Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"This is McMillin’s second time resigning an office over explicit photos of himself."

TDB:

Indiana Representative Jud McMillin has resigned after his sex tape leaked without his consent. Earlier this year, he blocked the revenge porn bill that would have made such a leak illegal.
...
This is McMillin’s second time resigning an office over explicit photos of himself. In 2005, he stepped down from his role as an assistant prosecutor, after pursuing a relationship with Crystal Stapleton, a domestic violence victim whose boyfriend had he been prosecuting.

"A leopard walks through a field after getting its head stuck in a pot in the Indian village of Sardul Kheda"



"in the Rajasthan district of Rajsamand on September 30, 2015. The leopard spent between four to five hours wearing the pot, but was eventually freed after being tranquilized by the forestry department."



Related:

A sloth hangs from power lines in El Valle, Cocle Province, Panama, on September 12, 2015.

Link roundup

1. "About 20 million years ago a single flea became entombed in amber with tiny bacteria attached to it, providing what researchers believe may be the oldest evidence on Earth of a dreaded and historic killer – an ancient strain of the bubonic plague."

2. "The story about the events surrounding Kitty Genovese’s death, as most people know it, is a myth."

3. "Tesla's new Model X has a 'bioweapon defense mode' button"

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Majora's Mask Moon Pendant or Magnet



Available at Etsy.

Art roundup


Steve Courtney:

I made a poster for a lecture being given at the NYU Game Center by Masayuki Uemura, the designer of the Famicom, and later, the Nintendo Entertainment System.



Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #10 page by Thomas Scioli.





Firewatch mug by Mitch Mastroni.

Art roundup


Jeff Dekal.




Macbeth poster.

Link roundup

1. A summary of the massive problems we'd face living on Mars.

2. "Some residents of the Hollywood Hills are furious about some new neighbors, their decadent parties full of bikini-clad babes and the self-portrait they put on their garage door."

3. Photo gallery of Mecca, tracing development from 1887 to 2015.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Blood Bowl miniatures



Some of the Blood Bowl miniatures on sale here.

"Audi and Skoda say 3.3m cars have 'cheat' emissions software"

BBC:

Some 2.1 million Audis affected worldwide include 1.42 million in western Europe, with 577,000 in Germany, and almost 13,000 in the US.

New Soma live action short



GI:

Now that Frictional’s Soma is out and terrifying people, the studio is continuing the intriguing live-action series that first introduced the game. Don’t worry about spoilers, as this is a prequel to Soma’s narrative.

The series, a partnership with Imagos Films, will run from September 28 through October 5, with a new episode dropping every day.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Link roundup

1. DMCA makes it difficult to test carmakers' claims.

2. Why put blurbs on books?

The blurb isn't exactly meant for readers — at least, not entirely. By the time a blurb gets to the reader, by the time it's resting on a book in a display, it has already done most of the work it's supposed to do.

"We now very often receive submissions from literary agents to consider a book, and the agent's letter will have endorsements already in place from authors you've heard of," says Michael Pietsch, CEO of publisher Hachette Book Group. "And that's the way the agent is getting the publishing community to read this book ahead of all the other thousands of books on submission at that time."
3. "When Iron Man’s toyline was canceled due to poor sales after its last batch of toys were already produced, they instead became X-Men and Spider-Man 'armor' toylines"

Friday, September 25, 2015

Art roundup


Becky Cloonan art sale.



The Lost Boys poster via.




Store closing.

Link roundup

1. "Sam Smith's new Bond theme sounds like it should be before a film entitled PLEASE DON'T HURT ME. I DO NOT HAVE A WEAPON AND I CANNOT FIGHT."

2. Robin Hanson on the upcoming world of constant recording:

“As soon as you see just how different our world is from 1,000 years ago, it’s really hard to get very worked up about this,” he says.

There was almost no privacy 1,000 years ago, he explains. Living quarters were dense. Rooms were tiny … Other people could overhear your lovemaking. When you traveled, you hardly ever went by yourself; you roamed around in little groups. Most people lived in small towns, where most everybody knew everybody else and gossiped about them. The differences in how we lived between then and now were huge. And yet we adapted. “I gotta figure the changes we’re looking at are small by comparison,” he says.
3. "More women accuse Saudi prince after his arrest on sex crime charge, LAPD says"
Neighbors reported seeing a bleeding woman screaming for help as she tried to scale an 8-foot-high wall that surrounds the property, at the end of a cul de sac

Link roundup

1. "Sydney woman buys new Apple iPhone with robot and avoids the rain"

Once payment was made, the Apple staff "just put my iPhones in a bag for me and hung it on my microphone", she added.
2. Her Story playable in an art gallery.

3. "Prosecutors Believe Supposed Tampered Evidence In Patrick Kane Case Was 'Elaborate Hoax'"

4. "L.A. Unified to get $6.4 million in settlement over iPad software"
The bidding process that led to the original computer contract remains the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation.

Ask Me Anything with Asif (of Mudasir fame)

Link.  (Background.)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Link roundup

1. Peter Pan Honest Trailer:

For starters, it’s a lot creepier than you probably remembered. The idea of an immortal trickster who spies on you and then kidnaps you to a war zone gets more disturbing the more disturbing the longer you think about it.
2. "Nassau County DA’s office forbids prosecutors from having handguns (even at home)":
As best I can tell, the theory is that the DA’s office is worried that prosecutors will come in to the office in a rage and shoot up the place. What kinds of people is the DA’s office hiring?
3. "A robot named Lucy is lining up to get an iPhone 6S in Australia"
In the smartest time management yet seen in an iPhone line, Lucy Kelly has outsourced the job to a telepresence robot, also called Lucy. It is an iPad attached to a Segway-type device that allows a person to be somewhat physically present despite not being there.

The robot arrived to take the position of fourth-in-line at the flagship Apple Store on George Street at 5 a.m.

Link roundup

1. One of the playcards used in a college football game tonight featured pics of Kate Upton and handcuffs.

2. Smart camera:

When you try to take a picture, Camera Restricta uses GPS to identify where you are, and compare your location to other geotagged photos online within about a 115 square-foot-radius. If too many other people have taken a picture where you are, Camera Restricta won't let you make your shot. The camera features a really clever audio cue to signal to its owner that photos are restricted: like a geiger counter, a clicking sound indicates when a location is photographically radioactive.
3. Home aquariums full of deadly coral:
Most aquarium hobbyists have assumed that you must touch the coral in order to be poisoned.
...
some pieces of the coral fell on the floor, and some live polyps broke off.

Two people were sleeping in a room next door. The man who later showed up in the ER got home later and slept for seven hours in the same room as the aquarium.

All through the night -- and let me emphasize that you just can't make this stuff up -- the coral seems to have exuded some sort of creeping death mist.

Link roundup

1. "My church now claims a former pastor no longer existed?!"

2. Simogo's seemingly-simple new puzzle game may be bursting with secrets:

So what our forums have discovered thus far... You can shake the screen to change the color randomly going through a cycle. You can flip the screen upside down to invert the black and white, or the main color and the background/gap color. While going through the tutorial, if you wait a minute or two on each of the 5 pages, you'll get a secret message alluding to some kind of story and including references to the developer's home city. If you hold the play button on the main screen, you play a secondary gravity based mini-game about balancing a ball on a see-saw. Apparently there's a way to change the title screen in reference to one of the secret messages, and I don't even know how. Who knows what else will be found?
3. The iCar:
this is basically the worst-kept secret in Silicon Valley. There are more people working on this project than almost every startup out here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The evolution of mommy-blogging

The advertisers have become more insistent:

Armstrong says for her, the breaking point on blogging for a living came when one of her two daughters refused to go on an outing that was part of a sponsored post plan. There were tears, and with her child pleading with her, Armstrong decided she could no longer bear the invasive requests of the advertisers.
And airing your family's secrets has fallen out of fashion:
Armstrong makes an interesting point, especially in the genre she’s associated with. One complaint about ‘mommyblogging’, in its early days, was that it was too confessional, too loud, insufficiently respectful of children’s privacy. The airing of so much personal material bothered people – but many mothers needed such an outlet.

They needed to be able to talk, in an undisciplined fashion, about the challenges of motherhood, about the work involved in raising kids, with a glaringly honest approach.

“That kind of stuff that doesn’t look good on an Instagram feed,” Armstrong said.

...

It’s true. A quick perusal of most of the more successful parenting blogs will reveal beautiful homes stocked with artisanal toys and spotless outfits.

Link roundup

1. "Mantis Shrimps Avoid Deadly Fights by Pummeling Each Other"

These ritualized super-punches may help the animals to avoid even more costly escalations.
2. NYT:
In the United States, automakers’ lobbying has ensured that the statute giving powers to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “has no specific criminal penalty for selling defective or noncompliant vehicles,”
3. "Disneyland's Jungle Cruise Offers $300 Breakfast Experience"
Disneyland Park admission is not included in the tour price and at the end of the meal (which begins bright and early at 5:30 a.m. or 6:30 a.m.), you'll be escorted out of the park.

Glow-in-the-Dark Udon

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"At the Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo here in Los Angeles last Friday, the keynote speaker" was...

"Men's Wearhouse founder George Zimmer."

Link roundup

1. Before disruption of the New York City bagel industry:

“Every bagel that was made in New York City up until the 1960s was a union bagel — every one,” Mr. Goodman said. “The reason why this union was strong was that they were the only ones who knew how to make a proper bagel. And that was the keys to the kingdom.”

The union — New York’s Local 338, with some 300 members — could hold the entire metropolitan area gastronomic hostage and, in disputes with bakery owners over working conditions, often did.
2. The Onion:
Voters Look On In Horror As 3 New Republican Candidates Appear In Place Of Scott Walker
3. "Groupon is laying off 1,100 employees and shutting down its operations in 7 countries." (Also from The Onion: “But profiting from the financial ruin of fellow businesses is the American dream.”)

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Nike Football introduces the Electro Flare Pack with a high-visibility splatter of volt"



Available later this week.

"Volkswagen shares plunged by nearly 20 percent on Monday after the German carmaker admitted it had rigged emissions tests"

R:

Volkswagen initially denied it was trying to game the inspections, attributing the higher emissions readings to "various technical issues and unexpected in-use conditions," the EPA said in its formal notice of violations on Friday.

The stonewalling continued until the agency threatened to withhold certification for the carmaker's 2016 models, the EPA said.

"Only then did VW admit it had designed and installed a defeat device" that purposely lowered emissions while it was being inspected, the agency said.

...

Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn . . . said on Sunday he was "deeply sorry" for the breach of U.S. rules and ordered an investigation

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Link roundup

1. The Onion:

Extension Cord On Stage Steals Spotlight From Jeb Bush During Campaign Rally
2. "USC Administration Shuts Down Art Students’ [Tumblr]"
As tensions between the students and the Dean heated up, especially surrounding the mass drop out of the #USC7 earlier this year, “the Tumblr turned into a hosting site for our many open letters and support comments from our petition to remove Dean Muhl,” said Jacinto Astiazarán who graduated in 2015.
3. "Latest raids of undercover steroid labs suggest the market for steroids goes way beyond the world of elite athletes." (Very obvious at gyms in Los Angeles.) Via.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Link roundup

1. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive:

It’s no secret that the CS:GO’s item economy can be quite profitable. Some of the game’s rarest weapon skins are priced at over $1,000 (with rare collectors’ items approaching pricelessness).

The constant and growing demand for skins by the game’s players, and the slot machine-like experience of opening weapon cases in the slim hopes of getting a desirable skin, has created a huge, free-range capitalist market that allows all kinds of gambling, trading, and skin selling to take place outside of Valve’s intended corral for such activity.

As studies have shown, prohibiting people from funneling and gambling capital tends to create an illicit market. When skins were introduced to CS:GO via the Arms Deal update in August of 2013, it was only a matter of time before players would find a way to independently price, trade, and hoard skins in an increasingly complex economic network that sees some of its entrepreneurs supposedly making over $12,000 a day.
2. "Qatari sheikh at center of Beverly Hills speeding case flees the country"
well-known in the international racing world and has been dubbed the “patron sheikh” of drag racing by the media.
3. "VW Is Said to Cheat on Diesel Emissions; U.S. Orders Big Recall"
The Environmental Protection Agency accused the German automaker of using software to detect when the car is undergoing its periodic state emissions testing. Only during such tests are the cars’ full emissions control systems turned on. During normal driving situations, the controls are turned off, allowing the cars to spew as much as 40 times as much pollution as allowed under the Clean Air Act, the E.P.A. said.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Link roundup

1. "No one knows what caused the Plague of Athens in the 5th century B.C. One popular theory is Ebola"

In the summer of 430 B.C., a mass outbreak of disease hit the city of Athens, ravaging the city’s population over the next five years. In his History of the Peloponnesian War, the historian Thucydides, who witnessed the epidemic, described victims’ “violent heats in the head,” “redness and inflammation in the eyes,” and tongues and throats “becoming bloody and emitting an unnatural and fetid breath.” Patients would experience hot flashes so extreme, he wrote, that they “could not bear to have on [them] clothing or linen even of the very lightest description.” In the later stages of infection, the disease would end with “violent ulceration” and diarrhea that left most too weak to survive.
2. BT:
The search for a new University of North Dakota nickname hit a potential stumbling block on Monday, when former Bismarck Mayor Marlan "Hawk" Haakenson registered trade names for several of the Fighting Sioux replacement options under consideration.

Haakenson said he registered the trade names in an attempt to interfere with the nickname selection process, though a UND official said such an attempt was unlikely to succeed.
3. BI:
Adidas said in a statement that it "will not stand silently while Skechers copies the iconic Stan Smith shoe and uses terms like 'Adidas Originals' and 'Stan Smith' as keywords on its website to divert customers looking for authentic Adidas shoes."

Link roundup

1. "The Arctic Mosquito Swarms Large Enough to Kill a Baby Caribou"

Arctic mosquito swarms are the stuff of legend. Some of them contain hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of insects.
2. "Confessions of an Anonymous Free to Play Producer"
And if you are a whale, we take Facebook stalking to a whole new level. You spend enough money, we will friend you. Not officially, but with a fake account. Maybe it’s a hot girl who shows too much cleavage? That’s us. We learned as much before friending you, but once you let us in, we have the keys to the kingdom. We will use everything to figure out how to sell to you. I remember we had a whale in one game that loved American Football despite living in Saudi Arabia. We built several custom virtual items in both his favorite team colors and their opponents, just to sell to this one guy. You better believe he bought them.
3. "Olive Garden Pasta Passes Sell Out In Under A Second"

"A chief has her anchors pinned by her wife"



Posted today at the US Navy Flickr account:

SAN DIEGO (Sept. 16, 2015) Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Misty Beck is pinned by her wife during a chief petty officer pinning ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island. Beck and 20 other chief selectees from six different commands were pinned during the ceremony in the hangar of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephanie Smith/Released) 150916-N-MH885-102

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Link roundup

1. TC:

I don’t understand why in the United States the only thing that is really noncompetitive is sports. In Europe, the only thing that is really competitive is sports. In Italy, soccer you are the first division, second division, you are promoted or demoted, according to performance. You don’t buy your way into the NFL or the Major League, et cetera.
Here, you buy the franchise, and once you’re in, no matter how incompetent you are, you stay there, which is completely un‑American.
2. TNY:
Breaking with a pattern of quietly transferring predator priests, the Vatican under Benedict and Bertone began removing significant numbers of them from the priesthood—defrocking some three hundred and eighty-four priests in 2011 and 2012, the last years of Benedict’s papacy.
...
VatiLeaks was partly the result of widespread dissatisfaction with Bertone’s management of the Vatican. Both he and the Vatican insist that there were sound legal reasons for not granting regulators access to the I.O.R.’s records—not least, the defense of Vatican sovereignty. It took two years for the I.O.R. to reach substantial compliance with international standards of transparency, and it has quietly closed around forty-six hundred accounts.
3. "I created a fake business and bought it an amazing online reputation"
For $5, I could get 200 Facebook fans, or 6,000 Twitter followers, or I could get @SMExpertsBiz to tweet about the truck to the account’s 26,000 Twitter fans. A Lincoln could get me a Facebook review, a Google review, an Amazon review, or, less easily, a Yelp review.
4. Designing Lara Croft Go:
“I didn't replay those old games because I feel the best version of the first Tomb Raider is in my heart,” says Routon. Maybe that's cheesy, but so often if you go back and look at a game you loved so much that's twenty years old, and you play it....it sucks. I didn't want to have that feeling, you know? I just didn't even want to check. So I keep the version I have in my memory, and tried to design a game around that.”

There were other influences too, of course. The Lara Croft Go team took art design cues from Eric Chahi’s seminal adventure game Another World, as well as the Tintin adventure comics created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. But Routon says the team returned again and again to the idea of trying to recreate how it felt to play those classic Tomb Raider games.
5. Pancake machine:
I had the sublime pleasure of being served a continental breakfast at a Best Western that included pancakes produced by this miracle machine. It had instructions pinned on the wall above it:

1) Place your plate on the right.

2) Press the OK button.

Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #10 covers



By Thomas Scioli and Ulises Farinas.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Plato - a robot toy that helps you take care of your child



One of the robots designed by Mary Pilyugina, a finalist in the Electrolux Design Lab

Hexahedron Cuon is a guard robot. Your kid will never get lost, have fun playing with Cuon.

There is a wristband on your child that helps Cuon to locate him, move after the child and film. This will allow you to see at any time what he was doing or just to talk to him through the robot’s speaker. Cuon can be easily seen from aside by the antenna beacons. Also if the robot falls catching up with your child gyroscope disposed in the housing will help Cuon to get back on its wheels.

Richard Sherman t-shirt





Richard Sherman tee.

Link roundup

1. Muji is collaborating with Japan’s housing agency to makeover old apartments

The agency rebranded as the Urban Renaissance (UR) Agency in 2004 and is now focusing on improving the quality of the 760,000 housing units it now runs, rather than increasing their number. The problem is that many of the apartments are emptying out and the remaining residents are ageing.
Muji hopes to solve that problem. Japan’s most famous interiors export is targeting young singletons and couples by ripping down walls, painting everything white and putting in new kitchens and bathrooms that embody its aesthetic of simple and utilitarian minimalism.
2. Reviewing Taco Bell's new wraps:
Taco Bell’s flavor engineers seem to have taken the Dorito Loco’s success as bulletproof validation of their vision, for their product launches have been getting steadily more bombastic ever since.
...
A Dare Devil Loaded Griller costs a dollar. (Note in the receipt below that a small drink costs almost twice as much as one of these things.) That’s quite some deal for 380 to 420 calories worth of food—as for why the calories jump from 380 to 400 to 420 for Habanero to Ghost Pepper to Chipotle, respectively, when the only thing that changes is the hot sauce, eh, let’s not think about that).
3. "Owner of exotic cars speeding in Beverly Hills claims diplomatic immunity"
If it is legal, the driver may want some lessons in the future if the damage to the LaFerrari is any indication. The low-riding vehicle has a price tag in the seven figures and is heard repeatedly scraping against the ground and backfiring before it’s steered into a driveway

Monday, September 14, 2015

Link roundup

1. Store selling limited edition Nikes refuses to sell to customers unless they wear them out of the store (to thwart scalpers).

2. Paddleboarding with a manatee herd.

3. PG:

My joyless time with the digital sherpas of Destiny
...
This is what happens when you do any form of end-game content with grizzled veterans. They are doing me a favor; shepherding me from place to place like a tourist with a gun so I can get in a few shots, feel like I did something of worth and collect my loot. They are digital sherpas, and the skill and dedication that was required by the first players to figure this all out is meaningless now.

Doctor Fate #7 cover



By Sonny Liew.

Larry David on Jordan Spieth

From a long interview about golf:

ANY THOUGHTS ON JORDAN SPIETH?

He's going to be a bald man. He's going to be wildly bald. This makes him way more appealing to me. It's one thing to handle the pressure of the back nine at Augusta; let's see how he does when he sees all that hair in the tub. That's pressure. I'll be watching him very carefully. He's 22. He's got three years, maybe four. He's done.

Art roundup


Mikael Takacs.



Business Town.



Gotham Academy issue 13 cover by Karl Kerschl.



Oregon's helmet this weekend featured the "Combat Duck" logo and rainbow sparkles.



Valentino cape and inspired-character.

Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain Venom Snake Sneaking Suit figure available for preorder



At the BBTS.

Link roundup

1. NYT:

The Department of Education was thus able to calculate how much money people who enrolled in individual colleges in 2001 and 2002 were earning 10 years later.

The Department of Education calculated the percentage of students at each college who earned more than $25,000 per year, which is about what high school graduates earn. At hundreds of colleges, less than half of students met this threshold 10 years after enrolling. The list includes a raft of barber academies, cosmetology schools and for-profit colleges that often leave students with few job prospects and mountains of debt.

But some more well-known institutions weren’t far behind.
2. "Hungry, aggressive polar bears lay siege to Russian weather station"

3. "As part of a propaganda campaign to portray himself as the heir of a continuous, unbroken tradition of strong Russian leadership, Vladmir Putin has begun repatriating the remains of imperial heroes exiled by the Soviets."

4. "Does Carson's mayor, a leader in the city's NFL stadium push, live in Carson?" "Carson mayor under investigation for not filing disclosure reports with the state"