Day: February 5, 2017

Oregon forms joint task force to apprehend Piggy Smalls

A wild hog, known to local Forest Grove, Oregon law enforcement as “Piggy Smalls” has been apprehended.

Via Oregon Live:

On Friday, the Forest Grove Police Department announced on Facebook they had finally apprehended a troublesome potbelly pig.

According to the post, the pig, known as “Piggy Smalls” (alias “Notorious”) had “allegedly been harassing residents in the Hawthorne neighborhood of Forest Grove over the last several months.”

He was ultimately captured at a little before 1 p.m. “by a joint task force of the FGPD Code Enforcement Officer and a representative of Home Sweet Home Properties.”

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The devastating 1889 Johnstown Flood killed over 2,000 people in minutes


A tree protrudes from a house tossed by the flood.

Image: Bettmann/Getty Images

On the morning of May 31, 1889, Elias Unger, the president of Pennsylvania’s South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, awoke from a night of heavy rain to an impending catastrophe.

Just below his home, swollen by ongoing rainfall, the artificial reservoir of Lake Conemaugh appeared to be on the verge of overwhelming the notoriously leaky South Fork Dam impounding it.

Unger sent urgent warnings to nearby towns and rallied a crew to try to relieve the pressure on the dam by creating spillways, to no avail

An hour and a half after Unger ordered his men off the eroding dam, it collapsed, freeing 20 million tons of water to charge downstream. Read more…

More about Disasters, Flooding, Flood, History, and Retronaut

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Brutally honest ad for a 2002 Oldsmobile brings the internet infinite joy


You know it’s a dark day in America when a used car salesman is more capable of telling the truth than the president.

A Facebook ad for a 2002 Oldsmobile went viral this weekend for all the right reasons. Instead of trying to oversell what is undoubtedly a deeply terrible car, the advertiser keeps it honest with folks. This is a predictably awful, cheap car that probably won’t kill you. Yet. 

Twitter user kel121121 shared a screenshot of the ad, which has since been retweeted 72,000 times.

“Don’t bring your ass down here saying it looks different in pics or you didn’t know it had that much rust. I’m telling you now. This bitch rusty,” the ad reads. Read more…

More about Advertising, Cars, Watercooler, and Politics

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Leslie Jones lost it when she impersonated Samuel L. Jackson on 'SNL'


You’d think Saturday Night Live‘s Super Bowl-centric “Celebrity Family Feud” sketch would have been ripe for political humor, given the Trump vs. Atlanta narrative that has surfaced.

As it turns out, not so much! The real stars of this sketch are Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, as Justin Bieber and Samuel L. Jackson, respectively. McKinnon is her typically over-the-top self — a perfect fit for the Biebs — and Jones breaks hard as she channels Jackson’s profanity-laden tirades.

Beck Bennett also gets a thumbs up as straight man and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who seems to still harbor a grudge after Deflategate. Read more…

More about Kristen Stewart, Leslie Jones, Kate Mckinnon, Saturday Night Live, and Snl

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Sci-Fi Sundays: Analog Science Fiction, February 1970

Welcome to Sci-Fi Sundays! I’m in my mid 30s and grew up steeped in science fiction. From as far back as I can remember, the books on my family bookshelf bore the names of Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, H.G Wells, and the like. The books seemed, to my immature eyes, like such odd and frustrating things. They had these enticing and rich illustrations on their covers, but inside, mostly only walls of text that I wouldn’t learn to appreciate till my age hit double digits.

Occasionally I’d stumble upon something like Analog, and be delighted to find illustrations inside, sparse as they may be. Something about this experience left a permanent mark on me, and the illustrations of science fiction pulp has always seemed somewhat magical. It isn’t usually the highest quality art work, but it was always something new and interesting, either some imaginary creature or piece of machinery.

About 10 years ago, I was given a treasure; boxes and boxes of science fiction pulp. I have tons of Analog, some Perry Rhodan, Worlds of If, Galaxy, and a few others with publication dates ranging from the late 50s through the 80s.  While each issue should, in my opinion, be scanned page by page and preserved forever, I’m only setting out to do so with the illustrations. In this series, I’ll scan an issue (or two or 3 if they only have cover art),  and share the illustrations with you. Sadly, I can’t share the musty smell of the pages, but I may share some of my observations and thoughts on the issue, and I’d love to hear yours.

Let’s kick this off with the above issue:

Publication:Analog: Science Fiction Science Fact

Issue: February 1970, volume: LXXXIV No. 6

Cover art: Kelly Freas

The February 1970 issue of Analog seems almost like a bizarre amalgam of modern pop culture items; Is that a Viper probe droid from Star Wars? Is that bird man riding on Nessie? Illustrated by Kelly Freas (you’ll see that name a LOT during the 70s), the cover illustration goes to the novelette Birthright, by Poul Anderson. As with anything more than just a few years old, it is fun to look at the cost of the issue, only 60 cents.

Like most issues of Analog, this one is packed with illustrations, many by Kelly Freas. The styles swing wildly from minimalist scratchings to what appear to be painted works.

This issue has a section in the middle that describes how solar wind works. Remember, this is Analog Science Fiction / Science Fact. There are a couple diagrams, but nothing exciting, and I’ve opted not to scan them.

All illustrations from this issue are included below, along with credit to the illustrator, and the story they are associated with.


Kelly Freas  From Birthright

This is easily my favorite illustration in this issue. The style of the spaceman’s helmet and suit are just wonderful. His air tank almost seems Dr. Seussian! 

Peter Skirka from Dali, For Instance

I have no idea what is going on here. This is one of those illustrations where reading the story reveals the meaning of the illustration, but I’m not going to spoil it for you, that would make it boring.

Kelly Freas from Birthright

One thing I always enjoy is when there are creatures shown that are both extremely alien, and also apparently intelligent. Take the character on the left for example, there are clothes, tools, etc. It makes me wonder what the rest of that creature’s culture and civilization are like. Maybe I’ll have to read this story!

Kelly Freas from The Fifth Ace

Kelly Freas From The Fifth Ace

Kelly Freas from In Our Hands, The Stars

Note that even though this is the same illustrator as the others, this story has a completely different art style. These appear to be paintings that were scanned in.

Kelly Freas In Our Hands The Stars

Leo Summers from The Biggest Oil Disaster


Leo Summers from The Biggest Oil Disaster

The rear cover isn’t an illustration, but sometimes it is fun to look at the advertisements as well.

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A group of New Yorkers came together to remove swastikas from a subway car


A group of New York City subway riders came together to remove Nazi imagery sprawled across a train on Saturday night.

Documented in a Facebook post by Gregory Locke, passengers in a Manhattan 1 train pooled resources to remove swastikas and hate speech from the train. According to Locke, swastikas had been drawn in Sharpie across every window and advertisement in the train car.

According to Locke, one passenger explained that hand sanitizer removes Sharpie and began scrubbing the messages off of the windows. More passengers quickly joined in, clearing the train car of hateful imagery in two minutes. Read more…

More about Swastika, Nazi, Subway, Nyc, and Watercooler

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How to use Google Calendar’s smart meeting scheduler


Scheduling meetings on Google Calendar is now a whole lot easier. 

A recent update to Google Calendar implemented one of the better features of the iOS and Android apps — intelligent suggestions for meeting times, so you no longer have to worry to make sure the rooms and times work well for everyone – the calendar takes care of it for you.

Room suggestions

Image: Google

When you create a meeting, Google Calendar automatically suggests meeting rooms based on the information provided by your organization. Room suggestions are also now based on attendees’ previously used rooms. Read more…

Attendee time zones

More about Utility, Google Calendar, Tech, and Apps Software

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You can back up your VHS tapes with this digitization kit

Aside from taking up considerable space and being horrifyingly out-of-date, VHS tapes degrade with every play. But what about home movies or lesser-known titles that didn’t survive the digital transition? With this Video Digitization Device and Editing Software Package, you can save your old tapes from analog oblivion.

The conversion dongle connects to any composite video source, including VCRs, DVD Players, and CRT TVs. Just plug the USB end into any Windows PC and capture any analog video or audio source easily with the included software editor. High-speed rendering ensures you get a verbatim copy of your original source preserved forever.

Once you’ve recorded your media, use the software to trim off unwanted preview sections and blank screens. Burn your projects to DVD, or export a mobile-friendly file to take your VHS movies on the go.

For a limited time, get this Video Digitization Device and Editing Software Package for just $20.99. Usually $69.95, this is the best media preservation deal I’ve found.

Explore other Best-Sellers on our network:

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The Bathgate Artifact Spinner: a beautiful, hand-machined fidget toy

Machinist/sculptor Chris Bathgate (previously) continues his foray into collaborations to make gorgeous, hand-machined fidget today (see: the slider; spinning tops, slider mark II): his latest is a “spinner,” made in collaboration with Mike Hogarty and Callye Keen from Revolvemakers.

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Melissa McCarthy makes a better Sean Spicer than Sean Spicer on 'SNL'


If there’s one (small) good thing about Donald Trump’s presidency, it’s giving America’s best comedians a smorgasbord of weirdness to tuck into.

On Saturday Night Live, Melissa McCarthy took a turn as Press Secretary Sean Spicer and it was brutally good. Ill-fitting suit? Check. Alternative facts? CheckInsane gum addition? Check and check.

Parodying Spicer’s infamously testy relationship with the press, Spicer/McCarthy used his bully pulpit Saturday to physically bully journalists. 

He booed the New York Times, tried to explain why Steve Bannon is on the National Security Council using a giant key and visor as props, and deployed a super soaker filled with soapy water to harass journalists when they asked annoying questions.  Read more…

More about Donald Trump, Saturday Night Live, Sean Spicer, Melissa Mccarthy, and Entertainment

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Legal action over boxing livestream highlights Facebook's piracy problem


The presence of questionable content on Facebook Live is nothing new, but getting sued for it? That’s a little more unusual.

Two Australian men may be facing legal action after they streamed a highly anticipated boxing match on Facebook Live. To the chagrin of the cable television company Foxtel, Darren Sharpe and Brett Hevers livestreamed the Danny Green versus Anthony Mundine fight Friday, ABC reported, with both streams attracting tens of thousands of viewers. 

A Foxtel spokesperson said Sunday it was “considering options” and taking advice from lawyers on the “very serious” matter. To watch the bout legally, the company required viewers to pay A$59.95. Read more…

More about Copyright, Danny Green, Anthony Mundine, Australia, and Facebook Live

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The White House just brutally burned Australia's Prime Minister


If Australia thought it mattered to the new U.S. administration, the message is now loud and clear: Nah, not really.

In one week alone, details of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s call with Donald Trump were leaked to the press. He was apparently told by the U.S. president that he “was the worst call by far” on a day that included a chat with Vladimir Putin. Trump’s press secretary called him either “Trumbull” or “Trumble” multiple times. And now, they’ve gotten rid of him altogether.

A call sheet issued Saturday by the Office of the Press Secretary not only declined to mention Turnbull by name, it mistakenly (or purposefully) called him the “President of Australia.” If Turnbull was a “cup half full” kind of guy, he could look on this as a promotion. Read more…

More about Donald Trump, Malcolm Turnbull, Australia, Watercooler, and Politics

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British railway guard kicks racist off train

Alexander MacKinnon thought it would be “my word against hers” after he directed racial abuse at Sanaa Shahid on a train out of London—the sneering solicitor said she shouldn’t be in the country, let alone first class. Unfortunately for him, he was overheard.

The train guard then approached MacKinnon and told him: “It’s not just your word against hers, it’s mine as well because I heard it all.”

The guard added: “We’re not going to accept it. You’re drunk and racist and you need to get off the train.”

Writing on her Twitter page, Mrs Shahid said she could not speak highly enough of the train manager who helped her and her son.

She added: “Sat with us until the guy was taken off by [British Transport Police]”.

He was fined £1,154, plus £50 compensation to Shahif.

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'The Lego Batman Movie' is a pop-culture feast that also gives good Batman


Mashing up two brands can be a great way to make neither seem appealing: Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, Men in Black and 21 Jump Street, the Flintstones and the Schmoo — you get the nausea … errr, the idea.

And that’s the inherent risk of The Lego Batman movie, in which Warner Bros. takes two of its most potent film-franchise brands — one relatively new and developing, the other time-tested and fool-proof — throws them into a blender and hits frappé.

Have no fear, people of Gotham! What comes out is a whirlwind of comic-book and comedic delightsThe Lego Batman Movie is hysterical and irreverent, yes, but also visually captivating, with big screen-worthy action and the best new bat-vehicle since the Batmobile itself (it’s called the Scuttler, and you’ll soon be seeing it on a Christmas list near you). Read more…

More about Warner Bros., The Lego Batman Movie, Lego, Batman, and Movie Reviews

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People are going crazy over this light therapy mask for acne


Neutrogena is changing the at-home acne treatment game with this LED Light Therapy Acne Mask. After cleansing your face, put on this mask for 10 minutes. The blue and red lights help fight acne. Don’t forget to continue your daily skin care routine. Read more…

More about Led Light Therapy Mask, Led Light Therapy, Breakouts, Inflammation, and Skin Treatment

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