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Posted by SCOTT CACCIOLA

The Warriors star woke up on Saturday to learn that he was no longer welcome at the White House, after he had already said he didn’t want to go.
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Posted by FRANCES ROBLES

Officials of Isabela, in northwest Puerto Rico, are trying to evacuate residents after Hurricane Maria damaged the nearby Guajataca Dam.
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Posted by STEPHEN CASTLE

The leader of the Labour Party, written off a year ago, can expect a rapturous reception at this year’s party conference. But can he win a broader audience?
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Posted by Marykate Jasper

Nicole Kelly, a former Miss America contestant who was born without a left forearm, has been putting her master’s degree in broadcasting to use by teaching others about her experience with a new “bionic hand.” Though Kelly rarely wore a prosthetic arm growing up, preferring to instead perform most tasks one-handed, she recently started using the Coapt Complete Control system, a robotic arm that “uses sensors in the arm that work with Kelly’s muscles” and “allows her to control the arm by thinking about what she wants to do.”

She’s decided to document her learning curve on YouTube, so that she can help to normalize the process. “I wanted to show my growth,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that I put on the arm and now magically I changed and I am like everyone else…I want to be able to educate you on my level of capability.”

Kelly previously competed in beauty pageants, eventually becoming Miss Iowa and competing in the 2014 Miss America contest. Though the pageant and its deeply problematic beauty standards have been around since 1921, Kelly was only the second women in its history to have a disability. She told Today, “That was the most attractive thing to me — I can wear a sparkly dress and talk about difference. That is why I did it.”

As awesome as it is that Kelly’s pushing back against ableist ideas of beauty, she undeniably fits conventional beauty standards in a number of ways. However, she certainly doesn’t fit the mainstream narrative about who’s “biohacking” and leading the way in the day-to-day of robotics research, so I’m excited to watch as she progresses.

Here’s Kelly trying to pick up a bottle of juice:

And here’s Kelly practicing brushing her teeth:

I certainly don’t want to downplay how frustrating and difficult it must be for Kelly to adjust to her new hand. It clearly requires tons of practice, and it’s crucial for the people in her life to accommodate her as she works with it, gets annoyed with it, and takes a longer time to complete tasks. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone dealing with an arm like this to be full of good humor all the time, and Kelly’s smiles and can-do attitude don’t make it any less crucial for our society to do a whole lot better by disabled people.

However, I have to appreciate the joy and normalcy in her videos, where she laughs, tries again, gets creative, and explains what makes using the prosthetic arm (or one hand, in her older videos) difficult. Her videos demonstrate how people with disabilities aren’t necessarily tragic or helpless figures, like we so often see in fiction. Instead, they’re going to discuss their bodies with the same infinite variety of approaches we see people use for every other bodied experience. Some of those stories will be tragic; some will be angry; some will be funny; some will be gross; and others – like Kelly’s videos – will be about the humor, struggle, and joy of experimentation and persistence.

(Via Today; image via screengrab)

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Posted by William Hughes

Operating on the presumed assumption that going where people vocally don’t want him—i.e., everywhere—and saying the things people don’t want him to say—i.e., everything—has never worked out less than swimmingly for him in the past, political yapper Milo Yiannopoulos has pledged to speak tomorrow at UC Berkeley, even…

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Posted by William Hughes

Just a week after the Alamo Drafthouse and Fantastic Fest came under fire for the quiet re-hiring of former Birth.Movies.Death. editor Devin Faraci—who was accused last year of groping and sexually assaulting a woman several years ago, leading to his now having been twice forced to resign from the Drafthouse…

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Posted by JACEY FORTIN

A student group that was organizing a series of speeches by right-wing activists canceled the event on Saturday. Mr. Yiannopoulos said he was “blindsided.”
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Posted by Miss Cellania

Bini (previously at Neatorama) has many hobbies, such as painting and doing tricks for his human. He likes to play a little basketball before he goes to bed every night.  

(YouTube link)

The folks at Guinness World Records have recognized Bini's talents with a world record for "most slam dunks in one minute by a rabbit." Seven of them. Yeah, sure, it's a made-up category for Bini, but it's still amazing. It got the rabbit into the book Guinness World Records 2018: Amazing Animals. This is the first edition, so who knows? Maybe some other bunny will come along and challenge that record. -via Tastefully Offensive

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Posted by Marykate Jasper

While LGBT History Month isn’t until October in the U.S., or until February in the U.K., September 23 is International Celebrate Bisexuality Day/Bi Visibility Day! “What we asked people to do,” reads the initial summary of the day, “was find some time on this day to celebrate who they are. That could be lighting a candle, saying a prayer, buying a bi pride flag, getting together with other bisexuals for brunch, having incredible sex, march somewhere, whatever they desired.” Check out the #BiVisibilityDay tag for some A+ jokes, celebratory selfies, and knowledge dropping.

September was originally chosen because it’s Freddie Mercury’s birth month, so let’s also celebrate with this photo of Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury:

  • Yuri!!! On Ice is getting its own Funko Pop collection, including Yuri, Yurio, Victor, and Young Victor – flower crown included, obvi. (via Nerdist)
  • Pennywise is either the world’s greatest dancer or its worst, as his routine fits pretty much any song you can set it to. Check out this Twitter account which matches his dance sequence to a bunch of different tunes.
  • Boom! Studios will release a graphic novel that builds on the universe of The Expanse. It’ll be titled The Expanse: Origins and will “take a peek at who our beloved crew was before the Rocinante.” (via SYFY Wire)
  • Over at the AV Club, Clayton Purdom argues that “Rick And Morty’s worst fans don’t deserve Rick And Morty.” Couldn’t agree any more.
  • Things are pretty dire in Mexico City, which has been shaken by its second earthquake in less than a week. Jezebel has reports from the city itself, where it seems that volunteers are being blocked by the police, as well as links where you can donate.
  • Puerto Rico still isn’t receiving the aid it needs after its electricity system was decimated by hurricanes. Have you contacted your representatives yet to demand action and aid for them?

(Featured image via Shutterstock)

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Posted by William Hughes

Donald Trump—a man for whom kicking hornets nests comes as naturally as if he was a blindfolded guy in clown shoes, walking through Ye Olde Hornet-Filled Woods—found a doozy to punt today, picking a fight with not just one, but two separate major league sports associations in a 24-hour span. Earlier today, Trump took…

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Posted by Katie Rife

Introducing the world premiere of World Of Tomorrow 2, the sequel to the Oscar-nominated short film described by The A.V. Club’s Noel Murray as one of the best films of 2015, Don Hertzfeldt seemed tired. Years spent alone in a dark room doing painstaking work on rickety equipment—in the Q&A, Hertzfeld said that he’s…

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Southern Ohioisms

Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:24 pm
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Posted by Victor Mair

During my recent trip to Ohio, I met a man named Don Slater from southeastern Ohio who regaled me with endless examples of how people from his neck of the woods (centered on Noble County, but down into eastern Kentucky and Tennessee) talk.

People from Noble County don't butcher a hog, they "burcher" it.

They don't say "ain't that awful" or "tain't that awful".  They say "hain't that awful".  Don said he thought that pronunciation might have some Irish influence behind it.

One of the most amazing expressions Don taught me was one he said is used around Gatlinburg, Tennessee:  "beyall".  See if you can figure out what it means before you turn to the next page.  HINT:  this expression is often used by waiters and waitresses in restaurants.

Try again.  SECOND HINT:  it is a question — "beyall?"

THIRD HINT:  it is equal to four words in standard English".  NO MORE HINTS.

"Will that be all?"

Here's a set of sentences from Noble County with three homonyms that are completely separate morphemes:

1. How fur is it to Caldwell?

2. What did you do that fur?

3. That bear has thick fur.

A few more words as they are spoken in Noble County:

1. koelidz — a place where you go to receive higher education

2. bulgee — subject you might study at a koelidz

3. daiton — city in southwestern Ohio

4. murrow — large painting on a wall

5. westcomsin — name of a northern state

For southern Ohio "probably" –> "pry", see starting at 0:47 in this YouTube:

Here's another YouTube on "Southern Ohio Slang":

My Mom (and everybody in my family following her) always used to refer to bell peppers as "mangoes"*.  When I joined the Peace Corps and went to South Asia, I got to know what real mangoes are.  The speaker in this video gives a good explanation of why people in southern Ohio call bell peppers "mangoes", starting at 1:56.  Around 5:30 she discusses a "non-verbal 'hey'".  There are dozens of other intriguing expressions that she introduces, including "a lick" = a little bit (8:23), "born in a barn" = be rude, have no manners, forgot to close the door when you came in (my Mom used to say that too; 9:30), "get on" = leave (10:13),  "done did" = did (12:00), "et" = ate (12:43), and many others.  The speaker says "I don't know" about almost everything and giggles a great deal.  Nevertheless, she offers a lot of interesting information about southern Ohio speech.

*[From Portuguese manga, fruit of the mango tree, from Malayalam māṅṅa or a kindred Dravidian source; akin to Tamil , mānti, māti. (American Heritage Dictionary).  Borrowed into Sinitic as mángguǒ 芒果, probably through Malay mangga, with the second syllable, guǒ 果 ("fruit"), being a convenient phono-semantic match.]

The 13th-Century Revolution.

Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:29 pm
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Posted by languagehat

Eric Weiskott describes “the 13th-century revolution that made modern poetry possible” — namely, the change from alliterative verse (“the form of poetry used in Beowulf, Piers Plowman, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”) to the accentual-syllabic meters that underlie what we think of as traditional English verse, which began around the end of the 12th century. Weiskott gives as an example “the opening lines of the Ormulum, a very long religious tract composed by a monk named Orm”:

Thiss boc iss nemmnedd Orrmulum
forrthi þatt Orrm itt wrohhte
(‘This book is called Ormulum because Orm wrote it.’)

(Gotta love both the spelling and the impeccable reasoning.) I liked the apposite Pound quote (“To break the pentameter, that was the first heave”) and this interesting paragraph:

So if alliterative metre doesn’t measure stresses, syllables or even alliteration, what does it measure? Scholars have been debating the answer to this question since the 18th century. Current thinking is that alliterative metre measures a more abstract unit termed metrical position. A metrical position might contain one syllable, or it might contain more than one. Specifically, any number of adjacent unstressed syllables count together as a single metrical position. So, for example, the run of three unstressed syllables in the second half of the line from Piers Plowman, –e was the, is formally equivalent to the run of two unstressed syllables at the beginning of the line, in a. That’s right: a metre in which 1 + 1 = 3. In Beowulf, the rule is fairly simple: four metrical positions make a verse. By the time of Piers Plowman, the arrangement of positions had got more complicated.

Thanks, Jack!

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Posted by BENJAMIN HOFFMAN

After the president took aim at N.F.L. players and the N.B.A. star Stephen Curry, athletes and celebrities reacted on Twitter with strong words.
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Posted by Zeon Santos

Little kids love to make big, bold claims they can't back up, since boasting is a natural part of childhood as they try to figure out who they are and what they're truly capable of doing.

But 3-year-old Caleb from Texas wasn't boasting when he said "I'm 3. I know everything", and he hosted a Reddit AMA (with a little help from his father Matthew) to prove it.

His answers to questions like "what's the most complex thing you know?" (An idea) and "why do we have toes?" (Because we do) are pretty clever for such a young kid, and some of his answers seem like something a philosopher would say, not a preschooler.

Caleb even had great advice on how to impress dinner guests, which is pretty impressive considering the kid isn't even old enough to pour his own bowl of cereal, let alone bake a cake!

See more from 3-Year-Old Claims He Knows Everything, Does Reddit "Ask Me Anything" To Prove it here

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Posted by Vrai Kaiser

Neo Yokio—an anime-style Netflix miniseries written by the lead singer of Vampire Weekend, steered by the executive producer who was also behind Metalocalypse and Superjail!, and starring Jaden Smith—was released this Thursday to great…well, there were a lot of tweets about it, anyway. The series revolves around Kaz Kaan, an exorcist and member of the “neo riche,” as he battles very relatable concerns like purchasing a tuxedo that’s slightly the wrong shade and having to clear out a dead relative’s house in the Hamptons. Some have defended the series as satire, some have embraced it as camp, and some have settled in to watch the garbage fire secondhand.

This was not a series to be watched alone, so I enlisted fandom academic and acerbic wit (and, full disclosure, my partner) Dorothy Kingswood to help me truck through all six episodes. The experience left us four hours closer to death; hopefully our discussion will shed some light on the baffling fumble of execution that is Neo Yokio.

Vrai Kaiser: Most people are, I think, flocking to watch this on the assumption that it’ll be good MST3K material–the trailer definitely gave off that kind of vibe. The horrible truth, though, is that Neo Yokio quickly stops being fun-stupid and moves right into being exhaustingly stupid.

 

Dorothy Kingswood: Yeah, I mean, when I turned on Netflix, I was certainly expecting a tamely silly piece of adolescent weeb power fantasy–and that’s said with love. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting that kind of cheesy, popcorny entertainment. The problems, though, are many and rampant, starting from the Hanna-Barbera-as-Flash cheapo art and continuing on through concept and execution right up to its insistence on attempting to apply the language and theories of progressive thought in a careless and slapdash manner. It wants to make audiences really think, man, but instead wallows in a sea of superficiality, shallowness, and aesthetics that the creators can’t quite bring themselves to let go of, despite their moves towards interrogation.

VK: It’s ostensibly meant to be satire–that’s certainly in the headlines of plenty of reviews I’ve seen, and Ezra Koenig floated it as parody before he allegedly started “caring about the characters,” but it fails pretty crucially from the word “go.” If Jaden Smith’s character is supposed to be representative of the idle, idiotic rich, we should probably be exposed at some point to characters who aren’t the .01% or aiding and abetting same. I believe you called him “Bertie Wooster without the charm.”

 

DK: He is, he really is. They give him a mean bossy Aunt Agatha who makes him–horrors!–actually perform exorcisms. She’s a clear reference to Wodehouse’s works, but where the goodhearted Bertie essentially wanted to be left alone and allowed to enjoy himself, Kaz is intensely focused upon his externally-validated social standing. Which brings us, I guess, to one of the oddest conventions of Neo Yokio (the location): the Times Square Bachelor Board.

 

VK: Ah, yes–imagine if those “most eligible bachelor” lists leapt from the pages of magazines to be inexplicably emblazoned on the heart of Times Square. It exists entirely to set up a rivalry with the local blond asshole, but there’s never any real sense of urgency beyond the fact that Draco (not his real name) said a mean thing about Kaz once. The plotting for the series is lax beyond belief, as if Koenig grasped that long-running anime have early establishing shenanigans-based episodes but not that one shouldn’t apply that logic to a show with a six-episode maximum.

All of that is within the realm of camp, though–stupid plotting is a help to mockery if anything, and I’m sure some people will be drawn in by the low-quality animation and that Big Toblerone meme. Plus, it is nice to see animated series with racially diverse casts. It’s just such a shame about, y’know, the rest of it.

DK: The Mean Thing that not-Draco said about Kaz is implied to be a slur, in that the lax, sloppy worldbuilding includes a Hogwarts-lite sort of wave at Once Upon A Time Sorcerors Were an Oppressed Class, You Know, and “ratcatcher” is their “Mudblood.” Also all the magic people have pink, purple, or blue hair, but so does poor, poor Helena St. Tessoro, because something this obviously inspired by 90s anime cannot possibly abide a love interest with boring regular hair, worldbuilding be damned.

 

VK: Neither of us are really qualified to get too deep into the series’ approach to race, but the show does definitely choose to have an oppressed fantasy underclass rather than dealing with issues even tangentially related to real-world racism. Which might be an attempt to create an aspirational fantasy, but that’s not the vibe I get from the show. It seems to think it’s saying something. So…rather than say anything real, it makes up its own windmills to swing at. It lives in an absolutely wretched bubble, and its homages to anime sometimes cross into straight-up appropriating terms from Japanese culture it doesn’t get. Specifically hikikomori, a thing anime makes jokes about but is…y’know, an actual community of real people suffering from mental illness.

Certainly we CAN say that its approach to women isn’t great. There’s Helena, as you mentioned, who spends most of the series as a strawman and Freshman Who Just Read the Communist Manifesto.

DK: The ill-use of hikikomori goes hand-in-hand with the show’s decision to describe Kaz’s whining over girls breaking up with him as “depression.” Sure, he’s theoretically meant to be a flawed protagonist in a shallow fishbowl world, but that doesn’t really hold water when there are no stakes or consequences, and every realization of his asshattery results in no marked change in his behavior.

The show gives lip service to performative wokeness, but always in aid of getting away with doing the very things it calls out. It’s a sort of Hipster Racism as applied to every other type of oppression the writers have at some point read about. (Homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, classism.)

In anything else, Helena would be insufferable. In this, she is the best character in a bad bunch, simply because she actually modifies her actions and lifestyle in line with her changing beliefs. And that says a lot. (Also, given her later actions, that’s far from a ringing endorsement.)

I hope you weren’t expecting that subtitle to be examined at any future point

VK: A lot of it is easy to shrug off in isolation, I think, particularly the early going: the fact that the show is too dumb to understand the “anime” terms it appropriates, the fact that the protagonist is a bubble-headed rich idiot whose biggest problem in life is his very expensive suit being the wrong color, the fact that most of the female characters are totally unimportant–either they’re idiots, they’re evil, or they’re…whatever the writing was trying to do with Helena. But camp is found, not created, and it’s a lot harder to sink blissfully into the silliness when the show keeps tapping you on the shoulder to Say Something. And then it says things that are completely tone-deaf.

The anime references, for example; mostly they’re eye-rolling and pretty basic. “Hey, it’s the dream sequence from AKIRA!” “Hey, they said tuxedo mask!” But then they decide to parody Ranma ½ (one of Koenig’s favorite anime, apparently), and things go real sideways, real fast.

Now Ranma (a series about a boy who’s cursed to turn into a girl whenever he’s splashed with cold water) is a series that provided a kind of wish-fulfillment role among a certain age group of trans nerds, myself included. But it was hugely problematic in regards to gender essentialism when it was written in the 90s, and it’s only gotten more ugly with age. There is absolutely no way a cis creator could tango with that material in a tasteful way. And this is egregiously bad.

By introducing a shenanigansy plot wherein Kaz’s cis male friend is transformed into a woman, the show opens the door to twenty minutes of walking into horrible stereotypes about trans women, including having the female-identified, loudly male-identifying Lexy use his physical appearance to hit on a lesbian; or having Kaz tell Lexy not to talk because his voice “gives him away.” The latter plays on fears of trans women being subject to mockery or even violence if they can’t pass, and the former plays right into TERF ideology that trans women are “really” just men trying to get with lesbians.

DK: Don’t forget that it uses that male character, Lexy, as the speaker for nearly all of its “feminist” talking points–neatly keeping the voice located within the mouth of a Dude. In a better show, this would mean something, like that Kaz only listens to other men, but in this? He dismisses Lexy just as much as Helena, to no apparent ill effects for their friendship once the magic spell is reversed. (Ah, the good old reset button. Because the writers enjoy both gag-an-episode structures and ongoing arcs, and haven’t figured out where those things might be incompatible.)

VK: And then the episode has the gall to pretend it’s about Kaz being sexist to women and patronizingly tells the viewer that gender is a spectrum, not a binary. Fuck you, Neo Yokio.

….Actually that’s something of a distillation of the show’s problem. It knows how to parrot concepts but absolutely fails to grasp the contexts at play behind them. I mean, that classism.

DK: The classism is baked into the premise; only two people of a lower status are given speaking roles. One is a fawning Bergdorf’s employee whom Kaz calls “Salesclerk” to his face.

The other is a human being Kaz literally owns.

Getting into spoilers, here, but over the course of that same hi-lar-ious transphobia episode, Kaz spends an entire subplot denying a personal servant access to resources that they need in order to function, as they repeatedly plead for him to assist in sustaining their life, because they are unable to disobey his minor whims even for such a dire predicament. This is played for laughs.

 

VK: For a show that’s ostensibly about the corruption of society and the exploitation of the average person by the elite in the end (I think? It’s possible Eden of the East is one of the shows Neo Yokio would like us to know it has seen), it has absolutely no interest in showing us any kind of actual civil unrest. All the employees of the rich are pleased as punch with their roles (even the human being Kaz definitely owns, whom we have no indication has been paid ever); Helena is the only mouthpiece for anti-capitalist ideology, and she experiences it in an entirely theoretical way.

The show name-drops designer fashion brands endlessly, valorizes the nobility of shallowness, practically drowns the viewer in luxury- and food-porn it can’t actually afford to animate beguilingly, and then pretends like it’s commenting on the excesses of rampant capitalism via a character who is also a billionaire who has never known hardship. This is Reality Bites, 2017 edition.

DK: None of which sits well with the conceit of a demon-hunting show. Because, lest we forget, our hero is ostensibly a magical demon hunter who fights… definitely not season 1 Sailor Moon villains. At all.

That whole plotline sort of fades away after the exorcism of Literal Monster Taylor Swift, presumably at the behest of Spotify.

SAILOR PELLEGRINO CAN’T COME TO THE PHONE RIGHT NOW

Sharp satire there, folks.

The demons here seem to be in some way connected to greed or avarice, except that after the halfway point the focus shifts to the ills of Neo Yokio’s castle-in-the-clouds elite. The metaphor collapses in on itself.

And perhaps most uncomfortably of all, the creators choose to represent the destabilization of the social stratification through the elimination of its biggest, dumbest symbol: the Bachelor Board.

By bombing.

This is shown as a positive action.

While Smith was only 3 years old the last time Americans saw NYC landmarks burning and falling, Koenig doesn’t have the excuse of youthful thoughtlessness. Why did he, and everyone else on the production team, believe that mimicking 9/11 of all things was a good idea?

 

VK: I have no idea what this show thought, at any point. I’m unsure we can prove it did. It’s so breathtakingly stupid in ways that can’t possibly have been on purpose (SEE! Kaz lecturing young women about how Helena is no longer an acceptable role model for them. CRINGE! As Helena evolves into some kind of cis-swapped version of Christian Slater in Heathers. BAFFLE! As Kaz buys ANOTHER ROBOT that may house a human who will never be paid, we just don’t know).

There are probably people who can get down with that, toxically transphobic episode aside. But a show that’s supposedly parodying the wealthy by giving their entire lifestyle a lavish tongue bath really doesn’t work for me at a point where I’m worried about losing medical care and feeding my family. You?

 

DK: This was four hours of my life I spent, shouting and livetweeting in bursts between being periodically struck dumb by the sheer offensive incompetence of it all. It’s not The Room or Birdemic bad; it’s not even the toxically hopeful foolishness of Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Instead, Neo Yokio is the kind of bad you get sitting in a Gender Studies lecture hall, listening to a dude with a trust fund and a scarf explain Marxism to the professor.

But, you know, they’ve got pastel hair.

Dorothy Kingswood is a queer nerd with a Master’s degree in talking about fans. She’s a bartender by day and a writer by night, or maybe the other way around. Previously, she’s taught English, interned as a copy editor, and dug ditches in summer. You can hear more of her dulcet tones on her podcast, Trash & Treasures, or tweet her @dorothynotgale.

Vrai Kaiser is a queer author and pop culture blogger; they can’t. You can read more essays and find out about their fiction at Fashionable Tinfoil Accessories, listen to them podcasting on Soundcloud, support their work via Patreon or PayPal, or remind them of the existence of Tweets.

Bagpuss

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:40 pm
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Posted by Tom "The Kittenmaster" Cooper

Please give a warm TDK Caturday welcome to today’s Star Kit, Bagpuss (Baggy). She is 3 weeks old from Pattaya, Thailand.

Bagpuss

We run a small shelter for cats and kittens here in Pattaya, Thailand and have posted a few kittens here in the past. 2 weeks ago whilst Sandra was feeding some of the local Soi (street) dogs near our house a young Thai couple pulled up on their motorbike and asked her for help, they showed her a small brown paper bag, thinking it was food for the dogs she looked inside only to find this tiny mite staring up at her, they had found it all alone by the side of the road, she told them to quickly take it to our house.

Bagpuss

I was in the garden when I saw the couple coming to the gate, what a surprise I got when I looked in the bag too, they thanked us for taking the little one and I rushed the crying tiny tot to the kitchen, a few minutes later she was hungrily feeding on Goat’s milk via a syringe, we guessed her to be around 10 days as she had her eyes open but only just. Since then we have been feeding her every 3 hours night and day and have now her in a nice cage where she can stretch her little legs more easily. As you can see she has lots of toys and a litter tray that she has not quite mastered yet, she is gaining a lot of weight and this morning weighed in at 189 Grams.

If you would like to follow her on her journey with us and see if she can find a loving new home when she is old enough please look at our “cats4youinpattaya” website, thank you all there at the “Daily Kitten” , Paul, Sandra and the cats !!

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Posted by Derek Thompson

In a flurry of comments historically unsuited to any head of state, yet hardly shocking for the current American president, Donald Trump this weekend targeted the two most popular sports in the country and elicited sharp criticism from some of their most important figures.

On Friday, Trump encouraged franchise owners in the National Football League to fire players who protest during the national anthem. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired,’” the president said at an Alabama rally.

Trump’s comment provoked Roger Goodell, the typically reticent commissioner of the NFL, to issue a strong statement condemning the president’s divisive language. The comment was particularly surprising, since most NFL owners who elect the league commissioner are staunch Republicans. Many of the most prominent owners donated to the Trump campaign.

Trump was undeterred. On Saturday, he disinvited the NBA champion Golden State Warriors from the White House, in a tweet. This came after several players, including star guard Stephen Curry, suggested that they would skip the ceremonial visit.

In response to Trump, LeBron James, the basketball superstar whose Cleveland Cavaliers are rivals of the Warriors, called the president a “bum” on Twitter. The basketball star also pointed out the fecklessness of revoking an invitation after the other party has already declined. (Trump’s you-can’t-fire-me-because-I-quit instinct here recalls his earlier announcement to dissolve several business advisory councils, only after one of them had already disbanded.)

What is the meaning of these seemingly frivolous skirmishes with athletes and sports leagues? His true motivations aren’t clear, but his behavior does fit a pattern.

As Adam Serwer wrote here, there is a clear racial element to Trump’s pronouncements. When the NFL star Tom Brady, a white player, skipped his championship team’s White House visit, the president was silent. (Brady has described Trump as a “good friend,” and at one point displayed a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker.) When Warriors star Stephen Curry, a black man, announced his intention to do the same, the president called him out on Twitter and rescinded the team’s invitation. In calling for NFL owners to fire protesting players, the president encourages an overwhelmingly white ownership group to disemploy members of overwhelmingly black NFL players union. As Serwer wrote, Trump’s instant criticism of Curry and black NFL players stands in stark contrast to his infamous hesitation to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Another reason that the president cannot resist commenting on every non-political issue in American life is that he seemingly cannot stand the actual work of American governance—a preference made salient at a moment when lawmakers are busy trying to repeal the signature legislative achievement of Trump’s predecessor. Several Republican lawmakers said the president never mastered the details of health care policy. The president’s recent NFL commentary suggests that national anthem protests, on the other hand, are a debate he can engage with.

As a candidate, Trump promised to take a firm leadership role in changing American health care, tax policy, infrastructure spending, drug abuse, and regional inequality. But as president, Trump has given no national address endorsing a specific health care plan. He has given no national address endorsing a specific tax reform plan. His administration has no clear plan to begin rebuilding American infrastructure, no real urgency to address the opioid crisis, and no outline to confront the economic issues that supposedly buffeted his candidacy, like regional inequality. Instead, the president has been more inclined to reserve the precious power of his bully pulpit to target his nemeses, by name, as in the case of Colin Kaepernick and Stephen Curry.

It has been said that the age of Trump is the politicization of everything. The claim is impossible to dispute, especially one week after an Emmy’s ceremony that felt like an extended presidential roast. But it’s important to note that Trump is choosing to politicize sports and entertainment, not only because he is inclined toward controversy, but also because he is so demonstrably uninterested in actual policy and the political process.

Nobody is forcing the president to morph into a sports radio commentator. It is merely the role that best suits the skills that come most naturally to the former game-show host. Consider the simple, uncontroversial fact that in his ninth month in office, the  U.S. president has a clearer position on Stephen Curry’s White House clearance than on any single detail of health care or tax reform. Trump is so bored by the quotidian demands of his surprisingly “complicated” job, which requires guiding policy through a complex political process, that he uses his position to instead harass Americans on the internet. Judging by the attention his sports commentary received this weekend, one can assume that Trump’s shock-jock-in-chief routine will be a long-running show.

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Posted by SOMINI SENGUPTA and MEGAN SPECIA

From deriding the American leader as a “giant gold Goliath” to applauding his calls for sovereignty, leaders gave widely varying responses to President Trump’s General Assembly speech.
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Posted by MIKE ISAAC

Despite a late start, the company’s foray into delivering food, a cutthroat $100 billion-plus service industry, eclipses ride hailing in some markets.

"Shall we play a game?"

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:03 pm
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Posted by Fizz

The U.S. Navy's most advanced submarines will soon be using Xbox controllers [The Virginian Pilot] "The control room of one of the Navy's most advanced submarines is filled with sophisticated computers, flat-screen monitors and sailors who grew up in a digital world. At times it can look a bit like a video game arcade, and not just because of the high-resolution graphics. The Navy is beginning to use an Xbox 360 controller – like the ones you find at the mall – to operate the periscopes aboard Virginia-class submarines. [...]

"The Xbox controller is no different than the ones a lot of crew members grew up playing with. Lockheed Martin says the sailors who tested the controller at its lab were intuitively able to figure out how to use it on their own within minutes, compared to hours of training required for the joystick. The Xbox controller also is significantly cheaper. The company says the photonic mast handgrip and imaging control panel that cost about $38,000 can be replaced with an Xbox controller that typically costs less than $30."
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Posted by Bella Donna

Mr. Altizer is part of a backlash against the women in technology movement. While many in the tech industry had previously dismissed the fringe men's rights arguments, some investors, executives and engineers are now listening. Though studies and surveys show there is no denying the travails women face in the male-dominated industry, some said that the line for what counted as harassment had become too easy to cross and that the push for gender parity was too extreme a goal. Few were willing to talk openly about their thinking, for fear of standing out in largely progressive Silicon Valley.

Many men now feel like "there's a gun to the head" to be better about gender issues, said Rebecca Lynn, a venture capitalist at Canvas Ventures, and while "there's a high awareness right now, which is positive, at the same time there's a fear."

The backlash follows increasingly vulgar harassment revelations in Silicon Valley. Several female engineers and entrepreneurs this year named the men they accused of harassing them, and suddenly tech's boys' club seemed anything but impervious. Travis Kalanick, Uber's co-founder, resigned as chief executive after the ride-hailing service was embroiled in harassment accusations. Dave McClure, head of the incubator 500 Startups, called himself "a creep" and stepped down. This month, the chief executive of Social Finance, Mike Cagney, also quit amid a harassment scandal.
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Posted by Marykate Jasper

UPDATE: The Golden State Warriors, given Trump’s tweet, have announced that they will not visit the White House.

This weekend, Trump did his best to remind us that Jemele Hill’s criticism of him as a white supremacist was entirely accurate. I know we don’t cover a ton of sports here at The Mary Sue, but we do cover social justice – and Trump spent this week attacking a number of professional athletes because they’re black, successful, and opinionated. It’s racist as hell, and it echoes all his resentments of Obama.

First, on a Friday campaign rally in Alabama, Trump went after NFL player Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Kaepernick inspired other athletes to adopt the same silent, powerful method of protest, and he is currently a free agent without a contract (likely because of all the right-wing backlash against his exercise of free speech).

Though Trump didn’t refer to Kaepernick by name, he asked the rally crowd, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now – He’s fired’?”

This is Trump, a man who waffled about condemning a KKK Grand Wizard and called the Charlottesville torch bearers “very fine people.” But Kaepernick? He’s apparently a “son of a bitch” for advocating for racial justice.

Trump also followed up with two tweets today:

Not a day after the rally, Trump went on his typical weekend tweetstorm, and among his many targets was NBA superstar Steph Curry. Curry, a superstar player on the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, had said he would vote against the traditional team trip to the White House – emphasizing that it was still a group decision.

“That’s going to be my vote when I meet with the team, but it is a collective,” he said. “It’s not just about me, it’s not just about KD [Kevin Durant]. It’s about the whole team, and what we were able to accomplish as a team, and the opportunity that historically has been afforded to championship teams. So, we’ll have that conversation and we’ll do it as a group and we’ll have one voice.”

“Obviously,” he continued, “you don’t want to rush your decision on understanding the magnitude of what this means. We have an opportunity to send a statement that hopefully encourages unity, encourages us to just appreciate what it means to be American and stand for something. So, whatever your opinion is on either side … we want to take advantage of this opportunity.”

In response to that mature and thoughtful statement of principled personal opposition, Trump tweeted this:

Luckily, the civilized world went after Trump for his bullshit. Kaepernick’s mom let Trump know that she was fiercely proud of her son, snapping back with the following tweet:

She also gave an amazing interview with Deadspin, where she said, “There are a lot of racist people in that crowd [at his rallies], a lot of people that are just looking for something to get hyped about, and this is the kind of thing he does. It’s like a bully on a playground, I guess. It’s almost what I’ve come to expect from him…In Charlottesville, he would not call out the Nazis, not call out the white supremacists, but he’s calling out these guys who are peacefully kneeling and asking for their country to do better.”

Devin McCourty, a team captain for the New England Patriots, was one of several Patriots players who decided not to visit the White House this past April after they won the Super Bowl. He tweeted the below, and it really sums up both the Curry and Kaepernick situation:

Kaepernick is “disrespectful” for kneeling during the national anthem; Curry is “disrespectful” because he doesn’t want to visit the White House. But Trump calling any principled advocate of racial justice a “son of a bitch”? Weirdly, the “respect” crowd doesn’t seem to care about decency anymore. This is because those calls for “respect” were really calls for silence and deference from non-white athletes.

McCourty is only one of dozens of NFL athletes who’ve criticized Trump for his comments.

Meanwhile, LeBron James responded to Trump’s criticism of Curry with the aptest, most succinct rebuttal:

And of course, the Obamas’ White House photographer had a perfect image for the moment:

It’s heartening that so many people are speaking out against and – pardon the pun – dunking on Trump’s racist, vulgar attacks on these athletes’ free speech. Even the NFL Players’ Assocation, a union which routinely fails its members in troubling ways, issued strong statements in support of Kaepernick and other protesters, calling Trump’s statement “a slap in the face to the civil rights heroes of the past and present” and declaring “this union…will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens.”

It’s important that we condemn these comments as the petty, disturbingly authoritarian responses to free speech that they are. A president who can bear no criticism is not a president who respects the Constitution or his constituents, and that needs to be pointed out and condemned.

However, it’s equally important that we call these comments out for what they are: part of a larger pattern of racist, white supremacist resentment that defines Trump’s approach to non-white Americans.

(Via GQ, HuffPost, ESPN, and USA Today; image via Shutterstock)

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Posted by Baraka Kaseko

Boston native Chris “CT” Tamburello is known for his stints on MTV reality shows, including The Real World: Paris, Made, and for the past 13 years, The Challenge. In the video above, CT tells us what it takes to win the long running competition series.

Read more...

Get This Weekend's Best Amazon Deals

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:20 pm
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Posted by Smart Shopping Team

As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, September 23.

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Posted by Jay Serafino

While plenty of familiar faces will be returning to Hawkins, Indiana, there are also plenty of surprises in store for the Netflix hit's second season.

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Posted by Shaunacy Ferro

The American Museum of Natural History’s newest offering is a roving opera inside the institution’s famous dinosaur wing.

14 Fascinating Facts About Foxes

Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:00 am
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Posted by Joy Lanzendorfer

Despite being all around us, they’re a bit of a mystery. Here’s more about this elusive animal.

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Posted by Paul Anthony Jones

Repetitive or so-called antanaclastic sentences and tongue twisters like these are by no means unique to English—here are a few in other languages that you might want to try.

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