Saturday, March 24, 2018

Art roundup

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Predicting Infinity War

The opening moments of Netflix's new documentary about Oregon in 1981 feels like a remake of V

GQ says, "Wild Wild Country Is the Sex Cult Documentary You Didn't Know Netflix Needed"

Friday, March 23, 2018

"In Menlo Park, Calif., Facebook is building a real community and testing the proposition: Do people love tech companies so much they will live inside them?"


In the textile town of Lowell, Mass., in 1846, the mill clock slowed down to lengthen shifts and then sped up at night when the workers were off, according to one contemporary reformer. U.S. Steel built Gary, Ind., but took little responsibility for its employees, many of whom lived in substandard housing in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

There were more benign examples too. Milton Hershey began building a chocolate factory in the middle of Pennsylvania in 1903 and then surrounded it with a community where, he pledged, there would be “no poverty, no nuisances, no evil.” In return for surrendering certain rights — like local elections and privacy — workers in the town of Hershey got medical coverage, a free junior college, parks and a zoo.

New Carrie Kelly comic

By Frank Miller and Ben Caldwell.

"I trained a neural network to generate new Dungeons and Dragons creatures"

"How a Location Scout Spends 3 Days Touring L.A."


Following Carr’s lead, we’ve put together a three-day itinerary featuring some of Los Angeles’s most iconic shooting locations. While some are well-known pilgrimage sites for film buffs, others are inconspicuous reminders that, like the most skilled of actors, Los Angeles can take on any role.

"The superintendent of a Pennsylvania school district has . . . equipped his classrooms with 5-gallon buckets of river rocks for students to throw at an armed intruder"

"The schools call these buckets of rocks 'go buckets.'"

Deluxe MaFex John Wick figure available for preorder

Multiple heads and weapons.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"We’re at Mars, an exclusive three-day conference at a midcentury-modern hotel here in the California desert run by Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, for some of the world’s most successful geeks"


For its first two years, Mars was largely secret; the most prominent image that leaked was a photo of Mr. Bezos piloting a 13-foot robot last year. This year, Amazon lifted the veil and invited a handful of reporters into Mr. Bezos’s brainiac pow-wow.


For Mars, Amazon and Mr. Bezos handpick the roughly 200 attendees


In the afternoon, we had a choice of activities, from falconry to Navy Seal training to sausage making.


Eighteen of us, including me, flew aerobatic planes.

"The Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last month will require students to carry only clear backpacks"

"Students also will be issued identification badges, which they will be required to wear at all times while in school."

"One Northwestern University professor . . . has worked with Gatorade to create a Band-Aid-like flexible patch that he said can will let you know you’re dehydrated by simply looking at it"


As the wearer begins to sweat, perspiration flows through microfluidic channels within the patch’s reservoirs, passing through food-coloring dye and indicating the levels of chloride within the sweat.

Users can then examine the patch to monitor both the level of dehydration and the concentration of chloride within the sweat. (Chloride levels are good indicators of total electrolyte loss, Rogers said.)

Athletes can even snap a picture with their smartphone to receive more detailed analysis.

Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries is really good

All Systems Red by Martha Wells is great--after reading an advanced copy, I bought another copy for myself. The sequel, Artificial Condition, is also terrific. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Updated FAQ by Max Temkin ‏

"I will make time to do almost any podcast"

"A massive government spending bill that Congress is expected to consider this week could include a provision exempting Minor League Baseball players from federal labor laws"


The exemption would represent the culmination of more than two years of lobbying by Major League Baseball, which has sought to preempt a spate of lawsuits that have been filed by minor leaguers alleging they have been illegally underpaid.


“We’re not saying that it shouldn’t go up,” he said. “We’re just saying that the formula of minimum wage and overtime is so incalculable. I would hate to think that a prospect is told, ‘You got to go home because you’re out of hours, you can’t have any extra batting practice.’

Meltdown Comics of Los Angeles to close March 30

"Anyone who spent time at Meltdown Comics could tell that it wasn’t your typical comic book shop."

Related, Marvel is selling new comics collections for 99 cents each:

Iron Fist Volume 2

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Clone Wars Vol. 2 (424 pages)

Spider-Men II

"The Tale Of Theranos And The Mysterious Fire Alarm"


As I was interviewing them — but before we knew which test they could get — a sudden and jolting BEEP BEEP BEEP reverberated through the drugstore. “Fire alarm!” someone called out, and we evacuated to the street.

I’d never been in a drugstore when the fire alarm went off. There was no smoke and no fire.

Trailer for Under the Silver Lake (from the director of It Follows)

Trailer for Afterparty (from the makers of Oxenfree)


In afterparty, you are Milo and Lola, recently deceased best buds who suddenly find themselves staring down an eternity in hell. But there’s a loophole: outdrink satan and he’ll grant you re-entry to earth.

What adventures will you stumble through in the underworld? Every step is up to you. Time to go on the best bender ever, uncover the mystery of why you’ve been damned, and drink the big guy under the table.

"Latham & Watkins LLP, the country’s highest-grossing law firm, said Tuesday that its chairman, William Voge, is relinquishing his position and retiring from the firm after engaging in sexual communications"

"last year exceeded $3 billion in global revenue, the first firm to do so"

"Based on Law360’s work reviewing dozens of documents, Voge’s undoing began when he approached a woman online to 'help her engage in 'Christian reconciliation' with a member of the New Canaan Society.'"

"Actress and activist, Lindsay Lohan, has teamed up with to help consumers access quality legal services"

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was taken into custody Tuesday in connection with allegations that he received millions of euros in illegal campaign financing from the regime of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi"

"the case . . . involves funding for his winning 2007 presidential campaign."

"Congress is about to get its first woman from Mississippi"


Republican Gov. Phil Bryant will appoint state Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to the Senate on Wednesday, where she’ll fill the seat vacated by Republican Sen. Thad Cochran


Mississippi is the only state, other than Vermont, to have never elected a woman to serve in the federal legislature

Season tickets for Memphis basketball are down approximately 4,000, and "and Memphis is on pace to lose approximately $4.7 million over the last year"

Penny Hardaway was named coach.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Annihilation (2018)

"Chaos broke out on Sunday night when a contentious winner-takes-all game of HQ Trivia abruptly ended with no winner after the would-be champion was hit with allegations of cheating"


Members of the community live collaborate on games, work together as teams, sell and swap extra lives, and trade tips and tricks—anything to gain a leg up on average players.


The real action happens over voice chat, a member of the private Discord group explained. The voice chat acts as a real-time conference call between top trivia hackers and lets them to ferret out correct answers more quickly.

DC councilmember "has apologized for saying Jewish people control the weather"

"'That's a model based off the Rothschilds, controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.'"

"A French consulate worker has been arrested on accusations of using an official car to smuggle dozens of guns from the Gaza Strip to the occupied West Bank"

"The consulate employee transferred arms on five occasions, during which he transferred some 70 pistols and two automatic rifles."

Destiny Ghosts vinyl figures available for preorder

Kill Tracker and Generalist available.

"Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Arizona Pedestrian in First Apparent Such Fatality"

"The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety driver at the wheel"


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Art roundup

"One of these watermelons has been poisoned"

Bad Hiding Place

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Blessed by the algorithm


Friday, March 16, 2018

Thin Mints cereal

Excellent, and available at a markup at Amazon if you can't find it in a store.

"When Russian Officials ‘Nightmare’ Your Business, You Can Lose Everything"

(From January) "One spent a year in prison accused of stealing the intellectual property of leopards by using their skin pattern in the furniture upholstery he made"

$13 slice of pizza

Murder Sleeves

Minneapolis City SC.

Good poems

How tied soccer games should be settled


Thursday, March 15, 2018

"one of the incidents involved the doorbell of the Indian deputy High Commissioner J P Singh being rung at 3 am"

"Since the Indian side felt that this was done by Pakistan’s security agencies, the Pakistan deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah’s door bell was also rung at 3 am in next few days."

"Toys R Us accounted for 15 to 20 percent of U.S. toy sales last year"


not all of that will shift to other retailers when the retailer is gone. Instead, about 10 to 15 percent of this volume [may] fall through the cracks and be lost for good.

Annihilation stills

New Jaws-inspired tees at Last Exit to Nowhere

New Twin Peaks tee, also, and a Blue Harvest (Return of the Jedi) mug.

"If 'kill all humans' is the easiest solution to a problem, then machine learning will do that unless prevented"

"Rihanna condemns Snapchat for ad making light of domestic violence"


so far, the stock has tumbled nearly 5 percent following her Instagram Story.


Snapchat has responded to Rihanna’s Instagram story today, in a statement to The Verge: “This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service. We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process. We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.”

The company notes that it has blocked Would You Rather as an advertiser and that the game was unaffiliated with Snapchat.

"Who owns water? The US landowners putting barbed wire across rivers"


As Scott Carpenter and a few friends paddled down the Pecos river in New Mexico last May, taking advantage of spring run-off, the lead boater yelled out and made a swirling hand motion over his head in the universal signal to pull over to shore. The paddlers eddied out in time to avoid running straight through three strings of barbed wire obstructing the river.

Swinging in the wind, the sign hanging from the fence read “PRIVATE PROPERTY: No Trespassing”.

One member of their party waded into the swift water to lift the wire with a paddle for the others to float under. As they continued downstream, Carpenter, a recreational boater from Albuquerque, looked over his shoulder a see a figure standing outside the big ranch house up the hill. He offered a wave, but received nothing in return.

"ProPublica erred when it reported in 2017 that Gina Haspel was in charge of a secret prison in Thailand during the infamous interrogation of an al-Qaida suspect"


The awkward communications between officials barred from disclosing classified information and reporters trying to reveal secrets in which there is legitimate public interest can sometimes end in miscommunication. In this instance, we failed to understand the message the CIA’s press office was trying to convey in its statement.

"US housing department adviser quits amid questions of fraud and inflated biography"

"Debt collectors said they had been trying to locate him for years."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Marge Simpson as Magneto, Debbie Harry as Spider-Gwen

Debbie Harry tee available here.

"A revered rocket scientist set in motion China’s mass surveillance of its citizens"


Once a professor at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, he had been accused of having communist sympathies in the heat of the Red Scare and placed under virtual house arrest. Upon his release, he and his family set sail for his motherland.

After arriving in China, Qian went on to spearhead the rapid ascent of the country's nuclear weapons program, an achievement that explains some of the adulation. But his legacy is still unfolding in a second area that could have great consequences for China—and for the world. Qian, who died in 2009 at the age of 97, helped lay the groundwork for China's modern surveillance state.

"Netflix To Produce Henry Selick’s [stop-motion] ‘Wendell and Wild’ Starring Key & Peele"

"Argentinean illustrator/caricaturist Pablo Lobato is designing the characters, about which not much is known except that Key and Peele are two scheming demon brothers."

Vintage G.I. Joe vehicles available for preorder

They come with stylized figures.

"How a Ransom for Royal Falconers Reshaped the Middle East"


A week later, the money still impounded, the Qatari team left Baghdad in the same jet that had brought them. They were now accompanied by two dozen Qataris, including members of the ruling Al Thani family, who had been kidnapped during a hunting trip in southern Iraq 16 months earlier. The story of what happened on that trip has not been reported until now. It entails a ransom deal of staggering size and complexity in which the Qataris paid vast sums to terrorists on both sides of the Middle East’s sectarian divide, fueling the region’s spiraling civil wars.

The cost to Qatar wound up far exceeding $360 million, but ultimately cash was less important than the deal’s political dimension. In order to retrieve its hostages, Qatar was made to negotiate a tightly choreographed population exchange in Syria, using the rebel militias it finances to forcibly uproot every resident of four strategically located towns. The transfers advanced Tehran’s larger goal of transforming Syria — along with Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen — into satellite states that will enshrine a dominant Iranian role across the region. The deal was a blow for the Trump administration’s goal of pushing back against Iranian aggression, and for thousands of starving Syrians, it meant being driven into exile by a shadowy agreement, with little say from Syria’s own government. What began as a brazen kidnapping eventually became a measure of the geopolitical forces tearing the Middle East apart, and of their human cost: corruption, sectarian hatred and terrorism. Everyone involved had something to hide — except, perhaps, the hapless hunters who set it all in motion.

"Theranos Inc. founder and chief executive Elizabeth Holmes surrendered voting control of her blood-testing company, paid a $500,000 penalty and agreed to a 10-year ban from being an officer or director in a public company in settling civil-fraud charges Wednesday with the" SEC


Separate from the SEC action, Theranos continues to face a criminal investigation led by the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco.


The SEC also alleges that Theranos, Holmes and Balwani falsely claimed that their products were being used by the Department of Defense on the battlefield in Afghanistan and on medevac helicopters. That technology was never used by the Department of Defense, even though Gen. Jim Mattis, who then led the U.S. Central Command, personally pushed for it to be used in the field. Regulatory officials in the military flagged problems with Theranos's blood-testing process. Mattis later joined Theranos's board. He resigned from that position when he became U.S. defense secretary.

2017 BoardGameGeek Winners & Runners Up

The list.

Wargames is out (from the maker of Her Story)

$2.39 on steam if you don't want the version with ads, but the first review is negative.

X-O Manowar #15 variant cover

By Veronica Fish.

"Ships sailing in the Caribbean have been told to steer clear of [underwater volcano Kick 'em Jenny] after it started showing increased seismic activity"

"Kick 'em Jenny, which rises 1.3km above the seafloor on a steep slope of the Lesser Antilles ridge, is one of the most active volcanoes in the eastern Caribbean."

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Credits for the Oregon "Only Slightly Exaggerated" video

By Psyop and Sun Creature. High-res stills.

"Ask me to gif you anything from The Last Jedi!"

Thread. Including:




I thought she said "towel."

Bonus: Rogue One gifs thread.

And Star Wars Battlefront IV Concept Art image gallery (including Jedi Ventressm Maul, and Dooku).


Kate Beaton on the accuracy of Ladybird

"Exposing NBA's Worst Defenders at Each Position"

"Mudiay is truly in a class of his own"

"There are also scanners to forcibly read mobile phone data and even police dogs with virtual reality cameras"

"China eyes 'black tech' to boost security as parliament meets"

"How Conservative Activists Catfished Twitter"


I was able to unearth some of the group’s methods of deception: It sent targets messages on LinkedIn and dating apps, built false identities on social networks, and operated a fake start-up out of a WeWork blocks from Twitter’s headquarters.


The Twitter targets, who had been secretly recorded at parties, in bars, on first dates, and during job interviews, only found out about the deception on January 11, when the first Project Veritas video, titled “UNDERCOVER VIDEO: Twitter Engineers To ‘Ban a Way of Talking’ Through ‘Shadow Banning,’ Algorithms to Censor Opposing Political Opinions” went live.


After a brief phone conversation, Dale said he seemed like a great candidate and set up in-person interviews with her colleague and an investor in the company. Those went well and for four months last year, Norai thought he had a new job. He was in regular communication with his new colleagues, meeting up with them for dinner, drinks, and a baseball game, but they kept pushing his start date back, saying they were securing office space and finalizing funding.


Many of the male employees were secretly recorded while on dates at dimly-lit restaurants, sipping wine. Based on the number of times he appears in the videos in different locations and dress, one security engineer, Clay Haynes, appears to have been enamored enough with the operative pumping him for information to go out with her at least three times.

"Almost No Limits"

Samurai Jack: Back to the Past Board Game available for preorder

With seven painted figurines.

Monday, March 12, 2018

"Richard Simmons must pay National Enquirer, Radar nearly $130,000 [in attorneys' fees], judge rules"


In his Sept. 1 ruling dismissing Simmons' case, Keosian said it appeared to be one of "first-impression.'' He said falsely reporting that a person is transgender does not necessarily "have a natural tendency'' to hurt one's reputation.

"Report: Roger Mason Fired As BIG3 Commissioner After Corruption Allegations"


Ice Cube will replace Roger Mason Jr. as commissioner of the BIG3 after Mason was fired due to corruption allegations, TMZ reports.

Mason's alleged corruption with a pair of Qatari investors is outlined in a letter that was sent to BIG3 players, coaches and staff and was obtained by TMZ.

SXSW Westworld experience

"In First, Israeli Drone Drops Tear Gas to Disperse Palestinian Protesters"

"Officials who were involved in the experiment said use of drones allows the army to control protests from a safer distance."

Oregon, "Only Slightly Exaggerated"

"This is the best redacted document I have ever received"

NatGeo: "For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It"

The Race Issue:

“Americans got ideas about the world from Tarzan movies and crude racist caricatures,” he said. “Segregation was the way it was. National Geographic wasn’t teaching as much as reinforcing messages they already received and doing so in a magazine that had tremendous authority. National Geographic comes into existence at the height of colonialism, and the world was divided into the colonizers and the colonized. That was a color line, and National Geographic was reflecting that view of the world.”

Return to Castle Woofenstein

Available for download:

There's a big ol' castle full of dogs wanting pats and you're the one to pet them. Sorry, they jump up on you, I hope you don't mind dog paw prints on your jeans. Just pat them and they'll fall asleep pretty quick.

Moose tries to enter home

"Hi, ok, get your nose out."

Morrison/Quitely-style uniforms for the X-Men movie

iOS soccer game Score! Match is fun

Better than EA's iOS soccer game.

Marvel collections are 99 cents right now

For example,

Doctor Aphra Vol. 2: Doctor Aphra and the Enormous Profit

Vision: The Complete Series (Vision: Director's Cut)

Royals Vol. 2: Judgment Day

Saturday, March 10, 2018

"De Beers fights fakes with technology as China’s lab-grown diamonds threaten viability of the real gems"

From 2017, but just updated:

The spread of synthetic diamonds in China, originally designed for industrial purposes such as oil drilling, is posing such a threat to the global diamond market that it has forced dominant player De Beers to invest tens of millions of dollars on methods to identify the man-made stones that look exactly like the real thing.

"Twitter Just Suspended A Ton Of Accounts Known For Stealing Tweets"


Continuing its battle against the "tweetdeckers," Twitter suspended on Friday several popular accounts known for stealing tweets or mass-retweeting tweets into manufactured virality.


Many of these accounts were hugely popular, with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers.

Malak and Revan in Lego

By Tom Vanhaelen, who has built many other Star Wars characters.

"FCC Accuses Stealthy Startup of Launching Rogue Satellites"


Also on board were four small satellites that probably should not have been there.


IEEE Spectrum can reveal that the SpaceBees are almost certainly the first spacecraft from a Silicon Valley startup called Swarm Technologies, currently still in stealth mode.


If confirmed, this would be the first ever unauthorized launch of commercial satellites.

Friday, March 9, 2018

"We've called a Tesla service center about the problems but have had difficulty getting an appointment"


In our first six weeks, we've had to do the equivalent of a Windows PC's Ctrl-Alt-Del reboot of the all-important touchscreen about a dozen times
"I don't understand how it got to this point. I mean, these are, these are flaws that we would see on a Kia in the '90s or something."
The Model 3 works largely as intended, and the build quality was the worst we have seen on any new car from any maker over the last 10 years.

"The plant [in Austria] will need just 14 employees to make 500,000 tons of robust steel wire a year—vs. as many as 1,000 in a mill with similar capacity built in the 1960s"

From June:

“The positive thing is, the jobs surviving in the long run will be really attractive.”

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

$375 collector's edition for the game Inside


iam8bit x Playdead x Real Doll are collaborating on a mysterious collector’s edition for INSIDE. We will NOT tell you what it is. Maybe it’s what you’re thinking… maybe not. We can confirm that there are several items included, one of which is a PlayStation 4 game disc. The rest is up for speculation.


Important Things to Note:
- Shipping When It’s Done -
Yes, that’s vague!
Don’t order if that makes you anxious

- Contents Will Be Revealed When Collector’s Edition Ships -
No matter how hard you try, we won’t tell you

- This is a TIMED RELEASE -
Limited Edition Quantity determined by total orders placed by June 8, 2018 @ 11:59pm PST

"about 10 years ago a supernatural love for words came upon me. When you get changed, you can’t help it. It’s spiritual”

From a thread about playing a "Scrabble legend."

Deluxe Quentin Tarantino-inspired action figure

Available for preorder.

Japanese Invasion Money

Various bills available at ebay.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Kenley Jansen as Lando bobblehead

John Boyega as Blade

"SkyKnit: How an AI Took Over an Adult Knitting Community"


Prodded by a knitter on the knitting forum Ravelry, Shane trained a type of neural network on a series of over 500 sets of knitting instructions. Then, she generated new instructions, which members of the Ravelry community have actually attempted to knit.

“The knitting project has been a particularly fun one so far just because it ended up being a dialogue between this computer program and these knitters that went over my head in a lot of ways,” Shane told me. “The computer would spit out a whole bunch of instructions that I couldn’t read and the knitters would say, this is the funniest thing I’ve ever read.”

The Post Oak Hotel in Houston "includes a Rolls-Royce showroom, a Bugatti and Bentley dealership"

"It's pet-friendly, too, with plush dog beds available and 24-hour room service through which you can order filet mignon for Fido."

Good podcast with Max Temkin of Cards Against Humanity

He talks about how much money they made on the last holiday event, and why they "probably" won't do one this year.

Avengers Infinity War figures available for preorder

S.H. Figuarts and Marvel Select (Spider-Man suit spoiler?).

The "exclusive" Marvel Legends Thanos is in stock.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Blade Runner 2049 is a $9.99 download

at Amazon. Dunkirk, too.


AMA with John Boyega


Would you rather fight 100 duck sized Daisy Ridleys, or 1 Jabba the Hutt sized Daisy?

1 Jabba the Hutt sized Daisy Ridley. How would I go about it? Put food, Daisy's a snackie, and lead her towards a little gate and then trap the gate on her!

"Dubbed the "phantom of Heilbronn", the woman was described by police as [Germany]'s most dangerous woman"

From 2009:

Investigators had connected her to six murders and an unsolved death based on DNA traces found at the scene.

Police now acknowledge swabs used to collect DNA samples were contaminated by an innocent woman working in a factory in Bavaria.

Police suspected the unnamed woman of being a serial killer who over 16 years carried out a string of six murders, including strangling a pensioner.

She was alternatively called the "woman without a face" and the "phantom of Heilbronn" after the city in southern Germany where she allegedly killed a policewoman.

Hissing from this area is normal

New Blade Runner tees at Last Exit to Nowhere

Abdul Ben Hassan, Finest Quality Replicants.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Caretakers concept art (The Last Jedi)

A post shared by Justin Sweet (@justinjsweet) on

A post shared by Justin Sweet (@justinjsweet) on

A post shared by Justin Sweet (@justinjsweet) on