Friday, September 30, 2022

Tom Gran announced the tributes for the new season of his illustrated Hunger Games

The thread starts here, and here's one of the tributes:

Alleged Los Angeles slumlord arrested for attempting to arrange two murders for hire

The LA Times has a long summary of the conspiracy and efforts to arrest the real estate developer:

despite the pat-down, [he] failed to find the two recording devices agents had concealed on him

Just-revealed Marvel Legends and Transformers, including Spiral and Tarn up for preorder

Spiral, Tarn, and several more just-revealed figures up for preorder:

Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner service in Southern California suspended indefinitely for emergency repairs due to coastal erosion

Dana Point Times:
The suspension of service comes after Metrolink reported movement on the rail line in south San Clemente earlier this month. Metrolink said in its announcement that there has been continued movement on the right of way.

“Working with geologists, geotechnical engineers, and surveyors, we have determined to ensure passenger safety service suspension is necessary,” Metrolink said. “Until we have confirmation from the experts the slope movement has stopped, we will not resume Metrolink service.”

Metrolink had suspended service in the same area a year ago so crews could stabilize the portion of the tracks that sits at the bottom of a bluff—where strong waves routinely crash, leaving the railroad vulnerable to movement.


Metrolink recently placed more than 1,600 tons of large boulders, referred to as rip rap, to help stabilize the track.

Tennessee lawmakers call "students being allowed to use litter boxes a growing crisis"

From yesterday

Bowling and Littleton did not respond to emails and calls requesting comment or an interview.

Today's funny posts

(For normal men?)

"Alien" illustrated by Lucho Olivera

More pages here.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Aloha Stadium auction

Chairs, turf, and more exotic offerings:

During WWII, "2,200 Latin Americans of Japanese descent...were forcibly deported to internment camps in the US"

BBC from 2015:
an estimated 25,000 people of Japanese descent lived in Peru


after the outbreak of World War Two, the Japanese community in Peru became a target, and their assets were confiscated.

"In May 1940, as many as 600 houses, schools and businesses belonging to citizens of Japanese descent were burned down," she says.

Following Japan's 1941 attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, the US government asked a dozen Latin American countries, among them Peru, to arrest its Japanese residents.

Records from the time suggest the US authorities wanted to take them to the US and use them as bargaining chips for its nationals captured by Japanese forces in Asia.


After World War Two ended, another 1,000 were deported to Japan after their Latin American home countries refused to take them back

Supreme Court "Justices shield spouses’ work from potential conflict of interest disclosures"


A year after Amy Coney Barrett joined the Supreme Court, the boutique Indiana firm SouthBank Legal opened its first-ever Washington office in Penn Quarter, a move the firm hailed in a 2021 press release as an “important milestone.”

The head of the office, Jesse M. Barrett, is the justice’s husband


if anyone wants to find out whether Jesse Barrett’s clients have a direct interest in cases being decided by his wife, they’re out of luck. In the Supreme Court’s notoriously porous ethical disclosure system, Barrett not only withholds her husband’s clients, but redacted the name of SouthBank Legal itself in her most recent disclosure.

(The article goes on to discuss Thomas and Roberts, too.)

Today's funny posts

"Meta ordered to pay $175M for copying Green Beret veteran’s app"

Military Times (the second paragraph is quoting the complaint, I think):

Voxer launched the app in 2011, which was named Best Overall App in the First Annual Silicon Valley Business App Awards in 2013. In 2012, Facebook approached Voxer about a potential collaboration that led to Voxer sharing its patents and proprietary information with the company.

“When early meetings did not result in an agreement, Facebook identified Voxer as a competitor although Facebook had no live video or voice product at the time,” court filings read. “Facebook revoked Voxer’s access to key components of the Facebook platform and launched Facebook Live in 2015 followed by Instagram Live in 2016. Both products incorporate Voxer’s technologies and infringe its patents.”

The Verge from 2013:

On its developer blog, Facebook's [representative] responded, although very indirectly, to removing access to new video app Vine's friend-friending ability yesterday just hours after the app launched.


Evidently, sharing back isn't always enough. Vine doesn't, after all, send the video clips you make to Facebook — it only sends a link to your video, effectively moving your engagement offsite. Facebook's objection is in that regard understandable, though when combined with several other similar clashes lately with app developers like Voxer and Yandex's Wonder, Facebook sounds like a bully. 

The illustrated short story "Mona" by Leigh Alexander and Emily Carroll is really good

I recently re-read it. Great short story about trying to be a cool New York blogger (and Silent Hill 2).

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

FYI, the Wirecutter's pick for best cheap gaming laptop is 19% off at the moment

Five in stock at Amazon.

Favre's "nonprofit also directed $60K to daughter’s high school for new volleyball digs"

But nearly two years after the Oak Grove Lady Warriors’ new stadium was built, the contractor ... filed a lawsuit against the boosters, known as the Warrior Club, claiming the group still owed them $328,000.


Oak among the state’s highest-rated high schools

Today's funny posts

Monday, September 26, 2022

Miniatures of classic Los Angeles dingbats

Available for purchase.

Joytoy's new batch of Warhammer 40k miniatures includes a Grey Knight with his cursed sword

New toy preorders include several new Warhammer 40K marines, including Grey Knights warrior Castellan Crowe with his sword of unimaginable evil, several new Kinnikuman Ultra Detail Figures, although I'd prefer them in MUSCLE pink, and Fortnite's Potassius Peels:

40 minutes to NASA's planned asteroid collision, it's being livestreamed

The official site explaining the mission.

"Three men charged with fraud in $100 million New Jersey deli scheme"

CNBC's summary.

"47 Alameda County Sheriff's deputies were...relieved of their law enforcement duties because they received 'unsatisfactory' on psychological examinations dating back to 2016"


The letter comes in the same month that [a sheriff's deputy] shot and killed a couple in their Dublin home after he finished a double shift at Santa Rita Jail. He had been having a romantic relationship with the wife, who had been a nurse at the John George Psychiatric Center. 

Four sources told KTVU that [the deputy] failed his psychological exam and because of liability issues, the sheriff is now auditing who else in the department might have also failed.

When asked if the audit was prompted by [the murder], [the sheriff's spokesperson] answered: "I'd have to say yes."

Today's funny posts

Snowman sculpture

Cleveland Museum of Art:
Snowman, first constructed by Swiss artists Peter Fischli (b. 1952) and David Weiss (1946–2012) in 1987, when they were commissioned by a German power plant to create a site-specific work, is a frost-coated copper sculpture filled with water. The box encasing it creates a microclimate that is kept humid; over time, condensed water collects on the surface of the form and freezes, transforming the copper base into a snowman.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

From my wishlist, Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh is $1.99

at Amazon:

This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features all-new material with more than 1,600 pieces of art. Solutions and Other Problems marks the return of a beloved American humorist who has “the observational skills of a scientist, the creativity of an artist, and the wit of a comedian” (Bill Gates).

Praise for Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half:

“Imagine if David Sedaris could draw….Enchanting.” —People

“One of the best things I’ve ever read in my life.” —Marc Maron

“Will make you laugh until you sob, even when Brosh describes her struggle with depression.” —Entertainment Weekly

“I would gladly pay to sit in a room full of people reading this book, merely to share the laughter.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“In a culture that encourages people to carry mental illness as a secret burden….Brosh’s bracing honesty is a gift.” —Chicago Tribune

Today's funny posts

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

Friday, September 23, 2022

Plush D&D space hamster with adventurer's backpack up for preorder

New toy preorders include plush Dungeons and Dragons creatures by Kidrobot, plus a line of 4" Metal Slug figurines:

"Mantel always believed this really happened, and the thing about her as a writer and as an imaginative force is that you find yourself believing it too"

"Project To Be Unveiled In LA Names Every Japanese American Incarcerated During WWII


The daunting task of accounting for so many people was complicated by the fact that there were 75 incarceration sites, from Hawaii to Arkansas, each operated by one of an assortment of government agencies.

The Total Count: 125,284 Names

Today's funny posts

I see I'm not the only person that likes the song in the commercial for Mercedes's electric SUV

"The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August" is $2.99 today

at Amazon. (Winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, and I really enjoyed the author's "Notes From the Burning Age.") 

Wafflemaker sword and many other Swordtember creations

Many more gems in the feed:

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The NPR looks at Chinese citizens that hire surrogates in the USA, and then can't reach their children due to Covid rules

The two babies are part of a quiet cottage industry in the U.S. for surrogacy, where a woman is hired to carry someone else's baby to term. But the whole industry has been upended by COVID. Most parents don't even fly to the U.S. anymore. Instead, they mail their reproductive material over. And about a year later, their new baby is flown to China. It's a process that costs well over $100,000. But despite the tensions between China and the U.S., for some Chinese, the American dream is very much alive.


It is legal for Chinese citizens to travel to the U.S. on a tourist visa, where there are no restrictions on consensual surrogacy. They're then brought into their own little bubble. All the clients, the companies and even the nannies are overwhelmingly from China.


This employee of one agency in California didn't want to give his name because providing surrogacy is completely illegal in China.

Starzinger die-cast vehicles and more good toys available for preorder

Some good toy preorders: Starzinger die-cast vehicles; Assassination Classroom Koro Sensei; Dark Souls Siegmeyer Nendoroid:

Today's funny posts

Ghostly underwater scenes

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shaker keychain