Research files on El Salvador stolen from human rights group suing CIA over El Salvador

Confidential research files on human rights abuses in El Salvador were stolen from a human rights organization in Washington state, just weeks after that same organization sued the CIA for refusing to release documents related to those very same abuses. Read the rest

Ta-Nehisi Coates's "Between the World and Me" is the next book you should read

Between the World and Me is the memoir of Ta-Nehisi Coates -- certified genius and author of many seminal essays on race in America. It is a work of rage and beauty, and it should be the very next thing you read.

Investing in David v Goliath: hundreds of millions slosh into litigation finance funds

Litigation finance (AKA champerty) is the practice of investing in other peoples' lawsuits, with the expectation that you will share in any court awards or settlements should your side win the case. Read the rest

How to willfully alter your brain’s ability to willfully alter your brain’s abilities

In a way, you can simply will yourself into a new physical form – that is if you use your will to routinely move heavy things, run around, or eat fewer tacos.

Just as you can change your body at the atomic level by lifting weights, exercising, or eating differently, you can willfully alter your brain by performing another physical act: thinking in a certain way. Read the rest

This stylish men's suit is only $(removed) with free shipping

I like it when Jason comes to LA and takes me to the Magic Castle for dinner. I don't enjoy putting on my old suit and digging around for my necktie to comply with the Magic Castle's strict dress code. But I wear the suit because it's worth watching the magicians in the Close Up Room do card tricks.

The next time Jason invites me to the Castle, I am tempted to wear this $(removed) Slenderman costume (maybe without the mask) and see if they will let me through the door. Read the rest

Cabaret with the “Pope of Trash” John Waters in Providence, RI (Sat. 10/24)

Tomorrow (Saturday 10/24), Providence, Rhode Island's experimental art space AS220 celebrates its 30th anniversary with a cabaret gala starring the Pope of Trash himself, filmmaker and author John Waters! The evening event starting at 6pm at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel features musicians, comics, performance artists, food, drink, and all kinds of hijinks. Get there early as my dear old friend and inspiration Gloria Gardenburger (aka Michael Dates) is hosting the red carpet!

AS220 30th Anniversary Cabaret

Below, the trailer for John Waters' "This Filthy World":

Read the rest

Even conservatives admit Hillary Clinton made fools of the Benghazi committee

The Atlantic: "Many on the right grudgingly say the former secretary of state avoided missteps and bested her interrogators in Thursday’s House committee marathon."

Gawker: "Why Angry Old Men Calling a Meeting to Yell at a Woman Is Always a Spectacular Failure."

Photo: Reuters. Illo: Rob Beschizza. Thank you, you're welcome. Read the rest

Teen "faces assault charge" for throwing baby carrot at teacher

A 14-year-old girl who chucked a 1.75" baby carrot at a teacher has been suspended from school and told that she faces charges of battery, according to reports from Henrico County, Va.

Local newsman Jon Burkett writes that Aliya Kay says she meant it as a joke and didn't expect it to actually make contact.

"I don't even know how to combat the stupidity," her mother, Karrie May, told Burkett. "I can see a couple of days in school detention or even a couple days out-of-school suspension. But this goes way beyond that. We have to go to court, and her charges aren't small: assault and battery with a weapon."

Here's a CBS legal expert on critical issues such as the softness of baby carrots.

If it's a soft carrot, it may not be as offensive,” said CBS 6 legal expert Todd Stone. “But if it's a raw carrot, you don't have to have an injury or show you were hurt to prove a battery. It just has to be an offensive, vindictive touch. That's what the law says."

Henrico Schools declined to comment on the carrot case.

The National Root Vegetable Association, however, has released a statement saying that while it does not think this is the time for a political debate, the question would not present itself if teachers were themselves armed and trained in the use of small taproots and rhizomes.

Photo courtesy Shutterstock Read the rest

The EU's impending Net Neutrality rules are terrible, but they can be fixed

Barbara van Schewick from the Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society sums up the problems with Europe's impending Net Neutrality rules, which are anything but neutral, and have loopholes in them you could squeeze a continent through -- and then, she suggests some simple, sensible amendments that would fix them. Read the rest

Evil script replaces punctuation in your code with superficially similar symbols

Mimic implements a sick, sick idea floated on Twitter by Peter Ritchie: "Replace a semicolon (;) with a greek question mark (;) in your friend's C# code and watch them pull their hair out over the syntax error."

mimic provokes:

• fun • frustration • curiosity • murderous rage

There are many more characters in the Unicode character set that look, to some extent or another, like others – homoglyphs. Mimic substitutes common ASCII characters for obscure homoglyphs.

Fun games to play with mimic:

• Pipe some source code through and see if you can find all of the problems • Pipe someone else's source code through without telling them • Be fired, and then killed

What arseholes. What magnificent arseholes. Read the rest

Tolkien's annotated map of Middle-Earth

A map of Middle-Earth annoted by Tolkien himself has been found tucked in an old copy of Lord of the Rings—and it reveals that Hobbiton is on the same Latitude as the professor's beloved Oxford, England. Read the rest

Botnets running on CCTVs and NASs

Researchers at Incapsula have discovered a botnet that runs on compromised CCTV cameras. There are hundreds of millions, if not billions, of these in the field, and like many Internet of Things devices, their security is an afterthought and not fit for purpose. Read the rest

DoJ to Apple: your software is licensed, not sold, so we can force you to decrypt

The DoJ is currently trying to force Apple to decrypt data stored on a defendant's Iphone, and Apple, to its great credit, is fighting back, arguing that on the one hand, it doesn't have the technical capability to do so; and on the other, should not be required to do so. Read the rest

Wytches – A terrifying trip into the dark heart of parental fears and malevolent forests

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Scott Snyder's Wytches really worked its creepy magic on me. This trade paperback edition collects the first six issues of the popular comic series, which has received widespread praise and counts Stephen King among its many vocal fans. Read the rest

A gallery of swamp lust pulp paperback book covers

Pulp Flesh has a nice but too-small gallery of swamp erotica paperbacks.

Read the rest

Canada and Mexico get serious about ending weed prohibition

The most recent Gallup polls shows that 58% of the U.S. population favors legalizing cannabis (and that number will grow as the current generation of senior citizens dies off), but most of the presidential candidates have said they do not want to end cannabis prohibition. Meanwhile, the United States' neighbors to the north and south are serious about ending the costly and dangerous war on weed. Read the rest

Badfinger performs "Baby Blue" (1972)

Take good care, baby, let me know... Read the rest

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