Thursday, June 30, 2022

Driverless cars are flocking San Francisco


A Redditor: "I think a group of autonomous vehicles should be called a 'collective.'"

More than a half dozen Cruise robotaxis stopped operating and sat in a street in San Francisco late Tuesday night, blocking traffic for a couple of hours until employees arrived and manually moved the autonomous vehicles.
...
“We had an issue earlier this week that caused some of our vehicles to cluster together,” a Cruise spokesperson said. “While it was resolved and no passengers were impacted, we apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced.”

Another new Humble Bundle, this time for Love and Rockets comics

Starting at three volumes for $1, 25 for $25.

Vigorous Pride display by the Portland Timbers Army





(It's a character from Night in the Woods)



Meanwhile, in Virginia, and:

New Humble Bundle is novels based on video and board game universes

Two novels for $1 in the Fantasy Gaming Fiction bundle.

Today's funny posts




Miniature art installations by AnonyMouse; Battersea Power Station's art deco control room; Rainbow origami unicorn sculpture for charity; Mobile Doom RPG restored




Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A Twitter account purportedly documenting jewelry used by Rio de Janeiro drug lords




Niantic announced big layoffs and several game cancellations, but is preserving Pikmin Bloom at least for the time being

IGN:

PokΓ©mon Go, which has proven a consistent revenue driver for the company since its 2016 launch. At last estimate from mobile analytics group Sensor Tower, it has brought in $6 billion in lifetime revenue, averaging $1 billion in revenue per year and maintaining consistent popularity over that time.

But its other games haven't managed the same level of success. Despite a solid enough launch month with over $12 million in global player spending, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite lagged far behind PokΓ©mon Go's $300 million launch and never came close to catching up, shutting down earlier this year. Pikmin Bloom has done even worse, only reaching over $5 million in global revenue since its launch last year, though it remains live.

I like Pikmin Bloom--it's fun earning little rewards for walking in a new area, and trading postcards with penpals. But there's almost no gameplay (you don't fight monsters or collect spaceship parts), or anything for someone to spend money on even if they wanted to.  

Today's funny posts




Tuesday, June 28, 2022

New Ultimate Casey Jones and Utrom figures (Mirage Comics) by NECA available for preorder

Casey and Utrom both listed for October.

Super 7's new wave of The Simpsons Ultimates is up for preorder

Mr. Burns, Ralph Wiggum, and Kodos and Kang (I wonder if/fear the price hike kills the Transformers line or sharply reduces the accessories that made the overall line special):

Today's funny posts




Monday, June 27, 2022

Al Jazeera says they spoke to a survivor from the South African nightclub disaster

Al Jazeera:
The young woman had waited for her parents to go to sleep before sneaking out and claimed that when the nightclub became too overcrowded, people were asked to leave. When the partygoers did not comply, one of the security guards closed the door and began spraying a substance into the crowd, she said.

“The man at the door, I think he was a bouncer, he closed the door and we couldn’t breathe. We suffocated for a long time and [were] pushing each other but there was no use because some people were dying,” she said.

“It smelled like gas. I’m not sure if it was tear gas or pepper spray. Then some people died and I also fell asleep for three hours. Then when they woke us up, they also thought I was dead,” she continued.

Sinethemba said when she awoke, her leg was numb and she could not stand up on her own. She then asked a patron to call her aunt so that she could be picked up.

WaPo quotes someone with a slightly different story:

Then, in the early morning, [she] said she saw something lobbed through the door and into the crowd. People around her began to scream. “I can’t breathe,” she heard them yell. “I’m choking.” She pushed toward the door, struggling for air. “People were falling around me,” she said. “They were dying right in front of my eyes.” 

"Outlet" sale at Entertainment Earth

Big sale including lots of Super 7 TMNT Ultimates, and the Masters of the Universe Masterverse Revelation Faker is knocked down to $13.01 from a listed $35.99.

“Well, he draws ugly people, but they all look different. So yeah, let’s go with Tim.”

In a long interview about his career, Tim Sale describes landing his big break in comics when Jeph Loeb agreed to work with him:
For years, that was how he classified me. He said I drew ugly people. 

Today's funny posts




Sunday, June 26, 2022

22 young people found dead under mysterious circumstances in a South African nightclub

Guardian:

A regional newspaper, DispatchLive, said its reporters had seen bodies “lying bizarrely, as if they collapsed to the floor suddenly while dancing or in the middle of a conversation, some seemingly in the social circles they were engaging with” along with “other bodies are slumped across chairs and lying over tables”.

Unverified pictures shared on social media showed bodies with no visible signs of injuries, lying on the floor of the club.

...

“I do not want to speculate on the cause of death; that’s why we brought the top forensic team so that if the cause of death was some poison, they will let us know.”

NBC has video of the exterior and emergency response.

Today's funny posts




Breath of the Wild Guardian cosplay

@allison.chase.cosplay ITS DONE! Here it is with all the sounds and lights! #botw #breathofthewild #zelda #nintendo #cosplay #megacon ♬ original sound - Allison Chase



Thursday, June 23, 2022

"A top Nigerian senator and his wife have been identified as the couple charged in London with a child organ-harvesting plot"

BBC and Guardian don't have further details yet.

Third party Deathsaurus figure looks great, is available for preorder

A bunch of new toy preorders, including a Star Wars Black figure of the hammer droid from Disney+; Mafex figures for classic Spidey and Scarlet Spider; and a re-release of Sentinel's soldout Spider-Verse Spidey (with head and torso options to create sleek Chris Pine or flabby Jake Johnson versions). 

Also, "Reformatted 42 D-Zef" by Mastermind Creations includes mini tiger figure, sword, gun, mace, and alternate head. The wiki for the character says, "Deathsaurus is a Breastforce warrior, meaning he has two detachable breastplates which can transform into the Tigerbreast and Eaglebreast, respectively":

Today's funny posts




Wednesday, June 22, 2022

A detailed look at the ridiculous, shameless tricks universities use to comply with Title IX

Yahoo outlines three favorite scams: (1) absurdly enormous female rowing teams; (2) triple counting track and field participants; and (3) counting men as women

Michigan, Alabama and Clemson have averaged during that same stretch 113, 107 and 95, respectively. And those are all dwarfed by Wisconsin, which regularly exceeds 160 women’s rowers and reported a roster of over 200 in 2011 and 2012.

...

At Texas, the bar is even lower. The online flyer for last year’s walk-on meeting reads, “If you know how to jog, you can try out for rowing.” The ability to swim apparently is optional.

...

The federal government and the NCAA instruct schools to count cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field as three different teams despite significant roster overlap. 

...

Forty-four Division I schools whose 2020-21 EADA participation data satisfied Title IX because of double-counting wouldn't have achieved proportionality if an unduplicated athlete count was used.

...

When [one male basketball player] transferred to TCU in 2014, he jumped at the chance to become a male practice player. The Frog Squad helped prepare TCU’s women’s basketball team for upcoming games by running the opponent’s plays, emulating opposing players and making practices tougher with their length, athleticism and physicality.

[He] was surprised to learn recently that he helped TCU in another way during his two years as a male practice player. His alma mater took advantage of rules permitting it to count [him] and other male practice players as female participants in gender equity reports submitted to the Department of Education.

TCU claimed to have 32 athletes on its women’s basketball roster last year, 14 women and 18 male practice players. 

New Humble Bundle features the "nigh-endless adventure" of Talisman role playing games

The base PC game is $1, $10 for the full 54-item bundle.

Joytoy's new Ragnar Blackmane and Ork Kommandos look terrific

Joytoy continues to pump out Warhammer 40k figures at a remarkable pace. The latest batch, expected this December, includes Dreadnoughts, motorcycles, Space Marines from various chapters, and the highlights: Ragnar Blackmane and Ork Kommandos with suitably silly/ominous accessories:

Today's funny posts




Tuesday, June 21, 2022

"Retro" Marvel Legends Apocalypse with alternate head and cannon hand available for preorder

Give me a pink Archangel to go with this one.

Today's funny posts




Monday, June 20, 2022

The lost Wicked Witch episode of Sesame Street from 1976 has been uploaded to Reddit

In the episode, the Wicked Witch drops her broom on Sesame Street, and terrorizes the populace until eventually reclaiming it after disguising herself as a seemingly normal woman. At one point, Big Bird arms himself with a baseball bat and hockey stick to defend the store. Two summmaries say the episode was pulled after one airing because of complaints it was too frightening. But probably the better reason to have pulled it was because the shapeshifting scene suggested normal old women should be feared.

Massachusetts police force has "an extraordinary track record of misconduct"

Boston Globe:
When he first arrived in town in the 1970s, [a] former Stoughton select board member ... recalls, the running joke was that to tell then-police chief ... you were going on vacation was to ensure you returned to a robbed home. ([The chief] would eventually be convicted of knowingly receiving stolen goods.)

In the ‘90s, another Stoughton chief ... was fired after allegations that he used department resources for non-police business and illegally issued a firearms permit to a prominent businessman. A state arbitrator later ruled that only about a third of the charges against [him] were warranted, and that he deserved only a suspension.

By the turn of the century, however, under the leadership of ... a former Stoughton High football player known as a backslapper and politician — those improprieties would come to seem almost quaint.

Chief Deputy Fish (and Judge Caligula) figures available for preorder

New toy preorders: Chief Deputy Fish and Judge Caligula roughly 3.75" scale figures by Hiya Toys, Hot Toys Cad Bane and Boba Fett, Crooked Man Bendyfig:

Today's funny posts




"Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road" is $2.99 today

at Amazon.

"The Ten Thousand Doors of January" is also $2.99:

LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER! Finalist for the 2020 Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Awards. 

Sunday, June 19, 2022

"The number of people taking part in judo in Japan has plummeted by almost half since 2004"

AFP:

Reports have emerged of primary school children being forced to lose weight...so they can compete in a lighter division.

Young children are taught the same dangerous moves as Olympic athletes and intense training regimes can leave them injured or burnt out.

Parents and coaches have been known to berate referees during matches and corporal punishment still exists

...

The All Japan Judo Federation decided to take action in March by cancelling a national tournament for elite children aged between 10 and 12, planning to replace it with events such as lectures and practice sessions.

The backlash was fierce with angry parents and coaches

Today's funny posts

Amazon has it, and it makes sound effects when you pull the trigger.


Saturday, June 18, 2022

Videos showing off the Masterpiece Jetfire/Skyfire



Available for preorder.

Today's funny posts

(I hope to never find out if this is really their new mascot.)


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




Friday, June 17, 2022

A look at how Hoboken, New Jersey has managed to not have a traffic death in four years

Curbed:

The city of 60,000 hasn’t had a single traffic fatality since 2018 and has consistently cut the number of crashes and injuries while — and by — aggressively installing the things that are proven to make cities safer and more efficient for everyone: bike lanes, curb extensions, bus lanes, high-visibility crosswalks, and raised intersections.

As Hoboken’s streets get safer, New York City, like the rest of America, is moving in the opposite direction. Traffic fatalities in the five boroughs were up 44 percent in the first quarter of 2022 and are currently higher than they have been since 2015

Occult operating systems, The Matrix Opera, and other ai-generated art




Today's funny posts




Bruce Sterling's short story "Taklamakan" is great

It's about two spies with futuristic tech exploring a remote desert in China, and saying more would spoil the fun. I just picked up two of his books at Amazon for $1.99:

Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling is 647 pages, including Taklamakan.

Schismatrix Plus was nominated for the Nebula.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

New Humble Bundle features travel books

Three books for $1 in the Armchair Traveler bundle.

Professor realizes he wrote a recommendation letter for the just-revealed deep cover Russian spy


"Disney said construction on its [Florida] campus won’t be complete until 2026, two years later than expected"

ABC:

About 2,000 jobs are slated to move from California to Orlando’s Lake Nona community. The Disney campus will be home to imagineers and other professionals

...

Disney is on track to get more than $570 million in tax credits to move the jobs here. The capital investment tax program would be spread over 20 years. It would be among the largest tax breaks in state history for a single corporation.

Today's funny posts




This is a good, creepy short story about a digital recording of an NBA game

SCP-1733. Recommended in this thread:

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Super adorable electric car; Dalle2-generated basement labs; Game Boy Pocket "Extreme Green"; Little Victorian boy using an Oculus Rift

Baojun E300 KiWi EV. (If gasoline prices won't do it, why haven't insurance costs made owning giant trucks untenable?)


Threezero's 1/12-scale Bloodshot figure is available for preorder

39 Points of articulation and lots of accessories for $69 seems like a very reasonbale price compared to how much Mafex, Figuarts, Sentinel figures go for:

Amazon has some new G.I. Joe ninjas with cool masks

G.I. Joe Classified Series Blue Ninjas and Kamakura available for preorder: