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Kiwipocalypse

from Science Alert

A Supervolcano in New Zealand Is Rumbling So Much It’s Shifting The Ground Above It

by JESS COCKERILL

The vast expanse of Lake Taupō’s sky blue waters, crowned by hazy, mountainous horizons, invokes an extreme sense of tranquility. 

And yet, deep in the ground below, geological unrest is brewing, according to a new paper in the New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics.

Lake Taupō is the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, located at the center of New Zealand’s north island. And while it appears peaceful today, the lake has a violent origin story. 

The lake’s waters sit within a prehistoric caldera – a word based on the Spanish for ‘cauldron’ or ‘boiling pot’ – formed during Earth’s most recent supereruption, the Oruanui eruption, 25,400 years ago.

When magma is released from a supervolcano (defined as having released at least 1,000 cubic kilometers of material in any one eruption) in an event like the Oruanui eruption, the depleted magma vents cave in, Earth’s surface sinks, and the landscape is permanently changed into a caldera. 

In the last 12,000 years, the Taupō volcano has been active 25 times. Its most recent eruption in 232 AD is described by authors of the new paper as “one of the Earth’s most explosive eruptions in historic times”. Since then, the volcano has had at least four documented “episodes of unrest”, causing destructive earthquakes and, in 1922, a massive ground subsidence.

[ click to continue reading at Science Alert ]

Posted on July 11, 2022 by Editor

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CarPay

from Benzinga

Why This Apple Analyst Thinks Future Of CarPlay Is In Payments

by Shanthi Rexaline

Apple, Inc. 

AAPL+1.23%+ Free Alerts announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June an improved version of its CarPlay. An analyst at Loup Funds is of the view the future of CarPlay is in payments.

Mobile Commerce Is Future Feature: Mobile commerce is likely to be a future feature on CarPlay’s roadmap, analyst Gene Munster said in a note. The new user interface, the analyst said, will allow developers to add payments into CarPlay for purchasing fuel at gas stations.

Explaining how this would help Apple earn money, the analyst noted that the current App Store terms of service allow the company a 15-30% take rate for in-app purchases of digital goods. Physical goods are monetized through Apple Pay, which has a take rate of less than 0.5%, he noted.

[ click to continue reading at Benzinga ]

Posted on July 10, 2022 by Editor

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The Original Heavy Metal Madman

from The Critic

A madman’s guide to Wagner

You don’t have to be crazy to enjoy Wagner, but it helps

by Philip Hensher

The German composer Richard Wagner wrote seven operas in his mature style. I’ve been going to see them in live performances for the last forty years or so – my very first was Die Walküre at English National Opera in 1983, I think. I knew most of them quite well before that. The BBC, rather astonishingly now, had devoted ten weeks to showing the famous 1976 Bayreuth centenary Ring on TV, act by act; the summer before I went to university in 1983, I splashed out on what I still think is the greatest of all opera recordings, Carlos Kleiber’s Tristan and played it into the ground.

Still, there is no substitute for seeing the things live, in the theatre. Since then I’ve seen all of them repeatedly, brilliantly performed and directed, and some really awful evenings, too. Once I saw Siegfried twice on two successive evenings, the first in Berlin and then (a friend phoned me while I was at Tegel airport with the offer of a ticket) at Covent Garden. (The Berlin dragon cost hundreds of thousands and reduced the audience to fits of laughter; the London one, in Richard Jones’s inspiration, was a pumpkin on a stick, whose destruction proved unexpectedly horrible).

I’m quite a hopeless Wagnerian. I’m never very good at remembering the names of singers I’ve seen, for instance. I’ve seen so many ridiculous whims of producers that I’m more or less immune to them, though a previous ENO Götterdämmerung did rouse me to proper booing. Booing is traditionally part of Wagnerian appreciation – the museum at Bayreuth fondly displays the whistle a patron brought to express his rage at the 1976 Ring, engraved with the date of us. I very much enjoyed, a few years ago, when in Leipzig the truly ancient Siegfried was evidently so shellshocked by his reception at the end of the first act that he took his second-act bow pushing the charming 20-something singer of the Woodbird in front of him, like a human shield.

[ click to continue reading at The Critic ]

Posted on July 9, 2022 by Editor

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Monsoon Monzas

from The Drive

Nearly 80 Roofless Ferrari Monzas Caught in Surprise Rainstorm at Owner Event

If you’re going to go on a multiday rally in a $2 million roofless supercar, check the weather first.

BY NICO DEMATTIA

When owners plunked down nearly $2 million for their beautiful but roofless Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 hypercars, gorgeous sunny days on the Amalfi Coast were probably in their minds, not getting caught in the rain while parked at a race track. All the money in the world can’t change the weather, so when a group of Monza owners recently gathered at Fiorano, the home racetrack of Ferrari, there was nothing they could do to stop the rain from ruining their group photo.

To make matters worse, those owners paid $30,000 to get rained on. The event was part of a Ferrari Monza owner’s rally of sorts, which had the millionaire and billionaire owners drive together through some of Italy’s prettiest scenery, stay at a five-star hotel, and then meet at the world’s largest event for Monza owners at the famous Fiorano racetrack. While at Fiorano, the group (herd?) of Monzas gathered for a photo, but the weather turned for the worse and rained on the multimillion-dollar topless Ferraris. YouTuber Varryx snagged some footage of the Fiorano fiasco before being told to stop recording by a track marshal.

[ click to continue reading at The Drive ]

Posted on July 8, 2022 by Editor

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James Caan Gone

from Deadline

James Caan Dies: ‘The Godfather’ Oscar Nominee, ‘Brian’s Song’ & ‘Elf’ Star Was 82

By Erik Pedersen

James Caan, the tough-guy actor who scored an Oscar nom as mafioso Sonny Corleone in The Godfather and an Emmy nom for playing NFL running back Brian Piccolo in Brian’s Song, among a host of big film and TV roles including Elf and Las Vegas, died Wednesday night in Los Angeles. He was 82. His family confirmed the news on Caan’s Twitter page but gave no other details.

After a decade in the business, Caan shot to fame in the early 1970s with back-to-back signature roles. He earned an Emmy nom as the real-life cancer-stricken Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo in ABC’s Brian’s Song, alongside Billy Dee Williams as fellow Bears running back Gale Sayers. The heart-rending tale of the hard-forged friendship among the NFL’s first interracial roommates was the most-watched TV movie ever at that point, with a 32.9 rating/48 share and went on to win five Emmys including Outstanding Single Program – Drama or Comedy.

Francis Ford Coppola Honors His ‘Godfather’ Star James Caan: “Will Never Be Forgotten”

In a 2011 interview with the Television Academy Foundation (watch it here), Emmy-winning Brian’s Song screenwriter William Blinn said: “Jimmy’s Jimmy. He always had a cockiness, a confidence. Very competitive. Edgy, in the best sense of the word. But he’s a guy with all the pluses and minuses you can have.”

[ click to read full article at Deadline ]

Posted on July 7, 2022 by Editor

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Porn Service

from The Daily Star

Las Vegas hotels to offer ‘first ever’ VR porn delivery robots as part of room service

Help is at hand for lonely hotel guests at Las Vegas resorts thanks to a new VR porn delivery robot – it brings a sanitised headset with the latest immersive adult movies direct to your room

By Ciaran Daly

What happens in VR stays in VR
What happens in VR stays in VR (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Guests at Las Vegas hotels will soon be able to order VR porn kits on room service, thanks to a new delivery robot.

VR Bangers says it has teamed up with a number of Vegas hotels to offer virtual reality porn as room service.

Discreet delivery robots will rock up to hotels and sneakily deliver a ‘VR porn box’ featuring an Oculus Quest 2 headset pre-loaded with the company’s latest adult flicks.

The service costs £41 ($49.99) per day and includes a ‘fully sanitised’ set of goggles. The company says it currently has a fleet of five VR porn robots deployed across Las Vegas, with many more on the way.

[ click to continue reading at The Daily Star ]

Posted on July 6, 2022 by Editor

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R2-D2 Abducted

from The Orlando Sentinel

Florida man charged with taking R2-D2 from Disney World resort after posing as security guard

By Amanda Rabines

Droids R2-D2 and BB-8 arrive during the dedication ceremony with invited guests at the entrance of the Star Wars: Galaxy?s Edge attraction at Disney?s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Wednesday, August 28, 2019. The Star Wars-themed land at Disney World officially opens to guests on Thursday. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel) 3087268 (Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel)

A Kissimmee man with a self-stated “pending application” for Walt Disney World Security is being accused of stealing and tampering with Disney resort property, including a Star Wars R2-D2 statue worth up to $10,000.

David Proudfoot, 44, posed as a security guard at Disney’s Swan Reserve Hotel on May 31, when he was noticed by hotel security wearing a gray t-shirt, beige workpants and a high-visibility orange work vest while pushing a cart across Epcot Resorts Boulevard onto Swan Reserve property, according to an arrest report.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call from security of suspicious activity.

[ click to continue reading at The Orlando Sentinel ]

Posted on July 5, 2022 by Editor

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Serial Grifter

from SFGate

‘Tipster Killer’: The California serial killer who kept calling in tips for his own murders

by Katie Dowd, SFGATE

A mugshot for Robert Edward Maury after his arrest in 1987.
A mugshot for Robert Edward Maury after his arrest in 1987. Shasta County Sheriff’s Office/Handout

Shirley Landruth had been working for Shasta County’s Secret Witness program for 12 years when a strange man began calling the hotline in 1985. The line allowed people to call in tips for unsolved crimes, sometimes for reward money. The system was strictly anonymous, so Landruth never recorded their conversations.

But something wasn’t right about this caller. For one, Landruth swore she recognized the man’s voice. 

“The speed of the speech, the pushiness of it. The way certain words are grouped together,” she would later testify. “The abruptness in the way he terminates conversations.”

The caller gave Landruth directions to the location of a body, offering her the distance from the road in both meters and feet. He was insistent she relay his information to the police. Unbeknownst to the man, Landruth began recording the call. For the next few years, he called her over 20 times, giving information that would lead to the discovery of three bodies and collecting the reward money each time.

“Not too many people come upon one body in their lifetime,” Shasta County Deputy District Attorney Jim Ruggiero said in the closing arguments of the man’s 1989 triple murder trial. 

[ click to continue reading at SFGate ]

Posted on July 4, 2022 by Editor

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Sonny Barger Gone

from Deadline

Sonny Barger Dies: Hells Angels Founder, ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Actor & Rolling Stones Nemesis Was 83

By Greg Evans

Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger (2004) AP Images

Sonny Barger, the notorious founding member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, author, ex-convict, occasional Sons of Anarchy actor and one of the bikers who provided the violent, bloody security at the infamous 1969 Rolling Stones Altamont concert, died of Wednesday of cancer. He was 83.

Barger announced his own death in a pre-written message subsequently posted today on his Facebook page: “If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing. I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club. Although I’ve had a public persona for decades, i’ve mostly enjoyed special time with my club brothers, my family, and close friends.

Barger, long the public face of the notorious and frequently outlaw Angels, was a founding member of the club’s Oakland, CA, chapter.

Barger had written six books, including his autobiography Hell’s Angel — The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club, in which he put the blame for the disastrous Altamont concert squarely on the Stones. The Angels had been hired by the band to provide security, a decision the Stones would regret: The bikers beat audience members with billiard sticks, punched and knocked out Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin and attacked (in self-defense, they claimed) a pistol-wielding 18-year-old Stones fan named Meredith Hunter. One of the Angels stabbed and killed Hunter but was acquitted after claiming self-defense.

[ click to continue reading at Deadline ]

Posted on July 1, 2022 by Editor

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BigPac-10 (or 12, or 14, not sure)

from The LA Times

USC and UCLA rock college sports by leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten

BY J. BRADY MCCOLLOUGHBILL PLASCHKERYAN KARTJEBEN BOLCH

UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson scores past USC linebacker Ralen Goforth during a game on Nov. 20.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson scores past USC linebacker Ralen Goforth during a game on Nov. 20. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

It may be hard to imagine — USC cardinal and gold and UCLA blue and gold blending into the pageantry that permeates through frosty fall Saturdays in America’s heartland.

It may be hard to imagine — Trojans and Bruins annually competing with Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines for conference championships and bragging rights instead of Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies.

But Thursday, when USC and UCLA officially announced they are leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten Conference, college sports fans from coast to coast were forced to conjure up a vision that what would have once — in simpler times, perhaps — seemed unthinkable.

The Trojans and Bruins, both of whom have been trying to reclaim past football glory with varying degrees of desperation, came together and completed a shocking move that will forever alter the national college sports landscape.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on June 30, 2022 by Editor

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Mr. Rogers’ Rides

from The Drive

Parked in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: What Fred Rogers Taught Us About Cars

Though rarely center stage, automobiles played a quiet but crucial role on the iconic children’s TV show.

BY JOE LIGO

Despite growing up in a wealthy family and being taken to school by the family driver in a Cadillac, Fred McFeely Rogers—known as Mister Rogers to most of us —never appeared to have developed a taste for exotic or expensive things. As the nationally-known host of the PBS children’s program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and perhaps one of the most universally adored public figures in the country, Fred’s personal life was strikingly modest. He seemed the least likely person you’d expect to be interested in cars.

And yet: take a wider view, and his program showed children that the automobile is a fixture in modern American life over the second half of the 20th century, introducing them to everything from seat belts to automated car washes to early EV efforts. Fred Rogers himself wasn’t much of a gearhead, but he knew just as much as anyone how much emotion can be wrapped up in a car, quietly maintaining a 1928 Ford Model A Sport Coupe over the decades that had been given to him by his parents. 

In reality, a survey of the 900+ episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood indicates that Fred understood there are lots of kids (and adults) who love anything with wheels. So with help from the invaluable NeighborhoodArchive.com and a few phone calls with Rogers’ former producer Margy Whitmer and former co-star/company PR rep David Newell, let’s dive into the automotive world of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

[ click to continue reading at The Drive ]

Posted on June 29, 2022 by Editor

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Queen Bubbles

from The New Yorker

The Gospel According to Mavis Staples

A legendary singer on faith, loss, and a family legacy.

By David Remnick

Mavis Staples sings with a group of people in her youth.
Staples once considered stepping away from singing to become a nurse. Her father said, “Don’t you know you’re already a nurse?”Photograph by Steve Schapiro / Corbis / Getty

Mavis Staples has been a gospel singer longer than Elizabeth II has worn the crown. During concerts, sometimes, she might take a seat and rest while someone in her band bangs out a solo for a chorus or two. No one minds. Her stage presence is so unfailingly joyful—her nickname is Bubbles—that you never take your eyes off her. Staples sings from her depths, with low moans and ragged, seductive growls that cut through even the most pious lyric. She is sanctified, not sanctimonious. In her voice, “Help Me Jesus” is as suggestive as “Let’s Do It Again.” When she was a girl, singing with her family ensemble, the Staple Singers, churchgoers across the South Side of Chicago would wonder how a contralto so smoky and profound could issue from somebody so young.

She is eighty-two. While singers a fraction of her age go to great lengths to preserve their voices, drinking magical potions and warming up with the obsessive care of a gymnast, she doesn’t hold back. Time, polyps, and a casual disdain for preservation have conspired to narrow her range and sand down her old shimmer, but she is not about to hum lightly through a rehearsal. A little ginger tea and onward she goes. Singing is what connects her to the world.

Sly, sociable, and funny, Staples reminds you of your mother’s most reliable and cheerful friend, the one who comes around with good gossip and a strawberry pie. Her cheeks are round and smooth; her hair is done in a copper bob; her resting expression is one of delight. “She is a ray of sunshine,” Bonnie Raitt, her frequent touring companion, said. “She’s never cranky. She has an abiding belief in God and His plan and believes the world is moving toward a higher and more loving world.” Staples has spent the past few decades lending her voice to a startling range of collaborators: Prince, Arcade Fire, Nona Hendryx, Ry Cooder, David Byrne. Anyone who has something to say, she’ll help them say it, in an inimitable gospel voice. One collaborator, Jeff Tweedy, of Wilco, said, “All day long, Mavis is having a good time. She’s excited about making music and just being alive. I hope I have that energy when I’m her age, but the truth is I don’t even have it now.”

[ click to continue reading at TNY ]

Posted on June 28, 2022 by Editor

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No way! I didn’t know there was a ‘porn trilogy for Nintendos’.

from Vanity Fair

Jason Brassard Spent His Lifetime Collecting the Rarest Video Games. Until the Heist.

The porn trilogy for Nintendos. Atari games from the 1980s. Pristine nostalgia, potentially worth millions, gone in a night. 

BY JUSTIN HECKERT

Jason Brassard Spent His Lifetime Collecting the Rarest Video Games. Until the Heist.
ILLUSTRATION BY QUICKHONEY.

He tries his best to forget about the safe. But when he has a few free minutes and is cleaning the pins of old Nintendo cartridges with rubbing alcohol and Q-tips, a little piece of him dies every time he thinks about how he could’ve been so naive. When he ran the place, he would man the counter from a swivel chair next to the cash register, a can of Diet Coke by the keyboard of his desktop computer, his palms at the edge of a Super Mario World mouse pad. He’d lined his shelves with Pokémon and PAC-MAN figurines, Sonic the Hedgehog plushies, T-shirts and stickers with the store’s logo, dog-eared stacks of GamePro and Nintendo Power, and a feng shui of other games. Drawers nested all sorts of controllers smothered in black cords. Until he was forced to sully the store by putting jail bars on the windows and installing security cameras out front, Trade-N-Games had been lighthearted in spirit and charming in its accentuations. He’d wanted customers to experience what it had been like to be part of the video game generation that had discovered Nintendo and Sega. He had wished to replicate for people that feeling that usually disappears as they settle into adulthood. There’s a “great buys” bargain bin and a giant glass collector’s case.

A placard above the employee gate by the desk reads NINTENDO REPAIR AVAILABLE HERE. The AS SEEN ON YOUTUBE sign he’d taken down. He’d had a kind of philanthropic hubris as an owner and collector, someone who never gave a second thought to keeping his legendary game collection a secret. He’d gladly let YouTubers film in the back; he would even open the safe back there and show them, item by item, his Louvre. Other collectors had rare games, sure, but in the back room of his store, and especially in the safe, he was proud to own 10,000 of what he described as “cherry” copies—his preferred term for virgin condition. The cardboard on his Super Nintendo games was still crispy, as collectors like to say. His Sega Genesis and Master System games were as pristine in their clamshells as if they had been hanging from the racks at KB Toys.

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on June 27, 2022 by Editor

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Five Planets In A Row

from The Jerusalem Post

Five planets align perfectly, visible until end of June

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible every morning until the end of June in an alignment not seen since 1864.

By ARIELLA MARSDEN

 The solar system. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The solar system. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have lined up in a rare alignment that won’t occur again until 2040, according to AccuWeather.

While it is common to view a couple of planets together at any given time, the alignment of five planets simultaneously is a rare phenomenon which last occurred in 1864 and won’t occur again for almost 20 years.

The alignment is best viewed in the early morning around an hour before sunrise and will remain as is until the end of June.

[ click to continue reading at JPost ]

Posted on June 23, 2022 by Editor

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Marram Montauk

from InsideHook

We Found America’s Chillest Hotel at the End of the World

Marram Montauk merchants in vibes, waves and s’mores. You will leave relaxed and recharged, whether you like it or not.

BY TANNER GARRITY

We Found America’s Chillest Hotel at the End of the World
Read McKendree

I left my balcony door open both nights at Marram Montauk last week, with only a screen and a shade separating my room from the roar of the surf. If there’s a better white noise machine than the East End on a misty weeknight I’d love to hear it. Sleep arrived gently, like just about everything else at the monastic, four-star retreat, which recently reopened its doors for the 2022 season after some light renovations.

Before there was Marram there was Atlantic Terrace, a yellow, family-run motel with a shuffleboard court. It was built in the 1960s — a time when the year-round population of the town was less than a grand, the town was only serviced by New England local news stations, all shops were closed on Sundays and interested buyers could purchase a home in town for $12,000…at Macy’s in Herald Square.

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on June 22, 2022 by Editor

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Longest Home Run Ever

Posted on June 10, 2022 by Editor

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NYFU FWD

from One Sports

Exclusive: Behind New York Fury’s quest to build a new era in Valorant

Always moving forward.

BY WANZI KOH

Valorant New York Fury 2022
Credit: New York Fury

The New York Fury is ready to create a new era for its organization, unveiling a brand new Valorant roster ahead of VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers. Built around former Version1 in-game leader Chad “Oderus” Miller, the team plucked talent from Evil GeniusesFaZe Clan, Rise, and Soniqs.

The North American team, formerly known as Andbox, is part of the NYXL organization, which fields championship-winning teams in the Overwatch and Call of Duty League.

That winning legacy is one it’s looking to carry over into Valorant. In an exclusive interview with ONE Esports, NY Fury General Manager Matt “Warden” Dickens talks about how the new roster came together and their goals moving forward.

[ click to continue reading at One Sports ]

Posted on June 5, 2022 by Editor

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Streaming Crickets

from SFGate

Spotify podcasters are making $18,000 a month with nothing but white noise

by Ashley Carman, Bloomberg News

Calming sounds of white noise podcasts are bringing in one podcaster $18,000 per month. (Rachel Austin/The University Of Western Australia via AP)
Calming sounds of white noise podcasts are bringing in one podcaster $18,000 per month. (Rachel Austin/The University Of Western Australia via AP)

People on the prowl for a new podcast to consume often go for a stimulating option like a political debate or a true crime mystery to quicken the pulse. But when the din of the world becomes too much, listeners often need the opposite vibe: something soothing and sedating, maybe with the sound of static or falling rain. Perhaps a touch of crickets.

Enter — quietly, on tippy-toes — the white noise podcasters.

While the top of the podcast charts on Spotify and Apple are still dominated by garrulous, jawboning hosts, these days you can also reliably find a smattering of white noise shows appearing in the mix. Relatively new to the podcast scene, the tranquil programs haves names like “Calming White Noise,” “Best Noise Labs,” “Relaxing White Noise” and “Deep Sleep Sounds.”

Who is behind the popular offerings is a bit of a mystery.

[ click to continue reading at SFGate ]

Posted on June 2, 2022 by Editor

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Lido Gone

from AP

Show’s over for famed cabaret show at France’s Lido

By JADE LE DELEY

PARIS (AP) — It’s the end of an era for the famed Lido cabaret on Paris’ Champs-Elysees.

Amid financial troubles and changing times, the venue’s new corporate owner is ditching most of the Lido’s staff and its high-kicking, high-glamour dance shows — which date back decades and inspired copycats from Las Vegas to Beirut — in favor of more modest musical revues.

Dressed all in black, dancers staged a protest Saturday on the broad sidewalk in front of the Lido — and then performed a dance routine to a cheering crowd, kicking their long legs high to a traditional cabaret song.

They handed out leaflets to passers-by on the Champs-Elysees Avenue, who lamented the Lido’s fate and warmly applauded the performance. Dancers from the Moulin Rouge came to support Lido staff, and notably its historic Bluebell Girls dance troupe.

[ click to continue reading at AP ]

Posted on May 28, 2022 by Editor

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Mort Janklow Gone

from The Washington Post

Mort Janklow, literary agent who brokered gargantuan advances, dies at 91

His clients included Ronald Reagan, Al Gore, David McCullough, Barbara Walters and Danielle Steel

By Associated Press

Actor Michael Douglas and Mort Janklow in 2015 in New York City. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images for AARP)

Mort Janklow, a former corporate lawyer who raised high the power of the literary agent as he brokered gargantuan advances for publishing political and entertainment leaders, including Ronald Reagan, Al Gore, David McCullough and Barbara Walters, died May 25 at his home in Water Mill, N.Y. He was 91.

His death, from a heart ailment, was announced by publicist Paul Bogaards, speaking on behalf of Mr. Janklow’s family and his literary agency, Janklow & Nesbit Associates.

Mr. Janklow was among the first of the so-called superagents, and became one by accident, stepping in to help with a book by a legal client and old friend, the speechwriter and columnist William Safire. Mr. Janklow was subsequently credited, and faulted, for the proliferation of blockbuster books and million-dollar deals in the 1970s and beyond, for jolting a gentleman’s trade with a lawyerly savvy about marketing, subsidiary rights and the fine print of a publishing contract.

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Posted on May 27, 2022 by Editor

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Book Blobs

from Inside Hook

Why Do All Books Suddenly Look the Same?

The ubiquitous “blob” cover is a combination of content, design and, yes, clickability

BY TRISH ROONEY

covers of the vanishing half, detransition baby, untamed

Why are all books so abstract? / Getty, Riverhead Books, One World, Flatiron Books: An Oprah Book

You probably already know what the hottest new fiction book of the day looks like — without even seeing it. Picture electric blues, earthy greens, maybe pops of pinks and splashes of red blended together. While a plain white font announces the title, perhaps the swirling cursive of the author’s name is mixed into the pattern itself. 

This is the modernist book cover of 2022 — or “the blobs.” There are a few very prominent titles that share this aesthetic: The Vanishing Half, a story about the lives of two Black sisters by Brit Bennett, with a cover design by Lauren Peters-Collaer; and Detransition, Baby, a novel about queer parenthood by Torrey Peters, with a cover design by Rachel Ake Kuech. But there are many titles. Many more “blobs.” It’s become a joke online; where people notice that even packages of beef jerky are starting to look like New York Times Bestsellers.

[ click to continue reading at Inside Hook ]

Posted on May 24, 2022 by Editor

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AC GOOD BAD

from Vox

The air conditioning paradox

How do we cool people without heating up the planet?

By Umair Irfan


A woman fans her child with a sheet of paper as a fan sits idle amid a power outage during a heat wave in Jacobabad, Pakistan, on May 11. Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The world is now 1.1 degrees Celsius — 2 degrees Fahrenheit — warmer on average than it was at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. But baked into that seemingly small change in the average is a big increase in dangerous extreme temperatures. That’s made cooling, particularly air conditioning, vital for the survival of billions of people.

The devastation of extreme temperatures is playing out right now in several places around the world. A gargantuan heat wave over India and Pakistan, where 1.5 billion people live, is now in its third week. Just 12 percent of India’s population has air conditioning, but even those people are suffering. The heat has triggered power outages, created water shortages, and killed dozens, although the true toll may not be known for weeks.

[ click to continue reading at Vox ]

Posted on May 18, 2022 by Editor

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Dead Planes

from ABC 15

The Boneyard: World’s largest airplane graveyard is in Tucson, Arizona

By: Kari Steele

What happens to our nation’s militarized aircraft when it’s time to toss it? Welcome to the largest aircraft graveyard in the world, The Boneyard!

See all of the cool planes and space aircraft in the video above!

The Boneyard is formally known as the 309th AMARG (Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Group). An AMARG is a boneyard facility for all excess military and government aircraft. Planes, jets, helicopters, and space shuttles belonging to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and NASA are processed here. Another role of AMARG is to convert fighter jets into aerial target drones.

[ click to continue reading at ABC 15 ]

Posted on May 13, 2022 by Editor

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Go Go Gonzo!

from The Washington Post via MSN

The gonzo journalist who forever changed political campaign coverage

by Jason Vest

It was presidential campaign reporting unlike anything seen before. The reporter made it clear: He had no desire to join the permanent Washington press corps, or ever cover politics full time, and indeed he never did. He was contemptuous of Democratic centrists and unabashed about a sitting Republican president’s depravity, and said so in prose that sounded like a punch-drunk H.L. Mencken spoiling for a bar fight. (“A treacherous, gutless old wardheeler who should be put in a goddamn bottle and sent out with the Japanese current,” he said of Dem presidential aspirant Hubert Humphrey. And the incumbent in the White House? “A drooling red-eyed beast with the legs of a man and the head of giant hyena … the dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character that almost every country in the world has learned to fear and despise.”)

This is the unmistakable prose of the late Hunter S. Thompson, who had high hopes that a one-off gig covering national politics 50 years ago — really a sop from his editor at a music magazine — might help him go from journalist to novelist. He already had two nonfiction bestsellers under his belt, one of which he’d reported out over years as an embed, covering an outfit at least as amoral as any in Washington: the Hell’s Angels.

But if the Washington political establishment, including the press, thought the assignment was going to merit only a couple of magazine pieces, they had another thing coming. Thompson influenced a new generation of political correspondents, says Peter Richardson, author of the newly published “Savage Journey: Hunter S. Thompson and the Weird Road to Gonzo,” a consideration of Thompson’s literary influences and influence.

[ click to continue reading at MSN ]

Posted on May 10, 2022 by Editor

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Bad Pony!

from Yahoo! News

Why did Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike bite lead pony, outrider? An expert weighs in

by Aaron Mudd

Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike went viral Saturday, and not just for his 80-1, long shot victory that upset field favorites like Epicenter (4-1), Taiba (5-1) and Zandon (6-1).

In the moments after he crossed the finish line, as spectators in the stands erupted into a roar, video and images showed outriders on the track struggling to get Rich Strike under control as he repeatedly bit the lead pony and its rider Greg Blasi.

Rich Strike seen champing at lead pony after surprising Kentucky Derby Win

At one point, video taken from the perspective of a spectator up in the stands appeared to show Blasi punching Rich Strike, while another image taken by photographer Heather C. Jackson showed the Derby winner tearing into Blasi’s right leg with his teeth.

Observers on social media were quick to defend and criticize Blasi, including animal welfare group PETA, which issued a statement condemning the Churchill Downs outrider.

Eric Reed, Rich Strike’s trainer, defended Blasi in a Today Show appearance Monday, stating “that man saved my horse from injury.”

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on May 9, 2022 by Editor

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Voyager Station

from CNN

Inside the space hotel scheduled to open in 2025

by Francesca Street, CNN

Space hotel designs: Orbital Assembly Corporation is planning to build Voyager Station and Pioneer Station, two space hubs in the sky. Click through the gallery to see Oribital Assembly’s renderings depicting what what life among the stars might look like.

Waking up in a chic hotel room with a view of the solar system could be the future of travel, at least if space company Orbital Assembly has anything to say about it.

The US-based company has revealed new information and concepts for its space hotel idea, designs for which have been orbiting since 2019.

Originally premiered by Californian company the Gateway Foundation — and then called the Von Braun Station — this futuristic concept consists of several modules connected by elevator shafts that make up a rotating wheel orbiting the Earth.

The project is now being overseen by Orbital Assembly Corporation, a space construction company that cut links with Gateway.

Orbital Assembly is now aiming to launch not one but two space stations with tourist accommodation: Voyager Station, the renamed original design, is now scheduled to accommodate 400 people and to open in 2027, while new concept Pioneer Station, housing 28 people, could be operational in just three years.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on May 3, 2022 by Editor

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Metasimple

from InsideHook

This Is the Simplest Way to Explain the Metaverse

We can do it in three words — while some experts provide larger context and clear up some major misperceptions.

BY KIRK MILLER

A person wearing a VR headset, an imagined present/future of the "metaverse"
The “metaverse” will not be confined to bulky headsets, say the experts / Iryna Veklich

Ask someone today what the metaverse is and you’re bound to get a confused look. Or a wrong answer.

That was the conclusion reached earlier this year by the market research firm Ipsus, which conducted a series of surveys to determine what we did and did not know about the so-called “metaverse.”

Their results? While nearly two in five (38%) of Americans said they are very or somewhat familiar with the metaverse, there were “significant differences” by age and by the presence of children in the household: It was as high as 53% for those with children, and also 53% of respondents aged 18 to 34. From there, it went down to 45% of those aged 35 to 54 and just 20% for those ages 55 or older who were familiar with the term. 

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook ]

Posted on May 2, 2022 by Editor

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Octopolis

from Real Clear Science

The Hidden World of Octopus Cities and Culture

By Kristin Andrews

Roy L. Caldwell via AP

A recently proposed aquaculture octopus farm in the Canary Islands would raise 3,000 tonnes of octopus a year, which means almost 275,000 individual octopuses will be killed annually.

My research examines animal minds and ethics, and to me, the phrase “octopus culture” brings to mind Octopolis and Octlantis, two communities of wild octopuses in Jarvis Bay, Australia.

In Octopolis, numerous octopuses share — and fight over — a few square metres of seabed. In these watery towns, octopuses form dominance hierarchies, and they’ve started developing new behaviours: male octopuses fight over territory and, perhaps, females by throwing debris at one another and boxing.

[ click to continue reading at RCS ]

Posted on April 30, 2022 by Editor

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No Switch Hitters

from PC Magazine

Nintendo Reminds Us Not to Hit People, Smash TVs When Playing Switch Sports

Joy-Con wrist straps are an essential accessory for this game, as is lots of free space.

By Matthew Humphries

Wii Sports caused many an injury to bodies and televisions back in 2006, and Nintendo is warning parents in an attempt to avoid a similar situation with Switch Sports.

Nintendo Switch Sports went on sale today and offers a range of motion-controlled sports to play. This inevitably sees you swinging a Joy-Con around vigorously, which can be a serious hazard to anyone standing or sitting nearby. Bruises, black eyes, and smashed TVs are all signs you’re really enjoying the challenge, but Nintendo would like to avoid them if possible.

[ click to continue reading at PC Mag ]

Posted on April 29, 2022 by Editor

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Poisonous Green Books

from National Geographic

These green books are poisonous—and one may be on a shelf near you

A toxic green pigment was once used to color everything from fake flowers to book covers. Now a museum conservator is working to track down the noxious volumes.

BY JUSTIN BROWER

still life of green books stacked
After bookcloth became a popular and affordable alternative to leather for bookmaking, publishers began releasing volumes in a range of colors, including emerald green. PHOTOGRAPH BY REBECCA HALE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Libraries and rare book collections often carry volumes that feature poisons on their pages, from famous murder mysteries to seminal works on toxicology and forensics. The poisons described in these books are merely words on a page, but some books scattered throughout the world are literally poisonous.

These toxic books, produced in the 19th century, are bound in vivid cloth colored with a notorious pigment known as emerald green that’s laced with arsenic. Many of them are going unnoticed on shelves and in collections. So MelissaTedone, the lab head for library materials conservation at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Delaware, has launched an effort dubbed the Poison Book Project to locate and catalogue these noxious volumes.

To date, the team has uncovered 88 19th-century books containing emerald green. Seventy of them are covered with vivid green bookcloth, and the rest have the pigment incorporated onto paper labels or decorative features. Tedone even found an emerald green book on sale at a local bookstore, which she purchased.

[ click to continue reading at Nat Geo ]

Posted on April 28, 2022 by Editor

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Nice Company – Thank you, Readers.

from Publishers Weekly

25 Years of Bestselling Authors and Books

By Kristen McLean

[ click to read full list at Publishers Weekly ]

Posted on April 24, 2022 by Editor

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Chik-Fil-Jam

from The Wall Street Journal

Chick-fil-A’s Crazy Long Drive-Through Lines Have Santa Barbara Residents Squawking

Backed-up traffic for chicken sandwiches plucks a nerve; ‘It’s almost like we’re in L.A. now’

By Christine Mai-Duc

Cars lined up on the street to enter the Chick-fil-A drive-through in Santa Barbara in November.
PHOTO: LARRY BICKFORD

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Business has boomed for Chick-fil-A franchisee Travis Collins during the pandemic, thanks to surging appetite for chicken sandwiches from his drive-through window.

Now he’s throwing the works at controlling the lines of cars spilling onto surrounding streets. The city council in this affluent coastal city has proposed declaring his drive-through a public nuisance.

Neighbors and city officials say customers hungry enough to brave the crowded lot for Chick-n-Strips or the signature sandwich of chicken with pickles on a buttered bun have caused so many traffic jams, bus delays and hazards on the city’s main drag that something must be done.

“It’s against the law, they know it’s against the law, but their chicken burgers are more important to them,” said nearby resident Rick Closson. The retired pharmacist once spent a week outside the Chick-fil-A counting the line of cars at 15-minute intervals and informing drivers who were blocking sidewalk space that they were breaking the law. Drivers mostly blew him off, he said, and kept their eyes trained on the line.

[ click to continue reading at WSJ ]

Posted on April 23, 2022 by Editor

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We’re Everywhere

from Zero Hedge

“Humans” May Be All Over The Universe, Scientists Say

BY TYLER DURDEN

Authored by Katie Hutton via TheMindUnleashed.com,

Let’s pretend for a moment that in the future humanity are able to travel to other planets and discover… even more humans.

A University of Cambridge astro-biologist believes that scenario is more possible than you’d imagine, based on his research.

The BBC’s Science Focus magazine recently published an interview with Simon Conway Morris, an evolutionary palaeobiologist at the university’s Department of Earth Sciences, in which he stated that researchers can “say with reasonable confidence” that human-like evolution has occurred in other parts of the universe.

The idea of convergent evolution, which, according to Science Focus, asserts that “random effects gradually average out such that evolution converges, tending to generate similar creatures in any given environment,” lies at the heart of Morris’ thinking. Flying, for instance, was used by the magazine as an illustration of how flying “had evolved independently on Earth at least four times — in birds, bats, insects, and pterosaurs.”

In summary, convergent evolution theory asserts that evolution is a natural law that operates similarly on all planets. In other words, the blue and green alien humanoids from “Star Trek” may be real.

[ click to continue reading at Zero Hedge ]

Posted on April 22, 2022 by Editor

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