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A horse is a vehicle, in Kentucky, if you're drunk


Kentucky cops will write you a DUI if you ride a horse drunk. The fellow whose circumstances proved this to the rest of us was carrying a jar of "moonshine" at the time. Lowering the Bar has some legal analysis of the bust. Good thing the horse was sober when he got pulled over, or there would have been an additional count of cruelty to animals.

And things are not looking good for him otherwise. The statutory language is better than the title: "No person under the influence of intoxicating beverages or any substance which may impair one's driving ability shall operate a vehicle that is not a motor vehicle anywhere in this state." Okay, but what is a "vehicle not a motor vehicle"? I think a skateboard or scooter would qualify, or even a Big Wheel. The Flintstones car would count. Surely someone in Kentucky has one of those. But can a living thing be a "vehicle"? Yes, people ride around on them, but to me the common meaning of "vehicle" just doesn't include a horse (elephant, lion, Sasquatch, whatever). A vehicle is a machine.

There is some support for this elsewhere in the statutes. The one above refers to "driving" ability. "Driving" is not the same as "riding" when it comes to animals, according to television. You would "ride" a horse during a cattle "drive," for example; you don't "drive" a horse. And look over here at Section 189.310, "Vehicles meeting other vehicles and animals," which not only distinguishes between "vehicles" and "animals" but also makes the riding/driving distinction. That seems unnecessary if every animal you could ride is also a vehicle, doesn't it?

All very interesting, said no one, but aren't there often statutes that define certain legal terms? Yes, and there's one here. And sadly for Rooster Cogburn, it defines "vehicle" as including "All agencies for the transportation of persons or property over or upon the public highways of the Commonwealth.…" So while I still like my "animal is not a vehicle" argument, Kentucky has precluded it.

Don't Ride Drunk in Kentucky

(Image: Defeat the devil drink - white horse, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from lydiashiningbrightly's photostream)

Eyeball Creep: a very special My Little Pony


Wrenniepooh isn't your typical bronie. In 2008/9, Wrenniepooh created a series of custom My Little Ponies, including this rather magnificent specimen, dubbed Eyeball Creep.

Created for the Horror/Gore custom swap help at the MLPArena. This pony was made fom a baity G3 October Dreams birthstone pony who had her jewel cut out. I smoothed over the pony's eyes, neck seam, tail and hair plug holes with Apoxy Clay. Real glass taxidermy eyes of various types where used, super glued to the pony, then sculpted eyelids added using Apoxy Clay. I used a thin sewing needle to add tiny holes for "eyelashes" to be inserted into later.

Wrenniepooh's My Little Pony Custom Creations Gallery (via Neatorama)

Saving Mr. Banks starts shooting, marks the first time Walt Disney is portrayed on film

Today in News I'm a Little Ashamed I Didn't Know About Already: Disney is making the first movie that features Walt Disney as a character, and he will be portrayed by the only man with whom "Uncle Walt" can be trusted, Tom Hanks. Saving Mr. Banks follows the 14-year effort by Disney as he tried to convince P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins, to allow him to make a movie out of her book. It will flash back and forth from Travers' childhood with her father (on whom Mr. Banks was based), to the 1940s, '50s, and early '60s, when Disney was trying to make Mary Poppins into a movie that Travers ended up hating. Also starring are Emma Thompson (as Travers), Rachel Griffiths (as the aunt who inspired the character of Mary Poppins), Colin Farrell (as Travers' father), Ruth Wilson, Paul Giamatti, BJ Novak, Jason Schwartzman, and Bradley Whitford. Shooting began today, and among the locations are Disneyland and Burbank's Disney Studio. Well doesn't that all sound practically perfect in every way? (via Screen Rant, Empire) Jamie

One Google query = one Apollo program's worth of computing

Here's a thought:

"It takes about the same amount of computing to answer one Google Search query as all the computing done — in flight and on the ground — for the entire Apollo program."

(Quote from Seb Schmoller’s "Learning technology – a backward and forward look," attributed to Peter Norvig and Udi Mepher of Google on hearing of the death of Neil Armstrong)

I remember hearing that the processor in a singing greeting card had more capacity than all the electronic computers on Earth at the time of Sputnik's launch, though I can't find a cite for it at the moment. Exponential processor improvements are pretty wild.

Learning technology – a backward and forward look (PDF)

(via Memex 1.1)

Facebook's vague rulebook helps only the creeps

Facebook’s vaguely-defined community standards leave artists and honest users unclear on limits—and at the mercy of trolls and stalkers willing to use the social network’s anonymous moderators to create fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Read the rest

Why Philip Roth had to explain himself in the New Yorker before his Wikipedia entry could be corrected

My latest Guardian column, "Why Philip Roth needs a secondary source," explains why it makes sense for Wikipedians to insist that Roth's claims about his novels be vetted by and published in the New Yorker before they can be included on Wikipedia:

Wikipedians not only have no way of deciding whether Philip Roth is an authority on Philip Roth, but even if they decided that he was, they have no way of knowing that the person claiming to be Philip Roth really is Philip Roth. And even if Wikipedians today decide that they believe that the PhilipRoth account belongs to the real Philip Roth, how will the Wikipdians 10 years from now know whether the editor who called himself PhilipRoth really was Philip Roth?

Wikipedia succeeds by "not doing the things that nobody ever thought of not doing". Specifically, Wikipedia does not verify the identity or credentials of any of its editors. This would be a transcendentally difficult task for a project that is open to any participant, because verifying the identity claims of random strangers sitting at distant keyboards is time-consuming and expensive. If each user has to be vetted and validated, it's not practical to admit anyone who wants to add a few words to a Wikipedia entry.

Why Philip Roth needs a secondary source

Feds charge open data activist with 13 felonies for downloading academic articles

Wired reports that Federal prosectors have added nine additional felony counts against coder, freedom of information activist, and early Reddit employee (or Reddit co-founder, depending on who you ask) Aaron Swartz. Last year, he was charged with breaking hacking laws "by downloading millions of academic articles from a subscription database via an open connection at MIT." Pay attention to this case. The outcome could set precedents that increase legal hazards for security researchers, activists, and online journalists who operate with perfectly good and lawful intentions. Xeni

Real Life Emoticons (video)

[Video Link] From JemmaKuma.

ElfQuest and the secret history

The message of Elfquest is not only a creation myth but the eternal return: a story of magical beings raised by wolves and tied to intergalactic science fiction. One can only imagine the creators have a drinking buddy in the Illuminati.

Read the rest

Ben Folds Five meets Fraggle Rock: a Nerdist music video

[Video Link] Chris Hardwick's NERDIST YouTube channel is full of awesome, but few things as awesome as this.

The Official Music Video for "Do It Anyway," the first track from Ben Folds Five's much anticipated album THE SOUND OF THE LIFE OF THE MIND...featuring the Fraggles from Jim Henson's "Fraggle Rock"! Also starring Rob Corddry, Anna Kendrick & Chris Hardwick.

Buy the album on iTunes. Directed by Phil Hodges. See the Behind-the-Scenes here.

Small fish makes undersea "crop circles"

NewImage

This pretty pattern was created by a small, amorous pufferfish.

Underwater cameras showed that the artist was a small puffer fish who, using only his flapping fin, tirelessly worked day and night to carve the circular ridges. The unlikely artist – best known in Japan as a delicacy, albeit a potentially poisonous one – even takes small shells, cracks them, and lines the inner grooves of his sculpture as if decorating his piece. Further observation revealed that this “mysterious circle” was not just there to make the ocean floor look pretty. Attracted by the grooves and ridges, female puffer fish would find their way along the dark seabed to the male puffer fish where they would mate and lay eggs in the center of the circle. In fact, the scientists observed that the more ridges the circle contained, the more likely it was that the female would mate with the male. The little sea shells weren’t just in vain either. The observers believe that they serve as vital nutrients to the eggs as they hatch, and to the newborns.
The Deep Sea Mystery Circle – a love story

Thin-skinned, plagiarizing Philippines Senator criminalizes "libel" with last minute stealth-attack on cybercrime bill

Philippines Senator Vicente Sotto III has been embroiled in a series of plagiarism scandals -- most recently, he gave a speech including phrases from a Robert Kennedy, Jr address, without credit or acknowledgment -- and has attracted a lot of vocal online criticisms. He was also instrumental in the passage of a broad, censorious "cybercrime" bill, and he warned his critics (whom he derides as "professional fault-finders") that "Once the cybercrime bill is enacted into law, they will be accountable for what they say or write."

Now it seems he has made good on this threat. The signed version of the Philippines Cybercrime Bill classes "libel" with spam, child pornography, and other crimes, thanks to an amendment he introduced -- though this amendment was never debated.

Who inserted that libel clause in the Cybercrime Law at the last minute?

Republic Act No. 10175: AN ACT DEFINING CYBERCRIME, PROVIDING FOR THE PREVENTION, INVESTIGATION, SUPPRESSION AND THE IMPOSITION OF PENALTIES THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (Thanks, Charles!)

Jewel + Walmart = song about Walmart


[Video Link] (Via Uproxx)

iPhone 5 on gray market in Hong Kong for $1135

Mr. Lo of Hong Kong will happily sell you an iPhone 5 right now for $1135. If you want to buy one through Apple or an authorized retailer, you must wait until Friday.

NewImageAlright, Mr Lo, the ‘master’ of the grey market in Hong Kong who distributed hundreds to thousands of iPhone 4s and iPads to China’s gray market, told the local media that he is selling the iPhone 5 starting at HK$8,800 (about US$1135). When Lo was asked about the sales of the iPhone 5, whether there would be a demand for it, he said the stock for the iPhone 5 is quite tight, so he thinks it will be alright to re-sell the phone for a hefty markup, at least for the first two weeks. What’s more, he has prepared “secret” couriers in U.S. and Europe to hop on planes to Hong Kong after securing about hundreds of iPhone 5s. Right now Lo has already received 100-200 orders from mainland China customers before the iPhone 5 goes on sale in Hong Kong’s Apple retail store. He added that the grey-market iPhone 5 would not be limited in warranty and could come with an international guarantee, meaning owners could go into any Apple shop and have the device checked or replaced if required.
Hong Kong Grey Market Is The World’s First Place to Sell iPhone 5 with Hefty Price Tag (Via MacRumors)

"Real-life" Minecraft game

Ben Purdy created this incredibly fun "real life Minecraft" game, which was set up and relentlessly thrashed at XOXOfest in Portland.

I would like to, in no sarcastic manner what-so-ever, officially dedicate this to all the people who commented on my original minecraft block video and accused me of faking it via green screens, after effects, black screens, blue screen, gray screens, etc. Looking forward to comments that the whole thing is staged and all those people are actors that are just pretending to hit the blocks.

I can assure you he does not lie, as I gave it a good thorough pounding myself. The textures are in fact projected onto the boxes; the implement is a foam pixel-art pickaxe. [via YouTube]