Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Flying backheel finisher

*Previously: Triple punch.

Invisible statues (art roundup)

*Previously: Packaging for invisible tape

"McDonald's has slashed its drive-thru service times"; when The Hamburglar was "The Long Jogger"


In June, the company’s drive-thru service times were 15 seconds shorter on average than they were a year earlier in the U.S., a noticeable reduction the company believes will pay dividends over the long run.


Company executives believe culling precious seconds off those drive-thru service times will be key to get customers coming in more frequently. Traffic is down again this year, despite strong sales, continuing a frustrating, seven-year trend for the Chicago-based burger giant.

“We want to get incremental improvement week-to-week-to-week,” Easterbrook said. “So each time a customer comes back, they will notice a few seconds’ difference.”
Speaking of McDonald's, have you ever seen proto-Hamburglar's early identity as "The Lone Jogger?" Like something out of Syfy's Candle Cove:

*Previously: McDonalds and Heinz split up.

Jaws poster by Mondo (art roundup)

*Buy Mondo posters at ebay.

"Inside Instagram’s annual beach party"

By Taylor Lorenz for Atlantic:

The occasion was "Instabeach," an exclusive, invite-only annual party hosted by the photo-sharing platform for 500 hundred top creators along with plus ones, talent representatives, managers, and—for the first time—press. The goal, according to Justin Antony, Instagram's head of creators and emerging talent partnerships, is to help influencers meet each other, mingle, and form friendships. But what started three years ago as a casual beach party for a class of people that was once maligned by the traditional entertainment industry has become a who's who of young Hollywood


Among them: The cooler, older, more well-known influencers, who had mostly come to put in face time with Instagram execs. Then there were the Instagram comedians, who huddled in circles roasting each other and anyone who came by. There were the dancers—spottable by their sneakers and propensity for casual backflips—and the hypebeasts, who arrived clad in Louis Vuitton and obscure streetwear. The self-proclaimed "Brat pack" consisted of about seven boys and a couple girls, all of whom star in shows on Brat
In other news, Gladstones is apparently proving to be immortal.

*Previously: "WeChat influencer reveals culinary secrets hidden in plain sight from English-speaking Toronto"

One:12 Collective Deluxe Harley Quinn with missile launcher available for preorder

Three heads, mallet, and much more.

Also, the toy deals of the day are up and include $60 off Darth Maul's lightsaber.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

"‘Pokémon GO’ Is Having Team Rocket Physically Invade New York City"


Niantic has been posting chronicles of actual, real-life Team Rocket grunts that they’ve photographed running around New York City, vandalizing Pokemon GO signs and billboards, culminating in the landing of a real-life Team Rocket balloon.

And speaking of Pokemon, here's montrous Pikachu:

*Buy Detective Pikachu toys at Amazon.

"Petition seeks end to forcing Tokyo high school students to dye hair black"


With some metropolitan high schools in Tokyo still instructing students to dye their hair black despite it naturally being another color, a group has presented the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education with 19,065 signatures backing a written request to stop the practice.


In western Japan, a woman who was forced to dye her natural brown hair as a third-grade student at an Osaka Prefecture-run high school launched a suit in 2017 for some 2.2 million yen in compensation. The case is pending at the Osaka District Court.
Telegraph (from May):
Some 60 per cent of public schools in Japan require that all pupils submit a document called Natural Hair Certification, which confirms the natural colour and degree of curliness of their hair.

A new survey shows one in 13 schoolchildren had subsequently been “urged” by their school to dye their naturally brown hair black.

The survey of 1,000 children and teachers accompanies a new campaign masterminded by P&G’s Pantene shampoo brand, which also sells hair dye, to challenge the expectation.


The debate was fuelled further last month, with the launch of a new petition offering a high-profile opposition to hair rule restrictions on schoolchildren in Japan.

The petition, which was reportedly inspired by the Pantene campaign, attracted more than 10,000 signatures in the first few weeks, with plans to present it to Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike.
*Previously: Using carefully placed garbage to advertise Kit Kats

"In Australia, one cat seems to have destroyed an entire bird sanctuary"

Sarah Zhang for the Atlantic:

That’s when they decided on the stakeout. On the night of December 1, Greenwell and the five residents took shifts. The white cat came at 7 p.m.; they shooed it away. The cat returned at midnight; they shooed it away again. The cat came back a third time that night, and Greenwall saw it slinking toward the birds. They chased the cat for half a mile before it disappeared in the coastal scrub. The group returned to stake out the area the next night, and then the City of Mandurah hired an overnight security guard for a few days. When the cat was not seen again, they thought the danger had passed.

But it had not.


“There was absolute outrage in the community”
And speaking of wildlife sanctuaries:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is the sort of book that you’ve either never heard of or have already read for your book club. The bestselling hardcover title of 2019, Crawdads has sold more than 1 million copies—jaw-dropping for any first novel, much less one by an author who just turned 70, living on a remote homestead in northern Idaho. Publishers Weekly has called its success the “feel-good publishing story of the year.” (Spoilers for the novel follow throughout this piece.) If you’re one of the people who’ve read the book, you probably know a little of Owens’ romantic backstory, like the huge boost her debut got when Reese Witherspoon, the Oprah of our time, selected it for her book club. Or the fact that while Crawdads is Owens’ first novel, it’s not her first book. And then there’s the 22 years she spent in Africa with her husband, Mark, living close to the land and working in wildlife conservation. Delia and Mark wrote about those experiences in three memoirs. But what most of Crawdads’ fans don’t know is that Delia and Mark Owens have been advised never to return to one of the African nations where they once lived and worked, Zambia, because they are wanted for questioning in a murder that took place there decades ago.


To be clear, Delia Owens herself is not suspected of involvement in the murder of a poacher filmed by an ABC camera crew in 1995, while the news program Turning Point was producing a segment on the Owenses’ conservation work in Zambia. But her stepson, Christopher, and her husband have been implicated by some witnesses.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mastodon poster by Tara McPherson

Regular, variant, and original art available here.

*Buy toys by Tara McPherson at ebay.

"HBO Max has given an 8-episode straight-to-series order to Circe, a drama series adaptation of Madeline Miller’s International bestseller of the same name"


Circe gives HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer service set to debut in spring 2020, a potential fantasy franchise. It joins sci-fi saga Dune: The Sisterhood. Other series ordered by the upcoming streaming platform include a Gossip Girl reboot, Made For Love, Station Eleven, a Gremlins animated prequel, The Flight Attendant, Love Life, and Tokyo Vice.
(Circe is good, but The Song of Achilles is one of my all-time favorites.)

(Of the two, Circe is the one with sexual violence at its core...)

*Previously: Madeline Miller AMA

Lasers (technology roundup)

*Previously: We have lasers!!!!!!!!! the blog devoted to portraits with laser backgrounds

Cover for William Gibson's upcoming "Agency"

UK cover design by Chris Bentham, preorder a signed copy here.

Also, Janelle Shane announced her new book and described using a neural net to generate a title. Rejected titles included:

Dang also
The Dead Death
No, Strange Friend
Horses of Pants

The toy deals of the day include 30% off Mezco's King Kong of Skull Island Figure

$47.99, includes two heads, manacles, tiny Ann Darrow.

"I tried to get rich dropshipping cheap crap to Coachella kids"

Experimenting with Shopify:

Since no one I spoke to was interested in telling me what I should stock my store with (as Hilse put it, “Man, if I told you what products to sell, like, publicly, that product would be dead in a couple days.”), I did a Google search for the best items to dropship. According to an article on Cloudways, a web hosting service advertising itself to potential ecommerce entrepreneurs, one of the hottest products for 2019 was the “Child Wrist Leash.” The article noted, “Many women lose their children while shopping in the malls.”


Sensing my brand’s potential as a leader in the music festival culture space, I dubbed the child leash a “Rave Buddy Leash.”


“It’s the impulse” that convinces people to buy stuff from a dropshipper, Hilse told me. “You’re not allowing them time to go and research and go and find cheap prices or anything. It’s all about finding a product that is shocking and viral that they’ve never seen before.” Much like every piece of content on the internet (including this article), dropshippers are in the business of capturing your precious and finite attention and turning it into money, albeit in a much more direct and transactional way than this article could hope to do.

Heart cake

Thriller “Heart” specially for @pearls.desserts Watch with the sound on ♥️ We worked so hard during the whole week at day and night filming these videos. It was fun, and at the same time it was exhausting. Long hours of shooting, kilos of ingredients, a dozen color papers, cameras, lamps, and the work of multiple people, and it is for the sake of the video that lasts several minutes. But it was worth it. Do you agree? Video production @egro.str @food.kiro . Настоящий видео триллер Сердце смотреть со звуком! ♥️ Мы снимали ролики для @pearls.desserts в течении целой недели, иногда не только днём, но и ночью. Это было весело, интересно и в то же время утомительно. Часы съемки, килограммы продуктов, десятки цветных листов, камеры, светильники и работа шести человек ради нескольких минут видео. Но это того стоит. Вы согласны? Видео и фото @egro.str @food.kiro . . @dinarakasko #dinarakasko #heart #cakeheart #pastrylove #cakestv #pastrychef #culinary_talents #okmycake #pastryinspiration #chocolatejewels #pastryart #cake #chefsofinstagram #gastroart #art #pastryart #chefstalk #pastry #chefs #instadessert #foodporn #cakemould #buzzfeedtasty #designmilk
A post shared by Dinara Kasko (@dinarakasko) on

*Previously: Aquifer cake.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

Knights of Ren at work (Star Wars roundup)

*Previously: Turning phone cases into Star Wars datapads