• Playboy founder Hugh Hefner was a rapist

    Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine and the associated Playboy Mansion cult, is accused of "coercing and drugging women into sex" with him, reports the BBC, part of decades of systematic abuse and exploitation playing out in plain sight.

    Former girlfriends describe the iconic publisher as "like a vampire" who "sucked the life" out of young girls.

    The company is pledging to "actively listen and learn" from the women.

    "Today's Playboy is not Hugh Hefner's Playboy," read an open letter published over the weekend.

    "We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences."

    To call Playboy a shadow of its former self is an insult to shadows, all the same: it hasn't published since the pandemic began and its own statement was posted at Medium—a good idea, as that helps Playboy avoid association with its own sleazy, NFT-strewn website. Hopefully the victims can wring some measure of justice out of it beyond these platitudes.

    The "revelations" come as part of a 10-part A&E miniseries about Hefner and the Playboy empire.

  • Damon Albarn apologizes to Taylor Swift after saying she doesn't write her own songs

    Damon Albarn, singer with legendary English pop outfits Blur and Gorillaz, said in an interview that Taylor Swift didn't write her own songs. But she does, mostly! Taylor told him off on Twitter, and the world shook.

    This is a great example of context collapse. Here someone in a "floating world" (UK alt/indie rock) thinking they're too marginal/exalted to be noticed by the subject, pours it on. The talk might be true or false or somehow neither but is really about projecting a certain character. But it's the internet, and she's listening, and she nuked it from orbit.

    Note how he still can't help himself, suggesting he was taken out of context? Context collapse is the sand liquefying, the truth changing phase, the world going dark around you. It is such weird magic.

  • Chinese streaming edition of Fight Club has new ending where state authorities triumph

    The Bangkok Post reports that Fight Club is now available to stream in China, replete with a new ending that pleases the authorities there. Instead of The Narrator destroying/integrating his alter-ego and blowing up downtown Wilmington to cripple the finance industry…

    …the exploding building scene is replaced with a black screen and a coda: "The police rapidly figured out the whole plan and arrested all criminals, successfully preventing the bomb from exploding".

    It then adds that Tyler — a figment of The Narrator's imagination — was sent to a "lunatic asylum" for psychological treatment and was later discharged.

  • "Lethal aid", a euphemism for U.S. arms shipments, slowly loses its quotes

    First, you start calling things "non-lethal aid". Then you start calling weapons "lethal aid". The phrase appears sporadically in news coverage, slowly normalizing itself as a term of art among military-watchers and foreign policy nerds. Then it suddenly bursts into widespread use because of intensive use in military and government communications about "lethal aid" (i.e. to Ukraine). Some media put the term in quotes, because it's a creepy dead-eyed euphemism like "collateral damage" or "enhanced interrogation techniques" and they know it. As time passes, though, media stops putting the term in quotes. After all, everyone knows that it means arms shipments, right? Hey, we're not here to educate readers.

    Military euphemisms creeping into headlines is a lot like police press releases about "officer-involved" incidents. The intent is different, but the end is the same (facts less clear to readers) and the means requires the co-operation of journalists who know better but have other priorities (productivity, continued access, editors to please, etc.)

  • Tiny, working power tools

    Enos Camare made this tiny but functional impact driver. I especially love the tiny instruction manual and the tiny trashcan it goes right in.

    World's Smallest Makita impact driver, 1/12 scale.
    Model: BTD140.
    Designed in SolidWorks.
    Printed using Elegoo Mars 2.

    Here's a tiny circular saw:

  • Is this the best toilet in Japan?

    Posted under the title "Japanese toilet experience 1" is this footage from an establishment in Tokyo.

    Around Tokyo in the Shinjuku area I came across this bar with the weirdest toilet I've ever seen. A giant sumo wrestler's head was the least expected thing, let alone when it started singing and moving towards me … the guys told me about the male toilet (urinary in the shape of giant lips that moved side to side) but unfortunately didn't record it!

    Previously.

  • U.S. cops killed "at least 1,134" people last year

    Police in the U.S. killed "at least 1,134" people last year, a significant rise on 2020. Nearly half the killings were mental health/welfare checks. Black and latino people were killed in disproportionate numbers. Only a handful of officers were prosecuted. Only a third of the killings involved police being called to a violent crime. Cops want you to know they too died in record numbers, but the entire excess death margin is accounted for by Covid deaths so maybe they should just put their fucking masks on.

  • How to play ice golf

    Ice golf is just golf, but played on an iced-over body of water. Easy, right? Kevin Cox:

    The ice presents a unique experience due to the variety of conditions that you can experience in a short period of time. One day the lake can be covered in a thin layer of water that results in big bounces but little rolling. The next it can be a giant sheet of glass where a light chip can send your ball across the lake.

    Instructions are provided.

  • The New York Times' front-page profile of "defiant" Jan. 6 "marchers" is a taste of what comes next

    On the day, the Jan. 6 rioters were threatening politicans and sacking the U.S. capitol in Amazon Basics tactical gear. A year on, they're more likely to be posed as heroes by fawning New York Times journalists in front-page celebrations of their "defiance".

    The Daily Beast's Roger Sollenberger was sued after exposing one of them, and is none too pleased about the Times' promotional tone.

    A year ago, I posted this guy's video on the front lines of the insurrection. He got fired, took the Oath Keepers as legal clients, sued me, lost. Today, the New York Times put his photo on the front page, in a fucking blazer, "still defiant." If you behaved the way this person did, believed the things he does, and reaped the same consequences, for a year straight, but still don't think you've done anything wrong, I've got news for you—that's not "defiant"

    For his part, the article's subject says he thought it would be a hit piece and was astonished to find himself on the front page.

    "I was in such shock and disbelief I had to get a physical copy of the newspaper to believe it. …I actually like the article," he said, reading some of it on a live stream. "Thank you, New York Times, for giving me free advertising!"

    The Times' lip-biting coverage of the far right is nothing new. Here's pundit Nate Silver (who worked with the New York Times himself in the early 2010s), four years ago:

    And then there are the classics:

    The New York Times knows who's going places and will do what it can to help them become the perfect story.

  • Robot vacuum cleaner escapes motel

    A robot vacuum cleaner escaped from a motel near Cambridge in England, reports the BBC, and was "free" for more than a day before a gardener found it stuck in a hedge.

    The automated cleaner failed to stop at the front door of the hotel in Orchard Park in Cambridge on Thursday, and was still on the loose the following day.

    Staff said it just kept going and "could be anywhere" while well-wishers on social media hoped the vacuum enjoyed its travels, as "it has no natural predators" in the wild.

  • Rudy Guiliani and Mike Flynn lose honorary degrees Rudy Giuliani

    The University of Rhode Island gave honorary degrees to former New York mayor Rudy Guiliani and former U.S. Army lieutenant general Mike Flynn, both now among the most blatantly deranged Trump cronies. Yesterday, the University of Rhode Island revoked those degrees.

    The Committee's findings:

    · General Flynn pleaded guilty twice to a felony count of "willfully and knowingly" lying to the FBI in exchange for a plea agreement.

    · In June 2021, at a conference in Dallas, Texas, General Flynn appeared to suggest that a military coup was needed in the U.S., much like the one staged by the military in Myanmar in 2021.

    · In November 2021, during a rally in San Antonio, Texas, General Flynn called for the establishment of "one religion" in the U.S. His behavior was widely condemned as a violation of the doctrine of religious freedom enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    · Mayor Giuliani participated in the January 6, 2021, rally that incited the assault on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. His words encouraged domestic terrorist behavior aimed at preventing Congress from certifying the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

    · Mayor Giuliani has been suspended from practicing law in Washington, D.C., and the State of New York for his unfounded claims of rampant fraud during the 2020 presidential election. The courts have determined that there is evidence that Mayor Giuliani has made false and misleading statements in representing President Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump's failed reelection efforts.

    The friday afternoon press release suggests they didn't want anyone to notice: can't take it back without everyone finding out you gave it to them in the first plce.

  • Televisions that are too high up

    My new favorite subreddit is r/TVTooHigh, dedicated to televisions that are installed too high-up on the wall, or upon furniture that is too high, thereby creating an uncomfortable or even unhealthy viewing angle.

    The main culprits are people who put televisions on top of old fireplaces, but there are many splendid examples of people who think it's a good idea to have a television armed to a high corner of a bedroom, or on top of a full-size wardrobe.

    Pictured above is a set posted by u/slowbalt2000, the subreddit's pinned post, a particularly sublime example of the genre.

    I also like the recent success embedded below, from a real estate listing: a television that watches you.

  • Virginia woman threatens to "bring every single gun loaded and ready" to school over mask mandate

    Amelia King, a woman upset about mask mandates, told the

    Luray, Virginia school board she would "bring every single gun loaded and ready" on Monday with her maskless child. She's not in any trouble for the threat, but the school district said it will be on "alert" for her should she come in shooting. How reassuring.

    Page County Public Schools in Luray, Virginia will increase police presence at schools Monday after a mother made a perceived threat during a school board meeting Thursday night. Amelia King was upset about the school mask mandate and said her children would not be wearing masks on Monday and she would "bring every single gun loaded and ready."

    "See y'all monday."

    Page County schools superintendent Antonia Fox and board chair Megan Gordon released a statement Friday about the threat they're taking lightly, saying "the schools don't take these kinds of threats lightly."

    Police said that what she did wasn't a "violation of state code."

    In a statement from Luray Police, they said King realized what she said "and immediately contacted law enforcement to apologize because the statement was not intended the way it was perceived. "

    White as the driven snow.

  • Meat Loaf dead at 74

    Marvin Lee Aday, better known as Meat Loaf, is dead at 74. His family posted an announcement on Facebook.

    Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight surrounded by his wife Deborah, daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends.His amazing career spanned 6 decades that saw him sell over 100 Million albums worldwide and star in over 65 movies, including "Fight Club", "Focus", "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Wayne's World.""Bat Out of Hell" remains one of the top 10 selling albums of all time.We know how much he meant to so many of you and we truly appreciate all of the love and support as we move through this time of grief in losing such an inspiring artist and beautiful man. We thank you for your understanding of our need for privacy at this time. From his heart to your souls…don't ever stop rocking!

    TMZ reports that Meat Loaf was suffering from Covid.

  • Here's how many people are currently on government websites, according to the government

    analytics.usa.gov shows information about how many people are "on government websites now"—about 350k at the time I checked.

    There were 5.09 billion visits over the past 90 days.

    The most "popular" website run by the government is USPS, by far: tracking mail and delivering results of Covid Home Test kits. Scientific sites are up there, such as NIST and NASA, and various other Covid info pages. And then we get to the 'here's the bad news we promised" government sites like the IRS and the National Weather Service.

  • Stranded dog coaxed to safety with sausage on a drone

    A dog caught on a tidal sandbar was led to safety by a sausage hung from a drone.

    Millie disappeared after slipping her lead in Havant, Hampshire, and after frantic public appeals was spotted on the mudflats, in danger of being engulfed by the tide. She resisted efforts to encourage her to a safer spot until a drone pilot suggested attaching food to one of the unmanned aerial vehicles that had been used to track the dog.

    The heroes of the day are Denmead Drone Search and Rescue, which posted the above photo of the rescued pup, Millie, to its Facebook page. The search for Millie was quite a story!

    This would work on me too. Drone sausage: irresistable.