Court orders venture capital billionaire to restore access to public beach

Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla must open access to a public beach that he'd closed for private use, says a California court.

From The Guardian:

Khosla’s refusal to restore access has made him something of a symbol of the immense wealth in the tech industry and rising income inequality in the region.

Last year, his attorneys claimed that he would open the gate to the beach only if the government paid him $30m, an amount that state officials said was unreasonably high. In October, Khosla also sued two state agencies, accusing the government of using “coercion and harassment” to infringe on his private property rights.

The California coastal commission, established by voters in 1972 to protect public use of the coast, has reported that beachgoers have increasingly complained about private security guards telling them they are trespassing on private property and forcing them to leave the public beaches.

Photograph of Martin's Beach: Marcin Wichary/Flickr Read the rest

Story of the man who became Playgirl's Playmate of the Year 1979

There have been many scenarios post the fall of the second temple for a young Jewish boy to try and get out of studying for his Bar Mitzvah, but in his debut book, my friend Lou Cove tells a story that seems almost as big of a fiction as the bible itself. The book is called Man of the Year, and it's a memoir about 12-year-old Louis’ swapping Hebrew study to spend time on a campaign to help his father’s friend become Playgirl’s playmate of the year in 1979, all while living in provincial Salem, Mass. And what is more, the candidate, Howie Gordon, not only wins but goes on to become one of the great male adult film stars during the golden age of pornography.

Lou went on to raise millions of dollars for non-profit organizations, using this experience as a formative guidepost.

For those of you unfamiliar with Playgirl, think about Playboy magazine, but for women and filled with photos of guys showing their junk. When Howie Gordon posed for the magazine, he was the first to break the erection-barrier…posing fully-masted in his Mr. November 1978 pictorial. By the time he and his wife came to Salem, he already had bigger (harder?) ambitions of winning the competition for Playgirl Man of the Year. All he needed was a campaign manager.

And while Howie’s story is so very compelling, Man Of The Year is definitely Lou’s story. He shares his experience of moving with his family from exciting New York to a seemingly more-boring Salem, how his father’s friend Howie and new bride Carly moved in with them and shared with the family (at the Thanksgiving table) Howie’s Playmate ambitions, Lou’s excitement of having Howie take on the role as XXX Mary Poppins (with his more modern take on spoonfuls of sugar), hand watching his parent’s marriage collapse as he hit the campaign trail to help Howie. Read the rest

Norwegian Islamophobes mistake bus-seat-covers for burkhas, go bonkers

Members of the Norwegian Facebook group "Fedrelandet viktigst" ("Fatherland first") mistook a photo of an empty bus whose seats had been draped with black covers for a bus full of women in burkhas and went Brevik-bananas, decrying the rampant Islamification of Norway and generally being easily frightened, fragile Aryans. Read the rest

Amazon's "fish antibiotics" are a way for uninsured people to buy medicine without paying for doctor's visits

Amazon has a ton of listings for "fish antibiotics" whose reviews reveal that the people who buy them are self-medicating because they can't afford a doctor's visit because they are uninsured or can't afford their insurance's co-payment. Read the rest

Jewellry store robbers can't hammer through display glass

A gang of robbers with hammers was no match for the polycarbonate-laminated glass at this jewellery store in Malaysia Read the rest

NRA calls for clenched fist in response to the "violence of lies"

America's right, the source of most terrorist acts in the country, loves to see violence from the left because it justifies its thirst for more. This instinct is on full show in this NRA recruitment ad, where spokesperson Dana Loesch seethes at political protesters and promises a "clenched fist of truth" for people screaming about "racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia."

Hey, at least the NRA has a clear idea of its base, something you can't say about, say, the Democratic Party.

What strikes me, though, is a shibboleth of the NRA's totalitarian character, one usually associated with the academic left: the idea that speech is violence ("the violence of lies") as a justification for silencing it. (Some differences remain: the left's weapon of choice is, per the NRA, "political correctness," whereas the NRA's weapon of choice is rifles.)

As Black Lives Matter's Deray McKesson writes: "If I made a video like this, I'd be in jail."

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Nintendo's SNES Classic will cost $80, comes with 21 games

Coming on September 29, the Super Nintendo Classic. It will cost $80 and include 21 built-in games, including Super Mario World, Earthbound, Final Fantasy III, Link to the Past, Secret of Mana, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario Kart.

From Ars Technica:

Unlike the NES Classic, which sold $10 controllers on top of the $60 base package, the SNES Classic comes packaged with two controllers. Even so, only five of the included titles include true simultaneous multiplayer gameplay, with a handful of others allowing for two players to alternate play. The Classic Controller and Classic Controller Pro designed for the Wii and Wii U will also work on the SNES Classic Edition, much like its predecessor.

Of the 21 included titles, a full 14 were published by Nintendo itself. Three games from Capcom, two from Konami, and two from Square Enix round out the package.

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Road rage nightmare crash footage

A motorist was left with a "gash to the head" after crashing on a California highway, reports the BBC. In the video, posted courtesy of Chris Traber, a motorcyclist veers close to a car and kicks it. The car then swerves, though it's not clear if the driver was retaliating or panicking. Then the car strikes the center divide and all hell breaks loose.

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Short documentary about controversial artist Jeff Koons

After watching this short documentary about sculptor Jeff Koons (narrated by Scarlett Johansson), I have more appreciation for what he does. I used to resent the fact that he has a team of artisans that do much of the actual work, but now I think, "so what?"

Video has nudity.

[via Kottle] Read the rest

Bat-Signal to shine over Los Angeles in memory of Adam West

The iconic bat-signal will shine on the tower of Los Angeles City Hall tonight in memory of Adam West, the (best) Batman actor who died on Saturday. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetii and L.A. Police Department Chief Charlie Beck will flip the switch at 9pm at City Hall. From the Hollywood Reporter:

For fans who can't make it to the ceremony, West's family is encouraging people to donate to the Adam West Memorial Fund for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Donations can also be made to Camp Rainbow Gold, an Idaho-based charity for children battling cancer.

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What colors do you get when you spell words in hex?

The hexidecimal color #C0FFEE (192 Red, 255 Green, 238 Blue, on a scale of 0-255) is a pleasing greenish color, while #BEADED is a kind of mauve. Read the rest

Binky: a fully automated social network that doesn't require you to be sociable

Have you ever wished you had a social media feed you could like, fave, signal boost and comment on without having to actually interact with people in any way? Binky has you covered. Read the rest

Beautiful popsicles made from polluted water

National Taiwan University of Arts students created this genius piece of activist art, popsicles made from the water of polluted local sources. From the translated project description:

We personally take Taiwan’s 100 polluted water sources, made it into popsicles, because the popsicles are not easy to save, we will re-engrave the likeness into a 1:1 poly model to do the show, through the beautiful packaging and content of the sense of contrast to convey that pure water is important, and Then we would like to ask you is: would you want to eat a beautiful frozen polluted puddle?

Polluted Water Popsicles (Facebook via Laughing Squid)

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Alex Honnold just completed the gnarliest free climb in history

With no ropes, Alex Honnold conquered El Capitan's Freerider route over the weekend. Scaling the 5.12d/13a heartstopper in about four hours is widely considered the greatest feat in the history of the sport. Photographer Jimmy Chin was there to capture all the action:

@alexhonnold composed and casual free soloing (sans cord) 2000ft above the deck on the Enduro Pitch of Freerider yesterday. Alex's process to prepare for his dream of free soloing El Cap has been an incredible, and sometimes stressful, journey to witness and be a part of over the last two years while filming him for a feature documentary (co-directed by @mochinyc). In some ways I expected (and prayed for) nothing less on his big day but it was still mind bending to see how relaxed he was in the final days leading up to the climb and of course during the climb - as seen here locked off reaching full extension with mere finger tips in contact to granite, feet smeared on nothing. What I've learned over the last 10 years about Alex is he isn't the kid that shows up to do well on the exam. If it counts, he's there to ace it, knock out the extra credit questions and finish early. I'd say he aced his final exam yesterday with extra credit for style and composure. When he got to the top, he looked at me and said "I'm pretty sure I could go back to the bottom and do it again right now." Congrats bud.

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Facebook offering "vulnerable teens" to advertisers shows it is willing to be used as a weapon

Facebook was caught offering advertisers a direct line to psychologically vulnerable teens. Nitasha Tiku writes that this exposes the deeper danger of its insight into our lives: it's not the data that's the problem, it's how it could be "weaponized in ways those users cannot see, and would never knowingly allow."

The company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.” ...

If the users in question weren’t teenagers—or if the emotion wasn’t insecurity—Facebook’s public statement might have been sufficient; the uproar from privacy advocates may have been duly noted, then promptly forgotten.

Instead, as Kathryn Montgomery, a professor at American University and the director of the school’s communications studies division—who is married to Chester—tells WIRED, The Australian’s report served as “a flashpoint that enables you to glimpse Facebook’s inner workings, which in many ways is about monetization of moods.”

As Tiku points out: "It’s not a dystopian nightmare. It’s just a few clicks away from the status quo."

The fences you put up are meaningless if Facebook owns the land.

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Trump unleashes the power of the Orgasmic Orb

President Trump slips into bliss with his pals Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sis.

Here's the "real" story:

Trump attended the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology on Sunday alongside his host, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, reported the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

As the lights dimmed, the three leaders officially "activated" the new center by placing their hands on an illuminated globe as a four-minute introduction video displayed on large screens behind them, according to local media.

(CNN)

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Here's the Ozzy-Earth Wind and Fire mashup you never knew you needed

DJ Cummerbund noticed that the world needed a mashup of "Crazy Train" and "September," and the world became a better place. The mashed up video is icing on the cake. Read the rest

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