Fake plastic rice—totally convincing by sight, but potentially lethal to eat—has gone from urban legend to horrifying controversy in Nigeria, where a shipment of the stuff was intercepted and is undergoing tests. Is it plastic, or just really weird rice? Somehow everything's gotten murky and confusing.
Nigeria's food safety agency has denied claims by the health minister that it has cleared the reported "plastic" rice.
A senior official at the National Agency For Food and Drugs (Nafdac) said the minister's Twitter statement "is not their position".
Health Minister Isaac Adewole had tweeted that tests by the agency found "no evidence" of plastic material ... [but Latgos Customs Chief] Mr Mamudu had said the rice was very sticky after it was boiled and "only God knows what would have happened" if people ate it.
The BBC's Martin Patience in Lagos, who felt the rice, said it looked real but had a faint chemical odour.
Two and a half tons of "Best Tomato Rice" were seized and it's not clear if any has reached markets and stores. Tests should be complete in a few days.
"Whoever made it did a remarkable job," says the BBC's Martin Patience. "It feels like rice, the texture is amazing, but when you smell it, there's something not quite right."
I wonder if this is a symptom of the way commodities trading works. No-one doing the buying and selling ever gets near the goods, making the supply chain vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attackers adjacent to the source.
Commodities, Tealeaf! Read the rest
We interrupt your growing anxiety at America's emergent cyberpunk dystopia for a tense missive from the Syrian War. In this video, an explosive-laden suicide truck bears down on a position held (reportedly by French special forces with the SDF) near Raqqa. The perspective on the video makes it hard to tell, but the vehicle is well-armored and only seconds from putting the defenders in serious trouble. Bullets ricochet off; a missile sails past its target. It is not long before everyone is becoming quite alarmed at the driver's progress. What happens next, though, will probably not surprise you. Read the rest
r/BadCGI is my new favorite subreddit, whose inhabitants share examples of grotesque, inept, or amusingly dated computer graphic animation. Embedded here for your enjoyment is the full movie of Joshua and the Promised Land.
P.S. Has anyone noticed that the cripplingly addictive game in Star Trek: The Next Generation is basically Pokemon Go, but with only one Pokemon? Right down to the quality of the graphics!
Speaking of Pokemon, here's a genuinely terrifying PC version from 2000:
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It's not entirely clear where this image originates from, but the nightmarish interior of the Leatherback Turtle's mouth is attested to by many other ones just like it. Hey, at least it doesn't pee through its mouth.
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Neil Cicierega took the four (!) Chipmunks movies, superimposed them upon one another, and slowed them down. If CGI remakes of cartoons can be seen as the pigs of our cartoon childhoods ushered into the rendering plant, this is the psychic slime left gluelike under the vats. [via]
Previously: Chipmunk Christmas, slowed down to original speed Read the rest
For Christianity Today, theologian Michael Horton explores the "theology" of Donald Trump and his followers. It reads as superficially civil, yet completely contemptuous and comically unprepared: a growing trend among conservative and Christian commentary on the future president.
Vague on doctrine, infiltrated by consumerism and a sentimental moralism intent on helping us all “become a better you,” and sort of interested in “family values” as long as they don’t interfere with our own family breakdowns, many cultural evangelicals are tired of losing the culture wars. They want a winner—“a strong leader.” I’m hardly the first to point out that it’s the stuff of which demagogues are made.
It is not that Trump has caused this transformation in portions of the so-called “evangelical electorate.” Rather, his candidacy has revealed the inner secularization of significant portions of the movement, which surveys have documented for some time now. Four theological words highlight the problem.
I made the digital paintover above in honor of the trash fire currently consuming evangelical political hearts.
In other Trumpery news, a Republican National Committee member today suggested that they're going to freeze Donald Trump out of the nomination irrespective of how many delegates he secures. Riots it will be, then. Read the rest
Daniel Holland made the striking observation that if you faceswap The X-Files' Scully and Mulder, you get a synthpop duo. Read the rest
Britain is to hold a referendum on leaving the European Union, and the "Brexit" group—largely represented by the country's nativist UKIP party—have a fabulous music video to promote their cause.
Based upon a more charmingly patriotic soccer song by Lightning Seeds, with comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, the new version is genuinely transfixing. It's hard to tell if it's a parody or not; the original artists write that they laughed like drains when they watched it.
They want our prisoners to vote
They’ve taken all our fish. And money
Through the years
There’s endless regulation, red tape
It seems there’s no escape
Till the leave vote takes shape.
UKIP ("U.K. Independence") is often said to tap into the same currents of anger and despair as Donald Trump. Here, for comparison, are the "Trump Girls"…
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Last week, I suggested that Donald Trump is a walking mashup of Star Wars' Imperial March and Yakety Sax.
Markleford Friedman has provided.
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You may remember this outfit from recent videos exhibiting a high internet virality coefficient. It's available for purchase at Amazon—we'll get a cut if you use that link—and at BuyCostumes. There will be many on eBay in a few weeks, but by then it will be too late.
There's a kids' size one, too. Read the rest
Ladybird combines all the things you love about Japan. Wait, what?
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Enjoy this genuinely nightmarish visit with Ralph Platt in God's great outdoors, where he joins the birds of the forest in giving song to the pipe organ music of Lorin Whitney.
The full album was recently posted online by Fuji Puzzle Box, who warns that a Volume 2 of this exists somewhere out there.
...an album of pious Christian dirges so lugubrious they practically go all the way around and turn giddy. Made famous by the Firesign Theatre, who created so many dearly beloved batshit radio performances using this record as underscore.
UPDATE: "Hi Rob, Taylor here, archivist for Firesign Theatre and the guy behind Fuji Puzzle Box. Thanks for the post! There was indeed a volume two, and here it is"
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Hey, found this on my computer
. No idea what I made it for, but it appears to feature an evil cat god summoned to our plane by the power of Wardenclyffe Tower. You can have it now! [Warning: autoplaying audio] Read the rest
"Complex Pile", an inflatable sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy, is displayed at the exhibition "Inflation!" on the grounds of a new park in Hong Kong. "The Park", as it will be called, will cover 14 hectares of landscaped public space devoted to the arts and culture. [Bobby Yip/Reuters] Read the rest