Monday, September 25, 2017

Jaina Solo, Rose, and Snoke Star Wars Black figures available for individual preorder

At the BBTS.

Very good write up of an XCOM mission

TF:

The VIP is dead and the mission is lost, but we spend a turn cleaning up the enemies before Evacuating.

Except: I can’t place the Evac zone. The button’s not working.

You can’t place the Evac on VIP extractions. It’s pre-set. It’s miles away. And the ship leaves in 2 turns.



Part 2: The Escape

Everyone runs – ignoring cover, ignoring the risk of triggering enemies.

"When archaeologists found a tunnel under Mexico’s ‘birthplace of the gods’, they could only dream of the riches they would discover."

TG:

Even more remarkable was a miniature mountainous landscape, 17 metres underground, with tiny pools of liquid mercury representing lakes. The walls of the tunnel were found to have been carefully impregnated with powdered pyrite, or fool’s gold, to give the effect in firelight of standing under a galaxy of stars.

...

Watermarks along the walls of Gómez Chávez’s passage have proved that the huge plaza above it was deliberately flooded to create a kind of primordial sea, with pyramids as metaphorical mountains emerging from the water as at the beginning of time. Thousands of people would have witnessed ceremonies re-enacting the creation myth.

...

The inhabitants of Teotihuacan would have walked past thousands of square feet of bright illustrated surfaces

"Football fans fill dorms left empty at Mizzou after enrollment drop"

StLT:

with almost 2,000 fewer freshmen this fall than there were two years ago, there is no shortage of empty rooms.

It’s scrappy, Merz argues. It shows leaders are “thinking outside of the box.”

It’s not a Band-Aid for the millions of dollars in lost tuition revenue, but Mizzou spokesman Christian Basi said the school pulled in more than $20,000 per game so far on the dorm rental.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

"Is Disney paying its share in Anaheim?"

LAT:

Faced with growing criticism inside City Hall, last year Disney stepped up its local political spending

...

Even with Disney’s large PAC contributions — which dwarfed the money raised by the candidates it opposed — two politicians supported by the company lost to reform candidates, flipping the balance of power on the council. Now, Disney’s ability to extract lucrative deals from the city is in question.

"an ongoing debate between street style photographers and influencers . . . came to a boil at Milan Fashion Week"

TC:

It all began on Thursday, when a group of 30-something street style photographers met to organize an “unofficial union.” Their goal, as outlined in a statement obtained by WWD, is to stop to “disproportionate gain being derived by the influencers” and to “no longer be viewed as a passive entity in the equation of this industry.” In other words, “The Photographers,” as this anonymous group calls themselves, argue that they need to be seen as an invaluable part of the equation; they’re done watching influencers profit off their images, with no compensation or acknowledgement in return.

...

In a recent article titled, “The Big Business of Street StyleBait,” the blogger Zanita Whittington told Refinery29 that street style is a “huge part of [her] business.” She explained that these photos help boost her reputation as a “style authority,” and a single New York Fashion Week season could yield as much as $100,000.

Some bloggers and street style stars hire their own photographers, but most of the time, they’re relying on the photographers outside of shows — some of whom are being paid by magazines, and others who are also working for free to kickstart their careers. These photographers run after influencers for the chance to be featured on their Instagrams, and the influencers know this, with some then turning it into a game of cat and mouse — as well as a competition amongst photographers. This is exactly the power dynamic that #NoFreePhotos is trying to dismantle.

Character designs by Evgeny Viitman

















"Lowe built several balloons during the Civil War to spy on the Confederate Army, winning him official appointment by President Lincoln as Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army and the unofficial title of the most shot-at man in the Civil War"

ICW:

He was also the grandfather of Florence Lowe, whom he took to the 1910 air meet when she was nine years old. The spectacle of flight entranced the young girl, and she went on to acquire fame as “Pancho” Barnes, a pioneer barnstormer, Hollywood stunt pilot, industry test pilot, and later owner of the Happy Bottom Riding Club, the celebrated watering hole at what became Edwards Air Force Base in the “Right Stuff” era.

"In 1906, this Congolese man was displayed in a zoo. Now, Virginia is honoring him"

WaPo:

Last weekend, Virginia — one of three states in the country that prominently display a statue of Confederate leader Jefferson Davis in its capitol — unveiled a historical highway marker for Ota Benga, a Congolese native and Lynchburg resident who in 1906 garnered global headlines when he was exhibited in the Bronx Zoo monkey house.

...

For nearly a century, the story of Benga’s tragic life was narrated by the very men who were most complicit in his degradation. In dozens of accounts — including one in a Virginia encyclopedia — the man most responsible for his exploitation was absurdly depicted as his friend.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

"The end-of-the-world message heard on some Orange County channels during an Emergency Alert System test on Thursday was a technical glitch prompted by a local radio station, broadcasting officials said on Friday"

OCR:

KWVE-FM, a Santa Ana station that broadcasts Christian programs, was conducting the test for the region that did not properly kick off – prompting a pastor’s comments meant only for that station to be heard over TV and probably radio channels in the county and beyond.

...

“It’s not like we planned the broadcast to coincide with that,” Gemaehlich said. “It was just a fluke thing. Pastor Swindoll would never try to line something up with that. He is a very conservative, sound theologian and not a conspiracy person.”

Casey Jones Mask (by NECA) available for preorder

At the BBTS.

New Coraline figure by NECA, too.

"Lakers to get more than $30 million from three-year jersey sponsorship deal with Wish"

LAT:

Like many who heard the news on Thursday, the Lakers chief operating officer hadn’t heard of Wish either

...

The app offers budget shopping options and quirky products.

"A huge 5.2 m crocodile has been shot dead in Queensland"

"People need to clearly understand the death of this animal has changed the balance of the crocodile population in the Fitzroy and we can expect increased aggressive activity by younger male crocodiles"

"Tumult After AIDS Fund-Raiser Supports Harvey Weinstein Production"

NYT:

In May 2015, the entertainment producer Harvey Weinstein arranged for two items to be auctioned off at a fund-raiser for amfAR, a New York-based charity that works to cure AIDS.

The offers — a sitting with a famous fashion photographer and a package of tickets to a Hollywood film awards event and parties — came with a condition: $600,000 of the money raised at the auction, in Cannes, France, would go to the American Repertory Theater, a nonprofit playhouse that had done a trial run of “Finding Neverland,” a Broadway musical that Mr. Weinstein produced.

...

Mr. Weinstein, who is a longtime supporter of the AIDS organization and was a chairman of the 2015 event, said that he had done nothing wrong and that everyone benefited from the arrangement, which raised $309,669 for amfAR. “I honestly thought we were doing something fantastic for both sides,” he said in an interview. “We get money, they get money, and it’s all our money.”

"Fog Monster" Mini Fog Machine For Tabletop Games





From a completed kickstarter by Real Game FX:

The first machine is the "Fog Monster" which uses a pipe system to deliver the fog into your game. This design allows you to hide the pipe behind your existing terrain pieces so that the fog enters like it is part of the natural environment.

The second Fog Machine is the The "Dark Crypt" Fog Machine. The Dark Crypt is meant to be placed in the game terrain and produces fog that exits through the doors and windows.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wooden Iron Giant by Amanda Visell



Available.

"WWE has dealt with racism before, but a scripted rant has fans chanting ‘that’s too far!’"

WP:

“That’s racist,” spectators could be heard shouting as Mahal delivered the lines. Later in Mahal’s five-minute spiel, fans collaborated to chant, “That’s too far!”

...

This problem is hardly unique to WWE, but it happens around the world and sometimes even more shockingly. In 2009, for example, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Japan’s version of WWE, used Nazi imagery on some of its promotional material.
Don't miss the correction at the end of the article.

"KB Home CEO . . . sees his bonus cut [25%] after vulgar rant at Kathy Griffin"

"One of the nation's biggest homebuilders is putting its top executive on notice after a vulgar rant against comedian Kathy Griffin was caught on tape and went viral."

Relatedly.

Jumanji poster

"The California Coastal Commission plans to issue a cease-and-desist order to Silicon Valley billionaire Vinod Khosla, who has refused to provide public access to Martins Beach south of Half Moon Bay despite a state appeals court’s ruling in August that he had no right to block access through his property"

"'We were surprised and disappointed they didn’t respond to the court decision by opening the gates to Martins Beach'"

Mythos Obi-Wan Kenobi figure available for preorder



At the BBTS.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ebon Hawk in Star Wars Adventures?



Rey faces a group of thugs with good taste in spaceships in Star Wars Adventures #2.

"exporting Foxconn’s Chinese strategy is virtually impossible"

NYT:

Before the Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn pledged to spend $10 billion and create 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin, the company made a similar promise in Brazil.

At a news conference in Brazil, Foxconn officials unveiled plans to invest billions of dollars and build one of the world’s biggest manufacturing hubs in the state of São Paulo. The government had high expectations that the project would yield 100,000 jobs.

Six years later . . . “The area where Foxconn said it would build a plant is totally abandoned,”

...

What makes Foxconn’s Chinese operations really hum are the extraordinary level of government subsidies and support, and the sheer scale of those operations

"Resist" pin by Jen Bartel



For a Kickstarter.

"'We're looking at four to six months without electricity' in Puerto Rico"

"Hurricane Maria is likely to have 'destroyed' Puerto Rico, the island's emergency director said Wednesday after the monster storm smashed ripped roofs off buildings and flooded homes across the economically strained U.S. territory."

New York Chick-fil-A will have "elements built into the façade that give a subtle impression of the Twin Towers"

"our guests will always have the same views of Freedom Tower."

"L.A. city attorney targets hard-partying homes in Hollywood Hills"

LAT:

It’s a common occurrence in the affluent Hollywood Hills: Homeowners and property managers rent out their homes to short-term guests who throw raucous events flowing with booze, loud music and hundreds of attendees.

...

In a pair of criminal complaints filed Tuesday, City Atty. Mike Feuer has charged the owner of a single-family home in the 7800 block of Electra Drive and the property manager of a home in the 2600 block of La Cuesta Drive with multiple misdemeanors related to maintaining a public nuisance.

...

the property manager of the La Cuesta Drive estate . . . said neighbors were too sensitive.

“It’s like if anyone talks in the pool area or sneezes, complaints are filed that have no validity,”

Jordan "Peele is set to exec produce drama The Hunt, a 1970s-set Nazi hunter drama"

"Inspired by true events, The Hunt follows a diverse band of Nazi Hunters in 1970s America as they set out on a quest for revenge and justice — tracking and killing hundreds of Nazis who, with the unconscionable help of the U.S. government, escaped justice and embedded themselves in American society."

Bloodborne and Jet Set Radio figures available for preorder



Jet Set Radio and Bloodborne.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

DC Designer Series Batman Statue (Mike Mignola) available for preorder



At the BBTS.

A bunch of older Batman family statues are 33%-50% off including designs based on artwork by Darwyn Cooke, Babs Tarr, Paul Dini, Bryan Hitch, and Simon Bisley.

"Five Wheaton College football players face felony charges after being accused of a 2016 hazing incident in which a freshman teammate was restrained with duct tape, beaten and left half-naked with two torn shoulders on a baseball field"

CT:

The victim, who the Tribune is not naming, left the conservative Christian school shortly after the incident

...

At one point, the players suggested to the freshman that he had been kidnapped by Muslims who wanted to fornicate with goats, the teen told investigators. They patted his foot and suggested he would be their "goat" for the evening

...

The criminal charges add another troubling incident for Wheaton College's football team, which consistently is ranked among the top Division III programs in the country

...

The team made national headlines nearly three years ago after players dressed up in Ku Klux Klan robes as part of so-called team-building activity

"Veterans are about 20 percent more likely than nonveterans to kill themselves, according to a Veterans Affairs press release issued on Friday afternoon"

"Also, the suicide rate for female veterans is 250 percent that for female non-vets."

"Ransomware attack on Montgomery County [Alabama] government computers continues"

WSFA:

The commission said the probate office is currently unable to offer any services regarding vehicle tags and registration, as well as business and marriage licenses. The county's revenue and district attorney offices are also impacted by the attack.

Ialacci believes the sheriff's office's computers will be much more operational by Wednesday

"45 Magnum, P.I. cosplayers ejected from Comerica Park"

"They were there for a bachelor party"

"South Korea’s flagship research ship Isabu seems to have sailed into a controversy with the Japanese government over its name"

Nature:

The Japanese government has issued no formal protest over the ship’s name, but four scientists in South Korea and Japan have told Nature that researchers at Japan’s national marine-research agency have been instructed not to participate in any collaborations or cruises involving Isabu.

...

The ship’s name refers to a sixth-century Korean general, Kim Isabu. In South Korea, he is known for his maritime conquests, which in some historical accounts included two islets that are the subject of a decades-long territorial dispute between South Korea and Japan

"College President Hosts Black Students With Cotton Centerpieces, Collard Greens"

"What transpired will hopefully be a teachable moment for university leaders moving forward."

So I attend Lipscomb university and as most of you know that is a predominately white school. Tonight AFRICAN AMERICAN students were invited to have dinner with the president of the school. As we arrived to the president's home and proceeded to go in we seen cotton as the center pieces. We also stood and ate dinner, there were no seats to sit in and it felt very uncomfortable. We were very offended, and also the meals that were provided resembled many "black meals" they had mac n cheese, collard greens, corn bread etc. The night before Latinos also had dinner at his house and they had tacos. They also DIDN'T have the center piece that we HAD tonight. A couple of minutes went by, the president was coming around and asking for our names and what our major was. He finally got to our table and my friend @kay_cyann asked why there was cotton on the table as the center piece. His response was that he didn't know, he seen it before we did, he kind of thought it was " fallish", THEN he said " it ISNT INHERENTLY BAD IF WERE ALL WEARING IT " then walked off. Later on all of us that were there were invited into the home, and we had the impression that we were coming to speak about how us as Black people feel about Lipscomb. The whole entire time we were in their home they only talked about themselves( how they met, got married and ended up at lipscomb) & the ONLY question that we were asked was our transformation coming to lipscomb. A couple of women answered the question but they sugar coated it. They said any other questions that we may have can be emailed to the advocate for the Latinos and that a second meeting may be held. Also we don't have an advocate on campus, the only African American advocate we had, no longer works here. The only advocate available to us is the advocate for the Latinos. They claim to have funding for minorities, BUT you have to live up to the expectations of a typical Black family to even get the 1000$.There is NO FUNDING for just us black students. #share
A post shared by Nakayla🦋🌻🥀 (@nakaylayvonne) on

"Brazilian judge approves 'gay conversion therapy', sparking national outrage"

TG:

Waldemar de Carvalho, a federal judge in the capital of Brasília, overruled a 1999 decision by the Federal Council of Psychology that forbade psychologists from offering widely discredited treatments which claims to “cure” gay people.

...

Brazil has a growing population of evangelical Christians who have protested vociferously

Monday, September 18, 2017

"A biotech startup called Orig3n and the Baltimore Ravens abruptly canceled their plans to give away a free DNA test to 55,000 football fans at Sunday’s game"

BF:

The Maryland Department of Health confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it was “in communications with Orig3n,” but declined to elaborate.

The test makes dubious claims about how four genes influence health and wellness traits, such as how your skin will age, whether you learn words quickly, and your athletic prowess. Interested fans would have dabbed the inside of their cheeks with a cotton-swab kit and dropped it off in bins around the stadium.

The company still hopes to do the promotion (“DNA Day”) at a future game. But several bioethicists and genetic experts told BuzzFeed News that the idea was troubling. Not only are Orig3n’s scientific claims suspect, they said, but giving them out so casually, and without proper consent protocols, could unknowingly compromise customers’ privacy. The company, meanwhile, stands to gain droves of new customers and add valuable genetic data to its proprietary databases.

Marvel and Disney Tsum Tsum Advent Calendars



Marvel and Disney sets in stock.

Tabletop gaming buildings overgrown with trees



Step by step process here.

Jumanji teaser

A post shared by therock (@therock) on

Deluxe Space Godzilla & Godzilla Junior two-figure set available for preorder



At the BBTS.

Huge discounts on Marvel collections at Amazon

Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 3: The Shu-Torun War is $1.80

Star Wars: Lando is $1.80.

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme is $2.20

E Is For Extinction: Warzones! is $1.80

Inferno: Warzones! is $1.80

Gwenpool collections are $1.80-$3

Star-Lord: Grounded is $3.20

"The era of the Navy's much-reviled blue digital camouflage work uniform is rapidly drawing to a close"

"The uniform, first introduced in 2009, became the butt of many jokes, earning the nickname 'aquaflage,' as it would camouflage a sailor only if he or she fell overboard underway."

"Kevin Durant Trashes Former Coach, Teammates On Twitter"

"Either Durant was feeling particularly feisty and wanted to tweet at a hater in the third person, or . . . he was attempting to use a spoof account to defend his honor and forgot to log out of his main account before tweeting."

"The company that owns WJAR-TV is mandating the broadcast of multiple programs favorable to President Donald Trump on the state’s most-watched television station"

PJ:

Sinclair is poised to become the nation’s largest owner of TV stations

...

Three of the segments have rattled viewers and WJAR’s own news reporters [including] The Terrorism Alert Desk

"Snapchat Removes Al Jazeera Channel in Saudi Arabia" at government's request

"Snap, trying to expand its popularity as a destination for news articles and videos, is encountering a new challenge in the form of potential government censorship of that news."

Obama "continues to be an influential voice in a party torn between celebrating and vilifying corporate power"

BB:

Last month, just before her book “What Happened” was published, Barack Obama spoke in New York to clients of Northern Trust Corp. for about $400,000, a person familiar with his appearance said. Last week, he reminisced about the White House for Carlyle Group LP, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, according to two people who were there. Next week, he’ll give a keynote speech at investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s health-care conference.

...

“Not everyone’s going to be a Jimmy Carter, who does purely good works after he gets out,”

Get Out Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD in $9.99 right now

At Amazon.

Mark Zuckerberg "even asked the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, whether Mr. Xi might offer a Chinese name for his soon-to-be-born first child"

"China, which blocked Facebook in 2009, has resisted Mr. Zuckerberg’s efforts to get the social network back into the country."

Relatedly, posted at Instagram today:

A post shared by Mark Zuckerberg (@zuck) on

Hot Toys BB-8 and evil BB-8 available for preorder



Significantly cheaper if ordered as a set, and set comes with mouse droid.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Shaun of the Dead custom vinyl toy



By Geoff Trapp for a show at Gallery 1988.

"The Secret History of Dune"

LARB:

Herbert also lifted two of Dune’s most memorable lines directly from Blanch. While describing the Caucasians’ fondness for swordplay, Blanch writes, “To kill with the point lacked artistry.” In Dune, this becomes “[k]illing with the tip lacks artistry,” advice given to a young Paul Atreides by a loquacious weapons instructor. A Caucasian proverb recorded by Blanch transforms into a common desert aphorism. “Polish comes from the city, wisdom from the hills,” an apt saying for a mountain people, becomes “Polish comes from the cities, wisdom from the desert” in Dune.

Dune’s narrative, however, owes more to The Sabres of Paradise than just terminology and customs. The story of a fiercely independent, religiously inspired people resisting an outside power is certainly not unique to the Caucasus, but Blanch’s influence can be found here, too. The name of Herbert’s major villain, Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, is redolent of Russian imperialism. Meanwhile, Imam Shamyl, the charismatic leader of Islamic resistance in the Caucasus, describes the Russian Czar as “Padishah” and his provincial governor as “Siridar,” titles that Herbert would later borrow for Dune’s galactic emperor and his military underlings.

...

Why is Blanch’s influence on Dune worth recognizing? Celebrating Blanch is not a means to discredit Herbert, whose imaginative novel transcends the sum of its influences. But Dune remains massively popular while The Sabres of Paradise languishes in relative obscurity, and renewed public interest in Blanch’s forgotten history would be a welcome development.

...

For Blanch, it occupies an entire chapter — a magnificent account of the trade of three Georgian princesses, kidnapped in a daring Muslim raid, for Shamyl’s firstborn son, captured as a boy and raised to manhood in the court of the The Great White Czar.

"Kevin Hart posts emotional video apologizing to wife and kids following alleged extortion attempt"

"This is the third time in two months that the comedian has taken to social media to clear up cheating rumors."

"How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food"

NYT:

As their growth slows in the wealthiest countries, multinational food companies like Nestlé, PepsiCo and General Mills have been aggressively expanding their presence in developing nations, unleashing a marketing juggernaut that is upending traditional diets from Brazil to Ghana to India.

...

In 2010, a coalition of Brazilian food and beverage companies torpedoed a raft of measures that sought to limit junk food ads aimed at children. The latest challenge has come from the country’s president, Michel Temer, a business-friendly centrist whose conservative allies in Congress are now seeking to chip away at the handful of regulations and laws intended to encourage healthy eating.

...

The company’s door-to-door program fulfills a concept that Nestlé articulated in its 1976 annual shareholder report, which noted that “integration with the host country is a basic aim of our company.”

...

Until recently, Nestlé sponsored a river barge that delivered tens of thousands of cartons of milk powder, yogurt, chocolate pudding, cookies and candy to isolated communities in the Amazon basin.

"Kazakhstan’s planned transition to the Latin alphabet raises complex questions"

EN:

My late father used to talk about how Kazan Tatars became illiterate twice in one generation, first as the Arabic script was abandoned in favor of the Yangälif, and then again when that “new alphabet” was abandoned in favor of Cyrillic. Individual Cyrillic alphabets were introduced for Soviet Turkic languages in the 1930s; Kazakh adopted the Cyrillic alphabet only in 1940.

There are inescapable social costs to this change, such as the older generation potentially becoming illiterate, or at least disadvantaged. Then there is the cultural cost, such as the younger generation potentially becoming cut off from its past — for the second or third time! Turkey experienced this shock beginning in 1928, and it still has not gotten over it completely. Although Turkey undertook this as a kind of “shock therapy,” Kazakhstan has chosen a gradual path by choosing the final form of the alphabet by the end of 2017, training educators in the new alphabet, and then finally completing the switch to the Latin alphabet by 2025.

"In my 27 years at these two safety-net hospitals, not one of my patients received an organ or bone marrow transplant"

"Yet the organs that fed the transplant centers across the region came from the dying patients in these hospitals. Our patients — the poorest of the poor — gave, but they never received."

Saturday, September 16, 2017

New York bodega owner is a popular commentator on Egyptian television news programs

NYT:

Mr. El-Gamasy owns the Lotus Deli in Ridgewood, Queens, a place known for its sandwiches, extensive craft beer selection, and its gracious, friendly owner. But few of his customers — and likely, none of his viewers in Egypt — know that the man making egg sandwiches and small talk behind the counter is the same one who appears on popular Egyptian television news programs, holding forth on subjects from immigration policy to North Korea.

Nor do many know that his television studio is actually a washroom in the back, past the potato chips display.

...

Mr. El-Gamasy’s improbable broadcast career began last year, not long after he wrote an opinion piece for an Egyptian news organization predicting Donald J. Trump’s victory in November

'Narcos' Location Manager Shot and Killed in Mexico"

HR:

The motive of the shooting is unclear. Munoz reportedly was scouting solo and he was working in an area prone to murders.

Munoz was an experienced location manager who had worked on numerous Hollywood productions in Mexico, including Tony Scott's Man on Fire, Mel Gibson's Apocalypto and the latest Bond film Spectre.

A better look at Joe King's Chargers and Rams designs for Nike

A post shared by Joe King (@joekingart) on


A post shared by Joe King (@joekingart) on


A post shared by Joe King (@joekingart) on

"Photographer Settles ‘Monkey Selfie’ Copyright Lawsuit"

PP:

PETA has dropped the lawsuit against Slater after Slater agreed to donate 25% of all future profits from the photo to registered charities “dedicated to protecting the welfare or habitat” of the monkey named Naruto

...

Despite these setbacks, PETA pushed forward with its legal battle against Slater, who revealed earlier this year that the lawsuit had driven him to financial ruin.

"the Lagos [Nigeria] megachurches building their very own cities"

TG:

The Redeemed Christian Church of God’s international headquarters in Ogun state has been transformed from a mere megachurch to an entire neighbourhood, with departments anticipating its members’ every practical as well as spiritual need.

A 25-megawatt power plant with gas piped in from the Nigerian capital serves the 5,000 private homes on site, 500 of them built by the church’s construction company. New housing estates are springing up every few months where thick palm forests grew just a few years ago. Education is provided, from creche to university level. The Redemption Camp health centre has an emergency unit and a maternity ward.

On Holiness Avenue, a branch of Tantaliser’s fast food chain does a brisk trade. There is an on-site post office, a supermarket, a dozen banks, furniture makers and mechanics’ workshops. An aerodrome and a polytechnic are in the works.

And in case the children get bored, there is a funfair with a ferris wheel.

"Q&A with [Equifax CEO] Rick Smith, 2017 Most Admired CEO"

"You’ve been named one of Atlanta’s Most Admired CEOs of 2017. Please share your thoughts about what other CEOs can do to win such great admiration from their stakeholders."

"How the Ilitches used 'dereliction by design' to get their new Detroit arena"

MT:

Starting in the late 1990s, Ilitch developed and executed a 15-year plan that critics call "dereliction by design," in which he quietly bought around 70 properties and left them to rot. That drove down land value and created a redevelopment dead zone that Detroit quickly regenerated around, thus allowing Ilitch to buy up more property for cheap.

But — most importantly — it also helped him convince lawmakers that the Corridor wouldn't redevelop without the public pitching in over $300 million to fund his plan.

While stadium deals promising questionable returns are common, it's rare to find a franchise that deliberately knocks life out of a neighborhood, then asks residents to help pay to revive it.

Yet in 2012, a weakened Detroit government agreed to do just that.

"Youngstown State University football player Ma’lik Richmond, convicted of raping a teen in a highly publicized case in Steubenville, is eligible to play in the Penguins game on Saturday, a judge ruled"

TI:

Richmond, 21, of Steubenville filed a federal lawsuit against the university Wednesday after the school allowed him to join the team and then told him he could not play after a female student circulated a petition asking he be kept off the team.

The lawsuit asked that Richmond be reinstated to the team’s active roster along with attorney fees and an unspecified amount of damages.

U.S. District Court Judge Benita Pearson issued the temporary order after a lengthy court hearing Thursday evening. Another hearing is set for Sept. 28, when Richmond’s permanent status on the team could be determined.

Iceland's "Government falls in shocking scandal involving one of Iceland's most notorious child abuse cases"

IM:

The reason Bright Future has withdrawn its support for the government is that yesterday the public learned that the father of the Prime Minister, Benedikt Sveinsson, one of the wealthiest men in Iceland, had written a letter on behalf of Hjalti Sigurjón Hauksson, the most notorious child molesters to be sentenced in Icelandic court, asking for his full pardon and that his criminal record to be expunged and "honor restored".

...

The case of two of Iceland's most notorious child molesters who received a full pardon this summer has rattled Icelandic society. The Icelandic public and media have spent much of summer discussing the two cases and the horrifying world of violence and abuse they revealed.

Public suspects a cover-up

One of the two men, who has changed his named to Róbert Downey, had been a prominent attorney before he was sentenced. He had systematically groomed dozens of young girls in difficult social circumstances whom he had singled out as potential victims. The family of one of his victims launched a campaign to answer why this man had been granted a full pardon. This campaign then drew public attention to the pardoning of a second child molester. One of their demands was that it would be revealed who had written letters on behalf of Róbert Downey.

The unwillingness of the government and the Minister of the Interior, as well as the majority of the Judiciary committee of Parliament to support these calls or just take them seriously, was interpreted by many as proof of a cover-up. Not least because the actions and statements of the parliamentary leaders of the Conservative party after the case became front page news alternated between fumbling and arrogance.

A second cover-up

Mass Effect Andromeda is $15.97 at Amazon

PC version.

"Once prized as pets, abandoned Tibetan mastiffs are now wreaking havoc in rural Tibet"

SI:

Previously, this majestic breed was kept by wealthy families as a trendy, rather pricey pet and status symbol -- one dog could even be sold for as much as a million yuan. But, recently, interest in the breed has declined dramatically, leading to the abandonment of a significant portion of the country's overbred mastiff population.

...

This continues to cause problems in the region today, besides the insane amount of dog feces on the street and the diseases that these animals carry, free-roaming Tibetan mastiffs have proved to be a danger to livestock and even people. Last November, an 8-year-old girl died after she was mauled by a stray in Qinghai. There are regular reports of mastiffs chasing people in packs and even small towns are known to have a population of at least 500 stray dogs.

"The sharp decline in the price is one reason behind the rise in homeless Tibetan dogs, and the other is their strong fertility.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Disney Afternoon Mystery Minis available for preorder

Ducktales, Darkwing Duck etc.

"Why boys were required to swim nude" in Chicago public schools

WBEZ:

Another consideration was money. In 1961, the Menasha, Wisconsin school board successfully blocked a parental challenge to the nude rule by claiming it would cost up to $3,000 to buy suits for the boys. CPS would have had to fork over even more money to buy suits for all its male freshmen.

In addition to sanitation and cleanliness, the Menasha officials further defended the practice by saying it “promoted … time saving and the development of good physical education attitudes.”

"Emily Pizza Embroiled in Blogger Spat"

NYE:

The husband-and-wife team behind popular pizzerias Emily and Emmy Squared, Matt and Emily Hyland, called for a boycott of a local hotel that is working with a blogger who they say dined and dashed at Emily.

...


The couple has had a tiff with the blogger that stretches back to 2014, when they accused her of having dinner at Emily and then walking out on the bill. Earlier this week, [the blogger] started leaving nasty comments on Emmy Squared Instagram posts in retaliation like “God she is fucking ugly and . . . “How many investors did you scam you ugly bitch?,”

"ESPN tried to kick Jemele Hill off the air and replace her with another black host"

TP:

ESPN originally tried to keep Hill off the air on Wednesday evening, but Smith refused to do the show without her, the sources said. Both sources also said that producers reached out to two other black ESPN hosts, Michael Eaves and Elle Duncan, to ask them to serve as fill-ins for the show — but Eaves and Duncan did not agree to take the place of Hill and Smith, either.

...

ESPN refutes this account.

"The FTC has taken a big step in cracking down on celebrities doing shady Instagram ads by sending a new set of warning letters to 21 celebrities that require them to respond"

BF:

Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, brought these celebrities’ undisclosed ads to the FTC’s attention months ago, and has been monitoring these celebs since they received the letters back in March. Earlier this summer, they sent a letter to the FTC asking them to take further action, since they saw that many of celebs who received educational letters hadn’t clean up their act at all. Now, they are hoping the FTC will press even harder.

"Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’"

PP:

Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’”

To test if these ad categories were real, we paid $30 to target those groups with three “promoted posts” — in which a ProPublica article or post was displayed in their news feeds. Facebook approved all three ads within 15 minutes.

After we contacted Facebook, it removed the anti-Semitic categories

...

In all likelihood, the ad categories that we spotted were automatically generated because people had listed those anti-Semitic themes on their Facebook profiles as an interest, an employer or a “field of study.” Facebook’s algorithm automatically transforms people’s declared interests into advertising categories.

Weapon X and Old Man Logan covers



By Razzah.

Two Cleveland Indians pitchers are creating likenesses of each of their teammates out of baseballs

SI:

They are Indians pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer and, to fill the downtime with which every starter contends over the course of a long season, they launched a project. Their aim is to create a likeness of each of their teammates. Their medium is, of course, baseballs.

The 26-year-old Bauer contributes ideas and fine facial features, and Carrasco, who is 30, generally handles the rest. Each doll takes two or three days, from conception to final product.

...

The pitchers strive to represent the characteristics that make each of the Indians unique. Brandon Guyer’s doll has tiny baseballs affixed to his face, as the plate-crowding outfielder was the league’s hit-by-pitch leader in 2015 and '16. Staff ace Corey Kluber’s has red Terminator eyes in honor of his nickname, Klubot. Bauer has a patchy chin beard and a drone, fashioned from tongue depressors and thumb tacks, attached to his cap, memorializing the hobby that led him to famously cut his finger during last year’s World Series.

"Mystery of sonic weapon attacks at US embassy in Cuba deepens"

TG:

Suspicion initially focused on a sonic weapon, and on the Cubans. Yet the diagnosis of mild brain injury, considered unlikely to result from sound, has confounded the FBI, the state department and US intelligence agencies involved in the investigation.

Some victims now have problems concentrating or recalling specific words, several officials said, the latest signs of more serious damage than the US government initially realized. The United States first acknowledged the attacks in August – nine months after symptoms were first reported.

"His Majesty's Dragon: A Novel of Temeraire" is very good

Uprooted by Naomi Novik was terrific, so I read His Majesty's Dragon. It's great, too, and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"Ford disguised a man as a car seat to research self-driving"

"To evaluate how passers-by, other drivers on the road and cyclists reacted to sharing the road with an autonomous vehicle."

New Borderlands toys, including two different Zer0 figures

Available for preorder at the BBTS.

After Alice: A Novel is $1.99 at Amazon

A take on Alice in Wonderland by the author of Wicked.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"When cars drive over the bumps, drivers can hear and feel the opening beats to the [Texas A&M fight song] 'Hullabaloo Caneck Caneck'"

"To best hear the rhythm trucks should drive in the right lane and cars in the left."

"Wife Stole Identity to Start New Life as Cruise Ship Captain After Husband’s Murder"

TDB:

Since 1994, Knox had lived as Christina White, or “Captain Christina” to the revelers on her Houston-area luxury yachts. But her reign aboard the Royal Princess party ship would end soon after she applied to renew her license with the U.S. Coast Guard.

When federal prosecutors announced her arrest in March 2016, one retired detective and the family of her first husband, Harold “Skeeter” Lyerla, saw a glimmer of hope.

They believe Knox and John Litchfield—her second husband and yacht business partner—are connected to Lyerla’s fatal stabbing in 1988.

Apple's wall of masks

Southern Cross Alien Artifact Pin by Becky Cloonan



$10.

Chip Zdarsky's how to draw Ghost Rider cover

"Firewatch is getting review-bombed on Steam"

"I poked at the most recent 50 negative user reviews and 43 of them show zero hours played in the past two weeks; of those that do have recent time on the clock, five of them are for less than an hour."

Monday, September 11, 2017

"Compared to 20 years ago, many of the most transit accessible neighborhoods in Los Angeles are significantly more expensive, and home to more affluent demographics than they once were"

"Metro’s declining ridership, explained. Ridership is down nearly 20 percent since 2013."

Johnny Hekker of the Rams is the punter to watch



"First look: Apple TV 4K Default Screensaver"



Joe King's alternate Rams and Chargers logos





A post shared by Joe King (@joekingart) on

Picked up from my wishlist, Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel is $1.99 today

At Amazon. Customer reviews like this:

I do not remembering buying this book. It appeared on my coffee table one morning smelling of rotting meat and ash.

Someone keeps leaving pages from it under my pillow while I sleep. Every morning a new one.

They are not in order.

"Rohingya crisis: Seeing through the official story in Myanmar"

BBC:

The government's purpose in bringing us was to balance the overwhelmingly negative narrative coming from the Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh, who have almost all spoken of a deliberate campaign of destruction by the Myanmar military and Rakhine mobs, and appalling human rights abuses.

...

We were then taken to a Buddhist temple, where a monk described Muslims burning down their own homes, nearby. We were given photographs catching them in the act. They looked strange.

Men in white haji caps posed as they set light to the palm-thatch roof. Women wearing what appeared to be lacy tablecloths on their heads melodramatically waved swords and machetes. Later I found that one of the women was in fact the animated Hindu woman from the school, and I saw that one of the men had also been present in among the displaced Hindu.

They had faked the photos to make it look as though Muslims were doing the burning.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

"Amazon has filed arbitration demands against several book authors, publishers and marketers, alleging that they abused the Kindle Direct Publishing system to artificially inflate their profits and sales rankings"

"One of the demands, for example, alleges that a man from the Philippines offered a service to authors to boost the number of pages read in their books using hundreds of fake Amazon customer accounts, in exchange for a 40 percent cut of their profits."

"Gator Park Preps 2,000 Alligators For Irma, Promises None Will Escape"

HP:

“This isn’t our first rodeo,” park director Mike Hileman told HuffPost on Saturday as his employees prepared to close the 110-acre theme park, located roughly 13 miles outside of Walt Disney World.

“We have a detailed hurricane procedure in place,” he assured. “We have double fences, a large perimeter fence that goes around the entire property.”

Miyazaki tribute print

"President Trump's campaign released a video this week touting a metalworking apprenticeship program that works to produce commemorative medallions featuring the president"

TH:

The White House released Trump's remarks on the executive order and apprenticeship programs, saying it would be "removing federal restrictions that have prevented many different industries from creating apprenticeship programs."
...

The Trump campaign's official online merchandise store began selling the bronze medallions this week for $45.

Scenes from the completed Defenders event in Avengers Academy

Madame Gao was the main villain:



Unlockable heroes included Claire, Jessica Jones, and Foggy:



Special costumes were available for Hulk and Misty: