Updated with response from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, below.
Susan Fowler Rigetti, a former engineer at Uber, describes in a blog post her experience in a workplace where sexual harassment takes place with impunity, and people who are abused at work are further abused by the organization for which they work.
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If the Found Footage Festival tour ever comes your way, I highly recommend you check it out. The two guys who host the events scour thrift stores and yard sales for the most obscure and awkward infomercials, public access shows, training tapes and home videos to showcase. I’ve been to four of their shows and I always laugh so hard it hurts. They currently have 8 volumes available on DVD. You can watch videos of some of their findings on the website. — CD
The US is basically the only country in the world not using metric. It’s not that hard to learn a rough sense of how many kilometers in a mile, or pounds in a kilo. But it is very hard to convert temperatures between Centigrade and Fahrenheit. The solution is to convert all your thermometers to Centigrade: on your phone, in or outside of your house, on websites. Have any digital device display only Celsius, so you can’t cheat. In about a year, you’ll have a reliable and native sense of what’s cool and warm in degrees C. This is supremely handy if you travel anywhere outside of the US. — KK
I feel like an idiot for not discovering OverDrive sooner. It’s a free mobile app that lets you check out ebooks, audiobooks, and videos from your local public library. To use it, you need a a library card from your town or county. I got an Los Angeles Library e-card by signing up online and a couple of minutes later I was reading A Burglar’s Guide to the City. — MF
Since I live in the San Francisco metro area, I get a lot of out-of-town visitors. My favorite place to take them is the Exploratorium along the bayside waterfront. It is the original hands-on science museum, and still the world’s best hands-on learning experience. Many of the interactive exhibits now common at science museums around the world began here; the Exploratorium has all of them and many more found nowhere else. This sprawling temple of innovation and maker-goodness can easily occupy me — even after my 50th visit — for four hours or more. (I normally get saturated after only one hour in other museums.) Of course while it is perfect for kids of all ages, every Thursday evening it’s reserved for adults, and crowded with innovators and artists of all types. — KK
I spent the last year buying and returning boots in search of a pair that come close to Lucky Brand Basel boots in comfort and style. I’ve gone through two pairs of them in black in the last 5 years and I finally gave up searching and bought an additional pair in brown. I love these because they’re stylish enough to solicit compliments, and they’re so comfortable that I can literally walk miles in them every day. — CD
Would you like to improve your chance of having an empty middle seat when you fly on Southwest? Here’s a trick I’ve started to use that works. When I board, I look for a 3-seat row of chairs where a very large person is sitting in the window or aisle set. I will sit in that row, either in the aisle seat or window seat. As the plane starts to get full, passengers will be reluctant to sit in the middle seat because the big person is encroaching on the space. One time when I did this, the guy sitting in the seat (he was probably 6’5” and weighed 300 pounds) leaned over and said conspiratorially, “No one will sit here. It’s always the last seat they take.“ — MF
This week I got a chance to un-pack this collection. I've had it for about 10 years now and it has been in boxes the whole time.
I absolutely love this cover. It is unabashedly silly. What is that boy even doing with that dog? Why lug that iron lung so far from your home-dome if the dog can't even walk around? That thing has to weigh a ton. All joking aside, there's something delightful about all the space covers from before 1961, when Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. Interestingly though, the first dog in space was Laika, in 1951, so I guess they really have no excuse! (more…)
Le Bouche à Oreille is a perfectly decent working class diner in Bourges that'll feed you a slap-up meal for €10. La Bouche à Oreille, though, is a brilliant €48-course restaurant in Paris. Only one of them should have been awarded a Michelin star, but don't tell that to the posh sorts descending en masse upon an overwhelmed greasy spoon.
The Michelin Guide apologised, saying it had confused the café with a more refined establishment of the same name near Paris. The listing was changed on its website, but not until two days later.
Véronique Jacquet, who runs the café, said it had a regular clientèle of local tradesmen. “Suddenly, we were rushed off our feet. Reporters were coming in and then my son phoned me from Paris, where he lives. He almost died laughing.”
Three cheers for the diner's chef, Penelope Salmon: “I put my heart into my cooking.”
Norma McCorvey, the anonymous "Jane Roe" in the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, has died. (more…)
Via John Aravosis: "Does no one in that White House do any advance work at all? Look closely. They're just sloppy."
My sister came across this product, which promises all the fun of taking a shower with a goat with none of the usual hassles of renting a shower-goat.
I came to the Grateful Dead late by some standards, and left its orbit early by most. My first album was the band’s third, “Aoxomoxoa,” which I purchased shortly after its release in 1969, and I didn’t experience the Dead live until 1970. From then until 1973, I saw them a lot, mostly at Winterland in San Francisco, but by 1974, with a few memorable exceptions, I was pretty much done.
My blind spot then, is the bulk of the band’s 30-year career, which also happens to be the years when the Grateful Dead was at its most famous and popular, becoming one of the highest-grossing arena and stadium acts of its day. That’s probably why Alive With the Dead: A Fly on the Wall With a Camera, by photographer Susana Millman, seems like such a revelation to a fallen Dead Head like me. Oh sure, Millman gives us plenty of shots of the hoopla surrounding the 1987 release of “In the Dark,” which went double platinum, but her photographs also offer intimate peeks inside a scene I’d always dismissed as being too big for its own good.
And in many ways, it certainly was, as Millman’s photos of the tie-dye-clad crowds filling enormous venues like Soldier Field in Chicago might have argued in the hands of a different author and photographer. Soldier Field, of course, is where the Dead performed its last show on July 9, 1995 — lead guitarist Jerry Garcia would die one month later. But instead of using the pages of her book to caution readers against simultaneous addictions to heroin, cigarettes, and Ben & Jerry’s, Millman gives us a glorious double-printed, double-exposed photograph of the band on stage at its last gig, dwarfed by the adoration of its fans, stage lights, and fireworks.
Elsewhere, Millman shares a sweet recollection of Garcia on her wedding day, during which he confesses his nervousness at having to walk Millman down the aisle to give her away to Dennis McNally, the band’s publicist and biographer at the time. This and other human anecdotes — some fleshed out with text, some left alone as photos — give Alive With the Dead the feeling of a well-thumbed family album rather than a precious tome about rock stars. It’s good to know that from Millman’s fly-on-the-wall perspective, the members of a band I once loved didn’t let the fame I missed go entirely to their heads.
Alive With the Dead: A Fly on the Wall With a Camera
by Susana Millman
2016, 260 pages, 12.0 x 9.0 inches, Hardcover
$60 Buy a Copy
Here are the books in the volumes that I've read and recommend.
Burroughs, Edgar Rice: Tarzan of the Apes
Wells, H. G.: The Time Machine
Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Stevenson, Robert Louis: Treasure Island
Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
London, Jack: The Call of the Wild
Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
Defoe, Daniel: Robinson Crusoe
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment
I did a spot check and the formatting looks fine. (It's sometimes a problem with free and cheap Kindle books.)
Archive.org's Wayback Machine has a copy of Trump's deleted tweet, which read: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @CNN, @NBCNews and many more) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!"
Tiny Trumps is a new subreddit page that features the little fella in his daily life. From Melania making sure he doesn't take a tumble to Obama doing his best not to laugh to Trumpkin entertaining Justin Trudeau, Tiny Trumps is my current go-to when I need a good chuckle. (more…)
Rev. Keith Ogden of Hill Street Baptist Church in Asheville, NC is afraid of a new boy doll announced by American Girl.
"This is nothing more than a trick of the enemy to emasculate little boys and confuse their role to become men," he wrote in an e-mail to his congregation. It was titled, "KILLING THE MINDS OF MALE BABIES."
"There are those in this world who want to alter God's creation of the male and female," he wrote. "The devil wants to kill, steal and destroy the minds of our children and grandchildren by perverting, distorting and twisting (the) truth of who God created them to be."
I suspect Rev. Ogden described American Girl as an "enemy" because he's secretly telling his followers to obey the Lord's command to "love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back."
The Pentagon has a rule requiring retired officers to report income from foreign states. But the Pentagon says it can find no records that former National Security advisor Michael Flynn filed a report after he'd been paid by Russia for an interview on the Russian state television network RT and for dining with President Vladimir Putin at RT's 10-year anniversary gala in 2015. Via Politico:
In a letter to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House oversight committee delivered Tuesday, acting Army Secretary Robert Speer confirmed that Flynn — a retired lieutenant general — filed no documentation of his trip.
In response, House oversight committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Elijah Cummings, ranking Democrat on the committee, sent a letter that suggests Flynn may have inappropriately accepted payments from the Russian government or its agents in exchange for his attendance. Scrutiny is growing on Flynn’s trip and whether his payment violated the Constitution’s Emolument’s Clause, which prohibits any person holding an “office of profit or trust” in the federal government from accepting foreign payment. The prohibition has long been considered to apply for retired military officials.
As you recall, Flynn was fond of leading "lock her up!" chants on Trump's campaign trail.
MythBusters' Adam Savage whipped up a perfect replica of Chewbacca's bandolier and satchel.
In 1948, Robert Moog, age 14, was inspired by classical Theremin performer Clara Rockmore to build his own Theremin. Then in 1964 Moog designed a brand new kind of electronic instrument, a modular voltage-controlled synthesizer. That instrument and Moog's work since transformed the sound of modern music forever. To hear how, dive into this fantastic 10-hour Moog playlist:
Today my friends in Rogue Wave released the video for their lovely cover of Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door." The track is from their latest release "Cover Me," a quite wonderful covers album that consists entirely of Rogue Wave going back to their 1980s musical roots, influences, and mix tape favorites. Songs include The Cure's "In Between Days," The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary," The Church's "Under the Milky Way," The Romantics' 'Talking In Your Sleep," and many more 80s MTV classics. "Cover Me" is available for digital download or colored vinyl -- pink or splatter paint, natch.
"The idea for this video has been circling around my brain since we finished tracking it," Zach Rogue says. "A fantasy about what I could tell my younger self if I had the chance."
Check out Rogue Wave tour dates here.
This video featuring Viktoria Odintsova is probably not adhering to local occupational safety regs. If the photo below gets your palms sweating, you may want to skip the video above.