Donald Trump can be heard on an audiotape released by CNN tonight talking with his former fixer/attorney Michael Cohen about how to purchase the rights to a Playboy model's story about an affair she says she had with Trump years earlier. Read the rest
Renowned environmentalist and chimpanzee buddy Jane Goodall has her fingers crossed: she’s entered the lottery to win the right to kill a grizzly bear in the area of Yellowstone Park. That Wyoming’s allowing the bears to be hunted is a big deal. There’s been a moratorium on taking down a grizzly bear in Wyoming for the past 44 years. This year, the state is allowing 22 of them to be killed by hunters.
But, instead of taking down a furry behemoth so that she might eat its steaming heart to celebrate her kill, Goodall, and a growing number of other people, have a better idea of what to do if they win the right to shoot a grizzly: they’re advocating that folks take that shot with a camera instead of a gun.
Shoot ‘em With A Camera is a guerrilla campaign to undermine Wyoming’s bear hunt lottery system. The premise is simple: Apply to the bear hunt lottery for your chance to kill a magnificent creature. Then, should you win, instead of heading to the hills with a rifle, you head out with a camera. It’s a cheeky campaign and according to National Geographic, its gaining momentum, quickly.
Not everyone, however is thrilled about it.
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Brian Nesvik, chief game warden with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, is not so enamored. He acknowledged he was surprised at how fast the campaign mobilized, heightening a level of drama that was already unprecedented given that it involves the wildlife symbol of the Yellowstone region.
Are you sitting down? After months of anti-government protests, over 300 civilian deaths and, more recently, the rounding up of protesters and intellectuals who were designated as terrorists or linked to risks to Nicaragua’s sovereignty, the country’s president-cum-dictator Daniel Ortega announced today that he refuses to step down from his post. On the bright side, Ortega told Fox News (the preferred network of dictators and kleptocrats, apparently) that he has fabulous news: the violence that's plagued his nation for months is over! Just like that!
Except, it isn’t.
From CBS News:
Thousands of people marched yesterday in Nicaragua to demand that President Daniel Ortega step down. The demonstrations over proposed benefit cuts, which began three months ago, are expected to continue today.
CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports an eerie quiet during much of the day in the capital city of Managua, as people stay home and business owners close up shop for their own safety.
But after the calm, the sounds of protest pierce the air, and the fear of bloody confrontations returns.
Within minutes of arriving in the capital, Bojorquez encountered an anti-government protest and the sound of mortar fire.
It didn’t take long for Bojorquez to find the source of the mortar fire. He spoke with a group of young men who’d DIY’d their mortars, firing them off as a warning that government forces and para-militaries were drawing near. The mortar crews provide the warning with good reason: over the past few weeks, violent attacks against protestors by loyalist paramilitaries and Nicaraguan police have intensified. Read the rest
Oblique Strategies (Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas), released in 1975 by Brian Eno and the late British multimedia artist Peter Schmidt, is a deck of 100+ cards with evocative statements designed for musicians, artists, and others who find their creative imaginations stuck in a ditch. The minimal, modern black and white cards, housed in an equally stark black box, present strange and evocative statements and directives that the querant agrees to follow and allow to inform the current phase of his or her work. Here, let me draw a couple of cards. I got: "Tidy up," "When is it for?," "Give way to your worst impulse," and "Look at the order in which you do things."
If you need any testament to the efficacy of these cards, they were used in the studio to aid in the composition and engineering of tracks on Eno's Another Green World and Before and After Science, Bowie's Berlin-period records (Low, "Heroes," Lodger), and again on Bowie's 1995 record, Outside (among many other records).
I fell in love with Oblique Strategies when I fell in love with all of the above records that were created with its assistance. Oblique Strategies was one of the first apps I installed on my first iPhone (and have had on every phone since). When I heard, in the early aughts, that the long out-of-print deck was back in print, I jumped at the chance to finally own a physical copy. In my world of hoodoo and woo-woo, oracular cards should be physical. Read the rest
Open Culture collected videos of the four times Hunter S. Thompson appeared on David Letterman, ranging from 1987 to 1997. I saw Thompson speak at live events a few times during this era, and he was usually mumbling and incoherent. He's much sharper and funnier in the videos.
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In the clips here, you can see many of those appearances, first, at the top, from 1987, then below it, from 1988. Further up, see Letterman interview Thompson in an ‘87 episode inexplicably conducted in a Times Square hotel room. The show was “a strange beast,” writes Vulture’s Ramsey Ess. “For most of the episode it feels unruly, nerve-wracking, and a little dangerous,” all adjectives Thompson could have trademarked. Just above, Thompson meets Letterman to discuss his just-published The Rum Diary, the novel he worked on for forty years, “a hard-bitten story,” writes Kunzru, “of love, journalism and heavy drinking.”
All of Thompson’s appearances are unpredictable and slightly unnerving, and become more so in later years. “Thompson would become more dramatic and more twisted,” writes Jason Nawara. “Whatever led up to the moment Thompson stepped on stage was probably far more astonishing (or terrifying) than anything caught on camera. Why is his hand bandaged? Why is he so paranoid? What is happening? When have you slept last, Hunter?” If late night television has become safe and boring, full of pandering patter largely devoid of true surprises, perhaps it is because Hunter S. Thompson has passed on. And perhaps, as Nawara seems to suggest, every generation gets the late-night TV it deserves.
I've been to Japan seven times, once staying for five months. Most of the facts in the video new to me (free dry ice in supermarkets!) This short video presents 50 interesting facts about modern Japanese society, and many of them are useful for people visiting. Read the rest
With single-family home in the Bay Area averaging $935,000, families there making $117,000 are considered low income. The run-up on house prices is blamed on tech workers who can pay top dollar for houses. From CBS News:
That norm is fueled by thousands of well-paid tech workers who have driven up the median price of a San Francisco house to $1.6 million dollars, the highest in the country. While housing prices are rising faster than incomes nationwide, nowhere is it more evident than in the Bay Area, where home values have soared a staggering 64 percent over the last five years.
Image: CBS News Read the rest
Ivanka Trump is closing her fashion brand. A spokesperson said the decision has nothing to do with sales. Ms. Trump simply wants to avoid a conflict of interest while serving her father in the White House.
In unrelated news, Ivanka Trump's products were dropped from Hudson's Bay, the largest department store in Canada. Via BBC:
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The brand had already been dropped by several retailers such as the Nordstrom chain and - just last week - Canada's largest department store chain Hudson's Bay.
Both companies blamed poor sales for their decision.
Ms Trump's company is private and does not release sales figures.
But according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited research from Rakuten Intelligence, online sales at Amazon, Macy's and Bloomingdales fell almost 45% in the year to June.
An investigation by the Washington Post last year found that virtually all of Ms Trump's clothing was manufactured in developing countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and China.
Josh from Fight for the Future writes, "Big news out of Alaska this morning: Local entrepreneur Jennie Stewart of CustomMousePad.com has gone public with news that Congressman Don Young promised he would sign the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution discharge petition to help restore net neutrality when the two of them met on Capitol Hill back in June. But now, a month later, he still hasn’t followed through and signed the CRA. His office has gone completely silent, so we need net neutrality supporters to call Rep. Young's DC office (202-225-5765) and ask him to keep his promise by signing the CRA before the August congressional recess." Read the rest
In 2008, a presentation at the RSA conference revealed the existence of "DNS rebinding attacks," that used relatively simple tactics to compromise browsers; a decade later, Berkeley and Princeton researchers announced a paper on DNS rebinding attacks against consumer devices (to be presented at August's ACM SIGCOMM 2018 Workshop on IoT Security and Privacy), while independent researcher Brannon Dorsey published similar work. Read the rest
Unsure if you want to plunk down your hard-earned cash to see Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again? Let the Onion's Head Film Critic Peter K. Rosenthal (comedian Ron E. Rains) persuade you, you "miserable killjoy who slogs through life recoiling at anything remotely joyful."
Previously: Cher recorded an entire album of ABBA covers