Southland is a new blog about urbanism and history in Los Angeles, a collaboration between Gizmodo and the USC Libraries. Editor Nathan Masters:
Why Los Angeles? Because L.A. is a place of lost landscapes and forgotten infrastructures. Because historical Los Angeles does not always equal the Los Angeles of Hollywood. Because L.A. as Subject represents a unique source of understanding the past, present, and future of Los Angeles and its influence on other world metropolises.
Police and paramedics in Millvale, Pa., were recorded on video laughing as they repeatedly stunned a handcuffed and mentally-ill man as he pounded his head against the side of a desk. The video--predictably--ended up on YouTube, and the police officers involved became targets of an FBI investigation and a federal lawsuit.
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Just One Book
is a new site where you can do just one thing: recommend a book
Google turned in a man who copied child pornography to his cellphone using Picasa. Raul Gonzales, 40, was charged with possessing more than 3,000 pornographic pictures of children on the phone.
The FBI says the investigation began in March when Google’s hashing technology found two child porn pictures in his Picasa library. Picasa is a cloud-sharing platform for images owned by Google. From there, the company notified the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which says it found more images on a Tumblr account owned by Gonzalez. That’s when the feds took over. Agents say they also found pictures of a 9-year-old who is close to the family, and that Gonzales admitted to sexually assaulting the child.
"When an image is found," Google assured CBS, "an employee will inspect it to make sure it’s actual abuse and not just a picture of a child at bathtime."
It's good to know that an alleged sexual predator was identified and dealt with, and it's good to know that Google assigns individual humans to inspect our naked children for the authorities' consideration.
I'll just go ahead and paste the official marketing blurb right here.
The lifesize talking reindeer is a realistic accurately sized plush reindeer that talks, sings, annoys, moves it's head around like some creepy robot at Chucky Cheese, and is sure to sexually confuse wild deer, and hunters.
Lifesize Animated Talking Reindeer [OddityMall]
A grand jury investigating the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, has indicted four school employees, including the school superintendent, who faces felony charges, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Monday. Steubenville City Schools Superintendent Michael McVey faces three felony counts: one charge of tampering with evidence and two counts of obstructing justice. He also is charged with making a false statement and obstructing official business, both misdemeanors, DeWine said.
After all the 'questions' and victim-blaming and bullshit over this, before and when the rapists were convicted, it's good to see the slow gears of justice finally grind their way into the adults allegedly responsible for covering it up.
Clacton, a grim, dying resort town, is home to a grim, dying Christmas Tree
. — Rob
A Christmas movie, produced by Rick Santorum and set in the bucolic and fake English village of Gladbury, has flopped.
Former presidential candidate Santorum, who took to the media shortly before the film's release to lambast Hollywood as "the devil's playground" will presumably find it easy to shrug off critical brickbats; less easy to swallow will be the ignominious box office results ... less than $1m.
Max Lucado's The Christmas Candle is in theaters now.
The Washington Post reports on "super zips"--postcodes that rank highly for income and college education levels. A striking interactive map is included in the article, to show what money looks like from space.
The LeBeau Plantation house in St. Bernard Parish, La., was long considered haunted. Now it's considered toast, having allegedly been burned to the ground by stoned ghost hunters. Local Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann said that the fire broke out at about 2 a.m. Friday, reports Fox News, with the mansion "fully engulfed in flames" by the time firefighters arrived. [via Fortean Times]
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Oxford University academic Dr Stephanie Dalley believes she has identified the precise location of the fabled Hanging Gardens of Bablyon: near Nineveh, hundreds of miles north. Dalley's hypothesis has the gardens built not by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, but by Assyrians under Sennacherib about 2,700 years ago. Nineveh's ruins now lie on the city limits of modern-day Mosul.
Deborah Netburn, at the L.A. Times, reports on the "complete" takeover of one part of town by a reptilian newcomer, the Italian wall lizard.
The wall lizards arrived in San Pedro in 1994, when a homeowner brought a few of them back from a trip to Sicily. He released four males and three females into his backyard, and they thrived and multiplied. Nearly 20 years later, the Italian wall lizards have almost entirely replaced native lizards in a five-block radius from where they were introduced.
"Since I started studying this population, I've seen literally a thousand wall lizards in this area and just two native lizards," says Pauly, 36, who's decked out in a pair of Tevas and a pale blue T-shirt that says, "Newt and Improved." "The takeover feels pretty complete."
Photo: Andy Clark, Reuters
A pair of harbor seals, wearing satellite-linked transmitters on their heads, meet after being released into the waters of Howe Sound in Porteau Cove, British Columbia, last week. The seals received months of care at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre after being rescued; the transmitters will help researchers track their movements.