A compilation of expensive fails

Here's something to make you feel better: a supercut of people accidentally losing or destroying property.

Read the rest

Oops! A crane that was lifting a strip mall sign tipped over onto the freeway and crushed a truck

The Kansas City Star reports that a crane that was removing a sign tipped over. It severed power lines and crushed a pickup truck. No one was injured.

"Oh Hell" from videos
.mcclatchy-embed{position:relative;padding:40px 0 56.25%;height:0;overflow:hidden;max-width:100%}.mcclatchy-embed iframe{position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%}

Image: screengrab from Kansas City Star video. Read the rest

Don't buy the crappy TruTemp digital thermometer

It's invariably the cheapest on the shelf, but the Taylor/TruTemp 3516 I got at Target fell apart the first time I pushed the button. It's the shabbiest piece of electronic tat I've bought from a major U.S. retailer. Don't buy it! A different brand is only $4 at Amazon, has good reviews, and isn't held together by the clasping pressure of a plastic cap that will obviously expand when pushed.

I even tried gluing it on with superglue. Then it stopped working altogether. Then I threw it in the trash. Read the rest

Albuquerque newsreader has had quite enough

Doug Fernandez, a newsreader at KOAT in Albuquerque, adapted quickly and efficiently to a technical problem patching in a reporter on location. Then he gave up. Read the rest

Keep your eyes on the road, except to look at these signs

Spotted in Tulsa, Oklahoma by Jerrinq, these distracting traffic signs seem to contradict their messages.

(Miss Cellania) Read the rest

Republican congressman shoots selfie video in Auschwitz gas chamber

Louisiana Republican congressman Clay Higgins shot video of himself talking about the need for invincible U.S. power—while wandering the gas chamber at Auschwitz.

In his five-minute ramble, Higgins explains the horrors that took place at the camp, where some 1.1m people, mostly Jews, where murdered by the Nazis during World War II. And that "this is why Homeland Security must be squared away, why our military must be invincible."

People keep talking about President Trump's behavior eroding international respect and trust for America. But he does get a lot of help from his friends.

Officials at the museum and memorial denounced him for using it as a stage for his politics, pointing out that there are signs asking for silence throughout the former death camp.

Higgins' politics have two sides, and so does his message, here. On one side, he's posing America—and its military power—as the force that overcame Nazi atrocity.

On the other, here's what he wants done to radical Muslims.

“Hunt them, identify them, and kill them,” declared US Rep. Clay Higgins, a Louisiana Republican. “Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
Read the rest

How to start a yard fire

The key component of a quality yard fire is ignorance, but you must remember to mix it with a sufficient quantity of flammable material and oxygen.

BONUS: How to start a bonfire on a moor.

Read the rest

Grimly funny column from Fake Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell is the Republican leader who drafted the so-called "Trumpcare" bill in secrecy and hopes to ram it into law in a few days of arm-twisting, media feints and threats. As American lives hang in the balance, McConnell—as voiced by McSweeney's' Bob Vulfov—makes his pitch to the public.

My name is Mitch McConnell and I am the Majority Leader of the United States Senate. As you may have heard, the health care bill I secretly drafted would result in 22 million Americans losing their health care coverage. I understand your frustration with the bill, but you also have to understand my side of things. I’m in a serious bind here. I owe Thanatos, the God of Death, exactly 22 million human souls and he’s come to collect.

(h/t @davidcarneycr67) Read the rest

Horrific video of a dozen victims crushed by shipping container

It's not often that police will post video directly from the scene of a crime or emergency, but this footage from Nicholasville, Kentucky's Officer Baker offers a harrowing and instructive warning about the dangers of poorly-secured shipping containers in transit. It's hard going: twelve casualties, all crushed beyond human hope. Read the rest

Review: bug-zapping lightbulbs are worthless

I got one of those bug-zapping LED lightbulbs, in hopes of murdering the flies drifting into my office during the increasingly warm and muggy Pennsylvania summer. I got mine from Home Depot, but the bulbs at Lowes, Wal-Mart and Amazon are all obviously identical. There are two lights in each bulb: an ultraviolet one inside an electrified bug-zapping cage, and a standard 60W-equivalent LED element to light the room. You can have one or both lit simply by turning the light off and on repeatedly within a second: it sounds clunky, but in practice is an ingenious way to cycle the options without adding interface elements.

But it doesn't matter, because they're useless.

I installed my bulb in three locations, moving it every couple of days until a week had passed. As a control, I moved one of those traditional gooey fly strips likewise.

Subjectively, neither did much to stop the flies, a job clearly best accomplished by closing the damn windows.

Objectively, the death tolls were as follows:

Traditional fly strip: 9 bugs, 3 large.

Bug-zapping lightbulb: 4 bugs, all tiny. (The bulb is pictured here, without cleaning)

VERDICT: Don't be tempted: they're not half as good as fly strips and are many times the price. The only advantage they have is not being quite so gross when you throw them in the trash. Read the rest

Machine vision framework wants you to put down your weapon

This is doing the viral rounds described as a Google technology, but it's actually Apple's VisionCore in action. It runs offline on the local device, requiring no number-crunching help from the cloud. Here's a breakdown of how it identifies things through code.

You will need the beta version of xCode and a device running the iOS 11 beta (make sure you only install the beta software on a test device!).

I liked watching it contemplate whether a metal ruler was a meat cleaver or a "chopper." Whispers of the ACLU lawsuits of tomorrow: I think you'd better do what he says, Mr. Kinney. Read the rest

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.

Read the rest

Bank robbery goes awry

In this security footage from a bank in Chapalita, Mexico, three masked men approach the doors with the clear intent to rob the place. A fleet-footed member of staff locks the glass doors. The masked men stand on the other side a little while, looking in at him. Then they walk off. Read the rest

Kushner, unaccustomed as he is to public speaking...

Described by the BBC as "notoriously" reticent to be heard in public, Jared Kushner — President Trump's son-in-law and de facto factotum of his shambolic administration — was finally obliged to impress his voice upon others in a recorded setting at the MAGA Summer Palace in Washington, D.C. The subject was technology; the result was a better understanding of the fact Ivanka didn't marry him for his diction.

Just take a look at the absolute savaging he's getting from the press.

Even The Daily Mail, bastion of international Trumpkinism, merrily deployed the snarky headline "Sounds like he's giving an 8th grade valedictory."

Kushner sounded like the smartest guy in the room - if the room was in middle school.

'It's probably not fair to observe that finally hearing Kushner's voice is a major let-down. Sounds like he's giving an 8th grade valedictory, wrote Darcy Jae.

At least one person thought that Kushner's voice lost out to the hunky Canadian Prime Minister. 'After hearing Jared Kushner's voice, I understand why Ivanka was staring at Justin Trudeau with those hungry eyes,' sniped Daniel Dresden.

Head left and it goes from insult to injury. The Onion's A.V. Club:

It’s a wheedling, blandly competent voice, which is, all things considered, a fine change of aesthetic pace from Donald Trump’s freewheeling, real-time portrait of senility.

If you think someone with a naturally high-pitched or soft voice cannot project power, or convince, or impress, you never sat in front of Steve Jobs. Read the rest

Alarm clock dropped inside wall still going off daily after 13 years

Thirteen years ago, Pittsburgh's Jerry Lynn carefully lowered an alarm clock on a string, lowering it into a wall from the floor above, part of a cunning plan to identify where to drill a hole by waiting for the alarm to go off. Unfortunately, the string snapped, and the clock's been going off daily ever since.

“As I was laying it down, all of a sudden I heard it go ‘thunk!’ as it came loose,” he said. “I thought, well, that’s not a real problem. You know it’s still going to go off. And it did.”

He couldn’t pull it back up, but figured, “Maybe, three-four months it’ll run out of battery. That was in September of 2004. It is still going off every day. And during daylight savings time it goes off at ten minutes ’til eight. And during standard time it goes off at ten minutes to seven at night.”

Read the rest

Video of comedian "punched" after racist routine goes viral again

In this 2012 video, comedian Brett Eidman dons a mask depicting stereotypical Asian features, performs an Asian-themed routine, harangues an Asian couple in the front row, and is punched in the face. The video's gone viral overnight, years after the initial 15 minutes of infamy.

The whole thing was staged, but at the time it wasn't quite so obvious. Gawker tried to get the bottom of it, concluding that it doesn't matter whether it's a hoax or not: he's an asshole irrespective of how "ironic" his bullshit it. Rich Juzwiak:

If the punching video above is a hoax, fuck this guy. He's gloating while admitting that telling racist jokes is an asshole thing to do that will get your ass punched. It's also the worst way possible to launch a career: did this guy learn nothing from Michael Richards?

If this isn't a hoax, fuck this guy harder.

The clip is Eidman's only real fame, but he apparently makes a decent living in insurance and the comedy circuit and was profiled in 2016, by an acquaintance who reports being shocked to find him star in one of "the dumbest, most offensive pieces I’ve seen a “comedian” make", a "a shockingly unfunny character he says is based on infomercial personality Tom Vu."

Basically, Eidman doesn't get it. He thinks it's mocking racism; it's just a joke.

SPLITSIDER: Do you feel that this was an ill-timed bit? Like, in your mind, if you had done this 25 years before, would it have been successful?

Read the rest

NBC to go ahead with Alex Jones interview

Megyn Kelly, formerly of Fox News and now at NBC, interviewed Alex Jones, erstwhile conspiracy theorist and Sandy Hook truther. It hasn't been broadcast yet, but posted excerpts suggest a smarmy effort to elevate Jones to mainstream attention, an amoral stunt posed as casting sunlight on darkness. NBC's deployment of Jones' nasty brand of bullshit, where the parents of slaughtered children are liars working to destroy Americans' right to own guns, is not going down well, but Kelly has little patience for critics.

The spectacle has many on the internet wondering where the bottom is. Spoiler: there is no bottom.

Read the rest

More posts