Top Florida Cop instructed officer to act like a "white supremacist" when engaging Black suspect

The Miami Herald reports that a high-ranking officer in the Monroe County Sheriff's department instructed another officer to act like a "white supremacist" and a "Neo-Nazi cop" when detaining a black suspect. The officer, named as Capt. Penny Phelps, was recorded and "relieved of her command."

Phelps was removed from her post as head of the major crimes and narcotics units on Wednesday, according to paperwork released to the Miami Herald Saturday. Ramsay said it is too early in the investigation to comment on whether Phelps could lose her job.

“We have to have all the facts first,” he said Saturday, adding Phelps has been with the sheriff’s office about 18 years and makes about $110,000 a year.

Reached by phone Saturday, Phelps said policy prohibits her from talking about the case.

The Herald has the tapes.

Photo: Monroe County Sheriff Read the rest

Whole album just the sound of classic mechanical keyboards being typed on

Taeha Types' Mechanical Keyboard Sounds: Recordings Of Bespoke And Customised Mechanical Keyboards is the album of the year. Roaring into life with the kinetic Apple M011A and the hard-rocking Chicory KB5160AT, it gives way to the delicate ballad Fjell before leaping into the perennial classic HHKB Pro. Granted, some tracks on the flipside might be filler material—the poppy Keycult No1-65 lacks energy and IBM P70 has all the hallmarks of a slapdash b-side, but it all comes together nicely in the soaring Verne, sure to be a spring hit. Read the rest

The cinematic universe of Melania Trump christmas videos

Each year, the White House issues a video of Melania Trump wandering around it revealing the Christmas decorations. The decorations are beautiful, cold and slightly weird, and in combination with her lonely routine the result has the unsettling charmlessness of a Stanley Kubrick movie.

I added the Eyes Wide Shut theme in the embedded video here to highlight that suggestion; here Bobby Fingers takes a remarks on the semiotics of Melania's xmas.

Imagine that life for a second. It’s not prison—that’s an offensive comparison, and Melania has shown she’s unlikely to have any idea what that sort of misery is actually like. But it certainly isn’t the kind of freedom with which most of us are familiar, and it’s not a life we’d even want. It’s a life inside the margins, being watched but not worried about or cared for.

Here's 2017, 2018 and 2019, the originals:

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Star Wars Imperial keycaps

One can buy, at considerable expense, a set of Imperial keycaps themed on Star Wars' galactic empire. Insert "you don't know the power of the Dark Side" joke here.

DSA Galactic Empire commemorates the peak of Emperor Palpatine’s grand machinations with Imperial symbols and Aurebesh letters. Two keycap set variants are available. One features Full Aurebesh lettering and the other offers Aurebesh with English Sublegends.

BONUS: Here's a CNC-carved aluminum stormtroooper keycap to go with it.

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You can buy million-watt tattoo-removal lasers on eBay, but don't

Styropyro plays with fire on his YouTube channel, and the latest video shows him playing with a ridiculously dangerous laser, intended for tattoo removal, that he bought on eBay.

I was searching for a Nd:YAG laser cavity for a future project when I came across a bunch of tattoo removal devices on eBay. They claimed to contain a Nd:YAG laser but at a small fraction of the cost of buying the parts separately. Skeptical, I bought one anyway since I had the option to return it if it didn't live up to the seller's claims.

Much to my surprise my unit turned out to be INSANELY powerful.

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Link unshortener

Unshort unshortens short links for you, revealing the true URL. This lets you visit a page without being tracked by the URL shortening service. There are add-ons for all major browsers to automatically unshorten all shortened links; source code is available if you don't even want Unshort knowing where you're headed. Read the rest

Britons and some Irish head to the polls

The United Kingdom's general election is underway today, with voters headed to the polls across the nation. After years of single-issue deadlock and minority government, Conservative Party leader and lame-duck Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to win enough seats to form an effective government and "get Brexit done." Despite his obvious shortcomings -- he's a liar, a racist buffoon and notoriously incompetent -- pollsters think he's got it in the can.

The Conservatives have recovered the populist vote that drifted to the flash-in-the-pan Brexit Party, while the opposition Labour Party has been slower to recover from its summer slump. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's indifference to claims of antisemitism (fair and otherwise) and his "neutrality" over Brexit itself make him cheap meat for Britain's psychopathic tabloids.

And the Liberal Democrats have withered once again, as they always do when its right-leaning prefects are in charge and the party's crunchier base turns off.

The Greens, which seemed poised to break out after a strong showing in the European elections, evaporated in the polls as the election heated up. So too has the Brexit Party, which all but stood down to enable a Conservative majority and, with it, a quick and hard Brexit.

For Remainers (and anyone else who dislikes the idea of five full years of Boris) the last hope might be the Scottish National Party, whose domination of Scotland might deny him a parliamentary majority.

Even less likely, but fractionally less unlikely than normal and the most perfectly outrageous possible result: "Sinn Fein takes their seats at Westminster to give make Jeremy Corbyn PM." Read the rest

Rowan Atkinson deepfaked into the J'adore ad

Christian Dior shot a spectacular ad (below), starring Charlize Theron, to market the new J'adore Absolu fragrance. Embedded above is Rowan Atkinson, of Blackadder and Mr Bean fame, deepfaked into it.

It's wonderful but I'm sad crookedpixel didn't replace Theron's breathless "J'adore!" at the end with Mr. Bean's deep, weird honking voice.

BONUS BEAN: Here he is as Poppy:

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Bee simulator games compared

Paolo Pedercini compares every bee-themed game with an eye to their scientific accuracy.

Bees, particularly honeybees, are often incorrectly characterized in videogames – as well as in other media. Sometimes that’s due to their similarity with with the more aggressive wasps (which make for better enemies), sometimes that is due to the alien-like complexity of their social behavior, sometimes the creators are interested in bees only beecause they allow a multitude of puns around on the letter B. Hilarious.

At the inaccurate end of things, Flappy Bee (bees do not flap) loses to a title that features bees eating pizza and operating mechas. The winners are Drunk Bee, Monarchies, and Bee Hunting Simulator 2016; the issue is salient due to the recent high-profile commercial release Bee Simulator, which scores a respectable 4/5 on Paolo's list. Read the rest

Climate activist Greta Thunberg is Time's Person of the Year

In barely months, a 16 year-old Swedish activist has changed the record on climate change, drawing the attention of the world to a problem as it becomes critical--and the contemptuous wrath of politicians and pundits who think she'll go away if they just call her a stupid little brat again. Greta Thunberg is Time's Person of the Year for 2019.

We can’t just continue living as if there was no tomorrow, because there is a tomorrow,” she says, tugging on the sleeve of her blue sweatshirt. “That is all we are saying.”

It’s a simple truth, delivered by a teenage girl in a fateful moment. The sailboat, La Vagabonde, will shepherd Thunberg to the Port of Lisbon, and from there she will travel to Madrid, where the United Nations is hosting this year’s climate conference. It is the last such summit before nations commit to new plans to meet a major deadline set by the Paris Agreement. Unless they agree on transformative action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the world’s temperature rise since the Industrial Revolution will hit the 1.5°C mark—an eventuality that scientists warn will expose some 350 million additional people to drought and push roughly 120 million people into extreme poverty by 2030.

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What are these mysterious "beach circles"?

I'm not saying its aliens, and I figure it's for some mundane purpose such as trapping seafood, but I enjoyed watching this helicopter-shot video of mysterious beach circles near Isla Aguada in Mexico. Nothing similar is evident on Google Earth. I'm not saying it's aliens. Read the rest

The surreal, glitchy, menacing animations of Pilot Red Sun

Michael Epler, AKA Pilot Red Sun, (patreon) warps his digital smeartool paintings with glitchy audio and crude pseudo-3D datamoshed effects that highlight the claustrophobia and deepen the nightmare. The latest, embedded above, is titled "Not So Fast" and is about a traffic stop that ends badly for the well-luded driver.

Below is "Ultimate Fuel". If you like this (or hate it in an interested way) check out the YouTube channel.

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Someone is putting hats on pigeons in Las Vegas

Pigeons with hats have been spotted and filmed in Las Vegas, prompting a search for whoever is putting them there.

Pigeons in Las Vegas have been spotted wearing tiny little cowboy hats. It's not clear how the pigeons got the hats on their heads. Some people found it funny, but other are wondering if this is a case of animal cruelty.

As a commenter on YouTube puts it, "It's been cod in Vegas latel" [sic]. Read the rest

Welsh password generator

Princen Alice created a "password generator" that glues random Welsh-sounding words into a craggy landscape of letters. It's probably not very good, since it's three or four dictionary words and a number plus the fallacious ethnocentric belief that unpronouceability to English speakers reflects randomness, but what a delightful mess! Read the rest

Classic 2D games reimagined in pseudo-3D

Enjoy this compilation of 1990s-era sprite games extruded into lowpoly 2½D extravaganzas. These are works of static art, but I'm sure I've seen this done "live" in-game recently, in an automated, playable way. (Note that there are a number of 2½D Super Marios already--these replicas are hand-made, like this video). Read the rest

Do It For State: epic domain name shakedown article

State Snaps is a send-in-your-photos party wheeze aimed at fratboys. Spread amorphously over various social media platforms, it's too sleazy to go mainstream but too successful to stay in one place. But the wannabe operators failed to register a key domain name, doitforstate.com, that reflects the viral motto "Do it for State!" associated with The Brand. So a domain squatter got it. Usually, a call to a lawyer comes next. Not these guys.

The gunman wore a baseball cap, had pantyhose pulled over his face, and sunglasses covered his eyes.

Deyo briefly raised his arms in surrender — then bolted into his bedroom. He slammed the door behind him and braced for impact. Moments later, the intruder kicked through the doorway and grabbed Deyo by the neck.

“Where’s your computer?” he demanded. According to Deyo’s courtroom testimony, he led the man across the hall and into his office with the gun now shoved into the small of his back. He sat down, the man opened up his MacBook Pro, and Deyo felt the gun move from his spine to the rear of his skull, the metal hard on his scalp.

“Okay, motherfucker,” Deyo recalled him saying. “GoDaddy.com.”

Why file a trademark and SLAPP your way to a domain name you want when you can just get a goon to force the squatter to turn it over at gunpoint? All time greatest domainer tip right here. Read the rest

Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer drops

Bustin' makes me feel good. Here it is with Finnish subtitles, courtesy of Sony Pictures Finland's YouTube channel. Read the rest

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