Sunday, July 31, 2022

Here's Bill Russell killing Michael Richards in the Miami Vice episode "The Fix"

Cyborg Spider-Woman from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


(Amazon has the Marvel Legends Cyborg Spider-Man.)

RIP



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Saturday, July 30, 2022

The tong war fight sequence in Big Trouble In Little China was filmed on a sound stage

From a long article at American Cinematographer:

The street set completely covered Stage 6 at 20th Century Fox, and Cundey’s lighting solution was to stretch a silk over the entire stage — about two square blocks.

...

“One thing that I would like to fool around with, if the same situation ever arises,” says Cundey, “is something we discovered while we were shooting the tests. We were always afraid of tilting up and seeing the silk, but we found that when we did tilt up and we were a little overexposed, the silk looked like a white sky. We mounted remote fog units along the top of the buildings and had them squirt fog on intervals so that it would hang along the silk, and the few times that we do tilt up, it looks like clouds, fog, and a realistic white sky.”

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




Friday, July 29, 2022

The MegaMillions prize is skyrocketing thanks to a free iOS app that lets users pay a gigworker to buy them lottery tickets

Action Network:

Jackpocket, recently backed by Mark Cuban, Kevin Hart and Manny Machado as part of the $200 million the company has raised, has proven to be irresistible.

...

A user loads their wallet at Jackpocket and purchases lottery tickets. If they choose quick pick, Jackpocket’s own randomizer does the work. A Jackpocket rep is then charged with fulfilling that order with a retailer within the state. When that order is filled, the customer gets a scan of the front and back of the ticket with a serial number and watermark.

...

The company says that since April 17, when the current no-winner streak started, tickets purchased on Jackpocket tickets have made up an astounding 7% of all Mega Millions tickets purchased. That’s mind-blowing to consider when you learn that JackPocket is only in 12 states.

...

Not only do they have reloading fees, unlike mobile sportsbooks, but they also are allowed to suggest auto betting.

After I spent my $52, Jackpocket asked me if I wanted to spend $52 every time 




Lego rock climber


More photos here.

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Figuarts Venom, Figma Mads Mikkelsen, and Super 7's SDCC exclusives up for preorder

S.H.Figuarts Let There Be Carnage Venom; S.H.Monsterarts Godzilla v. MechaGodzilla Godzilla; Figma Death Stranding Cliff; and Super 7's SDCC 2022 exclusives, including lot of glowing/heat-changing toys.

UFO posters then and now; Hellfire Gala deluxe invitation; Promo video for Kate Beaton's new book; Starscourge Radahn

(A teaser from 2014.)


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

"Chick-fil-A Is Asking for 'Volunteers' to Work for 5 Chicken Sandwiches Per Hour" in North Carolina

Vice:
“We are looking for volunteers for our new Drive Thru Express!,” the Facebook post, which was just deleted after getting widely dragged, read. 
... 
“Thanks for everyone’s concern on this matter,” the store said in response to a post that said it should not be offering “volunteer” positions. “This is a volunteer based opportunity, which means people can opt in to volunteer if they think it’s a good fit for them. We’ve had multiple people sign up and enjoy doing and have done it multiple times. People who sign up for this chose it voluntarily. 

Harvey Guillén showing off his "Phantom Menace" staff training


From the "Night Market" episode of What We Do in the Shadows:

Thundarr uses a sunsword because a steel-bladed weapon was deemed too violent for Saturday morning cartoons

Lots of interesting details about the creation of the show, and a few pieces of concept art, in this interview:

Dead spiders are the "perfect architecture" for "necrobotics"

An article summarizing a press release from Rice University:

Spiders differ from humans in that they use hydraulics to move about. Their limbs extend as a result of the internal valves in the spider's hydraulic chamber near their heads contracting to send blood to the limbs and once the pressure is gone, the legs contract.

...

Researchers at Rice University deliver air to reach the legs so it could extend them and grip objects - and turns out that with this manipulation the deceased wolf spiders can pick up objects that outweigh them in what has been described as "necrobotics." 

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Codebreakers solved the mystery of gibberish advertisements that ran in the The Times between 1850 and 1855

Vice:

In 1850, the English naval officer Richard Collinson was sent to the Canadian Arctic in hopes of finding any traces of the Franklin expedition, or at least figuring out what happened to the explorer and his ships. Collinson’s ultimately failed expedition lasted from 1850 to 1855, exactly the same time period of the encrypted ads published in The Times. 

...

The decryption revealed that the ads were messages sent back and forth between the Collinson expedition members and their relatives and families back in England.

...

they knew that no matter where the ship would go, that The Times was readily available in any city around the world

...

Unfortunately, as far as they can tell, the system worked only once in 1855, when Collinson obtained four copies of The Times when he was in the Indonesian town of Banyuwangi

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

How Florida Power & Light "secretly took over a Florida news site and used it to bash critics"

Miami Herald:

Taking aim at foes of FPL’s proposed rate hikes and controversial attempts to buy Jacksonville’s public utility, the Capitolist savaged the critics, impugning their motives and suggesting they were part of “dark money” schemes.

...

While portraying itself as a feisty independent outlet, the Capitolist — which aims its content directly at Tallahassee decision makers — was bankrolled and controlled by executives of the power company through a small group of trusted intermediaries from an Alabama consulting firm, according to an investigation by the Miami Herald, based on a massive leak of documents.

...

Just three days before the 2018 election, the vice president of state legislative affairs at FPL...ordered a hit piece about the Democratic candidate for governor

Orlando Sentinel:

The records, obtained by the Orlando Sentinel and Floodlight, show that an operative for Alabama-based political consulting firm Matrix LLC, signed an option agreement in September 2019 to purchase a controlling stake in The Capitolist.

...

The Capitolist records emerged during an ongoing investigation by the Orlando Sentinel and Floodlight into Matrix’s work for FPL. The utility’s relationship with the Birmingham firm has come under scrutiny after Matrix operatives orchestrated a “ghost” candidate scheme to influence three state Senate races in 2020.

(Previously.)

Updates in the ongoing Mississippi corruption scandal

Details here and here. And here's a summary:

Take a detailed look at Mondo's monstrous Man-Thing vinyl toy


Mondo sent me their latest creation, Marvel's Man-Thing, designed, sculpted, and painted by James Groman. It's a ridiculous, delightful labor of love, first revealed almost exactly two years ago:

The completed creature is true to that design. Twelve inches tall, and broad, but weighing only three and a third pounds:



Made of soft vinyl, with slightly pliable face tendrils, it's described as having three points of articulation. I assume that means the arms rotate at the shoulders and the head at the neck, but most of the joints on mine feel stiff enough that I'll wait to see someone bolder successfully demonstrate the articulation:

It has little details in the nooks and crannies based on Man-Thing's origin (remember when people thought Iron Man 3 hinted at Man-Thing?). The paint is mostly terrific, particularly excellent on the snake, less careful on the skull, particularly considering how prominent it is:

Bottom line, it'll make an impressive centerpiece for any vinyl, horror, kaiju, Marvel, whatever, collection. The first colorways have sold out quickly, so jump on the next colorways:

Finally, if you missed it, Mondo revealed some of their upcoming toys, including SpaceGodzilla and Battle Cat:



Impressive third party Shattered Glass Optimus Prime and Streetwise Transformers

New preorders from Mastermind Creations: "Reformatted R-48SG Optus Prominon Servered Geist" and "All Built In Perfection Series PS-25 Navigant"

Today's funny posts




Tor's latest free ebook is The Border Keeper by Kerstin Hall

Download.

Attack on Titan Nendoroid diorama available for preorder

Toy preorders: Attack on Titan and NieR Nendoroids; and a highly-articulated The Birth of Venus by Botticelli joins the Figma Table Museum series.

Lego Swordsman, Cyborg Frog, Tiny Snoke's Throne Room




Monday, July 25, 2022

An interview with the engineering professor at CalTech who helped design the UFO in "Nope"

(Massive spoilers) "I think the movie worked well without those science details, but I was prepared with a few different explanations if people asked"