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The amazing deluxe commemorative edition of The Art of Dungeons and Dragons is out today
Today marks the publication of the $100 Dungeons and Dragons Art and Arcana box-set, which contains a 700-page retrospective of the classic art of D&D, a reprint of the notoriously hard Tomb of Horrors module (designed by Gary Gygax to challenge the most overpowered characters), and frameable lithos. It's incredible. The book alone just consumed me for days, recalling the endless hours I spent poring over modules, rulebooks, supplements and the pages of Dragon magazine, losing myself in the visual art and the accompanying tables and narrative. Starting with Chainmail and moving all the way forward to the present moment, the retrospective of art, from pencil-sketches to 8-bit game art to line art to the covers of the classic rulebooks and novels. It's a visual history of one of the most seductive, captivating collections of art and design in US history, a set of works that lured a generation into a new narrative form. Combined with the other materials in the box, this thing is a gateway into another dimension. Dungeons and Dragons Art and Arcana box-set [Warhammer] Read the rest
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I’m suing the U.S. government for causing the climate change crisis, and I'm 22.
My name is Kelsey Juliana and I’m suing the United States government for causing and accelerating the climate change crisis. I’m 22 years old and I’ve been a climate activist for more than half of my life. I know that young people like me, and others who have yet to be born, have a right to a safe climate system. The constitution guarantees all Americans the right to life, liberty, and property. But how is anyone supposed to live a life of freedom amid a climate crisis? My own government is violating my constitutional rights by its ongoing and deliberate actions that cause climate change and it’s not right. I, along with 20 other young people from around the country, filed a lawsuit against the federal government in 2015, called Juliana v. United States. We’re not asking for money. Instead, we’re asking the court to order the government to develop and implement a National Climate Recovery Plan based on the best available science. This plan should end the reign of fossil fuels and quickly decarbonize our atmosphere so that we can stabilize our climate system before it’s too late. The longer we go without climate recovery, the more we risk allowing our climate to spiral completely out of control. And the climate is spiraling out of control, no matter how many politicians claim we’re experiencing normal fluctuations or, worse, a “hoax.” All of the expert witnesses in our lawsuit say that we are currently—already—in the “danger zone” and an “emergency situation” with only 1°C of planetary heating. Read the rest
3 h
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As Brazil prepares to elect 'Trump,' Facebook shuts down 68 pages & 43 accounts that got him there
Facebook Inc said Monday it has removed 68 Facebook pages and 43 user accounts linked to a shady Brazilian marketing group, Raposo Fernandes Associados (RFA), for violating the social media network’s misrepresentation and spam policies. Both Facebook and its WhatsApp sister/subsidiary company are under fire for enabling similarly sketchy disinformation campaigns in Brazil that appear to be reaching their collective goal: electing Brazil's version of Donald Trump. There's coverage of today's Facebook news in Brazil's Folha. Facebook again does too little, too late. The damage Bolsonaro will do may only be matched with what Trump and Republicans in the U.S. intend to do. Reuters: The newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo said the group was the main network of support for far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro on the internet. Bolsonaro is expected to win a runoff on Sunday in Brazil’s most polarized election in a generation in which social media has become the main battleground between the candidates. Facebook said RFA created pages using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of clickbait intended to direct people to third-party websites. “Our decision to remove these pages was based on the behavior of these actors – including using fake accounts and repeatedly posting spam – rather than on the type of content they were posting,” Facebook said in a statement. And on the WhatsApp election disinformation debacle in Brazil: Facebook’s popular messaging service WhatsApp has also come under scrutiny in Brazil after leftist presidential contender Fernando Haddad of the Workers Party accused Bolsonaro’s supporters of using it for bulk messaging of misleading information during the campaign. Read the rest
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CIA Director Gina Haspel heads to Turkey for Jamal Khashoggi investigation
Gina Haspel, the director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, is reported to be traveling to Turkey late Monday to assist in “an investigation” over the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Multiple U.S. news agencies are reporting the news of Haspel's trip to Turkey, as government security agencies examine what role Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played in the case. NEW: CIA director Gina Haspel traveling to Turkey for Khashoggi investigation, from @Acosta, @ZCohenCNN and mehttps://t.co/hUED43M1Ry — Caroline Kelly (@caroline_mkelly) October 23, 2018 New: CIA director flies to Turkey amid growing controversy over Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing. Update soon. https://t.co/lgaySbFw5m — Shane Harris (@shaneharris) October 22, 2018 More at Reuters. Read the rest
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Trump's midterms strategy: Lying his ass off to scare white people into voting Republican
They're coming for your health insurance, your guns, your Social Security, they're giving illegal immigrants free cars, and they love terrorists. “False, false, false, false, false, false, false,” says Daniel Dale of The Star, writing about Trump's midterms strategy of lying his damn fool ass off. Trump appears to be working to retain power by doubling down on a “well-worn tactic that helped him win the presidency in 2016: a blizzard of fear-mongering and lies, many of them about darker-skinned foreigners.” Trump is doing a rally with Ted Cruz in Houston. Tweets in this thread. — Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 22, 2018 Pres Trump calls the caravan of migrants heading for the US southern border, "an assault on our country." He says the caravan contains "some very bad people," but doesn't cite evidence. He tells his rally, "we need a wall built fast. We have to protect our borders.” pic.twitter.com/TvgjhtygWH — Mark Knoller (@markknoller) October 23, 2018 Excerpt: Trump has been a serial liar about just about everything for his entire tenure in office, but he has rarely before deployed so many complete fabrications about so many important subjects at the same time. His most frequent and significant recent whoppers have centred on immigration, the issue about which his base has been most excited, and health care, the issue polls suggest is most important to the Democratic base. Trump escalated his immigration dishonesty on Monday morning. Seizing on a groundless claim from a host on his favourite Fox News morning show, he tweeted that “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in” to a caravan of Latino migrants that began in Honduras. Read the rest
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Magnificent "Voyager of the Moons" GIF from Cassini's images from Jupiter and Saturn
Kevin M. Gill, a software engineer and data wrangler at NASA-JPL, created the fantastic video below "using still images taken by the Cassini spacecraft during it's flyby of Jupiter and while at Saturn. "Shown is Io and Europa over Jupiter's Great Red Spot and then Titan as it passes over Saturn and it's edge-on rings," Gill wrote on Flickr. People seemed to like the Europa/Io/Titan gifs, so as an experiment I went and made a short video of them. The Voyage of the Moons.Image data via @CassiniSaturn https://t.co/8SLjERSRWc pic.twitter.com/kvznw9ck6J— Kevin M. Gill (@kevinmgill) October 22, 2018 image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/CICLOPS/Kevin M. Gill Read the rest
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Must-have travel gear - inexpensive zipper bags
Ever since I started using these nylon mesh zipper bags, my travel experience has improved. I have one bag for paper stuff and pens, one for medicine and first aid, one for tools and gear, one for cords and portable power, and one for snacks. When I get home I leave the bags in my suitcase, making packing much easier the next time I take a trip. The bags are see-through and very durable. The price is right, too: you get 8 bags for $9. Read the rest
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The more Instagram followers you have the more free sushi you get at one restaurant
Whether you are Instagram famous, or have just a moderately large following of 1,000 followers, This Is Not A Sushibar is a restaurant in Milan that gives you a discount, if not a free meal, depending on your Instagram stats. In other words, along with an Instagram post that includes @thisisnotasushibar and #thisisnotasushibar, "the more followers you have, the more you can eat without having to spend a cent," according to Oddity Central. Here's the breakdown: 1,000–5,000 followers = 1 free sushi plate 5,000–10,000 followers = 2 free plates 10,000–50,000 followers = 4 free plates 50,000–100,000 followers = 8 free plates 100,000 followers = 1 free lunch or dinner This Is Not A Sushibar began its marketing gimmick on October 11, and it's not clear how long the restaurant plans to accept this form of "currency." Image: Pexels/CC0 License Read the rest
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Because sexism: Mansize Kleenex to be renamed
Quick! Get some of these sexist facial tissues while you still can. It took them 60 years but Kleenex is finally renaming their "Mansize" tissues after getting customer complaints. The facial-tissues-formerly-known-as-Mansize will now be branded "Extra Large." Parent company Kimberly-Clark "succumbed to growing public demand to change the name, despite not itself believing that the Mansize branding suggests or endorses gender inequality." Sam Smethers, chief executive at feminist campaign group, the Fawcett Society, praised the move, saying: "Rebranding mansized tissues is not to be sneezed at. Removing sexist branding such as this is just sensible 21st century marketing. But we still have a long way to go before using lazy stereotypes to sell products is a thing of the past." (DesignTaxi) Read the rest
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Anti-gay protestors sue library over Drag Queen Story Hour
Anti-gay (and anti-fun) protestors have sued the Houston Public Library over the Drag Queen Storytime events. (Previously: different assholes, same bullshit in Louisiana.) From the Houston Chronicle: The library director and Mayor Sylvester Turner are named as defendants, accused of being recklessly entangled in “LGBT doctrine.” The lawsuit says the storytelling sessions advertised as appropriate for patrons of all ages at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood branch should not be funded with taxpayer dollars since the library would not host a “man-woman marriage storytelling hour.” The group behind the lawsuit identify themselves as “Christ followers,” taxpayers and card-carrying library patrons. Another plaintiff is Chris Sevier, who has filed a number of lawsuits across the country, including one in Houston for the right to marry his laptop. If men can marry men, he has argued, why can’t he marry a computer. The plaintiffs also include an evangelical minister and a woman who says she got into a custody battle with her husband after he left her for a transgender woman. Check out the Drag Queen Story Hour Web site and organize your own event! image: Drag Queen Story Hour at Santa Ana Public Library via Instagram Read the rest
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Embassy murder squad made 4 calls to Saudi crown prince's office on day Khashoggi was killed
The Saudi entourage who went to the embassy in Turkey to cut off journalist Jamal Khashoggi's fingers, inject him with a drug to silence him, and dismember him with a bone saw made four calls that day to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's office, according to Turkish media reports. The Crown Prince denies knowing anything about the gruesome torture/murder of Khashoggi, who was a US resident. Three of Khashoggi’s children are US citizens. From Global News: Turkish media reports and officials maintain that a 15-member Saudi team flew to Istanbul on Oct. 2, knowing Khashoggi would arrive for a document he needed to get married. Once he was inside the diplomatic mission, the Saudis accosted Khashoggi, cut off his fingers, killed and dismembered the 59-year-old writer. The report by Yeni Safak on Monday said Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage on trips to the United States, France and Spain this year, made the calls from the consulate. The newspaper said the four calls went to Bader al-Asaker, the head of Prince Mohammed’s office. It said another call went to the United States. Meanwhile, Marco Rubio says the real victim here is not Khashoggi, but Trump and other lawmakers owned by the House of Saud who now suffer from the discomfort of having everyone on the planet angry that they continue to treat Saudi Arabia with kid gloves. The #KhashoggiMurder was immoral. But it was also disrepectful to Trump & those of us who have supported the strategic alliance with the Saudi’s. Read the rest
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Entire amusement park for auction
In the market for a Ferris Wheel? Carousel? Scrambler? Go-kart Fleet? How about just a Chili Cheese Dispenser? The entire contents of the Heritage Square Amusement Park in Golden Colorado will be up for auction on October 25. It's cash-and-carry (certified or cashier’s check accepted) but "buyers of large pieces will have additional time for removal." Whew. I've got my eye on that Space Shuttle Ride from 1980 and maybe the 1963 Tilt A Whirl. Heritage Square Amusument Park Auction Brochure PDF (via Atlas Obscura) Read the rest
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The worst of modern websites, in one short video
Allow notifications. Change your homepage to this website. Privacy notification. Age verification. Location verification. Subscribe to our newsletter. Chat with our bot. Disable your ad blocker. Did you find what you were looking for? Something went wrong -- please reload the page. Welcome to the World Wide Web of 2018! Every website in 2018 pic.twitter.com/Gm7jhfuuUO — Daryl Ginn (@darylginn) October 20, 2018 Read the rest
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The Saudis had a Khashoggi body double conspicuously leave the embassy after murder, but he wore the wrong shoes
One of the most remarkable things about the Saudis' torture and execution of dissident Jamal Khashoggi and their attempted cover-up is the end-to-end full-spectrum incompetence of every aspect of it. They had a body double on hand to be seen on security camera leaving the embassy in Khashoggi's clothes, but he forgot the shoes, thereby making any footage useless. For weeks, the Saudi government had denied that it killed Khashoggi and said he walked out of the consulate after his Oct. 2 visit. The body double appeared to be an attempt to substantiate that denial, but the cover story fell apart, according to a diplomat familiar with the deliberations, because the video footage clearly reveals the body double’s flaws, mainly that he is wearing different shoes than Khashoggi wore when he entered the consulate. Note the layers of ineptitude: they apparently held off releasing footage because of the clothing discrepancies, according to Turkish sources, but they would have been caught anyway had they got the shoes right, because the guy doesn't look much like Jamal Khashoggi. A member of the 15-man team suspected in the death of Jamal Khashoggi dressed up in his clothes and was captured on surveillance cameras around Istanbul on the day the journalist was killed, a senior Turkish official has told CNN. CNN has obtained exclusive law enforcement surveillance footage, part of the Turkish government's investigation, that appears to show the man leaving the Saudi consulate by the back door, wearing Khashoggi's clothes, a fake beard, and glasses. Read the rest
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The Get the Vote Out Humble Bundle: dozens of DRM-free ebooks to benefit ACLU
The latest Humble Bundle features up to 26 DRM-free ebooks (including In Real Life, the graphic novel Jen Wang and I created) at prices ranging from $1 (for 8 titles) to $18 (for all 26), with all proceeds to the ACLU to benefit voting rights litigation and action. Eat, sleep, read, resist. Join Chronicle Books, Image Comics, Lonely Planet, Cory Doctorow, and other great publishers and creators in support of a more perfect union! Get a bundle of ebooks on volunteerism and positive resistance, a zombie survival guide, tons of comics – plus the exclusive debut of science fiction anthology RESIST! Every cent of your purchase will support the ACLU in their fight for voting rights, free speech, LGBTQ rights, and more. Irresistible? We think so. Pay what you want. All together, these comics and ebooks would cost over $358. Here at Humble Bundle, you choose the price and increase your contribution to upgrade your bundle! This bundle has a minimum $1 purchase. Read them anywhere. These books and comics are all available in PDF format; every title except In Real Life and American Presidents is available in ePUB format as well. Many are also in CBZ or MOBI too. Instructions and a list of recommended reading programs can be found here. Support charity. 100% of the proceeds go to the American Civil Liberties Union via the PayPal Giving Fund. Get the Vote Out [Humble Bundle] Read the rest
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Quebec doctors can soon prescribe art museum visits
On November 1, select doctors will be able to prescribe a visit to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts under a new initiative. Physicians who are part of Montreal-based medical group Médecins francophones du Canada will be allowed to send patients -- up to 50 prescriptions a year -- to the MMFA for free. Entry is good for two adults and two children age 17 or under. Montreal Gazette: “There’s more and more scientific proof that art therapy is good for your physical health,” said Dr. Hélène Boyer, vice-president of Médecins francophones du Canada and the head of the family medicine group at the CLSC St-Louis-du-Parc. “It increases our level of cortisol and our level of serotonin. We secrete hormones when we visit a museum and these hormones are responsible for our well-being. People tend to think this is only good for mental-health issues. That it’s for people who’re depressed or who have psychological problems. But that’s not the case. It’s good for patients with diabetes, for patients in palliative care, for people with chronic illness. Since the ’80s we’ve been prescribing exercise for our patients because we know exercise increases exactly the same hormones. But when I have patients who’re over 80, it’s not obvious that I can prescribe exercise for them.” According to the museum, this one-year pilot project is the first of its kind in the world. image by Thomas Ledl - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 Read the rest
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Extreme weather has caused Japan cherry blossoms to bloom in fall, when it's supposed to be in the spring
People flock to Japan in the spring in hopes of catching the cherry blossom season, which, in full bloom, lasts only about a week. This usually happens in April (although a bit earlier or later depending on the region and climate of the year). But never has there been a widespread cherry blossom season in the fall – until now. Most likely because of Japan's recent two typhoons followed by warm weather, people have spotted cherry blossoms from "Kyushu, in western Japan, to Hokkaido, the northernmost of Japan’s main islands," according to Smithsonian. Hiroyuki Wada of the Flower Association of Japan tells NHK that the Yoshino cherry tree, which puts on a particularly lovely display of blossoms, buds in the summer, but hormones in the trees’ leaves stop the buds from opening until spring. This year, however, typhoons whipped the leaves from the cherry blossom trees, or otherwise exposed the trees to salt that caused their leaves to wither. The lack of hormones to keep the buds in check, coupled with warm temperatures that followed the storms, prompted the buds to blossom. “This has happened in the past,” Wada tells NHK, “but I don’t remember seeing anything on this scale.” Over the last 150 years, the season for cherry blossoms has been slowly moving its start time to an earlier date. "In Kyoto in 1850, for instance, the average bloom date was April 17. Today, the average date is around April 6." Unless, that is, it's an autumn blossom we're talking about. Read the rest
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Footage of Khashoggi "body double" in his clothes after murder
According to CNN, surveillance footage show one of the Saudi men suspected of murdering Jamal Khashoggi wearing the dead man's clothes and a fake beard while walking around Istanbul as a decoy. From CNN: A senior Turkish official told CNN that the video showed that Madani was brought to Istanbul to act as a body double. "You don't need a body double for a rendition or an interrogation," the official said. "Our assessment has not changed since October 6. This was a premeditated murder and the body was moved out of the consulate..." Four hours earlier Madani had entered the consulate by the front door, alongside an alleged accomplice. Saudi's forensic medicine chief Salah al-Tubaiqi, another key suspect who was identified using facial recognition analysis together with CNN's timeline of events that day, was also present. The video appears to show Madani without a beard, wearing a blue and white checked shirt and dark blue trousers. When he exited the consulate dressed as Khashoggi, the video then appears to show him wearing the same dark pair of sneakers with white soles that he first arrived in prior to the journalist's death. "Khashoggi's clothes were probably still warm when Madani put them on," the senior Turkish official told CNN. Read the rest
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What's the hardest wood of them all?
The Wood Database presents the hardest woods. 10. Cebil 9. Katalox 8. Black Ironwood 7. African Blackwood 6. Camelthorn 5. Verawood 4. Snakewood 3. Gidgee 2. Lignum Vitae You'll have to click through to find out what number 1 is! All perfect names for weaponry materials in a wood-themed RPG. And here's the softest woods, which is only lightly spoiled by pointing out that "nothing else comes close" to Balsa except Quipo, which is of similar softness to Balsa and "virtually unobtainable". Read the rest
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Thunder Bay: podcast about Canada's hate crime and murder capital is a cross between Serial and Crimetown
The remote north Ontario city of Thunder Bay leads Canada in murders and hate crimes and features a local government mired in scandal, from a mayor who was charged with extortion to a police chief who went on trial for obstruction of justice. The city has two main populations: the largest group of Finnish-descended people outside of Finland, and indigenous First Nations people, who suffer routine and violent harassment, from verbal slurs to having missiles hurled at them from passing cars to allegations that white locals kidnap passed-out indigenous people who have drunk too much to defend themselves and throw them in the river to drown. The excellent podcast network Canadaland (previously) crowdfunded a special fund to pay for long-term, in-depth investigation of the corruption, racism and crime in Thunder Bay, hosted by Ryan McMahon, a First Nations reporter who spent his own boyhood in Thunder Bay. The first two episodes are live and they are riveting. As McMahon says in the first episode, he's not trying to solve a murder, he's trying to solve the city, to dig into the ugly conflict that is painfully evident and also routinely denied. Locals call it Murder Bay. It might be the most dangerous city for Indigenous youth in the world. But to others, it's their white nirvana. Host Ryan McMahon wants to know - not who killed all those kids, but what killed them. This is Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay [Canadaland] Read the rest
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Kickstarting a game where you pilot mini tank-drones around a scale model of Pripyat
Isotopium is a "remote reality" game that challenges players to pilot real miniature tank-drones around a massive, super-detailed scale model of Pripyat, the Ukrainian ghost-town created by the meltdown of the nearby Chernobyl reactor. It was created by a self-funded Ukrainian games company called "Remote Games" as a prototype for a wider range of "remote reality" games. They are seeking a mere $5,000 to add some new tank-types (including ones that fire rounds at enemy tanks), new game-play modes, and some stretch goals like mobile versions, a second set depicting a miniature Mars site, and things like "mechanical barriers and traps." The team behind the game does not list much experience making or running this kind of game, so while they do have some very exciting sets and videos (and a free live demo), it's not clear whether they'll be able to actually operate the business if their crowdfunder achieves its goals. But on the other hand, they're not asking for much money: $10 gets you 120 minutes of gameplay, and the higher contributions include scrawling custom graffiti on the walls of miniature Pripyat ($100) and adding an advertising banner to the arena ($500). I'm a little skeptical of some of the claims about low video-latency they make, but the demo is very fun in any event! In setting up our project, we had to use a lot of modern technologies and solve some complex engineering problems. Before starting to design robots, we were wondering why no one had created anything similar yet. Read the rest
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Get your own personal Microsoft Office tutor in a box
No matter what your business, Microsoft's slate of Office software is as essential as desks and chairs - so much so that most workers are expected to know their way around it before they even get in the door. Whether you need an introduction, a brush-up or a level-up to your knowledge of these tools, the Microsoft Office Mastery Bundle is one of the quickest ways to learn. With more than 80 hours of total training, these seven courses cover all the essentials. You'll create any document quicker and easier with an intermediate course on Word, and run through all the time-saving features of email management with Outlook. Classes on PowerPoint and SharePoint will teach you to put together a killer presentation and effectively collaborate with team members. And an exhaustive rundown on Excel unlocks all the secrets of the most popular spreadsheet platform, with a special focus on the PivotTable functionality. It's all included, and all on sale for $29. Get the Microsoft Office Mastery Lifetime Bundle in the Boing Boing Store today. Read the rest
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Watch this once-lost 'Empire Strikes Back' doc-film from 1980
The Making of "The Empire Strikes Back", the rare 1980 French TV movie documentary about the second film in the Star Wars trilogy, was considered lost until recently. Since clips surfaced a few years ago, it's been considered the "Holy Grail" for Star Wars fans. Directed by late director Michel Parbot, the hour-long film has now been found and posted on YouTube. Watch it while you can. Read the rest
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Youtube CEO: EU Copyright Directive means that only large corporations will be able to upload videos
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki's annual letter to creators takes a strong position on Article 13 of the EU Copyright Directive, which forces companies offering public communications platforms to maintain crowdsourced databases of copyrighted works that users are blocked from uploading. Wojcicki writes that "The proposal could force platforms, like YouTube, to allow only content from a small number of large companies. It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content." Article 13's final form is being hashed out now. You should write to your MEP about it, because it's not just Youtube that would no longer be able to accept your creative work for publication under this system -- it's all online platforms. Article 13 as written threatens to shut down the ability of millions of people -- from creators like you to everyday users -- to upload content to platforms like YouTube. And it threatens to block users in the EU from viewing content that is already live on the channels of creators everywhere. This includes YouTube’s incredible video library of educational content, such as language classes, physics tutorials and other how-to’s. This legislation poses a threat to both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world. And, if implemented as proposed, Article 13 threatens hundreds of thousands of jobs, European creators, businesses, artists and everyone they employ. The proposal could force platforms, like YouTube, to allow only content from a small number of large companies. Read the rest
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How the casino industry uses bogus research to stay rich
It's ironic that conservative casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who has made $30 billion by exploiting gambling addiction, contributes vast sums of money to fight marijuana legalization efforts. What a wacky guy! This latest video from Coffee Break looks into the efforts by the gambling industry to control the narrative about the disastrous impact of gambling on society. Casino owners formed a sham organization called the National Center for Responsible Gaming. The NCRG pays researchers to write reports that make gambling... er, "gaming" seem like a delightfully harmless pastime that only hurts 1% of people who blow their money in the rigged schemes found in casinos. And those 1%, according to the NCRG, are also drug addicts anyway, so they don't really count. Most people know that gambling is addictive and realize the National Center for Responsible Gaming's propaganda is bullshit. But ordinary people aren't the intended audience. The audience is the senators and congresspeople who receive hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign donations from Adelson and his ilk. These lawmakers also know the NCRG's reports are jokes, but they can use them as a defensive cover when it comes time to pay back the casino owners with the favors they expect in return for the donations. Image: YouTube Read the rest
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This prop master has devoted his life to the creation of paper products
Documents. Newspapers. Ancient tomes of forbidden knowledge. Golden tickets. Movies and television shows are full of such seemingly banal objects. But each and every one that you see on film has either been stored, cataloged and trotted out for a particular scene by a prop master, or made it's been made specifically for a project. This short film provides some insight into a man who's dedicated his life to the latter. Read the rest
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Arizona kills vaccine education program to placate the ignorant
A small coalition of folks who think vaccines are evil have managed to eliminate Arizona's vaccination education program. The parents were afraid their children may be forced learn that vaccines are a good thing. Via AZ Central: The state of Arizona has canceled a vaccine education program after receiving complaints from parents who don't immunize their school-age children. The pilot online course, modeled after programs in Oregon and Michigan, was created in response to the rising number of Arizona schoolchildren skipping school-required immunizations against diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough because of their parents' beliefs. But some parents, who were worried the optional course was going to become mandatory, complained to the Governor's Regulatory Review Council, which reviews regulations to ensure they are necessary and do not adversely affect the public. The six-member council is appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey, with an ex-officio general counsel. Members of the council questioned the state health department about the course after receiving the public feedback about it, emails show. The state responded by canceling it. The complaints that ended the pilot program came from about 120 individuals and families, including 20 parents who said that they don't vaccinate their children, records show. Read the rest
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Paula Abdul falls off the stage during her concert Saturday night in Mississippi
During her concert in Biloxi, Mississippi Saturday night as part of the "Straight Up Paula! North American Tour 2018," Paula Abdul accidentally fell of the stage into the crowd of people. She had been encouraging the audience to clap along and didn't seem to notice how close she was to the edge of the stage. A concert-goer captured it on video, which ends when people scream. According to NBC News: One person who posted a short video of the fall on YouTube told People magazine that Abdul "did not seem hurt" and still finished the show "like a champ." It was not known if Abdul suffered any significant injuries. “She stated she was a dancer, and falls and drops she has gotten used to (it) over the years," the concert attendee told People. Read the rest
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Meth smuggled as Aztec souvenir calendars and statues
Federal agents busted eight people for attempting to smuggle 26 pounds of methamphetamine disguised as Aztec souvenir decorative calendars and souvenir statues. The suspects apparently tried to mail the goods from Garden Grove, California to Hawaii. (UPI via Daily Grail) Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Last chance to back the Kickstarter for our interdisciplinary seminar series on censorship today and in the Renaissance
I have been collaborating with science fiction writer, singer, librettist and Renaissance scholar Ada Palmer and science historian and piracy expert Adrian Johns to put on a seminar series at the University of Chicago called Censorship & Information Control In Information Revolutions: every Friday, we gather a panel of interdisciplinary scholars to talk about parallels between censorship regimes during the Renaissance and the dawn of the printing press and the censorship systems that have arisen since in response to other new forms of information technology. Though the series was fully funded through scholarly grants, we have been running a Kickstarter to fund some additional activities, including professional videographers to create an open-access video record of the series, subtitlers to make the videos accessible for people with hearing problems, a printed catalog for the accompanying exhibition and so on. We're about to close out the Kickstarter, having funded nearly all of our stretch goals: we're just a few hundred dollars short of the funds needed to hire a sound-editor to create a professionally mastered podcast series. Any funds we raise after that will go to producing instructional materials and outreach to others so they can use the (all open-access) produced by the series. If you'd like a preview of the podcast, there's raw audio of the first two sessions: Session 1; Session 2. I'll be videoconferencing in to this Friday's session (it's 1:30 to 4:20 PM CST, on October 26, November 2, 9, 16, and 30, on the University of Chicago Campus, in Kent Chemical Laboratory, 1020-24 East 58th Street, 60637, room 107) and I'll be back in Chicago in person for the Nov 16 session. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
The CIA's former Chief of Disguise reveals what makes a good disguise
This video is loaded with lots of fascinating techniques of high stakes disguise. There's light disguise, which uses glasses, caps, and facial hair, to hide in a crowd, says Jonna Mendez, the CIA's former Chief of Disguise. And there's advanced disguise, which is used to hide your identity in face-to-face encounters. And good disguise is more than just makeup and prostheses. It's about behavior, too. For instance, an American posing as a European can give themselves away by holding a cigarette the wrong way, resting while standing on one leg, or holding a fork in their right hand. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Mom crochets badass glow-in-the-dark Slimer costume for her son
Crochetverse's Stephanie Pokorny is putting all us moms to shame with the crocheted Halloween costumes she's made for her six-year-old son Jack. Recently her all-yarn Predator costume made the rounds and now she's back with this glow-in-the-freaking-dark Slimer costume. (You may remember when Jack was two, she made an adorable E.T. costume for him.) Here's a look at her son in the Predator costume: Action! Crochet Predator comes to life courtesy of one super scary 6 year old! (He pulled the hood down "extra to be super scary", end quote.) pic.twitter.com/42MPQuiWAH — Crochetverse (@crochetverse) September 30, 2018 And here he is in the Slimer costume: Crochet Slimer costume ACTION! Fully crocheted by me at my son's request ♡ pic.twitter.com/o7emNTjnP8 — Crochetverse (@crochetverse) October 15, 2018 Also, get this, she freehand crochets her costumes. That means she doesn't use a pattern. If you know anything about crocheting, you'll appreciate what an incredible feat this is. See more of her creations here. (Geekologie) Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Dog lip-syncs to System of a Down
I suspect this video was edited before publication. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Issue design citations with the Typographic Ticket Book
Have bad type choices got you bummed out? Don't despair, type foundry Hoefler&Co. has got you covered. Their 50-page novelty Typographic Ticket Book makes it easy to play the enforcer of design infractions like "improper kerning" and "unironic use of Helvetica." Fast Company: ...let us praise Hoefler & Co.’s attention to detail. The Ticket Book nails all the design conventions of municipal meter-maid gear: “things set in ALL CAPS that would be easier to read in lowercase, searing colors that dazzle the eyes, and confounding administrative indicia like bar codes and form numbers,” says Jonathan Hoefler. “And Helvetica. If the state is dressing you down, it’s always in Helvetica. Helvetica means you’re in trouble.” The delights don’t stop there. Individual citation codes run the gamut from dad-jokey (“poor typeface choice: 72-60-HUH”) to so-inside-baseball-it-hurts (“improper hyphenation/justification: 72-436-RVR“), with a few dashes of guffaw-inducing surrealism thrown in for kicks (“improper word spacing: 72-428-C/WLKN”… get it?). The ticket book includes 32 “common design infractions,” which Hoefler admits he had to edit down. “Space permitting, [it] could probably have run to at least 60,” he says. The Typographic Ticket Book is available from Hoefler&Co. for $10. FACIET MAIOR LOGO = "Make the logo bigger." Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Shock win for youngster at Tetris World Championship
In this clip, 16-year-old Joseph Saelee defeats Tetris seven-time world champ Jonas Neubauer to become the new Tetris Tsar or whatever they call it. It's mesmerizing! Alex Walker writes: It was a story straight out of a shonen anime: the new up and comer and the king at the top of the summit, looking down below at the competition. The second and third game of the series also went completely to the wire. Saelee amassed a lead of more than 160,000 points at one stage by the second game, but had to tap out after things went haywire in the 27th level. Neubauer, behind in points, carried on but went 25 pieces without a long bar - and consequently couldn't get the points needed to catch up. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Einstein's Theory of Relativity Tested at Tokyo Skytree
On October 3rd, two high-accuracy clocks were placed in Tokyo Skytree. One was installed on a ground floor meeting room, while the other went all the way to the observation deck, 634 meters up. They were put there by a group of scientists from The University of Tokyo. Why? To test Einstein's theory of relativity, of course. An engineering professor at the University of Tokyo, Hidetoshi Katori, made the time-keeping devices -- called optimal lattice clocks -- back in 2005. They're believed to be some of the most accurate in the world. According to Einstein's theory of relativity, time should move faster on the observation deck than at the bottom floor. Professor Katori is hoping to prove just that. His clocks will be left in place for two months before the data is to be analyzed. Theoretically, after a single month, the time difference between the two clocks should be 0.13 microseconds. To give you an idea of how tiny a microsecond is, if you wanted to create a lag of a single second, the clocks would have to stay in place for 700,000 years. If this experiment is a success, then next it will be tried on Mount Fuji. More on the experiment can be found here at Asahi Shimbun and this video (Japanese). Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Make: an open source hardware, Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine
How To Mechatronics has pulled together detailed instructions and a great video explaining how to make an Arduino-powered, 3D-printed wire-bending machine whose gears can create arbitrary vector images out of precision-bent continuous lengths of wire. (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Cute PSA on 'How to Vote'
Writer and comedian Demi Adejuyigbe (The Good Place, The Late Late Show) explains how and why folks should vote in this cute PSA video. Vote. It's not a test. It's ok to look at your phone, or bring a cheat sheet, or just leave stuff blank... After all, it's a free country... for now. [Pssst... Register to vote.] (Daring Fireball) Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
An extinct dog breed once labored in our kitchens, running on spit-turning wheels
The Vernepator Cur was once a ubiquitous dog breed in the UK and the American colonies, and it had a job: for six days a week, it ran tirelessly in a wheel in the kitchen that was geared to turn a meat-spit over the fire (on Sundays it went to church with its owners and served as their foot-warmer). The Vernepator Cur (AKA the "turnspit dog") was bred to replace the children who once labored in kitchens, turning spits until their hands blistered, and their heyday was 1750 to 1850. But by 1900, they had dwindled away, thanks to the rise of spit-turning machines called clock jacks. The turnspits were mentioned in Shakespeare; they fascinated Darwin, and their cruel lives led to the founding of the SPCA. Back in the 16th century, many people preferred to cook meat over an open fire. Open-fire roasting required constant attention from the cook and constant turning of the spit. "Since medieval times, the British have delighted in eating roast beef, roast pork, roast turkey," says Jan Bondeson, author of Amazing Dogs, a Cabinet of Canine Curiosities, the book that first led us to the turnspit dog. "They sneered at the idea of roasting meat in an oven. For a true Briton, the proper way was to spit roast it in front of an open fire, using a turnspit dog." When any meat was to be roasted, one of these dogs was hoisted into a wooden wheel mounted on the wall near the fireplace. The wheel was attached to a chain, which ran down to the spit. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Britain's "nasty party" condemns its MPs' nastiness
As the Brexit deadline draws nearer and the UK Conservative Party continues to fracture over the catastrophic failure to achieve any kind of deal with the EU, Tory Members of Parliament have begun to shower abuse on Prime Minister Theresa May, warning her that she faces a fate similar to Jo Cox, the Labour MP who was assassinated by a racist Brexit supporter before the referendum, and warning May to "bring her own noose" to Cabinet meetings. The Conservatives' age-old epithet is "The Nasty Party, so-called for its delight in the cruel treatment of poor people and its celebration of hereditary elites as genetically superior to the poor people whose homes, businesses and persons they kick over and stamp upon. The nastiness of the nasty party should come as a surprise to no one: bullying one another is absolutely on-brand for the party of the n-word, incineration of poor people, and billions for far-right religious terrorists. In an article in the Sunday Times, a Tory backbencher was quoted as saying: "The moment is coming when the knife gets heated, stuck in her front and twisted. She'll be dead soon." The PM was also told to "bring her own noose" to a meeting later this week. One MP asked: "Have they learned nothing following the assassination of Jo Cox?" Labour MP Mrs Cox was murdered in her West Yorkshire constituency by right-wing extremist Thomas Mair, a week before the Brexit referendum in June 2016. The prime minister's official spokesman said: "Personal vitriol has no place in our politics." MPs condemn 'vile' abuse of Theresa May [BBC] (Image: Jwslubbock, CC-BY-SA) Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
McSweeney's doesn't want you to forget Trump's atrocities
With midterms around the corner, McSweeney's has gathered 112 of Donald Trump's "worst cruelties, collusions, corruptions, and crimes." The list is the first in a series. It begins in 2011, well before he got into office, and ends with his February 2017 atrocities. Next week they will share "Atrocities 113-192." It's a drag to see, honestly, but I'm glad someone is keeping track. (Nag on the Lake) Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
America, Compromised: Lawrence Lessig explains corruption in words small enough for the Supreme Court to understand
Lawrence Lessig was once best-known as the special master in the Microsoft Antitrust Case, then he was best known as the co-founder of Creative Commons, then as a fire-breathing corruption fighter: in America, Compromised, a long essay (or short nonfiction book), Lessig proposes as lucid and devastating a theory of corruption as you'll ever find, a theory whose explanatory power makes today's terrifying news cycle make sense -- and a theory that demands action.
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Canadian government growers can't keep up with Alberta's demand for weed
While cannabis may now be legal to smoke, sell and possess across Canada, the demand for bammy is harshing the buzz of many an Albertan. According to the CBC, certified cannabis suppliers are having a hell of a time trying to keep up with demand. The problem is cropping up at a time when the provincial government continues to dole out licenses to operate dispensaries in the province, putting an even greater strain on the amount of marijuana available in big sky country. From the CBC: Not all retail stores are necessarily open this weekend — a shortage of stock on the AGLC's retailer website means some new stores aren't able to order any cannabis at all to stock their shelves, and those that have run out can't order enough to restock. The AGLC is the province's official supplier of cannabis, offering products from 15 licensed producers. In Edmonton, Numo Cannabis has closed its doors after running out of weed, according to a sign on its door. Another Edmonton store, Alternative Greens, was also closed Saturday after running out of cannabis. It's not just retail locations that are coming up with bupkis to sell. the AGLC's online portal doesn't have a shred of cannabis to sell, either. The shortage likely hasn't come as a surprise to anyone keeping tabs on the Canadian cannabis rollout: licensed resellers have been complaining about their inability to order product since September. Given that shops in Alberta are only able to order a weed resupply once a week, it could take some time before the province's dope supplier finds a way to keep up with demand. Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Way too many burger chains still pump antibiotics into their meat
Using antibiotics to keep livestock healthy until they're chopped up and smooshed into burgers and chicken nuggets is not a great idea: we're already facing a bevy of antibiotic-resistant bugs hellbent on killing us. Throwing the drugs down our throat, in meat or pill-form, is only going to make things worse. Doctors are coming to understand this and, in many cases, are prescribing antibiotics as a last resort. The folks that produce meat for burger joint supply chains? Not so much. By pumping their livestock full of antibiotics, whether the animals are sick or not, is a great way to ensure that the the animals stay healthy until they're sent to the slaughter. Despite the dangers posed by overuse of these wonder drugs, a lot of burger joints are fine with this: From CNN: Twenty-five of the top US burger chains were graded on their antibiotic policies in a collaborative report released Wednesday. Only two chains received As, Shake Shack and BurgerFi; the other 23 got a D minus or F. Wendy's was given a D minus for a policy that the authors described as "while far from comprehensive ... a positive step forward." According to the company's website, Wendy's will get about 15% of its beef from producers that have committed to a 20% reduction in antibiotics used in their livestock and whose cattle's antibiotic use can be tracked and reduced. For their efforts, as weaksauce as they are, Wendy's scored the only D issued by the study. McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic, Hardee's, Whataburger, Carls Jr., Culver's, Steak n' Shake, In n' Out, White Castle, Smashburger, Checkers, Krystal, Freddy's, Habit, Rally's, Fuddruckers, A&W (in the U.S., anyway) Jack's and FarmerBoys all earned an F rating. Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Weekend Tunes: Robert Plant - House of Cards
It's been a while since I took the time to listen to Robert Plant's outstanding Band of Joy. Given everything that's happened over the past two years or even the past few days in North America, the album's second track, House of Cards, feels a little bit too real for Sunday afternoon listening. Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
My life on the road: A lost passport, no ID, and bullshit paperwork trying to get back to Canada
16 October, 2018 My wife drops me at the airport in Calgary. I'm traveling to Chicago. A fancy audio hardware company called Shure invited me to the city to check out some of the new tech that they'll be releasing in the coming months. I pass through security with no issues. As I lace on my boots, I am certain that I have my passport. It is in my hand as I board my flight. I place my passport in a buttoned pocket in my jacket before sitting down on the plane. Standing up at the end of my flight, my passport is still there. Upon landing, I pay it no further mind. I'm on the hunt for a cab ride into Chicago's downtown core. "They say they don't have any money but Jesus: lookit alla this construction," my cab driver says to me. "It's alla the time." I tell him that we have construction season in Calgary, too. But yeah, the traffic headed into the downtown is weaponized bullshit. My smartphone says that the trip should take 35 minutes. Curb to curb, it is a 90-minute ride. I pay the driver his due and step out of his hack. In the hotel's front door to the hotel's front desk. I have my luggage. I have a reservation. I have a credit card for incidentals. I do not have a passport. I don't have a driver's license, either. I haven't had one for years: my PTSD makes my being behind the wheel a bad idea. Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
The new Pixel phone has a bizarre, obscure "opt out" arbitration waiver
Binding arbitration is corporate America's favorite dirty trick: to use a product, you are forced to give up your right to sue if the company hurts you, cheats you, or even kills you. But if you buy a Pixel 3, there's a bizarre, obscure option where you are given the chance to enter your device's serial number in order to opt out of binding arbitration. It feels like some kind of uneasy truce between different Google factions: the mustache-twirling villains who say, "Who cares if it looks evil? We're Google, fuck you!" and the more image-conscious ones who say, "OK, fine, but if we ever do end up in the middle of a shitstorm over this, we can point to this opt-out option and say, 'See? Everyone chose binding arbitration! There was a perfectly easy way not to choose it, in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.'" In any event, if you have a Pixel 3, you should opt out of binding arbitration. (Thanks, Sean!) Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Welcome to Hollow Falls - and Lethal Lit, a New Scripted Crime Podcast
It started with a phone call. Heather Einhorn and Adam Staffaroni, the masterminds behind the entertainment creative house known as Einhorn’s Epic Productions, wanted to chat. Cool, I thought. I’d known Adam and Heather for a long time - we’d worked together years before and remained friends. It’d be good to catch up, for sure. But it was much more than that. Heather and Adam were always on the lookout to create new, diverse heroes, and they wanted to take that philosophy to the podcast platform. Would I be interested in co-creating a YA/crime fiction podcast starring a tough, smart latinx teen heroine? I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. As a kid, I read a lot of comics, crime novels and science fiction - from Spider-Man to Batman to Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie to Star Trek and back again. I loved mysteries and adventure stories. But as a Cuban-American kid growing up in Miami, I often wondered - where are the heroes like me? When I created my own crime novels, starring my fictional private detective, Pete Fernandez, that was always front of mind. Getting the chance to do it again - in partnership with Heather and Adam’s team, iHeart Media, and co-writer Monica Gallagher, has been nothing short of fantastic. The end result will be in your earbuds on Oct. 29 and subsequent Mondays after that, in the form of Lethal Lit - a six-episode scripted podcast that presents listeners with a new, fictional “true crime” story, starring Tig Torres, a feisty NY teen who finds herself back in her hometown of Hollow Falls, where she must join forces with her new friends to face off against the perils of modern high school life, and a gruesome series of murders perpetrated by the Lit Killer - a serial murderer whose crimes echo stories ripped from the pages of English literature. Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things