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Updated 2017-08-24 08:36
In swiftly-deleted posting, GOP links Legend of Zelda to progressive taxation
Sadly, the Republican Party has already deleted its article titled What Do The Legend of Zelda and the American Tax Code Have In Common? and any corresponding twetes. But it lives on at Google Cache, at least for now.Tragically, having equated the adventures of a mute yet heroic elf with the clawing economic deprivations of progressive taxation, the article barely touches upon why beyond simply noting a few coincidental dates. It's the very dumbest boilerplate. Sad!https://twitter.com/Beschizza/status/900516331522535429
Priscilla Presley killed Elvis, Michael Jackson’s tomb is empty, and the Queen quits!
This week’s tabloids may not be entirely divorced from reality, but they are permanently estranged and consulting lawyers.Many celebrities are horse lovers, but not Star Trek’s William Shatner. He has a “bizarre horse obsession” according to the ‘Globe.’ He rides and breeds horses, but the ‘Globe’ has found an “expert” who warns: “equine lovers get sexy kicks out of dominating powerful animals!” Don’t we all?The ‘Globe’ also airs its “Ryan O’Neal Cancer Fears!” In other words, he’s lost weight lately.Ellen DeGeneres is suffering a “mental health crisis,” reports the ‘Globe.’ Its evidence? She admitted suffering depression back in 1998 when her TV series was axed. So she’s still depressed?Clint Eastwood has given “Bride No. 3 wedding ring” claims the ‘National Enquirer.’ Or maybe his girlfriend Christina Sandera is just wearing a ring?Jack Nicholson is battling an “Alzheimer’s Nightmare!” alleges the ‘Globe.” At least, that’s what unnamed “friends fear,” because the 80-year-old is occasionally forgetful. "The rumor is he has the beginnings of Alzheimer’s disease,” a “pal” says. Because that’s what pals are for. And where’s the fun in owning a tabloid if you can’t publish rumors?“I killed Elvis!” states Priscilla Presley’s “shocking confession!” in the ‘Globe.’ As if. Priscilla supposedly “blames herself” for The King’s death “because she rejected his plea to get married again.”Just like I blame myself for Michael Jackson’s death because I planned to attend his concert appearances and made him work himself to death. My bad.And now Jacko’s “tomb is empty” according to the ‘Globe.’ Not taken by body-snatchers, but secretly cremated by his family, it seems. This story not only bears a remarkable resemblance to the recent tabloid story claiming that Princess Diana’s tomb is empty (it’s not) but also echoes wild rumors that ran rampant when the gloved one was interred in 2009. Invasion of the story-snatchers.The ‘Enquirer’ claims a “World Exclusive” and the ‘Globe’ claims a “Royal Exclusive” as both identically report that Queen Elizabeth II has named son Charles as her heir. If they both report this, it must be true, which will come as a shock to absolutely no-one, as Charles has always been her heir apparent since his birth at 9.14 p.m. GMT on November 14, 1948. It’s true that the tabloids have repeatedly floated the fantasy that the Queen would by-pass Charles and donate the crown to grandson William - a constitutional impossibility. But the ‘Enquirer,’ not happy with actually getting a story right by default for a change, can’t help itself by adding that the “Queen Quits!” - an abdication which appears to have been missed by the mass ranks of Fleet Street’s finest. You'd think that might have made a paragraph or two in the British press, but apparently not.The ‘Enquirer’ goes on to reveal that the Queen has ruled that Charles’ wife Camilla “can NEVER be queen!” Not exactly revelatory, since the official Royal spokesman at Clarence House said publicly before Charles wed Camilla in 2005 that she had no desire to ever be named queen. As the official announcement stated: “It is intended that Mrs. Parker Bowles should use the title HRH the Princess Consort when the Prince of Wales accedes to the throne.” But who remembers what the Palace said 12 years ago, right?“Hollywood Pushers Tell All!” screams the headline in a ‘Globe’ exposé of celebrity drug abuse, as reliably narrated by "four of Hollywood’s top drug dealers.” Like the one who recalls allegedly selling cocaine to a morning TV show host (who I’ll refrain from naming here) 25 years ago when he worked at a local Rhode Island TV station. If you’re pushing coke in Rhode Island, are you really one of “Hollywood’s top drug dealers” . . ?The celebrity magazines continue their headlong plunge toward irrelevance with cover stories that are vacuous even by their own airless standards: ‘People’ mag features HGTV’s ‘Property Brothers’ Drew and Jonathan Scott on “Fame, Family & Finding Love!” while ‘Us’ mag’s cover reveals that former 'Real Housewives of New Jersey’ stars Teresa and Joe Giudici are to “Divorce!” - except, the story inside quickly backpedals away from the cover’s claim, saying just that Teresa is “fed up” with her husband - not entirely surprising since he recently began serving a 41-month prison sentence for conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud. She is “considering leaving,” the increasingly timid report states.The "Scientology battle gets ugly” between Leah Remini and Tom Cruise, as ‘Us’ mag declares: “It’s War!” But it’s not even a war of words - Remini slammed Cruise by saying that his public persona is different from “the person behind the mask,” while Tom hit back by saying . . . nothing.‘Us’ addresses the Royal love story of the year, asking of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: “Did he propose?” It’s unfortunate that the mag doesn’t have the answer. Not a clue.Fortunately we have the crack investigative squad at ‘Us’ mag to tell us that Jenna Dewan Tatum wore it best, that Brooklyn Decker suffers “a crazy, unreasonable fear of toads” (but not frogs?), that ‘Vanderpump Rules’ star Stassi Schroeder (have they really run out of celebrities?) carries a “friendship crystal,” a Bytox hangover patch, and lip balm for her “permanently chapped lips” in her Chanel purse, and that the stars are just like us: they browse clothes, withdrew cash from ATMs, and “chow down.” Wait - the stars eat food just like us! Who knew?Onwards and downwards . . .
Louise Linton's fashion tips for poors
Here's McSweeney's Ziyad Gower, cannily stealing the voice of Scottish actress Louise Linton, the wife of Trump treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and mocker of the poor.
Local stingray is in a great mood
This just in.(more…)
Maximum cuteness: Corgi races
Of course there are Corgi races!
Top Trump aide emailed campaign officials about proposed contact with Putin
Congressional investigators looking into connections between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections have found an email from a senior Trump aide that references “a previously unreported effort to arrange a meeting last year between Trump campaign officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin,” CNN reports.(more…)
My favorite internet animator, Joe Sparks, is back
Joe Sparks' Radiskull and Devil Doll remain my favorite characters of the Dotcom boom. After a long hiatus while working for a company that apparently wouldn't let Joe publish independent work, he is back.Check out his darling new video!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A9EBq0Thy4Representin' Hades!
Yet another Russian ambassador turns up dead, this time in a swimming pool
Mirgayas Shirinskiy (photo) is the fourth senior Russian diplomat to “unexpectedly” die this year under.(more…)
See you at Burning Man!
Tomorrow, I'm turning off my email and hitting the road for Burning Man, where I'll be giving three talks, and I hope to see you there: at 4PM on Weds, Aug 20, I'm speaking at Palenque Norte at Camp Soft Landing; at noon on Thursday, Aug 31, I'll be speaking at my home camp, Liminal Labs (6:15 and Rod's Road); at 4:30PM on Friday, September 1, I'm speaking at the Center Camp Cafe stage. See you there -- or back here after Labor Day!
Trump obsessed with Russia probe, rage-dialing GOP over legislation to ban him from firing Mueller
Yesterday, we learned that President Donald Trump chewed out Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell over matters related to the open investigation into Russia, and Trump. Today, we learn from a Politico report that Trump also “clashed with multiple GOP senators,” not just McConnell, over Russia.(more…)
Arlington National Cemetery is the only monument we need to Robert E. Lee
I was surprised to hear people suggest that removing statues of Confederate traitors would somehow lead to us tearing down the Jefferson Memorial. That is patent bullshit.Arguments attempting to equate slave owning founding fathers of the United States, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and their resultant memorials, with statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that are currently being removed across the nation are ridiculous. This fantastic article at Smithsonian.com describes how Arlington National Cemetery came to be, and why it is the perfect monument to the traitorous general who led an invasion of Pennsylvania in an attempt to preserve slavery on American soil.
Sassy Trump Talks Nazis
It was supposed to be Infrastructure Week, but neo-Nazis and Charlottesville happened. Sassy Trump was in a real pickle.(more…)
The "best children’s book illustrator in Italy" is coming to Los Angeles with a new painting exhibition
Nicoletta Ceccoli is a pop surrealist painter/illustrator from the Republic of San Marino (a microstate within north-central Italy). Nicoletta has an animation degree from the State Institute of Art in Urbino and has illustrated over 30 children’s books since 1995. She does both commercial and personal work, and has exhibited her artwork all over the world. Among many other awards, she has received a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators in New York and the Andersen Prize, “honoring her as the best children’s book illustrator in Italy.”Ceccoli’s work depicts a world of delicate, feminine girls alongside freaky creatures in strange situations. This duality of imagery in her work is reminiscent of the out-of-this-reality type of nightmares a young child might have. Each piece of Ceccoli’s work tells its story with a cloud of mystery around it, which is up to the viewer to interpret. The titles to her work suc,h as “Ollie Ollie Oxen Free” and “Ready Or Not Here I Come” pull us even deeper into the world of make-belief. In an interview with WOW X WOW, Ceccoli explains that “Growing up I simply never stopped loving the children’s universe. Childhood remains the only magically joyful and free condition, and as adults we end up losing that. In my opinion it can only be regained through imagination.”. This love of the “children’s universe” is apparent through Ceccoli’s ability to pull the viewer into a childlike realm of wildly imaginatory situations.Ceccoli’s exhibit titles “Hide and Seek” is now being displayed at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles. Be sure to check it out if you’re nearby.
Red Dwarf XII slated for October
Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun. Lister, Rimmer, Kryton and the show stealing Cat are back this October on Dave.From the Red Dwarf blog:
Trump is a human void
Talking of Trump's beliefs is pointless, because there are none. The barking comedy of his speeches and statements goes nowhere because "he cannot understand anyone’s response to them except as it relates to him."David Roth in The Baffler:
Federally paid informant lured woman into a romantic relationship and entrapped her in a drug deal
Here's how the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) uses your tax dollars - to pay a creep to pretend he loves a woman, play with her children, and persuade her to break the law for him so that the agents can swoop in and arrest her. That's what happened to Jennifer Padilla, who met a federally paid professional snitch known as Informant No. 9097.From the Santa Fe Reporter:
Everything, even a rock, has some degree of consciousness
Philip Goff, associate professor in philosophy at Central European University in Budapest, argues that the idea of panpsychism ("mind is everywhere") shouldn't be dismissed just because it sounds crazy.Excerpt from Philosophy Now:
Video of the International Space Station passing in front of the solar eclipse
SmarterEveryDay's Destin Sandlin captured this astonishing video of the International Space Station transiting Monday's solar eclipse. Fast forward to 3:50 for the magical moment. And in case you missed it, below is NASA's still photo of the ISS transiting the sun at five miles per second.
Car repossession goes awry
This astounding video advances one level at a time, from amusing to beautiful. First, bystander Brittany Nyiesha chances across a repossessed vehicle being towed and begins filming. Then we realize that it hasn't been attached properly to the tow truck, but is instead being dragged on its rims. Then it blows through a stop light. Then the car starts flailing wildly, like a ball and chain attached to some huge street weapon in a Mad Max movie —what is going on? The Proper Authorities get involved! And it's still only getting warmed up.
13 years after Katrina, New Orleans plans to evacuate if bad storms come
New Orleans is in an official state of emergency, thanks to 15 of its 120 pumps being offline (thanks to chronic underfunding) and a major storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico. (more…)
Watch the new Blade Runner 2049 trailer with unseen footage
If only you could see what Ryan Gosling has seen with your eyes.
Longread: what will it take to re-decentralize the web?
In 2016, the Internet Archive convened a decentralized web summit to discuss ways to make the web less centralized and thus less vulnerable to censorship, corporate abuse and "shadow regulation" (I gave one of the keynotes). (more…)
Daddy longlegs drop their limbs to escape predators
In elementary school, I knew a boy who would impress us by pulling the legs off a daddy longlegs and popping the body in his mouth. I think he would appreciate this Deep Look video about how daddy longlegs can drop up to three of its limbs when threatened by a predator and still survive.
Massive Cincinnati nudist resort closing down after nearly 50 years
Paradise Gardens, a huge nudist resort that's been open in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1970 is closing its gates. The owners sold to a developer who will build five new homes on the 34 acre property. The resort has raised the ire of neighbors for decades. Just a few years ago, residents complained about the resort's plan to build a nudist adventure park complete with zip lines. Interestingly, the resort's peak time was in the 1990s."We've been for sale for 10 years," (Paradise Resort Inc. president Ron) Coleman told Cincinnati.com. "We just couldn't get a deal done until now."It's a completely different economy now than it used to be back in the 70s and 80s when both parents weren't always working,'' he said. "Now, it's hard for families to schedule a time to utilize the place, which has limited new members."(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)
Rube Goldberg machine of the day
As relaxing, amusing and intriguing as any other: "an impressive Rube Goldberg machine with a 4-minute course. The beads move in a chain reaction divided into several more complex steps, including the one with a whiteboard that turns to release new balls positioned on the back side."
Carl Sagan sadly still dead
Carl Sagan:Neil deGrasse Tyson:The modern stars of science and its enemies are in alignment. All agree that wonder is more dangerous than certitude.
A movie accent comments on 31 actors playing real people
This is a fascinating deep dive into actors' portrayals of famous people like Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Muhammed Ali, Julia Child, Bob Dylan.From YouTube description: "Dialect coach Erik Singer takes a look at idiolects, better known as the specific way one individual speaks. To best break down this concept, Erik analyzes some actors playing real people. Just how close was Jamie Foxx's Ray Charles? What about Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Bob Dylan? Is Daniel Day-Lewis' Lincoln accurate?"
A republican, a democrat and an independent smoke weed together
Three young adults get stoned and talk politics.
What we know will NOT happen with Trump
SIMPLY JOIN Tom the Dancing Bug's subscription club, INNER HIVE now, and a $25 donation will be made to charities that fight hate groups. Info HERE,
Linguistic data analysis of 3 billion Reddit comments produces a taxonomy of trolls
Tim Squirrell, a researcher at the Alt-Right Open Intelligence Initiative at the University of Amsterdam, used Google's BigQuery to analyze "every Reddit comment ever made—all 3 billion of them." He used the results to identify different alt-right groups and the language they use.From Quartz:
Firefighters rescue farm piglets from fire and later eat them up
Firefighters saved 18 piglets from a barn fire in southern England. The farmer wanted to show her appreciation, so she later offered them some of her piglets – in the form of sausages. And they were scrumptious.(more…)
Cool Johnny Cash guitar trick with a playing card
In this short video, you'll learn how to achieve Johnny Cash's cool textured, rhythmic strumming sound with a playing card.
Maker Update: giant fake gold bricks and Overwatch animatronics
This week on Maker Update: a servo robot puppet, Raspbian moves to Stretch, a YouTube Live camera, giant gold bricks, trauma shears, and pouring your own knobs. This week’s Cool Tool is a pair of Fluoride Coated Medical Shears.
Jury would not convict white militiamen who aimed guns at federal law enforcement officers
Less than a year after Ammon Bundy and his terrorist pals were found not guilty for their takeover of Oregon's Malheur Federal Wildlife Reserve (which included a fatal shootout four terrorist pals of Cliven Bundy have been exonerated by a Nevada jury for their 2014 standoff in which they insisted -- at gunpoint -- on the right to graze their private cattle on public lands. (more…)
Serpstat is the only SEO tool you need
Top-performing content doesn’t come from pure inspiration. So how do you get the maximum number of eyeballs to see your marketing copy? By analyzing the impact of the keywords within. Serpstat does this all for you. It can monitor up to 200 keywords in your projects, across 10 total domains. They keep track of the top 100 international Google search results for every keyword in their database, and provide a single dashboard to perform detailed page audits and backlink analysis.By collecting this much data, Serpstat offers critical insight about competitors in your niche. It generates detailed reports, and offers an array of data visualization tools to help you better understand where your SEO efforts need work. All of this is to say, Serpstat is a really good, centralized SEO solution, and you can get it here for $34.99.
Local council requires Grenfell survivors to bid against each other for new homes
It's been more than two months since a deadly blaze in Kensington, London -- the richest borough in the UK -- killed at least 80 people when the decorative cladding installed to make the building look nicer to rich people in nearby buildings caused the building to go up like a matchstick. (more…)
The KLF's book signing rules of engagement
The KLF is back. You will follow the instructions, or you will not get your book signed.https://twitter.com/Popjustice/status/899971473087115264https://twitter.com/Popjustice/status/900016863446433792They also welcome volunteers to the Dark Ages.https://twitter.com/BidoLito/status/899993604139225089https://twitter.com/JustSomeWool/status/899953392881213441
Do not boil your underwear in hotel kettles
You know those "amazing household tips" where you descale showerheads with vinegar and a sandwich bag, or lift carpet indentations with ice cubes, or whatever? Well, I've just found out that a common one in Australia, allegedly, is "wash your underwear in hotel kettles." I honestly don't know if I believe it, but Gizmodo Australia claims it is a thing and, if it is, could you please not?
Trump Afghanistan plan? More air strikes likely, and training Afghan air force
President Donald Trump's speech on military policy in Afghanistan didn't provide much in the way of specifics about troop numbers or other measures of force commitment or our long-term goals. All that vagueness led to tea-leaf-reading today. Reuters spoke with the top general of the U.S. Air Force, and learned the USAF may intensify air strikes in Afghanistan and expand training of the Afghan air force.(more…)
Gook is a movie that explores LA's Korean and black communities in the Rodney King era
Director Justin Chon’s new award-winning Sundance film Gook is hit theaters nationwide on August 18th. The film takes place during the time of the Rodney King riots in LA and tells the story of how people within the black and Korean communities were affected. Mp>Korean brothers Eli (played by Chon himself) and Daniel struggle to keep their family-owned shoe-store open in an area of town that is unwelcoming to them. An 11 year old black girl named Kamilla forms a friendship with Eli and Daniel who treat her like family despite her older brother’s warnings to stay away from them. Kamilla’s role in the film represents a bridge between the two struggling communities. The relationships between Eli, Daniel, and Kamilla mirror the chaos of South Central Los Angeles as riots break out and tensions rise between black and Korean communities. While the premise of the film may seem daunting, humor and exceptional acting balance the seriousness of the movie and create a very authentic experience.In a Q and A with Ava DuVernay that followed the screening we attended, Chon explained that his personal life and upbringing directly influenced the plot. Chon felt driven to share this largely untold story because of his personal connection to this devastating time in history. The 25th anniversary of the riots just took place, yet racism and police brutality are still a major problem within our society, which makes the film even more powerful. Chon said “it was now or never” when asked about why he made the film. When asked about his choice of the title - Gook - which means “country” in Korean, but is predominantly used as a racial slur against Asian immigrants, Chon responded by saying that “history cannot be erased.” While viewers may be uncomfortable asking for this ticket at the box office, the point in using such a shocking title is to remind people why it is important to fight against discrimination and racism.The black and white film was edited using Adobe Creative Cloud. Besides the amazing acting and writing, the cinematography was outstanding; everyone who had a part in making this film is someone to look out for. We were truly blown away by this film and highly recommend it.
Please clap: it's how Medium writers are going to be paid
Medium, the oft-pivoting publisher and platform, recently introduced an alarmingly twee new metric: "claps". If you like an article, you can "clap" for it, or as one might like to say, "give it the clap." And now The Verge reports that they'll be paying writers on the basis of how many claps they get.
Steven Mnuchin's wife makes fun of Instagram followers for not being as rich as she is
Mind-bogglingly wealthy Louise Linton, a Scottish actress, "perilous journeyer to the heart of Africa," and wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, posted a photo on Instagram of herself and her husband disembarking from a US Gov't jet. Her caption read:
Total Eclipse of the Pug
Best solar eclipse 2017 video ever.(more…)
Candidate Trump's racism strategy is failing President Trump
When Trump was on the campaign trail, he had a surefire racism strategy: he'd say something horribly racist ("Mexicans are rapists") then refuse to back down (giving comfort to overt racists), then finally back down a little (giving comfort to closet racists), then complain that the press wouldn't accept his apology (reinforcing his point that the media was unfair to him and pleasing his whole base). -
Giant jigsaw puzzle took 9 months to complete - watch a timelapse
Andre F. completes a 33,600 piece jigsaw puzzle called "Wildlife" by Educa. Dimension of the finished puzzle: 224.41 x 61.81 in. He spent a lot of time just turning the pieces right side up![via]
What’s wrong with startup culture: A video
Dan Lyons, a former tech journalist who wrote a funny blog years ago called "Fake Steve Jobs" and wrote one of the best episodes of HBO's Silicon Valley ("White Hat/Black Hat") gave a funny 20-minute talk about his horrible experience in a start-up.From YouTube description:
The Trump family's holidays and business trips have used up the entire Secret Service budget
By the end of the year, Trump and his family will have spent more of the Secret Service's budget than the Obama administration spent in eight years -- enough to exhaust the Secret Service's entire budget for the year and drive 500 Secret Security agents to quit their jobs in disgust. (more…)
The far right has its own web, but what use is a site no-one will serve?
After Charlottesville and the murder of Heather Heyer, hitherto Nazi-friendly internet companies have found their boots and their banhammers. The angry right has for some time anticipated this eventuality, and colonized or established replicas of key services and platforms. 8chan, Voat and Gab are the most well-known examples, respectively resembling 4chan, Reddit and Twitter. Adi Robertson writes that the internet's plumbing, the world of domain name registrars and load mitigation, will be harder to replicate. Why the alt-right can’t build an alt-internet.
Researchers can take over domestic and industrial robots to spy and maim
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSSTUvqMB3MThis week at Singapore's Hack in the Box conference, researchers Lucas Apa and Cesar Cerrudo from the Argentinian security research company IOActive will present their findings on the defects in humanoid domestic robots from UBTech and Softbank and industrial robot arms from Universal Robots; they're building on research published in March in which they released incomplete findings in order to give vendors a chance to patch the vulnerabilities they discovered. (more…)
Uncanny Japan podcast
Uncanny Japan is a podcast dedicated to the island's most peculiar folklore. I've barely got started but already know I'll have to binge the entire series (note that each episode is coffee-break short, less than 15m). Pictured above, from Episode 7, is a thousand-stitch belt believed to ward off gunfire. [via Metafilter]