"Of course, the angels, being angels, feel no relief as they piss. They get their celestial jollies by raining a little holy water on us, but they know nothing of urination as a physical urge. If you want to enjoy some real salt-of-the-earth pissing, Lebensztejn reports, you have to skip ahead to 1600." [more inside]
A cop called Brady drives up in his electric car, determined to kill someone. He enters a gambling joint, walks up to the barman – whose surname is Duncan – and tells him he’s under arrest. Duncan responds by shooting Brady in the chest at point-blank range, killing him instantly. The only explanation we get for any of this is that Brady’s “been on the job too long”. That’s the tale told by the classic murder ballad Duncan & Brady, and it contains a lot more truth than you might imagine. The date was October 6, 1890, and here’s what really happened. [via mefi projects by Paul Slade] [more inside]
32 years to the day after the infamous and memorable September 19, 1985 earthquake, and two weeks behind a recent one in Oaxaca called the "strongest in 100 years" , Mexico suffers a deadly earthquake that has severely affected Mexico City, plus towns in the states of Puebla, Morelos and Estado de Mexico. [more inside]
Turns Out Spiders Have Tiny Paws, And It May Change The Way You Look At Them (adorable paws only, no full spider images)
Alexis Okeowo in the New Yorker on West Africa's most daring designer:
Osakwe’s collection earlier this year was inspired by what she described as a “middle-class Nigerian girl going on a booty call.” In Lagos, that girl usually travels by the yellow danfo buses that career through the streets, and has practical problems to consider...“What is seduction to her? It’s not a pretty journey,” Osakwe said. “How does that middle-class girl get it on? Because sex is so taboo, but we know we’re all fucking like rabbits.” The answer, Osakwe reasoned, is clothing that is erotic but protective—not a short skirt and heels but a long, strapless red dress, evoking the traditional wrapper, that can easily be dropped in the act of seduction. Though she hesitates to tell Nigerian buyers that she draws inspiration from sex workers, clients see her clothes as an illicit escape: a chance to feel more exciting, less restrained.[more inside]
Following a tease on Instagram last night, it's been confirmed that HBO placed a pilot order for a Watchmen series. Somewhat controversial screenwriter Damon Lindelof heads the writing room. [more inside]
To wrap up the discussions of Pournelle and his ilk and the so-called "golden age" of SF, here's an interesting essay.
Today a retrospective of the art of Martin Wong (1946-1999) opens at the Berkeley Art Museum. The touring show originated at the Bronx Museum (NYT review), and its travels to the Bay Area represent a homecoming for the art of Wong, who was raised in San Francisco's Chinatown. He did set design for Cockettes spinoff the Angels of Light. He moved to New York in 1978, collaborated with his partner, writer Miguel Piñero, collected graffiti art (that collection is now at the City Museum of New York), and collected thousands of items including ceramics. He moved back to San Francisco after he was diagnosed with AIDS. His legacy is commemorated by the Martin Wong Foundation.
On the eve of The Good Place's season 2 premiere, Kristen Bell has released the video of the rest of the gang responding to finding out about the finale. Spoilers in the link/video.
David Shepherd, artist and conservation activist, has died aged 86. Best known for his depictions of African wildlife such as The Ivory is Theirs, he was also a renowned aviation artist and painter of steam engines. [more inside]
Want to spend a few hours on a wargame? Well, you definitely do not want to unroll the 10-foot board that comes with The Campaign for North Africa, because not only will you need to find nine friends, but y'all are likely to spend upwards of 1500 hours playing what Richard Berg, the game's designer, called "wretched excess... but it was designed specifically as such." [more inside]
Lillian Ross, who became known as the consummate fly-on-the-wall reporter in a six-decade career at The New Yorker, died on Wednesday in Manhattan. She was 99. [more inside]
Card skimming (previously) is a practice where thieves will place a secondary card reader over the primary card reader of a gas pump, which will then collect and store the information of any card used at that pump. As this scam proliferates, more and more scammers are using cheap skimmers that they buy off of the Internet, which they do not configure, making them detectable through the Bluetooth capabilities of your average smartphone. An open source (GitHub) app called the Skimmer Scanner (Android only, available through the Play Store) automates this process even further, and its author provides an in-depth tutorial about card skimming, and how to avoid it.
25-year-old Patrik Hermansson went undercover with American and British Nazis for a year. He presented himself as ”Erik Hallberg”, a political refugee from the left-wing dictatorship of Sweden. [more inside]
Appalachia has the greatest diversity of salamanders in the world, but since they largely live underground, many of the people who live in the region are barely aware of how many of the amphibians are around them. The US's National Zoo had an exhibit a few years ago on Appalachian salamanders, including this short film on salamanders, their role in the ecosystem, and how threats to the environment affect them.
Two things emerged from the rubble of Mexico City after the devastating 1985 earthquake that killed 30,000 people: the first one is the national spirit of solidarity and compassion that compels every Mexican to drop everything and rush to help those in need. The second one is the Topos. [more inside]
Understanding the brain using topology: the Blue Brain project. The brain is one of the main mysteries of medical science so this is huge! For me the most exciting part of this is that the researchers build their theory through the lens of Algebraic Topology and I will try to explain the main players in their game here. [more inside]
Since 1958, a small department of Germany’s government has sought to bring members of the Third Reich to trial. A handful of prosecutors are still tracking down Nazis, but the world’s biggest cold-case investigation will soon be shut down.
Tomb Raider [YouTube][Official Trailer] “From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Tomb Raider is the story that will set a young and resolute Lara Croft on a path toward becoming a global hero. The film stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Danish Girl) in the lead role, under the direction of Roar Uthaug (The Wave), with Oscar-winner Graham King (The Departed) producing under his GK Films banner. The film¹s production begins on the heels of the 20th anniversary of the wildly popular videogame franchise from Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal.”
Colin Stokes is welcoming but has concerns about the sharing economy in The New Yorker
Ever wondered what a comptroller does? Crimefighting, at least if you're Susana Mendoza, comptroller of the State of Illinois, who leapt off her bike to chase down mobbed-up felon Johnny "Quarters" Boyle to prevent him from getting away with a hit-and-run.
Bethany Yellowtail is a fashion designer from the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservations in Montana. Her designs are influenced by her grandmother's beadwork, elktooth dresses worn by powwow dancers on the Crow Reservation, old black and white photos of her family, and her political activism. "For me, it's about showing people in the mainstream fashion world -- our buyers may not be Native -- sharing a way that our women wear their regalia". [more inside]
The Gentle Oraclebird is a Twitterbot that dispenses beautiful tarot-style readings from an original deck designed by Shing Yin Khor, aka @sawdustbear.
“This has been my go-to brownie recipe for 30 years. In the ’80s, an acquaintance in Germany to whom I brought some of the brownies, and who considered herself a great cook, asked for the recipe but was never able to get it to work. She kept asking me what she was doing wrong and I was never able to solve her problem. Eventually, she moved to the U.S. and stole my husband!” The Story Behind the Greatest Internet Recipe Comment of All Time
Not drinking or driving, teens increasingly put off traditional markers of adulthood. "...teenagers are increasingly delaying activities that had long been seen as rites of passage into adulthood. The study, published Tuesday in the journal Child Development, found that the percentage of adolescents in the United States who have a driver’s license, who have tried alcohol, who date and who work for pay has plummeted since 1976, with the most precipitous decreases in the past decade."
Autumn arrives and with it comes a cornucopia, but pumpkins, real pumpkins! Utah oh, and maybe everywhere has a fascination with large pumpkins, and the Utah State Fair has a yearly contest. Usually these pumpkins are not so much pumpkin like, but rugged and gnarly, not the pumpkin of a Halloween doorstep. However, this one is a ~2000 lb chunk of punkin' perfection, grown in a hot house not by a farmer, but by a guy with a passion.
The online people-who-love-to-smoke community is one of the most supportive and kindly corners of the internet I have ever encountered, especially for a group entirely preoccupied with the abetting of a habit that is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. I’m not sure if this is a particularly illuminating observation, whether it says something profoundly terrible about humanity and where it is headed, or whether this is something we should find solace in. I change my mind about it a lot.*present company excluded
Deadspin: There’s no use trying to skirt around this, so let’s cut straight to the chase: A Colorado Springs woman has been taking big craps in front of someone’s house for a few weeks now. They’re calling her the Mad Pooper and she won’t stop. The cops are involved. It appears to be some sort of revenge pooping. I hope you enjoy this report from local CBS outlet KKTV as much as I did. [more inside]
Kirk vs. the Gorn is one of the all-time great fight scenes. Therefore, it starts with the future's greatest offensive hand-to-hand maneuver: the double-punch.
Just a few months shy of 50, Rolling Stone has been put up to sale by co-founder and publisher Jann Wenner. Better known as a reference in music journalism, it also fostered a number of political writers, becoming one of the main features on the magazine during the second GW Bush term and the 2008 Financial Crisis, as smaller internet outlets occupied their place as trendsetters in music.
Scientists Can Now Repaint Butterfly Wings - "Thanks to CRISPR, scientists are studying animal evolution in ways that were previously thought to be impossible." [more inside]
The Vietnam veterans who became the crafting kings of the county fair "The first time Rod won a blue ribbon at the Montgomery County Fair, in 2010, it was Nathan who had secretly submitted Rod’s handmade blanket. After that, Rod submitted entries on his own every year. He had never mentioned anything about entering his final project at the fair. But seven months after he died, Nathan decided to do it anyway."
The footage, courtesy of Hirola Conservation Programme. Reporting in The New York Times, with more photos of white animals.
Australians are receiving a special postal survey from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The survey asks one simple question that can only be answered yes or no: "Do you support a change in the law to allow same-sex couples to marry?" The postal survey is a first for Australia - and not only is it not mandatory to vote in the survey, the results will not be legally binding. [more inside]
What if colonialism.... was good?[PDF] Bruce Gilley makes The Case For Colonialism. A nice timeline at The Daily Nous of some responses, as well as how the original piece failed peer review. [more inside]
As the 1800s dawned, 22 orphans boarded a Spanish ship, under the care of their orphanage director and a team of doctors and nurses. As they set sail across the Atlantic, the plan was set in motion: they infected one of the children with cowpox. Over the following months, they passed the virus from one child to the other, in carefully spaced succession, to create a living transmission chain that would reach the Americas. They thus carried the smallpox vaccine to the new world in what became known as the Balmis Expedition.
Shoog McDaniel, is a southern, queer, non-binary, fat photographer and artist living in Gainesville, Florida. "My work is about highlighting bodies and lives that are often overlooked by popular society. I enjoy photographing fat bodies, trans bodies, and queer bodies. People`with gap-toothed smiles and missing buttons. I capture images of my friends. With little exceptions, I have a connection with the humans in my photos and I intend to show that through the intimacy of my portraits. I strive to connect the viewer of each photo to beauty within themselves, through understanding the brilliancy of diversity, by showing them that there are many ways to be beautiful." (ALL LINKS VERY NSFW) [more inside]
It's been a teeth-gnashing irritant since there's been paper maps that folding and refolding them is so difficult but inventors to the rescue! Sort of. More or less. Here are some patents to solve the problem. Sort of. More or less.
The popular disc cleaning software CCleaner's most recent version is a payload for malware. Bleeping Computer has more detail.
"September 1997: Kid Rock had just landed a major-label record deal. Little-known Eminem was about to catch Dr. Dre’s ear and land his own. The face-painted duo Insane Clown Posse was grabbing headlines and hitting the charts amid controversy. Within 15 months, all would be household names in the wider music world, a strange bit of synchronicity that sparked magazine essays, cultural analysis and no small amount of head-scratching: Detroit had not only managed to produce three white rap acts. It had produced three of the most prominent of all time."20 years in, Kid Rock, Eminem and ICP are politically relevant — and culturally divided [more inside]
This is an amazingly detailed and smart overview of what to do in the face of identity theft.
(pre,viou,sly posts on business and programming from kalzumeus)
(pre,viou,sly posts on business and programming from kalzumeus)
The Sphinx - Scotland's longest lasting patch of snow - is about to vanish... it has only done so six times in the last 300 years.
Schuyler Bailar is a decorated swimmer who was recruited to Harvard as a female, but has found peace after transitioning to a male. (SLYT)
Eastern Washington is officially the hop capital of the world. It's that time of year again, fresh hop harvest season. One of our favorite little cones growing on a bine is making it's way across the US into kettles to make the beer we all love. This year Eastern Washington toppled Germany as producing more hops than anywhere else in the world. As part of a hop growing family this makes my heart swell with pride. Washington is a really neat state. Lots of news tends to focus on the Seattle area, but the Yakima area of the state is unique and a really cool experience. Also be sure to check out Fresh Hop Festival!