When they break out, they'll be grabbing all our women!
Spider projection: 3-D video mapping by friedrich van schoor < Designboom>>
Image is from a poster for the 1954 science fiction movie Them! from Wrong Side of the Art!>>
He took bat poop and spread it across his Oxford College lawn, but not evenly. Instead he used the guano to spell, first a giant letter, G. Then a U. Then an A. Then an N. Then an O.So the next time you have access to buckets of bat guano, you too can perform this historical reenactment.
One imagines the Oxford authorities were aghast, wanted the poop removed immediately, so the lawn was scrubbed and order restored. But fertilizer is fertilizer. Once applied, it seeps into the soil and does what it's meant to do. The lawn must have looked normal for a while, but as the weather improved and the sun came out and the grass began to grow, a distinct pattern emerged. The college could mow and mow, but some tufts of grass stubbornly kept growing higher and thicker than the rest. And from a distance — say from a classroom window anywhere around the quad, you could see — all spring, all summer — like a graffito that can't be erased, the word GUANO, spelled out in grass. Oxford couldn't make it go away.
Ice cream crimes5 stories from Stephen Tobolowsky's 'The Dangerous Animals Club', The Christian Science Monitor>>
When Tobolowsky was 10 years old, his father brought him to the go-cart races for the Lions Club and made him head of the concession stand. "Talk about having the fox watch the hen house," he wrote. "I went through half a box of soft-serve cones within the first hour." The person in charge of the event went over to Tobolowsky and became angry, telling Tobolowsky that he was going to count the ice cream cones to make sure Tobolowsky wasn't eating any more. "I was scared," he wrote. "I was ashamed – for about seven minutes. Then I figured I could get around the prohibition on eating ice cream by just avoiding the cones altogether and dispensing the soft serve directly into my hand. No cone. No trail. No problem."
During college, Tobolowsky and his then-girlfriend were on a bus which broke down more than two hours outside of Dallas, so Tobolowsky's girlfriend suggested they hitchhike home. Tobolowsky was nervous, but agreed. After waiting for a long time, a van pulled over and the door on the side opened up. He and his girlfriend jumped in quickly. Tobolowsky tried to make conversation, but no one would talk. "No one looked at Beth or me," he wrote. "It was tense. Now I wondered how this ride would end." The van pulled over eventually and the driver told them they had to get out. "Hey, thanks for the lift," Tobolowsky told the driver. "I was afraid no one would pick up hitchhikers anymore." "What?" the driver said. "You were hitchhiking? We never even saw you. We had just pulled over to change drivers. You jumped into the car and said, 'Drive us to Dallas.' We thought you were kidnappers."
"We didn't hear any shots. Our dog didn't even bark."Mr. Miller is 19 years old.
“The lab analyst in question had unsupervised access to the drug safe and evidence room, and tampered with evidence bags, altered the actual weight of the drugs, did not calibrate machines correctly, and altered samples so that they would test as drugs when they were not."She had been working at the lab since 2003, and worked on samples for 34,000 criminal cases.
His work documents the aftermath of a 2010 toxic waste spill in Western Hungary, which killed nine people and forced the evacuation of thousands. The material, released from an aluminum factory, has left a permanent mark on the villages in its path.Hungary's Thick Red Line. Spanish photographer Palíndromo Mészáros documented the effects of a massive toxic aluminum spill in Hungary, American Photo>>
We’ve all been lied to, and most of us have a high opinion of our ability to tell a lie from the truth. Yet research repeatedly shows that confidence to be misplaced and that judges, customs inspectors, and yes, detectives, make lousy lie detectors.Read: Human Lie Detectors: The Death of the Dead Giveaway, Pacific Standard>>
Those in law enforcement are trained to “read” body language, affect, facial expressions, mannerisms, and ways of speaking, and to believe that they can trust their gut. They learn that if a suspect averts their gaze, touches their nose, chews a fingernail, strokes the back of their head, slouches or fidgets, they are likely lying and thus, guilty.
Virtually all scientific research finds this mindset is counterproductive and even lowers the accuracy of judgments. People under stress—being wrongly accused certainly qualifies—can behave in ways impossible to distinguish from those who are lying. Yet the accused may be convicted in the court of public opinion—or worse—in large part because they don’t react to tragedy or the loss of a loved one as others want them to or expect.
“Mommy locked Daddy in the closet.”Officers couldn't see him, so they used a cell phone camera to take a photo of Homer Stephens Parham, who was crammed into a ledge on top of the closet.
On Nov. 4, 1979, thousands of Iranians stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 66 Americans hostage, including three CIA officers. The crisis lasted 444 days—a drawn-out drama dubbed “America Held Hostage” on television. But during the tumult, six American consular officials managed to slip by the Iranian mob.
As they hid out in the homes of two Canadian diplomats, the Secret Six dreamed up escape plans worthy of Robert Ludlum, and perhaps just as outlandish.
That is, until the CIA appeared with a plan even crazier than anything they had imagined: a scheme to have them pose as a crew of politically clueless filmmakers from Tinseltown scouting locations for a sci-fi film.
Revolutionary Iran was dangerously chaotic, but the bureaucracy of surveillance and repression hadn’t hardened yet. This was before Google, which meant cover stories were checked by phone, in person, or by fax. It seemed crazy, but it might just work.
"Of all the groups heading into Iran, it wasn’t implausible to imagine a group of self-absorbed Hollywood eccentrics traveling there in the middle of a revolution to find the perfect locations for their movie.
Beyond that, it had the one quality that I felt the other potential cover stories lacked. It was fun, which I knew would help the six “houseguests.” We were going to walk them out through Tehran airport and right onto a commercial plane. They might be stopped; they might be questioned about what they did. And they needed to be comfortable with their new identities. We figured anyone knows enough about Hollywood to fake a little movie-making patter.
Now I needed to convince everyone else at the CIA—and the Canadians—that this crazy idea was our best shot. And we had to work on the back story. We needed a Hollywood office, so if the Iranians’ people called our people, they’d hear something on the phone that confirmed we were legit. We would need to set up our own production company, which I had decided to call “Studio Six Productions,” after the six houseguests trapped in Iran. And we needed to plant ads and articles in the trade press about our new project."
Read the rest of the article, here: The True Story Behind Operation ‘Argo’ to Rescue Americans From Iran, The Daily Beast>>Another, more detailed telling of the tale: How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran. Wired>>
"This was something that was really awful, could have ended awful, and because so many people came together, it just turned right around."- Support Whitney Kropp, Facebook>>
"What if you took real gold and coated something with it and sold it to someone like it was solid gold?"A jeweler in Manhattan named Ibrahim Fadl bought a 10-ounce bar of gold for $18,000 from someone he'd bought gold from before.
The Case of the Negotiable Cow
Board of Inland Revenue v Haddock; Rex v Haddock
Sir Joshua Hoot, KC (appearing for the Public Prosecutor): Sir Basil, these summonses, by leave of the Court, are being heard together, an unusual but convenient arrangement.
The defendant, Mr Albert Haddock, has for many months, in spite of earnest endeavours on both sides, been unable to establish harmonious relations between himself and the Collector of Taxes. The Collector maintains that Mr Haddock should make over a large part of his earnings to the Government. Mr Haddock replies that the proportion demanded is excessive, in view of the inadequate services or consideration which he himself has received from that Government. After an exchange of endearing letters, telephone calls, and even cheques, the sum demanded was reduced to fifty-seven pounds; and about this sum the exchange of opinions continued.
On the 31st of May the Collector was diverted from his respectable labours by the apparition of a noisy crowd outside his windows. The crowd, Sir Basil, had been attracted by Mr Haddock, who was leading a large white cow of malevolent aspect. On the back and sides of the cow were clearly stencilled in red ink the following words:
TO THE LONDON AND LITERARY BANK, Ltd:Mr Haddock conducted the cow into the Collector’s office, tendered it to the Collector in payment of income tax and demanded a receipt.
Pay the Collector of Taxes, who is no gentleman, or Order, the sum of fifty-seven pounds (and may he rot!) L 57/10/0 ALBERT HADDOCK
The Exact Science of Matrimony
by O. Henry
"As I have told you before," said Jeff Peters, "I never had much confidence in the perfidiousness of woman. As partners or coeducators in the most innocent line of graft they are not trustworthy."
"They deserve the compliment," said I. "I think they are entitled to be called the honest sex."
"Why shouldn't they be?" said Jeff. "They've got the other sex either grafting or working overtime for 'em. They're all right in business until they get their emotions or their hair touched up too much. Then you want to have a flat footed, heavy breathing man with sandy whiskers, five kids and a building and loan mortgage ready as an understudy to take her desk. Now there was that widow lady that me and Andy Tucker engaged to help us in that little matrimonial agency scheme we floated out in Cairo.
"When you've got enough advertising capital—say a roll as big as the little end of a wagon tongue—there's money in matrimonial agencies. We had about $6,000 and we expected to double it in two months, which is about as long as a scheme like ours can be carried on without taking out a New Jersey charter.
"We fixed up an advertisement that read about like this:
"Charming widow, beautiful, home loving, 32 years, possessing $3,000 cash and owning valuable country property, would remarry. Would prefer a poor man with affectionate disposition to one with means, as she realizes that the solid virtues are oftenest to be found in the humble walks of life. No objection to elderly man or one of homely appearance if faithful and true and competent to manage property and invest money with judgment. Address, with particulars."'So far, so pernicious,' says I, when we had finished the literary concoction. 'And now,' says I, 'where is the lady.'
Care of Peters & Tucker, agents, Cairo, Ill.
Scam-baiters have set out to reverse this dynamic, to turn the tables on the scammers. The legions of scam-baiters seek to con the con artists, often with remarkable artistry of their own. They tease the scammers with promises of payments that don’t arrive, with wired funds from banks that don’t exist, with Western Union money transfers that go awry. They lead the scammers on wild-goose chases to pick up checks from couriers who don’t materialize, insist the scammers perform ridiculous stunts, and ask them to pose with demeaning signs to prove their commitment to the transaction. Blinded by the same greed that blinds their marks, the scammers take the scam- baiters’ bait and, often as not, end up as heads on the virtual wall in the scam-baiting Web sites’ “trophy rooms.”Read the article: How To Trick an Online Scammer Into Carving a Computer Out of Wood, The Atlantic>>
Sandusky started with wrestling, to make physical touch seem normal. In the shower, the boy initially turned on a showerhead a few feet from Sandusky. Sandusky told him to use the shower next to him. This was a test. The boy complied. Then came the bear hug. The boy’s back was touching Sandusky’s chest and his feet touched Sandusky’s thigh. Sandusky wanted to see how the boy would react. Was this too much too soon? The boy felt “weird” and “uncomfortable.” Sandusky retreated. The following week, Sandusky showed up at the boy’s home, circling back to test the waters once again. How did the boy feel? Had he told his mother? Was he a promising lead, or too risky?Read the article: In Plain View. How child molesters get away with it. The New Yorker...
“Reviews are the smallest piece of being successful... But it’s a lot easier to buy them than cultivating an audience.”The New York Times has an article examining book publishing in this new world:
Consumer reviews are powerful because, unlike old-style advertising and marketing, they offer the illusion of truth. They purport to be testimonials of real people, even though some are bought and sold just like everything else on the commercial Internet.Read the entire article: The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy>>
Mr. Liu estimates that about one-third of all consumer reviews on the Internet are fake. Yet it is all but impossible to tell when reviews were written by the marketers or retailers (or by the authors themselves under pseudonyms), by customers (who might get a deal from a merchant for giving a good score) or by a hired third-party service.
Looking at the above photo, it's enough reason for us to look down on the Americans! While hunting Bin Laden, Obama and his subordinates were staring at an on-screen live satellite feed in the White House's Situation Room. My feelings are:This online post about how America is a primitive "foolish and backward nation" is a fine example of sustained irony. It's become a viral sensation on Chinese social media sites.
1. American subordinates don't respect their leaders enough, and even made the dignified President squeeze into a corner to sit. Poor Obama, not even the prestige of a village head in the Celestial Dynasty ["天朝," slang for China].
2. The imposing White House Situation Room is really blah. It's small, with no fancy decorations, it's really not fit for the style of a great nation. A township-level department room in the Celestial Dynasty is probably bigger than that, and much more luxurious.
3. There are no fruit plates or beverages, no ... expensive cigarettes ... and this is the world's number one economy, ha!
Gerald B. Hardin, from Cayce, South Carolina, was arrested in a plot to defraud an insurance company. He and two others hatched a plan to cut off one of their hands with a chain saw and then file an insurance claim. Initially, it worked. (I guess the severed hand was proof enough.) They got $671,000.Here's more of the story.
(Man cuts off friend's hand for insurance money, Deceptology>>)
"Michael Weaver is a vulnerable victim in this case, and he has been a vulnerable victim throughout."In a plea deal, Mr. Player pleaded guilty to mail fraud.
"Mr. Weaver benefitted, if anything, very little. He still lives in the same camper he always did. It's a hovel. I don't know how he lives there.The third guy, Gerald "Trey" Hardin III, already pleaded guilty. He got $5,000 and a car from the scheme. He knew Mr. Player because his mom used to date him. He was going to testify against him, but he didn't have to.