Day: October 7, 2016

"Grab them by the pussy!" Trump was caught on hot mic boasting about what he did to women


Millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump was caught on a hot mic discussing things he enjoys. The WaPo obtained a recording it describes as “lewd” but mostly consists of boasts of pursuing and forcing himself on women.

I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.”

“I did try and fuck her. She was married.”

“Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”

“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

His campaign has released a statement saying it’s just banter.

This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.

I guess I shan’t be voting for Bill Clinton this November, then.

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Christian mom infuriated, tearful after hearing Hip Hop song, which she then recites in full


“Music isn’t the same nowadays. Not at all. … The cuss words were bleeped out, but I’m not stupid.”

Then she breaks down in tears at the memory of Vince Staples, whose “Norf Norf” she then recites.

If someone doesn’t do a Christian Mom remix/cover of Norf Norf by the weekend the internet is over

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Internet shutdowns cost the world at least $2.4 billion last year


Deji from Access Now writes, “How much does it cost to shut down the internet? A new report by the Brookings Institution assesses costs during a one year period between 2015-2016 and found immense losses. It’s just a baseline too — and doesn’t even include things like mobile money or lost tax receipts. The real number is likely much higher.”


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Taschen's hefty New Deal Photography goes well beyond familiar Depression-era images


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

New Deal Photography: USA 1935-1943

by Peter Walther


2016, 608 pages, 5.9 x 7.9 x 1.7 inches (hardcover)

$16 Buy a copy on Amazon

If you purchase a copy of New Deal Photography: USA 1935-1943 by Peter Walther hoping to find iconic Farm Security Administration images, such as the migrant mother by Dorothea Lange or the father and his two sons running in a dust storm by Arthur Rothstein, you will not be disappointed. With almost 400 photographs filling its 608 pages, including numerous gems by Walker Evans, there’s plenty of room for the expected. But New Deal Photography goes well beyond these familiar images, powerful though they may be.

The book’s geographic organization forces us to consider Depression-era life in the Northeast and South, too, pushing our perspectives beyond the more familiar locations of Oklahoma and California. In addition, Walther’s collection of images features numerous color photographs by Russell Lee, Jon Collier, and Marion Post Wolcott. Again, we are used to seeing the era depicted in black and white, but seeing it in color confounds many of our expectations about what rural America actually looked like during those desperate years.

Walther’s essay for the book, which is printed in English, German, and French, presents a brisk but useful overview of the Farm Security Administration, from its founding mission to relocate Dust Bowl farmers in Oklahoma to greener pastures, to the photographs that were initially commissioned to document the relocation process. That might have been all the FSA did, but Walther introduces us to an FSA economist named Roy Stryker, who understood that photographs would do a much better job of telling the story of rural America in the late 1930s than any economic report ever could.

And Stryker didn’t just hire photographers to take the FSA’s pictures – he also hired artists, which is why painters like Ben Shahn were given Leica cameras and sent into the heartland of America. In the end, more than 10,000 photographs were shot, printed, and captioned, but there could have been a great many more. Apparently, Stryker punched holes in as many as 100,000 negatives he deemed unsuitable for the FSA’s collection, which means Walther’s New Deal Photography could have been even bigger.

– Ben Marks

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Iranian woman sentenced to 6 years in prison for writing unpublished story about stoning

Iranian writer Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee and her husband, Arash Sadeghi, who is already serving. Photograph: Facebook

In September 2014, Iranian authorities ransacked Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee’s house and found an unpublished fictional story about stoning to death. She has been sentenced to five years in prison for insulting Islamic sanctities and another year for spreading propaganda against the ruling system.

From The Guardian:

“The charges against Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee are ludicrous,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s research director for its Middle East and North Africa programme.

“She is facing years behind bars simply for writing a story, and one which was not even published – she is effectively being punished for using her imagination.”

Stoning to death is one of Iran’s most controversial punishments, often used against women accused of having an illicit relationship outside marriage. It sparked an unprecedented global outrage in 2010 in reaction to the high-profile case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

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Yahoo didn't install an NSA email scanner, it was a "buggy" NSA "rookit"


Ex-Yahoo employees have spoken anonymously to Motherboard about the news that Yahoo had built an “email scanner” for a US security agency, likely the FBI or the NSA. These sources — at least one of whom worked on the security team — say that in actuality, the NSA or FBI had secretly installed a “rootkit” on Yahoo’s mail servers and that this was discovered by the Yahoo security team (who had not been apprised of it), who, believing the company had been hacked, sounded the alarm, only to have the company executives tell them that the US government had installed the tool.


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Penn Jillette lost over 100 lbs and still eats whatever he wants


Magician Penn Jillette used to weight about 340 lbs. He was happy with his weight and the way he looked. He said he didn’t even mind not having a lot of energy. But his blood pressure was dangerously high, and his doctor said he might die before his children grew up. So he changed his eating habits. It’s been 17 months since he lost 100 lbs, and in this video he explains how he did it.

Here’s Penn in 2013, talking about Donald Trump:

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Terrific history of Benguiat, the 'Stranger Things' font


Typeroom looks back at ITC Benguiat, the font that so embodied its time that it’s now canonical for late 1970s to early 1980s. Turns out its designer and namesake Ed Benguiat was motivated by a potential big payoff:

Inspired by Times New Roman and Bodoni, “he wanted to create a design that was pretty and readable in order to garner as much commission and licensing fees as possible. Back then, it was much harder to access different fonts so there was a larger incentive to have a typeface take off”.

How Ed Benguiat’s vintage font became the most hyped of the year (h/t Calpernia Addams)

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"Nerds For Her" unites fandoms behind Hillary Clinton


On its official store, the Hillary Clinton campaign sells merchandise centered on specific identities, like “Latinos for Hillary,” “Women for Hillary,” and “LGBT for Hillary.” And now a new independent organization called Nerds For Her is taking that idea one step further with fandom-themed designs like “Wizards For Her,” “Ham4Her,” and “Time Lords w/ Her.”


According to the site’s description:

Let’s face it: Hillary Clinton is a nerd.

She’s a policy wonk. She’s smart and knowledgeable. She’s ambitious. In school, she studied hard and got good grades. She started clubs. Does this sound like anyone you know?

Maybe we are talking about Hermione (who happens to have grown up to become Minister for Magic). But we could also be talking about so many other female heroes who have been discounted, disrespected, and held to completely different standards than their male colleagues; heroines who have had to work twice as hard and be twice as smart, just to have a voice at the table.


All of our heroes are flawed in some way. Like every leader before her, Hillary is not a perfect human, a perfect candidate, or a deus ex machina poised to unsnarl every conflict before the credits roll. But she is intelligent. She is tenacious. She is respectful and empathic. She is humble enough to listen and to learn from her constituents, and to evolve her positions in order to best represent the inclusive, progressive movement she has dedicated her life to serving. Intelligence, dedication, and empathy: these are the qualities that we need in a leader.

The site also explains, “Nerds For Her is an independently funded project separate from the Hillary for America campaign. All proceeds from merchandise sales will be reinvested in our efforts to unite fandoms in support of Hillary Clinton this November.” And you know Nerds For Her knows its stuff because the site even offers both movie and book versions of the Ravenclaw house colors:


In addition to merchandise, Nerds For Her also offers free “digital flair” to dress up avatars, profile pictures, and websites.


You can learn more about Nerds For Her on its website or on Tumblr and Twitter.

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A blog full of gorgeous hand-drawn animation


I stumbled across this fantastic Tumblr full of traditional hand-drawn animation, and I can’t get enough of it. Artist Willow S. Linda reinterprets live action and cartoon characters in her own style, like these Star Wars portraits or this Beauty and the Beast design. But she also creates her own characters too. The first one that caught my eye was this delightful little story of a mermaid and a centaur.


There’s just so much whimsy and joy to Linda’s art, I could look through it all day.


You can find all of Linda’s work on her Tumblr.

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Hurricane Matthew: 339 dead in Haiti, storm threatens Florida and 'Space Coast' sites

Homes destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Jeremie, Haiti, October 6, 2016. REUTERS

Hurricane Matthew looks like it may become the first major hurricane to directly hit the United States in more than 10 years. The powerful storm has killed 339 people in Haiti, according to updated figures from local officials Thursday night. As Matthew spiraled north through the Caribbean toward the southeastern U.S. coastline, it grew into even more of a monster.


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Stratolaunch to launch Pegasus rockets

stratolaunch pegasus

WASHINGTON — Stratolaunch Systems will use the giant aircraft the company is currently developing to launch Pegasus rockets from Orbital ATK as part of a “multi-year” partnership, the two companies announced Oct. 6.

Under the agreement, Orbital ATK will provide “multiple” Pegasus XL rockets, currently launched by its own Lockheed L-1011 aircraft, to Stratolaunch Systems, which will launch them from its own aircraft. An illustration released by Stratolaunch showed three Peagsus XL rockets suspended under the wing of the aircraft.

The companies declined to release details of agreement, including how many Pegasus vehicles Orbital ATK will provide or over what time period. Stratolaunch spokeswoman Breana Landman said the company remains “committed to being fully operational by the end of the decade.”

The announcement suggested the Peagsus XL deal was the first step in a larger partnership between the companies, although the companies did not disclose details about further cooperation. “Orbital ATK is excited by this collaboration and sees it as a positive first step in a long-term partnership,” Scott Lehr, president of Orbital ATK’s Flight Systems Group, said in a statement. Both companies declined to elaborate on what future steps in the partnership might include.

The two companies had previously collaborated on a much larger rocket concept, called Thunderbolt, which would also be flown from Stratolaunch’s plane. That vehicle would have used solid-propellant lower stages provided by Orbital ATK and an upper stage powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engine.

Stratolaunch quietly shelved that effort, though, and indicated since last year it was looking an various options for a smaller vehicle better suited to the growing smallsat launch market. The company had not made any announcements about vehicle selections prior to the Orbital ATK announcement.

“Orbital ATK is the world’s most experienced air-launch service provider, and we are proud to leverage that expertise and progressive approach in pursuit of our shared goal of convenient and affordable commercial access to low Earth orbit,” said Jean Floyd, chief executive of Stratolaunch Systems and a former Orbital executive whose duties there included managing the Pegasus program, in the statement.

Floyd also serves as executive director of Vulcan Aerospace, a division of Vulcan Inc., owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Floyd replaced Chuck Beames in that position last month, according to an internal memo published by GeekWire Sept. 22.

Beames said during a June media tour of Stratolaunch’s Mojave, California, facility where its aircraft is being assembled that the company was considering multiple launch partners. That is still on the table, Landman said. “We’re continuing to explore opportunities with potential partners and customers who are interested in our Stratolaunch aircraft,” she said.

For Orbital ATK, the deal gives new life to the Pegasus XL, a vehicle that has won little business in recent years beyond contracts for NASA missions despite a broader surge in interest in small satellites. Pegasus last flew in June 2013, placing NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph spacecraft into orbit. It’s scheduled to launch NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), a group of eight small weather satellites, in November.

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'Voyage of Time,' Terrence Malick IMAX film with Brad Pitt narration, is an awesome cosmic meditation


You know what America needs right now? A little perspective.

For that, I recommend you head to your local IMAX theater and see Terrence Malick’s “Voyage of Time: The Imax Experience.” It’s a psychedelic meditation on the history of the cosmos that’s very kid-friendly, and a wonderful reminder of the big, big picture.


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The FCC helped create the Stingray problem, now it needs to fix it


An outstanding post on the EFF’s Deeplinks blog by my colleague Ernesto Falcon explains the negligent chain of events that led us into the Stingray disaster, where whole cities are being blanketed in continuous location surveillance, without warrants, public consultation, or due process, thanks to the prevalence of “IMSI catchers” (“Stingrays,” “Dirtboxes,” “cell-site simulators,” etc) that spy indiscriminately on anyone carrying a cellular phone — something the FCC had a duty to prevent.

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The FCC helped create the Stingray pooblem, now it needs to fix it


An outstanding post on the EFF’s Deeplinks blog by my colleague Ernesto Falcon explains the negligent chain of events that led us into the Stingray disaster, where whole cities are being blanketed in continuous location surveillance, without warrants, public consultation, or due process, thanks to the prevalence of “IMSI catchers” (“Stingrays,” “Dirtboxes,” “cell-site simulators,” etc) that spy indiscriminately on anyone carrying a cellular phone — something the FCC had a duty to prevent.

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