Trump's ghostwriter prediction: Trump is going to resign

Ghostwriter Tony Schwartz, who spent over a year with Trump and was the co-author of the memoir, Art of the Deal, has predicted that Trump will resign, maybe as early as by the end of summer.

On Wednesday he tweeted: "The circle is closing at blinding speed. Trump is going to resign and declare victory before Mueller and congress leave him no choice."

And then a couple of hours later: "Trump's presidency is effectively over. Would be amazed if he survives till end of the year. More likely resigns by fall, if not sooner."

According to CNN:

"I put lipstick on a pig," he told The New Yorker last year, adding that he feels "a deep sense of remorse" for "presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is." This is not the first time Schwartz has made predictions about Trump's presidency. In an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper in May, Schwartz also said he believed Trump will resign and then declare victory.

"I surely believe that at some point over the next period of time, he's going to have to figure out a way to resign," Schwartz said. "The reason he's going to do that, as opposed to go through what could be an impeachment process or a continuing humiliation, is that he wants to figure out a way, as he has done all his career, to turn a loss into a victory. So he will declare victory when he leaves."

Schwartz told Anderson Cooper yesterday on CNN that the "the level of his [Trump's] self-destructiveness is staggering." Watch the interview below.

Image: Steven Depolo

Chuck Jones directed this Oscar-winning government-funded cartoon promoting universal health care (1949)

"So Much for So Little" is a 1949 Warner Brothers cartoon promoting universal health care. It was funded by the federal government and directed by Chuck Jones, with music by Carl Stallings, and narrated by Frank Graham. It won the Academy Award in 1950 for Documentary Short Subject.

From Open Culture:

While our country looks like it might be coming apart at the seams, it’s good to revisit, every once in a while, moments when it did work. And that’s not so that we can feel nostalgic about a lost time, but so that we can remind ourselves how, given the right conditions, things could work well once again.

One example from history (and recently rediscovered by a number of blogs during the AHCA debacle in Congress) is this government propaganda film from 1949—the Harry S. Truman era—that promotes the idea of cradle-to-grave health care, and all for three cents a week. This money went to school nurses, nutritionists, family doctors, and neighborhood health departments.

....

Three cents per American per week wouldn’t cut it now in terms of universal health coverage. But according to [John] Maher, quoting a 2009 Kingsepp study on the original Affordable Care Act, taxpayers would have to pay $3.61 a week.

How to do the Faro Shuffle

The Faro Shuffle is a way to shuffle the cards where you split the deck into two piles of 26 cards and push the decks together so that the cards are perfectly interwoven. If you can execute eight Faro Shuffles in a row, the cards will be returned to the original order. Here's a tutorial.

Romney: Trump caused "the vast heart of America to mourn"

Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate and rich guy, called Trump a fraud, then asked him for a job, and is now outraged by his racism. Testify that there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis--who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat--and the counter-protestors who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag

Good stuff. Alas, he's still stuck on saying what "the president should" do. Hanging on the hope of a better Trump was always foolish. Now it's a kind of political fart that trumpets the Republican establishment's ongoing complicity. In any case, the majority of Republican voters are just fine with Trump's support of white supremacists, so this is really just another epitaph for Mittens.

Horrors: Chucky the bath bomb

Bathe with one eye open because 80s and 90s horror film icon Chucky is now a bath bomb.

Its scent? Orange soda.

This Chuckie Bath Bomb is a recent creation of California-based beauty brand Loquita Bath and Body who has already sold out of the fizzy Child's Play doll head.

Loquita's founder Mira Perez told HelloGiggles: Well the name came from my husband, he says I am a “loca” [crazy] which I have to admit, I can be a loquita in the best way possible. The brand, however, came because I was throughly mesmerized by these bath and body companies catering to the “goth” style and as much as I love the dark or obscure I didn’t feel like it screamed “ME!’ So, I decided to create bombs that were nostalgic and that I could identify with.

Is progress inevitable?

In his book on the history of human progress, Our Kind, anthropologist Marvin Harris asked in the final chapter, “Will nature’s experiment with mind and culture end in nuclear war?”

The book came out in 1989, in the final years of our Cold War nuclear paranoia, and his telling of how people developed from hunter gatherers all the way to McDonald’s franchise owners, he said, couldn’t honestly end with him gazing optimistically to the horizon because never had the fate of so many been under the control of so few.

“What alarms me most,” he wrote, “is the acquiescence of ordinary citizens and their elected officials to the idea that our kind has to learn to deal with the threat of mutual annihilation because it is the best way of reducing the danger that one nuclear power will attack another.”

In the final paragraph, Harris wrote that “we must recognize the degree to which we are not yet in control” of our own society. Progress was mostly chance and luck with human agency steering us away from the rocks when it could, but unless we gained some measure of control of where we were going as a species, he said, we’d be rolled over by our worst tendencies, magnified within institutions too complex for any one person to predict or direct.

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I know where this feeling came from because I grew up terrified of nuclear war. It seemed like every week there was a TV special assuring me I didn’t have much to look forward to, like The Day After, Countdown to Looking Glass, Testament, and Special Bulletin, and HBO movies like By Dawn’s Early Light as well as a handful of the rebooted The Twilight Zone episodes and remnants of the 1970s like Damnation Alley floating among the cable apocalyptic schlock – all devoted, it seemed, to scaring the shit out of us by revealing what horrors awaited if they ever pressed the button.

It was always with us, that fear, that uncertainty, that feeling …read the rest

Earth faces comet catastrophe, in this week’s tabloids

J. Edgar Hoover killed President Kennedy, O.J. Simpson aims to murder Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner, and JonBenet Ramsey’s babysitter tells all, in this week’s reality-divorced tabloids.

JonBenet’s babysitter Kristine Griffin tells the ‘Globe': “The parents didn’t do it - but I know who did.” But she refuses to identify the killer. So much for telling all.

O.J., weeks from going free on parole, is “hell-bent on revenge,” claims the ‘National Enquirer,’ which is a step back from recent tabloid stories that claimed Simpson plans to murder everyone who ever doubted his innocence. Incapable of inventing a motive for O.J.’s murderous rage, a dubiously unnamed source muses: “O.J. blames Kris for everything. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s all her fault.”

Why would FBI director Hoover put a hit out on JFK? “He was being fired for blackmailing prez,” reports the ‘Globe,’ helpfully adding: “Lee Harvey Oswald was on his payroll!” How did they slip that conspiracy past the Warren Commission? Hoover blackmailed the Commissioners with dirt on every one of the investigators. It sounds obvious once it’s explained, doesn’t it?

You have to admire the ‘National Examiner’ for its story on actress Betty White explaining why, at 95, “I’ll never get plastic surgery.” Presumably it’s because the chance to look 20 years younger doesn’t sound that appealing. Why would she want to compete with a bunch of 75-year-old actors when she has the 95-year-old market locked up?

The ‘Examiner’ has come late to the tabloid realization that the British Royal family rarely sue, no matter how egregious the story, and this week devotes its cover to “William Catches Camilla Cheating!” Naturally, the Queen “has demanded Charles get an immediate divorce from his power-hungry wife - and banish her from the kingdom forever.” As if it’s an episode of 'Game of Thrones.’ It’s a shame that this same affair claim appeared in May, 2015, in the ‘Globe,’ which alleged that Charles and Camilla had an explosive fight over her fling with an unnamed British actor. Except the affair didn’t exist then, and it doesn’t exist now, much as the British Royal press pack would love it.

The ‘Enquirer’ stays with the Royals, revealing Prince William’s “Secret American Lover” - a woman who may or may not have been his girlfriend 13 years ago, before he met his bride, Kate Middleton. “Taylor Swift Child Abuse Shocker!” is a great headline, though the story has little to do with Tay Tay - her former “high school crush” supposedly admitted assaulting a child. Does everyone in her life only exist to provide inspiration for her songs? Look out for her next hit: ‘I Loved You Once, But Now You’re Choking Kids.'

For the first time in months the tabloids are Trump-free this week - perhaps because President Trump’s Tweets and public rants are more surreal than anything the tabloids can invent? The 'Enquirer,’ however, could not resist reporting on President Obama’s “Girls Gone Wild!” claiming that “sex-crazed Malia and Sasha get down and dirty.” No political motivation behind that report, I’m …read the rest

After On Podcast #3: EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn

Below you’ll find a wide-ranging interview with Cindy Cohn, who runs the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

It’s the third episode of my podcast, which launched here on Boing Boing two weeks back and which is co-hosted by Tom Merritt. The podcast series goes deep into the science, tech, and sociological issues explored in my present-day science fiction novel After On – but no familiarity with the novel is necessary to listen to it.

Issues of privacy and government hacking in are central to After On’s storyline. And no organization is more deeply concerned with these matters than EFF, which positions itself as “the leading nonprofit defending digital privacy, free speech, and innovation.”

Cindy has been working with EFF for most of its history, and running it since 2015. In our interview we discuss several chilling developments EFF is fighting. One is the legal campaign against Mike Masnick and his long-running blog TechDirt. This is widely viewed as a SLAPP, or strategic lawsuit against public participation.

Moneyed plaintiffs use SLAPP suits to arbitrarily silence opinions that displease them – a power none are granted in free societies, but which is readily accessible through cynical abuse of the legal system. Just last week, Masnick accepted $250,000 from donors ranging across the political spectrum to fight this odious practice, and just yesterday EFF named him a winner of its 2017 Pioneer Award, making this a timely conversation.

Cindy and I also discuss how Cisco helped China censor its Internet and oppress religious minorities; the controversy surrounding Facebook’s attempt to roll out a free but stripped-down Internet in India; the morality of tools that protect good people from evil governments but can also protect evil people from good governments; EFF’s own storied history, and much more.

You can subscribe to the podcast within any podcast app. Simply use your app's search function (type in "After On") to find and subscribe. To subscribe via your computer on iTunes, just click here, then click the blue “View on iTunes” button (on the left side of the page), then click “Subscribe” (in a similar location) in the iTunes window. Or follow the feed http://afteron.libsyn.com/rss

Image of Cindy Cohn: Moizsyed/Wikipedia

The alt-right loves Nietzsche, but Nietzsche would not love them

No expression of far-right idiocy is complete without a macho misreading of Nietzsche. So frequently miscast as the godfather of everything from the Master Race to Mens' Rights, his name alone is something of a shibboleth. Which is sad, because he wouldn't have thought much of them, writes Sean Illing.

“Nietzsche's argument was that you had to move forward, not fall back onto ethnocentrism,” Hugo Drochon, author of Nietzsche’s Great Politics, told me. “So in many ways Spencer is stuck in the 'Shadows of God' — claiming Christianity is over but trying to find something that will replace it so that we can go on living as if it still existed, rather than trying something new.” ...

Nietzsche was a lot of things — iconoclast, recluse, misanthrope — but he wasn’t a racist or a fascist. He would have shunned the white identity politics of the Nazis and the alt-right. That he’s been hijacked by racists and fascists is partly his fault, though. His writings are riddled with contradictions and puzzles. And his fixation on the future of humankind is easily confused with a kind of social Darwinism.

Chewbacca beat up a ski resort worker with his snowboard

A staffer as the Thredbo ski resort in New South Wales, Australia reported that Chewbacca beat him with a snowboard after insisting the Wookie remove his "costume."

“He lost consciousness and some teeth,” Chewbacca wrote on social media, according to the Daily Telegraph. "Been ordered not to have any contact with Thredbo staff (even if i know them) about what happened and must stay 15km away from Thredbo.”

Chewie was charged with "using an offensive weapon to commit an indictable act."

As Greg commented at the Daily Grail, "Dude was lucky he didn't get his arms torn off their sockets."

(Evening Standard)

Trump's Jewish team-members won't go public on his endorsement of neo-Nazis

Gary D Cohn is director of Trump's National Economic Council; Steven Mnuchin is Secretary of the Treasury; Jared Kushner is Trump's son-in-law and Ivanka Trump is Trump's daughter, who converted to Judiasm: not one of them has said anything in public about Trump's bizarre rant in which he said that not all the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville were bad and some were "very fine people."

Woman loses engagement ring, finds it 13 years later wrapped around a carrot

A woman from Alberta lost her diamond engagement ring while gardening 13 years ago, but her grandaughter found it in the middle of a carrot growing on the family farm.

When days of searching proved fruitless, she decided not to tell her husband. “I didn’t tell him, even, because I thought for sure he’d give me heck or something,” she said. “Then I finally went to the jeweller and bought a cheap ring. I only told my son, I didn’t tell nobody else.”

Her husband – who died five years ago, shortly after the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary – never noticed the swap, said Grams.

The missing ring remained a secret until earlier this week, when her granddaughter brought over a freshly-picked carrot that had an ornate ring encircling it. “I recognised it right away,” said Grams. “They found it yesterday when my daughter-in-law was digging carrots for supper.”

Colleen Daley said she hadn’t noticed the ring around the carrot when she picked it. She had briefly contemplated feeding the malformed carrot to her dog, but decided against it, only to later notice the ring as she was washing the carrot. “It was pretty weird-looking,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

ABC News in 1979 looks forward to 2017's solar eclipse

"May the shadow of the moon fall on a world at peace." Frank Reynolds anchored from New York, with live reports from former science correspondence Jules Bergman and reporter Bob Miller. Live images from Portland, Oregon, Washington state's Goldendale Observatory and Helena, Montana.

It might seem strange, and certainly cold comfort to those who suffered and still suffer, but his wish has been mostly granted. The world has a lot to lose.

Amazon ads for mystery junk defy explanation

William Turton took note of the bizarre ads for inexplicable items — mysterious geometric forms, molded plastic thingies, confusing wooden components — and investigated. Thankfully, his investigation goes no-where, leaving us in the speculative realm of data-driven and maybe AI-curated advertising.

I would have bet the item above was one of those marbled salt slabs you cook food on instead of a baking tray, but it turns out to be a foam mattress topper.

P.S. I'm quite sure that the "bare image" aesthetic is part of the Amazon Interesting Finds thing, a frequently-updated grid of tchotchkes and oddities such as this $4 USB drive in the shape of a chocolate bar and these soup ladles in the shape of the Loch Ness Monster.

The "crying white supremacist" was a parking meter officer harasser (Colbert Report 2014)

Before Chris Cantwell became infamous as the angry white supremacist in Vice's Charlottesville: Race and Terror and soon after as the weeping, frightened white supremacist in a viral video, he was an armed harasser of parking meter officers. In fact, in 2014 The Colbert Report profiled Cantwell and two other equally nutty members of his group. They harassed an Iraq veteran who was a meter officer so much that he quit his job. "Very fine" people indeed.

Here's the video:

From Heavy:

The 36-year-old Cantwell, who runs a podcast called Radical Agenda, is heard sharing his anti-Semitic and racist views in the Vice film, even telling reporter Elle Reve that he doesn’t think President Donald Trump is racist enough because he allowed his daughter Ivanka Trump to marry the Jewish Jared Kushner. “I don’t think that you can feel about race the way I do and watch that Kushner bastard walk around with the beautiful girl,” Cantwell said.

Homeopathic infant teething products contain dangerous levels of deadly nightshade

Homeolab USA is a Canadian company that makes "homeopathic" remedies for kids; in a warning letter sent to the company earlier this month, the US FTC warned the company that it had discovered dangerous levels of belladonna (AKA deadly nightshade) in its infant teething products, and advised the company that its manufacturing process was putting its customers' safety at risk.

Texas Republicans will now require women to carry "rape insurance" if they need abortions

HB 214 signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott [R], bans abortion coverage from all public and private health insurance plans, and mandates that abortion insurance be sold as a separate product to women who are concerned that they'll need an abortion in future due to risks to their lives, unplanned pregnancies, unviable pregnancies, or rape-related pregnancies.

Why tech predictors are so terrible at the job

Enjoy Michael Mullany's review of the Gartner Hype Cycle, with all the things tech predictors got right and all the things they got wrong: "we're terrible at making predictions."

Lesson 6: Some technologies keep receding into the future

There are some notable technologies that recur on the Hype Cycle and every time they appear they seem equally scifi. Although at some point, I'm sure they will not. The most notable are:

Quantum Computing: as early as 2000, quantum computing was considered more than a decade away (and likely still is).

Brain/Computer Interfaces: (also aliased under Human Augmentation) despite notable progress on neural control of prosthetics, thought controlled computing is still a work in progress with general availability lurking at least a decade away.

When I was covering the tech beat, I'd often get annoyed because we'd use these guys as expert sources, but it was plainly obvious that many of them are just retired journos who had gone into investment consulting, with a little insight into the supply chain and none at all into the science.

Though he's not one of those types, my favorite was Gene Munster, who seemed to spend at least a decade regularly predicting the imminent arrival of an Apple TV set. He appears to have quit this year, which doubtless means they will announce one soon.

10 products that take the annoying parts out of cooking

While it’s possible to cook a brilliant dish out in the woods with nothing more than some sharpened sticks and a roaring fire, most of us aren’t quite at that level of mastery yet. For some extra assistance in your food prep take a look at the following kitchen conveniences: 

Salad to Go Container - $11.99

Bringing your own salad for lunch is usually a compromise in the name of frugality and healthiness, but it doesn’t have to be with this to go container. It keeps your ingredients separated and comes packed with its own silverware set, so you don’t have to suffer through another dressing-soaked mess with leftover takeout utensils. Get one here for just $11.99.

Star Wars Ice Trays (Set of 8) - $16.99

Whether you are throwing a cantina-themed house party and need the perfect finishing touch for your signature cocktail, or just like to feel the force with every cold drink, these Star Wars Ice Trays make a great addition to any geek’s freezer. And they’re microwave- and oven-safe for making galactic sweets. This set of eight molds is available for $16.99.

Avocado Joy Slicer- $9.99

Avocados are easily one of the most delicious savory fruits around, and the Avocado Joy Slicer makes it even easier to extract from their leathery skin. This multitool features a serrated knife, a pitter, and a row of blades to quickly cut uniform slices, all for just $9.99.

Stovetop Popcorn Popper - $29

Although mastering the timing of microwave popcorn is its own art, making it on the stove is always going to yield tastier and healthier results. The Stovetop Popcorn Popper won’t leave any unpopped kernels behind, and its stirring mechanism makes a full batch in just a few minutes. You can grab one of these movie-night companions here for $29

Blue Apron Plans - $25

If you want to expand your cooking skills beyond instant ramen and scrambled eggs, Blue Apron’s meal planning and delivery service will have you taking over chef duties at your house in no time. Included in the box are all the ingredients needed to make three delicious home-cooked meals for two people. This curated one-week trial is just $25.

Chefman Egg Cooker - $19.99

 

Boiled eggs make a great to-go breakfast, but making them on the stove requires extra attention, and a lot of ice-bath preparation to keep the shells from sticking. For a perfect batch every time in just 15 minutes, take a look at the Chefman Egg Cooker. Pick one up for just $19.99.

Stainless Steel Herb Scissors - $11.99

Scissors are a surprisingly handy kitchen device, as they are the absolute quickest way to add freshly chopped herbs to your dishes. To multiply your usual chopping speed by at least five, get these Stainless Steel Herb Scissors for just $11.99. They’re totally dishwasher safe, and provide a strong grip with their silicon handles.

 …read the rest

Nina Paley's haunting, mesmerizing, and life-affirming God-Mother animation

Nina Paley, the ridiculously-talented artist, cartoonist, and animator, has just posted her latest video, God-Mother, and it's another jaw-dropper. Nina is known for intense, highly arresting animations, like This Land is Mine, my vote for one of the greatest visual indictments of war, cycles of violence, and the horrors of human conquest. She's also done the feature-length trip through the Ramayana, Sita Sings the Blues, Death of the First Born Egyptians, and Copying is not Theft. Nina is also a free culture activist.

God-Mother is Nina's ode to Mother Earth and goddess religions. Her haunting, mesmerizing animation is perfectly paired with the Bulgarian State Radio and Television Female Vocal Choir, singing the Bulgarian folk song, Godmother Denkou. The life-affirming spirit of the video ends with a sad and snarky grace note that is pure Paley. God-Mother is part of Seder-Masochism, an eventual animated feature for which Nina has been amassing content.

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