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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Boing Boing's InsaneJournal:

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    Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
    9:15 pm
    9:11 pm
    Review: Voltron, Legendary Defender


    My people raised me on the greatness of Voltron Lion Force. So when I discovered there was a remake on Netflix, I was excited. Scared. The bland unpleasantness of the Thundercats reboot lingers still with me. Last night I caught the first episodes, and I have to say I O was O pleasantly O surprised.

    8:12 pm
    Russia and other states could hack the US election by attacking voting machines


    It's been more than 16 years since faulty voting machine technology called into question a US presidential election, and in the ensuing 1.6 decades, the voting machine industry has used bafflegab, intimidation and salesmanship to continue selling faulty goods, whose flaws surface with despressing regularity. (more…)

    8:19 pm
    Patent fighters attack the crown jewels of three of America's worst patent trolls


    Unified Patents raises money from companies that are the target of patent-trolling and then uses it to challenge the most widely used patents in each of its members' sectors: now it's going for the gold. (more…)

    8:34 pm
    Trump asks Russia to conduct espionage against Hillary Clinton


    Trump at press conference yesterday: Russia, if youre listening, I hope youre able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Lets see if that happens.

    Response from Clinton camp: "This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent. Thats not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue."

    6:58 pm
    Mall cop fired after bringing gun to work and accidentally shooting other guard in arse


    A security guard at Pittsburgh's fancy Ross Park Mall was fired this week after bringing a gun to work, fooling around with it in the security office, and accidentally shooting a colleague in the arse.

    The guard was in the mall's security office at the end of his shift at 11 p.m. and was loading a personal firearm when the gun discharged, Ross police said.

    The bullet went through a wooden stand and struck another guard, who was treated and released from a local hospital.

    The mall was closed when the incident occurred.

    The guards there don't carry firearms. I live in the region and the most threatening things in Ross Park Mall are the tween shoplifters lurking around Claires. That and the inexplicable sense of coldness and despair that envelops oneself as one approaches Sears.

    Previously: The Legend of Mall Ninja

    6:15 pm
    This map shows where the tallest people live


    New research on trends in adult human height over the last century confirm that, no surprise, humans are getting taller overall due to better nutrition and disease control. However according to the health science group Non-Communicable Diseases Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC), the gain in adult height varies dramatically by country. From their paper, published in the journal eLife:

    The largest gain in adult height over the past century has occurred in South Korean women and Iranian men, who became 20.2 cm (95% credible interval 17.522.7) and 16.5 cm (13.319.7) taller, respectively. In contrast, there was little change in adult height in some sub-Saharan African countries and in South Asia over the century of analysis. The tallest people over these 100 years are men born in the Netherlands in the last quarter of 20th century, whose average heights surpassed 182.5 cm, and the shortest were women born in Guatemala in 1896 (140.3 cm; 135.8144.8).

    The scientists' hope is that understanding these changes and distributions could be used "to improve nutrition and health across the world."

    "It would also be valuable to understand how much becoming taller has been responsible for improved health and longevity throughout the world," they write."

    "A century of trends in adult human height" (eLife)

    "How humans have changed in height in the last 100 years" (CNN)

    6:36 pm
    2 TB Western Digital portable hard drive for $70


    I've had a great experience with Western Digital portable hard drives. I own six 1TB models and use them to store and backup media. They are very quiet and run on USB power (the same USB cable for the data). I'm upgrading to 2TB drives, which are on sale on Amazon for $70. I also bought a case for $5.

    5:56 pm
    Unseen photos of Ciro's Nightclub stars snapped by a cigarette girl and her best friend


    See sample pages from this book at Wink.

    Ciro's Nightclub of the Stars
    by Andra D. Clarke and Regina Denton-Drew
    Arcadia Publishing
    2015, 128 pages, 6.5 x 9.2 x 0.3 inches
    $22 Buy a copy on Amazon

    In the 1940s and 50s, everyone who was anyone went to Ciros Nightclub on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. The famous and infamous came to dine, dance, and perform during its 15 plus years in business. Regina Drew was a Cigarette Girl and photographer at Ciros for eight years. Her best friend Nancy Caporal was the head photographer from 1940 to 1957. These women were part of the glitz, glamour and decadence of the Ciros era, and they seemed to love every minute of it.

    Reginas daughter, Andra Clarke, worked tirelessly to research and cull through both womens photographic mementos. As tribute to what Regina called the best job of my life, Andra created Ciros Nightclub of the Stars, a compact coffee table book filled with photos and stories that capture the semi-private lives of Hollywoods elite.

    Most of the pictures in this book had previously not been seen by the public. Some of my favorite photos include Elizabeth Taylor dining with President Nixon and his daughters; Bing Crosby photographed with his sons; Ray Bolger (from The Wizard of Oz) joking around with Zero Mostel (from Fiddler on the Roof), Clark Gable chatting with (or to) a bevy of admirers, and Lucille Ball having drinks at a table with Peter Lawford, with no Desi in sight. The captions for each picture are as interesting as the images themselves. There are also Ciros behind-the-scenes tidbits like Yvonne de Carlo having the hatcheck girls watch her pet monkey, and Errol Flynns special food preference of octopus. Ciros Nightclub of the Stars offers a great glimpse into the past and is much more interesting than todays tabloids!

    Fun fact not in the book: Before these photos were turned into a book, Andras collection was appraised on the 18th season of Antiques Roadshow. Per the appraiser, the most expensive photo Andra brought in was of Marilyn Monroe. Monroe was photographed at Ciros after her movie premiere of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Andra was told at the auction that an unseen photo of Marilyn Monroe would sell for about $100 to $150. All the other photos were in the value range of $30 to $75 each.  Carole Rosner

    6:02 pm
    Why did Iran's Lake Urmia just change from bright green to blood red?


    Between April and July, Iran's salty Lake Urmia changed from a bright green color to a blood red. NASA's Aqua satellite captured the image above and reported on the science behind the strange transformation. According to NASA, the periodic color change is caused by micro algae producing carotenoids that help with photosynthesis and act as antioxidants and Halobacteriaceae, a bacteria in very salty water that releases "a red pigment called bacteriorhodopsin that absorbs light and converts it into energy for the bacteria." From NASA:

    The color changes have become common in the spring and early summer due to seasonal precipitation and climate patterns. Spring is the wettest season in northwestern Iran, with rainfall usually peaking in April. Snow on nearby mountains within the watershed also melts in the spring. The combination of rain and snowmelt sends a surge of fresh water into Lake Urmia in April and May. By July, the influx of fresh water has tapered off and lake levels begin to drop.

    The fresh water in the spring drives salinity levels down, but the lake generally becomes saltier as summer heat and dryness take hold. Thats when the microorganisms show their colors, too. Careful sampling of the water would be required to determine which organisms transformed the lake in 2016, but scientists say there are likely two main groups of organisms involved: a family of algae called Dunaliella and an archaic family of bacteria known as Halobacteriaceae.

    While Lake Urmia has shifted from green to red and back several times in recent years, trends suggest that a red Urmia could become increasingly common. Drought and intensive water diversion for agriculture has been limiting the amount of fresh water reaching the lake. The lake volume has been decreasing at an alarming rate of 1.03 cubic kilometers per year, noted Tourian, who recently analyzed data from several satellites to track how Urmia has changed. The results from satellite imagery revealed a loss of water extent at an average rate of 220 square kilometers per year, which indicates that the lake has lost about 70 percent of its surface area over the last 14 years.


    5:33 pm
    How the Republican party went from Lincoln to Trump

    tldr; The GOP was founded by anti-slavery activists in the North in 1854 and White in the South were in favor of slavery so they stuck with the Democratic party. A lot of Republicans became wealthy from the civil war, and in an effort to retain power, decided that fighting for black rights wasn't in their best interest and stopped trying to reform the South allowing white Democrats to rise to power in th South. The Great Depression halted Republican power, putting big-government-advocate FDR in the White House. Republicans fought back, advertising themselves as champions of small government. In the 50s and 60s the civil rights movement divided the country again. In the North, 96% of Democrats and 84% of Republicans were in favor of civil rights, while in the South, 7% of Democrats and 0% of Republicans supported civil rights. In 1964, Democrat LBJ signed the Civil Rights act, which helped white Southerners get over the hatred of Abraham Lincoln enough to jump ship and start joining the GOP. The GOP's small government pitch, along with its support of school prayer and anti-abortion platform, appealed to Southerners. Black Southerners, meanwhile, moved en masse from the GOP to the Democratic party. The GOP started losing elections because minorities won't vote for it. Some GOP senators attempted to pass and immigration amnesty bill, which angered white GOP voters. They turned to Trump whose anti-immigrant rhetoric appeals to them.


    5:49 pm
    Compilation of most awkward and uncomfortable moments on TV news - part 2
    Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 10.47.14 AM

    Here's part two of local news program reporters doing what they do best  blurting out embarrassing thoughts projected directly from their ids. (Here's part one)

    5:50 pm
    John Hinckley, who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, will go free


    On March 30, 1981 in Washington DC, John Hinckley fired six bullets at President Ronald Reagan in an effort to impress the actress Jodie Foster. Reagan fully recovered but his press secretary, James Brady, who was also hit, lived the rest of his life in a wheelchair. The courts found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity. As soon as next week, Hinckley will be released from the mental hospital where relives to stay with his elderly mother in Williamsburg, Virgina. From NPR:

    Under the terms of the order, Hinckley is not allowed to contact his victims, their relatives or actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed. Hinckley also will not be permitted to "knowingly travel" to areas where the current president or members of Congress are present. The judge said Hinckley could be allowed to live on his own or in a group home after one year.

    "Mr. Hinckley shall abide by all laws, shall not consume alcohol, illegal drugs... shall not possess any firearm, weapon, or ammunition and shall not be arrested for cause," Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman ordered...

    In a prepared statement, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute said, "Contrary to the judge's decision, we believe John Hinckley is still a threat to others and we strongly oppose his release."

    "John Hinckley, Who Tried To Kill A President, Wins His Freedom"

    5:32 pm
    Supercut of 1980s film references in Stranger Things

    Stranger Things, the supernatural thriller on Netflix, quotes wildly from the great horror/thriller/science fiction films of the 1980s. In fact, spotting those references may be the series' primary appeal. (Ulysses Thevenon)


    4:56 pm
    Tor Project says accusations against Jake Appelbaum are accurate

    Jacob Appelbaum

    The Tor Project announced Wednesday that an investigation had confirmed sexual misconduct allegations against Jake Appelbaum, describing them as accurate and him as having humiliated, intimidated and bullied others inside and outside the project. Appelbaum left Tor in May, after public accusations forced the organization to act; The New York Times reports that the circumstances raised questions about the management of the project.

    Shari Steele, the executive director of the Tor Project, said in a statement that the investigation found that many people inside and outside the Tor Project have reported incidents of being humiliated, intimidated, bullied and frightened by Jacob, and several experienced unwanted sexually aggressive behavior from him.

    The investigation was conducted by a private investigator hired by the nonprofit group. Ms. Steele added that new allegations were made over the course of its investigation, and that two members of the larger Tor community had also been involved in the incidents. The two individuals were not named and Ms. Steele said they were no longer part of the Tor community.

    Appelbaum (who contributed an article to Boing Boing in 2011) denied the allegations and, the NYT's Nicole Perlroth adds, is planning to respond to the investigator's report.

    4:58 pm
    Dog dislikes being flipped off

    This fellow is going to get his finger excarnated one day if he keeps it up.


    5:07 pm
    Super-Fun-Pak Comix, feat. How to Draw Doug + MORE!

    Tom the Dancing Bug 1298 sfpc120 - robot robot

    Follow @RubenBolling on Twitter and Facebook.

    Please join Tom the Dancing Bug's subscription club, the INNER HIVE, for early access to comics, and oh so much more. (You will not learn anything, regardless of how little care you exercise.)

    And DID YOU KNOW that you can buy Ruben Bollings new book series for kids, The EMU Club Adventures? You can. Book One here. Book Two here.

    More Tom the Dancing Bug comics on Boing Boing! (more…)

    5:16 pm
    Premiere: Trippy cinematic surf music reissues from 1960s-70s Australia

    In 1971, Australian filmmaker Paul Witzig released his fourth surf movie Sea of Joy, celebrating the rise of the short boards. To score the film, Witzig enlisted Sydney band Tully, best known at the time as the backing band for the Australian production of the psychedelic musical Hair. Now, the good people at Anthology Recordings have reissued Tully's "Sea of Joy" soundtrack on vinyl. Here's what they say about the release:

    Like many surfers and non-surfers alike, Witzig had been mesmerised by Tully's concert performances. By the time he finished filming his latest surfing epic, Evolution, the sound of Tully had changed though. Gone was the organ-dominated sound (the group was reputedly the first Australian band to use the Moog synthesiser), replaced by more gentle melodies, many with spiritual significance.

    Recorded at EMI's Sydney studios, Tully's soundtrack material was subsequently edited for the album release into cohesive musical interludes. As such, they are held together in the album sequence by a magnetic musical flow that starts with Sea Of Joy (Part 1) (above) and ends with Sea Of Joy (Part 2). Vinyl edition features booklet liner notes by Aussie surf historian Stephen McParland and other-wordly ephemera.

    Along with Tully's "Sea of Joy," Anthology Recordings have also reissued Tamam Shud's glorious soundtrack to Witzig's prior surf film, "Evolution."

    Pitted. So pitted.



    4:19 pm
    Bill O'Reilly: Slaves who built White House were "well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the g

    In response to Michelle Obama's speech on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, former history teacher Bill O'Reilly told his viewers that the slaves who built the White House were well-fed and had decent lodgings. He didn't mention the other not-so-great parts about being a slave, which include being the property of another person.

    O'Reilly said:

    Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802. However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well. Got it all? There will be a quiz.

    From Think Progress:

    Liam Hogan, a historian whose work focuses on slavery, noted on Twitter that OReillys comments are reminiscent of how chattel slavery was defended by slave owners and pro-slavery interests. To cite just one example, a U.S. history primer put together by the Independence Hall Association notes that defenders of slavery argued that by comparison with the poor of Europe and the workers in the Northern states, that slaves were better cared for. They said that their owners would protect and assist them when they were sick and aged, unlike those who, once fired from their work, were left to fend helplessly for themselves. The reality, Hogan added, is that slavery were treated like livestock.

    4:50 pm
    10 strange inventions from the future


    Brain implants that allow people to read each other's minds. Pills that let you change genders temporarily. Reputation Statements that list any good deeds you do. These are a few of the things from the future I discussed with Chris Weller of Tech Insider. These things were created by Institute for the Future (where I'm on staff) to provoke people to think about current trends and innovations and how they might play out in the future.

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