There's a new James album coming out!

If you came of age in the 1990s, you couldn't help but know the lyrics to at least one James song. Laid is great! Not just the single, but the whole damn record. But here's the thing: It's not the greatest tune that the band has churned out. In fact, since Laid hit the charts back in 1993, James has continued to make absolutely fabulous, soulful music. If you're not familiar with their catalog, there's no better time than the present to fill your ears with their sounds. You'll find their songs on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube.

Once you're caught up, you'll be ready to buy their new album, Living in Extraordinary Times, due to pop on August 3rd. Read the rest

Some Simpson jokes that go over kids' heads

Children's shows often include jokes to give a little "nudge nudge wink wink" to grown-ups. I mean, who could forget the subversive bits in Looney Tunes or, say, Pee-wee's Playhouse?

But this compilation by YouTube channel Best of Simpsons Characters is different, because The Simpsons isn't really a show for kids. It's just the Simpsons' jokes that they didn't get when they were little. Read the rest

Chernobyl pups find forever homes

Hey, remember a few months back when we told you about the dogs of Chernobyl? If not, long story short: when the nuclear power plant lost its shit back in the 1980s, everyone was evacuated so quickly that they were forced to leave their pets behind. The dogs living in the area were irradiated, but continued to breed. They went feral. Their numbers grew. But, when crews returned to the power plant with plans to clean the joint up, the dogs remembered that people were mostly OK. As such, the pooches decided to hang out. There was talk of a cull, but the workers at the plant refused to participate. A charity stepped in to keep and care foe the dogs. They’re currently living the best life many of them will have ever known.

For a handful of the wild pups, things just got even better.

According to Meduza, Ukraine State officials are planning on taking up to 200 of the dogs out of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. After holding them in medical quarantine for 45 days, the puppers, provided will be flown to the United States, where they’ll be put up for adoption. Provided they’re deemed to be free of radiation poisoning or any other weirdness, the first 12 dogs will be flown to the United States for adoption this June. There’s no word on where the dogs will be put up for adoption, but maybe that’s just as well: the dogs should be adopted because they’ll be lovable, loyal companions and not because of their irradiated pedigree. Read the rest

Apple bends to Chinese government demands... again

One of the best reasons to buy a piece of Apple hardware, in my opinion, is the company’s history of protecting the privacy of its customers.

Provided you're not a customer living in China.

You may recall that, a while back, iOS users in China lost the ability to download most VPN clients to their phones and tablets from the iTunes App Store—the Chinese government doesn’t like their citizens to be able to anonymously access the Internet or view the world through the lens of unapproved news sources. So, Virtual Private Networks were kicked to the curb. According to 9to5mac, Apple is once again showing the Chinese government their soft underbelly, in the name of being able to continue to sell their hardware in the country.

According to 9to5mac, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has decided that they’d like Callkit—a developer framework that lets devs bake VoIP capabilities into their apps for iOS—to not be a thing for applications available to its citizens. You likely use Callkit-backed apps on a regular basis, without even knowing it. When your iPhone displays you the name or number of who’s calling you on Skype? That’s Callkit, doing it’s thing. The Chinese government doesn’t dig on Callkit because of the fact that it’s difficult, if not impossible to intercept and monitor calls made using it. Last summer, Skype was removed from the Apple’s Chinese App Store portal, likely for this very reason.

Look. Before anyone swoops in to say that I’m anti-Apple I wrote this post on a MacBook. Read the rest

If Amazon existed in the 1980s

Activate your willing suspension of disbelief because Squirrel Monkey's back with Wonders of the World Wide Web. In this episode, they envision Amazon, "the department store of the future," as a virtual department store in the eighties. It's not historically accurate by any means, but that's part of what makes it so fun to watch.

Previously: If Siri existed in the 1980s Read the rest

London's Variety Club for Kids: Cabaret for all ages, May 29/30

Showman Mat Ricardo (previously) writes, "I've always thought it was a shame that the resurgence in cabaret and variety shows has tended to be adult-centric. Late night sexy circus shenanigans are all well and good, but variety shows should be for everyone - so I did something about it!" Read the rest

Explaining marine invertebrate reproductive strategies to the lobster-obsessed Jordan Peterson

Alt-right darling Jordan Peterson is a big fan of hierarchies, which he says are innate to the human condition, something he knows because lobsters have social hierarchies. Read the rest

Supreme Court rules that employers can make signing away your right to sue them in a class a condition of employment

Supreme Court Justice Neal Gorsuch used his stolen Supreme Court seat to carry the day for corporations against workers in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, ruling that employers could force potential employees to sign away their legal right to participate in class action suits as a condition of employment. Read the rest

Mark Dery visits the "David Bowie is" exhibit

My favorite culture critic, the inimitable Mark Dery, visited the "David Bowie is" exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Author of the excellent "All the Young Dudes: Why Glam Rock Matters," Dery sees the exhibit as "a burial chamber for a rock god, replete with everything he’ll need for the afterlife." From the Brooklyn Rail:

Crepuscule with Bowie, I thought, not quite groping my way through the perpetual twilight of David Bowie is at the Brooklyn Museum. The 400 artifacts in this blockbuster show—costumes (stage and offstage, because when wasn’t Bowie onstage?), handwritten lyrics, record-cover art, stage-set designs and maquettes, personal effects (including, fabulously, the Great Man’s coke spoon from the dissolute mid-seventies)—are displayed in vitrines or mounted on stagelike platforms and spotlit. The encroaching shadows give the exhibition a sepulchral feel. Taking it all in, I had an inkling of what Howard Carter must’ve felt as he got his first look, by flickering candlelight, at Tutankhamun’s tomb...

"Ziggy's Reliquaries" (Brooklyn Rail) Read the rest

Safety glasses with built-in magnification

I've owned these safety glasses for a long time. They're like regular safety glasses, but they have magnifiers at the bottom. I've found them to be useful when I use a rotary tool, bandsaw, or drill press. I can look down and see the details, and when I back up to see the big picture, it's not blurry because the upper part is not magnified. You can get them in a variety of strengths. Read the rest

New York high school will use CCTV and facial recognition to enforce discipline

Next year, high schools in Lockport New York will use the "Aegis" CCTV and facial recognition system to track and record the interactions of students suspected of code of conduct violations, keeping a ledger of who speaks to whom, where, and for how long. Read the rest

Watch 193 pride flags stop a bullet

Fondation Émergence created a great PSA they call the Pride Shield, where 193 pride flags (one for each country) show that together we can end the worldwide epidemic of violence against sex and gender minorities. Read the rest

High school students who will not smile in the hallways are sent to mandatory counselling, while bullying is rampant

High school students in Pennsylvania's Northern Lebanon School District report that they are not allowed to walk through their schools' hallways unless they smile; if they refuse they are sent for mandatory counselling. Read the rest

Plane passenger arrested for urinating on seat in front of him

Here's a photo of a gentleman, possibly inebriated, who appears to be urinating while seated in a Frontier jet. The Denver CBS news affiliate reports the man was taken away in handcuffs when the plane landed in South Carolina.

From CBS:

The woman said the male passenger was moved to the row she was in after he allegedly verbally and physically assaulted two other women near his previous seat. She also said the man allegedly touched one sleeping female passenger and later asked another woman about her sexual and marital life.

The passenger said she was disappointed with the way the airline handled the incident, and was discouraged when Frontier flight attendants allegedly placed the suspect next to her. She said one flight attendant warned her of his previous actions, and told her to monitor his status. It was then when the passenger photographed the suspect urinating on the seat.

From Fox News:

When flight attendants became aware of the man’s behavior, he was moved to an empty row of seats in the rear of the plane. A flight attendant also warned Emily, who was sitting in the row across, of his behavior, telling her to leave her seat if the man tried to touch her.

Instead, Emily says the passenger proceeded to urinate on the seat directly in front of him.

“And I scream, ‘He’s f---ing peeing. He’s peeing. Oh my God.’ And the flight attendant doesn’t even acknowledge him at first. [The attendant] acknowledges me and says you need to calm down and stop cursing,” she told Fox 31.

Read the rest

Sweden sends "If War Comes" booklet to all of its 4.8 million households

Sweden is sending out 4.8 million booklets to households across the country called, "If Crisis or War Comes" (Om Krisen Eller Kriget Kommer).

The booklet is 20 pages long and explains what to do if there is a terrorist attack, if all the shops run out of goods, if tap water stops running, if infrastructure is sabotaged, if you hear a broadcast emergency alarm, and loads of other really scary scenarios. The booklet is meant to help citizens "cope with a major strain."

This isn't the first time Sweden has prepared its citizens for wide-spread disaster. Last time it distributed a similar pamphlet was during World War II.

According to The Guardian:

Similar leaflets were first distributed in neutral Sweden in 1943, at the height of the second world war. Updates were issued regularly to the general public until 1961, and then to local and national government officials until 1991.

The publication comes as the debate on security – and the possibility of joining Nato – has intensified in Sweden in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and recent incursions into Swedish airspace and territorial waters by Russian planes and submarines.

You can read the entire booklet here. Read the rest

The Vatican dunks on the finance industry and its "amoral culture"

The Vatican has published “‘Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones’. Considerations for an ethical discernment regarding some aspects of the present economic-financial system” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, 17.05.2018, a lengthy report on the wickedness of Wall Street, in which the finance industry is condemned in the strongest and most specific terms, accused of creating an "amoral culture" dedicated to the "profit of the strongest" instead of the "authentic good." Read the rest

Two US citizens detained by a Border Patrol agent for speaking Spanish

Ana Suda and her friend, Mimi Hernandez, were born in the United States. They live in Montana. On early Wednesday morning they went grocery shopping. A uniformed Border Patrol agent heard them speaking Spanish to each other and demanded to see their identification. When they asked him if they were being racially profiled he said, “Ma’am, the reason I asked you for your ID is because I came in here, and I saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here. It’s the fact that it has to do with you guys speaking Spanish in the store, in a state where it’s predominantly English-speaking." He detained the women in the store's parking lot for 35 to 40 minutes before letting them go.

When the Washington Post contacted US Border Patrol for a response, a spokesperson said, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and officers are committed to treating everyone with professionalism, dignity and respect while enforcing the laws of the United States. Although most Border Patrol work is conducted in the immediate border area, agents have broad law enforcement authorities and are not limited to a specific geography within the United States. They have the authority to question individuals, make arrests, and take and consider evidence.”

Image: Washington Post Video screenshot Read the rest

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