The world's shortest train

train
The uploader of this video doesn't know much about it — "probably it's Tokyu Ikegami Line" — but they know it's the world's shortest train. In honor of the widespread "reporting" of president-elect Donald Trump saving a Ford factory from being moved to Mexico (he didn't), I hereby honor, in search engines and Facebook, the obviously factual fact that this is the world's shortest train. Read the rest

Remove All Excrement From Pets Pursuant

removextremebe

Joseph Kimble noticed this peculiarly-worded sign. I'm not sure of the jurisdiction but, to he honest, I would move elsewhere if I ran into a sign like this.

Read the rest

Every country's tourism slogan

tourismslogans

FamilyBreakFinder created this map, featuring the slogans of every country's official tourism board. The key division, I think, is between ones that could apply to any country and ones that identify something specific to the country. [h/t Leigh]

Generic: USA: All within your reach Chile: All are welcome India: Incredible India

Specific Peru: land of the Incas Mongolia: Go nomadic Britain: What a knife island. Read the rest

Promised auction for popular .blog domain canceled

dollar stacks

After Automattic (makers of WordPress) announced its control of the .blog top-level domain, Chris Schidle paid more than $200 to pre-register chris.blog. He did so under the expectation that, as Automattic had promised, domains with multiple applicants would go to auction. Eventually he was told the domain was "reserved"—no auction necessary! He got a refund, but wants to know why Automattic took money for an auction that wasn't going to happen.

My interpretation is this: we yanked your domain and aren't going to let you have it or bid on it until we find a way to make more money from it. After all, we have to recoup the $19M we spent to buy the TLD. ...

A few weeks back, before I had inquired about the auctions, I thought to check get.blog to see if anything had changed. chris.blog was still $30/year, but christopher.blog was $2,000/year! I tried some other common first names and many had annual fees in the thousands, while a few were still pegged at $30/year. My guess is that the cheap ones already had applications, then Automattic panicked and raised the prices on the rest.

At Hacker News, at least two more people report similar stories of their .blog fees being refunded and the domains no longer being available. The implication seems to be that the auctions failed to attract the pre-bid interest Automattic expected, so it began proactively marketing short and trademarky domains to private parties on the sly.

All domains are auctionable, but some are more auctionable than others. Read the rest

VIDEO: Tension mounts as man tries to halt progress of pigeon

bird

We interrupt your growing anxiety at America's emergent cyberpunk dystopia for a tense missive from this guy's house. In this video, a pigeon bears down a chimney in Romford or maybe Cheltenham or somewhere like that. The perspective on the video makes it hard to tell (especially when things get hairy) but the pigeon is well-armored and only seconds from putting the defender in serious trouble. Wings flap menacingly; a feather sails past the lens. It is not long before he is quite alarmed at the bird's progress. What happens next, though, will probably not surprise you. Read the rest

VIDEO: Tension mounts as French forces try to halt progress of suicide truck

cart

We interrupt your growing anxiety at America's emergent cyberpunk dystopia for a tense missive from the Syrian War. In this video, an explosive-laden suicide truck bears down on a position held (reportedly by French special forces with the SDF) near Raqqa. The perspective on the video makes it hard to tell, but the vehicle is well-armored and only seconds from putting the defenders in serious trouble. Bullets ricochet off; a missile sails past its target. It is not long before everyone is becoming quite alarmed at the driver's progress. What happens next, though, will probably not surprise you. Read the rest

Woman displeased with service at Subway

1403060163593064484

In a Subway eatery, a displeased customer. Read the rest

The Bee Movie trailer, but slowed down more every time someone says "Bee"

beemovie

By the end, a nightmare of growls and weird echoing sound effects. Read the rest

HP's Z2 Mini is a tiny workstation

HP_Zmini_Slice_q1_fy17_Ksp1_pdt

I thought it was crazy that Dell dethroned Apple as the maker of America's most spectacular laptops, but look at this from HP, putting the Mac Mini on notice: the HP Z2 Mini Workstation.

HP's little desktop isn't quite as small, at 8.5" wide, and prices start at $690. With Xeon and Nvidia Quadra video card options on offer, it'll soar much higher if you load it. No detailed specs were announced, though Engadget reports you can get up to a 1.5TB SSD and Intel Core CPUs will also be on offer. It lacks Thunderbolt and more game-friendly video card options.

Is it weird that the natural point of comparison, the Mac Pro, doesn't even come to mind? The Z2 Mini may well overpower it in pricier configurations. What happened to that, anyway? Read the rest

Why are Republicans happy with a guy who wants to "turn on the hate" and destroy them?

steve-bannon

The New York Times opposes president-Elect's Trump's appointment of Breitbart executive Steve Bannon to a top White House role. In an editorial titled "Turn on the Hate," they quote him at his own word--and challenge Republicans on their sudden accommodation with a man who says he's a Leninist that wants to destroy both political parties and the State.

Mr. Bannon is in some ways a perplexing figure: a far-right ideologue who made his millions investing in “Seinfeld”; a former Goldman Sachs banker who has reportedly called himself a “Leninist” with a goal “to destroy the state” and “bring everything crashing down.” He has also called progressive women “a bunch of dykes” and, in a 2014 email to one of his editors, wrote of the Republican leadership, “Let the grassroots turn on the hate because that’s the ONLY thing that will make them do their duty.” ...

But most Republican officeholders have so far remained silent. Some have dismissed fears about Mr. Bannon. Other Republicans have praised him, like Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, whom Mr. Trump announced as his chief of staff on Sunday, and who said Mr. Bannon could not be such a bad guy because he served in the Navy and went to Harvard Business School. Some saw the pick of Mr. Priebus as evidence that Mr. Trump would not be leaning so much on Mr. Bannon. But don’t be fooled by Mr. Priebus’s elevated title; in the press release announcing both hires, Mr.

Read the rest

West Virginia mayor glad to see "ape in heels" Michelle Obama replaced by beautiful Melania Trump

_92447140_wsaz2

A racist facebook post describing First Lady Michelle Obama as "a Ape in heels" was so satisfying to read it made Clay, W. Va,. mayor Beverly Whaling's day.

Pamela Ramsey Taylor, who runs a local non-profit group in Clay County, referred to the first lady as an "ape".

"It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing a Ape in heels," she said.

Local mayor Beverly Whaling responded with "just made my day Pam".

Ms Whaling is mayor of the town of Clay, which has a population of just 491.

It has no African American residents, according to the 2010 census. In Clay County as a whole, more than 98% of its 9,000 residents are white.

Taylor was immediately fired after the exchange was spotted by local newshounds at WBAZ. Taylor says her words could be "interpreted as racist, but in no way was intended to be," and she's going to sue someone over it all for slander. Whaling told the Washington Post that "My comment was not intended to be racist" and apologies for it "getting out of hand." Read the rest

Ghost houseboat washes ashore in Ireland

_92432956_3634e845-c861-484d-9550-d760c03fd6d0

A small houseboat, believed to be that of Canadian eco-adventurer Rick Small, has washed ashore in Ireland after apparently drifting across the Atlantic ocean. It was last spotted in September in Newfoundland, reports the BBC, and there's no sign of Small. Read the rest

White Supremacy Euphemism Generator for journalists

newspapers

Reading recent coverage of Donald Trump's friends on the far right, it struck me that even when people pander to the idea Western culture's wellbeing is inseparable from European ethnicity, they somehow avoid being called white nationalists or supremacists by journalists. Read the rest

Hedgehog art Though the Ages

0-D6s1Zef-nj9gx8Kl-

I have a feeling that Hedgehog art Though the Ages might not be entirely legitimate from a classical historiological standpoint; I suspect photoshop may even have been involved. But this is, it seems, an entire book of hedgehog art that doesn't involve the blue one, which makes it unique in the annals of modern hedgehog-related ekphrasis.

Hedgehog Art Though the Ages is a humorous and lovely book. This amusing work of fictional art history features various inspiring works of art with hedgehogs as the key theme. The book includes over forty amazing, adorable, and delightful works from the Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical, Romantic and Modern periods, as well as sections on Americana and Japanese art.

Let me tell you, this has been tearing up Hedgehog internet.

Read the rest

Why Disney owns muppetfucker.net

sky-blue-tabby-fur-texture
Disney, through the Jim Henson Company, is the owner of the domain name muppetfucker.net. There is nothing at the address, but... why? io9's Beth Elderkin investigates and finds the answer to be the obvious one: a guy registered the domain long ago and the muppet people made him give it up on pain of expensive legal action.

Austin resident Noah Lee started going by the DJ name Muppetfucker in 1995, after he and a friend of his came up with it and thought it was funny. He used the name for six years, and owned several MuppetFucker domain names, including MuppetFucker.net. Lee told io9 the Jim Henson Company likely found out about Muppetfucker after he performed at SXSW in March 2001 and got a review in a local weekly magazine. A few days after the review came out, Lee got a cease-and-desist letter from the Jim Henson Company, which demanded he stop using the name Muppetfucker and hand over all domain rights.

“The day the letter showed up, I walked to my mailbox and opened it up, and when I pulled out that Kermit letterhead I knew right then it was over,” Lee told io9.

Whatever trademark registrations surround the word "muppet" must be quite shopworn by now: in the UK, the word is a common euphemism for "idiot".

Good news, though! Read the rest

Hayao Miyazaki emerges from retirement, again

570

Legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki "fails at retirement again," writes Amid Amidi. He's taking the helm again at Studio Ghibli to direct a new full-length feature film, Boro the Caterpillar.

The news of Miyazaki’s pending return to feature film was the subject of an entire NHK TV special that aired in Japan on Sunday: Owaranai Hito Miyazaki Hayao (The Man Who Is Not Done: Hayao Miyazaki). In the show, Miyazaki not only discussed his current project—a 12-minute CG animated short Kemushi no Boro (Boro the Caterpillar) that will debut at the Ghibli Museum in 2017—but floated plans for a follow-up feature film.

Miyazaki is 76 and evidently far from done; the infamous quote often attributed to him in the image accompanying this post is deliberately mistranslated from a more nuanced, but no less damning statement:

Almost all Japanese animation is produced with hardly any basis taken from observing real people, you know. It’s produced by humans who can’t stand looking at other humans. And that’s why the industry is full of otaku!.

Read the rest

Cow family survives New Zealand quake

cows
Three cows were spotted huddled on a column of earth this weekend after a 7.5-magnitude quake struck New Zealand. Two people and many animals were killed in the disaster and its aftershocks. Read the rest

More posts