• Judge sentences pair of rioting cousins to longer prison term than government's recommendation

    Two of Trump's very fine supporters, Robert Bauer and Edward Hemenway, were sent to prison for 45 days for participating in the Capitol riot. What makes it interesting is the prosecutors asked for just 30 days, but the judge didn't think that was sufficient.

    To add to the merriment, the delightful lads are cousins and share similar traits. They wear matching camouflage Trump caps, enjoy rioting, and have criminal records — Little Eddie (38) went to prison for sexual battery in 2006, while older cuz Bobby (44) has multiple drug convictions. If that doesn't spell M-A-G-A I don't know what does!

    From The Independent:

    It is the third time Judge Chutkan has sentenced a Capitol rioter above the government's recommendation. She ordered Dona Sue Bissey to 14 days in prison despite prosecutors asking for probation, and gave Matthew Mazzocco prison time despite the recommendation of home confinement.

    Mr Bauer and Mr Hemenway were the 16th and 17th rioters sentenced so far. With more than 600 still facing criminal charges, sentences beyond recommendations by prosecutors will be closely watched by other defendants considering plea deals.

  • Dubai tortures and imprisons man for 25 years for having non-psychoactive CBD oil

    Ah, Dubai, the sparkling desert miracle of splendiferous opulence! Where else can you get tortured and imprisoned for 25 years for having a bottle of non-psychoactive CBD oil?

    That's what happened to Billy Hood (24), a UK man who moved there to coach children's soccer. According to The Independent, Dubai police regularly monitor WhatsApp messages for "CBD," and that's how Hood was nabbed. "A week before Mr Hood's arrest the friend who owned the vape liquid sent him a message telling him he had forgot it in his car." (CBD oil is legal in the UK and many other parts of the world that recognize human rights.)

    So even though the CBD oil didn't even belong to Hood, the cops raided Hood's apartment, searched Hood's car, and found CBD vape oil in his car. They tested Hood's blood for drugs, the test came back negative.

    He was arrested and charged with "drug trafficking with intent to supply," and given a 25-year prison sentence.

    From The Independent:

    Alfie Cain, a football agent, claimed that Mr Hood had been beaten for five days as officers from Dubai's CID tried to force him into confessing to drug crimes.

    Mr Hood had only signed the drug trafficking "confession", written in Arabic, because he was exhausted and in pain, and because officers said they would stop beating him if he did, it was alleged.

    Mr Cain was quoted by The Sun as saying: "It's been bad in Al-Barsha, I'm not going to sugar coat it.

    "When they took him to the CID drugs unit they beat him for an entire five days, he told me police officers tasered him, slapped him in the face and all they fed him was bread and little bit of water. He was basically tortured and put in a cell with 30 other people for five days.

    If you're interested in visiting Dubai to enjoy "sunny adventures, incredible cuisine, epic entertainment and the thrilling Expo 2020," visit its official website. Bon voyage!

  • Watch the inventor of the maglev train demonstrate magnetics

    It's comforting to know that Professor Eric Laithwaite (1921-1997) former Professor of Heavy Electrical Engineering at Imperial College London and inventor of the maglev trains felt the same way as Insane Clown Posse about magnets.

    His opening remark in this 1975 video is "Permanent magnets are difficult things to understand. In fact, if we're absolutely honest with ourselves, we don't understand them." This is just a posh way of saying, "Fucking magnets, how do they work?"

    From Aeon:

    Well-regarded in his time as both a lecturer and an engineer, Laithwaite presents a series of demonstrations that build, step by step, until he finally unveils a small maglev train model. The first commercial maglev train debuted at Birmingham Airport in 1984, and today Laithwaite's engineering breakthroughs help power many of the world's fastest trains.

  • Panic In Year Zero (1962), a survival science fiction film was just uploaded to the Internet Archive

    I've never heard of Panic In Year Zero! (a.k.a. End of the World), a 1962 science fiction movie starring Ray Milland about a family that survives a nuclear explosion in Los Angeles. It was just uploaded to the Internet Archive and I've got it bookmarked to watch later. The jazz soundtrack at the beginning is great!

    From Wikipedia:

    Harry Baldwin (Ray Milland), his wife Ann (Jean Hagen), their son Rick (Frankie Avalon), and daughter Karen (Mary Mitchel) leave suburban Los Angeles on a camping trip in the Sierra Nevada just after sunrise. After driving for two hours, the Baldwins notice unusually bright light flashes coming from a great distance behind them. Sporadic news reports broadcast on CONELRAD hint at the start of an atomic war, later confirmed when the Baldwins see a large mushroom cloud over what was Los Angeles. The family initially attempts to return to rescue Ann's mother back at their home, but they soon abandon the plan as panicked people climb over one another to escape the fallout from multiple nuclear explosions. Witnessing society being torn apart, Harry decides that the family must find refuge at their secluded vacation spot.

    The Baldwins stop to buy supplies at a small town off the main road, which has not yet been inundated by the crowd fleeing Los Angeles. When Harry attempts buy tools and guns from hardware store owner Ed Johnson (Richard Garland), who believes only Los Angeles has been hit, and assumes the government will remain intact, withholds the guns per state law since Harry can only cover them with checks. With Rick's help, Harry absconds with the weapons, but insists to Johnson that he will eventually return to pay for them in full. On the road, the family encounters three threatening young hoodlums, Carl (Richard Bakalyan), Mickey (Rex Holman), and Andy (Neil Nephew), but manage to drive them off.

    I don't want to read the rest.

  • A history of "Afternoon Delight," the "dirtiest song ever to top the Billboard Hot 100"

    Rob Tannenbaum has a thoroughly good time writing about the history of the Starland Vocal Band's 1976 soft rock ballad "Afternoon Delight" in his GQ essay, "Skyrockets In Flight: The Strange Story of the Dirtiest Number One Ever."

    "Afternoon Delight" is cheerful and sprightly. It smells like soap and sounds like a bonfire singalong at Christian summer camp. And it's the pinnacle of AM Gold, which is part of what makes it so deviously wonderful. If AC/DC or Prince had sung the chorus – "Rubbin' sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite" – you'd have known immediately it was about sex. Under the cover of sunshine, "Afternoon Delight" snuck a pro-screwing song onto the charts. It's like opening a box of Cracker Jack and finding a cock ring.

    Nothing is more American than a song that presents itself with an innocent facade, but at heart is as horny as a ram in springtime.

    Two of the members of Starland Vocal Band, Bill and Taffy Danoff, worked with John Denver as backup singers and songwriters (they co-wrote "Take Me Home, Country Roads"). Here they are on a John Denver BBC special performing a song with a terrific kazoo solo by Taffy:

  • I acquired a brimming bag of nettles, and it shall form the basis of my concoctions

    This massive package of desiccated, possibly sentient leaves from beyond the gulfs of space itself was harvested by priest-kings waiting for the day when the powers that covered their planet in the noxious weed will return. Here in my hands, the very flesh of the Old Ones quivers with anticipation for the day when it will be set free to consume all this pathetic world.

    Even at the rapid rate my spawn drink the green ichor, the gargantuan bag will last at least a year.

    As I partake of what was promised to be a fountain of health and vitality, my skin crawls with delicious dread at the memory of the pungent horror that is surely watching me behind its mycelium prison. Dare I place a value upon just one discolored sliver from a plant that crawls through the mineral soil of an alien dimension, filled with monstrous creatures and predatory gods? And yet, bafflingly, I am in possession of one pound of the terrible plant material.

    The elixir made from boiling nettle leaves has been a very effective treatment for hay fever, which is no doubt a hallucination brought on by an ancient streak of hereditary insanity on both sides of my accursed bloodline.

  • Watch: In 1960 William Shatner plays an egomaniacal millionaire industrialist who finances a lunar expedition and joins the crew

    This week William Shatner (90) was invited by an arrogant billionaire industrialist to ride in his rocket.

    Over sixty years later, life imitates art, with a twist. Night of the Auk was a televised play from 1960 starring William Shatner as an "arrogant millionaire industrialist who has financed the first manned lunar expedition and has come along for the ride."

    Unfortunately, this YouTube video is just a 3-minute clip from the show, but you get to see young Shatner's trademark understated acting at its best.

    When the drama begins, the ship has already reached the moon and is now heading back to Earth. The mission was not a complete success: one member of the six-man expedition died on the moon, and his shipmates left him there. Now, on the way home, the five remaining spacemen make a terrible discovery: the ship has only enough oxygen left for TWO crewmen to reach Earth alive. Now, while the crewmen are arguing over which three of them should sacrifice themselves to save the other two, they also hear transmissions from their Earth base, describing events back home. An all-out nuclear holocaust has already begun, and the entire human race have been doomed by the radioactive fallout.

    If you ask me, the story would be just as good without the "all-out nuclear holocaust part."

    [via r/ObscureMedia]

  • Singapore is going to hang a man for possession of two lbs of weed

    Here in Los Angeles I frequently get postcards in the mail offering free weed delivery to my house. Across the Pacific Ocean, in Singapore, a 41-year-old Omar Yacob Bamadhaj will be executed by hanging for having weed.

    He was caught with two pounds of cannabis in the trunk of his father's car as he was entering Singapore from Malaysia in 2018. He says his confession was forced because drug enforcement authorities threatened to hang his father and him.

    Bamadhaj must have been extremely desperate to bring weed into Singapore, which has a zero-tolerance policy about recreational drugs. Singapore courts are well-known for their harsh sentences. Even a tiny amount of weed can result in a lengthy prison sentence.

    From High Times:

    Singapore is one of the worst places on the planet to get caught with pot. Singapore courts can dish out the death penalty to anyone caught with over 500 grams of cannabis—around 1,000 joints. 

    Singapore also doesn't hesitate to punish foreigners if they are caught with drugs, unlike other drug-free nations such as Saudi Arabia or China. In those countries, a foreigner caught with drugs would most likely be deported instead.

    Singapore doesn't even need evidence of drug possession to jail a foreigner. Singapore might be the world's only country that will require drug tests to foreign nationals and then arrest anyone who fails the test.

  • Trump warns US that Republicans will not vote unless his dumb election fraud claim is "solved"

    "If we don't solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in '22 or '24. It is the single most important thing for Republicans to do." – President Donald J. Trump, 10/13/21

    Did you hear that, Republicans? Tell all your Qnut friends that the God-Emperor has spoken — stay away from the polls on election day.

  • The only Star Trek phaser rifle ever made is up for auction. Starting bid: $250,000

    The opening bid on the mind-bendingly gorgeous Star Trek phaser rifle at Heritage Auctions is $250,000. I think it will go for much more.


    The phaser rifle from the second pilot of Star Trek's original series, September 1966's "Where No Man Has Gone Before," was designed by The Game of Life's creator Reuben Klamer, who died at 99 on Sept. 14.

    The long, stylish weapon made its debut in the episode about a man named Gary Mitchell, played by Gary Lockwood, rendered a god by a blast of radiation at the galaxy's edge.

    In the episode, Spock (Leonard Nimoy) secures the weapon to transport Mitchell to a planet where he's to be stranded. But in the end, it's Mitchell's best friend, Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner), who uses the phaser rifle to topple a mountain of rocks beneath which the godlike Gary is buried. Mitchell – and the phaser rifle – would never be seen again, though the weapon was used in myriad early promo photos for the nascent series that survives today in myriad televised and cinematic iterations.

    Azarian has long possessed one of the galaxy's finest Trek collections, including the uniforms worn by Kirk, Spock, Dr. Leonard McCoy, Lt. Uhura, Scotty and Mr. Chekov on television and in 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture. He counts among his pieces a wrist communicator that made its one and only appearance in The Motion Picture, as well as the miniature of the Tholian ship from the third-season episode "The Tholian Web." All of those pieces, and myriad others beamed aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise during its ongoing mission to explore strange new worlds, are featured in this auction.

    But the phaser rifle was a Holy Grail item for Azarian, who didn't even think it existed – until it appeared at auction in 2013.

    "Over the years you would see the same stuff coming up, and I would be offered the same things at auction houses over and over, yet that rifle was always elusive," Azarian says. "No one talked about having it. No one talked about it existing. The consensus was it had disappeared for whatever reason, and to see it come up was breathtaking. For being 55 years old, it's in incredible shape, and to see it in person was, well, breathtaking. That was a key piece."

  • Check out this gorgeous edition of John W. Campbell's story that inspired 'The Thing' movies

    Angel Bomb, which published the incredible "experiential book" The Miskatonic Papers in 2019, has a new project on Kickstarter. This one is a deluxe letterpress edition of the 1938 John W. Campbell story, "Who Goes There?" that inspired The Thing movies.

    Two versions are available: a luxurious Deluxe letterpress edition, quarter-bound in Japanese blue book cloth with blind emboss and tan goatskin spine. This edition comes in a custom-designed bound portfolio containing a triptych of Antarctica with notes and sketches from the expedition and holding five frame-worthy letterpress prints of artwork from the story. Embedded in the cover of the portfolio is a hand-cast, painted resin medallion of the expedition's emblem. A true collector's edition, limited to only fifty copies, this unique set will thrill you with its immersion into an expedition fighting madly against a shape-shifting alien that is hell-bent on subsuming the crew.

    The Standard edition is equally beautiful, letterpress printed, quarter-bound in cold blue book cloth and a contrasting spine coming wrapped with a letterpress belly band. Designed to be an affordable option featuring the same blind cover emboss, illustrations, and high-quality printing, this edition is limited to 200 copies.

    The rewards are really cool. Look at these patches!

    [Images courtesy Angel Bomb]

  • Listen to Karen Carpenter sing "California Dreamin'" when she was 17

    I don't like The Carpenters very much, but I just heard Karen Carpenter's 1967 demo version of "California Dreamin'," which she sang when she was only 17 and I love it. Features brother Richard's cool keyboards, too!

    From ObscureMedia:

    Richard Carpenter: From Joe's Studio, circa 1967. This is the one tape, 4-track or otherwise, that survives, as, for some reason, Joe gave it to me.

    Even though the most important ingredient on tape, the lead, is on its own track, the bass, piano, drums and string machine were all bounced to another track, leaving two open…for what, I can't remember.

    As a result, in 1999, we transferred the 4-track to 48-track and re-did everything, including a reproduction of my original electric piano solo.

    I finally got around to putting real strings on the track instead of those on the Chamberlain Music Master that was on the demo. This is one of my favorite tracks on this collection. Karen, at 17, is a marvel. I especially like the way she jumps an octave, from chest voice, to head voice on the letter (and note) "A" in the opening and then seamlessly back to chest on "Dreamin'".

    There is some electronic noise on the lead track, we don't know why. And I realize now and I should have then, that we have an incorrect word in the second verse: "began to pray" should be "pretend to pray".

    [via r/ObscureMedia]

  • Watch the new trailer for Peter Jackson's upcoming three-part original docuseries on The Beatles

    I'm so excited to subscribe to Disney+ for a month so I can watch The Beatles Get Back, which premieres November 25 and features parts of 57 hours of never-before-seen high-quality footage of the four mop-tops in the studio.

    Here's a new trailer. The surprising part to me is that they seem to be getting along well. I thought they disliked each other at this point.

    Does anyone else wish this was being released in theaters as a 6-hour movie? That way I could cry without people seeing.

  • Walgreens closes five more San Francisco stores, citing "organized retail crime"

    Walgreens says it is closing five more of its stores in San Francisco because shoplifters are making them unprofitable. The chain has closed at least 10 stores since 2019 because of "organized retail crime".

    AP reports that Walmart had to shut down one store that had been losing $1,000 every day to shoplifting.

    From SF Gate:

    "Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that," said Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso. "Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment."

    The drugstore chain hopes to relocate employees from closing stores to other nearby locations.

    San Francisco Board of Supervisor Ahsha Safai of District 11 said he was "devastated" by the loss of the store on Mission Street on Twitter, writing "I am completely devastated by this news – this Walgreens is less than a mile from seven schools and has been a staple for seniors, families and children for decades. This closure will significantly impact this community."

  • U.S. inflation reaches 13-year high: 5.4%

    A rise in food prices, fuel costs, and shelter costs in the Unites States led to a 5.4% inflation rate in September. Prices for food and shelter accounted for half of the overall increase. In the past year, however, energy costs have increased by almost 25 percent.

    [via CBC]

    [image: By Renier Maritz – Own work, CC BY 3.0]

  • Capitol rioter admits to two new felonies while representing himself in court

    The federal judge overseeing capitol rioter Brandon Fellows bond hearing told him it was a "bad idea" for him to represent himself, but Fellows, who has been charged with obstruction of an official proceeding insisted on taking the stand. As the judge predicted, Fellows put his foot in his mouth not once but twice by admitting he committed two additional felonies, reports WUSA 9.

    Over the course of the nearly 2-hour hearing, Fellows rambled across a difficult-to-follow litany of complaints about his incarceration, stopping to touch on subjects as widely varied as the Taliban, Guantanamo Bay, a woman who'd left her child in a dumpster and a "constitutional lawyer" who had allegedly advised him to wrap his cell phone in tin foil to avoid capture.

    In her much shorter cross-examination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mona Furst got Fellows to admit – under oath – that he had climbed into the Capitol through a broken window without police permission, that he had used the previous judge's wife's contact information to try to get him removed from the case and that he had missed court-ordered mental health and drug testing appointments.

    [Judge] McFadden, having listened to him talk for nearly two hours, then brought Fellows back down to Earth.

    "You are charged with a federal felony," McFadden said. "This is not a community college where you get pats on the back."

    Fellows was interviewed in February 2021 by WNYT 13 about his participation in the riot. He wore the same fake beard he wore during the riot:

    Fellows says, at one point, he wandered into Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley's office and put his feet up on a table, as he and others passed around what appeared to be a marijuana joint.

    "I do regret potentially smoking what may have been weed," he said. "I think that discredits me and makes me look stupid to a lot of people. And also it's not something I want to be sharing with my future children."

  • Michigan Rep. Daire Rendon wore a QAnon pin at pro-Trump protest

    Michigan GOP lawmaker Daire Rendon revealed herself to be a member of QAnon, anti-Semitic pro-Nazi cult, notorious for a long list of failed predictions and which appeals to sociopathic sore losers with poor critical thinking skills.

    Rendon was spotted wearing a Q pin at recent election protest Tuesday in Lansing, Michigan.

    When a VICE News reporter asked Rendon about it. she explained that Q is a "a group of people who are digital warriors," who "pass information around and reveal information that's been kept hidden for a very long time," based on information from the "highest level of intelligence in the United States government."

    From Vice:

    When VICE News asked Rendon if she believed that top government officials were involved in a child sex ring, she said, "That's part of it." But she pivoted to other topics, including the false claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

    "I think a lot of things happened in the last election. President Trump told us they're going to cheat, they're going to cheat. We realized that was the plan. And we knew that because it had happened before— only this time it was done at just a much higher level," Rendon said.

    The usual question – is she stupid enough to believe this, or evil enough to pretend to believe it?