Wednesday, March 31, 2021

"The Morosini Institute for the Study of 3:32pm, April 10, 1954"

A story by Mark Slutsky about aimlessly visiting Venice, and stumbling upon a magical place:

A lot of hostels were housed in spots like the stately old ruin I was standing in front of, so I walked in.

It was dark and cool inside. It took a second for my eyes to adjust. When they did, I saw I was standing in front of a tall painting of an elegant woman and her skinny, aristocratic pooch. I realized I was probably in the wrong place.

I was about to peace out when a woman, dark hair pulled back and all in black, appeared and greeted me in Italian. I stammered out a dumb tourist response in English and she laughed. “Would you like a tour of the Institute?” she asked. She seemed so friendly and welcoming that I said sure.


The woman explained that she was the Director of the Morosini Institute for the Study of 3:32pm, April 10, 1954. In the years since the Institute’s founding, she had been responsible for hiring historians, cultural critics and other assorted researchers. Their singular goal: creating a comprehensive portrait of one particular second in human history—specifically, 3:32pm and 23 seconds, April 10, 1954.


“If you put any event under the microscope, you will find an entire dimension of weird, incredible things going on. It’s as if there’s the macro level of historical research, where things sort of obey natural laws and usual things happen and unusual things don’t happen. And then there’s this other level where everything is really weird.”

Today's funny posts

Fear on the subway; A chair to share with your needy pet; Mondo's new posters for Little League dads

Shark font; Demonic turtle tiki; Food mascots

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

"Five current and former Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting employees are facing federal charges for allegedly accepting bribes"

"The alleged corruption has been going on for years, according to the indictments."

The French police are closing in on an international gang of toy thieves specializing in stealing Lego

They come to France, set up in a hotel in the Paris region, then set about raiding toy stores before returning to Poland to sell off their haul” 

Today's funny posts

Redesigned Packers uniforms; When a skilled bartender makes a baby's formula; Suspense by Olivia Jaimes

Monday, March 29, 2021

Slate interviewed the real estate agent selling the "Sexy Funeral Goth House in Baltimore"

Slate: When you have a house with decor as unusual as this, do you try to get the sellers to neutralize it a little? Or do you just embrace it?

[The agent]: Well, you should have seen it before. He somewhat neutralized it. I told him: I’ve been doing this for 33 years, and I know what sells. Some of the things in there, I told him, will frighten people. 

More funny posts

*More funny posts.

He's disappointed with how this Warhammer miniature turned out

The video of him nervously unwrapping the mold is really charming:

*See more miniatures.

The Best American Short Stories 2017 is $1.99 today

at Amazon.

Today's funny posts

World Rock Stacking Championship; Mandalorian plasma blade; City of Ghosts poster

(More here.)

Sunday, March 28, 2021

"Rebels besiege town in northern Mozambique for fifth day"


Many Palma residents ran into the dense tropical forest surrounding the town to escape the violence. But a few hundred foreign workers from South Africa, Britain and France clustered at hotels that quickly became targets for the rebel attacks.

An estimated 200 Mozambicans and foreign workers sheltered at the Hotel Amarula. On Friday, a band of them in 17 vehicles drove together to the beach, where they hoped to be rescued, but the convoy came under heavy fire. Only 7 vehicles reached the beach, according to local reports and messages sent by survivors. 

Today's funny posts

Overlord is on Amazon Prime and Hulu if you want to see why Wyatt Russell was cast as the new Captain America

It's a fun movie, and practically a multiverse Marvel story now. (He's also in the excellent movie Everybody Wants Some, so that college baseball team featured Superman and Captain America.)

Glass coffin; Illustrating models with cut paper; How different artists draw water

Saturday, March 27, 2021

A video game about skateboarding in the underworld

King Shark sculpture

*Buy King Shark toys at Amazon.

The Knowledge Centre for Manoeuvring in Shallow and Confined Water


Here's some of the puppets from the upcoming MODOK show on Hulu

From this panel discussion with the cast (there's an extended fight clip from the show at the end of the panel):

Starro pin

Available at High Five Pins:

Today's funny tweets

This week's best Warhammer 40 miniatures and other hobby creations

Friday, March 26, 2021

"Birdsport" is a type of "bloodless cockfighting" featuring finches smuggled from Guyana to New York

Writing for Guernica, Kimon de Greef describes Birdsport:

Prices start at around one hundred dollars but rise quickly for promising singers. On his last trip, [the smuggler] spent four thousand dollars on a bird for himself. 


“This one’s angry,” [the smuggler] said appreciatively. “I look for birds like that.”


When two men agree to race, they lift their cages from these improvised pegs and place them, inches apart, on a shoulder-height spike driven into the ground for just this purpose. As soon as the birds see each other, they begin singing to defend their turf; the two judges tally each burst of whistles, and the first bird to fifty wins.

The best thing about the Suicide Squad trailer is learning Starro had a son named Jarro that became Batman's partner Robin

The trailer is fun, and it's cool that John Ostrander gets a credit and actual screentime:

But the very best news is learning the related information that Starro had a son named Jarro that teamed up with Batman:

You can read up on Jarro here.

A dating app for people stuck in the Suez Canal; "Bulk Venus"; Steal this look

Moderoid Spider Crane model

$20 for a fun model:

The crane's boom arm is extendable and its outriggers can be displayed, deployed or compactly stored. The hydraulic cylinders can also be moved in accordance with the movement of the boom and outriggers. This model is also convertible from a compact folded form for storage to its deployed form without the use of additional parts. A cable for attaching the hook of the crane is included as well. Split up into green and grey runners, this kit is easy to create and enjoy!

Today's funny posts

Good Dodgers fan art; Great Golden Girls fan art; Release the Lord and Miller cut of Solo!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

There's a Twitch stream for watching a stop sign in Massachusetts where "98.73% of vehicles don’t stop"


if you watch the stream, it really is incredible how few drivers stop—or even pretend like they’re maybe going to do a halfhearted roll-through stop. Most drivers just pass right on by, despite how precariously close they come to getting into wrecks with other drivers. It’s an entirely unnecessary game of chicken that makes for weirdly riveting viewing


According to longtime fans, it’s been running since at least last year, but it averaged single-digit viewer numbers, when it had any viewers at all. Then, over the weekend, a couple things happened: The stream got some play on Twitch drama hive turned kingmaker r/Livestreamfail, and probably most importantly, a big name, 100 Thieves intern JhbTeam, promoted the stream to his audience. First he tweeted about it, but it wasn’t until he created a TikTok on Monday that things got out of hand.

Jessica Walter was the villain in the 1978 Doctor Strange movie, and here she is fighting Doctor Strange and speaking to her demon master

Part of Wikipedia's lengthy summary of the plot:
Somewhere, an evil entity tells Morgan le Fay that she has been prevented from breaking through to the earthly realm by a great wizard, and that she has three days to either defeat or kill the wizard and win over his successor to her master's side.

Le Fay possesses a young woman named Clea Lake and uses her as a weapon against Thomas Lindmer, the "Sorcerer Supreme." She pushes him off a bridge to his death, but instead of dying, he slowly gets up and magically heals himself. His friend, Wong, looks after him and locates Lake for him. Suffering from psychic aftereffects of the possession and haunting dreams of le Fay, Lake is under the care of psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Strange at a psychiatric hospital. Strange has the potential to become Lindmer's successor by virtue of abilities and items inherited from his father, including a signet ring. Strange intuitively senses something very wrong, sharing Lake's nightmare about the previous day's events, but does not understand what is going on.
Here's the trailer:

Here's some more footage, including Morgan le Fay speaking with her demon master:

And here's the wizard battle:

The disc is available at Amazon.

Maybe this dog can clear the canal?; Or SpaceX?; Genuine sizzle reel for efforts to clear the canal

Today's funny posts

Blooodborne Figma figures available for preorder; Free Bloodborne zines

Regular and deluxe Hunters, and an additional weapon pack available for preorder:
The Saw Cleaver can be transformed into its extended cleaver form just like in the game.
Special attachment parts are included to display the Whirligig Saw and Ludwig's Holy Blade

Werewolves hanging out; Dazzle ships in drydock; Peanuts-themed jersey for the Timberwolves

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

"A Bestselling Author Became Obsessed With Freeing a Man From Prison. It Nearly Ruined Her Life."

A lengthy article published by the Marshall Project in partnership with New York Magazine about an author that became convinced of an imprisoned California man's innocence and was spending $20k per month funding the efforts to overturn the conviction. Lots of assertions about her becoming convinced she was being pursued, and descriptions of her dabbling in scalping to raise money:

Sara escalated her efforts in spring and summer 2016. She set up fake Facebook accounts in an attempt to find Dinardo and members of his family. Sara told me that Bolaรฑos, via her findings, discovered that Dinardo’s family members were running a day care center out of a garage in Long Beach. And that he sent her live updates and photographs from a sting that he’d set up, sending two agents to pose as a couple looking for day care. It went nowhere.


The answer came in a Christmas request from her grandchildren: “Hatchimals,” a popular interactive toy that arrived in an egg and “hatched” when rubbed. Five minutes of research convinced her that they were Generation Alpha’s answer to Cabbage Patch Kids. The retail price was $59.99, but high demand and low supply caused substantial markups online. In a four-day bidding frenzy, she bought 156 Hatchimal listings on eBay with an average price of $151, spending $23,595.31 in total. “Either I have big balls or no brains,” she emailed at the time, “or perhaps the two go together.”

After listing just three Hatchimals, pricing them from $189 to $219, she encountered a crippling setback: eBay had limited the quantity of Hatchimals listings to three per week. At this rate, she might sell another nine before Christmas, after which demand — and prices — would surely drop. She set up a Shopify account and linked to it in a long Facebook post detailing Murdoch’s case. Although she gave away several Hatchimals, criticism soon followed: “It’s sad that a lot of kids will be very upset this Christmas because of greedy people like you,” one irate commenter responded. News outlets from across the country and the world picked up the story: Time magazine, The Washington Post, The Guardian, NBC’s the Today show (with the teaser “Hatchimals are hoarded by best-selling author”).

(Here's the LATimes 2016 write-up on the Hatchimals episode.)

Today's funny posts

Installing a game in the New York courthouse bathroom; Movie magic as actors quickly swap out of frame; Ghostbusters trap as a an incense burner