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Louise Linton's fashion tips for poors

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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.

Greetings #peasants, it’s me, Louise Linton, in a beautiful #hermesscarf and #tomford sunnies. You may know my husband, Steve Mnuchin, America’s Secretary of Treasure. Or you may be familiar with my work as a film star, from my turn as Samantha in Crew 2 Crew to 2013’s The Power of Few, where I played the role of “Cory’s Mother” #crew2crew #corysmom. I am also #rich, and probably paid more taxes on my #farragamo pants than you have in your entire worthless life.

It's funny, but this scathing aristocratic exaggeration is only a short hop from the real Linton. Crazy times.

Priscilla Presley killed Elvis, Michael Jackson¬タル

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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 . . .

In swiftly-deleted posting, GOP links Legend of Ze

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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. Sad! https://twitter.com/Beschizza/status/900516331522535429

My favorite internet animator, Joe Sparks, is back

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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=1A9EBq0Thy4

Representin' Hades!

Top Trump aide emailed campaign officials about pr

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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…)

Maximum cuteness: Corgi races

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Of course there are Corgi races!

Local stingray is in a great mood

posted: 23 Aug 2017

This just in.

(more…)

Trump obsessed with Russia probe, rage-dialing GOP

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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…)

Yet another Russian ambassador turns up dead, this

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Mirgayas Shirinskiy (photo) is the fourth senior Russian diplomat to “unexpectedly” die this year under.

(more…)

Sassy Trump Talks Nazis

posted: 23 Aug 2017

It was supposed to be Infrastructure Week, but neo-Nazis and Charlottesville happened. Sassy Trump was in a real pickle.

(more…)

Arlington National Cemetery is the only monument w

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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.

While the Lees worked to reclaim Arlington, Meigs urged Edwin Stanton in early 1866 to make sure the government had sound title to the cemetery. The land had been consecrated by the remains buried there and could not be given back to the Lees, he insisted, striking a refrain he would repeat in the years ahead. Yet the Lees clung to the hope that Arlington might be returned to the family—if not to Mrs. Lee, then to one of their sons. The former general was quietly pursuing this objective when he met with his lawyers for the last time, in July 1870. "The prospect does not look promising," he reported to Mary. The question of Arlington's ownership was still unresolved when Lee died, at 63, in Lexington, on October 12, 1870.

His widow continued to obsess over the loss of her home. Within weeks, Mary Lee petitioned Congress to examine the federal claim to Arlington and estimate the costs of removing the bodies buried there.

Her proposal was bitterly protested on the Senate floor and defeated, 54 to 4. It was a disaster for Mary Lee, but the debate helped to elevate Arlington's status: no longer a potter's field created in the desperation of wartime, the cemetery was becoming something far grander, a place senators referred to as hallowed ground, a shrine for "the sacred dead," "the patriot dead," "the heroic dead" and "patriotic graves."

The plantation the Lees had known became less recognizable each year. Many original residents of Freedmen's Village stayed on after the war, raising children and grandchildren in the little houses the Army had built for them. Meigs stayed on, too, serving as quartermaster general for two decades, shaping the look of the cemetery. He raised a Greek-style Temple of Fame to George Washington and to distinguished Civil War generals by Mrs. Lee's garden, established a wisteria-draped amphitheater large enough to accommodate 5,000 people for ceremonies and even prescribed new plantings for the garden's borders (elephant ears and canna). He watched the officers' section of the cemetery sprout enormous tombstones typical of the Gilded Age. And he erected a massive red arch at the cemetery's entrance to honor Gen. George B. McClellan, one of the Civil War's most popular—and least effective—officers. As was his habit, Meigs included his name on the arch; it was chiseled into the entrance column and lettered in gold. Today, it is one of the first things a visitor sees when approaching the cemetery from the east.

While Meigs built, Mary Lee managed a farewell visit to Arlington in June 1873. Accompanied by a friend, she rode in a carriage for three hours through a landscape utterly transformed, filled with old memories and new graves. "My visit produced one good effect," she wrote later that week. "The change is so entire that I have not the yearning to go back there & shall be more content to resign all my right in it." She died in Lexington five months later, at age 65.

Read more here.

(Thanks, Jane!)

Laura Lam's 'False Hearts' is a gripping tale

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Rarely does a novel grab my attention like Laura Lam's False Hearts.

I started reading Laua Lam's False Hearts and could not get out of my chair until I was done. I then rewound my Kindle to page one and handed the device to a friend who read 3-4 chapters before handing it back and saying "Wow, I want to keep reading!" This novel is wonderful.

A dystopian tale of near future San Francisco, Lam's world building is excellent. The opening, reminiscent of Roger Zelazny's EPIC Nine Princes in Amber, takes off at a blistering pace and the novel never slows down. A murder mystery surrounding separated-but-formerly-conjoined twins and the oppressive commune they were raised in fascinates.

I don't want to spoil anything. Read it yourself.

False Hearts: A Novel by Laura Lam via Amazon

The "best children¬タルs book illustrator in Italy"

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Nicoletta Ceccoli is a pop surrealist painter/illustrator from the Republic of San Marino, 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.

Federally paid informant lured woman into a romant

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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:

They had sex several times in the publicly funded halfway house where Padilla lived with other recently released women. But it was more than a physical attraction. He complimented her, listened, drove her to work—setting himself apart from the abusive men she’d loved before.

When he held her youngest daughter’s hand, strolling along Tingley Beach in search of digital Pokémon, it felt like a fresh chance at having a family.

There was darkness, for sure. She fed his marijuana and ecstasy habits with cash. Sometimes he disappeared for days. And he encouraged her relapse, slipping her an ecstasy pill one night at the halfway house. That ended a stretch of nearly two drug-free years in her decade-long battle with addiction.

But she had fallen in love with him. So when he asked her to set up a drug deal—scared for his safety after he claimed he’d been robbed—she called an old acquaintance and made an introduction.

Trump is a human void

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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:

Trump doesn’t know anything or really believe anything about any topic beyond himself, because he has no interest in any topic beyond himself; his evident cognitive decline and hyperactive laziness and towering monomania ensure that he will never again learn a new thing in his life. He has no friends and no real allies; his inner circle is divided between ostensibly scandalized cynics and theatrically shameless ones, all of whom hold him in low regard and see him as a potential means to their individuated ends. There is no help on the way; his outer orbit is a rotation of replacement-level rage-grandpas and defective, perpetually clammy operators. ...

Instead of hate, there is simple resentment—abject and valueless and recursively self-pitying; instead of love, there is the blank sucking nullity of vanity and appetite.

Always an egomaniac, Trump suffered deep narcissistic injury in his personal and business failures. His modern persona is invincible because it is reconstructed from nothing. It's a gold-plated concrete replica of the motormouthed vulgarian that America remembers from the 1980s. His presidency is a political superbacteria formed from the few parts of his ego, his brand, that were not annihilated in bankruptcy.

If you're hoping something emerges that will wash the Trump presidency away, I've got bad news for you. Even piss will not sterilize it; it will only make it shinier.

Red Dwarf XII slated for October

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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:

Red Dwarf XII is the twelfth series of the legendary comedy, once again written and directed by Doug Naylor and following last year's series XI, voted "Best Comedy of the Year" and "Best Returning Comedy" by British Comedy Guide. The original cast of Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Craig Charles (Lister), Danny John-Jules (Cat) and Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) are back for six brand new episodes recorded in front of a live studio audience at Pinewood Studios.

For the very first time, the rest of the crew discover just how it feels to be Kryten when they're arrested by the Mechanoid Intergalactic Liberation Front. The Dwarfers come across a ship where criticism is illegal, and a space station where the crew have developed a cure for evil. When all the machines on Red Dwarf go on strike Rimmer and Kryten hold a Presidential election, while The Cat faces an identity crisis like never before when he discovers he needs glasses. Lister discovers a simple update of the ship's latest software could be a matter of life or death. Finally, Rimmer decides to leave Red Dwarf in search of a parallel universe where he isn't such a massive loser.

Featuring a whole host of star guests, smart sci-fi and ingenious comedy, Red Dwarf XII returns to Dave exclusively this October.

Coolest cat in the universe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HOsbbD4IKc

2-pack of battery powered LED string lights with r

posted: 23 Aug 2017

I bought these LED string lights for a friend who has been stringing up little incandescent A/C powered plugs on her backyard terrace. These are much better. They don't get ruined by sprinkler water, and you don't need an extension cord. They have a timer function so you don't drain the battery. Two 20-foot strands (60 LEDs per strand) cost $12.

Former CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson wants to

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Valerie Plame Wilson, who was outed as a CIA operative during the Bush Administration, has put up a GoFundMe page so that she could buy Twitter - and then give Trump the boot. "Donald Trump has done a lot of horrible things on Twitter," says Wilson on her campaign's page. "From emboldening white supremacists to promoting violence against journalists, his tweets damage the country and put people in harm's way."

"The company is currently worth nearly $12 billion, with its shares going for around $16," according to USA Today.

The goal: $1 billion. That might be a stretch, though. Wilson has raised more than $3,000 since she launched the campaign on August 16.

"At the current market rate that would require over a billion dollars — but that's a small price to pay to take away Trump's most powerful megaphone and prevent a horrific nuclear war," Plame wrote. If they aren't able to meet that goal, the plan is to buy a "significant stake" in order to push the proposal at the annual stakeholder's meeting, Plame said.

And what does Twitter have to say on the matter? No comment as of yet, according to USA Today.

Image: crystal.village

How to hear the true sound of your own voice witho

posted: 23 Aug 2017

When we speak, sing or shout, what we perceive gets a mighty bass boost from our own head matter. But what the lister (and the microphone) hears — the reedy, whiny, nasal true self! — is their reality. In this video, vocal coach Chris Beatty shows off a neat trick to cutting out the frequencies that only you hear, allowing you to train and temper your tone of speech as others hear it. All you need do it put two thick boards, magazines or notebooks either side of your face — but it's nicer listening to him explain.

Everything, even a rock, has some degree of consci

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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:

Physicalists may object: “Just because we haven’t yet worked out how to give a mechanistic explanation of consciousness, it doesn’t follow that such an explanation will be forever beyond our grasp. Scientists before Darwin had no explanation of the emergence of complex life, which led many to suppose that there must be something divine or miraculous in the existence of life. The genius of Darwin was to come up with the idea of natural selection, which removes the need for divine creation in the biological realm. We just need a ‘Darwin of consciousness’ to come along and do something similar in the mental realm.” This kind of objection is often accompanied by a certain narrative of the history of science, according to which phenomenon after phenomenon was declared inexplicable by philosophers, only to be later explained by the relentless march of science.

However, to adopt panpsychism is not to give up on the attempt to explain consciousness scientifically. Rather, panpsychism is a scientific research programme in its own right. Panpsychists do not simply declare animal and human consciousness a sacred mystery which must have arrived by magic. Instead, they try to explain animal and human consciousness in terms of more basic forms of consciousness: the consciousness of basic materials entities, such as quarks and electrons. It is true that consciousness itself is not explained in terms of anything more fundamental: the basic consciousness of basic physical entities is a fundamental postulate of the theory. But there is no reason to think that science must always follow the most reductionist path. The scientific explanation of electromagnetism which eventually emerged in the 19th century involved the postulation of new fundamental properties and forces: electromagnetic ones. Perhaps the scientific explanation of human consciousness, when it eventually arrives, will be similarly non-reductive in postulating fundamental kinds of consciousness.

[via 3 Quarks Daily]

Image: Owner of Pet Rock Net/Wikipedia

Federally paid informant to lure woman into a roma

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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:

They had sex several times in the publicly funded halfway house where Padilla lived with other recently released women. But it was more than a physical attraction. He complimented her, listened, drove her to work—setting himself apart from the abusive men she’d loved before.

When he held her youngest daughter’s hand, strolling along Tingley Beach in search of digital Pokémon, it felt like a fresh chance at having a family.

There was darkness, for sure. She fed his marijuana and ecstasy habits with cash. Sometimes he disappeared for days. And he encouraged her relapse, slipping her an ecstasy pill one night at the halfway house. That ended a stretch of nearly two drug-free years in her decade-long battle with addiction.

But she had fallen in love with him. So when he asked her to set up a drug deal—scared for his safety after he claimed he’d been robbed—she called an old acquaintance and made an introduction.

A movie accent expert comments on 31 actors playin

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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?"

Rube Goldberg machine of the day

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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."

Massive Cincinnati nudist resort closing down afte

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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!)

Daddy longlegs drop their limbs to escape predator

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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.

Longread: what will it take to re-decentralize the

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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…)

Watch the new Blade Runner 2049 trailer with unsee

posted: 23 Aug 2017

If only you could see what Ryan Gosling has seen with your eyes.

13 years after Katrina, New Orleans plans to evacu

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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…)

The psilocybin in magic mushrooms is an insect rep

posted: 23 Aug 2017

The psilocybin in magic mushrooms is a potent psychedelic for animals. But what good is the psilocybin for the shrooms? New genetic research from Ohio State University suggests that the psilocybin might act as an insect repellant, protecting the mushrooms. From New Scientist:

The gene cluster (linked to psilocybin production) is found in several distantly related groups, suggesting that the fungi swapped genes in a process called horizontal gene transfer. This is uncommon in mushrooms: it is the first time genes for a compound that is not necessary for the fungi’s survival – called a secondary metabolite – have been found moving between mushroom lineages.

Since these genes have survived in multiple species, Slot thinks psilocybin must be useful to the fungi. “Strong selection could be the reason this gene cluster was able to overcome the barriers to horizontal gene transfer,” (researcher Jason Slot) says.

Hallucinogenic mushrooms often inhabit areas rich in fungi-eating insects, so Slot suggests psilocybin might protect the fungi, or repel insects from a shared food source, by somehow influencing their behaviour.

Car repossession goes awry

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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.

Small town Uber driver quits, launches a one-drive

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Suzanne Ashe was the only Uber driver in Haines, Alaska, and the app wouldn't let her stay logged in and available because the rides came so infrequently. (more…)

Video of the International Space Station passing i

posted: 23 Aug 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=200&v=lepQoU4oek4

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.

Maker Update: giant fake gold bricks and Overwatch

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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.

Cool Johnny Cash guitar trick with a playing card

posted: 23 Aug 2017

In this short video, you'll learn how to achieve Johnny Cash's cool textured, rhythmic strumming sound with a playing card.

Firefighters rescue farm piglets from fire and lat

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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…)

Linguistic data analysis of 3 billion Reddit comme

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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:

Focusing on The_Donald, I used a script that lets you see which words are most likely to occur in the same comment. Combining this with a tool that allows you to look at the overlap in commenters between different parts of Reddit, I found that the alt-right isn’t just one voice: It’s made up by distinct constituencies that share different opinions and ways to express them, identifiable by the language they use and the other communities they post in.

In other words, there’s a taxonomy of trolls. So who are they, and what language do they use?

Here are the groups and their favorite words:

4chan shitposters: kek, Pepe, deus vult, tendies, God Emperor Trump

Anti-progressive gamers: SJW, snowflake, pandering, tumblr, feminist, triggering, GamerGate, virtue signalling

Men’s rights activists: females, cuck, bitch, Chad, alpha, beta, omega

Anti-globalists: globalist scum, the establishment, puppets, elites, masters, George Soros, cultural Marxist

White supremacists: Islam, (creeping) Sharia, “deus vult”, “western culture”, various racial slurs

By Anthony Crider - Charlottesville "Unite the Right" Rally, CC BY 2.0, Link

What we know will NOT happen with Trump

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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,

A republican, a democrat and an independent smoke

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Three young adults get stoned and talk politics.

White republican (to black democrat): "I think some of these stigmas you guys have, you place upon yourselves.

Democrat: Like what? Give me an example.

Republican: Like, you can move on from that. Like, when I was two years old, you know, I'd shit my pants. My mom told me not to. I stopped.

Democrat: So, you're comparing the oppression of black people to shitting your pants?

They were also asked who, if presented with Trump, Ryan, and Pence, they would choose to "fuck, marry, and kill." Democrat: fuck Trump, kill Pence, marry Ryan. Independent: fuck Ryan. Republican: fuck Trump, kill Ryan, marry Pence.

A movie accent comments on 31 actors playing real

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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?"

Carl Sagan sadly still dead

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Carl Sagan:

Neil DeGrasse Tyson:

There is a curious alignment in the modern stars of science and its enemies. All agree that wonder is more dangerous than certitude.

Jury would not convict white militiamen who aimed

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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…)

Legal California weed could lead to public banking

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Famously, federally insured banks and credit-unions won't take deposits from the marijuana industry, even in states where marijuana sales have been legalized; this leaves the weed industry dealing all in cash, from safes in the basement to sacks of money delivered to the tax-office by armored car. (more…)

During WW II two Americans escaped the Japanese by

posted: 23 Aug 2017

After Japan invaded the Philippines in 1941, two American servicemen hatched a desperate plan to sail 3,000 miles to Allied Australia in a 20-foot wooden fishing boat. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll join Rocky Gause and William Osborne as they struggle to avoid the Japanese and reach safety.

We'll also tell time in Casablanca and puzzle over a towing fatality.

Show notes

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Local council requires Grenfell survivors to bid a

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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…)

Serpstat is the only SEO tool you need

posted: 23 Aug 2017

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.

The Registry

Dell, BT alchemists turn bog-standard HW/SW to fle

posted: 24 Aug 2017

Playing the disaggregation game

Analysis  Dell EMC is supplying network switches to a proof-of-concept research project at BT Labs in Adastral Park, Suffolk.…

El Reg gets schooled on why SSDs will NOT k

posted: 24 Aug 2017

Shirts will be lost!

Interview  Some commentators think saying SSDs will kill off disk drives is wrong. Here is an exchange El Reg had with a storage media industry insider who wished to remain anonymous…

Mozilla ponders making telemetry opt-out, 'cos har

posted: 24 Aug 2017

Browser-maker wants to compile global top 100 sites list, promises to protect privacy

Mozilla may require users to opt-out of sending telemetry from its Firefox browser because so few have opted in that it's hard for developers to get a good sample of what causes problems.…

Apple actually opens up about something ¬タモ the R&

posted: 24 Aug 2017

But you'd have to start working for them to find out any more

At an academic speech tech conference today (Thursday), Apple researchers will present some of the classic building blocks behind the voice generation of the Siri assistant.…

Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a com

posted: 24 Aug 2017

I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't drive like that

Much of the hype surrounding self-driving cars arises from the fact that people are terrible drivers. Automated systems, we're told, can help save lives.…

Kill animals and destroy property before hurting h

posted: 24 Aug 2017

New auto rules approaching in the land of Das Auto

Germany’s government has answered the car ethics question once and for all: driverless cars should prioritize the protection of human life over the destruction of animals or property.…

British broadband is confusing and speeds are crap

posted: 24 Aug 2017

See, it's not just Grant Shapps who gets it mixed up

Four in five Britons has experienced broadband molasses in the past year and most of us are also "bamboozled" by the terms that telcos use to peddle their wares at us, according to a survey.…

ThoughtWorks acquired by British private equiteers

posted: 24 Aug 2017

DevOps and digital transformation expertise seen as desirable investments

Software development consultancy ThoughtWorks has been acquired by “funds advised by Apax Partners”, a British venture capital and private equity outfit.…

ASUS smoking hashes with 19-GPU, 24,000-core mothe

posted: 24 Aug 2017

Someone sling this at scientists, please, instead of just mining magic internet money

The Register doesn't really cover motherboards, but when one comes along with 19 PCIe slots – yup, nineteen, ten plus nine – so it can run 19 GPUs, it's hard not to want to share the news.…

Cybersecurity world faces 'chronic shortage' of qu

posted: 24 Aug 2017

It's the number one problem, according to analyst

The number one issue facing cybersecurity firms is a "chronic shortage" of qualified staff.…

Google will let cloud customers use plain-old-Inte

posted: 23 Aug 2017

'Just like other public clouds, believe us!'

It would be mischievous, perhaps, to suggest Google needs some network back for its own purposes – but the Chocolate Factory wants at least some of its cloud customers to shift their data around on the Internet instead of its private network.…

DMARC anti-phishing standard adoption is lagging e

posted: 23 Aug 2017

We could cut down on e-mail spoofing, but we don't

Big-name companies are still leaving themselves and their customers open to phishing because they haven't implemented the DMARC message validation standard.…

Oldest flying 747 finally grounded, 47 years after

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Built in 1969, it ended its days as a testbed for engines

VIDEO  The oldest Boeing 747 capable of flight has been shelved.…

Accused! Yahoo! hacker! plead

posted: 23 Aug 2017

It wasn't me nor the FSB, claims Karim Baratov

One of four men accused of carrying out the megahack of 500 million Yahoo! email accounts has pleaded not guilty in a San Francisco district court.…

Despite being totally Megless, HP Inc stands on it

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Still some money to be had in desktops and printers, it seems

HP Inc continues to thrive in the PC and printer markets to the tune of double-digit revenue growth.…

Headless body found near topless beach: Missing pr

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Torso found in Copenhagen bay matches Kim Wall's DNA

Danish cops have identified the headless torso found in Copenhagen bay as that of Kim Wall – the journalist who went missing after taking a ride in a homemade submarine.…

Google's $8.5m class-action privacy payout goes to

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Basically: Not you, just 'the usual suspects'

The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has narrowly approved an $8.5m Google payout for privacy violations following a lengthy argument over who should receive the money.…

Germans force Microsoft to scrap future pushy Wind

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Redmond's cramming of OS on machines provokes sour krauts

Microsoft sparked fury when it aggressively pushed its Windows 10 operating system onto people's PCs – from unexpected downloads to surprise installations.…

Headless body found near topless beach: Missing su

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Torso found in Copenhagen bay matches Kim Wall's DNA

Danish cops have identified the headless torso found in Copenhagen bay as that of Kim Wall – the journalist who went missing after taking a ride in a homemade submarine.…

WikiLeaks a 'hostile intelligence service', SS7 sp

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Ron Wyden tacks measures onto snoop funding bill

Every year, US Congress must pass a new Intelligence Authorization Act to continue funding Uncle Sam's spies for the next 12 months. This year, the act passed, as expected, the committee stage smoothly with only one minor bump in the road: Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR).…

AccuWeather: Our app slurped your phone's location

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Totally didn't use that info while totally rewriting its code

A day after a security researcher criticized AccuWeather for collecting people's location data – even if its users refused to grant permission to do – the weather forecasting company and its ad tech partner Reveal Mobile denied violating permission settings while also revising the app's info-grabbing code.…

VoIP bods Fuze defuse triple whammy of portal secu

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Security researchers using the service found a bunch of flaws

Messaging provider Fuze has resolved a trio of vulnerabilities in its TPN Handset Portal.…

Hate it when your apartment block is locked to Com

posted: 23 Aug 2017

FCC urged to end Big Cable's exclusive deals with flats

A group of small ISPs is asking America's broadband watchdog to ban exclusivity deals that lock apartment buildings to a single broadband provider.…

Apple iCloud Keychain easily slurped by cops, Elco

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Credentials stored in the cloud succumb to forensic software

ElcomSoft, the Russia-based maker of forensic software, has managed to find a way for crime investigators to access the data stored in Apple's iCloud Keychain, if Apple ID account credentials are available.…

Calm down, internet. Elon's Musk-see SpaceX spaces

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Not that the people wearing it will complain – as long as it keeps 'em alive, right?

Pic  Elon Musk revealed the first official photo of the SpaceX "spacesuit" today on Instagram.…

US prosecutors drop demand for 1.3m IP addresses o

posted: 23 Aug 2017

But DreamHost's fight is not over: information still demanded

The US Department of Justice has eased up in its legal fight against hosting company DreamHost, saying it no longer wants all IP logs associated with a Trump protest site.…

Did ROPEMAKER just unravel email security? Nah, it

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Exploit that changes content of messages after delivery found

A new attack, dubbed ROPEMAKER, changes the content of emails after their delivery to add malicious URLs and corrupt records.…

Banking trojan-slingers slip past Google Play's ma

posted: 23 Aug 2017

BankBot nestled within allegedly 'fun' mobile game

Security researchers have uncovered an Android banking malware hiding on Google Play using stealthy new tactics.…

Western Digital hauls out weighty tome with 20TB e

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Sluggish Red drives pumped with RAID to get speed up

Western Digital has bundled a pair of slow Red drives into a My Book Duo external storage product, using RAID to get the speed up.…

Paris nightclub red-faced after booze-for-boobs of

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Pervy 2-for-1 deal condemned by Wanderlust management

Bar staff at a nightclub in Paris have hit upon a two-for-one idea to boost custom by promising female patrons that dare to bare their boobs a small, free drink.…

Bad data and new IT system bugs help knock 66% off

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Sub-prime loan firm goes titsup, CEO resigns in disgrace

Software bugs and bad data in a new one-platform-to-rule-them-all IT system contributed heavily to British sub-prime loan firm Provident Financial going into near meltdown.…

Identity fraud in the UK at 'epidemic' levels as c

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Crooks now operate 'almost exclusively' online

There were almost 90,000 cases of identify fraud recorded in the first six months of 2017 – 5 per cent higher than the first half of last year, according to data released today.…

Toshiba, Western Digital talking again but they'd

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Pair chase deal on flash stakes sale before month's out

Toshiba has restarted talks with Western Digital Corporation about buying its flash joint-venture interests after their CEOs met in Tokyo.…

Pssst... wanna participate in a Google DeepMind AI

posted: 23 Aug 2017

Lessons from the NHS's 1.6 million data-records shovel

Imagine you’re in charge of technology and data for part of the UK’s chronically cash-squeezed National Health Service. A world-famous technology firm offers you a cool new service, either free or for very little money. All it wants in return is access to the patient data that will make the service work. What are you going to do?…

Speaking in Tech: I am Wink, Wink.i.am, do you dig

posted: 23 Aug 2017

This week we go hard on IoT with special guest Splunk's Hal Rottenberg