At the third presidential debate last night, Donald Trump indicated he will refuse to accept the election results, ranted about ninth-month abortions, and generally went full conspiracy-theorist. But the punchline to his freakshow performance was muttering "she's such a nasty woman" as Clinton talked of raising taxes on the richest Americans.
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Millionaire Republican Donald Trump isn't just on the ropes: he's practically upside-down and tangled up in them, trailing his opponent by huge margins and seemingly finished in the race to become the next president of the United States of America. But Hillary Clinton is an infamously weak closer, leading to amusements like this New Yorker cartoon...
... which reminds us that the older Millennials are nearing 40 and have New Yorker subscriptions.
All the "what to expect from the third debate" articles--which I had intended to aggregate here--are surprisingly bland, given the sheer insanity of the campaign and its increasingly deranged closing weeks. I guess this is because everyone acknowledges that there is such a huge difference in expectations between the two candidates that it's not really a "debate" at all. If Trump manages to get through it without sniffing or frotting his chair, he's done OK. If Hillary umms and ahhs too much, she's missed an opportunity to crush the bug. No-one--not pundits, not journalists, not viewers--expects anything of substance to be said. It is all about the performance, about the hope that one of them will lose it and do something entertaining.
Trump's invited president Barack Obama's half-brother as his guest, a choice so inexplicable it suggests a return to Birtherism amid rumors Trump's been ditched by advisor Roger Ailes and simply has no idea what to do. Hillary's invited the least awful billionaire she can think of, just to remind Trump that he isn't one.
All that said, it's going to be the most-watched third debate ever. Read the rest
In a trademark infringement case filed against Mobile Star LLC, which it claims is a prolific counterfeiter, Apple says that more than 90% of the "official" gadgets sold in its name at Amazon are fake. [via]
Moreover, they're mostly garbage, and potentially dangerous.
Consumers, relying on Amazon.com's reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from Amazon.com are anything but genuine. This is particularly true where, as here, the products are sold directly "by Amazon.com" as genuine Apple products using Apple's own product marketing images. Consumers are likewise unaware that the counterfeit Apple products that Amazon.com sourced from Mobile Star have not been safety certified or properly constructed, lack adequate insulation and/or have inadequate spacing between low voltage and high voltage circuits, and pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock. Indeed, consumer reviews of counterfeit Apple power adapters purchased from Amazon.com and from the above ASIN report that the counterfeit products overheat, smolder, and in some cases catch fire:
Amazon seems to have gone well shady lately—something's got to give. Lukewarm take: the vast majority of users will think the fakes are genuine even with the media fuss over it, Apple's reputation is what gets quietly burned at the weekend barbecues of America, and Amazon is monolithically indifferent to counterfeiting. Apple might then consider the unquantifiable value of not charging $29 for Lightning cables.
UPDATE: Amazon spokesperson Aaron Toso responds:
“Amazon has zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site. Read the rest
Simple DIY rainbow magic with Skittles candies. Form a circle with Skittles on a plate (colours should be in repeated order, preferably according to colours of the rainbow e.g. purple, green, yellow, orange, red), then pour hot water over them. Wait for the magic to unfold right in front of your eyes
Also funny are the various YouTubers attempting to replicate the effect only to end up with a brownish mix of melted candy slime on their plate. Read the rest
The New York Times' presidential forecast has millionaire Republican Donald Trump at his lowest ebb of the campaign, with only an 8 percent chance of winning the Nov. 8 general election.
A victory by Mr. Trump remains possible: Mrs. Clinton’s chance of losing is about the same as the probability that an N.F.L. kicker misses a 31-yard field goal.
The analysis corresponds closely with that of FiveThirtyEight, though it gives Trump a little more space with a 12 percent chance (as of Wednesday Oct. 19)
The situation is so dire, with only three weeks to go, that polls are finding the candidates within the margin of in Texas, a Republican stronghold where a Clinton victory would represent a spectacular obliteration of the party's ticket.
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...it seems utterly unlikely that Clinton could actually win Texas. Though the state's large Latino population, combined with where Trump has led the GOP with his rhetoric about Mexicans and policy on immigration, could soon make winning Texas a real possibility for Democrats.
There are other reliable Republican states where the Clinton campaign is investing more seriously, which is a sign of where the race stands. Clinton is positioned to win the White House if she gets just the battleground states that are already leaning to the Democrats. Her campaign says it's putting the "lion's share" of resources in traditional battleground states like Ohio and North Carolina, which remain toss-ups. But they also have the luxury of being able to invest in some states that traditionally go to Republicans.
According to Biff Hutchison's description, this 11'½" breaks the Guinness World Record of 10'6". Rolling Stone has more.
Not happy with sharing the title with [friend and rival Dalton] Smith – who we can only imagine Hutchison considers his greatest rival in the world, the Bird to his Magic in the world of pogoing – Hutchison saw a shot at not just being the lone jumper standing atop Pogo Mountain (as problematic as being on top of a mountain on a pogo stick sounds), but absolutely crushing the old record.
Here's some more extreme pogo:
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Here's a version of We Will Rock You that actually rocks instead of sounding like a stadium full of drunk teenagers. It's from a 1970s BBC session, according to the liner notes. Right on!
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Somewhere Over The Rainbow has never sounded this exquisite. Read the rest
We've all experienced the frustration and delay caused by thoughtless motorists who block driveways and parking spots with their vehicles. The key thing is to remain calm, take a deep breath, and don't lose your temper. In this video, a driver shows how easy it is to deal with a blocked driveway if you just stop to think a moment about the problem.
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When you conduct a poll of human beings and ask them who won each of the two presidential debates (the third is tomorrow) they mostly say Hillary Clinton. But millionaire Donald Trump overwhelmingly wins on web-based polls. Why? The fabled alt-right internet hordes crusading around the internet clicking the lot? Maybe. But his fandom is also winning the bot war, with automated robotweeting and online interaction efforts that far outstrip those of their adversaries.
Bots are social media accounts that automate interaction with other users, and political bots have been particularly active on public policy issues, political crises, and elections. We collected data on bot activity using the major hashtags related to the U.S. Presidential debate. In this brief analysis we find that (1) Twitter traffic on pro-Trump hashtags was roughly double that of the pro-Clinton hashtags, (2) about one third of the pro-Trump twitter traffic was driven by bots and highly automated accounts, compared to one fifth of the pro-Clinton twitter traffic, (3) the significant rise of Twitter traffic around debate time is mostly from real users who generate original tweets using the more neutral hashtags. In short, Twitter is much more actively pro-Trump than pro-Clinton and more of the pro-Trump twitter traffic is driven by bots, but a significant number of (human) users still use Twitter for relatively neutral political expression in critical moments.
Politicalbots.org is the source of the non-peer-reviewed report, which is available to download.
A key point is that there's no evidence the campaigns are doing it. Read the rest
It's widely-suspected that there's more out there of millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump boasting about assaulting women, but the obvious sources—TV producers and radio hosts, say—aren't going to shit where they eat just to give Hillary Clinton another point in the polls. Enter Larry Flynt and Hustler Magazine.
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Attention Citizens! $1,000,000 Offer!
Beverly Hills, CA – October 17, 2016 – Larry Flynt announced today that his Hustler companies are offering up to $1 million dollars for verifiable video footage or audio recordings for use prior to the November 8 election clearly showing Donald Trump engaging in illegal activity or acting in a sexually demeaning or derogatory manner, if Hustler chooses to publish or otherwise use such materials.
Mr. Flynt states, “I have always celebrated women. Women in all shapes and sizes. To treat a woman like Mr. Trump himself has is both disappointing and unbelievable, especially coming from someone who wants to be our President.”
Mr. Flynt continues to be appalled by the hypocrisy of our elected officials who dictate how the American people should live their lives behind closed doors while themselves engaging in the variety of activities they publicly condemn. Mr. Trump claims that “nobody has more respect for women than me” despite tremendous amounts of evidence to the contrary. Mr. Flynt has made it his mission to call these hypocrites out and provide the public with as much information about their indiscretions as possible.
The last time Mr. Flynt made such an offer was in 2007 when he announced that he was willing to pay one million dollars for documented evidence of illicit sexual liaisons with a prominent member of public office.
Mini Materials posted a video showing you how to make 1:24 cinderblocks (they sell a kit). Finally I can embrace my lifelong desire to have a train set, having hitherto been unable to do so due to the difficulty in accurately replicating the vast featureless Communist closed cities and rural Pennsylvania beer distributors of my imagination.
Make the tiniest cinder blocks in the world! This nine piece 1:24 scale CMU mold is the same one we use to make our blocks. Made of heavy duty silicone, these things will last forever. You can pour almost any hardening material, and they will withstand up to 500ºF
The not-obvious part here is how thin the mix is, to guarantee good, bubble-free form in the wee mold.
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His name is McBain. Judge McBain. If you're a walking protection order violation trying to intimidate your victim in court, God will not save you from the contempt citations, or indeed the whirling limbs, of Judge McBain.
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A court officer seen in the video told Mlive.com that as he tried to take Larson into custody, the defendant “tensed up” and tried to fight him. Larson and the officer, identified by Mlive.com as Jared Schultz, struggled as Larson continued to point and talk to the woman.
“Tell me to leave you alone!” he said. “Tell him right now!”
“Tase his a– right now!” McBain shouted, as he threw off his judge’s robe, ran over to the two men and then physically helped pin Larson to the ground. Throughout the scuffle, Larson is heard cursing periodically.
Derek, 27, was set to follow in the footsteps of his dad, Stormfront creator Don Black. He had his own white nationalist website for kids, his own radio show, and gotten elected to local government in Florida. He was their future, slick and self-controlled, never using slurs or suggestions of violence. But he's now come to question the ideology and left it all behind. Eli Saslow reports on The white flight of Derek Black.
So many others in white nationalism had come to their conclusions out of anger and fear, but Derek tended to like most people he met, regardless of race. Instead, he sought out logic and science to confirm his worldview, reading studies from conservative think tanks about biological differences between races, IQ disparities and rates of violent crime committed by blacks against whites
They sent him to a top liberal arts college thinking he would educate them. But with long red hair and a cowboy hat and garrulous personality, he became popular and found himself hiding his association with Stormfront, and his beliefs, rather than expounding them.
When another student mentioned that he had been reading about the racist implications of “Lord of the Rings” on a website called Stormfront, Derek pretended he had never heard of it.
But he kept up the radio show and was soon outed. Instead of ostracizing him, though, his friends and college acquaintances decided to stay in touch and include him. One, an orthodox Jew, invited him to a Shabbat dinner. Read the rest
Withdrawn by Samsung and recalled from store shelves, the explosion-prone Galaxy Note 7 is now forbidden in the skies. The Federal Aviation Administration has officially banned it, via an emergency prohibition order, making it a federal crime to take one on board an airplane.
The order restricts passengers from carrying the phone "on their person, in carry-on baggage, in checked baggage, or as cargo," and says that anyone who inadvertently brings one on a plane must power it down immediately. Carriers are also required to "deny boarding to a passenger in possession" of the phone.
Passengers who bring a Note 7 onto a plane are "subject to civil penalties of up to $179,933 for each violation for each day they are found to be in violation (49 U.S.C. 5123)," and could be prosecuted, which could "result in fines under title 18, imprisonment of up to ten years, or both (49 U.S.C. 5124)."
It is already a cult object, ready to take its place among the more dangerous inhabitants of our descendants' wunderkammers.
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Marmite is a popular, exceedingly British food product spread on toast, crackers or directly onto one's tongue. It is dark, sticky, and delivers a stark "love it or hate it" kick to the tastebuds. Marmite originated in the thick, yeasty dregs generated by beer production; Bovril, its great enemy on the British condiment aisle, was made in similar fashion from slaughterhouse goop. And thanks to Brexit, there is a Marmite shortage and pricing run.
When a nation’s currency suddenly falls in value, as the pound has since the Brexit vote, imports cost more. This means prices in the shops will inevitably rise. Most people can grasp that simple, frictionless, model. Yet the Marmite affair highlights that there are many other economic factors involved and that things are (rather like the polarising “yeast extract” itself) stickier in practise.
Marmite is manufactured in Burton upon Trent. This fact prompted provoked accusations of “profiteering” from some Tory MPs and right-wing newspapers. “How can a falling pound justify a price hike for a UK-made product?” they demanded to know. Some suggested that this must be a plot by Anglo-Dutch Unilever to discredit Brexit.
But Unilever does not solely manufacture Marmite. It has reduced its transaction costs and increased its profit margins by bringing a wide range of consumer products into a single multinational business.
Photo: Kent Fredric (CC-BY-2.0) Read the rest