Tuesday, May 31, 2022

"Mission: Impossible" Bullet Train Sequence Executive Gift

Up for auction:

"Uvalde school district police chief...identified as the incident commander during the Robb Elementary school shooting, was sworn in as a city council member on Tuesday"


"Out of respect for the families who buried their children today, and who are planning to bury their children in the next few days, no ceremony was held," Mayor Don McLaughlin said in a statement.

Cleveland's "Doomed Cleveland Balloonfest of '86" was "both crazier and more tragic than anyone could have imagined"

Here's a lengthy Fox News write-up from last year.

On Sept. 27. 1986, more than 100,000 people filled Public Square in downtown Cleveland for the charitable event.

Balloonfest ’86 was a fundraising event sponsored by the United Way and included [a] legendary balloon artist ... from California.

“The United Way and they’re going to put Cleveland back on the map. They’re gonna have a giant balloon launch,” said FOX 8’s [reporter], who also covered the event.

It took months of planning and thousands of volunteers to inflate the 1.5 million balloons that were to be released. They were held in place by a specially constructed netting structure.

Here's a short documentary by the Atlantic, (appropriately) cut like a found footage horror movie.  It was directed by Nathan Truesdell, art director on "You're Next."

Knights of Sidonia Type 20 Guard Yukimori model available for preorder

"Made with supervision from the original author and illustrator Tsutomu Nihei, Kotobukiya is proud to present the plastic model of Kalpa, the Garde produced by Toa Heavy Industries and piloted by protagonist Nagate Tanikaze!"

"That New York is increasingly overrun by rats is something generally agreed upon"


In 2021, complaints of rat sightings were up more than two-thirds compared to the same period in 2019. That trend has continued this year: last month saw the highest number of rat complaints of any April in at least a decade, according to city data.

Meanwhile, more than two years after pest control inspections were halted in the early days of the pandemic, the city’s Health Department still hasn’t ramped back up to full strength. During the first four months of this year, the agency conducted 20% fewer inspections than during the same period in 2019, according to data shared with Gothamist.

Today's funny posts

Batman Grim Knight custom action figure

Store link.

"On Stranger Tides" is $1.99 right now

at Amazon:

Nominated for the Locus and World Fantasy Awards, On Stranger Tides is the book that inspired the motion picture Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Painting a heavily-damaged Gundam shield; Gundam bursting out of water

@takaramodel Rx-78-2 Gundam GTO shield battle damage effect. #gundam #gunpla #mecha #foryou #takaramodel ♬ Sport Trap Background(781699) - TimTaj

@takaramodel Strike Gundam bursts out of the sea 🔥🔥#gundam #gunpla #foryou #mecha #takaramodel ♬ Pacific Rim (feat. Tom Morello) - Ramin Djawadi

*see more miniatures.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Three interviews with Stefani Robinson about the unbelievable season three finale of "Atlanta"

This interview touches on season three in general. I'd like to see who else was on this list:

You guys have had a lot of really fun, insane cameos this season, but I think [famous actor in the finale] might take the cake. Was that on the page or did you just slot in ”cool celebrity” and then look to see who was available?

First of all, he's amazing. Every time I see the episode, I think he's so funny and weird and did everything right. I'm sure he was on a short list that we had.

Two more interviews.

(This is one of those times where you really should avoid spoilers for everything about that episode to fully enjoy the surreality. A+) 

Lupin III-themed soccer supporters

From the SportingKC team page:
Fountain City Ultras (FCU) was formed in 2012 by a small group of like-minded friends from the local punk/skin music scene, FCU has grown, with members composed of all races, genders, creeds, and affiliations. Inspired by anti-racist/anti-fascist Ultras Groups from all over the world, FCU looks to incorporate those principles and values while also bringing their own traditions and culture to Sporting KC.

"The merging of Comixology and Kindle has created a hell I'd like to escape"

The Verge:

Apparently, if you let one company acquire a near-monopoly in the digital books and comics spaces, it will do terrible things that make the experience worse.

It remains so bad in so many ways, it's as if they're trying to destroy the comics market. Or, as if some weird AI with no human oversight was allowed to consume Comixology and blend it into the Amazon blob. 

Today's funny posts

Martial artists rolling like crocodiles; Resin and flower axe; Tuk tuk racing

@skillmaster__ Crocodile tumbling in the air !#kungfu #grapple #martialart #fyp #sports #foryou #foryoupage#MMA #ONEX #kickboxing #fypシ#jujitsu ♬ original sound - Skill Master

Sunday, May 29, 2022

They set up a "Stranger Things" season four airbnb room in a prison where Nazis held Jews?

Jerusalem Post:

Now streaming on Netflix: scenes from inside a notorious Lithuanian prison whose inmates have included Jews en route to being murdered by Nazis


Part of season four of “Stranger Things,” the teen hero sci-fi series, was filmed inside Lukiškės Prison in Vilnius, according to promotional materials distributed by the Lithuanian capital’s tourism board. The prison was used for a century before closing in 2019; it has now been converted into cultural center where guests can stay in a “Stranger Things”-themed cell for 107 Euros ($114) a night.

I haven't seen an apology or withdrawal, but links to the listing seem to have been removed:

Mace Windu Force Ghost cosplay; Dancing Max Rebo cosplay; Ahch-To Wildlife Conservator cosplay

Today's funny posts

Chibi adventure van; Ship in a die; Sushi dice

Saturday, May 28, 2022

A baseball player attacked another player on the field over a fantasy football dispute, and also bragged about how much he gambled


While the Giants warmed up in the outfield, Pham confronted Pederson and smacked him in the cheek before the pair was separated.

"It was a surprise," Pederson told reporters. "There was no real argument. He kind of came up and said, 'Like, I don't know if you remember from last year.' And I was like, 'Fantasy football.' He was like, 'Yeah.'"


Pham threatened violence to settle an on-field score with San Diego's Luke Voit in April, challenging the slugger to a fight after Voit injured Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson with a hard, ugly slide into home.

SF Chronicle:

Regarding the fantasy league, Pham said Pederson broke “a code.”

“I’m a big dog in Vegas. I’m a high-roller at many casinos. You can look at my credit line. We were playing big money,” Pham said. “I don’t have to get into the details of how much, but I look at it like if you lost, you had to pay double. If you came in last place, you had to pay double. So I looked at it like he was f—ing with my money along with the disrespect.”

Mercury News:

Pederson and Pham exchanged those texts last September. A few weeks later, Pham dropped out the league. And on Friday, he confronted Pederson in the outfield and slapped him across the face.

TMZ (2021)

Tommy Pham is finally revealing what his back looked like the night he was stabbed at a strip club in San Diego ... and it's GRUESOME.


As we previously reported, Pham was stabbed after he got into an altercation with several people in the parking lot at Pacers Showgirls International on Oct. 11, 2020

AP (2021):

Pham said his perspective hasn’t changed since the stabbing.

“I still look at everything almost the same. If anything, I probably would just spend more money and stop saving as much, because if I died I would feel like I had too much money in the bank and I didn’t live enough.”

Two scandals related to a Southern California councilman

NBC (today):

A civil court judge Friday found that four illegal votes were cast for [a] Councilman ... in the June 2021 municipal election in Compton that he won with a single vote, and a court filing said that [his] opponent in the race for Compton's Second Council District was, in fact, the true winner.


[He] was already facing criminal charges of conspiracy to commit election fraud and one count of bribery with the intent to influence an election for alleged events surrounding the same 2021 election.

NBC (yesterday):

The son of noted LA rapper DJ Quik who works as a liaison to [that same] embattled Compton City Councilman ... has been arrested by Downey Police Department detectives and booked on suspicion of murder, authorities confirmed Friday.

"A large sneaker reseller in [Oregon] has collapsed owing millions of dollars to customers"

Oregon Live:

Zadeh Kicks’ founder ... called the Eugene Police Department asking for police protection. [He] was apparently afraid for the safety of his family after a number of furious customers showed up at the Zadeh Kicks warehouse in an industrial section of West Eugene demanding their money back.


the FBI has launched a criminal investigation, trying to figure out what happened to the enormous sum of customers’ money that has gone missing.


Zadeh Kicks was established in 2013 as a sneaker resale company. Over the years, it became known for offering preorders for hyped sneakers far in advance of their official release date. The price points for the sneakers were often considerably lower than their expected market values, creating an enticing model for both resellers looking to stock up on product for lower-than-normal and average customers who wanted to avoid paying the high-end value.

When reports and rumors of new sneaker releases would leak, Zadeh Kicks would offer them for preorder almost instantaneously. This meant that there were sometimes cases where the shoes would never materialize as a retail release (e.g. Futura x Off-White x Nike Dunk Lows) or would be exclusively offered from one source (e.g. Fragment Design x Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Highs on SNKRS). In these cases, Zadeh Kicks would be unable to provide the sneakers and would instead offer buyers store credit or heavily taxed refunds, terms that were clearly stated on the website.


One of the elements that made Zadeh Kicks so appealing to flippers and wearers alike was that despite their “low” ticket price, all signs pointed to the shoes being real.

"The Other Wind (The Earthsea Cycle Series Book 6)" Is $1.99 today

at Amazon. (Just picked it up, have loved the other Earthsea novels I've read. But boy the Studio Ghibli movie was an enormous disappointment.)

Today's funny posts

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

Friday, May 27, 2022

"Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seized two Greek oil tankers Friday in helicopter-launched raids in the Persian Gulf"


The action appeared to be retaliation for Athens’ assistance in the U.S. seizure of crude oil from an Iranian-flagged tanker this week in the Mediterranean Sea


Iran’s semiofficial Tasnim news agency warned in a tweet: “There are still 17 other Greek ships in the Persian Gulf that could be seized.”

Meanwhile, the Guard is building a massive new support ship near the Strait of Hormuz as it tries to expand its naval presence in waters vital to international energy supplies and beyond, according to satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press.


The Iranian defence ministry reported an “accident” at its high-security Parchin complex on Wednesday, which killed an engineer and injured another. The New York Times reported on Friday that it was an attack using quadcopter suicide drones, that fitted a pattern of Israeli operations against Iranian military and nuclear infrastructure. The report said the drone strike was aimed at a facility where Iran is developing its own drone technology.

According to the Times, Israel has also informed the US that it was behind the assassination of an IRGC colonel, Sayyad Khodai, who was shot by gunmen on motorbikes as he was getting out of his car outside his home in Tehran on Sunday. An unnamed intelligence official was quoted as saying Israel intended the killing to serve as a warning to Tehran to stop targeting Israeli citizens abroad.

Today's funny posts

StarSpeeder 1000 cosplay; Jedi Starfighter bed; Trade Federation drink dispenser

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Washington, D.C. is contemplating charging residents much more to register trucks and SUVs


The proposal is meant to discourage D.C. city residents from using big, heavy trucks and SUVs to get around, according to Bloomberg. If passed into law, the annual cost of registration for these giant trucks and SUVs would go from $155 to $500.


If passed, this would be the first proposal of its kind in the U.S. 

The Republicans on Michigan's Board of State Canvassers voted to let the Republican candidates remain on the ballot despite the apparent fraud

Detroit News:
Michigan's Board of State Canvassers deadlocked 2-2 Thursday, keeping, for now, five GOP candidates for governor who were entangled in an alleged wave of petition forgeries off the August primary ballot.


[One] Republican canvasser ... said fraudulent petition circulators should go to prison. But [he] said he wasn't prepared to shift the blame to candidates by blocking their ability to get on the ballot.

The other GOP canvasser...drew a connection to unproven claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. It would have been unjust to deprive voters of their choice for a particular office based on "assumptions" 


Bureau of Elections staff checked about 7,000 signatures among about 68,000 from the allegedly fraudulent circulators against the qualified voter file, which contains records about voters and their signatures...

“We did not find a single registered voter with a matching signature for any of those circulators for any candidate of the ones we looked at”

"Trump E.P.A. Chief 'Endangered Public Safety' by Ordering His Drivers to Speed"


Scott Pruitt, while in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Trump administration, repeatedly pressured his federal security officers to drive at excessive and sometimes dangerous speeds on routine trips, with sirens and emergency lights on, because he had a habit of running late, according to a federal report released on Thursday.

The security officers said they knew this was a violation of federal policies and “endangered public safety,” the report said. Among the incidents cited in the report was a 2017 trip in which a special agent drove Mr. Pruitt with the lights and sirens going, in the wrong direction into oncoming traffic, to pick up Mr. Pruitt’s dry cleaning


an agency supervisor told the members of Mr. Pruitt’s security detail “to disable/unplug the lights and sirens so they wouldn’t use them because the administrator will still instruct they be used, but the agent can say they don’t work,”


now running as a Republican for the United States Senate in Oklahoma

Third Sister figure available for preorder

Reva available at 6", 3.75", and 3.75" retro. And if you're a Jon Favreau superfan, there's a Marvel Legends Happy.

Also, here's new photos of the Saw Gererra and updated Shae Visla figures, which are still available:

Today's funny posts

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

"The Anaheim City Council voted unanimously late Tuesday night to kill the sale of Angel Stadium and the surrounding property"


the Angels remain under a lease that binds the team to Angel Stadium through at least 2029.


Under the terms of the sale agreement, if Anaheim kills the deal, the city could refund the $50 million [the Angels owner] already has put into escrow, plus up to $5 million in his “transaction costs” and potential legal fees. However, the city’s preliminary legal position is that the alleged fraud might relieve the city of that burden – and could trigger a court to order [the Angels owner]’s company to pay the city’s legal costs.


[Anaheim] Councilmen ... all but dared [the Angels owner to sue]. 

The article makes this assertion without qualification:

The city had agreed to a $320-million sale of the 150-acre site, which would have blossomed from an aging stadium surrounded by a sea of parking lots into a modern ballpark anchored amid a residential and retail village, where fans could come early to dine and avoid traffic or live within walking distance of baseball games and other entertainment options.

A quarterback at Tennessee-Martin university endorsed a candidate for district attorney as part of an NIL agreement

Believed to be the first political endorsement NIL deal.

The Texas state bar filed a professional misconduct lawsuit against Texas's attorney general "for attempt to overturn 2020 presidential elections"

Texas Tribune:

It seeks a sanction against [the attorney general], which will be determined by a judge, that could range from a private reprimand to disbarment.

In its filing, the commission said [the attorney general] had misrepresented that he had uncovered substantial evidence that "raises serious doubts as to the integrity of the election process in the defendant states."


[The attorney general] has faced securities fraud charges for seven years now, and more recently has come under FBI investigation after eight former top deputies accused him of bribery and abuse of office.

In his first news conference, Honolulu's new police chief described his adult son’s arrest for felony assault

For an alleged assault at Ala Moana park.

New Yorker interview says Russia is preparing for a long expanded conflict in Ukraine

Issac Chotiner interviewed Andrei Soldatov:

For many years, the Russian military believed that they had a chance to win a conflict with the West, not because they have better technology—they knew that the West always would have better technology—but because the West, and specifically the United States, would never sustain heavy casualties like the Russian Army can sustain, because, to the leadership, the cost of life is different. But in this war, in Ukraine, all the casualties are not by nato or by the American Army but by the Ukrainian Army. So even this cannot be played by the Russian Army. And that is why they think that they picked up a fight with nato in the wrong place.


The thinking is that, look, we are sustaining heavy casualties and suffering a lot, so the goal of occupying the Donbas cannot be the objective of such a war. We need something a bit more ambitious, and some pro-military channels on Telegram have just conducted polls and asked their subscribers, “What do you think? When will the objective for this war be achieved?” And only six per cent of people said that it would be achieved with the “liberation” of the Donbas, while thirty-three per cent said it would be when the whole of Ukraine capitulates unconditionally. People in the military and people close to the military want something much more ambitious than what Putin is saying.

For what it's worth, one thread trying to describe current state of battle.

And a monument:

New Humble Bundle features Cities: Skylines for $1

$20 for the game and 30 add-ons. (85 at Metacritic.)

Mezco's new Green Goblin figure comes with some delightfully ridiculous accessories

Available for preorder (the Spidey is available too).

Today's funny posts

Dense comic book covers by Filya Bratukhin

Deathstroke Inc. #10 and Batman #124 covers by Filya Bratukhin. A few more from his own upcoming comic:

And speaking of dense comic art:

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Germany's elections administrator says there should be a rerun of the 2021 election because of irregularities


On election day, September 26, 2021, electoral chaos engulfed parts of Berlin: Some of the city’s 12 constituencies were ill-prepared to hold a general election on the same day that the German capital was also holding its marathon. Severe traffic disruption and delayed ballot deliveries ensued, leading some people to go home without voting rather than wait in long queues. Polling stations also remained open beyond 6 p.m., even after preliminary results were announced.

At least six female swimmers at Cal allegedly "made plans to kill themselves or obsessed about suicide" because of the head coach's behavior


She is the most well known and most successful female coach in the sport’s history. [She] was the first and only woman head coach of the U.S. Olympic team, leading a squad that included six future, current or former Cal swimmers who earned a combined 13 medals at the London Games. 


Cal swimmers told [the coach a team member contemplated killing herself] and the coach confronted [the swimmer] the next morning at practice, pulling her out the pool.

“Did you try and kill yourself last night?” [the coach] asked her... 

“Yeah,” [the swimmer] responded. “I don’t want to live.

“[Coach] literally laughed in my face and said, ‘Do you know how pathetic that is? How stupid that is? How selfish that is?’”

A federal law signed by President George W. Bush "protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products"


the National Rifle Association thanked President Bush for signing the Act, for which it had lobbied, describing it as "... the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in twenty years into law"

Today's funny posts

Attack on Titan Lego creations

Mysterious technology washes up on the beach; Turning a Rubik's Cube into a party invitation; Ancient temple on a farm


Monday, May 23, 2022

Majority of the petition signatures submitted for the top republican candidate for governor of Michigan are believed to be fraudulent

Detroit News:

two of the top candidates for the Republican nomination for governor, didn't submit enough valid petition signatures to make the ballot, according to findings from the Michigan Bureau of Elections.


the bureau said it had tracked 36 petition circulators "who submitted fraudulent petition sheets consisting entirely of invalid signatures."

The bureau found that [the former Detroit police Chief]'s campaign had turned in 11,113 invalid signatures, including 9,879 signatures from "fraudulent petition circulators." Only 10,192 of the 21,305 signatures [he] submitted were "facially valid," leaving him short of the 15,000 signature threshold, according to the bureau.

Thor: Love and Thunder blindbagged bag clips include Thor's goats, and Miek in business attire

Available as a six pack or by the case:

New Star Wars micro vehicles available for preorder (including teeny tiny Greef Karga)

The first vehicles in Jazwares Micro Galaxy Squadron line are up at Amazon, starting at $16.99 (I'm looking forward to the Ventress ship, though):

"Just 12% of the state’s beaches are open to all members of the public, according to a coastal land inventory done by [Massachusetts]"

Per the last study done by the state, 30 years ago:

Beach access is also — perhaps unsurprisingly — an issue of racial inequity. The state’s urban beaches are free and easily accessible, but some of the beaches located in more racially and ethnically diverse communities such as Boston, Lynn and Quincy are also more prone to bacterial contamination that poses a health risk, sometimes forcing beach closures. 

Today's funny posts

Group of antiabortion activists burst into a San Francisco women’s clinic, filmed hospital staff and patients, and stalked a doctor

The woman allegedly told hospital workers she needed counseling services at the clinic, which is operated by UCSF.

When a nurse went to speak with her at the door, the rest of the group “came out from hiding and ran through the door. They barged into the clinic and began filming patients and (hospital) staff. Staff reported that these protesters were attempting to barge into operating rooms”
Later that evening, members of the group allegedly posted stickers with a QR code just outside a doctor’s home, inviting the public to learn more about the “killer in your neighborhood.” The QR code led to a website with the doctor’s name and photograph.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Simon Roy has a good free scifi comic at Webtoons

Similar scifi-fantasy setting to Prophet, but much more comedic.

Starting this season, every MLB rosin bag is made by one man in San Francisco

SF Chronicle:

“A day after the collective bargaining agreement was reached, they called me and said, ‘How would you like to be the official rosin of Major League Baseball?’” Phillips said. “For a small business, a one-man operation in San Francisco, this was a pretty big deal for me.”


“Rosin has a lot of different characteristics to it,” Phillips said. “Our rosin works faster. It activates a bit quicker. I think MLB went with what I provide because it gets stickier quicker instead of having to doctor it up.”

Phillips gets his rosin from Honduras pine trees, the national tree of Honduras, where amber-colored sap is extracted in the spring by making cuts in the trees just below the lowest branches. Receptacles are wrapped below the cuts to collect the sap, a process similar to how maple syrup is harvested.

The sap then is boiled to distill out the turpentine, and what’s left is rosin that becomes hard and brittle. It’s packaged in 55-pound clumps and shipped to the East Coast, where it’s repackaged and sent to San Francisco. Phillips orders thousands of pounds at a time.


This all started as a hobby for Phillips, who in 2009 began playing in hardball leagues including the Bay Area Vintage Base Ball league, which reproduces the 1880s game including its uniforms, equipment and rules.

Remarkable thread about segregation in an area of Texas famous for producing top athletes

"The magic of all this segregation is that Highland Park residents pay a school property tax rate ~10% ***less*** than Dallas residents do — but their tax base means they still get to spend 78% ***more*** per student than Dallas schools can."

Today's funny posts

Picked up from my wishlist, " Then We Came to the End: A Novel" is $1.99 today at Amazon

at Amazon:

Winner of the Hemingway Foundation / PEN Award


One of the Best Books of the Year

Boston Globe * Christian Science Monitor * New York Magazine * New York Times Book Review * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Time magazine * Salon

Shin Godzilla attraction in the rain; Disorienting views of Times Square, Hong Kong, and Macau

Saturday, May 21, 2022

There were several different delightful events in today's European Tramdriver Championship

A bunch of "exclusive" 3.75" G.I Joe figures available for preorder

Storm Shadow, Baroness, and more by Hasbro.

"Powerful judge in Texas' smallest county...charged with cattle theft"


Lawmen came to remote Loving County, Texas, on Friday to arrest the county judge, a former sheriff’s deputy and two ranch hands on one of Texas’ oldest crimes — cattle theft.


 the scion of a powerful ranching family


For decades, a handful of prominent families in Loving County have feuded bitterly for control of the local government, with the [judge's] finally largely coming out ahead. [He] has served as the judge for more than 15 years. His sister is the county clerk. His cousin’s husband is the county attorney. His nephew is the constable.


he presided over a period of unprecedented growth, as fracking boomed in the Permian Basin, feeding money into the county’s coffers