Day: October 12, 2016

Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf resigns

First he was flayed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, then Congress had a go, then everyone got to gnaw on the fact that he’d done some seriously criminal stuff, then it emerged that he’d been a party to the bank’s frauds since at least 2008, then we learned that his $200B bonus would be subsidized by taxpayers, then we learned that he walked through one of the bank’s notorious boiler rooms every day, then his board of directors clawed back a couple million.
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"High agitated" Trump shouts at NYT reporter asking him about sex assault claims: “You are a disgusting human being”

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The New York Times reports that two women have come forward to accuse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of inappropriately touching them. When asked about the claims, he became angry and insulting.

In a phone interview on Tuesday night, a highly agitated Mr. Trump denied every one of the women’s claims.

“None of this ever took place,” said Mr. Trump, who began shouting at The Times reporter who was questioning him. He said that The Times was making up the allegations to hurt him and that he would sue the news organization if it reported them.

“You are a disgusting human being,” he told the reporter as she questioned him about the women’s claims.

Jessica Leeds, 74, a retired businesswoman, says Trump sexually assaulted her on a plane flight in the early 1980s, forcing her to change seats: “He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

Rachel Crooks, then a 22-year-old receptionist working in Trump Tower, says he forced a kiss on her in 2005: “It was so inappropriate,” Ms. Crooks recalled in an interview. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”

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Trump supporters want women's right to vote removed

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Two maps published by the stats wizards at Fivethirtyeight depict likely electoral maps if only men or women voted. Women prefer Hillary Clinton; men prefer Donald Trump. In both cases, it’s a landslide–and Trump supporters want to see theirs made real. The hashtag #repealthe19th, referring to the Ninteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, was kicked into play to encourage American to turn back the clock women’s right to vote.

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Eric Trump, the son of the GOP nominee, campaigned using the men-only map, according to Buzzfeed. He presented it and called its existence proof of the “momentum” the Trump campaign has.

Later on, observers noticed #Repealthe19th gaining momentum on Twitter as Trump supporters suggested rolling back the constitutional amendment that gave women the right to vote. Apparently, it isn’t a new hashtag, but Silver’s predictive map gave it a nudge.

It’s not the first time a Trumpkin has headed down this path. Trump delegate Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire noted for his successful effort to bankrupt Gawker Media through a series of secretly-funded proxy lawsuits, once wrote that women voting was bad for democracy.

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The Temple of Silence: Forgotten Worlds of Herbert Crowley

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Beehive Books is kickstarting a super-deluxe book of the work of Herbert Crowley, who was kind of an early 20th Century Jim Woodring.

The cartoonist, painter, illustrator, and sculptor Herbert Crowley was an innovator at the dawn of comics, and a defining figure of the early 20th century New York City avant garde art scene.

He exhibited his work in dozens of venues, including the legendary Armory Show of 1913 alongside Picasso and van Gogh, and in a joint exhibition with Léon Bakst in 1914. He received countless glowing reviews, describing him as a visionary voice exploring a brand new form of art. His cartoons were featured in the now-storied New York Herald Sunday comics section, printed on the reverse side of of Winsor McCay’s masterpiece LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND.

A 1915 article in The Bookman called Crowley an artist whose “star is very decidedly in the ascendant. New York City at large discovered Herbert Crowley only a few months ago; but, once having been discovered, he is not the sort of person easily to be forgotten.”

But then… he was.

In 1917, he disappeared from the New York City scene, and never showed his artwork again.

In Art Out of Time, Dan Nadel’s 2006 collection of comics by unknown cartoonists, several of Crowley’s strips are reproduced as examples of vital early newspaper cartooning that had been unjustly and completely forgotten. In a short piece at the end of the anthology, Nadel describes Crowley as representing the “single largest information gap in this book,” — a book about unremembered artists — and writes that that aside from the existence of these comic strips, “nothing else is known about Crowley or his work.”

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Preserving endangered dark rides with VR

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Crystal writes, “‘Dark rides’ like the Spookarama at Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, those single-cart rides that take you through a haunted house full of ghosts and scares. They’re prime for teenage making out, have been around for 100 years — and they’re disappearing. Joel Zika, a 36-year-old art and design university professor in Melbourne, Australia, has been fascinated with the dark rides for years, reveling their connection to early horror effects in movies. So he decided to document them in the only way that would truly do them justice: virtual reality.”
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Republican senators supporting Trump again after denouncing him

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Sens. Deb Fisher of Nebraska and John Thune of South Dakota both condemned Donald Trump’s boasts of groping women and urged him to quit the race. Surprise! They’ve changed their minds.

I plan to vote for Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence on Nov. 8,” Fisher told Lincoln radio station KLIN.
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During a tour of a research facility in Lead, South Dakota, The Rapid City Journal reported, Thune said the 2005 recording was “more offensive than anything I’ve ever seen,” but that won’t stop him from voting for Trump.

There’s a lot you could say about them, but what matters is what they’re saying about you.

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"Russia's Trump" says America must elect Donald Trump or prepare for nuclear war

Vladimir Zhirinovsky Oct. 11, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

An ultra-right Russian politician aligned with Vladimir Putin says American voters should elect Donald Trump for president, or prepare for nuclear war. Vladimir Zhirinovsky likes to compare himself to Trump, and is a similarly unrestrained blowhard.

“Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump,” he said. “But if they vote for Hillary it’s war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.”

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Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comic Series

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Aliens is one of my all-time favorite movies. A perfect mix of action, sci-fi and horror, which I would argue hasn’t been replicated. Then there’s Alien 3, and everything that came after it. I don’t like to talk about that. But, in 1988 after Aliens came and four years before the next movie would come out, this comic series ran which gave me the followup story I wanted.

The series has been published as Aliens: Book One, Aliens: Outbreak, and in novel form as Aliens: Earth Hive (a lot to keep track of), but since these publications were made after Alien 3 came out, names were changed to avoid confusion from the films continuation of the story. So Wilcks = Hicks and Billie = Newt. Thankfully this comic doesn’t do that. This printing features the comic as it was intended to be read with the characters we’re familiar with.

The story picks up a few years after the film ended. An adult Newt and aged Hicks are struggling to deal with the horrors they witnessed, and Ripley is ominously missing. The black-and-white comics really capture the gritty world that the movies take place in, expanding on it in the best way. Although the comic ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, the story is continued in Aliens: Nightmare Asylum, but you will have to deal with the name change of the main characters.

The book itself is beautiful. And black. Very black. It feels like something that was designed by H.R. Giger himself. Why I’m most excited about this rerun of the series is because it gives me some hope at seeing a movie that truly succeeds Aliens. There’s been a lot of back and forth, but Sigourney Weaver, Ellen Ripley herself, has been in talks with Neill Blomkamp (director ofDistrict 9), and the two are championing a new Alien movie. One which might retcon everything that happened in the later movies. This would mean that the cinematic world might very well line up with these comics. It’s a stretch, and might never happen, but I like to dream. Aliens fans will definitely appreciate this one.

Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comic Series

by Mark Verheiden (author) and Mark A. Nelson (illustrator)

Dark Horse Books

2016, 184 pages, 8.3 x 12.4 x 1 inches (hardback)

$17 Buy a copy on Amazon

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English man spends 11 hours trying to make cup of tea with Wi-Fi kettle

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The iKettle is advertised as “the world’s first Wi-Fi kettle.” Mark Rittman got one and said it took 11-hours to make a cup of tea.

From The Guardian:

A key problem seemed to be that Rittman’s kettle didn’t come with software that would easily allow integration with other devices in his home, including Amazon Echo, which, like Apple’s Siri, allows users to tell connected smart devices what to do. So Rittman was trying to build the integration functionality himself.

Still haven’t had a first cup of tea this morning, debugging the kettle and now iWifi base-station has reset. Boiling water in saucepan now. pic.twitter.com/lC3uNX5WTp

— Mark Rittman (@markrittman) October 11, 2016

@markrittman why don’t you just get normal fucking kettle

— ready 4 december (@onekade) October 11, 2016

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Study shows MD diagnosis more accurate than Google, for now

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Seems Google doesn’t diagnose quite folks as well as human doctors do… yet. Clearly, the doctors in this article are clinging to the hope that they’ll still be relevant in a few years.

Via Huff Po:

Doctors also got it right more often for the more serious conditions and the more uncommon diagnoses, while computer algorithms were better at spotting less serious conditions and more common diagnoses, according to the results published in a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“In medical school, we are taught to consider broad differential diagnoses that include rare conditions, and to consider life-threatening diagnoses,” said Dr. Andrew M. Fine of Boston Children’s Hospital, who was not part of the new study. “National board exams also assess our abilities to recognize rare and ‘can’t miss’ diagnoses, so perhaps the clinicians have been conditioned to look for these diagnoses,” he said.

“Physicians do get it wrong 10 to 15 percent of the time, so maybe if computers were augmenting them the outcome would be better,” Mehrotra said.

“In a real-world setting, I could envision MD plus algorithm vs MD alone,” Fine told Reuters Health by email. “The algorithms will rely on a clinician to input physical exam findings in a real-world setting, and so the computer algorithm alone could not go head to head with a clinician.”

I’m fairly certain Google isn’t as good at wringing money out of insurance agencies, so MD programs still have something going for them.

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Awaken Online: Catharsis

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I’d never heard of this genre referred to as ‘LitRPG’, but Awaken Online: Catharsis is a fantastic trip into MMORPG land!

Things are always clear in a MMORPG, right? Kill the bats and rats to get a bigger sword, so you can kill bigger rats and bats and get an even better weapon! Up until now moral choices have been simple, good or bad? Welcome to Awaken Online, where moral ambiguity seems to be the thing! Join Jason (great name) as he tries to figure out if the ends really do justify the means, and that maybe, just maybe, he’s the bad guy here.

I really enjoyed this first novel by Travis Bagwell. It is free via Kindle Unlimited.

Awaken Online: Catharsis by Travis Bagwell via Amazon

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Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined

Image: Narco Polo

Forty five years after Richard Nixon launched the war on drugs as a way to persecute black people, little has changed, according to a new ACLU/Human Rights Watch report.

The ACLU/Human Rights Watch report shows that arrests for drug possession continue to make up a significant chunk of modern-day police work.

“Around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime,” the report finds, citing FBI data. “More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year.”

In fact, police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined.

The report finds that the laws are enforced unequally, too. Over their lifetimes, black and white Americans use illicit drugs at similar rates, according to federal data. But black adults were more than two-and-a-half times as likely to be arrested for drug possession.

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This award-winning bundle of apps will turn your Mac into a productivity powerhouse

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The Award-Winning Mac Bundle features 13 premium Mac apps that are designed to help you get your work done faster and smarter. This suite of apps (valued at $672) was curated to make your Mac work better – whether it’s new or old, and streamline your daily tasks and actions. Best of all, you can name your own price to take it home. Here are a few of the apps we’re excited about:

Drive Genius 4 – This popular, award-winning software works to speed up and protect your Mac by helping you remove unnecessary files and recognizing any larger hardware problems.

The Hit List – This ultimate list-making app allows you to create lists to manage your tasks and obligations, conveniently syncing across all your devices.

DeltaWalker 2 Pro – Ever had to annoyingly toggle between multiple files? DeltaWalker allows you to compare, edit, and merge files side-by-side, all in a simple, single interface.

With 13 apps total, this bundle has a lot to offer, even if you don’t need every single app. Virtually all of these apps cost more on their own than in the bundle itself.

So here’s what you need to do: pay anything you want to take home 3 awesome apps. Or beat the average price, currently at $13.03, to make the entire bundle is yours. The average price will go up as word spreads, so get your bundle today.

Explore more trending deals:

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Weekly tabloid roundup

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Michelle Obama is exposing Hillary Clinton’s secret sex life and financial dealings, Bill Clinton plans to live in Arkansas “to study young interns,” Prince Charles’ wife Camilla has branded William and Kate “lousy parents,” Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner is a dying recluse, Goldie Hawn “needs rehab to survive,” and Angelina Jolie “lusts for lesbian love – and drugs!”

What do these lurid stories in this week’s tabloids have in common? They cling to the barest gossamer thread of reality – a thread that grows more frayed with each week’s reports.

“Backstabbing Obama destroy Hillary,” screams the Trump-loving ‘Globe’ cover story, ignoring the small detail that the Clintons’ finances have been dissected in numerous public investigations and public tax filings, and allegations of her sexual proclivities have been long ago and repeatedly aired in depth. There’s little dirt that the Obamas could offer the Republicans – as if they’d want to – that hasn’t already been revealed.

If Hillary wins the White House, husband Bill plans to live in a “Little Rock love shack” – actually, his Presidential Library – where he has transformed his apartment into “a Hugh Hefner-style playboy penthouse” where he aims to seduce women, claims former Republican political strategist Dick Morris in the ‘National Enquirer.’ Bill reportedly plans “to build a swimming pool on the roof of his library . . . to have naked pool parties the way JFK did at the White House.” Seems like fair and balanced reporting to me, despite the complete absence of supporting facts.

Why are Prince William and wife Kate such bad parents, according to Camilla? Because Kate squatted down to talk to son George at his own level, rather than talking down to him to make him appreciate his inferior position. “Camilla knew that’s a royal no-no,” reports the ‘Globe,’ which apparently believes that Camilla adheres to Victorian parenting practices, and has no problem in endorsing them.

“Hugh Hefner’s sad last days” trouble the ‘Globe,’ which claims the 90-year-old publisher is a frail 90 pounds and a “tragic recluse.” Which simply means that he hasn’t been photographed in public lately. Let’s remember that the tabloids gave Nick Nolte four weeks to live – several months ago.

Perhaps this is a good time for a trip down memory lane, to the ‘Globe’ issue of May 2012 whose cover screamed: “Who’ll Die Next?” and revealed the “stars’ secret health shockers.” Pictured on the cover, the stars whose days were numbered: Liza Minnelli, O.J. Simpson, Heather Locklear, Demi Moore, Mary Tyler Moore, and, yep – Nick Nolte. Four years later, all are still alive. In the interests of complete fairness, let me acknowledge that this 2012 ‘Globe’ cover also included a photo of country singer George Jones, who did indeed die the following year . . . at the age of 81. Hardly a shocking or premature demise.

Why does Goldie Hawn “need rehab”? The 70-year-old actress was partying in England and on …read more

The Caretaker's beautiful music about dementia

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When I first heard the lovely music Leyland James Kirby creates as The Caretaker, it instantly reminded me of The Shining’s ballroom ghost scenes. Turns out, that’s where Kirby found his original inspiration. His compositions draw from his huge collection of vintage 78s with added static, glitches, loops, and ambience for a deeply ghosty and, well, haunted vibe. All of his releases embody the mysteries of memory in sound. After a four year break, The Caretaker has released the first in a series of six new albums that will be released over three years, “slowly cataloguing the stages of early onset dementia.” Listen to “Everywhere at the end of time” below:

Everywhere at the end of time by The Caretaker

Each stage will reveal new points of progression, loss and disintegration. Progressively falling further and further towards the abyss of complete memory loss and nothingness.

Viewing dementia as a series of stages can be a useful way to understand the illness, but it is important to realise that this only provides a rough guide to the progress of the condition.

Drawing on a recorded history of 20 years of recollected memories this is one final journey and study into recreating the progression of dementia through sound.

Everywhere at the end of time” by The Caretaker (Bandcamp)

Out Of Time: Leyland James Kirby And The Death Of A Caretaker(The Quietus)

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Meet the WWI women who pretended to be rocks for the war effort

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The Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps were a group of 40 woman artists from NYC and Philadelphia (“in perfect physical condition”) who devised camouflage systems for fighters and materiel during WWI, testing their theories by hiding in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx — where the local cops grew accustomed to having seeming rocks and trees spring to life as they passed.

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Chabuduo: China's culture of "it's fine"

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Explosive growth and change in China means many things must be built. They are not built well, writes British ex-pat James Palmer.

The apartment is five years old. By Chinese standards, it’s far better than the average. Our toilet works, while in many of my friends’ houses, flushing the loo is a hydraulic operation akin to controlling the Nile floods. The sockets do not flash blue sparks when plugged in, and all but two work. None of the lightbulbs have ever exploded; and the mirror merely broke away, rather than falling spontaneously from the frame. The shower is not placed next to the apartment’s central wiring and protected by nothing more than rotting drywall.

It’s so brutal—”My time in China has taught me the pleasure and value of craftsmanship, simply because it’s so rare”—I can’t help but wonder if it’s really that bad! The word Chabuduo is offered as the cultural gravity point at hand. Meaning “close enough,” it is depicted here as a powerful and useful concept in earlier times (think: improvisation, effectiveness, ingenuity) that has become dangerous in the context of modern life (think: irresponsible, effete, inept.)

Yet chabuduo is also the casual dismissal of problems. Oh, your door doesn’t fit the frame? Chabuduo, you’ll get used to kicking it open. We sent you a shirt two sizes too big? Chabuduo, what are you complaining about?

At my old compound, the entrance to the underground parking lot was covered by a 20-metre-long half-cylinder of heavy blue plastic. Nobody had noticed that this made a highly effective wind trap, and it had been only crudely nailed to the brick foundations. Chabuduo, what’s it going to matter? When a storm hit, the nails burst from the pressure and it was sent hurtling across the compound, smashing stone tables and trees; I came down in the morning to find it lying across the grass like a fallen jumbo jet’s wing.

If you’r wondering where the Chinese precision craftsmanship went, well, chances are you’re looking at it right now.

Photo: Three Gorges Dam by Le Grand Portage (CC-BY-2.0)

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Atari founder Nolan Bushnell's new virtual reality startup

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Modal VR, the new stealth startup co-founded by Atari and Chuck E. Cheese creator, has opened the doors a crack. According to Bushnell, their portable VR system is built for business applications (even though the demo video shows, you guessed it, a game). “We want to help enterprises solve problems by looking at them from another point of view,” Bushnell said.

“For those of us who grew up on “Star Trek,” the holodeck has always been the gold standard,” he said. “Modal VR is the first time that I believe we actually have the holodeck.”

Nolan Bushnell’s Modal VR launches next-generation virtual reality platform for enterprises(VentureBeat)

Nolan Bushnell Says His New Virtual Reality Startup Has the Keys to the Holodeck—and it’s Portable(IEEE Spectrum)

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Inside the nuclear bunker holding America's film history

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From Great Big Story:

America’s movie and film archive is located in an underground bunker in Culpepper, Virginia. The bunker was originally a gold storage unit that doubled as a fallout shelter for the U.S. president and his cabinet during the Cold War. Today, the Library of Congress stores all manner of film here. Archivist George Willeman is in charge of the nitrate vaults, where fragile (and combustible) old films sit undisturbed and well preserved.

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The coming fight over "nonlethal neuroweapons"

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The Chemical Weapons Convention has a giant loophole in that it allows for the stockpiling and use of chemical agents in law-enforcement; with the Eighth Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) coming up next month, there’s an urgent question about whether “neuroweapons” (chemical agents intended to pacify or disperse people) will become tools of law-enforcement and “defensive warfare.”
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Comic about the creation of Twitter

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In a brand new series for the Webby Awards where I’m editor-at-large, I commissioned the talented comic artist Andy Warner to illustrate the wild history of the Web, from inspiring eureka moments to crackpot ideas that changed the world to fantastic failures.

The first comic in the series is: “Twitter’s First Chirps”!

And for more of Andy’s work, I highly recommend his absolutely wonderful book just out this week, Brief Histories of Everyday Objects, the illustrated stories behind life’s most common and underappreciated items.

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Queer Kid Stuff is the perfect resource for the LGBTQ kid in your life

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Looking for a way to talk to young kids about LGBTQ issues? The fantastic web series Queer Kid Stuff is here to help! Along with her teddy bear friend Teddy, host and creator Lindsay Amer breaks down complex LGBTQ issues in language that even really young kids can understand. From sexuality to gender to marriage equality to homophobia, Queer Kid Stuff tackles issues that affect the lives of both gay and straight kids. And in doing so, the series makes the world a little safer and easier for everyone.

New episodes of Queer Kid Stuff are released every Wednesday on YouTube. And you can support the series on Patreon too.


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With Trump sinks his brand

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A popular conspiracy theory about millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump is that his campaign is really just a big advertising effort for his “brand”: the Trump name he licenses out to anyone who will pay for it. If this was his plan, Alexandra Bruell writes in the Wall Street Journal, it was a bad one. The tape of him boasting about sexually assaulting women hits particularly hard.

As of June 2016, when Mr. Trump was already the presumptive Republican nominee for president, the added value of the Trump brand in entertainment was as high as 43%.

But that added value has been significantly diminished since the video surfaced. The perceived added value in TV and entertainment, a category with which he’s closely associated after “The Apprentice,” fell 13 percentage points as of Oct. 9, while the value of the Trump brand dropped 8 percentage points in real estate and 6 percentage points in country clubs and golf clubs, according to Brand Keys.

“What we know for sure is that these brand engagement numbers correlate very highly with consumer behavior in the marketplace,” said Mr. Passikoff. As the Trump brand becomes more toxic, “consumers will be distancing themselves from Trump-branded products as well.”

Even if his remarks subside in the public imagination, he’s in it to the end, and “Trump” could end up signifying bigshot losers. Not great for any business, but bigly so in hospitality and entertainment.

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The FEEL FLUX grants the sense of slowing down time

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I’ve been playing with my FEEL FLUX for weeks and its hit rate in the amazement department is 100%.

Each time you drop the metal ball through the copper tube you’d expect it to zip out the other end but instead, it lazily creeps from one end to the other and dribbles out into your waiting hand.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6tvKQHCuds]

SILENT CATCH

A “Silent Catch” is what happens when you toss the ball into the FF and it slowly glides down the sides without making contact with it. I have to say that it’s satisfying and magical every time I pull off the maneuver.

As the ball glides down the tube, the magnetic field changes inside the metal wall and when this happens, a bit of voltage is created. This reaction is not unlike a tiny, temporary battery and is called an electromotive force. The movement pattern of the voltage moves down with the ball and looks like this:

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What could be simpler?

The tube’s material is an electrical conductor and drives current around in circles as the ball descends. The scientists at my laboratory tell me that when this happens, a second magnetic field is created that opposes the downward motion of the magnetic ball. The ball wants to fall through the tube at 9.8 meters per second but the field wants to halt it and of course, gravity wins in the end. And here’s the crazy part – the faster the initial downward motion, the more powerful the slowing force becomes.

When I throw the ball as hard as I can into the mouth of the tube, the ball doesn’t travel any faster than if I just dropped it in!

The image below shows an experiment in which a magnetic field is created by using a liquid battery. As more current from the battery is thrown through the copper coils, a magnetic flux occurs that’s not unlike my new toy.induction_experiment

While I don’t know where you can get an old timey liquid battery, I do know that you can get a brand new FF in machined copper here.

And the best thing of all is that the FF will look good next to pretty much anything in your office or laboratory.

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Until very recently, I have pondered the answer to this question:

If I’m in an elevator on the 49th floor of my building and my arch nemesis snips the thread that suspends it, will I experience less of an impact if I jump in the air just before the elevator smashes into the bear-trap at the bottom of the shaft?

Adam Savage of Mythbusters says that according to the laws of physics, if my nemesis did his job correctly, that it’d be traveling at around 82 kilometers per hour by the time it hit the ground. Even if I could time my jump perfectly, it’d make only a sleight difference in impact speed and I’d still be a gnarled, …read more