Brexit leaders detail UK transition plan for leaving European Union

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The plan is actually surprisingly detailed and well-thought out compared to the guff that usually emerges from the Brexit crowd. I'm beginning to think England will endure! Read the rest

Is Trump on crappy prescription stimulants, like Hitler?

trump-stimulants

Gawker's Ashley Feinberg reports on rumors that Donald Trump, presumptive Republican candidate for U.S. President, is on "cheap speed."

...according to a source with knowledge of Trump’s current prescriptions, that letter isn’t telling the whole story. Most notably: Donald Trump is allegedly still taking speed-like diet pills.

Rumors of Trump’s predilection for stimulants first started really popping up in 1992, when Spy magazine wrote, “Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump has acted so erratically at times, full of manic energy, paranoid, garrulous? Well, he was a patient of Dr. [Joseph] Greenberg’s from 1982 to 1985.” At the time, Dr. Greenberg was notorious for allegedly doling out prescription stimulants to anyone who could pay.

Previously: Hitler was injected with all sorts of crazy drugs Read the rest

Brazilian police killing often as Olympic games loom

Photo: Reuters

Amnesty International reports a "huge increase" in the number of people killed by police in Rio de Janeiro in the run up to the Summer Games.

According to new figures from Brazil’s Public Security Institute, in the city of Rio alone 40 people were killed by on-duty police officers in May: an increase of 135% on the same period last year, when 17 were people killed by police. Across Rio state as a whole, police killings almost doubled, from 44 to 84.

The 2016 Olympics are shaping up to be quite the trainwreck: a government meltdown, a doping scandal that may see Russia's entire team banned, and a public health crisis likely to convince many athletes, media and tourists to stay away.

Previously: Rio: your quadrennial reminder that the Olympics colonize host-states with Orwellian surveillance and human rights abuses Read the rest

Federal judge blocks Indiana abortion restriction

Protesters rally in the rotunda of the State Capitol in Austin, Texas July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone

A federal judge ruled Thursday that the state lacks the authority to limit a woman's reasons for ending pregnancy.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted an injuction against an Indiana law that banned abortions sought because of fetal abnormalities, and which mandated funeral rituals for aborted fetuses.

Pratt said the Indiana law would go against U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have declared states may not prohibit a woman from seeking an abortion before a fetus is able to live outside the womb. She also said the state had not cited any exceptions to that standard.

"This is unsurprising given that it is a woman's right to choose an abortion that is protected, which, of course, leaves no room for the state to examine the basis or bases upon which a woman makes her choice," Pratt wrote. ... The lawsuit also challenges the law's provision requiring that aborted fetuses be buried or cremated. Planned Parenthood currently disposes of remains by incineration, as with other medical tissue. Pratt's ruling blocks the burial or cremation requirement from taking effect.

It's been a rough week for anti-abortion campaigners: the Supreme Court also struck down a Texas law requiring clinics to meet hospital criteria. Read the rest

Nancy Grace's worst moments

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Nancy Grace's TV show popularized a modern media trend: inane rage built on bullshit that's too satisfying to fact-check. But now she's leaving HLN, and The Daily Beast bids "good fucking riddance" and tallies the worst moments from her career.

Grace’s show was permanently unhinged and consistently wrong. She once staged pro wrestling-style kayfabe arguments with her producers about sexy Paris Hilton clips that were running in the background of her interviews, allowing her to feign disappointment in the producers she put up to it. This ran on a news network, like a gutless H.G. Wells teleplay for the chronically stupid.

Worse, she conducted extralegal investigations that ruined lives and maybe left a woman dead in a cheap attempt to push up the blood pressure of America’s intestinal proclivity for easy TV anger, then rebranded her witch hunts as expert legal analysis. She is, after all, a lawyer. But she’s first and foremost a con artist, who was wrong about grievous shit—specific kidnappers, rapists, and child killers.

The internet has a high noise floor for both outrage and irony, which makes it hard to express just how awful Grace is in terms that don't seem hyperbolic. Her show was among the most profoundly depraved spectacles on cable television. Her hearsay made crimes impossible to solve and her interrogations preceded vulnerable suspects killing themselves. Her narcissism is so unreflective that people are still convinced her real twitter account is someone else's parody.

She reportedly cost CNN vast sums of money in settlements. Read the rest

Libertarian party presidential ad

twinked

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld hit small-l progressive talking points harder than big-L Libertarian ones in their campaign ad, which is nice. As a Briton and freshly-minted U.S. citizen voting for the first time, this is strangely exciting! But something about it—perhaps Bill grunting "Come onnnn!"—makes me feel like a virgin being cajoled into a threesome I may not enjoy. Read the rest

Nancy Grace out at HLN

This is the HLN we know and love.

After 12 years of true-crime bullshit and an official twitter account so demented as to be indistinguishable from parody, Nancy Grace is out at CNN sister network HLN.

A network spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter that a new series — one that will "utilize the expertise of the current team" — will replace Nancy Grace in the ‪8 p.m. slot following the airing of the final episode ‪on Oct. 13. The decision was a difficult one, according to Grace, who in an emotional interview with THR admits to being "really mixed" about taking a step she's been "thinking a lot about" for the past three years.

Grace's reputation is for shouting down guests and making dubious accusations, at least two of which preceded her targets' apparent suicides. Her professional background was as a supposedly brilliant prosecutor, and her crime-fighting origin story was a fiance's murder, but it never quite added up. The New York Times:

Ms. Grace came by her victimhood honestly when her fiancé, Keith Griffin, was killed when she was just 19. In her book “Objection,” Ms. Grace suggested that a stranger with a criminal record shot Mr. Griffin outside a convenience store, was arrested and denied any involvement. By her recollection, she had to sit through three days of agonizing deliberation and then the prosecutor asked her if the defendant should be given the death penalty. She said no, she had no stomach for it.

The New York Observer fact-checked her written account and discovered that Mr.

Read the rest

Muslim 8-year-old's letter to Trump: "Ain't gana happen, bro"

totrump

This excellent letter to Trump was written by the young son of a family friend. Not only is he right about everything, but right in a way that really gets under the Trumpkins' skin. A real gift, that! Read the rest

Angry men stamp their adorable little feet after Marines degender job titles

Marines urinating on dead bodies. [Reuters]

After allowing women to serve in combat roles, the United States Marines Corps plans to update various specialty titles to be ungendered. Insecure men are angry about this.

Antitank Missilemen, for example, will now be Antitank Gunners instead. Operations Men will henceforth be Operations Chiefs. Most of the changes just replace the word "man" with the world "marine." Where a literary barbarism is unavoidable, gendered titles will be kept. For example, it's still going to be Riflemen, not Rifleperson/Riflemarine. And yet, the rage.

“On one hand, the name changes from ‘man’ to ‘person’ or whatever they want to call it doesn’t really matter. They could call mortarmen bakers for all I care,” said Sgt. Geoff Heath, a Marine rifleman with multiple combat deployments. “But on the other, it’s a direct reflection on society’s crybaby political correctness.”

Marines, though, complain about everything. Infantrymen Basic infantry Marines even more so.

The rage — mostly confined to tweets, Facebook links and comments’ sections — centered on the idea that the Marine Corps was being gutted by political correctness.

Some hover at an epiphany's edge...

“You know, I was going to [complain] about PC crap … but “Infantry Assault Marine” sounds kinda cool …”

Read the rest

How Houston's rich kids game the system (Spoiler: with their parents' money)

Abigail Fisher. Photo: Reuters

The Supreme Court recently sided with UT Austin's use of affirmative action. That plaintiff Abigail Fishers simply lacked the grades for admission was part of the case's many numbing ironies. But it's not a joke, according to Jia Tolentino, who tutored Fisher in the art of gaming the system. It's a way of life for second-rate kids in first-class families. Read the rest

Gun nut mom went back for more bullets before executing daughter

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Police say that Christy Sheats, the gun nut mom who shot dead her two daughters during a family confrontation that spilled into a Texas street, returned inside to reload before executing her child in view of horrified neighbors. She was still shooting when cops arrived, which is why they killed her.

Read the rest

Republican Mike Huckabee had to pony up $25k for playing Eye of the Tiger

Mike Huckabee [Reuters]

When Mike Huckabee played Eye of the Tiger at a rally for a Kentucky county clerk who refused to marry same-sex couples, it cost him big. Sued by the song's owners, he forked over $25k to settle the lawsuit.

The failed Republican presidential candidate got the usual settlement gag clause, but decided to list the payment in election disclosures. Huckabee claimed the anti-gay rally was "noncommercial" and that his use of the song met the standards for "fair use," but...

...that argument fell apart when the songwriter's lawyer pointed out that Huckabee claimed the rally as a presidential campaign expense. He is now petitioning the Federal Election Commission to let him start a separate legal defense fund to pay off the settlement. However, the FEC just issued a draft opinion last week saying Huckabee should pay the costs himself.

Republican politicians routinely use Eye of the Tiger at rallies, and are routinely sued for it by Survivor's publishers, with Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney among the greatest hits. Read the rest

Conservative "suckers" were primed for Trump

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Jeet Heer explains that Republicans fell for Trump because of years of conservative policy that told them science, reason and skepticism were bad. Put simply, they were primed to be suckers: “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”

Conservative ideology, as Perlstein persuasively argues, is particularly vulnerable to grifters because of its faith in the goodness of business and its concomitant hostility toward regulation—which makes it easy for true believers to buy into the notion that some modern Edison has a miraculous new invention that the Washington elite is conniving to suppress. In Perlstein’s words, “The strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers points up evidence of another successful long march, of tactics designed to corral fleeceable multitudes all in one place—and the formation of a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began.” There’s another factor at work here: The anti-intellectualism that has been a mainstay of the conservative movement for decades also makes its members easy marks.
Read the rest

Video feedback emulator generates gorgeous glitchy art

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Thea video feedback emulator offers a vague memory of fooling with video cameras and a strong flavor of crisp and fractal generative art, The results lurk somewhere between the decades. Click and drag your results for wild (and often brightly-flickering) variations. The creator explains how it works. [via Github]

What we’ve found most interesting about video feedback is: the sheer complexity of the images it produces through such simply-defined and implemented spacemaps that really only have to do with the relative positioning of two rectangles. It’s somewhat intuitive, but always surprising.

This is all just scratching the surface of the mathematics behind the patterns that video feedback is capable of, but hopefully it’s good enough for a start!

P.S. You’ll notice that many of the “interesting” patterns contain regions of diverse sizes. That is, they appear to have a broad range of spatial frequencies. What’s up with that?

Read the rest

Select your shape! Stool Analyzer has thoughts on your poop

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The Stool Analyzer is the perfect website to squeeze into over breakfast: tell it everything about your turds and it will give you health tips that are at least as accurate as a carnival fortune-telling machine.

"An ideal stool looks like a torpedo - it should be large, soft, fluffy and easy to pass"

Dr. Foxx-Orenstein, president of the American College of Gastroenterology

My stool is reportedly "superior."

The shape and consistency of your stool indicate an almost "perfect stool". Your ideal feces should be uniform in consistency and colour with no cracks on its surface. To produce your "perfect stool" you need to tune your diet just a little with some extra fiber or with a couple more glasses of water. You're almost there!

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Strangely satisfying realtime lightning strike map

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The Blitzortung live lightning map shows the world's storms and strikes in real time, with a little click played every time heaven and earth become one. You can zoom right down to the state level; it's an indoors day in Ukraine and Greece. Read the rest

The cloud-tops of Jupiter

jupiter-cloudtops

Shot by New Horizons on its way out of town. [NASA, via]

This picture provides a vivid illustration that Jupiter's atmosphere has more color contrast than any other atmosphere in the solar system, including Earth's. Data obtained from these and other New Horizons images taken during the encounter will provide valuable insight into the processes occurring on this gas giant.

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