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Brain candy for Happy Mutants

Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:57:42 +0000


Militarized police action on the Dakota Access Pipeline

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:54:59 +0000


Seems unarmed, peaceful protestors were tear gassed, threatened at gun point, and arrested today. Here is another video of the same event.

I don't know anything about the source of these videos. Perhaps we'll get some info in the comments.

Sadako versus Snickers

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:11:07 +0000


A friend in France sent me an email one day and wrote, "You have to watch this Japanese movie 'Ring.' It's very special." Since he likes horror films as much as I do, his words carried weight. But in 1998 it wasn't easy to find a copy, and I had to nose around a bit before finally locating a DVD on 


As you can see from the photo above, it's one creepy-ass film. There's a moment at the end which, if watched in blissful ignorance of what's going to happen, and in a dark room, the hair on the back of your neck will stand up. If for some reason you haven't seen the movie, then watch it without reading anything about it in advance. 

Like all good horror in the past few decades, it was recently turned into a parody where Sadako (the creepy lady with pale skin and long black hair in Ring ) eventually faces off against the Kayako (the creepy lady with pale skin and long black hair from another excellent Japanese horror film, Ju-on [The Grudge]) and her son, who is seen below.


The new film is supposedly funny (in a good way), though I haven't see it yet, so who knows. I guess it's the Japanese version of Freddie vs. Jason, which sucked. Or Alien vs. Predator, which sucked even more. (Frankenstin Meets The Wolfman still remains good fun.) But those films weren't supposedly to be intentionally funny. Shall we next see Michael Myers as a stand-up comedian?

But if you're into that sort of thing, then this self-referential Japanese TV commercial has Sadako doing battle with a Snickers candy bar! I prefer Milky Way Dark, but if Sadako insists I eat a Snickers bar, who am I to say no?

Via Rocket News

Lawrence O'Donnell perfectly explains the first presidential debate

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:37:42 +0000


This segment from The Last Word explains the most painful things Donald Trump said, and why we can not elect him our President. (more…)

ISIS is under attack from UFOs -- and other tabloid stunners

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:23:32 +0000

What do crystal bracelets inspired by Michelle Obama, a John Wayne commemorative beer stein, a viagra substitute, a Life Alert alarm, and mustache hair remover - for women - have in common? They’re all ads in this week’s 'National Enquirer,' whose demographic appears to be aging frail bearded Democratic women and alcoholic men with erectile dysfunction. That might begin to explain the tabloid’s dubious connection to reality, and why Donald Trump is reportedly “very close” to ‘Enquirer' chief executive David Pecker, even writing several pieces for the rag during his presidential campaign: they share an equally tenuous relationship with the truth. Angelina Jolie’s divorce from Brad Pitt dominates this week’s tabloids, but only the ‘Enquirer’ boasts “world exclusive first photos” of Brad entering a hotel just weeks ago with ex-wife Jennifer Aniston, exposing their “secret rendezvous.” But look hard at the “world exclusive” photo - single, not plural as the ‘Enquirer' promises - and you’ll see in tiny print the words: “Photo Recreation.” In other words, the Enquirer has a world exclusive photo of two lookalikes shown from the rear entering a hotel, and no photos of Pitt and Aniston together anywhere. Because it probably never happened. Trump’s pal Pecker is also CEO of the ‘Globe’ tabloid, which this week carries ads for a ‘Granddaughter, I Love You’ “heirloom” music box (though it won’t become an heirloom until you pass it down to your beloved granddaughter), Count Cat-ula figurine (a vampire cat, of course), and portable oxygen tank “that will never weigh you down.” The ‘Globe’ shares the same scant relationship with the truth as the ‘Enquirer.' Its cover revisits the 20-year-old murder of infant pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey, in headlines screaming: “JonBenet Dad’s Confession to Cops!” Did John Ramsey really confess to killing his daughter? And why isn’t he behind bars? Because what he “confessed” to is having wondered if his home had adequate security, and doing nothing about it. In other words, the sort of self-recrimination that any parent feels, wondering if there was something more they could have done to protect a child. It’s not the murder confession that the cover seems to promise. Actress Meg Ryan is reportedly “wasting away” according to the ‘Globe,' simply because she appears slender in recent photos, while the ‘Globe’ team of highly trained medical correspondents conclude that actress Nicole Kidman is “pregnant at 49” based on a photo that appears to show her “baby bump.” Psychic reporting at its best. ‘People’ and ‘Us’ magazines predictably immerse their issues in Brad and Angelina’s split, though while ‘People’ focuses on “why she left” - reportedly clashing personalities and months of unhappiness - ‘Us’ exposes “her plot to destroy Brad,” alleging that Jolie is behind reports that Pitt was boozing, abusing their children, and generally behaving badly. Behind the scenes, this means that ‘Us’ magazine is aligning itself with Pitt and actively pursuing his exclusive story at some future date, while ‘People’ magazine is pursuing her exclusive tale, which will inevitably come with a huge price tag attached. Fortunately we have ‘Us’ magazine’s crack team of investigative reporters to tell us that Nina Agdal (Who she, Ed?) wore it best, actress Juliette Lewis carries digestive enzymes and vitamins in her Christian Siriano satchel, and the stars are just like us: they ride bikes, play tennis, and take vacation snaps. Not that this week’s tabloids are all frivolity and eviscerating the private lives of the stars. The ‘National Examiner’ delves deep into international geopolitics with its exclusive story revealing that Islamic State’s ISIS is “under attack from UFOs!” They report a “mysterious object hovering above territory held by the Islamic State - [...]

Friday in Berkeley, CA: Pop-Up Magazine and NoisePop's live stories and sound extravaganza

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:19:26 +0000


Right now, The Voyager Golden Record, containing a message from Earth for any extraterrestrials that might encounter it, is traveling on two spacecraft through the cosmic ocean at almost 40,000 miles per hour. But as we approach the 40th anniversary of Voyager, that beautiful gold phonograph record is also barreling through popular consciousness! Last week, I launched a Kickstarter with two friends, Timothy Daly and Lawrence Azerrad, to release the Voyager Golden Record on vinyl for the first time. We are blown away and humbled by the support our project has received!

While we were secretly developing our project, the good people at Pop-Up Magazine, California Sunday Magazine, and NoisePop were also quietly orchestrating their own homage to that magnificent golden artifact! The Golden State Record, taking place this Friday (9/30) at Berkeley's Greek Theater is an exquisitely-curated performance of "stories and sounds of California and the West from some of our favorite musicians, writers, filmmakers, radio producers, and artists." (We only found out about each others' efforts in July!)

The, well, stellar Golden State Record lineup include musicians like Lil B, Thao Nguyen, Mark Kozelek, and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, the Center for Investigative Reporting's Al Letson, music critic and "MacArthur Genius" Josh Kun, Jace Clayton aka DJ/rupture, and so many more.

I'll be there enjoying the scene under the stars.

Attend the Golden State Record at Berkeley's Greek Theater

Support the "Voyager Golden Record: 40th Anniversary Edition" on Kickstarter

My favorite sketchpad: Strathmore Series 400

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:42:24 +0000


Both of my daughters like to sketch, and so do I. One of our favorite things to do is sit around the dining room table and spend the afternoon drawing. The sketchpad I typically use is the 9 in. x 12 in. Strathmore Series 400. A pad of 100 sheets costs $9 on Amazon. I use a variety of pencils and brush pens, but I really like the Black Prismacolor colored pencil (PC935), which is what illustrator Mark Crilley uses to "ink" his pencil drawings. It produces a dark black line that stays put when you erase the pencil marks around it.

Here are a few of our sketches:






Shooting at South Carolina's Townville Elementary school injures 1 teacher, 2 kids. Teen suspect arrested.

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:26:40 +0000


Two students and a teacher were injured in a shooting today at Townville Elementary School in Anderson County, South Carolina. A teenager identified as the shooting suspect is now in police custody.

“A bad man came to our school today,” 4-year-old Townville student Amber Jolly told a television news reporter.


Craft for the Soul shows us how to constantly generate ideas and create cool stuff

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:36:14 +0000


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Craft for the Soul: How to Get the Most Out of Your Creative Life
by Pip Lincolne (author)
Penguin Books Australia
2016, 216 pages, 6 x 9 x 0.9 inches (hardcover)
$28 Buy a copy on Amazon

When it comes to dishing out all there is to know about living a creative life, Pip Lincolne is certainly your go-to woman. She’s the author of several creative titles and the talent behind popular blog Meet Me at Mike’s. She is also the founder of multiple inspiring projects, including worldwide craft group Brown Owls and the eMag series The Good Stuff Guide.

For some, stumbling upon Pip Lincolne’s book, Craft for the Soul, might seem a bit like discovering a rare gem. Sure, there are plenty of books about creativity, as well as numerous books filled with cute craft projects, but Lincolne has seamlessly blended the two to produce a book that is bursting with all things creative. Nestled among her down-to-earth advice about morning rituals, keeping active for creativity’s sake, and how to constantly generate ideas (among plenty of other topics), you’ll also find her favorite delicious recipes, along with adorable illustrations, inspiring quotes, and crafty DIY projects.

The author stresses that each and every one of us are capable of filling our day-to-day lives with more creativity, happiness, and fun. And for those of you thinking you don’t have a creative bone in your bodies – the pang of inspiration you feel every time you turn a page will certainly have you thinking otherwise! – Melanie Doncas


Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:27:59 +0000


Good stuff from the Gregory Brothers.

Apple's London headquarters to be housed at Battersea Power Station

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:10:31 +0000


I spent the summer and fall of 1984 in London (living in this council flat in Elephant and Castle), and I loved hanging out at a park near the Battersea Power Station. Built in the 1930s, the coal-fired power station in South London had ceased operations a year earlier, and I was spellbound by the combination of its almost incomprehensible massiveness, utter stillness, and the emptiness around it.

I haven't seen new photos of it for many years, and I was surprised to discover that a lot of commercial development has taken place next to it. Encroached upon by other large buildings, it no longer has mysterious grandeur. It looks like it has been caged and subdued. I hate it.

From The Standard:

[Apple] will move 1,400 staff from eight sites around the capital into what it calls “a new Apple campus” at the Grade II* listed former electricity generator.

Its employees will occupy all six floors of office space in the brick “cathedral of power,” which is being painstakingly restored after 33 years standing derelict on the banks of the Thames.

[caption id="attachment_485146" align="alignnone" width="800"](image) Image: Battersea in 2008 Wikipedia[/caption]

Nacho is the greatest of all orange cheeses

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:35:33 +0000


In the world of orange cheese there remains an outlier: Stadium Nacho Cheese. A lonely, rarely discussed and often maligned member of the bright and cheery circus colored cheese family! Nacho cheese is so disparaged it is often doubted that Nacho is even a cheese. Do not make this simple mistake! While the USDA has no official designation for cheese type Nacho, they do not officially deny its existence either. Frank Liberto, the Father of Nachos, is credited with perfecting nacho cheese and making it widely available to the masses. Via First We Feast:
While most popular tales of nacho lore jump straight from Piedras Negras to Howard Cosell’s mouth (the man, after all, put the snack on the map during a 1978 Monday Night Football Game at Cowboy’s Stadium), Smith details the key entrepreneurial exploits of Frank Liberto and his Ricos cheese sauce. Key points: Concession stand nachos were introduced in 1976 at a Texas Rangers game. That year, Arlington Stadium sold $800,000 worth of Ricos’ nachos. Each can of Ricos contain 107 ounces of cheese concoction, with 32 ounces of water and 20 ounces of pepper juice used to form the molten sauce we recognize at the concession stand pump. Since 1976, the Ricos style of nachos have become a sporting staple. And, taking into consideration the second key point, the profitability of the product is impossible to argue with, especially considering that the spiciness of the jalapeno was employed to boost drink sales as well as add flavor. Liberto’s innovation made nachos fast—Frank didn’t want customers to wait for more than a minute—and famous. Cosell may have propelled the word nacho into national consciousness, but it was Liberto’s business acumen that made chips and cheese a phenomenon. In the 1970s, Disney animators created trailers feature the characters of Nacho, Rico, and Pepe, helping propel Liberto’s empire beyond the ball park and into movie concessions.

Watch bacteria become resistant to antibiotics in a matter of days

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:25:58 +0000


In this time-lapse video from Harvard Medical School, you can watch “bacteria [Escherichia coli] develop resistance to increasingly higher doses of antibiotics in a matter of days.”


Teen boy in Saudi Arabia arrested for “unethical behaviour" after flirty chat with YouTube teen girl star

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:24:55 +0000


A teen boy has been arrested in Saudi Arabia for “unethical behaviour,” after he did a cute internet video chat with an American YouTube starlet.


Women as sinister seductresses in video games

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:20:53 +0000


The latest Tropes vs Women in Video Games (previously) is as on-point, smart, and deep as ever. (more…)

Canadian Home Depot removes "peeping tom" halloween prop

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:09:56 +0000


After a customer in Canada complained about the Tapping Creeper, Home Depot removed the Halloween prop from its shelves.

From Fortune:

Breanne Hunt-Wells, who is a mother of two, told CBC that she feels the decoration downplays voyeurism, which can often lead to sexual assault or rape. She also said that she ”failed to see the humor in it.”

“It makes light of a very serious crime,” she said. “Voyeurism is a crime in Canada.”

It's still available in Home Depots in the US and online.

Dad dot GIF

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:01:35 +0000


This dad has mad Dad Skills. (more…)

The Hillary Shimmy Song, by Jonathan "Song a Day Man" Mann

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:46:10 +0000


From our prolific internet songwriter friend Jonathan "Song a Day Man" Mann, a wonderfully catchy little ditty for this shitshow of an election season. The Hillary Shimmy Song.

This dude is coming at me
I just smile and let him be
The dude brought your own rope
He put the bullet in the gun so
I’m just gonna shimmy

Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy
Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy Shimmy

He just keeps on shouting, “Wrong!”
So I’ll get my Jim Halpert on
He is a flightless bird
I think I’ll never say another word
I’ll just be singing this song

Jonathan Mann writes a song every single day, and he has been doing that for the last 7+ years.

Through sick days, tired days, days with no inspiration, the death of my grandma, the breakup of a 5 year long relationship, the marriage to my wife and the birth of our son - I've never missed a day. This is my life's work. You can see my most current song, as well as songs from year's past over at If you want to support me in my Song A Day quest, there are several ways!. I have many albums for sale on Bandcamp.

Testimony: Chris Christie laughed when told of bridge closures

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:45:39 +0000


Earlier this year, Chris Christie appointee David Wildstein pleaded guilty to ordering lane closings on the George Washington bridge in 2003 to punish a New Jersey mayor for not supporting Christie's gubernatorial bid. Wildstein is now a star witness against two other people in Christie's inner circle who've been charged with conspiring to close the bridge lanes. Testifying in federal court today, Wildstein said that when Christie was told about the plot, Christie laughed and joked about it.

From New York:

"Mr. Baroni said, 'Governor I have to tell you about something,'" Wildstein testified, saying that Baroni and Christie often adopted a "very sarcastic tone" when they were talking politics. "Mr. Baroni said to Governor Christie, 'Governor, I can tell you there's a tremendous amount of traffic in Fort Lee this morning, major traffic jams, and Mayor [Mark] Sokolich is very frustrated." He alleged that Baroni then added, "You'll be pleased to know that Mayor Sokolich is having trouble getting his telephone calls returned."

According to Wildstein, Christie replied with similar sarcasm, "I imagine he wouldn't be getting his phone calls returned." ... The governor still called Wildstein by the pseudonym he used on the [influential political blog] website, "Wally Edge." So Christie surely understood the import of what Baroni allegedly told him next: "Mr. Baroni said to Governor Christie that I was monitoring the traffic, I was watching over everything," Wildstein testified. "Governor Christie said in the sarcastic tone of the conversation, 'Well. I'm sure Mr. Edge would not be involved in anything political." Then, Wildstein said, "he laughed."

"This was our one constituent. I was pleasing my one constituent," Wildstein said. "I was proud of it. I was happy that he's happy."

Locksmith scammer caught on video

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:25:51 +0000


Locksmith scammers are in every city. They advertise on Google, promising to unlock your house or car for $29 or so. (more…)

What has Trump lied about today, chart edition, Sept 28

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:57:47 +0000


Part of an ongoing series by weird chart-maker Scott Bateman; link to today's edition.

Shel Silverstein's filthy not-kids' book, "Uncle Shelby," beloved of George RR Martin, is back in print

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:54:52 +0000


Back in 2009, I found a rare, used copy of Shel Silverstein's raunchy, hilarious not-kid's book Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book: A Primer for Adults Only, after George RR Martin told me it was uproariously funny and a don't-miss. (more…)

On the once and future history of clouds

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:53:36 +0000


James Bridle (previously) honors the The Cloud Index, "a tool for actionable weather forecasts" at London's Serpentine Gallery, with a lyrical longread about the history of clouds, science, war and computation. (more…)

Let's kill inane "(in)security questions"

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:52:13 +0000


After last week's revelation of a record-smashing breach at Yahoo (which the company covered up for years), security researcher Matt Blaze tweeted: "Sorry, but if you have a Yahoo account, you will need to find a new mother, and have grown up on a different street." Ha, ha, only serious. (more…)

Inside a multimillion dollar fake Kindle book scam

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:50:52 +0000


Vancouver-based engineer-turned-"entrepreneur" Valeriy Shershnyov published thousands of titles in the Kindle store, "books" of typo-riddled nonsense that he upranked with a system of bots that gamed Amazon's fraud-detection systems, allowing him to sell more than $3M worth of garbage to unsuspecting Amazon customers. (more…)

Trump Bends Reality to His Will

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:04:25 +0000



FOLLOW @RubenBolling on the Twitters and a Face Book.

JOIN Tom the Dancing Bug's subscription club, the Proud & Mighty INNER HIVE, for exclusive early access to comics, extra comics, and even more.

GET Ruben Bolling’s new hit book series for kids, The EMU Club Adventures. (”A book for the curious and adventurous!” -Cory Doctorow) Book One here. Book Two here.

More Tom the Dancing Bug comics on Boing Boing! (more…)

Shimon Peres on leaving office

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:54:24 +0000


Rest in peace.

Understanding Musk's plan for colonizing Mars

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:53:33 +0000


Over at National Geographic, Nadia Drake's feature on Elon Musk's plan for millions of people to live on Mars is the best explanation (and contextualization) of this far out vision that I've read. From Nat Geo:

The rocket would deliver the crew capsule to orbit around Earth, then the booster would steer itself toward a soft landing back at the launch pad, a feat that SpaceX rocket boosters have been doing for almost a year now. Next, the booster would pick up a fuel tanker and carry that into orbit, where it would fuel the spaceship for its journey to Mars.

Once en route, that spaceship would deploy solar panels to harvest energy from the sun and conserve valuable propellant for what promises to be an exciting landing on the Red Planet.

As Musk envisions it, fleets of these crew-carrying capsules will remain in Earth orbit until a favorable planetary alignment brings the two planets close together—something that happens every 26 months. “We’d ultimately have upward of a thousand or more spaceships waiting in orbit. And so the Mars colonial fleet would depart en masse,” Musk says.

The key to his plan is reusing the various spaceships as much as possible. “I just don’t think there’s any way to have a self-sustaining Mars base without reusability. I think this is really fundamental,” Musk says. “If wooden sailing ships in the old days were not reusable, I don’t think the United States would exist.”

"Elon Musk: A Million Humans Could Live on Mars By the 2060s" by Nadia Drake (National Geographic, thanks Tom Andres for the video tip!)


Hypnotic breast enlargement

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:43:44 +0000


In the early 1990s, former professional wrestler and police officer Michael Stivers launched a career as a hypnotist, but with the unusual specialty of "breast enlargement hypnotism."

According to his pitch, "The larger-breast style of self-hypnosis relaxes the subject, then allows her to will an increased blood flow into the fatty tissues of the breast, much like that during menstruation or pregnancy. Daily conditioning through self-hypnosis allows what amounts to a permanent enhancement."

As George Constanza once said, "It's not a lie if you believe it."

It may comes as a surprise then that according to an article from the Des Moines Register posted by Weird Universe, not all of Stivers' customers were satisfied.

"A 58-year-old Tampa woman who wouldn't give her name said her bust measurement grew 3 inches through hypnosis in April, but then shrank 1 ½ inches," reads the article.

Ultimate wiggle GIF, now with 100% more Hillary

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:29:38 +0000


Wiggle wiggle.

[via IMGUR]

Apple to occupy Battersea Power Station, legendary London brownfield site

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:16:38 +0000


The question of what to do with Battersea Power Station, a disused yet oddly beautiful pile of bricks in London, long occupied the city's planners. The latest developers have scored a coup that sounds a lot like the final answer: it's going to be Apple's London headquarters.

Countless schemes came and went for the massive structure, whose four towers belched coal smoke until 1983 and graced the legendary cover of Pink Floyd's Animals. But it was only in the last few years that plans came together for a modern, mixed-use combination of homes, shops and businesses. Apple will be the single largest tenant, London's Evening Standard reports, taking the top 6 floors inside the old boiler house.

Apple’s main European HQ will remain at Cork, Ireland, where it employs 4,000 people, but the Battersea site will be one of its biggest in the world outside America. The Californian giant, the world’s most valuable company, will be the largest single tenant in the 42-acre complex of homes, offices, shops and leisure facilities....Apple is leasing 500,000 sq ft in total, making it one of the biggest single office deals signed in London outside the City and Docklands in the past 20 years.

It is expected all the firm’s “central function” staff in London in areas such as finance and human resources will move to the power station. Apple has 2,530 staff in total in the capital, including about 1,100 working in its stores. It has taken enough space for 3,000 employees, giving it room to hire more as its operation grows in London. The designers of the office space have not yet been appointed.