Five second rule conclusively debunked

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Few things match the delight of my dogs and myself at the sight of Floor Food. When it happens we're like "Ooo! Floor Food!" and compete to dive on it and eat it first. Sadly, The New York Times reports that the Five Second Rule—the cherished belief among some humans that it is 'safe' to eat Floor Food so long as it has been in contact with the floor for less than five seconds—has been debunked.

Professor Donald W. Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said a two-year study he led concluded that no matter how fast you pick up food that falls on the floor, you will pick up bacteria with it.

The findings in the report — “Is the five-second rule real?” — appeared online this month in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

They tested stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood, and carpet, with four different traditional floor foods: bread, buttered bread, watermelon and gummi bears. All resulted in the transfer of a salmonella-like bacterium.

HOWEVER. They also noted that while "bacteria can contaminate instantaneously," it was also the case that "longer contact times resulted in transfer of more bacteria," so I figure we're still good.

Photo: reader of the pack [CC BY-ND 2.0] Read the rest

Trump's supposedly going to denounce birtherism. Will the media wash his hands for him?

Illo: Rob Beschizza

Millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump was a vocal birther—someone who insinuates Barack Obama was not born in the United States—until at least 2014. Today, he's supposedly going to denounce this position for good, following some recent equivocation on his part.

Adds Trump: "We have to keep the suspense going."

This sort of statement enrages liberals because it reminds them of how easily Trump manipulates the political media's hunger for a horse race—especially now he's neck and neck with rival Hillary Clinton in national polls and there's no sign of them realizing he understands them better than they understand him.

The fear today is of equivocating headlines such as "Trump, Clinton trade accusations on Birtherism," allowing him the plain lie of a she-did-it-first controversy.

But days of Trump benefiting from a smarmy rehabilitation narrative, when the most nakedly racist dogwhistle in American politics is still glistening with his saliva, is what's almost too much to bear. Here's Josh Marshall:

Accusing his opponent of whatever he is accused of is one of the three key tools in Trump's media arsenal, used over and over again to amazing effect (the others: "I'll tell you tomorrow" and "Something's going on.") Journos are defensively, cynically attached to a supposedly objective voice from nowhere that conceals editorial judgment in the framing of subject matter, and Trump's been doing well since Hillary switched her focus to the "Romney moderates" most influenced by it. Read the rest

The most famous movie score temp track swipe of all time

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Films (especially Marvel superhero ones) have unremarkable musical scores for many reasons, but the most remarkable is because scenes tend to be emotionally (and technically) fitted to "temp tracks"—themes taken from other movies as placeholders while the official score is composed. The result: derivative music that imposes another film's emotional landscape onto a newer work, resulting in that characteristic low-risk Hollywood mix of blandness and spectacle. Read the rest

Trump "plans" to make Peter Thiel a supreme court judge

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Billionaire trumpkin Peter Thiel's got a law degree and pays lawyers a lot of money to destroy his enemies, so who better to occupy the vacant spot on the Supreme Court of the United States?

Donald Trump has made it clear he will nominate Peter Thiel to the Supreme Court if he wins the presidency, Thiel has told friends, according to a source close to the PayPal co-founder.

Trump “deeply loves Peter Thiel,” and people in the real estate mogul’s inner circle are talking about Thiel as a Supreme Court nominee, a separate source close to Trump told The Huffington Post. That source, who has not spoken to Trump directly about Thiel being nominated to the Court, cautioned that Trump’s offers often fail to materialize in real life.

It’s not clear whether Trump has indeed offered to nominate Thiel ― only that Thiel has said Trump would nominate him and that Trump’s team has discussed Thiel as a possible nominee. Both sources requested anonymity, given that Trump and Thiel have each demonstrated a willingness to seek revenge against parties they feel have wronged them. In Thiel’s case, he secretly financed lawsuits against Gawker.com with the intention of destroying the publication. He succeeded, and his role in the assault was only revealed in the final stages.

Thiel got rich building PayPal and went on to more success as a venture capitalist.

A conservative who occasionally affects the hamfisted libertarianism of people nerdy enough to read one long book when they are a child (but not nerdy enough for it to have been Anarchy, State and Utopia), Thiel complained about women getting the vote, believes that democracy and freedom are incompatible, thinks Lord of the Rings is a parable about economic freedom as the source of human happiness, yet finds taxpayers' money an excellent lining for his own pockets. Read the rest

No prison time for teen who raped baby

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There something about convicted child molester Kraigen Grooms, 19, that fits the pattern of judicial restraint, even sympathy, shown to young offenders such as Brock Turner and Austin James Wilkerson. Can't quite put my finger on it. Read the rest

Want to urinate in a gold toilet? You're in luck at the Guggenheim

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Now you too can spend a penny in a priceless pissoir: New York's Guggenheim Museum is inviting visitors to take a slash in a gold toilet created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Read the rest

NYT: Trump "Obese"

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After having promised to reveal a medical status report, then reportedly deciding not to, millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump finally offered a handful of details via TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz. He takes statins and weighs 267 pounds, which Oz describes as "slightly overweight" but which The New York Times eagerly informs us is, in fact, medical obesity for a man of Trump's height.

Over many months, Mr. Trump has sought to raise questions about the health of Mrs. Clinton, 68, and his supporters have asserted that she is hiding something about her health (her aides have denied this). But Mr. Trump has answered almost no questions about his own health over the last 15 months of his campaign, except for issuing a highly unusual doctor’s note.

So the appearance on Dr. Oz’s show, announced on Friday, had been anticipated as a potential breakthrough, as Mr. Trump’s aides had said that over the next few days he would release results from the physical examination, which was conducted last week.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, told Fox News that she did not think the candidate should release medical information on a television show.

This paragraph at the end of the Maggie Halberman's story caught my attention:

He has also been criticized for questionable assertions over the course of his television career, and sometimes speaks in the same type of hyperbole as Mr. Trump, which the medical profession has been known to reject.

What you are supposed to know from these words: that Oz is paid to pitch weight-loss pills on his show, that he describes them as "magic," and that his colleagues think he's a quack. Read the rest

Google: we're not involved in Adblock Plus's ad network

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Adblock Plus, an adblocking plugin recently unveiled as a trojan horse for a new ad network, claimed Google and AppNexus were among its partners. This is not so, according to Google and AppNexus. Read the rest

Mini-documentary about H.R. Giger's Alien design

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Kritian Williams: "He wasn't bound by the common design tropes of the '70s. He was able to create something genuinely Alien, a distorted biomechanical reflection of man. Everything we feared about ourselves, taken to the point of surrealism." Read the rest

Flowchart: which Shakespeare play to see

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This illustrated flowchart makes it easy to pick an evening out with the Bard. Read the rest

Trump supporter punches out old lady outside rally

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A 69-year-old woman was cold-cocked outside a Trump event by one of the Republican millionaire's supporters, reports ABC News—an attack so deplorable that cops plan to charge one of his violent rallygoers with a crime. Read the rest

Adblock Plus now selling ads

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Adblock Plus is to begin reselling the ads it blocks, replacing websites' original ads with ones under its control—and which it takes a fat cut of the revenue from.

The program is meant to be friendly to publishers — it is, after all, letting them display some ads instead of none whatsoever. But there’s still obvious reason for publishers to be unhappy. Acceptable ads [AdBlock Plus' in-house advertising] are likely to be less valuable than the ads a publisher could otherwise display, limiting what a website can earn. And in setting up its own marketplace, Adblock Plus continues to position itself as a gatekeeper charging a toll to get through a gate of its own making.

This was always the gameplan. AdBlock Plus marketed itself as about blocking ads, but it's really about providing a temporary improvement in user experience to convince readers to insert it as a middleman between them, publishers and advertisers. Once secure, AdBlock Plus can let advertising (and the user experience) creep back to the profitable way it was before, but with it charging rent to everyone.

If you block ads, at least block them with something that isn't taking a shit on both of us: get rid of it and try uBlock Origin. If you don't like ads but would like to support Boing Boing, buy a t-shirt or an inexpensive gadget from our store.

Correction: an earlier version of this post referred to AdBlock Plus as AdBlock. They are different products from different vendors. Read the rest

Stabilized wingsuit footage reveals how awesome it is to fly

wingsuit

Graham Dickinson jumped off a mountain in a wingsuit, but the footage of such things is usually chaotic, off-kilter, somehow subtly unlike reality. The joy reported is hard to appreciate: even if we get how amazing it must be, we're replaying a machine's limitations as much as the flight. Read the rest

What fastmouthed auctioneers are saying

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"The auctioneer is typically speaking logical sentences quickly," says Barry Baker of Ohio Real Estate Auctions, "with filler words mixed in." Read the rest

Chill out with the Current Conditions channel

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Current condition (via Mefi) is a website lurking in the airwaves and wires somewhere between teletext, those high-number cable channels that just play music and weather, and where the planes were in 19A0 or so. Read the rest

British Brexiters shocked to find out they might have to get permission to travel to Europe

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This is what happens who you trust tabloids and rich politicians who say you can have your cake and eat it. What they mean is they can have their cake, and you eat it. Today's shit sandwich is for Brits who thought that leaving the European Union, and preventing people coming into the UK, wouldn't mean reciprocal movement controls. As Nigerian Chibundu Onuzo puts it: Welcome to the world of restricted travel, British people!

The proposed scheme wouldn’t require Britons to have a visa, but intentions for travelling would need to be clearly stated online and applications could, in theory, be denied. It would, in essence, be a curb on freedom of movement: a freedom I have never fully experienced because of my nationality.

I’ve always needed a visa to legally travel out of Nigeria to most places in the world. There are other ways to do it. My cousin walked across the Sahara and slipped into Europe via the Mediterranean, but he was later deported.

Every time I fly into Heathrow, I am reminded that a plastic visa card is the only thing stopping my presence in London being a crime. I often see the other travellers who have been ushered to the side, their lives deemed illegal, only that thin square of plastic separating us. ... who knows? Maybe filling out forms to travel might make Britain more sympathetic to immigrants. I bet Nigel Farage didn’t think of that.

Just imagine the bloviating Harry Enfield rage of lumpy English holidaymakers denied entry to Spain or Ibeefa because they forgot to register their trip with the Proper Authorities. Read the rest

Fury Road before the visual effects were added

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They put out a compilation of scenes from Mad Max: Fury Road as they were shot, with no CGI or no artsy color grading. It makes me love the film even more: I want a minimalist cut of the whole thing like this, with the only CGI work being what's absolutely necessary to make things work (painting out other cameras and wires, adding key explosions, the waterfall...) and CGI-heavy scenes like the sandstorm interior completely removed.

One thought, though: this would probably make Fury Road's sustained, stylized violence (which is rather different from the startling, crude violence of the first two Mad Max movies) less palatable. You'd be surprised how many people already have a problem with it, even if they love the series. It would be an interesting editing challenge. [via io9] Read the rest

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