Mishaps during landing on early aircraft carriers

I just laugh and laugh. The calm announcer could only be improved with the addition of Yakety Sax. Read the rest

Florida Governor says the FBI told him how the Russians hacked Florida voting machines, but swore him to secrecy

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says that after the Mueller Report was published, the FBI came to him to explain its conclusion that at least two Florida county's voting machines were hacked by Russians during the 2016 election, but that they swore him to secrecy so he can't reveal which counties and which machines were hacked. Read the rest

Insistent not-a-racist GOP Rep. Mark Meadows displays his racism

North Carolina's Rep. Mark Meadows was aghast that Rep. Rashida Tlaib found his parading HUD official Lynne Patton, a black woman, before congress as prop, to be racist. He insisted he is not a racist.

There is plenty of video of displaying Meadows smugly spreading racist "birther" theories about President Obama.

TPM:

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) was very indignant Thursday when Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) accused him of using HUD official Lynne Patton, a black woman, as a prop to counter Michael Cohen’s accusations of racism.

He retorted loudly, saying that her implication was racist and citing black people in his life.

Unfortunately for the self-righteous congressman, videos have surfaced since the fracas that show him espousing the thoroughly debunked “birther” theory about President Barack Obama.

Read the rest

Yikes is over.

Seeing a slight resurgence online this week, perhaps due to issues related to the government shutdown, is the viral term "Yikes!" I humbly propose that this shopworn exclamation be replaced for the duration of 2019 with "Blimey!" This perfectly British alternative honors the derailed madness of Brexit and even comes with an optional intensifier — Cor Blimey! — though Americans would be advised to use it sparingly. Read the rest

Lin-Manuel Miranda rescues New York's beloved, century-old Drama Book Shop

For more than 100 years, New York City's Tony-award-winning Drama Book Shop has been a stalwart of the city's thronging theater community; but like so many independent bookstores, it has struggled (it recently announced that it would have to leave its Times Square location on January 20 due to rent hikes). Read the rest

Drones deliberately taunting Gatwick Airport, shutting it down for nearly 24 hours so far

Police are on the hunt for the owners of disruptive drones that have shut down London's Gatwick Airport for nearly 20 hours, preventing flights from taking off and landing. And these aren't your usual off-the-shelf drones, either. Police describe them as "industrial specification" drones, meaning they are "something bigger or more complex," according to CNN.

This is Gatwick's busiest time, with over 100,000 passengers stranded until the drone operators are located.

But locating them hasn't been easy.

Via CNN:

"Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears; when we look to reopen the airfield, the drone reappears," Sussex Police Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw told the UK's Press Association...

Aviation expert Jon Parker told CNN he'd "seen nothing on this scale before," in terms of deliberate disruption by a drone to a major UK airport.

Usually, an airport shuts down for only half an hour when a drone disrupts an airport, but this case is different.

"The usual practice (when a drone is spotted) is to suspend flights for half-an-hour, which is the usual battery lifespan for drones," explained Parker, a former Royal Airforce fighter pilot and head of drone training company Flyby Technology.

But in the case of Gatwick, "whoever is responsible for this has had several batteries and have brought their drones back to the ground to put new batteries on them," he said.

Passengers describe the scene at Gatwick as "total chaos" and "utter shambles."

Passengers stranded at Gatwick in the early hours of Thursday described "total chaos" inside the terminal, with flights suspended and little information from staff.

Read the rest

500-year-old skeleton clad in thigh-high leather boots found face down in London mud

And I didn't even know Keith Richards was missing.

The New York Times reports on the discovery of a mudlarker's body in the Thames mud, complete with thigh-high leather boots.

Britons fishing or scavenging in the River Thames in central London are a rare sight these days. But in medieval times, the river was teeming with workers toiling along its banks. The 500-year-old skeleton of a man believed to be among them has been found buried in layers of river mud in southeast London, offering a glimpse of a bygone era.

Perhaps most intriguing, what remained of his legs was discovered in a pair of thigh-high leather boots — unusual even for his time. Specialists say the man could have been a fisherman, a dock worker or a mudlark — a scavenger who hunted for objects of value by the river.

Read the rest

Trump cybersecurity advisor Rudy Giuliani has no idea how the internet works

Rudy Giuliani fatfingered a tweet last week and inadvertently referenced a nonexistent URL (G-20.in); some clever wag registered the URL and stood up a static landing page that reads "Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country." Read the rest

Trump may ban migrants entering U.S. from Mexico, in stunt to win GOP fear vote

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering issuing an executive order to close the U.S.-Mexico border, as the depleted and ragtag #MigrantCaravan of poor people seeking asylum ambles north from Central America. Read the rest

A database of instructions for making different paper airplanes

Fold N Fly is a visual database of paper airplane designs, sortable by aerodynamic properties (distance, airtime, etc), and difficulty of folding. Some pretty exotic designs, too! (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

In this video, the beeps make you see something that isn't there

In this video, Caltech demonstrates the Rabbit Illusion, a "time-traveling illusion trick." It tricked me.

Caltech researchers have developed these two new illusions that reveal how the senses can influence each other—in particular, how sound can give rise to visual illusions. These illusions occur so quickly that they illustrate a phenomenon called postdiction (as opposed to prediction) in which a stimulus that occurs later can retroactively affect our perceptions of an earlier event.

Read the rest

This illusion supposedly tricks your brain into time travel

Science Alert claims this illusions mimics time travel in the brain. I think the illusion works, but I saw no dinosaurs. Read the rest

Get whiter teeth after just one of these charcoal treatments

Drop by just about any health store and you'll hear raves about charcoal's curious and newfound properties as a sponge for the body's toxins. Turns out its beauty benefits are just as miraculous. The NUOVAWHITE Charcoal Teeth Whitening System uses charcoal as the active ingredient for a treatment that will visibly make your pearlies pearlier after just one go.

NUOVAWHITE works with Blue LED Light technology and specially treated whitening charcoal to brighten your smile. And it doesn't just improve the looks: The treatments actually bolster and restore your existing tooth enamel in the process. It's the safest treatment around - FDA compliant, cruelty-free and even completely kosher.

If all this sounds good enough to double up, then grab the NUOVAWHITE Charcoal Teeth Whitening System: 2-Pack for $27.99 Read the rest

Interactive chart compares how many times Kavanaugh dodged questions compared to Ford

Vox created a color coded transcript of last week's Senate testimony of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman he is accused of sexually assaulting. Blue indicates a question was answered, red indicates a question was dodged. Ford's testimony has only blue highlights. Kavanaugh's has what appears to be dozens of red highlights.

Beyond the style of their testimonies, there was a striking difference in the content of their words. Both Ford and Kavanaugh fielded questions from senators and the prosecutor hired by Republicans, Rachel Mitchell.

But only Ford made an effort to answer every single question.

Kavanaugh actively dodged questions. He often repeated the same non-answer over and over. Other times, he insisted on answering a question with “context” — which inevitably was a long story about his childhood — but never actually answered the question.

Read the rest

Amazon to pay all workers at least $15 an hour

Amazon, including subsidiaries such as Whole Foods and temp work programs, will pay $15 an hour or more to all its U.S. workers.

This comes as Amazon is facing increasing scrutiny over how its workers are treated and paid. Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, recently introduced legislation to end what he calls “corporate welfare” — and it’s pretty clear who he had in mind, since the bill was titled Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS).

Now unionize. Read the rest

Bert and Ernie are a gay couple, says ex-'Sesame Street' writer

It's a question that's floated around forever: Are Bert and Ernie gay?

Former Sesame Street writer Mark Saltzman says yes.

In a recent Queerty interview, Saltzman (whose partner is Arnold "Arnie" Glassman) reveals that the Muppet duo were based on his own (gay) relationship:

Ok, so we have to address—that’s the big question, right? In the writer’s room, you’re all adults. Were you thinking of Bert & Ernie as a gay couple? Did that question ever come up?

I remember one time that a column from The San Francisco Chronicle, a preschooler in the city turned to mom and asked “are Bert & Ernie lovers?” And that, coming from a preschooler was fun. And that got passed around, and everyone had their chuckle and went back to it. And I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert & Ernie, they were. I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them. The other thing was, more than one person referred to Arnie & I as “Bert & Ernie.”

That’s telling.

Yeah, I was Ernie. I look more Bert-ish. And Arnie as a film editor—if you thought of Bert with a job in the world, wouldn’t that be perfect? Bert with his paper clips and organization? And I was the jokester. So it was the Bert & Ernie relationship, and I was already with Arnie when I came to Sesame Street. So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple.

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Homebrew Cadillac limo/snowcat for sale

Robert Falck from Vancouver built a 1989 Cadillac Brougham limousine onto a Bombardier Skidozer snowcat. You can own this fine vehicle for $6,000. According to the Craigslist ad, it was "last used 2 years ago." From Jalopnik:

Falck said he built this contraption for a movie, which featured a rich guy who owned a ski resort. When filming was done, the Vancouverite decided to buy the Caddy back. Now it’s up for sale on Craigslist for a price that, he says, doesn’t reflect what he’s put into the vehicle.

Falck says the thing will move, but it’s not likely to climb a mountain or blaze its own trail; the vehicle is best left on groomed trails, and it’s not likely to exceed 15 mph.

Read the rest

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