Yesterday, Esquire published this satirical column by @ProfJeffJarvis, a Fake Steve-style parody of journalism professor and media visionary Jeff Jarvis. The real Jarvis did what any self-respecting open-culture advocate would: he issued a vague legal threat and got it removed, thereby ensuring that something humorless and obscure was read by a far larger audience than it deserved.
If you think a journalism professor could be more thick-skinned and less eager to abuse the norms that protect his trade, you would not be alone. In his response to the imbroglio Jarvis writes that "They are not free — and it most certainly is not responsible journalism — to try to fool the audience about the source of content and to impugn the reputation of a professional along the way."
Alas, he is mistaken. Popehat's Ken White writes that satire does not require that it be identified as such.
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Bradbury's Esquire satire is very clearly protected by the First Amendment. I wrote about a case frighteningly on point. Esquire previously did a satirical article with mock quotes from Joseph Farah of WorldNet Daily and author Jerome Corsi. They sued, claiming defamation. The United States Court of Appeal for the D.C. Circuit crushed their arguments. Remember: only things that could reasonably be understood as provably false statements of fact can be defamatory. Satire is not a statement of fact. In deciding whether something could reasonably be taken as an assertion of fact rather than satire, courts look to what an audience familiar with the publication and players would understand.
Chris Noessel and Nathan Shedroff demonstrated that in movies depicting computers in the future, the screens are mostly blue.
Some interesting exceptions: 1991's Terminator 2 made red popular, and the Matrix Trilogy made green the in thing for a while. But within a couple of years, we were back to blue. And it's been this way since the 60s.
I think that green usually signifies "old" computers, perhaps? The Matrix was clever in that way.
Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but I'm struck by the thought that the first and third Alien movies (which were British haunted house movies, sort of) used green screens, whereas the second one, Aliens (an American action movie) used blue. Google Images isn't entirely helpful.
Guardians of the Galaxy (above) appears, of course, to be both. Read the rest
A Harvard University survey found that among adults between 18 and 29 years of age, 51 percent "do not support capitalism." 42 support it, reports The Washington Post. A third say they support socialism as an alternative.
The survey is "difficult to interpret" due to the simplicity of choices and their lack of definition, say pollsters.
Capitalism can mean different things to different people, and the newest generation of voters is frustrated with the status quo, broadly speaking. All the same, that a majority of respondents in Harvard University's survey of young adults said they do not support capitalism suggests that today's youngest voters are more focused on the flaws of free markets.
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Dyson, makers of high-end vacuum cleaners and other gadgets that do clever things with air, is moving into beauty products. The Dyson Supersonic hair dryer promises a premium model's power in a smaller, quieter package, and was built around the company's smallest motor yet.
It's priced at $400, too — apparently not unreasonable for salon gear, if an unlikely option for consumers — and will be available in white and fuscia. Here's the ad they've just put out:
Dyson's first beauty product is a hair dryer [Engadget] Read the rest
Douglas County, Colorado, is to arm its security guards with Bushmaster rifles, reports the Denver Post, at a cost of more than $12,000 to the 67,000-student district.
"We want to make sure they have the same tools as law enforcement," Payne said Monday of his eight armed officers. The first few rifles should be ready for use within a month's time once officers have gone through a 20-hour training course, the same one that commissioned police officers take. The rest of the guns will be deployed in August, he said.
Spray 'n pray.
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McDonalds is testing a "cleaner-label" version of its legendary Chicken McNugget, reports Peter Frost, with an eye to replacing the current model nationwide in time for the Summer Games.
If you're eating in Portland, Oregon, you may already have eaten the upgraded McNugget, which has 32 ingredients and a "simpler recipe," according to the restaurant chain. It declined to provide the full list while it's in beta, but one presumes it includes chicken.
The cleaner-label McNuggets come as McDonald's combats the perception that its food is overly processed and laden with preservatives. Other restaurants and packaged-food companies also are rushing to respond to changing consumer tastes. Last year, McDonald's unveiled ads on TV and in stores that played up the fact that its Egg McMuffin breakfast sandwiches are made with freshly cracked eggs. It also ran a marketing campaign in late 2014 called “Our food. Your questions,” in which it enlisted former “MythBusters” co-host Grant Imahara to debunk myths surrounding McDonald's food.
I suspect the reason McDonalds is testing a new Chicken McNugget is simply that they made the current ones in 1983 and have finally run out. Read the rest
Mansun, who blogs at Omocoro.jp, constructed an "auto licking machine" to lick cartoon girls. [via] Read the rest
A UK inquest determined Tuesday that the Hillsborough disaster, a 1989 stadium crowd crush that claimed 96 lives, was the fault of police. The jury's verdict follows decades of tabloid lies and police cover-ups that began immediately after the incident in Sheffield, England, attempting to blame the victims for their own deaths.
After a 27-year campaign by victims' families, the behaviour of Liverpool fans was exonerated. The jury found they did not contribute to the danger unfolding at the turnstiles at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday's ground on 15 April 1989. Nine jurors reached unanimous decisions on all but one of the 14 questions at the inquests into Britain's worst sporting disaster. The coroner Sir John Goldring said he would accept a majority decision about whether the fans were unlawfully killed - seven jurors agreed they were.
The incident, at a huge and decrepit stadium, saw countless fans admitted by police to a standing-only zone with few points of escape. As the situation worsened, according to the jury's verdict, police failed to open gates, caused the crush on the terraces, responded slowly to the emergency, and exacerbated it through their actions.
In the aftermath, police blamed fans and stonewalled the first inquiry, which forced changes to stadiums but lacked the remit to condemn the authorities. Here's how the UK's largest-circulation daily tabloid, The Sun, reported the incident (with its decades-late apology on the right.)
As part of the verdict, police Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield was held "responsible for manslaughter by gross negligence."
The video above shows the horror of the crush in still images. Read the rest
Rob Brydon explains that you're probably quoting Shakespeare day-in, day-out; the Bard is responsible for countless idioms and phrases that still infest the English language. Tut tut! Read the rest
Unlike URL shorteners, Shady URL
takes any URL you give it and generates a sinister long one instead: "Don't just shorten your URL, make it suspicious and frightening."
For example, boingboing.net becomes
http://www.5z8.info/pirate-anything_p5r2pa_getPersonalData-start and twitter.net becomes
The creation of Mike Lacher, it was revamped by snipe. Read the rest
Bill Cosby's attempt to avoid facing a sexual assault charge was ended Monday by a Pennsylvania appeals court. The entertainer, who claimed that an old deal with prosecutors not to charge him in the 2004 case should be honored, will now be criminally prosecuted.
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Cosby, 78, is facing trial over a 2004 encounter at his home with a then Temple University employee who says she was drugged and molested by the comedian. Cosby says they engaged in consensual sex acts.
Former prosecutor Bruce Castor has said he promised he would never prosecute Cosby and urged him to testify in the woman’s 2005 civil lawsuit. The release of that testimony last year led a new prosecutor to arrest him. In the lengthy deposition, the long married Cosby acknowledged a series of affairs and said he had gotten quaaludes to give to women he hoped to seduce. Cosby has not yet entered a plea in the criminal case, and remains free on $1m bail posted after his 30 December arrest.
Get Link Info
protects you from being rickrolled, linked to malware or otherwise misled with a link: punch in a short URL from any of the big URL shortening services, see the real one before you go there. There's a browser plugin for Firefox and IE; for Chrome users, Redditor NickPapa suggests Nope
, which doesn't quite do that, but does warn about links that redirect. [via
] Read the rest
Directed by Kota Yamaji, the the music is by Vocaloid producer tilt six, whose YouTube channel is full of similar delights. The director describes the inspirations and creative process at Behance.
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The hot trend in Hollywood is to recast fairy tales as gritty, pathos-driven tragic emofeasts: Maleficent was symbolically raped as a youngster, Peter Pan was a lonely British schoolboy, and so forth. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is the latest and it's "90% terrible," reports Annalee Newitz.
There is something fascinating, in a purely sociological sense, about watching a movie like this. Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones may have reinvigorated epic fantasy filmmaking, but they are also inspiring their fair share of stinky knockoffs. Some of those knockoffs are silly fun, like the first Huntsman film. But this prequel-sequel abomination is barely good enough for hate-watching unless you want to see the purest expression of paint-by-dollars filmmaking to come out this year.
Great Evil Queen outfits, though! Also remarkable is the degree of lifting it does – of images and even phrases — from Game of Thrones. No-one's accusing it of plagiarism; it's just tacky, a dollar-store laser sword with a Star Wars price tag.
Steven Rea appears to be the only critic who likes it, if you'd like a second opinion. Read the rest
Artist Clement Valla collects the most remarkable machine-vision nightmares and curiosities from Google Earth
, a world whose parallels to our own become uncannier with each sweep of the satellites and Googlecars. [Previously
] Read the rest
Neither can beat him, but Ted Cruz and John Kasich are teaming up against Donald Trump in a last-ditch effort to prevent him winning the Republican presidential nomination.
The two candidates, at opposite spectrums of the Republican spectrum, still agree on enough things (e.g. that Donald Trump is bad for America) to put aside their differences and announce the collaboration. The deal will involve Kasich supporting Cruz in Indiana while Cruz supports Kazich in Oregon and New Mexico – and perhaps other states where one or the other candidate is too weak to challenge Trump.
“To ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November, our campaign will focus its time and resources in Indiana and in turn clear the path for Gov. Kasich to compete in Oregon and New Mexico, and we would hope that allies of both campaigns would follow our lead,” wrote Cruz's campaign manager, Jeff Roe.
John Weaver, from Kasich's camp, said that they were giving Cruz “a clear path in Indiana.”
“In turn, we will focus our time and resources in New Mexico and Oregon, both areas that are structurally similar to the Northeast politically, where Gov. Kasich is performing well,” Weaver wrote.
Trump hit Twitter almost immediately to denounce the deal as "DESPERATE!" and "sad!" collusion.
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