Thursday, March 31, 2022

Emotional podcast episode where a young basketball analyst discusses his cancer diagnosis

Jonathan Tjarks is a good basketball analyst, and spends the 15 minutes or so of this episode discussing the NCAA tourney, and particularly why bad preparation hurt Arizona. After that, "Jonathan talks about his physical and emotional struggles with chemotherapy and reflects on how his faith and basketball have enriched his personal life and career as a professional writer." It's pretty special.

Today's funny posts

Hot Toys Frog Thor, Alligator Loki and Richard E. Grant Loki available for preorder

Available for preorder:

Preorder "Nona the Ninth," and get a "One Flesh, One End" pin

The book is expected in September, available for preorder at Amazon. Submit your receipt here. Tor has a short tease (the naming convention for Blood of Eden characters remains a delight.) Finally, if you've never read the bonus content for Harrow the Ninth.

"Bacteria Escape" box art; Wrecking ball and destructible environment look fun; Real world helitorch looks terrifying

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

A 22-year-old Tiktok heartthrob is raking in cash from his 50-year old fans, where "doxxing and cyberbullying are the norm"


Followers shower [him] with money through TikTok Live’s “gifts” function and via PayPal donations. During a March TikTok Live Battle Week — in which influencers are pitted against each other to earn the most “gifts” — [he] was crowned champion after earning a total of 15.3 million “diamonds” in seven days. That translates to roughly $231,740 in spending on behalf of [his] fans. After TikTok took its substantial cut, that meant $76,500 in earnings for [him].


a group known as the Grotto Girls — dubbed the GGs by insiders — pool their money and send [him] a regular stipend. ... When [he] told fans he was thinking of buying a car, the GGs helped raise $20,000 dollars in 24 hours for just that purpose.


“I’m no longer a fan due to the NanaGate scam." 

Vaporwave Gamecube, Taco Bell Gameboy

Today's funny posts

Four Lego creations

Princess Mononoke-themed denim jacket; Building a creepy mask; "Goth Jew" merch

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Covid spread in China means robot dogs herding people, fumigation from the back of a truck, and aerobics in full gear

An English soccer club announced it was suspending operations because of suspicions its owner was involved in violating the Modern Slavery Act


The club called for a full investigation into [its owner], which owns the organization, amid allegations that it has violated the Modern Slavery Act, violated United Kingdom sanctions against Russia and more.

The club accused [its owner] of funding modern slavery and human trafficking, along with other potential environmental crimes, price fixing, forced evictions, child labor, gender discrimination and murder. It also accused [its owner] of funding a Swiss Bank that a United States court found guilty of conspiring to launder $36 million in bribes to FIFA and other officials.

"Palestinian Gunman Kills 5 in Israel’s Fifth Attack in Recent Days"

Of the most recent attack, "A Hamas official said it was a response to the groundbreaking summit held Monday in the Negev Desert in southern Israel, in which four Arab foreign ministers gathered for the first time on Israeli soil for a diplomatic meeting, disappointing many Palestinians who saw the move as a betrayal."

From one of the prior shootings:

A Yale administrator stole $40 million over several years and used it to buy a fleet of luxury cars and multiple properties

Market Watch:

she was able to authorize equipment purchases without additional approvals as long as the orders were below $10,000


[she] began making numerous small orders of tablet computers and other equipment that were billed to the school. She would then sell them to a business in New York state

Yale Daily News:

Yale received an anonymous tip that [she] was “ordering suspiciously high volumes of computer equipment, some of which was placed into her personal vehicle.”  

Absolute laser bombardment at Egypt-Senegal World Cup qualifier

Daitetsujin 18 Soul of Chogokin figure available for preorder

"The sworn enemy of Daitetsujin 17, the ferocious Daitetsujin 18, joins the Soul of Chogokin series with a release timed to coincide with the GX-101 Daitetsujin 17!"

Today's funny posts

Cover for the last issue of Hitchcock Magazine; Tiny apartment; Molting ceramic mug; Slender Man's clever, disturbing movie costume

Monday, March 28, 2022

The Hollywood Reporter listed some of the celebrities that crossed the picket line to attend Jay-Z's party

Protesters "fanned out around the perimeter of the property, looking to cover possible alternate VIP entry points"

Secret Cinema's next performance will be Guardians of the Galaxy 2

In London this summer. Speaking of immersive theater experiences, the Guardian has a preview of The Burnt City (a "a 'future noir' retelling of the fall of Troy"). And the LATimes and Attractions Magazine gave high praise to "The Nest" in Los Angeles.

Video of the dramatic dog rescue at Gilligan's Island Road in Los Angeles during today's rainstorm

We had a few hours of steady rain today, so the Los Angeles River turned from a bone dry concrete strip into a fast-moving river. A dog fell in, and it took rescuers over an hour and multiple failed attempts to finally save it. By the end, the terrified dog was actually running and swimming away from rescuers, and had to be herded with a helicopter's wash. Because this is Los Angeles, they managed to lasso the dog right by the intersection of Gilligan's Island Road and Gunsmoke Avenue in Studio City.

Performance of "Paul's Dream" from "Dune"

A short article about the singer.

Today's funny posts

TIL the phrase "social murder"

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Today's funny posts

Romantically gruesome burial arrangements

Saturday, March 26, 2022

ESPN's less ominous take on what the Formula One drivers were told about refusing to drive


one of the more compelling arguments to race this weekend was that the teams would have been stuck in Saudi Arabia either way due to logistical reasons and a shortage of flights.

"We drivers, we were all concerned if it's safe for all of us to be here racing, we got decent explanation on things," he said. "And also we went through all the options like, 'What if we don't race,' for example, because the teams would still have to stayed here for a couple of days packing stuff, and it's also not like we can create some new [fl]ights so that everyone can get home.

Also this weekend:

A marshal working the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix has been removed following a tweet saying the individual hoped Lewis Hamilton had an accident similar to Romain Grosjean’s fiery wreck in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. 

Today's funny posts

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

Friday, March 25, 2022

Is the implication that the Formula One drivers were told they wouldn't be permitted to leave if they refused to race?

Formula One has confirmed this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix will go ahead as planned despite an attack on a nearby oil facility.

An Aramco oil depot 10 kilometers east of the Jeddah street circuit was in flames Friday evening, with a large plume of black smoke visible from the track during the opening practice session of the race weekend.


Mercedes boss Toto Wolff added: "[The F1 circuit] is probably the safest place that you can be in Saudi Arabia at the moment."

Was it suggested they wouldn't be allowed to leave?

BBC Sport has learned that a significant number of drivers had concerns about the safety of the event following the attack.

But eventually they were convinced to go ahead and race after being given further information by bosses.

Part of this information involved the possible consequences of not racing, such as how easily teams and drivers would be able to leave the country if the race did not happen. 

"The real story" about the haunted lake described in the opening of "Atlanta" season three

The details are mostly an urban legend, because the racial injustices had already occurred in the area.

(Great first episode, a nightmarish Odyssey based on real life viral moments.)

Today's funny posts

New Kaptara in today's Zdarsky email

Just one of the characters featured in today's update of the Zdarsky/McLeod Masters of the Universe parody:

Thursday, March 24, 2022

"Celebrities Will Have to Cross Picket Lines at Jay-Z’s Chateau Marmont Oscar Party"

Unite Here Local 11, which represents 32,000 hospitality workers aside from the Chateau employees across Southern California and Arizona ... plans to have picket lines outside Jay-Z’s fete, the union says.

Wild story about an unplanned ride on an Amtrak train

Thread starts here.

Kudos, I guess, for not giving her special treatment?

Although I suppose pretty much anyone attending Starcruiser this early is influential in some way. A sampling:

"Corrections officer is 5th person charged in growing sex abuse scandal at federal female prison [in California]"


[The officer] is the latest to be charged in the widening scandal at the prison, which has led to sexual abuse indictments against the former warden, two former prison guards and a prison chaplain.


In January, the chaplain ... was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a ward under his control, two counts of committing abusive sexual contact and one count of making false statements to federal officials.

Emily Mandel posted comments about the Station Eleven series

She posted many comments on the differences between the book and tv show.

If you've watched the Station Eleven TV series, you'll notice this as the first major point of divergence between the show and the book. In the book, this is the last time Kirsten and Jeevan ever see one another; they're together for only a few minutes in the theatre and then part ways forever. In the series, they see one another again a few minutes later, outside the theatre, and remain together for the next year of their lives. For the record, I wish I'd thought of this when I was writing the book! I think it's really good plotting.


Something I love about the Station Eleven TV adaptation is that Jeevan isn't alone at the end of the world. There's a line late in the show, I believe in episode 10, when Jeevan says something like "having one other person, just one other person, can make all the difference," or words to that effect. I've been thinking about that a lot ever since I watched the show.

“Carta Criminale” poster for The Godfather

Small batch, available here:

New Warhammer RPG Humble Bundle

Five books for $1, corebook is in the $10 group.

New Disney Ultra Detail Figures by Medicom including Oswald, and a new super expensive Snoopy by Super 7

New figures for every budget. The latest eclectic selection of UDF figurines start at $12.99 and the Snoopy is $294:

Today's funny posts

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

USC to remove its School of Education from U.S. News & World Report’s next annual ranking "after discovering 'a history of inaccuracies'"

No further details yet, other than that the "history of inaccuracies" goes "back at least five years."

Timely in light of articles like this about one of the candidates for mayor:

USC was in a free fall. Then it turned to Rick Caruso


Caruso stepped into the volunteer post and quickly transformed it into a full-time position that made him at times over the last four years the de facto chief executive of USC, a multibillion-dollar healthcare and education enterprise that is the city’s largest private employer.

Now running for mayor, Caruso is inviting voters to look closely at that most recent entry on his resume. His campaign has presented him as ready to fix L.A.’s crime, homelessness and corruption the way he “cleaned up the messes at USC.”

Speaking of, this what he's using as his message:

"Everybody in this city — at every corner of the city, no matter where you live, what your background is — is scared to walk out their doors." ... "Right now we have some of the worst crime we’ve had in the history of Los Angeles."

New Humble Bundle is Europa Universalis IV for $1

$1 for the game. (Great way to learn European history.)

MAFEX's new Magneto (Original comic book look) and Cyborg (Snyder Justice League) figures look great

Available for preorder:

Today's funny posts

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

3D Morbius display; 3D Nike display; 3D iPhone display

Super 7's new wave of G.I. Joe Ultimates includes Storm Shadow with diving helmet, and a Cobra Trooper with energy whip

Storm Shadow (with sniper rifle and glowing Excalibur), Scarlett, Doc (with comic book), and Cobra Trooper (With two skin tone options) available for preorder. I posted the episode explaining Storm Shadow's more exotic accessories below:

BTW, wave 2 of the Reaction figures, featuring the great Gamemaster Drone and Cobra Shocktrooper are in stock.

Today's funny posts

The LA Times wrote about that UCLA job listing for a no-pay teaching position requiring a STEM PHD

UCLA's spokesman "rejected online speculation that the job posting was aimed at some specific person — some even conjectured that it might have been tailored for a scientist fleeing Ukraine but bringing along his or her compensation from another source."  ("But the mystery has only deepened.")

Tor's free ebook of the month is "Middlegame" by Seanan McGuire


Concrete church; Green house; Tiny blockade

More photos.

Monday, March 21, 2022

"Pitt QB Kenny Pickett's hand measures larger at pro day than at 2022 NFL Scouting Combine"

NFL with an update on what's basically been the biggest talking point of draft season 2022:

An interesting thing happened to Kenny Pickett's hand between the NFL Scouting Combine and his pro day.

It grew an eighth of an inch.

The Pitt quarterback's hand measured 8 1/2 inches at the combine on March 3, sparking conversation about whether having small hands for the position -- nine inches is considered to be adequate -- should hurt his draft stock.

When a cardinal claims your home as it territory

Funny thread starting here:

Today's funny posts

New Warhammer 40k figures by Joy Toy

The latest Joy Toy figures available for individual preorder are Ultramarines Bladeguard Veterans:

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Pit crew members in IndyCar and NASCAR were struck today

(O’Ward was penalized for striking his crew member.)

From last month:
Joe Gibbs Racing looks to revolutionize pit stops


[The] director of player advancement at Joe Gibbs Racing, said the pit stops were “broken down into 100 time-stamped intervals” to study each athlete’s action. JGR partnered with a biomechanics company that specializes in movement and measures the force and displacement of the athletes. 

Say what?


They do it by measuring how an athlete moves laterally and their vertical jump, for example. By measuring various aspects of what each crew member does well, JGR can build a model of the optimal athlete for each position.