Florida man spent 24 hours vandalizing high school in the nude

Miramar, Florida police arrested Matthew Crandall, 21, for allegedly breaking into Miramar High School and smashing up the place. He wore only a hat and headphones as he destroyed computers and TVs and apparently caused major flooding. The total wreckage is estimated at $100,000.

Crandall was identified from surveillance footage. According to the Associated Press, "it’s not known whether he has ties to the school."

(Thanks to our Florida bureau chief, Charles Pescovitz!)

Cop who killed George Floyd arrested

Derek Chauvin, the cop who killed George Floyd, was arrested today and taken into custody.

The arrest follows three days of growing unrest in Minneapolis, where Floyd, suspected of passing a fake $20 bill for a pack of cigarettes, was filmed gasping for his life while Chauvin kneeled on his neck.

Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said state investigators arrested Derek Chauvin, who was one of four officers fired this week, but he did not provide details. The state attorney who would oversee any prosecution on state charges, whose home was also the site of protests, was scheduled to provide an update later Friday.

News of the arrest came moments after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged the “abject failure” of the response to this week’s protests and called for swift justice for officers involved.

How to cook a steak from frozen in 30 minutes

I have long been a fan of pan-searing steaks and finishing their roast in the oven. Previously, I'd either thaw the steaks in the fridge overnight or I would sous vide them instead of using the oven, and sear them at the end.

This technique: thawing the surface of the steak enough to hold seasoning and then starting the pan sear is wonderful. I have found that sous vide from frozen to be ok but not my favorite.

$350 USB stick claiming to block 5G is just a cheap thumbdrive

A $350 USB device claiming to block 5G radio signals is just a cheap unbranded thumbdrive, report security researchers.

The makers of the “5GBioShield” claim their USB stick can block electrical waves through a “proprietary holographic nano-layer catalyst” technology. It purportedly does this by “balancing” all the existing radiations around you to create a protective bubble 8 meters in diameter, even when the USB drive is unplugged.

The website for the product goes on to make dubious references to “quantum oscillation,” “life force frequencies,” and “cardiac coherence” in an attempt to convince consumers the science behind the 5GBioShield is legit. But you’ll be pretty disappointed if you actually buy the product, according to Pen Test Partners.

The device (sold as the 5GBioShield) is aimed at people who believe conspiracy theories about 5G radio waves—a market whose credulity and susceptibility to unproven or pseudoscientific products is already guaranteed.

That it's something you can buy on Amazon for a fraction of the price[Amazon link] just shows how little work went into the wheeze.

The website selling the thumbdrives is based in the UK. Local regulators and fraud police are on the case: "We consider it to be a scam," Stephen Knight, operations director for London Trading Standards, told the BBC.

Joe Scarborough in WaPo Op-Ed: The slimy tsunami of bilge spewing from President Trump is hurting innocent people

It's easy to become inured to Trump's ceaseless depravity, which is why I'm glad I read Joe Scarborough's Op-Ed in The Washington Post about Trump's sociopathic obsession about a false story that is causing great pain to a dead woman's family.

One is a politician so obsessed with a morning cable news show that he has sought retribution by repeatedly defaming a dead woman’s memory.

The other is a soft-spoken Air Force engineer who has worked on projects for 32 years with the singular goal of protecting and defending the United States. The 6-foot-3 Florida resident is still mourning the death of a wife he lost 19 years ago. He holds on to cherished memories of Lori Klausutis as a lifelong Republican, a devoted Catholic who sang in her church choir and an avid runner so perpetually cheerful that people called her “Little Miss Mary Sunshine.” After Lori’s death, T.J. Klausutis returned alone to the home the couple had just bought in Niceville, Fla., and faced an almost immediate barrage of Internet conspiracy theories about the “murder” of his wife.

The pace of those hateful lies ebbed and flowed with the years, until they swelled recently into a slimy tsunami of bilge spewing from President Trump’s 80-million-strong Twitter feed. I have never been able to grasp Trump’s bizarre fixation with “Morning Joe,” but that sad obsession has driven him to weaponize Lori’s memory in an attempt to settle some perceived grievance against me. Or perhaps to deflect from the 100,000 Americans lost to a disease he once dismissed as “one person coming in from China.”

I have been a public figure for more than 25 years, so I pay little attention to public lies. T.J. and Lori’s family, however, are innocents in this. To have the commander in chief torment a patriot like T.J. is disgusting, but sadly, not surprising. Despite the pain he endured from discredited websites and Twitter accounts, T.J. kept his peace for nearly two decades, until the most powerful man on Earth began slandering his wife’s good name.

Image: Jumpstory / CC0

This solar charger works anywhere to power up your devices in just minutes

Hunting around for an outlet or a power battery when you’re trying to charge your phone or tablet is always an annoyance. But when you’re out in the world hiking or camping or traveling, finding an outlet might be more than a minor inconvenience...it might be downright impossible.

Running low on battery power isn’t an option anybody looks forward to these days, especially if you’re out and about and may need that phone in the event of any emergency. 

Thankfully, the RAVPower 24W 3-Port Solar Charger takes advantage of the fact that the world’s most powerful battery is almost always right there overhead: the Sun.

Actually, the RAVPower is really more than a traditional charger. Unlike bulky brick-style chargers, the RAVPower is its own solar panel, half the weight of other chargers. Just unfold it from its tiny, compact carrier and aim it at the Sun as its high-efficiency solar cells start juicing up.

Converting nearly a quarter of available solar power into free energy, the RAVPower is a fast, effective, lightweight charger for use in almost any condition. In fact, you can even throw the RAVPower over the back of your pack, plug in your phone, and watch your device power up while you keep moving.

It charges up to two USB-powered devices simultaneously and can take a smartphone’s battery from zero to fully charged in the space of about 3 to 4 hours. The RAVPower uses iSmart technology to automatically adjust to your connected devices, serving up the optimal charging current evenly to everything you have plugged in in the shortest possible charging time.

As an ever-ready source of power in nearly any situation, it can be a true lifesaver. And at less than a foot long and weighing less than 2 pounds, it’s the perfect accessory for any outdoorsman, survivalist, or power-savvy boy scout who almost wants to be prepared in case of an emergency.

The RAVPower Solar Charger retails for $89.99, but with this current discount, you can take $30 off the price for a final total of just $59.99.

Prices are subject to change.


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Venture Kapitalist Karen loses his lease after complaining that black men were in an office building gym

Tom Austin, AKA "Venture Kapitalist Karen," had his office lease terminated after a video showed him calling the building manager to complain about a group of black men in the office gym.

From The Hill:

The incident comes just days after a video of a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd until he died of asphyxiation went viral. The death of Floyd, an African American man, led to massive protests in the city and calls for an investigation into the officers' behavior.

Stuart Ackerberg, CEO of Ackerberg Group, which owns the MoZaic East building, said he was still heartbroken from seeing the video of Floyd when he decided to terminate the lease.

“My heart hurts,” he told the Tribune. “This is not how we do business. ... I’m alarmed by what I saw.”

Twitter hides Trump tweet calling for "THUGS" to be shot

Twitter last night hid one of President Trump's tweet behind a warning, saying that it broke the company's policy against glorifying violence. In the tweet, Trump branded protestors in Minneapolis 'THUGS' and suggested they should be shot.

....These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!

Floyd was an unarmed black man killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Minneapolis has seen two nights of unrest as local authorities refuse to release unredacted footage of the incident or to charge Chauvin with a crime. "Thug" is a storied euphemism for black people.

The warning notice comes three days after Twitter placed a fact-check warning on another of Trump's tweets and a day after Trump signed an executive order denouncing the company.

UPDATE: Trump posted it again, from the official White House account, and Twitter has applied the same warning to it.

Drone filmmaker captures Children's Fairyland from the view of a flying fairy — and it's downright magical

There's still magic in the world, as evidenced by this fairy's-eye view of Children's Fairyland, that charming 70-year-old storybook theme park in Oakland, California.

You might remember that when I'm not blogging, I work with Fairyland. WELL... months before we were mandated to shelter in place, a local photographer, Stephen Loewinsohn, contacted our team at Fairyland. He wanted to know if he could come in and capture the park by drone. He showed us some of his work samples (um, wow) and told us he was a lifelong fan of the park. He also told us the finished product would be a gift to us, no strings attached. OF COURSE we said yes! Naturally, none of us realized at the time that it would be the first comprehensive look our community would get from inside the park for months. But that's part of what makes it extra special. We premiered the video on Thursday evening, with great success, as the "cherry on top" to our reopening fundraising announcement.

At my request, Stephen shared his inspiration and thoughts on creating this video:

I grew up in Oakland and went to Fairyland as a kid. Now I have two young kids of my own, so Fairyland is a really special place for me and my family.

I've been working as a professional photographer and filmmaker in the Bay Area for many years, and lately I've been experimenting with building and flying custom camera drones with amazing acrobatic capabilities for specialized filming applications. I've also been teaching myself new techniques for visual effects, compositing, and animation during quarantine. So this project was a way to bring together those two areas of visual storytelling (drones and animation) into one magical adventure through Fairyland.

The first step was to fly a tiny drone (essentially a racing drone with a 4K video camera attached) through the empty park. These types of precise flights in close proximity to objects must be flown completely manually using VR goggles to see what the drone sees. So I spent an entire day in the deserted park flying dozens of takes in order to capture these shots. The feeling of piloting a drone in this way is extremely immersive, and flying through a place like Fairyland is as fun as it looks. So that was the easy part.

Then I spent many weeks in quarantine editing the footage and animating the little flying pixie. Because of the frenetic pace of the camera movements, tracking an object through 3D space is extremely difficult with this type of footage. Many sections of the video had to be painstakingly masked and animated one frame at a time in order to get the desired result. I don't know if I've ever spent more time working on two-minutes of video ;) But I'm really happy with the way it all came together, and it was definitely worth all the hard work if it makes people smile.

I think a lot of families in the Bay Area (and around the world) are really missing our playgrounds and community spaces like Fairyland where kids can run around and be kids right now. I know we are! I'm hoping this video gives people a way to visit Fairyland virtually, as well as a reminder of what's waiting on the other side of the pandemic. I'm really looking forward to the day when we can all safely visit Fairyland in person again, but until then, Fairyland belongs to the fairies!

Follow Stephen on Instagram, where he nabbed the most apt handle ever: @peoplelooklikeants.


John Waters gives an in-quarantine, green-screened commencement speech

John Waters was slated to give the New York's School of Visual Arts' commencement speech at Radio City Music Hall. Instead, he gave a different version of that keynote in front of a green screen, quarantined in his Baltimore home. Of course, it was still hilarious ("Tiger King" porno knockoff, anyone?) and still full of hard-earned wisdom.

"Artists are magicians: you can see what others can not, have a secret language, the power to make others follow... and you can change history with one ludicrous idea. While you’re still young, maybe it’s time to become a virus yourself—a good kind of virus, one fueled by the years of hard work you put in at the incubator known as the School of Visual Arts. Artists, you are the cure, too. The only people that can inspire the world to notice and then alter its destructive behavior.”

Congrats, "coronavirus class of 2020," all of you, everywhere!

screengrab via SVA/YouTube

Minneapolis ablaze after prosecutor suggests no crime was committed by cops who killed George Floyd

Fires rage in Minneapolis after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by local cop Derek Chauvin.

Though four officers were immediately fired, local prosecutor Mike Freeman said that there is 'other evidence that does not support a criminal charge' even as police refused to release unredacted footage of the incident. Video of Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck as he gasped for breath was taken by a bystander; Chauvin's long history of violent conduct soon surfaced.

Minnesota's Attorney General said he nonetheless "anticipated" charges against the officers who killed Floyd. Another potential avenue for justice: the FBI is investigating whether Floyd's rights were violated, though its request for "more video" was excoriated by commentator Don Lemon.

Police abandoned a precinct during clashes Thursday night, and it became the first to be destroyed during unrest in modern U.S. history.

Among those detained was a black CNN reporter and his crew, live on air.

On social media, President Trump branded those protesting "THUGS" and suggested they should be shot; Twitter hid his tweet per its policy against glorifying violence, another first.

UPDATE: Chauvin was arrested Friday.

Photo: Hungryogrephotos (Public Domain)

CORRECTION: CNN's reporter was detained Friday morning, not Thursday night.

The cop who killed George Floyd has a long record of police brutality

A 46-year old black man named George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25, 2020. A police officer named Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd's neck, after vaguely accusing him of forgery and/or public intoxication. He pressed his knee down so hard — and kept it there — that it cut off the air to Floyd's lungs, suffocating him. Three police officers stood around and watched as Floyd used his last breaths to cry for help; several bystanders filmed the scene, and tried to get the cops to stop, but to no avail.

Those 4 police officers were fired shortly after the video was released (by their official account, Floyd had been "resisting arrest," something which is a physically impossible to do while also dying under restraint). That sounds like good news on the surface — but thanks to Police Union rules, bad cops who get fired for misconduct usually just get re-hired in a nearby precinct. Their past behavior — even repeated, established patterns of violent misconduct — are left off their permanent record, or otherwise ignored.

And that's exactly how the police officer who killed George Floyd was in the position to do so in the first place. As Insider reports, Derek Chauvin had a long and ugly history of police brutality, long before he killed George Floyd:

[Chauvin] was involved in violent incidents before, including three police shootings. And he has been the subject of 10 complaints filed to the city's Civilian Review Authority and the Office of Police Conduct.


In three separate reviews from the Civilian Review Authority, he was found to have used "demeaning tone," "derogatory language," and "language – other." No other details were available.

He has also been the subject of seven reviews by the local Office of Police Conduct. Each review concludes: "Closed – No discipline." No other details were available.

To be precise, Chauvin did not pull the fatal trigger in all of those instances, and was sometimes adjacent to or otherwise involved with a larger situation. In at least one of those cases, in 2011, Chauvin was one of the officers to insist that the victim was carrying a gun in order to justify the shooting, despite eyewitness evidence to the contrary.

Another case was overseen by current Democratic VP Hopeful Amy Klobuchar, who was then serving as chief prosecutor for the county and declined to bring charges in more than two dozen cases of police killing civilians.

Officer Tou Thao, who stood by and kept guard as Chauvin killed George Floyd, also has a history of violence, include a lawsuit against him for excessive violence that he settled out of court for $25,000.

So while it's good news that Thao and Chauvin have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, it doesn't actually mean anything, unless you are charged and tried fairly in a court of law that does not protect them based on their status as police officers. Otherwise, they're just going to get re-hired somewhere else, and continue terrorizing communities with excessively violent policing, just as they've done in the past.

The police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck has been involved in shootings and was the subject of 10 complaints [Isaac Scher / Insider]

What we know about Derek Chauvin and Tou Thao, two of the officers caught on tape in the death of George Floyd [Andy Mannix / Star Tribune]

Image: Fibonacci Blue / Flickr (CC 2.0)

With Learnable, learning to code doesn’t have to turn your brain into a pretzel

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever” – Mahatma Gandhi

Of all the skills you feel like you should probably know, yet likely don’t, coding might be one of the most intimidating. From the varied programming languages to the range of platforms to the sheer discomfort of trying to decipher all that seemingly incomprehensible text, doing your own coding can feel like a learning curve that goes straight up.

But like anything else, how you learn a skill can make all the difference in the world. Learnable is an e-learning platform that strives to help students retain the most information possible in the shortest possible time.  

With its highly curated curriculum, Learnable offers courses in all of the most important programming languages and functions, depending on your learning goals. From core disciplines like Java, PHP, and SQL to more specialized training in C#, C++, Python, Swift, and more, you’ll always find a carefully designed program ready to build your knowledge.

Whether you want to dig in from your desktop browser or via iOS or Android, you’ll find interactive lessons aimed at demystifying programming and pointing the way toward coding mastery.

As you work your way through each skill, you’ll earn progress points, level up, and earn badges as you go. In fact, learning to build apps, websites and other important projects with Learnable doesn’t feel like learning as much as it often feels like playing a game. But rather than beating a friend or notching a high score, a win here means a bankable skill recognized worldwide as a vital 21st-century talent.

The Learnable Study Planner can help once you’ve completed your education, providing a great way of preparing notes for an interview or just a means to brush up on your existing abilities.

And after a long sprint of learning about artificial intelligence, data structures, and more, you can turn off and relax a bit with Learnable’s own built-in Meditation Mini-App.

A $180 value, a lifetime of Learnable coding training access is now more than 75 percent off, just $39.99.

Prices are subject to change.


Lifetime of Learnable: Learn to Code, Build Apps, Websites & More - $39.99

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Men hired to tie up and tickle client break into wrong house

Two men hired to break into their client's house, menace him with machetes, tie him up, then tickle him with a broom, have been acquitted of armed break-in after hitting the wrong address. The unsuspecting victim awoke to find the men looming over his bed armed with the knives.

The role play was arranged over Facebook by a man near Griffith, New South Wales, who provided his address to the hired pair.

"He was willing to pay A$5,000 if it was 'really good'," the judge said. However, the client moved to another address 50km (30 miles) away without updating the two men. They then entered a home on the street of the original address. ... When they realised their error, one of the pair said "Sorry, mate" and shook the resident's hand, according to local reports.

Could happen to anyone.

Learn how to utilize Amazon's FBA services with these training classes

Even though it feels like Amazon is a singular retail juggernaut crushing everybody else, you might be surprised to learn that half of Amazon’s $280 billion in revenue last year came from third-party sellers.

According to numbers compiled by JungleScout, 86 percent of Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) sellers were profitable last year, more than doubling the profitability rate for all small businesses in general in 2019. On top of that, two-thirds of FBA sellers said they were profitable in their first year.

And that was before our new pandemic-tinged economy shifted even more toward online retail outlets. If you want to start a business and make sure you’re among those happy etailers, then training like that found in The Complete 2020 Fulfillment By Amazon Mastery Bundle can help make sure you end up in that profit-rich group.

The bundle includes four courses, all dedicated to helping you get a thriving, revenue-generating business off the ground utilizing all the resources of Amazon’s FBA program.

It all starts with The Complete Amazon FBA Masterclass, a practical training session that promises to help you get your own FBA business up and running in a matter of hours. The beginner-friendly training covers all the basics for working in the FBA system, from choosing the right products to setting up your supply chain to branding and marketing. You’ll also get access to all the secret hacks FBA vets use to drive traffic to your storefront and goose sales.

In case settling on the product you want to sell is a problem, the Amazon FBA and eBay: 33 Hot Product Sourcing Strategies course can help. This training covers the nearly three-dozen products you should consider as well as some little known automated tools for getting your inventory at the best possible prices.

One of the top approaches to spiking sales is to create your own private label products, and with the Launch Your First Private Label Product Using Amazon FBA course, you’ll learn all the right moves for starting and growing that boutique line.

Of course, if you don’t want the hassle of private labeling, the Source and Sell on Amazon FBA by Leveraging on Established Listings training is a way around that, offering methods to leverage high sales volume listings and source inventory for sale, all without posting Amazon listings of your own.

It’s almost 19 hours of in-depth training in all, all available now for less than $8 per course, just $29.99.

Prices are subject to change.


The Complete 2020 Fulfillment By Amazon Mastery Bundle - $29.99

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