Monday, July 31, 2023

Coraline blindboxed bag clips up for preorder (including Other Mother and Beldam)

Entertainment Earth just posted a bunch of blindboxed bag clip preorders based on a variety of properties, including these Coraline figs:

"Stranger Things: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book" is 52% off, and impressive

52% off at Amazon:

Was the Marvel character Shatterstar almost a straight copy of a character from Eternity Comics?

Covers for six issues. And a brief article on the publisher. (I didn't find someone making this connection before, or mention of it in the character's Wikipedia entry.)

Kickstarter for Cory Doctorow's new audiobook

The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation:

How? With interoperability. 


This is a book that delivers a detailed policy prescription for building evacuation routes for the platforms, using interoperability. It's a book that explains what those policies should be, what how to get them, and how to administer them so that the tech companies can't wriggle off the hook or cheat their way to glory (again).

Today's news and jokes

The restaurant "Iris" is housed in a floating orb in Noway's Hardanger fjord

Our location guides every step we take at Iris, and we want our guests to experience the fiord, the mountains, and the ever-changing elements in the same all-encompassing way that we do every day. Here, we have the great privilege of bringing our guests to the ingredients, instead of the other way around. 

The experience at Iris is, quite literally, a journey. It starts with a boat trip from the picturesque town of Rosendal, with a pit stop and welcoming snack at chef Anika Madsen's boathouse on the island of Snilstveitøy. Via the jetty of the floating art installation Salmon Eye, the evening kicks off with a multisensory underwater experience, to culminate in the dining room where stunning views of the fjord and mountain ranges create the backdrop for our set tasting menu.

When the weather allows, the rooftop terrace will set the stage for one of the courses, grilled over an open fire and enjoyed in the fresh air. At the end of the evening, another boat ride awaits, taking the guests back to familiar shores and a comfortable bed in Rosendal.

For us, this is Expedition Dining.
Here's a thorough video describing the experience (the tartare of reindeer heart is particularly striking):

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Talented wargaming miniatures painter looking for commissions

Some of my favorites below

FYI, Mendocino Farms' Hot Honey Peach & Prosciutto Sandwich is terrific, decadent

Italian prosciutto & sliced peaches with fresh mozzarella, crushed honey roasted almonds, Calabrian chili aioli, hot peach honey, arugula on a toasted sesame roll.

Super 7's best G.I. Joe Reaction figure is down to $10 at Amazon

Gamemaster Drone.

Today's news and jokes

Glowing, succinct review of Disco Elysium (and life in Iraq)


Friday, July 28, 2023

Explosions at homeless camp in Seattle believed to be bombs placed in ongoing war over the drug trade


An explosion at a homeless encampment outside Harborview Medical Center in Seattle was the result of "multiple explosive devices" being detonated, possibly in connection to an ongoing battle for control of the drug trade among the homeless, according to a newly-released police report.


People who survived the bombing told investigators that the former leader of the encampment had recently been replaced and had returned with a gun to rob people inside the fentanyl tent, the report states.

A witness said the former leader of the camp was known to make explosive devices from plastic buckets and had been teaching people in the encampment how to make the improvised explosive devices. The suspect is also connected in court filings to the drug trafficking operations in the area of 12th Ave and Jackson Street in Seattle.

Funny story about a Los Angeles couple getting in trouble when they try to find a place to recharge their electric car in a tiny Montana town

Montana Free Press:

As it turns out, though, Ekalaka’s sparsely populated corner of southeast Montana — the town, two hours in any direction from the nearest Walmart, is home to all of 400 residents — is still an uncharted frontier as far as electric vehicle charging networks are concerned. Lauterbach and Markham said the Tesla’s built-in navigation system spent the entire stretch of the drive up from Gillette, Wyoming, telling them they were headed into a charging desert.

“It kept throwing warnings and red banners and stuff,” Lauterbach said. “It was trying to protect me from doing something stupid.”

If push came to shove, Lauterbach said, he figured he’d be able to plug the car into a standard 120-volt outlet in someone’s garage, even though charging that way would have taken days.

As luck would have it, though, the couple pulled into Ekalaka to discover an RV-style outlet attached to a utility pole on Main Street. The cover, Lauterbach found, was unlocked.

“It was just sitting there, so I plugged in,” he said.

Markham said she warned him he shouldn’t leave his car charging off a random outlet without getting permission, lest the locals assume he was “just some jerk from California, doing what jerks from California do.”

It literally became front page news.

Two good, creepy new comic book covers

Knight Terrors Ravager #2 by Tony Shasteen and Doctor Aphra #34 by Junggeun Yoon:

Police scandal in San Francisco has reportedly led to the dismissal of around 80 cases

The article spends a lot of time talking about the desire to prosecutor drug-related crimes in San Francisco, and some of the cases that will be dismissed, but has only limited information on the nature of the scandal:

The review of cases comes after police leaders benched [a] veteran narcotics officer ..., whom the department is investigating over accusations that she had an inappropriate relationship with a confidential informant and impeded an active criminal investigation. 

The Chronicle first reported Tuesday that San Francisco prosecutors were reviewing at least 132 cases tied to [the officer], and had dismissed 82. Prosecutors have not identified individual cases, so it’s not clear if the 132 under review include any of the 82 pulled out of court. 

USC's basketball staff was in a good position to attend to Bronny James since he was the second Trojan basketball player in a year to collapse during practice

A freshman center collapsed during practice last year and had an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator installed.

“Is it just random luck that they’ve had two in a year? Or is it something that’s lacking in the screening process?” [a doctor] said. “We don’t want to make those assumptions, but it’ll be very clear once we have a diagnosis with Bronny whether this is something that should’ve been picked up with screening or not.”

According to [another doctor], 5,000 to 10,000 people ages 1 to 25 suffer from sudden cardiac events every year. 

Today's news and jokes

Kill Six Billion Demons is really good

Free online if you don't own a copy (the first few volumes were in a Humble Bundle a few months ago). Here's a very recent page, that even out of context shows the mix of lore and emotion, fashion and color:

Thursday, July 27, 2023

This story about a wedding in Aspen sounds like a modern take on The Masque of the Red Death

All you need to change is the midnight musical act to have been a plague lord.

Rick Hunter's Veritech by Threezero up for preorder

New Threezero preorders based on Berserk, Shin Masked Rider, and Macross (Shin Masked Rider is on Amazon Prime, btw):

Lindsey Horan and Daniëlle van de Donk clowning around after yesterday's game

@keepupau Lindsey Horan & Daniëlle Van De Donk are the Lyon teammates who clashed in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 🔥 At full-time they laughed it all off! 🤣 #FIFAWWC #DubAtTheCup #WomensInSport ♬ original sound - KEEPUP AU

@oranjeleeuwinnen Everyone’s good! 😉 Competitors on the pitch ⚔️, friends off the pitch. 🥰 #FIFAWWC #USANED #TheOranjeBeat #WWCTikTok #USA #Horan #VandeDonk ♬ origineel geluid - OranjeLeeuwinnen

(The coach must have total contempt for his bench to not bring on some fresh legs at the end...)

Scientists are racing to transport Florida's corals to on-shore nurseries before they're all killed by record-hot waters

Miami Herald:

Every day this week, boats, trucks and even a “coral bus” have arrived at the Keys Marine Laboratory in Long Key with precious cargo. Sloshing inside of coolers and wrapped in wet bubble wrap are thousands of fragments of corals that, until hours before, were growing in shallow nurseries managed by scientists. They’re being raised as the next generation of corals for Florida’s dying reefs. But they’re in trouble.


an underwater live stream [features] the corals in Port Miami, called Coral City Camera. But about two weeks ago, the elkhorns that made up the background of the normally lively and colorful scene started losing their color. Now they’re so white they reflect the moonlight in the late-night version of the stream, a ghostly presence in the black water.

Professional scuba diver's body discovered in suspected case of "parasite smuggling"

Vice (reminds me of the type of caper Garreth would have pulled off in William Gibson's novels):

The wetsuit-clad, unconscious form of ... a professional scuba diver and adrenaline junkie from Brazil, was found floating in the industrial port of Newcastle, Australia, surrounded by 54 kilos of cocaine bricks in May last year.

It’s alleged that [the diver], 31, and another diver he knew ..., had been smuggled into Australia days before to undertake a risky underwater mission.

They were reportedly there to carry out a nighttime dive to retrieve 108 kilos of cocaine – worth around $30 million to Australian crime gangs – attached to the outside of the hull of the Areti GR, a huge 34,000-tonne cargo ship that had sailed into Newcastle the night before from Argentina.


After [the diver] died, [a] superyacht agent ... from Cairns in Australia was arrested while trying to fly to Singapore. Court documents allege [the agent] smuggled the two Brazilians into Cullen Bay

The article goes into detail on the technology used in such operations, including "The Torpedo, a cocaine-packed parasite drone designed to attach itself by magnets to the hull of cargo ships."

A lot of great pics on Instagram:

Today's funny posts

Adorable Nimona plush toys up for preorder

at the BBTS:

The manta-shaped boss you fight in Super Mario Sunshine is actually a giant pillar you can't perceive