Disneyland social clubs accused of behaving like outlaw motorcycle gangs

The LA Times recently reported on unpleasant behavior among Disneyland "social clubs," who roam the park in gangs of 20 and "resemble a cross between the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and a grown-up Mickey Mouse Club." The clubs have names like, The Dark Side Elites, Big Bad Wolves, Main Street Fire Station 55 Social Club, and the White Rabbits Social Club.

[A] civil lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court has revealed a dark undercurrent to the pastime. The head of one club has accused another of using gangster-like tactics to try to collect "protection" money for a charity fundraiser at the park.

The lawsuit reads like mob movie set in a theme park. The plot revolves around the Main Street Fire Station 55 Social Club, whose leaders claim they have been bullied and terrorized by the head of the White Rabbits Social Club.

The lawsuit names 19 members of the White Rabbits, accusing them of defamation, invasion of privacy, conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It asks the court to reward the victims compensatory and punitive damages, to be determined during the trial.

The suit also names Disneyland, saying the park has failed to take action against the offending club. A park spokeswoman said Disney has not been served with the lawsuit and declined to comment further.

Read the rest

Man runs as GOP candidate for U.S. Senate. His parents donated the maximum to the Democratic incumbent

Kevin Nicholson is seeking the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin. Oddly enough, Nicholson's parents donated $2,700 each -- the maximum allowed under the law -- to the incumbent, Democrat Tammy Baldwin.

From The Week:

Nicholson, a former president of College Democrats of America, told CNN he's not taking it personally. "My parents have a different worldview than I do, and it is not surprising that they would support a candidate like Tammy Baldwin, who shares their perspective," he said. Nicholson said he became a conservative in 2007 after serving with the Marines in Iraq, and "regardless of who may disagree with my life decisions, I would not trade these experiences for anything, and they will always guide my views as Wisconsin's next U.S. senator."

Image: Youtube campaign advertisement for Kevin Nicholson Read the rest

Fred Astaire said this was "‘the greatest dancing he had ever seen on film"

Watch the Nicholas Brothers dance the "Jumpin' Jive" in the 1943 musical, Stormy Weather. Fred Astaire said it was "the greatest dancing he had ever seen on film."

From The New York Times:

For it wasn't the acrobatics, in themselves, that made the Nicholas brothers the Nicholas Brothers. It was the overall beauty and musicality of the entire dance. Their achievement was in the how -- the way Fayard would deploy his hands, as graceful as Fred Astaire's; the way Harold would make every silhouette superclear; the genial, noncompetitive way each brother would cede the floor to the other for a solo, passing the dance like a baton, in musical time. When Astaire pronounced their "Jumpin' Jive" number in the movie Stormy Weather (1943) -- unrehearsed and achieved on the first take -- to be the greatest dancing he had ever seen on film, he was not commending the acrobatics alone but rather the way the brothers erupted organically out of their tap steps, like a series of overlapping geysers that, simply to look at, project an observer into a stratosphere of elation.

[via Twisted Sifter] Read the rest

Webcomic [nsfw] with incredible 2-bit graphics

I know very little about this webcomic, called "Синие Зубы городская легенда" (Google translation: "Blue Teeth Urban Legend"). The beautifully-rendered panels (many of which are animated) look like they were made on a circa-1985 Macintosh. The comic is quite NSFW, so be warned.

Update: artist is Uno Moralez. Here's a 2012 interview with him.

[via The World's Best Ever] Read the rest

Demonic child screams and runs through an 8 hour flight from Germany to Newark

Shane Townley says: "Watch as this kid runs and screams throughout the entire flight while the mother does little to nothing to stop him. Three years old on a 8 hour flight from Germany to Newark NJ. He never quits!"

The person who recorded this could sell the recordings of the shrieks to a sound library and make good money licensing them to low budget horror movies. Read the rest

Tenzi dice game and variation deck

I'm excited to be going on Jonathan Coulton's JoCo Cruise this year. We've been asked to bring some games with us, so I'm bringing the Tenzi dice game plus the variation deck.

The basic rules are simple - everyone starts out with 10 dice and the goal is to roll your dice as fast as you can until all of them show the same number. Every time you roll, you are allowed to set aside any dice that match your desired number. When all ten of the dice show the same number, you shout "Tenzi!," throw your hands in the air, and gloat while the other players gnash their teeth. The game rules included a couple of variations on the basic rule set, which we also played and liked.

There's also a deck of cards called 77 Ways to Play Tenzi, which takes Tenzi to a new level. The deck adds variety, surprise, and humor to Tenzi. It makes Tenzi so much more fun that I think the company shouldn't sell the dice without the cards.

Each Tenzi card has a variation of the basic rules. The rules for the variants are simple enough that they can be described in one or two sentences. Here are a few examples:

To win the above game, you start with nine dice and roll until you get nine threes. Then you have to arrange the dice as shown on the card, and then roll the tenth dice until you get a six. Read the rest

Baby elephant wants man to stop talking and start playing

A man has an important message about elephant poaching but this baby elephant won't let him deliver it because it's playtime.

Image: Youtube screenshot Read the rest

Philippine president Duterte instructs his soldiers to shoot female rebels in their vagina

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had a message for women who oppose him: “Tell the soldiers. ‘There’s a new order coming from the mayor. We won’t kill you. We will just shoot your vagina.' If there is no vagina, it would be useless.”

From The Washington Post:

Duterte regularly denigrates and threatens women, but when challenged, he insists it was all just a joke. Just last week, his spokesman accused women of “overreacting” to the president’s comments. “I mean, that’s funny. Come on. Just laugh,” Harry Roque said.

According to the official transcript from the Wednesday event, the crowd did, in fact, laugh at Duterte’s remarks.

Duterte, who was elected president in 2016, has made headlines for “joking” about the rape of a kidnapped Australian who was later killed and for telling troops to rape women in conflict. He often shares unsolicited opinions on the sexual attractiveness of women, particularly female politicians who question his policies, in an apparent effort to demean, shame and silence them.

Trump is noted for praising Duterte and boasting about his great relationship with the despotic leader. One reason might be that Trump's "name is on a 57-story, $150 million building in Manila. Duterte named the head of the corporation that developed it as an envoy to the United States."

Image by PCOO EDP - [1], Public Domain, Link Read the rest

Reddit mob threatens 16 year old girl coder with rape threats and abuse

When Harshita Arora, 16, posted about her cryptocurrency price tracking app on Reddit, she was falsely accused of plagiarism and then abused online and even threatened with rape by men who couldn't accept that she'd created the app without a man to help her. Arora, who lives in a small town in India, studied computer science in school and was accepted into an MIT summer program where she learned to build apps.

From Taylor Lorenz's story in The Daily Beast:

Streams of hate poured in. Arora’s email was flooded with abusive language, disturbing messages, and veiled threats.

Redditors attempted to discredit her and call her a liar. They said only an older, more advanced programmer, probably a man, could build an app like hers.

“I doubt the girl herself came up with the idea and hired the contractor(s) herself. She’s a 16 year old girl, she doesn’t have the wherewithal or funds to do it herself (hiring the contractor, or coding the app),” one commenter wrote. “She’s trying to look pretty for boys in her class, worrying about what the bitch Jessie said to Brittany about Cloe who likes Brian even though he so likes Ciara, and sitting in her room listening to 21 pilots or whoever. That’s my take anyway.”

At first, Arora attempted to respond to the messages in earnest. She tried to show her work and respond to the accusations.

She was shocked to see a man she considered to be a friend turn on her and bash her in public as an untalented fraud.

Read the rest

Video about the rare black beauty stick insect

This striking insect was discovered in Peru in 2005. It has gold eyes, a black body, and tiny red wings. It also has a gland behind its head that sprays a stinky substance when threatened. They have become popular as pets.

From Great Big Story:

This is the black beauty stick insect, a rare species only found in a tiny 12-acre area high in the mountains of northern Peru. Only discovered in 2005, not much is known about these insects, but they are believed to be most active at night when their deep black coloration keeps them hidden from predators. They are also armed with a gland at the rear of their heads which, when threatened, can spray a corrosive, strong-smelling substance. Because their natural habitat is so small, their survival is precarious—thankfully, captive breeding efforts may bring these insects back from the brink.

Image: Great Big Story video screengrab Read the rest

The original cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #100 has a high bid of $190,000

This 1971 cover of The Amazing Spider-Man #100 includes portraits of over 25 of Spidey's greatest friends and foes. It was created by John Romita Sr. and Frank Giacoia and is on the auction block. Heritage Auctions believes it could end up selling for as much as $300,000.

From Heritage Auctions' release:

The Original Cover Art from The Amazing Spider-Man #100 – considered one of the most iconic covers of the 1970s – could sell for as much as $300,000 in Heritage Auctions’ winter Comics & Comic Art event Feb. 22-24. Brimming with fresh-to-market high-grade vintage books, the auction features rarely seen art, such as Frank Frazetta’s Tree of Life Original Painting (est. $300,000).

“Hot on the heels of a last year’s record sales, we are starting 2018 with milestones of comic history,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations for Comics & Comic Art at Heritage. “There are wonders to be found for every collector across every price point.”

Artists John Romita Sr.’s and Frank Giacoia’s cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #100 masterfully portrays Spidey and dozens of famous canon characters and marks the first time the artwork has ever been offered at auction. Collaborating with the legendary Stan Lee, the two understood the anniversary issue’s cover needed to be a masterpiece. Historians and fans alike rank the cover among the most influential of all time.

“This cover was done during the peak period of John Romita, Sr.’s artwork, at a time when Spider-Man’s popularity was extremely high,” Heritage Auctions’ Senior Vice President for Fine & Decorative Arts Ed Jaster said.

Read the rest

Good deal on a popular low cost soldering iron

My more serious maker pals use soldering stations that cost about $500. I get along with cheapies like this $14 kit Read the rest

Fox News executive VP complains that US Olympians are "Darker, Gayer, Different”

[Update 2/9/2018 2:03pm PT: A Fox News spokesperson who requested anonymity contacted Boing Boing to provide an "on the record statement" that the views and values of the Executive Vice President/Executive Editor for Fox News "do not reflect the views or values of FOX News."]

John Moody, Fox News' executive vice president, has a problem with the fact that Team USA has introduced a bit of diversity to its roster. The Washington Post reported that the 243 member team of Olympians has two openly gay men, “10 are African American — 4 percent — and another 10 are Asian American. The rest, by and large, are white.”

That's way too gay and black for vice president Moody. From his op-ed (which appears to have been taken down from the Fox News site without explanation, but here's the Archive.org snapshot):

Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to “Darker, Gayer, Different.” If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work.

A USOC official was quoted this week expressing pride (what else?) about taking the most diverse U.S. squad ever to the Winter Olympics. That was followed by a, frankly, embarrassing laundry list of how many African-Americans, Asians and openly gay athletes are on this year’s U.S. team. No sport that we are aware of awards points – or medals – for skin color or sexual orientation.

For the current USOC, a dream team should look more like the general population.

Read the rest

Professor tells student "Australia isn't a country" and gives her a failing grade

[UPDATE 2/9/2018 12:47pm PT: The professor has been fired.]

Read the rest

Digg founder Kevin Rose talks about his favorite vegetable fermenter and cryptocurrency wallet

My guest on the Cool Tools podcast this week is Kevin Rose. Kevin is a serial entrepreneur and product builder, having founded the social news site Digg in 2004. Later Kevin pursued a career in venture investing, investing in companies like Medium, Ripple, and Blue Bottle Coffee while at Google Ventures and is now investing at True Ventures.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

Show notes:

Peloton Bike ($1,995)

“I had taken a couple stationary bike classes and the ones that you actually have to go in person, but then I had a buddy of mine, that was like you don’t understand, these classes are a lot of fun, they really motivate you, you can do it your house, and for me that just sounded like, okay, I’ll give it a shot, and I went and tried it at a friend’s house, and I got hooked, purchased one, and for a geek it's awesome because you get all the really detailed analytics on the screen there post workout, and then it's all live streaming classes, so like when you're in a class the instructors will call you out by name sometimes, and there's all different types of instructors depending on your music style and likes, so I've just found it to be a great way — if you have an extra half hour — to just jump on for 20 minutes and get a work out in." [Note: True Ventures, the venture capital firm Kevin Rose works for, is an investor in Peloton.]

Habitify: Habit Tracker

"I've been into habit tracking apps, but they always kind of fall off, but as a data junkie, and kind of a geek, I really like to see and be held to certain habits, so I like to see like completion rate, and progress indicators, and little charts and graphs. Read the rest

MAD magazine exclusive: "The Future of Job Automation"

Writer Kenny Keil and award-winning artist John Martz have an all-new satirical comic timeline in the upcoming issue of MAD #550, titled "The Future of Job Automation." It takes a jab at robots' success in taking over human jobs in the future - even if they don't always get it right. The upcoming issue will be available on digital this Friday, 2/9 and on newsstands 2/20. Click here to embiggen the image. Read the rest

Good reality check: Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies

The authors of the entertaining 388-page Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies make short work of debunking a bunch of popular tinfoil hat bugaboos, like Roswell, Area 51, underground government installations, chemtrails, faked moon landings, 911 truthers, Illuminati, etc. They also have a good section explaining why some people are attracted to conspiracy theories, and tips for being a good skeptic. The paperback version is just $8.42 and according to the decription, it was was required reading in a 2010 course on conspiracy at Harvard University. My kids are at the age when they are wondering about conspiracy theories, because it is a appealing but flawed filter for understanding a complicated world. I'm hoping they'll read it. I wish I had this book when I was a teenager.

Background image by Adamgasth - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link Read the rest

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