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Updated 2018-10-19 10:19
Radical expansion of Australia's national firewall will censor search results and websites
SOPA has come to Australia: under Communications minister Senator Mitch Fifield's Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018, rightsholders will be able to tell search engines which results they are allowed to show users, and will expand the country's censorship system ("copyright blocking orders") by allowing rightsholders to have any website censored by claiming it is a "mirror" of an already-blocked site, without having to show evidence for their claims.Two major media companies -- Foxtel and Village Roadshow -- are behind the measure. They are already the major users of Australia's copyright censorship system.Currently, if a copyright owner wants to block a new mirror or proxy site, under the current rules it is subject to judicial oversight. One of the early points of conflict between rights holders and telcos was over the issue of a “rolling injunction” to deal with new avenues of access to sites. The court rejected a push to allow rights holders to have ISPs block additional domains, URLs or IP addresses simply by issuing a notice to a telco already subject to an injunction.Fifield’s statement hints that the government will allow copyright owners to avoid returning to court if they want to block new proxies and mirrors. Entertainment companies have indicated they are keen to find ways to minimise the court costs associated with anti-piracy injunctions.New anti-piracy laws to target search engines [Rohan Pearce/Computerworld] Read the rest
Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch puppeteer Caroll Spinney announces retirement
The Sesame Workshop is reporting that long-time Sesame Street puppeteer Caroll Spinney has announced his retirement, noting that he's performed on the program since its 1969 premiere. Spinney has played the roles of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for nearly 50 years!After five decades as the heart and soul of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, it’s impossible to entirely separate the man from the characters he so vibrantly brought to life. Big Bird visited China with Bob Hope in 1979. He’s danced with the Rockettes, and with prima ballerina Cynthia Gregory. He’s been feted with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, celebrated with his likeness on a U.S. postage stamp, and named a “Living Legend” in 2000 by the Library of Congress. Performing Big Bird has taken Caroll to China, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He has performed on hundreds of episodes of television, starred as his big yellow avatar in the feature film Follow That Bird, and conducted symphony orchestras throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada. Spinney even met his wife of 45 years, Debra, on the Sesame Street set in 1973.Not to worry, Big Bird and Oscar are not going anywhere. They will be played going forward by puppeteers Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson, with Spinney's blessing.Also, if you haven't seen the 2014 documentary about Spinney titled I Am Big Bird, I urge you to do so. It's a truly beautiful portrait of a deeply creative man who chose to live his most authentic life. Read the rest
Twitter publishes tweet archive of Russian and Iranian state-run troll farms
To enable "further research of information operations on Twitter", the company today published a dataset of tweets posted by known Russian and Iranian troll farms.In line with our strong principles of transparency and with the goal of improving understanding of foreign influence and information campaigns, we are releasing the full, comprehensive archives of the Tweets and media that are connected with these two previously disclosed and potentially state-backed operations on our service. We are making this data available with the goal of encouraging open research and investigation of these behaviors from researchers and academics around the world.These large datasets comprise 3,841 accounts affiliated with the IRA, originating in Russia, and 770 other accounts, potentially originating in Iran. They include more than 10 million Tweets and more than 2 million images, GIFs, videos, and Periscope broadcasts, including the earliest on-Twitter activity from accounts connected with these campaigns, dating back to 2009.Downloads! The Russian set is 1.24GB of tweets, with nearly 300GB of media. The Iranian one is 168MB, with 65GB of media. Read the rest
Republican congressman Steve King endorses white supremacist mayoral candidate
Iowa Republican Steve King is graduating from retweeting white supremacists and earsplitting dogwhistles to openly endorsing the matter of their movement. Faith Goldy, an excellent candidate for Toronto mayor, pro Rule of Law, pro Make Canada Safe Again, pro balanced budget, &...BEST of all, Pro Western Civilization and a fighter for our values. @FaithGoldy will not be silenced. Here's some quotes from Faith Goldy, the Toronto mayoral candidate he endorsed yesterday.Goldy believes the white race is in the later stages of ‘ethnocide,’ in which non-white cabals are purposefully and systematically snuffing out those of the Caucasian persuasion. ... “Canada’s southern border is in a state of absolute crisis,” Goldy breathlessly intoned in a dispatch entitled “Canada’s illegal invasion”– just as the number of migrants from the U.S. began decreasing, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.Goldy has also appeared on a podcast hosted by one of the most notorious white supremacists in the U.S.; she recited (on camera, while giggling) the white supremacist ‘14 words’ trope about securing a future for the white race; she believes the 2016 shooting in a Quebec City mosque was a Muslim conspiracy; and she favourably quoted the work of a Romanian fascist who called for the elimination of the Jewish race.Daniel Dale: "This is arguably the most explicit King has been in his support for white nationalism, though he’s been unsubtle for a while. He continues to be treated by Ryan, Trump and the rest of the party as a member in good standing." Read the rest
Unpacking the US's "low unemployment": stagnant wages, bad jobs, high incarceration, discouraged workers back in school
The Trump administration is very proud of the US's historically low unemployment figures (lowest in 50 years), but statistics are deceiving, especially labor statistics.The most obvious fact about the low unemployment numbers is that employment statistics exclude "discouraged workers" who have given up looking for work; the number of discouraged workers is higher than it's been since the 1980s. The jobs that remain are often not good ones. Wages are stagnant, despite low unemployment (which usually drives wage increases), because trade unions have been weakened and "free trade" deals means that US employers can seek cheaper labor in other countries.This has driven a large slice of the US workforce back to university in the hopes of getting a better job (even as US tuitions have hit a record highs, and the wage prospects for workers with advanced degrees is declining), exempting them from the workforce participation statistics and artificially inflating the employment numbers.Finally, America puts people in prison like crazy: the millions of Americans rotting in prison are also not counted in the labor statistics. This is Trumpian full employment: millions of people chasing precarious, work with starvation wages; millions more in prison, and the rest incurring lifelong student debts from "universities," including outright scams like Trump University.Of course, Trump can't really take credit for this: as Obama has been at pains to point out, the rise of precarious work and the exit of discourage people from the workforce took part largely on the watch of the Democratic establishment, whose shift from protecting workers to protecting bankers has been a multi-decade, accelerating process. Read the rest
Dublin's permanent 'Dublinia' exhibit employs extreme realism
View this post on Instagram Dublinia and realism.A post shared by Jason Weisberger (@jlw) on Oct 17, 2018 at 5:31am PDT Today I experienced full immersion while enjoying Dublin's terrific history exhibit 'Dublinia.'If you are in Dublin, this exhibit is wonderful. I saw bits of it a few years ago, and was eager to return and spend some real time there. The curators and cosplaying docents were absolutely fantastic. I learned a ton about the evolution of Dublin over the last 1200 years or so, and immediately took a walk about town to see a number of the landmarks and artifacts they discussed.Pooping in medieval times seems like hard work. Read the rest
In a Trump presidency, how can poor Lucky Ducky possibly win??
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH despite slashed social services and environmental and climate catastrophe, Lucky Ducky, the poor little duck who's rich in luck, STILL comes out on top!
Undetectably bypass voting machines' anti-tamper mechanism with a bit of a soda-can
When security researchers report on the ghastly defects in voting machines, the officials who bought these machines say dismiss their concerns by saying that the tamper-evident seals they put around the machines prevent bad guys from gaining access to their internals.But University of Michigan grad student Matt Bernhard has demonstrated that he can bypass the tamper-evident seals in seconds, using a shim made from a slice of a soda can. The bypass is undetectable and doesn't damage the seal, which can be resecured after an attacker gains access to the system.Fred Woodhams from the Michigan Secretary of State's office dismissed Bernhard's warning: "the seal that is shown in the video was not affixed to anything, and the video does not represent a real-world scenario of how seals are used and affixed." "The seal that is shown in the video was not affixed to anything, and the video does not represent a real-world scenario of how seals are used and affixed," spokesman Fred Woodhams said in an email to Motherboard. "The video also provides no context about the sum total of security measures for tabulators and sealed ballot containers, which are stored in locked area within a clerk’s office, among other security measures that help prevent election tampering. I would note that the sealed ballot containers store ballots that already have been counted."Bernhard, however, said that although voting machines may be locked when they are stored in the county clerk's building, they are left unattended for days at polling places—high school gyms, churches, and community centers—prior to elections. Read the rest
High school dance team performs highly choreographed 'Harry Potter' for their pep rally
This is what the kids are up to these days, at least the kids in the dance program at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona.You may remember last year when they performed a dance version of The Wizard of Oz for their homecoming pep rally. This year, they've performed a dance based on Harry Potter. Good stuff!(Geekologie) Read the rest
Random nude man jumps into Toronto aquarium with sharks
On Friday night, a nude man jumped into a large tank at Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto for a brief swim with sand tiger sharks, sawfish, green sea turtles, green moray eels, and other fish. "The guy seemed totally relaxed... and like laughing," said one onlooker. Pretty ballsy. From CBC Toronto:Security at the popular tourist attraction asked the man to leave shortly before 10:30 p.m. ET but he refused, said Jenifferjit Sidhu, a spokesperson for Toronto Police Service.Instead, he swam to the edge of the enclosure and emerged from the tank before doing a backward flip into the water, she told CBC Toronto on Monday...But before officers arrived, the man got out of the water, put on his clothes and left the aquarium. No marine animals were harmed during the stunt, Sidhu said. Read the rest
Trump: “rogue killers” murdered Jamal Khashoggi, maybe. Everyone else: Saudi Arabia did.
President Donald Trump talked to reporters today about his phone conversation with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz, during which the two despots discussed the disappearance and apparent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.The man is nothing if not consistent.First, Trump pointed out the fact that King Abdulaziz told him Khashoggi was a Saudi citizen, as in, not a U.S. citizen, so the man's death doesn't matter that much.Remaining loyal to his family's business interests with Saudi financiers, President Donald Trump also said “rogue killers” may have murdered Jamal Khashoggi, definitely probably not the government of Saudi Arabia, nope, because the Saudi king personally told him so. “His denial to me could not have been stronger,” said the President of his conversation with King Salman bin Abdulaziz.Funny, that's the exact same thing he said about his chat with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the 2015 U.S. election “meddling.” Putin denied it, and what he says must be true.“We are going to leave nothing uncovered,” Trump today said of his conversation with the Saudi King.It's almost as if there is a pattern.How did these rogue killers get into the highly secure Saudi embassy in Istanbul? Can't wait for the Trump investigation to reveal all.Trump today on Khashoggi’s disappearance — “It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?” It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.pic.twitter.com/iz9M586pDa— J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) October 15, 2018Trump says 'rogue killers' may be behind Khashoggi disappearance https://t.co/kdS8BTNvnl— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 15, 2018If Saudi Arabia is held accountable, it will be by a bipartisan group of senators https://t.co/xyUcppx2hg— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) October 15, 2018Trump's 400 pound mystery hacker has gotten off his bed and is now a lethal assassin. Read the rest
Watch: the evolution of desktop computer motherboards since the early 1990s
I recently discovered Christopher Barnatt's YouTube channel, ExplainingComputers, and I highly recommend it. Barnatt is the author of 13 books about computers and has taught for 25 years at the University of Nottingham. He explains digital technology very clearly, and many of his videos contain tests and demonstrations. In his latest video, he presents the evolution of computer motherboards since 1990, starting with the Intel 386 that ran at 20Mhz (no fan or heat sink needed!). It's amazing to see how things have changed in a few decades. Read the rest
Georgia Senator, asked about voter suppression, mugs constituent for his phone
US Senator David Purdue (R-GA/@sendavidperdue), a grown-ass human being elected to high office in the most powerful nation in the land, was asked a question about Brian Kemp, who is both a (monumentally unhinged) candidate for governor of Georgia and Georgia's Secretary of State, in charge of overseeing the election in which he is standing.In that latter capacity, Kemp has purged 10% of the state's voter rolls comprising 53,000 people, 70% of whom are Black.One of Purdue's constituents asked him a question about his endorsement of Kemp in light of this blatant, illegal voter suppression, whereupon the senator stole his constituent's phone and walked away with it. Read the rest
A book made from shelf-stable American cheese slices
The University of Michigan's library recently acquired a copy of American Cheese, 20 Slices, by Ben Denzer, a book made from shelf-stable, plastic-wrapped slices of American cheese.The book had an edition-size of ten; the library's copy is number nine. It's the only copy in a library collection. The book is about cheese, but it has no words: the material in its construction is also its subject matter.Denzer's other books include "200 one-dollar bills arranged in serial number order, and a tiny volume of Chinese restaurant fortunes."The book was acquired by Jamie Lausch Vander Broek, the Art & Design Librarian at UMich, who spent $200 on the title, and who will keep it in "a special plastic container" and sent it out for examination by classes.Some people—especially librarians, particularly book catalogers at other institutions—were mad when I bought the cheese book. This surprised me. I thought that people would laugh, or crinkle up their faces in bewilderment. Their anger reminded me of reactions to color field paintings; people seemed divided between “I could do that,” and “that’s an insult to books!”All of this gave me a deep sense of satisfaction. If my job is to engender interest and even passion for the library and its collections, a book made of cheese was really getting people excited. Suddenly they had opinions! Even among my coworkers there were arguments about things we take for granted in other books. Is someone the author of the cheese book? What is its subject? Read the rest
Disney heiress condemns Trump for lowering her taxes: vote out the Republicans on Nov 6!
Abigail Disney is Walt Disney's grand-niece; she is an activist and documentarian and being the grand-daughter of Roy Disney, she is rich as hell.Despite her personal stake in Trump's tax cuts, she made this amazing call to action to vote the Republicans out and end the raging movement of money to the super-rich from everyone else in America. It's a fantastic video.This Disney heiress is taking a stand against the GOP tax bill — even though she’s going to benefit from it pic.twitter.com/E5bmcI83mU— NowThis (@nowthisnews) December 20, 2017 Read the rest
The man who created Ctrl+Alt+Del
Meet David Bradley, chief engineer of the IBM PC, who created Ctrl+Alt+Del. "I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous," Bradley once said. Read the rest
"I'm the most bullied person in the world" claims woman who married giant orange bully
Keeping the narcissism on brand, Melania is 100% Trump.Via CNN:First lady Melania Trump said in an interview that aired Thursday that she is the most bullied person in the world, which has led her to create her anti-bullying "Be Best" initiative, before softening her comments slightly to say she is one of the most bullied."I could say I'm the most bullied person on the world," Trump told ABC News in an interview during her first major solo trip to Africa last week when asked what personally made her want to tackle the issue of cyberbullying."You're really the most bullied person in the world?" ABC News' Tom Llamas asked during the exchange."One of them, if you really see what people saying about me," Trump said."Be Best" apparently means "Be nice to Melania." Read the rest
Best jar opener
Most jar openers work by giving you more grip or more leverage to unscrew the lid. But the reason lids are hard to twist off is because the jars are vacuum packed. This handy gadget allows you to lift the lid enough to break the vacuum, and then it is very easy to unscrew the lid. Once you use one of these, you will want to open jars this way from now on. I use a Jar Pop on every new jar, even before trying to open it without one, because I don’t want to screw my wrist up. Read the rest
RIP Sears
The holding company behind struggling department store chain Sears is about to file for bankruptcy, reports The Daily Beast. The company has closed hundreds of stores in recent years and Sears CEO Edward Lampert has fought to keep it afloat by stripping out assets. Lampert has reportedly been pushing for a restructuring plan that would keep the company out of bankruptcy court, but its dismal financial status has so far hindered those efforts.'Fought to keep it afloat' isn't really what asset-stripping is about. They've just run out of things to sell and now the ship needs scuttling so they can sell the fixtures and floorboards too. And void a few hundred thousand pension plans. Then the name gets sold, too, which might obscure the death of a 130-year-old American institution when it gets put on every Big Lots or Dollar General or maybe even the Willis Group, or whoever else buys the corpse.Photo: Richard Eriksson Read the rest
Someone buys BrettKavanaugh.com and creates a site for sexual assault survivors
Brett Kavanaugh is a name that leaves a bad taste in many mouths, but the name is now being put to good use with BrettKavanaugh.com (or .org/.net). Because the new Supreme Court Justice, accused of sexual assault by three women, didn't think to buy BrettKavanaugh.com, it's now a site for sexual assault survivors. WE BELIEVE SURVIVORS it says as its opener. And then: The start of Brett Kavanaugh’s tenure on the Supreme Court may look like a victory for one interest group or another. But, more importantly, it is putting a national focus on the issue of sexual assault – and how we as a country can and should do more to prevent it and to support those who have experienced it.This past month, thousands of survivors came forward to tell their stories. We applaud your bravery. We believe you.The site links to outside resources, including End Rape on Campus, National Sexual Violence Resource Center, and Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. According to Mashable, "The domains were purchased by an organization called Fix The Court, which pushes for accountability and transparency in the Supreme Court." Image: by CSPAN - https://www.c-span.org/video/?181538-1/judicial-nominations, Public Domain, Link Read the rest
Exciting drone footage of rally car
If the thrill of high-flying drone footage has worn off, get closer to the ground—and to the subject. My favorite part is where the dronecam is hovering perfectly still in the passenger seat of the vehicle, as if being held by a person sitting there. Amazing! [via] Read the rest
Victory! Google will not bid on $10B Pentagon cloud computing contract
When Google's engineering staff staged an uprising over the company's "Project Maven" to supply AI tools for the Pentagon's secretive drone-based killing program, many observed that the project was just a prelude to bidding on JEDI, the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud, a $10B project to supply cloud services to the entire US military.The googlers who held their employer to account over supporting war-drones were just as upset at the possibility of working for a company that supplied the IT infrastructure to an imperial military with a history of torture, war-crimes, and propping up dictators around the world. Yesterday, a Google spokesperson announced that the company would not bid on JEDI, because the project would not "align with our AI Principles."These are the same principles cited by ex-googlers like Jack Poulson, a former senior AI scientist who quit over the company's secret plan to build a censoring, surveilling search-engine in cooperation with the Chinese government.Tech workers are the single hardest business-need to fill, in such demand that they can choose their employers and walk out of businesses that don't meet their ethical demands (Facebookers, I'm looking at you). That's why the burgeoning ethical consciousness among techies is so exciting: if companies can't find workers to build unethical tech projects, then some unethical tech projects will not get built.“We are not bidding on the JEDI contract because first, we couldn’t be assured that it would align with our AI Principles," a Google spokesman said in a statement. Read the rest
Making kitchen tiles from discarded plywood
Laura Kampf made a bunch of "metro tiles" from a stack of plywood cutoffs she came across. The result is beautiful. Read the rest
These guys figured out how to beat the "Deal or No Deal" arcade game
In the arcade game Deal or No Deal, based on the TV game show of the same name, you have to try to keep your eyes on fast-moving cartoon suitcases as they are shuffled on the display. These guys used their phones to videotape the shuffling in slow motion so they could keep track of the prize winning suitcase.At the start of the game, 16 briefcases are shown open with their contents visible (points between one and 800). The cases are then closed and rapidly shuffled. Normally, it is impossible to follow the case with the highest number of points, but these teenagers film the shuffling on their phones and then quickly review the footage in slow motion so that they can determine the position of the winning case.Armed with this information they then proceed to select the correct case and make the optimum deal at the end.The filmer writes: "The teenagers play a number of games, and then got their tickets counted which ran into the thousands. Finally, they trade their vouchers for a major prize." Read the rest
Jeff Bezos's new lunar lander
Jeff Bezos's commercial spaceflight company Blue Origin is developing a lunar lander to deliver Amazon packages to the moon. Well, the first part is true and I'm sure the last part eventually will be too. The lander, currently in the concept development phase, is called Blue Moon. From Blue Origin:Blue has joined leading space companies and agencies to support the creation of The Moon Race, a non-profit working to launch a competition for teams looking for a ride to the lunar surface. The goal is consistent with our aim to land large payloads on the Moon that can access and utilize the resources found there. We’re supporting this initiative, along with ESA, Airbus, and other entities seeking to foster the next generation of lunar exploration – with Blue Moon and New Glenn (the company's commercial launch vehicle).From Space.com:According to the Moon Race website, teams will be able to sign up in 2019, with prototypes due in 2020 and technology development – including a test in a lunar-like environment – targeted for some time in 2021. That would set the stage for a moon mission in for 2024. Teams will have the chance to apply for parallel technology streams in manufacturing, energy, resources and biology, contest organizers explained."We're excited to be a part of an international collaboration to build a sustained presence on the moon. #BlueMoon and #NewGlenn will help us get back to the moon, and this time to stay," Blue Origin said in a statement on Twitter. Read the rest
Mormon (LDS) church backs Utah medical marijuana legalization deal, even if November ballot initiative fails
The Mormon Church (AKA The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or LDS) is joining lawmakers and the governor of the state of Utah to support a deal to legalize medical marijuana, even if a legalization initiative that's on this November's ballot ends up failing. This is the first time to my knowledge the Mormon Church has made a statement supporting medical marijuana if prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacy. I'm a Utah resident and a cancer survivor, and I'm writing this from my home in Utah. I found real medical benefit from cannabis during my treatment for breast cancer. The deal described in today's news (I haven't seen the text yet) is great progress for all Utahns, especially for those with cancer and other serious illnesses. The LDS previously shunned any and all cannabis use. This deal isn't enough, IMO, because marijuana smoking would still be illegal. Whole flower combustion has its benefits, and it is a valid method of ingesting cannabis for medical purposes.The ballot proposal only allows edibles, topical lotions, or vaping (electronic cigarettes or ecigs or vapes). No smoking.But this is huge progress. It's a start. From the Associated Press:The compromise comes as people prepare to vote in November on an insurgent medical marijuana ballot initiative that held its ground despite opposition from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Gov. Gary Herbert said he’ll call lawmakers into a special session after the midterm election to pass the compromise into law regardless of how the initiative fares. Read the rest
Fox News shocked to discover weird new mobile phones got cameras in 'em
It really is UNBELIEVABLE. Someone get grandpa an Ensure, he's gonna need sustenance to make it through this shocker. Are you sitting down? Okay. Please read on, but only if you are feeling strong enough.Yes, it's true, Blonde Hitlerella. An iPhone “can be turned into a bodycam to record police,” as can literally any camera pretty much, including the ones in literally every cellphone that has a camera. I know how shocking it was to me in, I think it was 2002, when I first got my hands on a cellphone with a camera. It's nuts! I know! Phones with cameras.You can record a flower. Or a puppy. Or a baseball game. OR a cop!UNBELIEVABLE. New iPhone can be turned into a bodycam to record police. pic.twitter.com/eVudO99a3P— Fox & Friends First (@FoxFriendsFirst) October 4, 2018 Read the rest
Google releases Android encrypted DNS app that will help beat censorship
Google sister-company Jigsaw (previously) has released an Android app called Intra that encrypts DNS queries, which allows Android users to bypass one of the most common forms of internet censorship.At the technical level, the Intra app works by implementing "DNS over HTTPS" (DoH), a fledgling technology that will soon reach the status of internet standard with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the organization in charge of approving such technologies.DNS over HTTPS works by sending DNS requests and receiving DNS responses via HTTPS-encrypted connections.By encrypting all DNS traffic coming and going from a device, DoH keeps third-party observers from knowing what websites a user is trying to access. But DoH is not enough to safeguard the user's entire web traffic since the actual connection to remote services also needs to take place via HTTPS as well.Alphabet's Intra app encrypts DNS queries to help users bypass online censorship [Catalin Cimpanu/Zdnet] Read the rest
Booby-trapped wheelchair takes out FBI agent
Well here's a story you don't run across every day: an FBI agent was recently shot by a booby-trapped wheelchair while searching the former residence of 67-year old Gregory Lee Rodvelt. Rodvelt was forced to forfeit his home in Williams, Oregon, after his 90-year old mother filed a civil suit against him for elder abuse a few years back. This past September, a real estate lawyer enlisted to sell the Rodvelt's house called local law enforcement to tell them that he'd found a sign posted on the property that warned it was "protected with improvised devices."From The Oregonian:They slipped by the minivan outfitted with the spring-loaded jaws of animal snares and avoided a circular hot tub turned on its side and designed to roll over trespassers who triggered a tripwire — something reminiscent of "a scene from the movie 'Indiana Jones.'"But the FBI special agent and three state police bomb technicians never made it past the empty wheelchair inside the manufactured home they entered on the southern Oregon property, court records say. The agent was rushed to a hospital in Grants Pass, about 15 miles away. An X-ray found a .410-gauge shotgun pellet in the agent's left leg below the knee.Ow. Rodvelt, who's been up shit creek with the law on several occasions in the past, had been serving time in the clink on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, failure to mark explosives and resisting arrest. However, someone had the genius idea to release him for a two-week period so that he could return to his former home and prepare it for sale. Read the rest
Cassette Store Day is coming, when you'll be able to pick up the Beastles "Ill Submarine"!
dj BC (previously) writes, "You might be familiar with my Beastles mashup project from some years ago. The album "Ill Submarine" is dropping on TAPE on Cassette Store Day, October 13th 2018! I guess tapes are unpopular enough that no one anticipates copyright lawsuits. Speaking of copyright fear, the vinyl editions of this project, and of Wu Orleans, are not being pressed any more. So if you see one, get it." Read the rest
Inspired by 'They Live,' these glasses block screens
Inventor Ivan Cash of Oakland, California was inspired by the 1988 cult classic They Live to create screen-blocking glasses. In the movie, a drifter (played by Roddy Piper) discovers a box of sunglasses. He puts on a pair and soon learns they reveal hidden messages behind advertising and that many people in charge are actually aliens. Now, Cash's IRL Glasses don't reveal hidden messages but do mask most TV and some computer screens. When you look through the lenses, the screens just go black. Plus, they double as sunglasses that look like the ones from the movie.IRL Glasses are in beta. This means they are compatible with most TVs (LCD/LED) and some computers (LCD/LED). IRL glasses do not yet block smartphones or digital billboards (OLED). If you'd like to CONSUME a pair for yourself, he's got a Kickstarter going for them until the end of the month. The price now is $49 and will be $79 after the campaign is over. (swissmiss) Read the rest
Denietol is miracle pill that gives hope to "men who have been accused of bad behavior"
Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been under a lot of pressure this last week to defend his good name, and you can betcha that he – like many powerful men before him – have faced accusations of bad behavior with the help of Denietol, which "permanently erases the memory of what you did." Watch this hilarious ad from Jimmy Kimmel Live that shows how well this new medication has helped not only Kavanaugh, but other influential gentlemen such as Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. As Kimmel says, bad behavior "is something that men have been struggling with for many years, and now, at long last, there is hope." Read the rest
Urban Dictionary attempts to incorporate Kavanaugh's definition of "Devil's Triangle"
A "Devil's Triangle" is a widely used term for an act of sexual congress between two men and a woman; but during his hearing, Brett Kavanaugh nonsensically insisted that this was some sort of drinking game.Over at Urban Dictionary, the crowdsourced lexicographers are desperately attempting to integrate the would-be Supreme Court justice's definition into the entry for Devil's Triangle:From Ted_Cruz_is_the_Zodiac_Killer: A made up game of quarters with three cups arranged in a triangle. The rules are unknown because the inventor of the game, Brett Kavanaugh, could not explain them under oath."Hey Renate? Want to play devils triangle with Mark and I?" Brett asked.From Fancy Rants: A pretend drinking game made up on 9/27/18 by "Honorable" Brett Kavanaugh when faced with credible allegations of sexual assault put forward by no less than four (so far) women. Devils triangle is a threesome with two men and one woman, not a drinking game like Quarters, as Kavanope would like everyone to believe. Devils triangle can also be defined as a lie told under perjury when a belligerent white male feels cornered when confronted with his own disgusting behavior, most likely with the blessing of a patriarchal and mysogynistic system."Devils triangle is a game like Quarters, except its nothing like Quarters and its actually code for a sexual threesome. Please believe me I have told myself these lies so many times I am beginning to believe them. Help I'm a scared white male!" --Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court Hearings"Can you believe the Devils Triangle that that guy just offered under oath?! Read the rest
Chinese slackers embrace "fat otaku happiness"
Feizhai kuaile ("fat otaku happiness") is a semi-ironic term used by young Chinese people on social media to celebrate slacking off with sedentary activities and high-calorie snacks, which are given ironic nicknames (pizza is "fat happy pancake" and Coke is "fat happy water")."Fat happy" living is a rejection of society's high expectations of academic and professional success attained through constant work, and the embrace of "pure and instant happiness" (not to be confused with "decadence and self-abandonment," which is apparently antithetical to "fat happy" living).It's not clear how "fat happy" fits in with the resurgence in labor-oriented Communism among young Chinese people.To be clear, “fat happy water” is not water at all, but rather another name for Coca-Cola. More than any other product, the carbonated concoction can be credited for giving birth to the feizhai subculture sweeping across Chinese social media. For less than 3 yuan ($0.44), many young people consider a can of Coke a sweet substitute for slightly larger bottle of water costing slightly less.“Since drinking water makes me fat too, why don’t I just drink Coke?” wrote one user on microblogging platform Weibo, apparently in need of a physiology lesson. “Fat happy water” has become such a common term that it has even spawned its own merchandise — including water bottles, umbrellas, and hoodies — on e-commerce site Taobao.Corpulence Is Bliss: The Chinese Embracing ‘Fat Happy’ Culture [Liang Chenyu/Sixth Tone](via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest
Car thief photographed by victim
Who is this man? Dorset Police hope he can help them with their enquiries.A woman confronted a suspected thief and took his photo as he was sitting in her stolen car. She spotted two men parked in her silver Ford Fiesta just two streets from where it was stolen in Lowther Road, Bournemouth, following a house burglary the night before. Read the rest
The world's worst gun safe
The best part of Dave Goetzinger's (AKA Handgun Safe Research) total ownership of the Amarey HFGS-089 gun safe is that he shows a relatively difficult exploit to open it before showing the insanely easy one: "Bolting the safe down to prevent attack with a paperclip is pointless." [via]Amarey's handgun safe is going to get somebody killed. That's my prediction. Somebody, possibly a child, is going to take a hit with a hollow point, and aside from local newspaper coverage--a few dismal inches in a column of city news--no one will know about it.He writes that this is the only device he's examined "vulnerable enough that a child could open it" and that the manufacturer is no longer in the business. A common target of his investigations are cheap, Chinese-made biometric models imported by local companies who stamp red-blooded American branding on them. Here's another terrible gun safe, the GunVault SVB 500, which can be opened with a gum wrapper.He recommends the AMSEC Heavy-Duty Pistol Safe, the Stealth Handgun Safe, and this auto model from Fort Knox [Amazon]. They're much uglier and heavier than the cheap models, but this is where I'm keeping my Beanie Babies. Read the rest
Johns Hopkins researchers recommend reclassifying magic mushrooms from schedule I to IV drug
Based on a new study of the safety and abuse potential of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic drug in magic mushrooms, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers recommend that "psilocybin should be re-categorized from a schedule I drug—one with no known medical potential—to a schedule IV drug such as prescription sleep aids, but with tighter control." From Johns Hopkins:"We want to initiate the conversation now as to how to classify psilocybin to facilitate its path to the clinic and minimize logistical hurdles in the future," says Matthew W. Johnson, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We expect these final clearance trials to take place in the next five years or so."Following the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, any drug with the potential for abuse is categorized based on criteria that take into account whether the drug has accepted medical use, and its safety and the potential for abuse. Schedule IV drugs are those that have a low potential for abuse or dependence.Although preliminary research studies suggest that psilocybin may be effective for smoking cessation and for disorders such as cancer-specific depression and anxiety, it must clear phase III clinical trials before the Food and Drug Administration can be petitioned to reclassify it.Highlights from their scientific paper published in the journal Neuropharmacology:• Psilocybin mushrooms have been used for millennia for spiritual and medical purposes.• Animal and human studies indicate low abuse and no physical dependence potential. Read the rest
SNL tackles mid-forties Fortnite
While older players do frequently get confused, we've been having a lot of fun on the Fortnite Over Forty discord. Read the rest
Watch: Bucking race horse charges into a betting bar
People were enjoying drinks while watching horse races on a screen at a betting bar north of Paris when a real-life race horse charged into the bar. It galloped and bucked its way alongside the bar counter, where patrons ran for their lives. According to the Independent:The horse's trainer, Jean-Marie Beguigne, said the horse had dumped her rider at the Chantilly race course stables, less than a mile away, and made a run for it.Mr Beguigne said the horse had a tendency of trying to escape but said it was “exceptional” that it had made it as far as the bar. The horse broke a table and a couple of chairs, but nobody was injured, and the feisty horse seemed just fine after its romp in the bar. Read the rest
Bill Cosby's new prison digs are known for racism, violence and systematic abuse
Bill Cosby has justly been whisked away to prison for the next three to ten years. Cosby--let's just go ahead and assume his prison name will be Puddin'--is being shipped off to the Phoenix State Correctional Institution (SCI Phoenix) to serve his time. It's not a nice place: according to The Root, the clink where Puddin' will be spending his twilight years is rife with racism. Racial slurs, religious discrimination and other demeaning personal attacks are purportedly inflicted upon the prison's population by the facility's staff on a routine basis. Mind you, the staff aren't one hell of a lot safer. It's a high caliber shitshow. From The Inquirer:In letters and phone calls to family and reporters, and in official grievances, they've reported a raft of complaints about the conditions in the new prison and, especially, about loss, vandalism, or destruction of their personal property during the move. Several described racial slurs and graphic imagery drawn on photographs of their loved ones — acts the inmates describe as "hate crimes."One man, Malik Gilmore, provided copies of photographs he said were defaced by the DOC's specially trained Corrections Emergency Response Team, which managed the move: one with a swastika inked on his brother's forehead, another with a penis drawn over his son's mouth. Another, Eugene Myrick, found "squeeze cheese" poured into a box containing the legal documents for his case, which is active in Philadelphia courts. And Carmen Calvanese said that during the move, he had inconsistent access to the insulin needed to regulate his Type 1 diabetes, and that he ended up in a hospital intensive-care unit as a result. Read the rest
Bunny comes to the rescue of his kitty pal
Cats have a tendency to fit themselves into places that they have a hard time getting out of: behind refrigerators, the highest branches of a tree or, in this case, underneath a shed. Fortunately, for this kitteh, a bunny was on standby to help extricate it from its self-imposed prison. Read the rest
Why you should add an ITIL certification to your resume
As today's businesses grow, so too do their IT needs. That's why demand (and pay) is high for experts who can keep these businesses online. Now, demand alone won't get your foot in the door, as employers expect you to bring some certifications to the table that validate your skills. There are plenty of certifications out there, but choosing ITIL could take you further in your career. The Ultimate ITIL Certification Training Bundle can help you get certified, and it's on sale for $49.ITIL is a set of detailed practices for IT service management that focuses on merging IT services with the needs of business. By introducing ITIL practices into a workplace, you can better help a business create cost-effective practices, manage risk, and ultimately build a more stable yet scalable operation. This collection features 14 courses on the IT service lifecycle, operational support, and other ITIL concepts. In addition to getting valuable ITIL knowledge, each course will reward you with PDUs that you can then use to qualify to take the necessary certification exams.The Ultimate ITIL Certification Training Bundle usually retails for $3,499, but you can get it through the Boing Boing shop for $49. Read the rest
How curly fries are cut
Such a soothing video.Potatoes make everything better. 🍟 🍟 🍟 How curly fries are cut Read the rest
An astronomer's beautiful pastel drawings of the cosmos from the 19th century
In the late 19th century, artist/astronomer Étienne Léopold Trouvelot (1827-1895) painted thousands of stunning works illustrating the beauty and science of the known planets, comets, and celestial phenomena. The Huntington Library near Los Angeles holds 15 of Trouvelot's chromolithographs that were published in 1882 in two portfolios, the Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings:Initially, the Astronomical Drawings portfolios were sold to astronomy libraries and observatories as reference tools, but as early 20th-century advances in photographic technology allowed for more accurate and detailed depictions of the stars, planets, and phenomena, Trouvelot’s prints were discarded or sold to collectors.Radiant Beauty: E. L. Trouvelot’s Astronomical Drawings (The Huntington) Read the rest
Kavanaugh's weeping, shouting, and blaming is classic DARVO behavior
Churlish Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh put on quite a show yesterday. He yelled, he gnashed his teeth, he blamed the Clintons and liberals, he warned that the world would end, he got choked up recalling his days as an untouchable prep-school beer guzzler, and he told demonstrable whoppers. There's an acronym that sums up his petulant, aggressive behavior: DARVO. It stands for "Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender." From University of Oregon psychology professor Jennifer J. Freyd:The perpetrator or offender may Deny the behavior, Attack the individual doing the confronting, and Reverse the roles of Victim and Offender such that the perpetrator assumes the victim role and turns the true victim -- or the whistle blower -- into an alleged offender. This occurs, for instance, when an actually guilty perpetrator assumes the role of "falsely accused" and attacks the accuser's credibility and blames the accuser of being the perpetrator of a false accusation.Institutional DARVO occurs when the DARVO is committed by an institution (or with institutional complicity) as when police charge rape victims with lying. Institutional DARVO is a pernicious form of institutional betrayal.Here's a Daily Kos article, "Kavanaugh's opening remarks are a master class in a common sexual abuser defense tactic", that shows how Kavanaugh used the DARVO strategy to win over the judiciary committee. “YOU’LL BE SORRY, PEE-WEE HERMAN!” pic.twitter.com/Hys99RKS7F— Christopher Cooper (@ARTofCOOP) September 27, 2018 Read the rest
Stubby multi-bit screw and nut driver fits in tight spaces
This stubby screwdriver fits into tight spaces.It took longer to find a screwdriver that fits than to remove the screen from my espresso machine, and clean the whole thing out. All the "short" screwdrivers I found have tiny blades or heads, mostly they are for glasses or tiny electronics repair. I broke two. A short wide bladed flathead screwdriver evaded me.This model lets me switch tips and will work for nuts as well as screws. Stubby made my day work out.Included are tips for 3/16-Inch and 1/4-Inch slotted, #1 and #2 Phillips, 1/4-Inch and 5/16-Inch nut drivers, and I am sure many of the tips from multiple other sets will fit.Stubby Screwdriver and Nut Driver 6-in-1 Multi-Bit, 2 Philips, 2 Flat Heads, 2 Nut Drivers Klein Tools 32561 via Amazon Read the rest
Snail racing championship held
A silver tankard stuffed with lettuce was the prize at Norfolk, England's snail racing championship, with more than 150 gastropods in competition.The snails are placed on a special damp cloth marked with three concentric circles and the creatures race 13 inches (33 cm) to the outer ring.“We take this seriously,” snail racer John McClean told Reuters.“We have got training slopes. We look at diet, we are drug compliant as well. It is the whole thing when you look at elite sports.” Read the rest
Canoeing with manatees in a see-through canoe
: (◕(' 人 ') ◕) : Oh, the huge manatees! Need a mental health break? Step on in to our transparent canoe. 🛶The guy who runs the 'See Through Canoe' company in Florida makes and sells transparent canoes, and shares awesome wildlife encounters he has along the waterways of Florida. I love watching these, and find them very calming on difficult days. View this post on Instagram There's nothing like the experience of canoeing at night. In a transparent canoe. In deep water. Alone. . #canoeing #Kayaking #night #creepy #different #Canoe #awesome #amazing #stingray #Dolphins #fish #florida #Nature #ocean #saltlife #transparentcanoe #glassbottomboat #glassbottomkayak @naturee @oceanarmor @theocean24 @animalplanetA post shared by See Through Canoe (Since 2007) (@seethroughcanoecompany) on Sep 12, 2018 at 12:37pm PDT From the owner and filmmaker:Getting out & taking these videos is the best part of what I do, & I enjoy sharing them with other nature lovers. And I would still be taking and sharing these videos even if I didn't have the company.You can follow my adventures & wildlife encounters on the See Through Canoe company FaceBook page.[ALL of the images and photographs in this post courtesy of SeeThroughCanoeCompany] Read the rest
This crazy dinosaur was Earth's largest land animal
This recently-discovered dinosaur weighed 26,000 pounds when it stomped around South Africa's Free State Province 200 million years ago. The University of the Witwatersrand researchers who found the animal's fossils dubbed it Ledumahadi mafube which in the South African language of Sesotho means "a giant thunderclap at dawn." Like the brontosaurus, it walked on four legs and ate plants. From CNN:Apart from its massive size, there are other evolutionary details about the new species that make it entirely unique, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology."It shows us that even as far back as 200 million years ago, these animals had already become the largest vertebrates to ever walk the Earth," Choiniere said.The researchers believe that Ledumahadi was a transitional dinosaur, an evolutionary experiment itself during the Early Jurassic period. The forelimbs of this dinosaur are more "crouched," while being very thick to support its giant body. Read the rest
Irishman arrested for chasing missed flight on foot during takeoff
Patrick Kehoe, 23, was arrested Thursday at Dublin airport after "running after the plane on the tarmac". He had missed his flight.Witnesses said a man in his 20s broke through an airport door and ran toward the Ryanair plane, which was about to take off for Amsterdam, at around 7 a.m. The airport said that a man became “agitated” after he and a woman arrived at the gate too late for their flight. It said the man “broke through a door and made his way onto the apron, trying to flag the aircraft down.” Read the rest