Shared posts

20 May 10:00

Dan Weiss’s Morning Coffee

by Dan Weiss

Important news to start your day: you’re pooping wrong.

Here’s some Japanese falconry woodblocks for you.

The birds are all screaming at everyone.

Hey look at this giant siphonophone.

Can we all agree that the early days of brain surgery were terrifying?

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18 May 22:16

Twitter Exchange Of The Day

by Joe Jervis

This. Is. Amazing.

20 May 18:29

How to fluff chicken butts. Fluffin' those butts. Fluff fluff.

by Xeni Jardin

Good stuff.

This is a real task that people who raise chickens have to do. Read the rest

22 May 11:12

ᴡʜʏ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ɪɴ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ʜᴀᴛᴇ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ɪs ɴᴏᴛ ᴛʜᴇᴍ. ᴡʜʏ ᴛʜᴇʏ ғᴇᴀʀ...



ᴡʜʏ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ɪɴ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ ʜᴀᴛᴇ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ɪs ɴᴏᴛ ᴛʜᴇᴍ. ᴡʜʏ ᴛʜᴇʏ ғᴇᴀʀ ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ᴋɴᴏᴡ. ᴡʜʏ ᴛʜᴇʏ ʜᴀᴛᴇ ᴛʜᴇᴍsᴇʟᴠᴇs ᴍᴏsᴛ ᴏғ ᴀʟʟ. ғᴏʀ ʙᴇɪɴɢ ᴡᴇᴀᴋ. ғᴏʀ ʙᴇɪɴɢ ᴏʟᴅ. ғᴏʀ ʙᴇɪɴɢ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴀʟᴛᴏɢᴇᴛʜᴇʀ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɪs ɴᴏᴛ ɢᴏᴅ-ʟɪᴋᴇ. ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ᴏғ ᴜs ᴄᴀɴ ʙᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ? ᴍᴏɴsᴛᴇʀs ᴀʟʟ, ᴀʀᴇ ᴡᴇ ɴᴏᴛ? sᴏᴍᴇ ᴘᴇʀʜᴀᴘs ᴍᴏʀᴇ ᴛʜᴀɴ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀs.

21 May 08:50

Sex News: Taylor Swift in Syren latex, air marshal scandal, Google murder case, Kosher vibrators

by Violet Blue

via Christopher Lantz. The Taylor Swift video is unexpectedly good. Lots of allusions to some great sci-fi, too.

Meet indie erotica’s perfect couple: Filthy Housewives and Bisexual Husbands.

  • Last month the A&E Channel aired a few episodes of its reprehensible show 8 Minutes, a reality program about a pastor who “saves” sex workers from “the life.” Now several women have come forward after being on the show saying that they were never connected to the resources promised, were pressured into signing contracts, and were misled about their level of anonymity on the show. The show, unfortunately, is not an anomaly.
    Combating Trafficking Takes Much Longer Than Eight Minutes (RH Reality Check)

Thank you to our sponsor, Nubile Films.
  • I don’t know about you, but this raises some questions about just how cozy Facebook is with law enforcement in sharing (and spying on) its users’ private communications. Also, warning for survivors of sexual abuse and trauma on this one. No one seems to know — or wants to say — just how often Facebook gets involved in tipping off law enforcement about suspicious online behavior. Facebook won’t say, ICE claims it doesn’t know, and FBI just said “No” when asked if they had any data on the number of Facebook tips they investigate.
    Facebook helps police bust sex predators (Fusion)

The new federal anti-trafficking act means: lots of money will be given to people who want to harass, arrest and deport sex workers.

— mistressmatisse (@mistressmatisse) May 20, 2015

  • Today, the U.S. government released a sizeable tranche of documents and other material recovered during the Osama Bin Laden raid on the Abbottabod, Pakistan, compound used to hide Bin Ladin. An official at the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence today said that the sexually explicit content would remain classified even as other parts of Bin Laden’s personal files were released.
    Bin Laden’s Porn Stash Is Kept Secret (XBIZ)
  • Faced with a Department of Justice investigation into air marshals, the men and women charged with protecting U.S. commercial flights from terrorism, former and current air marshals are coming forward to describe a “wheels-up, rings-off” culture rife with adultery, sex work, and other misconduct.
    Air marshals say a party-hearty attitude prevails at the agency (Reveal)
  • The prostitutes at AP need to brush up on their sex work terminology… A California sex worker charged with killing a Google executive with an overdose of heroin aboard his yacht pleaded guilty Tuesday to involuntary manslaughter and administering drugs. A Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge sentenced defendant Alix Tichelman to six years in prison, bringing a sudden and unexpected conclusion to a case that garnered national attention.
    Sex worker pleads guilty in overdose death of Google exec (AP)
  • I would like to test this, please: Lovense and VirtualRealPorn are creating a way to enjoy synced-up virtual reality sex. The trick involves using a Bluetooth dongle, specially coded VR videos, and Lovense’s Max and Nora sex toys to make the toys’ vibrations and rotations sync with the VR action seen in your headset.
    New Sex Toys Sync Up to Virtual Reality Porn (Wired)

Thank you to our woman-run sponsor in Spain, Lust Films.

The Best Feminist Porn Directors to Check Out… (Includes @ShineLouise!) @slutist

— Pink & White (@PinkWhite) May 19, 2015

  • Join San Francisco Sex Education for a night of education on and exploration of Sex and Video Games, led by a specialist in the field. Morgan “Red” McCormick has been a regularly invited speaker at Penny Arcade Expo on the topic of transgender representation in video games, and much more. Join us as we learn about the history and progression of sexuality in video games.
    SFSI Seminars: Sex and Video Games (Brown Paper Tickets)

Thank you to our Bay Area sponsor, HardTied.
  • Religious leaders aren’t usually the best advisers on how to spice things up in the bedroom, but Orthodox Jewish couples struggling to sustain passionate marriages are finding a savior in Rabbi Natan Alexander. Men and women dissatisfied with their love lives are making pilgrimages to the Judaean Mountains near Jerusalem, where Alexander may prescribe them a Sqweel.
    Toy Vey: The Rabbi Selling Kosher Vibrators (Bloomberg)

New #GrabBag toys just in. Grab 'em while they're hot! #MAYDAY #Maybation #GrabBagSwag

— Tantus, Inc. (@tantus) May 20, 2015

  • Twenty years ago, while people were shoveling processed foods down their gullets, they were also erotically consuming the sex toy equivalent of toxic processed foods. Yes, in the not so distant past folks were heading to their local smut emporium to purchase dildos, butt plugs and other goodies made from toxic, porous materials chock full of phthalates and other unpronounceable scourges.
    The frisky new world of non-toxic, cruelty-free, eco-friendly sex toys (Hopes and Fears)

Thank you to our woman-run sponsor in Australia, Bright Desire.
  • The group of eight women sing, dance and enact poetry as getting-to-know-you exercises, but the themes written on the whiteboard reveal the deeper nature of the work: “Misconception, whore, mother, domestic violence, abandoned-thrown out, rebirth.” These are big motifs to tackle, but that’s what the San Francisco Bay Area Sex Worker Film and Arts Festival (now in its ninth year) is about — asking difficult questions.
    Sex workers act out in S.F. theater workshop (SF Gate)
  • An Egyptian court has ordered Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb to impose a ban on pornographic websites. A similar decision taken two years ago denounced pornographic content as “venomous and vile,” but failed to come into force. The Wednesday ruling is to be immediately enforced.
    Egypt Court Bans Online Adult Content (XBIZ)
  • Warning for survivors of sexual assault and trauma. Author Cathy Young writes: “To me, this crusade against “rape culture” over-simplifies the vast complexity of human sexual interaction, conflating criminal sexual acts like coercion by physical force, threat or incapacitation—which should obviously be prosecuted and punished whenever possible – with bad behavior.”
    Feminists want us to define these ugly sexual encounters as rape. Don’t let them. (Washington Post)

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21 May 16:58

A Clean Energy Revolution is Tougher than You Think

by Michael Levi

His hypotheses seem so obvious, but weren't before I started reading.

Flickr(CC)/Hiroo Yamagata

Had you asked most analysts a year ago what it would take to decarbonize the transportation system without aggressive new policy you’d have got an answer something like this: You need low-carbon technologies that can beat $100 oil on its own terms. And if you ask the same question today about electric power, you’ll usually hear that zero-carbon technologies need to come in at costs under the ever-rising cost of grid-distributed, fossil fuel generated electricity, a rather fat (and growing) target.

Both answers are wrong. The fundamental problem is that substantial initial success in displacing fossil fuels with zero-carbon energy will drive down the price of the remaining fossil fuel energy. (The supply-driven fall in oil prices hasn’t helped either.)  This means that, absent policy, clean energy will face an ever-tougher economic challenge as it increasingly succeeds.

Consider transportation fuels. A surge in oil production has driven prices well below where people previously expected them to be. But the same thing would have happened to prices had there been a surge in deployment of ultra-efficient cars or low-carbon biofuels that had the same impact on the supply-demand balance. And – this is the critical thing – effecting such a surge is exactly what people who want a clean energy revolution envision. If the world shaved, say, ten million barrels a day off its oil consumption over the next decade, oil prices would be far lower that if that didn’t happen. That would make the next ten million barrel a day reduction considerably more difficult.

Something similar applies to electricity. If you’re only expecting a little distributed solar penetration, then it’s reasonable to assume (as a widely circulated recent Rocky Mountain Institute report does) that it’s competing with grid-generated electricity that needs to charge ever-more over time in order to pay for investment in transmission, distribution, and new generation capacity. But if you’ve got massive penetration of distributed solar in mind – say, the kind of stuff that might trigger “death spirals” and utility bankruptcies – then you’re not going to see those same price increases. (Bankrupt utilities don’t invest in new anything, and they certainly don’t generate revenues that recover all their costs.) You’ve already seen a variation on this with coal to gas switching: cheap gas displaced some coal-fired generation, but once it had done that, the remaining marginal unit of coal-fired power was a lot cheaper; as a result, gas stopped making such radical inroads. Once again, for a new technology to take a massive share of the market rather than just nip at its fringes, that new technology will either need to have steadily (and often sharply) declining costs, or will need a helping hand from policy.

Some models, of course, capture these equilibrium dynamics. But too much thinking about what it takes to effect large-scale change implicitly assumes that large-scale change won’t actually happen. That’s a recipe for understating what a big transition would require.

21 May 21:58

'Ballistic Wallpaper' bombproofs US combat shelters

by Andrew Tarantola

via coop. @CC. Was it you talking about multiple layers of polymer making things earthquake proof?

At a recent DoD Lab Day, the US Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) unveiled a unique defensive product. Dubbed "ballistic wallpaper," this amalgamation of kevlar fiber threading and flexible polymer film is design...
18 May 18:37

"The most violent death in the movie was the death of the Bechdel Test, which they dragged behind the..."


via sophia. I was kind of curious about the results of the Bechdel Test for this movie. An apt answer.

“The most violent death in the movie was the death of the Bechdel Test, which they dragged behind the car the entire time.”

- Jenna, on how MAD MAX: FURY ROAD had so many women that the Bechdel Test became irrelevant. (via congalineofdurin)
18 May 12:30

Everyone is missing the most important part of Louis C.K.'s SNL monologue

by Max Fisher

Also via bernot. Important.

Comedian Louis C.K.'s monologue on this week's Saturday Night Live does not quite rise to the level of an Upworthy headline — he did not obliterate inequality; he won't change how you see poverty forever — but the first couple of minutes, discussing what he calls "mild racism," do make a decent point that is worth your time.

"I'm not racist. However, I do have mild racism," he says, explaining that he can't help but take mental note of people of color when he encounters them. He describes his initial reaction — approval at seeing a Chinese or Indian doctor, anxiety at seeing a young black man "unless he has a big smile on his face"  — that betrays an unmistakable, knee-jerk racism.

He's talking about implicit racial bias: "when, despite our best intentions and without our awareness, racial stereotypes and assumptions creep into our minds and affect our actions," as my colleague Jenée Desmond-Harris explained.

Thirty years of neurology and cognitive psychology studies show that it influences the way we see and treat others, even when we're absolutely determined to be, and believe we are being, fair and objective.

The idea of implicit racial bias, no matter how well-established by empirical research, is still controversial. People don't like to think that they could be racist; they prefer to divide the world into a binary of "racist" or "not racist," with themselves in the latter category. But that makes it a lot harder to address the effects of implicit bias, which impact everything from hiring to police conduct.

Louis C.K., by teasing himself for his well-intentioned "mild racism" and explaining it as a product of the environment he grew up in, is making it a little less scary to acknowledge implicit bias. It's reframing it such that people can be told about implicit bias without hearing an accusation they feel the need to deflect. That's a helpful step toward addressing the issue.

The rest of Louis C.K.'s monologue centered on a fairly ham-fisted Israel-Palestine metaphor and a weak bit on child molestation — the joke was that it's awkward to joke about child molestation and more awkward still to acknowledge that child molestation must be enjoyable for child molesters, ha ha — that was clearly designed to draw controversy and certainly did.

Like this video? Subscribe to Vox on YouTube.

15 May 10:14

No spoilers, promise.That was the first time in a lifetime of...


Well that's an interesting take on hype.

No spoilers, promise.

That was the first time in a lifetime of near-constant consumption of cinema that I’ve been sitting in a packed, darkened movie theatre, watching some massive, bombastic blockbuster action movie, sensing the excitement, the rapt gaze of a predominantly male audience, and thought to myself… 

This movie isn’t just tipping its hat to women so we won’t feel excluded. This movie is *for women*. 

Fury Road features some of the most fierce and violent and brutal and vivid and compelling imagery I’ve watched in any movie, ever, and it also just happens to be one the most warmly and thoroughly feminist films I’ve ever seen, from any genre.

Miller made this for us.

When that realization hit me, I cried.

Unprecedented. What a lovely day.

04 May 00:00



Glorious. Fk you, physics. Except you, Feynman, you're cool.

17 May 14:40

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - You, Robot


Wouldn't you want to deorbit first, then create the dyson sphere? otherwise wouldn't the sphere get damaged by all those deorbiting planets? "that sounds nice" anyway.

Hovertext: Do you think I could get another sex droid?

New comic!
Today's News:
18 May 14:00

Francis Collins on CRISPR: "Designer babies make great Hollywood — and bad science"

by Julia Belluz

Some really interesting and disturbing possibilities discussed here. I wish Mr. Collins would have gone deeper in the comment about what it means to be human. He kind of glosses over it saying we don't need to go there.

Two years ago, scientists quietly developed a technique known as CRISPR/Cas, which allowed them to edit DNA more cheaply, more quickly, and more precisely than ever before. At the time, few people were paying attention.

Now, however, lots of people are talking about CRISPR — particularly after a group of researchers in China recently used the technique to edit nonviable human embryos. Though the embryos would never turn into humans, this was the first time anyone had ever tried to edit the genetic material of homo sapiens, and the April 18 publication of the results sparked a massive outcry.

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. (Via NIH)

One of the leading voices speaking out against editing human DNA was Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health. In an NIH statement, Collins took a firm stance, saying, "The concept of altering the human germline in embryos for clinical purposes has been debated over many years from many different perspectives, and has been viewed almost universally as a line that should not be crossed." He went on to explain that the NIH would not fund such research, mainly for ethical reasons.

I called Collins to talk further about the ethical problems CRISPR raises, and why he thinks this genetic editing technique is both hugely promising and, potentially, very dangerous.

Julia Belluz: What were you thinking when you first saw the results from China — that scientists had finally edited the genes of a human embryo?

Francis Collins: There had been a lot of rumors, so I wasn't shocked to see [the study] when it appeared. But obviously the details were of interest in terms of the experiment they did. I was relieved they had done this experiment with [nonviable embryos that were] impossible to re-implant.

JB: In the experiment, as you know, only a fraction of the embryos survived, and only a tiny fraction of those survivors were successfully modified with the new genetic material. What did you make of these  results?

FC: Some of the breathless responses suggested we had never previously considered what might happen if someone tried to target the germline of human beings. But we have had those discussions intensively over several decades.

What is new: it's a technology that had the promise of the kind of surgical precision you might imagine be applied [to humans] without immediate unpredictable harm to future generations.

In that regard, [CRISPR] sort of failed the test. In [the Chinese scientists'] hands, at least, it was way short of anything you could contemplate would be acceptable, simply on the basis of safety, much less other ethical concerns. They missed the target a fair amount of time and hit a lot of other targets. We have a ways to go to even begin to contemplate doing this in a fashion that would not have all kinds of unintended consequences.

JB: Can you take me through the major ethical concerns about editing the human genome?

FC: I'm concerned about a circumstance where an embryo is manipulated, then intentionally re-implanted, with the goal of having that turn into a human being.

In terms of research that doesn't do that — i.e., what the Chinese did with flawed embryos — a different set of questions, in the line of slippery slope, arises. Most prominent is safety, doing something that affects not only that individual but their offspring for generations to come. Experimenting on individuals who cannot give their consent. How can you be sure they’re not doing something harmful? Designer babies make great Hollywood movies. They make really bad science, and I think they are really bad ethics.

On top of that, any time you’re contemplating doing something this drastic, you must ask about benefits and risks. A lot of conversation hasn't reflected that.

It's also very hard to identify the need for this kind of embryo manipulation for human purposes. If you're talking about genetic disease, we have pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, which gives couples at risk for genetic disease a chance to avoid that risk without any manipulation of the germline.

Last, there are deep concerns of a philosophical sort, about what it means for human beings to intentionally manipulate their own genomes. If applied broadly and widely, does that result in us being changed into something other than homo sapiens? I don't think we even have to go to that one to say this is something we shouldn't do. The safety arguments and lack of medical need trump [these concerns].

JB: Do you think we should ever do this kind of research on human embryos?

FC: There's a strong consensus — not just in the US but by other ethical bodies that have looked at the potential of modifying the human germline with intent to produce pregnancy — that that is a line we should not cross.

That's what I tried to cover in my statement — to remind people of all the prohibitions that are already in place. It was not my personal opinion that the government should or should not do this. Prohibitions have arisen over the course of many years. One of them is the amendment — Dickey-Wicker — from the 1990s. Congress said public federal funds will not be used for research involving derivation on human embryos. That says — no matter what I think — this type of research will not be supported by NIH.

JB: But, theoretically, people could do work on human embryos here — just without federal funding — since there is no outright ban?

FC: You’re correct in saying that people who don't have that kind of [federal] support are not bound by Dickey-Wicker or the [Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, a federal advisory committee that provides recommendations to the NIH director and also advises against editing human DNA].

But scientists are bound by a strong tradition over several decades of thoughtful people weighing in saying, "When it comes to manipulating the human germline with the intent to pass that on to other generations, it's not right to go ahead." While there is no legal prohibition, there are lots of ethical constraints.

JB: What most excites you about the CRISPR/Cas system? What do you think it'll be useful for?

FC: It is an enormously powerful way to make changes, not in the germline of humans, but to other tissues. You see how it is applied to HIV/AIDS: you have the ability to go in and create immune cells that are no longer possible for the virus to invade and give those back to people whose cells those are. That's [research] being done in Philadelphia right now. They could use this approach to cure sickle cell disease, correcting the mutation, and expanding the cells and giving them back.

When you go to research, [CRISPR/Cas] makes so many things exciting and quickly possible that would otherwise take years of work, like understanding how each gene does what it does and developing new ideas about future treatment.

If we want to understand the application of CRISPR/Cas to embryos, lots of that is being done in animals and quite usefully to create animal models for disease.

Let's not lose sight of fact that this is an incredible advance — scientists can go faster and more powerfully than we could with previous methods of modifying the animal germline.

But when it comes to the humans, the question is what is the need to also try this out to human embryos? Is there information here we need to desperately have? If we have at the moment the strong sense we shouldn't be using this in a way that results in a successful pregnancy, what’s the reason for doing these preliminary steps toward that goal? I think this is more an argument about the use of resources and slippery slopes.

This conversation has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

18 May 07:20

aphnorwegian: mxcleod: egalitarianqueen: kibosh-josh-mahgosh: ...


Excellent etymological discussion in this one. I think I use the hard "g" because of the "gift" analog. Also, because the soft g is just wrong.











Gif stands for Graphics Interchange Format. when graphics is pronounced “JAFFICKS” Then I will pronounce Gif with a “J”

^ This

It’s followed by an R of course it would be a hard g. But Giraffe is a soft g. Genius is a soft g. Gin is pronounced with a soft g too. GIF is I following a g, it would be pronounced with a soft g.

It aint Jif peanut butter though.

It would still be pronounced like that. The general rule is if the g is followed by an e or i, it’s soft g. U or a consonant is generally a hard g.


Gear =/= Jear

Get =/= Jet

Gift =/= Jift

Give =/= Jive

In English, words with a ‘G’ followed by an ‘e’ or an ‘i’ can be pronounced with either a hard ‘G’ or a soft ‘G’.

Words with Germanic roots such as ‘gear’, ‘get’, ‘gift’, ‘give’ (see above) are pronounced with a hard ‘g’ while words with Latin or Greek roots such as ‘gem’, ‘general’, ‘giraffe’, ‘giant’, are pronounced with a soft ‘g’.

So no, it’s not exactly a “general rule” that ‘g’ followed by an ‘e’ or an ‘i’ makes a soft ‘g’ sound. 

Additionally, “GIF” is an ACRONYM starting with a word that begins with a hard ‘g’ sound, so “GIF” is therefore pronounced with a hard ‘g’.

We fight with honor

14 May 08:58

thewrongdrum: look-jaggamato-just: mikerowavables: You see...


I almost never get into the royal gossip, but this is hysterical.

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.






Charlotte is being such baby right now I LOVE IT.

Nobody is going to talk about William giving his grandmum bunny ears?

12 May 14:30

Leeroy Jenkins! World of Warcraft’s Favorite Viral Video, Meme Turns Ten Years Old Today

by Aaron Homer

10 years? Wow.

Screenshot from the famed Leeroy Jenkins video.

This video contains strong language.

By now you’ve no doubt heard the famed “Leeroy Jenkins!” battle cry, and possibly even seen the viral video of a World of Warcraft sequence gone horribly wrong, even if you have no idea what the heck is going on. That video turns ten years old this week.

Back on May 11, 2015, according to Business Insider, the famed Leeroy Jenkins video first showed up on an obscure video gaming forum. The video shows a handful of World of Warcraft (WoW) players discussing – in exacting detail – their plans for an upcoming sequence in one of the game’s dungeons. One player even “calculates” their odds of success (“32.33, repeating of course, percentage”).

And then the unthinkable happens: one player, “Leroy Jenkins,” apparently bored with all the talk, rushes headlong into the dungeon, shouting his name as his battle cry.

“Let’s do this! Leeroy Jenkins!”

Within seconds, everyone is dead, and Leroy’s fellow players are cursing him for not sticking to the plan.

The video was a gag, of course; there was no player named “Leroy Jenkins” who ignored his friends and cost them their battle. “Leroy” was actually a college student named Ben Schulz (who is now an electrical engineer), and his friends in the sequence are also acting. Here’s a hint: listen to the guy at (1:36) trying desperately not to crack up while delivering his lines (“Stick to the plan!”). And here’s another hint: there’s no actual way to calculate your odds of success (“32.33, repeating”) in a World of Warcraft dungeon.

But none of that mattered to the phenomenon that “Leeroy Jenkins” would become.

In those days, YouTube and Facebook were just getting started, and World of Warcraft was just a fraction of the cultural mainstay that it is today. No one had ever heard of a “viral video,” and a “meme” was something written about in academic journals.

Whether “Leeroy Jenkins!” changed all that is something for internet historians to debate, but one thing is clear: Leeroy has since become one of the internet’s most well-known, and well-parodies, memes. He’s become synonymous with rushing headlong into danger without giving a second thought to overwhelming odds.

Leeroy Jenkins!

Leeroy Jenkins!

He’s also become a beloved part of the game that made him famous, according to Shack News. Blizzard, the company that produces World of Warcraft, has hired “Leroy Jenkins” – er, Ben Schulz – to appear at World of Warcraft conventions, and have even worked the Leroy character (voiced by Schulz) into subsequent game expansions.

Like “Charlie Bit Me” or “Leave Britney Alone!,” “Leeroy Jenkins!” is one of those internet gags that you either “get” or you don’t. There’s no explaining the joke. But whether or not “Leeroy” is your cup of tea, there’s no denying that he’s become part of our collective consciousness.

Here’s to ten more years, Leeroy Jenkins!

[Image courtesy of: YouTube]

Leeroy Jenkins! World of Warcraft’s Favorite Viral Video, Meme Turns Ten Years Old Today is an article from: The Inquisitr News

06 May 19:01

Kicking out trolls from one space and finding that they just moved to another space


via bl00.

11 May 19:41

Elon Musk's email to an employee who missed work event to witness birth of own child

by Rob Beschizza

Man, Elon is huge falsely accused asshole: "We're changing the world and changing history, and you either commit or you don’t."

10 May 01:46


via tertiarymatt. I bought this album because it's excellent. Reminds me of smashing pumpkins and silversun pickups. But they're very new and straight outta Tacoma.

07 May 17:03

Hark, A Vagrant: Saint Cecilia


@lev. you should definitely get back into that church thing.

buy this print!

I guess we don't know if Valerian was a virgin or not, but if he was, I doubt the choice would precede his name if people prayed to him.

If you grew up Catholic like me you had a lot of those picture books full of saints. They were great because they were crazy and gory and exciting, and they could be inspiring too. And if you were a girl, you were probably given a lot of cards and books and whatnot about all the virgin martyrs. Saint Cecilia didn't get it as bad (virgin onslaught-wise) as .. oh, anyone from Saint Agnes, Lucy, Agatha, Maria Goretti (yikes)- but like all the virgin martyrs, this aspect of her life is presented with a certain... fervour. Gather round girls, let me tell you what a woman should be! And so when you start questioning what's going on in the Church's attitude towards ladies, these virgin martyrs are among the first to go.

I was reading a bit of feminist interpretations of these women's lives, and it was super interesting, to try and think of their stories in their own terms (as much as you can anyway), rather than a tool to tell me what I was and was not supposed to be. I'm no theologian, I just liked coming back to something that did have an impact on me, years ago. And so here's Saint Cecilia, because the image of her still touches my heart, I admit.

I like a good rant now and then, don't you?
07 May 06:35

Drug pump is "most insecure" devices ever seen by researcher

by Cory Doctorow

God damn it. Via wampus.

Security researcher Jeremy Richards has called the Hospira Lifecare PCA 3 drug-pump "the least secure IP enabled device" he's examined.

The device attracted a NIST/DHS warning that classed the risk from the Lifecare product a 10/10.

Though the Lifecare product makes some particularly egregious security blunders, many of its mistakes are typical of medical devices.

What's worse than buggy, insecure software is buggy, insecure software that's illegal to research. Between the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act's ban on "exceeding authorization" on a computer (the law under which Aaron Swartz was charged) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's ban on publishing information that would help subvert an "effective means of access control," researchers who uncover these critical flaws face real jeopardy just for telling us information that we need to know in order to make good choices in matters of life and death.

Governments are terminally compromised when it comes to this stuff. On the one hand, they don't want voters dropping dead in the streets as hackers pwn their implanted defibrillators. On the other hand, they rely on weak computer security (ever going so far as to sabotage our systems and devices by deliberately introducing exploitable bugs in them) as a means of attacking "bad guys," who use the same computers as the rest of us. They also actively encourage the trade in offensive tools that weaponize bugs, even turning a blind eye to the sale of these tools to despotic regimes who use them to hack their adversaries in the USA (and elsewhere).

You can't have it both ways. Either we have real security, in which researchers aggressively root out flaws in our systems and get them patched; or we make life easier for the Tom Clancy LARPers in the security services, who do everything they can to turn all our systems into reservoirs of long-lived digital pathogens that they can exploit, threatening researchers who report bugs, and giving them big, military-industrial-complex-style paydays when they sell those bugs to digital arms dealers.

Someone you love already has an implanted medical device -- a pacemaker that can cook their hearts in seconds if it's badly secured, a cochlear implant that could serve as the world's most invasive listening device, a lethally compromised insulin pump. You probably spend part of every day in a car, building, or other enclosure whose informatics could kill, maim, or compromise you if it was compromised. When spooks, cops and politicians decide that catching bad guys is more important than keeping you secure against crooks, griefers, identity thieves, spies, dirty cops and other adversaries, they show themselves to be unfit for office. As Aaron Swartz said, "It's not OK not to understand the Internet."

What he found was shocking. Among other things, Richards noted that the device was listening on Telnet port 23. Connecting to the device, he was brought immediately to a root shell account that gave him total, administrator level access to the pump.

“The only thing I needed to get in was an interest in the pump,” he said.

Richards found other examples of loose security on the PCA 3: a FTP server that could be accessed without authentication and an embedded web server that runs Common Gateway Interface (CGI). That could allow an attacker to tamper with the pump’s operation using fairly simple commands.

The PCA pump also stored wireless keys used to connect to the local wireless network in plain text on the device. That means anyone with physical access to the Pump could gain access to the local medical device network and other devices on it. Furthermore, if pumps are not properly wiped prior to being sold, those keys may be transmitted to unknown buyers on the second-hand market, Richards warned.

Like other medical devices that independent security researchers have looked at, Richards said the Hospira LifeCare pump did not validate the authenticity of firmware updates prior to installing them – a common problem in the medical device sector.

Researcher: Drug Pump the ‘Least Secure IP Device I’ve Ever Seen’ [Paul/Security Ledger]

(via /.)

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07 May 01:02

moodstoned: I love this fact. I’m jealous of Cameron.


I don't care if it's true or not. It's a beautiful thought.


I love this fact. I’m jealous of Cameron.

06 May 07:57

Show 55 - Blueprint for Armageddon VI


Alert! New Hardcore History is out.

The Americans are coming, but will the war be over by the time they get there? Germany throws everything into a last series of stupendous attacks in the West while hoping to avoid getting burned by a fire in the East they helped fan.
11 Feb 16:48

YANSS 043 – The Science of Misremembering with Julia Shaw and Daniel Simons

by David McRaney

Referenced Julia Shaw implantable memory idea in conversation today. Around 50 minute mark the implications are discussed. The implanted memories were put there with a lot of effort using misinformation and manipulation, but they did it. Here's a little article about it too:

Did Brian Williams lie, exaggerate, or misremember?

If he originally reported the truth behind the events in Iraq more than a decade ago, and those events were filmed and broadcast on the nightly news, then why didn’t he fact-check himself before going on national television and recounting a false version of those same events? Surely, as a journalist, he knew the original video was out there for anyone to watch.


This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses. Order Behavioral Economics or another course in this special offer and get 80% off the original price.

This episode is also brought to you by Shari’s Berries. Order some delicious dipped strawberries for Valentine’s Day and get 40% off or a double order for $10 more using the special code “delusion” by clicking the microphone at this link

If you’d like to support the show directly, now you can become a patron! Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

DanielSimonsIn the first segment of this episode of the YANSS Podcast, psychologist Daniel Simons explains that although we will never know for sure if Brian Williams intentionally mislead people in the many retellings of his adventures in the desert, the last 40 years of memory research strongly suggests the kind of misremembering he claims to have suffered is easy to reproduce in our own lives. In fact, chances are, giant swaths of your own personal history are partially fictional if not completely false. The problem isn’t that our memory is bad, but that we believe it isn’t.

JuliaShawOur in-depth interview in this episode is with psychologist Julia Shaw whose latest research demonstrates the fact that there is no reason to believe that a memory is more accurate just because it is vivid or detailed. Actually, that’s a potentially dangerous belief. Shaw used techniques similar to police interrogations, and over the course of three conversations she and her team were able to convince a group of college students that those students had committed a felony crime. You’ll hear her explain how easy it is to implant the kind of false memories that cause people just like you to believe they deserve to go to jail for crimes that never happened and what she suggests police departments should do to avoid such distortions of the truth.

After the interview, I discuss a news story about implanting false memories into the brains of mice using viruses and beams of light.

In every episode, before I read a bit of self delusion news, I taste a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener/reader. That listener/reader wins a signed copy of my new book, “You Are Now Less Dumb,” and I post the recipe on the YANSS Pinterest page. This episode’s winner is Michelle Brigham who submitted a recipe for lemon zucchini cornmeal cookies. Send your own recipes to david {at}

Links and Sources


Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

Julia Shaw

Daniel Simons

Constructing Rich False Memories of Committing A Crime

How Not to Be the Next Brian Williams

Brian Williams Admits He Wasn’t on Copter Shot Down in Iraq

With an Apology, Brian Williams Digs Himself Deeper in Copter Tale

Why Our Memory Fails Us

Do politicians lie, or just misremember it wrong?

Fake Memory Implanted in Mice with a Beam of Light

Original Photo Credit: David Shankbone – CC 3.0

05 May 13:36

"That’s why Elon Musk’s announcements of the new Tesla battery line last night were more..."


via bunker jordan. I really like Annalee Newitz, usually. And I'm also excited by the possibilities that come along with the Powerwall announcement. However, I think she's wrong that anyone is going to be excited by kwh, or that the infrastructure age is beginning. The information age is dead. Long live the information age.

That’s why Elon Musk’s announcements of the new Tesla battery line last night were more revolutionary than Apple Watch and more exciting than Microsoft’s admittedly nifty HoloLens. Information tech isn’t dead — it has just matured to the point where all we’ll get are better iterations of the same thing. Better cameras and apps for our phones. VR that actually works. But these are not revolutionary gadgets. They are just realizations of dreams that began in the 1980s, when the information revolution transformed the consumer electronics market.

But now we’re we’re entering the age of infrastructure gadgets. Thanks to devices like Tesla’s household battery, Powerwall, electrical grid technology that was once hidden behind massive barbed wire fences, owned by municipalities and counties, is now seeping slowly into our homes. And this isn’t just about alternative energy like solar. It’s about how we conceive of what technology is. It’s about what kinds of gadgets we’ll be buying for ourselves in 20 years.

It’s about how the kids of tomorrow won’t freak out over terabytes of storage. They’ll freak out over kilowatt-hours.

- Annalee Newitz: The Information Age Is Over. Welcome to the Infrastructure Age.
05 May 18:51

Today in Tabs: Everything Is So Much Worse Than You Think

by Rusty Foster

Today in hot takes. "David Goldberg, Sheryl Sandberg’s husband, and the father of their two young children, collapsed while exercising on vacation and tragically died of head trauma. But before the details of his death were released, blog fameball and transparently unhappy person Penelope Trunk took the opportunity to speculate (with zero evidence) that he killed himself, and blamed his wife’s "Lean In" movement for his death. After details of Golberg’s death were clarified, she went full suicide Truther. (Previously in Penelope Trunk mining her own problems for clicks.)"

Is this Tabs or hipster poetry? Only you can decide.

Tweet a little block a little tweet a little block a little tweet tweet tweet block a lot tweet a little more #stillvaginavotingbyemras

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04 May 07:14



via sophia. count me disturbed.

03 May 13:27




04 May 16:50

People have been complaining about hot takes since the 1960s

by Dylan Matthews

Looool. Anyway, I request the hottest of takes.

I was in a thrift store over the weekend, and found myself reading an old battered paperback copy of Daniel Boorstin's The Image, originally published in 1961. Boorstin, a historian and later librarian of Congress, argues that the American public has come to "expect too much of the world" — "how much news there is, how many heroes there are, how often masterpieces are made" — and that since the world's actual supply of news, heroes, masterpieces, etc. will never measure up, capital has produced a never-ending flurry of meaningless "pseudo-events" to meet the public's demand. The prime example of a pseudo-event in the world of journalism, for example, is the "think piece":

"We expect the papers to be full of news. If there is no news visible to the naked eye, or to the average citizen, we still expect it to be there for the enterprising newsman. The successful reporter is one who can find a story, even if there is no earthq

(Daniel Boorstin)

These think pieces have lately been accompanied in the journalistic vernacular by the "hot take." The term — used derisively to refer to articles making purposely outlandish arguments backed up by little to no reporting or research — was one of the words that defined 2014, according to our own Alex Abad-Santos, and even got a full etymological history from the New Republic's Elspeth Reeve in April.

The term itself, Reeve explains, is fairly recent, emerging only in the last three or four years. But as Boorstin shows, the phenomenon it describes, as well as the backlash to it, is much older.

For example, a reporter working on a slow news day, lacking big events to cover, could write up a short "think piece" excerpting familiar thoughts from a 53-year-old book and tying them into the present moment.

Oh my god. What have I become?

02 May 05:33

Disrupting Richard Scarry

by Cory Doctorow

I love this. "Non-contributor."

Updating Richard Scarry's beloved Busy Town for Silicon Valley corpthink been done before, but never with the depth and persistence of the Welcome to Business Town Tumblr. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

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