Anthony Piccola, owner of the Chick-fil-A franchise in Nashua, New Hampshire, announced this his shop will be a sponsor of the area's gay pride festival next weekend. From Picolla's statement:
“In both my personal and professional life, I have had and continue to have positive relationships with family, friends, customers and employees in the LGBT community. It would make me sad if someone felt that they were not openly welcomed into my life or restaurant based on their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
A dozen corpses of murder victims have turned up over the last year in desolate and decaying parts of Detroit -- vacant lots, abandoned homes, overgrown parks… From the AP:
"You can shoot a person, dump a body and it may just go unsolved" because of the time it may take for the corpse to be found, officer John Garner said…
When he joined the department 13 years ago, Garner patrolled a 3.6-square-mile area in the tough 3rd Precinct, bumping into another officer every 20 minutes. Now he covers 22 square miles and crosses paths with other officers "maybe once every two hours."
"If we know this, the criminals know this," Garner said.
Sparse patrols and slow response times make it less likely that someone will be seen dumping a body.
"Years back, people would go to rural areas" to dump bodies, said Daniel Kennedy, a Michigan-based forensic criminologist. "Now we have rural areas in urban areas."
This is an 1840 butcher shop model. Note the exquisite detail down to the sawdust and blood on the floor. Such items weren't uncommon and were sold as promotional displays for shops or, yes, as child playlets. From Collectors Weekly:
As doll houses—which also started out as toys for adults—were being manufactured for children around the late 19th century, so were small-scale places of commerce, such as the butcher’s. These toy shops allowed kids to mimic adults and learn about money and food, just as supermarket playlets do today. The toy animal flesh, Wood says, wouldn’t have been shocking, because this is how meat was presented and bought and, with limited methods of refrigeration, children would have been used to seeing preserved cuts of meat hanging up.
What we do know is that Victorians documented their entire world in miniature. According to (Robert Culff, author of The World of Toys), elaborate and accurate little replicas were modeled for every store in town: the draper, the greengrocer, the fishmonger, the baker, the milliner’s full of bonnets and hat boxes, and the sweet shop featuring “uncertainly balanced scales, jars of hundreds-and-thousands [a.k.a. sprinkles] and cachou lozenges in little tins smelling of ghostly roses and violets.”
Great news for fans of VH1's brand of pop culture snark: weekly recap show Best Week Ever is coming back to the cable network this January, reviving the dreams of aspiring talking heads across the nation! Along with it comes another new nostalgia-based series, Miss You Much, hosted by Catherine Reitman (Breakin' It Down), who will conduct interviews with celebrities we liked 20 years ago. I'm hoping this means there will be less room for the Bret Michaels dating shows and all of their spinoffs. Unless, of course, they are ready to be mocked mercilessly by Christian Finnegan & Co. (via The Hollywood Reporter) — Jamie
In Salon, an article about series of lawsuits against Chick-Fil-A by former employees who claim managers "have wielded their authority over workers in ways that break the law: firing a Muslim for refusing to pray to Jesus; firing a manager so that she’d become a stay at home mom; and punishing workers for objecting to sexual harassment." In one incident, a supervisor is alleged to have phoned immigration authorities to have immigrant workers deported as punishment for complaining about sexual harassment. Kiss 'em goodbye today. — Xeni
"Current and former high-level government officials from multiple agencies" have been interviewed privately by FBI agents in recent weeks, reports the NYT, "casting a distinct chill over press coverage of national security issues." Agencies are turning down routine interview requests, and halting background briefings. The leak hunt is said to be the "most sweeping inquiry into intelligence disclosures in years." — Xeni
Cody Brocious -- a Mozilla dev and security researcher -- presented a paper on a vulnerability in hotel-door locks last month at Black Hat. Many electronic hotel door-locks made by Onity have a small DC power-port that also supplies data beneath them. Brocious showed that if he plugs an Arduino into these locks, reads out the 24-bit number sitting there, and re-transmits it to them, some appreciable fraction of them (but not all of them) spring open.
Testing a standard Onity lock he ordered online, he’s able to easily bypass the card reader and trigger the opening mechanism every time. But on three Onity locks installed on real hotel doors he and I tested at well-known independent and franchise hotels in New York, results were much more mixed: Only one of the three opened, and even that one only worked on the second try, with Brocious taking a break to tweak his software between tests.
Even with an unreliable method, however, Brocious’s work–and his ability to open one out of the three doors we tested without a key–suggests real flaws in Onity’s security architecture. And Brocious says he plans to release all his research in a paper as well as source code through his website following his talk, potentially enabling others to perfect his methods.
Brocious’s exploit works by spoofing a portable programming device that hotel staff use to control a facility’s locks and set which master keys open which doors. The portable programmer, which plugs into the DC port under the locks, can also open any door, even providing power through that port to trigger the mechanism of a door lock in which the battery has run out.
Around that same time, I spoke with Ashwin Vasavada, Deputy Project Scientist at JPL for the MSL mission, to understand more about how MSL works and what its creators hope to accomplish, how one scores a job designing interplanetary explorer robots, and how this updated Mars rover is (or is not) like an iPad.
A wonderful long-read at The Morning News by Tim Doody, on 1966 LSD studies that took place as the US government's position on acid research shifted from "sure, go ahead, scientists" to "nope, this is now banned." The series of tests described in the article took place at the International Foundation for Advanced Study (IFAS) in Menlo Park, CA. Scientists from Stanford, Hewlett-Packard, and elsewhere participated. The volunteers each brought "three highly technical problems from their respective fields that they’d been unable to solve for at least several months." They took "a relatively low dose of acid," 100 micrograms, to enhance their creativity.
I know nothing about the quality of the products on offer at Little Baby's Ice Cream in Philadelphia. But their excellent nightmare-fuel advertisements will haunt me in a good way forever. The one above, featuring a person covered in (made of?) ice-cream eating her or his own head while narrator Matthias Bossi reads copy that sounds like the captions on the photos printed on the sleeve inside the original Stop Making Sense album, is awesome enough.
But after the jump, there is an ad that features an endless fractal zoom-out on people made of ice-cream, whose heads have been partially ablated, sitting in ice-cream cones and contemplating eating smaller versions of themselves, forever.
Phil Torrone sez, "Learn to make a speaking, card-reading toy! The Babel Fish helps you learn to say words and phrases on RFID flash cards by reading the card and playing an associated sound file loaded on an SD card inside. This project is very straightforward and could make a great jumping-off point for your own awesome RFID and Wave Shield project!"