Monday, November 19, 2018

"Denis Villeneuve has shown us his take on Dune for years now, you just don't know it yet"

More in the thread. And related:

Escaped animals

"Simeon alumni, parents sue IHSA over ‘blatant cheating’ in loss to Nazareth" in high school football game


The complaint alleges that Richard Mercado, an IHSA football official and the parent of a Nazareth football player, influenced officials at the state playoff game between Simeon and Nazareth on Nov. 10.


According to the suit Mercado was standing on the sideline dressed as an official and spoke to the game officials before and during the game.

The Death of Stalin, which is terrific, is a 99 cent rental right now

at Amazon.

New hoodie and tee at Last Exit to Nowhere

Sin Yeon High School baseball hoodie and tee, based on Train to Busan (which is on Netflix).

Get you a girl who can do both...

Daniel Craig with his Bond stuntman


Vinylmation Kingdom of Cute Series 2

Available at the Disney store. Series 1 (and pins) are available at ebay.

"Bangkok has hit out at the CBS show Madam Secretary on Sunday in response to an episode that referenced the country's monarchy"


Officials said many of the scenes in the show were shot in Thailand but they had no inkling of the key lese majeste references and sequences.

Though no legal action was threatened, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had asked the Thai embassy in Washington to "convey our concern and disappointment to CBS" over the Nov 4 episode.


In real life, the number of prosecutions under the Section 112 law has shot up since the junta seized power. According to figures compiled by, since the 22 May 2014 coup, at least 127 people have been arrested for violating Article 112, with 57 sentenced to prison terms of up to 35 years.

Frost Punk Victorian Edition is 41% off

Includes art book, physical copy, and digital download for $20.57. (PCGamer review, Eurogamer.)

Miniatures with special effects

Young player uses ice time to fight Gritty; Gritty reveals his nightmarish belly button

Watch the full video and see his belly button at your own peril.

"Data could be what Ford sells next as it looks for new revenue"


In recent days, Ford CEO Jim Hackett gave a glimpse into what sounds like a potentially massive data mining plan. His remarks were made during a Freakonomics Radio interview for a podcast released Nov. 8.

“We have 100 million people in vehicles today that are sitting in Ford blue-oval vehicles. That’s the case for monetizing opportunity versus an upstart who maybe has, I don’t know, what, they got 120, or 200,000 vehicles in place now. And so just compare the two stacks: Which one would you like to have the data from?” Hackett said, according to the podcast transcript.

“The issue in the vehicle, see, is: We already know and have data on our customers. By the way, we protect this securely; they trust us,” Hackett said. “We know what people make. How do we know that? It’s because they borrow money from us. And when you ask somebody what they make, we know where they work, you know. We know if they’re married. We know how long they’ve lived in their house because these are all on the credit applications. We’ve never ever been challenged on how we use that. And that’s the leverage we got here with the data.”

The first six issues of Kris Anka's run on Runaways is on sale right now

99 cents each right now at Amazon/Comixology.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

"11-hour waiting time seen at Mickey Mouse attraction in Japan"


Many visitors flocked to the Mickey's House and Meet Mickey attraction at the theme park in Urayasu, near Tokyo, apparently to celebrate the character's screen debut on Nov. 18, 1928.

The operator did not organize any special event at the attraction where visitors can see Mickey Mouse's kitchen and living room as well as ask him to take photos with them.

The operator had written "660 minutes" on a sign in the park when the number of people waiting for admission peaked
Disney is spending billions to supercharge its theme park division, which has emerged as a surprisingly strong moneymaker.


Disney faces an enviable challenge: Even with steady price increases for peak periods — single-day peak tickets at Disneyland in California now run $135 — visitor interest often exceeds capacity at some properties.


So Disney’s expansion plan is more ambitious than building a “Black Panther” roller coaster here or introducing an “Incredibles” character there. The goal is transformation — adding significant capacity to Disney’s most popular parks (Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea) and giving others major upgrades

Two faces of tomorrow

"May A.I. Help you?":

Darcy happened to be a former computer programmer, so she was able to dream up a very unusual solution to this problem: Woebot, a text-chatbot therapist. Working with a team of psychologists and Andrew Ng, a pioneer in artificial intelligence, Darcy wrote a set of conversational prompts that walks users through the practice of C.B.T. In a chipper style, the bot helps users challenge their “distorted thinking”; it coaxes users to describe their moods more clearly. Since Woebot is just software, it could be made freely available worldwide, and it could, in Silicon Valley terms, “scale” — or converse with thousands of people simultaneously. It could check in and nudge users with superhuman diligence; it would be available at all hours. “Woebot can be there at 2 a.m. if you’re having a panic attack and no therapist can, or should be, in bed with you,” Darcy says.

Woebot does not pretend to be human; it appears as a cartoon robot when it chats with you on Facebook Messenger, and it acknowledges its own artifice (as when it declares, for example, “I’m going to tell you a little bit about how I like to work with humans”). But its personality is otherwise upbeat, its conversations peppered with emoji and animated gifs (like the cheering Minions from “Despicable Me”) to congratulate you for doing psychological work.

In a study with 70 young adults, Darcy found that after two weeks of interacting with the bot, the test subjects had lower incidences of depression and anxiety. They were impressed, and even touched, by the software’s attentiveness. “Woebot felt like a real person that showed concern,” one of them told Darcy’s team. Last spring, when Darcy put Woebot online, free to all, its use immediately exploded; in the first week, more than 50,000 people talked to it. (“Do you realize,” Ng told Darcy, “that Woebot spoke to more people today than a human therapist could in a lifetime?”) Nowadays, Woebot exchanges between one and two million messages a week with users, ranging from divorcรฉes to the bereaved to young men, a population that rarely seeks treatment. Many tell Darcy that it’s easier to talk to a bot than a human; they don’t feel judged.
"'Nothing on this page is real': How lies become truth in online America":
He had launched his new website on Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign as a practical joke among friends — a political satire site started by Blair and a few other liberal bloggers who wanted to make fun of what they considered to be extremist ideas spreading throughout the far right. In the last two years on his page, America’s Last Line of Defense, Blair had made up stories about California instituting sharia, former president Bill Clinton becoming a serial killer, undocumented immigrants defacing Mount Rushmore, and former president Barack Obama dodging the Vietnam draft when he was 9. “Share if you’re outraged!” his posts often read, and thousands of people on Facebook had clicked “like” and then “share,” most of whom did not recognize his posts as satire. Instead, Blair’s page had become one of the most popular on Facebook among Trump-supporting conservatives over 55.


For years she had watched network TV news, but increasingly Chapian wondered about the widening gap between what she read online and what she heard on the networks. “What else aren’t they telling us?” she wrote once, on Facebook, and if she believed the mainstream media was becoming insufficient or biased, it was her responsibility to seek out alternatives. She signed up for a dozen conservative newsletters and began to watch Alex Jones on Infowars. One far right Facebook group eventually led her to the next with targeted advertising, and soon Chapian was following more than 2,500 conservative pages, an ideological echo chamber that often trafficked in skepticism. Climate change was a hoax. The mainstream media was censored or scripted. Political Washington was under control of a “deep state.”


Chapian didn’t believe everything she read online, but she was also distrustful of mainstream fact-checkers and reported news. It sometimes felt to her like real facts had become indiscernible — that the truth was often somewhere in between. What she trusted most was her own ability to think critically and discern the truth, and increasingly her instincts aligned with the online community where she spent most of her time. It had been months since she’d gone to a movie. It had been almost a year since she’d made the hour-long trip to Las Vegas. Her number of likes and shares on Facebook increased each year until she was sometimes awakening to check her news feed in the middle of the night, liking and commenting on dozens of posts each day. She felt as if she was being let in on a series of dark revelations about the United States, and it was her responsibility to see and to share them.

How to move the iPhone cursor

Ten funny tweets

More steep Hot Toys discounts

Cosbaby Black Widow is 53% off, and Artist Mix Vision is 72% off.

For the larger figures,

Lone Ranger Tonto is $204, but comes with a $150 store credit

Force Awakens Finn and Stormtrooper are both $204, but come with $125 store credit

Big dolphin energy

The best entrance in all of Star Trek

Portraits from the Santissimi exhibition

Requiem + Horror Vacui Exibition “Santissimi” Exma- Exhibiting and Moving Arts /June-September 2018 During the preparation of an exhibition there is something alchemical that resembles the flood that the artist and the work undergoes during his birth. It is something inexplicably Dantesque that collects the tale of the untranslatable. Idiom which, once exposed - winning the place - falls into the clutches of the deadly restraint. It happens that during the movement of the works - their being here and there the various tests of writing of the exhibition - as well as the dialogue that opens between one work and another, while they dissect the space and the light, create a dynamism so strong as to make everything highly symbolic and gestational. Several times I felt a great embarrassment in attending the inaugurations, as if there were a need for a contribution to revive, in the form of meaning, what had been so clearly revealed during the exhibition. But everything then recovers. Once the exhibition opens to the public everything returns constantly unstable, unstructured and above all visited, finally returns in becomig. @santissimi #santissimi #requiem #horrorvacui #contemporaryart #artecontemporanea #sararenzetti #antonelloserra #contemporarysculpture #contemporaryartist #italianartists #artist #artcollector #contemporaryart #exmacagliari #santissimiexma #exibition
A post shared by AntonelloSerra SaraRenzetti (@santissimi) on

"Bill Walsh told me there were just eight teams competing for the title. I first thought he meant regarding talent and coaching. What has taken me more than a lifetime to learn was he was talking about the culture in each of those buildings"



Gaslands gallery

Tetsuo figure coming from Olly Moss?

From April:

And this week:

Saturday, November 17, 2018

"The Camp Fire was inevitable. It is the event that so many dreaded for so long."


People prepared. Fire prevention officials planned. They drilled. They worked with homeowners. They invented fire-safe councils and Fire on the Ridge and sent fire prevention officials to schools via a program called Fire Pals. They raised money to keep fire lookouts open when the state said it wouldn’t.

Eventually, geography and topography proved to be the trap everyone thought it was.

Paradise and Magalia sit on top of a pine-studded ridge between several canyons. There are very few subdivisions. Instead, homes are built one at a time and tucked into trees. Fly over the area in a helicopter and those trees stand like matchsticks surrounding well-hidden homes.


The podracer garage

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is $50 off right now and comes with a free 3rd Gen Echo Dot

at Amazon.

Wargaming miniatures gallery