New York village to keep seal depicting man choking Native American

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The residents of the small New York village of Whitesboro voted last night to keep this emblem that appears to show a man choking a Native American. From the Associated Press:

In a non-binding vote Monday night, residents voted 157-55 to not change their current seal, according to Patrick J. O'Connor, mayor of the Village of Whitesboro.

Whitesboro's website says the emblem dates to the early 1900s and depicts a friendly wrestling match between village founder Hugh White and an Oneida Indian. It says White won the match and the lasting respect and goodwill of the Oneidas...

After a notice of claim was filed in the 1970s calling the picture offensive, a new version was drawn with White's hands on the Indian's shoulders instead of on his neck, (village clerk and historian Dana) Nimey-Olney said.

"New York village votes to keep logo that shows man choking Native American" (AP) Read the rest

Man loves bear, and bear loves man right back. For now.

Медведь играет с человеком ("Bear Plays with a Man"). Indeed. (YouTube)

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NZ police broke the law when they raided investigative journalist's home

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The New Zealand High Court has ruled that the NZ police broke the law in 2014 when they raided the home of Nicky Hager, an investigative journalist whose work was sharply critical of the NZ government, and who was working on Snowden-related disclosures. Read the rest

Watch The Munsters... in color!

Pop Colorture hand-colorized 1,300 frames of The Munsters title sequence, turning the grimly fiendish and funny family into the full color characters that were originally black-and-white only due to budgetary reasons. From Pop Colorture:

As I learned from (Addams Family colorizer) Stuart Manning’s blog post, early color television programs often chose yellow in place of white to add an extra pop of color, while still registering as a white object on black and white sets. The dress that we see Marilyn wearing in the Munsters opening was white, and this can be seen in a few color promo photos featuring the first actress to play Marilyn, Beverley Owen. Yellow seemed like the natural choice for several reasons. It adds necessary color to the shot and I have no doubt that the wardrobe department would have chosen something similar, had it been shot in color. Yellow also fits with the grayscale values of the dress, so it looks very natural. Had I tried to color the dress red, green or any other color, it would not “stick” to the gray values as easily and would not look very good. My final reasoning in choosing yellow was because recent Munsters memorabilia items feature the character of Marilyn wearing a yellow dress that looks similar to the one seen in the opening. Although it has nothing to do with the show’s original creative team, I feel that it supports my choice. The second artistic decision I made was the color of The Munsters’ drippy, melted wax logo and title cards.

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Free Stanford course on surveillance law UPDATED

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Aw, crap, this was last year

Stanford is offering a free online course by computer scientist/law professor Jonathan Mayer that surveys the baroque, interleaved world of US surveillance law through the Coursera MOOC platform. Read the rest

Policeman who wanted photos of teen penis in sext case kills self

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A cop who convinced a judge to let him take photos of a 17-year-old boy's erect penis has killed himself after being accused of having an "inappropriate relationship" with another underage teen.

David Edward Abbott, a member of a Crimes Against Children taskforce, obtained a warrant to "inject a young boy with a drug that would cause an erection" after the teen sent a dick pic to his 15-year-old girlfriend. The ostensible plan: to match one pic to the other to prove they were the same penis.

Amid a public outcry, the Manassas City police eventually decided against doing that. The 17-year-old boy got a year of probation for sexting his teen girlfriend… The authorities went to arrest Abbott, 39, on Tuesday. [...] Abbott had an inappropriate relationship with a boy, now 13, police alleged. He was accused of soliciting sexual acts on the phone, via text messages and social media. Abbott was also accused of having an "inappropriate relationship with a second male victim" affiliated with the Prince William County hockey league.

If you're wondering whether Manassas is a safe environment for children, it's best you know that the Manassas City Police Department is standing by their man, to whom they remain "grateful."

This is a tragic and sad day for the Abbott family, the juvenile victims and their families, the Manassas City Police Department, and our community. In spite of these recent developments regarding the serious allegations against him, we are grateful for the contributions Det. Abbott made during his time with Manassas City Police, to include the prosecution and conviction of hundreds of criminals.

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HOAX

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It's a hoax!

This isn't the first time that a remix of the silent track's been targeted for copyright enforcement, but it never gets old. Read the rest

Drone footage of insanely huge "sinkhole" outside of IHOP restaurant

Did you hear about the International Hole of Pancakes, the massive drainage structure collapse that swallowed a at least a dozen cars in an IHOP parking lot in Meridian, MS just a few days after the restaurant opened? Here is Jason Hartwig's drone footage of the site.

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Have your tweets inscribed as cuneiform tablets

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Dumb Cuneiform aptly labels the nature of its work lest anyone be under any illusions here.

Here's how it works: Just send us a tweet or text (use the text field in the order form) We’ll carefully translate it into cuneiform We'll stamp it on an actual clay tablet and mail it to you. Favorite jokes? Amazing pickup lines? Your 2-star review of last summer's blockbuster? KEEP IT FOREVER.

$20 a go. They should at least insist on it having been publicly posted! [via JWZ]

Previously: Aerial signposts point to Scientology's sacred text storage facility Read the rest

Stunning graphic novel presents the entire iTunes Terms and Conditions

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I thought Robert Crumb's unabridged graphic novel of the Book of Genesis was a herculean effort, but cartoonist R. Sikoryak has tackled an even more arduous task: incorporating the complete, unabridged iTune's user agreement into a graphic novel. Sikoryak is very good at drawing comics in the style of other cartoonists, and he uses this skill here to great effect. Take a gander:

Page 48 (after Chester Gould)

Page 46 (after Hergé)

Page 42 (after Otto Mesmer)

Page 41 (after Rube Goldberg)

Unbelievable! You can buy hardcopies here: THE UNABRIDGED GRAPHIC ADAPTATION: ITUNES TERMS AND CONDITIONS, PART A & PART B | THE UNABRIDGED GRAPHIC ADAPTATION: ITUNES TERMS AND CONDITIONS, PART C & PART D Read the rest

EPA finds more toxic VW emissions fraud in Audis and Porsches

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The EPA, the California Air Resources Board and Environment Canada have detected more fraudulent firmware in VW products; this time in 2014-2016 cars from the super-profitable Audii and Porsche lines. Read the rest

Appeals court holds the FBI is allowed to kidnap and torture Americans outside US borders

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The DC Appeals Court has just ruled against Amir Meshal, a US citizen who was arrested in Kenya by a joint US-Kenyan-Ethiopian law enforcement operation, held for months, tortured with FBI agents present and threatened with his secret murder, then released without any charges. Read the rest

South Carolina sheriff fires the school-cop who beat up a black girl at her desk

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Ben Fields, the South Carolina sheriff’s deputy who was video-recorded beating up a black schoolgirl who was sitting peacefully at her desk, has been fired. Read the rest

Amazon Prime is on sale today only for $67/year

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Today, Friday, until 11:59pm PT you can sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription for $67. I use the hell out of Amazon Prime's free two-day shipping on everything from huge boxes of toilet paper to books and records to holiday gifts shipped to family and friends. They should set up a distribution facility at the bottom of my driveway. My kids also take advantage of Prime Video streaming of movies and TV shows on our tablet. (Amazon Prime also includes unlimited photo storage, streaming music, and free Kindle books, but I've never tried those features.) For the usual $99/year, my family absolutely gets our money's worth. It's a steal for $67/year. Amazon Prime Read the rest

New photos from the scene of Kurt Cobain's suicide

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UPDATE: Ooops, these photos were released in 2014.

Last year, the Seattle Police Department released several dozen newly-developed photos from the scene of Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide. The police processed the film as part of a recent reinvestigation into Cobain's death. According to detective Mike Ciesynski, there is still no basis in conspiracy theories that Cobain was murdered.

Ciesynzki says that they will not release any graphic images of Cobain's body.

"What are people going to gain from seeing pictures of Kurt Cobain laying on the ground with his hair blown back, with blood coming out of his nose and trauma to his eyes from a penetrating shotgun wound," he told KIRO-TV. "How's that going to benefit anybody?"

"Dozens of new photos released from Kurt Cobain death probe" (CBS News)

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Oregon motorcyclist hit by lightning

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Motorists behind the cyclist saw lightning strike his helmet. Dazed, the gentleman pulled over and then rode on to look for assistance.

Via Fox KTPV:

Firefighters said, at that point, he got back on his bike and kept on riding. The man took Exit 76 into Chehalis, where he stopped at a convenience store and asked for help.

I don't think he was going very far. Read the rest

Trailer for Alex Gibney's Steve Jobs documentary

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Documentary maker Alex Gibney (Going Clear, We Steal Secrets, and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) is directing Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. The trailer looks good – I would rather watch this instead of the docudramas about him. It's coming out on 4 September 2015.

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