Thursday, March 31, 2016

Link roundup

1. "Players in Eve Online are at war, here's what we know"
I Want ISK is a gambling site where Eve players can take their in-game currency, called ISK, and basically play slots. Someone from Spacemonkey's group ticked off one of the bankers behind I Want ISK, a player named 1ronBank, so badly that he hired an in-game mercenary group to harass the fleets in their sector.

The entire effort snowballed, so now 1ronBank and the other bankers at I Want ISK are bankrolling what may prove to be the largest war effort in Eve Online history.
2. "Andrés Sepúlveda rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. "
He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices


He’s serving 10 years in prison for charges including use of malicious software, conspiracy to commit crime, violation of personal data, and espionage, related to hacking during Colombia’s 2014 presidential election. He has agreed to tell his full story for the first time, hoping to convince the public that he’s rehabilitated—and gather support for a reduced sentence.
3. Nightmare fuel.

"How the AP busted an international seafood slavery racket"

we found ourselves on a wooden ferry heading to Indonesia’s remote island village of Benjina, unreachable part of the year because of stormy seas. There were no roads and little electricity. The only way to get a message to the outside world was to climb a hill and pray for a tiny, flickering phone signal.

There was one business, though — a large fishing company. Six Thai trawlers were docked at port when we arrived, with more than 80 others still at sea. After a few days, we were able to talk to dozens of fisherman, most from Myanmar. The level of desperation was staggering. Some were locked in a cage because they had asked to go home. A jungle-covered company graveyard held the bodies of more than 60 fishermen, most buried under fake names. At night, men would run after us on windy, dusty paths, jamming pieces of paper into our hands with the names and addresses of family back home. "Please," they begged. "Tell them we are alive."

Phil Noto art show

At Stranger Factory.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Cops Bust Tumblr Witch Over ‘Boneghazi’"

Tumblr was rocked to its very core last December by a situation now known as Boneghazi — the last great meme of 2015. In a screenshot circulating on the blog network, a witch named Ender Darling offered up some human bones for sale, allegedly collected from a local New Orleans cemetery. What followed was a simultaneously amused and horrified discourse about witchcraft, spells, class, and race.


Two of Darling’s former roommates, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they had nothing to do with Darling’s bone collection or related rituals. “I think she thought she had way more power than she actually had,” one of them said.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Link roundup

1. "Go treasure hunting in an Arita porcelain warehouse for just 5000 yen"
Make your reservation by phone (they only allow 10 people per day)

Show up at your designated time, select your course (5,000 yen or 10,000 yen) and pay

Get a 30-min tour of the facility

Begin your 90-min treasure hunt. You’ll be given a pair of gloves, a flashlight and a basket. You can take home everything you fit in your basket.
2. From that AMA with the current #1 Clash Royale player:
I think they've already made the mistake of making the game SO expensive & take so long to progress so soon after launch - at this time in Clash of Clans' lifespan, they had only just released TH9... whereas in Clash Royale it takes $12,000 or a decade to max out your commons/rares/epics.


I make a big deal about the current cheating because it's super important that Supercell doesn't let Clash Royale turn into Clash of Clans when it comes to modding/exploitation. They need to stomp it out


I've spent $30k total between the games on my main accounts ($18k Clash of Clans + $12k Clash Royale)
3. Jeff Bezos liked the Thursday Next books?
Sometimes Bezos’s creativity gets the better of him. Prakash says the owner suggested a gamelike feature that would allow a [Washington Post] reader who didn’t enjoy an article to pay to remove its vowels. He called it “disemvoweling,” and the concept was to allow another reader to pay to restore the missing letters.
4. "Dinosaur Atrocity" toy packaging.

The Dark Knight Rises print by Tomer Hanuka

On sale tomorrow.

Shipping Container Hotel in Costa Rica

About El Faro Beach Hotel
Welcome to Costa Rica's one and only sea container hotel where you'll enjoy all the amenities of a luxury hotel while promoting sustainability. Authentic shipping containers have been stylishly transformed into a unique eco-friendly hotel with private balconies and unparalleled views.

Our containers were produced in China for worldwide transport, and abandoned in the Costa Rican port of Limón. Compared to other hotel projects with a similar number of rooms, the construction time was 35% faster saving 60% in concrete and water consumption and producing only 1/4 of normal construction waste. Watch this TV documentary to learn more.

Situated in the hillside contours of Manuel Antonio National Park—listed by Forbes as one of the world's 12 most beautiful—and 400 meters (440 yd) from the white sand beach, El Faro offers you a tropical paradise setting for your holiday.

Link roundup

1. "Antarctic seabirds called skuas" "Learn to Recognize Humans They Hate"
As the weeks went on, skuas attacked from greater distances. But they didn’t attack just anybody. All seven of the nesting pairs directed their attacks at the known intruder. The birds “reacted very aggressively” after five visits, the authors write, including kicking intruders in the head. They ignored the neutral humans.

Even though the researcher pairs wore identical clothing for their experiments, the skuas had no trouble spotting people who had fiddled with their nests in the past. The researchers don’t think the birds were using smell to tell them apart, since the site is windy. More likely, the birds relied on human facial features and body postures.
2. "The Los Feliz Murder House Is For Sale For The First Time In Over 50 Years"

3. Brandon Bird's Guide to Violating Copyright for Fun and Profit:
A question I get asked a lot is, “How come you haven’t gotten sued?” Another thing I see a lot of is artists worrying about getting sued (for example, in relation to comic companies cracking down on fan prints at conventions). I also see a lot of terrible mash-ups whose makers by all rights *should* be sued. So for all these reasons I thought I’d put together everything I know on the subject
4.  Names of the Year.  (Including Zeus Preckwinkle and Dicaprio Bootle.)

Han and Chewie figures

By Wetworks. Previously sold out, Pugrider:

10 Cloverfield Lane poster

Marketing shift. Via.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Link roundup

1. "when Holmes was released from prison last year, officials in [Richmond, California] offered something unusual to try to keep him alive: money. They began paying Holmes as much as $1,000 a month not to commit another gun crime."

2. "A Talon bomb disposal robot brings out the ball for the first pitch at a spring training baseball game."

3. "The artist whose painting got her dumped by Charles Schwab"
The answer is almost certainly related to the art exhibit that Meyohas showed at 303 Gallery in New York in January. The show involved trading stocks and making paintings of the resulting share prices
4. "These are just a few of the deadly creatures you’ll encounter on Skull Island: Reign of Kong [at Universal Orlando]":



Vastatosaurus rex

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Post-Apocalyptic Re-Election Posters

Available here.

Link roundup

1. "Secret Drug Tunnel Running From Restaurant in Mexico to California Home Uncovered"

2. "Coach K Apologizes For Lecturing Dillon Brooks And Lying About It"

3. "Dodger Stadium Security Guards Allegedly Stole Lots Of Dodger Stuff, Sold It On Ebay"

Gallery 1988's latest artwork is online

Including works by Stephen Andrade, David Natale, Dan Mumford, and Keir O'Donnell.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Link roundup

1. "'Defending Your Life' at 25: Albert Brooks on Making a Comedy Classic"

2. From 2010, "Amy Wallace survives a rare sparring session with Garry Shandling, the reclusive master of American comedy."
Garry Shandling was in 1A. Conan O'Brien and his family were three rows back. The two men are close friends, and their unexpected proximity made Shandling happy—so happy, he says, that he asked a flight attendant to deliver O'Brien a present. "Mr. Shandling can't finish his cookie, and he thought you might want to have the rest," the woman told O'Brien, presenting the crumb-littered plate.
3. Monkey hiding.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Link roundup

1. "Man sues Saudi prince, saying he partied way too hard in his Hollywood Hills home"
Over the years, neighbors accused Danny Fitzgerald of leasing his Hollywood Hills homes for loud parties. He said they had nothing better to do and suggested they "go to Palmdale where they belong."

Then Fitzgerald had a brush with royalty.

This week he filed a lawsuit against a Saudi prince he accused of partying so hard — with drugs and strippers — that it caused more than $80,000 in property damage to one of his homes.
2. The quirks of translating Ancillary Justice to French.

3. Anemones can hustle when they want to.

4. Fanmade GI Joe version of Magic the Gathering.

Link roundup

1. "Spanish-speaking Yankees feeling more comfortable as MLB mandates translator in clubhouse"
[Carlos] Beltran can relate. During his first years in the Royals organization, the Puerto Rico product didn’t know any English at all. He would go to the food court at a nearby mall and look for somebody eating something he liked.

“I would be on line and there were three people in front of me, so I would watch what they were ordering,” Beltran said. “When it was my turn, if the person in front of me ordered something I liked, I would point and say, ‘Same.’ If they ordered something I didn’t like, I would go to the back of the line and try again. I would sometimes go to the back of the line three or four times.”
2. "This mobile game is earning $100m every month in China"
Not bad for a game that’s 15 years old.


The Legend of Mir Mobile capitalizes on the nostalgia of China’s early PC gamers, the people who were playing this game on PC in internet cafes 15 years ago. Many of those gamers are now adults with white-collar jobs. They may or may not still be hardcore PC gamers, but virtually all of them own smartphones, and being able to play what many consider a classic game from their youth on a phone is too tempting to pass up.
3. Friday the 13th-themed wedding photos.

4. "You won't believe how Nike lost Steph to Under Armour"
On March 3, 2016, Business Insider relayed a note from Morgan Stanley analyst Jay Sole on Under Armour's business prospects. In it, Curry's potential worth to the company is placed at more than a staggering $14 billion.


The pitch meeting, according to Steph's father Dell, who was present, kicked off with one Nike official accidentally addressing Stephen as "Steph-on," the moniker, of course, of Steve Urkel's alter ego in Family Matters. "I heard some people pronounce his name wrong before," says Dell Curry. "I wasn't surprised. I was surprised that I didn't get a correction."

It got worse from there. A PowerPoint slide featured Kevin Durant's name, presumably left on by accident, presumably residue from repurposed materials. "I stopped paying attention after that," Dell says.


As someone familiar with Nike's marketing operation says, in regard to Curry: "Everything that makes him human and cuddly and an unlikely monster is anathema to Nike. They like studs with tight haircuts and muscles."

Raiders of the Lost Ark episode of I Was There Too

Great podcast episode about the making of the movie, including the adventure of the $70 roast beef sandwich.

Link roundup

1. "Utah Teen Hurt in Brussels Explosion Also Survived Boston Marathon Bombings; Was in France During Paris Attacks"
Mason Wells, 19, of Utah was 20 months into his Mormon missionary trip in France and Belgium during the attacks.
2. "Mirrored headboard turns into 'big magnifying glass,' burns Fresno home's carport to crisp"

3. "Downtown LA's Broad Museum to begin charging admission to some exhibits"
"It did strike me as weird to some degree because we all know that the Broad has made it a real point of pride that they’re offering free admission to the L.A. community and beyond," said Jori Finkel, arts writer for the New York Times.


Built on government-owned land
4. "Dozens of Vancouver-area real estate firms are failing to comply with federal anti-money-laundering laws that require them to identify who their clients are and where their money comes from"
It decided to step up scrutiny over worries that money primarily from China is being laundered through Vancouver real estate.

Link roundup

1. "Wikimedia and Facebook have given Angolans free access to their websites, but not to the rest of the internet. So, naturally, Angolans have started hiding pirated movies and music in Wikipedia articles and linking to them on closed Facebook groups, creating a totally free and clandestine file sharing network in a country where mobile internet data is extremely expensive."

2. "Adorable Prairie Dogs Brutally Kill Baby Ground Squirrels"
unlike tigers or other predators, prairie dogs are grass-eaters.


One especially prolific female executed seven babies in a single day. (By contrast, the prairie dogs never killed their own kind.)
3. Zootopia fun facts:
Clothing material is the same for all animals, so on a tiny animal, the cloth will look bulky and large and stitches will be large.


A giraffe has 9.2 million hairs! A new record for the studio.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

How to make Jabba the Hutt Marshmallow Treats


Student contest to name Los Angeles's new tunnel boring machine

Why do we name the TBM?
Traditionally, a TBM cannot start work until it is given a name. The TBM is generally named after a woman as a sign of good luck for the project ahead. History shows that workers looked to Saint Barbara for protection; she is the patron saint for military engineers, miners and others who work underground.

Name the TBM for a chance to make history! Enter to win cool prizes and the opportunity to have the name you’ve chosen displayed on the #RegionalTBM.

How to Enter
Submit an essay of 200 words or less OR a 2-minute (or less) video about your chosen name for the TBM.

Tell us about the significance of the name you have chosen and how it relates to your community, transportation or engineering. Have fun and be creative, witty and clever!

Names can be real or fictional. All entries must be a female name or character.

You must be a middle or high school student to enter.

Submit your entry by 5pm April 15, 2016.

Glow in the dark David Lo Pan poster

Part of a series of three Big Trouble in Little China posters.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Erosion sculptures

From the Erosion series of sculptures:
This work explores erosion and the disruption of form. Focusing on biological erosion, I wanted to convey the idea of a host being attacked and eaten away by a parasitic virus, highlighting the creeping spread of the infection as it corrupts the body. I have produced a series of angular porcelain forms, sandblasted to wear the surface and reveal inner strata. This aggressive process, contrarily, creates a delicate vulnerability in the shape. The translucency of the porcelain and the interruption of the surface make it possible to glimpse through to layers beneath, creating a tension between the seen and the obscured.

Link roundup

1. "Hands On: The Lab, Valve’s Portal-Themed VR Games"

2. "James Patterson wants to change book publishing—with $5 novellas that are like 'reading movies'"
“You can race through these—they’re like reading movies,” he says of his new line. “It gives people some alternative ways to read.”
3. "Viperblack, the first blacker than black t-shirt."
we are knee deep in finding the best solution for the blackest color possible.

My updated inventory

Link roundup

1. "Confessions of a sponsored content writer"
In the case of Maxim, Casper naturally hoped for something in return for its largesse. After the mattresses went mostly unreturned (one of the company’s selling points is that you can send back a mattress you don’t like), a PR rep began probing Maxim, asking where the coverage was. The site’s editorial director asked a gathering of staffers if any of them had accepted the free mattresses. About ten hands went up, representing nearly $10,000 in gifts. That was too much, the editorial director decided. They would have to write an article. Eventually, the site published a Q&A with one of Casper’s founders.

It probably didn’t matter to the innovators at Casper that they had doled out so much money for what was essentially one web article. The VC-backed company was looking to create brand awareness through any method possible...

In addition to its giveaway initiative, Casper had a little something going on the side. After the mattress haul, three Maxim staffers were approached by the same PR firm to find out if they wanted to interview for positions at Van Winkle’s, a new website dedicated to “smarter sleep and wakefulness.” In May, Matt Berical, a Maxim editor, decided to jump ship for the new venture. It is not immediately clear who sponsors, but if you poke around, you’ll land on a familiar name: “Van Winkle’s is published,” says the site’s About page, “by Casper Sleep, Inc.”
2. "The amazing story of Donald Trump’s old spokesman, John Barron — who was actually Donald Trump himself"
Trump kept up the charade for a full decade, as reporters unwittingly quoted Barron as if he were a real person.


Trump might have gotten away with his ruse even longer if not for a lawsuit in which he testified, under oath in 1990, that “I believe on occasion I used that name.”

The suit dealt with Trump’s employment of undocumented migrant workers from Poland on his Trump Tower project


that the business magnate borrowed the phony-spokesman trick from his father, Fred Trump, who sometimes posed as a "Mr. Green."
3. Rocket pop-flavored protein powder?

Friday, March 18, 2016

"Jury awards Hulk Hogan $115 million in damages"

USA 2016 track and field uniforms

The United States Nike Vapor track and field kits with AeroSwift technology feature a vivid interpretation of the country’s signature red, white and blue. As seen through the lens of Brasil, the kit introduces an explosion of blues, from obsidian to deep royal blue, as its foundation. It also reveals topographical lines across the shoulders, chest and arms that help highlight the body in motion, whereas crimson red Nike AeroBlades showcase the kit’s unprecedented technology. An American flag graphic on the upper left chest accompanies the country name, which is depicted in an eye-catching iridescent, while the back of the top presents an American eagle. Situated between the shoulder blades, it holds an eight-lane track in its talons.

Link roundup

1. "It has become so dangerous for first-responders in San Bernardino [California] that they won’t respond to a scene unless there is a police presence at the location." [Article makes no mention of any attack against firefighters?]

2. "Chipotle Promises More Free Food Amid Massive Losses"
Hartung says the company has also experienced bigger losses than he expected as of late due to food waste. Unpredictable traffic patterns in stores means more food is being thrown out
3. Mural at a Russian railway station commemorating the shooting down of the American U-2 in May 1960.

Link roundup

1. "Here's why 'Straight Outta Compton' had different Facebook trailers for people of different races"
For Universal Pictures, one of the problems Facebook helped them sidestep was the fact that white Americans didn’t really know what iconic rap group N.W.A. was, or that Ice Cube and Dr. Dre made music.
2. "NPR decides it won’t promote its podcasts or NPR One on air"
In other words, NPR can’t promote NPR One — the lauded, loved app that is basically the future of NPR — to what is literally the group of people that would be most interested in it, NPR radio listeners. NPR is investing substantially in developing podcasts — but it isn’t allowed to tell radio listeners where to find them or how they can listen to them.
3. "D.C. Federal Chief Judge Retires Amid Sexual Abuse Allegations"
Court papers say Roberts, then 27, coerced Mitchell's silence by telling the then-16-year-old girl that if the alleged assaults were discovered, a mistrial would be declared and Franklin would go free.
4. "Florida is drinking Gatorade out of Powerade bottles, so the NCAA doesn't get mad"

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Solid rewriting of the Star Wars prequels

The intro:
Basically focus on how the Clone War takes a toll on the Jedi, compress most of the current ep. 2 into the first half of ep. 2. How the battles are “won” and lost at great cost for the Jedi creating a cycle of hate, grief and misery within the order that further breaks them.

Many die.

A few turn to the darkside, killing more still. They have to be hunted down and killed.

Meanwhile, they increasingly have to rely on a prodigal Jedi: Skywalker.

Indeed Skywalker reveals himself particularly gifted in hunting them down.

Quickly, to preserve their numbers and allow Masters to focus on the war, Skywalker is assigned almost exclusively the Jedi hunting missions. Willfully and out of necessity perhaps, the Jedi ignore that Skywalker too is increasingly burdened by the conflict.

Where they truly Dark Jedi? Does he enjoys it? Did he even let them surrender? Rumours spread. He becomes the Jedi who kills other Jedis, he's a pariah within the ranks.

Nike will save you the trouble of pulling shorts over your tights

Ignore the kaleidoscope print:
In addition, the modern silhouettes provide new performance solutions. For example, the NikeLab Kaleidoscope Dri-FIT 2-in-1 Short x RT blends the performance of full-length tights with the styling of shorts. Despite the two layers, the garment features just one waistband for a zero-distraction feel.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Link roundup

1. "Police in a Massachusetts town are warning residents to be on the lookout for men challenging passers-by to rap battles."

2. "In a video posted on Instagram, Cavill walked around New York City's Times Square wearing his Superman T-shirt. He stood under a billboard for the upcoming movie, walked into a Starbucks and flashed his famous logo outside of a burger joint."
No one noticed him.
3. "Tangible Evidence. Intellectual Brutality."

Nike Anti-Clog Traction

“Mud has always presented unfortunate but seemingly accepted problems. Players are accustomed to clanking their boots together as they exit the pitch or rubbing them over harsh brushes to remove mud. Worse, they play slower and cautiously as mud makes their feet heavy and compromises their traction,” says Max Blau, VP of Nike Football Footwear. “Nike Football is focused on playing fast in all conditions, so we are committed to solving this problem for athletes.”

Nike Anti-Clog Traction prevents mud from clogging the sole plate of Nike’s football boots. The technology was developed over the course of two years with insights from Nike’s design, materials and research teams. Dr. Jeremy Walker was one of several PhDs working on this project, with backgrounds in materials science engineering and chemistry. “There is a reason why this problem persisted for so many generations of players,” says Walker. “It is extremely difficult to solve. But, that’s the kind of challenge we thrive on.”

Nike Anti-Clog Traction sole plates include an adaptive polymer that becomes compliant when exposed to water. Walker and his team initially pursued a variety of mechanical and water-repellent solutions, but concluded none were viable for the lifetime of the boots. Their next approach seemed counterintuitive, but ultimately proved effective. “We stopped thinking about repelling water and started thinking about using it to our advantage to create a lubricious layer, without sacrificing traction,” continues Walker. “Understanding the molecular structure of mud was key to developing a hydrophilic solution, which helps keep mud from clogging the plate.”

“We’ve tested Nike Anti-Clog Traction on players around the world,” confirms Blau. “They leave the pitch preparing to habitually clean the mud out of their studs only to discover there’s almost no mud there. They can’t believe this is even possible, but it is. As we continue to advance this space, we see opportunities not just for football but for all sports that deal with muddy conditions.”
Bonus: Mo Farah and Allyson Felix modeling new Nike gear:

"Chest Tracker for Clash Royale"

"Chest Tracker for Clash Royale [Free] is pretty much what it says on the tin: it tells you, based on which chest you received most recently, which chest you're bound to get next."
What's good for the developer TouchMint is that he's cleverly thrown in a banner ad

Star Wars technician

From a new Star Wars RPG expansion.

"Their gameplay session was shown to the audience with a short video that left the room in stunned, dismayed silence."

"Online harassment in virtual reality is 'way, way, way worse'"

or put another way:

"The Journalist and the Troll: This Man Spent Two Years Trying to Destroy Me Online"

By Dune Lawrence:
When Bloomberg’s lawyers sent him a letter telling him to take down the tweets and stop defaming me, he fired off another long e-mail.


I reached out through Bloomberg’s lawyers. The message came back—sorry, can’t help.


The site had a Facebook page, and Bloomberg’s legal team tried to get Facebook to remove references to me. No response.


When I complained to Twitter that Wey’s account was abusive, I got a response from Twitter Trust & Safety, telling me Wey wasn’t violating Twitter’s rules and to block his tweets so I couldn’t see them. I sent in more examples of Wey’s tweets, and Twitter suspended his account. He was back in less than three weeks. Someone opened a Twitter account impersonating me. The only follower was Benjamin Wey. Twitter did block that one.


Friends and colleagues told me appealing to Google was pretty much hopeless, and I found that to be true.


Bouveng’s lawyers tried to persuade the judge in the case to stop Wey from continuing to publish defamatory articles, asserting that they amounted to retaliation and witness intimidation. Wey’s lawyers argued that this would infringe on Wey’s right to free speech. The judge didn’t rule on this aspect of the case until after the trial was over, when he said the money judgment made it a moot point. Many of the stories remain online, updated with new material.

Fierce sloth loves his pole


Science posters

By Justin Van Genderen available here.

Ann Leckie's Ancillary Mercy is really good

Please read the trilogy and recommend it to a friend.

Hawkeye action figure comes with Ant-Man riding an arrow

By Hot Toys.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Making Saturday Night Live’s “Undercover Boss: Starkiller Base”

Man, the [Kylo Ren costume provided by Lucasfilm] was really cool. The three things that really stood out to us were that, one, it’s a LOT of layers. Two, it’s very heavy — it’s a surprisingly heavy costume. One of the layers felt like one of those vests that you get at the dentist, like the lead smock they put on you when you get the x-ray [Laughs]. It’s just, you lift it out of the bag and you’re like, “Oh my goodness,” you know? And then we’ve got like five more layers to go!

... Now, did you have a hand in the design of the “Matt the Radar Technician” outfit?

Tom Spina: No, that was all SNL and all awesome! We were there for one cool moment though, when the costumer brought out a tray of glasses, and kind of just held them up to Adam and went, “Ok, which are the most Matt?” [Laughs] And he picked his choice from about a dozen awful, very bad glasses.

My favorite soccer referee

He's 6'6".
Intense horror short from Adult Swim--This House Has People In It. And the FAQ from the companion site. Via.

Link roundup

1. "Baron Davis made a sad discovery before his first trip this month with the Delaware 87ers of the N.B.A. Development League."
“Delaware is not like Hollywood,” Davis said. “But Delaware is cool.
2. Travel photos + plastic dinosaurs = magic.

3. "Beverly Hills put a spotlight on its celebrity water wasters -- and it worked"
The letters went to entertainment industry figures such as comedian Amy Poehler, prominent real estate developers such as Geoff Palmer and other notable names. An estate owned by philanthropist and former media mogul David Geffen used an average of about 27,000 gallons of water a day between June 2 and Aug. 2 — roughly 60 times what an average Los Angeles family uses
4. Ikea has a new hydroponics set.

Link roundup

1. "How an Internet Cat Craze Became a Toy Empire"
Pusheen’s popularity exploded when Facebook contacted Belton in January 2013. A team at the social network was developing digital stickers that users could send one another in the chat feature and wanted Pusheen stickers to be among the selection. When the stickers made their debut in July 2013, “Pusheen’s fan base exploded overnight,” said Duff, who added that the stickers are used more than 10 million times a day.
2. "A New Weapon for Battling Cellphones in [Beijing] Theaters: Laser Beams"
The approach varies, but the idea is the same. During a performance, ushers equipped with laser pointers are stationed above, or on the perimeter of, the audience. When they spot a lighted mobile phone, instead of dashing over to the offender, they pounce with a pointer (usually red or green), aiming it at the glowing screen until the user desists.

Call it laser shaming.
3. JJ Abrams and Phantasm:
What happened was…Well, going way back, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that when I made Phantasm, I didn’t know it, but I was not making a horror film. I was making a young teen male empowerment film. Because I’m meeting all these guys in their thirties and forties and fifties who the film back when they were twelve and thirteen and it had an impact on them. I guess J.J. must have been one of those guys. I’m not sure, but he saw it when he was young and it stuck with him . . . .

So anyway, we’d stay in touch and he was obviously busy working on some great movies and TV series. And then out of the blue, about a year and a half ago, I got an email from him about wanting to screen Phantasm over at his company, Bad Robot. He wanted me to come do a Q&A. I guess there were a lot of folks who worked there who had never seen the movie and J.J. wanted to share it with them. The problem was that I only had this 35mm print that was pretty scratched and not that great and the old standard def DVD, which looked really good at the time that we made it, but it was not HD. He couldn’t believe that! He said “We’ve got to fix that.”

He got me on the phone with his head of production, Ben Rosenblatt and they came up with a really clever idea. Whenever they had downtime working on their Star Wars and Star Treks and stuff like that, they’d bring me over. They had this really high-end Mystica finishing system and if we could just get a laser scan made of the original camera negative it could go into the workstation. So every month or two, I’d get a phone call: “C’mon! We’ve got time tonight!”

Monday, March 14, 2016

Link roundup

1. "Inside the elite, super-secret world of L.A.’s coolest girls on Facebook"
Lest you be confused (or hope to try to join it), you should know that it’s not actually called ‘Girls Night In,’ but rather changes names constantly based on a rotating series of inside jokes. Getting in requires recommendations from at least three women already in the group. “If you meet a nice girl in a bathroom while you are drunk i am really happy for you and for her but that’s not cause to add her to this group,” its rules advise.
2. "Even before the police heard of the baby’s killing, the authorities on South Andaman Island were struggling with the question of whether to allow the Jarawas, who are classified as a 'particularly vulnerable tribal group,' more access to the world outside their reserve."
Baby’s Killing Tests India’s Protection of an Aboriginal Culture
3. MTV:
One of the reasons to be excited about indie rock was that historically it didn’t face the cookie-cutter constraints of radio or major labels. Factors like the transformative success of The O.C. as a soundtrack and cultural force, the collapse of the traditional music industry, and people forgoing the radio for iPods forced many bands toward a path of sync licenses (soundtracking TV and commercials), often necessitating odd corporate plays in order to have anything resembling a career. The bands that suited the palate of this mainstream were ones that could plausibly fit into inoffensive, accessible, cute, quirky spaces: Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, Death Cab for Cutie, Grizzly Bear. Their collective summit of Mt. Urban Outfitters created a pathway, which in turn created a code — if your band checked these boxes of poesy and generic indie rock sound, then you, too, could have it all. The result is a generation of bands that make music that could easily fade into the background if you don’t keep the volume high enough.

17% off at Zazzle

With the code PUSHYOURLUCK--if you're in the mood for one of Steve Thomas's new Lovecraft-themed travel posters.

Link roundup

1. "Richard Simmons spoke exclusively to ET on Sunday, addressing recent reports about why he had not been seen in public in more than two years."
"I am not kidnapped," the 67-year-old fitness guru told ET's executive producer, Brad Bessey, by phone. "I am just in my house right now."
2. "A robot representing a right-leaning Israel advocacy group has been accused of “harassing students” and “policing academic discourse” at a Brown University discussion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last week."
Tzezana’s robot was a wheeled contraption topped by an iPad, which showed the face of Shahar Azani – northeast executive director of pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs. Via live video, Azani was able to “move” around the room and chat with students.

Watch a warthog collapse in ecstasy as a group of mongooses clean it of ticks

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Link roundup

1. "Giants gave Michael Strahan fake Super Bowl XLII jersey: lawsuit"

2. Come with me if you want to live.

3. Where's Richard Simmons?
Two years ago, the flamboyant fitness guru abruptly disappeared from public life. Now, his closest friends, banished from his inner circle, have grown increasingly concerned. They worry that the pop-culture icon is being held against his will inside his Hollywood Hills mansion — with one suggesting more sinister notions are at play.


A commission by Brian Stuckey.

Link roundup

1. "Dos Equis is switching out the actor in their 'Most Interesting Man in the World' ad campaign"

2. "USDA Investigating Possible Plastic Sabotage At Poultry Processing Plant"

3. "Now that the world's chess information isn't limited to a room full of index cards in Soviet Russia, anyone can look up what anyone else does, and anyone's published games can be mined for errors and improvements."


Friday, March 11, 2016

Better Call Saul

Link roundup

1. "A mystery investor [in Turkey] who first appeared a year and a half ago with $450 million of bets on a single day, almost double the market average, is now executing major transactions with increasing frequency, scaring away competitors who can’t figure out when he or she will strike next, traders and bankers said."

2. The misadventures of the Russian fleet destroyed by Japan:
They slowly make their way around Africa, fighting off several more "torpedo boats" and picking up a variety of exotic pets like crocodiles and snakes that now roam the ships. Their refrigerated ship fails and they have to dump large quantities of rotten meat, causing a swarm of sharks to follow them around.

They had a long stopover in Madagascar. During a funeral for a crewmember who died of illness, a live shell was mistakenly used in the gunnery salute, hitting the cruiser Aurora.
3. "A koala in a Los Angeles Zoo enclosure was mauled to death, and the beloved Griffith Park mountain lion P-22 is believed to be the animal responsible, the zoo's director said Wednesday."
Surveillance footage showed P-22 getting into the LA Zoo
4. "McCafé Ad Featuring Gay Teen Sparks Controversy in Taiwan"
In the ad, the son scribbles on a McCafé cup the words "I like guys," to which his father reacts by getting angry and storming out. Eventually, the father returns with another cup from McCafé and writes on his son's cup, "I accept that you like guys." Religious groups in Taiwan are not pleased

Red Bull X-Fighters trophy

Built by JJ, based on a competition winner.

The previous trophy: