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Updated 2019-01-19 16:23
AOC's debut speech as Congresswoman is the most popular Congressional video in C-SPAN history
It's been three days since C-SPAN posted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's amazing, stirring freshman speech from the floor of Congress, and it has smashed all Congressional C-SPAN records with 3.1m views (as of the time of writing); at this rate, it may catch up with C-SPAN's most popular Senate video, the Kamala Harris/Brett Kavanaugh video, with 7.14m views.First House Floor speech from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC): “The truth of this shutdown is that it's actually not about a wall...The truth is, this shutdown is about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms." pic.twitter.com/r8tmsGSNtT— CSPAN (@cspan) January 17, 2019In just over 12 hours C-SPAN tweet of @RepAOC floor remarks last nite have become most-viewed twitter video by @cspan of any remarks by a member of House either party. 1.16M https://t.co/lkd0vK33cjMost viewed tweet video of a Sen? @KamalaHarris questioning Kavanaugh (7.14M views pic.twitter.com/2ulf1fNddc— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) January 17, 2019Complete exchange between @senkamalaharris and Judge Kavanaugh on Mueller Investigation. pic.twitter.com/FXhW3XmV19— CSPAN (@cspan) September 6, 2018 Read the rest
Regular says she was banned from eating at the bar at Manhattan's fancy Nello restaurant because she might be a sex-worker
After marketing executive Clementine Crawford published an essay about being banned from eating at the bar at her favorite New York restaurant, Nello, because the owner (already notorious for labor abuses) was "cracking down on escorts" and had decreed that only men would be permitted to dine at the bar, The Cut tried to get a comment on it from Balan, whose employees repeatedly hung up on them.According to Crawford, when she told the owner that his policy was unfair and discriminatory and reminded him that she was a regular who'd spent a small fortune eating at his bar, the owner said "he could run his business as he pleased, and that I was no longer welcome to eat at the bar, only at a table."I travel a lot and one of my favorite things to do when I'm out of town is "take myself out on a date." Often I've been in intensely social situations all day, speaking to a crowd, or being in close company with a group of colleagues, and -- hermit that I am -- I'm ready for some solo time.So I'll go to a nice restaurant, the kind of place you usually need a reservation for, and just get a seat at the bar, where I can eyeball the whisky selection and find a really nice one to sample, and then I order stinky things that I normally avoid because my wife won't kiss me after I've eaten them (she's allergic to shellfish, so this is my chance to eat a lot of oysters). Read the rest
Firefox is finally fixing its broken screenshot tool
Firefox's screenshot tool has a lot going for it, but after two days of trying to use it I gave up and went back to using Ksnapshot (now Spectacle) for the near-constant screenshotting I do, all day long: that's because when you hit "save" in Firefox's screenshot UI, it didn't save it to your hard-drive, rather, it uploaded it to a Mozilla server, which, in addition to being time-consuming and stupid, was also a potential huge privacy risk (if, for example, you were screenshotting a sensitive document to retain for later).Thankfully, this will be fixed, after months of user complaints, as part of the shut-down of the Test Pilot program, which runs the servers that the screenshots were uploaded to. On Zdnet, Catalin Cimpanu calls this a "dark pattern," and it's easy to understand why: so many online services try to trick you into using the cloud, storing data remotely even when there's no good reason for it, to train us to use other peoples' computers rather than our own.I don't know that Mozilla has that same motivation, but this really was a terrible piece of UI with real risks to users, and it's so good to see it finally dying in a fire.You can turn off the antifeature right now by going to about:config and ticking on the extensions.screenshots.upload-disabled setting.Firefox to remove misleading button after months of complaints [Catalin Cimpanu/Zdnet] Read the rest
Delicious unicorn poop
Unicorn poop [Amazon] appears to be pastel-colored gourmet marshmallow chunks flavored with strawberry, lime, lemon and orange, guaranteed to be gluten- and nut-free. But don't let that put you off: I'm sure they're delicious.Proudly ★ MADE IN THE USA ★ – Guaranteed to be the safest, tastiest, freshest, fluffiest Poop in town! Beware! ..other brands may come from China. Other brands? Just how many brands of unicorn poop can the market support? Read the rest
Hit those fitness goals at home with these virtual trainers
Still determined to keep those New Year's health resolutions? If you're going to stick with the exercise plan, it's enough of a challenge to budget your time. No need for your financial budget to take a hit, too. Here's a more convenient - and cheaper - alternative to a gym membership or Peloton bike: Two of our favorite virtual fitness clubs, tailor-made for any schedule and any income.Live Streaming FitnessThe wealth of content on this streaming service should be enough to keep you sweating well into your fitness goals and beyond. Along with daily exercise challenges, there's 24 /7 access to on-demand workouts in yoga cardio, strength training and more. And because it takes more than sweat, this service offers peer support through their Live Streaming Fitness community, plus meal plans, cooking shows and recipes made by certified nutritionists.A lifetime subscription to all of this through Live Streaming Fitness is now $99.99.Fitterclub Personal TrainingFor a more traditional touch, Fitterclub replicates the personal trainer experience with all the convenience of streaming. Answer a simple questionnaire, and the service builds you a workout regimen and nutrition program suited to your goals and body type. From there, it's on you: Access your daily, curated workouts and enjoy the flexible, tailored meal plan. Fitterclub tracks your progress and adjusts your plan every month using complex data analytics, so things never get too hard or easy.Fitterclub Personal Training is a full 91% off for the new year - that's $49 for a five-year membership. Read the rest
Teens in trouble after Nazi salutes go viral
Two high school students from Minnetonka, Minnesota, photographed themselves performing Nazi salutes and holding a dance invitation full of Hitler-themed puns. “While I do not know whether it was an intentionally hateful message or was created out of ignorance, be assured the students will be disciplined for their actions,” Superintendent Dennis Peterson wrote in an e-mail Friday denouncing the post.“The larger issue is that we, as a community, must do an even better job of educating students about Hitler and the Holocaust,” he wrote. “While we do units on this in middle school, and we have had several Holocaust survivors speak at MHS, it has apparently not been enough to prevent yesterday’s incident.”I don't think it's the school's place to discipline students for political speech but it's good that they've recognized this sort of "j/k but yeah" giggling Nazism for what it is. In November, the "comedy" Nazi salutes of a high school class in Baraboo, Wi., three hours up the road, were initiallly laughed off as dumb teens not knowing what they were doing, but quickly exposed a school culture tolerant of racism and sexism where students shouted white power slogans in the halls.1. Instead, school administrators should explain why they never teach children anything about the holocaust or fascism, and start doing it, and then lets see who complains about that. Read the rest
China is blurring men's earrings on TV
Chinese TV is blurring out the ears of men wearing earrings. From CNN:It's unclear if Chinese regulators have issued a specific directive barring men from being shown wearing earrings, or whether TV stations are reacting to a shift in what is considered culturally appropriate.Last year, China's media regulator banned TV stations from featuring actors with tattoos. Depictions of "hip hop culture, sub-culture and immoral culture," were also banned according to Chinese state media...When it comes to television, the country's regulations previously barred programs from airing content that expresses "overt admiration for Western lifestyles," jokes about Chinese traditions or defiles "classic materials..."The country's censors have also been quick to black out content on LGBT issues. Guidelines released in China in 2016 characterized homosexuality as an "abnormal sexual behavior" unfit for Chinese television, alongside incest, sexual abuse and "perversion." Read the rest
Android malware uses accelerometer readings to figure out if it was running on a real phone or in emulation
Malware authors have a problem: they want their software to run aggressively when no one is looking at it, but to shut down entirely if the device it's running on is actually in some malware researcher's lab. So malware authors have a whole host of tricks they use to determine whether they're running on a device in the field, or inside a researcher's emulator where all of their secrets are laid bare. For example, the creator(s) of the Wannacry malware had the program try to reach a nonexistent website (iuqerfsodp9ifjaposdfjhgosurijfaewrwergwea.com). Malware researchers' emulators usually answer any attempt to research an outside website in the hopes of gaining insight about how the software interacts with its command and control server, so by checking whether the nonexistent website existed, each copy of Wannacry was able to decide whether it was living in reality or trapped in the Matrix. That's why when a security researcher registered Wannacry's nonexistent domain and stood a webserver up at that address, every copy of Wannacry in the world shut down.A new Matrix-detecting tool in malware has been discovered: strains of Android malware distributed through the Google Play store were found to be using calls to the phone's motion-detector to determine whether it was running on a real phone or inside an emulator. Mobile emulators don't bother to fake data from emulated motion-sensors, so from the malware's perspective, emulators have an unnatural stillness that tips it off to stay hidden.As with the Wannacry killswitch, this technique won't be hard to overcome, since spoofing plausible data from an emulated motion-sensor is pretty basic stuff. Read the rest
Twitch Presents is streaming classic 'Doctor Who' thru most of January
Watch live video from TwitchPresents on www.twitch.tvI stopped watching Doctor Who after the War Doctor episode. I've never watched again, and I wasn't going to -- I completely lost interest. I just happened across Twitch Presents streaming some old Tom Baker and it is too good to pass up.K9! Don't overstrain your databanks!An encore presentation of the Classic Doctor Who Marathon on Twitch begins January 5th at 10AM PT / 6PM GMT!Event runs from January 5th to January 25th. We'll be broadcasting 11 to 12 hours of new episodes per day (~27 episodes), repeating once so you can catch Doctor Who nearly 24 hours a day, every day with the global Twitch community. Read the rest
Great deal on ball-end hex key sets
I've written about ball-end hex keys before. They are much easier to use when clearance is an issue. They fit into sockets at an angle. Tacklife has a great deal on this dual set of metric and US hex keys'. Use code P6GBSRIX for a big discount. Read the rest
Plug in at an NSA charging station
Stop by and charge your phones @shmoocon! Courtesy of @NSAGov pic.twitter.com/yxIL8mohvi— Rob Joyce (@RGB_Lights) January 18, 2019Let me think about that... nope.(h/t Bob Lord) Read the rest
Excellent video shows how pull-back toy cars work
You've probably played with one of those toy cars that you drag back to wind up and then let go to let it zoom across the floor. In this video, Jared Owen uses 3D animation to clearly show how the mechanism works. This guy deserves a lot more subscribers than he has. Check out some of his other cool explainer videos: Read the rest
Trailer for "The Drone," a horror film about a sentient flying drone
The Drone, currently in post-production, is a real movie about a killer drone. From the trailer description:A serial killer transfers his consciousness into a consumer drone right before he is killed, then flies off to terrorize newlyweds Rachel (ALEX ESSOE) and Chris (JOHN BROTHERTON). The couple must fight to stop the insidious device before it destroys them both.Director Jordan Rubin is a comedian, his prior film was Zombeavers, and The Drone is obviously a tongue-in-cheek tale. But I kinda wish it was straight-up splatterpunk sci-fi. Read the rest
An archive of Freedom, Paul Robeson and Louis Burnham's radical Harlem newspaper
Freedom, published in Harlem during the Cold War and McCarthy years, was Paul Robeson and Louis Burnham's radical black paper that "ppenly challenged racism, imperialism, colonialism, and political repression and advocated for civil rights, labor rights and world peace"; NYU's Freedom archive holds browsable (but not searchable, alas!) scans of issues with contributions from "W.E.B. Du Bois, Alice Childress and Lorraine Hansberry" and many others. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest
Japanese company develops artificial meteor showers on demand
A Japanese start-up built a microsatellite that was launched into orbit today. The satellite contains 400 tiny balls that can be released on demand and will burn brightly enough to be seen on Earth as they burn up in the atmosphere.From Channel NewsAsia:ALE Co. Ltd (Astro Live Experiences) says it is targeting "the whole world" with its products and plans to build a stockpile of shooting stars in space that can be delivered across the world.When its two satellites are in orbit, they can be used separately or in tandem, and will be programmed to eject the balls at the right location, speed and direction to put on a show for viewers on the ground.Tinkering with the ingredients in the balls should mean that it is possible to change the colors they glow, offering the possibility of a multi-colored flotilla of shooting stars.Each star is expected to shine for several seconds before being completely burned up - well before they fall low enough to pose any danger to anything on Earth.They would glow brightly enough to be seen even over the light-polluted metropolis of Tokyo, ALE says.From ALE:ALE is a Japan-based space entertainment startup that creates shooting stars on demand using microsatellites. Its mission is to contribute to scientific research through entertainment. It was founded in September 2011 by Lena Okajima, a serial entrepreneur with a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Tokyo.Natural shooting stars occur when dust particles of several millimeters in size enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn due to plasma emission. Read the rest
Organized crime is laundering money through Fortnite's in-game currency
Criminals are using stolen credit cards to buy Fortnite V-bucks, then selling the in-game currency for bitcoin at a discount on the dark web as a way to launder money. From The Independent:Discounted V-bucks are being sold in bulk on the dark web – a hidden section of the internet only accessible using specialist software – as well as in smaller quantities on the open web by advertising them on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.By posing as potential customers, Sixgill agents uncovered operations being conducted around the globe in Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic and English.“Criminals are executing carding fraud and getting money in and out of the Fortnite system with relative impunity,” Benjamin Preminger, a senior intelligence analyst at Sixgill, told The Independent. Read the rest
The Grand Tour Season 3 is here!
Amazon just sent me a text saying The Grand Tour Season 3 is now available. I'll be back in a few hours! Read the rest
Unsealed court documents reveal that Facebook knew kids were being tricked into spending thousands of dollars on their parents' credit cards
In 2012, Facebook settled a class-action suit with parents who claimed that their kids were being tricked into spending real money on game items, thinking they were spending virtual in-game currency; the parents said that Facebook had structured its system to allow kids to use their parents' credit cards without the parents' intervention, unlike competitors like Google and Apple, who required password re-entries when a card was re-charged for in-game purchases.When the case was settled, the court records were sealed, but thanks to legal action from Reveal, they are now in the public domain, and they paint a picture of a company whose internal staff raised multiple red flags about kids using their parents' cards in this way, and whose concerns were brushed off in the name of profits.One very disturbing exchange has a Facebook employee referring to a child who had charged thousands of dollars on their parents' credit card as a "whale," a term the casino uses to refer to high-rollers who lose fortunes while gambling.Gillian: Would you refund this whale ticket? User is disputing ALL charges…Michael: What’s the users total lifetime spend?Gillian: It’s $6,545 – but card was just added on Sept. 2. They are disputing all of it I believe. That user looks underage as well. Well, maybe not under 13.Michael: Is the user writing in a parent, or is this user a 13ish year oldGillian: It’s a 13ish yr old. says its 15. looks a bit younger. she* not its. Read the rest
Why charter schools are the flashpoint for the LA teachers' strike
When teachers from the largest school district in America walked off the job this week, they were not campaigning for wages: rather, they were demanding smaller classes; more librarians, counselors, aides and special-ed teachers; and to rein in the Charter school movement, and that last demand is the key to understanding the whole thing.Charter schools were developed in the wake of the Brown v Board of Ed decision, which found that racially segregated public schools were illegal; charter schools let white supremecists skirt the decision by diverting public funds into private schools that could exclude Black children.Today, the charter school movement has evolved into a darling of billionaires and vast, illegal dark-money pools, working in alliance with racists and Christian Dominionists who want Biblical doctrine taught at public expense. Like the Reagan coalition, the fundamentalists supply the warm bodies, the billionaires supply the seed capital, and then the billionaires make out like bandits while the poor evangelical rank-and-file get screwed.But even if you want to send your kid to a public school, charter schools can make it impossible to make such a choice. Charter schools can cream off the kids with wealthy parents, high test scores and no special needs, sucking money out of the public system, which still has the same per-pupil funding that has to stretch farther to cover fixed costs (just because your students leave, it doesn't make your school cheaper to heat or maintain).The results is that schools end up raiding the per-pupil educational budget to cover fixed costs, leaving the public system with a disproportionate fraction of kids who need extra support, and less money per pupil to pay for it. Read the rest
Sasha Baron Cohen in disguise triggers racist townsfolk with plans for giant mosque
Sascha Baron Cohen put on a funny disguise and went to a small town in the United States to tell the residents of a plan to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. The townsfolk were excited by the prospect until they found out the plan involved the construction of an enormous mosque. When the townsfolk complained about terrorists, Cohen told them that the worshippers would be well protected from terrorist attacks against them. Read the rest
A megathread of dirty industry secrets that you'll be glad you know even as you wish you didn't
Holly, a Harvard seminarian and activist, invited Twitter users to DM her the dirty secrets of their industries, which she then anonymized and posted in a megathread with more than 600 parts (as of this writing); while many of them are mild or self-evident, many of them are the kind of sphincter-tightening or blood-boiling confessions that you always suspected might be true but hoped like hell were not.Some of them are also a little uplifting (library workers are reliably helpers with immigration paperwork, say, but also increasingly wracked by violence and the effects of unchecked poverty and the erosion of social services), and others are, well, just terrible:* Arkansas teachers beat the shit out of their students, especially disabled kids, kids with developmental delays, etc* Whether you get arrested in NYC is largely a function of whether the cop is eligible for overtime* Your always-on smart speaker is sending your private conversations to random, badly paid contractors* "Celibate" priests are getting laid like crazy* Starbucks' rulebook is full of gotchas that let managers discriminate against troublemakers, racialized people, and anyone else they dislike* Billion dollar battleships are built by stoned meth-freaks* Remote disconnect meters are crapgadgets built by low-bidders and they are prone to bursting into flames* Southern universities have a quiet understanding with racist old white alums that their donations will only to scholarships for white kids* Environmentally sound plastics are ignored so that big companies can shave pennies off their costsLots more, too. Read the rest
Auction for entire series of Supreme skateboard decks expected to hit nearly $1 million
Launched as a NYC skateshop in 1994, streetwear brand Supreme has become a religion for hypbeasts (and the flippers who serve them). Now, a private collector is auctioning off their collection of every single Supreme skate deck ever made, many of which are emblazoned with graphics from esteemed contemporary artists. The lot of 248 skateboard decks along with the Louis Vuitton Boite skateboard trunk with tool kit, trucks, wheels and shoulder strap is expected to bring around $1 million but I bet it goes for much more. From Sotheby's:Supreme started producing their own skateboards in 1998 and have collaborated with many well-known brands over the last 20 years - most famously with Louis Vuitton. Supreme is also known for their artist collaborations, featuring the likes of George Condo, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Richard Prince, KAWS, Marilyn Minter, Nate Lowman, and Takashi Murakami, among others."Own the Entire Supreme Skateboard Collection, Now Open for Bidding" (Sotheby's, thanks Lux Sparks-Pescovitz!)Decks by Marilyn Minter and Jeff Koons and Louis Vuitton Boite skateboard trunk with accessories: Read the rest
Check out this amazing collection of playable spoken word LPs
Here's an incredible collection of digitized historical LPs you can listen to online. A lot of them remind me of podcast episodes, like this record about "big-lie-technique" master Senator Joseph R.McCarthy. This is a browser's treat. Read the rest
Trailer for "Lords of Chaos," the horror-thriller about Norwegian black metal and murder
In the early 1990s, the burgeoning black metal scene in Norway was plagued with jealousy, violence, arson, and eventually murder. Lords of Chaos, named after Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind's excellent non-fiction book, is a new film coming to theaters February 8 that tells the story of those loud, weird, dark times. Jonas Åkerlund directs and the cast includes Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, Jack Kilmer, Sky Ferreira, and Valter Skarsgård. Read the rest
Start-up injects old people with the blood of the young
We are in serious bad sci-fi movie territory here.Ambrosia is a start-up offering "young blood" to people who are not "young." This blood is supposed to make you all awesome again! Like before your blood got all old! Only problem being the scientists who conducted the study say it is dangerous.Apparently, folks are lining up to get injected with the blood of the young.Business Insider:Does young blood hold the keys to a long and healthy life? Startup founder and and Stanford Medical graduate Jesse Karmazin believes it might, so he launched a startup called Ambrosia Medical that fills older people's veins with fresh blood from young donors.But researchers who study the procedure say it poses major risks for patients, including an elevated risk of developing several serious conditions later in life, such as graft-versus-host disease, which can occur when transfused blood cells attack the patient's own cells, and transfusion-associated lung injury.Irina and Michael Conboy, two University of California at Berkeley researchers who've published research on young blood transfusions in mice, called Ambrosia's plans "dangerous.""They quite likely could inflict bodily harm," Irina Conboy told Business Insider.The Conboys' concern stems from an awareness of what happens in the body when it receives foreign blood from a donor."It is well known in the medical community — and this is also the reason we don't do transfusions frequently — that in 50% of patients there are very bad side effects. You are being infused with somebody else's blood and it doesn't match," Conboy said. Read the rest
Now EVERYBODY hates the new EU Copyright Directive
Until last spring, everyone wanted to see the new European Copyright Directive pass; then German MEP Axel Voss took over as rapporteur and revived the most extreme, controversial versions of two proposals that had been sidelined long before as the Directive had progressed towards completion.After all, this is the first refresh on EU copyright since 2001, and so the Directive is mostly a laundry list of overdue, uncontroversial technical tweaks with many stakeholders; the last thing anyone wanted was a spoiler in the midst.Anyone, that is, except for German newspaper families (who loved Article 11, who could charge Big Tech for the privilege of sending readers to their sites) and the largest record labels (who had long dreamed of Article 13, which would force the platforms to implement filters to check everything users posted, and block anything that resembled a known copyrighted work, or anything someone claimed was a known copyrighted work).These were the clauses that Voss reinserted, and in so doing, triggered a firestorm of opposition to the Directive from all sides: more than four million Europeans publicly opposed it, along with leading copyright and technical experts—and also the notional beneficiaries of the rules, from journalists to the largest movie studios, TV channels and sports leagues in Europe.Voss has found himself increasingly isolated in his defense of the Directive, just him and the record labels against the rest of the world.And now it's just Voss.The record labels have joined the movie studios in denouncing the working version of Article 13, and calling for the impossible: a rollback of the tiny, largely ornamental changes made in order to give the Directive a hope of passing (they were complaining about Monday's version of the Directive, but the version that leaked yesterday doesn't fix any of their problems). Read the rest
Regardless of whether it ends his term, impeaching Trump have five likely benefits
Yoni Appelbaum's longread in The Atlantic on the case for impeaching Trump draws on heterodox interpretations of the Clinton and Johnson impeachments, as well as the Nixon impeachment, to argue that despite (or even because of) the Senate's near-certain inaction on impeachment, there are real benefits to impeaching Trump, which is looking very likely if accusations of suborning perjury before Congress are true.Appelbaum argues that history's verdict on the Clinton and Johnson impeachments -- that they were divisive, partisan exercises that did more harm than good -- is misguided. Rather than viewing impeachment as a denergous constitution-undermining exercise that weakens the institution of the presidency, Appelbaum says that the framers wouldn't have put impeachment into the Constitution if it wasn't part of the normal functioning of a Constitutional democracy, a check on an otherwise imperial presidency (and incidentally, he argues that the presidency has grown increasingly imperial and is overdue for a good trimming).In addition to making a case that impeachment is itself a reasonable action under some circumstances, Appelbaum makes the fairly easy case that we are living through those circumstances right now, reciting a greatest hits of Trump's many qualifying sins.Then he gets to the interesting part: we know that the Senate isn't going to do anything about a successful impeachment of Trump by the Democrats in Congress, so what's the point? According to Appelbaum, history teaches us that impeaching a president has five major benefits even if they are not removed from office: it changes the way that the press covers the issue, switching from letting the president set a fearmongering agenda to piecing together a coherent narrative of the president's unfitness; it sidelines the president's agenda and forces them to focus on the impeachment; it moves away from the piecemeal Congressional committee investigations of individual scandals and puts the focus on the big picture of how they all fit together; it channels public and governmental anger with the government into a peaceful and lawful system of redressing grievances, forestalling potential political violence; and it permanently damages the impeached president's political prospects, putting them under a cloud for the rest of their political lives. Read the rest
Measles strike the unvaccinated in Washington
Unvaccinated children exposed to the measles are catching and spreading the highly contagious disease in Washington's Clark County, JUST LIKE YOU WOULD EXPECT.The Oregonian:A measles outbreak in southwestern Washington state has grown to 16 confirmed cases, and most of the children affected are unimmunized against the disease, officials said Thursday.A Clark County Public Health release says officials have been tracking the outbreak since Jan. 1. Of the 16 confirmed cases, 13 of the cases are children under the age of 11, officials say.Only two of the children have an unverified immunization status; the other 14 are unimmunized, officials say.Clark County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state, with more than 22 percent of public school students having not completed their vaccinations, The Oregonian reports, citing state records.Contagious patients have visited schools and medical facilities, as well as the Portland International Airport and retailers including the Northeast Portland Costco and Ikea stores.Officials say the disease is highly contagious and can cause fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and rash."Measles can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children. In rare cases, it can be deadly," a Washington State Department of Health fact sheet says. Read the rest
Enjoy delicious Perdue wood nuggets while you can
Perdue has recalled 60,000 pounds of chicken nuggets due to the presence of "wood" in them. The 22 ounce packages of frozen “PERDUE SimplySmart ORGANICS BREADED CHICKEN BREAST NUGGETS GLUTEN FREE” with “Best By: Date 10/25/19” and UPC Bar Code “72745-80656” represented on the label were produced October 25, 2018. Here's a guide to finding delicious wood nuggets. Read the rest
Those rectangular foam snow brooms are trash
We got one of these gadgets from The Lakeside Collection and it broke on the first use. It turns out the screw neck is made of the cheapest plastic known to man and is doomed to failure upon contact with anything harder than snow, such as ice, wipers, mirrors, roofracks, antennas, and so on. Worse, for the few minutes it was working, it was conspicuously less effective than a brush. So I'm going to just get a decent, big-ass brush. I'm going to give the Hopkins Snowbroom [Amazon] a try because it's slightly more expensive than everything else, looks sturdy, has great reviews, and because I don't want to be the type of person who ends up buying three different snow-removing gadgets. Read the rest
Learn web design and development from all the angles with this bundle
Want a career in web design? It's true that these days, most anyone can throw up a page or two. But for true workhorse web design, you'll sometimes need to match the platform to the project. Enter the Complete Front-End Developer Bundle, an educational grand tour around the best tools for the web.For beginners, the package includes a bare-bones introduction to those old reliables, HTML, CSS, and Javascript. With the fundamentals in place, anyone will be able to pick up valuable creative tips in lessons about Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop CC, both of which are essential for providing visual distinction to any site. For designers brushing up on the latest, the bundle includes in-depth tutorials on newer tools like Bootstrap 4 and React, and even an overview of app design through Sketch 3.All in all, it's over 65 hours of training and resources, geared to turn the most casual coder into a working web designer. The Complete Front-End Developer Bundle is now $41 for lifetime access. Read the rest
Yikes is over.
Seeing a slight resurgence online this week, perhaps due to issues related to the government shutdown, is the viral term "Yikes!" I humbly propose that this shopworn exclamation be replaced for the duration of 2019 with"Blimey!" This perfectly British alternative honors the derailed madness of Brexit and even comes with an optional intensifier — Cor Blimey! — though Americans would be advised to use it sparingly. Read the rest
America's most honest used car salesman explains AS-IS
Cash Cars in Kansas City will take very little cash for very crappy vehicles. They are sold AS-IS, and yet Desmound Logan here must still explain to customers that when you pay $3,000 for a Tahoe, you can take it on an extended test drive but you are not getting a warrantee. "When you come to us, we are your last motherfuckin resort," says Logan.In the following video, Logan presents a Cash Cars KC "You figure out what's wrong with it" special.NSFW language throughout, y'all. Read the rest
Making a song from the Tropic Thunder "I'm a Dude" quote with Teenage Engineering's amazing OP-1
It's a very expensive wee gadget, the Teenage Engineering OP-1 [Amazon link; a used one from eBay is much cheaper]! Yuri Wong is an expert with its sampling and sequencing tools, and this video he uploaded is a fascinating illustration of how powerful and approachable they are.Download the mp3: https://gum.co/imadude [Logic Project download link below] I'm a fan of Tropic Thunder, especially Robert Downey's character of Kirk Lazarus and his brilliant line, "I'm a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude." Thought I'd play around with my Teenage Engineering OP-1 and see what comes out. I'm making the Logic Project for the full track downloadable. Here it is: https://gum.co/IurBZ Have a play around with the project, and if you feel like uploading anything from it, just credit my YouTube channel, thanks. Read the rest
Watch Miley Cyrus belt out Temple of the Dog's "Say Hello 2 Heaven" at Chris Cornell tribute
At last night's "I Am The Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell" concert in Los Angeles, Miley Cyrus belted out Temple of the Dog's "Say Hello 2 Heaven" backed up by Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam and Josh Freese and Brendan O'Brien. By all accounts, Cyrus's surprisingly fierce performance was a highlight of an incredible and emotional evening.(via Billboard) View this post on Instagram Say Hello to Heaven... had a heavenly experience with you tonight, Chris. We felt you and heard you.... your words and spirit filled the room.... there was an overwhelming feeling of so much love... we miss you deeply ... tonight was an honor.... #chriscornelltribute A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on Jan 17, 2019 at 1:38am PST Read the rest
That first plant grown on the moon? Already dead.
On Monday, we reported that for the first time, a plant seed had germinated on the moon, an early experiment to test whether food could someday be grown on the moon to feed residents of a lunar base. The cotton sprout was inside a canister on China's Chang’e 4 lander that touched down on the far side of the moon earlier this month. Now, word that the first lunar plant has died. The little seedling froze to death during the lunar night. From GBTimes:Liu Hanlong, head of the experiment at Chongqing University, said at a Chongqing government press conference on Tuesday that the temperature inside the 1-litre-capacity canister had reached -52 degrees Celsius and the experiment had ended.According to Liu, the experiment did not carry a battery and could not continue environmental control during the lunar nighttime. The lack of battery was possibly due to mass constraints for the mission and the lander's own power demands..."Although it is a biological payload for popularising science, it laid a foundation and technological support for our next step, that is, to build a lunar base for living," (Chongqing University professor and designer of the experiment) Xie (Genxin) said.Previously:• China launching lunar spacecraft to test growing plants on the dark side of the Moon• First images from China's probe that just landed on the dark side of the moon Read the rest
Lorna Doom, bassist for the Germs, RIP
Lorna Doom, badass bassist of influential Los Angeles punk band the Germs, died yesterday. Formed in 1976, the Germs -- Doom, Darby Crash, Pat Smear, and Don Bolles in the classic line-up -- were at the center of the early Hollywood punk scene that spawned Black Flag, X, Fear, the Go-Go's, and so many seminal acts. From the Los Angeles Times:Born Teresa Ryan, Doom became an icon of the U.S. punk explosion despite having to learn her instrument after already joining the band. Along with her high school friend Belinda Carlisle, who would become lead singer of the Go-Go’s, the bassist was part of the posse of Hollywood punks who sparked a West Coast music movement.Doom’s death at age 61 was confirmed by her longtime friend and former Germs bandmate Don Bolles. A cause of death was not immediately available...Germs' primal first album, “G.I.,” set the tone for the U.S. hardcore punk movement. The debut release by the fledgling indie label Slash, which was founded by the punk fanzine of the same name, the 1978 album felt zapped onto turntables from a way messier, more uncontrolled galaxy...Slash Records also released the soundtrack to the Penelope Spheeris documentary “The Decline of Western Civilization,” which documented the Germs and other bands in performance. When the film became an unlikely indie hit, Doom’s work served as inspiration to countless female punks itching to break through the genre’s male-dominated glass ceiling.yesterday i lost a part of me, my best friend in high school and partner in crime in the early punk scene, #LornaDoom or Teresa passed away.... Read the rest
Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress about The Moscow Tower Project
Trump received 10 personal updates from Michael Cohen and encouraged a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin. “Make it happen,” Trump said of the Putin meeting.
Trump grounds Pelosi, Melania flies Air Force to Florida same day (cost: $35,217.50)
Scammers are so petty.In a bizarre statement today, Donald Trump “grounds” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from flying on government aircraft for a planned but not publicly disclosed to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan and conduct America's foreign business abroad.Disclosing this is a violation of national security, and stupid. Some 800,000 federal workers are without pay, and with each passing day, the shutdown -- we're on day 27-- threatens America's economy and the safety of every American. On this same day, Melania Trump flew on government aircraft to Florida, to their privately owned Mar a Lago resort. She's there alone with their child.The cost of this Air Force flight to taxpayers was over $35,0000, reports Quartz. Why'd Melania do that today? No reason, huh.EXEC1F - #MelaniaForceOne climbing out from Joint Base Andrews🇺🇸 US Air ForceC-32A 98-0001 https://t.co/BlmOXELhxJ pic.twitter.com/kgGWuEiiGV— CivMilAir ✈ (@CivMilAir) January 17, 2019.@SpeakerPelosi cannot use military plane to war zone and NATO that speakers are entitled to (for security since 9/11 because she is in line of succession) but Melania Trump flew tonight to Maralago on same type of military 757 from JBA. Alone.— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) January 18, 2019ABC News reported at 642pm Eastern that the first lady had arrived in Florida, and headed to the president's Mar a Lago club with their son Barron Trump:The first lady’s office did not respond to ABC's request for further comment.Nothing more need be said.Just reported on @MSNBC: Melania Trump flew to Florida today on a government plane, a law enforcement source confirms to NBC News, just after Trump prevented Nancy Pelosi from using a government plane to visit troops in Afghanistan. Read the rest
Sears not dead yet, Lampert wins bankruptcy auction with $5.2 billion bid
Once-iconic American retailer Sears (owned by Sears Holdings Corporation) will not die a bankruptcy liquidation death after all. Chairman Eddie Lampert today won a bankruptcy auction to purchase the company's assets, after presenting an upped offer of $5.2 billion, Sears said Thursday.Creditors oppose the deal.Reuters:Sears picked Lampert’s hedge fund ESL Investments Inc as the winner at a bankruptcy court-supervised auction after his latest bid topped an earlier $5 billion proposal following weeks of talks.The deal would keep open more than 400 stores, preserve up to 45,000 jobs and ESL would acquire substantially all of the company, including its “Go Forward Stores” on a going-concern basis, Sears said.“We are pleased to have reached a deal that would provide a path for Sears to emerge from the chapter 11 process,” the restructuring committee of Sears’ board of directors said in a statement.The sale still has to be approved by a U.S. bankruptcy judge, and that's not happening during the ongoing U.S. government shutdown, now on its 27th day. A hearing to consider the deal is set for February 1. If approved, the transaction is expected to close on or about Feb. 8, Sears says.Previously on Boing Boing: • Sears chairman Eddie Lampert submits new $5 billion bid to save doomed retailer• RIP Sears.• Sears expected to liquidate as last-minute buyout failsPHOTO: The storefront of a Sears, Roebuck and Co. store is seen in El Paso, Texas, circa 1940. Photographer unknown. Read the rest
Total lunar eclipse Sunday January 20 will be 'Super Blood Wolf Moon'
Starting Sunday evening, Jan. 20, 2019, North and South America will have a chance at seeing 2019's only total lunar eclipse, from start to finish. Our Earth, Moon and Sun line up on Sunday night for the only total lunar eclipse of of the year. Catch it if you can.And especially because it's a “supermoon.” That's when the moon is closer to Earth, and therefore looks larger and more bright than it normally does. Weather in much of the United States during the eclipse is expected to make for challenging viewing conditions, but you never know. “This one is particularly good,” Rice University astrophysicist Patrick Hartigan tells the AP in this story. “It not only is a supermoon and it’s a total eclipse, but the total eclipse also lasts pretty long. It’s about an hour.”Excerpt:The whole eclipse starts Sunday night or early Monday, depending on location , and will take about three hours.It begins with the partial phase around 10:34 p.m. EST Sunday. That’s when Earth’s shadow will begin to nip at the moon. Totality — when Earth’s shadow completely blankets the moon — will last 62 minutes, beginning at 11:41 p.m. EST Sunday.If the skies are clear, the entire eclipse will be visible in North and South America, as well as Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal and the French and Spanish coasts. The rest of Europe, as well as Africa, will have partial viewing before the moon sets.During totality, the moon will look red because of sunlight scattering off Earth’s atmosphere. Read the rest
Two GOP reps meet racist troll Chuck Johnson 'to discuss genetic testing and DNA'
Two GOP congressmen met with noted white supremacist Chuck Johnson about “genetic testing and DNA,” then deny knowing he's a white supremacist. Holocaust denier and white supremacy troll Chuck Johnson, famous for lawsuit-worthy rumors he shit on the floor in public, met with Republican congressmen Andy Harris and Phil Roe on Wednesday in Capitol hill to discuss “DNA" and "genetics." Johnson is a eugenics proponent.In the photo above tweeted by Matt Fuller at HuffPost, Reps. Phil Roe of Tennessee, center, and Andy Harris of Maryland, right, walk with Chuck Johnson in the nation's capital. Reps. Roe and Harris are both medical doctors.Chuck once wrote that Muslims are “genetically different in their propensity for violence or rape," and writes that black people have a gene that makes them violent.He won't share details on his new "DNA" and "genetics" operation, including its name.Why are Republican members of congress meeting with this man, not even a week after publicly denouncing white supremacist remarks by congressman Steve King (R-IA)?Ben Collins of NBC News writes, “Chuck Johnson wouldn't comment on a FB post he shared that said African-Americans 'possessed a violence gene' or that 'Muslims are genetically different in their propensity for rape.'””Asking me to defend my views on Facebook is a little absurd,” he told NBC. Excerpt from Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny's report:Chuck Johnson met with Reps. Andy Harris of Maryland and Phil Roe of Tennessee on Thursday. After a Huffington Post reporter tweeted a photo of Johnson with the two congressmen, and the photo attracted media attention because of Johnson's far-right views, Roe released a statement saying he and Harris had met with Johnson because he was representing a company advocating for "increasing the number of sequenced genomes for research."Spokespersons for Harris and Roe both confirmed to NBC News that they had met with Johnson Thursday, and a spokesperson for Roe said they had discussed "DNA" and "genetics." Johnson and Harris would not identify the company when asked. Read the rest
Manafort worked with Kilimnik, reported Russian operative, even after criminal charges: Reports
Four words in a tiny font at the top of a page in Mueller's recent court filing reveal that Manafort kept at it with Kilimnik even *after* Manafort was charged with multiple felonies. It pays to read the fine print. Excerpt from Rosalind S. Helderman at the Washington Post:In a tiny font at the top of the 82nd page of a lengthy document filed in court this week by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is a key clue to his ongoing interest in Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman.The four words of unredacted text suggest that in February 2018 — four months after Manafort was first charged with crimes related to his work as a political consultant in Ukraine — he still appears to have been working on a peace initiative for Ukraine, a topic of intense interest to Russia.And it suggests he was doing so in concert with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian employee of his consulting firm who is alleged to have ties to Russian intelligence.The revelation, potentially inadvertent, comes as Manafort and Mueller’s legal team have been battling in court over whether Manafort lied to prosecutors after he pleaded guilty in September to conspiring against the United States with his Ukraine work and agreed to cooperate with the probe.Here's that “In a tiny font at the top of the 82nd page” section:On Tuesday, Robert Mueller’s team filed a 32-page declaration supporting their claim that Manafort lied to the court. This declaration included many additional pages of exhibits. Read the rest
Trump White House cancels Davos trip for World Economic Forum
The planned delegation included Pompeo and Mnuchin.White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says the Trump administration has canceled a planned trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. The announcement was made today, Thursday, the 27th day of Trump's partial government shutdown..@PressSec: “Out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay and to ensure his team can assist as needed, President Trump has canceled his Delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.”— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 17, 2019"Out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay and to ensure his team can assist as needed, President Trump has canceled his Delegation's trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland," Sanders said in a statement.Trump had already canceled his participation in Davos. The delegation would have been led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and deputy chief of staff for policy coordination Chris Liddell.Earlier in the day, Trump's spokesmonster issued this statement, as an apparent petulant swipe at the Speaker of the House telling him to State of the Union somewhere else while he holds 800,000 Americans and their families hostage.President @realDonaldTrump’s letter to @SpeakerPelosi concerning her upcoming travel pic.twitter.com/TtBCvwp080— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 17, 2019At the World Economic Forum in Davos, @SecPompeo was scheduled to participate in a panel discussion with @jensstoltenberg and others: "The Future of the Transatlantic Alliance."— David Gura (@davidgura) January 18, 2019Trump has now canceled this trip as well. Read the rest
Aeromexico trolls the MAGAs
Mexico's largest airline is trolling Americans and it's the best. h/t @Aeromexico pic.twitter.com/hPvqGnDZeF— Kevin Sieff (@ksieff) January 17, 2019I love visiting Mexico. Baja is amazing. The locals are incredibly friendly and helpful. Read the rest
World Health Organization lists 'Vaccine Hesitancy' as a top 10 threat
Anti-Vaxxers magically deny science, cite debunked papers, and threaten all of our well being. Only the smartest people are anti-vaxxers, like President Trump.WHO:Vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved. Measles, for example, has seen a 30% increase in cases globally. The reasons for this rise are complex, and not all of these cases are due to vaccine hesitancy. However, some countries that were close to eliminating the disease have seen a resurgence. The reasons why people choose not to vaccinate are complex; a vaccines advisory group to WHO identified complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence are key reasons underlying hesitancy. Health workers, especially those in communities, remain the most trusted advisor and influencer of vaccination decisions, and they must be supported to provide trusted, credible information on vaccines. In 2019, WHO will ramp up work to eliminate cervical cancer worldwide by increasing coverage of the HPV vaccine, among other interventions. 2019 may also be the year when transmission of wild poliovirus is stopped in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Last year, less than 30 cases were reported in both countries. WHO and partners are committed to supporting these countries to vaccinate every last child to eradicate this crippling disease for good. Read the rest
AOC's debut speech on the Congressional floor: "It is not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want."
"The truth of this shutdown is that it is not actually about a wall, it is not about the border, and it is certainly not about the well-being of everyday Americans. The truth is, this shutdown is about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms. It is not normal to hold 800,000 workers’ paychecks hostage. It is not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want. It is not normal for public servants to run away and hide from the public that they serve. And it is certainly not normal to starve the people we serve for a proposal that is wildly unpopular among the American people." (via DC Tribune) Read the rest
The right to own a gun does not imply competence of any sort
Sho nuff!(via 10NEWS WTSP/facebook) Read the rest
The classic Swingline Red Stapler is on sale today
I bought my Swingline Red Stapler on September 10, 2008 and it still makes me happy every time I look at it. Amazon has it on sale today for great price. Read the rest
Here's a must-read checklist of actions to increase online privacy and security
As the about page says, "This website provides a beginner’s checklist for staying safe on the internet." It shows you how to use a password manager, create a strong device passcode, use two-factor authentication, set up a mobile carrier PIN, encrypt your devices, freeze Your credit, use 1.1.1.1 for DNS resolution, use a virtual private network, use a privacy-first web browser, use a privacy-first search engine, use a privacy-first email provider, review location, camera, and other sensitive device permissions, review and remove metadata attached to photos you share, review your social media privacy settings, use encrypted messaging apps when sharing sensitive information, and educate yourself about phishing attacks (because none of the above matters if you fall prey to phishing).Image: KenoKickit/Shutterstock Read the rest
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