Young girls react to seeing the new 2016 Barbie dolls for the first time

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“We asked young girls what they think about traditional Barbie dolls, and then we showed them the new Barbies to see how they'd react to her new shapes and sizes. Here's what they had to say.”

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NASA's Mars Rover sends back a sandy selfie


The latest self-portrait from NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the car-size mobile laboratory beside a dark dune where it has been scooping and sieving samples of sand.

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Jefferson Airplane’s Paul Kantner has died at 74

Paul Kantner on stage at the "Summer of Love" 40th anniversary concert at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, 2007.  REUTERS

Paul Kantner, founding member of Jefferson Airplane and icon of the sixties San Francisco rock explosion, died today. He was 74. Earlier this week, he suffered a heart attack, and had for years been dealing with serious health issues.

His death was confirmed by longtime publicist and friend Cynthia Bowman, who told reporters he died of multiple organ failure and septic shock.

Paul Kantner and Grace Slick and daughter China of the Jefferson Airplane, photo dated 10/08/1971

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

With Jefferson Airplane, Mr. Kantner pioneered what became known as the San Francisco sound in the mid-1960s, with such hits as “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit.”

The Airplane was renowned for thrilling vocal gymnastics by singers Marty Balin, Grace Slick and Mr. Kantner, the psychedelic blues-rock sound developed by guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bass player Jack Casady and the LSD-spiked, ’60s-era revolutionary fervor of its lyrics.

Paul Kantner [Wikipedia]

Jefferson Airplane

Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock

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'Heil Trumpler' guy who tried to tomato Trump may be America's greatest hero

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They say this 28-year-old guy tossed 2 tomatoes at presidential candidate Donald Trump, during the noted racist shitbag's Iowa campaign stop. He missed. But his t-shirt slogan did not.

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Three new Zika virus cases confirmed in the USA: Los Angeles, Virginia, Minnesota

A health ministry worker fumigates a house to kill mosquitoes to prevent the entry of Zika virus in Managua, Nicaragua Jan. 26, 2016. REUTERS

Well, that epidemic didn't take long to start scaring the crap out of America.

The first confirmed case of the Zika virus in Los Angeles County was reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control today.

Separately, cases have been confirmed over the past 48 hours by state agencies in Virginia and Minnesota.

No known transmissions of Zika have taken place inside the US. The virus isn't contagious between humans but is spread by mosquitoes. These 3 new U.S. victims are said to have acquired Zika abroad.

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Is Amy Schumer a serial joke thief? Video compilation compares clips, side by side

Amy Schumer [Reuters]

This video is pretty rabid Reddit rage-fodder today.

Certainly, selective video edits by someone with a point to make can be damning where nothing wrong has been done, but--come on. This looks pretty bad.

[From Brandon Farley (MischiefMaker37), YouTube » Reddit]

Looks like there are a bunch of these newly out, via Reddit. But it's been brewing for weeks, or months, really. Vox has a good explainer here. I am not the comedy police, so I do not know.

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'We all need the D,' claims adorably clueless Canadian ad campaign for Vitamin D

Girl, don't I know it.

“We all need the D. Even me!” Yes we do, honey. Yes we do.

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Facebook's fourth-quarter earnings smash Wall Street expectations

Photo: Reuters

Social media giant Facebook today reported sales and earnings that well exceeded Wall Street's expectations, as both the number of users and mobile ad dollars rose from October to December.

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Is Abe Vigoda Dead?

Abe Vigoda at Friars Club Roast of Betty White in NYC, 2012. REUTERS


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Panda frolicking in snow at DC's National Zoo is all of us in #Blizzard2016


Panda. Snow. Floof-play. Didn't take long on #Blizzard2016 weekend for this video to go viral.

Tian Tian, an adult giant panda bear who lives at Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC enjoys rolling around in the snow after a winter storm dumped nearly two feet of the white stuff in the region.

Video: YouTube | Twitter.

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At least 5 killed in Saskatchewan, Canada school shooting


Five people were killed in a school shooting in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late Friday.

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Veteran transforms wheelchair into snowplow


In wintry Omaha, Nebraska, a local veteran is using his modded wheelchair to help neighbors with snow plowing.

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#Blizzard2016: Big-ass winter storm hits East Coast with big snow predicted

People buy seafood at the Wharf as snow begins to fall in DC, Jan 22 2016. REUTERS

Washington, D.C., and New York City are under blizzard watches, and states of emergency have been declared in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina ahead of a blustery winter storm now slamming the U.S. East Coast with snow.

A large winter storm expected to bring heavy snowfall to the U.S. Mid-Atlantic on Jan. 22 and 23 in a Jan. 20, 2016 NASA photo.

The storm threatens to dump nearly 3 feet of snow on the Middle Atlantic region, and slammed into Washington, D.C. this afternoon, threatening our nation's capital with record accumulations. The storm is now moving up the East Coast and causing all sorts of problems in New York, and throughout the region.

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Maori wedding haka moves bride to tears in New Zealand


Gave me chills! This epic wedding haka moved a New Zealand bride to tears, and is making everyone on the internet cry, too. Badass as hell.

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My Friday Jam: "Everything She Wants," Wham! (1984)


“Somebody told me.”

This is my Friday jam. "Everything She Wants," from 1984 by British pop duo Wham!. This is a perfect pop song, and you can buy it on vinyl.

It gives me wiggly dance-chills every time I hear it, and I was around when it first became a solid gold hit in 1984.

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Truth and Power: New TV series on ordinary people exposing corruption from Brian Knappenberger ('Internet's Own Boy')

Brian Knappenberger's new investigative TV show airs on Pivot, a network from Participant Media.

Today on KCRW's Press Play, a daily news program to which I'm a contributor, host Madeleine Brand spoke to filmmaker Brian Knappenberger about his new documentary TV series Truth and Power.

Audio of the interview is below.

The series is narrated by Maggie Gyllenhaall, and kicks off Friday on Pivot.

Here's a trailer.

An activist marches during the Black Lives Matter episode of 'Truth and Power.'

The new Participant Media investigative series promises to tell “the stories of ordinary people going to extraordinary lengths to uncover breaches of public trust by governments and private institutions.”

Knappenberger was the director of “The Internet's Own Boy,” a stellar documentary film about the late developer, organizer, and tech freedom activist Aaron Swartz. He also directed "We Are Legion,” the hacktivism movie about Anonymous.

“We’re in a weird moment,” says Knappenberger. “There seems to be this wave of anger and frustration in America, and I think there’s good reason for that.”

Truth and Power premieres Friday, January 22nd at 10 p.m. ET / PT on Pivot. Read the rest

UK's GCHQ spy agency pushes VOIP crypto protocol that 'facilitates mass surveillance,' says researcher

GCHQ Building at Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Photo Defence Images/Flickr

A VOIP encryption protocol the UK spy agency GCHQ is pushing for mandatory adoption comes with a hidden surprise: a built-in backdoor that lets anyone who has a master key decrypt the call. That's according to a security expert at University College in London, who published the findings on his blog this week.

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