Pet turtle digs in and lives 30 years in family’s junk room

Red-footed tortoise on some junk

Manuela on some junk
Photograph by: Perla Rodrigues , TV Globo

While I’m slightly skeptical about the “just so” nature of this story, it’s still an adorable story, and I don’t see any aspects of it that make it particularly implausible. Apparently, a pet turtle (technically a tortoise, but turtles are turtles, I have it on good authority!) got lost in a junk room and, thirty years later, while the dad’s kids were going through his stuff after he died, they discovered the turtle had made a nice little home for itself next to a turntable and survived several decades on, probably, termites.

“At that moment I was white and did not believe,” explains Almeida.

Crawling around in a box with an old record player was Manuela, a red-footed tortoise the family had written off as lost back in 1982.

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Mock The Movie: Warning from Space

Warning from Space - DVD cover

Tonight! We’ll see all the drama and suspense leading up to the Japanese action film Attack from Space that we’d previously mocked so ruthlessly, when we tackle its cinematic ancestor, Warning from Space. You’ll thrill at giant meteors! You’ll gawk at an alien species completely and totally unlike anything on Earth (except for starfish)! You’ll be left breathless… with laughter!

This one’s free on Youtube and Archive.org if you want to download an mpg. Though, fair warning, the mockers have found that mockery is facilitated by alcohol, so you might end up incurring other costs from buying booze, or going to the hospital with alcohol poisoning when the pain gets to be too much.

“These all sound awful!” I hear you cry. Yes, yes, they do. “These must be mocked mercilessly”, you say. Well, then you’re in the right company. The instructions for playing along:

  1. Start following @MockTM on Twitter.
  2. Start watching the movie on the appropriate Wednesday at 9 p.m. EDT.
  3. Once you’ve got the movie going, tweet your snarky comments to @MockTM.  Directing our tweets to @MockTM will keep our followers from being overwhelmed with our snark!
  4. Set up a search for @MockTM on Twitter for the duration so you can follow along with everyone else sharing your pain.

If you have suggestions for other movies that can and should be mocked, send them to @MockTM. Preference will be given to movies that are free or stream on the major media delivery services. Watch the feed, and we’ll set up the calendar for more terrible, mockable movies.

Be there or be someone who values their time and liver functionality!

Also, if you’re interested, here’s a nigh-unpopulated Google Calendar feed.

Cosmo “studies” porn, says it hurts relationships

In an amusing bit of irony, one industry that promotes an unrealistic and largely unobtainable set of standards on sex and sexuality is criticizing another industry that promotes an unrealistic and largely unobtainable set of standards on sex and sexuality, over what the former claims is the latter’s harmful effects on relationships. Without having seen the title, if I told you that one industry was porn, and the other was Cosmopolitan Magazine, would you necessarily have guessed which was which?

So Cosmo asked 68 self-professed “relationship experts”, and the majority said porn was harmful. The credentials and peer review of these opinions are, of course, not up for debate. The sample size is, of course, perfectly adequate. The methodology is, of course, free from potential bias and leading. And the sample is, of course, totally representative. Trust them.

Alternet covers the story:

The glossy surveyed 68 “relationship experts” and found that the majority think X-rated material can harm relationships. The magazine also found that said experts believe porn damages women’s confidence, which is rich coming from a publication that inflames women’s insecurities in order to sell them a consumerist wet dream.

Yeah, there’s that irony I was talking about.
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NS woman, army major, partly responsible for women in US military

Evidently, a Nova Scotian woman, Major Eleanor Taylor, had a very large role in convincing the US military to finally allow women as combat units. The Province reports:

When the U.S. Marine Corps and army wanted advice about whether women should formally serve in combat units one of those whose expertise they sought was Maj. Eleanor Taylor of the Royal Canadian Regiment.

The 37-year-old Nova Scotian was uniquely qualified to speak to the senior American brass about this issue, which made front page news across the world last Thursday when U.S. defence secretary Leon Panetta announced a lifting of the ban on female service members in combat roles. Taylor was the only woman to lead a NATO combat unit in Afghanistan. She commanded an infantry company and attached units which frequently engaged in combat in 2010 while operating from a remote forward operating base in the notorious Taliban heartland to the west of Kandahar City.

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Impostercide tweak

Hoping this ends the lamentations of people forgetting to sign in before posting a comment, and using an already-registered name. Impostercide should now do something like this:

Possible Imposter

You are attempting to post a comment with information (i.e. email address or login ID) belonging to a registered user. If you have an account on this site, please login to make your comment. Otherwise, please try again with different information. Copy and paste the comment below into another document before returning to the previous page or you may lose the comment.

Comment submitted:
Don’t mind me, testing Impostercide updates.

Let me know if this mangles anything else. It shouldn’t; it was a very simple tweak.

In case you’re forgetting why this is even necessary, here’s a reminder.
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Anonymous hacks USSC.gov over Aaron Swartz’s death

Don’t get me wrong — I don’t advocate black-hat actions pretty much ever, even simple defacement. But the government’s pursuit of Aaron Swartz is one of those undeniably disproportionate responses to an internet activist for the crime of downloading too many PDFs at the same time. WITH AUTHORIZATION, no less.

What happened here, Anonymous hacking the USSC website to express their outrage at that travesty of justice — I’m fairly sympathetic to that cause. While it had already raised a public outcry, it certainly didn’t get enough of an outcry for the severity of the injustice perpetrated.

The Anonymous video, with text-to-speech of the USSC hack:

The most fascinating part of this is the “warhead” they included in the hack — links to an AES256 encrypted set of files with the names of the Chief Justices of the US as the filename. The files are intended to be spliced together — and Anonymous gave the command to do it, but also included “delete everything on your hard drive” at the end of the command in case you’re one of those types to blindly copy/paste commands into your command line.

The “warhead” will be “set off” by Anonymous releasing the decryption key for the encrypted file. Speculation abounds at what is in them, but Anonymous’ hack says:

The contents are various and we won’t ruin the speculation by revealing them. Suffice it to say, everyone has secrets, and some things are not meant to be public. At a regular interval commencing today, we will choose one media outlet and supply them with heavily redacted partial contents of the file. Any media outlets wishing to be eligible for this program must include within their reporting a means of secure communications.

Of course they won’t want to ruin speculation. That’s how things like this go viral.

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Sadie’s Dream for the World

An eleven-year-old transgender girl named Sadie has written an essay in response to Obama’s recent speech on his inauguration day to remind the President that there are some social justice causes that are being left by the wayside, even as he’s the first president to openly acknowledge the gay rights fight with a specific nod to the Stonewall uprising.

The world would be a better place if everyone had the right to be themselves, including people who have a creative gender identity and expression. Transgender people are not allowed the freedom to do things everyone else does, like go to the doctor, go to school, get a job, and even make friends.

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Nova Scotia wine, after dark

My wife works at a vineyard owned by Jöst (pronounced Yost, to rhyme with “most”). We’ve had a few bottles of this — it’s not horrible. So, apparently, has Jay Leno.

Such feminist misandry — making wine out of foreskins! Those castrating Canucks! Someone call the Canadian consulate and have them issue a warning about roving bands of feminists taking over our country!

What’s that, dear? They “ferment four varieties of grapes in the skins”? Well, okay, slightly clever. Gimmicky but clever.

Jailbreak the Patriarchy

Here’s an interesting app for a number of browsers that lets you, with the click of a button, swap all the pronouns and gendered words (save for slurs, for some reason) in order to get a different perspective on the thing you’re reading. It makes for an interesting juxtaposition to see how male and female politicians are described in general discourse, for instance.

And take any arbitrary story about sexism, and you’ll end up with something that would get MRAs’ blood boiling:

Yesterday, a man by the name of Gabrielle Toledano – evidently a human resources manager for EA games – wrote a rather confusing and deeply problematic op-ed for Forbes outlining why, in his estimation, sexism isn’t responsible for the dearth of men in gaming. To quote his opening remarks:

It’s easy to blame women for not creating an attractive work environment – but I think that’s a cop-out. If we want more men to work in games, we have to recognize that the problem isn’t sexism.

…The issue I have is that the video game industry is being painted as more sexist than other female-dominated workforces. I know sexism exists, but the issue isn’t just in video games. And it’s not what’s holding us back.

Nonetheless, there are still too few men working in my company, so it’s clear there is an issue to fix. Rather than blame the majority just because they are the majority, I believe the solution starts with us – men.

Which is, frankly, one of the most flippant, useless and blithely ignorant summaries of the problem I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter.

Completely changes your perspective on things, doesn’t it?
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