Day: July 11, 2016

Two men just learned via Grindr that they are HIV-positive

HIV self tests are displayed in a pharmacy in Bordeaux, France.  REUTERS

A recent study has found that the gay dating app Grindr is a pretty effective way to get black and Hispanic men who like to have sex with men to try home H.I.V. self-testing kits. The home test doesn’t require blood, but rather uses a swab of the gums to generate reliable results in 20 minutes.
Of the 56 Los Angeles area men who participated in the study and received kits, two men learned from the kits that they were infected.

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#BlackLivesMatter: 10 iconic photos from a week of protests throughout the U.S.

A man protesting the police shooting death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, July 9. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

Photographers covering the black human rights protests throughout the U.S. this weekend produced powerful and iconic images that are now spreading worldwide on social media, often without credit. Here are 10 photos from photograpers with the Reuters news agency over the past few days of demonstrations against the killing of people of color by police.

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Weird stuff on the internet? Thanks Fark

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Here are five baffling stories from one of our favorite sites on the internet! Fark is like waking up and realizing you are still on acid.

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Angry gentleman attempts to run over photographer

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Here’s the photographer’s side of the story:

We are on a PUBLIC road in the middle of Ramona, CA. Pretty much empty deserted road by a tiny airport. Five different residents of the area drove by asking if we needed help and weren’t bothered by our presence. I didn’t provoke the man because there was a really good chance he had a gun in his truck (the police afterward also confirmed this by saying lots of residents carry around there). Also, I said “sir” about 200 times because I was trying to be as polite as possible, even while he was trying to run me over.

Seconds before starting to record the man drove up and said we were shooting on a ‘private road’ which was false. I told him that we would be out in a few minutes and he yelled “FUCK YOU”, that’s when I started recording.

At the end of the video, he hits the phone out of my hands and it flies 20ft in the air and lands on the pavement with a broken screen thats all black. I was worried that the video didn’t save but it did. I tell him he owes me a new screen and it’ll be $200. He proceeds to pull his pants down and say “Suck those $200 out of my dick.” This is when we drive off, with the police on the phone.

After it’s all said and done the cops said that they’ll go have a talk with him to see how drunk he was.

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Playing an LP recording of bird sounds using a bird skull as a needle

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Michael Ridge glued a bird’s skull to a piezoelectric buzzer (which works well as an acoustic pick-up) and used it as a record needle.

A new experimental vinyl playback piece depicting the beak of a seagull skull playing excerpts from a 7″ vinyl of British birdsong; a contact microphone aids with amplification. In its present form the video is a prototype / rough demonstration, however I think it works surprisingly well!

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Twitter shuts down PostGhost, eliminates record of deleted tweets

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PostGhost kept a record of everything validated Twitter users said, regardless if they deleted their embarrassing, or otherwise reputation impacting statements. Twitter sent PostGhost a cease and desist letter, effectively eliminating this public record of stuff people have said, but don’t want seen.

Via Tech Times:

PostGhost, a website that archives tweets deleted by politicians, celebrities and other public figures, has barely been around a few days, but it has already shut down after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Twitter.

For what it’s worth, Twitter’s decision to issue the letter makes sense. Since the tweets originated from its own site, it’s within Twitter’s right to censor anything and everything that it wants. Simply put, once we log on to the platform, it’s Twitter’s world, and we just live in it.

This is what the social media company had in mind when it sent the letter to PostGhost, saying that the public archive violated its Developer Agreement and Policy by recording deleted tweets, and threatened to shut down its API access for doing so.

PostGhost complied with the request, and in doing so, the celebrities, politicians and other public figures who stood to be exposed for their views online come out with a major win. Why? Because, as PostGhost argued in an open letter, the purpose of the site was to provide “a more accurate history of public statements” made by influential public figures on Twitter — something the general public isn’t afforded the right to know if the tweet gets deleted soon after being posted.

“We believe that for such prominent verified Twitter users, the public has a right to see their public Twitter history, whether or not they grow to regret the statements they’ve made,” PostGhost’s letter read.

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Hardcore vegan baby nearly dies

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A couple in Italy will not be getting their child back, after their 14 month old son was hospitalized for severe malnutrition.

Via SF Gate:

When a 14-month-old Italian baby arrived at a hospital in Milan on July 2, he was severely malnourished with the body weight of a three-month-old.

His calcium level was at the minimum needed to survive and this was exacerbating a heart condition that required him to undergo emergency surgery.

The surgery was successful and the baby is recovering well but will not return to the hands of his parents because doctors say the child suffered due to a strict vegan diet.

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British PM resigns early to make way for Theresa May, hums strange tune

UK Prime Minister David Cameron (Reuters)

Though he’d planned to stay on for two more months while his party chose a new leader, Prime Minister David Cameron is to step down Wednesday after opposition to Theresa May evaporated. What’s getting everyone’s attention, though, is the odd little tune he hummed after making his announcement.

Believing himself off the air, Cameron’s mic was in fact still hot as he turned from the podium in Downing Street to retreat into Number 10.

“Do doooo, do doo,” Cameron hummed, to a tune suggestive both of ironic victory and melancholy detachment.

Then, as he closed the door, he paused a moment and added a stout “Right”—the customary rhetorical punctuation mark of a British man who has completely and irremediably ruined everything around him.

The video above was captured by ITV journalist Vincent McAviney.

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This ‘Rocket’ keychain is both a grinder and a one-hitter

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There has perhaps never been a more useful tool for smokers than the Rocket Grinder. The Rocket is a grinder, container, heating chamber, and one hitter all condensed into a compact, EDC device that fits comfortably on your keychain. Taking the edge off has never been easier.

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Clip on your keychain for easy everyday carry, grind and carry your herbs discreetly, funnel directly into the heating chamber, and detached the contained mouth-piece for easy vaping on-the-go. From grinder to one-hitter, this keychain will be your new best friend for 25% off its original price.

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How can the media regain its credibility in reporting on race in America?

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Farai Chideya — a reporter and journalism professor at NYU — describes the lessons she’s learned in reporting from the “Heart of Whiteness” (Klansmen; Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s plans for a war with Mexico; a white church that wanted to “disinter the body of a dead mixed-race infant”), and how the media has failed to learn those lessons — to report on the systemic racism in American life — for decades.
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A luscious tome of family stories and previously unseen photos to celebrate Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Sinatra 100

by Charles Pignone

Thames & Hudson

2015, 288 pages, 11.2 x 13.9 x 1.3 inches

$32 Buy a copy on Amazon

Sinatra 100 encapsulates the legendary performer’s life through text and previously unseen photographs from the family archives as well as classic images from various photo shoots. After forewords by two friends who knew him best, Tony Bennet and Steve Wyn, as well as an introduction by book author Charles Pignone, the book is broken into three long sections: The Voice 1915-1952, Chairman Of The Board 1953-1972, and Ol’ Blue Eyes 1973-1998. That leads readers into afterward sections by various family members and other items of interest.

Frank Sinatra, the man who would be known as “The Voice,” was born in Hoboken, New Jersey on December 12, 1915. Singing in his Dad’s bar led to a lifetime in music. The pages of that first section detail in photographs and text how difficult his early career was as well as his personal circumstances. After having some very early success, by the early 1950s Sinatra could have easily been relegated to a brief footnote in history. It was those early days that taught him what loyalty meant to both himself and others.

While the early fifties were ugly, things changed fairly rapidly. Winning the Oscar on March 25, 1954 was a pivotal point in that turnaround and a small taste of what was to come. In Chairman Of The Board 1953-1972, that turnaround is thoroughly detailed. Sinatra quickly became a box office superstar while his deal with Capital Records made him a major business success. His personal life was another matter as marriages came and went. All of this is detailed in both text and pictures though it is the pictures that really tell Sinatra’s story by way of Hollywood movie sets, recording studios, award events, and more.

The final section, Ol Blue Eyes 1973-1998, covers the later years of Frank Sinatra’s incredible life. He had found peace and had gradually returned to singing by way of touring. Along the way the awards and accolades came to him from a worldwide audience as he continued to entertain people everywhere. While the text is important, the pictures truly tell the tale and are the real story of the book. Often the photographs capture other well-known figures such as Orson Wells, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, etc. As such the photographs not only give readers a glimpse back in time of Sinatra, they also serve to showcase other legendary talents and others who just happened to be in the right place at the right time to be immortalized. They serve as a window into history, not only of Frank Sinatra, but of our history and culture over decades of American life.

It is worth noting that the coffee table-sized book is very heavy. Beyond the sheer weight of approximately six pounds is the fact that the text in captions and elsewhere in the book is very small. The …read more

Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast begins the A Feast for Crows/A Dance with Dragons combined chapter order

Orell Warg'ing

Instead of individually covering the fourth and fifth books in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the Boars, Gore, and Swords book club is reading the Boiled Leather chapter order organized by Sean T. Collins. The new order combines the concurrently occurring events of A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons into one massive undertaking. In this week’s “World of Wargcraft,” Ivan and Red get into the books’ respective prologues. Catch up on previous book club episodes, going over the previous novels as well as the Dunk and Egg stories.

To catch up on previous television seasons, the A Song of Ice And Fire books, and other TV and movies, check out the BGaS archive. You can find them on Twitter @boarsgoreswords, like their Facebook fanpage, and email them. If you want access to extra episodes and content, you can donate to the Patreon.

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Flawed police drug-test kits, railroading prosecutors and racism: the police-stop-to-prison pipeline

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The $2 roadside drug-test kit is the go-to weapon of the War on Drugs, despite its incredibly high failure rate and the scientific consensus that the tests need to be validated in labs later; once you’ve had a random crumb of sandwich or aspirin identified as drugs by one of these kits, you’re almost certain to plead guilty, thanks to the heavy-handed tacts of prosecutors and the disarray of public defenders, and then you’re off for prison time and a lifetime as a felon.
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Famous artist says a painting isn't by him, gets sued for ruining its value

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This garage sale-worthy painting would be worth millions if it were by famed artist Peter Doig. But it isn’t, says Doig. So its owners are suing him for interfering with their ability to sell it.

The owner, a former corrections officer who said he knew Doig while working in a Canadian detention facility, said the famous painter created the work as a youthful inmate there. His suit contends that Doig is either confused or lying and that his denials blew up a plan to sell the work for millions of dollars.

Doig says he was never anywhere near the detention facility in Thunder Bay, would have been only 16 at the time, and that his lawyers tracked down the real artist, Peter Doige ( with an ‘e’) who died recently. Doige signed the work—with an ‘e’—and his family reports that he served time in Thunder Bay.

He died in 2012, but his sister said he had attended Lakehead University, served time in Thunder Bay and painted. “I believe that Mr. Fletcher is mistaken and that he actually met my brother, Peter, who I believe did this painting,” the sister, Marilyn Doige Bovard, said in a court declaration.

The prison’s former art teacher recognized a photograph of Bovard’s brother as a man who had been in his class and said he had watched him paint the painting, according to the teacher’s affidavit.

The plaintiff got the judge to bring it to trial, though, meaning it’ll be very expensive for Doig (without an e) irrespective of who gets paid.

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John Edgar Park starts sharing his amazing maker skills

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John Park is my old friend. He’s an amazing maker of things, like this giant-size Arduino board, and equally huge, clear handcuffs (to show how they work and learn how to escape from them). John was the host of Make: Television, and worked as a researcher at Disney for many years. I’m really excited that he has become a full time maker, and has set up his garage as a workshop, where he will build things and make videos that he’ll share at Adafruit.

There are so many projects I’m excited to start building and sharing in videos and online tutorials. I’ll be making things to appeal to people with wide ranging passions, including cosplayers, home brewers, gamers, magicians, rock climbers, hot rodders, modernist chefs, lock pickers, kids, musicians, mixologists, Burners, escape room designers, aerialists, cyclists, teachers, animators, and coffee fiends, to name a few.

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Five inspirational pulp heroes

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The Last Adventure of Constance Verity is my homage to classic pulp traditions. I love pulp, and I always have. Whether it’s the tough-as-nails noir gumshoes, weird science robots, or fearsome barbarian warriors, I find myself drawn to the genre over and over again. At least half of my novels have obvious pulp influences, some more obvious than others. My newest novel wears those influences on its sleeve from the opening scene, where Constance defeats a cult determined to sacrifice her to a mindless, hungry god. It only gets weirder from there.

Constance herself is an intentional resurrection of the pulp hero. She’s better at (almost) everything than you or me. She faces danger with the resolute determination with complete faith in her abilities.

Constance is human, but that ultra-capable brand of pulp human that never existed in real life. I have a real soft spot for this type of heroes and stories. They say great protagonists are defined by their limitations, but I love finding something human in the extraordinary heroes of the past. Here are five pulp heroes that have undisputed influence on Constance Verity.

TARZAN

I love Tarzan. I know he comes with baggage. Trepidation over the ugly attitudes of the past he might represent aren’t to be dismissed. The original books are surprisingly even-handed and progressive in a lot of ways, which still makes them questionable at times.

But I still love Tarzan. He’s a great character, defined by his unbridled physical power and fearlessness. In a pure physical confrontation, Tarzan is guaranteed victory. Growing up wrestling apes and fighting lions will do that for you. Yet Tarzan struggles in other ways, most typically with civilization.

The books actually address this, and it’s interesting watching Tarzan evolve from an animalistic brute to a thoughtful character. Underneath it all, he’s still a ruthless and dangerous opponent, who expects no quarter and offers none in return. But he loves his wife, his family, his friends. A foolish villain might try to exploit that weakness, but they’ll soon discover the error of that choice.

DOC SAVAGE

The Man of Bronze, Doc is perhaps the embodiment of every ridiculous ideal of perfection. He’s a genius, a master of science, a super athlete. At least Tarzan doesn’t always “get” the civilized world, but Doc strides across his adventures like a golden colossus.

Aided by his cohorts of accomplished scientists and scholars, Doc Savage had all manner of adventures. The problem with Doc is that he’s too good. His adventures were great, but you never had the impression he couldn’t handle them, and even in the calm moments, Doc never seemed out of place. He makes up for it by having some of the wildest adventures, but his inhuman perfection is a problem.

Making a character relatable doesn’t mean they have to be weak, but if they don’t ever have an awkward moment, it’s hard to care. For Constance, the quiet moments …read more

Nifty mini camping trailer

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The Gidget Retro Teardrop Camper, with a slide-out queen size bed, is made in Australia. It costs between $13,000 and $16,000.

From Gizmag:

Many small teardrop interiors have little more than a cabin-filling bed with some cabinet space and maybe a TV/entertainment system and fan. Gidget’s slide-out module gives its trailers the space for a seated lounge, a feature usually reserved for larger camping trailers. The foot of the queen-sized bed folds up, creating a bench with help from the under-bed footwell. The slide-out table completes a lounge area useful for eating, playing games and more.

Gidget’s use of sliding hardware isn’t limited to the cabin extension. Slides help keep the design of the tailgate galley neat and organized. The main counter of the galley houses only the glass-top sink, while appliances like the two-burner gas cooktop and cooler slide out from underneath the counter behind curved timber drawer faces. The kitchen sink is hooked up to a pressurized cold water system fed by the 80-liter/110-liter (21/29-gal) water tank. The trailer also has a 40-liter (10.6-gal) waste water tank.

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Leshia Evans named as woman in 'legendary' protest photo

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Leshia Evans was arrested for “obstructing traffic” by heavily armored Baton Rouge police officers on July 9. Jonathan Bachman’s photograph of the event tells so many stories.

Revealed in the margins is the impossibly of ‘traffic’ when a formation of riot police fills the street. In the center, Evans stands like a pillar in front of officers we know are advancing upon her, but who appear to be falling away. Police uniforms so overbearingly militarized it’s a wonder they can move at all.

They can remove their armor at the end of the day. She can’t remove hers.

The BBC describes the image, all of two days old, as legendary.

In an atmosphere of heightened racial tension, and amid growing debate over the seeming militarisation of American police, one photo has stood out. … The photograph was taken outside the Baton Rouge police headquarters, where most of Saturday’s protest was focused. … AP reported that the woman in the photograph was grabbed by officers after refusing to move off the public highway.

Heavy.com reports that it was her first protest and spent the night in jail.

On Facebook, she thanked people for the well wishes and wrote: “I just need you people to know. I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high! I’m glad I’m alive and safe. And that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first hand.”

Evans was arrested in the same protest as DeRay Mckesson, whom The New York Times calls “one of the best known voices for the Black Lives Matter movement.” The Times says Mckesson spent 16 hours in jail in Baton Rouge before he was released on Sunday.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BHtZW9TjXYB/

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Theresa May all but certain to become Prime Minister after foe quits

theresa-may

In the confusing but exciting battle over who will become Lord Protector of Albion during its difficult negotiations to leave the Continental Breakfast, all but one of the challengers has dropped out.

Minister of Hot Messes Andrea Leadsom bungled a Smarm Charm over the weekend so badly that her credibility as a candidate collapsed. This means that Secretary of Secrets (Other People’s) Theresa May is running unopposed to lead the ruling Conservators faction and thereby become the next Premium Minister.

Meanwhile, the sinister yet plucky Shadow Cabinet is itself embroiled in intrigue, as a former member, Angela Eagle, announced her intention to replace Jeremy Corbyn upon the Rust Throne, still standing thanks to augmentation with Bankers’ Plastic by the mad king Tony but beginning to glow strangely, as if about to melt or explode.

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Kickstarting a collection of "Decrypting Rita," a graphic novel about a lesbian robot with reality problems

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Egypt Urnash (AKA Margaret Trauth) is kickstarting a third print collection of her webcomic Decrypting Rita (previously), “about a robot lady who’s dragged outside of reality by her ex-boyfriend; she’s got to pull herself together across four parallel worlds before a hive-mind can take over the entire planet. It’s a slickly-drawn story that plays around with narrative in ways only comics can do; those four parallel worlds run beside each other on the page, twining around each other in various ways.”
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