Here at Blogtown, we want every dog to have a home—including the terrifying ones. Here's a dog that might be a little oversized for your home, and he might fight with your other dogs... but he is enthusiastic, and he loves chips. And he's, you know, terrifying.
Damn you, Guatemala! Once again you've cornered the market on funeral parlors that feature sexy Santas playing dead in coffins. WAITASECOND. What exactly are these people selling?!?
If you think our future rulers will take us down swiftly, maybe with some kind of massive mind-control system or death ray, you're wrong. This guy is trying to make it so they enact their terrible mechanical reign using SWORDS. Unlike salad robot and noodle robot, there are no commercial applications to robots who fight with swords. Only fighting applications.
Even more frightening is this lamp created by three students from the University of Wellington.
Three terrifying things about this:
 College students did it. So it can't be that hard.
 The lamp doesn't like being turned off. Imagine that from a sword-fighting robot.
 It's kind of adorable. And it shouldn't be, because it's coming to kill us all.
On a day when broad statements (some entirely correct) are being tossed about, the Washington Post's Ezra Klein lays out "Eleven facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States." Here are two of them:
8. More guns tend to mean more homicide.
The Harvard Injury Control Research Center assessed the literature on guns and homicide and found that there’s substantial evidence that indicates more guns means more murders. This holds true whether you’re looking at different countries or different states. Citations here.
9. States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.
Last year, economist Richard Florida dove deep into the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths....
Read all 11 here. While some are no-brainers, others really surprised me, including, "Gun ownership in the United States is declining overall."
The actual and true updates on this morning's school shooting are all bad enough. So bad I feel like I've spent the past hour or so just dazedly looking at updates on my computer screen. But here's something to think about media colleagues: Don't make this shit any worse than it needs to be.
Make sure, when you out someone as a mass murderer who committed suicide, it's the right Facebook profile you're hastily passing around. Because here's what one Ryan Lanza, allegedly dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary, thinks about all your reporting.
As news filtered in Friday from the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said "today is not the day," to engage in a policy debate over gun control. The shooting at an elementary school killed 27, the Associated Press reported Friday afternoon.
Bullshit. Today is exactly the day to discuss gun control. Because last week it wasn't timely and next week we'll be mourning... and the week after that it won't be urgent. When can we have the debate?
Carney ducked the question when asked when would be a good time to engage in a substantive debate on gun control, repeating that today isn't the time. Obama has drawn criticism for never making gun control an administration priority.
It's always jam tomorrow, jam yesterday... while these things keep happening regularly enough to set your watch.
Maybe this elusive debate would find that more gun control simply won't work, as the NRA is constantly bleating. But maybe—just maybe—sensible Americans believe that freedom isn't defined by the right for any of us to be shot to death at any moment, on purpose or on accident, just because everyone is entitled to casually carry around souped-up murder weapons.
UPDATE: Why have this debate now? Because the radical right is already having this debate today. Here's the a tweet from earlier (that now seems to have gone missing from his feed) from the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer:
Yes, part of this debate is that we should let seven year olds and teachers trot around school with concealed semi-automatic weapons, because that would solve everything. And it's not just Bryan Fischer's implication of arming teachers—folks like this Reuters commenter say it outright:
These nutters don't represent the entire discussion, of course. The entire discussion includes lots of rational people—including President Obama. If the left's leader is too scared to engage, the other side owns the debate and pushes it further into lethal crazy town.
I happened across PBEM's media roll-out yesterday while haunting city hall for council coverage; they'd set up outside the city council chambers ahead of a vote that cements Oregon Public Broadcasting as the city's official outlet for emergency broadcasts. And I came away intrigued enough, after looking over the shiny and serious-looking sample station, that I went to the bureau's website and used a form to enter both my home and work addresses to figure out the closest BEECN to each one. (St. Johns Park and the Fields park, respectively.)
First of all... EVERYBODY'S OKAY. Secondly, that information will not make you feel even the slightest bit better as you watch this footage of a mother duck and her ducklings crossing a very busy highway—FILLED WITH CARS THAT NEED TO SLOW THE FUCK DOWN. Clear your throat first, because your heart will be leaping into it.
Check out this clip from the Brazilian variety show Programa Silvio Santos, in which unsuspecting elevator riders pick up an absolutely terrifying hitchhiker along the way. (Pro Tip: Hey Brazilians! If you hate children so much... STOP HAVING THEM.)
Genetic "switches" determine much about our bodies, including hair color, blood type, and susceptibility to certain diseases. Now, researchers believe they have found a gene that regulates something far more eerie: the time of day a person is likely to die.
In an study published in the November 2012 issue of the Annals of Neurology scientists studying the body's biological clock (a.k.a. the circadian rhythm) report the discovery of gene variant that not only determines the likelihood of your being a morning person, but also predicts, with unsettling accuracy, your likely time of death.
The gene typically allows for three possible combinations of nucleotides (the four molecular building blocks of DNA): adenine-adenine (A-A), adenine-guanine (A-G), and guanine-guanine (G-G), according to a written statement released by Harvard Medical School...investigators realized as some of the 1,200 older subjects in the project died that these nucleotide sequences were accurate predictors of their time of death, within a range of only a few hours. Patients with the A-A and A-G genotypes typically died just before 11 a.m., while subjects with the G-G combination tended to die near 6 p.m.
This calls for a legally binding Blogtown poll!
Like many of us, I spent Thanksgiving with some of the cancer survivors in my family—which is why Cienna Madrid's excellent piece in The Stranger about "Munchausen Syndrome by internet," a disorder characterized by faking illnesses on the intenet, was particularly difficult to read this morning.
But while it's disturbing and angering to read about young women who faked cancer in order to infiltrate online support groups, it's also an incredibly interesting piece about how Munchausen Syndrome—which since 1951 has described people who fake illnesses to attract attention and sympathy—has evolved for the internet age. The internet mutes our "natural bullshit detectors," Madrid writes, since we "can't rely on facial expressions and other physical cues for sensing lies, and studies suggest that without those cues, we're prone to generously fill in the blanks." Which is how manipulative 19-year-old girls are able to trick otherwise intelligent adults into believing that they're suffering from terminal diseases.
Read the whole thing here.
Headline of the day: "Ke$ha Made Bra out of Fans' Teeth"
She exclusively told BANG Showbiz: "I asked [my fans] to send me their teeth and I got, like, over 1000 human teeth.
"I made it into a bra top, and a headdress, and earrings, and necklaces. I've worn it out!"
It's true—there are sooooo many dumb ways to die. However, who knew that so many of them were so goddamn cute?!? (The best PSA you'll watch all day.)
If you, like me, wait 'til the last possible second to do everything in your life... take out the trash, eat questionable leftovers, marry your boyfriend of 10 years... then you've come to the heart-breaking realization that there are 2,467 Halloween films playing in the beer theaters that you haven't got around to watching yet. PANIC! Okay, really there are only three, but still, today's your last day to watch 'em, slack-ass. Tonight, you have your choice of Evil Dead 2 at the Hollywood at 9:40 pm, The Blair Witch Project at the Academy Theater at 9:40 pm, or at 9:30 pm, the Laurelhurst Theater is showing Ghostbusters. What will your decision be, procrastinerd? While you're only going to be able to squeeze in one of those, the Hollywood has a nice post-Halloween surprise for you—David Cronenberg's The Fly plays for a week starting on Friday, November 9.
My vote: You can't go wrong with Ash!
I live in the Buckman neighborhood, and each year we get fewer trick or treaters on Halloween. Five years ago, traffic was steady—this year, I think the doorbell rang maybe six times total.
Parents, what's the deal? Because I'm kind of mad at all of your kids. We carve pumpkins and buy all this candy and sit at home dutifully watching scary movies and waiting for the damn doorbell to ring—and then no one shows! If I wanted to be disappointed by children, I WOULD HAVE THEM. Are all the neighborhood kids lured away by the posh nearby Laurelhurst neighborhood, where I can only assume the "good candy" is handed out? (We give out good candy.) Are the homeless tent compounds in inner Southeast really THAT offputting? Is everyone scared of my neighbors' mustache van? The dynamics of this are a complete mystery to me. All I know is, we have a fuck-load of candy at my house that now I have to eat, and all you moms and dads cutely posting on Facebook about stealing a "parent tax" from your kids' candy stash (DENIS C. THERIAULT) are welcome to come on over and help yourselves.
(Former Mercury news editor Amy Ruiz was similarly bummed about the lack of trick-or-treaters in her neighborhood, so she helped rally the neighbors in what was apparently a very successful drive to reinvigorate trick-or-treating in Woodlawn. I'm not going to do that. Nice idea, though!)
A couple months back I warned you of the threat posed by noodle robots. And yet you did nothing to protect yourself. Well, things are getting worse.
Not only are robots making noodles to fatten us up, they're now able to slowly and awkwardly cut cucumbers into random sized slices. Holy shit.
You can't watch him remove that knife from the rack without peeing yourself. Terrifying.
But they aren't just cutting cukes and pouring pudding on them, ROBOTS ARE HERE FOR YOUR CHILDREN.
ToyTalk is working on a new toy for kids who already have iPads but for some reason would rather play with robotic-voiced teddy bears.
More important question, WHY IS SHE DOING HER HOMEWORK WITH A GIGANTIC PENCIL? Probably because the evil teddy bear bot made her. "Use a big pencil for your homework, Sally. Play with me, Sally. Kill your parents and use their blood to lubricate my robot joints, Sally." There's no other explanation.
Stay away from me, robots. Take your giant pencils and your poorly sliced salads and go back to robot planet.
That's the header of an email I received from the We Like Women Political Party. Here's the text:
This is a free speech opinion!
Democrats do not like white people! Whites are facing a lot of reverse discrimination in areas where there are lots of Democrats! In communities which are overwhelmingly Democrat, whites are getting insults like, "Get out of my neighborhood, you're white," "why don't you move to a whiter neighborhood and get out my neighborhood," "I don't like white people in my neighborhood," "F-you, you are white," etc., etcetra.....In areas which are overwhelmingly Democrat, this is what is happening to white people! (Also, in areas which are overwhelmingly Democrat, whites are a minority and are becoming a superminority!) In many areas which are Democratically controlled, whites, which use to be a majority, are less than 30% of the population now! So if you are white and if you do not want to be insulted for being white (F-You, you are white, I don't like you because you are white) or or do not want to become a minority or even a superminority, do not vote Democrat, vote Republican or vote for any other political party besides the Democratic Party. This is a free speech opinion and only an opinion and we have the right to express our free speech political opinion!
For more hilarity, check out the We Like Women Political Party website.
You couldn't ask for a treatier treat this Halloween than watching Peter Jackson's glorious vom bomb Dead Alive for FREE at CINEMA 21. I feel like puking with happiness even typing that. And in 35mm even! BLAURFFFFFFFF! Sooooo happy. Thanks, Cinema 21! I don't even care if there are razor blades hidden inside your decadent present—what are a few mouth cuts when you get to see this much gore on the big screen.
The B-side's pretty spooky too, particularly the coda.
GOOD MORNING, BLOGTOWN! They say "Why are you dressed like it's Halloween? You look so absurd, you look so obscene." LET'S GO TO PRESS.
New York City and New Jersey struggle to get back on their feet today, as power outages are still being repaired, the airports are slowly coming back on line, fires rage in Jersey, Wall Street gets back to work, and traffic? IT'S A GODDAMN NIGHTMARE.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie—who had some prickly words to say about the President during the GOP convention—is now in looooooove with Barack Obama.
Despite all the problems brought upon the northeast by Hurricane Sandy, election day is expected to proceed as planned—though things do look a tad dicey.
A Chinese think tank is urging the government to drop their one-child policy and allow parents to have two kids. DON'T DO IT!!! IT'S A SLIPPERY SLOPE!!! (Just ask Octomom.)
According to a new report, an executive at Apple was fired because he refused to apologize for their sucky and disastrous maps application.
In case you missed it yesterday, Disney has acquired all of George Lucas' Star Wars toys—which made the nerd world poop and squirt all at the same time.
Locally the (sigh) anti-fluoride people cleared another hurdle to put good dental health to a public vote. VOTE "NO" ON HEALTHY GUMS!!
Oregon authorities are advising motorists to not swerve when a deer runs out in front of you. Sooo... you'll have to find a new way of killing us, deer!
Here's what's going on in your neck of the woods: A rainy Halloween (BOOOOOOO!) but prepare for an honest-to-god DRY weekend!
Now that the worst of Sandy has passed, Obama and Romney hop back on the campaign trail for one final—and probably extremely annoying—push. HOWEVER! At least one four-year-old girl in a battleground state is sick and tired of "Bronco Bama" and "Mitt Romeney." WATCH.
Creepy video of East 8th Street and Avenue C in Manhattan—which is underwater. Oh, and the blackout that follows. (In the future apocalypse, please tell me the Twitter machine is still working!!)
In which the scariest movie ever made is reconceived as a situation comedy. Enjoy!
Way back in 1994, the Power Rangers thought they were pretty hot poop. They defeated Rita Repulsa. Lord Zedd, Scorpina and Master Vile—but it took a very special villain on a very special Power Rangers Halloween episode to humble these spandex-wearing teenage pricks. Introducing... the PUMPKIN RAPPER!!
HE'S A PUMPKIN!! THAT... THAT RAPS!! FEEEEAARR HIMMMMMM!!! (Or you know, whatever.)
Note to anyone producing a HORROR show on TV: The week of Halloween, you must—by federal law—make your Halloween episode extra super-duper scary! See American Horror Story for further details. Thank you, and let's move on and start chitty-chatting about this week's (YAAAAAWWWN) "Halloween episode" of The Walking Dead. Spoilery spoilers and recap after the jump!
I know there are roughly seven billion bazillion Halloween parties this weekend vying for your attendance, but allow me to personally invite you to attend the Carnival of Horrors, a sideshow-themed dance party and the very last edition of Shut Up & Dance to take place at the Fez (they've got a new home at Rotture). Aside from the fact that SU&D is one of the longest running and best loved dance nights in the city, they are also hosting a sideshow-freak costumed contest, which I will be judging along with fashion designers Bryce Black and Alyson Clair, as well as fellow MOD contributor Elizabeth Mollo.
Now, I've judged a number of costume contests in my day, and one thing has become clear: Most costumes suck! So consider it a challenge, and raise the bar for the most creative rendition of the Four Legged Lady or the Human Owl. Don't think about how sad it is that most real carnival freaks were simply born with physical anomalies that forced them into a life of ostracization, exploitation, prostitution, destitution, and other things that end with "tution," and just have FUN! Bonus points for DIY-ing, minus points for "sexy sideshow freak."
|Most Popular||I, Anonymous||Best of the Merc|
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!