• The turn signals on these new Minis are insanely stupid

    The turn signals on the Mini are confusing. The left signal blinks an arrow pointing to the right, and the right signal blinks an arrow pointing to the left.

    Did not a single person at Mini notice this? It's baffling.

    Drivers who are behind a Mini with this "Split Union Jack" design will be especially confused if the can see only one of the lights.

    Jason Torchinsky of Jalopnik called Mini to get their thoughts:

    A Mini representative spoke to me on the phone, and this was the gist of our conversation:

    Mini has chosen the Union Jack lights to highlight Mini's British heritage, and has been using them for a while. With regard to the turn indicator light pattern, there should be no trouble at all for a driver to understand, when seeing the full rear of the car, which direction is being indicated.

    Mini has not heard any concerns from customers regarding the rear turn indicators, and has in fact received positive feedback about the taillight design.

    -> <-

    [via Jalopnik]

  • Washington State county commissioner likens mask wearing to sexual assault, flips off constituent

    At a public meeting on September 21, Klickitat County Commissioner Dan Christopher moved to fire countys health officer, Dr. Amy Person because she called to revive a state mask mandate. No one supported Christopher's motion, which seemed to enrage Christopher as he gave an emotional speech linking the the trauma of sexual assault to mask-wearing.

    From Oregon Public Broadcasting:

    In a roughly 4-minute speech, sometimes pausing for emotion, the first-term commissioner said he felt ordering the public to wear masks disregarded the "mental health and safety of the 1-in-4 girls that were sexually molested as children and the 1-in-6 women who have been forcibly raped."

    "My question is: who is looking out for these people, that got the vaccine even though they didn't want it? But they couldn't have something over their face — a mask or a hand — to bring back memories that trigger panic attacks and PTSD?" Christopher said.

    "Then understand the masks (sexual abuse survivors) are forced to wear by the governor, even after getting the vaccine, might as well be the governor's hand silencing the screams of their past," Christopher added. "I'm sorry if that hurts some of your feelings or upsets you, but that's where I stand."

    Someone attending the meeting called Christopher's comments "gross." Christopher flipped him the bird.

    Meanwhile, last week in Clackamas County, Oregon, commissioner Mark Shull posted a meme to Facebook that likened vaccine mandates to the Holocaust.

    [thanks, Michael!]

  • Read these funny letters that "Little Billy" wrote to famous people, and how they replied

    The 1990s were not great for Bill Geerhart, an unemployed and not-so-aspiring screenwriter in his 30s. As a way to pass the time, he channeled his inner 10-year-old Billy and began writing letters to famous and infamous people and institutions. He wrote them in pencil on elementary school ruled paper and asked funny, relevant questions to celebrities, politicians, serial killers, movie stars, lobbyists, and corporate executives.

    Geerhart saved a copy of each letter he wrote and each reply he received. Harper Collins released them in a book titled Little Billy's Letters: An Incorrigible Inner Child's Correspondence with the Famous, Infamous, and Just Plain Bewildered. We were able to include a few of our favorites thanks to the publisher's permission. Take a look!

    The National Hobo Association believes that "unlike tramps or bums, the hoboes are usually very resourceful, self reliant and appreciative people."

    91A-1
    91B-1
    91C-1

    Susan Atkins is a convicted murderer former member of the Manson Family. When she died in prison in 2009, she was the longest-incarcerated female inmate in the California penal system, having been denied parole 18 times.

    16A-1
    16B-1
    16C-1
    16D-1

    Robert Shapiro was a member of O.J. Simpson's "dream team" of defense lawyers.

    33A-1
    33B-1
    33C-1

    The Catholic Church is the world's largest Christian church, with more than a billion members.

    62A-1
    62B-1
    62C-1

    Caesars Palace is a hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    76A-1
  • GPT-3 can summarize books as well as a human can

    OpenAi announced that it has trained the GPT-3 AI to summarize books, and it does a remarkable job.

    Our best model is fine-tuned from GPT-3 and generates sensible summaries of entire books, sometimes even matching the average quality of human-written summaries: it achieves a 6/7 rating (similar to the average human-written summary) from humans who have read the book 5% of the time and a 5/7 rating 15% of the time. Our model also achieves state-of-the-art results on the BookSum dataset for book-length summarization.

    A page from Twelve Years a Slave, by Solomon Northrup:

    Having been born a freeman, and for more than thirty years enjoyed the blessings of liberty in a free State–and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into Slavery, where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage of twelve years–it has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public.

    Since my return to liberty, I have not failed to perceive the increasing interest throughout the Northern States, in regard to the subject of Slavery. Works of fiction, professing to portray its features in their more pleasing as well as more repugnant aspects, have been circulated to an extent unprecedented, and, as I understand, have created a fruitful topic of comment and discussion.

    I can speak of Slavery only so far as it came under my own observation–only so far as I have known and experienced it in my own person. My object is, to give a candid and truthful statement of facts: to repeat the story of my life, without exaggeration, leaving it for others to determine, whether even the pages of fiction present a picture of more cruel wrong or a severer bondage.

    As far back as I have been able to ascertain, my ancestors on the paternal side were slaves in Rhode Island. They belonged to a family by the name of Northup, one of whom, removing to the State of New-York, settled at Hoosic, in Rensselaer county. He brought with him Mintus Northup, my father. On the death of this gentleman, which must have occurred some fifty years ago, my father became free, having been emancipated by a direction in his will.

    Henry B. Northup, Esq., of Sandy Hill, a distinguished counselor at law, and the man to whom, under Providence, I am indebted for my present liberty, and my return to the society of my wife and children, is a relative of the family in which my forefathers were thus held to service, and from which they took the name I bear. To this fact may be attributed the persevering interest he has taken in my behalf.

    Sometime after my father's liberation, he removed to the town of Minerva, Essex county, N. Y., where I was born, in the month of July, 1808. How long he remained in the latter place I have not the means of definitely ascertaining. From thence he removed to Granville, Washington county, near a place known as Slyborough, where, for some years, he labored on the farm of Clark Northup, also a relative of his old master; from thence he removed to the Alden farm, at Moss Street, a short distance north of the village of Sandy Hill; and from thence to the farm now owned by Russel Pratt, situated on the road leading from Fort Edward to Argyle, where he continued to reside until his death, which took place on the 22d day of November, 1829. He left a widow and two children–myself, and Joseph, an elder brother. The latter is still living in the county of Oswego, near the city of that name; my mother died during the period of my captivity.

    Though born a slave, and laboring under the disadvantages to which my unfortunate race is subjected, my father was a man respected for his industry and integrity, as many now living, who well remember…

    GPT-3 summary of this page:

    Solomon explains that he was born a freeman in New York, and that he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. He was rescued in 1853 after 12 years of bondage. Solomon's ancestors were slaves in Rhode Island, but his father was emancipated upon the death of his master. He moved to New York and settled in Minerva, where Solomon was born in 1808. Solomon's father was a hardworking and respected man. His mother died during his captivity.

  • What is the tastiest apple?

    Thrillest bit into 20 varieties of eating apples, ranking them from worst (Red Delicious) to best (Braeburn). My favorite, the Fuji, comes in at a respectable fourth place.

    1. Fuji
      "Really Good With a Dark Secret"
      大好きだね! These Japanese apples developed by Tohoku Research Station in the 1930s are mild and completely reasonable, a treat on their own and the perfect accompaniment to Greek yogurt. For as lovely as Fuji apples are, they come with a dark secret, much like the knowledge that K-pop icons BTS's absolute banger "Best of Me" was produced by The Chainsmokers: This apple exists because the Virginia Ralls Genet was crossbred with, yes, the Red Delicious. For this reason, I must insist that Fuji apples be secured via trusted sources to avoid great disappointment with its hideous past.

    This description doesn't mention how crispy Fujis are!

    [image: MarkusHagenlocherOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0]

    [via Neatorama]

  • Watch this amazing short animated documentary about the hunt for Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann

    Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962), was an officer in the German Nazi Party who supervised the Holocaust and killed millions of Jews. After the war, he forged a new identity (Ricardo Klement) and escaped to Argentina, and sent for his family to live with him. He got a job working for Mercedes-Benz.

    This powerful and suspenseful animation tells the story of how Eichmann was captured by Israeli agents in Argentina, brought to Jerusalem, tried, and hanged in 1962. 

    The gripping story is presented in the form of animated pen sketches and narrated from the point of view of Mossad agent Zvi Aharoni, who lost most of his family in the Holocaust and was a key member in the operation to capture Eichmann.

    Told through the experience of Israeli Mossad agent Zvi Aharoni, the film documents the discovery and capture of Adolf Eichmann, the senior Nazi official largely responsible for organizing and executing the Holocaust. Hidden for 15 years half a world away, and living under an assumed identity, Eichmann is tracked down by Aharoni and the agent, with a small team in tow, must design and execute a strategy for Eichmann's capture and extradition.

    [via Nag on the Lake]

  • Watch unpaid contractor destroy new bathroom with a sledgehammer

    When a mechanic's lien isn't good enough, there's always the sledgehammer lien.

    In this video, an irate contractor smashes his bathroom tile work in front of the befuddled homeowner. The woman pleads with him to stop. He asks "Is someone going to pay me?" No one says "yes," so he goes back to smashing the wall to bits.

    When he's finished, he tells the owner that no contractor will fix the destroyed bathroom when they find out he wasn't paid for his work.

  • Army officer with smallpox and anthrax vaccinations says he's quitting because required Covid vaccine restricts freedom

    Lt Col Doug Hague served in the army for 18 years, receiving multiple vaccines during that time, including eight anthrax shots. Nevertheless, Hague has decided to resign after refusing to take a required Covid vaccine.

    On Hannity, Hage explained that his refusal to take the vaccine "is really about the freedom of the American people."

    Hague: I've spent 18 years active duty service, I've got two years until I'm eligible to pull my retirement. And I don't want the COVID vaccine, and I don't plan on getting it. But I've had all the other army vaccines, I've had eight anthrax shots, I've had the smallpox vaccination, I've had 'em all. So it's really not about whether or not I'll get the shot. But this is really about the freedom of the American people, the right to choose your own medical procedures, the right to decide, you know, what's going to be injected into your your body and what's not. That's a natural human right that, you know, we can't take away from people. And I swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, which affords those rights to the Americans.

    Hannity: Let me ask you that, because there is a slight loophole in the vaccine mandate for companies of 100 employees or more, which is that you have to agree to get tested once a week. Is that option exists for the military?

    Hague: No, not to my knowledge. That that does not exist for the military. No.

    Hannity: So really, you've pushed into a corner. Do you have any medical reason that perhaps maybe a rare condition of some kind that would prevent you from getting the vaccine? Or is this just a matter of principle?

    Hague: This is this is about principle. Like I said, it's about the freedom of the American people and I swore an oath to, to protect that freedom. And I've looked at the Army's publishes recent guidance on how it's going to unfold this plan for implementing this, I've looked it over I do believe that if I wanted to, I could wiggle my way through the next two years and get my retirement, but I would have to sacrifice my personal integrity. And I'd have to turn my back on the oath that I took to protect Americans' rights and that's what I believe this is about it. It's not about me, it's not about my retirement.

  • Hand Vacuum with batteries that hold a charge

    I've owned ten or more portable hand vacs in my life. The batteries in all of them did not stand the test of time. After six months or so, they couldn't hold a charge. But I bought the Black and Decker Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum in 2015 and the battery seems to be as powerful now as the day I bought it. It's also the priciest one I've bought. In the long run, it's also the cheapest, since I have not had to replace it. 

  • Woman runs back and forth across train tracks and almost gets squashed

    This woman might have some squirrel DNA in her. That would explain why she was running back and forth across railroad tracks with a fast-moving train bearing down on her.

    The train misses the indecisive Sciuridae-Hominidae chimera by inches. Will she learn not to to it again?

  • Watch: someone recorded a crash landing from inside a plane

    The engines failed on a small plane carrying 17 skydivers. One of the passengers filmed the controlled crash landing in a field.

    When the plane lands, a staff member ushers the passengers to quickly exit the plane. Once they do, he gives an all-clear signal to the pilot. Afterwards, there was much hugging and crying.

    Fortunately it doesn't look like there were any serious injuries.

  • QAnoners are envious that Gabby Petito news has pushed their Biden conspiracies from media coverage

    The cult of QAnon, also known as the GOP, has gone to considerable trouble concocting fantasies that Biden is a puppet controlled by a mysterious button-pusher in the White House who is tearing their world to shreds with one satanic/communistic move after another. Mainstream media, however, is largely ignored Qanon's phony stories in favor of Gabby Petito's disappearance and murder.

    QAnon is a bit like Bostrom's Paperclip Maximizer, except instead of grabbing everything it can find to make paperclips, it grabs everything it can find to make false stories that build on its garbage heap of sadcringe conspiracy theories. So it makes sense that Qnuts are now creating fact-free stories that claim Petito is a false-flag crises actor hired by the reptilian adrenochrome junkies overlords as a way to distract the masses from the important stuff they are making up about the Clintons, the Obamas, the Rothschilds, the Masons, the Catholics, you name it.

    The only thing more pathetic than the Qanon cult members manufacturing fake stories to maintain their unwarranted sense of self-esteem is their complete inability to understand why people aren't buying their bullshit.

    From Insider:

    Within an hour of the news breaking that a body fitting Petito's description was found at a remote campsite near the Grand Teton National Park, Insider saw multiple posts spring up on the QAnon-focused Telegram channels GhostEzra, which has more than 330,000 subscribers, and WeTheMedia, which has more than 246,000 subscribers, where comment threads spiraled into lengthy discussions about Petito's case.

    "Somethings not right about this whole situation… this is clearly Black Ops to cover for Biden failures. Was he ever real? Is SHE? Another false flag right before the audits," posted a Telegram user with the ID SherRryWW1G, referring to the problem-plagued Maricopa County, Arizona, audit of 2020 election votes.

    [image by Anthony Crider, CC BY 2.0]

  • Samoa scraps daylight saving time, it's time for the rest of the world to follow suit

    Daylight saving wasn't implemented to trick farmers into getting up early, as popular myth suggests. It was first proposed in 1895 for a much more important reason — so entomologist and astronomer George Hudson could study insects at night.

    Hudson is dead, so daylight saving is no longer necessary. Japan, India, and China don't observe it, and now the South Pacific island nation of Samoa is joining them in scrapping the confusing, accident-causing, useless-to-all-but-bug-watchers ritual of mass delusion.

    On Sunday, November 7 at 2 am local time, Samoa will do the right thing by doing nothing. It's time for the rest of the world to wake up and do the same.

    From the website Time and Date, which covers breaking news about the time and the date:

    "The Ministry hereby advises that the Daylight Saving Time (DST) policy has ceased as per Cabinet Decision […]. There will be no activation of the Daylight Saving Time policy for this year." The announcement came from the Government of Samoa on September 20, 2021, following a decision made by Samoa's new Government Cabinet on September 15, 2021.

    DST was implemented in 2010 by the previous Government of Samoa to give more time after work to tend to their plantations, promote public health, and save fuel. Instead, it "[…] defeated its own goals by being used by people to socialise more," according to the Samoa Observer.

    [Photo by  SONYA KERR  on  Scopio]

  • Atlantic staff writer David Frum angers Trump voters by calling them obese drug abusers who enjoy "weirdly homoerotic fanfic images of Trump"

    While being interviewed on Matt Lewis' podcast, Atlantic's David Frum has some advice for Trump voters, who he says are aging, obese, unhealthy, unhappy, and worshipful of Trump's questionable physical health: go for a walk, and order the salmon.

    The Republican Party is an elderly party. It's the party of people with chronic health problems. I mean, we know one thing that was true in 2016. If you found a county where people there's a lot of obesity and drug abuse, that's where you had a lot of Trump votes. So there's something compensatory, I think about this cult of physical prowess. It's people who, at some level, feel physically weak, who are attracted and, and who have even lost… I mean, there's there are all these, you know, weirdly homoerotic fanfic images of Trump. And Donald Trump who just can't lift a glass of water, can not walk down a ramp, hasn't done meaningful physical exercise ever in his life, and plays golf. You know, the idea that you would make this this fetish about him I mean, it says something about your doubts and your needs, and we are not as physically healthy a country as we should be. And and so we, and the Republican Party, and the Trumpy fringes have a special problems with personal physical health. And, what I was saying was "Look, stop worshipping these people just go for a walk. Go for a walk and and and stop eating with the fried foods. Go for a walk or go for a walk and order the salmon."

    Full interview here.

  • Watch 40-foot wave of lava destroy everything in its path in Spain's La Palma Island

    The Cumbre Vieja volcano volcano erupted on the island of La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands on Sunday. The resulting massive wave of lava is creeping across the island, engulfing everything in its path.

    So far, 7,000 residents have evacuated. The videos below show the unstoppable liquid juggernaut. In the first video, a waterfall of lava cascades into a backyard swimming pool, causing the water to instantly vaporize. In the second video, the lava takes on the form of a caustic gray goo, covering all the buildings it encounters.

    The volcano is also belching tons of sulfur dioxide gas, which is dangerous for humans to inhale. It's not clear how the residents of La Palma will be able to safely return to their homes once the eruption is over.

    The Canary Islands are part of Spain, located off the coast of North Africa, and are a popular tourist destination for Europeans. The archipelago consists of seven major islands and several minor ones. The volcanic islands are part of the North African tectonic plate, which is sliding under the Eurasian plate.

  • Check out this miniature, drivable James Bond Aston Martin DB5 with a $123,000 price tag

    The Little Car Company is making only 125 No Time to Die Editions of its Aston Martin DB5 Junior. It's two-thirds the size of the original car and runs on batteries. Because it's smaller than the original DB5, two adults can't sit side-by-side, but and adult and a child can fit, "to allow all generations of Bond fans to share the love of driving."

    It has a top speed of 45mph + and comes with a bunch of James Bond gadgetry:

    Mini Guns,
    Cycling digital numberplates,
    Smoke screen,
    Skid mode,
    Hidden gadgets switch panel

    It goes for £90,000, plus tax.