Carl telling us how (not) to science.
"conclusion: dinosaurs" is still my favorite rebuttal to just about anything tbh.
Second perhaps only to “Therefore: aliens”
I will never stop loving Hackers. NEVER.
Oh good, new television for me to be enraged by.
Silicon Valley was co-created with comedy veteran Alec Berg (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm). The eight-episode first season will feature four directed by Judge, two directed by Berg, and one apiece from Tricia Brock (Breaking Bad, Girls) and Maggie Carey (The To-Do List).
What I imagine Wolf Blitzer's facial expression was the first time he read the words "Pussy Riot" off the teleprompter.
Pussy Riot. Image: Denis Bochkarev
The outlaw Russian activist organization Pussy Riot reportedly chose their name as a clever troll: one of the group's members said she thought it'd be a way to provide a little fun for English-speakers who followed their story. And she was right. Every time I see CNN's Wolf Blitzer say "Pussy Riot," or hear a dry NPR anchor's voice intone those two words, I think I'm going to die laughing. Pussy Riot finally managed to do what generations of feminists before them could not: they normalized the word "pussy."
But I asked Twitter to help me come up with some more "polite" synonyms for news anchors who still wince when they have to say the p-word on-air. Here's the list, some of which are my own, some of which others must take blame for.
• Vagina Riot
• Cooter Commotion
• Ladybits Rampage
• Vajayjay Melee
• Birth Canal Brouhaha
• Hoo-hah Kerfuffle
• Beefdrape Diatribe
• Frontbottom Fracas
• Labial Lawlessness
• Rosebud Rumble
• Bearded Clam Shenanigans
• Muffin scufflin'
• Cooch Confrontation
• Down There Donnybrook
• Labia Fray-bia
• Front-butt Fiasco
• Munch Bunch
• Violencia del Vulva
• Meat-Curtain Mayhem
• Nookie Disagreement
• Honeypot havoc
• Fanny Free-for-all
• Tumult Near Mons Pubis (*also a great title for a post-apocalypic sci-fi erotic novel)
(Thanks, everyone: @joshgondelman, @Beschizza, @scottpierce_au, @orelhoes, @arfisk, @bonniegrrl, @KingDouyeAlfred, @KellySGerner, @birdsnfrogs, @cuadcosgrove, @capnmarrrrk, @beebigelow, @iD4RO, @BarrSteve, @emraeoh, @jesusdiaz, @ginalou, @janice_e, @gwynskid, @laurasbadideas, @nieljacoby, @proeat, @gargreguan, @dkesserich, @lekevbo, @queerveganrun)
From my new book, It’s a Punderful Life - Out NOW!
Available at all good (and not so good) bookstores.
Nigel, a Scottish forensic artist, did this facial reconstruction job on a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka, yielding up a glimpse of how the grotesque crystalline monsters whose skulls are harvested by the Crystal Vodka people might look.
I really liked today’s XKCD and decided to do a little Dinosaur Comics style thing with it!
Tree Frog commune in Guilford, Vermont in the 70s.
now this is a commune that speaks my language
$8 gets you six of SScotty 2 Naughty's Valentines cards themed for Toronto's crack-smoking, drunk-driving, thug-beatdown-commissioning lout of a mayor, Rob Ford. They sport slogans like "I must have been in one of my drunken stupors when I fell for you" and "I refuse to resign my love for you." Genius! And romantic.
Six Toronto Valentines - Mayor Ford (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Today at a bar I pointed out to my boyfriend that a power tool ad was entirely men (it was montage of dudes building things, including a man with a young child) and he was like, "Yes, but this add (for pizza) is also all men" and I was like "INDEED."
I was asked in an interview once: You’re writing another book with a female lead? Aren’t you afraid you’re going to be pigeonholed? And I thought, I write a team superhero book, an uplifting solo hero book, I write a horror-western, and I write a ghost story. What am I gonna be pigeonholed as?
Has a man in the history of men ever been asked if he was going to be pigeonholed because he wrote two consecutive books with male leads? Half of the population is women. I lose my temper here. And it’s certainly not at you. It’s just this pervasive notion that “white male” is the default. And you have to justify any variation from it.”
Can I use this in my Computer Architecture slides and still pretend to be a Professional Lady?
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January 15th, 2014: It works especially well if "Sweet cans!" becomes the sort of interjection that could replace "Holy cow", THE END
Today from 2-6 I'll be at The Dragon (Guelph, Ontario!) signin' comics! You should come out and say hi and I will write my name on you / your items!
CREEPY BUG SERIAL KILLER
Singaporean macrofocus photographer Nicky Bay produces wonderful portraits of insects in their natural setting. Particularly fascinating are the photos of bugs eating each other, particularly the shot above of an assassin bug (Acanthaspis sp.) which "decorate themselves with the corpses of their consumed prey," forming a protective "meat-shield" as well as offering olfactory and visual camouflage to help it infiltrate ant-nests.
More snow day fun with Mosley, the pajama-clad greyhound. I wasn’t sure if I’d be into to this video but then I watched it and OMG I’m so into it and why don’t I have batman pajamas? I need to get my shit together.
Jesus christ, just STOP THIS people. Frost your own fucking cookies. You don't need a goddamn robot.
Ryan Wistort is an MIT roboticist (we covered his dancing bird robot while back) with a new project up on Kickstarter. He sez, "I am a MIT nerd/robot maker and just released a CNC Robot for Makers on Kickstarter. It's like a Shopbot or other CNC mill, but made for doing things like drawing, painting, frosting cookies, and mix drinks."
This is one of my favorite kinds of Kickstarter projects. It embodies the greatest of Eno's oblique strategies: "Be the first person to not do something that no one else has ever thought of not doing before." In this case: build a super-cheap CNC mill by constructing it out of flimsy materials that won't manage any of the usual milling projects, and then find other use cases for it: frosting cookies and painting pictures, mixing cocktails and drawing circuit boards with conductive ink.
Wistort's had some successful business experience before, suggesting that he has at least a fighting chance of shipping something here. Kits start at $250.
The SB-1 is a CNC robot, just like a CNC router, but much smaller and made of cardboard. The machine is not strong enough to cut wood or metal, but is a fraction of the price of larger machines, and can be used to do everything from frost cookies with vector graphics, to mix cocktails. The robot is open source, Arduino based, and comes with everything needed to get started at with automation at home.
Vice's Year in Bad Cops rounds up the worst American police stories of the years: cops who executed peaceful housepets in front of children, cops who forgot about jailed innocents and left them to drink their own urine, cops whose dogs only attack brown people, cops who only stop-and-frisk brown people, and, of course, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
But the article also singles out Chris Burbank, the Chief of the Salt Lake City Police who sounds like an awesome guy. He arranged for a peaceful, respectful eviction of SLC Occupy, refuses to have his officers enforce immigration laws, and won't turn his cops into militarized SWAT goons. His motto: "[The cops] aren't an occupying force. We are a part of the community."
Most Cowardly Pet Killing, Dog Category: Antoine Jones of Georgia
On October 7, Antoine Jones, a six-foot, 300-pound probation officer, went to the Albany, Georgia, home of Cherrie Shelton, as he had multiple times in the past in order to check up on her son. As Jones walked to the door, Shelton’s 12-pound Jack Russell terrier Patches ran outside barking at him. Shelton told the local news she tried to explain that Patches didn’t bite, but before she could finish, Jones shot her dog, who died half an hour later. The officer said in a report he was threatened by the tiny dog, but though the Georgia Department of Corrections initially supported him, an internal investigation of the incident was reportedly opened at the end of October.
Most Cowardly Pet killing, Non-Dog Category: Unnamed NYPD Officers
According to a lawsuit filed by Evelyn Lugo, during a legally dubious raid on her home in September 2012 a New York cop stomped the family’s pet parakeet to death while yelling, “Fuck the bird!” The injuries to several family members are documented in photographs, so it’s quite possible the bird-murder portion of the complaint is accurate as well. RIP Tito the bird.
Most Cowardly Pet Killing, in Front of Children Category: Barry Accorti of Ohio
On June 10, a North Ridgeville, Ohio, police officer responded to a call to remove five feral kittens from a yard. According to the homeowner, officer Barry Accorti told her that the cats were going to “kitty heaven,” as the shelters were full, then shot them all 15 feet from her door. Her children saw the whole thing and were naturally hysterical, and the woman was baffled that Accorti would murder cats so casually within their earshot. Though the North Ridgeville Police Department’s Facebook page was swamped by threats and complaints when the story came out, chief Mike Freeman said his officer’s “actions were appropriate.”
This Year in Bad Cops [Lucy Steigerwald/Vice]
(Image: SWAT team members prepare for a training exercise/Oregon Department of Transportation)
My boyfriend is in BoingBoing! But it's by Cory Doctorow. I'm so conflicted.
In a paper called iSeeYou: Disabling the MacBook Webcam Indicator LED, security researchers Matthew Brocker and Stephen Checkoway explained a method for remotely operating the Isight webcam in Apple's Macbook laptops. Recent stories indicated that the FBI had this capability, but it's the first indication of how the trick is attained (the researchers reprogrammed the embedded controller in the webcam). They supplied the Washington Post with details and proof-of-concept software. The technique was applied to older model Macbooks, but there's no reason to suspect this wouldn't work against recent machines and machines made by other manufacturers.
MacBooks are designed to prevent software running on the MacBook’s central processing unit (CPU) from activating its iSight camera without turning on the light. But researchers figured out how to reprogram the chip inside the camera, known as a micro-controller, to defeat this security feature. In a paper called “iSeeYou: Disabling the MacBook Webcam Indicator LED,” Brocker and Checkoway describe how to reprogram the iSight camera’s micro-controller to allow the camera and light to be activated independently. That allows the camera to be turned on while the light stays off. Their research is under consideration for an upcoming academic security conference. ,p> The researchers also provided us with a copy of their proof-of-concept software. In the video below, we demonstrate how the camera can be activated without triggering the telltale warning light.
Research shows how MacBook Webcams can spy on their users without warning [Ashkan Soltani and Timothy B. Lee]
my new bedroom set
1970s bedroom design.
In Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage Against Nonprofit Organizations [PDF] a November 2013 report from a DC thinktank called The Center for Corporate Policy, researcher Gary Ruskin documents the scary, corrupt relationship between major corporations, private security firms, and secret police agencies like the FBI. These entities engage in highly militarized spying and sabotage campaigns against activist organizations from Greenpeace to the Camp for Climate Action, to Occupy and more; planting spies and provocateurs in their midst, compiling dossiers on organizers, and going through their trash for evidence of plans. Included in the opposition are active-duty CIA agents, who are allowed to moonlight for private clients in their off-hours, and the FBI, whose involvement in corporate anti-activist espionage was condemned in a 2010 report from the Office of the Inspector General in the US Justice Department.
The FBI's involvement in corporate espionage has been institutionalised through 'InfraGard', "a little-known partnership between private industry, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security." The partnership involves the participation of "more than 23,000 representatives of private industry," including 350 of the Fortune 500 companies.
But it's not just the FBI. According to the new report, "active-duty CIA operatives are allowed to sell their expertise to the highest bidder", a policy that gives "financial firms and hedge funds access to the nation's top-level intelligence talent. Little is known about the CIA's moonlighting policy, or which corporations have hired current CIA operatives."
The report concludes that, due to an extreme lack of oversight, government effectively tends to simply "rubber stamp" such intelligence outsourcing:
"In effect, corporations are now able to replicate in miniature the services of a private CIA, employing active-duty and retired officers from intelligence and/or law enforcement. Lawlessness committed by this private intelligence and law enforcement capacity, which appears to enjoy near impunity, is a threat to democracy and the rule of law. In essence, corporations are now able to hire a private law enforcement capacity - which is barely constrained by legal and ethical norms - and use it to subvert or destroy civic groups. This greatly erodes the capacity of the civic sector to countervail the tremendous power of corporate and wealthy elites."
The war on democracy [Nafeez Ahmed/The Guardian]
Phil writes, "Edward Hasbrouck of the Identity Project is doing a fantastic job of reporting on-site from Ibrahim v. DHS, the first legal challenge of United States government's no-fly list that has ever seen a courtroom. On the first day of trial, the judge learned that the plaintiff's daughter, scheduled to testify, was delayed because she had been denied boarding of her flight because she was put a Department of Homeland Security no-fly list. DHS staff deny this. The government's lawyers told the judge that the daughter is lying. The airline provided documentation of the DHS no-fly order. The subject matter of this trial is intense---restriction of movement based on blacklists---but there's no sign of an end to the jaw-dropping entertainment."
“None of that was true,” Ms. Pipkin told the court this morning. “She didn’t miss the flight. She was there in time to check in. She has not been rebooked on another flight.” And most importantly, it was because of actions by the DHS — one of the defendants in Dr. Ibrahim’s lawsuit — that Ms. Mustafa Kamal, was not allowed to board her flight to SFO to attend and testify at her mother’s trial.
Ms. Pipkin said that Ms. Mustafa Kamal had sent her a copy of the “no-board” instructions which the DHS gave to Malaysia Airlines, and which the airline gave to Ms. Mustafa Kamal to explain as much as it knew about why it was not being allowed to transport her. Ms. Pipkin handed Judge William Alsup a copy of the DHS “no-board” instructions to Malaysia Airlines regarding Ms. Mustafa Kamal.
Major props to Malaysia Airlines for providing a copy of the DHS instructions to Ms. Mustafa Kamal. Other airlines receiving similar instructions have acquiesced to DHS orders to keep the instructions from the DHS, and the reasons for the airlines’ actions, secret from the would-be travelers whose rights are affected. So far as we know, this is the first time an actual no-fly order has been disclosed to a would-be traveler or potentially to the public.