Surviving Edged Weapons, fabulous police training video from the VHS 'n' Crack era

Surviving-Edged-Weapons

"Of course, you're aware of the balisong," intones the deep-voiced narrator, "... or butterfly knife."

Awesome, terrifying, paranoid and goofy, Surviving Edged Weapons is a relic of another era, an age of fishhook earrings and razor blade-impregnated ballcaps, where reality itself stars Charles Bronson. Which, of course, it did. Read the rest

Trump's conspiracy theory catchphrase: "There's something going on"

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Little-mentioned but often-said is Trump's other catchphrase: "there's something going on." It's used to insinuate a conspiracy, to trigger feelings of paranoia and fear in his audience without committing to specifics. He screwed up over the weekend and attached it to a too-concrete suggestion that President Obama was somehow involved in the Orlando nightclub massacre.

In the fallout, he ended up withdrawing the Washington Post's credentials to cover his rallies and press events after the newspaper reported plainly on his remarks. So who better than them to explain that now-obvious phrase's meaning?

That phrase, according to political scientists who study conspiracy theories, is characteristic of politicians who seek to exploit the psychology of suspicion and cynicism to win votes.

The idea that people in positions of power or influence are conspiring to conceal sinister truths from the public can be inherently appealing, because it helps make sense of tragedy and satisfies the human need for certainty and order. Yet politicians hoping to take advantage of these tendencies must rely on vague and suggestive statements, since any specific accusation could be easily disproved.

"He's leaving it to the audience to piece together what he's saying," said Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami, in a recent interview.

Read the rest

Iron age sling bullets seem designed to make terrifying whistling noise

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Sling bullets, used by Roman soldiers in an attack on a fort in Scotland some 1800 years ago, appear designed to whistle in flight. A battery of them could be terrifying; or perhaps simply very loud and annoying.

These holes converted the bullets into a "terror weapon," said archaeologist John Reid of the Trimontium Trust, a Scottish historical society directing the first major archaeological investigation in 50 years of the Burnswark Hill site.

"You don't just have these silent but deadly bullets flying over; you've got a sound effect coming off them that would keep the defenders' heads down," Reid told Live Science. "Every army likes an edge over its opponents, so this was an ingenious edge on the permutation of sling bullets."

Archeology.co.uk conducted tests with replicas to see what it would have sounded like:

Two extraordinary facts concerning the small bullets with holes (now dubbed type IIIs) also emerged. First, they could be successfully slung in small groups of three or four to create a form of grapeshot. This had been independently confirmed by T Richardson in his work on Roman sling-bullets at the Royal Armouries. Even more intriguingly, the mysterious holes proved to confer an aerophonic quality: in flight, these lead shot whistled, or more accurately gave off a mechanical buzzing sound eerily reminiscent of an agitated wasp (click below to hear for yourself). Remarkable as it sounds, the simplest explanation for this design modification is that it represents an early form of psychological warfare. To put it another way, the Roman attackers valued the terror that hearing the incoming bullets would instil in the defenders.
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Most world maps wipe out much of Oceania

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"The truncated continent," Oceania is bisected if not plainly obliterated by most world maps, straddling the edges and hidden under captions and legends. Lightly populated as Pacific islands are, when it comes to climate change, the omission is a cruel one.

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Video of two parallel jumbo jets landing at exactly the same time

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Footage posted by S Shady shows two United jumbos landing in perfect sync on parallel runways at SFO. Are the pilots just having fun? Are the jets on autoland?

P.S. wouldn't it be awesome if jumbo jets were fitted with cannons. Read the rest

Vaccine-caused illness cured by hidden TV cameras

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After receiving a flu shot, Desiree Jennings could only walk backwards and spoke with a funny accent. But the "rare disease" triggered by the sinister vaccine was, fortunately, transient.

Inside Edition secretly taped her for weeks and "it looks like you made a complete recovery!" [via r/videos]

A dubstep remix:

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Orlando killer frequented Pulse nightclub, described as gay by ex-wife and friends

Investigators work the scene following a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando Florida,  June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Omar Mateen, perpetrator of America's deadliest civilian mass shooting, was a regular at the gay nightclub where he killed 49 people this weekend. His friends believe he is gay, his ex-wife told an interviewer much the same, and other people who frequent the club describe his drunken and often angry presence there. Read the rest

Trump offers conspiracy theory that Obama has "something going on" with Islamic terrorism

Illo: Rob Beschizza

With 147 day to go until election day, Trump's imagination has hardly been tested. David A. Graham at The Atlantic reports that the top Republican suggested President Obama is "involved in the Orlando shooting." Somehow!

In an almost entirely unprecedented moment, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, suggested in interviews Monday morning that President Obama may have somehow been involved in Sunday’s massacre in Orlando. ... “He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands—it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable,” Trump said on Fox News. He had already called in a statement Sunday for Obama to resign from office. Trump added on Monday: "Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind—you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on."

Read the rest

Disappointed Guinea Pig

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Nicole Macintosh posts videos of adorable rodents; YouTube's kanilox added some appropriate music Read the rest

AMC threatens to sue fansite over Walking Dead spoilers

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AMC claims that spoilers (and even predictions) of its show, The Walking Dead, infringe copyright. As spoilers are other people's descriptions of something they've seen, in their own words, this would put all unauthorized reviews and commentary in the same boat. But that hasn't stopped it issuing legal threats to fans.

AMC finally reached out to us! But it wasn’t a request not to post any info about the Lucille Victim or any type of friendly attempt at compromise, it was a cease and desist and a threat of a lawsuit by AMC Holdings, LLC’s attorney, Dennis Wilson. They say we can’t make any type of prediction about the Lucille Victim. Their stance is that making such a prediction would be considered copyright infringement. AMC tells us that we made some claim somewhere that says we received “copyright protected, trade secret information about the most critical plot information in the unreleased next season of The Walking Dead” and that we announced we were going to disclose this protected information. We still aren't sure where we supposedly made this claim because they did not identify where it was. ...

Basically what it all comes down to is if we post our Lucille Victim prediction and we're right, AMC says they will sue us. Whether there are grounds for it or not is not the issue, it still costs money to defend. That is the way our justice system works. Would we have defenses? Sure. But it also costs money to mount that defense.

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Freedom Tower displays pride colors

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New York governor Andrew Cuomo released this photo last night of 1 World Trade Center displaying the pride colors.

“From Stonewall to marriage equality to protecting transgender individuals to the first-in-the nation executive action to ban conversion therapy, New York has led the way in the fight for LGBT rights. In this state, we believe that no matter your race, creed, color, gender identity or expression you have the right live your life free from persecution and prejudice.

"This senseless act of terror reminds us that there are those who seek to undermine these very values and the progress we have achieved. We will not let this happen. An attack on one is an attack on all. New York joins the rest of the nation in rejecting this hate, fear and extremism and stands shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community.

“Tonight, I am directing One World Trade Center to be lit the colors of the pride flag in a tribute to LGBT Americans and the lives that were lost. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest thoughts and prayers to those affected by this horrendous tragedy.”

This gesture will doubtless draw irritated sighs from the New York Times, which published a column by Frank Bruni making clear that the slaughter of 50 people at a gay nightclub by a homophobic terrorist isn't about gay people, who should accept that "this isn’t a moment for identity politics" which "could muddle the significance of the carnage." Read the rest

The game consumption cycle

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In the wake of spectacular trailers for forthcoming games at the E3 trade show this weekend (I'll have trouble resisting Skyrim: Fancy Edition) this graphic, by RamsesThePigeon, burned up the 'net. The lessons apply to all forms of consumerism. Here's something similar I did about gadgets a decade ago, though for some reason it was about the marketing and supply chain side of things. Itself based on a 1902 chocolate ad.

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After autotune accusation, singer Adele tells producer Tony Visconti to "suck my dick"

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Producer Tony Visconi insinuated that British singer Adele, whose voice has sold more than 100m records, used digital trickery to hit the hard notes.

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A thing to remember regarding the Orlando shootings

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50 people were killed at an Orlando gay nightclub by a terrorist. Usually, John Oliver offers a caustic, mocking routine that details and breaks down the stupidity for his viewers' bitter amusement. But not this time. Read the rest

Hours after worst mass shooting in US history, Trump "appreciates the congrats for being right"

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Whatever you are doing, feeling or thinking today, stop: he wants toughness and vigilance.

Previously: Gunman kills 50 in Florida gay nightclub Read the rest

Gunman kills 49 in Florida gay nightclub; deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history

REUTERS/Kevin Kolczynski

50 are reported dead and dozens injured after a gunman took hostages at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Police killed him and described the massacre as an act of terrorism.

"Everyone get out and keep running," the club posted on its Facebook page during the attack, which began about 2 a.m. The BBC reports that desperate relatives gathered near the club after receiving texts and call from inside but nothing since.

The shooter was named as Omar S. Mateen, a U.S. citizen from Port St. Lucie, Fla., reports WDBO, and the FBI are "leaning towards Islamic terrorism" as motive.

A clubber earlier described a situation of chaos outside as the number of casualties became apparent.

"There were just bodies everywhere," Christopher Hansen said. "In the parking lot, they were tagging them - red, yellow - so they knew who to help first and who not help first. Pants down, shirts cut off, they had to find the bullets. Just blood everywhere."

Some of the injured were reportedly brought to the Orlando Regional Medical Center in police pick-ups.

John Mina, Orlando's Police Chief, said the attack began when a police officer stationed at the club exchanged gunfire with the assailant, who managed to enter the club and initiate a hostage situation. Read the rest

Gawker files for bankruptcy protection, entertains buyers

Illo: Rob Beschizza

Peter Kafka reports that Gawker's filed for bankruptcy protection to avoid paying Hulk Hogan the $140m judgment he won against it. Though legal experts believe the judgment will be much-reduced or overturned at appeal, the filing readies Gawker for the block. Ziff Davis, the tech publisher, is reportedly offering $90-$100m.

Gawker and its banker Mark Patricof assume that the company will eventually see higher bids while it is in bankruptcy protection. Last year, in advance of the Hogan trial, Denton figured his company was worth something in the $250 million to $300 million range.

But in any case the company won’t trade hands until Gawker either beats back Thiel and Hogan or it finishes a court-approved restructuring. Because no one wants to buy an ongoing lawsuit from Peter Thiel.

Ziff Davis itself is a company that has gone through the Chapter 11 process. The company was once a dominant force in the trade and hobbyist magazine business, but its fortunes declined along with the print industry, and it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008.

It emerged in recent weeks that billionaire Peter Thiel funded Hogan's lawsuit, exacting long-awaited revenge for Gawker having outed him as gay in 2007. Read the rest

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