A Japanese YouTuber named Jun, of the channels Jun’s Kitchen and My Husband Is Japanese, was feeling a bit ripped off after paying a man $3 for a dull, rusty kitchen knife. Luckily, there was real treasure hidden underneath all that rust. In an extremely satisfying YouTube video, Jun polished the knife to a mirror sheen and sharpened it enough that it can now cut thin, translucent slices of vegetable.
After making the video, he tracked down the exact model of knife online and discovered it retails for around $100. All it needed was a little work.
“This video has everything,” wrote one Reddit commenter. “A disgruntling sales story that ends in pro revenge, a rusty old knife being meticulously cleaned and polished into a work of art, insane cutting and artisan chopping skills, some minor food porn, a good looking man, an adorable kitty that gets scritches. 15/10, would watch again.”
Jun definitely got more than his money’s worth with this knife, and we got more than our money’s worth with this video.
Computer-generated imagery technology has come a long way in the past few decades. Using various techniques, filmmakers can now create realistic-looking humans out of thin air and ask them to perform tasks that would otherwise be impossible for flesh-and-blood actors. Of course, the ultimate purpose of all these advancements is to give creatives the freedom to finally achieve the height of artistic expression, i.e. hordes of floppy naked people. On the forefront of the floppy genre is filmmaker David Lewandowski, who previously released the short films Going To The Store and Late For Meeting, and has now returned with his magnum opus, Time For Sushi.
While his previous efforts focused on the adventures of one floppy protagonist, Lewandowski’s newest piece features an entire army of flailing naked people squiggling along to a happy jazz tune as they make their way through a Japanese city to their true home ...
Just passing the two-year anniversary of self-proclaimed “transracial” woman Rachel Dolezal being outed as a white person in blackface, it’s only completely rational that another white woman come along and try to outdo her. And holy shit, outdone her she has.
According to the Root, a white German “model” by the name of Martina Adam has how taken the crown for most offensive blackface portrayal in modern history.
Adam, known as “Martina Big” for allegedly possessing the largest breast implants in Europe and for her appearances in Botched, claims she’s well on her way to becoming a “black girl” now that she’s undergone a series of “tanning injections” to darken her skin, and has somehow convinced an “African” hairdresser to give her black, textured hair.
In her latest post regarding the offensive transition, Adam says she’ll be undergoing consultation for a butt “enlargement” and for “African facial features.”
I have great news :)I had done the next step in my transformation to a black woman :)Yesterday I was with an African…
Additionally, Dolezal has attempted to bolster her argument that being “transracial” is a thing by claiming that mixed-race women have spoken to her about the frustration they face in identifying as two or more races. Which, yes, is a complete and total thing, especially when it comes to facing colorism or being a white-passing person of color. But Dolezal, much like Adams, is white, and only white, and doesn’t know what it’s like to move through the world as even a white-passing woman of color.
Maybe Dolezal will help Adams out when it comes to picking out her “authentic African” name. The rest of the world surely doesn’t want to be bothered with this mess.
Nothing is more nostalgia-inducing than picking up a gaming controller for a li’l Super Mario Bros. revival. Unless you’re playing Mario himself IRL, that is.
Programmer and developer Abhishek Singh’s latest project has turned the beloved game into a livable jungle gym of entertainment. Using Microsoft HoloLens, Singh has recreated the first level of Super Mario Bros. into an augmented reality game that allows the user to venture into a 3D version of the favorite childhood game themselves.
In this demo video, recorded in Central Park, we watch Singh’s perspective directly from the HoloLens as he makes his way to the flagpole. An inset video in the top right corner shows him bumbling down the path, reaching upward toward blocks, flinging attacks at Goombas, and hopping forcibly onto power-ups.
Yes, he appears completely ridiculous doing it, dressed in a Mario costume with no context, but little do passersby know how amazing his prototype walkthrough really looks from his perspective.
Singh’s repertoire is filled with tens of other cool inventions, most notably Peeqo, a cute Disney-esque robot assistant who replies in GIFs, that he created for his college thesis. Maybe, like with Peeqo, Singh will release his finalized future augmented reality work as open source for all of us to enjoy this first-person wonderland.
Watch Singh’s take on IRL Super Mario Bros. below:
Cure, a well-regarded Pittsburgh restaurant along the Allegheny River, found itself on the brunt end of the internet police stick last month. It happened after a one-night-only collaboration dinner with several Canadian chefs in which Cure served a food almost never seen at American restaurants today: horse meat.
The dish was not intended to attract publicity—Cure is a five-time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation Award, and the dish was presented as tartare (with cured egg yolk and black garlic aioli), a popular preparation in Western dining cultures where horse meat is served. But news of the menu item quickly spread, and critics flooded Cure’s Facebook page expressing outrage, many decrying the immorality of eating a beloved domesticated pet, others noting the danger of consuming an animal with a reputation for being administered growth- and performance-enhancing drugs. (The post also had its share of supporters as well, arguing ...
When Sofia Coppola sat down to talk all things Beguiled with GQ, a curious factoid emerged. Coppola has spent her career making movies exclusively about (white) women, but she’s unfamiliar with the Bechdel test, which tests whether a movie shows two female characters talking to each other about something other than a man. When GQ asked Coppola if her tale of Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, and Elle Fanning objectifying Colin Farrell counts as the “rare feminist film that struggles to pass the Bechdel test,” Coppola seemed unaware of the term. It’s really not that shocking, just random. “The what test?” she asked. Observe:
GQ: The Bechdel test.
I’ve never heard of that. What’s that?
It’s a test to see if two or more women in a movie talk about something other than a man.
Oh, I guess I’ve never studied film. That’s so funny, but there are a lot of women talking about a man in this.
Back in 2013, former Nickelodeon shining star Amanda Bynes was going through a rough patch. Four years later, she seems to be doing a lot better -- go Amanda! -- and she recently gave her first interview in a long while on YouTube talk show Hollyscoop. During her time in the spotlight, she cultivated a … More »
The jade eggs aren’t good for you because seriously, there is no such thing as replenishing your “feminine energy,” we’re sorry, although it does sound nice. The jade eggs are also porous and could give you an infection. On the other side of things, wasp nets are a little rough around the edges. If you pop one up inside your body, according to Dr. Jennifer Gunter, the voice of reason when it comes to these often dangerous trends, you can really hurt yourself.
Wasp nets are abrasive and will likely leave a mark. If you don’t mind the pain, that’s one thing. But if you have an open wound in your vagina, you’re more likely to get STIs, especially HIV. The wasp nets will also apparently kill your vagina’s good bacteria, and we all know how important those are for keeping your vagina itch and infection free. There could also still be larvae inside the bark ball — and that’s just creepy AF.
In addition to sticking the whole thing up there, there are other recommended uses. Like grinding them up, which takes care of the abrasive thing, but, the Etsy seller write, “stings due to gall’s astringency.“Ouch!
So just use your common sense when it comes to wasp nets. Your vagina is likely just perfect as it is already. And kegels don’t sting or cut you.
There’s been a rumor flying around for a few years that, eventually, the Hollywood Land area (and, possibly A Bug’s Land) would be re-done and re-branded as an all-Marvel all-the-time space. The Guardians ride was just simply the beginning of this beautiful new expansion.
Seeing as how well that is going, it sure appears that Disney is ready to start teasing everything they have coming down the road. As those on social media started pointing out over the weekend, there’s an odd Avengers reference next to the building formerly known as Tower of Terror. It appears to be some sort of manhole/vault/hatch cover, branded with the Avengers “A.”
Sure, it could just be a nice Avengers nod (seeing as how the Guardians and Avengers have YET to interact on screen), but…probably not. This hatch is, without a doubt, a nod to what’s in store. A Marvel expansion was even just recently hinted! At a panel during the grand opening of Mission – BREAKOUT, Bob Chapek, the chairman of the Disney Parks, was eager to tease more Marvel stuff:
“This is just the beginning of what will become an even bigger superhero presence at Disney California Adventure,” He told the crowd. “With the strong partnership between Marvel and Walt Disney Imagineering, we’re very excited about what is to come. And it’s sure to please Marvel fans hungry for more magic at Disney Parks.”
From the posts on social media, it appears that the Avengers hatch doesn’t…do anything. Like, at all. It’s just THERE. But, speculation has already begun to run wild, with many assuming that this is just the beginning of what’s coming next.
Also, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to start teasing. Disney’s convention, D23 Expo, is coming up in July, and you know what was revealed at the last D23 in 2015? Star Wars Land.
Knowing there’s a Marvel Land coming down the road…well, the wait time for Guardians is still 300 minutes, so we might want to get in line right now.
Davis cuts a powerful figure as a civil rights activist, educator, and feminist revolutionary. As an African American woman and radical during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the Women’s Movement of the 1970s, Davis was often targeted by United States government forces for her association with black nationalist groups like the Black Panthers and the communist-leaning Che-Lumumba Club.
In fact, her wokeness so threatened the status quo that in 1969, then-governor of California Ronald Reagan attempted to bar her from teaching at any university in the state.
Those achievements inspired Hearst, who was in the midst of preparing her collection last year when she attended a New York Film Festival screening of filmmaker Ava DuVernay‘s scathing indictment of the American justice system, 13th.
“Angela Davis is one of the people featured in the documentary,” recalled Hearst in an interview with Coveteur, “and [in that moment] I was like, ‘Oh, her — she’s the muse.’”
Inspired by Davis’ strength, passion, and fighting spirit, and distraught over the U.S. presidential election results, Hearst added Davis — and women political leaders like Tammy Duckworth, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Kamala Harris — to her collection’s mood board.
“It was very clear,” said Hearst. “Once you start thinking about Angela Davis, you start asking yourself the question ‘Will Angela Davis wear this?’ I can design accordingly.”
…Hearst’s collection challenges our ideas of femininity and power through fashion. And designing for formidable women is kind of her thing.
“I’d love to dress the CEO of Planned Parenthood [Cecile Richards] — she’s amazing, I’ve heard her speak a few times now,” said Hearst, who won the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize. “Angela Davis I’d like to dress, and Robin Wright. I love people who use their attention and focus to enlighten or serve others. Robin Wright won’t go to an event unless it’s for a charity or a cause that she feels strongly about. I love people who have those types of values.”
But that wasn’t the case. Even though she appeared to be, Gypsy wasn’t sick.
They were dealing with a mental illness called Munchausen by proxy, a rare form of child abuse that involves exaggerating or completely making up illnesses or symptoms by a parent or caregiver. Before long, Gypsy couldn’t live this way anymore — so in 2015, she ordered her secret boyfriend to kill her mother.
And now their story is a true crime documentary.
Mommy Dead and Dearestpremiered on Monday night on HBO, and people are expressing their thoughts about it on Twitter. And for the most part, their thoughts are pretty much “WTF.”
People can’t get over how insane the story is. Because you guys, it’s insane. You have to see it to really believe what went on, but even then you’ll have a million questions.
To my true crime people. You HAVE to see 'Mommy Dead and Dearest' on HBO. It was insane!
Using Prohesion liquid and powder (which she says is pretty much acrylic), Lee creates a tiny fidget spinner for her nail. If you aren’t into acrylic, Lee also says in her tutorial that you can make a tiny fidget spinner out of paper. Either way, once it’s created, you use a pin, a bead, and some acrylic or nail glue to place the toy on your nail.
If you aren’t familiar with the controversy surrounding spinner toys, the issue is that some schools have banned them for being too distracting. Yet, students with mental health issues or attention disorders, like ADHD, actually benefit from their use.
While these nail art spinners weren’t necessarily created to be therapeutic, they do actually spin. So they are practical as well as stunning.
Beyond using nail polish, Lee even painted her fidget spinner with a top coat that it glows in black light. It’s perfect for black light bowling — although, that would ruin all the work you just put into your nails.
This isn’t the first time the fidget spinner has been used in the name of beauty, and we’re sure it won’t be the last. And while we are far more likely to go out and just buy a fidget spinner for our finger, we have to applaud all the effort that went into this elaborate — and fun! — look.
In case you didn't know that Flamin' Hot Cheetos were invented by a Frito-Lay janitor who's now a head marketing exec at PepsiCo, it's a great story!
Plus The Bruery sells to an investment firm, and Indian street food on the Westside
The Hot Cheetos story
Hot Cheetos are among the most popular after-school snacks for kids in all of America, even if they occasionally lead to ER visits. The Frito-Lay spinoff of the popular regular Cheetos wasn’t been around forever, though; it was thought up by a janitor in Rancho Cucamonga.
The Daily Bulletin has the full story on Richard Montañez, the man credited with creating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. A first-generation Mexican-American and high school dropout, Montañez turned to a job as a janitor for Frito-Lay because of the promise of steady work. After a late night run to a local elote man, Montañez had the epiphany to spice up the Cheetos brand, and was ultimately able to take his idea to the top. Today, he’s a North American sales and marketing director, and kids still can’t get enough Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Bombay Frankie time
Frankies are a Mumbai street food staple, but not altogether common in the States. That’s about to change for one lowly Chevron gas station at Santa Monica and the 405, Food GPS tells Eater, because a new tenant called Bombay Frankie is heading in soon to cook.
Baldoria has a ball
To celebrate their first anniversary, Baldoria in Little Tokyo is doing a full run of awesome deals starting May 28. From $1 pizzas to aperitivo nights to a pizza party raffle, it’s all happening.
LA Mag has compiled a fun list of places to check out if you’re really into the throwback lifestyle. From Mel’s Drive-In on down, it’s a cool look at what this young-ish city still has to offer by way of history.
A North Hollywood gem
LA Weekly manages to make it out to North Hollywood for a look at Twin Castle, an out-of-the-way fast food stop that apparently makes one of the county’s best teriyaki burgers.
Miro’s big day
Miro in Downtown is also turning one, and is partying in their underground whiskey lair with steak and whiskey pairings, drink deals, and more. On June 1, they’ll actually be doing an open party with live music, passed apps, and more.
The Bruery buys in
Looks like changes could be coming to The Bruery, one of Orange County’s most celebrated craft beer breweries. The company announced just days ago that they have partnered with Castanea, an investment group from the East Coast, and now fans are worried about what could become of the brand.
This burger includes fried chicken and ramen, and we have thoughts
We’ll always think of ramen fondly. It’s not just for college students, you know. In fact, one restaurant in Australia uses ramen as a coating for fried chicken in a very special chicken burger. The noodles, officially, are Mi Goreng noodles, manufactured in Indonesia — but they’re pretty similar. (As in, they often have a flavor packet, and can also be made in an instant.)
The fried chicken burger creation is from a place called Guilty — and we totally get the name. This lunch choice definitely incorporates so many delicious guilty pleasures. And to be honest, it’s making us want to book a flight out to Sydney, Australia ASAP.
Whoever is in charge of their social media account is right — it IS beautiful.
The burger in question also includes pickled carrots and wombok (which is a type of cabbage) along with fried shallots and chili sauce. But the most unbelievable part is that this beautiful burger is simply called the “Chicken Sandwich No. 3.” There are so many better names for something like this. Perhaps the chicken noodle burger?
Their other burgers are nothing to sneeze at. Here’s the “Chicken Sandwich No. 2.”
When it comes to modern TV logos, any kind of design can be dreamed up and produced with a few swift clicks on a screen. Back in the day, however, producers had to get a little more creative, and you may be surprised to find out that many iconic TV logos still in use now were physical objects fashioned for filming.
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The most famous example of a ‘living logo’ would have to be Leo the Lion, the official mascot for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios, who you’ve definitely seen roaring at the begininng of countless films. MGM had filmed a variety of real lions for their opening sequence since 1917, but they found a true superstar when they discovered Leo in 1957. He’s been featured inside the studio’s golden frame for 60 years now, making him the longest-used MGM lion by far.
See amazing behind-the-scenes photos of several notable logos being crafted by hand below, and breathe a sigh of relief at the advent of animation technology. (h/t)
We have obligations to the AZA to promote the Kickstarter, which is challenging since there are no penguins at our zoo, so our email marketing is like, "The L.A. Zoo is not home for penguins. NEITHER WILL THE WILD BE if u don't back this kickstarter"
At just over two feet tall, African penguins are optimized for swimming; they spend most of their time in the water and dive for an average of 2.5 minutes as they hunt for their fishy prey. They make a distinctive donkey-like noise and are apparently awkward as hell on land. Oh, they are also just pretty cute.
African penguins, found nowhere outside their native shores of South Africa and Namibia, are the only penguin species that breeds in Africa. They are also an indicator species—how they are doing can give researchers a sense of the ecosystem’s overall health — which is why it’s scary that they may not be around much longer. The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers the species endangered and their population is declining fast — in 1900, there were about 3 million African penguins, but by 2009 that number had dropped by 97 percent to 80,000.
A lot of the species’ issues amount to a lack of breeding sites. African penguins dig their nests in guano, and the monogamous pairs return to the same site year after year to breed. Unfortunately, companies have been mining guano for years to use as fertilizer. As a result, the picky penguins have no safe place to breed, and their numbers continue to decline.
A team of researchers affiliated with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has a solution. On Wednesday, they launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund 1,500 artificial nests that could help the African penguin bounce back. They spent three months testing 15 different prototypes in zoos and aquariums to figure out the ideal parameters for penguin nests. Now that they have the final design, more prototypes are going into these artificial penguin habitats for additional testing. If the project is funded, each of the nests will be made individually by hand in South Africa and Namibia, then gradually installed in 12 of the penguins’ breeding grounds over the next six to 10 months. They hope that safe nests will help the penguins produce more offspring, buoying their numbers.
The AZA is taking the conservation of African penguins pretty seriously. In 2014, the organization brought together South African conservationists, bird experts, nonprofits, academics, and government representatives to plan eight different projects to save the African penguin. Producing and installing artificial nests was one of these projects, experts’ bet in the high-stakes game of the penguins’ survival.
At the time of publication, the campaign has raised about $60,000, more than a third of its overall goal. The team has another 29 days to raise the total $150,000 they need for the project.
This story originally appeared on Vocativ and has been republished with permission.
The wait is over: It’s Bachelor(ette) season again. After being deprived for nearly three months of regular rose ceremony-induced drowsiness, the franchise is back with its first black Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay at the helm, and her contestants are actually a lot more diverse! One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the contestants’ confounding abilities to wave around red flags in their bios like they’re directing air traffic. In fact, this season’s crop of eligible men seem to have divulged even more questionable facts in their bios than ever before. Who has already stated outright that they’re really on the show to be famous? Who believes marriage is an “institutionalized sham”? And most importantly, who listed their occupation as “Whaboom?” Let’s find out.
Adam, 27 What is the most romantic present you have ever received and why? Threesome. It was my birthday.
Do you consider yourself a good cook? Yes! I used to cook four-course meals in college and charge people. LOL
Alex, 28 Who are your top 3 favorite groups/artists & why? Coldplay, Beatles … Can’t really think of a third one. Music isn’t a big part of my life.
Blake E., 31 What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done? Get engaged to a crazy girl.
If you could watch any movie right now, what would it be, and why? The new 50 Shades of Grey movie because I love taboo sexy stuff.
Milton, 31 What do you hope to get out of participating in this television show? Real answer? Discovered. Everyone tells me I’m made for TV/movies. Doesn’t mean I’m out here hoping for that, but I would like to break into writing or acting.
If you could have lunch with one person, who would it be and why? Dead: Bruce Jenner, Alive: Caitlyn Jenner …. Would be a very interesting convo.
Kyle, 26 What are your three worst attributes? Don’t trust most people, general disdain for perceived corrupt authority, I can be very blind and outspoken, sometimes I don’t think before I speak.
Kenny, 35 What’s the wildest thing you’ve done in the bedroom? Had sex with a wife while her husband watched.
Jonathan, 31 Occupation: Tickle Monster
Jamey, 32 Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I am trying to not make plans in life.
Describe your best friend of the opposite sex and why she deserves that title: I do not have female friends.
Iggy, 30 Ever have trouble in the bedroom? Or been turned on during the wrong time? We want to hear what happened! I once got a boner during a board meeting. I had to present sitting down.
Diggy, 31 Tell us a fun story about a one night stand. I spent all day with this girl and she ended up coming home with me and we had sex. She then received a text saying her brother was missing, so I played asleep so I didn’t have to help!
Dean, 26 What does being married mean to you? I think marriage is an institutionalized sham derived from religious beliefs. That said, when I get married, it’s a life-long commitment.
Bryce, 30 What’s your biggest date fear? The chick is actually a dude.
Val Kilmer did his second Reddit AMA of the year yesterday, and it seems like this guy loves being in touch with the people. In addition to giving long, thoughtful anecdotes about movies he’s worked on (like the time Tony Scott put his life on the line for a great shot in Top Gun, or how Kurt Russell basically took over directing duties on Tombstone) he also shared details on how he beat back cancer. (The initial disclosure that he had cancer came last month, in his first AMA.) According to Kilmer, who is a Christian Scientist, he was healed through the power of love and prayer. “Many many people have been healed by prayer throughout recorded history. And many many people have died by whatever was modern medicine,” he explained. “It didn’t matter in Jesus’ day whether the patient believed. It doesn’t matter today. Love doesn’t care about our tiny human thoughts. That’s how I understand it anyway. I’ve probably tried to convince people when I was younger. I try to mind my own business now that I’m older. I also hope I never turn down Love again.” The actor also said in his AMA that he’d love to do both a Doc Holliday prequel and a Top Gun sequel, so hopefully the unstoppable power of love will get those projects off the ground.
County singer Toby Keith may have made a name for himself with songs like "Beer For My Horses," "Whiskey Girl," "Red Solo Cup," and "I Love This Bar," but this weekend he will be performing in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where alcohol is prohibited, in a concert that coincides with President Trump's visit.
The show, on Saturday, is free but open to men only. In addition to Keith, it will feature "an Arabian lute player," The Associated Press reports.
A Trump speech on Islam followed by Rabeh Saqer and freaking Toby Keith. Let's pray they televise this entire disaster. pic.twitter.com/vzwirGuVqA
A professed love of beer and whiskey aside, Keith is a curious choice of performer for the conservative Muslim country as he's also written tracks like "The Taliban Song," featuring lyrics such as "I ain't seen my wife's face since they came here/They make her wear a scarf over her head that covers her from ear to ear."
Keith's concert will likely follow President Trump's speech on the topic of Islam, which is "intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America's commitment to our Muslim partners."
Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson would beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election if the vote took place today, a new poll released on Tuesday has found.
While Public Policy Polling found that Trump would not fare well against many Democratic lawmakers in hypothetical matchups, voters polled seemed to indicate he would also lose Johnson, another celebrity with zero prior political experience.
The polling organization found that Johnson would beat trump 42 percent to 37 percent in a hypothetical presidential election. Public Policy Polling said Johnson would pull in 15 percent of people who supported Trump in November.
It appears Johnson, an actor and former professional wrestler, has broad support from both sides of the isle, Public Policy Polling found: Both Democrats and Republicans see him positively—a stark contrast to the latest approval numbers for Trump, which shows 54 percent of voters disapproving of his job so far as president.
There was no word on whether Johnson would use the slogan “Make America Furious Again.”
As for other possible 2020 opponents, Trump doesn’t fare well against them either, according to the poll.
Trump would lose to former Vice President Joe Biden (54 percent to 40 percent), independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (52 percent to 39 percent), Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren (49 percent to 39 percent), Democrat Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota (46 percent to 38 percent) and New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker (46 percent to 39 percent), Public Policy Polling found.
The organization also found that Republicans are facing backlash over the House’s recently passed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and Democratic voters continue to be more excited than Republicans about voting in the 2018 midterm elections.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 692 voters between May 12 and May 14 over the phone and on the internet, they said. The margins of error for the polls are +/- 3.7 percent.
Of course, the internet had some feelings about the idea of a Johnson presidency.
President Dwayne @TheRock Johnson, ready for you to save the world in 2020
Okilly Dokilly, the world’s first and only “Nedal” band, stopped by The A.V. Club offices in the midst of their tour to treat us to a live performance. In the clip above, Okilly Dokilly performs “They Warned Me,” a track from their 2016 album, Howdilly Doodilly.
Okilly Dokilly is on tour now. Dates are listed here.
California’s largest lake, the Salton Sea, is an accident. It was created in 1905 when a levee broke on an irrigation canal, flooding a giant desert playa. Today it has become a sticking point in negotiations between three states over the future of the Colorado River.
The Salton Sea now is a major stopover for birds on the Pacific Flyway. A total of 424 bird species have been observed on the Salton Sea so far.
The three states – California, Arizona and Nevada – are in the midst of negotiating a drought contingency plan (DCP). It would commit each state to reducing diversions from the Colorado River in order to prevent Lake Mead from shrinking to disastrously low levels.
California is relying on Imperial Irrigation District to make a significant contribution, because it is the largest single diverter of Colorado River water. But if the district reduces its diversions, that will mean less farm runoff draining into the Salton Sea. This means the sea will shrink, causing a cascade of ecological problems for which the district is partly liable.
To help us understand all this, Water Deeply recently spoke with Michael Cohen, a senior research associate at the Pacific Institute, a water policy think-tank based in Oakland. Cohen specializes in Salton Sea and Colorado River issues.
Water Deeply: Why is the drought contingency plan (DCP) important?
Michael Cohen: The DCP is important because, essentially, the Colorado River is over-allocated. Particularly in the lower basin, they have what’s called a structural deficit: In normal years, 1.2 million acre-feet [1.5 billion cubic meters] more water flows out of Lake Mead than flows in. So Lake Mead drops by roughly 12ft [3.6m] per year.
Given that trajectory, it pretty quickly reaches dead pool, meaning there’s no water left in Mead, which then means no water for Southern California and the Central Arizona Project, and 90 percent of the Las Vegas metro area’s water supply dries up. So you’re talking about 30 million people who depend on Lake Mead. Not to mention 1 million acres [400,000 hectares] of irrigated land. And it’s a major hydropower producer.
Lake Mead is pretty critical to the Southwest generally. They’re trying with the DCP to avert this structural deficit and reduce the amount of water we’re taking out of Mead, to get it closer into balance with actual supply.
Water Deeply: How is the Salton Sea connected to these negotiations?
Cohen: The DCP is connected to the Salton Sea because the plan expects that Imperial Irrigation District (IID) would take less water from the Colorado River. When Lake Mead drops to elevation 1,045, California is expected to reduce its take from the Colorado River, for the first time, by 200,000 acre-feet [250 million cubic meters]. In the most recent DCP terms I saw, Imperial Irrigation District would provide 60 percent of that reduction, so IID would reduce its take of the river by 120,000 acre-feet [150 million cubic meters].
Water Deeply: Can the DCP proceed without Imperial Irrigation District?
Cohen: In theory it could, because the other California parties, the largest being Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, could say they’ll step up and meet California’s obligations. But in practice, Met is less likely to forego that amount of water.
IID has certainly stated they need some assurances on the Salton Sea before they move forward on the DCP. They’re a key player. Without IID, California can’t meet its DCP obligations. A 200,000–350,000 acre-foot [250–430 million cubic meters] reduction is counting on IID participation.
Water Deeply: What effect does this have on the Salton Sea?
Cohen: Somewhere in the order of 85 percent of the water flowing to the Salton Sea comes from the Imperial Valley. Essentially, it’s surface water and tile drainage from farm fields. As IID takes less water from the Colorado River, that means less water flows to the Salton Sea. Because the Salton Sea is a terminal lake, when less water flows in, the Salton Sea shrinks.
So the concern is that, because of the DCP, the Salton Sea would be smaller than it would be otherwise. As the sea shrinks, some of that land is exposed, and dust blows off that land.
Under existing regulations of the local air district, the landowner is responsible for dust that’s emitted off lands in the Imperial Valley. IID is a major landowner, particularly at the southern end of the Salton Sea, and IID is liable for a lot of the dust getting blown off the Salton Sea. So as the sea shrinks, it represents a direct cost to IID. That’s the crux of it.
Under the Quantification Settlement Agreement (QSA) of 2003 (a water transfer from IID to San Diego), there was an agreement that said as the Salton Sea shrinks, essentially the state of California backstops liability or mitigation requirements.
The QSA parties – Imperial Irrigation District, San Diego County Water Authority and Coachella Valley Water District – have met their responsibility to pay into a mitigation fund. But they capped it because they didn’t know what the total cost would be, although they knew it would be huge. So the state of California said, “We will assume liability for costs that exceed the costs these parties agreed to.”
IID has put the state on notice that it hasn’t lived up to its part of the deal, which is to put together a mitigation plan to deal with the Salton Sea as it shrinks. And now there are negotiations over the DCP, which is essentially going to exacerbate the situation.
Water Deeply: Has there been any progress on that state’s mitigation plan?
Cohen: The state came out [in March] with what they’re calling a “draft 10-year plan for the Salton Sea.” The QSA allowed 15 years to come up with a plan, and it said in the interim we’re going to require IID to deliver mitigation water to offset the impacts of the transfer to San Diego.
But this is the 15th year. So at the end of this year, that requirement goes away. And next year, the Salton Sea is going to start dropping very rapidly because it will no longer get that mitigation water from IID. All of a sudden, it’s going to receive 10–15 percent less water. So, essentially, it’s going over a cliff. IID is seeing this and saying, “Hold on, we need to deal with this problem before we move on to the DCP.”
The state really needed to do this plan five-plus years ago so these projects were being implemented now.
Water Deeply: Why is it a problem if the Salton Sea shrinks?
Cohen: There are two main challenges. One is that it exposes lakebed, which creates dust, and that’s a major public health threat. The Imperial and Coachella valleys already fail to meet air-quality requirements, and asthma rates are already higher than the state average. So, your baseline is an already-bad air-quality situation, which is going to be exacerbated as the Salton Sea shrinks and more dust blows off that lakebed.
The next concern is that as the Salton Sea shrinks, it gets much saltier and other water-quality parameters also decline. Which means that, first, the fish die off. That’s already started to happen. Then a lot of the food sources for the birds die off.
The Salton Sea now is a major stopover for birds on the Pacific Flyway. A total of 424 bird species have been observed on the Salton Sea so far. And of course, in California there are far fewer wetlands than there were historically. We’ve dried up 90–95 percent of the wetlands in California. So these migratory birds have far fewer places to rest and refuel. The Salton Sea has filled that niche. As water quality continues to degrade, it’s no longer going to be able to provide that function.
Water Deeply: Will the state’s 10-year plan satisfy IID?
Cohen: I think that remains to be seen. IID was not satisfied with the draft they saw last December. But my hope is that California takes those concerns into consideration and redrafts the plan to meet those concerns.
Water Deeply: What are the restoration costs at the Salton Sea?
Cohen: We don’t know what the total cost is because it depends how much is dedicated to water quality versus air quality and how they allocate those costs. Odds are, we’re looking at $1 billion-plus.
But one of the benefits of the Salton Sea is we don’t need to pay for everything at once. Those projects can be phased in over time so you can pay for them over time. You can just build them as the sea recedes and you get benefits as you go.
I’m hopeful that the pieces are starting to line up and we can start to see some progress. I think the governor is paying attention to this, the legislature is paying more attention. It’s a little late, but I think there’s still an opportunity to make a real difference.
In some respects, dramatic change is inevitable at the Salton Sea. Essentially, what we’re going to shift from is a Salton Sea people recognize now to a very different, very managed system. But this managed system can still provide a lot of benefits. It could still be a very functional ecosystem.
This article originally appeared on Water Deeply, and you can find it here. For important news about the California drought, you can sign up to the Water Deeply email list.
If you are lucky enough not to know who Charles C. Johnson, also known as Chuck Johnson is, here’s a quick primer: Johnson is a far right blogger who was permanently banned from Twitter in 2015 for a tweet that was perceived as a threat against civil rights activist DeRay McKesson. His site, GotNews, is known for stories that make wild, often provably false allegations. Johnson has claimed that both President Obama and Emmanuel Macron are gay, wrongly identified the woman he thought was “Jackie” of the UVA scandal, and has, overall, demonstrated what Forbes called a “disregard for facts.” Gawker once called him “the web’s worst journalist.” (Johnson sued Jezebel’s former parent company Gawker Media over two stories written about him; Univision deleted several posts, including one about Johnson, after it purchased Gawker Media.)
He also appears to be in a position to influence the president of the United States, in one crucial way. A piece in Politico on Monday alleges that Donald Trump’s staff routinely pass him news articles—including the occasional fake one— to promote their own agendas or gain a competitive advantage over their enemies in the administration. Among the incidents Politico describes was one in which a clip from GotNews, blaming deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh for leaking to the press, set Trump to “asking staff about Walsh,” leading to internal investigations and counter-investigations. Walsh has since left the White House.
Who in the Trump White House is reading and promoting Johnson, and why? Politico characterizes the GotNews distribution to Trump as a “mischievous” act, but Johnson’s ability to reach the Oval Office is a troubling development. Johnson has long positioned himself in a grey zone of “ironic” alt-right racism, where his penchant for deliberately provoking liberal sensitivities serves as cover for some of his more explicitly bigoted pronouncements. Lately, however, off-color jokes have given way to unambiguous, explicit white supremacy: His company, for instance, is currently hosting an online fundraiser for the Daily Stormer, an old-fashioned neo-Nazi hate site.
Johnson claims a close relationship with the White House, and he was an avid supporter of the Trump campaign. Forbes reported in January that he was working with the administration’s transition team, although the level of his involvement and influence has never been clear. Johnson has been vague on the subject, and he is, anyway, what we might call an unreliable narrator. He was, as Forbes noted, spotted standing in the VIP section at Trump’s election night party, and he has claimed on Facebook to know White House advisor Steve Bannon.
Johnson does not, however, consider himself a white separatist, which we know because he’s made it clear that he is married to an Asian woman. He noted that when their daughter was born, he claimed that “white nationalist” friends were excited about it.
Besides GotNews, Johnson also runs a site called WeSearchr, which allows anyone to propose a question and crowd-fund a “bounty” to get it answered. (In WeSearchr’s early days, several proposed bounties had to do with Gawker: One offered money to expose alleged “criminal acts” by former CEO Nick Denton, while others wanted to expose plagiarism at Gawker sites or bring humiliating personal information about Gawker Media employees to light. Nothing ever came of those bounties, apparently, and no stories have been published based on them.)
WeSearchr is also currently hosting three legal defense funds: one for Kyle Chapman, accused of assaulting people with a stick at a protest in Berkeley, one for John Rivello, accused of purposely giving journalist Kurt Eichenwald a seizure with a GIF on Twitter, and one for the Daily Stormer, a neo Nazi website currently being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Gersh, her husband and 12-year-old son received a barrage of more than 700 “threatening” anti-Semitic and homophobic emails, phone calls, texts, social media comments, letters, postcards and Christmas cards, the lawsuit alleges.
“I once answered the phone and all I heard were gunshots,” Gersh told reporters Tuesday in a telephone news conference.
“Thanks for demonstrating why your race needs to be collectively ovened,” one email read.
The WeSearchr legal defense fund for Anglin wasn’t launched by Johnson, but it is hosted on his site. And the Daily Stormer has linked to GotNews articles for years.
We don’t know who at the White House is promoting all this, but we do know that “news” written by a man with demonstrably racist ideas and ties to white supremacists is making its way to the president.
When contacted for comment, Johnson responded via email:
There are no reporters at Gizmodo Media Group, only serial harassers who fabricate stories for attention.
I’m currently in a lawsuit with what remains of Gawker. The case looks promising and I’m looking forward to rolling some of the funds over to finish the job.
Please direct all future correspondence to my attorneys.
We also contacted Anglin and WeSearcher CTO Pax Dickinson for comment, and will update if we hear back. If you know more about the Trump administration’s relationship to Johnson or GotNews, please get in touch.
Theo Martins debuts Cereal and Such behind streetwear store Virgil Normal
Musician Theo Martins has opened Cereal and Such,a tiny cereal bar in a nine by seven foot revamped shed in the back patio area of a streetwear store called Virgil Normal. The nook debuted on May 5 in Virgil Village, down the street from breakfast mecca SQIRL.
Hailing from Providence, Rhode Island, Martins, a first generation Nigerian, moved to Los Angeles five years ago to be closer to the art world. While he dabbles in many creative pursuits, he says the common thread is good taste at an accessible price (just $4 a bowl). Cereal and Such is his latest project.
“Cereal and Such is very much an homage to Japan...focus on one thing and do it extremely well”
While choosing a streetwear shop to house a cereal bar sounds totally off the wall, it made sense for Theo and Charlie Staunton, who co-owns Virgil Normal alongside stylist Shirley Kurata.
Staunton explains: “Theo was here for our opening night [two years ago] and he stood out…we like having personal relationships with the people we promote and sell. It makes it more of a community, and community is a big part of what we’re doing here. We like Theo. He’s our friend. Why not have fun and have an adventure with him?”
Virgil Normal, located in the old Choke moped shop at the intersection of Virgil and Normal Avenues, houses not only Cereal and Such, but also an eclectic mix of streetwear and home goods made by creatives they call friends, regularly hosting pop up shops.
Theo Martins has previously used the back patio space for his clothing pop ups, and artists have used the shed to assist in other creative endeavors. This past fall, a musician named Alexander Spit turned the shed into a studio and produced, wrote, and recorded a ten track EP called Alive At Virgil Normal, which he created in only ten consecutive hours. Theo was featured on the project and knew that come spring, the space would transform into his simple yet eclectic cereal bar.
“Cereal and Such is very much an homage to Japan. We want to focus on one thing and do it extremely well,” explained Theo when asked about the bar’s simple menu.
The cereal selection currently includes: Cocoa Puffs, Frosted Flakes, Apple Jacks, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Cap’n Crunch Berries, but the options will always be changing. Milk selections include 2% standard cows milk and non-dairy options including almond and coconut. They’re also testing macadamia nut and flaxseed milks. The food menu will expand come summer, and rumor has it they may add ice cream.
The “Such” portion of the menu is comprised of coffee, tea, and non-food items like T-shirts and tote bags designed by Theo, and mugs and bowls created in collaboration with Kenesha Sneed of Tactile Matter, a Los Angeles based stoneware ceramics company.
Late in the afternoon on a Saturday, just before Cereal and Such closed for the evening, a group of friends showed up and introduced themselves to Theo, who warmly welcomed them. “We came because we heard the Cereal and Such podcast,” explained one of them. “Yeah, I don’t even like cereal, but I had to come and check it out for the culture” declared a stylish woman, right before she helped herself to another spoonful of her crunch berries doused in almond milk.
Guests of the bar are encouraged to eat cereal, sip from their warm drinks, and enjoy the laid back atmosphere at Virgil Normal. Bring a book, choose from one of their board games to play with other cereal aficionados, sit alone and stare at the intricate murals outside, or bring your laptop and set up shop. They’ll have WiFi starting in June.
Free, Theo’s creative counterpart, will be running the cereal bar on weekdays and Theo will be working weekends. The duo are both DJs, so you can expect some great new music to be flowing through the aux cord into the patio.
Follow Cereal and Such on Instagram. They’re open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to 6pm, perfect for a late breakfast or afternoon snack.
Cereal and Such at Virgil Normal 4157 Normal Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029
When you have a show that’s run nearly 30 seasons, especially one that’s as imaginative as The Simpsons, you’re going to end up “predicting” a few things about the future. Everything from Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl appearance to a Donald Trump presidency appeared as gags on the show before becoming a reality. Even a spooky three-eyed fish appeared in Brooklyn, New York, 25 years after Bart hooked one near the Springfield nuclear power plant.
8 cats and dogs that totally got in on the Kentucky Derby hat game
Are you ready for your daily dose of cuteness?! Turns out humans aren’t the only ones into the Kentucky Derby fashion. From the looks of it, cats and dogs are just as interested in the Derby hat game as their human counterparts. And lucky for us, there is photographic proof on the internet.
Though some have a great time with adorable outfits for their furry friends throughout the year – no excuse needed.
But if you are looking for an excuse to let your four-legged friend get fancy, the Kentucky Derby is the perfect chance. And these pet owners certainly knew how to their their animal’s hat game to the next level.