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29 Jul 20:00

FedEx Caught Drug Dealing, Made Amateur Mistakes

by Backdoor Pharmacist
FedEx Caught Drug Dealing, Made Amateur Mistakes

“FedEx knew that it was delivering drugs to dealers and addicts,” reads a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in an indictment against the entire FedEx shipping company. For its part, FedEx has stated, “We are a transportation company – we are not law enforcement.”

FedEx is pleading ignorance. But the indictment describes various bureaucratic procedures which FedEx had created to be able to knowingly distribute drugs, allegedly. It’s one continuous string of amateur mistakes.

Purportedly, FedEx’s credit department was issued new guidelines, requiring online pharmacies to put down security deposits. They were also issued much more restrictive credit guidelines. Why? The pharmacies kept getting raided and shut down by law enforcement — that left FedEx with lots of unpaid balances.

#protip: Do NOT create a special “Online Pharmacy Credit Policy” just wink wink and nudge nudge your employees.

Salespeople were also getting screwed. The ephemeral nature of online pharmacies meant salespeople couldn’t meet their yearly quotas. So FedEx created a new “catchall” category which did not affect sales goals. A Senior Sales Analyst sent an e-mail explaining their new policies, writing:

This type of business is general very volatile in nature. There are often numerous large volume shifts associated with internet pharmacies as they move the shipping location often to avoid detection from the DEA.

#protip: Do NOT acknowledge the government agency responsible for shutting down your customers. Just drop them into the category without noting why.

FedEx employees had even entered the premises of an illegal online pharmacy, saw them packing up controlled substances, and then helped ship them. An employee raised concerns to management that recipients were “known to be selling and using,” and that “some of the recipients have overdosed and died.”

#protip: Do NOT directly help your client package their drugs. You can’t claim ignorance that way.

The indictment goes on, stating that FedEx delivery people felt threatened by addicts jumping into their trucks to demand packages, or delivering to a “parking lot, school, or vacant home where several car loads of people were waiting…” In response, FedEx decided to create a procedure by which problematic shippers’ packages were held for pickup instead of being delivered.

#protip: Do NOT create a procedure for holding packages to scary addicts who are threatening drivers.

While I know bureaucracies love formal procedures for everything, shouldn’t FedEx have gotten a Crime Comptroller to go through everyone’s emails and delete incriminating ones, or walk around the office to tear up memos with the words “to avoid detection from the DEA”?

Last year, UPS agreed to forfeit $40 million in a “non-prosecution agreement,” or the legal equivalent of “sorry, not sorry.” FedEx seems to be doubling down on their ignorance defence, hiring the same lawyers who defended Barry Bonds. The U.S. is looking for $820 million in damages. Of course, that may not mean too much to FedEx, which made over $45 billion in revenue last year.


The post FedEx Caught Drug Dealing, Made Amateur Mistakes appeared first on ANIMAL.

29 Jul 15:06


by jellobiafrasays


24 Jul 20:38

Philip K. Dick's cult novel 'Man in the High Castle' becoming an Amazon TV pilot

by Jacob Kastrenakes

heck yeah

Amazon is preparing its third round of TV show pilots, and Deadline reports that one of the upcoming titles will be an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel in which Germany and Japan have won World War II and taken over most of the United States. Titled The Man In the High Castle, the show will be based on Dick's 1962 Hugo award-winning book of the same name. A writer from The X-Files will reportedly create a script for the pilot, which will be directed by David Semel — who was also behind the first episode of Heroes.

Continue reading…

24 Jul 04:00


by Jennie Breeden
23 Jul 16:00

Tips From My Forthcoming Medieval Lifestyle Blog

by Mallory Ortberg


decameronPreviously: Lift like a serf, eat like a baron – My Medieval Diet Plan

9 Quick And Easy Dinners That Involve Sewing The Top Half Of A Pig Onto The Bottom Half Of A Peacock [Slideshow]

Fish: Is It Meat?

How To Cook Literally Anything With Buckwheat Groats Because That’s The Only Thing You’ll Be Eating For The Rest Of Your Life, Peasant

Shoving Bodies On A Spit And Turning Them Over A Fire For A Long Time: A Great Way To Serve Dinner And Justice

Water: Only If You Have To (Are You Drinking Too Much Of It?)

DIY Everything Because That Is Your Only Option

Stabbing Your Host And Seizing His Lands: The Dos and Don’ts

Tearing Bites Out Of A Big Old Roasted Turkey Leg And Yelling “More Wine!” With Your Mouth Full: A Primer For The Newly Ennobled

Tomatoes: What Are They, Can We Trust Them, Are They Poison

Breakfast Is A Sign Of Weakness

Fill An Oxen With Quail

Sumptuary Laws And You: Take Off That Hat, Your Grandfather Was A Blacksmith

Put Herring On Everything

How To Make All Of Your Own Clothes Because That Is Your Only Option

Porridge vs. Pottage: The Debate Rages On

The Six Most Common Mistakes First-Timers Make With Fountains Of Spiced Wine

Tired Of The Same Old Weeknight Dinners? Why Not Serve A Rabbit Trussed To Look Like Pegasus?

Miniature Edible Castles And You

How To Make A Cold Supper That Tastes Just As Good After Three Weeks In Your Saddlebag Riding To The Holy Land As It Did Last Night

Salt And How To Use It

Fill A Roasted Bear With Gilded Apples, Then Carve It At Table To Surprise And Delight Your Guests From Nuremberg Who Will Die Of Summer Fever Later That Evening

Read more Tips From My Forthcoming Medieval Lifestyle Blog at The Toast.

23 Jul 10:00

July 23rd, 1973 – A Chaos Magick Film

by Thad McKraken

Like Chapel Supremesus of Facebook for info on future shows/films

Artist’s Statement:

Modern masters like Alan Moore have often said that “art is magick because art transforms consciousness.” Although there are an increasing amount of psychedelic bands and visual artists working in the medium, none that I’m currently aware of take to their craft with the specific intent of potentially inducing spiritual epiphany in the viewer/listener, which is what the Occult films of Chapel Supremesus (myself and Dean Swanson) strive for. It’s a path I personally started treading at around age 19 by throwing cut-up, mind-fuck mixes together with a $100 sampler and a cheap cassette 4 track. At the time I was years away from my Occult awakening, but crafting bedroom auditory sorcery solely for the purpose of warping my own internal microverse struck me as the most natural way of communing with the great beyond that I could think of. I was compelled to the craft from a very young age instinctively and as it turns out, so was Mr. Swanson.

Ever since there have been people, shamans have been using song to calculatedly induce visionary experience in others, but these days we have quite a bit more firepower at our disposal. Back in the sixties, scientific luminaries like Timothy Leary concluded that the factors of set and setting ultimately determine the efficacy of a given trip, but despite the fact that psychedelic drugs are now being studied again in an academic setting, zero experimentation is being conducted as to how to best tweak those variables for maximum potency. And so the pursuit of chemically enhanced spiritual technology falls to rebels and outlaws unbound by the restrictions of traditional societal institutions.

In the past, I’ve personally conducted experiments on myself as to how specified hyper-maximalist sound patterns can induce visionary experience. I used a fairly simple protocol. I took a minor dose of psilocybin and then played one of my albums to determine whether or not it was more the drug or the music causing the otherworldly deluge of information. What I found was that due to the low dosage, zero prototypical higher dimensional visions were afoot, but after I put on the music, a cavalcade of otherworldly high strangeness broke through including a swirling sentient portal opening up on the floor. The second the mix ended, the visions receded and the portal closed, shoring up the fact that it was clearly a combination of the two factors causing the profound perceptional distortion. So it works on me, but I’ve always wondered if it was too specified to my personal consciousness to work on others. Of course, figuring this out would require convincing someone else to try such an arcane Occult experiment on themselves, and as it turns out, I didn’t have to convince anyone as one day I got this message from a fan on Facebook in regards to our first film (which you can check out here):

“Sat down and watched Supervisitors while on 2 hits of acid past weekend and I must say… It definitely summoned a profound experience for me. After I finished the video I sat in teary eyed awe and noticed that the visuals I was having began to peak. I watched the room I was in become living breathing consciousness, which I’ve only had happen a few times on LSD, that’s when I noticed a misty white smoke surround me. At first I thought I was simply pot smoke floating around the room but I then remembered that I hadn’t taken a toke since the start of Supervisitors. This misty white smoke, like that of a burning incense, began presenting itself to me in different patterns. The main one it showed me was the classic flying saucer shape, I guess it was its favorite. Then it basically told me that it/me/them was the Holy Ghost and that the only words to describe me are spoken in the language of the tongue. It was intensely spiritually refreshing and gave my intuition a steroid injection of understanding. Good times.”

Fantastic and indicates to me that I’m apparently onto something with the whole “art as spiritual technology” angle I’ve been pursuing most of my adult life. Even more fascinating that the message this sentient mist imparted on the young man was nearly identical to things that have been shown to me in various magickal encounters, as I’m literally trying to put the viewer in touch with the fringe dimensions of thought I’m tied to.

Which brings me to our new movie July 23rd, 1973. Much like (visitors) Supervisitors, a sex magick narrative weaved itself into the footage by means of the cut up process we used to create it. Without trying, we made a film about the merging of sex, death, and technology and how the combination of these things can potentially facilitate the evolution of consciousness. Another way of putting that would be, it’s a film about the future of spiritual technology that is in itself intended to be a work of spiritual technology…compiled from the films of the past. The further in you go, the deeper it gets. I could use a billion words to describe what it’s like to get in my head during a ganj-i-tation trance or hallucinogenic frenzy, but they’d fall a bit short of just showing you this. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, magick should involve the evolution of language toward telepathy and this film is communicating mystical themes to the viewer at an almost subconscious level.

July 23rd, 1973 is of course the day Robert Anton Wilson “achieved contact with an extraterrestrial from Sirius” after performing an acid Occult ritual the night before and that’s where it gets more than a bit synchronous. It wasn’t until after we settled on that title and dismissed several others that we realized the first day we got together to start working on the music end of the project was July 23rd, 2012. No shit. Anyway, I’ve probably already said enough, so just sit back enjoy. Use of marijuana and/or hallucinogens to aid your viewing experience not necessary, but strongly encouraged. It’ll make your head explode I promise.

Bonus synchronous link #1

Bonus synchronous link #2

@Thad_McKraken on Twitter

(magick dialogue always running on Facebook, friend me)



The post July 23rd, 1973 – A Chaos Magick Film appeared first on disinformation.

23 Jul 09:09

What if McConnell loses?

by Manu Raju,John Bresnahan

well first i'd buy a $100 bottle of wine...

There appears to be no clear answer to that question, at least not right now.
18 Jul 03:01

onceuponatennessee: merry-death thought you would enjoy this...


merry-death thought you would enjoy this lovely science humor about wicca magick

This is wonderful

22 Jul 18:00

Creationist Ken Ham calls to end space program because aliens are going to hell anyway

by majestic


Ken Ham. Photo: By John Foxe (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to the Raw Story, we now know that aliens are going to hell…

Creationist Ken Ham has said that the U.S. space program is a waste of money because any alien life that scientists found would be damned to hell.

“I’m shocked at the countless hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent over the years in the desperate and fruitless search for extraterrestrial life,” Ham wrote in a Sunday column on his Answers in Genesis website.

Ham argued that “secularists are desperate to find life in outer space” as a part of their “rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution.”

“Life did not evolve but was specially created by God, as Genesis clearly teaches. Christians certainly shouldn’t expect alien life to be cropping up across the universe,” he continued. “Now the Bible doesn’t say whether there is or is not animal or plant life in outer space. I certainly suspect not.”

But regardless of whether there was life in outer space, Ham asserted that it could not be truly “intelligent.”

“You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation,” he explained. “Jesus did not become the ‘GodKlingon’ or the ‘GodMartian’! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the ‘Godman’ as our Savior.”

Friendly Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta called Ham’s quest to end the space program “a new low even for him.”…

[continues at the Raw Story]

The post Creationist Ken Ham calls to end space program because aliens are going to hell anyway appeared first on disinformation.

21 Jul 18:04

Blog: On Every Anniversary Of The Moon Landing, My Thoughts Always Turn To That Horse Neil Armstrong And I Jettisoned Out Of The Airlock

22 Jul 02:38


by Sarah Sprague

yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

22 Jul 09:27

The Art of Handiedan

by (Alex Nicholson)
The Art of Handiedan
Amsterdam-based artist Handiedan creates elaborate three-dimensional collage pieces from a cut and paste method of re-assemblage. Starting with the iconic imagery of the vintage pin-up girl, popularized in the 30’s, the artist creates complex images from a combination of pattern, figurative imagery, and symbol.
21 Jul 22:03

Jail Bans Orange Uniforms After OITNB Makes Them ‘Cool’

by Swagger New York
Ever since Piper and the gang made Litchfield seem like a one-stop-shop for a good-ass time, it feels as though jail is suddenly “in”. Not feeling the institution’s sudden spike in popularity, however, is the officials running the joints, and are taking steps to un-do the damage pop culture has done to their overall perception.
20 Jul 15:00

Dune, Recreated with Gummi Candies

by Alex Santoso

In Frank Herbert's sci-fi series Dune, Arrakis is a desert planet, but in this diorama, it's a dessert planet inhabited by gummy creatures. CandyWarehouse created this majestic rendition of Paul Atreides riding the giant sandworm in candies:

Crafted from a 2-foot-long gummy worm, Haribo gummy bears, black licorice string, yellow sprinkles, and rock candy crystals! A scene from the great science fiction novel Dune by Frank Herbert. Here we see the giant gummy worm on the desert planet of Arrakis. Ridden by the powerful gummy bear Paul Atreides as he seeks to control the prescious "spice" melange, which gives those who ingest it extended life and some prescient awareness. Muad'Dib!

Like they say, he who controls the sugar, controls the universe! Take a look at more epic pics:

via candywarehouse Flickrset and io9

18 Jul 22:09

Bitter Husband Makes Spreadsheet of Wife’s ‘Excuses’ for Denying Sex

by Mariella Mosthof
This is clearly the work of a madman.
17 Jul 13:42

"I’m doing this internship to make my parents happy. But...



"I’m doing this internship to make my parents happy. But as soon as I graduate, I’m heading to Bollywood!"

17 Jul 22:36

Coming out of the closet. Like a boss.

16 Jul 15:57

Cards Against Humanity: Dashcon Edition

by Brad
14 Jul 19:47

the browns: now with swag-grrr

by Rob Press

14 Jul 00:34

honchcrow: pikachu bout to get lit the fuck up


pikachu bout to get lit the fuck up

11 Jul 04:00

those incredibly, incredibly hot stars

archive - contact - sexy exciting merchandise - search - about
← previous July 11th, 2014 next


– Ryan

11 Jul 02:11

When half of a quarter is all, or at least mostly

by Mark Liberman

Steve Connor, "Nature rather than nurture governs intelligent behaviour in primates, scientists discover", The Independent 7/10/2014:

The vexed question of whether intelligence is inherited from birth or acquired through education seems to have been answered – for chimpanzees at least.

Scientists have found that being a smart primate is down to genes rather than upbringing, suggesting that nature rather than nurture governs intelligent behaviour in our closest living relatives.

The next sentence backs off from "down to genes rather than upbringing" to "mostly governed by its genes rather than its environmental background":

Researchers have argued for many decades over the genetic basis of human intelligence – based on IQ tests and studies of identical twins reared apart – but now a study has found that a chimpanzee’s “cognitive ability” is mostly governed by its genes rather than its environmental background.

And later in the same article, it becomes "about half of the variation in this ability is down to genetic factors":

The study involved behavioural tests on 99 captive chimps aged between 9 and 54 years. The performance of each ape was measured on a series of standardised cognitive tests for primates and the researchers concluded that about half of the variation in this ability is down to genetic factors – about the same or a little less than humans – and half down to non-genetic influences. [...]

“We found that some but not all cognitive traits were significantly heritable in chimpanzees,” the researchers said in their scientific paper.

If we read the research report under discussion– William Hopkins et al., "Chimpanzee Intelligence Is Heritable", Current Biology I[n Press, July 2014] – we find the estimated genetic role diminishing somewhat further.

The authors gave 99 chimps 13 tasks from the Primate Cognition Test Battery, and used principal components analysis to select four components which collectively accounted for 54.2% of the variance in test battery scores:

They then used "Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines" (background here) to estimate the heritability of the PCA components:

Thus Component 1 (23.6% of test variance) was significantly heritable — h2 = 0.538. The symbol  h2  is used to denote "narrow-sense heritability", which is the ratio between the variance due to average effects of alleles, and the phenotypic variance as a whole:

$$h^2 = \frac{Var(A)}{Var(P)}$$

In other words, about half of the variance in a PCA component accounting for about a quarter of the variance in test results was accounted for by genetic variation.

Component 3 (10.8% of test variance) was also significantly heritable, with h2  = 0.335. Thus about a third of the variance in a PCA component accounting for about a tenth of the variance in test results was accounted for by genetic variation.

The genetic relationships of components 2 (11.7 of test-score variance) and 4 (8.2% of test-score variance) were not statistically significant.

Other media coverage pushes the Nature-Over-Nurture meme even harder. Thus Kukil Bora, "Chimpanzees’ Intelligence Hugely Dependent On Genes They Inherit From Parents", International Business Times 7/11/2014:

The level of intelligence in chimpanzees, just like in humans, varies from one individual to another, and the differences in their intellect are attributed to the genes they inherit from their parents, according to a new study.

And a second article from the same publication — Lydia Smith, "Nature Over Nurture: Chimpanzees' Intelligence Comes from Genes not Upbringing", International Business Times 7/11/2014:

Chimpanzees' intelligence is down to genes rather than upbringing, which suggests that nature rather than nurture governs smart behaviour in our closest living cousins.  

Scientists have long pondered the basis of human intelligence, based on IQ tests and studies of identical twins brought up apart, but a new study has found that the "cognitive ability" of primates is dependent on inheritance rather than their environment.

Or Rober Preidt, "Like Humans, Chimps' Smarts May Rely on Genes", US News and World Report 7/10/2014:

Nature, not nurture, may play the bigger role in the innate intelligence of individual chimpanzees, a new study finds.

Or "Genes More Important than Environment in Determining Intelligence in Chimpanzees", Nature World News 7/11/2014 (with this cute picture):

Genes, not environment, are important in determining intelligence quotient of chimpanzees, Georgia State University researchers find.

The role of genes in human intelligence has been the subject of several research papers. In humans, environmental factors such as education, socioeconomic status are known to affect intelligence quotient.

The latest study shows that in chimpanzee, which is closely related to human, genes play a far more important role than the environment. Simply put: when it comes to chimps, smartness runs in the family!

At this point, you might want to remind yourself that "genes play a far more important role than the environment" is a translation of "about half of the variance in a PCA component accounting for about a quarter of the variance in test results was accounted for by genetic variation".

Also, "Chimpanzee intelligence largely determined by genes: study", Xinhua News 7/11/2014:

Some chimpanzees are smarter than others, and their intelligence differences may largely be explained by the genes they inherit, a U.S. study said Thursday.

And Mark Prigg, "Smarter than the average ape: Chimpanzee intelligence is determined by their genes not their environment, researchers say", Daily Mail 7/10/2014:

A chimpanzee’s intelligence is largely determined by the genes they inherit from their parents, reveals a new study.

"Chimpanzee intelligence determined by genes", 7/10/2014; "Nature is more important than nurture in chimpanzee intelligence, say researchers", Daily Digest News 7/10/2014; "Chimpanzee Intelligence Depends on Genes, Finds New Study", 7/11/2014; "Chimpanzee IQ Mostly Determined By Genes", Brevard Times 7/11/2014; "Chimps' Intelligence is Determined by their Genes", Science World Report 7/11/2014; etc. etc. etc.

If you're interested in the rather vexed logical, statistical, and political questions involved in this discussion, you should read Cosma Shalizi, "…In Different Voices", 6/22/2007; "Those voices again", 6/24/2007; "Yet More on the Heritability and Malleability of IQ", 9/27/2007; "g, a Statistical Myth", 10/18/2007.

Cosma starts by discussing the fact that among humans, accent (as in how you, like, talk) is indubitably heritable; later he consider the fact that zip codes (or more generally, latitude and longitude) are also heritable; and he closes with a discussion of what you're really doing when you apply principal components analysis to psychological test results.

The end of the next-to-last post in the list above:

Do I really believe that the heritability of IQ is zero? Well, I hope by this point I've persuaded you that's not a well-posed question. What I hope you really want to ask is something like: Do I think there are currently any genetic variations which, holding environment fixed to within some reasonable norms for prosperous, democratic, industrial or post-industrial societies, would tend to lead to differences in IQ? There my answer is "yes, of course". I've mentioned phenylketonuria and hypothyroidism already, and many other in-born errors of metabolism also lead to cognitive deficits, including lower IQ, at least in certain environments. More interestingly, conditions like Williams's Syndrome, Downs's Syndrome, etc., are genetically caused, and lead to reasonably predictable patterns of cognitive deficits, affecting different abilities in different ways. In many of these cases, it seems very likely (but is not yet established) that these variants cause problems with the signaling pathways which set how gene expression responds to environmental cues. Manipulating those signaling pathways during the right time windows would change what kind of mind the organism has later. The fact that different genetic disorders lead to different patterns of cognitive deficits, rather than just generally making people duller all around, suggests ways of disentangling which genes are relevant to which abilities through which molecular mechanisms. (Cf.) At a popular level, I've still not run across a better description of way the regulation of gene expression couples genotypes and environments during mental development than Gary Marcus's writings, but if you want details there is a whole rapidly-growing field of molecular developmental neurobiology (as I'm not-infrequently reminded).

I suspect this answer will still not satisfy some people, who really want to know about differences between people who do not have significant developmental disorders. Here, my honest answer would be that I presently have no evidence one way or the other. If you put a gun to my head and asked me to guess, and I couldn't tell what answer you wanted to hear, I'd say that my suspicion is that there are, mostly on the strength of analogy to other areas of biology where we know much more. I would then — cautiously, because you have a gun to my head — suggest that you read, say, Dobzhansky on the distinction between "human equality" and "genetic identity", and ask why it is so important to you that IQ be heritable and unchangeable.

10 Jul 18:40

Seeking trans participants for a project with photographer Martin Schoeller

by Zinnia Jones

My good friend and colleague Kristin is working with photographer Martin Schoeller on an upcoming project featuring trans people during transition. Schoeller is well-known for his series of photographs of celebrities and other subjects in his signature close-up style. Kristin, herself a trans woman, has worked with Schoeller on earlier projects, and he is very LGBT-friendly.

We’re looking for people who are at the beginning of their transition and are willing to have face and full body photographs taken, followed by another series 12-18 months later. This project is likely to be featured in a number of high-profile publications, and could become a standalone book. These photographs will be taken in a tasteful and humanizing style.

Trans women, trans men, and nonbinary trans people are all welcome to participate. Currently, we’re looking for participants around New York City, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. If you’re interested, or know anyone who might be, please contact Kristin at

10 Jul 17:40

Do You Love Your Dog Too Much To Realize He’s An Idiot?

by danuproxx


I’m a proud dog-owner, and I’ve quickly learned that there is no love that will guide you into stupidity faster than loving a dog. No dog’s bladder cares that it’s 5am in a blizzard, after all, and you signed up to walk them. That said, is the love you have for your dog leading you to think they’re a lot smarter than they actually are?

Some veterinarians studied the link between ownership and the cognitive development of dogs, and, among other things, turned up that a quarter of dog owners think dogs are smarter than most people, and that half believed their dogs were roughly as smart as three to five year old. To be fair, neither of those things are terribly high bars to clear, especially if your exposure to human beings involves any form of driving or public transit. Still, it does raise the question… is your dog really that smart?

Turns out the answer is that it depends. For example, it’s been found that the average dog is roughly as intelligent as a two-year-old when it comes to solving problems. But that’s muddied somewhat by the fact that dogs have shown incredible emotional intelligence; they’re capable of reading your mood from your voice and reacting accordingly, and can even connect your emotions to the objects you’re looking at. In other words, they can parallel and react to how we feel about things.

In fact, it’s theorized that the key difference between dogs and wolves is that dogs will make eye contact with humans. That’s not trivial; eye contact is so important to humans, we’ll actually buy products based on whether or not a cartoon mascot looks us in the eye. So your dog may not be cracking the secrets of the atom any time soon, but he probably knows what you’re feeling better than anyone else.

Filed under: GammaSquad Tagged: Dogs, how smart is your dog, intelligence, science
10 Jul 16:30

A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC

by Johnny Strategy
A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC trash sculpture plastic New York multiples installation clouds

All photos by Chuck Choi courtesy Studio KCA

A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC trash sculpture plastic New York multiples installation clouds

A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC trash sculpture plastic New York multiples installation clouds

A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC trash sculpture plastic New York multiples installation clouds

A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC trash sculpture plastic New York multiples installation clouds

A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC trash sculpture plastic New York multiples installation clouds

If you visited Governor’s Island in New York last summer you most certainly saw the billowing, cloud-like structure that sits in the middle of the lawn. And if you’re anything like my kids you probably dashed up to it to see exactly what thing was. But it’s not until you get up close that you realize it’s made from many, many plastic bottles stringed together. “53,780 used plastic bottles,” says designer Jason Klimoski, “the number thrown away in NYC in just 1 hour.” Klimoski and his team at STUDIO KCA collected the bottles – a combination of milk jugs and water bottles – and lashed them together to create “Head in the Clouds,” a pavilion people can walk into, sit inside, and contemplate just how much plastic is thrown away every day.

The structure, however, was temporary and the team is now looking for its next home. If you’re interested in having this in your back yard get in touch with the designers.

10 Jul 16:17


by jellobiafrasays

i'm going to be very embarrassed if it's not!


idk, is it?

10 Jul 13:30

A Night At the Morbid Anatomy Museum

by Amy K. Nelson
A Night At the Morbid Anatomy Museum

Joanna Ebenstein is petite, soft-spoken and bookish. She’s also a woman who traffics in death.

“I don’t actually think it’s morbid at all to think about death,” she says. “I think it’s really weird not to.”

ANIMAL recently visited Ebenstein’s Morbid Anatomy museum, which she founded and curates in Gowanus section of Brooklyn. Ebenstein, 42, has turned what was once a hobby and a blog into a fully operating museum that welcomes the dark, the strange, and the sensational.

“I think everything we’re doing is going to offend some people,” she says. “I don’t know how people in the midwest would view us. I don’t know if they’d come in here and see the babies in coffins and say this is [satanic].”

Since the museum opened on June 28, it’s gotten a healthy dose of media coverage. We stopped by this week to see the museum host its third singles’ night — billed as “Morbid Curiosity” — a gathering of 30-plus people in search of connecting with like-minded souls. Another reporter from a blog was also shadowing the event. Yet the night of Hendricks Gin-sponsored mingling was unremarkable in its normalcy, save the taxidermied animals, games of disease Pictionary and ice breakers that began with, “My friend is a mortician in San Francisco…”

Ebenstein’s dream is to pattern the museum after circus ingenue P.T. Barnum, who once housed an eight-story edifice in New York City that included freak shows, performance art and live animals — channeling an era of vaudeville and the World Fair. For now, though, Ebenstein’s building it small.

“I don’t ever want it to be a slick, fancy art museum,” she says. “I wanted to provide New York with something I wish had existed which was more homespun and immediate and accessible to more people.”

Moulage masks, and other “death masks,” litter the upstairs library. Masks like the one pictured above are patterned off diseased body parts and molded into wax recreations, used primarily as educational tools.

“I’m really interested in these ostensibly scientific objects that are at the same time art objects,” Ebenstein says.

Ebenstein walks me over to a bookshelf in the library, and opens Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies, a best-selling, 18th-century annual guidebook that detailed the names and specialties of different prostitutes. There were 250,000 copies made, distributed at Christmas time.

Ebenstein reads an excerpt, “This lady is about 30 not a very advantageous stature but her fine eyes cannot be looked upon without exciting all the thrilling emotions and desire of the soul.”

When asked where she’d draw the line, Ebenstein says she has no interest in abortion exhibits, and says while lynching photography is an important historical medium, she doesn’t think she could live with it each day for six months.

She has limits.

“I wouldn’t show dead babies in jars, no.”

But she does have a pig fetus, and other skeletal remains from bats and birds to stingrays.

A big function of the business is the events and lectures hosted by Morbid Anatomy. Ebenstein got the idea for a singles’ night when Daisy Tainton lamented about having to explain to a potential partner why she was picking up a dead kitten at a friends’ house.

“That was pretty much a conversation stopper,” Tainton recalls.

Ebenstein suggested Tainton and the museum host a meetup for singles at the museum. On the very first singles’ night, Tainton met someone who she is currently dating. With a liquor license on the horizon, events like these are all part of the museum’s growth plan. Each one brings in more people, a particular kind of people.

“We’re trying to showcase things no one else takes seriously,” Ebenstein says. “Maybe they seem macabre and they end up sitting in back rooms or private collections, but we want to give them a home and a voice.”

(Photos: Amy K. Nelson/ANIMALNewYork)

The post A Night At the Morbid Anatomy Museum appeared first on ANIMAL.

08 Jul 03:47

These are my only 2 facial expressions.

These are my only 2 facial expressions.

08 Jul 00:24

How I Was A Yiddish Singer

by kcmeesha

The mid-1970′s, when 7-year-old me was roaming the mean streets of Odessa, was a great time to live there. Odessa’s Jewish population somewhat recovered from the devastation of the World War II and the pogroms and devastations before that and, while the Soviet Government had a firm grip on the emigration spigot, prospered as much as was allowed. Jewish actors, teachers, musicians, artists, restaurant singers, underground business owners, doctors, tailors, professors – Odessa’s Jewish population was having another one of its golden ages. Maybe I should say “Odessa’s adult Jewish population” because many kids like me didn’t know we were Jewish.

Recently I ran across a website where Jews of my generation were describing how they discovered that they belonged to the Tribe. Not one of them found out from their parents. It was always a neighbor or neighbor’s kids, some lady at the store, an angry classmate, an opponent in a fistfight, someone throwing an insult or a backhanded compliment; Jewish kids were last to know about the most important thing in their lives. And then I understood why we don’t always see eye-to-eye with the American Jews, the ones carried to a Rabbi on the 7th day to have parts of them snipped, and taught how to participate in the great world Jewish conspiracy from their early days. Unlike them, we made it to adulthood intact, without ever seeing a Rabbi or even knowing the word Rabbi, or anything about being Jewish or the conspiracy we were born to participate in. While they were able to proudly announce their Jewishness in more languages than one, our nationality was conveyed in a series of winks and tongue-clicks with an understanding look and a sad face.

Around that time every resident of Odessa worth his eggplant caviar recipe had to have an underground recording of so-called Odessa songs. These were the songs usually performed in restaurants or weddings, sometimes funny, sometimes stupid, but always entertaining and good for dancing. Some of those included faux Yiddish lyrics and even when the original Yiddish had some meaning they were copied from musician to musician so many times that they lost all or most of it in the process. My household of course had a tape like this and I played it enough times to remember all the words in Russian and Yiddish. Except I didn’t know it was Yiddish, just like I had no idea I was a Jew and many other things a 7-year old not supposed to know. I also didn’t know I couldn’t sing.

How I Was A Yiddish Singer

I am at the center with my usual facial expression. Girl whose father was a part of the panel of celebrity judges is on the left wearing glasses. Odessa, 1976

That didn’t prevent me from volunteering to perform in a school concert. The casting committee consisted of my first grade teacher with the last name Rosenberg* and the father of my classmate with the last name Schneider*. I went on to perform a hit “Rahilya, May You Croak, I Like You”.

It went something like this:

Rahilya, may you croak, I like you.
I can’t live without you, Rahilya!
Rahilya, we’ll get married, you’ll plump up
And we will live on the beach together.

And then the Yiddish part started. I dutifully repeated every word with an exceptionally joyful intonation, perfect projection and a smile on my face. At that moment I was Pesachke Burtstein reincarnated if I only knew who he was.

Afn boydem bakt zikh knishes,
They are making knishes in the attic

Funem tukhes shit zikh mel.
And flour is pouring out of the ass

Az der tote trent di mome,
When Papa is banging Mama

Kinder makhn zikh aleyn.
Kids are playing alone.

Rahilya, you are beautiful like Venus,
But you will grow a large belly
And if not, let the cholera take me
But let it take you first!

Rahilya, we will go to Yessen-tukhes**,
Where sun comes up between the blue mountains,
And if not, kish mir in tukhes***
But my patience has run out.

Tears filled my teacher’s eyes and streamed down her face. My classmate’s father, a gentlemen in what then seemed like his 70’s but probably in his 40’s, was shaking and crying like a baby. We didn’t have Kleenex then so they wiped their faces with newspapers and rags. I finished with an especially well-done kinder makhn zikh aleyn and triumphantly looked over my teary-eyed audience of two.

This is the original song I was performing that day from the infamous tape.


How I Was A Yiddish Singer

My parents were friends with my teacher, so she just called them that night and asked them to try and contain my singing talents at home.

My Mom still reminds me about this every once in a while.

I never found out why I wasn’t featured in the school concert.

I still remember the words to this and other songs from that tape but nowadays my only audience is the shower curtain.

I don’t remember how I found out I was Jewish but I don’t think it was from my parents.

And that’s how I was a Yiddish singer.

*Unmistakably Jewish names
**Play on word combination Yessentuki, a famous Soviet resort, and a Yiddish word tukhes (ass).
***Kiss my ass (yeah, I know lots of ass-words in this song)

Big thanks to my friend Yelena S. for her Yiddish expertise in preparation of this post.

07 Jul 16:46

A Non-Exhaustive List Of Johnny Manziel Dirt We Will Actually Pay For

by Tom Ley

Photo of Johnny Manziel reading a Donna Tartt book: $50
Photo of Johnny Manziel reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century: $200

A Non-Exhaustive List Of Johnny Manziel Dirt We Will Actually Pay For

We get a lot of tips about Johnny Manziel, and most of them read something like this: "Hey, I have a [photo/video] of a [drunk/high] Johnny Manziel [singing along to Drake in a club/rolling up a joint/reaching for a bong/popping bottles/snorting coke]. How much will you pay me for it?" Here is our answer: nothing.