This soap commercial is more creepy than I remembered. Read the rest
Is the National Enquirer running scared? There’s not a mention of either Amazon chief Jeff Bezos or president Donald Trump in this week’s edition. Could it be that the threat of investigation and possible prison time for hacks accused of extortion and blackmail against Bezos and burying sex scandals about Trump have finally silenced the nattering nabobs of negativism? Bezos and The Donald escape lightly this week, but others aren’t so lucky.
Prince Charles “Disowns Harry!” proclaims the Globe cover. Prince Harry reportedly refused Charles’ demand that he divorce wife Meghan, and in the ensuing row Charles raged that DNA tests have proven he’s not Harry’s father. Which would explain why Charles allegedly said: “You’re a common-born bastard.” Aren’t we all? The odds that this conversation actually happened? Infinitesimally small. The odds that the Globe has a source inside Kensington Palace revealing this private conversation? Even smaller.
The Globe claims that serial killer Ted Bundy’s daughter has been "found hiding in Britain" under an assumed name. No, it’s not “Meghan Markle.” And the woman their reporter approached said: “I’m sorry, I’m not the person you’re looking for.” Sounds like an admission of guilt if there ever was one.
“Scientology Leader’s Missing Wife Found After 13 Years!” declares the Enquirer cover, though the headline above the inside spread is far less confident, asking: “Is This Shelly Miscavige?” It’s definitely a photograph of a dark-haired woman, reportedly seen disembarking a Scientology cruise ship and heading to Florida, which as we all know is a state where Scientologists have been known to live. Read the rest
Six months ago I could not do a single chin-up. I got this chin-up bar and went to work. Perseverance developed body strength, and my vanity has pumped up a notch! Read the rest
Doesn't take a lot for me to imagine that creepy dancing Fleegle killing folks.
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In a bizarre move that was surely inspired by the success of Five Nights at Freddy’s, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Syfy are bringing back the characters from Hanna-Barbera’s variety program “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” for… a horror movie?!
As reported by Deadline, kid-friendly (originally, at least) animal characters Bingo, Fleegle, Drooper and Snorky will return in an original movie that’s set to “premiere this year from Blue Ribbon Content, Warner Bros Television Group’s digital studio, via a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release that will be followed by the television debut on Syfy.”
In the upcoming horror thriller, “A boy named Harley and his family (brother Austin, mother Beth, and father Mitch) attend a taping of The Banana Splits TV show, which is supposed to be a fun-filled birthday for young Harley and business as usual for Rebecca, the producer of the series. But things take an unexpected turn — and the body count quickly rises. Can Harley, his mom and their new pals safely escape?”
After Twitter user @gabbytropea is accidentally locked out of her house, her cat gets to work by removing a sliding door stick so that she can open the door. Yay for smart cats.
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I love the look on that puppy face. Read the rest
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the court's opinion in favor of Tyson Timbs, of Marion, Indiana. Police seized Timbs' $40,000 Land Rover when they arrested him for selling about $400 worth of heroin.
Reading a summary of her opinion in the courtroom, Ginsburg noted that governments employ fines "out of accord with the penal goals of retribution and deterrence" because fines are a source of revenue. The 85-year-old justice missed arguments last month following lung cancer surgery, but returned to the bench on Tuesday.
Civil forfeiture is a popular way to raise revenue, and its use has been the subject of widespread criticism across the political spectrum.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Eighth Amendment, which bars “excessive fines,” limits the ability of the federal government to seize property. On Wednesday, the court ruled that the clause also applies to the states.
There's an element of insanity to it all: it's so difficult to believe that police are allowed to seize and sell people's property that it was correspondingly difficult to get people to accept that it is a widespread practice, rather than some kind of swivel-eyed libertarian conspiracy theory.
Virtually every faction in American politics was firmly against it: the left, liberals, libertarians, movement conservatives, even Trumpkins. In fact, the only person I ever met who sincerely defended civil forfeiture was a self-described "moderate", a centrist. Read the rest
Over 100,000 marine animals die every year after getting trapped in plastic, but this little fish got lucky. A diver in Phuket, Thailand found the creature trapped in a plastic bag and, after a bit of gentle shaking and maneuvering, was able to free set it free. It might just be a tiny fish, but I was sitting on the edge of my seat watching this video. Read the rest
The president of a company called Pooch Patch, which sells tiny patches of grass meant for dogs to do their business on, was not pleased when one of his customers, Vanessa, returned the product. Rather than give her a refund, he emailed her and called her "Fatty McFat-Fat."
This was after she wrote a negative review about the product on Google. The president, who signs his letters "Adam & Shanks (The Border Terrier) told Vanessa that he looked at photos of her online and that he thinks she's chubby.
"Looking a little chubs in that profile photo!!!"
When she told him she reported him to Consumer Protection Canada he said, "lol Ooo so scared chubby wubby. I reported you to Jenny Craig."
Vanessa then got a threatening legal letter, but when she researched the lawyer, Alyssa Steiner, she realized there was no such licensed lawyer in Ontario.
When Global News contacted Pooch Patch for a response, their first reply was "Hahahahahhha hahahahahahah. I'm dying. This is pure gold. Pure gold!..." But later a manager tried to wiggle out of their outrageous behavior by pointing to the call center in India that they use. Customer service at its finest.
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Gildan crew T-shirts are very inexpensive and comfortable. Amazon just knocked the price down to what seems like an all-time low. With shirt this cheap I can slurp my curry with abandon -- if a shirt gets stained, it goes into the cleaning rag / painting / work clothes drawer. Read the rest
The auto-magic braking feature on Teslas appears to work.
I believe Elon Musk's face pops on the dashboard TV screen and says "told you so!" Read the rest
Here's how Alexis Madrigal sets up his excellent Atlantic essay about why online protests usually flop:
There is an Instagram account called FuckJerry, which grew by taking jokes and memes created by other people and posting them, eventually growing an audience hungry for ever more jokes. The account spawned a media company, Jerry Media, and desperate ad executives from the world’s biggest companies now pay to be seen on FuckJerry, on the premise that that’s where they’ll reach young people who don’t have their eyeballs on the places they used to.
A call to unfollow FuckJerry (#FuckFuckJerry) for posting memes without credit resulted in its follower count dropping from 14.3 million to 14 million. In other words FuckJerry will suffer no economic hit.
Why did the campaign fail? First of all, the world's biggest brands and platforms need FuckJerry. Madrigal:
The economic system undergirding the influencer economy -- the advertising agencies, marketers, companies -- wants the FuckJerrys of the world to exist. So do the big platforms, which profit from these accounts’ ability to serve up and accelerate crowd-pleasing memes.
The problem isn't FuckJerry. It's the way social media has been designed and deployed to support a desperate-for-attention economy:
Really going after FuckJerry would require implicating the whole economic system of attention. In a world in which distribution power gets built through viral influence by any means, the FuckJerrys of the world will exist.
Image: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock Read the rest
This Person Does Not Exist (previously) generated frighteningly convincing images of human faces. This Cat Does Not Exist, well, it generates frightening cats. Read the rest
While on a Singapore Airlines flight, Vitaly Kamluk, noticed a camera in the seatback media system. He took photos and posted them on Twitter:
Here's Singapore Airlines response to Kamluk's tweet:
Hi there, thank you for reaching out to us. We would like to share that some of our newer inflight entertainment systems provided by the original equipment manufacturers do have a camera embedded in the hardware... We have no plans to enable or develop any features using the cameras.
It's not a bad idea to cover the camera with post-it note, anyway.
Image: Twitter Read the rest
That's a lot of sea flap-flaps right there.