Saturday, December 31, 2022

Today's funny posts

This week's best Warhammer 40k miniatures, custom action figures, and other hobby creations

Friday, December 30, 2022

Custom fightstick built into the Soul Edge

Corgi in a gas mask, futuristic frogman, Warhammer 40k Chaos Marine Reavers, and bunch more fun new Joy Toy figures up for preorder

A sampling of the new Joy Toy figures up for preorder, starting at $19.99:

From my wishlist, the novel "Inverted World" is $1.99 today

at Amazon:
Featured in Science Fiction: The Best 100 Novels
Winner of the British Science Fiction Award
Nominated for the Hugo Award

Today's funny posts

The publisher of the 1985 Blade Runner video game "was unable to obtain rights to the actual movie, so the game was instead said to be based on the soundtrack"

The game is "inspired by the Vangelis soundtrack" of the 1982 Blade Runner movie


On loading the game, the player has to listen to around two minutes of music from the movie soundtrack without any ability to skip the sequence

Thursday, December 29, 2022

There's a series of Playmobil figures based on the Greek gods

Aphrodite, Hephaestus, and Hera with suitable accessories, in stock for under $4 each at Entertainment Earth:

Winner of Army’s Best Shooter for 2022 joined as a medic because he didn't want to shoot anyone

He was told by a superior to volunteer to compete. His team was nicknamed the "Tournikids."

Speaking of the military:

The artbook for a Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio is free online

Not available for download as far as I could tell, but the individual pages are jpegs. (Amazon has the hardcover.)

Love this design:     

Today's funny posts

Wii built into a Wii balance board; Instructions to build a Wii into a Gamecube controller

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Damaged and defective item loot boxes up for sale at the Big Bad Toy Store

These are large collections of figures and statues, with photos of each item.

"A Mending" is a role playing game where you sew a path on a cloth map to document your journey

The shop:
You will play the game by planning your route, marking the map, and building a story by answering prompt cards. The prompt cards will ask you to consider your relationship with your friend, mark your map with beads or written notes, introduce you to delightful characters(including at least one dog), and will sometimes affect the path you have chosen. The gameplay time can vary between one hour(solo, paper and pen only) to two hours or more(collaborative gameplay, with hand-sewing). The game is designed to be played solo, but the game booklet will also include suggestions on how to play this as a 2 person game(using a single game kit), or communally in a larger group.
A review of this game and other games that leave the player with a keepsake:
Though the game can be completed in a few hours, I crafted my journey over several weeks, embracing the intimate connection I’d forged with my characters by keeping a slow pace.

At one point, I found myself tearing up when I decided to part ways with a dog that had accompanied most of my journey. (I left it with a family before climbing a perilous mountain – I’m not a monster!) To represent the dog, I’d been embroidering a second path alongside my own, and ceasing that path was unexpectedly devastating.

Sakaar Barber Stan Lee by Hot Toys (with lock of Asgardian hair) is $70 off right now

at Sideshow:

Today's funny posts


Homemade version of Guillermo's bat sweater

*Previously: Harvey Guillén showing off his "Phantom Menace" staff training

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Green flame menorah

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow by Tom King and Bilquis Evely is terrific and $1.99 right now

The heroine from "True Grit" hires Supergirl to help her take revenge. The elevated diction is tedious without a charming actress saying it, and the story slips a little at the end (I sure learned something new about Supergirl's horse!), but otherwise terrific. $1.99 right now for the entire series at Amazon.

(I did not like King's Rorschach series.)

Today's funny posts

Dogs and their owners sliding around on icy streets

@getdamilk Couldn’t get traction #winter #pitbullsoftiktok #bullybreed #icy #dogsoftiktok #cecerocco ♬ motorcycle dududu - FUNNY

Monday, December 26, 2022

How to smuggle lithium batteries through the mail

*Previously: "Birdsport" is a type of "bloodless cockfighting" featuring finches smuggled from Guyana to New York

Personalized Jeopardy game based on family gossip; Adversarial gift wrapping; Tic-Tac-Toe x Wind Sprints

@glutenfreeinnewyork Xmas eve roast #christmas #familygames #marcoisland ♬ Succession Main Theme (From "" Succession"") - Geek Music

His handle is like the Glass Onion joke IRL

"Casinos Target a Vulnerable Clientele: Older Asian Gamblers"


The effort to lure Asian gamblers will be a significant factor surrounding the casino bidding process in New York, which will begin early next year.


During meetings with prospective business partners this year, some casino operators scoping out potential locations have cited proximity to large Chinese populations as a top consideration, according to people familiar with the meetings, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.


“As you get older, staying at home is very lonely,” said [one gambler], sipping a free plastic cup of red wine handed out by a casino hostess.


“For many Asian seniors, they walk into any casino and don’t need to worry about cultural competence or respect or language,” said ... the chairman of Homecrest Community Services, which operates two senior centers in Brooklyn. “That’s the one place where they feel safe.”


In a statement, ... the vice president of international marketing at the Resorts World Catskills, said the casino took “great pride in providing our guests from the Asian community a beautiful environment and welcoming space inside and outside of our property, where our culture is respected and celebrated.”

Today's funny posts

Sad Super Mario characters

*Previously: Fire-breathing Bowser diorama 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Indiana basketball player uses NIL money to give his sister a gift

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

"Three power substation facilities were vandalized in Pierce County, Washington, on Christmas morning, knocking out power to more than 14,000 customers"

"No suspects are in custody"

FYI, the Wirecutter's pick for best gaming headset is 45% off right now

The HyperX Cloud Alpha is on sale at Amazon.

Some good gifts

Spiderwoman Omnibus by Rodriguez and Hopeless (Spanish-language)

Christmas wishes from the blast furnace; Mari Lwyd, the Welsh skeleton horse; 3D-printed festive Star Wars figures

Today's funny posts

Dangerously Fast Spinning Holographic Christmas Tree; Soviet Christmas Pins; Wario's Christmas tale

Eye of Sauron tree topper; Swolest nativity scene; Gift of coal

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Light pillars in the sky

*Previously: Brocken Spectres are terrifying

Today's funny posts


Warhammer 40k Necrons celebrate Christmas; Tech Support's Christmas tree; Nashville experience lets you shot paintballs at the Grinch

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

Friday, December 23, 2022

Teacher made plush toys for her class based on their drawings

Today's funny posts

Ed Emberley's guides to drawing Christmas; 3d print a dangling Luke Sywalker ornament; Custom action figures made for a Secret Santa swap

Buy Ed Emberley guides at Amazon.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

FYI 30% off right now on the Zendure Power Bank (one of Wirecutter's favorite portable battery chargers)

at Amazon. (Click the coupon)

"Targets to clean up the majority of England’s rivers, lakes and coastal waters suffering from a cocktail of agricultural and sewage pollution have been pushed back from 2027 to 2063"


Until Brexit the UK government was signed up to the water framework directive, which required countries to make sure all their waters achieved “good” chemical and ecological status by 2027 at the latest. 


Not one English waterway, including rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters is in good ecological and chemical health at present

The live action short "Le Pupille" on Disney+ is a charming, funny Christmas tale

Young girls in a Catholic boarding school during WW2 find a way to enjoy Christmas despite their grim surroundings. Disney should incorporate this giggling chorus into more of their shows:

Amazon Basics clearance sale today

Cables, batteries, blankets, luggage. Much of it more than 64% off.  These gloves are 72% off, and the cassette player is 56% off:

Today's funny posts

Footage of Indian and Chinese troops fighting to move the border in the Himalayas; Neal Stephenson imagines the near future of that battle involving martial arts influencers

Video of what appears to be a previously unreported violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops at their disputed Himalayan border [in 2021] has emerged online, offering a rare window into the long-simmering territorial tensions between the two Asian powers. 


Though they’re separated by barbed wire, the footage appears to show Indian troops beating the Chinese soldiers with makeshift weapons, including what look like wooden sticks and metal pipes. In several instances, Indian soldiers can be seen throwing bricks or stones.

Many of the Chinese soldiers, gathered on the other side of the wire, also appear to be holding long sticks or batons.

Eventually the barbed wire collapses and the Indian soldiers move forward, prompting the Chinese troops to jump over a short stone wall and leave the area, to cheers from the Indian side.    

Here's a detailed analysis with maps concluding that China has built new infrastructure in the area to allow quick movement of troops and supplies.

One storyline in Neal Stephenson's Termination Shock (I'm about halfway through the novel) imagines civilians joining the fight as sponsored athletes:

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

From my wishlist, Greg Bear's "Blood Music" is $2.99 right now

at Amazon. Hugo Best Novel nominee (1986), Nebula Best Novel nominee (1986), Hugo Best Novellette winner (1984), Nebula Best Novellette winner (1984).

Wild story about a freelancer working in the ABC news division exploiting that role to conduct operations for a Florida utility

The opening anecdote:

[She] was doing precisely what journalists should do on a searing hot day in Stuart, Fla., in July 2018: She confronted a politician with unwelcome questions.

Microphone and ABC News business card in hand, [she] rushed up to a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives before a debate, the candidate recalls, and asked him about 20 dead gopher tortoises that were reportedly found at a nearby construction site. Florida designates the species as threatened.

As far as the candidate ... knew, there were no dead tortoises.

And he would have known. [he], an environmental engineer, served as the wildlife consultant to the construction project. Visibly flustered, [he] told [her] on camera that he didn't know what she was talking about.

"Residents say they aren't buying it," [she] declared in the news-style video she later posted online.

A city investigation found no dead tortoises. In fact, it found no evidence at all that any of the reptiles had ever been present.

That wasn't the only surprise. Though [she] has done freelance work for ABC, she was not there for the network.

Plush Blobby the Blobfish available in mini, large, and colossal sizes

Available at Uncute:

Today's funny posts

Best in LA, recipes.

"How a Cocaine-Smuggling Cartel Infiltrated the World’s Biggest Shipping Company"

Bloomberg has a long feature:

more than 100 agents had boarded one of MSC’s ships, the Gayane, as it slid into the Port of Philadelphia for what was supposed to be a quick stop on its way to Rotterdam. Deep below deck, hidden in containers packed with wine and nuts, the agents discovered nearly 20 tons of cocaine, worth $1 billion. The ensuing investigation showed that more than a third of the crew—all MSC employees—had helped transfer vast amounts of cocaine from speedboats at night while the ship powered through the open ocean off South America. It was the largest maritime drug bust in American history.

The crime was so big and brazen that authorities made the exceptional decision to seize not just the cocaine but also the Gayane itself, a 1,000-foot-long ship worth more than $100 million.


For US officials, the company’s claim of ignorance didn’t add up.


The family likes to say seawater runs through their veins, citing shipping documents from the 17th century that bear their name


MSC also distinguished itself by emphasizing price over speed of delivery. “MSC, very often in the early years, the inside joke in the industry was that it was shorthand for ‘maybe ship comes’ ”


Searching a fully loaded ship is difficult, so much so that it’s rarely done. Holds are cramped and containers can be difficult to get to. The agents acquired special oxygen monitoring devices in case they had to go deep beneath the deck, where rusted iron can deplete oxygen levels.

The series ZeroZeroZero on Prime is terrific. (And speaking of federal agents dealing with drug runners, a NSFW movie clip.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Transparent Jetfire/Skyfire up for preorder

A bunch of new third party Transformers up for preorder, including this "Air Guardian Firefox (Transparent Ver.)":

Patches and illustrations based on Alfred Valley's psychedelic-xerox adventure zine "Thousand Empty Light"

Alfred Valley's single player tabletop RPG "Thousand Empty Light": 
Written throughout as an in-game corporate document, the zine takes the core game’s rules and builds a procedure for playing single handedly. It is a 36 page survival horror adventure, short story and universal solo toolkit all wrapped up into one.

The adventure casts the player in the role of a lamplighter hired by the HAZMOS service corporation. Their job? Enter an abandoned underwater tunnel on an uninhabited planet alone and restore power and light to each section. As they proceed, the player will discover that things aren’t quite what they seem.

This is an experiment in tabletop adventure design, requiring a healthy amount of interpretation from the player (a digital example play document is also provided). 
You can buy the digital file or download a simplified PDF of the "psychedelic-xerox adventure zine," but the great patches are sold out:

Today's funny posts

Gundam painted to look like they're made of glass


Expert testimony helped twins accused of cheating on a medical school exam successfully sue the university for defamation


A professor who was remotely monitoring an eight-hour exam noticed that the twins were progressing similarly though the questions and had many of the same incorrect answers. To her, that meant they were cheating.

The Binghams filed a lawsuit against the university and turned to Nancy Segal, a Cal State Fullerton psychology professor who has spent her career studying twins, to help clear their names.


Segal opened the Twins Studies Center at Cal State Fullerton when she began working at the college in 1991.


Segal was in her last year of college at Boston University when her abnormal psychology professor gave an assignment to write about people adjusting to situations. Segal decided to draw on a situation from her childhood in New York City, where her fraternal twin sister tested into a more advanced elementary school class than she did.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Billboards encouraging urging citizens to root out Ukrainian spies by asking people to pronounce Russian placenames

Gymkhana 2022 featuring Travis Pastrana is absolutely bursting with exuberant stunts

Here's a feature on the car:

Today's funny posts

@dhappyrex Unnecessarily necessary##WorldCup##fyp##Argentina##goldenglove#g#goalkeepere#emilianomartinez ♬ original sound - Ayieeeks

Qntm's new story collection "Valuable Humans in Transit and Other Stories" is great

Unlike the collection "There Is No Antimemetics Division," which was also great and told a sort of X-Files meet Lovecraft unified story, "Valuable Humans in Transit and Other Stories" is a series of standalone tales about the horror of near future exploitative technology (my favorite was about communicating with an interactive fiction avatar that may or may not be a real person).

"The story of how SR-71 Blackbird #61-7974 was recovered and buried at sea"

Long write-up with lots of photos:
“The remains of SR-71 #974 were buried at sea with full military honors. The occasion occurred at 1157 hours on Christmas Eve of 1989. The coordinates given placed it several hundred miles from Okinawa. The final resting place was in 25,597 feet of water, in an area known as the Mariana Trench.”

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Buster Sword body pillow; Buster Sword as a video game controller

And speaking of the Buster Sword:

The jokes are already outdated

Today's funny posts

Washington Post suggests someone bought a Virginia newspaper to try to remove any mention of a 2004 rape accusation from the internet


It wrote about grisly homicides, corrupt land deals and environmental issues in the Shenandoah Valley. Three times in just a decade, it won the Virginia Press Association’s top honor, the prize for “journalistic integrity and community service.”


Their evidence, while circumstantial, is intriguing. There’s the mystery buyer who purchased the Hook archive from its longtime custodian a few months before it went dark. There’s the reluctance of people involved in that sale to say much about it.

Then there’s the flurry of copyright complaints apparently filed by the new owner in the days and weeks after the sale. These complaints, seeking removal of links to the archive, have targeted news sites, discussion forums and small-time blogs, most of which cited one particular story among the thousands the Hook wrote about in its heyday: a rape accusation involving students at the University of Virginia nearly 19 years ago.

Photo of Mars emerging behind the moon

From a few months ago, "How I Learned to Explore the Universe":
Turns out, the trick to photographing planets is something called "lucky imaging".  What you have to do is take thousands of pictures of something over the course of a few minutes, and then stack them with software and it makes the image wayyy clearer. This is due to the atmosphere, when you're that zoomed in through miles of atmosphere, it ripples with the currents, destroying your image. The software analyzes the images looking for the ones where this effect is the least pronounced, then stacks and sharpens them, revealing an image that is not just good, but better than what your eyes can even see (although on a clear night, your eyes can see incredible detail). I followed this process, and my images were much better (although it took a while to really get the hang of it.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Thom Browne's 2023 Moby Dick Menswear Collection

Vogue has the summary and full collection of 48 looks:

Well-dressed whales continue to be drawn compulsively to Browne, happily harpooned by his darkly witty skewering of the clothing canon. This season’s Melville conceit enabled the designer to return to one of his happiest hunting grounds, old school East Coast US prep. After observing how closely related Melville’s text was to Nantucket, Browne said: “I think the whole Wasp-y idea, the quintessential notion of preppy, came from this part of New England and some items in this collection really play into that.”

*Previously: Dolce & Gabbana's outdoor fashion show got pounded with hail 

Sig Sauer executive alleged to have "surreptitiously overbill[ed] the Indonesian police, military, and intelligence services by up to 600 percent over several years"


Sig Sauer has been the subject of scrutiny in recent years, given how the company’s flagship P320 pistol in 2017 replaced the Army’s previous go-to sidearm, the Beretta M9—only for the public to discover an undisclosed fatal flaw. Dozens of pistols have fired on their own across the country, sparking lawsuits by injured police officers and the family of a woman killed in Colorado—yet the company refused to issue a recall.

[T]he feds say [he] took advantage of the intense international interest in the 9mm semi-automatic P320 to dupe his Indonesian buyers into vastly overpaying for the pistol 


[He] was thought to be funneling the dirty money through a series of shell companies


The newly unsealed warrant affidavit means [he], a member of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s “Athletic Hall of Fame,” has now been accused of criminal wrongdoing at two of his previous three employers.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio deserves good toys, and so far the Mego ones look the best

Briefly out of stock, Geppetto, Pinocchio, and Cricket set of Mego figures up for preorder at Amazon (why doesn't Hot Toys ever make stop motion toys?):

Amazon is currently offering a $10 off coupon on the art book. These designs that deserve great toys:

From my wishlist, Nicola Griffith's "Spear" is $2.99 today

at Amazon:
"A pleasure to follow [and] a lovely flexing of Griffith’s strengths in short form."
―The New York Times

"Spear is a fantastic excuse to dig into Arthurian legend, and it stands on its own as an enthralling read―an instant classic, born of classics."
―Chicago Review of Books

A Shelf Awareness Best of the Year pick!

A Vulture Best Fantasy of the Year pick!

Today's funny posts

Defector has a new t-shirt inspired by "Hackers"

Available in two colors, and explained here.

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