• At least 10 dead in "racially motivated" Buffalo supermarket shooting

    The Associated Press reports that at least 10 are dead in a mass shooting at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, New York. Police described it as "racially motived violent extremism", streamed to the Internet by a gunman in body armor and military-style clothing.

    Youtube video thumbnail

    Gramaglia said the gunman shot four people outside the store, and three of them died. Inside the store, a security guard who was a retired Buffalo police officer fired multiple shots at the gunman and struck him, but the bullet hit the gunman's bulletproof vest and had no effect, Gramaglia said. He said the gunman then killed the security guard.

    The gunman, a white man targeting black shoppers, was taken into custody after being "tackled" by police, according to one eyewitness report.

  • Claimed footage of cinemagoers' reaction to Darth Vader's "I am your father" line has another surprise

    Here's a clip that's implied to be from a pirate recording of Empire Strikes Back filmed at a cinema in 1980. It offers two interesting things. First, the audio of the audience reacting to Darth Vader's classic line, "I am your father."

    Second, Vader says it like this: "No, Luke, I am your father."

    It's at 0m54s. Why is that interesting? Because that's listed everywhere as a classic misheard line: he canonically says "No, I am your father" (and certainly says that in other versions of the movie, including in clips described as the original) and people who insist he says "Luke, I am your father" are held to be suffering from some kind of Mandela Effect delusion.

    Yet here it is, in all its originally-screened 1980 glory. WHAT IS GOING ON? Is this a manipulated or misrepresented clip?

    The video description:

    Found in Goodwill in January 2017. I didn't think much of it until now.

    It would certainly be easy to find an example of James Earl Jones' Vader saying "Luke" and interpolate it into the sentence. It's not like you have to worry about lip-synching.

    He says it rather too quickly, too: I reckon that if you removed the word "Luke" from this, the remaining "No… I am your father" would match up to what's found in the other versions, strongly implying fakery here.

    The close angle of the recording doesn't help it's credibility, either, because you can't see the surroundings (no heads in the way, for example) or even the size of the screen. And the low quality transfer mushes over any indication of the technology used to record it. It would surely have been an 8mm camera. There were portable video cameras available by 1980, but nothing you might shoulder in the front row of a movie theater.

    Putting in the audience reactions and presenting those as the highlight here would make this a clever hoax, though. Bravo!

    You think someone would do that? Just go on the internet and tell lies?

  • Texas homeowner spears intruder

    In this 2014 segment from KXON out of Texas, a local man explains how he defended his castle (doctrinally-speaking) from an intruder by spearing him. Then he shows off some awesome moves with a samurai sword.

    The homeowner told officers he felt threatened when an intruder entered his home, so he grabbed the spear near his bed and stabbed the man.

  • Complete collection of George Carlin's Thomas the Tank Engine, spiced up with his comedy

    George Carlin performed the voiceovers on the U.S. release of Thomas and Friends, proving himself an able childrens' storyteller. A YouTuber named JAW2 cleverly and seamlessly interposed some of Carlin's spicier comedy to create a truly surreal and striking alt-Thomas (previously at Boing Boing). Today I learn there are now seven (!) of these magical works and that they have been compiled into a single 45-minute epic for our viewing pleasure.

  • Musk puts Twitter purchase on hold

    Citing the unknown number of fake accounts on Twitter, billionaire Elon Musk says he's put his high-profile purchase of the site on hold, later adding that he is "still committed to acquisition".

    Under the terms of the deal, if either Twitter or Mr Musk walk away they must pay the other side a termination fee of $1bn. Twitter reported more than two weeks ago that fake accounts accounted for fewer than 5% of its daily active users during the first three months of this year. However, the company said in determining the amount of spam accounts, "it applied significant judgment, so our estimation of false or spam accounts may not accurately represent the actual number of such accounts".

    That's he already seems to be looking for a way out doesn't bode well for the sale. He made such a fuss about his other reasons for buying Twitter, so getting cold feet over the exact percentage of spambots suggests he's realized he's out of his depth. Reuters plainly reports that it doesn't make much sense.

    It points out, though, that Twitter's stock is already sliding on the news, implying that he might just be trying to get it cheaper through pure shitposting. Such bald manipulation! Nothing's stopping him, so why not?

    The estimated number of spam accounts on the microblogging site has held steady below 5% since 2013, according to regulatory filings from Twitter, prompting some analysts to question why Musk was raising it now. "This 5% metric has been out for some time. He clearly would have already seen it… So it may well be more part of the strategy to lower the price," said Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

  • First image of the black hole at the center of our galaxy

    The first image of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way was revealed today by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, a team of researchers working with a worldwide array of radio telescopes. The blurry yet impressive image evokes a celestial cheeto.

    This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the center of most galaxies. … The image is a long-anticipated look at the massive object that sits at the very center of our galaxy. Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around something invisible, compact, and very massive at the center of the Milky Way. This strongly suggested that this object — known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, pronounced "sadge-ay-star") — is a black hole, and today's image provides the first direct visual evidence of it.

    Welp, may as well worship it.

  • One million Covid deaths in US

    The White House tallies 1m deaths from Covid in the United States. It's the world's highest reported total and does not include excess deaths not directly caused by Covid infection. Other countries are likely concealing larger death tolls, reports the World Health Organization.

    On a per capita basis, CDC data shows that Mississippi has suffered about 418 deaths per 100,000 residents, followed by Arizona (414), Alabama (399) and West Virginia (384). The per capita death rate in these states far surpasses the average US national rate of about 300 per 100,000. Experts point to several reasons why certain states suffered disproportionately, including unequal access to healthcare.

  • Why smoke follows you around a fire

    Hank Green explains why smoke seems to follow you around a campfire, no matter how hard to try to escape: the physics of convection and you impeding the flow of oxygen.

    And the real key to understanding why smoke keeps blowing in your face is that the rising air doesn't just rise on its own. It is pushed by the air around it. Because when hot air moves away from the fire, the air that pushed it keeps right on going and fills the gap that the hot air left behind. And this is where you come in.

    Though the physical explanation is appreciated, it's also important to remember that if the smoke catches you, you become responsible for the care, feeding and education of your new Enenra.

  • Footage of out-of-control Tesla flying into Greater Columbus Convention Center

    In this security footage, a Tesla driver runs a red and launches into the Greater Columbus Convention Center at 70 MPH. Even with high-definition cameras, all you see is a blur plunge into the building, leaving glass and other debris strewn across the forecourt. Inside, a post immediately halts what could have been an internal path of destruction. The driver was reportedly in stable condition after the crash and was cited for failing to control the vehicle.

    This may be interpreted as an anti-Tesla post, but the crash doesn't seem to have anything to do with its self-driving features. That said, I am looking forward to when a 4.5-ton electric Hummer demolishes a mall and turns into a three-day lithium fire.

    According to police, the driver said he lost control of his brakes on state Route 315 and exited onto Neil Avenue, but maintained a speed of 70 mph. The video shows the Tesla hitting a curb and going airborne through the center's glass doors. Another camera from inside the building shows the vehicle driving through the doors, hitting a pillar and stopping.

  • DeSantis's racist redistricting map rejected by Florida judge: it "diminishes African Americans' ability to elect the representatives of their choice"

    Governor Ron DeSantis wants to redistrict the state to eliminate a black-majority district that elects a black Democrat to Congress. A judge tossed the map, describing the gerrymander's purpose in clear terms.

    I am finding that the enacted map is unconstitutional under the Fair District amendment … because it diminishes African Americans' ability to elect the representatives of their choice," Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith said.

  • Pussy Riot's Maria Alyokhina escapes Russia "dressed as food courier"

    Maria Alyokhina (previously at Boing Boing), a member of the Russian protest band Pussy Riot, reportedly escaped the country "dressed as a food courier" after being told she was off to the gulag. The New York Times:

    She decided it was time to leave Russia — at least temporarily — and disguised herself as a food courier to evade the Moscow police who had been staking out the friend's apartment where she was staying. She left her cellphone behind as a decoy and to avoid being tracked. A friend drove her to the border with Belarus, and it took her a week to cross into Lithuania. In a studio apartment in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, she agreed to an interview to describe a dissident's harrowing escape from Mr. Putin's Russia.

  • Police in Cumbria, England, searching for teens armed with "elastic fidget-type toys"

    Cumbria Police urged locals to be on the lookout for teenagers who assailed a man with "elastic fidget-type toys", reports Ben MacDonald for The Cumberland News. The teens are armed (with elastic fidget-type toys) and not particularly dangerous. They should not under any circumstances be approached, unless you have a really big super soaker or something.

    A spokesperson for the force said: "It happened on Sunday, May 8 at about 3:30pm near the Primark store on English Street. "Officers are keen to trace witnesses, particularly anyone with video footage."

  • Lady in Prius contests speeding ticket

    Stanley Roberts had a segment on San Francisco's KRON called "People Behaving Badly" and here features someone who is unaware of two important things: the posted speed limit and her reasonable expectation of privacy when exceeding it. It's an older segment, but it checks out.

  • Scandal in Weymouth, England, over pavement color selection

    Pedestrians using the new pavement on Custom House Quay in Weymouth, England, have objected to its sickly pale-green color and extracted an apology from local authorities. Dorset County Council promises to rectify the error by painting it a nicer color.

    When the green colour was unveiled in April, the council initially said it was the permanent colour. It then said it was only a base colour, before admitting "human error played a part in a mix up". The surface will be changed to "more of a sandy colour and in keeping with the surroundings" by the end of May.

  • Flight returns to terminal after someone AirDrops plane crash pictures to all aboard

    Arsehole(s) of the day award goes to whoever sent plane crash photos to everyone on board a flight about to take off from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. The panic was such that the pilot decided to summon police and return to the terminal. Though some reporters describe it as a "mystery", it's obvious from passenger statements that the photos were broadcast using AirDrop, and Reuters reports that 9 people have been arrested.

    The incident, on the AndoluJet flight that had been due to take off for Istanbul, was not a cyberattack over the Internet, said Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority. The nine suspects, described by police as Israeli citizens and among the passengers, were removed and could be prosecuted for disseminating false information, the authority said. The offence carries a maximum three-year prison term in Israel.

    The original report, in Hebrew, is at Kan News.

  • Cultivate a virtual underwater ecosystem in your orb.farm

    Orb.farm is a pixel-art glass bowl you can fill with water, sand, stone, wood, plankton, fish and other things useful for the creation of underwater ecologies. [via Hacker News]

    This is a virtual ecosystem where different species of creature can live, grow and die as part of a self-contained food chain.

    A fun way to approach such things is to imagine that we experience a multiversal cosmology and that everything you do in the simulation is lived in other universes, with all the moral and emotional consequences this implies.

  • College to close after severe ransomware attack

    Lincoln College, among few rural historically Black colleges, survived two World Wars and the Great Depression. But a ransomware attack, two years of the Covid pandemic, and a bunch of other stuff have finally put an end to it.

    Lincoln College was a victim of a cyberattack in December 2021 that thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data, creating an unclear picture of Fall 2022 enrollment projections. All systems required for recruitment, retention, and fundraising efforts were inoperable. Fortunately, no personal identifying information was exposed. Once fully restored in March 2022, the projections displayed significant enrollment shortfalls, requiring a transformational donation or partnership to sustain Lincoln College beyond the current semester.

    NBC News reports that this is a big warning for the education business about the severity of ransomware attacks.

    In severe cases, they can render entire computer networks inoperable, which can have devastating financial consequences for victims who can't afford to replace them. After the Baltimore public school district was hit with a ransomware attack, it cost nearly $10 million to remedy its systems. A Lincoln spokesperson declined to share details about its attack or make school officials available for interviews. 

  • Eve Online now exports data to Microsoft Excel

    No game has a greater gulf between how interesting it is to read about others playing it and playing it yourself. But for those who do play Eve Online, the game is about to become more exciting than ever: it now has Microsoft Excel integration.

    Through an official partnership with Microsoft, CCP said it is creating a JavaScript API that will allow players to "seamlessly export data from Eve Online" into the popular spreadsheet program. That "will help players access and calculate everything from profit margins to battle strategy, making day-to-day Eve operations easier to execute," the company said in a press release.

    Legend has it Eve was designed in Excel. And still the battles, heists and murders are so epic they earn their own Wikipedia articles.