Another installment in Fortnite's Summer Skirmish

Epic Games is offering $100 million dollars in prizes at their Fortnite competitions, over the next year or so. The Friday, August 3rd, 2018 installment begins at 2pm PST. Read the rest

Stonehenge: we may now know who they were and what they were doing

Stonehenge! Where the demons dwell! Where the banshees live, and they do live well. Stonehenge! Where a man's a man, and the children dance to the Pipes of Pan.

Science has uncovered more about who built the 'Henge and who is interred there.

Via CNN:

Much of the previous research around the monument in Wiltshire, England, has centered around how or why Stonehenge was built -- not the people buried there or who built it.

But studying the human remains at Stonehenge is no easy task. In addition to dating back to 3,000 BC, the remains were also cremated. During the early phase of Stonehenge's history, it largely served as a cemetery.

Fortunately, lead study author Christophe Snoeck, post-doctoral researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, combined his passions for archeology and chemical engineering to pioneer developments in archaeological analysis.

The results revealed that 40% of the people buried at Stonehenge likely came from west Wales, the suggested origin of the site's smaller bluestones, and they most likely helped transport the stones and build Stonehenge. Signals from the bone analysis suggested that within the last ten years of their lives, these people were not living at Stonehenge nor originally from the area around Stonehenge, known as the Wessex region.

"Our results are the first one to provide direct evidence on the origin of those buried at Stonehenge, shedding light on the importance of the site in the Neolithic landscape," Snoeck said in an email.

Read the rest

Colbert rails on White House distraction Ivanka Trump

Colbert does a wonderful job of tearing apart the latest Trump family distraction. Ivanka is a waste of America's time.

Read the rest

Fields medal stolen moments after it was awarded

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The Fields medal, mathematic's most prized award for mathematics, was stolen from Cambridge Professor Caucher Birkar just moments after he received it.

Via the Independent:

Caucher Birkar, a Kurdish refugee from Iran, was one of four winners of the Fields Medal, often dubbed the "Nobel Prize of Mathematics", at the International Congress of Mathematics on Wednesday.

The professor put the 14-carat gold medal, worth around £3,000, in a briefcase on a table, but moments later realised it had disappeared, event organisers said.

The briefcase, which also contained his wallet and phone, was later found by security officials in a nearby pavilion, though the medal and wallet had been removed. Police reviewed security tapes and identified two potential suspects.

"The International Congress of Mathematicians is profoundly sorry about the disappearance of the briefcase belonging to mathematician Caucher Birkar, which contained his Fields Medal from the ceremony this morning," organisers said in a note.

Image via Wikipedia, Stefan Zachow of the International Mathematical Union; retouched by King of Hearts Read the rest

I kinda think this tater tot cookbook defines my generation

Tots!: 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie is the tater tot recipe book to rule them all. Read the rest

Parasite fills cicadas with amphetamines and mind-altering drugs

Matt Kason, a fungi researcher at West Virginia University, has discovered that cicadas whose bodies have been corrupted by the fungus Massospora keep flying around, have tons of energy and get really horny, because the fungus is doping them with meth and shrooms.

Via the Atlantic:

I asked Kasson if it’s possible to get high by eating Massospora-infected cicadas. Surprisingly, he didn’t say no. “Based on the ones we looked at, it would probably take a dozen or more,” he said. But it’s possible that earlier in the infections, before the conspicuous saltshaker stage, the fungus might pump out higher concentrations of these chemicals. Why? Kasson suspects that the drugs help the fungus control its hosts.

Infected cicadas behave strangely. Despite their horrific injuries, males become hyperactive and hypersexual. They frenetically try to mate with anything they can find, including with other males. They’ll even mimic the wing-flicking signals of females to lure males toward them. None of this does them any good—their genitals have either been devoured by the fungus or have fallen off with the rest of their butts. Instead, this behavior only benefits the fungus, allowing its spores to find new hosts.

Kasson suspects that cathinone and psilocybin are responsible for at least some of these behaviors. “If I had a limb amputated, I probably wouldn’t have a lot of pep in my step,” he said. “But these cicadas do. Something is giving them a bit more energy. The amphetamine could explain that.”

Psilocybin’s role is harder to explain.

Read the rest

Fox & Friends edits video to falsely discredit a US Senator

Mazie Hirono, the Democratic senator from Hawaii, was questioning the head of removal operations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Matthew Albence, over the administrations family reunification efforts. The folks at Fox & Friends, a well-known Trump Administration propaganda tool, selectively edited, and then intentionally presented the falsified video as proof the US Senator was "confused" over immigration law.

Via Media Matters:

Fox & Friends deceptively edited a clip of an exchange between Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and the head of removal operations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Matthew Albence, during a July 31 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing regarding oversight of immigration enforcement and family reunification efforts. Despite the way Fox & Friends presented the dialogue -- suggesting a sitting U.S. senator was “confused about the immigration laws” -- Hirono was, in fact, correct in her assertions that the Trump administration alone made the decision to start prosecuting everyone crossing the border illegally, which has resulted in the separation of hundreds of immigrant families. Albence would acknowledge Hirono’s assertion as “correct,” but Fox & Friends did not include the comment in its deceptively edited clip.

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Fortnite pairs the guided missile and jet pack for a crazy new mode

Fortnite Battle Royale's new Fly Explosives Limited Time Mode is a BLAST!

The absolute best way to finish out challenges relating to explosives kills, and a fantastic way to laugh until your sides ache, is the new Fly Explosives LTM. The game mode features explosive weapons and insane maneuverability. You'll be 'sploding fools left and right.

The much debated jetpack is back. I am a huge fan, but people who can build like mad hate how it levels the playing field. People who can build and fly become near unstoppable!

Once far over-powered, the guided missile changed the entire meta the last time it was out of the vault. People would build small boxes, hide and fire missiles out a window. Hunting players down from relative safety made the game kinda boring and lame. This revision of the guided missile seems to be under-powered and seems to relegate the weapon to teamwork related kills. It is slower, turns wider, and does far less damage to buildings and people.

I was able to complete a "Get Three Explosive Weapons Kills" challenge in my first game. I was able to rack up a "Kill 10 opponents" challenge in two more. Normally I'd have worked all night to get 10 kills and maybe 1 would have been with explosives.

Game play certainly changes when you don't have to worry about being sniped or lasered from across the map. My squad mates and I were whooping it up dying of laughter just as often as grenades. Read the rest

Hiroshi Unno's 'The Art of Fantasy, Sci-fi and Steampunk'

I can not read or understand very much of Hiroshi Unno's The Art of Fantasy, Sci-fi and Steampunk, but it is a visual treat!

This tome collects images and art from novels, early fantasy and romance to steampunk. Unno catalogs the incredible maturation of fantasy art work from the 19th century today.

I spent a couple hours leafing through this book, and it will live on my coffee table for quite a while.

The Art of Fantasy, Sci-fi and Steampunk by Hiroshi Unno via Amaozn Read the rest

Fortnite: 99 Problems

I had to have this Fortnite tee-shirt. They keep finding ways to get me paying for this free game.

Fortnite 99 Problems T-Shirt via Amazon Read the rest

Toxic gaming culture explained by the people who study it

Polygon has an amazing piece on why gaming culture and young white male gamers are so toxic. They interviewed a number of folks doing actual academic research and professional journalism on the topic, and the answers are sadly exactly what you expect. Scared racist white guys have had a lot of time to fester in their little bubble, and are very resistant to any change that means they aren't always Übermenschen.

Excerpt via Polygon, but read the whole thing:

Why are gaming’s toxic men so enraged?

Women and people of color are beginning to appear in games as powerful characters with their own agency. Slowly, women and minorities are starting to hold senior positions in game development and game criticism. Why is representation — within and outside the art — so offensive to gaming’s toxic men?

Soraya Chemaly:

There’s a lot of sociological research about hierarchy and status in the gaming space, and the misogyny and aggression that comes out of that.

We know that the dynamics of women’s visibility online, particularly in what are perceived as competitive situations, can often result in lower-status men feeling threatened, and then dogpiling on women who have more prominence, status and visibility.

We see that in gaming, and we see it in the same way on Twitter where they have a two-tiered verification system that makes women extremely visible in prominent ways.

Jen Golbeck (Golbeck is an associate professor at the University of Maryland. Her books on internet and entertainment culture include Introduction to Social Media Investigation: A Hands-on Approach.):

The mythos of heroic, powerful men who are in charge — who are respected, successful and dominant — is a narrative that is really changing.

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Register with Donate Life. Please.

A quick registration at Donate Life can turn hunks of your soulless cadaver into the greatest gift you'll ever give.

In 2006 a heart donor gave my Uncle, Lee Krinsky, 12 more years of life. I can not tell you how much those 12 years meant to Lee, his wife Karen, our entire family, and a large community of people who loved him.

My Uncle Lee was the kind of Uncle who was always full of shit. As a kid it was great fun to listen to him tell stories. As an adult it was great fun to smoke a joint with him, and listen to him tell wild stories. One of the best was the story of his transplanted heart. Nothing about being a transplant recipient is easy, but Lee was always grateful, and knew he was living on gifted time. He had worn his old heart out.

You can line up to give that gift to someone else. Be it restoring vision, kidneys, liver or a beating heart -- any parts you aren't using any more are spare. As my Uncle Lee would say "Be a mensch" and sign up.

Lee Krinsky, July 3, 1950 – July 24, 2018 Read the rest

Jilted husband wins $8.8 million from guy who seduced his spouse

Francisco Huizar III had an affair with the woman Keith King was married to. King's marriage subsequently fell apart, so he sued for all sorts of alleged impropriety. Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson awarded him $8.8 million. Read the rest

America's fall into fascism clearly explained

Part Four of SomeNews's series on Facism clearly shows how Trumpism is Facism. Read the rest

Blue tape for your 3D printer's build plate

I needed more blue tape for my build plate. Read the rest

Giuliani appears to lie in hopes it'll distract someone

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's credibility lacking PR stooge who is nominally an attorney, continues to spout any story he can to stir up the pot. Contradicting himself to the point of frustrating even Fox News, no one can possibly believe what this man says.

Today's bullshit circles around 'collusion is not a crime' -- treason, however, is.

I can not understand why lying blowhards like Giuliani and Conway, who are clearly just propaganda tools of the Orange Menance, are given air time. Read the rest

Stainless steel and red wood Apple watch band

I am quite fond of this $29 Apple watch band. Read the rest

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