London Metropolitan Police Service bans Extinction Rebellion from entering the city

Folks have been protesting about our species' slow turning of the knife deeper into the belly of Mother Earth for a long time now. However, once it became evident that it was a killing wound we inflicted on the environment, leaving us well and truly fucked, the protests escalated in size and numbers. Quickly.

Kids have been walking out of class, taking to the streets by the thousands. The pillaging of the Amazon, which has been going on for decades, is suddenly on the agenda in a big way with the United Nations and popping up in news broadcasts around the world. The climate activist group Extinction Rebellion is all up in everyone's grills around the globe, too. Recently, members of the group took to the streets to block traffic and generally fuck shit up (in a good way!) in major cities around the globe. London was on their hit list and man, did they hit it: shutting down streets in the city's downtown core, primarily in Trafalgar Square. Flights out of Heathrow Airport were disrupted. Over an eight-day period, London's Metropolitan Police Service threw over 1,300 of the protesters in the clink. It seems that the MPS was so sick of filling out paperwork for the arrests that they opted to make it illegal for Extinction Rebelling to do their thing within the city's borders... which, when you think about it will likely result in more paperwork. But hey: I am but a simple writer.

From The Guardian:

The Metropolitan police issued a revised section 14 order on Monday night that said “any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion ‘Autumn Uprising’ ... must now cease their protests within London (MPS and City of London Police Areas)” by 9pm.

...On Twitter, the London branch of XR wrote: “Police are clearing peaceful protest in Trafalgar & Vauxhall. They are back-tracking on promises made &, MEPs say, in contravention of UK law, in the national square. This is an emergency, and an outrage. The police must respect the law. This is a democracy.”

They may just have something there. A representative for the Network for Police Monitoring stated that the ban on the activist group had not been made with any semblance of due process. Typically, such an order can only be made by the Home Secretary.

Legal challenge, ho!

Image via Wikipedia Commons

Read Trump's ridiculous threat letter to the Turkish president

Donald Trump, nominally the President of the United States of America, recently withdrew U.S. troops from Kurdish-held lands and greenlit a Turkish invasion of same, at Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's request. As soon as the humiliations of this outcome became clear to Trump, we now learn, he began sending threats to Erdoğan instead. Erdoğan ignored them, began his attack, and now those formerly-American bases are occupied by Syrian and Russian forces called in by the desperate Kurds. The New York Times' Katie Rogers pointed out that she "felt the need to ask" the White House for confirmation that this letter is "real". It is.

Want a ride in a Lyft? Just sign away your right to sue if they kill, maim, rape or cheat you

Spotted today in my Lyft app: a new set of terms and conditions that require you to "agree" to binding arbitration (an onerous condition heretofore reserved for downtrodden drivers), through which you agree to waive your right to join class action suits or pursue legal redress through the courts should Lyft, through its deliberate actions or negligence, cause you to be killed, maimed, raped or cheated -- something that, not coincidentally, Lyft is in a lot of trouble over at the moment.

Quirky futurist podcast The Life Cycle starts off with the apocalypse

Beginning with the end of things, the premiere episode of The Life Cycle asks: is there going to be a future to speak of at all? Why is it that the apocalypse is no longer just the reserve of religion, but now dominates everything from our Netflix viewing to our conversations with friends and family? And what can we learn from global climate strikes? Featuring Joshua Tan, Ph.D. in Computer Science, Oxford.

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The multiverse, universal wave function and quantum mechanics in this week’s tawdry tabloids

If the universal wave function is objectively real, why shouldn’t we equally believe the ‘Globe’ when it reports about rocker “Phil Collins - Dead By Christmas! Friends fear for frail legend”?

He’s using a cane to walk on stage, so he must have only ten weeks to live, the tabloid calculates with actuarial accuracy. After all, any doctor can tell you that using a walking stick is a sign that you have less than three months to live. And embarking on an arduous stage tour is a well-known sign of impending demise. Just ask Michael Jackson.

Britain’s Royal Family have long lived in an entirely different universe from the Royal Family depicted in the tabloids, and it doesn’t take a wave function collapse to see that the tabloid Royals are having a much tougher time of it than the ones living in the universe most of us know.

“Royal Fury! Queen Slaps Nephew!” reports the ’National Enquirer,’ borrowing from Elton John’s memoir ‘Me’ a light-hearted anecdote about the Queen playfully slapping Viscount Linley in the face several times, in what is an obvious joke by a self-deprecating monarch. Or in the tabloid universe, it’s what the ‘Enquirer' calls it a “shocking attack” in a display of “Royal fury."

“Charles in Charge!” screams the ‘Globe,’ visiting the same parallel universe. "Ruthless Prince Charles has snatched the crown away from his ailing mom.”

In this alternate reality Her Majesty is “secretly battling bladder cancer and refusing treatment because she’s too frail” and son Prince Charles has taken over her Royal duties, much to the delight of his wife. “Camilla’s been guzzling her gin in celebration and braying drunkenly to her servants that they’re in charge for good and everybody had better toe the line or else!”

Perhaps Bohmian mechanics might explain why this phenomenon might exist while otherwise unobserved?

Duchess of Sussex “Meghan Hits Harry With Booze Ban.” reports the ‘Enquirer,’ entering a universe where Meghan confides her closest secrets only to tabloid reporters. She has allegedly demanded that hubby Prince Harry quit boozing to increase their chances of conceiving another child, though it’s unclear from the story whether that’s because booze makes the Prince suffer performance failure, or if Meghan is more concerned with sperm motility. Enquiring minds want to know, but alas, aren’t told.

Country singing couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood’s 13-year marriage is the subject of the ‘Globe’ cover story “Garth & Trisha’s Marriage Explodes!” It’s getting so that country stars can’t argue in public any more without reporters claiming their marriage is over. The tabloids have been predicting the end of this union for years, and somewhere in the multiverse that may well be true - but in this universe we’re still waiting.

And the reports from an alternate universe keep coming.

“Bewitched!” proclaims the ‘Enquirer.’ "Angelina Falls For Michell Pfeiffer.” Angelina Jolie reportedly told her ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ co-star Michelle Pfeiffer how much she loved her in 1982 movie musical ‘Grease.’ Unnamed insiders say “Angie is still swooning for her glamorous idol!” Let’s all forget the fact that Pfeiffer is long married to David E Kelley.

“Lisa Marie Closing Graceland!” declares the ‘Globe.’ Elvis Presley’s daughter allegedly wants to move “home” because she’s broke. But Graceland is a cash cow that keeps the Presley estate rolling in moolah. This story makes no sense, though in some alternate universe where Elvis is alive and working at a Burger King in Peoria it doubtless rings true.

Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are the subject of the ‘Globe’ story under the headline “Ashton’s threat to Kill Wife Mila.” Kunis has admitted asking Kutcher how he’d react if in 20 or 30 years time she appeared on a ‘Real Housewives’ reality TV show. “I would kill you,” he replied. Yep, that’s a death threat if I ever heard one. He should expect the FBI hammering on his door any second now.

Felicity Huffman, currently serving a 14-day prison sentence for her role in the college cheating scandal, is pictured by the ‘Enquirer’ walking her dog recently past the Lake Hollywood reservoir where a large sign posted barring dogs is posted beside the entry gate. “Huffman Looking For Trouble Again?” asks the headline. Not in this universe, as the actress kept walking past the sign and didn’t take her excessively-groomed poodle-mix onto the dog-free reservoir path, If she did, you can bet that any self-respecting (or self-loathing) paparazzi would have called Parks & Recs to get a Ranger over pronto to photograph her receiving a citation.

‘Us’ magazine continues its tradition of journalistic excellence with its cover story “Married to a Monster. Matt Lauer’s Wife Breaks Her Silence.”

Only one minor quibble: Lauer’s Annette Roque doesn’t say a single word to ‘Us’ mag. Not one. Nevertheless, the story claims she is “breaking her silence for the first time.” Yes, Roque’s lawyer issued a statement last week saying “her priority and only concern is for their wonderful children,” but that’s hardly Roque “breaking her silence.” Even the attorney’s statement didn’t quote Roque, who despite the ‘Us’ mag cover headline isn’t Lauer’s wife, but is his ex-wife since their divorce has been finalized. It’s just an excuse to salaciously rehash Lauer’s alleged infidelities.

Fortunately we have the crack investigative team at ‘Us’ mag to tell us that Olivia Culpo wore it best, that ‘Avengers’ actress Elizabeth Olsen admits “I’m such a minimalist. I don’t collect anything,” that Patricia Heaton carries sunglasses, gum and lip balm in her deeply revealing Bottega Veneta purse, and that the stars are just like us: they ride bikes, feed parking meters, and eat popcorn at the movies. Shocking.

Though it should be taking place in an alternate universe, it’s happening in this one: Quilted Northern toilet paper’s 15th annual competition for a wedding dress made of bathroom tissue attracted more than 1,500 entries, according to ‘People’ magazine. This year’s winner reportedly fashioned a gown crocheted from 48 rolls of toilet paper. That’s one way of selling a lot of toilet tissue. Just imagine how many entries they might get if the wedding gowns were crafted from old tabloid magazines, equally suited for the same task.

Onwards and downwards . . .

"The People's Money": A crisp, simple, thorough explanation of how government spending is paid for

Modern Monetary Theory is an economic paradigm that treats money as a utility that governments issue and tax in order to mobilize resources needed to provide the services that the public wants; it explains why some kinds of government spending leads to inflation while other kinds do not, and how sovereign states use different levers to control inflation, even when they're spending extraordinary sums, as in WWII. (more…)

My new fave Instagram account: miniature models of old Tokyo storefronts

Christopher Robin is a Stockholm designer who makes realistic miniature models of aged Tokyo storefronts. He's got an Instagram account with photos of his work.

 

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Panic working here, lots of stuff left to do and aprox one week left until deadline. Working on the vending machine, added the glass and did some weathering. A real mental workout to figure out how to build this one in the best way, and I can only blame my self since it is I who designed the kit... Also been working on adding more wiring and electric stuff. Also did the roof. Used a very fine grit sandpaper cut into strips and glued and folder. Think it worked out ok. These flat roofs are tricky to get interesting. Now back to work. Stay tuned. #artwork #art #artist #sculpture #mini #miniature #miniartmodels #tokyo #tokyohouse #japanhouse #instaart #pic #picoftheday #progress #scratchbuild #scalemodel #modelhouse #modelhouses #aircondition #rust #hobby #workshop #handmade #handtool #weatheredmodels #weathering

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[via Nag on the Lake]

How to sharpen a $13 kitchen knife so it cuts like an expensive one

In this beginner's guide to whetstone sharpening you'll learn how to give a cheap knife an edge so fine you can split atoms with it (or at least slice paper). The idea is to have different whetstones of varying grit (size of abrasive particles) and start from the coarse stones and move to finer ones. It's important to keep a fairly consistent angle as you draw the knife over the stones -- you can do this by matching the edge that the manufacturer put on the knife to begin with.

This is the knife used in the video, and these are the two whetstones.

Terrified of bad press after its China capitulation, Blizzard cancels NYC Overwatch event

Blizzard's cowardly decision to appease Chinese authoritarians by ejecting a champion player who expressed support for the pro-democracy struggle in Hong Kong has kicked off a global rebellion by the company's customers, who are furious that the firm has put its profits over an entire nation's right to self-determination and basic democratic freedoms. (more…)

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