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There's no bread at the grocery store and conservatives are denying climate change on Twitter, so why doesn't the blizzard of 2015 feel quite right? Ah yes, we're missing the traditional scandal over a local official's inappropriate storm response. Thankfully, Andrew Cuomo is stepping up to the plate. On Monday ... More »
You can now add "toolbox" to the growing list of mundane objects looking to up their IQ. Enter the Coolbox, a tech-laden, "smart" toolbox that launches today on Indiegogo. In addition to toting your tools, it packs a 12v rechargeable battery, two USB ports, 270-degree LED lighting, a 10-foot extension cord with three built-in plugs and an iPad stand. The box also has a Bluetooth speaker so you can blast music over the soothing sounds of your miter saw. And then there's our favorite feature: the Coolbox's built-in bottle opener, because what pairs better with power tools than beer? (Though maybe wait to crack one open until after your project is finished, huh?) Pledging $179 will get you a basic Coolbox and move the project toward its $50,000 fundraising goal. However, its creators have an even loftier target in mind: surpassing the most-successful KickStarter project of all time. So who's the reigning champ? A souped-up drink cooler, of course.
Along with game developer Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian is likely one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to online harassment. Both have been targets of intense cyber-abuse campaigns stemming from the GamerGate movement, and like Quinn, Sarkeesian is tackling the problem head on. She's going to continue giving speeches and making videos examining media (what she calls public efforts), but the digital abuse she's receiving has changed her long-term goal:
"There is also work being done behind the scenes in private meetings and consultations with major social media and gaming platforms, and by partnering with other organizations to form a task force with the goal of ending online harassment."
In a letter prefacing her Feminist Frequency organization's 2014 spending report (PDF), Sarkeesian says that she spends about half of her time raising awareness on the topic and helping to change policies on an institutional level -- this is much more than a side-project for her. If you're skeptical about how feasible this is, you need not look any further than Intel's $300 million response to GamerGate and game developer Naughty Dog's work on The Last of Us.
Her ultimate goal for Feminist Frequency, now a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization, she says, is to make it a network of programming examining all manner of media with a "systemic/intersectional/anti-oppression lens." As an extension of that, she's addressing one of the most common responses (at least in our comment section) to the Tropes series: that it's one-sided and ignores the ways that men and masculinity are portrayed in video games. You know, like the stereotypical hyper-macho, 'roided out, womanizing space marine, for example.
Tropes vs. Women in Video Games isn't going anywhere, either. Production's underway on the year's first episode exploring the concept of "women as reward." That's not all: A series showcasing positive depictions of women in games is en route, too. For a peek at where else Sarkeesian sees Feminist Frequency going in 2015, take a look through the brief, colorful and surprisingly palatable report linked below.
[Image credit: Infomastern/Flickr]
Source: Feminist Frequency (Dropbox)
At least 40 dogs have mysteriously gone missing since November in a small North Texas town, but authorities say they have no idea who is taking them or why.
Melbourne (AFP) - The experienced Maria Sharapova slapped down young pretender Eugenie Bouchard Tuesday, dominating the ambitious Canadian to set up an all-Russian Australian Open semi-final with dark horse Ekaterina Makarova.
The world number two, who could claim the top ranking from arch-rival Serena Williams if she wins the title, showed her intent by breaking the seventh seed in the first game of the match and never looked back.
Billed as a Glam Slam showdown between two of the game's most marketable women, an intense Sharapova was all business in the crushing 6-3, 6-2 win on a cool, overcast Melbourne day.
"She's been playing so well at Slams, so confident and so aggressive," said the Russian, gunning for a sixth Grand Slam crown and her first in Australia since 2008.
"I just really tried to take that away from her a little bit. I did a great job of that today."
She now faces Makarova, who raced through her match against third seed Simona Halep, thrashing the more-fancied Romanian 6-4, 6-0.
The 26-year-old has made the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park twice previously but never before advanced to the semis in seven attempts.
"I love it, it's a great feeling that I came through," said Makarova.
In the other women's quarter-finals, to be played Wednesday, top seed Serena Williams meets last year's finalist Dominika Cibulkova while her sister Venus takes on teenage American Madison Keys.
If the Williams sisters both win, they will face each other across the net at a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2009 Wimbledon final, which Serena won.
Among the men, third seed and 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal is looking to extend his superiority over Tomas Berdych in their last eight showdown later Tuesday.
The Spaniard has an imposing 18-3 record over the seventh seeded Czech, winning the last 17 encounters, but insists they both start from scratch on Rod Laver Arena.
British sixth seed Andy Murray will have the home crowd against him when he takes on mercurial 19-year-old local Nick Kyrgios in the other last eight clash.
Murray, a two-time Grand Slam champion but luckless in Melbourne in three losing finals, said in a column for The Age newspaper Tuesday that he was experienced enough to handle the situation.
Instead, he feels the pressure will be on Kyrgios with the home crowd baying for an upset.
"I've been through that for 10 years at Wimbledon -- it's something you have to learn how to deal with," he said of the home expectations.
- Stressed out -
Sharapova, who also dumped Bouchard from the French Open semi-finals last year, gave no quarter on Rod Laver Arena, hitting 18 winners and forcing 30 unforced errors from the 20-year-old.
"The first two or three balls are so aggressive from her side," Sharapova said. "I just tried to keep my ground, I knew she was going to go at it and be aggressive."
Makarova, her right thigh heavily strapped, said she was trying to stay grounded and not let expectations get to her with Sharapova looming.
"I need to believe in myself. I'm trying not to really think that it's semis, that I'm one step from the final, but that it's just a normal match like always," she said.
"Just go out there and enjoy my game."
Halep came into the match as favourite but her trademark fighting qualities deserted her, with the talented 23-year-old saying she felt stressed by the occasion.
"I practised very well in the morning, but I was a little bit too stressed before I started the match," she said. "It was not really pressure, just a little bit stressed. I don't know why," she said.
Today in things we probably don't want advertised in the newspaper: if anyone wants to fly a drone into the White House, the Secret Service can't really stop them. Early on Monday morning, a Secret Service official happened to spot a two-foot wide quadcopter drone flying over the White House ... More »
Caption this: Heidi Klum attends Myers launch of her Intimates Collection at Myer Bourke Street Mall on January 27, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.
If you can’t handle regular shots or just feel like trying out something new, then you might want to stock up on these Icycls. They bring something new and different
The post Chill to Warm Up: Icycls are Fruit-Flavored Ice Pops Made With Vodka appeared first on OhGizmo!.
You don’t have to be into photographer to appreciate the awesomeness of these water bottles, although you’ll have to be a biker (or someone who drinks has a need for
The post Water Bottles That Look Like Classic 35mm Film Canisters appeared first on OhGizmo!.
DK's Donuts of Orange, a simple, walk-up donut stand in Orange, California, offers this donut that is anything but simple. 7 Deadly says that it would make cronut inventor "Dominique Ansel to kneel over and sob French tears." That would be a great shame, for it would be sad for Ansel to, like Howard Roark in The Fountainhead, withhold future works of his genius from the world to prevent them from being altered.
What does it taste like? Let the reviewers from 7 Deadly speak:
However, the first bite makes it clear that the cronut-gimmick is merely a vehicle for the punch-in-the-face flavors of the thick Sriracha glaze and generous amount of candied bacon sprinkled on top.
If you’re looking for something “delicate,” this is not the donut for you. This savory behemoth is a Sriracha-soaked, protein-packed meal that just happens to be on a cronut-like pastry. There’s a faint hint of sugar from the dough, but that quickly gets lost as the spicy, meaty heat overwhelms every square centimeter of your tongue.
Moscow (AFP) - The UN said a rocket attack that killed 30 people in a city in eastern Ukraine deliberately targeted civilians, as Russian President Vladimir Putin spurned Western calls to rein in a pro-Moscow insurgency.
A senior UN official told an emergency Security Council meeting that the deadly rocket barrage on the port city of Mariupol came from pro-Russian rebel-controlled territory and sought to strike a civilian population, in violation of international humanitarian law.
Putin earlier ridiculed the Ukrainian army as NATO's "foreign legion" after the Western alliance's NATO-Ukraine Commission met to discuss a surge in fighting that has led to a spate of civilian deaths and put pressure on Ukraine's troubled military.
Another 12 people were reported killed Monday, including seven Ukrainian soldiers, as Kiev accused the pro-Russian rebels of firing more than 100 times over the past day on both military positions and civilian areas.
Fighting was said to be particularly intense near the government-held city of Debaltseve, halfway between the rebel strongholds of Donetsk and Lugansk, where the military said separatists were attacking with tanks and multiple rocket launchers.
Western governments and Kiev accuse Moscow of arming, training and fighting alongside the rebels. Russia denies any direct involvement, although repeated sightings of large numbers of sophisticated heavy weapons being used against Ukrainian forces has stretched the credibility of those denials.
UN Under Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman told the emergency Security Council meeting late Monday that a crater analysis by European monitors showed that the deadly rocket barrage was fired from territory controlled by pro-Moscow rebels.
"Mariupol lies outside of the immediate conflict zone. The conclusion can thus be drawn that the entity which fired these rockets knowingly targeted a civilian population," said Feltman.
"We must all send an unequivocal message: The perpetrators must be held accountable and brought to justice," he said.
- 'Cannon fodder' -
Putin, on a visit to Saint Petersburg, claimed Ukrainian men wanted to flee to Russia because they did not want to become "cannon fodder" in an army that he described as mostly "volunteer nationalist battalions".
"In essence, this is not an army, this is a foreign legion -- in this particular case NATO's foreign legion, which of course does not pursue the objective of serving Ukraine's national interests," Putin said.
He said the aim was "Russia's containment" and that the Ukrainian government was not interested in a peaceful settlement.
NATO head Jens Stoltenberg later dismissed the comments as "nonsense".
"The foreign forces in Ukraine are Russian," Stoltenberg told a press conference at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels. "So I think that is in a way the problem, that there are Russian forces in Ukraine and that Russia backs the separatists with equipment. And we have seen a substantial increase in the flow of equipment from Russia to the separatists in Ukraine."
The unravelling of a September truce deal has picked up pace in the past few days, with the main rebel leader in the Donetsk region last week announcing he would no longer take part in peace talks and planned to seize more territory.
Rebels distanced themselves from Saturday's rocket attack on a residential area of Mariupol, the last major city in the country's two separatist provinces still controlled by Kiev.
However, monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe said the rockets were fired from the direction of separatist-held areas.
The leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Alexander Zakharchenko, initially claimed Saturday to have launched an offensive aimed at taking Mariupol, but as the extent of the bloodshed became apparent he denied ordering an assault on the industrial port on the Sea of Azov. Mariupol remained calm on Monday.
- More sanctions? -
The 15-member UN Security council was meeting after Russia at the weekend blocked a statement condemning the violence in Mariupol and citing Zakharchenko's announcement of the offensive.
Russia is already under heavy Western sanctions over its alleged actions in Ukraine and the recent violence has led to threats of new measures against Moscow.
US President Barack Obama vowed to ramp up pressure on the Kremlin after Saturday's slaughter in Mariupol. Analysts say that if rebel forces did capture the city, they would then be close to creating a land corridor linking Russia to the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, another Ukrainian province that Moscow annexed last March.
Obama said he would look at all options -- short of military intervention -- to restrain Putin's alleged campaign to cripple Ukraine's pro-Western leadership by stripping away their country's vital eastern industrial base.
In a call to Putin, French President Francois Hollande declared he was "very concerned" by the rise in violence and stressed the necessity for an immediate end to the aggression, a position shared by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was also on the call.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told his top generals that he had asked the European Union to tighten its own sanctions on Russia when EU foreign ministers hold a special session in Brussels on Thursday.
Both sides on the ground accuse the other of endangering civilians by firing into built-up areas.
Seoul (AFP) - South Korean Olympic swimming star and national icon Park Tae-Hwan fought to clear his name on Tuesday as he reeled from the shock news that he failed a doping test.
The four-time Olympic medallist blamed an injection given by a hospital for the result, the second high-profile Asian swimming case in recent months after China's Sun Yang.
In a statement, Park's management agency Team GMP said the 25-year-old -- dubbed "Marine Boy" and with an Asian Games pool bearing his name -- was stunned by the news.
The agency said he was injected at a South Korean hospital while receiving chiropractic treatment before last year's Asiad in Incheon.
"At the time, the hospital offered to give Park an injection and he repeatedly asked if it contained any illegal substances," GMP said.
"The doctor said there would be no problem. And yet it turned out the injection contained a banned substance.
"He hasn't even taken cold medicine so that he wouldn't fail doping tests. Park is more shocked by this result than anyone else."
Park's agency threatened the hospital with legal action over the case, which could end in a ban for the swimmer with the world championships approaching in Kazan, Russia, in July.
Park has struggled to repeat the form of the 2008 Olympics, when he won freestyle gold and silver, and he was unable to win a title at his home Asian Games in September.
"Park and Team GMP will actively explain these details to FINA and make every effort to avoid any unfavourable consequences," the agency added.
- Hospital queried -
Team GMP said Park passed doping controls during the Asian Games, contested at Incheon's Munhak Park Tae-Hwan Aquatics Centre, but failed a recent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) test.
"With our team of legal experts, we're trying to determine why the particular hospital injected Park with an illegal substance, and we're preparing to hold it civilly and criminally liable," the management agency said.
The revelation over Park comes after China belatedly revealed in November that double Olympic champion Sun served a three-month doping ban before the Asian Games.
The 1,500 metres world record-holder won three gold medals in Incheon after serving the previously unannounced ban. The failure was blamed on medicine for heart palpitations.
FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu declined to comment to AFP about Park, saying only that the world swimming body's anti-doping commission would meet in late February.
Park won 400m freestyle gold and 200m freestyle silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, becoming South Korea's first Olympic swimming medallist.
He also won silver in both events at the 2012 London Olympics, along with 400m gold in the world championships in 2007 and 2011.
But he had a disappointing time in the pool in front of an expectant home crowd at last year's Asian Games, managing only a silver and five bronze medals.
The news could puncture some of the euphoria in South Korea on Tuesday after it came to light as the national football team reached their first Asian Cup final in 27 years.
For over a year now, gay hook up app Grindr has had a serious security flaw which allows users to be tracked very closely, and Grindr's response has been tepid at best. Some countries were only blocked after the security flaw was discovered and some reported that Grindr was being used for tracking by Egyptian police and at the Russian Olympics in Sochi.
A Chicago woman is facing criminal charges after her boyfriend beat her 16-month-old son to death.
the preserved frames are handwoven using locally sourced textiles with antique looms steered by venetian handicraft masters.
The post 1850s italian sofas remade by ale de vecchi design appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.
This weekend a gay Alabama politician, frustrated by her colleagues' reaction to a gay marriage bill, threatened to reveal which of them are currently having extramarital affairs.
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