Happy Tuesday ladies and gentlemens! I was all set up to hear some interesting news yesterday and…crickets. The only thing that was newsworthy from the two hearing was that the FBI was indeed investingating Trump and his campaign about Russian ties. Like, duh. Give me something a little bit juicier than that. If we’re going to all this trouble, I want skeletons to come out. Like Gorsuch has a second, secret family living in Bolivia and that he moonlights as a jazz band drummer. A man can dream.
WELL…ALRIGHT I GUESS This ban won’t probably generate any protests
Passengers traveling to the United States from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries will be prohibited from bringing laptops, tablets and other portable electronic devices on board with them when they fly, according to new rules set to go into effect Tuesday. Fliers can still travel with these items, but they must be packed in their checked baggage. The ban will remain in place indefinitely, federal officials said. Senior administration officials said the rules were prompted by “evaluated intelligence” that terrorists continue to target commercial aviation by “smuggling explosives in portable electronic devices.” “Based on this information, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Transportation Security Administration acting administrator Huban Gowadia have determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last-point-of-departure airports to the United States,” officials said late Monday. [WaPo]
I mean, it is still a ban on selective countries based on religion. So I don’t see why people won’t get up in arms about it, but my guess is that they will shrug this one off, which, admittedly I kinda did at first. But then I thought about how this is still built upon the same foundation as the immigration ban and I can’t just shrug it off. It’s wrong. I can see the administration trying to introduce stupid little bans/actions that kinda don’t matter, but they still prey on the fear of Muslims. It’s like Trump told everyone he was going to make a big salad but a lot of people wanted a GD sandwich, so Trump said, okay – here’s a handful of croutons and a ketchup packet. Compromise!
GOD THIS IS THE BEST Listen, I talk a lot about robots here at DotD. Especially the fact that we’re all doomed because we don’t understand what we’re messing with here. But THIS. THIS, folks, is really where it all begins. If robots can entertain us – it’s going to be a lot like the Roman Empire. We’re too engulfed in a celebrity culture that we won’t see the nuclear bomb we’re setting off with robot rapping. At least they’ll educate us while annihilating our petty existence.
When March Madness hits the classroom 😂 pic.twitter.com/oZvwZEp2dL
— Samuel Grubbs (@SamuelGrubbs1) March 19, 2017
I am a little jelly about this because I didn’t come up with it. But damn, if I had a camera phone in high school, I’d be re-imagining all sorts of shit. Like The Matrix and when Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear and when Tonya Harding lost her shit and everything else.
HAHA That’s not a chicken, that’s a tiny man in a chicken suit. Plus that music is beautiful.
YOUR DAILY PUMP UP I used to play Tony Hawk, like all the time. My favorite character, Rodney Mullen appeared in a lot of them and he’s just the bomb ass technical wizard when it comes to pulling off tricks. His skate videos, IMO, are legendary. Case in point: Mullen v Song Round 2:
And that opening song is clutch. Rob D’s Clubbed to Death is a great instrumental techno song that makes you feel like a badass. And yes, this was on the Matrix soundtrack but I saw this video before I saw The Matrix. And yes, the remix version is better than the original.
I’m going to be quite honest here, folks. I have yet to read another Stephen King book besides The Dark Tower series. Sure, I’ve seen most of the movies that are based on his books and stories (The Shining, The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, The Stand, The Mist, Misery, The Green Mile, etc – JC this is not even half!). Don’t know why and I really, really don’t care. The only thing on my mind grapes is this series. I picked up the first book when I was patrolling the beach. Literally. I was beach patrol in Ocean City, NJ for a year. I would ask pretty girls and dumb middle school kids if they had a beach token, otherwise I’d take their money in exchange for one. Sometimes I was stuck on the boardwalk at the entrance to the beach and on slow days, I’d take a book to read. The Gunslinger occupied quite a bit of that time. I think the very-much stuck-in-the-80s cover called out to me. Plus how badass was that tower lurking in the background? Any who, I was determined this was my destiny – to read this series – and it was about that time that King announced he had finished writing the series – which I think I found out about reading on the internet in the library. God that was so long ago we didn’t even get the internet in the house I was staying at at the time. We had to ride our bikes to the library to catch up on, like Homestar Runner and shit.
So naturally, the movie is coming out with a TV show to follow and I really, really have absolutely no memory of all 7 of these books except the very last 50 pages of the last one. I have a bad memory and I was stoned for possibly half the time I was reading them. So I got that going for me. Which is why we’re here.
I’m 60 pages in and I cannot possibly understand why anyone has stuck through this book to get to the end. It’s a slog right now TBH. There hasn’t been any badass gunfights, no mention of any tower yet (I’m starting a page counter on that one) AND the sex scenes are not even scenes – they’re like, “The gunslinger had sex with Alice.” Granted, King said he was 19 when writing this, so at least we didn’t have to read some weird sex scene from a naive teenager. So I guess this is a plus.
The book also does not hold your hand. There is no exposition. There is a strange wild west old-timey language barrier going on that if you re-read some of the lines you’ll get it in context. And there’s so much GD mystery behind each character that you kinda just want to scream at all them to just please tell me what is going on! I remember having a lot of the same feelings on my first reading and wanting to unearth the mysteries and poke around and just, like, catch that Man in Black. So kudos to King for making it an interesting slog to get through because I distinctly remember the second book just totally hooking me in. But ya gotta get through these first 250 pages before it gets good.
Which is not a great plug for a series. Or for anything. “Man, I’ll tell ya, I know you have to eat that bull penis and chew on it for a few hours to get to that delicious Kobe steak and ice cream for dessert, but it’s worth it. Sure, you’ll still have a bit of bull penis aftertaste but you won’t taste anything as exquisite as that Kobe steak.”
So yes, nothing has really “happened” so far in the book. Lots of long looks, some voodoo magic and a lot of talk about death and deserts. But I’m glad I’m back.
TOWER FIRST MENTION COUNT
DOWN UP: 60 pages
Oral History: From Downtown: The 3-Point Shot
Long Read: How March Went Mad
Policy: Minnesota is a Liberal Fever Dream Now
Educate: How Complacent Are You?
LOL: Trump Kicked One Direction Out of His Hotel
Movies: We’re Still Getting a Venom Movie
Science: How Water Bears Survive Extreme Conditions
SMH: Monopoly Can Never Go Back After This
ORLY: Nintendo Selling More Switches Than It Expected
Above: Canada Has Now Taken Our Real American Heroes [Via]
Happy Monday, y’all. I’m lining something crazy up tonight. I’m pretty stoked about the new Dark Tower movie coming out and I have decided to start re-reading the whole book series. I’ll be starting tonight and keeping y’all up to date with regular posts. I would say it’s a book club, but last time I started that, it ended in a bit of a disaster. So you’re welcome to join me in this quest to finish the 7-book series by the time the movie rolls around in theaters July 28. I figured that gives me about 2-3 weeks for each book. I probably will finish The Gunslinger by this coming weekend simply because it’s a pretty slim book.
LOTS OF THINGS There’s quite a bit happening this week (which, to be fair, has seemed like every week this whole year), but particularly two huge hearings are happening:
FBI Director James Comey’s appearance Monday before the House committee investigating Russian interference in the election could put to the test a fragile truce between the panel’s top Republican and Democrat. Comey and National Security Agency (NSA) head Adm. Michael Rogers are slated to testify in the House Intelligence Committee’s first open hearing in the probe — a hotly-anticipated panel that is expected to quickly divide members by party. While it’s unclear how much the pair will be able to discuss openly, lawmakers are expected to be largely united in pushing the FBI director to resolve President Trump’s claim that he was “wiretapped” by his predecessor. But deep divisions over evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia have some predicting the delicate alliance forged by the panel’s leaders – Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) – may be at risk. [The Hill – autoplay]
Oh, and we’re finally getting underway with that Supreme Court nominee:
When Judge Neil Gorsuch arrives on Capitol Hill on Monday morning to begin his confirmation hearings for a seat on the Supreme Court, he will give President Trump his first chance to make a lasting imprint on the federal judiciary — and Republicans a fresh test to work their will now that they control all of Washington’s levers of power. Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge from Colorado, was promoted by conservative legal activists because of his sterling credentials, a decade of right-of-center rulings and his allegiance to the same brand of constitutional interpretation employed by the late justice he would replace, Antonin Scalia. “Single best thing the president’s done,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), a frequent Trump foil who predicted Republican unity on the matter and an easy victory for the president following the string of controversies that Trump has wrought since he took office. All of that also sets up a stark dilemma for Senate Democrats. Monday brings their newest opportunity since the confirmation hearings of Trump’s Cabinet to take a stand against a young administration that has horrified liberal Americans with efforts to strip away provisions of the Affordable Care Act, impose an entry ban on some immigrants and deeply cut federal agencies. [WaPo]
I don’t have any doubt that Gorsuch will be confirmed as the new Justice – he’s qualified and as much as liberals and Dems hate his point of view, he’s pretty much Scalia 2.0 – which, IMO, maintains the status quo of the Supreme Court for now. His vote on anything controversial won’t be counted twice or anything, so we’ll still maintain a conservative-leaning SC. What really needs to happen is getting rid of lifetime appointments to the SC because that shit is cray.
What will be more interesting is how the Russian interference hearings play out. Once again, I think the status quo will be maintained here. I think there’s not going to be a smoking gun for any accusations to lead back to Trump himself (or any of his cronies). But it will be interesting to see the public mood after all this clears up. Will Trump’s 37% approval rating dip even further? Is that even possible? I’ll take bets on the over/under on Trump’s approval rating right now. We he ever hit over 50% in 4 years? Dunno, but I’m willing to bet his average will land on the bottom of this list.
A bug in MLB The Show 17 early development (which has been fixed) pic.twitter.com/UBC78sUF7q
— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) March 16, 2017
THIS IS SOME CAR BOYS SHIT Holy god, I kinda wish they didn’t fix this:
MLB The Show 17’s first development had some glitch issues that would have violated that rule. The game developers hosted a Twitch stream on Thursday to explain improvements they had made with the game’s graphics as they continue the design process, and also note that a fix had been made to a serious glitch that did something to cause players hair to take over their face in a terrifying way. [Uproxx]
What can I say? I’m a sucker for skate videos.
YOUR DAILY PUMP UP Speaking of skate videos, I used to be obsessed with them back in middle school and high school. I was not a good skater myself, but we all hung out together and it was something to do. I couldn’t tell you a bluntside grind versus a crooked grind if I saw it, but I knew how complicated and technical and just how damn hard it was to nail it. My music taste was very much defined by skate videos and I sought out quite a bit of the music in the videos – which was hard to do pre-Napster. Zero’s epic Thrill of it All was the epitome of a great skate video – great editing, music and just bangin’ tricks. Matt Mumford’s part isn’t the highlight of the video, but his choice of Radio Birdman’s Monday Morning Gunk is a perfect way to start of your Monday.
As long as I’m revealing deep, dark secrets this week, I’m just going full-on revelations. I will confess I love oatmeal raisin cookies. I can’t stand drinking the leftover milk in cereal and cringe whenever my wife sucks the remaining water out of her toothbrush when she’s done brushing her teeth. I have not watched, nor do I want to, watch Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad or any number of television shows which supposedly I have to with ecstatic phrases like, “OMG you need to watch this or your life is garbage”. So there, maybe I’m weird, but I don’t care.
OH BROTHER Sometimes I just hate the internet
It’s a question that’s more than three years old, but we’re still asking it today: How do you pronounce ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)? Some questions, it seems, are nearly impossible to answer. This one has spawned a series of YouTube videos all striving for a conclusion to the debate. The meme simply refuses to go away. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), known as Le Lenny Face on 4chan, appears everywhere nowadays. It got its start in forums and message boards, where it was used to spam the original poster or the discussion in general. The meteoric rise of ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) on the internet led to this video. [Mashable]
I couldn’t tell you why this story touched my rage feelings quite as much as other dumb stories. But GD this is a dumb thing happening on the internet. I just…I mean they’re emojis. They don’t need to be pronounced because they are a language of their own – a visual language. Maybe this is the English major coming out in me, but who cares? It’s not like we’re trying to figure out what eggplants sound like. Why is this face so special? It’s not even a good emoji, IMO. Give me this guy ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ any day over that snoozefest of a face. Ughhhhhhhhhh.
NOT COOL This shit is scary:
Last October, a dozen states dealt with a swarm of ‘ghost calls’ that overwhelmed 911 switchboards and made it impossible for legitimate calls to get through. Fortunately, nobody was injured at the time, but authorities were worried that the next time this happened, people might die. And, unfortunately, in Dallas, that’s come to pass. The Dallas Morning News has an in-depth look at the city’s problem, in which false 911 calls from T-Mobile devices flood the switchboards and make it difficult for legitimate calls to get through. So far, two people — a local man and a young toddler — have died as a result of being unable to connect to 911, and it’s not clear why, exactly, this was happening…The spikes seem to vary in time and intensity, aren’t consistent across all T-Mobile devices, and raise a host of other questions that make it hazy as to whether this is a technical glitch, a malicious prank, or something else entirely. It’s also limited to the Dallas area, at least for now, which would indicate that if it is malicious, it’s local. But that’s cold comfort, at best, to those who’ve lost those they love. [Uproxx]
I really hope its a glitch or malfunction. I know that this would be the worst of humanity, but it’s not like we’ve witnessed the worst elsewhere in the world.
i dont think ill ever get tired of trashing the new Mass Effect pic.twitter.com/jwXxdaRCtU
— Nathan Ranney (@RatCasket) March 16, 2017
good faces pic.twitter.com/GvoXUNU55t
— Nathan Ranney (@RatCasket) March 16, 2017
I love Mass Effect and all, but this is something else entirely. Is this really in-game? Or is this some fakery voodoo editing? Dunno, but it is hilariously bad.
YOUR DAILY PUMP UP Since it’s Friday, we need to have a dance party. And what better way to celebrate than to have an two Alicia Vikander movies where there’s a fantastic dance scene? First, Man From U.N.C.L.E., one of 2015’s most overlooked gem:
Plus it’s a nice little nod to Dirty Dancing:
And then there’s the instant-classic dance scene from Ex Machina:
Science: NASA Plans to Make a Telescope Out of the Sun
Aww: The Goldfish That Got a Wheelchair
Yes, Please: Learn to Make Bob’s Burgers IRL
FTW: System Shock 3 Coming to Consoles
TV: Netflix Added 20 MST3K Episodes
Tech: Is Your House Ready for Solar Power?
Video Games: Full Throttle Remastered Coming in April
WTF: The Massive Pizza Funeral That Never Had to Happen
LOL: The Onion Struggles to Lampoon Trump
Above: Everything is…Weirdly Everything [Via]
We can all stop the bickering. There will be no more division – things have escalated lately and I think we can all just learn to live with each other. I’ll admit it. I love pineapple on my pizza. And I respect those who don’t. It’s a lifestyle choice and it seems like I’m in the majority along with my nephews. But I will defend the minority when they make yucky faces whenever someone brings up the issue. It’s okay! We can split the pizza in two! It’s NBD folks.
HOORAY While Trump may claim he’s the reason for a solid jobs report and a healthy economy, he’s really GD lucky we’re not in a recession because boy oh boy, it would be a shitstorm. However, the Fed raised interest rates a quarter of a percentage and it looks like the Feds are ready to party:
In recent months, Yellen has sent the message that raising rates “too soon” is preferable to having to hike rates quickly down the road. She reiterated this message on Wednesday. “Today’s decision also reflects our view that waiting too long to scale back some accommodation could potentially require us to raise rates rapidly sometime down the road, which in turn could risk disrupting financial markets and pushing the economy into recession,” said Yellen at the press conference. The only dissenting FOMC member for Wednesday’s decision was Neel Kashkari, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. In recent months, Kashkari has been public about his view that the U.S. economy has not reached a point, in terms of employment and inflation, that requires raising interest rates. [Atlantic]
How will this affect anyone’s day to day? Not by much, but it’s nice to know that economists are bullish on the state of affairs in America, financially. And no, you won’t see interest rise on your savings accounts just yet, but you probably will see a tick up in loan rates – so maybe this is the time to buy that house because we’re at the end of insanely low interest for America.
HELL YEAH I’m going to have to get a subscription to Starz now:
I’ve read the book twice and it’s one of my faves and I cannot wait to see how it all plays out onscreen. I think the talent both in front and behind the camera is fantastic. The best person to head up the show would be Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Hannibal) and that’s who they got. I’m glad this wasn’t a movie because there’s all these wonderful details and characters that would get lost in translation for just a 2-hour journey. (more…)