Monday, October 30, 2017

Costumes















Sunday, October 29, 2017

Nano pond





Here's his article
about making your own.

"Puerto Rico’s utility cancels controversial contract with Montana firm to repair electric grid"

"About 80 percent of the people living on the commonwealth’s main island still have no electricity."

"Apple has reportedly dismissed an engineer after his daughter’s iPhone X hands-on video went viral on YouTube"

"Apple reportedly requested that Peterson remove the video, but it was clearly too late as the content spread further and further."

"Pitchers and coaches from both the Dodgers and Astros complained Saturday night about the World Series baseballs"

SI:

They say there is a new problem: the baseballs used in the World Series are slicker than the ones used in the regular season because of a difference in the grain of the leather. The slicker World Series balls particularly make it hard to throw a good slider, they claim.

...

Astros pitching coach Brent Strom said after Los Angeles won Game 4, 6-2. “I’m not taking anything away from the players. I just want to know why? Why in the world would the baseballs in the World Series be different? Because you can see the difference. You can feel it. I don’t understand it at all.”

...

Peter Woodfork, senior vice president, baseball operations, of Major League Baseball, said World Series balls are tested at the time of manufacturing and are made from the same materials and to the same standards as regular season baseballs. “The only difference is the gold stamping on the baseballs,” he said, a switch from the blue ink used during the regular season.

...

Strom showed SI two baseballs side by side: a baseball used in World Series Game 4 and a regular season baseball. The regular season ball had not been prepared for a game with the specialty mud that umpires or their attendants rub into baseballs to reduce the shine and slickness. Even accounting for that difference, the leather grain of the World Series ball looked and felt noticeably different. It was slicker to the touch.

...

“Lance McCullers took the blindfold test in the bullpen,” said Charlie Morton, Houston’s Game 4 starter, referring to another Astros pitcher. “He could tell which ball was which with his eyes closed. It’s that different.”

Said Houston pitcher Justin Verlander, “The World Series ball is slicker. No doubt. I’m telling you, we’re in here signing [World Series] balls before the game, and it’s hard to get the ink on the ball sometimes.

Scariest story winner

The start of the tale:

Ok, here goes. Writing this out makes me want to barf.

I was a news reporter right out of college, reporting on dismal topics in dismal towns. After three or four years of this, with the help of a friend, I landed an interview at an ad agency in Cincinnati. I got a job writing speeches and press releases and doing the usual early-pr-career grunt work. After stints in Alaska and West Virginia, Cincy seemed like a metropolis, and I picked a totally refinished first-floor apartment off of Craigslist. It was $400 a month and not in a great part of town, though the landlord assured me it was changing. Besides: in West Virginia, I was living in an old furniture factory for $300 a month and kicking crackheads off the front stoop. This place sounded like paradise.

My huge black dog Dozer and I drive down the street for the first time- a library! A record store! Restaurants! I pull up to my building, a few blocks down from the retail stuff, and it’s… not at all as described. The vestibule for the apartment is caked with grime. But I already have my key and I open the door to find an almost eerily perfect apartment. Everything is brand-new. The main room is in front. White carpet, white walls, a refinished bathroom, a boring but tidy kitchen. Huge windows, high ceilings. In the back is a small bedroom with a door leading out to a tiny, three-step back stoop and a little fenced backyard.

Over the next couple of weeks my friend helps me meet people, including her friend Alan. He’s great; we kind of friend hang out and kind of boyfriend-girlfriend hang out. Who knows. I have to drive around the state a lot for work and he watches Dozer while I’m gone- I always go to his place to pick her up on my way home.

The first time I do this, I come into the back of the apartment with my bags and race to the bathroom to pee.

The seat is up, and I fall right into the toilet. I figure Alan left it up, and unpack, go running with Dozer, etc.

A couple of weeks later, I have to travel again. I leave my keys with Alan so he can pick up Dozer after he gets off work. Same routine: I pick her up two days later and go straight home, in through the back bedroom door.

I go to the bathroom and sit down again; again, I fall right into the toilet. I think: I need to ask Alan not to do this when he picks up Dozer; it’s so weird. I walk out of the other bathroom door and into the main room.

Everything there is covered with a thick layer of dust, as if I’d been gone for years.

It covers my dining room table- the stray coffee cup I’d left there. It’s sunk into my mom’s old velvet couch, on my picture frames, onto every nook and cranny of the huge yellow hutch against the wall. It’s on the windowsills, on every handle of every drawer. Only the inside handle of the front door is perfectly clean. The door is locked.

I realize the white carpet is filled with even more dust- it’s white-on-white so I hadn’t noticed. I get out the vacuum and I fill two bags. I call the (Seattle-based) landlord and say that if he’s renovating other parts of the building they need to chill on the construction dust. He says he’s “short on funds at the moment” and my renovation was and will be the only one.

After that I’m home for a couple of weeks and everything’s… fine. I figure the air ducts burped out some old gross stuff. For my next trip, the usual. I come home with Dozer and the seat’s up. I had teased Alan about it and he’d said: I’ve never used the bathroom in your apartment.

I go out into the main room and the box of pictures from college I’d dragged around for a couple years was on a dining room chair.

Andre Ethier's advice to Cody Bellinger after Bellinger's 8th strikeout in 13 at bats

Yahoo:

veteran Andre Ethier – approached him with an earnest mug, as though he’d come bearing insight or wisdom or, hell, a tousle of the hair. Anything would do. With failure come good, hard lessons, and through lessons comes the man who could, for example, take over a series. At least put a ball in play. Presumably, Bellinger was all for that. So he looked up and his pal Andre Ethier leaned in and said, as Ethier recalled later, “You might as well not bring a bat up there anymore. You have the same chance.” Then he went and found his regular place on the dugout rail.
Also, for North Shore fans:
Standing at second base in the seventh inning, Bellinger gazed into the dugout, found Ethier’s eyes, and nodded. Ethier raised his hand in a “hang loose” gesture, because, as Ethier said, “He’s the only surfer from Chandler, Arizona, I’ve ever met.”

Anti-development propaganda





Garnet commission


Saturday, October 28, 2017

"How Floyd Mayweather Helped Two Young Guys From Miami Get Rich"

NYT:

In September, he told his 13.5 million followers on Facebook not once but twice that they should buy a new virtual currency known as the Centra token.

...

The boxer’s endorsement of Centra, along with a similar endorsement from the popular rapper DJ Khaled, lent a patina of credibility to a project that has ended up with more than a few problems, including a chief executive who does not appear to have been a real person and a shaky, fast-shifting business plan.

Thanks in part to the endorsements, in just a few weeks Centra’s founders raised over $30 million from investors around the world. They finished their fund-raising this month, just before a grand jury indicted two of the three co-founders on perjury charges stemming from a drunken-driving case.

Houston Astros-themed skirt


"Over the past 12 years, the country’s biggest urban water agency has paid farmers about $190 million not to grow crops on thousands of acres near the Colorado River in the Palo Verde Valley"

DS:

The water has gone to Los Angeles and other cities across Southern California, and in return, the farmers who’ve left some of their lands unplanted have been able to count on additional income.

...

All seven current members of the Palo Verde Irrigation District’s Board of Trustees have farmland enrolled in the land-fallowing program and have been receiving payments for the land they leave dry each year.

"The motorcade had to slow down and the cyclist caught up, still offering the finger"




"Teforia, startup that made $1,000 tea infusers, calls it quits"

"Teforia raised $12 million around a year ago"



"online conspiracy theorists harass Vegas victims"

TG:

By some measures, YouTube seems to be making the problem worse. This week, a search for “Braden Matejka” on the Google-owned video platform suggested a video titled “How To Spot Crisis Actors & Fakest News Ever” as one of the top results. That’s despite the fact that YouTube said it was immediately changing its algorithm to better promote legitimate sources after Las Vegas victims criticized the site for spreading conspiracies.

Mike Cronk, another Las Vegas survivor, was also widely targeted by conspiracy theorists after he did interviews with ABC and NBC news stations. So many users on YouTube have published videos calling him a fake that a search for his name autocompleted to “Mike Cronk crisis actor” and “Mike Cronk fake”. The top three search results for “Mike Cronk Las Vegas” were conspiracy videos, promoted higher than the ABC News segment.

"Italy is paying Libya to intercept migrants on the Mediterranean"

Vice:

In the first six months of 2017, the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy dropped by around half. This drastic fall in numbers was likely a result of a $236 million deal, signed in February, in which Italy funds and trains the Libyan coast guards to divert migrants right back to Libya.

"There is a big spider in your car"


Friday, October 27, 2017

"New futuristic Tianjin library is the coolest place to read a book in China"

the Tianjin Binhai Library.

"Myspace Looked Like It Was Back. Actually, It Was A Pawn In An Ad Fraud Scheme"

BF:

This is the latest in an ongoing catalog of fraud in programmatic advertising that continues to shake confidence in the digital media industry. Last week a BuzzFeed News investigation revealed that ad industry insiders profited from a network of “zombie websites” that used special code to trigger an avalanche of fraudulent views of video ads. The growing awareness of ad fraud among brands and agencies is causing major advertisers to pull back budgets and demand more accountability from their partners. Industry leaders expect more than $16 billion to be stolen by fraudsters this year alone.

"Researchers have developed a new light that can protect locker rooms and stage performances from omnipresent smartphone surveillance"

FCD:

it’s a smart LED light that can make a room glow for the human eye, but flicker in a distorting light pattern at high frequencies beyond our vision. While this distortion is imperceptible to people, it confounds the greater visual acuity inside cameras, convincing their shutters to over- and underexpose the picture frame simultaneously. The effect manifests as a zebra pattern that can even distort color.

"The Collapse Of Visceral's Ambitious Star Wars Game"

Kotaku:

You might not even have noticed the way Dodger touched that door, but for Visceral, that simple animation was months in the making. They spent hours and hours of development time just working on the way in which Dodger would touch the door. This was a frustrating experience for some members of the team, who felt like they didn’t have enough core features in place to be spending so much time on a demo. That demo may have looked good, but people who worked on it said you couldn’t play very much. “Dodger couldn’t even shoot his gun and we’re fine-tuning where his hand placement needed to be,” said one Ragtag developer. “We don’t have a single environment for Dodger to exist in... How do you build a system if you don’t know what your average area is gonna be?”

...

For years, four sources said, Söderlund and Jade Raymond had been asking about what Ragtag’s innovation would be. “What was this game’s ‘gravity gun’?” they would ask, a reference to Half-Life’s iconic weapon. And while the team had come up with lots of ideas—sabotage mechanics, a rotating cast of companions, and so on—executing those ideas had proven difficult.
Meanwhile:
Then Star Wars Battlefront came out and changed everything.

Star Wars is never easy. On November 17, 2015, EA released the much-anticipated Star Wars Battlefront, the first Star Wars game to be released after LucasArts’ demise. Battlefront was a massive success, shipping 13 million copies by the end of 2015

"The ‘Sh*tty Men in Media’ List Has Officially Been Weaponized"

"Yesterday, a copy of it was published on Reddit; since then, an anonymous Twitter account devoted to it has been tweeting a link incessantly."

Relatedly


Pepita from Disney's Coco



Plush Pepita and mask available at Amazon.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Echo, a game about fighting doppelgangers that learn to mimic your play style





"Key Google Searches Only Showed Republican Candidate In Montana House Special Election"

HP:

In the final days before Montana’s special House election earlier this year, the digital media vendor for Rob Quist, the Democratic candidate, noticed a crucial problem. The only candidate appearing on Google’s results page for common searches like “Montana special election candidates” was Greg Gianforte, the Republican.

A tech team hired by Daniel Beckman, the managing director of Quist’s digital vendor IB5k, alerted the campaign that it wasn’t an isolated glitch. It turned out that for almost the entire race, only Gianforte showed up in what Google calls its “Instant Answers” box.

...

Beckman soon found out how difficult it would be to fix the Google problem. He tried to bring the issue to the attention of his Google advertising representative, but was told that there is a strict firewall between the advertising team and the search product team.

The representative told Beckman in an email that he could not even provide guidance on whom he might contact to resolve the problem. “Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help on the ads front,” the representative responded in an email provided to HuffPost.

Google provides a feedback form to file complaints about search results, which Beckman filled out. The feedback form, though, didn’t even send an automated email noting that the complaint was received.

There was little time before election day and Beckman needed to resolve the issue quickly. But he was lucky ― having worked on former President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and lived in San Francisco, he had contacts who worked at Google or knew people who did.

"Accused Flagler County 'wedding crasher' issues statement"

ANJ:

My name is Shelby McDowell, and I am known as the “Wedding Crasher.” I am writing this article because my side of the story should be brought to light.

There are three truths to every story.

Wolf Onesie






"Navy rescues 2 Honolulu women lost at sea for months"

SA:

Two months into their trip, well after they were scheduled to arrive in Tahiti, the women began making distress calls, but there were no vessels close and they were too far out to sea for the signals to be detected on land.

They told the Navy that they survived because they had packed in a water purifier and enough food for a year, mostly dried goods like oatmeal and pasta.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Schoolhouse Rock Bill cosplay


Here's why Shadows of the Empire "happened"



There's a long retrospective here:
According to Lucasfilm Licensing president Howard Roffman, Shadows of the Empire actually rose out of an opportunity which presented itself after Lucas adjusted his Episode I writing schedule. "At the time, the idea was that he was going to release Episode I in 1997 for the 20th anniversary of Star Wars," says Roffman. "Around the same time, he got this idea to bring the original Star Wars back to the theaters, and we would do that in 1996 as kind of a prelude to Episode I. Well, lo and behold, as George gets down the road in 1995, the script isn't progressing as quickly as he thought, so we faced the bitter reality that there's no way we're going to get the film done for 1997.

Dwyane Wade’s handshake with LeBron compared to his handshake with Kevin Love

Flyover Country app

"Track your flight with GPS - discover information about the world below and clouds above with offline maps and POI. Worldwide."

CL:

Users mark their starting point and destination, and the app will trace the great circle arc between the two points (kind of like the live flight trackers some carriers have as part of their in-flight entertainment system). The app then gathers information from Wikipedia and scientific databases to highlight geological points of interest such as lakes, mountains, glaciers, and fossil locations. Users can download the info before they board the plane, and read mid-flight. The app even tracks the phone’s location in real-time using its GPS system so users can see what points of interest are right underneath them. Loeffler adds that the app can be used during hikes and road trips, as well.

Shadows of the Empire movie poster by Brandon Bird



On sale.

MTV.com headline from 2013: "God Bless Terry Richardson for Capturing the Bizarre Sexual Chemistry Between Lady Gaga and R. Kelly"

"Terry Richardson sure has a knack for photographing our favorite dream couples."

"Click your heels to get home with these Uber ruby slippers"

"To avoid accidentally triggering the shoes on a night out and being followed down the street by a motorcade of angry Uber drivers, I coded them to wait for three heel clicks in under 1.5 seconds. "

Storm and Lockjaw

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"Amazon on Wednesday announced Amazon Key, a new program for Prime members that lets delivery people drop off packages inside of customer homes"

Recode:

To make Amazon Key possible, Amazon has introduced its own $120 internet-connected security camera called Amazon Cloud Cam. Customers who want to participate in the program need to purchase an accompanying “smart” lock to allow delivery people to enter their home. Combined camera-lock packages start at $250.



Drawlloween by Ted Graves





Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Gig posters by Delicious Design League



For sale.

AT-AT wood sculpture by Amanda Visell



For sale.

"Small Montana firm lands Puerto Rico’s biggest contract to get the power back on"

WaPo:

For the sprawling effort to restore Puerto Rico’s crippled electrical grid, the territory’s state-owned utility has turned to a two-year-old company from Montana that had just two full-time employees on the day Hurricane Maria made landfall.

...

The company acknowledges it had only two full-time employees when Maria struck but says its business model calls for ramping up rapidly by hiring workers on short-term contracts.

...

Whitefish Energy is based in Whitefish, Mont., the home town of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Its chief executive, Andy Techmanski, and Zinke acknowledge knowing one another — but only, Zinke’s office said in an email, because Whitefish is a small town where “everybody knows everybody.” One of Zinke’s sons “joined a friend who worked a summer job” at one of Techmanski’s construction sites, the email said. Whitefish said he worked as a “flagger.”
TDB:
The private-equity firm that finances Whitefish, HBC Investments, was founded by Joe Colonnetta, who serves as its general partner.

Federal Elections Commission data compiled by The Daily Beast shows Colonnetta contributed $20,000 to the Trump Victory PAC during the general election, $2,700 to Trump’s primary election campaign (then the maximum amount permitted), $2,700 to Trump’s general election campaign (also the maximum), and a total of $30,700 to the Republican National Committee in 2016 alone.

Colonnetta’s wife, Kimberly, is no stranger to Republican politics either; shortly after Trump’s victory, she gave $33,400 to the Republican National Committee, the maximum contribution permitted for party committees in 2016.

"Cadavers and body parts, especially those of the poor, are sold in a thriving and largely unregulated market"

Reu:

Body brokers are also known as non-transplant tissue banks. They are distinct from the organ and tissue transplant industry, which the U.S. government closely regulates. Selling hearts, kidneys and tendons for transplant is illegal. But no federal law governs the sale of cadavers or body parts for use in research or education. Few state laws provide any oversight whatsoever, and almost anyone, regardless of expertise, can dissect and sell human body parts.

“The current state of affairs is a free-for-all,” said Angela McArthur, who directs the body donation program at the University of Minnesota Medical School and formerly chaired her state’s anatomical donation commission. “We are seeing similar problems to what we saw with grave-robbers centuries ago,” she said, referring to the 19th-century practice of obtaining cadavers in ways that violated the dignity of the dead.

...

The industry’s business model hinges on access to a large supply of free bodies, which often come from the poor. In return for a body, brokers typically cremate a portion of the donor at no charge.

"Jenn Sterger rips ESPN for job interview that ended in strip club"

"As ESPN continues to weather the storm of its aborted Barstool Sports experiment, former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger alleges the Worldwide Leader’s hands are just as dirty."

Also:

"ESPN Host Sam Ponder Slams Barstool Sports for Sexist Remarks Calling Her a ‘Slut’ as Site Joins Network"

And then:



And:

Ohio State Buckeyes uniform for this weekend

"Air Canada being probed for another runway blunder at SFO"

SFC:

Federal investigators are probing why an Air Canada flight crew did not hear repeated warnings from air traffic controllers to abort a landing at San Francisco International Airport Sunday night, less than four months after a near-miss landing at SFO by a jet from the same airline.

...

An air traffic controller repeats “Canada 781 go around” at least six times, according to a public radio transmission of the incident listened to by The Chronicle.

When the commands went unanswered, the traffic controller used a flashing red light gun to alert the crew to go around, which officials said is standard protocol for an unresponsive air crew. The move also failed to get the crew’s attention.

...

Constant communication with air traffic controllers is a must for pilots, Aimer said. Going “nordo,” which means having no radio communication for an extended period, should have raised alarms with the pilot, he said.

$50 minimum to park at Dodger Stadium

Monday, October 23, 2017

"Female lawmakers, staffers and lobbyists speak out on 'pervasive' harassment in California's Capitol"

"More than 140 women — including legislators, Capitol staff, political consultants and lobbyists — signed a letter calling out the “pervasive” culture of sexual harassment and mistreatment"

"ESPN Cancels 'Barstool Van Talk' After One Episode"

SI:

ESPN President John Skipper issued the following statement:

'Effective immediately, I am cancelling Barstool Van Talk. While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content. Apart from this decision, we appreciate the efforts of Big Cat and PFT Commenter. They delivered the show they promised."

Tiny occult altar

Georgetown offering to video baby gender reveals at basketball games.

"Snap’s Misfire on Spectacles"

"Snap badly overestimated demand for its Spectacles and now has hundreds of thousands of unsold units sitting in warehouses, either fully assembled or in parts, according to two people close to the company."

"A newly discovered crocodilian ancestor was a nine-foot-tall predator that stood on its hind legs"

"This was Carnufex carolinensi, also called the 'Carolina Butcher.'"

"FEMA Is Spending Billions, and Some Questionable Companies Are Getting Work"

BB:

Since Hurricane Harvey struck Texas on Aug. 25, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded $2.2 billion in contracts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Government. That’s about twice what the agency typically awards over an entire year.

...

On Sept. 5, Gibbco LLC got a $74 million award to build mobile homes for Hurricane Harvey victims. Gibbco’s only public presence is a GoDaddy website, which lists neither a phone number, an email address, nor information about who runs the company. According to a contract database run by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Gibbco has five employees and annual revenue of $200,000; the address listed as its headquarters belongs to a house in a residential neighborhood in Longwood, Fla.

A phone call to a number associated with the company was answered by a man who refused to provide his name or answer questions, saying only, “We don’t give information away unless it’s approved by the government.” He referred questions to FEMA, which declined to answer them.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The BBC "is trialling 'object-based media', in which viewers without the time or inclination to watch a full episode will instead be offered a bite-sized mini-drama focusing on the storyline or characters of their choice"

Telegraph:

Want to catch up on the romance between Ross Poldark and Demelza, but have less interest in the rest of the cast? Gripped by a life-or-death plot in Holby City but bored by the domestic dramas of the medical staff? In future, the programme content could be tailor-made for you.

The BBC's research and development department has already made a prototype based around the last series of Peaky Blinders, the BBC Two gangster drama. It pulled out five key storylines, including the love affair between Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and Grace Burgess (Annabelle Wallis).

Pink on pink

"A U.S. District Court Judge in California has allowed a class-action lawsuit against Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. to proceed"

"after agreeing that the league increased the danger to youth football participants by failing to institute league-wide safety protocols and guidelines"

Death on the traintracks

"The Lommel Sahara is a nature phenomenon! In the middle of an extensive coniferous forest" in Belgium

TL:

The deep blue lake and the unique fauna and flora make a walk to the Lommel Sahara a trip that you will never forget.

It may sound strange but the protected nature area thanks its origin to … nature pollution. The emanation of the former zinc factory made the green planting disappear like snow in summer. The result: a withered landscape, covered by white sand. In order to avoid the extension of the sandy plains, a new forest was planted a long time ago.

Bird of prey

"my new favorite ebay seller is the guy who works a bendy skeleton into every single one of his 50000 photos"

The unfolding world of Light Fingers



"The mayor from Jaws is still the mayor in Jaws 2"

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Aquaman, Mera, and their body doubles

Tiny occult door

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Flying knee



Hela and Leia sculptures



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"Bakers and ice cream makers across the country have been crushed by the price surge for vanilla, which spiked after a cyclone hit Madagascar, the world’s leading producer of vanilla, on March 7"

"The current $600 per kilogram price is up from around $100 in 2015, and near $500 per gallon for pure vanilla extract, which sold for $70 a gallon in 2015."

Monitor lizard swimming in a pool



Friday, October 20, 2017

Rocket pop pin

"The Runescape Players Who Farm Gold So They Don't Starve To Death"

Kotaku:

If you even remember Runescape, a fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game published by Jagex, it’s likely as “that crummy-looking game you played for a few months 10 years ago.” But it runs just fine on hardware that hasn’t been called state-of-the-art in more than a decade, meaning that it’s accessible to many in Venezuela who are strapped for cash, and its gold still fetches a pretty real-world penny. Gold farming, generally speaking, is the practice of grinding in a game specifically for the purpose of generating in-game currency or other content to be exchanged for real-world money. While it’s prohibited by Runescape’s rules, it’s also a relatively safe and comfortable job in a place where one’s safety is by no means guaranteed.

“I gold farm mostly for the raw benefits of it,” a player who goes by the handle Fhynal told me via DMs. “I don’t have to go out. That may sound strange, but we live with a lot of crime. If you want to go out, you have to use a bus, [which increases your] propensity to be robbed.”

Fhynal said he earns around 200,000-250,000 Venezuelan Bolivares, or approximately $15-$20, per week. This adds up to “double, sometimes triple” the average monthly salary in Venezuela, he said, even factoring in the occasional week that he takes off to keep a “low profile” and avoid getting caught.

"Insiders in the business tell ESPN that at least 15,000 Dodgers season tickets are owned by ticket brokers, the most tickets in MLB owned by those who flip for business"

ESPN:

"Some will wonder why the Dodgers seemingly left so much money on the table, but that's not the whole picture," said one broker. "By selling to brokers, they made plenty of money off the regular season for the last five years, when many tickets were selling below face value and brokers were losing money on their investment."

The Dodgers declined a request for comment about their ticket distribution strategy and how many tickets are in the hands of brokers.

The Predator poster is by Borys Tarasenko



Here's his site.

Great Northern Hotel tee by Last Exit to Nowhere

The Emperor's Messenger Droid cosplay



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Poster for a screening of Predator



(Metro Cinema keeps retweeting reactions to the poster, but I don't believe has indicated who designed it.)

Evil Under the Sun poster by Johnny Dombrowski



On sale Tuesday.

Retro Bucks shirt

Beluga whale learned to speak dolphin

Discover:

In November 2013, a four-year-old captive beluga whale moved to a new home. She had been living in a facility with other belugas. But in her new pool, the Koktebel dolphinarium in Crimea, her only companions were dolphins. The whale adapted quickly: she started imitating the unique whistles of the dolphins, and stopped making a signature beluga call altogether.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

"Mom Catches Ball With One Hand While Holding Her Baby"

"Thousands displaced by Northern California's wildfires now face the region's housing shortage"

LAT:

Even before the fire, 15,000 people were on wait lists for Burbank Housing homes.

...

A passenger rail service connecting cities in Marin and Sonoma counties that opened this summer has boosted hopes of traffic relief and more home building along the transit corridor. But the region has been having trouble attracting drivers to operate the trains because housing costs are too high

"The Totally Unexpected True Story Of Yi Jianlian's Magical Mystery Chair"

DS:

Search Google for “Yi Jianlian chair” and there are tens of thousands of results. The chair became a running joke in Bill Simmons’s writings and podcasts, and the then-ESPN columnist even went so far as to bestow Yi with a nickname that stuck: “Chairman Yi.”

...

The thing is, the chair workout almost certainly never happened, which means that the video almost certainly never existed. I’ve spoken with numerous scouts, execs, players, trainers, and media members, and not one remembers ever actually seeing the clip. I’ve obtained the broadcast-once, now-lost TV program in which the chair workout was allegedly aired, and it’s not there. No matter how sure you are you’ve seen the clip, you haven’t.

Ghost hand

Zuckerberg: "I was human"

"The Tubbs Fire that raged through Santa Rosa last week unleashed a series of fiery tornadoes powerful enough to flip cars, yank trees out of the ground and rip homes apart"

We had trees ripped out of the ground, cars turned over, garage doors ripped off their hinges and wrapped around trees in the front yards"

Funko's "sales are nearly the size of the entire comics and graphic novel business"

Funko files for IPO.

"Chipotle downgraded by Bank of America on concerns that labor is still too expensive"

"Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded Chipotle and cut its earnings targets for 2018 and 2019, saying the struggling restaurant chain will have trouble cutting back labor costs any further than it already has"

Related: "It’s been two years since Danny Meyer announced he would eliminate tipping at all of his company’s restaurants"

“The majority of our strongest people have left,” says one former manager at Union Square Cafe who, like many people interviewed for this story, asked to remain anonymous to avoid burning bridges in the industry. At two of USHG’s other restaurants, Maialino and Gramercy Tavern, current and former servers say their pay dropped by about $100 per week after H.I. was implemented. Another Union Square Cafe front-of-house employee says her annual pay dropped from $60,000 per year before H.I. to $50,000 after tips were eliminated.

"Toys-to-life franchise Lego Dimensions has drawn to a close, a year earlier than originally planned"

EG:

Year One packs which didn't sell were eventually allowed to be discounted, and it is here problems arose. Every Dimensions add-on included a Lego figurine, vehicle or multiples thereof, and were sold with little room for profit in order to remain competitive. Any discount on a pack's recommended retail price effectively removed that margin completely.

...

sales at the start of Dimensions' second year did not meet expectations. The focus on Ghostbusters, which faced mixed fortunes at the box office, did not kickstart Dimensions' second year as hoped

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

From November 2016, "'Uncharted' Creator Amy Hennig on Finding Her Calling and Taking 'Star Wars' Somewhere New"

RS:

Hennig was initially skeptical of EA's offer on Star Wars. When Steve Papoutsis, the GM of Visceral Games, explained that EA wanted a "scrappy" third person action adventure – a genre with which EA doesn't traditionally have much experience – Hennig couldn't shake the image of a poorly made licensed game whose ambitions went no further than cashing in on what is arguably the world's biggest intellectual property. "Imagine how heartbreaking it would be," she says, "to work on something I love so much only to be crushed under the combined wheels of EA, Lucasfilm and Disney."