You've seen the images from Hurricane Sandy -- sharks in subway stations, sinister clouds swirling over the Statue of Liberty, video of a McDonald's slowly flooding, a seal flopping around on a Manhattan street. All very dramatic -- and all fake. There are two categories of fake Sandy images: The kind where somebody used Photoshop to create something scary, like most of the photos you see of sharks swimming though flooded streets or splahing playfully in a flooded subway station. And then there are the shots that are technically real, but they were taken during some other storm, maybe in some other part of the country.
The website snopes.com debunks internet myths all the time -- 9/11 conspiracies, Bigfoot, you name it -- and they have a special section where they analyze Hurricane Sandy fakes.
Here's a genius device that a startup is trying to launch: It's a super easy way to make a shopping list. It's a little white thing that looks like a bar of soap -- it's called Hiku (pronounced "haiku".) You keep it in your kitchen and when you notice that you're running low on, say, Tim's Cascade Sea Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips, you grab the Hiku, scan the barcode on the chips, and the device adds the item to a shipping list that shows up on your phone. You can also speak into Hiku, just say "broccoli" and it'll add that to your list. I've tried iPhone apps that sort of do the same thing, but you have to tap the icon for the app and fire it up, which seems like more trouble than it's worth. Hiku is a way simpler solution, although it does cost $79.
Here's the Hiku dude doing a rather dull demo, but you get the idea:
The Red Cross is all over the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, both in the New York/New Jersey area, and beyond, like southern states where unseasonably powerful snowstorms are hammering millions of people right now.
A quick and easy way to donate $10 to the cause right now: Just text the word REDCROSS to 90999 and ten bucks goes to relief efforts.
In the last few years of his life, Steve Jobs continued to tinker with the design of his 230-foot yacht, which he planned to call Venus. He knew he might not live to see the ship launched; he joked about it in the biography written by Walter Isaacson. Well Venus was unveiled in a Dutch shipyard over the weekend, and it looks like something the villian in a James Bond movie would use, but designed by Apple. It;s white, and very minimalist and sleek, and on the bridge you can see a whole row of 27-inch Apple iMacs. he revered designer Phillipe Starck collaborated on the ship, which you can check out in the video:
This is kind of cool. If you have friends on the East coast, or if you're just an armchair storm chaser, Google is using its technology to put all kinds of resources together on one big Google map -- the path of the storm, evacuation routes, weather forecasts, webcams, weather radar, traffic conditions . . . . just click or unclick various categories to customize the map anyway you want.
This is a new ad from the Obama campaign that targets college-age voters -- people who may be voting for the first time in this election. It stars Lena Dunham from the HBO show Girls, and it compares your first trip to the voting booth with losing your virginity:
Conservative bloggers are going nutso! The ad is vulgar. It's sexist. The president has two young daughters, so how could he imply that girls have sex? That's what they're saying out there. Read more about the controversy at Gawker, and weigh in with your opinion on The Mountain's Facebook page.
But if people around the world could vote for the US president, who would they elect? The BBC asked people in 21 countries, and it's Obama by a landslide. France is the most strongly pro-Obama, giving him a whopping 72 percent of the vote. Gee, that's the thanks Mitt gets for spending 30 months there as a Mormon missionary.
Romney gets the most support in Kenya, but he still loses to Obama. The only country where Romney actually beats Obama is . . . Pakistan! I guess they're still mad that Obama didn't ask permission before going in to take out Bin Laden.
Is your Facebook password by any chance . . .just the word “password”? I hate to break it to you, but that is a lame password. The lamest, in fact – the new list is out of the worst passwords of 2012. And number one is the word PASSWORD. Number 2 is 123456, followed by the much more secure 12345678. Also in the top 10: monkey, letmein, and baseball. The point here is that we need to come up with more complex passwords, and we should have different passwords for different websites and devices. In case you’d like to try to hack your spouse’s email, here's the whole list for 2012, couresty of SplashData::
Neal Schon's main job is playing the guitar in Journey. But once in awhile he feels the need to spread his wings and fly on his own -- and that's when he creates a solo album. His new effort is The Calling. Schon's former Journey bandmate Steve Smith handles the drumming, synth wizard and creator of the "Miami Vice" theme Jan Hammer is on a couple of tracks, and throughout the record Schon plays guitar and bass. And make no mistake -- the dude wails. He said it's "one of the most rockin’ records I’ve ever made.”
If you're a cyclist, like I am, you know that things start to get a little scary this time of year because you're riding in the dark a lot more. Here's a brilliant invention -- the Xfire Safey Light. It's a battery-powered device that clamps to the post under your bike seat and uses lasers to project bright red lines ont he ground on either side fo your bike, simulating an instant bike lane that lets drivers know you're there.
It costs $39.99, which seems prety reasonable of you do a lot of riding int he dark around here, because as we cyclists know, drivers in the Nrothwest aren't all that alert even in broad dayilight. Here's some dramatic video of the Xfire Safety Light in action:
Bill O'Reilly from Fox News and Chris Matthews from MSNBC are obviously at opposite ends of the political spectrum. But Jon Stewart managed to gt them together for his "Night of Too Many Stars" autism benefit show so they could debate the issues . . . but only if they took a hit off a helium balloon every time they spoke. CNN's John King moderated the "debate." Watch what happened:
But they did a pretty decent job, with the help of a team of writers, I'm sure.
There's this fancy-schmancy white-tie event in New York -- the Al Smith Dinner, and for some reason it's traditional for the presidential candidates to show up, put politics aside, and make fun of themselves and each other.
First up at the podium, the comedy stylings of Mitt Romney:
Now that we know the Rolling Stones have confirmed four concerts before the end of the year -- two in London, two in Newark -- and have hinted there'll be a full-on tour in 2013, you know they're going to be rehearsing. And they are. And here, in Mick Jagger's handwriting, is the setlist of songs they're rehearsing:
In case you can't read Mick's handwriting, here's the list:
"She's So Cold"
"You Got Me Rocking"
"All Down the Line"
"Honky Tonk Women"
"Beast of Burden"
"Can't Always Get"
"It's All Over Now"
"Little Red Rooster"
"Not Fade Away"
"She's So Cold"
"Worried About You"
"Paint It Black"
"The Last Time"
I'm not sure why "She's So Cold" needs to be on there twice, and fans are wondering why their new song "Doom and Gloom" is missing, or why "Satisfaction" didn't make the cut. Hey, it's just a preliminary setlist for rehearsals.
Everybody expected that sooner or later we'd get word that the Rolling Stones would tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary this year. Now, it's on . . . but calling it a "tour" is a little bit of a stretch. We're talking about just four dates: The band will play at London's O2 Arena on November 25th and 29th, then it's across the pond to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on December 13th and 15th.
A press release quoted in Rolling Stone (the magazine) say there's going to be:
. . . an "all new, custom-built set design with a stage based on the band's ubiquitous and celebrated tongue and lips logo, which will reach out into the crowd and become a truly must-see and -hear experience, with integral video screens and effects enhancing the sort of high-octane adventure for which the band's concerts have been famous for decades."
The ticket prices fo the Newrk shows range from $98 to $813; the seond Newark show will be available in a pay-per-view broadcast on December 15. Insiders think there's a pretty good chance that if things go well at these four shows, the band will annouce a more ambitious tour schedule for 2013. It does seem hard to believe that they'd build any kind of elaborate stage set for just four shows.
Do you ever go to flea markets? You never know what you’re gonna find. A woman – who happens to be in an indie band – was browsing in a flea market in LA when a guy running one of the stands said, "hey you look kind of rock & roll, check these out." And he sold her this box of color photos of the Rolling Stones -- 23 never-before-seen shots of the Stones on a road trip through Georgia and Florida in 1965. Nothing fancy; just these amazing, candid shots of the guys sitting around the pool at a motel, smoking cigarettes … you can just see how young and innocent Mick & Keith and the guys were. Nobody knows who took them, and the fact that she got them at a flea market puts them in the public domain at this point.
(Photo by By Anirudh Koul from Montreal, Canada [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)
That's right -- Eddie Van Halen. At least that's what the readers of Guitar World have decreed, in a very thorough bracketed elimination that started last April and just wrapped up. Coming in at Number Two was Brian May of Queen, and Alex Lifeson of Rush was third. i know what you're saying. Where's Jimi Hendrix? Jimmy Page? Stevie Ray Vaughan? The late Dimebag Darrell of Pantera? Don't worry; they're all in the Top 10.
For the entire list, starting at Number 100, go here.
And watch this to see Eddie in action in his heyday:
For the first time in seven years, there's new music from the Stones. They were spotted coming out of a Paris recording studio at the end of the summer, and now we know what they were doing in there. It's "Doom and Gloom."
The British music site NME ran this enthusiastic review, some of which doesn't make any sense because we're not British, but still:
That, fifty years into their career, they can come up with a song that opens like a mission from Dead Island (“Crash landed in the Louisiana swamp/Shot up a horde of zombies, but I come out on top”) and also unwittingly mimics Baldrick’s poetry (“when those drums go boom boom boom”) speaks volumes for their continued playfulness – they’re a pension-worthy band with the hearts and souls of petulant teenage freaks. That they go on to drop sly references to the Iraq invasion – “[i]lost all that treasure in an overseas war[i/]” – and social inequality is testament to their sophistication, and that the whole thing is wrapped up in a tune reminiscent of their peak period makes for a rare combination of wisdom and enthusiasm. It sounds like a ‘Gimme Shelter’ for Generation Wii.
Keef’s riffs are fresh as ever, Jagger yelps, claps and croons about getting hammered like he’s still living it up down the LSE bar and there’s a Zep-tastic breakdown that thankfully stops the whole thing sounding too much like Primal Scream’s ‘Rocks’ – a concept that would launch music into an inescapable loop of influence as confusing as a bad time travel plot. No, the first new Stones song in seven years is a revitalising reminder of what made them great in the first place, a tune that will sit seamlessly amongst their classics.
Meanwhile, the New York Times says some stuff which also doesn't make total sense because it's the New York Times:
Over the course of their career the Rolling Stones have revealed themselves to be a surprisingly neurotic band: keeping tallies of your nervous breakdowns, pleading to be given shelter and wondering – we’re just paraphrasing here – if they’d ever attain any measure of satisfaction in their lives. Now, on their first single in six years, and at an average age of 68 1/4, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts have declared, once and for all, that all is “Doom and Gloom.” . . . . . “Gloom and Doom” finds the Stones in classic, apocalyptic blues-rock-stomp mode, but with its contemporary references to shooting up hordes of zombies (and hydraulic fracturing), will it be their first track to find its way onto a trailer for “The Walking Dead”?
Personally, I usually wait until about 3:30 in the afternoon on Halloween to go out and pick up candy for any trick or treaters that might be coming by our house, which usually means a pretty sad selection to choose from. Junior Mints or Smarties?
So, just in case you're inclined to plan ahead a little, here's what ABC News found out when they taste-tested some of this year's newest candy offerings for Halloween. This obviously leaves out the classics, because they only tested items that are new this year. The contenders:
Godiva Pumpkin Spice Caramels, Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Dipped Peeps, Nestle Crunch Pumpkins, Butterfinger Pumpkins, Pumpkin Spice Kisses, Candy Corn M&Ms, Milky Way Caramel Apple, Cadbury Screme Eggs, Lindt Jack-O-Lantern Truffles, Lindt White Chocolate Ghosts (non-chocolate) Spooky Nerds, Mike & Ike Mummy's Mix, Life Savers Gummies Coolers Fruit Drink Flavors, Life Savers Gummies Collisions, Skittles Riddles, Starburst Flavor Morph.
And the verdict:
Best Chocolate Candy: Godiva Pumpkin Spice Caramels
Our tasters loved these pumpkin spice white chocolate candies with a caramel center. They described these as the "perfect blend of caramel and pumpkin spice." They raved about the balance of spices that was "extremely flavorful without being annoying."
Honorable Mention: Candy Corn M&Ms and Milky Way Caramel Apple
Best Non-Chocolate Candy: Life Savers Gummies Collisions
Lifesavers new Gummies Collisions have two flavors in one. The combinations include cherry watermelon, raspberry lemonade and pineapple punch. Testers loved the "perfectly chewy texture" and "tropical flavors that weren't too sweet."
Honorable Mention: Skittles Riddles
Check out more details of this all-important Halloween taste test here.
And please, whatever you decide to hand out -- No apples, and no pennies. Please.
Here's something cool that Microsoft just cooked up in its lab. It's a think you wear on your wrist which captures the position of your hand in 3D and translates that into software commands. So you can do the whole Tom Cruise Minority Report thing with just your hand -- work with documents, move stuff around, turn up music by twisting an imaginary knob in the air, play video games . . . . all while wearing a little device the size of a wristwatch. It's just a prototype right now, made with off-the-shelf parts, which is why it looks a little clunky at the moment. But take a look at something called Digits, and imagine how many ways this thing will be useful:
Okay, so you're an uber-Rolling Stones fan. You've got the concert t-shirts, the box sets, the bootleg DVDs. But what about your skis? Are you showing your support for The World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band every time you climb on a chair lift? Let's take care of that . . . with limited edition Rolling Stones skis and snowboards from K2.
Two of the band-inspired models (the Rolling Stones K2 SideShow and SideStash skis) are already for sale, with the final two (K2 Rolling Stones Recoil and 102) landing on shelves in late October and December, respectively. Each ski features graphics taken from the band’s iconic past (like the infamous Lips) along with references to their various live/tour posters. According to the manufacturer, the last two models feature technology “designed for all ability levels in any snow conditions and twin tech sidewall construction for increased durability,” which we’re almost certain is important when undertaking a controlled tumble down a snow-covered mound of jagged rocks.
Every year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces a short list of around 15 nominees, which gets trimmed down to maybe 6 confirmed inductees by the end of the year.
The list of hopefuls for the class of 2013 begins with the Northwest's own Heart. They've been nominated before, but doesn't it feel like this is their year? A new album (Fanatic,) a new book (Kicking and Dreaming,) they just got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . . . .if not this year, then when?
Others on the list:
Rush (long overdue, if you believe their hard-core fans)
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Kraftwerk (remember "Autobahn?")
Chic ("aaaaaaaaah FREAK OUT!")
The Marvelettes (a great Motwon band)
Now it's time for 600 artists and music industry insiders to cast their ballots for the actual inductees. The good news is, you get a vote. Or rather, all of us civilians added up together determine one of the 600 ballots.
While you're killing time before the first presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama at 6pm tonight (Wednesday,) I thought you might want to take a look at awkward moments from past debates -- not just presidential, but VPs, primaries, whatever. Enjoy:
Neil Young is known for his disdain for all the digital music formats that have evolved over the years. He didn't like CDs, and he really doesn't like mp3s. He believes that these digital technologies compress the original music to the point that much of what happened in the studio is lost. But instead of just bitching about it, Neil did something. He huddled with some tech wizards and came up with his own music player, called Pono. Unlike the iPod, Pono will “present songs as they first sound during studio recording sessions” by converting digital music clips into high-resolution analog sound.
Here's Neil trying to explain the whole thing to a slightly confused David Letterman:
Beginning next year, Pono will release a line of portable players, a music-download service and digital-to-analog conversion technology intended to present songs as they first sound during studio recording sessions. In his book out this week, Waging Heavy Peace, Young writes that Pono will help unite record companies with cloud storage "to save the sound of music." As Flea raves to Rolling Stone, "It's not like some vague thing that you need dogs' ears to hear. It's a drastic difference."
They've already got deals with the three major record conglomerates. It might fly, it might not. But you have to love the fact that Neil Young is crazy enough to try and make it work