Friday, July 19, 2019

SDCC toy reveals part 3


Marvel Legends.

More Marvel Legends. (Some of the Marvel Legends revealed today are already available for preorder.)



*SDCC toy reveals part 2.

Rejected ideas for Infinity War and Endgame

Vanity Fair:

Initially, Markus and McFeely were going to take Captain America back to the start by partnering him up with his first enemy: Red Skull. This character, you might recall, knew an awful lot about the Infinity Stones; an early idea saw the odd couple traveling the galaxy with Red Skull in an untrustworthy, Gollum-like role, “helping” Steve track down the errant gems. Perhaps this idea was scrapped thanks to the fact that Hugo Weaving declined to reprise his role. (Red Skull was voiced by skilled impressionist Ross Marquand in both Infinity War and Endgame.)


You may have noticed that even though Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange has a big part of the future of the MCU, he doesn’t have much to do in either Infinity War or Endgame. There’s the meditation and self-sacrifice in the former, and him trying to magically hold off a flood (??) in the latter. But we don’t get much of that world-bending magic we got to see him unleash in his solo film. An earlier draft of Infinity War, though, saw Strange pushing Thanos through time and space in a surreal sequence involving the classic cosmic character the Living Tribunal. Thanos would have had to answer for his crimes, and Strange would have had a more active role to playbut, Markus said: “We were in the middle of a really fast-paced fight, so to stop it for an LSD trip kind of sucked the air out of it.”
Also, I never got around to posting these:

*Buy Living Tribunal toys at ebay.

Picked up from my wishlist: Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City

$2.99 right now at Amazon.

There's a car called the "Honda That's"

Honda also made the Life Dunk:

Mitsubishi made the Toppo BJ:

*Previously: Honda's "3E-D18 is an AI-equipped platform robotics device built to 'empower'"

More SDCC toy reveals available for preorder

More animated-style Batman figures including Super Armor Batman and Deathstroke; the second batch of horror Madballs by Kidrobot, including Pinhead and Pennywise.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

"The Alaska village where every cop has been convicted of domestic violence"

Anchorage Daily News:

Next is a class of cops unique to Alaska: village public safety officers (VPSOs), who are nearly as well-trained as troopers and are also paid by the state. But the number of VPSOs appears to be at an all-time low, with just 42 officers statewide this year, compared with more than 100 in 2013.

On the same day the federal government announced millions in emergency funds for Alaska rural police in June, Gov. Mike Dunleavy revealed he had vetoed millions from the VPSO program, saying the money was for vacant positions.

Dunleavy, a Republican, has declared a “war on criminals”


In Stebbins, Nashoanak said it’s impossible to avoid candidates with a felony or a misdemeanor within the past five years, who should be prohibited from serving as cops by law, because of constant burnout and turnover. Officers are paid $14 an hour.

Factor in small-town politics and the pressure to look the other way when an influential person or family gets in trouble, and it’s easy to see why officers are constantly quitting.
Weeks go by, then months, and Notre Dame sees nothing from the billionaires. The promises of mid-April seem to have been forgotten by mid-June. “The big donors haven’t paid. Not a cent,” a senior official at the cathedral tells journalists.


Meanwhile, the salaries of 150 workers on site have to be paid. The 300 or so tonnes of lead in the church roof pose a toxic threat that must be cleaned up before the rebuilding can happen. And pregnant women and children living nearby are undergoing blood tests for possible poisoning. But funding such dirty, unglamorous, essential work is not for the luxury-goods billionaires. As the Notre Dame official said last month, they don’t want their money “just to pay employees’ salaries”.

"The Strange History of Lion King Animated Spinoffs"

Topher Florence for Fanbyte (excerpts from much longer summaries):

The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride (1998)
A group of radical gray Goth Lions with dark eye makeup refuse Simba as the true king, believing only in Scar.

The Lion Guard (2016)
There’s an evil snake named Ushari who discovers a way to bring Scar back from hell and now Scar is just a fire ghost controlling an army of creatures to get his revenge on Simba.

The Lion King 1½ (2004)
Framed within the meta-narrative of the comedy duo watching their own movie like an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000

The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa (1995)
They have muscular doppelgangers named Pimon and Tumbaa who have the motto “Kahuna Potato”.
*Previously: Watch hikers in California try to sneak up on a mountain lion

"Tag cleaners, as they call themselves, drown out gore, harassment, and more by flooding a user’s tagged photos with pleasant images. It’s benevolent spam"


Over the last few days, a teenager named Taylor has spent more than a dozen hours uploading north of 900 photos to Instagram. She listens to music or watches TV while she posts the same photos of millennial pink grids, flowers, and cotton candy clouds over and over. Each one is marked with the same user — escty, real name Bianca Devins — whose tagged photos have become a wall of beautiful images and hopeful messages.

In the early hours of Sunday, July 14th, Devins was brutally murdered. Photos of the 17-year-old’s body were posted to Instagram and then spread across Discord, 4chan, and Twitter. While some well-wishers flocked to her account to express their sadness and support for her family, Instagram became awash with ghoulish accounts dedicated to sharing the photos.


User kanyewestnandos — who posts the same meme of the rapper in a Nando’s — says tag cleaning offers protection that goes beyond simply reporting a malicious account. “It is harder to witch hunt the people who are posting graphic material because they can change their username,” they say. “And if they eventually end up getting reported they can make a new account.” Some photos or disrespectful memes may not violate Instagram’s rules, meaning they stay up. Another tag cleaner, a 15-year-old named Valerie, says that it’s a fast way to push images to the bottom of an account. “If you just report, it is likely that it won’t get taken down immediately and people will have enough time to save the picture and spread it, which is what we’re trying to avoid,” she says.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Pennywise, but make it fashion

*Previously: Under the Dome collector's edition snowglobe

"Police shut down an Adidas pop-up selling 99-cent Arizona Iced Tea sneakers after 2 teenagers were assaulted in massive crowds"

Business Insider:

People started showing up on Wednesday night, with some waiting in line for more than 12 hours in the hopes of getting a pair of the exclusive sneakers.

However, the pop-up — which was set to open at 11 a.m. in Soho on Thursday — never had the chance to sell a single pair of 99 cent sneakers before the New York Police Department shut down the event. Police arrived on the scene at 9 a.m. for crowd-control purposes.
*Previously: "Disneyland is quietly revoking annual passes of guests who buy and resell souvenirs"

Terminator Dark Fate featurette, SDCC poster

*Buy the SDCC Terminator Dark Fate poster at ebay.

SDCC toy reveals part 2

Hasbro Transformers.

Mondo 1.

Mondo 2.

Magic: The Gathering.



DC Collectibles.

Toy photos part 1.

"Southeast Asia's meth gangs making $60 billion a year: UN"


Southeast Asia's drug gangs are making over $60 billion a year pumping out record amounts of methamphetamine, then laundering the profits through the region's mushrooming number of casinos, a UN study showed Thursday.


Much of the meth is originating from the labs of remote and lawless Northern Shan State in Myanmar, which has rebooted the 'Golden Triangle' drug trade from its staple of heroin.
*Previosuly: The Chinese hunt for a clever drug lord in the Golden Triangle

New Marvel Legends available for preorder including Thor in a bathrobe

Including Endgame set with build-a-figure bathrobe Thor, Ant-Man 2 Ghost, Cate Blanchett Hela, Jeff Goldblum Grandmaster, and more.

Still no Hulk in a cardigan.

SDCC toy reveals available for preoder

Batman the Adventures Continue figures including Azrael and Red Hood.

NECA's Toony Terrors Wave 2, including Pinhead.

Funko, including lots of new movie Pennywise.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

Ramune art

Artist's webshop.

How to operate a bottle of Ramune:

"Mt. Vernon Has 2 Mayors and a Police Chief Arrested by His Own Officers"

The NY Times on a nesting doll of alleged corruption:

To say that Mount Vernon, the third largest city in Westchester County, is in disarray would barely scratch the surface. And at the core of the turmoil is Mr. Thomas, a self-described young disrupter who promised to bring fresh perspective to the government.

His tenure, however, was often rocky, and the tipping point came in 2018, when he was accused of stealing more than $12,000 from his campaign committee. Mr. Thomas pleaded guilty


As part of his plea agreement with the New York attorney general’s office, Mr. Thomas must vacate office no later than Sept. 30. But the Mount Vernon City Council did not want to wait that long: Citing the City Charter, which held that Mr. Thomas’s guilty plea automatically disqualified him from office, the Council quickly appointed Mr. Wallace, the Council president, as acting mayor.

One tiny glitch: Mr. Thomas has not budged, claiming his plea agreement permits him to remain mayor.

“This is a fight against dirty politics,” Mr. Thomas said


His criminal defense lawyer, Michael Pizzi, said the Council was wrong in its interpretation, and that Mr. Thomas had every right to remain in office until Sept. 30.

Lawrence Porcari, the city’s corporation counsel, concurred


Then again, Mr. Porcari’s impartiality could be in question: He was arrested and indicted by the attorney general’s office in May on charges that he directed $365,000 away from the Mount Vernon Board of Water Supply to pay Mr. Thomas’s legal bills, and hire a public relations firm.


In 2014, Mr. Thomas’s predecessor as mayor, Ernest D. Davis, pleaded guilty to federal charges for failing to file personal and corporate tax returns, but the City Council did not invoke the charter’s rules then, and he was permitted to finish out his term. At the time, Mr. Thomas called for Mr. Davis to be removed from office.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

SDCC toy photos

Dozens more photos at each link:

DC Collectibles.

Diamond Select.


Storm Collectibles.

Hasbro Overwatch.



Mattel Jurassic World.

Weta figures available for preorder.

*Some of the newly revealed NECA toys are already available for preorder.

Raining on the MTA

*Previously: Ridethrough of the refurbished Jurassic World ride at Universal

Imagining a Thunderbolts movie directed by Paul Verhoeven...

Hot Toys Darth Maul (Solo) available for preorder

Including a seat for Maul and Qi’ra hologram.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

Glam Furiosa (art roundup)

*Buy Infinity Stone jewelry at Amazon.

"Meet the Domain Prospector Turning Stray URLs Into Real Businesses"

Caitlin Dewey at OneZero:

Though most entrepreneurs acquire domains that fit their businesses, Askew takes the opposite approach: buy a good domain, then build a business on top of it. “I rarely ever come up with an idea,” he says. “The domain is the inspiration.”


I traveled to Atlanta to watch Askew work. His downtown co-working space lies two and a half hours and many worlds away from the small town of Vidalia, Georgia, a place so obsessed with the Vidalia onion that it built a museum in its honor. You can find onion plush toys at local hotels in Vidalia; a walking onion named “Yumion” serves as the town’s mascot. Vidalia onions are ultimately such a niche product, and Vidalia such a remote place, that I couldn’t fathom how Askew — a 47-year old from Atlanta with a background in internet marketing — found himself enmeshed in it.

Askew sometimes can’t seem to fathom it either. “I so enjoy being associated with this onion,” he says, in his excitable patter.

Askew bought for $2,200 in 2014. At the time, he says, he liked the domain for its Georgia connection. But months later, while ordering pears from the premium food and gift distributor Harry & David, he realized he could start a similar business for onions. He cold-called the Vidalia Onion Committee and, within a year of acquiring the domain, had shipped his first order to a New York City address.
*Previously: "A Surreal Trip to a Domain-Names Conference"

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Jaws 3-D episode of How Did This Get Made is very funny

No live audience, the original trio.

Free book of month from Tor is "The Emperor’s Blades"


Samurai Jack: Back to the Past Board Game is 57% off

$15, includes seven painted figurines.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

In case anyone needs a new avatar, from this week's episode of Legion

Also, from last week's soundtrack:

Monday, July 15, 2019

"For the doctor behind Happy Foot Sad Foot sign, a strange kind of fame comes to an end


Over the last four decades, the Happy Foot Sad Foot sign at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Benton Way has become the neighborhood’s mascot and mood ring.

The more mystical residents of Echo Park swear the sign works like a giant rotating fortune cookie or tarot card. If you see the sign on its happy side, you’ll have a good day, and if you see the sad side, you’ll have a bad day.


It’s one of those uniquely Los Angeles landmarks that begin life as objects of revulsion or disdain, then become ironically celebrated by a later generation of residents and are eventually anointed as fondly, iconically weird by another.


A lot of people are shocked to discover that the sign is associated with an actual foot clinic. But a Los Angeles Football Club fan collective has adopted Lim’s sign as a mascot, and recently he noticed that a store down the street is selling T-shirts with the sign’s image.
*Previously: "Billiken backlash: SLU will redesign mascot again"

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

Masters of the Universe Mer-Man figure by Mondo available for preorder

Multiple heads, feet, weapons. There's a new Phillie Phanatic figure available for preorder, too.

Metroid comic with suspense and humor

Artists's shop and Patreon.

*Previously: Jell-O Metroid.

Ideas for a horror-themed recipe book

*Previously: Beef Wellington sandwich recipe.