Saturday, March 31, 2018


25% off commissions by Alexis Ziritt

More samples.

2018 Hugo Award Finalists Announced

List here.

(Provenance, All Systems Red, and Down Among the Sticks and Bones were great.)

Warhammer 40K: Iron Genesis Inceptors

More here.

"Thirty years after Gao Chengyong embarked on a succession of 11 rape-murders of women in northwest China, a court sentenced him to death"


by 2011, the detectives in Baiyin had acquired technology to trace DNA clues, and five years later a relative of Mr. Gao had his DNA sample taken after he was suspected of giving kickbacks. Their shared traits led the investigators to Mr. Gao, who was then running a small store in a school in Baiyin with his wife.

Art roundup

Friday, March 30, 2018

Syrian conspiracy theory

"Smugglers use drones to move 500 million yuan in smartphones" from Hong Kong into mainland China


the shrewd group of smugglers would use drones to fly a pair of cables from the windows of two Shenzhen high-rise buildings to the roof of a village home across the border in Hong Kong, about 100 meters away.

The smugglers would then work from midnight to dawn transporting packages of second-hand smartphones across the cable, zipping over the boundary fence and into the mainland.

"A Huge Caravan Of Central Americans Is Headed For The US"


For five days now hundreds of Central Americans — children, women, and men, most of them from Honduras — have boldly crossed immigration checkpoints, military bases, and police in a desperate, sometimes chaotic march toward the United States. Despite their being in Mexico without authorization, no one has made any effort to stop them.


Pueblos Sin Fronteras counted about 1,200 people on the first day.

Star Wars Black Luke and Landspeeder set is 46% off

At EE.

Video of the Legion exhibit in Los Angeles

"Pruitt's EPA security broke down door to lobbyist condo"


The protective detail then broke down the building’s glass-paneled front door and ascended two flights to Pruitt’s $50-a-night bedroom, where two sources tell ABC News he was found groggy, rising from a nap. It is unclear what led to the panic that caused the response. Pruitt declined medical attention, and a police report was never filed.

The EPA eventually agreed to reimburse the condo owner for the damage to the door, a source familiar with the arrangement told ABC News.

Robocop behind the scenes


Thursday, March 29, 2018

"Wonderlic test scores of 2018 NFL Draft QBs leaked"


This year, most of the quarterback scores have been made public by former NFL scout John Middlekauff. He listed off the scores on a recent Fox Sports Radio podcast appearance on "The Herd With Colin Cowherd."

"Heist of 31 guns from Compton city vault is the latest problem in a scandal-plagued city"


The guns were kept in a 1920s-era vault in a municipal building on North Alameda.

Compton officials struggled for months to say where they came from, and now where a load of them have gone.


Now Rhambo, the Sheriff's Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are asking: Who stole 31 of them?


The mystery of the missing guns is the second troubling revelation to hit city leaders this month.

"UConn Recovers $50,000 In Salary Paid To Medical School Professor Pierluigi Bigazzi After He Was Killed"


The total of $50,040.85 represents the wages added to Bigazzi’s bank account by automatic deposit


Officials at UConn Health asked police to check on Bigazzi’s well-being after they hadn’t heard from him for months. UConn Health officers went to his Burlington home on Feb. 5, knocked at the door and heard activity in the house, but got no response.


Bigazzi’s wife and the person facing a murder charge in connection with his death, paid the money to the university through her attorney

I guess the Android (Netrunner) video game was canceled?

From 2015: "The ‘Netrunner’ Video Game Has the Potential to Finally Shake Up Cyberpunk Narratives"; "Android RPG Adaptation Gets The Perfect Writer"; "The Android: Netrunner universe is getting a role-playing game — and the story comes from 80 Days’ writer"

But now, no mention.

New Westworld trailer and "hidden" trailer

Hidden trailer.

Additional site.


And screenshots.

Volkswagen "has paid more than $7.4 billion to buy back about 350,000 U.S. diesel vehicles"

"In the last few days, word has spread among independent erotica authors on social media that Amazon was quietly changing its policies for erotic novels"

"have reported that their books were stripped of their best seller rankings—essentially hiding them from casual browsing on the site, and separating them from more mainstream, safe-for-work titles."

Not really related, but a good thread by Seanan McGuire on fanfiction:

"The latest innovation in China’s sharing economy went on display recently at a Guangdong shopping mall — 'shareable girlfriends'"


This marketing ploy mirrors one tried during Christmastime last year by a shopping mall in Hainan, which offered “shareable boyfriends” for lonely shoppers. Customers had to pay only 1 yuan for 1 hour of shopping bliss with the ideal boyfriend — one who would help you shop, carry around your bags, and even pretend not to be bored out of his mind.


While that scheme seemed to prove quite successful, it appears that “shareable girlfriends” are less of a hit. Of the 15 young woman on offer at the mall in Heyuan city, more than half of them are shown in the clip standing and checking their phones, with no willing suitors stepping forward.

Chinese netizens have speculated that men may feel too awkward to “rent a girlfriend” in public, and aren’t likely to go shopping on their own anyway.

"Legion executive producer on season 2 and the hunt for the Shadow King"

“The show isn’t an information delivery device. It’s an experience delivery device."

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

"China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, abandoned and out of control, is expected to drop out of orbit around this weekend, with pieces of it likely to survive the fiery re-entry and crash somewhere on Earth"

"a space debris analyst at the European Space Agency, said the risk [of being struck] is 'significantly smaller than being hit by lightning.'"

Spikor convention exclusive figure

Details here.

B-21 Raider Combined Test Force Patch

Available at ebay.

Scary phone wallpaper

"I trained a neural network to invent some really confusing April Fools pranks"

1/35 scale models of Palestinian missile launcher disguised as a garbage truck


This regular light truck comes with a tilt tray, just like a garbage truck and the one you saw in this article. The rockets are stuffed into the tubes int he bottom of the tipper and launched (not pinpoint accuracy but area accuracy) in the target area.

The kit packs extra 122mm rockets and ammo in wooden looking boxes, along with that there is the usual turning front wheels, opening and closing tray, a detailed interior, doors that open or close and a left or right driving position.

"An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Benjamin Netanyahu said Moses brought water from Iraq. He said the water was brought from a rock."

A WSJ correction.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Micro horror anthology

Surreal Far Cry 5 encounter

Gender reveal video featuring an alligator

"Los Angeles NFL Stadium Now Expected to Cost Almost $5 Billion"

"It was initially expected that the new stadium in Inglewood was projected to cost about $2.6 billion."

X-Men: Grand Design, Second Genesis

Screenrant has the details.

From November: "In an attempt to combat the rise of revenge porn on its platform, Facebook is asking users to upload any nude photos they think may be distributed without consent"


Facebook's community operations team uses "image matching technology" to prevent the image being uploaded or shared online. At least one "specially-trained representative" will review your image(s) before hashing them.

Aaron Judge poster by the Costacos Brothers

No purchase information that I saw.

Monday, March 26, 2018

"The owners of the National Enquirer have a slick, ad-free magazine on U.S. newsstands praising crown prince Mohammed bin Salman—and insist they had no outside help for it"


Greeting MBS on newsstands is a high-quality glossy advertisement for MBS, The New Kingdom. It retails for $13.99, has no ads and its 200,000 copies can be found in venues ranging from U.S. airports to WalMart, Safeway and Kroger’s — raising questions about the magazine’s financing and its origins. The Saudis say they don’t know how it came to be. AMI, which publishes The National Enquirer, insists it had no outside editorial or financial assistance

"Prison style bootcamp"

"I'm gonna show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it"

Many links in the thread.

Bacon on a stick at Yankees games

"Harrowing sculptures have been unveiled on top of ITV’s London buildings to raise awareness around male suicide"

"ITV HQ has shown its support for this important issue by promoting the 'Project 84' campaign launched by charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)."

Brie Larson showing off her Captain Marvel body

A post shared by Brie (@brielarson) on

A post shared by Brie (@brielarson) on

Easter roundup

Marvel Legends Series The Defenders 4-pack is 41% off at Amazon right now

$33 off as part of today's toy deals at Amazon.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

New 99 cent Marvel collections are up

Including Captain America: Prisoner of War (186 pages with art by Samnee, Deodato, and Guice).

"Researchers from the University of Cambridge found evidence that Iceland's conversion to Christianity was linked to a massive eruption shortly after the island was settled"


The eruption of Eldgjá was a lava flood, which produced prolonged lava flows across the island, literally flooding the landscape with lava.


The earliest settlers of Iceland, a combination of Vikings and Celts around 874, were exposed to this massive eruption just two or three generations after inhabiting the island. This led to a massive cultural, health, and economic impact on the settlers during the early years.

The eruption was chronicled across Europe with accounts of a weakened blood-red Sun, cool summer, bitterly cold winter, drought, famine, and locust infestations. By the 940s there was widespread starvation and death from northern Europe to northern China.

Star Wars roundup

Star Trek Discovery season 1 bonus scene: "Welcome to Section 31"

"Sentence house"

Sofubi Tyrannosaurus available for preorder

Vinyl with 10 points of articulation.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Art roundup

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Predicting Infinity War

The opening moments of Netflix's new documentary about Oregon in 1981 feels like a remake of V

GQ says, "Wild Wild Country Is the Sex Cult Documentary You Didn't Know Netflix Needed"

Friday, March 23, 2018

"In Menlo Park, Calif., Facebook is building a real community and testing the proposition: Do people love tech companies so much they will live inside them?"


In the textile town of Lowell, Mass., in 1846, the mill clock slowed down to lengthen shifts and then sped up at night when the workers were off, according to one contemporary reformer. U.S. Steel built Gary, Ind., but took little responsibility for its employees, many of whom lived in substandard housing in crime-ridden neighborhoods.

There were more benign examples too. Milton Hershey began building a chocolate factory in the middle of Pennsylvania in 1903 and then surrounded it with a community where, he pledged, there would be “no poverty, no nuisances, no evil.” In return for surrendering certain rights — like local elections and privacy — workers in the town of Hershey got medical coverage, a free junior college, parks and a zoo.

New Carrie Kelly comic

By Frank Miller and Ben Caldwell.

"I trained a neural network to generate new Dungeons and Dragons creatures"

"How a Location Scout Spends 3 Days Touring L.A."


Following Carr’s lead, we’ve put together a three-day itinerary featuring some of Los Angeles’s most iconic shooting locations. While some are well-known pilgrimage sites for film buffs, others are inconspicuous reminders that, like the most skilled of actors, Los Angeles can take on any role.

"The superintendent of a Pennsylvania school district has . . . equipped his classrooms with 5-gallon buckets of river rocks for students to throw at an armed intruder"

"The schools call these buckets of rocks 'go buckets.'"

Deluxe MaFex John Wick figure available for preorder

Multiple heads and weapons.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"We’re at Mars, an exclusive three-day conference at a midcentury-modern hotel here in the California desert run by Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, for some of the world’s most successful geeks"


For its first two years, Mars was largely secret; the most prominent image that leaked was a photo of Mr. Bezos piloting a 13-foot robot last year. This year, Amazon lifted the veil and invited a handful of reporters into Mr. Bezos’s brainiac pow-wow.


For Mars, Amazon and Mr. Bezos handpick the roughly 200 attendees


In the afternoon, we had a choice of activities, from falconry to Navy Seal training to sausage making.


Eighteen of us, including me, flew aerobatic planes.

"The Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last month will require students to carry only clear backpacks"

"Students also will be issued identification badges, which they will be required to wear at all times while in school."

"One Northwestern University professor . . . has worked with Gatorade to create a Band-Aid-like flexible patch that he said can will let you know you’re dehydrated by simply looking at it"


As the wearer begins to sweat, perspiration flows through microfluidic channels within the patch’s reservoirs, passing through food-coloring dye and indicating the levels of chloride within the sweat.

Users can then examine the patch to monitor both the level of dehydration and the concentration of chloride within the sweat. (Chloride levels are good indicators of total electrolyte loss, Rogers said.)

Athletes can even snap a picture with their smartphone to receive more detailed analysis.

Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries is really good

All Systems Red by Martha Wells is great--after reading an advanced copy, I bought another copy for myself. The sequel, Artificial Condition, is also terrific. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Updated FAQ by Max Temkin ‏

"I will make time to do almost any podcast"

"A massive government spending bill that Congress is expected to consider this week could include a provision exempting Minor League Baseball players from federal labor laws"


The exemption would represent the culmination of more than two years of lobbying by Major League Baseball, which has sought to preempt a spate of lawsuits that have been filed by minor leaguers alleging they have been illegally underpaid.


“We’re not saying that it shouldn’t go up,” he said. “We’re just saying that the formula of minimum wage and overtime is so incalculable. I would hate to think that a prospect is told, ‘You got to go home because you’re out of hours, you can’t have any extra batting practice.’

Meltdown Comics of Los Angeles to close March 30

"Anyone who spent time at Meltdown Comics could tell that it wasn’t your typical comic book shop."

Related, Marvel is selling new comics collections for 99 cents each:

Iron Fist Volume 2

Star Wars Legends Epic Collection: The Clone Wars Vol. 2 (424 pages)

Spider-Men II

"The Tale Of Theranos And The Mysterious Fire Alarm"


As I was interviewing them — but before we knew which test they could get — a sudden and jolting BEEP BEEP BEEP reverberated through the drugstore. “Fire alarm!” someone called out, and we evacuated to the street.

I’d never been in a drugstore when the fire alarm went off. There was no smoke and no fire.

Trailer for Under the Silver Lake (from the director of It Follows)

Trailer for Afterparty (from the makers of Oxenfree)


In afterparty, you are Milo and Lola, recently deceased best buds who suddenly find themselves staring down an eternity in hell. But there’s a loophole: outdrink satan and he’ll grant you re-entry to earth.

What adventures will you stumble through in the underworld? Every step is up to you. Time to go on the best bender ever, uncover the mystery of why you’ve been damned, and drink the big guy under the table.

"Latham & Watkins LLP, the country’s highest-grossing law firm, said Tuesday that its chairman, William Voge, is relinquishing his position and retiring from the firm after engaging in sexual communications"

"last year exceeded $3 billion in global revenue, the first firm to do so"

"Based on Law360’s work reviewing dozens of documents, Voge’s undoing began when he approached a woman online to 'help her engage in 'Christian reconciliation' with a member of the New Canaan Society.'"

"Actress and activist, Lindsay Lohan, has teamed up with to help consumers access quality legal services"

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was taken into custody Tuesday in connection with allegations that he received millions of euros in illegal campaign financing from the regime of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi"

"the case . . . involves funding for his winning 2007 presidential campaign."

"Congress is about to get its first woman from Mississippi"


Republican Gov. Phil Bryant will appoint state Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith to the Senate on Wednesday, where she’ll fill the seat vacated by Republican Sen. Thad Cochran


Mississippi is the only state, other than Vermont, to have never elected a woman to serve in the federal legislature

Season tickets for Memphis basketball are down approximately 4,000, and "and Memphis is on pace to lose approximately $4.7 million over the last year"

Penny Hardaway was named coach.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Annihilation (2018)

"Chaos broke out on Sunday night when a contentious winner-takes-all game of HQ Trivia abruptly ended with no winner after the would-be champion was hit with allegations of cheating"


Members of the community live collaborate on games, work together as teams, sell and swap extra lives, and trade tips and tricks—anything to gain a leg up on average players.


The real action happens over voice chat, a member of the private Discord group explained. The voice chat acts as a real-time conference call between top trivia hackers and lets them to ferret out correct answers more quickly.

DC councilmember "has apologized for saying Jewish people control the weather"

"'That's a model based off the Rothschilds, controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.'"

"A French consulate worker has been arrested on accusations of using an official car to smuggle dozens of guns from the Gaza Strip to the occupied West Bank"

"The consulate employee transferred arms on five occasions, during which he transferred some 70 pistols and two automatic rifles."

Destiny Ghosts vinyl figures available for preorder

Kill Tracker and Generalist available.

"Self-Driving Uber Car Kills Arizona Pedestrian in First Apparent Such Fatality"

"The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety driver at the wheel"


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Art roundup

"One of these watermelons has been poisoned"

Bad Hiding Place

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