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The Last Supper
Alien: Covenant | "Prologue: Last Supper" [4m45s]

Good for the arts
Slate is publishing short stories that "imagine the dystopian future of Trump's America" in the Trump Story Project. Direct links plus a bonus below the fold.

Nisi Shawl, Slippernet
Elizabeth Bear, What Someone Else Does Not Want Printed
Lauren Beukes, Patriot Points
Jeff VanderMeer, Trump Land
Saladin Ahmed, Clay and Smokeless Fire
Edan Lepucki, Chorus
Ben H. Winters, Fifth Avenue
Héctor Tobar, The Daylight Underground

Bonus: Fireside Fiction brings you The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike by Andrea Phillips

UKIP's moment of truth?
Voting gets underway in the Stoke-on-Trent and Copeland by-elections today.

The Copeland election has featured controversy over the future of maternity services and Corbyn's view on nuclear power, whilst the UKIP candidate claims that "Hitler was a socialist".

Meanwhile, in Stoke, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall faces claims of lying over Hillsborough and his address, which may constitute electoral fraud. His website remains offline. The Labour candidate has apologised for misogynistic comments.

No professional actors were harmed in the making of these commercials
Enjoy these 80s-drenched low-budget ads from Okanagan television station CHBC-TV (now a Global affiliate). You can spend an hour watching the whole series, but here's some prime cuts: Spaniard hairRad DoctorsMagical Savings • Gift RapO.K. Welders (Of Course) • And finally, the Downtown! Trilogy: 1, 2, 3.

An escalator can never break, it can only become terrifying
These pictures won't make you even slightly nervous about escalators

Ser Pounce
Boer has never put a mouse in the armor, but he has put one of his cats inside and has "the scars to prove it."

In the greatest Hellmouth in the world
Hamilton in Sunnydale: Buffy the Vampire Slayer screencaps with Hamilton lyrics.

It's Constituent Work Week!
It's Constituent Work Week, a time when, traditionally, members of Congress return to their districts and hold in-person townhall meetings. This year, however, more than 200 Republicans are skipping townhalls, despite calls from their constituents to hold them.

Resistance Recess has info on townhall meetings across the country. A few notable ones that have already happened:

Iowa: The crowd at Joni Ernst's town hall was not pleased when she abruptly left
Utah: Rep. Jason Chaffetz: People at my town hall 'intended to bully and intimidate' me
Kentucky: Hero lady rips Mitch McConnell a new one over Obamacare repeal
Iowa: Sen. Chuck Grassley, once a tea party target, faces off with the #Resistance
Florida: Ross, Webster face hostile Central Florida crowds at town halls
Tennessee: Rep. Marsha Blackburn Besieged By Boos At Tennessee Town Hall

And then there are the cowardly congresspeople:
Liberals plan 'empty chair' town hall for Rubio
Is Jeff Flake avoiding town hall meetings?
Few in Minnesota's congressional delegation hold in-person town halls [Erik Paulson, Jason Lewis]

Other news this week:

Trump's first month, in numbers: Golf: 25 hours. Tweeting: 13 hours. Intelligence briefings: 6 hours
Trump's Immigration Crackdown Is Likely to Bring a Flood of Lawsuits
Trump administration poised to change transgender student bathroom guidelines
Bomb threats all over the country on President's Day, and today, one at The Anti-Defamation League. Trump has finally made a statement condemning anti-Semitism. The Anne Frank Center was not impressed.

Night In The Woods (yt trailer) is a story-focused adventure/exploration game about the adventures of Mae Borowski after she drops out of college and returns home to the crumbling former mining town of Possum Springs. It is the creation Infinite Fall a development team consisting of Alec Holowka (Aquaria), Scott Benson (Late Night Work Club, But I'm A Nice Guy), and Bethany Hockenberry with a game-within-a-game rogue-like by Adam Saltzman (Canabalt).

There are two supplemental free/pay-what-you-want games released prior to Night in the Woods: Longest Night and The Lost Constellation.

Data Driven Depression
Much of Radiohead's music is undeniably sad, and this post catalogs my journey to quantify that sadness, concluding in a data-driven determination of their most depressing song. Spotify's Web API provides detailed audio statistics for each song in their library. One of these metrics, "valence", measures a song's positivity. ... So valence provides a measure of how sad a song sounds from a musical perspective. Another key component of a song's sentiment is its lyrics, and it just so happens that Genius Lyrics also has an API to pull track-level data. To see how sadness evolved across all nine albums, I calculated the average gloom index per album and plotted each song by album release date.

Caught in the closed fist of the bean.
This is Coffee, Comforting video for uneasy times.

The Man Who Broke Ticketmaster
The scourge of ticket bots and the immorality of the shady ticket scalpers using them is conventional wisdom that's so ingrained in the public consciousness and so politically safe that a law to ban ticket bots passed both houses of Congress unanimously late last year. But no one actually involved in the ticket scalping industry thinks that banning bots will do much to slow down the secondary market.

Save for when you need to laugh for a good, long while ...
David Armand gained fame with his "interpretive dance" of "Torn", which gained further fame when Natalie Imbruglia joined joined him, giving us this wonderful moment. While covered on Mefi before, his recurring appearances on Fast and Loose and Trust Us With Your Life have given us a rich treasure trove of new performances. The collected works of David Armand ("Austrian interpretive dance artist Johann Lippowitz"): Holding Out for a Hero, I Will Survive, You Can't Hurry Love, Careless Whisper, Baby One More Time, Don't Stop Me Now, Love is All Around, We are the Champions, Eye of the Tiger, Fame, Folsom Prison Blues, Human, Eternal Flame, Man in the Mirror, That's My Home, Your Song, Wherever I Lay My Hat, and You're So Vain.

Theory 7: Putin is named Vladimir

At no time in history have more people with less knowledge, and greater outrage, opined on the subject of Russia's president [...] And what does Putinology tell us? It turns out that it has produced seven distinct hypotheses about Putin. None of them is entirely wrong, but then none of them is entirely right (apart from No 7). Taken together, they tell us as much about ourselves as about Putin. They paint a portrait of an intellectual class – our own – on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
Killer, kleptocrat, genius, spy: the many myths of Vladimir Putin

Set Course for TRAPPIST-1, Make 12 Parsecs Joke Now
Astronomers have never seen anything like this before: Seven Earth-size alien worlds orbit the same tiny, dim star, and all of them may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports. The exoplanets circle the star TRAPPIST-1, which lies just 39 light-years from Earth — a mere stone's throw in the cosmic scheme of things. So speculation about the alien worlds' life-hosting potential should soon be informed by hard data, study team members said. Major Discovery! 7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star

NASA astronomers find TRAPPIST-1 star system with multiple Earth-like planets
Seven Earth-Like Planets Have Been Spotted Around a Nearby Star
The 7 Earth-Sized Planets of TRAPPIST-1 in Pictures

TRAPPIST-1 is an ultracool dwarf named for Belgium's Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope, not Belgium's Trappist beers.

Shakeup at the Oscars
In June, the Academy released a list of six hundred and eighty-three new members—a record number; forty-six per cent of them were female and forty-one per cent were nonwhite, representing fifty-nine different countries. They included the actors John Boyega, America Ferrera, Ice Cube, Idris Elba, Daniel Dae Kim, and Gabrielle Union; the directors Ryan Coogler ("Creed"), Marjane Satrapi, and the Wachowski siblings; and three Wayans brothers, Damon, Marlon, and Keenen. "I think they were just, like, 'Man, there are six thousand members. We've got to put at least two Wayanses in!' " Marlon told me. "You want diversity, just go to the Wayans tribe." Led by Cheryl Boone Isaacs, its first black president, the Academy tries to solve its diversity problem.

Jumping the air gap silently
Malware lets a drone steal data by watching a computer's blinking LED The pinpoint flickers, emitting from the LED hard drive indicator that lights up intermittently on practically every modern Windows machine, would hardly arouse the suspicions of anyone working in the office after hours. But in fact, that LED was silently winking out an optical stream of the computer's secrets to the camera floating outside.

This demonstration hopped the air gap using the hard drive LED that's not only on many PCs and servers, but goes mostly unnoticed as it blinks away constantly.

Previously - Jumping the air gap with a similar technique but much less common set of hardware.

There was one time in '86 when a really big air gap was bridged with blinking lights as well.

Menses or Men Says?
Laydeez! Wish you had more options to deal with your period? Mensez can help! A Kansas chiropractor has invented a product that is an adhesive in lipstick (get it? lip-stick?) form that is "used to seal the vagina during menstruation until the woman goes to urinate".

The internet had something to say about this.

An actual doctor weighs in on why gluing your labia shut during your period is a bad idea.

"...and still the viol shrieked on without slackening."
Revel in the mad piping errrr... foot stompin' rock of The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets' newest opus, "The Dukes of Alhazred". The Lovecraftian-inspired jam-masters have been at it for aeons now (25 years in linear time), and this is their first full length release since 2007's "The Shadow out of Tim".

Highlights include the tragic tale of exploration gone awry: You Fool! Warren is Dead!
An accounting of the concealment of dire secrets and crime most foul: Shhh...
And the swirling epic of a maddened violist driven to a frenzy of otherworldly melody: Erich Zann

"Abhorrent [...] blatant violation of academic freedom"
An Iowa senate bill would require candidates for professor positions to disclose their political party registrations, and would prohibit state universities from hiring professors who would skew the "partisan balance" of the faculty by more than 10 percent in either direction.

The Republican senator who introduced the bill, Mark Chalgren, cites his concern about "extreme views on either side."

State Senator Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat, calls the bill "wackadoodle" and "completely unenforceable." Others have referred to the bill—similar to one recently blocked in North Carolina—as "outright fascist."

This bill comes on the heels of Iowa stripping virtually all collective bargaining rights from its public employees last week. Republicans gained control of both houses of the Iowa General Assembly as of January; Republican governor Terry Branstad was reelected in 2014.

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