Automotive hi-jinx from 'Trafic'

Came for the classic BMWs, stayed for the fun.

(Thanks, Airheads!) Read the rest

Rest in peace, Rip Torn

Acting legend Rip Torn always sounded like someone I'd want to hang out with.

The Hollywood Reporter:

Torn was an "actor's actor," but he had a reputation as a trouble-maker.

Legend has it that he was all set for Jack Nicholson's career-making role in Easy Rider (1969) before things went awry. Dennis Hopper, the film's director, said years later on The Tonight Show that Torn had pulled a knife on him in a diner, costing him the job. Torn said it was Hopper that pulled the knife on him and sued for libel, winning $475,000 in damages.

In an improvised fight seen in Maidstone (1970), Torn attacked actor-director Norman Mailer with a tack hammer; Mailer then bit into Torn's ear during the ensuing scrum. The Criterion Collection described the movie as being "shot over the course of five drug-fueled days in East Hampton, New York."

An Army veteran, Torn was also an outspoken activist.

After Torn met with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy in an attempt to start an integrated national theater in 1963, he was targeted by the FBI and found trouble finding work in major motion pictures. "I began to see things in gossip columns, stories about me," he once said.

In 1970, on the day after Torn spoke out against the Vietnam War on The Dick Cavett Show, a bullet was fired through the window of his Manhattan home.

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Failure to set a handbrake causes damage (and hilarity)

I have certainly made this mistake and had to rush bad to my starting to roll car. It has not gotten away from me, however. Read the rest

The resurgence of measles suggests our society is falling apart

Peter Beinart has written a piece for The Atlantic that uses the measles epidemic as a pretty good example of what is happening to our society as a whole.

Our amnesia about vaccines is part of a broader forgetting. Prior generations of Americans understood the danger of zero-sum economic nationalism, for instance, because its results remained visible in their lifetimes. When Al Gore debated Ross Perot about NAFTA in 1993, he reminded the Texan businessman of the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which raised tariffs on 20,000 foreign products—prompting other countries to retaliate, deepening the Great Depression, and helping to elect Adolf Hitler. But fewer and fewer people remember the last global trade war. Similarly, as memories of Nazism fade across Europe and the United States, anti-Semitism is rising. Technology may improve; science may advance. But the fading of lessons that once seemed obvious should give pause to those who believe history naturally bends toward progress.

Declining vaccination rates not only reflect a great forgetting; they also reveal a population that suffers from overconfidence in its own amateur knowledge. In her book Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines, the University of Colorado at Denver’s Jennifer Reich notes that starting in the 1970s, alternative-health movements “repositioned expertise as residing within the individual.” This ethos has grown dramatically in the internet age, so much so that “in arenas as diverse as medicine, mental health, law, education, business, and food, self-help or do-it-yourself movements encourage individuals to reject expert advice or follow it selectively.” Autodidacticism can be valuable.

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Big Lebowski spinoff raises questions

IGN tells us a movie about Jesus Quintana, The Jesus, is coming to the big screen.

A spinoff of The Big Lebowski called Jesus Rolls and starring John Turturro himself has been confirmed for a 2020 release date by Screen Media, according to ComicBook. The movie is being written and directed by Turturro and will tell a new story that features his classic character of Jesus Quintana and what he's been up to in the time following The Big Lebowski.

As rumored previously after the Stella Artois commercial that premiered during the 2019 Super Bowl, this is not a sequel to The Big Lebowski, and both Jeff Bridges and John Goodman will not be in the movie, nor will the Coen Brothers have any hand in the production, although they did give Turturro permission to use his character in a spinoff movie.

The handling of this character will be interesting, based on the original film 'The Jesus' is a registered sex offender.

In a statement, Turturro said, "It feels like a good time to release a transgressive film about the stupidity of men who try and fail and try better to understand and penetrate the mystery of women. I look forward to working with Screen Media and bring our work and the character of the Jesus to American audiences.”

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Juggalo face paint defeats some recognition systems

Insane Clown Posse fandom has some pretty jazzy membership benefits.

Consequence of Sound:

It turns out that Juggalos face makeup cannot be accurately read by many facial recognition technologies. Most common programs identify areas of contrast — like those around the eyes, nose, and chin — and then compare those points to images within a database. The black bands frequently used in Juggalo makeup obscure the mouth and cover the chin, totally redefining a person’s key features.

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Warren's fundraising surges

Continuing to climb in the polls, and our hearts, Elizabeth Warren delivers some impressive fundraising numbers.


The momentum translated to fundraising. Warren took in $19.1 million in April, May and June — more than three times what her campaign raised during the first quarter of 2019, according to her campaign Monday.

The fundraising total is about $1 million more than Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders raised, and about $7 million more than California Sen. Kamala Harris' second-quarter total.

Bernie Sanders attends the Fourth of July parade in Pella, Iowa. In polls and fundraising, Sanders is starting to be surpassed by fellow progressive Elizabeth Warren.

Warren's second-quarter fundraising trails only former Vice President Joe Biden and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, both of whom devoted considerable time to attending high-dollar fundraisers across the country. Warren, by contrast, has made the unusual move of forgoing fundraising events.

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Puddles sings a song by his friend Quinn

Puddles may be the soundtrack to my soul.

Evidently, this song was written for Puddles by Andrew Quinn, they may be working on more music together. I hope so! Read the rest

I can quickly set up this easy-up canopy all by myself

This easy to set-up canopy is cheap AND actually easy to set up.

I am spending most of my summer camping with my dogs. Shade became very important on day 2 when I realized that not having shade on day 1 toasted the back of my neck. Despite liberal smearing of 60 SPF broadspectrum sunscreen, I had to find a solution that'd work for me.

I largely travel without human companionship, and when I do it tends to be of the 12-year old variety (less-than-helpful.) I needed a canopy that'd easily go up, and I wanted to be able to quickly tear the thing down if wind unexpectedly kicked up. I am trying to stay to beaches and coastal campsites, where wind can be an enemy.

This EzyFast 6x6 shade does the job! It is fairly light, the manufacturer says 17lbs, and very simple to put up by my ownself. The frame is a single unit that practically expanded itself when I took it out of the bag the very first time. Once the frame is out and locked into place with handy built-on locks, you put the cover on and then extend the legs. You can weigh it down by putting stuff in the weight pockets built into the cover.

The cover material is a bit thin, but it'll do. The stakes the unit came with are nearly useless, but with additional weigh in the cover it seems to stay in place just fine. If it gets windy out, however, I will lower the legs, remove the cover and go hide in the camper. Read the rest

Live-action Mulan looks fantastic

This trailer nearly had me in tears. Read the rest

Woz stopped at an airport and asked about privacy

Woz says toss your Facebooks and beware your phone.

I have been a fan of Steve Wozniak ever since meeting him at an Apple Users Group meeting in my very early teens.

A friend had (still likely HAS) a signed by Woz Apple ][gs and everyone in our social circle was jealous. Read the rest

31st dead grey whale spotted off west coast this year

News continues to worsen for marine mammals on the west coast. In addition to terrible domoic acid poisoning for seals and sea lions, whales are passing away at a record rate.


Thirty-one dead gray whales have been spotted along the entire West Coast since January — the most for this time of year since 2000. Dozens more have shown visible signs of malnourishment, and sightings of mother-calf pairs are down significantly.

Frances Gulland, a research associate at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, estimates that gray whale deaths could hit 60 or 70 by the end of the season.

“If this continues at this pace through May, we would be alarmed,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

Marine scientist Steven Swartz said 23% of the whales without calves his team has observed in Baja’s San Ignacio Lagoon this year were skinny. That’s more than three times higher than usual.

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When street parking was plentiful in Los Angeles

I no longer think this famously accurate characterization of 1990s LA holds up. Neighborhoods that once had endless street parking now force you to circle.

Plus, no one wants the duck unless it comes from a gourmet food truck.

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Bowling meets the future

"Donny was a good bowler, and a good man. He was one of us. He was a man who loved the outdoors...and bowling. And as a surfer, he explored the beaches of Southern California, from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and...up to...Pismo. He died, like so many young men of his generation. He died before his time." -- Walter Sobchak Read the rest

Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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Sure, it's Banana Hand Milk but is it MAGIC?

I think this is Banana inspired hand milk? TONYMOLY bills it as 'Magic.'

The ingredients discussed in the marketing include "Sheaf butter" but do not appear to include Banana.

Hand milk.

TONYMOLY Magic Food Banana Hand Milk via Amazon Read the rest

Canadians pass on fireworks, go for kindness to animals instead

Instead of shocking animals, and people, with the loud booms of fireworks the city of Banff took a kinder and gentler path.

The Globe and Mail:

Canada Day fireworks in Banff this weekend went off without a bang.

The town switched to a pyrotechnics display like you might see at a rock concert over fireworks for its holiday celebrations going forward, so as not to terrify the thousands of animals, wild and domestic, that live in the area.

“We wanted to minimize the impact on wildlife in the townsite and obviously the surrounding national park, as loud fireworks can be stressful to them,” Deputy Mayor Corrie DiManno said. “And for us, moving to special-effect pyrotechnics helps us to walk the talk, so to speak. We consider ourselves leaders in this area of environmental preservation so we wanted to make sure that we were doing all we can.”

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