Fruit comparison made simple

fruit

Compare Fruits is your one-stop shop for comparing fruit. Whether you are comparing bananas with plantains, lemons with limes, or, indeed, apples with oranges, it has all you need for your fruit-comparison needs. (Warning: nutritional woo, but no worse than gadget spec woo) [via] Read the rest

Anonymous source: Stanford pressured female swim team members not to tell judge about Brock Turner's creepy behavior

Brock Turner / Stanford
Stanford University made a big show and dance about ridding itself of Brock Turner, but that was only after his arrest on rape charges. Intouch quotes an "insider" who claims that other swim team members were in fear of his behavior—and that school officials told them to stay quiet.

Members of the Stanford University women’s swim team wanted to write to the judge overseeing the Brock Allen Turner sex-attack case about his creepy behavior — but were reportedly “pressured” by school officials not to speak out.

The team members say they weren’t shocked by the arrest of Turner, 20 — a men’s-team swimming star — and had steered clear of him due to sleazy comments he would make about their bodies, according to InTouch magazine.... “From the beginning, the women swimmers had found him to be very, very odd. Brock would make comments to the women such as ‘I can see your t–s in that swimsuit.’ ”

One top competitor said she would never let herself be alone with Turner after observing his drunken antics at parties, the magazine reported.

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How "German mistrust" of the public turned Mein Kampf into a bestseller again

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Mein Kampf was about to enter the public domain in Germany, removing the country's preferred copyright-based method for keeping it away from readers' hearts and minds. There's no chance of them just letting it be available (as is done in the UK, US and Israel), but they didn't want to ban it outright, martyring Hitler afresh. Instead they favored what the BBC describes as "a heavily paternalistic approach": publishing a nigh-unreadable "critical edition" in the hopes that it would be too cumbersome to be popular. This not only failed, but ensured a constant stream of discussion and drama to keep it on the bestseller list.

[The publishers'] director, Andreas Wirsching, declared that it would be irresponsible to hand over Mein Kampf "free of copyright and commentary", because in that case everybody could do whatever they wanted with Hitler's book. ...

If anything public interest in the book was fanned unnecessarily by keeping the aura of the forbidden alive. By mid-April, Mein Kampf had managed to move to the pole position of Germany's influential Spiegel bestseller list, where it remained for several weeks. Even now it stands in 14th place, though many bookshops do not have the book on display and others only order the book on request.

This renewed calls to stop being so controlling and just let Hitler's long, boring rant die in the public domain. Read the rest

A place to easily publish encrypted messages on the web

seriousbiz

The Encrypted Page Maker lets you paste in a HTML document, pick a password, and then hosts the resulting page at its own site. Simple public publishing, with the source code available in the page source.

The contents of you page is compressed using LZString.js and optionally encrypted using mjsCrypt.js, and stored in the hash of a loader URL. The page loader reads the contents of the URL hash and decrypts and expands the page, setting the value of body.outerHTML. Scripts will work as they are compiled and executed after the page is loaded. Cookies and localStorage will not work between pages as they are both wiped clean when the page loads.

The encryption is unproven, and may only act as a deterent. This page and the loading pages are served over HTTP without SSL so do not trust it with actual confidential infomation. This is a toy. I hope you can have fun with it. All source code is freely avaliable in the page source.

I hope you like long URLs! The author has some other cool toys at their homepage -- Ascii to Icon is great. Read the rest

All the startups Yahoo bought in the last few years, and what happened to them

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After 20 years at the heart of the web, Yahoo is all but done, with a sale expected soon and talent fleeing as fast as it can. CEO Marissa Mayer's plan to turn things around involve buying 50 startups. What happened to them? Read the rest

Hulk Hairgan

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Peter Thiel's lawyers are threatening Gawker with a lawsuit over its expose of Donald Trump's "hair," weeks after winning a lawsuit over Gawker's publishing of Hulk Hogan's "sex" tape. As we now have all the carnies in one tent—the billionaire, the millionaire and Donald Trump—it behooves us to imagine them sharing their props. Read the rest

California prosecutor's complaint sees Brock Turner judge removed from new case

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Aaron Persky, the California judge who let rapist Brock Turner off with a 6-month term in county jail, was removed from a new case Tuesday after prosecutors complained they lacked confidence in him.

"We lack confidence that Judge (Aaron) Persky can fairly participate in this upcoming hearing in which a male nurse sexually assaulted an anesthetised female patient," Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. He called the move "rare and carefully considered". ...

Stacey Capps, chief trial deputy for the District Attorney's office, said the new case was reassigned to another judge and a hearing was held on Tuesday afternoon. She said that the victim was "particularly vulnerable" factored into the move. Capps said in the new case, Cecil Webb stands accused of touching the vagina and breast of a woman who was anesthetised ahead of a surgery at a Santa Clara hospital in November 2014.

Rosen, though disagreeing with Turner's sentence, earlier backed the judge against criticism of his impartiality. But now he, too, is a critic of his impartiality. Read the rest

Surviving Edged Weapons, fabulous police training video from the VHS 'n' Crack era

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"Of course, you're aware of the balisong," intones the deep-voiced narrator, "... or butterfly knife."

Awesome, terrifying, paranoid and goofy, Surviving Edged Weapons is a relic of another era, an age of fishhook earrings and razor blade-impregnated ballcaps, where reality itself stars Charles Bronson. Which, of course, it did. Read the rest

Trump's conspiracy theory catchphrase: "There's something going on"

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Little-mentioned but often-said is Trump's other catchphrase: "there's something going on." It's used to insinuate a conspiracy, to trigger feelings of paranoia and fear in his audience without committing to specifics. He screwed up over the weekend and attached it to a too-concrete suggestion that President Obama was somehow involved in the Orlando nightclub massacre.

In the fallout, he ended up withdrawing the Washington Post's credentials to cover his rallies and press events after the newspaper reported plainly on his remarks. So who better than them to explain that now-obvious phrase's meaning?

That phrase, according to political scientists who study conspiracy theories, is characteristic of politicians who seek to exploit the psychology of suspicion and cynicism to win votes.

The idea that people in positions of power or influence are conspiring to conceal sinister truths from the public can be inherently appealing, because it helps make sense of tragedy and satisfies the human need for certainty and order. Yet politicians hoping to take advantage of these tendencies must rely on vague and suggestive statements, since any specific accusation could be easily disproved.

"He's leaving it to the audience to piece together what he's saying," said Joseph Uscinski, a political scientist at the University of Miami, in a recent interview.

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Iron age sling bullets seem designed to make terrifying whistling noise

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Sling bullets, used by Roman soldiers in an attack on a fort in Scotland some 1800 years ago, appear designed to whistle in flight. A battery of them could be terrifying; or perhaps simply very loud and annoying.

These holes converted the bullets into a "terror weapon," said archaeologist John Reid of the Trimontium Trust, a Scottish historical society directing the first major archaeological investigation in 50 years of the Burnswark Hill site.

"You don't just have these silent but deadly bullets flying over; you've got a sound effect coming off them that would keep the defenders' heads down," Reid told Live Science. "Every army likes an edge over its opponents, so this was an ingenious edge on the permutation of sling bullets."

Archeology.co.uk conducted tests with replicas to see what it would have sounded like:

Two extraordinary facts concerning the small bullets with holes (now dubbed type IIIs) also emerged. First, they could be successfully slung in small groups of three or four to create a form of grapeshot. This had been independently confirmed by T Richardson in his work on Roman sling-bullets at the Royal Armouries. Even more intriguingly, the mysterious holes proved to confer an aerophonic quality: in flight, these lead shot whistled, or more accurately gave off a mechanical buzzing sound eerily reminiscent of an agitated wasp (click below to hear for yourself). Remarkable as it sounds, the simplest explanation for this design modification is that it represents an early form of psychological warfare. To put it another way, the Roman attackers valued the terror that hearing the incoming bullets would instil in the defenders.
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Most world maps wipe out much of Oceania

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"The truncated continent," Oceania is bisected if not plainly obliterated by most world maps, straddling the edges and hidden under captions and legends. Lightly populated as Pacific islands are, when it comes to climate change, the omission is a cruel one.

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Video of two parallel jumbo jets landing at exactly the same time

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Footage posted by S Shady shows two United jumbos landing in perfect sync on parallel runways at SFO. Are the pilots just having fun? Are the jets on autoland?

P.S. wouldn't it be awesome if jumbo jets were fitted with cannons. Read the rest

Vaccine-caused illness cured by hidden TV cameras

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After receiving a flu shot, Desiree Jennings could only walk backwards and spoke with a funny accent. But the "rare disease" triggered by the sinister vaccine was, fortunately, transient.

Inside Edition secretly taped her for weeks and "it looks like you made a complete recovery!" [via r/videos]

A dubstep remix:

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Orlando killer frequented Pulse nightclub, described as gay by ex-wife and friends

Investigators work the scene following a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando Florida,  June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Omar Mateen, perpetrator of America's deadliest civilian mass shooting, was a regular at the gay nightclub where he killed 49 people this weekend. His friends believe he is gay, his ex-wife told an interviewer much the same, and other people who frequent the club describe his drunken and often angry presence there. Read the rest

Trump offers conspiracy theory that Obama has "something going on" with Islamic terrorism

Illo: Rob Beschizza

With 147 day to go until election day, Trump's imagination has hardly been tested. David A. Graham at The Atlantic reports that the top Republican suggested President Obama is "involved in the Orlando shooting." Somehow!

In an almost entirely unprecedented moment, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, suggested in interviews Monday morning that President Obama may have somehow been involved in Sunday’s massacre in Orlando. ... “He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands—it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable,” Trump said on Fox News. He had already called in a statement Sunday for Obama to resign from office. Trump added on Monday: "Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind. And the something else in mind—you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on."

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Disappointed Guinea Pig

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Nicole Macintosh posts videos of adorable rodents; YouTube's kanilox added some appropriate music Read the rest

AMC threatens to sue fansite over Walking Dead spoilers

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AMC claims that spoilers (and even predictions) of its show, The Walking Dead, infringe copyright. As spoilers are other people's descriptions of something they've seen, in their own words, this would put all unauthorized reviews and commentary in the same boat. But that hasn't stopped it issuing legal threats to fans.

AMC finally reached out to us! But it wasn’t a request not to post any info about the Lucille Victim or any type of friendly attempt at compromise, it was a cease and desist and a threat of a lawsuit by AMC Holdings, LLC’s attorney, Dennis Wilson. They say we can’t make any type of prediction about the Lucille Victim. Their stance is that making such a prediction would be considered copyright infringement. AMC tells us that we made some claim somewhere that says we received “copyright protected, trade secret information about the most critical plot information in the unreleased next season of The Walking Dead” and that we announced we were going to disclose this protected information. We still aren't sure where we supposedly made this claim because they did not identify where it was. ...

Basically what it all comes down to is if we post our Lucille Victim prediction and we're right, AMC says they will sue us. Whether there are grounds for it or not is not the issue, it still costs money to defend. That is the way our justice system works. Would we have defenses? Sure. But it also costs money to mount that defense.

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