Friday, December 31, 2021

The Mandalorian x Mr. Potato Head

Available for preorder:

Robot curling coach; China sends war drones to the border; Smuggler's drone crashes into a house

Meanwhile, an assertion that China is sending drones to the border with India:
According to Indian media reports, dozens of autonomous vehicles capable of transporting both weapons and supplies are being dispatched to Tibet, with the bulk being deployed in border regions where Chinese troops are engaged in a standoff with Indian troops.

The Sharp Claw, which can be handled wirelessly and is armed with a light machinegun, and the Mule-200, which is meant as an unmanned delivery truck but can also be equipped with weaponry, are two examples of vehicles. 
According to the sheriff's report, a 17-year-old resident heard something hit her home and went outside to investigate. Outside, she found a DJI Phantom 4 drone with a package attached to it. The drone was still on and beeping, and it's onboard lights were concealed with duct tape.
Deputies later inspected the package and found several bags of marijuana and tobacco. Also inside were two cell phones with chargers.

Sneaking logic bombs into 3d-printed objects

A paper:

Rapid prototyping makes additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) useful in critical application domains such as aerospace, automotive, and medical. The rapid expansion of these applications should prompt the examination of the underlying security of 3D printed objects. In this paper, we present Mystique, a novel class of stealthy attacks on printed objects that leverage the fourth dimension of emerging 4D printing technology to introduce embedded logic bombs through manufacturing process manipulation. Mystique enables visually benign objects to behave maliciously upon the activation of the logic bomb during operation. It leverages the manufacturing process to embed a physical logic bomb that can be triggered with specific stimuli to change the physical and mechanical properties of the printed objects. These changes in properties can potentially cause catastrophic operational failures when the objects are used in critical applications such as drones, prosthesis, or medical applications. 

Today's funny posts

Book covers old and new, good and bad

(More here.)

And one game:

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Gift exchange based on things stolen from grandma's house; Impossible gift wrapping; Wholesome party games


2 years worth of stolen items and she had no idea #aeholidayforever #ffxmasswitch #candycrushallstars #GEICOGiveHappy

♬ Pennies from Heaven - Louis Prima

If you want a cozy mystery hidden item game, I'm enjoying True Fear: Forsaken Souls 2 on iOS

I think the full unlock was $5, but there's a pretty substantial free portion to try.

Joy Toy's Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marines are available for preorder

These are sold individually. The terminators have removable helmets:

Today's funny posts

Cables with a threatening aura

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Photos and video of prisoners being displayed in a Chinese town

Today's funny posts

Kusanagi and Batou redesign

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Apple A7 chip in resin

Available at Grid (and on sale):

Five pack of Amanda Visell x Kidrobot minifigures is 43% off

 Five "Ferals" blindboxed minifigures for $34.99.

Today's funny posts

Kagan McLeod and Chip Zdarsky have started publishing new Kaptara comics

(Just sign up for the free newsletter and scroll down.)

Monday, December 27, 2021

Lawry's reportedly canceled the Beef Bowl

Here's an article from just last week saying it was returning after being canceled last year.

The annual guest list? Two full rosters of linemen, receivers, running backs, and tackles (the Oklahoma Sooners and Georgia Bulldogs this year; the teams dine on separate nights) plus coaching staff, athletic personnel, Tournament of Roses officials, and a select group of California highway patrolmen (who not only escort the teams from their practice facility to Lawry’s, but also throw on bowties to walk arm in arm with the Tournament of Roses Queen and her princesses to their rib-slicing table).


The marching band lets loose outside, signaling to waitresses dressed in old-school brown-and-white dresses and chefs wearing comically tall white toques that their guests have arrived. They rush toward the entrance, clapping with vigor as they line a medium-rare-red carpet leading out toward the street. A police motorcycle escort speeds into view trailed by a lineup of colossal buses; the band begins playing Georgia’s fight song, “Glory,” as every vehicle comes to a stop in the middle of La Cienega. Doors pop open, allowing a stream of players and coaches—all dressed in casual clothes emblazoned with the school’s insignia—to stride triumphantly toward the evening’s meaty dream dinner.
And a 2018 write-up with lots of photos.
Staff at Lawry’s says that often the Beef Bowl is the first time coaches and players have actually had prime rib, and the number of requests for well-done cuts is far higher than a usual dinner service at the restaurant.

Cityscapes by Wayne Thiebaud

The LAT has a long article about his life:

He worked briefly in the animation department of Walt Disney Studios, where a principal animator drew the first and last frames in a strip and Thiebaud drew the middle frames. He was fired after six months for his pro-union activities.

With money believed stolen from Ukraine's largest bank, "Ukraine oligarch became Cleveland's biggest landlord"

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

The hotel is part of a portfolio — including iconic skyscrapers in Cleveland — that collapsed amid a series of stunning failures and a federal investigation of allegations that the oligarch and others stole hundreds of millions of dollars from Ukraine’s largest bank and then secretly plowed the money into U.S. real estate, including the four-star hotel.


The 58-year-old billionaire and others bought the towers through companies set up in Delaware — one of the nation’s foremost havens for corporate secrecy — through a litany of offshore shell companies in amounts that forced taxpayers in Ukraine to turn over billions to save the bank.

Far from the usual havens for shadowy money, Cleveland has become the center of an international money laundering probe 

Today's funny posts

For real.

Dow Jones Average cocktail glasses; Pretty cookies; Clever logo for a veterinarian

(Available at ebay.)

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Selfie with the telescope

There's a papercraft version available for download.

Today's funny posts

Short documentary about the Antarctic Ice Marathon

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas tree in the hot cell; Annual Christmas puzzle; Christmas by Emberley

The telescope's solar panel

Today's funny posts

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

Techno-nightmare Christmas tree?; Eldritch Christmas tree; Michael Caine Muppet

Friday, December 24, 2021

"Private Military Landlord Pleads Guilty, Must Pay $65 Million for Defrauding Air Force, Other Services"

Air Force Magazine:

Balfour Beatty Communities maintained two sets of maintenance records at some bases—one detailing issues of mold, asbestos, and leaks that were not promptly fixed; and another set of falsified accounts of quick repairs that allowed the company to collect bonuses from the Pentagon.


It is not the first time that Balfour Beatty has been censured for defence-related work. In the UK in 2019 MI6 sacked the company as a contractor during refurbishment work after it lost sensitive plans of the layout of its headquarters in London’s Vauxhal


The fines are more than Balfour Beatty’s entire profit before tax for 2020 of £48m, although they are only a small proportion of revenues of £8.6bn during that year.

Metroid Dread Samus custom figure

Today's funny posts

Thursday, December 23, 2021

"The Ten Thousand Doors of January" is $2.99 right now

at Amazon:
Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel (2020)
Nebula Award Nominee for Best Novel (2019)
Locus Award Nominee for Best First Novel (2020)

The Most Exciting Spot in the Cosmos Right Now Is French Guiana"

Nice juxtaposition:

a longtime manager at NASA, had already seen the animal a few times, hanging out in a strip of rich-green jungle, across the street from a hotel. “You see this kind of weird-looking tree right here?" [he] said, pulling the car over. And there was the sloth, motionless on a high branch, nearly hidden, with only a patch of gray, wiry fur peeking through the leaves.


[There] are hundreds, even thousands, of others from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency, which are working together on the project. Employees from Arianespace, the European launch company providing the rocket, are here too, and everyone is working alongside the local staff at the Guiana Space Center, the spaceport from which the observatory will lift off. There’s no exact count, but it’s a lot of people, all focused on the safe departure of a telescope that, when it opens its mirrors toward the cosmos, will see farther than Hubble. This is a mission that will peer deep into the universe and capture the light from the first stars and galaxies. A machine that is traveling so far into space that astronauts won’t be able to repair it.

"Lana was like, 'Hmmm, take off your socks. I think you’re gonna be a no-socks guy. I've just decided this guy is a no-socks guy'"

Vulture interviewed Jonathan Groff about Matrix Resurrections:

At the beginning of the movie, when you’re just playing Thomas Anderson’s business partner, you get to be this slimey tech guy, which I realized was sort of the worst possible future for Patrick from Looking.

I didn’t think of that, but like if things didn’t work out and he went to the dark side, he would maybe be that way, yes. That’s funny, because when I went to San Francisco to meet Lana, we met at the Fairmont Hotel, and there was a poster of Looking there with my face on it, because we shot the show there. She didn’t acknowledge the poster specifically, but we did talk about how much San Francisco meant to both of us. 

New Image comics Humble Bundle featuring comics written by Ed Brubaker

Starting at $1 for four volumes. I enjoyed the spy thriller "Velvet" a lot (available in the higher tiers).

Today's funny posts

Gingerbread greenhouse; Punisher by Bartel; Catwoman by Dekal; Twitter feed dedicated to Vtubers

Insectoid Lego character

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Interviews with Matrix Resurrections' fashion designer

EW has a short write-up, and Dazed and Harper's have longer interviews with Lindsay Pugh. (The glasses, I guess other than NPH's? are by Tom Davies.)

Hot Toys Fennec Shand available for preorder

New Star Wars figures available for preorder, including Hot Toys Fennec Shand and 3.75" Arc Troopers:

Today's funny posts

FYI, if you need a last minute instant delivery gift, it's $18 for the 26-item Star Trek RPG Humble Bundle

Core book and lots of supplements from Humble Bundle. (Amazon has the core book print version discounted to $44.)

Boba Fett figure with a custom cel-shaded paint job

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Accessory of the year

Long thread predicting Russia will invade Ukraine, and explaining its reasons for doing so

Starting here.

New Super 7 G.I. Joe action figure set depicts the blind woodsman saving an irradiated Snake-Eyes

New Super 7 toys available for preorder, including "Arctic Rescue Vehicle" with glow in the dark Snake-Eyes. There's also new Transformers and a Johnny Cash (which just tells me Super 7 could clean up with figures based on Columbo villains).

Today's funny posts

William Gibson's "Burning Chrome" is $1.99 today

at Amazon.

Tower for testing high-speed elevators; Intriguing diorama warnings; Book covers highlighting questionable praise

(More information.)

Monday, December 20, 2021

Movie of the year


Antwoorden aan @anonymous7588 watch till the end😂😭💀 #fy #fypシ #fyp #viral

♬ origineel geluid - Alessia

A Chinese live-streamer known as "Viya" was fined $210 million for tax evasion


She's known as the country's "live-streaming queen" and has sold everything from noodles to a commercial rocket launch on the online shopping Taobao platform.


Her huge platform meant she was named on Time magazine's list of 100 influential figures in 2021.


Among all livestream influencers, Viya not only stood out for her sales numbers but also for how closely she has aligned with China's government. 


Beijing has been increasingly cracking down on tax evasions by prominent influencers as the sky-high sales numbers have attracted public attention. Last month, two other A-level livestream influencers have also been fined heavily and suspended on social media

Packaging of the year

Today's funny posts

Microscale Lego creations of Disney theme park attractions