no, gifting ammunition is not an appropriate Newtown commemoration

Yes, I support the RKBA as strongly as anyone, and yes, I'm frustrated by hoplophobic attempts to use the Newton massacre as an excuse for yet more gun prohibition laws rather than mental health reforms. But dude: you're not helping.

Conn. official resigns over Newtown comment (Yahoo News)

During a tribute to the Newtown victims called "26 Days of Kindness," Beck wrote on Facebook that his acts of kindness would be giving ammunition to his friends on each of the 26 days. He later apologized, saying he recognized the comment was insensitive and indefensible. He also said it wasn't intended to be malicious.

some Rocky Horror Picture Show trivia

Well, I think there's a vacation plan here...

20 Things you probably didn't know about "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" - FB Troublemakers (FB Troublemakers)

Dr. Frank N. Furter’s “castle” was shot partially at Oakley Court which also served as the set for numerous Hammer horror films. It was built in 1859, refurbished in 1981 and is now a luxury hotel.

Meaning, YOU CAN STAY HERE! For a pretty pence, obviously.

can knitting help reform convicts?

I'd like to see some hard data on recidivism and prisoner behavior rather than just a warden's informal belief, but it's interesting.

How Knitting Behind Bars Transformed Maryland Convicts | Knitting on GOOD (GOOD)

They started by knitting comfort dolls, which they gave to children removed from their homes because of domestic issues. Then they moved on to hats for kids at the inner-city elementary school many of the prisoners attended, Zwerling says. “If you look at them, they’re covered with tattoos, they’re rough looking, and many of the young guys don't have all their teeth," she says. “But it doesn't feel rough. They’re very respectful and grateful and very happy to knit.”

The prison’s assistant warden, Margaret Chippendale, believes the men involved with KBB get into trouble less often. “It's very positive because you can see when you go into the room, the dynamics of their conversation; very calm, very soothing,” Chippendale says. “It radiates even when they leave the room and go out into the institution.”

NJ Gov. Christie's administration blocked roads to punish Democrats

That whole narrative about NJ Governor Chris Christie rising above petty partisanship? Just totally torpedoed, as e-mail messages are released showing top people in his administration deliberately screwing with the roads in order to “retaliate” against Democratic politicians who declined to endorse him. There should be impeachments and prison sentences over this, including for Christie if he knew about it at the time. And it should blow a big hole in the "Christie for President" movement.

Partisan assholery at its finest.

Wildstein: “Is it wrong that I am smiling?”

Kelly: “No.”

Wildstein: “I feel badly about the kids.”

Kelly: “They are the children of Buono [Christie’s Democratic opponent] voters”.

Emails Tie Top Christie Aides to Lane Closings, Despite Denials (New York Times)

But the emails show that Bridget Anne Kelly, a deputy chief of staff in Mr. Christie’s office, gave a signal to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to close the lanes about two weeks before the closings occurred.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” she emailed David Wildstein, Mr. Christie’s close friend from high school, and one of his appointees at the Port Authority, which controls the bridge.

Dutch pension company divests Israeli banks

More progress for the BDS movement.

Dutch pension giant divests millions from Israeli banks involved in settlement construction

The largest Dutch pension fund company, PGGM, has reportedly chosen to withdraw all its investments from the five largest Israeli banks, whose branches are involved in financing construction in the settlements in the West Bank.


PGGM's stance is based on an International Court of Justice ruling, which in 2004 concluded that the barrier being built around the West Bank was illegal and should be pulled down, with the "security wall" violating the rights of Palestinians.

regexp golf

Via xkcd.

Regex Golf

Type a regex in the box. You get ten points per correct match. Hit Enter to go to the next 'level'.

For the non-hackers in the audience, a regular expression, or regex (sometime regexp) is a technique of the programming arts used to specify a pattern against which we can check string of characters. For example, the regex /fo+(t|d)/ matches such strings as "fot", "foto", "food", "foo", "afoot", while not matching "ft" or "aft". Someone's made it into a game, and I'm kicking myself wondering how I never thought of that.

IPNAs: like ASBOs but worse

And the U.K. continues its slide into authoritarianism...

At last, a law to stop almost anyone from doing almost anything (the Guardian)

The bill would permit injunctions against anyone of 10 or older who "has engaged or threatens to engage in conduct capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person". It would replace asbos with ipnas (injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance), which would not only forbid certain forms of behaviour, but also force the recipient to discharge positive obligations. In other words, they can impose a kind of community service order on people who have committed no crime, which could, the law proposes, remain in force for the rest of their lives.


While, as a result of a successful legal challenge, asbos can be granted only if a court is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that antisocial behaviour took place, ipnas can be granted on the balance of probabilities. Breaching them will not be classed as a criminal offence, but can still carry a custodial sentence: without committing a crime, you can be imprisoned for up to two years.

sexist "joke" cartoon books (via Vintage Sleaze)

Jim Linderman’s blog Vintage Sleaze gives a lot of insight into our culture's hypocrisy and fear surrounding sex and the censorship of erotica.

Vintage Sleaze: Sexist Sludge for Mass Consumption REALLY Crappy Paperback Joke Books Vintage Sleaze

While moralist authorities were hounding serious and genuine erotica publishers with obscenity laws, this is the sexist sludge you were served.


I suppose in the industry they were called "gag" books and you will. Poorly printed, poorly executed and shipped by the crate to bus stations, rest stops and dimestores. The "authors" were cartoonists all working "aboveground" in legitimate popular general circulation magazines. Some gained considerable recognition, though I hesitate to say any gained fame. They are all over 100 pages and each contains almost the same 100 jokes, all rewritten and redrawn by the cartoonists. I guess this is the junk adults were reading when they were trying to stop Bill Gaines from publishing Mad Magazine.

bicycle desk generator?

Reminds me of that scene in Soylent Green where the hero has to power his apartment by pedaling.

The Electricity-Generating Bicycle Desk That Would Power the World (The Atlantic)

Show up at the office one day with this handmade bicycle desk that generates power — enough to run your computer or charge your phone, sure, but also enough to mill grain, churn your own butter, run an industrial sewing machine, or split a dang log. Watch it split a log.

‘Sorry’ Not Good Enough for Chicago Torture Survivors

‘Sorry’ Not Good Enough for Chicago Torture Survivors

In May of 1973, then-Chicago Police Detective Jon Burge allegedly suffocated and electric-shocked teenager Anthony Holmes until Holmes confessed to a murder he says he didn’t commit. Holmes then spent the next 30 years in prison. In 2010, after his release, he testified in the government’s successful prosecution of Burge for perjury and obstruction of justice.

While Burge serves his 4 1/2-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, N.C., he’ll continue to collect a pension; by contrast, Holmes says his time in prison left him with no health insurance and no long-term means of survival. And Holmes wasn’t the only person whose life was devastated by the former police commander's alleged tactics—Burge allegedly supervised the torture and wrongful imprisonment of as many as 120 people.


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