Here's HR Giger's Alien, deep in thought after a hard day on the set, from a Retronaut set of "Behind the scenes of ‘Alien’ movies."
A game writer who criticized his beatmates' journalistic shortcomings no longer has his job. Rab Florence, formerly with top gaming site Eurogamer, resigned from his position at after it received "legal threats" and gutted much of his scathing article.
"I am utterly staggered by today's events," Florence wrote on Twitter. " ... Today I was effectively put out of a job by another writer."
The imbroglio, barely a day old, began with Florence's broadside aimed at a "tragic, vulgar image": journalists who accepted gifts, participated in Twitter PR campaigns, and who pose with branded junk food for marketing set-pieces. Read the rest
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Gilberto Valle, an NYPD officer, has been arrested after details of a plot to kidnap and eat women came to light. Officer Valle is alleged to have used NYPD databases to locate 100 potential victims, and left detailed notes on his plans to murder and eat them. He also offered to kidnap women for money, corresponding with online acquaintances. From an AP article by Colleen Long and Tom Hays:
One document found on his computer was titled "Abducting and Cooking (Victim 1): A Blueprint," according to the complaint. The file also had the woman's birth date and other personal information and a list of "materials needed" — a car, chloroform and rope.
"I was thinking of tying her body onto some kind of apparatus ... cook her over low heat, keep her alive as long as possible," Valle allegedly wrote in one exchange in July, the complaint says.
In other online conversations, investigators said, Valle talked about the mechanics of fitting the woman's body into an oven (her legs would have to be bent), said he could make chloroform at home to knock a woman out and discussed how "tasty" one woman looked.
"Her days are numbered," he wrote, according to the complaint.
Rachel sez, "Instructions on how to replace the red-white-blue ribbon on the eagle award with a rainbow hued ribbon in support of LGBT rights. There is also a surprisingly passionate discussion on both sides of the issue in the comments section."
I like the look of Unlace, Cindy Glass and Dante Pauwels's fully funded Kickstarter project to make rubber-over-wire faux-shoelaces that can be used to tame cable tangles. You can get four Unlaces for $20. I'm impressed by the product team's experience as well, which bodes well for the actual completion and shipment of the project.
So, we put our heads together and created a simple, colorful, and fun companion for organizing all the cords and cables that are part and parcel of our increasingly digital lives. We took inspiration from a simple source, a sneaker, and designed Unlace, a reusable silicone shoelace for untangling a few of life's little, and annoying, problems. We’ve created a 5” Unlace for small cords. And, a 10” Unlace for burly cables.
The Unlace is reusable and has a silky matte silicone finish with the texture of a shoelace. A few gentle turns and it will coil around and hold most anything.
Interview with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn.
My guest this episode is Gillian Flynn, the New York Times Bestselling author of Gone Girl, Sharp Objects, and Dark Places. I had a terrific time talking to her about why she enjoys writing creepy books with twisted characters. It was interesting to learn that her father is a retired film professor who loves the work of David Lynch, because the teenagers in Dark Places reminded me of the kids in Twin Peaks.
Here's my review of Gone Girl.
This post sponsored by Outlook.com:
Go and look at your inbox right now. Go on, I’ll wait. Done? Good. For the majority of you, over 80% of the email you receive is something called graymail. It’s not spam, but it’s also not higher priority messages from friends, family or colleagues that you’re more likely to read and respond to. Newsletters, social updates and daily deals are all examples of graymail and left unattended they can take over your inbox pretty quickly.
Now here’s a little secret; Microsoft didn’t entirely build the recently released Outlook.com preview from scratch. Under the hood, Microsoft took the best tools and features originally developed for Hotmail – such as those designed to tackle graymail – and incorporated them into the new service. Read the rest
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An officer from the Long Beach Police Department shows how automatic license plate recognition technology works. He demos a system installed in a patrol car equipped with four cameras. "Each camera is recording at all times, so no matter what mode you're in, it'll be recording off all four of the cameras… it shows you a picture the car, it shows you a picture of the plate that it caught and then what it does is it takes that image and using optical character recognition it will compare it to a database. In our case we are running multiple databases -- we have 'wanted felony vehicles,' 'be on the lookout,' '24 hour hotsheet,' 'wanted by detectives,' 'LA County warrants,' and our 'gang unit.' In addition to this we have 'stolen vehicles,' which are available to everybody in the state. Currently in our database we have 24,000,000 plus reads."
They also have a "parking scofflaw" database. "If a car has five or more outstanding parking tickets, state law allows us to tow it. And that turns into a revenue generator for the city… we have generated in excess of $3 million dollars."
The cheerful music licensed to accompany this promotional video is there to assure you that this technology is being used for public safety. (Via Doobybrain)
If the (possible) merger of Penguin and Random House isn't called Random Penguin, they'll have failed.— John Scalzi (@scalzi) October 25, 2012
I visited a new Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA today. A guard told me that while photography is generally prohibited in the museum, Chihuly explicitly demands photography of his work be allowed, and that there be no physical barriers between visitors and the glass creations. This desire for accessibility and openness made me appreciate his work in a new way. Here are some snapshots I took of the show.Read the rest
Fuzzyatelin, a field biologist, offers graphic and compelling advice on keeping your feet dry during your fieldwork.
1) For frak’s sake, DRY OUT YOUR SOCKS. Put them over the fan over night so that you have 5 precious, precious moments of dryness before stepping out that door into the rain again…
2) Air everything out. For real. I mean everything. If you have electricity, lay in front of a fan in the buff for at least two hours every evening. You think I’m joking… but:
3) When your feet start to bleed - and boy, will they ever - don’t panic. The hole that appears to be eating its way into the space between your 4th and 5th toes on your right foot won’t go any deeper than a full centimeter (you know this because you stuck your finger inside of it and then measured the extent of the bloody seepage on your pinkie finger… the hole is that wide and deep).
4) Ditch the hat. Ditch the hat. Ditch the - oh. Now it’s on your scalp.
It gets worse.
My friend Jason Tester pointed me to this oddly mesmerizing and creeptastic stock video titled "City business people." Entranced, our own Rob Beschizza looped it and also generated the requisite animated GIF, and another one after the jump that focuses on the gentleman's knowing chuckle.
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Striking new scientific study shows strikingly that scientific studies with striking results are often false
One such example: the cancer drug Avastin. Clinical trials suggested the drug might double the time breast cancer patients could live with their disease without getting worse. But follow-up studies found no improvements in progression-free survival, overall survival or patients' quality of life. As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011 withdrew its approval to use the drug to treat breast cancer, though it is still approved to treat several other types of cancer.
With early glowing reports, Ioannidis said, "one should be cautious and wait for a better trial."
Viktor Timofeev, a NYC resident who in fact hails from Latvia, is probably better known as a visual artist, having made a bit of a name for himself in the art world over the last few years. (See painting above right from a recent show in Cologne.) But he also counts himself a member of electro synth-wave downer pop combo Nihiti and painted the very distinctive cover of the first Nihiti album. Give Health999, his first solo record, is something else entirely, totally removed from Nihiti. On his own, he instead traffics in expanses of layered drones, and looped riffage, of atmospheres and ambience, but active ambience, with sounds blurred and tangled, rhythmic without actual rhythms. Read the rest
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Party City sells a "Girls' toddler Cookie Monster costume" and a "Boys' toddler Cookie Monster costume" -- there's a slight difference between the two, but I can't quite spot it. But I guess they're just filling the market created by parents who want their kids to look their best, right? And the parents are in no way pressured to buy their girls crazy, awful, second-rate Cookie-Monster-as-princess costumes by the word BOY emblazoned on the good one. I really hope that Children's Television Workshop pulls the license for these.