Communion wafer bleeds for 3 days, and other tabloid stunners

[My friend Peter Sheridan is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for British national newspapers. He has covered revolutions, civil wars, riots, wildfires, and Hollywood celebrity misdeeds for longer than he cares to remember. As part of his job, he must read all the weekly tabloids. For the past couple of years, he's been posting terrific weekly tabloid recaps on Facebook and has graciously given us permission to run them on Boing Boing. Enjoy! - Mark]

Today’s tabloids never let facts get in the way of a good story.

“It’s official!” screams the Globe. “Kate Crowned Queen.”

Not exactly. The last time I looked Elizabeth II still sat on the British throne and Kate Middleton was Duchess of Cambridge - unless the Globe’s “Palace insiders” know something HRH doesn’t know.

The Enquirer reveals Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s “Secret Divorce Papers!”

Except they don’t.

Photos of divorce papers splashed across the cover and inside the mag come from both stars’ previous divorces. And those weren’t secret anyway.

The purported $480 million divorce battle is about as real as Queen Kate.

“Communion Wafer ‘Bleeds’ For Three Days,” shouts an Examiner headline. “Is It A Miracle?”

No – it’s just a cracker. Get over it. Or give it to Angelina Jolie, since the tabloids are always complaining she’s too thin.

There are “Terrorist Spies Working in White House!” proclaims the Globe, which for good measure adds that President Obama is secretly Muslim and “put double agents in his Cabinet.”


This fair and balanced report shares a page with a completely impartial story headlined: “Why U.S. Read the rest

“Alcohol and the Human Body,” a cautionary film from 1949

On the science of alcohol and alcholism, from 1949, Encyclopedia Brittanica films. Booze: “a potential menace to community safety as well as personal health”. Read the rest

Cheap mini-TOSlink to TOSlink cable

Naturally Apple's choice of optical audio-out cable is going to be a pain. Obviously, its not going to be one I'd just have around, that is not the Apple way! Rather than pay $30 plus at an Apple store or hifi audio boutique, this $6 cable does just fine for me.

If you want to use an Apple laptop or Airport Express as a streaming audio source, this cable will come in handy.

Monoprice 3-Feet Optical TosLink to Mini TosLink M/M 5.0mm OD Molded Cable via Amazon Read the rest

Get the iHere 3.0 Tracking Device for over 50% off in the Boing Boing Store

You’re rushing out the front door, but can’t find your keys or wallet. Happens to all of us. What if you could push a button, and find them in an instant? You can. Just attach the iHere 3.0 Tracking Device to whatever it is you lose most often, then click the app on your phone when you inevitably lose that thing. You’ll hear the device alarm, and just like that, you don’t have to scramble to find your keys ever again. Read the rest

Mistrial declared in Freddie Gray police brutality case

A Baltimore judge declared a mistrial Wednesday after jurors were unable to reach a verdict in the case of Freddie Gray, who died after suffering severe injuries while in police custody.

After three days of deliberations, a hung jury was announced for all the charges filed against William Porter, the officer charged with manslaughter, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault and misconduct in connection with Gray's death.

Gray, who was arrested after running from police in April, died after his neck was broken inside the back of a police van, which made multiple stops after picking him before heading to the station. He was not seat-belted in the van and Porter allegedly refused to get him medical care.

Five officers were charged over Gray's death, but NBC News reports that the case against Porter was deemed by prosecutors to be their strongest and an indicator of their chances of success in the other trials.

Over the past two days, the jury of four black women, three black men, three white women and two white men gave signals that they were locked in tense discussions. On Tuesday they told Judge Barry Williams that they were deadlocked and he sent them back to deliberate.

Earlier on Wednesday the jurors asked for a transcript of witness testimony — a request the judge denied. Shortly after, jurors let the court know that they were hung.

Read the rest

Ada Lovelace: what would go into an Internet of Women's Things?

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, is no longer who she once was, 200 years ago. Time changes all famous people, especially cult personalities. Ada has become a modern icon for the digitizing world of science and literature.

TOM THE DANCING BUG: A Long Time Ago, Generations Far Far Away...

Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH, the elder and younger Smythes, of Chagrin Falls, U.S.A., make plans to see Star Wars.

Pwning Tomorrow: the Electronic Frontier Foundation's first science fiction anthology

Today, EFF published Pwning Tomorrow, a science fiction anthology featuring stories by 21 celebrated authors, including Bruce Sterling, Neil Gaiman, Lauren Beukes, Pat Cadigan, Madeline Ashby and Charlie Jane Anders (I have a story in there too!). Read the rest

LAPD investigated 1356 complaints of racial profiling, decided they were all without merit

The LAPD received 1,356 complaints of "biased policing" (AKA racial profiling) from 2012-2014, but after investigating them, the investigating officials decided that their co-workers had done nothing wrong -- ever. Read the rest

In the data, Chicago's crooked cops are so obvious they practically glow

As Chicago's mayor/kingmaker/kingpin Rahm Emanuel grins at the chorus demanding his resignation for his role in covering up video showing that Chicago PD officers shot a man 16 times, lied about it, and confiscated and destroyed all the evidence they could find, the Five Thirty-Eight blog looks at the data on Chicago's dirtiest cops. Read the rest

Luke Skywalker is a jihadi who was radicalized by the Jedi

It's hard to make sense of the politics of Star Wars (a Senate whose electees include senators that represent government agencies; an elected princess who calls a no-confidence vote, etc), but the more you think about Luke's "hero's journey," the more it starts to resemble the "radicalization" process that we're supposed to be watching out for to keep us all safe from ISIS. Read the rest

Lawsuit: California's county jails put inmates in solitary for cruel, arbitrary, illegal periods

There have been plenty of lawsuits challenging America's prisons' use of solitary confinement as a form of torture; but the situation is no better in the jails where prisoners await arraignment, trial and sentencing, and can spend years in solitary. Read the rest

New EU rules would ban under-16s from social media

A last-minute change to pending EU data-protection rules will ban under-16s from using social media without explicit parental consent -- the rules are up for a vote on Tuesday. Read the rest

Security appliance lets hackers pwn whole nets with a never-opened email

The Fireeye "threat prevention device" is designed to scan all the emails, attachments, and other files coming in and out of your network, but a bug in the device allowed hackers to embed malware in an email that would take over the device -- and your whole network -- when the device checked it for viruses. Read the rest

A Good Guy With a Gun

If the only answer to "a bad guy with a gun" is "a good guy with a gun," we are totally screwed. Read the rest

America's permanent, ubiquitous tent-cities

Homelessness in America dwindled away after WWII, when the GI Bill and generous social programs seemed to finally get on top of a problem that had been with the country since its inception; but starting with Reagan's mass de-institutionalizations and cuts to social services, homelessness has only grown, a phenomenon America answered by criminalizing being alive, and pretending not to notice homeless people in encampments at the edge of more and more US cities. Read the rest

The changing world of webcomics business models

Thom from the Shadowbinders podcast writes, "Journalist Brady Dale from the New York Observer joins us this episode (MP3) as we talk about the changing business model of webcomics. Are webcomics 'dead' -- or just evolving? How will social media play into the business model of digital comics going forward? And what about the money -- where is the MONEY?!" Read the rest

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