MUST-SEE Zombie High: teen zombie romcom produced by Canadian high-schoolers

Vincent writes, "'Zombie High' is a 32 minute movie made by the hard-working film students at Oak Park High in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It was conceived as a tribute to Shaun of the Dead and John Hughes, with a bit of Army of Darkness thrown in." This. Is. STUPENDOUS. The writing, production values, acting, and SFX are nothing short of inspired. These are some amazing teen filmmakers.

Zombie High (2013) Read the rest

America's legacy of post-slavery racism and the case for reparations

Ta-Nehisi Coates's The Case for Reparations is an important, compelling history of the post-slavery debate over reparations, running alongside the post-slavery history of US governmental and private-sector violence and theft from the descendants of slaves in America. Coates's thesis -- compellingly argued -- is that any "achievement gap" or "wealth gap" in American blacks is best understood as an artifact of centuries of racial violence and criminal misappropriations of black people, particularly visited upon any black person who expressed ambition or attained any measure of economic success.

As Coates demonstrates, a series of deliberate government policies, continuing to this day, ensured that unscrupulous American businesses could raid the savings and loot the accumulated wealth of black people. From the millions who were terrorized into indentured servitude in the south to the millions who were victimized by redlining and had every penny they could earn stolen by real-estate scammers in the north, the case for reparations is not about merely making good on the centuries-old evil of slavery. It's about the criminal physical and economic violence against black people in living memory and continuing to today.

This is a long and important read, and the "reporter's notebook" sidebars cast further light on the subject from unexpected angles. Coates makes a compelling case that the racist violence against black people in America is of a different character than other class war and other racist oppression, and deserves unique consideration. Read the rest

Bangalore's garbage crisis and America's invisible trash

Noah Sachs uses the years-long Bangalore garbage crisis to ask some pointed questions about America's secretive waste-disposal industry, which treats the treatment of American waste as a military-grade secret, protected by barbed wire and vicious lawyers.

Bangalore's drowning in rubbish, it's contaminating the water and poisoning the Earth, tens of thousands labor in filthy, unsafe conditions to sort and recover it -- and the average Bangalorean is only generating about one pound of trash per day. Americans throw away seven times that amount, and the fact that it's whisked away doesn't mean it's not a problem. In Sachs's view, the Bangalore situation just makes visible the lurking consequences of America's own profligacy. Read the rest

Faded, clown-themed motel that backs onto a plague pit

Tonopoah, NV's Clown Motel is a relic of the Gold Rush town's faded glory years, and it is filled with clowns. Hundreds of clowns stare from every corner, the walls are hung with clown-portraits, and there is a "historic miners' cemetery" out the motel's back door, wherein rest the mouldering corpses of the victims of a mysterious epidemic that is only known as "Tonopah plague." Redditors who've stayed at the Clown Motel have taken to this thread to one-up one-another with tales of the establishment's freaky weirdness. Norwegiancoconut dropped a link to this gallery of photos from a previous stay.

America's scariest motel is haunted... by hundreds of clowns Read the rest

Above LA: gorgeous timelapse of Los Angeles, as seen from the air.

A beautiful aerial portrait of the city of Los Angeles, by filmmaker Chris Pritchard. Read the rest

Cartoonist Paul Hornschemeier [TMSIDK 29]

The animation project Giant Sloth, starring Paul Giamatti, could be described as Night at the Museum meets Eraserhead. In this episode, we discuss the making of this animated short with its creator, Paul Hornschemeier.

Drones are banned in all US national parks, for now

The National Park Service has announced it is banning the use of drones (also known as UAVs, or unmanned aircraft aerial vehicles) in all national parks. Agency director Jonathan Jarvis said in a statement Friday the decision arose from “serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks.” More at the Washington Post:

Jarvis said that the new rules are only temporary and will prohibit drone use until the agency can figure out a policy to serve the parks as well as the visitors. Of course, the Park Service notes that the process of figuring out drone-related regulations could “take considerable time.” Any permits already issued for unmanned aircraft have been suspended and need to be reviewed and approved again.

While the rules are in effect, drones cannot be launched from, landed in or flown over the land or water overseen by the agency, which manages 84 million acres of land and 4.5 million acres of oceans, lakes and reservoirs.

The agency might still use drones from time to time for specific uses: scientific studies, search and rescue operations, wildfires, and the like.

Read the directive here, at the National Park Service website. Read the rest

$50K worth of cocaine baked into delicious cookies seized at US airport

Customs and Border Protection officials at Newark airport confiscated a batch of cocaine cookies with an estimated street value of over $50,000. Some 118 pellets of cocaine were baked into the tasty treats.

From the Asbury Park Press:

A spokesman for the agency said Thursday that customs officers made the discovery June 5 during an examination of luggage from passengers arriving at the New Jersey airport on a flight from Guatemala City. Customs officials say Guatemalan citizen Mauricio Isidro Rivera Hernandez was arrested after officers allegedly discovered the cookies in his three checked bags.

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An honest, hilarious Indian airline promo video parody

Have you ever flown Air India? If so, and you survived, you will enjoy this video. Contains unpleasant language in both Hindi and English. Read the rest

Formerly incarcerated woman on why 'Orange Is The New Black' is mostly inaccurate

An analysis of the television series "Orange is the New Black" by a woman who served time in prison on a drug-related offense. She is very funny, and her critique is very informative.

These journalism school graduates received diplomas with typos

Well that's embarassing.

This weird map shows the world's countries drawn according to population size

In this fascinating map experiment, "The size of each territory shows the relative proportion of the world's population living there." Here's a PDF suitable for printing. [HT: Commander Hadfield] Read the rest

Global ocean surface temperature in 2014 was highest ever recorded for May

"The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2014 was record highest for this month, at 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F). " More great news about global warming in the NOAA National Climate Data Center briefing here. Read the rest

US Coast guard rescues 5 rowers in 2 incidents, on California-to-Hawaii race

Over the weekend, the US Coast Guard performed two rescue operations to save the lives of a total of five rowers participating in The Great Pacific Race to Hawaii from the Central California coastline. Read the rest

Roid rage melee at Australian restaurant

"There is very little difference between wild primates in the jungle and the average domesticated primate in a large city. We are literally living on the Planet of the Apes. Once you realize that, there's no point in being angry about it anymore. We're in a zoo, and the biggest, ugliest, meanest baboons are always picked to lead the herd. If you look at the news and think that the incredible stupidities and brutalities you hear have been done by human beings (who are rational beings according to Aristotle) you can only despair or take to heroin, I guess. But if you realize these things are being done by primates -- by apes dressed up in funny costumes, like chimps who drive motorcycles in circuses -- then it all makes sense, and it's quite astounding that the apes can handle the machinery and walk upright and so on." - Robert Anton Wilson, interviewed in Notes from the Pop Underground Read the rest

Flying car art

These slick flying Citroens exist only in the imagination of Swedish photo-manipulator Jacob Munkhammar. Read the rest

Hear the earliest known Talking Heads recordings (1975)

In 1975 The Talking Heads recorded some demo songs at CBS studios. Open Culture has them.

We’ve featured a fair few early Talking Heads performances, from Dortmund and Rome in 1980 to Syracuse in 1978 all the way back to CBGB in 1975. But you haven’t really heard early Talking Heads until you’ve heard the earliest Talking Heads. The same year of that CBGB show (one of many they played after their debut there opening for the Ramones), the trio of David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth recorded a series of demos at CBS studios. Still unsigned and in their early twenties, this first configuration of the Heads (after the band, newly arrived in New York, shed their identity as “The Artistics” from their days together at the Rhode Island School of Design) laid down the very first known recorded versions of such notable tracks as “Psycho Killer” above, “Thank You for Sending Me an Angel” below, and “I’m Not in Love” below.

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