Friday, August 31, 2018

"$40,000 Insect and Lizard Theft Was an Inside Job, Police Say"

NYT:

Three current or former employees are suspected of stealing thousands of insects and lizards [from the] Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion.

...

The police have contacted the suspects and are searching their homes in hopes of finding surviving insects. It is difficult to know which creatures were stolen because the thieves also stole the logs used by the pavilion to keep track of the insects.

...

“I really don’t think the perpetrators realize the severity of what they were doing,”

...

a six-eyed sand spider, one of the most venomous of its kind in the world, is still missing.

Dune Dog Montage





"In the 1984 film 'Dune', House Atreides has a pet pug that was not in the book. The dog is present for many key moments, and even leads a charge against Sardaukar legions with Gurney Halleck in tow. After disappearing during the confusion of the fall of House Atreidis the dog reappears at Paul's coronation, having somehow survived the harsh climate of Arrakis."

"Earlier this month, the LAPD's Valley Traffic Division launched a new Special Enforcement Team to target street racers"

LAist:

We have more personnel this time around. Some nights, I'll have up to 15 officers. We go out to the locations that are frequented by the street racers and we use certain tactics to shut down the roadways ... and make arrests.

...

Does your team do any undercover work?

We do that tactic on occasion, but they're just a spectator. We don't (get involved) in any illegal activity or anything that's going to bring danger to anything else or officers who are trying to stop that activity. They're not racing or out there doing donuts.

Killmonger, Yellowjacket, and Janet Pym concept art







Related, the Figuarts Wasp was just made available for preorder.

Ten funny tweets





















Video game roundup

















Thursday, August 30, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Suicide Squad DC Comics Multiverse Set is 77% off

at the BBTS.  (7 figures counting the build-a-figure.)

"USA Gymnastics’ new elite development coordinator, Mary Lee Tracy, once stood up for Larry Nassar after more than 50 gymnasts and patients had accused the former team doctor of sexual abuse"

LAT:

In December 2016, Tracy, who is the owner of Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy, told local TV station WCPO of Nassar: "My Olympians have all worked with Larry. We were all defending him because he has helped so many kids in their careers. He has protected them, taken care of them, worked with me and worked with their parents. He's been amazing."

Converse designed to reveal a different color through heavy use



Nike x Dr. Woo:

Attempting to visually chart evolution, Woo has created a shoe that transforms through abrasion and friction. “The shoe is a culmination of all things that I love — vintage, the wearing in of your own clothes, how it keeps developing, transitioning, and how the Chuck, specifically, can stay in your life so long,” he says.

Arriving in either black or white, the Chuck 70s reveal Sunset Gold and Green Absinthe colorways, respectively, over time. The outsoles are transparent and Woo's famed eye motif sits on the left toe box.

Ten funny tweets



















Untitled Goose Game socks

"Why Are STDs on the Rise if Americans Are Having Less Sex?"

Atlantic:

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that reported cases of three sexually transmitted diseases in the United States had reached an all-time high in 2017. Rates of gonorrhea rose by 67 percent, syphilis by 76 percent, and chlamydia by 21 percent, to a total of almost 2.3 million cases nationwide. According to the CDC, 2017 surpassed 2016 as the year with the most reported STD cases on record—and marked the fourth year in a row that STDs increased steeply in the U.S.

It might seem logical that higher STD rates would go hand in hand with increased sexual activity, but a flurry of recent research indicated American adults are actually having less sex on average than they have in decades.

Video game roundup













Art roundup












Tuesday, August 28, 2018

QOTSA concert poster


"After more than five years in development, gorgeous-looking hole-based puzzler Donut County is out today. It’s definitely not everything I had hoped for"

RPS:

here it just grates for me. But on the larger scale, I don’t get it, I don’t understand why this group of unintroduced creatures are sneering at each other in this game at all, and I’m absolutely certain none of it was necessary. I don’t think any narrative justification for the hole was needed, and while it eventually reaches a ludicrous finale that makes its own sort of sense, I found myself wishing they’d all be quiet so I could get on with playing the game.

...

I really wanted to love this. Since 2013 I’ve been quietly enamoured with the concept.
Hole.io was dismissed as a shameless clone when it came out. Kotaku said:
There isn’t much an indie developer can do when another company publishes a skeleton of their game.

...

When it’s released this year, Donut County will rely on its charm to lure in players. It’s not a free charm, but it’s one Esposito has been pouring himself into for half a decade. The fact that a company like Voodoo can take part of what makes his game special, push it out for free, advertise it massively, and earn the coveted number one spot on the iOS store, he says, is “discouraging.”
Variety said :
Goldman Sachs-Backed Cloner Uses War Chest, Ad Buys to Overshadow Original Games

...

“Game cloning” is a euphemism. It’s what you say in polite company when you don’t want to outright accuse someone of stealing your game idea and rushing a slipshod version to market. It’s hard to be genteel about the behavior though, when the culprit touts a massive influx of cash from a Wall Street investment bank.
Hole.io doesn't have a review at Metacritic.

But somewhere along the line, free games on the iOS store became good. Hole.io is really fun and feels nothing like Donut County.

"The School Shootings That Weren't"

NPR:

This spring the U.S. Education Department reported that in the 2015-2016 school year, "nearly 240 schools ... reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting." The number is far higher than most other estimates.

But NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened.

...

For example, the CRDC reports 26 shootings within the Ventura Unified School District in Southern California.

"I think someone pushed the wrong button," said Jeff Davis, an assistant superintendent there. The outgoing superintendent, Joe Richards, "has been here for almost 30 years and he doesn't remember any shooting," Davis added. "We are in this weird vortex of what's on this screen and what reality is."

"Man buries 42 school buses to build North America’s largest nuclear fallout shelter"

From 2017:

The retired couple, who reside on 12.5 acres in the rural town of Horning’s Mills just outside of Toronto, Canada, have built themselves a massive, 10,000-square-foot underground bunker. Beyond being the largest private nuclear fallout shelter in North America (as far as we know, at least), the post-apocalyptic den has also been craftily built using 42 decommissioned school buses entombed in concrete.

Animals











Monday, August 27, 2018

Names have power...at Starbucks

Art roundup














Jackie Chan made a movie about stealing back treasures British and French soldiers looted in the Second Opium War

The White Sox have a home run chain



Ten funny tweets



















"Online Bettors Can Sniff Out Weak Psychology Studies"

Atlantic:

Psychologists are in the midst of an ongoing, difficult reckoning. Many believe that their field is experiencing a “reproducibility crisis,” because they’ve tried and failed to repeat experiments done by their peers. Even classic results—the stuff of textbooks and TED talks—have proven surprisingly hard to replicate, perhaps because they’re the results of poor methods and statistical tomfoolery. These problems have spawned a community of researchers dedicated to improving the practices of their field and forging a more reliable way of doing science.

These attempts at reform have met resistance. Critics have argued that the so-called crisis is nothing of the sort, and that researchers who have failed to repeat past experiments were variously incompetent, prejudiced, or acting in bad faith.

But if those critiques are correct, then why is it that scientists seem to be remarkably good at predicting which studies in psychology and other social sciences will replicate, and which will not?

...

Beyond statistical issues, it strikes me that several of the studies that didn’t replicate have another quality in common: newsworthiness.
Ed Yong's latest. His recent book is also on sale today at Amazon.

John McCain tributes





But on another note:

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald…Trophy"

Athletic:

The Great Lakes Freighter Trophy, an unwieldy hunk of bronze nicknamed “The Barge” by Cleveland Browns writers, had spent years gathering dust in the Browns’ media room. Commissioned in 2002 by one-time Browns CEO Carmen Policy as a prize for a preseason rivalry game with the Detroit Lions, The Barge was apparently decommissioned in secret.

During last season’s training camp, Cleveland.com Browns writer Scott Patsko asked his readers what the team should do with the derelict ship. By the end of the season, he realized it was gone.

...

Somehow, the Browns and Lions committed to the bit for 13 of the worst years in either franchise’s history. Somehow, they stopped without anyone noticing.

How did a massive bronze sculpture commissioned by an NFL team just disappear? Where did the big ship go—and how did it get built in the first place?

...

“One year, the damn Broncos…” Policy began, laughing as he recalled a particular game. “We were leading in the fourth quarter, and they put some starters back in! They literally won the game at the very end. [Former Raiders and Broncos cornerback] Willie Brown was there to present it, and he made a great comment along the lines of, ‘Congratulations on your exhibition of poor sportsmanship.’ It really kind of caught on.”

Would these be the Oreos in the Bad Place, or in the Medium Place?



Related, a recent episode of The Good Place podcast addressed the possibility of dessert clam chowder.

"Nine months after a mysterious new company bought LA Weekly, one of the company’s owners is suing the rest"

LAT:

alleging they have mismanaged the alternative weekly, pillaged it for their own gain and improperly kicked him out of the management team.

...

Welch, a Los Angeles cannabis attorney, filed his lawsuit Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court

...

Calle, the suit says, has been making $120,000 a year as chief marketing officer of Orange County marijuana firm Kurvana even as he retains “full editorial control” of LA Weekly, and has arranged for Kurvana to be promoted in LA Weekly at the paper’s expense. Calle let Kurvana run ads in the Weekly even after racking up a balance due of tens of thousands of dollars, the lawsuit says. Further, it says, LA Weekly ran a “glowing review” of a Kurvana product July 26 without disclosing that Calle is in charge of Kurvana’s marketing.

"Secret message board drives 'pizzagate'-style harassment campaign of small businesses"

2010: alternate-reality games are convoluted puzzles that message board members team up to solve in order to receive video game souvenirs.

Now:

The harassment comes from a group of fervent online conspiracists who have been targeting private businesses and individuals with harassment campaigns and accusations of being involved with child-sex trafficking rings.

Sparked by a video posted on a popular YouTube conspiracy channel, the group, whose members are also largely followers of the Qanon conspiracy theory, has flooded Voodoo’s Instagram and Facebook posts and left Yelp reviews accusing the owners of child sex trafficking. Last week, the chain’s original Portland outpost received more calls from conspiracy theorists than customers ordering doughnuts, Monaghan said.

The group is fueled in part by a website called Big League Politics, a far-right media outlet that often publishes conspiracy content and has been used to raise funds for prominent Republican politicians. Some of the website’s stories appear to be sourced from a secret message board created by a Big League Politics staffer, in which members concoct elaborate, pedophilia-based conspiracy theories they hope will be published to a wider audience.

The newly-revealed Masters of the Universe figures are available for preorder

Including Robot He-Man.

There's also some new Funko blind-boxed holiday-themed Marvel figures, including Thanos in a sweater:

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Timbers supporters promise "You'll float too"



Beck - Colors (Picard Brothers Remix)

Pop culture-inspired matchboxes



By Chet Phillips for a show at Gallery 1988.

Ten funny tweets




















"The demolition of the market is expected to trigger a major exodus of rats to other parts of the neighbourhood"

"Tokyo fears losing a part of its soul as world’s biggest fish market moves"

Wargaming Miniatures: Stormcast Eternals Gallery



















Tee-collecting dog from last night's college football game



Related, the lights going out during extra innings of the Dodgers game in LA:

Animals











Video game roundup












Saturday, August 25, 2018

"Only about 10 percent of Japan’s parliament is made up of women"

"That means it ranks lower than 150 other countries — including Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and the US."

University of Hawaii's football helmet



Blade Runner IRL



New Masters of the Universe figures revealed at Power Con