Amazon sells own-brand mystery motor oil now, and this guy tested it

Amazon sells "Amazon Basics High Mileage Full Synthetic Motor Oil", perhaps the most alarming mystery meat yet to appear in the CHOAM warehouses. Project Farm decided to see how it stood up against name-brand standbys such as Mobil and Valvoline. Things get going about 2:50m in.

Dozens of viewers requested this video. I'm not part of the Amazon Affiliate Program either, since I'm not trying to sell products. I do independent testing only. So, thank you very much for the video ideas, including this one! AmazonBasics Fully Synthetic Motor Oil better than Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil? In this video, I tested Valvoline 10W-30 Conventional Motor Oil, AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor OIl, and Mobil 1 Full Synthetic Motor oil for cold temperature flow, lubricity, evaporative loss after exposure to approximately 400F for 2 hours, and cold flow of each oil after exposed to heat for 2 hours.

Sleuthing (and the bottle shape) reveals the true maker as Warren, a respectable budget supplier. So you can trust Amazon motor oil so long as it comes in Warren bottles. Read the rest

What happens when Walmart leaves town

Small towns had business districts. Then small towns had Walmarts. Then small towns had nothing.

For nearly 20 years retailers in downtown Winnsboro, South Carolina struggled to compete with Walmart's cheap products and one-stop shopping. As we reported in 2016, Walmart closed its supercenter there three years ago, one of 154 stores it shuttered across the country that year. NewsHour Weekend's Christopher Booker returned to see what life after Walmart is like for the small American town.

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Porch thief caught

The person stealing this package struck me as very unlucky: the homeowner has his driveway, his porch, his living room and his truck all cammed up. Then he was also lucky enough to take a lucky turn or two through his neighborhood hunting her down, and to have police give enough of a shit to send a car within a minute or two. Lake Sarasota must be awful! Read the rest

On learning that one is not the next big thing

Mike Pace had a decent, signed journeyman band but, at 40, has realized that he'll never be the rock star he dreamed of becoming. Nonetheless, he's at a creative peak; a powerful change of perspective comes when reality, and age, are acknowledged.

Deep down I care more about my work than anyone else ever will, and that’ll inevitably lead to temporary disappointment when I don’t get the reaction I want, but that’s a good thing. You want to care deeply about what you create, even if it’s hard to square the response or lack thereof, regardless of what stage of your career you’re at. Ultimately that response is only part of the overall experience of making music and it’s one I can’t control. I again remind myself why I do this in the first place: I love the feeling that comes with making music, even if it’s in my basement now after the kids have gone down and not onstage at a Mexican restaurant in Saskatoon on some godforsaken tour across Western Canada.

The band split up just before the social media era; I can't help but suspect that by now it would have had a hit record and made stars of Pace and the rest. And they'd be completely miserable, because being a professional rock star in your 40s is hell.

Instead, solo projects. Read the rest

Dan Mallory, bullshit artist

Dan Mallory is the latest in a long line of people — otherwise middling in talent, white of skin and surburban of origin — to make it big in publishing by fabricating their life's travails and tragedies. "Want to sell a book?" writes Jessa Crispin. "Start lying."

But there is another story these fakes are telling that we want to hear: the story of redemption through the written word. Even if you come from the most hardscrabble of circumstances, even if you have been wiped out by the tidal waves of fate, you can better yourself and your life through literature. It’s the literary version of the American dream, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, but in this case, your bootstraps is your manuscript.

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The problem with all the mistakes in Jill Abramson's book on journalism is you'll never know who wrote them

Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of the New York Times, has a book out about journalism, ethics and truth. Unfortunately, many paragraphs turned out to be plagiarized from other writers. To the seemingly oblivious Abramson, it seems incomprehensible that this might be a problem. To her publishers, the vast sunk costs involved (it paid about $1m for the copied-and-pasted hackintome) have forced them to pretend that it isn't.

And then there's the errors. Even before it was out, reviewers noticed problems ranging from major cities situated in the wrong states to insulting factual flubs about the young journalists Abramson thinks she's schooling.

And now this, spotted by Chris Krewson:

CPM refers to cost per mille, a measure used in advertising, and makes no sense as written here. In any case, it certainly was not a term devised by Nick Denton to calculate traffic bonuses.

"The lack of understanding about digital is stunning," Krewson writes.

Ah, but whose lack of understanding about digital?

The problem with all the mistakes in Jill Abramson's book on journalism is you'll never know who made them. It's the paradox of plagiarism: all discussion that depends on authorship, intent, context -- all of it becomes pointless. You can't very well blame Abramson for someone else's mistake, can you?1

Her book supposedly honors the traditions of 20th century journalism but has become a gravestone marking their death. The corpses will now be fucked by social media companies, billionaires and fascists until there's nothing left to fuck but the cold stone where they lay. Read the rest

Little Sophia, an open-source robot companion

Hanson Robotics (previously, previously, previously, previously) is developing "Little Sophia", a young companion to its lineup of charming humanoids. [Thanks, Akimbo_NOT]

Little Sophia is the little sister of Sophia and the newest member of the Hanson Robotics family. She is 14” tall, and your robot friend that makes STEM, coding and AI a fun and rewarding adventure for kids 7-13 years old, especially girls.

Little Sophia can walk, talk, sing, play games and, like her big sister, tell jokes. With Little Sophia's software, and included tutorials through Hanson's AI Academy, she is a unique programmable, educational companion for kids, inspiring children to learn through a safe, interactive, human-robot experience. Kids, educators and even Sophia the Robot fans, regardless of age, will find Little Sophia irresistible!

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Realistic rubber feet

The two bullet points for the Belladonna Foot Soldiers [Amazon] makes clear all you need to know. First, it offers "astonishing details" in "realistic rubber," and second that there is one left foot, one right foot, and a free bottle of lube. [via The Worst Things For Sale]

Now you too can have your own set of Belladonna's exquisite feet to hold, fondle, love and caress. Live out your wildest fantasies with Belladonna.

The top review, alas, warns of a strong smell.

I’m not sure what it is, but the smell never goes away. This time I’m determined to see if it does. I’ve owned these for 6 years, and rarely take them out of the box. I can smell the material at least 6 feet away. It’s a shame, because they are beautifully detailed. I wish I knew the cause. I’ve throw them in nylons and will keep them out of the box as a last ditch effort to see if the scent mellows. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Though less life like, I prefer the Topco Justine Joli Cyberskin Foot Stroker.

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Raspberry Pi store "much cooler" than Apple's

Not a new online marketplace for apps, but a brick-and-mortar showroom for the inexpensive, do-anything computers. Romain Dillet checks out "the Pi Foundation's new shop.

If you live in Cambridge in the U.K., you can now buy a bunch of sweet Raspberry Pis with which to tinker and develop some cool stuff.

The Raspberry Pi has always been about making coding more accessible. And a physical retail space fits the bill. The foundation has developed a lineup of insanely cheap computers with an ARM-based processor, a bunch of ports, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The $35 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ [Amazon] is the new flagship, but I've been looking at getting a Pi Zero [Amazon] with a battery pack [Amazon] to turn my Seiko Pyramid Clock into something the Illuminati would be proud of. Read the rest

Jason Voorhees, unmasked

Jason Voorhees, the handsome hockey-masked villain of slasher series Friday the 13th, gets plenty of unmasking scenes—and new look each time. Read the rest

Tasteful suburban real estate listing has tasteful sex dungeon

Not what you expect, but what you hope for: a sex dungeon in tasteful suburban off-white with traditional colonial woodwork and easy-wipe faux-marble flooring.

Since the time of posting, Redfin has removed the pictures of the basement from the listing, but you can see 'em all here.

In addition to being listed at $750,000, the home is apparently available "as an Air B & B rental @maisonxs that gets $750 a night on weekdays & $2000 a night on the weekends for private parties or entertainment." And indeed, the presentation in the Airbnb listing is decidedly more sultry.

Those bearskin rugs are a bad idea, if you ask me. Read the rest

Amy Klobuchar legendarily abusive to staff

Amy Klobuchar, touted as yet another Democrat 2020 presidential hopeful, sounds like the Gordon Ramsay of politics: notoriously short and abusive with congressional staff, sending allcaps emails in the dead of night and generally heaping wrath upon them.

That anger regularly left employees in tears, four former staffers said. She yelled, threw papers, and sometimes even hurled objects; one aide was accidentally hit with a flying binder, according to someone who saw it happen, though the staffer said the senator did not intend to hit anyone with the binder when she threw it.

“I cried. I cried, like, all the time,” said one former staffer.

In the emails seen by BuzzFeed, often sent between 1 and 4 in the morning, Klobuchar regularly berated employees, often in all capital letters, over minor mistakes, misunderstandings, and misplaced commas. Klobuchar, in the emails, which were mostly sent over the past few years, referred to her staff’s work as “the worst in ... years,” and “the worst in my life.”

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Movie swordmaking is a big long orange-glowing lie

From Game of Thrones to Conan, from Lord of the Rings to, well, everything, the filmic representation of casting swords is "completely wrong, so wrong it's frankly difficult to know where to start. How can you cast a 3D item in an open-top mould? Are you going to glue two halves together?" Read the rest

Time lapse video of an ice jam forming on the Ausable river

Cold is slow to worsen. Then it's fast.

A large ice jam formed and released on the Ausable River at Au Sable Forks, NY on January 12, 2018. The ice jam was caused by a combination of rapid snow melt with moderate rain in abnormally warm temperatures. The gauge peaked at 13.27 ft and the gauge data showed that the river rose exactly 7.75 ft in 14 minutes during the peak rise meaning the river rose at just over half a foot a minute at that time.

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Ḧ̤̙͈̖ͭ̒ͦ́͒̐Ḙ̹͓͍̖͌̃̋ͮ̔ͨ. Ć͉͖̜̮̒O͚̜͉͖͔̽͂̅M̰͍͍͙̩̜͚̉̑̒Ḙ̘͉̹͕̫̯̿̆ͮ͒̐̆S̬͓͍̱̙ͅ

[Source unknown?]

UPDATE: It's apy.malt on Instagram. [Thanks, fake_gojira!] Read the rest

Trump: "People of faith" led the "abolition of civil rights"

Trump, yesterday: "When I say something that you might think is a gaffe, it’s on purpose; it’s not a gaffe."

Trump, today: "Since the founding of our nation, many of our greatest strides – from gaining our independence to abolition of civil rights to extending the vote for women – have been led by people of faith." Read the rest

Dashcam footage shows driver backing away from spot where accident happens moments later

How did this driver know that he should back up? Sometimes, you can just tell from the way vehicles sit at an intersection that bad things are very likely to happen. And then they do. Read the rest

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