Infinite Elizabeth Holmes

    Last night I saw HBO's The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her company/cult, Theranos. It's very good and surprisingly unsettling.

    UPDATE: I've looped her intensely unpleasant stare for 10 minutes and set it against a nice slow performance of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Enjoy the embedded video above.

    Here's an infinitely looping GIF of it, sans music.

    Read the rest

    Business systematically videos people getting towed from its parking lot

    The parking spot has "NO PARKING" and tow-warning signs, and is so notorious for enforcement that legitmate customers tell anyone parking their car there what is going to happen. This is all being filmed, from 60 angles, by people who have seen it happen many times before. Because they are the people who make it happen. Then it happens.

    This time around the drivers get warned IN PERSON. Does it work? Nope. But there's so much more going on here. Watch on!

    ...

    Q: You suck. A: That's not a question, but I get the point. And I've heard it all before. I understand you think you've got a witty, original insult for me. You probably don't. Save yourself the humiliation.

    The sleazy music, pop-up commentary and just-right production values really make it. Read the rest

    The worst toy: Flushin' Frenzy

    Flushin' Frenzy [Amazon] is a toy wherein you push a plunger until a poop pops up. All the fun of clearing out a blocked toilet! The game's tagline is "Poop there it is!"

    Game night just got gross - in the best way!

    Flushin' Frenzy makes being a plumber fun! Push the toilet handle to release the die. When a number pops up, you plunge the toilet that number of times. Be ready to catch the poop when it flies out at any moment! POOP - there it is! The player to catch the poop wins a token, or two tokens if they catch it in mid-air! Set includes 1 toilet, 1 plunger, 1 die, and 10 score tokens.

    Safe for ages 5 and up. 2-4 players.

    At Mattel, play matters. We strive to help children learn and develop through play ever since our founding in 1945.

    Note:

    WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD

    Furthermore:

    Flushin' Frenzy [Amazon] Read the rest

    Man films suspected burglar working on his front door, then opens it

    Guy tries to rob house but the owner is there from r/PublicFreakout

    In this video of a resident quietly filming a man trying to pick his front door lock, the stellar direction makes it. It's Coen-esque, almost, from the indisinct peephole shot to the pathetic excuses the allegeable burglar made after the door is opened. Read the rest

    Crowbar-wielding unicorn raids Maryland store for cash and cigarettes

    A unicorn armed with a crowbar robbed a convenience store near Baltimore, say police, then fled.

    Police say the suspect had fled in a silver car. They located what appeared to be the same car after it had wrecked. No other cars were involved in the wreck. Police say two people involved in the crash were taken to a hospital, and detectives are working to determine what their involvement was in the robbery. No charges were immediately filed.

    Read the rest

    Man jailed after boasting of pelican abuse

    Meet William Hunter Hardesty. Hardesty posted video of himself "manhandling and jumping on top of" a pelican in Key West, boasted about it to other vacationers, and ended up charged with animal cruelty.

    Florida investigators were not amused, and the FWC issued a 10-page warrant for his arrest on charges of animal cruelty to a migratory bird and intentionally feeding a pelican.

    Hardesty was apparently so proud of the recognition he got for the March 5 stunt that he bragged about it this week to some people staying at the same Ocean City, Maryland, hotel where he was staying.

    Those folks called the police.

    There are worse things one can do to pelicans, I suppose, but the best policy is not to do anything at all. Read the rest

    Chickens kill fox

    A fox got trapped in a coop and the chickens fucken murdered it.

    The unusual incident in Brittany took place after the fox entered the coop with 3,000 hens through an automatic hatch door which closed immediately.

    "There was a herd instinct and they attacked him with their beaks," said Pascal Daniel, head of farming at the agricultural school Gros-Chêne.

    The body of the small fox was found the following day in a corner of the coop.

    "It had blows to its neck, blows from beaks," Mr Daniel told AFP news agency.

    I remember a children's book, from the mists of a British childhood, where this was the plot. What was it? Read the rest

    Airline pilots have been complaining for months about Boeing's deathliner

    With the European Union grounding the 737 MAX, North America is one of the last places on Earth you can get a ride on Boeing's deathliner. Despite the brand-new jet's disturbingly similar crashes and hundreds of dead travelers, the FAA and U.S.-based carriers insist it's safe to fly. Several airline pilots disagree.

    Pilots repeatedly voiced safety concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 8 to federal authorities, with one captain calling the flight manual "inadequate and almost criminally insufficient" several months before Sunday's Ethiopian Air crash that killed 157 people, an investigation by The Dallas Morning News found. ... The disclosures found by The News reference problems with an autopilot system, and they all occurred during the ascent after takeoff. Many mentioned the plane suddenly nosing down. While records show these flights occurred in October and November, the airlines the pilots were flying for is redacted from the database.

    Will another one go down before the problem is fixed? Capitalism is all about risk and inertia, and American businesses love taking risks and doing nothing. Read the rest

    Stockholm bus explosion caught on dashcam

    No-one was killed in the bus, which was empty of passengers, but the driver suffered serious burns. The explosion was caused by a "traffic accident," say authorities; the vehicle runs on natural gas, the tank is on the roof, and it tried to enter a low tunnel. Read the rest

    Man, angry at likeness being used to show that hipsters all look the same, learns it's not him in the photo

    A man was angry that a photo of him was used to illustrate the claim that hipsters all look alike. But when he threatened to sue the magazine, he learned that the photo was of a different person. Read the rest

    Taco Bell employees beat up customer in street after complaint

    This Taco Bell in Philadephia has a quick and effective strategy for dealing with customer complaints: beat the crap out of them.

    It happened around 10:45 p.m. at the Taco Bell at 10th and Chestnut streets. Bryan Reese of Northern Liberties says employees followed him outside the restaurant in an unprovoked attack. Six people in Taco Bell uniforms can be seen in cellphone video beating up Reese and his girlfriend outside the Taco Bell. The cellphone video was taken by a friend of Reese. Video of the alleged attack was posted to Twitter.

    A $20 gift card was offered after further complaints, according to the person who posted the video. Employees seen in the video were later fired, reports MSN News:

    In a statement to MSN News, Taco Bell said: “We’re shocked and disappointed to see this situation; we and our franchisees do not tolerate this behavior. The franchisee who owns and operates this location is retraining its staff, and all team members involved have been terminated.”

    Read the rest

    Tim Apple

    "We appreciate it very much, Tim Apple," said President Bankrupt. Read the rest

    Finally, a t-shirt fit for the Scots

    H&M makes a T-shirt with a sequinned message that changes depending on the nap. It says "Skate", and with a swipe of one's hand, it says "Chill". Catriona Black, however, noticed that you can, of course, choose to swipe only some of the sequins, thereby creating the ultimate Scottish t-shirt.

    Read the rest

    Leaked Sonic the Hedgehog movie design looks like a dollar-store cereal mascot

    The live-action Sonic was expected to be overly "realistic" in a possibly-unwholesome way, perhaps even hinting at the unofficial internet life of Sega's "fallen" mascot. But a leaked "style guide" from the forthcoming live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie exposes the design as, well, not even that.

    One popular comparison was to the mascot of a used car dealership, but it made me think of dollar-store cereal brands. The cheesiness hinted at in such comparisons is hard to tease out from the cheapness, but it comes down to this: the artist(s) seem unfamiliar with the squeeze and stretch of cartoon draughtsmanship and of the underlying anime conventions that inform the character's design.

    Like westernized box art from old Japanese video games, there's a mismatch between the product and its marketing. With Style Guide Sonic, a conscious effort's being made to somehow reconcile the "authentic" design with the smooth, realistic animation puppetry that Hollywood thinks is popular. Someone thought a lot about how to make Sonic's single weird eyeball work in three grossly-rendered dimensions...

    ... but somewhere along the way, they slipped beyond the event horizon and now it's almost good enough to post on Deviantart.

    Another shot (below) leaked thereafter, and it's not so bad.... perhaps an effort to show that things have moved on since the "style guide" and that the movie's not going to be quite so dire as it suggests. But it still isn't great and, yes, those are Nikes.

    Read the rest

    Report of "deranged person" hugging pillow turns out to be cardboard cutout of MyPillow CEO

    Police in Jordan, Minnesota, rushed to the scene after locals reported a "deranged person" standing motionless in the cold, hugging a pillow. It was in fact a cardboard advertising cutout of Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow.

    “Those cardboard cutouts sure can look real from a distance and the caller certainly was not wanting to get too close thinking who is this deranged person standing outside in the cold hugging a pillow,” the Jordan Police Department shared in a Facebook post. “Always better to call the police.”

    Read the rest

    German town seizes and sells family's dog on eBay to cover their debts

    So you think American authorities' taste for asset seizure is bad? Try the city fathers of Ahlen in Germany, who seized a pedigree pug and sold it on eBay.

    Frank Merschhausm, spokesman for the city of Ahlen, told NPR in an email that the seizure of "the valuable pet" was "legally permissible," because of open claims by the city's treasury office.

    However, he acknowledged that the method used to sell the animal might be open to criticism.

    "Obtaining the proceeds of the sale through a private eBay account was a very questionable decision by the enforcement officer," Merschhaus said in the email translated from German. He added that the city is undertaking an internal investigation.

    Today I learned you can buy dogs on eBay Germany.

    Correction: typo in headline. Read the rest

    Russian tanker loses fight with Korean bridge

    What happens when a stoppable force hits an immovable object? The stoppable force stops. The Korea Herald reports:

    The Korea Coast Guard (KCG) said the 5,998-ton Seagrand sailed into the side of the Gwangan Bridge at around 4:20 p.m. before turning back to head in the opposite direction. ... The KCG nabbed the vessel and questioned the crew aboard. It said the ship's Russian captain, whose identity is being withheld, had a blood alcohol content of 0.086 percent. The legal limit is 0.03 percent.

    I feel there must be more to the story, as 0.08 isn't very drunk—it's the legal limit for driving in most U.S. states and basically the tare weight of a merchant sailor.

    You may recognize the bridge, in Busan, from Black Panther. Read the rest

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