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2014 Ig Nobel Awards!

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Filed under: Parody, Satire

The venerated Ig Nobel Prizes for 2014 were announced today…


Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds
by Mark Pratt
AP
September 18, 2014

2014 IG Nobels, Harvard

BOSTON (AP) – There’s some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives’ tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

Dr. Sonal Saraiya and her colleagues in Michigan found that packing strips of cured pork in the nose of a child who suffers from uncontrollable, life-threatening nosebleeds can stop the hemorrhaging, a discovery that won them a 2014 Ig Nobel prize, the annual award for sometimes inane, yet often surprisingly practical, scientific discoveries.

This year’s winners honored Thursday at Harvard University by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine included a team of researchers who wondered if owning a cat was bad for your mental health; Japanese scientists who tested whether banana peels are really as slippery as cartoons would have us believe; and Norwegian biologists who tested whether reindeer on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard were frightened by humans dressed to resemble polar bears. ” target=”_blank”>Read the rest of this article here.

Flappybird Photo Hijack

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Filed under: Fraud and Deception, Hoax Etiquette, Legal Issues

In case you think the risque photos on your Android phone are secure…


Hackers plotted fake Flappy Bird app to steal girls’ photos from Android phones
by Graham Cluley
September 6, 2014

Next time you install an app on your phone, you’d best think twice if it asks permission to access your photos.

As The Guardian reports, following a tweet from security researcher Nik Cubrilovic, the very same hackers who merrily collected naked photos of more than 100 female celebrities, including Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, had plotted a variety of dirty tricks to increase their haul.

At least one hacker openly posted on the AnonIB image board, proposing what he called a “genious” idea: (more…)

Beware of Excessive Prank Consequences… What Would Jesus Say?

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Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief, The Big One

Teen May Get 2 Years For Pic Of Fake Oral Sex With Jesus
by Hilary Hanson
The Huffington Post
September 11, 2014

Will this boy get punished for coming to Jesus?

A Pennsylvania teen may face up to two years behind bars for allegedly taking a photo of himself simulating oral sex with a statue of Jesus, Kron 4 reports.

jesus-prank

The photo was taken in front of Love in the Name of Christ, a Christian organization in Everett, Pennsylvania, and posted on Facebook back in July. Read the full story here.

Murder By Bay Breezes, by John Elvin

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Filed under: Satire

Murder-By-Bay-Breezes-187x300John Elvin, aka W.J. Elvin III, whose columns and other contributions have often graced these pages (see Literateye and Ask the Fiddler for starters), is the author of Murder By Bay Breezes, a newly published mystery novel.

From Amazon.com:

Who killed Sammy Sanchez? Andy Holliday, recently signed on as feature writer for a travel magazine, is off to the Lower Eastern Shore, an off-the-beaten track region beside the Chesapeake Bay. But a piece-of-cake assignment takes a murderous twist. With sardonic wit and investigative skills forged in his clouded past, Holliday digs for secrets concealed by quirky, stubborn cranks, bumbling crooks and other peculiar characters.

Review from reader, Richard Lapidus:

This is one of the best mysteries I’ve read in several years. The main character is a hoot! He is witty, sarcastic, a newspaper man forced by circumstances to take a job he really doesn’t want. He’s not a detective, but the investigator inside him can’t leave the murder of a teenage boy unsolved. It’s a fun read, with much local color from the east coast. I can’t wait for the next in the series. Andy Holliday rocks!

Check it out at GunBoss Books and on FaceBook.


Anti-Koch Light Activists Arrested for “Illegal Advertising”

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Filed under: Creative Activism

From Naomi Pitcairn: Another hypocritical farce. Did the NYPD arrest the right “illegal advertisers”?


NYPD Detains Activists for Anti-Koch Light Graffiti at the Met
by Ben Davis
Artnet News
September 11, 2014

On Tuesday, three activists were detained by NYPD officers outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art after disrupting a gala honoring David H. Koch. The controversial billionaire was being fêted for his $65 million contribution to the newly reopened museum plaza, which prominently bears his name (see “Protesters Crash Koch Plaza Opening at the Met“). The three activists, Kyle Depew, Grayson Earle, and Yates McKee, were caught projecting images from a customized art truck onto the museum’s façade that read “The Met: Brought to you by the Tea Party” and “Koch = Climate Chaos”—references to Koch’s well-known role in funding right-wing and climate change denying groups.

Light Brigade at the MET

The incident followed a protest earlier in the day by the tenacious Occupy Wall Street spin-off Occupy Museums, which by all accounts brought a good-spirited group of art activists to the newly opened David H. Koch Plaza to stage anti-Koch performances. Early in the evening, the activists unexpectedly had a chance to confront Koch himself on the steps of the museum, chanting “Shame on climate change denier” as he passed by on the way to his car. (more…)

Mel Brooks’ Pinky Prank

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Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief, Satire

Mel Brooks celebrated the 40th anniversary of his comedy classic “Young Frankenstein” by imprinting his fingers into the sidewalk at Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. All eleven of them. Read the full story here.

mel-brooks-11-fingers

Blame It On The Devil

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Filed under: Satire, The Big One

Naked Satan Statue Has Vancouver Locals Asking, ‘What The Devil?’
by David Moye
The Huffington Post
September 9, 2014

Naked-saluting-Satan-statue

What the hell?

That’s the question some Vancouver locals were asking after a naked, anatomically correct statue of Satan was mysteriously erected in a local park.

The 9-foot-tall statue was a representation of the devil, complete with red skin, a pointed tail and horns atop his head. The statue also holds one hand up in a devil-horn salute familiar to heavy metal fans the world over.

But what has aroused controversy is the statue’s prominent, erect phallus, CTV News reports. Read the whole story here.

Watch the video




Eavesdropping via Fake Cell Towers

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Filed under: First Amendment Issues, Fraud and Deception

Can you hear me now? In case you still thought you had personal privacy…


Fake Cell Towers Allow the NSA and Police to Keep Track of You
By Lauren Walker
Newsweek
September 5, 2014

phony-towers-425

The Internet is abuzz with reports of mysterious devices sprinkled across America—many of them on military bases—that connect to your phone by mimicking cell phone towers and sucking up your data. There is little public information about these devices, but they are the new favorite toy of government agencies of all stripes; everyone from the National Security Agency to local police forces are using them.

These fake towers, known as “interceptors,” were discovered in July by users of the CryptoPhone500, one of the ultra-secure cell phones released after Edward Snowden’s leaks about NSA snooping. The phone is essentially a Samsung Galaxy S3 customized with high-level encryption that costs around $3,500. While driving around the country, CryptoPhone users plotted on a map every time they connected to a nameless tower (standard towers run by wireless service providers like Verizon usually have names) and received an alert that the device had turned off their phone’s encryption (allowing their messages to be read). Read the rest of this article here.

Performance Artist Explores the Weight of Personal Violation

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Filed under: Creative Activism

Emma Sulkowicz says her senior thesis is more performance art than an act of protest. Perhaps it is both.


Columbia Student Will Carry a Mattress Everywhere Until Her Alleged Rapist Is Expelled
By Jessica Roy
New York Magazine
September 2, 2014

columbia-performance-art-rape-student.200Emma Sulkowicz says she was raped in her own dorm bed by a classmate on the first day of her sophomore year of college. Since then, a substantial amount of her time at Columbia University has been spent trying to convince college administrators, police, and even friends that what happened to her really happened, that it was rape, and that her rapist deserves to be punished for what he did.


[Read The Cut's September 4 interview with Sulkowicz here.]

Sulkowicz is one of 23 students who are part of a federal Title IX complaint filed against Columbia in April for mishandling sexual-assault cases. Though she and two other students reported that the same student had assaulted them, all of their claims were swept under the rug, and the male student was not expelled from campus.

…Now a senior majoring in visual arts, Sulkowicz has devised a senior thesis rooted in performance art that will allow her to protest the fact that her rapist continues to study on campus. She has committed to carrying around a twin-size dorm mattress everywhere she goes on campus, to classes and appointments, “for as long as I attend the same school as my rapist.” Read the rest of this article here.

Watch video of Sulkowicz explaining her thesis project:

Grover Norquist Meets the Wisdom of Burning Man

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

Can “radical inclusiveness” ever win out over entrenched political partisanship?


My first Burning Man: confessions of a conservative from Washington
by Grover Norquist
theguardian.com
2 September 2014 16.20 EDT

‘Some day, I want to live 52 weeks a year in a state or city that acts like this. I want to attend a national political convention that advocates the wisdom of Burning Man.’

grover-norquist-burning-man
Illustration: Bart van Leeuwen for Guardian US Opinion (based on photos via Getty)

What is Burning Man?

It is a larger version of … what? Woodstock? That was a bunch of teenagers coming to watch artists perform. At Burning Man, everyone is expected to be a participant. Burners bring their art work, their art cars, their personal dress and/or undress: everyone is on stage. The story of Woodstock was thousands of young people, without the sense to bring their own food and water, being rescued by the state police and sensible bourgeois rural folks. The story of Burning Man is one of radical self-reliance.

It is a more intense than … what? Not quite the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Burning Man is an arts festival in the middle of the Nevada desert. It takes hours to get there, and you must bring what you eat or wear or need: you cannot buy anything there. Burning Man is more like Brigadoon – a western ghost town that springs to life. Dust storms. Cold nights. Black Rock City is completely built and then taken apart and disappeared each year, by 65,000 people.

Burning Man is greater than I had ever imagined. (more…)

Cecily McMillan’s Awakening

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Filed under: First Amendment Issues

I Went From Grad School to Prison
As Told to Abigail Pesta
Cosmopolitan
August 12, 2014

This past spring, Cecily McMillan rode a bus across a bridge to Rikers Island, home of the notorious New York City jail. When the Occupy Wall Street activist was released nearly two months later, she had left her old self behind.

cecily-mcmillan-arrest-425

I didn’t cry my first night in jail.

By the time I got through the 12 hours of intake — the lines, the fingerprints, the strip search — it was 4 a.m. In a dorm with 50 women, I lay on a cot smaller than a twin bed, with a mattress so thin, I could feel the cold metal beneath my back.

I didn’t feel much of anything emotionally, except a vague sense of resolution. At least I knew my fate now. I was a convicted felon.

I had spent two years awaiting a trial, accused of assaulting a policeman at an Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City in March 2012. As I remember it, the officer surprised me from behind, grabbing my right breast so forcefully, he lifted me off the ground. In that moment, my elbow met his face. (more…)

Toilet Etiquette 101

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Satire

First in a series of instructional videos for my kids, by Will Reid:

Watch the video:

Mutant Giant Spider Dog

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Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief, Pranksters

From SA Wardega

Watch the video:

6th Annual Air Sex Competition

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Filed under: Parody, Satire

You Cannot Unsee The Air Sex World Championships (NSFW VIDEO)
by Andy Campbell
Huffington Post
August 30, 2014

The 6th-annual Air Sex World Championships reached its climax in New York City Thursday, when a handful of New York’s biggest libidos drank enough beer to get on stage and simulate sex. Alone. With (most of) their clothes on. Read the whole article here.

Watch the video:



Have a Secret? Good Luck

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Filed under: First Amendment Issues, Legal Issues

Ever wonder what’s happening with all the data the NSA has collected on you?


New Snowden Leak: NSA Shares 850 Billion Metadata Records Via Search Portal
by Graham Cluley
Tripwire.com
August 27, 2014

783640841-425

Some are starting to consider Edward Snowden as the NSA’s old, boring uncle. His leaks grimly pass around secrets of the NSA: online surveillance disclosures, the MonsterMind program and privacy invasion of international governments. And still revelations about the NSA’s classified activities continue to tumble out.

The latest? The National Security Agency is supplying data to two dozen US government agencies courtesy of a “Google-like” search engine designed to share 850 billion records about emails, cellphone locations, Internet chats and phone calls, according to classified documents provided to The Intercept by none other than Edward Snowden.

The tool, called ICREACH, includes millions of records on innocent US citizens (not accused of any wrongdoing), as well as private communications of foreigners. While a multitude of NSA programs have been exposed for collecting large data of communications, and the NSA has admitted sharing some of the collected information with domestic agencies, no one had a clue about the scoop and insights of its sharing. Read the rest of this article here.