SPY is back! (sort of)


Esquire has rebooted the greatly missed SPY magazine from the the 1980s. It exists as a web site and will run new pieces during the 30 days running up to the election.

SPY co-founder Kurt Andersen wrote:

As Trump became the Republicans' presumptive nominee, lots more people, pretty much every day, said to me, "SPY really needs to be rebooted, if only just for the election."

I guess maybe they're right, so I'm very pleased that Esquire has decided to produce an online pop-up SPY during the last thirty days of the presidential campaign. It has my whole-hearted best wishes. And it's also a nice serendipity that this October will mark the magazine's thirtieth anniversary. It's as if SPY, a retired superhero, is making a brief but necessary comeback.

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Investor to Theranos: Give us back our $96 million


It's hard to know who to feel less sorry for - a Silicon Valley company with a portfolio of quackery and deceit or the San Francisco hedge fund that was bamboozled into investing $96.1 million in it? On Monday, Partner Fund Management LP filed a lawsuit against Theranos in an attempt to get its money back. A letter to its investors said, "Through a series of lies, material misstatements, and omissions, the defendants engaged in securities fraud and other violations by fraudulently inducing PFM to invest and maintain its investment in the company.”

From the Wall Street Journal:

The suit is the first sign of trouble from investors who poured about $800 million into the company, and then remained silent as it navigated a challenging year that began when the Journal first reported on shortcomings in its operations and technology last October.

[Founder Elizabeth] Holmes had said Theranos could accurately perform dozens of tests using a few drops of blood, a premise that drove the firm to a valuation of $9 billion in a 2014 fundraising round. The Journal’s investigation showed it used its flagship technology for a small number of tests, relied on devices made by conventional manufacturers and released questionable test results to patients.

Since then, Theranos has voided tens of thousands of test results, faces federal civil and criminal investigations, and is appealing a regulator’s revocation of its blood-testing license at a California lab.

Good luck getting your money back, PFM. And good luck with your pivot, Theranos. Read the rest

Trump and Clinton sing "Time of my Life"


Did you catch the delightful duet after Sunday's debate?" Read the rest

US people pay more for health care, die sooner than people in other developed countries


From Our World in Data: "The US stands out as an outlier: the US spends far more on health than any other country, yet the life expectancy of the American population is not longer but actually shorter than in other countries that spend far less."


"[A]dministrative costs in the health sector are higher in the US than in other countries"

"[L]arge inequality in health spending.... The top 5% of spenders accounts for almost half of all health care spending in the US." Read the rest

Micron pens for drawing


On Saturday, my 13-year-old daughter and I spent a couple of hours sketching, which is one of our favorite activities. I was copying out of a book called Rendering in Pen and Ink, and Jane let me borrow her Micron pens. I loved using these pens. The ink is very dark and was perfect for practicing cross-hatching and the other techniques described in the book. They are inexpensive, too. A set of six Micron Pens, with line widths ranging from 0.20mm to 0.50mm, costs less than $10 on Amazon. I just bought a set for myself.

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Django/Zorro – Like dipping french fries in a milkshake, the pairing oddly works


Django/Zorro by Quentin Tarantino (author), Matt Wagner (author/artist) and artists Francesco Francavilla, Jae Lee, and Esteve Polls Dynamite Entertainment 2015, 192 pages, 7.1 x 10.4 x 0.9 inches $20 Buy a copy on Amazon

Is the concept of a Django and Zorro team-up ridiculous? Of course. But like dipping French fries in a milkshake, the pairing oddly works. Django/Zorro is an official sequel to the film Django Unchained and was written by Quentin Tarantino himself along with Matt Wagner, having just completed a run of Zorro comics.

The story picks up a few years after the film, and Django is still working as a bounty hunter, sending money back to his beloved Broomhilda. While collecting one of these bounties, he happens to meet an older Don Diego de la Vega, whose alter ego (Zorro) hasn’t given up his freedom-fighting ways. If you were a fan of the film, you’re going to like this, because it reads like another Django movie. It’s action packed and has some great dialogue, but what I found really special about this is that it offers a glimpse into Quentin Tarantino’s future.

As a huge fan of Tarantino’s work, I was saddened when I heard him announce that he’s hanging up his director hat after ten films. This only leaves two more to look forward to. But if the Django/Zorro comic is any indication of what he plans on doing after he stops directing, then comic fans get to rejoice.

As a special bonus for writers to geek out over, there’s a full script of the first issue included in this collected edition. Read the rest

"Imagine" rewritten by Donald Trump, from this month's MAD


The amazing illustrator Drew Friedman created this art based on the back cover of John Lennon's 1971 Imagine album for the latest issue of MAD. Parody lyrics by Stan Sinberg.

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Sassy Trump apologizes


He sings this time! Read the rest

Primitive Technology: making a spear thrower


I love the well-made "Primitive Technology" videos. In this one, the guy (I don't know his name but he live in Australia) makes a few spears and a spear thrower, using only materials he finds in the wild. He even starts a fire without matches to harden the spear points. After, we get to see him do target practice.

From his FAQ:

Q.Why don't you talk in the videos?

A.When I watch how to videos I fast forward past the talking part to see the action part. So I leave it out of my videos in favor of pure demonstration.

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What is narcissistic personality disorder?


This video describes symptoms of people with narcissistic personality disorder (aka selfish jerks). Read the rest

Man turns his life around in 30 seconds


Poor -Stress -Drink -Poor -Stress -Stop drink -Work -Work -Collect money -Work -Collect money -Pay debt -Work -Collect money -Get educated -Stable life -Help others -Happy -Wife loves him -Happy family -Healthy -Teach others -Improve social -Smart -Improve his country -Just stop drinking! Read the rest

Golf ball hits a steel plate at 150 mph


A slow motion camera captures the squishy, rubbery transformation of a golf ball hitting a steel plate at 150mph.

[via] Read the rest

Rubber band ball for $3


Next time you see Cory, ask him to show you one of his rubber band magic tricks. We've been learning them at our monthly meetup "for people who aren't good at magic." My old rubber band ball is worn out, so I just bought a new rubber band ball for $3.29 (with free shipping) on Amazon. Don't forget to pick up the The Complete Course In Rubber Band Magic DVD, too. Read the rest

Ealth Club or Healthh Club?


Ealth Club or Healthh Club? It can only be one or the other.

The first "H" on this sign is represented by the weights but the second is not.

[via] Read the rest

Iranian woman sentenced to 6 years in prison for writing unpublished story about stoning

Iranian writer Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee and her husband, Arash Sadeghi, who is already serving. Photograph: Facebook

In September 2014, Iranian authorities ransacked Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee's house and found an unpublished fictional story about stoning to death. She has been sentenced to five years in prison for insulting Islamic sanctities and another year for spreading propaganda against the ruling system.

From The Guardian:

“The charges against Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee are ludicrous,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s research director for its Middle East and North Africa programme.

“She is facing years behind bars simply for writing a story, and one which was not even published – she is effectively being punished for using her imagination.”

Stoning to death is one of Iran’s most controversial punishments, often used against women accused of having an illicit relationship outside marriage. It sparked an unprecedented global outrage in 2010 in reaction to the high-profile case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

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Man releases bag of snakes into wild

I think rubbing them was superfluous -- they seemed to be in a hurry to away. Read the rest

Penn Jillette lost over 100 lbs and still eats whatever he wants


Magician Penn Jillette used to weight about 340 lbs. He was happy with his weight and the way he looked. He said he didn't even mind not having a lot of energy. But his blood pressure was dangerously high, and his doctor said he might die before his children grew up. So he changed his eating habits. It's been 17 months since he lost 100 lbs, and in this video he explains how he did it.

Here's Penn in 2013, talking about Donald Trump: Read the rest

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