Thirteen people were hospitalized on Sunday after they were found vomiting, convulsing, and behaving oddly in downtown San Diego, California. According to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, they had all overdosed on Spice, a dried plant mixture laced with synthetic cannabinoids that are structurally similar to the THC, the natural cannabinoid in marijuana.
Unlike THC, which is has very low toxicity, synthetic cannabinoids can affect different brain receptors and can cause blood pressure spikes, vomiting, seizures, and other serious conditions.
Synthetic cannabinoids have been illegal since 2013, but some people favor them over weed because they can use them and pass a urine test and keep their job or not violate probation.
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Army Col. John Hope blew the whistle on a task force that spent $43 million to build a useless gas station in Afghanistan. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says the useless gas station should have cost about $500,000. As a result of pointing out the doubly wasteful project, Hope has “been singled out for retaliation and retribution” for “speaking truth,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) in a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
The gas station is useless because it supplies natural gas to cars that have been converted to run on natural gas. But there are hardly any cars that run on natural gas in Afghanistan, and the cost to convert a car to run on natural gas is $700. The average annual income in Afghanistan is $690, according to the Washington Post.
More from the Washington Post:
The high cost of the gas station has angered many in Congress. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) has scheduled a hearing on it for next month. And Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said it was one of the worst cases of wasteful spending that she has ever seen.
“There are few things in this job that literally make my jaw drop,” she said in a statement. “But of all the examples of wasteful projects in Iraq and Afghanistan that the Pentagon began prior to our wartime contracting reforms, this genuinely shocked me.”
The contractor, Central Asian Engineering Construction Company, originally bid $3 million to build the gas station, which is already an order of magnitude too much to charge. Read the rest
There's nothing like an Alex Schomburg Golden Age comic book cover. Feast your eyes on Sub-Mariner #12, Winter 1943. I'm not a WWII historian, but I don't recall the Germans having pink helmets, pink rifles, or pink and green swastika flags.
Stan Lee on Schomburg: "Alex Schomburg was to comic books what Norman Rockwell was to The Saturday Evening Post...When it came to illustrating covers, there simply was no one else in Alex's league."
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Movie stars, pro athletes, and rich people will no longer have to suffer the company of their lessers at Los Angeles international airport. For about $1,500 to $1,800 the elite will be dropped off behind closed doors, away from aggressive paparazzi and slack-jawed gawkers. They'll be whisked through security check points and greeted by security personnel trained to pay proper respect to their betters. Instead of dining at Sbarro and Wetzels Pretzels like the schlubs in the dingy terminals, they'll nibble on gourmet meals prepared by dedicated catering teams. Once it's time to jet off to Biarritz and St Bart's, they'll be whisked by car to the waiting plane.
The Guardian has more:
The Los Angeles Suite is modelled on the Windsor Suite at London’s Heathrow, which was once reserved for the royal family and visiting heads of state and diplomatic visits but opened up to those with big wallets in 2008 after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) cut its funding. Now access is available for anyone for a minimum of £2,000.
The Heathrow VIP service offers personal shoppers to go out and brave the mayhem of duty free on behalf of guests and promises to take a firm approach with paparazzi. “Should we be aware of paparazzi at the airport or surrounding public areas, the airport team will request they cease and move on,” it says in its frequently asked questions.
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Back in 2004, when designer David Albertson and I were creating a prototype for the magazine that would become MAKE, one the things we came up with was an item called 1+2+3. It was a one-pager with instructions for making a simple project in three steps. We ended up incorporating 1+2+3s into every issue of MAKE. This book collects 69 fully-illustrated 1+2+3 projects (including several that I wrote and illustrated) from the pages of MAKE.
Have you ever wanted to make your own "dice popper" (as seen in the game Trouble)? This book will show you how. You'll also learn how to make a projector that shines an alien head on the wall, an amusing "wobbler" made from two coins, a box that makes a great "boing" sound effect, a light-up hoodie, a simple motor, a $5 smart phone projector, and many more projects. This is a great book to go through with your kids. I guarantee they will say "Let's make that!" at least a few times.
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See sample pages from this book at Wink.
In 1977 and 1978 Topps, the famous bubble gum trading card company, issued five series of Star Wars trading cards. Each series had 66 cards and 11 stickers, and the backs of the cards contained trivia, puzzles, actor bios, and story summaries.
This fat little book has high quality scans of the fronts and backs of all 330 cards and 55 stickers from the five series. It also comes with a set of four actual trading cards in a plastic pocket glued to the inside back cover. There’s no gum, but if that’s a deal killer, eBay usually has at least one or two complete runs of the cards for $200 or so, including the sticks of nearly 40-year-old gum.
Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series
by Gary Gerani
2015, 548 pages, 1.5 x 5.5 x 7.5 inches
$14 Buy one on Amazon Read the rest
In this [NSFW] totally non-phallic animated cartoon from 1968 about Lyndon B. Johnson’s escalation of the Vietnam war, we see the orgasmic annihilation of the American Dream in a montage of cigarette boxes, Coke bottles, hotdogs, TV dinners, breasts, apple pie, Doris Day, Lassie, John Wayne, Superman, Aunt Jemimah, Detroit autos, and deodorant soap. It's called Escalation, and it was made by Disney animation pioneer Ward Kimball.
Bryan Thomas at Night Flight has more:
[In] 1968, an national election year coming a few years after Walt Disney’s death (in 1966), [Kimball] was venturing out on his own, and so Escalation should be seen as a personal and private Kimball film project, and not as a Disney short. It’s actually credited with being the only film made independently by one of Disney’s Nine Old Men. Kimball personally gave 16mm copies to friends and liberal-minded fans.
We first came across this short film online a few years back, and it was said at the time that Kimball’s granddaughter, Laurey Kimball Boedoe, and other relatives of Kimball’s, had decided to put Escalation online, making it free for everyone to see, saying in an email to friends, “Our family thought it was time to put this short film out there for everyone to see since there are a lot of similarities to what is going on now.”
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Who stuffed this microwave antenna to the bursting point with 300 pounds (about 35-50 gallons) of acorns?
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David Bowers, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, recently praised the concentration camps that the US built during World War II to imprison Japanese American adults and children. And, according to Bowers' logic, that's why we can't allow Syrian refugees to be resettled in his town.
George Takei has something to say about it. From his Facebook post:
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Earlier today, the mayor of Roanoke, Virginia, Mr. David A. Bowers, in the attached letter, joined several state governors in ordering that Syrian refugees not receive any government assistance, or be relocated to their jurisdiction. Apart from the lack of legal authority to do so (under the Refugee Act of 1980, only the President has authority to accept or deny refugees), his resort to fear-based tactics, and his galling lack of compassion for people fleeing these same terrorists, Mayor Bowers made the following startling statement:
“I’m reminded that Franklin D. Roosevelt felt compelled to sequester Japanese foreign nationals after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it appears that the threat of harm to America from Isis now is just as real and serious as that from our enemies then.”
Mayor Bowers, there are a few key points of history you seem to have missed:
1) The internment (not a "sequester") was not of Japanese "foreign nationals," but of Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens. I was one of them, and my family and I spent 4 years in prison camps because we happened to look like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor.
Amazon has a promo code so you can get this garlic press for $9. It's regularly $18. (Use code 25NLO83R at checkout) It includes a free silicone tube garlic clove peeler, like the kind reviewed here. Read the rest
YouTuber Adrian Gee of Australia has over 100 million views for his "social experiment" videos. He recently uploaded a video where he posed as a blind man standing in the street. He would approach strangers, hand them a $50 bill and ask if they had change for a $5. In the video, the strangers never corrected Gee, and stole the $50 bill instead.
The video became an international hit with over 2 million views and Gee appeared on TV news shows around the world to talk about it. But it turns out that all of the strangers were actors that Gee enlisted. Gee did not tell them the nature of the project, and now the some of the actors are getting all kinds of hate from people who think they are actual crooks.
In this video, Gee is exposed and confronted for making the deceptive video, and he isn't very happy about it. Read the rest
Beloved reality TV star and noted child molester Josh Duggar is idolized as a cherished paragon of traditional family values by presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and other social conservatives. The Tea Party darling is now being sued for half a million dollars by a woman he paid to have sex with.
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When car drivers hear a car horn they react instantly. Bike bells, not so much. The Loud Mini bike horn sounds like a car horn. Great idea. The creators are almost fully funded on Kickstarter, with 12 days to go in their campaign. Read the rest
How Stuff Works explains the "Transatlantic Accent," a cultivated accent that people in the United States affected in an attempt to trick others that they were in some way affiliated with the British upper crust. Read the rest
Playboy Enterprises has agreed to a settlement with a woman who claims she was injured when a co-host of The Playboy Morning Show hit her in the buttocks with a golf club. The incident occurred at the Playboy Golf Finals in 2012.
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