Drug dealer lost his bitcoin PIN codes... and $60 million

Drug dealer Clifton Collins, 49, invested his earnings in bitcoin, eventually racking up $60 million. For safekeeping, he printed the PIN codes to access his accounts and stored them in a fishing rod case at his house. But after Collins was busted on a weed charge and sent to jail, his landlord had all of Collins's stuff hauled to the dump. From The Guardian:

According to the Irish Times, which first reported the story, workers at the dump told the Irish police force, the gardaí, they remembered seeing discarded fishing gear. Waste from the dump goes to Germany and China to be incinerated. The fishing rod case has never been found.

Collins, 49, has apparently told the gardaí he has come to terms with the loss of the fortune and considers it punishment for his own stupidity.

The high court in Dublin ruled this week that Collins had forfeited the accounts because they were proceeds from crime...

The Criminal Assets Bureau thought it had hit the jackpot when it confiscated the accounts. Authorities hope they may some day access them.

"Irish drug dealer loses £46m bitcoin codes he hid in fishing rod case" (The Guardian)

And in case you missed this excellent tale:

• "‘I Forgot My PIN’: An Epic Tale of Losing $30,000 in Bitcoin" by Mark Frauenfelder Read the rest

Panama authorities seize narco-sub packed with 5 tons of drugs

On Wednesday, Panama's National Aeronaval Service seized this homemade semi-submersible vessel in territorial waters off Bocas del Toro. Authorities discovered 5 tons of drugs inside and nabbed four Colombian citizens.

According to CNN, "the ministry (of public security in Panama) did not specify what type of drugs were seized in the raid, but smugglers have previously been caught using similar vessels to transport cocaine into the United States and Europe."

Indeed, you may recall the intense video below from last summer showing US Coast Guard crew members boarding a similar narco-sub in the Pacific Ocean:

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How to tie your shoelaces like Satan

Sure, when the rubes glance at your feet, all they see are five-pointed stars. But when YOU gaze in the direction of the underworld... HAIL SATAN!

Provenance unknown; posted by u/black_rose_ to r/coolguides. Read the rest

Listen to a 1980s teenager's Commodore 64 covers of Huey Lewis songs

It was hip to be square, even in 1986. Especially in 1986. Jma Mitch writes:

As a teenager in 1985 and 1986, I used my trusty Commodore 64 and the "Music Construction Set" program to create computer versions of a slew of songs by the greatest musical artist of all time: Huey Lewis and The News. Only Huey songs, that was the only artist I did. I recently (Feb 2020) was able to access my 35 year old C64 disks, many of which survived, including the ones with the songs I'm uploading to this channel. Some of the songs sound better than others, but these are the original unedited files.

More here: "Commodore 64 plays Huey Lewis (1985-1986)" (YouTube via Waxy)

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US Customs seized a human brain on its way from Toronto to Wisconsin

US Customs and Border Protection seized a human brain that was part of an international mail shipment from Canada to the United States. They discovered the brain during an inspection at Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron, Michigan, US and Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. The brain was on its way from Toronto to Kenosha, Wisconsin. From Fox5NY:

During the routine mail operation, they say they came across a shipment manifested as an "Antique Teaching Specimen..."

The brain specimen is being investigated by the CDC for any potential infectious biological agents, infectious substances, and a decision on what to do with the specimen.

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Porn video shot in public library upsets citizens

Residents of the Ocean Park neighborhood in Santa Monica, California are angry that adult film performer Ellie Eilish and a colleague allegedly filmed a porn movie inside the local public library. The video apparently turned up on PornHub where, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press, "library porn is not uncommon." From the SMDP:

The video, which was posted three weeks ago, shows 19-year-old entertainer Ellie Eilish exposing herself while walking around Ocean Park, outside of the John Muir Elementary School and Santa Monica Alternative School House campus, and inside the Ocean Park branch library. Eilish then performs sex acts inside the library with a man, whose face is not shown...

The city of Santa Monica issued the following statement Monday afternoon:

“We are deeply disturbed to learn about this video. Sex in public spaces is against the law and the Santa Monica Police Department will be looking into this incident.”

image credit: Santa Monica Public Library (CC BY-SA 3.0) Read the rest

Madonna's "Justify My Love" with only Lenny Kravitz's backing vocals is excellent mutant pop

"Justify My Love" is a 1990 trip-hop tune by Lenny Kravitz and Ingrid Chavez with spoken vocals by Madonna and soulful humming and moaning by Kravitz. Someone mixed a version of the track sans Madonna and with Kravitz's backing vocals brought to the forefront. The above sounds like a compelling piece of "outsider pop," as described by bil-sabab on r/ObscureMedia.

image: transformation of chrisweger's original photo (CC BY-SA 2.0) Read the rest

Amsterdam plans to move red light district into a new, indoor erotic mall

The Amsterdam city council released plans to possibly move much of its infamous red light district into an indoor erotic complex with a hotel, sex club, theater, and cafes. From The Guardian:

Amsterdam’s mayor, Femke Halsema, has vowed to clean up the city’s red light district as her staff complain that throngs of tourists, often drunk and rowdy, “disrespected both prostitutes and residents”. Halsema also wants to fight a new trend, a “major increase in unlicensed underground prostitution” around the city centre’s Wallen area, near the central station, for centuries the haunt of sailors and sex workers...

“Sex work is a normal job and the idea is not to chase prostitution from the city,” the council said.

The erotic centre will not just cater to pleasures of the flesh but also house a beauty salon, a hair dresser and a tanning studio.

image credit: Bjarki Sigursveinsson (public domain) Read the rest

Police chief, stripped of duty, dramatically walks out of town meeting in his underwear

At a Croydon, New Hampshire town meeting, the government unexpectedly decided to disband its one-person police force and lay off the only officer, chief of police Richard Lee, who had held the position for 20 years.

"Out of nowhere the selectboard made a motion to disband the police department," Lee said. "I was told at that point that I had to turn my cruiser keys in, and supply them with my badges, uniform and (other equipment) immediately."

So he stripped down to his underwear and walked out.

From CNN:

Lee says someone called his wife, who caught up to him and drove him the rest of the way home. Russell Edwards, the board's chairman, confirmed the vote to CNN and told CNN affiliate WPTZ the board's vote to dissolve the Croydon Police Department was "a well thought out decision ... and we have many issues to decide on what we have to do so this is as much of (a) comment we're going to give at this point...."

(Lee) says it's been a contentious relationship since 2016 when a new board took over, with arguments over budgets and tickets.

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Pittsburgh's tradition of claiming a public parking space by putting a chair in it

In Pittsburgh, it's understood that if there is a chair in a parking spot on the street, that spot has been claimed and is not yours to park in. The citizens have "chair respect."

As William Gibson said, "The street finds its own uses for things."

(via Kottke) Read the rest

Powerful Iwo Jima WWII footage shot by marines in combat and never seen publicly

Today is the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Iwo Jima, when the US Marines and Navy invaded and captured the island from the Imperial Japan Army. Almost 7,000 Allied troops and 18,000 Japanese soldiers were killed. The University of South Carolina's Moving Image Research Collections is now helping the History Division of the Marine Corps digitize and make public mostly unseen film footage shot by marines in combat during the battle. There are 14,000 cans of film undergoing the digitization and preservation process. The videos above and below are barely a teaser of what's to come. From the University of South Carolina:

From the beginning, Marine Corps leaders knew they wanted a comprehensive visual account of the battle — not only for a historical record but also to assist in planning and training for the invasion of the Japanese main islands. Some Marine cameramen were assigned to the front lines of individual units, and others to specific activities, such as engineering and medical units. Films from these units show the daily toll of the battle such as Marines being treated in the medical units or being evacuated off the island to hospital ships as well as essential behind-the-lines tasks of building command posts or unloading and sorting equipment on beaches....

Another goal of the Marine Corps film project is to identify and label as much of the historical information in the films as possible, such as Marine Corps units and equipment. In addition to manually scanning the films for this information, Moving Images Research Collections has partnered with Research Computing and the university’s Computer Vision Lab, a research group within the College of Engineering and Computing, to use artificial intelligence to recognize text in the films to help identify units as well as individual Marines, airplanes and ships.

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Man performs CPR on gecko floating in his beer

A fellow named Brett, aka "Slab," was having a beer with his buddies at the the Amble Inn in Corindi Beach, New South Wales, Australia, when he noticed a gecko in his mug. The gecko wasn't moving so Slab sprang into action, as seen in the video above.

Yes, geckos do sometimes play dead as a defense mechanism. But either way, good on ya, Slab!

(News.com.au) Read the rest

Gentleman on EasyJet flight began eating his phone, forced landing

A gentleman on an easyJet flight from Manchester to Iceland apparently began disassembling and chewing up parts of his mobile phone, causing the battery to smoke and alarming passengers. Prior to this snack, Matthew Flaherty, 44, was simply acting like a drunk asshole violently threatening passengers and crew. The pilot diverted the plane to Edinburgh Aiport. Upon Flaherty's arrest, he screamed racist remarks to the police. The incident happened last year and Flaherty was just in court to face the music. From The Scotsman:

Solicitor Richard Souter, defending, said his client was “aghast at his behaviour” on the flight and had little recollection of the events due to mixing alcohol with painkillers he had taken for a trapped nerve.

Mr Souter said the combination of medication and alcohol had “an adverse effect on his behaviour”.

Sheriff Thomas Welsh QC said Flaherty had carried out an “extremely serious offence” and deferred sentence to next month for the preparation of reports.

The sheriff added: “This is an extremely serious case and you should prepare yourself for custody.”

image credit: Adrian Pingstone (public domain) Read the rest

Someone has been dumping bundles of live snakes in pillowcases outside this UK firestation

Someone has been depositing pillowcases filled with live snakes outside of a fire station in Sunderland, northeast England. Last week, 13 pythons turned up and one has since died. The latest collection included 15 corn snakes and a carpet python. Fortunately, those snakes seem to be in decent health, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). From CNN:

"We were in the midst of Storm Dennis at the weekend when these snakes, who need heat and light in order to survive, were left outside in the cold with just a pillowcase to contain them," said (RSPCA inspector Heidi) Cleaver. "It would have been very stressful for the snakes to be in such close proximity to each other as well..."

The RSPCA has appealed for information about the mystery surrounding the snakes being repeatedly dumped in the area.

images: RSPCA Read the rest

SpaceX and Space Adventures offer tourist trips to orbit

SpaceX and Space Adventures have partnered to offer space tourists a trip to orbit on the SpaceX Crew Dragon space capsule. They expect the first flight to launch in late 2021 or early 2022. Around $50 million will get you a seat. From Spaceflight Now:

The mission would not dock with the space station, but would instead fly into an orbit above the station’s altitude of about 260 miles (420 kilometers) above Earth, according to Space Adventures, the Virginia-based company that arranged flights of seven wealthy space tourists on Russian Soyuz capsules between 2001 and 2009...

Responding to a question on Twitter about a possible price tag of $52 million per seat, (Space Adventures chairman Eric) Anderson tweeted: “Per seat price for a full group of four not quite that much (not dramatically less, but significant enough to note). Definitive pricing confidential, and dependent on client specific requests, etc.”

Anderson tweeted that the training regimen for the Crew Dragon flight will be “significantly less than the few months required for previous missions or ISS missions.”

“Dragon in this profile allows up to 5 days,” Anderson tweeted. “3 days is probably ideal, 40-50 orbits or so.”

image: SpaceX Crew Dragon (NASA, public domain) Read the rest

Florida man stored jars of preserved human tongues in his crawlspace

In Gainseville, Florida, a routine crawlspace inspection turned up jars of preserved human tongues that date back to the 1960s. Police are currently investigating whether the tongues were related to research conducted by the home's previous owner, Ronald A. Baughman, a University of Florida professor emeritus whose work focused on oral medicine and surgery. (WCJB)

More in this Reddit post by RandoSurfer77: "I found human remains today in a crawlspace under a home."

(image: imgur) Read the rest

State of Kentucky must pay $150,000 to man with "IM GOD" license plate following First Amendment suit

Remember Ben Hart who sued the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (and won) after he was denied a vanity license plate that said "IM GOD?" Hart had the plate for more than a decade while living in Ohio (image above) and wanted to keep the message when he moved to Kenton County a few years ago. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet denied his application citing rules against personalized plates that are “vulgar or obscene.” Last year, American Civil Liberties Union and Freedom From Religion Foundation argued that the state had violated the First Amendment and won Hart the right to get the plate. Last week, a United States District Judge ordered the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to pay Hart $151,206 in attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. From Fox19:

Hart, who identifies as an atheist, says his personalized plate is his way of spreading a political and philosophical message that faith is susceptible to individualized interpretation.

“I can prove I’m God. You can’t prove I’m not. Now, how can I prove I’m God? Well, there are six definitions for God in the American Heritage Dictionary, and number five is a very handsome man, and my wife says I’m a very handsome man, and nobody argues with my wife,” Hart told FOX19 NOW.

Image: aclu-ky.org Read the rest

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