Liquid glitter-filled iPhone cases recalled because of chemical burns

MixBin Electronics is recalling approximately 275,000 iPhone cases of various styles that all contain glitter suspended in liquid. According to the company, "The cases are being recalled due to the risk of skin irritation, blisters or burns if the liquid contained in the phone case leaks and comes into contact with the skin due to breakage or cracking of the case." From CNN:

The company announced the recall after 24 reports worldwide of skin irritation or chemical burns. Nineteen of the reports came from the United States, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission...

One consumer reported permanent scarring from a chemical burn, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Another consumer reported chemical burns and swelling to her leg, face, neck, chest, upper body and hands, the commission said.

The plastic cases were made in China.

Customers should immediately stop using the recalled cases and contact MixBin for a refund, according to the commission's report.

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Patti Smith's tribute to her friend Sam Shepard

In the New Yorker, Patti Smith wrote a lovely tribute to her friend, Sam Shepard, experimental theater pioneer, actor, and Pulitzer-winning playwright who died on Thursday. The two artists became close during the early 1970s as they both made the scene in New York City's avant-garde downtown. From the New Yorker:

We had our routine: Awake. Prepare for the day. Have coffee, a little grub. Set to work, writing. Then a break, outside, to sit in the Adirondack chairs and look at the land. We didn’t have to talk then, and that is real friendship. Never uncomfortable with silence, which, in its welcome form, is yet an extension of conversation. We knew each other for such a long time. Our ways could not be defined or dismissed with a few words describing a careless youth. We were friends; good or bad, we were just ourselves. The passing of time did nothing but strengthen that. Challenges escalated, but we kept going and he finished his work on the manuscript. It was sitting on the table. Nothing was left unsaid. When I departed, Sam was reading Proust.

"My Buddy" (The New Yorker) Read the rest

NASA seeks 'Planetary Protection Officer'

NASA has a rare job opening for a new "Planetary Protection Office." Responsibilities do not include defending Earth from an impending alien invasion.

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Is this artwork, winner of a drawing prize, even a drawing at all?

Wellington, New Zealand artist Kirsty Lillico won the annual $20,000 Parkin Drawing Prize for her piece seen here, titled "State Block." The work consists of a carpet scrap hanging over a string.

"First of all, I've sort of re-represented a drawing made by someone else," Lillico said."Drawing, to me, it's not just about a pencil and paper. I'm using a knife and carpet and hanging it in a space to achieve the same ends."

According to Lillico, State Block was inspired by someone else's architectural floor plan for a state-owned apartment.

"It's looking at the architectural (drawings) – positive, being black (drawn lines of an architectural design), and the negative being the spaces we occupy," she said.

(Stuff.co.nz via Weird Universe) Read the rest

The life and tragic death of "Jeremy" from the classic Pearl Jam video

In 1992, Pearl Jam released director Mark Pellington's fantastically dark video above for the song "Jeremy." (Pellington was also the creator of MTV's incredible avant-garde documentary video series Buzz that I've posted about previously.) Actor Trevor Wilson was only 12 years old when he portrayed the troubled student in the "Jeremy" clip. Most of the world last saw Wilson on screen with Pearl Jam at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards before he totally disappeared from the public eye. Turns out, Wilson drowned last August while on vacation in Puerto Rico. Over at Billboard, my pal Gil Kaufman tells the "Untold Story of Video Star Trevor Wilson's Fascinating Life & Tragic Death:"

Cinematographer Tom Richmond remembers sitting next to Pellington in the director's Los Angeles home and watching endless VHS audition tapes from New York of kids vying to play the (anti-)hero of the "Jeremy" video. It became pretty clear early into the nearly 200 auditions that the kids they were watching were "typecasty," as if they'd read Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder's lyrics about an outcast high schooler -- based on the true story of Dallas 16-year-old Jeremy Delle, who killed himself in front of his classmates in 1991 after years of torment -- and decided they were had the perfect look and attitude for the part.

"In a cliché movie about junior high it would have been the picked-on kid, the outcast who looked funny or strange, and I could tell Mark was dissatisfied with that idea," says Richmond of the parade of odd-looking and over-acting kids they watched, whose performances felt a little too on-the-nose.

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Alabama inmates use peanut butter trick to escape prison

A dozen prisoners at Jasper, Alabama's Walker County Jail escaped on Sunday and one is still at large. One of them used peanut butter to change the number above his cell door and then called for the guard, a new employee, to open it. The number the prisoner changed it to was actually the door to the outside.

"And unknowingly to (the guard), he hit that lock and out the door they went," said Walker County Sheriff Jim Underwood.

Eleven of the escapees were nabbed within eight hours. A manhunt is underway for the twelfth. From CNN:

Meanwhile, as of right now, the Walker County sheriff said officials would look again at placing a young person in an control area to make decisions for 140 inmates. The camera system also needs to be equipped with more monitors, he added.

Despite the current sticky situation, the sheriff said he doesn't have plans to put any dietary restrictions in place in the future.

"They love peanut butter sandwiches," said Underwood.

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Norwegian Islamophobes confuse empty bus seats with women in burkas

Members of a far-right Norwegian Facebook group confused a photo of empty seats on a bus for women in burkas. From TheNewArab:

Responses included how "frightening", "tragic" and "scary" the scene was, while others worried the non-existent passengers could have "weapons and bombs" under their garments.

"It looks really scary, should be banned. You can never know who is under there. Could be terrorists with weapons," one member wrote, according to Norweigian English-language site thelocal.no...

The head of the Norwegian Centre Against Racism (Antirasistisk senter) told Nettavisen that the irrational response to six empty bus seats shows how quickly people jump to conclusions.

"People see what they want to see and what they want to see are dangerous Muslims. In a way it's an interesting test of how quickly people can find confirmations of their own delusions," Rune Berglund Steen said.

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Autographed photo of Einstein sticking out his tongue sells for big bucks

This photo of Albert Einstein has been an old favorite of geeks-of-all-stripes for years. I remember my much older brother Mark, a scientist and surgeon, had a huge poster of it on his wall in college. An original print of the photo, taken by UPI photog Arthur Sasse on March 14, 1951 at Einstein's 72nd birthday party, just sold at auction for $125,000. The print is signed by Einstein at the bottom. The full frame shows Einstein with Princeton's Frank Aydelotte, head of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University, and his wife Marie Jeanette.

(Space.com) Read the rest

Watch this real life clown car empty out after an accident

The Honda Civic is roomier than one would expect.

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Outback Steakhouse is a chain of Satan

Is Outback Steakhouse the devil's restaurant? Several twitter users mapped the location of Outbacks around some major cities to the shape of a pentacle or pentagram. Are the restaurant's flame broiled steaks delivered rom Satan's kitchen? Or is it just the fact that Outbacks are generally located in the suburbs around metropolitan areas? Outback's response below. (WCPO)

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Odd video about egg yolk massages, pine needle baths, and strawberries for skin care

"This is not cookery as the egg breaking implies, but massage." Scenes from Madam Frieda Moroz's Natural Beauty and Health Salon, circa 1962. (via Weird Universe)

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Daniel Handler: "Want Teenage Boys to Read? Give Them Books About Sex."

Teenage girls read far more than teenage boys. Daniel Handler, author of the Lemony Snicket series and other fantastic tales, has a suggestion on how to increase teen boys' interest in books: more sex in the pages. From Daniel's essay in the New York Times:

It is a gross generalization, of course, to say that what young men want to read about is sex — or to imply that the rest of us aren’t as interested — but it’s also offensive to pretend, when we’re ostensibly wondering how to get more young men to read, that they’re not interested in the thing we all know they’re interested in. There’s hardly any real sex in young adult books, and when it happens, it’s largely couched in the utopian dreams or the finger-wagging object lessons of the world we hope for, rather than the messy, risky, delicious and heartbreaking one we live in.

My new novel portrays a young boy’s emotional, heteroflexible sex life — and I’d like young people to read it. But it’s being published for adults, partly because the guardians of young people’s literature get so easily riled up about sex, preferring to recommend, say, books about teenagers slaughtering one another in a post-apocalyptic landscape, rather than books about kids masturbating at home.

To which many would say, so what? Don’t we have more important things to worry about than giving sexually explicit literature to young people? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about, say, the rampant misogyny of everyday life, in a nation led by a self-admitted sexual predator?

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Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard covers Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque

My friend Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie released a stunning new album today that is actually a re-recording of an old album, Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque from 1991. Bandwagonesque is an iconic album of 1990s indie rock and Ben's magnificent covers are a welcome reminder of the beauty in the originals and, sure, a bit of a flashback to alt.rock's heyday. But Ben's Bandwagonesque isn't a nostalgia trip. The sound of Ben's record is intensely contemporary. It is the emotive sound of today. Or of any day, really. As Ben wrote in a lovely essay in The Guardian, the album "is a retreat from the passage of time, a retreat from the political climate in our country and a reminder that there is beauty in the world." Indeed, let's not forget. Check out "The Concept" above. And here's more from Ben in The Guardian:

There was a show on MTV called 120 Minutes that played underground indie and alternative videos. I would tape it on VHS and watch it over the course of the next week. The first Teenage Fanclub song I heard on it was probably The Concept – it was so melodic and beautiful, and the harmonies were amazing, but at the same time, like the punk rock I was listening to, I could see myself playing it. When I bought Bandwagonesque, it felt attainable to me, but also from some other magical world of music that I could only dream of travelling to. Teenage Fanclub, four men from Scotland, were making music that seemed to grab me by the heart and lift me off the ground.

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Gentleman attempts to steal police car with policeman in it

Fort Pierce, Florida police officer Robie Troutman was sitting in his patrol car parked at the police station when he noticed someone trying to open his car doors. He spotted Aaron Orlando Rodriguez III running away. Troutman caught him hiding behind another car.

According to Troutman's police report, “Rodriguez said he saw my vehicle was running so he attempted to steal the vehicle so he had a ride home."

(TCPalm via Fark) Read the rest

The story of John Lennon's psychedelic Rolls-Royce

In 1967, John Lennon tooled around London in a Rolls-Royce Phantom V personalized with a psychedelic paint job. After years traveling around to various US museums, the car recently returned to London for a new Rolls Royce exhibit at Bonhams. Rolling Stone's Jordan Runtagh tells the story of the trippy whip:

Exactly how Lennon decided on the lurid Romany floral/zodiac hybrid is subject to some debate. Anthony recalls Ringo Starr planting the seed of the idea during a drive in early 1967. "We were passing the fairground one day and they were admiring the fairground decorations and gypsy caravans. Ringo said why not have the Rolls painted the same way. John thought it was a great idea." However, others say the idea was suggested by Marijke Koger of the Dutch design collective the Fool – who would also paint Lennon's piano that summer – after Lennon commissioned a refurbished 1874 gypsy caravan as a present for his young son, Julian. Either way, the chance to indulge his eccentric taste, while simultaneously delivering a massive "V-sign" to the staid British high society, proved too tempting to resist.

Doubtful that Rolls-Royce themselves would ever submit to such a drastic makeover of one of their prized vehicles, Lennon paid a visit to private coach makers J.P. Fallon Ltd. in Chertsey on April 8th, 1967, to discuss the design. After spraying the body of the car yellow, local artist Steve Weaver was tasked with painting the red, orange, green and blue art nouveau swirls, floral side panels and Lennon's astrological symbol, Libra, on the roof.

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What is this hairy humanoid creature caught on video in the Caucasus?

Someone in Azerbaijan uploaded this weird clip of a hirsuit humanoid creature. At Mysterious Universe, Paul Seaburn writes:

An interesting possibility is the Meshe Adam or Ağac Kişi, which means tree man or forest man. This is believed to be a spirit that takes the shape of an apelike hairy creature with a human face... Another option mentioned by the Cryptomundo website is the Almas or Wild Man in Mongolian.

All that said, Seaburn puts his money on a monkey in a costume. However my bet is that it's one of Cha-Ka's cousins.

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Easter egg: How to make Siri recite every word to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

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