Anti-vaxxers use Facebook to target pregnant women with fear and lies

Anti-vaxxers know no shame, Facebook is willing to do anything for an ad dollar, water is wet.

Science Alert:

Facebook is aggressively being used by anti-vaccination advocates to target pregnant women with sponsored advertisements to spread false information and conspiracy theories as the US battles a climbing measles outbreak.

A sponsored ad found by Quartz journalist Jeremy Merrill shows the anti-vaccination organisation Stop Mandatory Vaccination targeting women ages 20 to 60 who have expressed interest in pregnancy living in the state of Washington – where the governor recently declared a state of emergency over the measles outbreak.

Nearly 50 children and young adults in Clark County, Washington have become sickened by the disease since January.

According to the CDC, there have been over 100 instances of measles since January – more than the entire year of 2016, when there were only 86. So far, nearly every child who has gotten ill is un-vaccinated.

In the sponsored ad by Stop Mandatory Vaccinations, which has over 100,000 likes on Facebook, it said a woman's daughter died "12 hours after being injected by eight vaccines in 2008."

Vaccination rates have plummeted in pockets of the Pacific Northwest in recent years, as lies about the dangers of vaccines have spread, despite the fact that the measles vaccine is safe for almost everyone and can prevent many debilitating illnesses and death.

Read the rest

The 'Carlton Dance' is not eligible for registration, Fortnite boogies on

Alfonso Ribeiro sure can move, but the Copyright office doesn't see anything registerable about it. This ruling further imperils Ribeiro's claim that Epic Games 'Fortnite' has stolen from him.

The Verge:

The US Copyright Office refused to register The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro’s “Carlton dance” routine, likely weakening lawsuits against two game studios that copied the dance. In new legal filings, Take-Two Interactive produced letters and emails from the Copyright Office, showing serious concern over whether the dance qualified for copyright protection and, if it could, whether Ribeiro even owned the rights.

Ribeiro sued Take-Two for copying the Carlton dance, which he created while playing Fresh Prince character Carlton Banks, for a celebratory dance gesture in NBA 2K. He’s also filed a lawsuit against Epic Games, which used a version of the Carlton dance in Fortnite. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Take-Two filed a defense earlier this week, asking a judge to dismiss the case. It argues that Banks’ dance is too basic to be protected by copyright, which only covers more complex “choreography.”

A letter from the Copyright Office backs up that argument — at least, for one of three dance variations that Ribeiro submitted. The letter calls his submission “a simple routine made up of three dance steps” and refuses registration. “The fact that a dance or movement may contain more than a trivial amount of original authorship is irrelevant,” it reads. In other words, even if Ribeiro’s dance was unique and distinctive, it’s not protected by copyright.

Read the rest

She's back! RBG returns to the Supreme Court

Following several weeks of recovery from cancer treatment, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has physically attended a closed-door meeting of the Supreme Court.

CNN:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the Supreme Court Friday to participate in the regular closed-door conference meeting among the nine justices, the court announce.

This marks the 85-year-old Ginsburg's first time back at the court since she announced her cancer surgery.

Ginsburg underwent surgery in December to remove two cancerous nodules from her left lung. There was no evidence of any remaining disease, nor is there evidence of disease elsewhere in the body, the court said in a statement.

The nodules were found incidental to scans there were performed in November after she fell in her office and was hospitalized with three fractured ribs.

For the first time in her career, Ginsburg missed two weeks of oral arguments. The justices will take the bench again on Tuesday. While Ginsburg is expected to sit for oral arguments, the court spokeswoman would not confirm her presence.

Last week, Ginsburg appeared at an event in Washington to attend a performance of "Notorious RBG in Song." The Washington outing was to support her daughter-in-law, soprano Patrice Michaels, who released an album of songs chronicling Ginsburg's life.

Ginsburg has had two previous bouts with cancer. She underwent surgery for colorectal cancer in 1999 and early stage pancreatic cancer in 2009.

Read the rest

Hulu reanimates 'Howard the Duck'

Hulu is bringing back Howard the Duck. People may laugh at this new master of Quack-Fu as Kevin Smith has signed up to write for him.

Variety:

“Howard the Duck” will be written and executive produced by Kevin Smith and Dave Willis. Smith is known for his Askewniverse films, including “Clerks,” “Mallrats,” and “Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.” Smith has also written for Marvel Comics in the past, writing for popular characters like Daredevil and Spider-Man. Willis previously co-created popular animated shows like “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Squidbillies” for Adult Swim in addition to his work as a voice actor.

Smith is repped by WME. Willis is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

In the series, Howard the Duck is trapped in a world he never made, but America’s favorite fighting fowl hopes to return home with the help of his unstoppable gal pal Beverly before the evil Dr. Bong can turn him the crispiest dish on the menu.

He shot an arrow straight into her heart. Read the rest

Pacific Northwest measles outbreak spreads

In the Pacific Northwest 54 are confirmed infected with the once eradicated measles, as an outbreak also emerges in Texas.

Think Progress:

A large measles outbreak in Washington state shows no sign of abating.

According to the State Department of Health, there are now at least 54 cases of the illness, all but one of which were located in Clark County, Washington, just across the river from Portland, Oregon. Directly to the south, the Oregon Health Authority has reported at least four cases. Within Clark County, the vast majority of diagnoses are of children 10 years old or younger.

Measles — an airborne virus that can lead to lung infections, brain damage, and death in the worst cases — was responsible for thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year prior to the discovery of a vaccine in 1963. Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but in the last year, there has been a worldwide resurgence of the virus, with cases increasing 30 percent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). One of the main drivers of this trend is a growing reluctance to vaccinate children, so much so that the WHO listed the anti-vaccination movement as one of its top ten threats to global health in 2019.

“The reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines…threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases,” the WHO report reads. “The reasons why people choose not to vaccinate are complex; a vaccines advisory group to WHO identified complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence are the key reasons for the underlying hesitancy.”

Read the rest

Disney's Frozen 2 teaser trailer

Get ready to sing "Let it go" a few thousand times. Read the rest

Pretty great deal on the PlayStation Classic

I've been waiting for the PlayStation Classic to be cheap enough to impulse buy. $40 was my price point and today Amazon has it beat by a penny.

The PS-Classic comes loaded with 20 games, several of which I would like to play. The console is hackable with little more than a Google search and it seems simple to add games.

I'm looking forward to playing Twisted Metal with my daughter.

PlayStation Classic Console via Amazon Read the rest

Every Detail visits the New York Public Library

Libraries rule. Every Detail is a wonderful series. Read the rest

Samuel L. Jackson portrays the legendary John Shaft

This cat Shaft is a bad mother. Read the rest

Death Star waffle iron makes great looking Death Star waffles

Make awesome Death Star waffles. Read the rest

Florida band sings awesome love song

Love was so much easier in the 80s.

KC and The Sunshine Band will always and forever be a favorite. Read the rest

My niece's Tikkun Olam project supports keeping families together

To honor her impending bat mitzvah my niece Ilana has designed some t-shirts and is selling them on behalf of Immigrant Families Together.

Please help Lana help the world!

This is Lana O'Neal's Tikkun Olam project for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah. Tikkun Olam is the Jewish concept that we all bear responsibility to repair the world. Lana has chosen to raise money for Immigrant Families Together (https://immigrantfamiliestogether.com/). This group works fast to help moms and children separated at the border. In addition to raising funds to post bonds, this group:

-- Provides government and foster agency-approved housing when needed to expedite reunification -- Provides food and furnishings to families -- Provides transportation within the city -- Assists in obtaining lenient visitation rights and release of children held in foster care

Please support this important need by ordering one (or more -- they make a great gift!) of these awesome t-shirts and sweatshirts.

If you aren't in need of an awesome t-shirt, please considering donating directly via the "Visit Website" link below and include Lana's hashtag: #TikkunOlam so we can track donations.

Evidently the US process to attain bar and bat mitzvah now includes a project of some sort, like becoming an Eagle Scout! Anything for Tikkun Olam! All I had to do was cry a lot and learn to sing in a breaking teenage voice (I did not make Eagle.)

Buy a tee shirt from Lana, help her repair the world. Read the rest

Battle Royale shooter 'Apex Legends' gains popularity

A new squad-based Battle Royale game, Apex Legends, is thrilling the gaming world.

Available free for Xbox, PC and Playstation, Apex Legends moved to the top spot on Twitch in under a week. Teams of three heroes work together to survive yet another battle island.

Apex Legends is far less whimsical than Fortnite, the reigning champion of Battle Royale video games, but also includes character classes. Players choose from a limited list of classes to receive special powers and offensive accents. Carribean and Pacific Islanders will cringe.

Game play and overall functionality are fantastic for a free game at launch. There are in-game purchases that you do not need. Most are purely cosmetic, a few speed the activation of a few player classes. I am still learning my first class and do not need a new one.

Read the rest

Does anyone remember Flo.Tv or this Superbowl ad?

This ad forces me to question the value of Superb Owl advertising.

Where will you be? I think Qualcomm is still around, but not Flo.Tv.

Catchy tune tho. Read the rest

That Capresso conical burr grinder Mark recommended is wonderful

Grind coffee espresso-fine for less than $100. Read the rest

NYPD demands Google Waze stop telling us where the cops are

The New York Police Department does not want you to know where sobriety checkpoints, traffic cameras or police officers are at any given moment.

"Surprise" is evidently a key element of law enforcement.

NBC:

Ann Prunty, the department's acting deputy commissioner for legal matters, wrote that Google should "take every necessary precaution to ensure" so that none of the NYPD'S checkpoint data is uploaded or posted on any of their map applications, including the popular Google Maps.

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

"Individuals who post the locations of DWI checkpoints may be engaging in criminal conduct since such actions could be intentional attempts to prevent and/or impair the administration of the DWI laws and other relevant criminal and traffic laws," the letter reads.

This isn't the first time the tech company and New York's finest have clashed. In 2015, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, a union of around 13,000 active and retired NYPD sergeants, wrote a letter to then-Google CEO Larry Page, demanding that the company disable a feature that allowed users to track locations of police officers in the city.

The letter came after Brooklyn Police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot and killed by a gunman. The union said it believed the gunman used the Waze app to locate the officers.

"Revealing the location of checkpoints puts those drivers, their passengers and the general public at risk," Prunty wrote in Saturday's letter.

Read the rest

New York Times calls blackface "dark makeup," edits headline after being called out

Changing the headline after public outcry, The New York Times once again backflips as they excuse hate.

Read the rest

More posts