Alex Jones roars

"Alex Jones Is Definitely a Human and Not a Reptilian." Read the rest

New Boston Dynamics bot has arms and wheels

Every time I post one of these, I see the near-future nightmare where conspicuously Boston-Dynamics robots law-enforce us in Gilead. On the other hand, it upsets me when the guy pushes Atlas-bot around with a hockey stick. I'm only human, after all.

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Men upset by cartoon

This cartoon, published in The New Yorker, is upsetting men today. The cartoonist is Will McPhail, who is good at capturing the moment.

So:

Robert Jeantet So, she's allowed to tell him what she thinks of it, but he's not allowed to tell her what he thinks of it ? What a great way to have a dialogue. To call it "mansplaining" is just as patronizing. Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. And inversely.

Angus Moorehead You expect them to wonder in silence rather than discuss the art. Really.

Gary Wheat "I wonder" in conversation is commonly interpreted as an invitation for help in understanding something. If this were a date and I had some insight about the painting to offer and was met with such a passive-aggressive response, I would certainly reconsider a second date

On and on it goes. Prints are available. Read the rest

Racists blubber in court as judge jails them for threatening black child's birthday party with shotgun

Jose Torres and Kayla Norton terrorized a black kid's birthday party by leading a convoy of confederate-flag flying vehicles past it while shouting racial slurs and threats—and pointing a shotgun at the children. They blubbered in court Monday as a Georgia judge sentenced them to years in jail.

Channel 2 Action News spoke to a woman who was at the birthday party in 2015.

Melissa Alford said at least seven pickup trucks displaying Confederate flags pulled up on her property on Campbellton Street and their passengers were armed and threatened to “kill y’all niggers.”

"This is behavior that even supporters of the Confederate battle flag can agree is criminal and shouldn't be allowed," Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in a statement.

Norton was sentenced on one count of violating Georgia's street gang act and one count of making terroristic threats. Torres was sentenced on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of terroristic threats and one count of violating the street gang act.

Superior Court Judge William McClain gave Torres 20 years, with 13 served in prison, and Norton was given 15 years with 6 inside. Three things seem to have enhanced the community's righteous ire:

1. It was shortly after white supremacist Dylann Roof's killing of 9 black worshipers at a church in Charleston.

2. The Douglasville Police Department originally refused to arrest the people making the threats.

3. Only four of the people in the convoy were charged with serious crimes, despite there being "a dozen or more" involved. Read the rest

Subreddit mocks cultural gatekeepers

r/gatekeeping is a subreddit dedicated to collecting and mocking examples of gatekeeping in popular culture and fandom: the act of telling you you aren't allowed to like something unless you meet arbitrary or esoteric requirements. Reading some of them makes me think that the "gatekeeping urge" is so fundamentally primal and dumb that gatekeeping call-outs could easily be generated by a computer program to a Poe-complete level. Read the rest

Watch the wrong movie announced as Best Picture Oscar winner, then the right one

Last night, La La Land was mistakenly announced as the winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, forcing an excruciating on-stage reversal as millions watched cast and crew, Oscars in hand, realize they had in fact lost out to Moonlight.

Embedded here is the full clip of the cock-up. It's weird to see the sudden frisson of oh shit activity around the stage immediately after the mistake is made, but translating all too slowly into action. Watch how the news filters quietly from participant to oblivious participant in the background as the speeches proceed.

Pictured here, though, is the startled delight of Moonlight director Barry Jenkins realizing that his movie had, in fact, won the prize. Read the rest

Make your keyboard look like a subway map

SA Metro is a set of keys for mechanical keyboards that form colored subway lines in the classic style of the London Underground map. Three editions are planned, covering staggered, gridded and ergonomic keyboard layouts; to be absolutely clear, it lacks standard legends. If it gets enough votes at Massdrop, it will be manufactured by Signature Plastics.

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Britons enjoy bagel on train

In honor of America's appreciation for Britons' intellectual and cultural sophistication, I hereby present this video of some of them enjoying a bagel on a train. Posted by Dougie Stew, it has the dimensions of an epic drama, with a call to action, a threshold guardian, a journey to the cave, and a hero returning clad in the golden fleece. It has everything.

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Will the new Nokia 3310 be the Nokia 3310-killer?

As warned last week, Nokia has relaunched its classic 3310 model candybar phone. The good news: it's a pretty little burner that honors and updates the original's design. The bad news: that's the only connection, and it's otherwise a modern dumbphone with no clear picture yet on how well-designed the interface and hardware is. It's not even made by Nokia, but under license. [via Daneel]

The new device is very cute and looks like a sleeker, updated version of the original. HMD Global retained the keypad buttons and the general shape of the old device. On the back, we see a camera. The new phone also has a color display.

As for details about the phone’s specifications and what HMD has done to update a very rudimentary device for the modern world, we didn’t get much. The company spent less than five minutes on the new device, and only rattled off some battery life details: The new 3310 is going to have 22 hours of talk-time (LOL), and one month of standby battery life. But hey, it has Snake and the classic Nokia ringtone. Take my money!

One worriome portent: you can apparently go diagonally in the new version of Snake.

UPDATE: Reader Brian_McNett writes in to point out that the licencee, despite having the banktastic name HMD Global, is stocked to the gills with former Nokia executives and based in Finland. A good sign! Read the rest

New York Times, CNN and other media barred from White House press event

The New York Times reports that it and at least two other media outlets, CNN and Politico, were barred today from a White House press event. Also locked out were the LA Times and Buzzfeed, writes Politico's Dan Diamond.

Journalists from The New York Times and two other news organizations were prohibited from attending a briefing by President Trump’s press secretary on Friday, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.

Reporters from The Times, CNN and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer allowed in reporters from only a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed to attend.

It's OK, though: Breitbart got in! Read the rest

Kim Jong-nam was killed with nerve agent

Malaysian authorities revealed that Kim Jong-nam, brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, was murdered with VX after being pounced on by assassins at Kuala Lumpur airport.

The finding will add to the increasing evidence suggesting that Kim Jong Un’s regime in North Korea was behindlast week’s brazen and public attack on Kim Jong Nam, which South Korean officials have described as an apparent move by the young North Korean leader to get rid of a potential rival.

The incident, which took place at a busy airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, could also prove to be the final straw in a diplomatic vow between previously friendly Malaysia and North Korea, given that the regime in Pyongyang is now accused of using a certified chemical weapon on Malaysian territory.

As pointless as it may seem to point it out, this stuff is nasty.

VX, or O-ethyl S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl) methylphosphonothiolate for short, is a colorless liquid nerve agent (not a gas) and a chemical weapon. Drops on the skin can wreak havoc on the nervous system and be enough to kill. VX can poison a person in food and water, or even sprayed as an aerosol—Kim Jong-nam’s assassins wiped it on his face, according to CNN.

The chemical was invented in 1952, by a pair of chemists who discovered it was really good at killing bugs. People soon realized VX would also be good at killing humans. Countries like Russia started synthesizing a slew of other chemically similar “V series” nerve agents, including VR, VE, and so forth.

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Tales from the ransomware "support line"

An article at News From the Lab (pdf) has 30 pages of copy from the support chat of a ransomware app: desperate pleas from victims for their files back, or, failing that, discounts on the unlock fee. [via]

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Adorable cockroach

Gil Wizen (@Wizentrop) takes amazing macro photographs of animals and plants. Would you have guessed this was a freshly molted Madagascar hissing cockroach? [via Tettix] Read the rest

Swedish town official proposes shag breaks for workers

Municipal employees would enjoy an hourlong paid shag break under proposals mooted by a local official. The latest wonder of Sweden's legendary social system seems contrived to mock puritanial Americans, but The New York Times reports that it's for real.

Noting that “sex is also a great form of exercise and has documented positive effects on well-being,” Mr. Muskos suggested that local municipal employees could use an hour of the workweek already allotted for fitness activities to go home and have sex with their spouses or partners instead. The motion, which is expected to be voted on in the spring, needs a simple majority to be passed by the 31-member council. As of now, opinion on the council is divided.

“We should encourage procreation. I believe that sex is often in short supply. Everyday life is stressful and the children are at home,” Mr. Muskos explained in his motion in Overtornea, a town of about 4,500 in the picturesque and remote Torne Valley. “This could be an opportunity for couples to have their own time, only for each other.”

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Punched Nazi Richard Spencer ejected from Conservative conference

Richard Spencer, the American white nationalist guru famous for being punched on camera by an antifascist protestor, was ejected today from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) by security guards.

“I’m not welcome on the property?” Spencer asked.

“I’m not going to debate this,” said the guard. “This is private property. They want you off the property.”

After Spencer asked if could stay if he would simply “stay out of trouble,” he said a hashtag — “Free Spencer” — into the cameras, and posed for another photo as he was taken outside.

He attracted attention to himself after walking out during a deranged speech from American Conservative Union director Dan Schneider, who, desperate to distance the movement from Spencer's ilk, had described the Alt Right as a "left-wing" group. Read the rest

Help is an indie sequel to arcade classic Boot Hill

Help is just a prototype, but it's already nearly perfect: in the American west of 1869, hunt down the bandits who've kidnapped your wife, then return her safely home. The controls are simple (walk around with WASD and point and click with the mouse to shoot) and the aesthetic and gameplay add up to an austere but thoroughly modern echo of Boot Hill. Sadly Windows-only. Read the rest

Cockatoo barks like a dog

This umbrella cockatoo is a very good puppo. Read the rest

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