The hyperviolent sport of Rollerball in Sports Illustrated, 1975

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The original Rollerball (1975) is a fantastic dystopian science fiction film in which corporations run the world and crowds go crazy for an ultraviolent sport called, you guessed it, Rollerball. (Watch the movie trailer below.) Just before shooting wrapped up, the movie teams played the game for real (apparently with less blood) for an audience of thousands at Munich's Olympic Basketball Stadium. Sports Illustrated covered the chaos for its April 21, 1975 issue:

(Director Norman Jewison... was delighted that the game devised for his film turned out to be one that can be played in earnest. "It can be played, if it's played with very strict rules..." he said on the set. "But it is still a very violent game, though maybe no more so than football. There is a gladiatorial aspect to rollerball that frightens me."

"Rollerball" article from Sports Illustrated (via Reddit, thanks UPSO!)

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Nicki Minaj's brother has been charged with raping a 12 year old girl in Long Island

Jelani Maraj with his sister Nicki Minaj, at his recent wedding. Photo via Ms. Minaj's Instagram.

The brother of pop entertainer Nicki Minaj has been charged with raping a child, reports local Long Island/NYC paper Newsday.

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Ben Carson: I faked the names of kids I tried to stab or bash when I was a violent bully

Ben Carson, who wants to be president. [Reuters]

U.S. Presidential candidate Ben Carson sure is one wacky guy. Read the rest

Sons of Anarchy FCC complaints: ”The most sadistic program on TV," also #butts

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"I hate to think that people are watching this and we walk among them." Read the rest

Can working on violent video games mess you up?

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Here are some pictures of tumors, colonoscopy and viscera for reference. Enjoy your next two years of work!

Potato salad attack on mom lands Florida man in jail

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Jonathan Smith, 34, was charged with misdemeanor battery after "pelting his mother with grub," reports The Smoking Gun.

“Jonathan grabbed a hand full of potato salad and threw it,” striking his mother in the face, reported cops, who noted that the woman had “food all over her and in her hair” when they arrived at the residence. Though his mother yelled for him to stop, Smith “continued to throw food at his mother,” according to a probable cause affidavit.

Via Arbroath. Read the rest

Citing Trump as their role model, 2 white guys in Boston beat homeless Latino man nearly to death

Scott Leader (left) and Steve Leader (right).
“The homeless man was lying on the ground, shaking, when police arrived early Wednesday. His face was soaked, apparently with urine, his nose broken, his chest and arms battered.”

States with the worst rape kit backlogs

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The U.S. government estimates that hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits languish in police and crime lab storage facilities. The EndTheBacklog project illustrates that there's "more we do NOT know about the backlog than we do know." Read the rest

Sculpture makes drone strike casualties more visceral

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In Artificial Killing Machine, visitors sit in a chair below cap guns that fire for each drone strike death reported publicly, which print out on a tally from a public database. Read the rest

Notes to the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney by his daughters, presented at his funeral

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Charleston. Read the rest

The 17 states where guns kill more people than cars do

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Motor vehicle deaths continue to drop in the US this century. Firearm deaths continue to rise. If the CDC's WISQARS data holds its path since 2013, guns will soon be America's top killing machine. The 17 states (and one district) in order are: Read the rest

San Francisco Sheriff's Deputy ring accused of pit-fighting inmates

San Francisco sheriff's deputy Scott Neu is accused of leading a ring of corrupt jail guards who coerced prisoners into gladiatorial combat with threats of rape and violence. Read the rest

Furry convention evacuated after chlorine-gas attack

The 15th Midwest Furfest was evacuated last week after 19 attendees were hospitalized by chlorine gas at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel; hazmat technicians cleared out an "intentional gas attack" apparatus in the 9th floor stairwell. Read the rest

Police in Brazil kill six people a day

So says a report from The Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, an NGO that singles out the Rio police for "abusive use of lethal force." Read the rest

Holding mirrors up to police lines at #Euromaidan

Ukrainian protesters from the #Euromaidan movement have faced brutal police violence. A moving demonstration on December 30th included a line of protesters who held up mirrors to the riot police who faced them across the barricades. Read the rest

The gruesome reality of the drug trade

My friend Erik Vance lives in Mexico City and writes about science. But, in the past year or so, his work covering ocean fisheries has brought him into contact with some of the fallout from the cocaine trade. That overlap lead to a recent piece for Slate, where he writes that "there's no such thing as cruelty-free cocaine". If you care about sustainability, fair trade, and the power of consumer choice to change industry practices in fishing, then you should care about those things when it comes to drugs, he writes. More provocatively, Vance likens buying coke today to donating to the Nazi party in the 1930s. Read the rest

When mushrooms go to war

Fungus can fight. Using poisons and flesh-dissolving enzymes (think: mycological "meat" tenderizers), they can defend their turf from incursions by other fungi. Here, a sulfur tuft mushroom (top right) and Phanerochaete velutina (bottom left) hash it out. Read the rest

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