Saturday, August 31, 2019

"Traditional medicines containing pangolin scales will no longer be covered by China’s state insurance funds"

Demand for pangolin scales for use in traditional medicine threatens all eight species of pangolins with extinction.

The announcement, made on August 20 by the National Medical Insurance and the Human Resource and Social Security Bureau, also removes hawksbill sea turtle, sea horse, coral, and saiga antelope antlers, among other wildlife-derived products, from the list of drugs eligible for reimbursement by government-funded insurance.

"This Is the Player Who Runs the Largest Spy Agency in No Man’s Sky"

Murphy tells me he is the Head Security officer for the Galactic Hub, the largest player-run civilization in No Man’s Sky. He controls the Galactic Hub Defense Force, a paramilitary organization dedicated to the safety of Hub space.


The process spying isn’t nearly as arcane as Kibbles believes. Agents prepare for assignments through a combination of monitoring social media and targeting key leadership roles. Another operative, AM, leans on No Man’s Sky players’ tendency to document everything in wikis. This leaves paper trails and detailed accounts of power dynamics. Exploiting those to earn a place near the top of a potentially “hostile group” is every operative’s main goal.

“It’s very similar to the process of making friends,” says LG, another operative. “My tactics tend to come down to spending some time in a community before mentioning some sort of skill or connection that makes me an asset to whoever I want to get close to. If they don’t approach me, then I spend time around the people they spend time with to get an ‘in.’”


if they confirm Murphy’s suspicion? He doesn’t actually mobilize the Defense Force. Not at first. His initial approach is often direct and personal: an invitation to chat and talk through the issue before it escalates. Once, his reputation preceded him and led to a record-setting deescalation in just three minutes

“I had the invitation link,” Murphy explained. “So, I popped into the Discord to say hello and they immediately deleted the server and abandoned it.”
*Previously: "The First Spy Satellites Had to Drop Gigantic Buckets of Film Back to Earth"

"Threshold Kids" (the creepy puppet show from the game Control); "Bright Falls" and "Night Springs" (from Alan Wake)

This is actual Control gameplay:

And speaking of creepy kid stuff:

Other creepy movies from the Control extended universe:

*Buy Control at Amazon.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

"Ground-penetrating radar has detected what appear to be more than 120 coffins under an apartment complex in Tampa"

Tampa Bay Times:
The 2½-acre, segregation-era burial ground, believed to be the city’s first for African-Americans, was established in 1901 along the 3700 block of Florida Ave. and extended back around 400 feet.

It disappeared nearly a century ago when the land was parceled off for white developments.

No one tried to find it until now.
*Previously: Cemetery frequented by kangaroos.

"Millions of people in north-eastern India could lose their citizenship on Saturday in what could become the biggest exercise in forced statelessness in living memory"

Around 30 million people in Assam have been forced to prove they are citizens by demonstrating that they have roots in the state dating to before March 1971. The list of those who have been deemed citizens will be released on Saturday.


The Hindu nationalist-led government of Narendra Modi, which supports the project in Assam, has pledged to roll the process out across the country. The home minister, Amit Shah, has previously promised to deport immigrants, describing them as “termites”.

The BJP-led Assam state also plans to build an additional 10 detention camps to house those declared to be migrants.

Colored dye, molotovs, and lasers in Hong Kong

"An L.A. photo shop was struggling — then country star Kacey Musgraves dropped in"

Kacey Musgraves was in town earlier this week for two sold-out nights at the Greek Theatre. In her downtime, the Grammy-winning country artist and her sister stumbled into an inconspicuous little photo shop in Koreatown.

On a quest to develop some film, they found a “gem”: a cash-only, mom-and-pop shop with no internet presence but plenty of handmade backdrops, retro photo sessions and an endearingly old-school photo lab struggling to survive.


The “High Horse” singer spent some time chatting with the shop’s owner and learned that the once-bustling business, which opened in 1991, had slowed to a crawl since the digital wave. (But as interest in ’90s camera culture surges , things could be looking up.)

Determined to give it a much-needed boost, Musgraves enlisted her 1.6 million Instagram followers and 811,000 Twitter fans for support.

“Let’s keep this charming business afloat!,” Musgraves wrote on her Instagram. Her efforts are paying off splendidly. As of Thursday morning, the shop had accrued nearly 28,000 Instagram followers. And a happy and overwhelmed Tom has been flooded with calls and portrait requests.

Wargaming miniatures roundup

A post shared by Paint My Little World (@paintmylittleworld) on

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Friday, August 30, 2019

The latest Figma figure is a deep cut: Village of Eight Gravestones

The figure:
From the 1977 classic film by director Yoshitaro Nomura, Village of Eight Gravestones, based on the novel by Seishi Yokomizo, comes a figma of the crazed head of the Tajimi family, Yozo Tajimi.
From a movie description:
A young man (Kenichi Hagiwara) discovers he is heir to a large estate in the village called Yatsuhakamura. But on the moment that he comes into contact with his heritage, villagers begin to die under agonizing situations.

The victims are descendants of villagers who conspired, four hundred years earlier, to drug & murder eight samurai who had tried to become farmers in the region.

The village's history has been marked by periodic mass murders, shown in vivid & horrifying flashbacks. Since the young heir's father was himself a mass murderer, villagers are certain that the man orphaned in childhood has to be responsible for the new series of murders.

The Oregon State Beavers have a turnover chainsaw, Colorado has a heavy bag

*Previously: "The Miami Herald now has a 'Click Chain'- whoever gets the most web traffic for the week gets to wear this!"

The new Terminator is Border Patrol

Homemade Spirited Away water globe

*Buy Spirited Away toys at ebay.

Disney's the Evil Queen sizzle reel; more serious Disney news


Disney Layoffs Continue With Nearly 60 More Jobs Cut in Home Entertainment, TV Distribution


In total, Disney is expected to cut as many as 4,000 jobs, the majority of which have come from the film segments thus far. Company leadership has said it plans to have roughly $2 billion in cost-saving as job cuts continue to eliminate overlapping business functions.

Ten more funny tweets

*More funny posts.

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

Twin Peaks tarot; Berlin typography; Laser engraving