Adventure House: the sequel to the Haunted Mansion that never was

In 1976, Walt Disney World was riding high: the oil crisis was over, tourists were flocking back to Florida, and the successful bicentennial celebration at the Florida Disney resort had been national news. Read the rest

Feds indict Florida police chief who framed a teen for burglaries so he could boast about perfect record

Raimundo Atesiano was chief of the Biscayne Park Police Department in 2013, and he was proud to boast about his department's 100% clearance rate for burglaries -- but according to federal prosecutors who just indicted him, Atesiano conspired with two of his officers to frame a 16-year-old child for unsolved burglaries so that they could impress local officials. Read the rest

Jimmy Fallon surprised Parkland high school grads by speaking at their commencement ceremony

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's class of 2018 got a surprise visit from late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon on Sunday. He took the stage at their graduation ceremony to deliver a humorous and heartfelt commencement speech.

When you think of commencement speakers, you think of people who are inspirational, people who are eloquent, people who've changed the world. When you think of high school students, you think of people who are immature, slightly awkward, still learning to be an adult.

Welcome to "Opposite Day."

The Parkland, Florida students were the survivors of the shooting that happened nearly four months ago on their campus. Seventeen of their classmates and school staff died in the tragedy on February 14, 2018.

Fallon said he and his wife and two young girls to the ceremony because "we wanted them to see what hope and light looks like."

Watch his full speech in the video above.

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Tax-funded charter schools textbooks deny evolution, teach human-dinosaur cohabitation, endorse slavery and indigenous genocide

2,000 US schools use textbooks from Abeka, BJU Press and Accelerated Christian Education (ACE), including tax-funded charter schools across America; students who learn from these texts are taught that God wanted Protestantism to flourish in North America and that Catholocism is not a true faith; that it was better Africans to be enslaved and come to "know Christ" than to be free but not Christian; that evolution is untrue; that humans and dinosaurs lived together (and that Noah brought baby dinosaurs on the ark); that the Loch Ness monster is real; that "abortion, gay rights and the Endangered Species Act" are part of a "radical social agenda"; that nonwhites are inferior (60% of the tax-funded scholarship students at charter schools come from racialized minorities and are thus taught that they are racially inferior to their white schoolmates). Read the rest

Amazon has been quietly selling its facial recognition system to US police forces, marketing it for bodycam use

Amazon bills its Rekognition image classification system as a "deep learning-based image and video analysis" system; it markets the system to US police forces for use in analyzing security camera footage, including feeds from police officers' bodycams. Read the rest

Newspaper runs gun show ad on front page below Parkland massacre story

Fort Lauderdale, Florida's Sun Sentinel daily newspaper published an ad for a gun show on the front page just below stories about a benefit for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and another article about the guilty plea of the man who killed 5 people last year at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport. After Stoneman Douglas families and others responded with WTF, the paper apologized and then later announced a moratorium on gun ads. From the Miami New Times:

"It's a mess. It's horrible," says Julie Anderson, the Sun Sentinel's editor in chief. "We're taking every step possible to make sure our editorial staff always see ads before publication so something like this doesn't slip through."

In her statement, publisher Nancy Meyer said, "We deeply regret placement of a gun advertisement on our front page Wednesday morning. It has been against our policy to run gun and other types of controversial advertising on our front page."

(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)

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Cops shoot man, then interrupt his funeral to press his corpse's finger to his Iphone

Linus F. Phillip was 30 years old when Largo, Florida cops shot him when he drove his car away from a gas-station where he had been stopped by police. Read the rest

Florida teen apologies for grammatically incorrect sign that was also racist

A young man from Florida hoped to impress a potential prom date with a sign reading "IF I WAS BLACK I'D BE PICKING COTTON,BUT I'M WHITE SO I'M PICKING U 4 Prom?"

The Huffington Post:

Acting principal Kathy Wilks sent this message to parents:

“We want to make everyone aware of a student’s social media post that has caused a very concerning situation. It involves one of our seniors and his ‘promposal’ to another student.

“It was racial in nature and administration became aware of it last night. Many who saw the post are understandably upset with its contents as well as the subsequent commentary to the post. Riverview High School absolutely does not condone or support the message conveyed in this post.”

It isn't clear from the story if the target of his romantic proposal agreed to go to prom with him. Read the rest

Drone footage of Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy Edge in construction

A drone captured this aerial peek of Disneyland's Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (aka "Star Wars land") as it stood at the beginning of last month. I was just at the park this past weekend with my daughter and we caught glimpses of its construction while riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. As you'll see, the future planet of Batuu is ginormous (14 acres in total).

The Disney Parks Blog reports:

At Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, guests will be transported to the planet of Batuu, a remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge that was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes. Here, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action at two attractions that take detail and immersion to the next level: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

As you can see in this video, which Bob Iger shared this morning during the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is shaping up to be one of the most detailed and immersive lands ever created in Disney Parks history.

Star Wars: Galaxy Edge is also being built at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. The lands are estimated to cost $1B each and both are set to open in 2019. Yahoo!

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Parkland teacher who was open to the idea of arming teachers forgets his loaded Glock in a public bathroom

Sean Simpson is a teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who had expressed an openness the idea of arming teachers to prevent school shootings. Read the rest

New Florida law lets beachfront property owners kick people off of public coasts

A new Florida law redefines the reach of beachfront property owners' claims to "the land above the mean high-tide level." This seemingly innocuous change means that private property owners -- and their patrolling rent-a-cops -- will have vastly expanded powers to kick members of the public off of public beaches. Read the rest

Watch this freediver find a crystal-clear spring under Florida swamp gunk

Freediver Jake Koehler, better known as DALLMYD, ignored posted alligator warnings to explore what looked like a garden variety Florida swamp. Below the duckweed covering the surface, he found a crystal-clear freshwater spring. Read the rest

Miami pedestrian bridge collapses, 'several dead,' multiple vehicles trapped beneath

Several people died when a 950-ton pedestrian bridge collapsed over a roadway near Florida International University (FIU). Live video footage of the incident shows 5 or 6 cars flattened beneath, pinned down by enormous concrete slabs. It is hard to imagine any of the people inside having survived, but some have. Read the rest

Florida students succeed where so many have failed, force state legislature to pass gun control rules despite ferocious NRA lobbying

On March 7, the Florida legislature passed a gun control bill in a bipartisan 67-50 vote, banning bump-stocks and imposing a 3-day waiting period on long-gun purchases and raising the minimum age for their purchase to 21; the legislation is a mixed bag as it also includes millions to arm and train school employees. Read the rest

Teacher who hosts white supremacist podcast suspended

According to The Hill, a Florida middle school teacher who moonlighted as a hate-spewing white nationalist podcast host has been removed from the classroom by the school board she worked for. Her suspension from shaping young minds was put in place by school board officials while they investigate exactly how shitty a person she might be:

On Friday, March 2, 2018 the Citrus County School District was made aware of a concerning podcast by a Huffington Post reporter. The reporter indicated they believed one of the persons participating in the podcast was a teacher at Crystal River Middle School. The Human Resources department was notified and an investigation was initiated immediately. The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing. Pursuant to Florida Statute an open investigation and materials related to it are exempt from public record and cannot be discussed until the investigation is complete.

Last week, the Huffington Post reported that Dayanna Volitich, a 25-year-old social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School, located just north of Tampa, was hosting a white supremacist podcast, using the name "Tiana Dalichov.” to separate her racist bullshit from her life as a teacher. Given that Volitich bragged on a recent about podcast about bringing white nationalist ideals into her classroom, her being kicked to the curb, even on a temporary basis, is a win for anyone who doesn't want the next generation of Americans raised with a head full of hateful bullshit.

Image via Wikipedia Read the rest

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was surrounded by cowering "good guys with guns"

While a shooter rampaged through Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, the school's armed cop (who was a Broward County Sheriff's Deputy) and three of his deputy colleagues were hiding behind a police car outside the school. Read the rest

'Multiple Fatalities' in Florida Mass Shooting: Suspect in Custody, 20+ Injured at Parkland's Stoneman Douglas High School

Another mass shooting took place in America today at a high school in Parkland, Broward County, Florida. Several hours after 911 calls first came in, authorities are now reporting that at least 20 injured, 1 dead. A suspect has been taken into custody, alive, according to reports. This is a developing story. Read the rest

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