• Masaki Fujihata and DJ Spooky in conversation at Japan House LA, on December 6, 2022

    Our friends at Japan House Los Angeles are hosting a conversation with Masaki Fujihata and DJ Spooky on December 6, 2022. Tickets are free, but you need to reserve in advance and I'm sure the seats will fill up quickly!

    Visionary Japanese media artist Masaki Fujihata and composer, multimedia artist and writer DJ Spooky — two of the world's most consistently innovative artist-thinkers — come together to discuss the power of art and of technology as a vehicle for storytelling in a contemporary world beset by history.

    This talk will be moderated by Michael Emmerich, director of the Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities, and the Executive Producer of the exhibition, BeHere / 1942: A New Lens on the Japanese American Incarceration exhibition, created by Masaki Fujihata, currently on view at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM).

    BeHere / 1942 is one of the most extraordinary and poignant exhibitions presented here in Los Angeles marking the passage of eighty years since the U.S. government's mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. The exhibition brings carefully curated photographs from the National Archives and other collections together with video work and two cutting-edge augmented reality installations, one of which is unprecedented in its scale.

    This program, presented in conjunction with the exhibition at JANM, is an opportunity for JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles to highlight the rich work of Japanese artist Masaki Fujihata and create a platform for the exchange of ideas surrounding the relationship between art and technology and how this relationship will come to influence the future of storytelling and our engagement with history. Join us for a wide-ranging conversation that takes the exhibition as its point of departure, but certainly doesn't end there.

  • Learn all you'll ever need to know about pans in this 20-minute video

    How much do you know about pans? Before watching this video, I felt like I knew almost nothing about them. After watching it, I feel like my pan-knowledge is in the top ten percentile. I now know the difference between a French fry pan and an American one, and the difference between a saucepan and a saute pan. I also learned that there is something called a rondeau, which is like a big saute pan and is good for frying, searing, and braising. And it turns out stainless steel pans aren't very good conductors of heat, but they aren't as reactive as aluminum.

  • Red Cross anti-vax nurse who gave 8,600 elderly patients saline instead of Covid vaccine spared prison

    A 39-year-old nurse at a vaccine center in Germany was sentenced to six months probation for administering 8,600 shots of saltwater instead of the BioNTech Pfizer vaccine. She lied to the patients she injected, who were hospital employees, educators, and doctors above the age of 70.

    From MSN:

    [She] posted several social media posts where she openly emphasized her skeptical views regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

    When questioned by police, she admitted to using saline solution but had said she only did it because she had accidentally broken a vial containing six shots and was ashamed to tell her colleagues.

    She had also claimed that it was a one-time incident, but was immediately sacked after antibody tests that were carried out on the affected people confirmed authorities' suspicions.

  • Judge sanctions Alan Dershowitz for "recklessly" filing "false, misleading, and unsupported" claims in Kari Lake's election lawsuit

    In her frustration at not winning the Arizona governorship even though she is a privileged white woman, MAGA cultist Kari Lake hired a team of lawyers in an attempt to distort reality enough to put her in office. To make her wish come true, the webcam filter aficionado hired disgraced lawyer Alan Dershowitz to blast bloviating objections through the court system, but a federal judge sanctioned the perpetually aggrieved Trump-sycophant, saying that claims that the election was rigged were "false, misleading, and unsupported."

    From Law and Crime:

    The attorneys being sanctioned are not directly named in Thursday's order, but according to the court docket, Harvard Law School Prof. Alan Dershowitz is Lake's lead attorney in the matter. Also on her legal team are co-lead attorneys Andrew D. ParkerJesse Hersch Kibort, and Joseph Alan Pull of Minneapolis. Further listed as a member of her legal team is attorney Kurt B. Olsen of Washington, D.C.

    Parker, Olsen, and Dershowitz signed the original complaint, an amended complaint, and a opposition to a request for sanctions.

    With the lawsuit dismissed, the judge addressed a request for sanctions on Thursdsay, Dec. 1.  In a 30-page order, he wrote as follows:

    The Court concludes that sanctions are warranted under Rule 11 and 28 U.S.C. § 1927. It finds that Plaintiffs made false, misleading, and unsupported factual assertions in their FAC and MPI and that their claims for relief did not have an adequate factual or legal basis grounded in a reasonable pre-filing inquiry, in violation of Rules 11(b)(2) and (b)(3). The Court further finds that Plaintiffs' counsel acted at least recklessly in unreasonably and vexatiously multiplying the proceedings by seeking a preliminary injunction based on Plaintiffs' frivolous claims, in violation of Section 1927.

  • OpenAI's ChatGPT is a decent poet and Seinfeld show writer

    Have you tried having a conversation with ChatGPT yet? It's both smarter and stupider than a human. Humans are smarter and stupider than ChatGPT, too, which means a human+GPT centaur can optimize the smart parts from each. I asked ChatGPT to "write a haiku about MAGA people acting against their own interests," It responded:

    MAGA people, blinded

    By fear and hate, they march on

    Ignoring the truth.

    And here's a good one I came across:

    Write the complete script of a Seinfeld scene in which Jerry needs to learn the bubble sort algorithm. Include frequent jokes and note audience laughter in the script.

    INT. MONK'S CAFE – DAY

    Jerry is sitting at the counter with George.

    Jerry: (sighs) I can't believe I have to learn the bubble sort algorithm for my computer science class.

    George: (laughs) Bubble sort? That's the most basic sorting algorithm there is. Even a monkey could do it.

    (audience laughs)

    Jerry: Yeah, well I'm not a monkey, I'm a comedian. (picks up menu)

    Kramer enters and sits down next to Jerry.

    Kramer: Hey, what's so funny?

    Jerry: I have to learn the bubble sort algorithm for my computer science class.

    Kramer: (laughs) The bubble sort? That's easy. You just keep swapping adjacent elements until the list is sorted.

    (audience laughs)

    Jerry: (confused) Swapping adjacent elements? I have no idea what that means.

  • Phony free-speech advocate Elon Musk bans prominent left wing Twitter accounts

    Right-wingers hail Elon Musk as a champion of free speech. He frequently boasts of his opposition to censorship in all forms and claims to defend the right of individuals to express their opinions, no matter how controversial they may be. In reality, Musk does not support free expression as much as he pretends to and is, in fact, opposed to its principles.

    In Musk's view, free speech means spreading misinformation and personal attacks without consequence. Free speech that he finds offensive is, in his mind, not free speech. It's "spam," and he makes a habit of suspending the Twitter accounts of people he disagrees with.

    From The Intercept:

    Several prominent antifascist organizers and journalists have had their accounts suspended in the past week, after right-wing operatives appealed directly to Musk to ban them and far-right internet trolls flooded Twitter's complaints system with false reports about terms of service violations.

    As the Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin noted on Twitter, the suspended users include Chad Loder, an antifascist researcher whose open-source investigation of the U.S. Capitol riot led to the identification and arrest of a masked Proud Boy who attacked police officers. The account of video journalist Vishal Pratap Singh, who reports on far-right protests in Southern California, has also been suspended.

    Among the other prominent accounts suspended were the Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club, an antifascist group that provides armed security for LGBTQ+ events in North Texas, and CrimethInc, an anarchist collective that has published and distributed anarchist and anti-authoritarian zines, books, posters, and podcasts since the mid-1990s.

    Elon paid $44 billion for his toy, and he gets to use it as he sees fit, including tweeting lies about his admiration of free speech.

  • Squid Game star charged with indecent assault

    78-year-old Emmy nominee Oh Young-soo, who starred as the old man in the hit Netflix series Squid Game, was charged with indecent assault, reports CBS News. He is accused of assaulting a woman in 2017.

    From CBS:

    South Korean cable channel JTBC said Oh denied wrongdoing when reached by a reporter, saying that he had only held the woman's hands to "show her the way" as they walked around a lake. According to JTBC, Oh said he had offered the woman an apology, not because he acknowledged the accusations against him but because the woman allegedly told him she "wouldn't raise an issue" about the incident if he did.

  • Sperm counts worldwide are plummeting faster than ever

    A 2022 meta-analysis found that sperm counts (the number of sperm per ejaculate) in humans have been dropping at an increasing rate in recent decades, reports National Geographic. A 2017 study found that sperm counts had "plummeted by more than 50 percent among men in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand between 1973 and 2011." The newer study found that "not only has the decline in total sperm counts continued — reaching a drop of 62 percent — but the decline per year has doubled since 2000."

    Shanna Swan, a reproductive and environmental epidemiologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, says the plummeting sperm counts could be attributed to multi-generational exposure to environmental chemicals.

  • FYRE Fest criminal Billy McFarland says he is building a hotel in the Bahamas, called PYRT

    Be sure to book your reservations now for convicted scammer Billy McFarland's latest endeavor, called PYRT (pronounced "pirate"). The fresh-out-of-prison impresario said in a podcast interview that PYRT will be "a small, permanent hotel in the Bahamas for artists and entrepreneurs to come and partake in these crazy adventures."  Even more exciting, McFarland announced that PYRT will develop "virtual immersive decentralized reality," because that's what the world has been clamoring for, and it's something only Billy can do right.

    And in the wake of the disastrous FYRE fest, which consisted of stale sandwiches, sad little tents, and a half-built stage, McFarland said he's going to make the magic happen again with a PYRT fest. "I have to do a PYRT fest, right? It can't be tomorrow, it can't be in four months, but there's going to be PYRT fest," he said on the podcast. "People will go just to see what happens. People who hate me will be the first ones who want to come."

    Sounds like a solid plan. What could go wrong?

    @pyrtbilly

    For all of those that either love to hate or genuinely support me… THIS is what I've been working on. THIS is what will clear the air. THIS IS PYRT @PYRT 🏴‍☠️ 🏴‍☠️

    ♬ Super Gremlin – Kodak Black

    [via Insider]

  • Wife of Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes said she's "beyond happy" that he was convicted of sedition

    Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, the far-right gun expert who shot himself in the face, blinding one eye, was convicted this week of sedition for his role in the January 6 coup attempt on the U.S. government. He faces a maximum 20-year sentence.

    His estranged wife, Tasha Adams, couldn't be more pleased, saying she is "beyond happy" about the verdict.

    "He has absolutely never had to face a consequence in his entire life. This will be the very first time," she said. "He's spent his life making others pay. This was past due for him."

    In a February Insider article, Adams said Rhodes pressured her to become a stripper when they got married so she could earn money to pay the bills. "He just complained that there wasn't enough money, and said how easy it would be for me to strip. He said it was immature of me to be so selfish, and that he would do it if he could. I thought, 'Well, I guess I just grew up really sheltered,'" Adams said. He also refused to help with housework, according to Adams.

    From Insider:

    Insider spoke with two of Rhodes' children, who are now adults, who confirmed that he was physically abusive with them. Sequoia Rhodes, 19, says that her father regularly grabbed her by the upper arm, and remembers one time in particular where he left her arm bruised and red. 

    "I remember mom getting pretty upset after that," she said. 

    "He would hit us a lot, grab us by our hair and swing us around," Rhodes said. "He would throw us into walls, he used to gut punch us a lot."

    Tasha Adams said she felt Rhodes was threatening her when he would incorporate her into his martial arts practice. She described one incident where she was sitting down after a day of work and he started whacking a rattan stick inches from her head. 

    "If I moved my head just a little he was going to crack my skull," she said. 

    No wonder he is a hero to the GOP. If a Republican wins the presidency in 2024, Rhodes will be pardoned on day one.

  • RIP Aline Kominsky-Crumb (1948-2022)

    Underground cartoonist and Weirdo editor Aline Kominsky-Crumb died earlier today at the age of 74. She had pancreatic cancer. She was a founding member of Wimmin's Comix, published by Last Gasp from 1972-1985. More recently, Kominsky-Crumb collaborated with her husband Robert Crumb on a series called  Aline and Bob's Dirty Laundry.

    From Forbes:

    "Aline's work really stood out when I first saw her in early issues of Wimmen's Comix," said cartoonist Roberta Gregory, a Wimmins' Comix alumna who became the first woman to self-publish her own work and created the long-running "Bitchy Bitch" series. "It was exuberant, 'primitive' (in the good sense) and breaking every art and storytelling rule in the world. It was so inspiring: If you had a story to tell, go ahead and tell it with all ya got!"

    She is survived by her husband and their daughter, Sophie, also an artist.

  • Eight aggressive cops raid wrong home in no-knock warrant, terrorizing Black family holding a baby

    An armed group of cops broke into the wrong house and terrorized a black couple with a baby. The officers refused to show them the warrant, scolded the father for holding his baby, and warned the mother that recording them would result in a lot of trouble. After the cops hauled them outside, they suddenly realized they'd raided the wrong house, and one of them said, "We are in a lot of trouble." As Max Burns says in this YouTube video, "Oh buddy, you better believe that's the truth."

    It will end up costing the taxpayers a lot of money, both for the settlement the city will pay to the family and for the salary increases for eight officers who are certain to be promoted after conducting the heroic raid.

    Thumbnail image: Getmilitaryphotos/Shutterstock.com

  • Here's what happened to a girl who mistakenly ate 96 potent cannabis gummies

    A 12-year-old girl ate her father's stash of cannabis gummies, thinking they were just candy. Within an hour, she felt strange. She opened the apartment door and fell down the stairs. Her mother found her on the stairs and tried to talk to her, but the girl was incoherent. She took the girl to the hospital and fortunately, she made a full recovery.

    The father sounds like an idiot. He was a cannabis edible aficionado, and would get so wasted on gummies that he once fell down the same stairs his daughter did. After that happened, his wife banned weed gummies from the house. But the father bought a bunch of weed gummies and added them to a bag of regular gummies, and put them in the kitchen cupboard to fool her. Shortly after that, his daughter ate them.

    It's a big mistake to make weed edibles that look like cookies and candy. They should look like medicine or something unappetizing to deter people from accidentally eating them.

    Thumbnail image: Wollertz/Shutterstock.com

  • Herschel Walker praises border walls by saying walls don't work

    FBI special agent Herschel Walker shows some of his famously infallible logic as he explains to his hooting and murmuring devotees how walls work (at 17:46 in the video): "A wall do work… when you got a wall around your house people don't… yeah, but they can get in. But, you know what, if they get in, it would be hard to get out because I got a dog that… well, my dog really won't bite."

    Who can deny the power of Agent Walker's argument?

    Thumbnail image: Jemastock (mortarboard)/Chris Casanova (Walker)/Shutterstock.com

  • Metropolis (1927) enters the public domain on January 1, 2023

    Fritz Lang's iconic 1927 silent film, Metropolis, is set to enter the public domain on January 1, 2023. This is great news for film fans around the world, who will now be able to freely access, view, and enjoy this beloved classic. Metropolis is often considered one of the most influential films of the silent era. Its groundbreaking visual effects, futurism-inspired set design, and compelling story about class struggles and the two-edge sword of technological progress have inspired countless filmmakers throughout the years.

    With the film entering the public domain, Metropolis will now be available for filmmakers to use in creating their own projects. Whether it be creating a remake, an homage, or just incorporating clips into a new work, this new availability of the film could lead to some truly inspired works of art.

    From Far Out, on Metropolis's influence on 20th- and 21st-century art:

    Pushing the silent film era of filmmaking to its absolute limits, Fritz Lang created a futuristic, expressionist world of pointed skyscrapers, jagged industrial buildings and intimidating autonomous robots that suggested an intricate world beyond the celled walls of celluloid. Such is made all the more impressive when considering that no such feat in the realms of cinema had ever been achieved before, particularly not to the extent that Lang succeeded. Creating a near three-hour marvel of science fiction cinema, Metropolis contained all the ambition and scope of a modern-day genre classic. 

    Inspiring filmmakers and visionaries around the world, Metropolis set the standards by which futuristic films were visualised, judged and appreciated, with Alfred Hitchcock even copying a specific special effect from the film called the Schüfftan process that he would later implement on the film, Blackmail. The vision of Fritz Lang in creating the ethereal future visualised an unprecedented impression of the distant future that was so influential that it continues to have an impact on popular culture today. 

  • Senator Marsha Blackburn feigns muteness when asked his she supports Trump dining with Nazis

    Trump-worshipping Senator Marsha Blackburn is the Guinness World Record holder for the most severe case of chronic logorreah in history. I've never seen what she looks like with her mouth closed. But Lauren Windsor of The Undercurrent, who approached Blackburn at an airport, learned a neat trick to get Blackburn to shut up. All Windsor had to do was ask, "Is it appropriate for President Trump to dine with neo-Nazis?" (referring to Trump's dinner meeting with white supremacist Nick Fuentes) and Blackburn suddenly became as silent as an anechoic chamber.

    Thumbnail image: Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

  • Cop enjoys flipping over pregnant woman's car for pulling over too slowly

    This kindly Arkansas state trooper used a pit maneuver to flip a woman's car over because she didn't pull over quickly enough for his liking. Watch him as a scolds the woman and orders her to get out while she is trapped in her upside-down vehicle.

    "I thought it would be safer to wait until the exit," said the woman, who had slowed down and turned on her hazard lights as soon as she realized she was being pulled over. "Well, this is where you ended up," said the cop speaking to her through the window of the overturned car. "You pull over when law enforcement stops you, OK."

    It seems like the woman was doing exactly what the Arkansas Police Facebook page instructed her to do:

    "IF you see blue lights behind you, and you feel scared that it is not a real police officer OR you would like to drive to a safe or lighted location: first SLOW DOWN, and turn on your hazard lights – this will let the officer know you see them. Move to the farthest right lane, and continue to drive to a location where you feel safe (ex. under a street light, a gas station, an exit ramp, or side road). If you do not believe that the vehicle behind you is a real police officer, immediately call 911. You will NOT BE charged with fleeing if you are doing these things. You have the right to be safe!!!"

    On November 19, the Arkansas Times reported that the Arkansas Police were prepared to settle a lawsuit over the incident and agreed to change its policy around using the PIT maneuver.

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  • Twitter suspends its Covid-19 misleading information policy

    It's unfortunate that Space Karen was tricked into buying Twitter at a vastly inflated price, but it's even more concerning that Twitter is now no longer enforcing its Covid misinformation policy. "Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy," it states on its website.

    From CNN:

    Between January 2020 and September 2022, Twitter suspended more than 11,000 accounts for breaking Covid misinformation rules and removed almost 100,000 pieces of content that violated those rules, according to statistics published by Twitter. The policy received acclaim from medical professionals: In an advisory to technology platforms, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy cited Twitter's rules as an example of what companies should do to combat misinformation.

    Responsible social media platforms ensure users are provided with accurate and reliable information, especially during a pandemic. Without proper enforcement of the policy, Twitter users could be exposed to dangerous and false information which could have real-world consequences. But with Musk running things, it's not surprising that Twitter is abandoning its policies. This will undoubtedly lead to an increase in the spread of false information, which could be potentially harmful. It's important that users take extra caution when using the platform, and verify any news or information they come across before sharing it. Additionally, Twitter should be held accountable for abandoning its policy.

  • Robot snake guy gets revenge on CNN by purchasing Mythbusters trademark for $1000

    Three months ago, Allen Pan posted his video about giving a live snake robotic legs. CNN used the video on TV and social media without crediting Pan. After Pan complained about it online and generated a lot of bad will toward CNN, the network retroactively offered him $1,000 to license the video. Pan used the money to buy Mythbusters's abandoned apparel trademark and is now selling Mythbusters shirts. (Mythbusters is a Discovery show owned by the same company that owns CNN).

  • This 1970 educational film about computers has a great retro vibe

    There's something about old computers that is both exciting and comforting. We can step back in time and look at the technology of the past with a newfound appreciation for these electromechanical marvels. This film, made in 1970, gives us a glimpse into the world of computers at the time. These "counting machine" computers are clunky, noisy, and very basic, but they were the cutting-edge technology of the time.