Finally, a t-shirt fit for the Scots

H&M makes a T-shirt with a sequinned message that changes depending on the nap. It says "Skate", and with a swipe of one's hand, it says "Chill". Catriona Black, however, noticed that you can, of course, choose to swipe only some of the sequins, thereby creating the ultimate Scottish t-shirt.

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Leaked Sonic the Hedgehog movie design looks like a dollar-store cereal mascot

The live-action Sonic was expected to be overly "realistic" in a possibly-unwholesome way, perhaps even hinting at the unofficial internet life of Sega's "fallen" mascot. But a leaked "style guide" from the forthcoming live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie exposes the design as, well, not even that.

One popular comparison was to the mascot of a used car dealership, but it made me think of dollar-store cereal brands. The cheesiness hinted at in such comparisons is hard to tease out from the cheapness, but it comes down to this: the artist(s) seem unfamiliar with the squeeze and stretch of cartoon draughtsmanship and of the underlying anime conventions that inform the character's design.

Like westernized box art from old Japanese video games, there's a mismatch between the product and its marketing. With Style Guide Sonic, a conscious effort's being made to somehow reconcile the "authentic" design with the smooth, realistic animation puppetry that Hollywood thinks is popular. Someone thought a lot about how to make Sonic's single weird eyeball work in three grossly-rendered dimensions...

... but somewhere along the way, they slipped beyond the event horizon and now it's almost good enough to post on Deviantart.

Another shot (below) leaked thereafter, and it's not so bad.... perhaps an effort to show that things have moved on since the "style guide" and that the movie's not going to be quite so dire as it suggests. But it still isn't great and, yes, those are Nikes.

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Report of "deranged person" hugging pillow turns out to be cardboard cutout of MyPillow CEO

Police in Jordan, Minnesota, rushed to the scene after locals reported a "deranged person" standing motionless in the cold, hugging a pillow. It was in fact a cardboard advertising cutout of Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow.

“Those cardboard cutouts sure can look real from a distance and the caller certainly was not wanting to get too close thinking who is this deranged person standing outside in the cold hugging a pillow,” the Jordan Police Department shared in a Facebook post. “Always better to call the police.”

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German town seizes and sells family's dog on eBay to cover their debts

So you think American authorities' taste for asset seizure is bad? Try the city fathers of Ahlen in Germany, who seized a pedigree pug and sold it on eBay.

Frank Merschhausm, spokesman for the city of Ahlen, told NPR in an email that the seizure of "the valuable pet" was "legally permissible," because of open claims by the city's treasury office.

However, he acknowledged that the method used to sell the animal might be open to criticism.

"Obtaining the proceeds of the sale through a private eBay account was a very questionable decision by the enforcement officer," Merschhaus said in the email translated from German. He added that the city is undertaking an internal investigation.

Today I learned you can buy dogs on eBay Germany.

Correction: typo in headline. Read the rest

Russian tanker loses fight with Korean bridge

What happens when a stoppable force hits an immovable object? The stoppable force stops. The Korea Herald reports:

The Korea Coast Guard (KCG) said the 5,998-ton Seagrand sailed into the side of the Gwangan Bridge at around 4:20 p.m. before turning back to head in the opposite direction. ... The KCG nabbed the vessel and questioned the crew aboard. It said the ship's Russian captain, whose identity is being withheld, had a blood alcohol content of 0.086 percent. The legal limit is 0.03 percent.

I feel there must be more to the story, as 0.08 isn't very drunk—it's the legal limit for driving in most U.S. states and basically the tare weight of a merchant sailor.

You may recognize the bridge, in Busan, from Black Panther. Read the rest

Oops: radioactive corpse cremated

A man who took radioactive medication in his final days was cremated in 2017, a mistake that released potentially dangerous Lutetium 177 into the environment.

This alarming case, reported in a new research letter this week, illustrates the collateral risks potentially posed by on average 18.6 million nuclear medicine procedures involving radiopharmaceuticals performed in the US every year.

While rules regulate how these drugs are administered to living patients, the picture can become less clear when those patients die, thanks to a patchwork of different laws and standards in each state – not to mention situations like the 69-year-old man, whose radioactive status simply slipped through the cracks.

"Radiopharmaceuticals present a unique and often overlooked postmortem safety challenge," researchers from the Mayo Clinic explain in a case note.

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Woman realizes her fish dinner can be squeezed like a wet towel

Whether it's fish or not, it's certainly not the fish she was sold. Seafood fraud is quite common, according to envronmental and consumer groups. On the other hand, I hear shamwow is delicious in winter.

Note: The version of the video going viral was obviously ganked by a YouTube reuploader who added obnoxious branding and did not give credit to the creator. So this is just a short excerpt; if you know who filmed this revolting fish dinner, tell me so I can salute them here. Read the rest

The Google Maps "satellite" view was almost called "bird mode"

On Twitter, Bret Taylor recalls a meeting at Google which almost resulted in satellite maps being termed "Bird mode." [via Jason Kottke]

There was a geeky holy war on the Maps team. When Lars checked in the code to switch between maps and imagery, he called it “Satellite.” We were quickly informed that a significant % of the images were taken from airplanes — “Aerial Photography.” Our name was factually incorrect. Being the product pragmatist I am, I thought, who cares? “Aerial Photography” doesn’t fit on a button, and every person in our usability study got what “Satellite” meant. Unfortunately, to the Keyhole GIS engineers, we were basically destroying humanity with our lies.

Speaking of which, the term for engineers thinking they're experts in everything1 is apparently "engineer's syndrome."

1. And thereby the bitter knowitall hogwash they choked internet discussion with for decades until their model of the human mind was baked into emergent channels of mass communication and everything collapsed under the weight of the resulting bullshit and gave the world over to fascism and ruin. Read the rest

Study tracking people who ate zombie deer meat found no ill-effects, so far

Zombie deer disease is a clicktastic term for chronic wasting disease, a spongiform ecephalopathy suffered by ungulates. Much like Mad Cow Disease, Scrapie in sheep, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease in humans, misfolded proteins slowly destroy the brain, causing listlessness, discoordination, dementia and finally death. Now, what if you were to eat Zombie Deer?

On March 13, 2005, a fire company in Oneida County, New York, fed the meat of a deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease to 200 to 250 people. The company didn't know the meat was from a diseased deer. Laboratory tests for one of the deer served came back positive for CWD later. ... in a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Public Health, researchers found the group had "no significant changes in health conditions."

The only significant outcome of eating Zombie Deer is subsequently "eating less venison." Read the rest

Spectacular 21-car pileup at Daytona 500

You'd be surprised how often we cover NASCAR: "Well, that ruined everything." Read the rest

Vogue executive quits after "slave-themed photo" posted

Just the other day I remarked that the fashion industry picked the worst possible year to try and make racist imagery cool, even as it's obvious why such an insular and privileged culture would think it clever and edgy. Hot on the heels of Katy Perry's blaceface shoes we have Vogue exec Donata Meirelles "on a throne with two black women in traditional dress standing either side of her." She quit when the photo got out.

It has been suggested that the black women's clothes were similar to those worn by slaves, while the throne resembled a cadeira de sinhá - a chair for slave masters.

Other pictures from the party, in Salvador de Bahia in northeast Brazil, show traditionally-dressed black women welcoming and ushering guests.

Rita Batista, a TV presenter, posed the picture with an 1860 photo of a white woman sitting next to two slaves to make the implication clearer.

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“(...)Já as escravas de casas ricas eram adornadas por seus próprios senhores. Quando saíam para as ruas acompanhando suas senhoras ou crianças, eram exibidas em trajes finos e carregadas de joias.A própria escrava era um objeto de ostentação do dono, um objeto de luxo a ser mostrado publicamente”. Trecho do livro Jóias de Crioula de Laura Cunha e Thomas Milz. A primeira foto foi tirada em 1860. De acordo com @edercansino a foto que faz parte do acervo do @imoreirasalles, intitulada “senhora da família Costa Carvalho na liteira com dois escravos” foi feita na Bahia por fotógrafo desconhecido.

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Cop impersonator arrested after trying to pull over actual cop

Crimetip for cop impersonators! Police departments do not issue fully loaded 4Runners to officers. The Miami Herald:

“I thought, that’s weird. Well, they must have better undercover cars than they did when I was undercover,” he said.

When the driver in the SUV finally gave up trying to pull over Martinez, he changed lanes and tired to pass the commissioner, Martinez said. But Martinez said he stuck with the vehicle and eventually flagged down an officer in a squad car on the roadside, who radioed for help.

Martinez, 61, said he was there when the driver was pulled over on State Road 836 near Northwest 45th Avenue. The driver, he said, wasn’t wearing a police uniform and he had a firearm.

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Kids' YouTube star "Shat On His Nude Friend For A Meme Video"

People who are into computers and the internet and such often say that we are approaching a 'singularity', whereby machine 'intelligence' surpasses our own and inaugurates an inevitable yet unknowably glorious paradigm shift in human existence. I, however, anticipate an 'annihilation', whereby machine 'intelligence' flattens and dissolves all the structures we have built and our facile interactions generate a formless, explosive hatred that will ultimately destroy civilisation.

In weighing which outcome is more likely, consider the case of childrens' entertainer and YouTube star Blippi, hailed as the Mister Rogers of the 21st century, who "Shat On His Nude Friend For A Meme Video".

Katie Notopoulos:

In a hard R–rated twist, in a 2013 video that BuzzFeed News has viewed, Stevin "Blippi" John takes an explosive diarrhea shit on his nude friend’s ass in a truly shocking rendition of the “Harlem Shake” meme.

“Yes, I did make a gross-out comedy video when I was in my early twenties, long before I started Blippi,” John said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

Everyone has a past — Blippi’s just happens to involve a widely viewed, comedic video of him taking a deuce on another man. It seems that even in his former incarnation, Stevin John was destined for viral fame, but no one could have foreseen the dancing poop guy’s pivot to mainstream children’s entertainment.

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British Prime Minister "scrapes mould off jam and eats what's underneath"

The Telegraph reports that Theresa May saves money by scraping mold off preserves and eating the untainted remains.

The prime minister’s admission emerged during cabinet meeting discussions on how to reduce food waste. Ms May is said to enjoy cooking, and has a particular penchant for jam, even giving a jar to Melania Trump as part of a hamper in 2017.

The cabinet meeting was at the centre of controversy on Tuesday as some government insiders complained afterwards that Brexit had not featured heavily enough in discussions.

On the contrary, there has never been a cabinet discussion more clearly about Brexit.

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Drivers in Lynnwood contend with snow

KING 5 news up in Seattle compiled this selection of drivers in Lynnwood, a suburb south north of town, who really should not be out in their pokey little front-wheel-drive compacts. [Thanks, Dean!]

Correction: Lynnwood is north of Seattle, not south of it. Read the rest

Which of these charming gents is Virginia governor Ralph Northam?

Gov. Ralph Northam (D)’s medical school yearbook page has a striking photo on it. 1984.

The page is labeled Ralph Shearer Northam, along with pictures of him in a jacket and tie, casual clothes and alongside his restored Corvette.

It shows two people, one in plaid pants, bow tie and black faced, and the other in full Klan robes. Both men appear to be holding beer cans.

The person in black face is smiling. Beneath the photo is a writeup about Northam listing his alma mater, noting that his interest is pediatrics and giving a quote: “There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I think I’ll have another beer.”

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Table saws are dangerous

Crappy little table saws are marketed as cheap gifts and impulse buys by hardware stores, right there alongside drills and shop vacs. But they are uniquely dangerous and I got rid of mine after an alarming experience made me sit and think about the forces in play—and how close our heads and hands are to them.

This video illustrates the problem well and debunks, in passing, some of the myths about the dangers. A SawStop won't stop kickbacks. For almost any task short of ripping lumber, other tools will do the job just as well. [via] Read the rest

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