Sneaky crosswalk law in Los Angeles is a tax for the crime of being poor

Eduardo Lopez is 22-years-old. Last week, after he clocked out of his a minimum-wage graveyard-shift job loading pallets near LAX, he was rushing to catch a bus so he could make it to his class at Glendale Community College on time. Read the rest

Baltimore: Photos of civil unrest after funeral for Freddie Gray, young black man who died after arrest

Seven police officers were injured in street violence today when people at a protest threw bricks, broke windows, looted businesses and burned cop cars after Gray's funeral.

At the first rock festival, pianos fell from the sky

Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly says: "Next week is the anniversary of the Piano Drop, in which a perfectly good piano was dropped from a helicopter, just to hear what the impact would sound like. The year was 1968, Country Joe and Fish performed, and the event led directly to the Sky River Rock Festival later that year, which many believe was the prototype for Woodstock in 1969. For our article, we spoke to Country Joe, Gary Eagle and Larry Van Over (the guys who came up with the idea to drop a piano from a helicopter in the first place), and Paul Dorpat, who was the editor and publisher of the "Helix," an alternative newspaper that promoted the event."

Having the “Helix” in his camp gave Van Over the modest amount of seed money he’d need to purchase a used piano ($25) and rent a helicopter (that cost another $100). Details are sketchy, but by that morning, people were starting to stream in by the thousands, clogging narrow Cherry Valley Road for miles leading to what became known as Jug’s Ravine. Fortunately, Country Joe and the Fish had arrived early (“I remember being there, but I don’t remember driving there,” says McDonald), which allowed them to set up their amplifiers and instruments on the makeshift stage that had been set up steps from the rear end of the band’s equipment truck. Sometime around 1 p.m., the Fish began their set.

Meanwhile, Van Over decided it would be a good time to drop a hit of acid, since all he had to do that day was pay the helicopter pilot at Boeing Field the hundred bucks he had brought along for this solemn purpose, and then hop into the chopper’s cockpit for the 20-miles-as-the-crow-flies flight back to Duvall.

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Did Rihanna rip off this Latina artist to make the music video for her song 'American Oxygen'?

The similarities are pretty hard to ignore.

5 games with weapons you'd never expect

A week or two ago, I took part in my first Ludum Dare—Latin for "to give a game"—a recurring event that picks a theme and asks participants to make a game around it within 48 hours. Read the rest

Gitmo detainee won't be released because Afghanistan War isn't really over, says U.S. government

The move undercuts statements Obama's formal declarations that "the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion."

A comic book by microchip company Zilog

In the 80s, Zilog Inc. made the Z80 chip used in the ZX81 home computer. These days, they also make "Captain Zilog" -- a delightfully bonkers comic to promote their "system on a chip solutions". Read the rest

Mapping blight in Detroit

Using organized teams of locals, Motor City Mapping has created an amazing map of blight in Detroit -- letting neighbors and city officials see the precise condition of 400,000 houses. Read the rest

California's wealthy use way, way more water than the poor

In California's wealthy Cowan Heights, they used 572.4 gallons per person from July to September 2014. In Compton? 63.6 gallons.

Town will cut off power to families of kids who commit vandalism

If your child commits vandalism, the Farmer City, IL council want to cut off electrical power to your house. Read the rest

Dingbel: New app for Apple Watch based on Breaking Bad character Hector Salamanca's iconic bell

Ding. dingding. Ding, ding ding. DINGDINGDINGDING!

Encrypting your laptop demystified

On The Intercept, Micah Lee follows up on his great primer on NSA-proof passwords with a soup-to-nuts tutorial on encrypting your laptop. Read the rest

"Blade Runner Reality" on Instagram

If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes. Over at Vantage, an interview with Ryan Allen and Siddharth Chander, creators of the fantastic Blade Runner Reality account on Instagram. Read the rest

Innocent restaurant review question results in legal freakshow

After visiting Jinjuu, restaurant reviewer Jay Rayner wanted to confirm some basic facts, such as the proprietor having worked in the Gordon Ramsay restaurant empire. Ramsay's people responded with confirmation—and an inexplicably rabid denunciation of the proprietor, Judy Joo. Then Joo responded with a 17-page legal brief in rebuttal.

"Blimey," writes Rayner, "I was only looking for a bit of background."

The letter includes multiple pages of testimonials. In just 36 hours, Joo’s team has solicited responses from around the world… Over the next few weeks legal letters from very expensive lawyers start flying all over London. Gordon Ramsay’s lawyers write to Judy Joo’s lawyers. Judy Joo’s lawyers write to Gordon Ramsay’s.

I ask Judy for a face-to-face interview. I do so a number of times, but she seems more comfortable communicating with people who charge by the hour. I sense she no longer wants to shake my hand. The lawyers accuse me of intimidating behaviour in asking all these questions and costing her a lot of money in legal expenses. They also say that in the circumstances it would be inappropriate for me to review the restaurant. The implication is that I now have a vendetta against Ms Joo, which I don’t. I simply wanted to find out why Gordon Ramsay Holdings should be so angry with her description of her time in the group.

Rayner says Jinjuu isn't bad, but pricey: "OK if you like that sort of thing."

Photo: Kent Wang (cc), who reports "Chicken was bland." Read the rest

Motorcycle Jeans and Adventure Pants

Most jeans outfit for motorcycling look bad and fit worse. I tried two popular options, Hood Motorcycle Jean's G8 Evo and Bohn's Adventure Pants. Seriously: Adventure Pants. Read the rest

Acoustic Guitar Magazine's Private Lessons

Acoustic Guitar Magazine is a wonderful resource for anyone enthusiastic about guitar. This collection of 24 private lessons from their archive is fantastic for everyone, from beginner to master. Read the rest

Wild photo: Snake emerges from larger snake's mouth

Dick Mulder of Corfu, Greece was surprised when he examined a four-lined snake that his pet cat had just killed and watched a small Dahl's whip snake emerge from the bigger snake's mouth. Read the rest

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