Month: August 2016

400 years of equator hazings, and how I survived one

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This summer, I spent a month aboard a research vessel in the Indian Ocean. At one point, we crossed the equator, which meant that those of us who had never done that before were treated to a special ceremony. In fact, it was a straight-up hazing, as I describe in a new article at Collectors Weekly.

The minute Pascal tied my hands together, I knew was in trouble. Pascal is a big man with an even bigger laugh, one of two hardworking, and hard-drinking, bosuns aboard a French research vessel called the Marion Dufresne. For his birthday a few days earlier, the crew had given Pascal a ball gag. Pascal thought this was hilarious, and immediately strapped the sex toy over his mouth, contorting his face in exaggerated expressions of mock distress, to the delight of the deckhands and officers assembled in the ship’s bar. Somehow, I couldn’t get that image out of my head, as Pascal, a mischievous grin now creasing his broad face, secured the knots around my wrists and gave me a wink. No doubt about it, whatever was about to happen next was totally going to suck.

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Pasta Salad with Corn, Bacon, and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Pasta Salad with Corn and Bacon

Here’s a great picnic salad for the end of summer—with pasta and corn. We don’t usually think of pairing the two, both being starches, but the combo works great, especially when you toss in bacon, bell pepper, green onions, and basil, and tie everything together with buttermilk ranch dressing.

Continue reading “Pasta Salad with Corn, Bacon, and Buttermilk Ranch Dressing” »

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One-Pan Roasted Harissa Salmon with Vegetables

One-Pan Roasted Harissa Salmon with Vegetables

When I’m looking for a few oohs and ahs at the dinner table, but don’t want to fuss or wash a bunch of dishes, I turn to this simple roasted salmon.

The bright sunset orange of wild salmon is striking against the roasted green beans and red peppers. The whole dish is topped with a bright cherry tomato salad. It’s like an explosion of color, flavor, and aroma.

Oh, and I did I mention, the whole thing is cooked on one baking sheet? Beautiful, tasty, and easy to clean up? My kind of dinner.

Continue reading “One-Pan Roasted Harissa Salmon with Vegetables” »

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Aircraft that looks like ass has crashed

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The Airlander 10 hybrid airplane-airship, the world’s longest aircraft that resembles a massive ass, crashed on landing at Cardington Airfield in Bedfordshire, England. Video below. Fortunately, the crew was uninjured. It was the aircraft’s second test flight.

“The flight went really well and the only issue was when it landed,” said a spokesperson for Hybrid Air Vehicles, the company that developed the aircraft over the last decade, originally supported by a US Army contract.

Sir Mix-A-Lot had this to say about the accident: “I like big butts but this one can’t fly…”

(BBC)

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mg-RPTiVa_Q

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Gentleman attempts to hide from police using senior citizen makeup

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Police in Hyannis, Massachusetts were on the lookout for 31 year old Shaun Miller, who was wanted for drug trafficking. Officers went to a house were he was believed to be staying, and when they encountered an “elderly man” there, the “officers determined that the ‘elderly man’ was in fact Miller, and at that point, officers pulled off Miller’s realistic disguise and placed him under arrest,” according to a statement issued by the US Attorney’s Office.

[via]

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Listen: Florida congressional candidate losing his temper with a reporter

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Dan Bongino is a former secret serviceman
running for office in Florida. In a tweet, he suggested that coverage of his backers in Naples Daily News was “propaganda.”

https://twitter.com/dbongino/status/767356783169941504

Asked by Politico reporter Marc Caputo to be specific, they end up on a call (after some Twitter trash talk), where things go horribly wrong for Bongino. (The action gets most classy about 7m 30s in)

Caputo’s being tricky—Bongino’s “propaganda” remark isn’t aimed at any specific claim in a specific story, even if it was a response to a tweeted Daily News URL. But Caputo knows how to work an angry idiot, and Bongino soon shits himself on a recorded call.

BONGINO: Marc, listen, you go fuck yourself.

CAPUTO: Awwwww, Dan, you’re so angry!

[Crosstalk]

BONGINO: My entire following has been developed by beating on people like you. … My audience is far bigger than yours.

Indiscreet, so say the least. But this is a fellow who talks of himself in the third person.

https://twitter.com/dbongino/status/767450589802467329

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Cheesy Zucchini Bites

Cheesy Zucchini Bites

If there is one thing you can count on during the summer, it’s zucchini, and plenty of it!

These cheesy little zucchini bites are a great way to put all that zucchini to use. They’re like tater tots, but made with zucchini, in a mini muffin pan. They’re sort of a riff off our broccoli cheddar bites, and like their broccoli cousins, are perfect for breakfast, a quick snack, or a school lunch.

Continue reading “Cheesy Zucchini Bites” »

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Candid Republican operators admit that voter ID laws are about disenfranchisement

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The Brennan Center has rounded up a rogues’ gallery of candid, on-the-record admissions from Republican politicians, officials, and operators about the true nature of the unconstitutional voter restriction laws that were cookie-cuttered across the Tea Party state governments: they don’t fight voter fraud (because that’s not a thing), but they do disenfranchise traditional democratic voters: people of color and students.
(more…)

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Paypal halted a transaction because it contained the word “Cuba”

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My wife, Carla Sinclair, is editor of Wink Books. Yesterday, she used Paypal to pay Ben Marks his fee for reviewing a photo book published by Taschen called “Castro’s Cuba: An American Journalist’s Inside Look at Cuba 1959-1969.”

Carla included a message to Ben in the Paypal transaction, which read, “Hi Ben – Your Castro’s Cuba review is up! Thanks so much! Carla.”

As soon as she pressed the send button, she got a pop-up message on the PayPal site that informed her that the payment was being held for review. This had never happened before and she had no idea why PayPal was holding up the transaction.

Last night, an email arrived from PayPal. It turns out, the problem arose because Carla’s message included the forbidden word “Cuba” (and/or possibly “Castro”).

Here’s the email from PayPal:

As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the
PayPal system. During a recent screening, we noticed an issue regarding
your account.

PayPal’s Compliance Department has reviewed your account and identified
activity that may be in violation of United States regulations administered
by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

PayPal is committed to complying with and meeting its global regulatory
obligations. One obligation is to ensure that our customers, merchants, and
partners are also in compliance with applicable laws and regulations,
including those set forth by OFAC, in their use of PayPal.

To ensure that activity and transactions comply with current regulations,
PayPal is requesting that you provide the following information via email
to compliancetransactions@paypal.com:

1. Purpose of payment 0B463347YT949791N attempted on August 16, 2016
in the amount of $30.00USD, including a complete and detailed explanation
of the goods or services you intended to purchase. Please also explain the
transaction message: “Hi Ben – Your Castro’s Cuba review is up! Thanks so
much! Carla.”

Please go to our Resolution Center to provide this information. To find the
Resolution Center, log in to your account and click the Resolution Center
subtab. Click Resolve under the Action column and follow the instructions.

If we don’t hear from you by September 01, 2016, we will limit what you can
do with your account until the issue is resolved.

The lesson: don’t use forbidden words when sending someone money via PayPal. Better yet, use Bitcoin instead.

I wonder what other words will trigger this kind of action?

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