Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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


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."

UPDATE: There's video:

This one, too:

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. Blogger continues to be upgraded by Google--HTTPS support coming to Blogspot.

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

5. Deluxe First Order TIE Pilot figure available for preorder.

The Good Dinosaur toys available for preorder

Arlo and Spot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Picked up from my wishlist: Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

$1.99 at Amazon.

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.

Monsters by Chris Ryniak.

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

Illustration by Tiffany Turrill ‏for a Lovecraft-themed show.

Illustrations by Brynn Metheney for the same show.

Firewatch mug by Mitch Mastroni.

The Gobi Squad - Black Eight - Frank Chambers figure available for preorder.

Link roundup

1. A report that Jon Gruden is ESPN's highest paid on air talent at $6.5 million a year.

2. Amazon Flex, now hiring:

Make $18–25/hr delivering packages for Amazon with your car and smartphone. Be your own boss: deliver when you want, as much as you want.

Available now in Seattle. Coming soon to Manhattan, Baltimore, Miami, Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Portland.
You will also need an Android phone
3. BBC:
Olaf Lies, a Volkswagen board member and economy minister of Lower Saxony has told Newsnight some staff acted criminally over emission cheat tests.

Art roundup

Jeff "Dekal" Becker: "I’m pretty much always open to take commissions." $40 for his sketchbook with a bonus sketch.

Cover for Mondo's Shinobi 3 album.

Macbeth poster.

Sandman Overture #6 cover posted in very high-res if you want to crop it into a wallpaper.

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.

4. Masterpiece Shockwave figure available for preorder (expensive).

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ask Me Anything with NASA Mars scientists

They discuss today's water on Mars announcement.

Blood Bowl miniatures

Some of the Blood Bowl miniatures on sale here.

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


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


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. Video Game Advisor, the Twitter feed with advice from video games.

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

3. 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."
4. "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"

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Art roundup

Becky Cloonan art sale.

Cake toppers by Jeremy Spears.

Mulholland Drive posters by Kevin Tong for Mondo.

Wasp design by Andy Park.

The Lost Boys poster via.

The back of a Powerbomb t-shirt.

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

Amazon prime is $67 starting now

$67 for the year instead of $99.

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.
4. High school football coaches see fear of injuries draining talent pool
Several high-profile private schools in Southern California have their lowest number of players on freshman teams in years. Santa Ana Mater Dei has gone from 84 freshmen last season to 58. Los Angeles Loyola, an all-boys school with nearly 1,300 students, has 83, the fewest number in the last two decades, according to longtime trainer Tim Moscicki.

South Park: The Stick of Truth is a $10 download

at Amazon.

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.

Justin Ishmael (formerly of Mondo) has launched his new merchandising business

Powerbomb, devoted so far to wrestling tees and merch.

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.
4. Cute Harry Potter, Nightmare Before Xmas and Marvel character keychain figurines (including Falcon Captain America) available preorder.

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. Detailed review of the Star Wars Risk board game ("Star Wars Risk is pretty good, also not Risk") which is on sale for $24.99 at Amazon.

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

These ritualized super-punches may help the animals to avoid even more costly escalations.
3. 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,”
4. "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.

Link roundup

1. Cartoon Brew interviewed Genndy Tartakovsky:

Cartoon Brew: For the first film, you took over a languishing project that had passed through the hands of multiple directors. Is Hotel Transylvania 2 your film, with your stamp on it?

Genndy Tartakovsky: No. Parts of it were easier the second time around, because everyone kind of already knows what it is. We’re not trying to discover the animation style. But at the same time, I think Adam and Robert Smigel really wanted to take control of the second film, because that’s kind of what they do. It’s an Adam Sandler project, and he’s running the show, to a degree. So Hotel Transylvania 2 was more difficult that way.
2. "the use of traditional Chinese medicine [in China] is declining rapidly, fifteen percent this year"

3. Glow-in-the-Dark Udon

4. Ant-Man Posed on Bullet figurine available for preorder.

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."

"It’s not just the VW story, this is part of something much bigger"


Volkswagen’s rigging of emissions tests for 11m cars means they may be responsible for nearly a million tonnes of air pollution every year, roughly the same as the UK’s combined emissions for all power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture.
VW’s defective vehicles could be responsible for between 237,161 and 948,691 tonnes of NOx emissions each year, 10-40 times the pollution standard for new models in the US. Western Europe’s biggest power station, Drax in the UK, emits 39,000 tonnes of NOx each year.

Link roundup

1. /F:

Terminator: Genisys has pulled in over $350 million, just from international territories. That’s nearly five times as much as the movie made at the domestic box office, and it’s enough to have it sitting in the #10 spot for the worldwide box office right now (with just over $440 million), edging out moves like Ant-Man and Mad Max: Fury Road.
2. Kotaku:
In January of 2014, a company called Playdek launched a Kickstarter promising a spiritual successor to one of my favorite games, Final Fantasy Tactics. It made $660,126. I really wish I hadn’t backed it.
Really, I should’ve seen this coming; there’s been an aura of sketchiness surrounding this project from the beginning.
3. The current state of premium iOS games:
At the moment, our expectation is about 1/3 the return of the original Spider for 5 times the man-hours.
4. New Fallout (armored and jumpsuit) and Skyrim action figures available for preorder.

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.”)

4. Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron 2-Disc BD Combo Pack (3D BD+BD+Digital HD) [Blu-ray] is $19.99 at Amazon. The Furious 7 and Jurassic World combo packs, too.