Does getting shot really throw someone back?

It is a familiar trope in any violent action scene. Some gets shot and the impact causes the person to fall back, sometimes even thrown into the air or, more spectacularly, propelled backwards through a glass window. Filmmakers seem to love such scenes but it would never happen in reality. This is because although the bullet is traveling at high velocity, it also has very small mass and so its momentum (mass times velocity( is small, not enough to knock the victim over. At best they might move back a couple of inches

Bullets cause damage by penetrating the body and hitting the various organs inside and causing loss of blood.

This article explains why.
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The courtroom sketch artists at the Trump trial

The trial of serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) in New York does not allow live TV coverage of the proceedings and photographers have only been allowed to take photographs before the day’s proceedings begin. There have been complaints by the media that the public has a right to know what is going on in high-profile cases like this and that a live video feed should be allowed in the public interest.

While there would undoubtedly have been considerable interest (even though much of court proceedings are routine and boring), I am not convinced that allowing TV cameras and photographers is a good idea. A trial is not an event aimed at the general public. The only audience that matters are the jurors and the goal should be to give them the best experience of the case. When TV cameras are present, it might subtly distort that behavior of all the participants, and photographers vying for the best shot could also be distracting.
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Hard times for Trump allies

John Catsimatidis is a billionaire who is a Republican donor. He also owns a radio station WABC and Rudy Giuliani had a time slot on that show that he used to rant about his usual pet peeves. But WABC at some point warned him to stay away from topics like the 2020 election, possibly because of fears that his reckless spewing of conspiracy fantasies about the 2020 election being stolen because of rigged voting machines and software might get the station sued by Dominion and Smartmatic voting systems, the way he has been sued. He already is on the hook to pay $148 million for defaming two Georgia election workers.

But Giuliani did not heed the warnings and so the station has suspended his show.
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Film review: Scoop (2024)

Back in 2019, Prince Andrew agreed to an interview with the BBC news program Newsnight in an effort to tell his side of the story about his relationship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who had just killed himself in prison, and the allegations that Andrew had had sex with Virginia Giuffre, one of the many underage girls who were a constant presence in Epstein’s world.

Apparently Andrew was very pleased with how the interview had gone and felt that he had performed brilliantly. But it was widely viewed as a train wreck and a few days later, Andrew had been forced to relinquish his official duties and has not regained them since. It is thought that the interview is what persuaded Giuffre to sue Andrew, a case that was settled out of court in 2022, reportedly for around $16 million.
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What exactly is the problem with TikTok?

In a rare display of bipartisanship, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to force ByteDance, the owner of the social media app TikTok, to either sell it to a US buyer or face tough restrictions on its ability to operate in the US.

The vote was a landslide, with 352 Congress members voting in favor and only 65 against. The bill, which was fast-tracked to a vote after being unanimously approved by a committee last week, gives China-based ByteDance 165 days to divest from TikTok. If it did not, app stores including the Apple App store and Google Play would be legally barred from hosting TikTok or providing web hosting services to ByteDance-controlled applications.

The vote in the House represents the most concrete threat to TikTok in an ongoing political battle over allegations the China-based company could collect sensitive user data and politically censor content. TikTok has repeatedly stated it has not and would not share US user data with the Chinese government.

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Converting text into realistic video

When I was watching the documentary series Life On Our Planet, I was struck by how realistic the CGI was. The prehistoric animals wandering through nature seemed as if they were being actually filmed, with both them and background details finely portrayed. I wondered how much time and effort had gone into getting it to look like that.

Life on Our Planet takes advantage of modern CGI and photography techniques that mean film shot in natural habitats, footage of animals that are real but have been transferred to a studio and sequences conjured from scratch on a computer are nearly indistinguishable. Some of the extinct land-based animals digitally brought back to life look a little like they’re hovering across the ground as they walk, and there are a few scenes where implausible numbers of dinosaurs have gathered on the same landscape for a nice photo, but we largely move smoothly between then and now.

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Bob Edwards (1947-2024)

The former long-running host of NPR’s Morning Edition radio news program died yesterday. He hosted that show from its inception in 1979 until 2004. He was an excellent host and I was one of the vast number of regular listeners who was outraged by the way he was summarily replaced. Although he was only 57 when he left, it appeared that the network wanted new voices who could also do field reports, rather than just be a studio-based anchor.
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Using outrageous statements to make a nice living

There are a large number of right wing people that one hears about who have a penchant for saying the most outrageous things. right wing media and use that as a route to financial success.

Take, for example, Candace Owens who is employed by the website The Daily Wire as a columnist. She started out as a political activist by criticizing the Republican party and serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) but then suddenly in 2017 she became a conservative and started attacking the usual targets of the extreme right wing. She is now a pro-Trump conspiracy-spouting election denier who seems to be a popular figure in right wing circles despite not saying anything worthwhile. She is not alone. The last decade has produced a regular stream of such people.
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Taylor Swift, revenge porn, and deepfakes

If there were ever a title to a post that could be considered pure clickbait, my title would fit the bill, since it blends three of the biggest news items currently going: Taylor Swift, porn, and AI. The media attention that Swift is getting both for her music and her relationship with a football player is astounding. I have not heard her music nor do I follow football but thanks to the ubiquity of the coverage of her in the news, I know that she is in a relationship with someone playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. Why this receives such massive coverage from even mainstream news outlets mystifies me.

But my post is really using those three things to argue that the current ability of anyone to so easily produce deepfakes using AI may well herald the demise of some truly ugly practices.

It turns out that someone had used Swift’s image to create a pornographic video that appeared on Twitter/X. The site took down the video and blocked searches on the singer’s name but not before the video had amassed a huge number of views.
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Who has the time?

The trial in the defamation case brought by E. Jena Carroll against serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) resumed today after a two day break because one of the jurors had worried that they had Covid. SSAT is in the courtroom.

I read that last night SSAT had posted 35 times about the trial on his social media site and it made me wonder how he finds the time to do all that. True, a social media post is not that long but his are pretty long. The ones I’ve read sound like stream-of-consciousness ramblings (who knew that SSAT was an aficionado of James Joyce?) that seem to lack any careful thought or even proofreading, so that reduces the time. But still it must have taken several hours.

More interestingly, who reads all of them? Journalists presumably who have drawn the short straw of having to monitor his every utterance. But apart from them, even the most ardent MAGA supporter must get weary of their phones dinging continuously with alerts about his repetitive posts. Do they read all of them?

It appears that SSAT took the stand and his testimony lasted just a few minutes, with Carroll’s attorney asking just two simple questions that elicited ‘Yes’ answers. It may be that she did not want to give SSAT the opportunity to make a speech.