal"

"The scandal is threatening to undermine years of extensive publicity focused on the quality and safety of their products, which starred celebrities including British chef Jamie Oliver and two-time Oscar-winner Robert de Niro."

"The unusual train track passes directly through the 19-storey residential building in the 'emerging mega-city' of Chongqing"





"Noise reduction equipment installed at the station means the train only makes the same noise as a standard dishwasher."

Relatedly, authorities are bricking over undesirable stores in Beijing:

On Thursday morning, the piles of bricks that currently sit ominously every 10 meters or so on the west side of the road from Taikoo Li up to Gongti Beilu will be used to erect a wall in front of the shops that remain.

...

Creating a brick wall that cuts off normal access to these businesses is one way of doing this; it relieves the city of the burden of attempting to evict the commercial tenants, yet makes it next to impossible for customers to find their way into the shops.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

"This year, a subtle current among the games on offer was exploring life in cults from the inside"

GS:

Another game that dwells in darkness so deep it lacks color altogether is Kitfox Games’ latest venture The Shrouded Isle, which takes a somewhat more fantastical approach to the idea. Here you play in a Lovecraftian world as the High Priestess of a seaside village cut off from the rest of civilization.

You are but five years away from the return of the tentacular Chernobog, the object of your devotion, and you must keep the increasingly restive familial houses of your village in line. Oh, and you have to pick a human sacrifice once every season to feed your Old God the human blood he thirsts for.

Punch-Out-themed art show



At Gallery 1988. These are by Alex Campos, Adam Hoppus, and Brendon Flynn.

Friday, March 17, 2017

"The Invisible Women: How female architects were erased from history"

AR:

The erosion of authorship among starchitect-women has made headlines in recent times. Prominent awards have been presented to the male half of equal architectural partnerships, such as the controversial decision to award Robert Venturi the Pritzker Prize in 1991 but not practice co-founder Scott Brown, an injustice that sparked a major (failed) petition to have Scott Brown retrospectively given the Pritzker in 2013. Similarly, Wang Shu received the Pritzker Prize in 2012 without practice co-founder Lu Wenyu, and in 2013 the Gottfried Semper Architekturpreis was initially awarded to Matthias Sauerbruch of Sauerbruch Hutton alone, without acknowledging equal founding partner Louisa Hutton – a decision later reversed when Sauerbruch objected. In 2014, Patty Hopkins, co-founder of Hopkins Architects, was controversially photoshopped out of an image with her husband Michael Hopkins during the promotion of a BBC documentary, The Brits who Built the Modern World.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Aliens: Dead Orbit #3 cover



By James Stokoe.

For fans of The Expanse, book one of the series, Leviathan Wakes is 82% off today

$2.99 at Amazon.

"How an obscure news site began dominating your Google search results"

"With just 17,100 Twitter followers and 117,000 Facebook likes, Heavy’s social media presence is tiny for an outlet of its size. And while it often embeds video in its posts, it seems to produce little video of its own these days. It is, in other words, something of a throwback in an era when other new media companies view social virality, reader loyalty, and original video content as the paths to profitability. Meanwhile, at a time when rivals such as BuzzFeed, Vice, and Refinery29 are trying to develop fresh business models centered around custom advertising products, many of Heavy’s ads are your run-of-the-mill, programmatic display ads, placed on the page automatically by third-party ad brokers."

"Outrage after impeached president of South Korea vacates official residence but leaves her puppies behind"

"It was hard to imagine that ousted President Park Geun-hye could get any more unpopular in South Korea"

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"The first few hours of Andromeda are a gruesome trudge through the most trite bilge of the previous three games, smeared out in a setting that’s horribly familiar, burdened with some outstandingly awful writing, buried beneath a UI that appears to have been designed to infuriate in every possible way"

"I cannot emphasise enough how poor it’s been."

Saw Gerrera figure available for preorder

At the BBTS.

"Spider-Man 3 footage is being used in the trailer for the upcoming space movie, Life"

PG:

People have begun to speculate that maybe Life is a part of an extended superhero cinematic universe and Columbia is dropping hints for those who are paying close attention. Columbia Pictures is owned by Sony Pictures, which produced Spider-Man 3 and recently partnered with Marvel Studios to work on a new Spider-Man movie.

...

It’s more likely, however, that Columbia needed to use an image of people looking shocked and scared, and decided to reuse some footage it already owned instead of shooting more.

Gemini (Thundarr) custom action figure



By Loosecollector.

"L.A. Sheriff Is Spending $300,000 to Change Color of Deputies’ Belt Buckles, Other Items"

"is spending the money on a minor cosmetic makeover of deputies’ uniforms: changing the color of their belt buckles and other metal pieces of gear from silver to gold. That way, the metallic bits — all made of brass — will match the gold-hued tie clips, lapel pins and six-pointed star badges that deputies already wear"

"In a remote West African village, a revolutionary genetic experiment is on its way — if residents agree to it"

SN:

ANA, Burkina Faso — This small village of mud-brick homes in West Africa might seem the least likely place for an experiment at the frontier of biology.

Yet scientists here are engaged in what could be the most promising, and perhaps one of the most frightening, biological experiments of our time. They are preparing for the possible release of swarms of mosquitoes that, until now, have been locked away in a research lab behind double metal doors and guarded 24/7.

The goal: to nearly eradicate the population of one species of mosquito, and with it, the heavy burden of malaria across Africa.

These scientists are planning to release mosquitoes equipped with “gene drives,” a technology that overrides nature’s genetic rules to give every baby mosquito a certain trait that normally only half would acquire. Once such an insect gets out into the wild, it will move indiscriminately and spread its modified trait without respect for political borders.

"As NCAA money trickles down, even tennis coaches are outearning professors"

WP:

But as more money has surged into Kentucky athletics, records show, Calipari isn’t the only coach cashing in, as the athletes remain amateurs. From 2006 to 2016, pay for Kentucky’s track and field coach climbed from $108,000 to $429,000; men’s tennis coach pay jumped from $122,000 to $230,000; and gymnastics coach pay rose from $112,000 to $252,000. Every coach made more than the school’s average full professor’s salary. In a phenomenon playing out across the country, salaries are soaring for coaches of lower-profile college sports largely subsidized by lucrative football and men’s basketball, whose annual national tournament opens Tuesday.

At the University of Kansas, men’s golf coach pay jumped from $84,000 to $201,000 over the past decade. At the University of Virginia, pay for the women’s volleyball coach rose from $94,000 to $221,000. And at West Virginia University, men’s soccer coach pay jumped from $66,000 to $188,000.
Relatedly: "Kingsbury explains shirt ranking system as players "earn" back Texas Tech logo"
“Along with the no Double T’s, we also have a ranking system with the shirts,” Kingsbury said. “We’re going to start with brown, and then you work your way to gray, and then white, and then black, and red. But you have to earn it.

"‘Missing Richard Simmons,’ the Morally Suspect Podcast"

"But that isn’t good enough for Mr. Taberski. So he rifles through Mr. Simmons’s social network, interviewing people who crossed his path and publicizing their speculation about his mental state. He urges listeners to call in with 'any theory you think we missed.'"

BTW, the How I Built This podcast is very good.

"Advertisers look forward to buying your Web browsing history from ISPs"

"Six advertising industry trade groups yesterday thanked Republican lawmakers for introducing legislation that would overturn rules that protect the privacy of Internet users. If the rules are overturned, advertisers would not be prevented from buying consumers' Web browsing history from Internet service providers."

Relatedly: "Google’s mobile messaging app Allo can reveal your Google search history to people you message, which could have big privacy implications. The behavior appears to be a glitch."

From my wishlist, Lovecraft Country: A Novel is $1.99 today

At Amazon.

Monday, March 13, 2017

"How Fashion Nova Built An Entire Fashion Company Completely On Instagram"

BF:

By recruiting thousands of social media influencers, an LA fashion label has boomed to more than 600 staff in just three years.

...

A key part of Fashion Nova’s saturation of Instagram feeds across the country lies in its network of about 3,000 social media influencers — a constellation of fashion and lifestyle bloggers with tens of thousands of followers each, and sometimes hundreds of thousands.

...

Fashion Nova’s social media team monitors what’s being worn online, sending trending styles to a design team that can produce sample products in less than 24 hours. Then those LA factories get involved, and depending on the quantities involved, the company can start selling the design within a week or two.

U.S. Air Force "uses first drone for C-17 post flight inspection"

USAF:

“This could save (maintainers) a lot of time,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Jaburek, of the 62nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at JB Lewis-McChord. “When we go on top of the airplane, we can only walk on certain parts and then we have to hook and unhook our (safety harness) every few feet.”

Inspections that would normally take 45 minutes to an hour could be done just in a few minutes with a quadcopter if it’s successful. Maintainers also would not need a lift to inspect a C-17’s tail, Jaburek said.

Mezco Old Man Logan with baby Hulk and baby carrier available for preorder

At the BBTS.

China Mieville's Three Moments of an Explosion is $1.99 at Amazon

$1.99 today, "Named One of the Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post • NPR • The Guardian • Kirkus Reviews"

"Hilarious Jack Russell Goes Crazy with Excitement at Crufts 2017!"



"Oh what a nose dive. And he couldn't care less."

"Adjusted for inflation, American spending to reconstruct Afghanistan now exceeds the total expended to rebuild all of Western Europe under the Marshall Plan"

"Though the United States has spent $8.5 billion to battle narcotics in Afghanistan, opium production there has reached an all-time high."

" Often there’s one option that’s clearly the best tactically or the most interesting for your character, and it costs money"



A look at interactive fiction on mobile:

in general, spending real world money substitutes in for the reasons why we might not take the best or most outspoken strategy in real life: we’re afraid we might get killed in the process of trying to save Prince Tevan. We feel too inhibited to tell our cheating ex how we really feel. We’re not sure yet whether we trust Chris enough to take the relationship to the next level. IF can do this with in-game resources as well, of course, but being asked for actual currency adds a stinger.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

"Uber Gears Up to Block Bid to Form a Union in Seattle"

WSJ:

Before accepting rides on his Uber app each day, Seattle driver Fasil Teka must first choose whether to listen to company-run podcasts on voting rights, collective bargaining and city council hearings.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"More Disney That Never Was"

PCU:

The first is a rare glimpse of Atlantis Encounter, an attraction once proposed for the area in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland currently occupied by the Autopia. This attraction is famous for the brief few days in 2001 or so when Imagineers put up signs around the Disneyland sub lagoon hinting that a new attraction based on Atlantis was on its way.

...

Another treat is this look at the model of the Lucas Spaceport, an early attempt at a Star Wars themed area for Tomorrowland. This would have converted the Carousel of Progress complex into an enormous spacecraft.

"How The Daily Fantasy Wars Almost Destroyed DraftKings And FanDuel"

TS:

It all culminated in what the companies call “Red Tuesday,” in the fall of 2015. It was September 14, the Tuesday after the first Sunday of NFL season, the biggest and most highly promoted day in DFS history. Both companies wanted to capitalize on the momentum and push new NFL users into also playing the final month of the baseball season.

“So, we were planning on launching a contest,” a FanDuel employee says. “DraftKings came out first, and they [sized it at] $1.5 million. It became the prisoner’s dilemma. Where you go, well, we could just size conservatively. And they’ll fill, and they’ll get their $1.5 million. Or, you could size ours at $1.5 million, and no one will make any money. We’ll both lose. And we chose the latter. And boy, does that data point stick out on the chart.”

The contests didn’t come close to filling. I remember it well—I told everyone I knew playing DFS to get entries in, and upped my own as well. Then I watched from Tropicana Field as the Yankees played the Tampa Bay Rays and I actually made a little money. Both DraftKings and FanDuel, however, lost hundreds of thousands on those contests alone.

"Battered by winter storms, Big Sur is cut off from California"

MN:

One key bridge could be out of service for a year. Instead of the rich and famous dropping by for spa treatments at the Post Ranch and Ventana Inn, helicopters are dropping supplies to about 450 remaining residents of this glorious ZIP code. The community has turned to self-governing; there’s no law enforcement, elected officials, public services or tourists.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

"Of Course Tim Tebow Knows Where The Dang On-Deck Circle Is"

DS:

Tim Tebow played high-level baseball in high school. He also—as noted by a smart commenter earlier this morning—recorded 123 plate appearances in the Arizona Fall League less than a year ago. He knows where the hell you go to take your practice swings when you’re on deck. Of course he does. He has known it for decades. That is not something that someone who has been playing baseball since he was a child will just forget. It is not something that anyone who has ever watched a single baseball game on TV would not know. It is not something that someone who batted a couple spots behind fellow lefty Lucas Duda would not know.

No-Face coin bank



Via.

Honey Nut Cheerios Bee Removed From Packaging To Highlight Vanishing Bee Colonies



"Buzz is missing because there's something serious going on with the world's bees. Bee populations everywhere have been declining at an alarming rate, and that includes honeybees like Buzz."

Belladonna of Sadness statue

Digimon Adventure Greymon & Yagami Taichi figure available for preorder



At the BBTS.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

"The Rock ’n’ Roll Casualty Who Became a War Hero"

NYT from 2013:

Jason Everman has the unique distinction of being the guy who was kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden, two rock bands that would sell roughly 100 million records combined. At 26, he wasn’t just Pete Best, the guy the Beatles left behind. He was Pete Best twice.

Then again, he wasn’t remotely. What Everman did afterward put him far outside the category of rock’n’roll footnote. He became an elite member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, one of those bearded guys riding around on horseback in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban.

Kanto mushuku



"Assad's Control Erodes as Warlords Gain Upper Hand"

SO:

To preserve its regular troops, the regime was forced to make a Faustian bargain, allowing armed loyalists to form their own militias. In many cases, the leaders of smuggling rings or criminal gangs became local kingpins, who were then able to expand their business empires unimpeded in exchange for loyalty to Assad. The two largest militias, the Desert Hawks, headquartered in the northern port city of Latakia, and the Tiger Forces from Hama, each have between 3,000 and 6,000 armed fighters. Additionally, there are hundreds of smaller pro-regime militias.

...

Assad is nevertheless dependent on them. When his troops, supported by Russian units, took eastern Aleppo in December 2016, the Syrian soldiers featured prominantly in front of the television cameras. But the actual fighting was conducted by Iraqi, Afghan and Lebanese mercenaries under Iranian senior leadership -- and by the pro-regime militias, who also secured the conquered territory once the fighting had ceased. And they plundered it.

...

Mohamed Jaber and his brother initially became rich from smuggling. In the 1990s, they began by spiriting oil into the country from Iraq before investing their millions in the steel industry. When the Syrian civil war began in 2011 and international sanctions isolated the Assad regime, they were asked to use their smuggling contacts to bring in badly needed oil and gasoline.

To protect their convoys as they drove through the desert, the Jabers recruited hundreds of former soldiers -- and criminals. In August 2013, Assad signed a decree allowing private businesspeople to maintain their own security forces, thus paving the way for kleptocrats in his favor to become warlords.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"World’s First Ship Tunnel to Bypass Norway’s Most Dangerous Waters"

"Norwegian officials have given the green light to fully finance what is set to become the world’s first full-scale ship tunnel, bypassing one of the most dangerous areas for vessels along the Norwegian coast."

"Omaha’s Answer to Costly Potholes? Go Back to Gravel Roads"

NYT:

After living more than 40 years along a road plagued by potholes, Jo Anne Amoura was excited to see city crews shred her block of Leavenworth Street into gravel.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is great. We’re going to get a new street,’” Ms. Amoura recalled. “And then we waited and waited and waited.”

Fresh pavement never arrived. Only after the asphalt had been ripped out almost three years ago did Ms. Amoura and her neighbors learn that their street had been “reclaimed,” Omaha City Hall’s euphemism for unpaving a road.

"DSI Suspects Dhammajayo Hiding in Newly Fortified Hospital"

KSE:

Just north of the sprawling Wat Dhammakaya complex is an unfinished hospital called Boonraksa. Soldiers tried to search it weeks ago, but were pushed back by a crowd of monks and the faithful.

Now it’s being fortified, with moats dug and obstacles set up. A large group of worshipers has been gathering in the area, with some pitching tents, which the authorities interpret as indicating intent to stay.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The time the Inhumans' dog Lockjaw was revealed to be a person with a particularly unfortunate mutation



Later retconned to just be a dog.

"SI has learned that ESPN will have significant cost-cutting over the next four months on its talent side"

SI:

Multiple sources said ESPN has been tasked with paring tens of millions of staff salary from its payroll, including staffers many viewers and readers will recognize. Those with contracts coming up would be particularly vulnerable, sources said. The company is also expected to buyout some existing contracts, which is something rare for ESPN historically beyond a few NFL talents. The cuts are expected to be completed by June.

...

ESPN continues to shed subscribers at an enhanced rate, down to 88.4 million households in Dec. 2016. That number was 100.002 million in Feb. 2011.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

"Duterte launched a wave of violence that has claimed at least 7,000 lives"

WP:

Since coming to power last summer

...

In a pastoral letter published in February, church leaders denounced Duterte’s campaign as a “reign of terror” against the poor.

Emboldened by their bishops’ stance, priests, nuns and missionaries are also taking a stand, offering sanctuary to fearful witnesses, paying for funerals and organizing rallies. Religious leaders who once supported the president are turning their backs on him, potentially hurting his political appeal.

"Have you tried Angry Birds lately? It’s a swamp of dark patterns"

SvN:

All extractive logic meant to trick you into another in-app payment. It’s the perfect example of what happens when product managers have to squeeze ever-more-growth out of ever-less-fertile lands to hit their targets year after year.

It’s straight out of the split-pea soup parable. What if we removed just three peas? Nobody can tell. The factory can save a few million. The executives who pushed that idea can get their yearly bonus. No harm, no foul? But nothing ever stops at the quarterly win.

"A nude photo scandal has shaken the entire Marine Corps"

MCT:

The U.S. Marine Corps is investigating allegations an unspecified number of military personnel and veterans allegedly distributed nude photos of female colleagues and other women as part of a perverse social media network that promotes sexual violence.

"What the death of the CRT display technology means for classic arcade machines"

VB:

The arcade is dead. You already knew that, but that industry’s coffin is about to get another nail. The cathode-ray-tube technology that powered the monitors for nearly every classic arcade game in the twentieth century is defunct. Sony, Samsung, and others have left it behind for skinnier and more lucrative LCDs and plasmas, and the CRTs that are left are about to sell out.

From my wishlist, "Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator" is $1.99 right now

At Amazon.

I also ordered Merlin The Lost Years for my kids, $3.63 with free shipping (being made into a movie by Disney).

Saturday, March 4, 2017

"Before the Enlightenment, Europeans drank alcohol throughout the day. Then..."

HP:

“The impact of the introduction of coffee into Europe during the seventeenth century was particularly noticeable since the most common beverages of the time, even at breakfast, were weak ‘small beer’ and wine. Both were far safer than water, which was liable to be contaminated … Coffee … provided a new and safe alternative to alcoholic drinks. Those who drank coffee instead of alcohol began the day alert and stimulated, rather than relaxed and mildly inebriated, and the quality and quantity of their work improved … Western Europe began to emerge from an alcoholic haze that had lasted for centuries.”

Friday, March 3, 2017

"The architecture of fear: how Caracas has adapted to constant threat of violence"

TG:

Only the brave walk the streets of Caracas after sunset, when the dizzying frenzy of the daytime city gives way to an eerie stillness as residents seek refuge indoors: the wealthy hide inside their gated communities and the poor lock the doors to their makeshift zinc-roofed homes. A handful of speeding cars tear through half-empty roads and solitary figures walk briskly down dark pavements.

...

East Caracas, by contrast, primarily houses the city’s middle and upper classes in high-rise buildings and lavish homes. The roads are dotted with lofty trees and expensive cars. It’s a reality that belongs only to a very small minority.

These areas have essentially gone into lockdown. In the wealthy Country Club neighbourhood, sturdy walls, barbed wire and electric fences now block off homes and gardens that were once visible from the street.

"Announcing the Engineer Sourcebook for Age of Rebellion"



An illustration for the new book.

"In honor of Women's History Month, our limited edition pack has The Brawny Man® stepping aside to give women the spotlight"

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"The Amazon Rainforest Was Profoundly Changed by Ancient Humans"

Atl:

For more than 8,000 years, people lived in the Amazon and farmed it to make it more productive. They favored certain trees over others, effectively creating crops that we now call the cocoa bean and the brazil nut, and they eventually domesticated them. And while many of the communities who managed these plants died in the Amerindian genocide 500 years ago, the effects of their work can still be observed in today’s Amazon rainforest.

...

Why does this matter? Though conservationists still speak of the Amazon as a “pristine” region, Levis says that its environmental allies should talk about it differently. We can look to it, she says, as an example of how human influence can enrich the Amazon.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Revoltech Spider-Gwen available for preorder



Three different faces. Other preorders: Moon Knight and X-23/Wolverine; giant foam Mjolnir.

Poster for Colossal

"Wild Elephants Sleep Just Two Hours a Night"

Atl:

In April 2014, Nadine Gravett tranquilized two female elephants and fitted them with actiwatches. These small devices—the scientific version of Fitbits—record movement, and researchers can use them to measure how well volunteers are sleeping. They’re usually worn around the wrist, but that’s not an option when your subjects’ limbs are literally elephantine. So Gravett had to implant them in the females’ most mobile appendages—their trunks.

...

Elephants can sleep standing up, so it’s difficult to eyeball whether they’re awake or asleep, especially if you’re tracking them through the bush at night. Brain activity sensors would give better answers, but an elephant’s anatomy makes it exceedingly risky to surgically implant such devices. So Manger and Gravett settled for the actiwatches instead. They also fitted satellite collars onto the animals to track their whereabouts later.

...

Of course, Gravett and Manger only studied two elephants, and both were adult matriarchs

Best Picture Nominees as Pop Art Posters



Shutterstock has been doing this for years.

"City of burning lakes: experts fear Bangalore will be uninhabitable by 2025"

"India’s Silicon Valley":

The latest incident is not the first time the lake has caught fire; it happened in May 2015. A few days later, it was in the news again for being covered in snow-like froth, which began to swirl up in the summer wind, engulfing passers-by. The froth was the result of chemical waste dumped in the lake, and was toxic enough to crack windshields, wear the paint off car hoods and exacerbate the severe respiratory issues that have plagued citizens in recent years.

...

There are several invasive species like water hyacinths growing in the lake, thick enough to walk on. People dump solid waste on top of it. Because of the thickness, it creates an anaerobic environment in the water below, where methane is formed. It creates an ideal environment for catching fire.”

"California’s Only Black Whaling Captain, William Shorey"

EBE:

The home, originally built in 1875, once belonged to William Shorey, the only African-American whaling captain in Pacific coast history. Back when the Bay Area was America’s whaling capital, this feat made Captain Shorey a local icon.

Newspaper reporters would row out to his ship to grab scoops about his death-defying voyages. Under headlines that inevitably blared his nickname “Black Ahab,” articles described him as hero who battled typhoons and saved his crew from horrific disasters. The media swooned over his brilliant, beautiful wife, Julia Ann, the daughter of one of San Francisco’s wealthiest Black families. Later in life, he was celebrated as a pillar of Oakland’s early African-American community for his philanthropic work, such as hosting a dinner party with Booker T. Washington to raise funds for the Tuskegee Institute.