Friday, May 7, 2021

Operational Medicine is a U.S. government "elite expeditionary medical force that you have almost certainly never heard of"

Adam Ciralsky writing for Vanity Fair:

At 29, the biochemist and virologist has spent much of her professional life indoors, where the U.S. government has entrusted her to handle some of the world’s most lethal pathogens—including Ebola, Lassa fever, and Nipah viruses—at top-secret Biosafety Level Four facilities. “I shower six times a day,” she tells me.


With codenames straight out of a spy or superhero franchise—Guardian, Sentinel, Anodyne, Hemlock, Solitude, Erudite, Presidium, and Fanion—the scope and solemnity of their work is vast


From repatriating Americans—held hostage in places like Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Yemen—to averting a Benghazi redux when U.S. embassies are in the crosshairs, OpMed has responded to hundreds of crises. As one operative put it, “If you are overseas and something were to happen, we’re probably the ones coming to get you.”


“I remember the first time we talked, he said something like, ‘It’s going to feel like nothing is happening and then all of a sudden, it’s going to be a go. And so, I just need you to be prepared for that.’ And he was absolutely right. It felt like nothing was happening. And then all of a sudden, he and his team have put together this elaborate plan to go and get my dad.”

Plush swaddled baby bug from Destiny

Fallen Baby Plush listed, but not yet available in the shop.

Chubby griffin vinyl toy

"Half pug- half eagle, the Peagle is the initial product launch for the Design Earth Toys brand and the first toy for Mickael Leliรจvre."

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Murderbot cover art; Store security bot; Gilligan's magic robe

Imagining Tim Burton's Batman as a video game; "Tron" was more realistic than it seemed; Cursed glitch

(Artist's page.)

Thursday, May 6, 2021

New Disney Ultimates by Super7 are available for preorder, feature a hippo ballerina

Alice in Wonderland, Fantasia, and Robin Hood:

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The pinnacle of chalkboard chalk; Captain Marvel's old costume actually does look good here; Downloadable classic Hollywood cards for Guess Who

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Art contest to win a Monchi statue from TheMitchellsVsTheMachines


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MacBeth costumes by Thierry Mugler

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Phil Noto draws Han Solo, then and now; Vicious-looking podracer; Vintage Space Mountain video

From my wishlist, Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Lathe of Heaven" is $1.99 today

at Amazon. (Nominated for Hugo and Nebula Award, winner of the Locus, and twice adapted for TV.)

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Check out all the cyborg parts the new Clone Trooper figure comes with

New Hot Toys available for preorder, including a new Grogu (with hover pram and Loth-cat), and Bad Batch Echo:

Glass and ceramic "Awakening"; Artist looking for commissions; Fashionable skateboarders

Sirenhead; Hypnotic portal; A glimpse of the boss

Monday, May 3, 2021

Wild allegations about a Christian missionary spending years posing as a rabbi in Israel in order to convert Jews to Christianity

Here's the start of one lengthy write-up:

In the ultra-Orthodox enclave in Jerusalem where [he] now lives, he was often called on to perform marriages, circumcisions and other sacred Jewish rituals. He was even hired to write Torah scrolls, handwritten copies of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, in a task typically reserved for the most devout and highly trained scribes. 

But for 15 years, [he] was apparently living a lie. The father of five with the black hat, beard and side curls was fluent in Judaic texts and traditions but living a double life: Salem County, he was actually a Christian missionary sent to the Holy Land to convert Jews, according to two anti-missionary groups whose accusations have captivated Israelis in recent days. 

[His] tale has grabbed headlines across the Jewish state, where religious leaders see a growing trend of covert missionary work by evangelical Christians. 

A few more highlights from "The Mitchells vs The Machines" Tweetathon

Highlights from "The Mitchells vs The Machines" Tweetathon

"Every week, [these postmen] deliver and pick up letters from 300 households spread over small villages, each one more inaccessible than the next"

The Guardian has a photo gallery about the the two postmen of Mafate:

The Cirque de Mafate, one of three calderas on the French island of Rรฉunion in the Indian Ocean, along with Cilaos and Salazie, is a valley more than 1,000 metres deep surrounded by huge cliffs and steep peaks


René-Claude can walk 12 miles (20km) a day with up to 15kg of letters on his back. His route, a loop of 60 miles, lasts between 3 and 4 days. On 4 January 2021, René-Claude walked 35,157 steps and climbed the equivalent of 350 floors.

Funny interview about how the Furbys ended up in The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Lots of funny lines in this Slate interview. Here's the first answer:

Mike Rianda: My history with them is: My mom got me one. I was a little too old. I think I was 13. I was like, “This is a baby thing! I’m an adult! I’m 13, Mom! Thanks for the gift!” But I did enjoy it, because it’s a strange, wonderful thing. I was actually talking to somebody about how it was made by a farmer, or something? It seems like it was a very earnest endeavor. It wasn’t made by a toy company to be like, “How do we move some product?” Some weirdo was like, “I like owls, and I want to put a face on an owl, and I want it to talk to children!” I had one, and I got sick of it, and my mom was scared of it, so I put it in the closet, and it would literally talk in the closet at night, waking me up and terrifying me. 

There will be a livetweet viewing party tonight, and here's a few posts from some of the creators and fans:

New Marvel Legends Quicksilver available for preoder, includes broken Ultron bits

It's a real shame it's not Quicksilver's Halloween look from Wandavision. Storm Collectibles' new Zangief looks really fun to play with:

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Creating a portal in the sand; Vaporwave Piranesi?; Alternate Zip file logos