Monday, November 30, 2015

Link roundup

1. "Last Friday the MYSTERY SHOW #2 - The Traveller’s Collection opened at Rotopolpress in Kassel.... The concept of the show is, that every participant will get a little box with several objects inside. (You don’t know what you will get so it’s always a surprise.) The task is to use all those objects as inspiration for the final illustration."

2. If you're considering buying the remote control BB-8:
The one negative that could actually be a pretty big negative if half of my house didn’t have hardwood floors…the device doesn’t run well on carpet. In fact, it doesn’t really run at all. The head will move, but that’s about it.
3. Relatedly, here's a look at the Mignola and Olly Moss prints from the Star Wars Art: A Poster Collection (Poster Book): Featuring 20 Removable, Frameable Prints ($15).

4. "Toronto Zoo briefly closes baboon exhibit after matriarch's death sparks violent power struggle"

5. "Mattel’s latest Wi-Fi enabled Barbie doll can easily be hacked to turn it into a surveillance device for spying on children and listening into conversations without the owner’s knowledge." Via.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Old Man Hawkeye custom action figure

By LooseCollector.

Link roundup

1. "Owning an asteroid is now legal in the Unites States, after President Barack Obama signed the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2262) into law"

2. "In 'Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs,' the Harvard cosmologist Lisa Randall proposes that a thin disk of dark matter in the plane of the Milky Way triggered a minor perturbation in deep space that caused the major earthly catastrophe that decimated the dinosaurs."

3. "Police in India have apologized after an art installation involving a large floating cow was confiscated as it was deemed religiously offensive."

Deluxe action figure of Amazon’s pup mascot Pochi

By Revoltech.

Link roundup

1. Ringtones based on the audio cues for Fallout 4's Mysterious Stranger.

2. "Did This Billionaire Get Swindled Out of Millions in an Elaborate Art World Scheme?"
As a result, many in the art world worry about a tendency for free ports to become "art cemeteries." The world's largest free port, at Geneva Airport, is said to hold as much art as the Louvre.
3. "Long Before Trees Overtook the Land, Earth Was Covered by Giant Mushrooms"
24 feet tall and three feet wide, these giant spires dotted the ancient landscape

4. "The number of journal articles published has climbed from 13,000 50 years ago to 72,000 today, even as overall readership has declined. In his new book 'Higher Education in America,' former Harvard president Derek Bok notes that 98 percent of articles published in the arts and humanities are never cited by another researcher." Via.

5.Nakatomi Plaza Die Hard Collection [Blu-ray] (six discs, villain cards, booklet and a miniature Nakatomi Tower) is 50% off at Amazon.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Link roundup

1. Black Friday by Slinkachu.

2. Gif of a pangolin climbing a tree.

3. A flock of excavators.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Link roundup

1. "ESPN Has Lost 7 Million Subscribers The Past Two Years"

2. "It costs $300 to move a 40-foot container from Rotterdam to Shanghai, which is barely enough to cover the cost of fuel, handling, and Suez Canal fees. Here’s some more context. Let’s say that you want to travel for a year; it’s cheaper to put your personal belongings in a shipping container as it sails around the world than to keep it at a local mini-storage facility."

3. There's a large selection of "mail order bride"-themed romance novels at Amazon.  Via.

4. Day 3 of black friday sales at the BBTS is Star Wars, including the Star Wars Black Scout Trooper with Speeder Bike for for $22 instead of $44.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Link roundup

1. "The irony is, though, that the Burger King surveillance video was running while the officer erased them. And so there's a videotape of the officer erasing the video."

2. The war in Syria, summarized.

3. "Preventable errors led to hospital attack, military says"
Gen. John Campbell, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said the airstrike was supposed to have been directed at a nearby facility being used as a Taliban command center but the warplane fired at the wrong building.

After the plane's targeting sensors malfunctioned, he said, the crew relied on a physical description to home in on the target. But no Americans on the ground were in position to see the hospital.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Link roundup

1. "Pakistan's camel-mounted military bagpipe band"
Wing commander Lt Col Abdul Razzaq says the band is a matter of pride for his troops, particularly as a counter-balance to arch-rival India.
2. A player's first time using as Boba Fett in Star Wars Battlefront ends in dramatic fashion.

3. The Loyal Subjects black friday sale will feature 40% off as yet unreleased GI Joe and Masters of the Universe figures.

4. The Mad Max Fury Road War Rig custom vehicle (sized for 3.75" action figures) that I posted a while back is on sale at ebay.

5. Black Friday Sale at the BBTS starts with Transformers, notably Windblade for $6.99 and Megatron for $75 (instead of $140).

Monday, November 23, 2015

Link roundup

1. "Letters demand $15 million, say Irving officials worked to smear Ahmed Mohamed after clock arrest"

2. "The NCAA Football Oversight Committee will meet Monday by conference call to determine how to move forward if there aren't enough bowl-eligible teams to fill those 80 spots"

3. "Your problem is you spent your whole life thinking there are rules. There aren't. We used to be gorillas."

4. NECA's new die-cast vehicles from the Alien films now available for preorder.

The Good Dinosaur toys are mostly 20% off at Amazon

Around $10 each for most of these "large figures" at Amazon.

Link roundup

1. "Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million investment in Newark’s public school system evaporated without leaving much of a trace"

2. Kieron Gillen on assembling some new Warhammer 40k miniatures:
I suspect this level of self-abuse is what more people should blog about
3. NECA is making a new line of vehicles based on the Alien movies.

4. Northridge BMX cub tees--new ET-inspired t-shirts by Last Exit to Nowhere.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Silk and Dark Avengers Ms. Marvel custom actions figures

By LooseCollector.

Link roundup

1. "Scientists in Brazil have just identified a new species of...daddy longlegs, and they’ve named it...Smeagol."

2. "For decades, aspiring bomb makers — including ISIS — have desperately tried to get their hands on a lethal substance called red mercury."
This time, however, the Crocodile had an unusual request: The Islamic State, he said, was shopping for red mercury.
Abu Omar thought he might have a lead. He had a cousin in Syria who told him about red mercury that other jihadists had seized from a corrupt rebel group. Maybe he could arrange a sale. And so soon Abu Omar set out, off for the front lines outside Latakia, a Syrian government stronghold, in pursuit
3. PCG:
In Cities: Skylines (read our review here), you can follow around the various NPCs who move into your city. However, when there's tens of thousands of citizens, and you're swamped with the tasks related to building and managing a metropolis, it can be hard to keep tabs on a single person's life for very long, and difficult to find them again later.

I thought I'd fix this problem by creating a city in which only a single home could be built. Then I'd see who moved in and keep track of their lives. Here's what happened.


Having only four citizens in the city, you'd think it would be easy to spot them. It ain't. Clicking the high school tells me two students are inside it, and I also determine that someone has enrolled in the college down the street. But I don't actually see anyone, including Oscar, outside. Days pass and I still haven't actually seen the Richardsons in person.
4. Today's movie deals at Amazon include:

X-Men: Days of Future Past (The Rogue Cut) [Blu-ray] for $9.99

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - Limited Edition Steelbook (Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) for $4.99

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation [Blu-ray] for $17.99

Iron Man 3 (Blu-ray + DVD) for $9.96

It Follows [Blu-ray] for $8.99

And Ex Machina, which is incredible, is streaming for free for Amazon Prime

Star Wars cover by Zdarsky

Chip Zdarsky variant covers for Star Wars: Vader Down.

Link roundup

1. "Host Of ’90s Oddity “Supermarket Sweep” Reveals Game Show’s Secrets"
staff for the show would go shopping once before the beginning of the season. Then the show was taped for five to six months each year, and the same food was used over and over again. That means you probably didn’t want to dip into that peanut butter.
2. Jake's summaries of the vampires with Peppermint Butler's sketches.

3. "Different parasitic worms can raise or lower female fertility"

4.  Amazon's deal of the day is large discounts on Disney Infinity 3.0 figures (40% off Inside Out, 25% off Star Wars, etc).

Friday, November 20, 2015

Link roundup

1. "A 1,111 carat gem-quality diamond, second in size only to the Cullinan diamond cut into the British Crown jewels, has been unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp. in Botswana."
The magnificent stone, which originated from the south lobe of Lucara's Karowe Mine, is the world's second largest gem quality diamond ever recovered and the largest ever to be recovered through a modern processing facility. The stone was recovered by the newly installed Large Diamond Recovery ("LDR") XRT machines.
2. "Use AdBlock And Yahoo May Block You From Reading Your E-Mail." Relatedly, "The Last Days Of Marissa Mayer?"

3. Penny Arcade on Kotaku's article abut being blacklisted
It has not been dissolved utterly, but you can tell from the increasing percentage of in-line ads for not games that something key has changed.
And the retort.

4. Outlast is $5 today at Amazon (75% off).

Link roundup

1. "Los Angeles County has the highest number of cases of sexually transmitted diseases in the country, according to a new report." Also, "Los Angeles city and county have the most chronically homeless people in the country"

2. "Woodrow Wilson was extremely racist — even by the standards of his time"

3. "The Pill That Supposedly Turns Syrians Into Superhuman, Fearless, Relentless Killers"

4. Funko Pops based on Daredevil's various Netflix costumes, including his season 2 look.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The chimera Vampire King from tonight's Adventure Time

And here's some iphone ready wallpapers featuring the vampire portraits.

Link roundup

1. Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has 9 assists in 77 games in his career.

2. Charlie Batch’s 186-yard, two-pick game has ESPN’s best QBR rating ever.
Thanks to’s Game Pass, it’s easy to go back and watch old games. So I did.
3. "Jimmy Iovine Apologizes For Saying Finding Music Is Hard For Women"
“Girls are sitting around, talking about boys, right? Or complaining about boys, when they have their heart broken or whatever, and they need music for that, right? And they need music for that. So it’s hard to find the right music."
4. Titanfall Play Arts Kai - Atlas With Pilot is $40 off today.

Duck Hunt, ROB, and Mr. Game & Watch Amiibos available

ROB is $19, Duck Hunt is $12, Mr.Game&Watch is $12 (all free shipping).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Link roundup

1. "What I Learned When a Hacker Stole My Identity and Took Over My Facebook Account"
It should be pretty obvious, I thought, that I hadn't changed my name to Hamza, changed my email address, moved to Turkey, and had plastic surgery, all within a span of hours.
2. How to paint an action figure head.

3. The California senate race:
[Democratic candidate Kamala] Harris reported having $3.3 million in the bank as of the end of September, compared with [Democrat Loretta] Sanchez, who had $1.6 million. The top three Republican candidates have less than $200,000 combined

Link roundup

1. "Seiko Will Reissue Ripley’s Futuristic Alien-Fighting Watch"

2. Syrian-Americans in Pennsylvania don't want more Syrian refugees in their town:
Syrian refugees have come to the Lehigh Valley through a state-federal partnership that Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday, despite Friday night's deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, will continue.

The leader of a Syrian-American community organization on Monday voiced concerns about political differences between refugees and families long established in and around Allentown.
3. "AMA Calls for Ban on Direct to Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices"

Link roundup

1. "Ben Carson’s campaign made a U.S. map and put a bunch of states in the wrong place"

2. "Washington College suspends classes indefinitely as the search for a suspended student, who may be armed, continues."

3. "Why Every Actress on The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable Cover Is White"

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New comic book covers

Spider-Woman #4 cover by Javier Rodriguez.

Gotham Academy #15 cover by Helen Mingjue Chen.

Black Magick #5 covers by Nicola Scott and Stephanie Hans.

Silver Surfer #2 cover Chip Zdarsky.

Agents of SHIELD #2 cover by Mike Norton.

Link roundup

1. "How Do You Cook Fancy Local Food When There's Nothing to Cook?"
The Puerto Rican food supply is fragile: Eighty percent of it is imported, and pricing regulations generally favor imports over local goods. This is often lost in the discussion of its ongoing $72 billion debt crisis, rampant unemployment, and people leaving the island in droves for Florida or New York. Its native agriculture is being restored, but the pace is too slow to supply the island’s restaurants,
2. Vader kills 11 people in episodes 4-6, and the people he kills in 5 and 6 are Imperials. Luke kills 369,740.

3. Cities functioning as harems.

4. "Fallout 4 player has head snatched away by Deathclaw, but lives on"
The most interesting thing about this glitch (and yes, I suppose it is a glitch, albeit a cool one) is that rather than breaking the game, the game adapts to it. The player's Perception stats are zilch, and enemies are unable to land headshots. Sure, it makes it harder to get a haircut, but who's going to mess with a headless wastelander?
And speaking of Fallout videos: "they started launching nukes!"

5. The Fallout 4 Ultimate Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Bundle is 40% off at Amazon.

The Adventure Time vampires

And promotional images:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Link roundup

1. Momentous events in chapter 2 of "a perma-death Fallout 4 diary, in which I begin with absolutely nothing other than a plan to to voyage around only the outermost periphery of the world."

2. "Here Is the Soviet Union's Secret Space Cannon"
In 1975, the USSR actually fired a cannon from an orbiting space station. Forty years later, we finally got a good look at this gun.
3. Turning your home into a mini-escape room game with these items easily available Amazon.

4. Aliens Life Size Egg & Facehugger Foam & Latex Prop Replica by NECA available for preorder, and also available (and infinitely cheaper) Alien Big Chap Mini Figure Random Blind Two Pack by Kotobukiya.

Chibi Lego Imperial Shuttle

By Do-Hyun Kim.

Link roundup

1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Gloria Steinem get rap names:
Philip Galanes: Let’s start with a glaring inequity. Only one of you has a rap name.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: I like the way mine began. A second-year law student at N.Y.U. was outraged by the court’s decision in the voting rights case. But instead of just venting her anger, she took up my dissent.

PG: Happily, there are rap-name generators online.

Gloria Steinem: They have those?

PG: Yours, if you want it, is GlowStick.
2. Apple Pencil review:
But the Pencil is just plain fun. It is indeed Apple white, and there are Apple-y things about it — for example, the fact that it is weighted, and won’t roll away on a table top, and always stops rolling with the word "Pencil" facing upward on its metal band (seriously, I’ve tried this at least a dozen times). Unlike Microsoft’s Surface stylus, the Pencil doesn’t have a clip, it’s not magnetized, and the end of it doesn’t work as an eraser — the end, instead, is a capped Lightning connector for charging.
3. Compared to the stylus for the Surface Book:
The other problem I had was with the new stylus. After only a few days of drawing I busted the tip. The black coating around the nub cracked and then flaked off. The grey stylus point underneath cracked as well and I ended going back to using my old Surface Pro stylus. I don’t mind the old stylus but I was really hoping for a better stylus on this new machine. My guess is that it works fine for taking notes but I was trying to paint with it and maybe it just wasn’t tested for the kind of pressure an artist uses?
4. New Hattori Hanzo Okinawa tee at Last Exit to Nowhere. New Gremlins tee, also.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Link roundup

1. "Hillary Clinton’s claim that she tried to join the Marines"

2. "Sotheby's Offers Employees Voluntary Buyouts to Cut Costs"

3. "Pentagon chief Ashton Carter just fired his top military aide over ‘misconduct’"
Lewis’s recent rise through the military ranks was swift.
4. Deluxe Universal Soldier figures available for preorder (Dolph and JCVD).

5. Little John McClane Christmas cards at Last Exit to Nowhere.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Video of the new "Hyperspace Mountain" experience at Disneyland

Gillian Flynn's short story The Grownup is great

The Grownup: A Story by the Author of Gone Girl is $2.99 at Amazon:
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

Eric So's Sin City figure is 64% off at Amazon

$53.99 instead of $149 at Amazon.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Art Awakens art now on sale

At ebay.

Custom Transformers toys

By LEK Custom Toys.

Kickstarter for a board game based on The Banner Saga

The Banner Saga Warbands.

Link roundup

1. This article about Spectre "taking place entirely within HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos" is so good that I wanted to recommend it again.

2. Relatedly, "How They Pulled Off the 'Spectre' of Death Opening in Mexico City"
Interestingly, the only reason Craig walks is because of the knee injury he suffered.
3. On the movie Candyman:
Tony Todd (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 1990), who plays Candyman, not only has a tremendous, commanding presence, but was actually willing to film a scene where real bees crawl around on his tongue and fly out of his mouth. This being just before the digital era, the bees that live in Candyman's ribcage are the real deal. Rose reports that Madsen was in an actual hypnotic trance for those scenes, adding even more phantasmagorical weirdness to the proceedings.

More victory tour posters for The Hunger Games

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Link roundup

1. "On Tuesday evening Congress took a key step toward encouraging the development of this industry when the Senate passed H.R. 2262, the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, with bipartisan support. The legislation provides a number of pro-business measures, such as establishing legal rights for US citizens to own resources in outer space as well as extending indemnification for commercial launches through 2025."

2.  Cloud Strife is joining Smash Bros, and there's a new set for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess that includes a Wolf Link and Midna Aiibo.

3. The Jacksonville Jaguars' "original uni/logo set, which was scrapped because the Jaguar car company objected."

Link roundup

1. "Putin’s daughter, a young billionaire and the president’s friends"

2. NY:
If you order on the popular websites Seamless or GrubHub, the kitchen cooking your dinner may not be what it claims to be.

The I-Team checked 100 of New York City's top customer-rated Seamless and GrubHub restaurants and found slightly more than 10 percent of the kitchens were ghosts, meaning they had names or addresses that failed to match any listing on the city's database of restaurant inspection grades.
3. Lockheed Martin's photo gallery from the 2015 Dubai Air Show.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Poster for In the Heart of the Sea

New posters for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

Close encounters with a leopard seal

Photograph by @paulnicklen for @natgeo // It was truly a special and unique experience to play hide and seek around an iceberg in Antarctica with a thousand pound leopard seal. She loved to sneak up on us and do these really aggressively playful lunges with her mouth wide open. What is your dream moment in nature? It never felt threatening and it felt more like I was playing with a really big dog. To see what she looked like when she got frustrated with me and blew bubbles in my face follow me on @paulnicklen //#strangeencounter #leopardseal #seal #climatechange #202020 #wildlife #gratitude #explore #nature #smile #love #beauty #adventure #travel @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #instagood #tbt #follow #followme #photooftheday #happy #tagforlikes #beautiful #like #picoftheday #summer #fun #friends #dominant
A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on

Link roundup

1. Bloomingdales apologizes for ad encouraging you to "spike" a woman's drink.

2. "Ten ways NFL players rig their uniforms"
Earlier this season, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford was sacked when a defender grabbed his jersey sleeves and yanked him to the ground. There was no escape for Bradford, no way to spin free, with a massive defensive lineman holding on to an oversized jersey that would be better suited for a Halloween costume. It was a "C'mon, man!" moment. You lost yards because of a flapping sleeve.
3. "Bloodthirsty War Dolphin" dollar store toy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Link roundup

1. "Facebook has recently launched a limited beta of its ground-breaking AI called M. M’s capabilities far exceed those of any competing AI."
When communicating with M, it insists it’s an AI, and that it lives right inside Messenger. However, its non-instantaneous nature and the sheer unlimited complexity of tasks it can handle suggest otherwise. The opinion is split as to whether or not it’s a real AI, and there seems to be no way of proving its nature on way or the other.
As it happens, I did find a way of proving M’s nature. But good storytelling mandates that first, I describe my laborious path to the result, and the inconclusive experiments I had to conduct before I finally got a definitive answer.
2. "Aziz Ansari on Acting, Race and Hollywood"
Fisher Stevens was cooking dinner when I got him on the phone. I had wanted to talk to him for years
One day in college, I decided to go on the television and film website IMDB to see what happened to the Indian actor from “Short Circuit 2.” Turns out, the Indian guy was a white guy.
3. New beanies at Last Exit to Nowhere based on Jaws, Robocop, and The Thing.

Link roundup

1. Unusually risky tattoo service:
The installation includes a 50-foot-long painting by him, at the center of which is a small hole, about four feet off the ground, with a chair in front of it. On a first-come-first-served basis, members of the public who so dare are invited to seat themselves in the chair for up to 90 minutes, their bare arm through the hole, while from the other side of the wall, Mr. Campbell tattoos on them whatever rendering he sees fit, knowing nothing about the subjects — even what they look like — and with zero input from them.
2. "On November 5, 2015, Google unveiled Smart Reply, a plug-in that reads and suggests responses to e-mails."
The early iterations of Smart Reply were overly affectionate. “I love you” was the machine’s most common suggested response. This was a touch awkward: because the model has no knowledge of the relationship between an e-mail’s sender and its receiver, it provides the same suggested responses whether you are corresponding with your boss or a long-lost sibling. “The team was really puzzled about this,” Gawley said. “It turns out that our internal testers are very affectionate and that ‘I love you’ is a very common thing for people at Google to say.”
3. Twitter feed dedicated to Riker's Google searches.

4. Fallout 4 figures available for preorder.

Link roundup

1. "Pretending at closeness is really the only way forward for anyone who wants to make money on the internet."

2. "In 2014, Airbnb launched a program to hand out free carbon monoxide detectors to hosts. Not announced at the time was that the program followed the hospitalization of five Airbnb users and death of one"

3. "A Border Patrol agent in south Texas faces murder charges in connection with what authorities say was a Mexican cartel killing that left a decapitated body floating off the coast of South Padre Island this year."

4.  Blindboxed Batman Arkham Games minifigures available for preorder.

Link roundup

1. "If you’ve seen Spectre, it should already be obvious to you that the James Bond franchise is a spinoff, taking place entirely within HP Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos."

2. "The United States Soccer Federation unveiled a series of safety initiatives [that] will prohibit players age 10 and younger from heading the ball and will reduce headers in practice for those from age 11 to 13."

3. "The direct act of heading the ball isn’t necessarily a problem. The study found that only 4.7% of boys’ concussions and 8.2% of girls’ concussions were due to head contact with the ball. But overall 30.6% of boys’ concussions and 25.3% of girls’ concussions occurred on headers, mostly from banging heads with another player, but also from hitting the turf."

4. Probe droid in the crowd to see The Emperor. Also, Knights of Ren.

ThreeA's Judge Dredd figure and motorcycle

Preorder November 26.