Angry men stamp their adorable little feet after Marines degender job titles

Marines urinating on dead bodies. [Reuters]

After allowing women to serve in combat roles, the United States Marines Corps plans to update various specialty titles to be ungendered. Insecure men are angry about this.

Antitank Missilemen, for example, will now be Antitank Gunners instead. Operations Men will henceforth be Operations Chiefs. Most of the changes just replace the word "man" with the world "marine." Where a literary barbarism is unavoidable, gendered titles will be kept. For example, it's still going to be Riflemen, not Rifleperson/Riflemarine. And yet, the rage.

“On one hand, the name changes from ‘man’ to ‘person’ or whatever they want to call it doesn’t really matter. They could call mortarmen bakers for all I care,” said Sgt. Geoff Heath, a Marine rifleman with multiple combat deployments. “But on the other, it’s a direct reflection on society’s crybaby political correctness.”

Marines, though, complain about everything. Infantrymen Basic infantry Marines even more so.

The rage — mostly confined to tweets, Facebook links and comments’ sections — centered on the idea that the Marine Corps was being gutted by political correctness.

Some hover at an epiphany's edge...

“You know, I was going to [complain] about PC crap … but “Infantry Assault Marine” sounds kinda cool …”

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How Houston's rich kids game the system (Spoiler: with their parents' money)

Abigail Fisher. Photo: Reuters

The Supreme Court recently sided with UT Austin's use of affirmative action. That plaintiff Abigail Fishers simply lacked the grades for admission was part of the case's many numbing ironies. But it's not a joke, according to Jia Tolentino, who tutored Fisher in the art of gaming the system. It's a way of life for second-rate kids in first-class families. Read the rest

Gun nut mom went back for more bullets before executing daughter

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Police say that Christy Sheats, the gun nut mom who shot dead her two daughters during a family confrontation that spilled into a Texas street, returned inside to reload before executing her child in view of horrified neighbors. She was still shooting when cops arrived, which is why they killed her.

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Republican Mike Huckabee had to pony up $25k for playing Eye of the Tiger

Mike Huckabee [Reuters]

When Mike Huckabee played Eye of the Tiger at a rally for a Kentucky county clerk who refused to marry same-sex couples, it cost him big. Sued by the song's owners, he forked over $25k to settle the lawsuit.

The failed Republican presidential candidate got the usual settlement gag clause, but decided to list the payment in election disclosures. Huckabee claimed the anti-gay rally was "noncommercial" and that his use of the song met the standards for "fair use," but...

...that argument fell apart when the songwriter's lawyer pointed out that Huckabee claimed the rally as a presidential campaign expense. He is now petitioning the Federal Election Commission to let him start a separate legal defense fund to pay off the settlement. However, the FEC just issued a draft opinion last week saying Huckabee should pay the costs himself.

Republican politicians routinely use Eye of the Tiger at rallies, and are routinely sued for it by Survivor's publishers, with Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney among the greatest hits. Read the rest

Conservative "suckers" were primed for Trump

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Jeet Heer explains that Republicans fell for Trump because of years of conservative policy that told them science, reason and skepticism were bad. Put simply, they were primed to be suckers: “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”

Conservative ideology, as Perlstein persuasively argues, is particularly vulnerable to grifters because of its faith in the goodness of business and its concomitant hostility toward regulation—which makes it easy for true believers to buy into the notion that some modern Edison has a miraculous new invention that the Washington elite is conniving to suppress. In Perlstein’s words, “The strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers points up evidence of another successful long march, of tactics designed to corral fleeceable multitudes all in one place—and the formation of a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began.” There’s another factor at work here: The anti-intellectualism that has been a mainstay of the conservative movement for decades also makes its members easy marks.
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Video feedback emulator generates gorgeous glitchy art

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Thea video feedback emulator offers a vague memory of fooling with video cameras and a strong flavor of crisp and fractal generative art, The results lurk somewhere between the decades. Click and drag your results for wild (and often brightly-flickering) variations. The creator explains how it works. [via Github]

What we’ve found most interesting about video feedback is: the sheer complexity of the images it produces through such simply-defined and implemented spacemaps that really only have to do with the relative positioning of two rectangles. It’s somewhat intuitive, but always surprising.

This is all just scratching the surface of the mathematics behind the patterns that video feedback is capable of, but hopefully it’s good enough for a start!

P.S. You’ll notice that many of the “interesting” patterns contain regions of diverse sizes. That is, they appear to have a broad range of spatial frequencies. What’s up with that?

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Select your shape! Stool Analyzer has thoughts on your poop

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The Stool Analyzer is the perfect website to squeeze into over breakfast: tell it everything about your turds and it will give you health tips that are at least as accurate as a carnival fortune-telling machine.

"An ideal stool looks like a torpedo - it should be large, soft, fluffy and easy to pass"

Dr. Foxx-Orenstein, president of the American College of Gastroenterology

My stool is reportedly "superior."

The shape and consistency of your stool indicate an almost "perfect stool". Your ideal feces should be uniform in consistency and colour with no cracks on its surface. To produce your "perfect stool" you need to tune your diet just a little with some extra fiber or with a couple more glasses of water. You're almost there!

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Strangely satisfying realtime lightning strike map

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The Blitzortung live lightning map shows the world's storms and strikes in real time, with a little click played every time heaven and earth become one. You can zoom right down to the state level; it's an indoors day in Ukraine and Greece. Read the rest

The cloud-tops of Jupiter

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Shot by New Horizons on its way out of town. [NASA, via]

This picture provides a vivid illustration that Jupiter's atmosphere has more color contrast than any other atmosphere in the solar system, including Earth's. Data obtained from these and other New Horizons images taken during the encounter will provide valuable insight into the processes occurring on this gas giant.

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Video captures cop trying to kill teen fleeing in car

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In his police report, officer Robert Cooper claims he was "barely able to get out of the way" as a teen driver tried to run him over, forcing him to shoot into a moving vehicle. But his own dashcam footage made a liar of him.

A police video released Thursday by the State Law Enforcement Division of the May 19 shooting of a motorist by a Forest Acres police officer shows the officer firing seven shots into a slow-moving car as the motorist began to drive away.

“Stop! Stop! Do not make me shoot you!” yells the officer, who is on foot in front of the vehicle with his weapon drawn and pointed at the car’s windshield. The driver is inside a small sedan and is the car’s only occupant.

The officer fires seven shots, rapidly and from a close distance – perhaps less than 10 feet away – as the car moves slowly, turns toward the officer and then appears to try to go around the officer. The motorist then pulls away from the scene and moves out of range of the officer’s dash-cam, which recorded the event.

The "don't make me shoot" line (like "stop resisting") is key to understanding the problem with cops in America: a device to justify escalating confrontations as fast as possible to violence. Forest Acres is giving officer Cooper a paid vacation during its investigation. Read the rest

Meet SpotMini, a wee dancing robot from Boston Dynamics that also does the dishes

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It's described as "nightmare fuel" by Digital Trends but I think it's adorable. Read the rest

Iceland soccer commentator finds team's performance satisfactory

screaming

His name is Gummi Ben. The BBC reports on a remarkable day for the 330,000-strong island nation.

(Edit: sorry about the hinky Streamable embed; open video in a new window)

Gummi Ben, who became a commentator after hanging up his boots in 2009, has been fending calls off all day.

"It's been quite strange and actually hectic, because the phone hasn't stopped ringing," he told the BBC.

"But I'm really enjoying it! It's part of the job."

Translation: "*screams*. My voice is gone, but it doesn't matter. We have come forward, in this tournament, and never, not once have I ever felt so good" Read the rest

In the robot future, only cars will drive

A Google self-driving vehicle. Photo: Reuters

Here's something to fear about self-driving cars! Once they're up and running and insurance companies and legislators realize they're much better at it than humans, you won't even be allowed to drive. Also, the infrastructure is decaying badly and there's no political will to face up to the costs of fixing it, so the roads themselves may end up getting effectively sold off.

Public-private partnerships for roads might begin the erosion of the public right of way. But it’s also possible that autonomous vehicles will all but require limited access to public roads to operate effectively.

Today’s self-driving cars have to be designed and programmed to interact with messy circumstances. Pedestrians, dogs, bicycles, human-driven vehicles, and other obstacles all pose challenges to robocars, and if autonomous vehicles are even modestly successful, avoiding collisions with fallible human drivers will prove a temporary problem. ... The more self-driving cars there are on the roads, the less complex and more predictable the overall behavior of traffic becomes.

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National anthems coded by subject matter

National-Anthem-Map
All My Sports Teams Suck charted the subjects of each country's national anthem. They found that most of them are about countries. Read the rest

Texas judge orders prison to provide inmates with safe drinking water

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Texas's prison system must provide safe drinking water to its inmates, a judge in Houston federal court ruled Thursday.

The Associated Press reports on a case that saw Texas fight all the way to court to continue supplying arsenic-laden water to prisoners— a position U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison wrote violates "contemporary standards of decency."

In his 15-page ruling, Ellison wrote the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has been "deliberately indifferent" to the ongoing risk inmates at the unit face from prolonged exposure to "extreme heat" and from having to drink arsenic-laden water in order to reduce the risk from the heat. The drinking water at the Pack Unit has contained between 2 and 4½ times the amount of arsenic permitted by the Environmental Protection Agency, the judge said.

The prisoners have "demonstrated that (the prison system's) current and ongoing conduct violates contemporary standards of decency," Ellison wrote.

At least 20 prisoners have died indoors in non-air-conditioned Texas prisons from overheating since 1998, including 10 who died in 2011, Ellison said.

Other than fixing the tainted water, the prisoners asked for temperatures in the Wallace Pack Unit to be lowered to 88°F. See the aerial photo above: suburban Houston is hot, but it is not a desert.

American prisons are hell: violent rape camps operated by the depraved and indifferent, many of them private corporations. And these prisons are in Texas. Read the rest

Jerry Seinfeld's apartment in Doom

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"After over 100 hours of work, I present to you Seinfeld.wad," writes Doug Keener. "A replica of Jerry Seinfeld's Apartment from his hit sitcom, Seinfeld!"

Join Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine in this neat Doom/Seinfeld crossover! There are many custom textures and sprites to bring you the full experience of being inside Jerry's Apartment, inside Doom 2! Each sprite has audio clips and death animations! Have fun slaughtering the gang relentlessly in this wad about nothing! ...

Special Thanks to GIMP 2.0, GZDoomBuilder, Slade3, applekwisp, Seinfeld cast and crew, and the lovely people over at ZDoom forums and wiki.

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Have your body turned into effluent and just poured down the drain when you die

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A funeral home in Ottawa, Canada, is using a new body eco-friendly disposal technique called Alkaline Hydrolysis, which leaves only a coffee-like slurry that can be simply poured down the drain.

Aquagreen Dispositions began operating in a rental unit within the former Rideau Regional Centre in Smiths Falls in May 2015 after receiving a licence from the Ontario government. Hilton's Unforgettable Tails, a parallel business handling the remains of pets, had been using the same process for a couple of years prior to Aquagreen Dispositions, but it took longer to get a licence to handle human remains.

The owner, Dale Hilton, who is from a family of funeral home operators in Smiths Falls, said he watched as the "green wave" swept through the funeral industry, bringing biodegradable caskets and urns.

We've covered the technique before here and here, where John Brownlee pointed out that a straightforward chemical disposal process is, if nothing else, more dignified than the disgusting bilking-of-the-bereaved that oftentimes goes on at funeral parlors.

Nevertheless, "we keep an eye on these things," a local water quality official, Ted Joynt, told CBC News.

Cremations take hours to complete and release carbon dioxide; the alkaline disposal system uses potash, salt and water to "break down a human body in a heated, pressurized vessel" that allows implants and artificial joints to be recovered and reused.

In wide use for animal disposal, similar equipment can be seen at Pri-Bio's Thermal Tissue Digester product page.

Here is a deleted scene from Dune where a body is broken down to water and the remains given to the dead man's killer, who must safeguard it for the tribe. Read the rest

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