Mitik, a 234-pound, 15-week-old, rescued baby walrus, will travel from his former home in Alaska to New York City this week in a jumbo-size crate aboard a FedEx cargo jet, accompanied by a veterinarian and a handler.
Court sets accused rapist free, arguing severely disabled woman who can't talk could still refuse sex
$15 a pop, in red, orange, blue, and violet, as well as the more traditional black. Hot Occu-Babe not included. Giant Eye/sleekanddestroy.com. I'm also feelin' the Kraken Loves Galleon - Laser Cut Paper Eyelashes and the Pedobear Earrings.
Update: Here's Cory modelling one! And here's a previous post about the black ones. Cory says, "They make several appearances in HOMELAND, the forthcoming sequel to LITTLE BROTHER." (The thing that's new here is the colors.)
My latest Guardian column is "Giving online customers the chance to pay what they want works," which describes the thinking behind the Humble Ebook Bundle, a bold name-your-price ebook promo that launches today:
What if the experience of purchasing electronic media was redesigned around making you feel trusted and sincerely appreciated? What if you knew that the lion's share of the money you spent on electronic media went straight to the creator? What if, in short, you knew your honesty would be rewarded with a fair deal for all parties?
Of all the ideas from the heady days of internet futurism, none is as fraught as "price discrimination," the practice of charging different rates to different customers for the same product. Price discrimination is a mainstay of the travel industry, where airlines and hotels try all manner of tricks to try and figure out who's willing to pay more and charge them accordingly.
For example, travellers who won't endure an overnight Saturday stay are presumed to be travelling on business, charging the ticket to someone else, and therefore less price-sensitive. So itineraries with Saturday stays are often much cheaper than those without.
Region-coding on DVDs is a crack at this: the cost of producing a DVD is very low, so the retail price is pretty much arbitrary. The studios thought they could offer goods at one price in rich countries, and a lower price in poor countries, and use region-codes to prevent the flow of cheap versions from the poor world to the rich world. But DVDs actually cost something to produce on a per-unit basis. What about purely digital goods?
This pic from the Disneyland employee cafeteria in 1961 has got to be staged (the astronaut with his helmet still on is a bit of a giveaway), but it's still a great shot.
Antifascist protesters in Greece who were arrested during a clash with members of the neo-fascist Golden Dawn party/gang say they were tortured by the police, who put out cigarettes on them, tased them, beat them, and threatened to provide their names and addresses to Golden Dawn revenge squads. The Guardian's Maria Margaronis reports:
Several of the protesters arrested after the first demonstration on Sunday 30 September told the Guardian they were slapped and hit by a police officer while five or six others watched, were spat on and "used as ashtrays" because they "stank", and were kept awake all night with torches and lasers being shone in their eyes.
Some said they were burned on the arms with a cigarette lighter, and they said police officers videoed them on their mobile phones and threatened to post the pictures on the internet and give their home addresses to Golden Dawn, which has a track record of political violence.
One of the two women among them said the officers used crude sexual insults and pulled her head back by the hair when she tried to avoid being filmed. The protesters said they were denied drinking water and access to lawyers for 19 hours. "We were so thirsty we drank water from the toilets," she said.
One man with a bleeding head wound and a broken arm that he said had been sustained during his arrest alleged the police continued to beat him in GADA and refused him medical treatment until the next morning. Another said the police forced his legs apart and kicked him in the testicles during the arrest.
See also: The Golden Dawn
Call it kismet. Last year police officers fenced in a peaceful young woman and pepper sprayed her in the face at an Occupy protest. She fell in love with the medic who came to her aid. On September 28 the couple had a baby: Tegan Kathleen Grodt!
The New York police department conducts 1800 stop-question-and-frisks every day. This video contains an audio recording of a couple of Officer Friendlies conducting a stop-and-frisk on a Harlem teen named Alvin.
Radley Balko says:
This video includes a surreptitious recording of a stop and frisk in New York. It also includes interviews with NYPD cops who say that what you’re hearing isn’t atypical.
The phrase “police state” is overused. But if you can’t merely walk on the sidewalk in your own neighborhood without enduring this kind of harassment on a regular basis, I don’t know of any term that’s more appropriate.
Here's a beautifully shot video profile of our friend Mark Pauline, founder of Survival Research Laboratories. Mark has been creating explosive robotic art performances for over 30 years.
This is Mark Pauline, and for 34 of his 58 years he’s built robots. They are not practical robots, not servile room-sweepers or toadying floor-moppers, but multi-ton monstrosities, feral machines of metal and fire birthed from his idiosyncratic imagination. Everywhere he looks he sees machines yoked to the banal — a jet engine, a backhoe, a pair of industrial movers — everyday technologies bored by their routines. He sees their potential, then sets to liberating it; he digs deep into the machines to discover what they really want to be.A couple of minutes into the video there's a scene where Mark is being questioned by a firefighter about the crazy fires and explosions involved in the show. It's hilarious.
According to Heidi N. Moore's report in Marketwatch, thousands of high-flying Wall Street traders secretly rely on advice from "financial astrologers" who tell them what the stars and planets predict for the market. One trader requests his newsletter in a plain brown wrapper so that his colleagues won't know his secret.
Financial astrologers like Karen Starich say traders know they're up against a lot of rich, smart people.
"They want to have that edge," she says. "They want to know what the future is."
Starich chargest $237 annually for her newsletter, which 300 traders subscribe to for news of what will happen to the stock prices of companies, or even bigger, to the Federal Reserve. She sees dark times ahead in the Fed's horoscope.
"They now have Saturn squared to Neptune, which is really bankruptcy," Starich explains.
John Baichtal of MAKE says:
Minneapolis letterpress printer Todd Thyberg received a Jerome Book Arts grant to write and illustrate his own 3-color graphic novel, then print it on a 90-year-old Vandercook letterpress in his studio. I had a chance to visit Todd in his his studio and checked out the huge stacks of prints and watched as he pulled prints off the Vandercook. He was outputting 400 of each page, with the expectation that he’d end up with 250, counting mistakes. One of the challenges he faced was trying to faithfully letterpress QR codes, which Todd believes may never have been done before. The final books will be sold as chapbooks or fancier, hardbound editions.The Airship: A DIY Graphic Novel
Here's Brent Spiner (Star Trek's Data) doing his greatest party trick: a pitch-perfect imitation of Patrick "Captain Picard" Stewart, including hilarious anaecdotes about how he used this power to sow mischief. Patrick Stewart got his revenge later.
Brent Spiner imitates Patrick Stewart... again. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
What has the TSA done to protect America from rogue cancer terrorists this week? This: A woman with leukemia who was making an end-of-life journey to Hawaii was humiliated en route by a revealing TSA pat-down.
[Michelle] Dunaj says nothing went right at the security checkpoint. A machine couldn't get a reading on her saline bags, so a TSA agent forced one open, contaminating the fluid she needs to survive. She says agents also made her lift up her shirt and pull back the bandages holding feeding tubes in place. Dunaj needs those tubes because of organ failure.
With other passengers staring, Dunaj says she asked for privacy and was turned down. "They just said that it was fine; the location we were at was fine," she said.
They messed with my fellow cancer traveler Lori before, too.
(thanks, David Calkins, vido still via KOMO NEWS)
More in our TSA archives.
Comedian and writer Tig Notaro was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. On the Oct. 2 "Professor Blastoff" podcast, she announced that she has undergone a double mastectomy, and there is currently no known cancer in her body. She also spoke about her experience on "Fresh Air" this week.
I note that a number of news outlets are reporting about her post-treatment (?) phase as "cured," or "cancer-free," and wince at that language because the disease is never that simple, and those terms imply something that we hope for but cannot guarantee. But it sounds like her course of treatment was successful and that she is in an excellent place.
I am not glad Notaro has cancer. But I am glad people with cancer now have someone like Tig to point to all that is laughable, and all that is darkly humorous, about the experience of being a person with cancer.
Pretty much everyone — including, probably, you — thought that the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics would go to the people who discovered evidence of a particle that meets the description of the theoretical Higgs Boson.
But, it didn't.
Instead, the winners are Serge Haroche and David Wineland, two physicists whose work is all about the way that photons — the tiniest pieces of light, which simultaneously behave as both shifting waves and packaged particles — interact with everything else in the Universe.
I really dig this video put together by Brady Haran of Sixty Symbols, because it captures both the surprise associated with today's announcement (turns out, a lot of physicists thought the Higgs Boson would win, too) and does a good job of explaining what Haroche and Wineland do, and why it's important.
Quote of the day: "Have you tried to capture a single atom?"
The Mythbusters team did the math on the actual size and fit for two bodies on a door of the Titanic, and shared their findings with James Cameron: yes, Jack and Rose could totally have survived together on that door. As some commenters point out via Twitter, however, there's an argument to be made that it's not just the surface area of the door that's in question, but the buoyancy. (thanks, Tara McGinley!)
Photographer Dennis Stock (1928-2010), a legend of the Magnum Photos cooperative, is most famous for his 1955 shot of James Dean in Times Square. Following that, he made stunning photos of the era's jazz greats -- Louis Armstrong, Gene Krupa, Billie Holiday -- and compiled those into the classic monograph Jazz Street. In 1967 though, Stock paid a visit to the Planet of the Apes. (via death_watlz_records)
I'm delighted to announce that the Humble Ebook Bundle is live! Based on the wildly successful Humble Indie Bundles for distributing video games on a name-your-price basis, the Humble Ebook Bundle is a name-your-price collection of awesome entertainment that also helps you support three great charities.
The Humble Ebook Bundle boasts eight science fiction and fantasy books by Neil Gaiman, John Scalzi, Lauren Beukes, Kelly Link, Paolo Bacigalupi, Mercedes Lackey, and me (!). Name your price for these great books (you'll need to pay more than the average to date for the Scalzi and Gaiman) and then choose how much of your payment to divert to our chosen charities: Child's Play (games for children's hospitals), EFF (defending your digital rights) and the Science Fiction Writers of America Emergency Medical Fund (saving sf writers from medical ruin). The books come in a variety of formats for all ereaders, and there is no DRM!
The previous Bundles have raised over $7,250,000 for charity, and also demonstrated that creators and their audiences can cooperate with one another, eschewing digital rights management and trusting one another to do the right thing.
I'm especially excited that my latest novel, Pirate Cinema, is part of the Bundle. Tor Books were fantastic about giving me permission to add a new release title -- it's only been out for a week! -- to this experimental Bundle. Tor is also donating its share of the proceeds to the SFWA medical fund. There is no better way to reward Tor and these authors for saying no to DRM and restrictive user-agreements, and no better way to support the writers you love, than to buy this Bundle.
I volunteered to curate this Bundle, and I'm incredibly proud of the collection we assembled. You've got two weeks to take advantage of this promotion, and there's more surprises to come!
(Video link) In non-entertainment news, I am a huge nerd for a cool t-shirt. Sometimes I buy them (usually from Busted Tees or Headline Shirts), and sometimes they find me. The latter shirts are generally men's sizes -- too big and shaped like a rectangle, but so groovy that I don't have the heart to throw it away. Fortunately, there are people out there who know how to fix such things! One of those people is Megan Nicolay, author of Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt (Workman Publishing) and its sequel, as well as the companion blog. Megan and I hung out in the Workman Publishing office recently to put together a instructional video on how to alter a gigantic potato sack of a shirt into something acceptable to wear in public. After the jump, a quick walk-through of another design.
Read the rest