Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco is $1.99

at Amazon. (Just picked it up, haven't seen the movie in ages but absolutely loved it.)

Shadow Weaver and Zeus/Tommy Lister figures up for preorder

Zeus includes a build-a-figure part for Mr. Perfect. Shadow Weaver is just cool. (The BBTS also still has Super 7's version in stock if you want to compare and contrast the two companies' approach.)

Teaser trailer for hyper-violent stop-motion samurai film "Hidari"

A look at some of the puppets:

Skinamarink inspired keychain


Today's funny posts

@makingmainstreet ✨get away✨ #evilqueen #theevilqueen #snowwhiteandthesevendwarfs #waltdisneyworld #wildernesslodge #disneyphotopass #characterattendant #disneydining #disneyrestaurants #disneymeetandgreet #snowwhite #disneykids ♬ Tainted Love - Soft Cell

"The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2022" is $2.99 today

at Amazon.

Good short story about a professional organizer meeting an unusual hoarder

"This Belongs to You" by Aimee LaBrie. An apt description:

Monday, February 27, 2023

Lee Pace/Thranduil stylized vinyl figure up for preorder (plus a very funny video about filming some of his scenes)

New toy options at the BBTS include Star Wars Hot Wheels cases (including the Mandalorian's Naboo starfighter), new defective item loot boxes, 48% off the pretty cool-looking Lightyear Alpha figures, and Weta's latest "Mini Epics" figure, Thranduil:

This clip about the multiple absurdities of filming one of Thranduil's confrontations with the dwarves is a delight:

Today's funny posts

Garth Marenghi’s "TerrorTome" is $1.99 today

at Amazon.

Today's cyberpunk loadout is an adversarial hoodie for defeating night vision security cameras, 3d-printed firearms for resisting the military coup, and a voice replica for seizing bank accounts

Adorable chimera

The illustration:

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Super Mario Bros. movie toys, including a "fire" breathing Bowser up for preorder

Amazon currently has some at retail prices, but some listings either sold out or converted to scalper level immediately. Entertainment Earth has the delightful Bowser and others. Here's video of the fire breathing:

Columbo operating the Voight-Kampff test

*Previously: Weyland-Yutani's version of the Voight-Kampff test?

Today's funny posts

Ann Leckie's terrific novel "Provenance" is $2.99 today

at Amazon. (Takes place in the same universe as her Radch series of novels, but almost entirely unrelated to those other books (aside from a few jokes).)

Neat video about designing and 3d-printing Wilson's "airless" basketball concept

It gets dyed black in the "DyeMansion" where it experiences "VaporFuse Surfacing and DeepDye Coloring":

Sweater depicting the formation of iron meteorites

(I'm pretty sure she hasn't posted the pattern yet.)

*Previously: Homemade version of Guillermo's bat sweater

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Goodreads is giving away copies of Ann Leckie's new novel "Translation State"

The giveaway.

New Humble Bundle features the RPG based on "Fallout", including 3d-printable figures

$1 for various starter files, including some scenery to download. $18 for the big bundle, including some ambitious vehicles to print out.

Sara Gran's "The Book of the Most Precious Substance” is $2.99 today

at Amazon. (I love her Claire DeWitte modern noir detective series.) The LA Times picked this as one of its speculative fiction books of the year, and interviewed her when it came out (complete with glamour photo of her broken leg).

Some of Ricky Jay's collection just went up for auction; PBS has a conversation between Ricky Jay and Art Spiegelman about Jay's collection from 2015

The conversation is here. Spiegelman tells a funny, self-denigrating story at the end about when he first started showing pages of Maus. The auction is here, including a downloadable pdf of the guide. And here's a thread by his former assistant, highlighting some items.

And since I wanted a big jpeg for myself:

Today's funny posts

Adorable frog tattoos

A few more:

This week's best Warhammer 40k miniatures, custom action figures, 3d-printables, and other hobby creations

Friday, February 24, 2023

Haas is trying to be at the cutting edge of reducing pit wall costs

(It seats three instead of the usual six, with the hope performance won't suffer if the rest are watching somewhere in the garage.)

*Previously: Bottas's ridiculous new helmet.

Reportedly, these videos show a three-vehicle heist crew boxing in their victim and stealing $500,000 in diamonds yesterday in Los Angeles

@blancaduarte1 Here inglewood ca. people are just evil omg they robed this guy they boxed him in and robed him thats crazy #inglewoodcalifornia #fyp ♬ original sound - Blanca Duarte

A Fox news write-up, basically describing the videos.

New Humble Bundle is puzzle video games

"Baba Is You" and six other games for $10.

Today's funny posts

(Highlight reel, if you want to hear how it's pronounced.)

How to make a paddle out of PSVR2 controllers for immersive virtual reality kayaking

Lego cyberpunk android

The inspiration:

Tamsyn Muir's "Nona the Ninth " is one of the deals of the day

$4.99 today at Amazon. (Hilarious and strange. I love this series, even though the lore is so deep at this point, visiting the Reddit forum serves to answer my questions and the questions I didn't even think to ask.)

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Mississippi State has an ambidextrous freshman pitcher that throws 90+ with each arm, and trained as a child by throwing a nail-studded ball

Cijntje began throwing right-handed as a 6-year-old because he wanted to emulate his father, Mechangelo, who played professionally in the Netherlands, and liked wearing his dad’s glove. Mechangelo hammered nails into baseballs and had Jurrangelo throw at a tire to try to get the ball to stick, a drill designed to improve his accuracy

Floppy disc-shaped flash drive with built-in touchscreen display showing its contents

Another build:

The LA public library is currently offering a limited edition card featuring the mountain lion P-22

My local branch had them. (FYI, you can use an LA public library account to login to the NY Times for free.)

Today's funny posts

Micro Galaxy Squadron Razor Crest is 42% off

at Amazon. (Includes Mandalorian, Greef Karga, and Grogu in bassinet minifigures.) Also, the 3.75" Vintage series Katee Sackhoff/Bo-Katan figure is down to $7.49.

Mafex T-800 and horse-riding Dark Knight up for preorder

New Medicom figures up for preorder, including a couple of Shin Kamen Riders:

RRR fan art

A few more:

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Artist looking for commissions

Generative spam is coming for writers, and is already here for musicians

Spotify has unveiled a new feature to help curate your music that is fueled by artificial intelligence. The company’s new AI DJ, aptly named “DJ,” helps guide you through your listening experience by feeding you music it thinks you’ll love along with computer-generated commentary on what makes those songs great.

DJ serves as a music curation tool from Spotify that feeds you songs you like and songs it thinks you’ll like, wrapped up in a realistic voice modelled after Xavier “X” Jernigan, Spotify’s Head of Cultural Partnerships. DJ generates charming and cheeky quips after every few songs that were generated via machine learning, and these comments describe your listening habits and fun facts about the album or song you’re listening to.
And from Brooks's newsletter, after stumbling on a suspicious track:
The case of "Jaime Brooks" perfectly illustrates how these scams will manifest in the world of music. By generating audio that is harmonically similar to classical music, "Jaime" was able to trick Spotify into recommending it to classical listeners. By deploying familiar sounds in a randomized, nonsensical fashion, the resulting compositions were able to bypass copyright filters designed to block infringement of existing works. By targeting a style of music that often appears in sleep-oriented playlists, "Jaime" gained access to the least discerning users on the entire platform. Unconscious adults are very unlikely to notice they're not listening to Mozart anymore and get up to hit fast forward, especially if the interruptions are brief and unpredictable. Babies don’t even have the option! This is how generators are going to change the internet in the coming years: by infesting the darkest, most neglected corners of our collective online experience with the digital equivalent of roaches, bed bugs, fruit flies, and mold.
The reality is that Spotify is unprofitable. It always has been. Their single biggest operating expense is the cost of licensing music from the major labels, which continues to be the platform's biggest draw. Spotify is the market leader in streaming with about one hundred and ninety-five million paying subscribers globally, and they lose money every time one of their users hits play on a Taylor Swift album. They can't make money giving you what you want, because what you want is too expensive. Serving up music to customers is a tedious, money-losing business that Spotify only ever bothered with in the hope that it would teach them how to get us all hooked on something cheaper. The trajectory of the platform's shift from user-created playlists to in-house editorial playlists to personalized, algorithmic "Discover" playlists makes this clear. The business model only works if Spotify's users can be persuaded to see listening as a passive, solitary activity rather than an active, social one.

Podcasts were supposed to help them do this.

Speaking of music, Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (10th Anniversary) edition vinyl and CD for preorder at Amazon

Bottas's ridiculous new helmet

(The designer is his girlfriend.) Another recent design:

Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Marvel Legends series up for preorder

Build-a-figure is Cosmo, so each figure comes with a piece of the space dog.

Today's funny posts

Wild animated parade float featuring St. George fighting the dragon; Star Wars parade float with head-bopping AT-ATs; Impressive floats from Carnevale di Viareggio 2023

More views and process pics from the artist:

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

The Tony Gilroy-directed movie "Duplicity" is $4.99

at Amazon. Starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owens:
Two rival industrial spies have to be at the top of their game when one of their companies prepares to launch a major product. However, they distract each other in more ways than one.
(I stumbled upon it years ago during a bout of insomnia and was delightfully surprised, and have been waiting for it to go on sale since Andor to see if it's as good as I remember.)

Artist looking for commissions

This is reportedly the selfie the U-2 pilot took of the Chinese balloon

More here and here.

*Previously: Selfie with the telescope.

New Super 7 Ultimates for preorder, a Thundercats samurai and other deep cuts

at the BBTS:

Micro Galaxy Squadron Inquisitor Transport Scythe also up for preorder

The Scythe is up for preorder at Amazon. Also, Star Wars action figures are the deal of the day at the BBTS, including 40% off the 3.75 Vintage Carl Weathers and 50% off the space bunny.

Today's funny posts

Hooded Jersey Thong Bodysuit and Jacquard-knit Treggings

Concepts for Madballs x The Real Ghostbusters cartoon

Some bonus illustrations based on the show:

Micro Galaxy Squadron Arc Trooper Gunship from the Tartakovsky Clone Wars micro-series up for preorder

at Amazon:

Charming illustrated journal about a vacation in Los Angeles

The first couple posts fro a long thread: