Give me control of the planetary oxygen supply, and I'll grow snails in any size you like.

Something about this video reads to me as if these snails are the size of raccoons, and I want to live in that world.

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The Man Who Saved The World

Stanislav Petrov:

To celebrate that today is not the 35th anniversary of World War III, the man who helped avert an all-out nuclear exchange between Russia and the United States on September 26, 1983 was honored in New York with the $50,000 Future of Life Award. [...]

Although the UN General Assembly, just blocks away, heard politicians highlight the nuclear threat from North Korea's small nuclear arsenal, none mentioned the greater threat from the many thousands of nuclear weapons in the United States and Russian arsenals that have nearly been unleashed by mistake dozens of times in the past in a seemingly never-ending series of mishaps and misunderstandings.

One of the closest calls occurred 35 years ago, when Stanislav Petrov chose to ignore the Soviet early-warning detection system, which had erroneously indicated five incoming American nuclear missiles. With his decision to ignore algorithms and instead follow his gut instinct, Petrov helped prevent an all-out US-Russia nuclear war, as detailed in the documentary film The Man Who Saved the World, which will be released digitally next week. [...]

But most would agree that he went above and beyond his job duties that September day in 1983. The alert of five incoming nuclear missiles came at a time of high tension between the superpowers, due in part to the US military buildup in the early 1980s and President Ronald Reagan's anti-Soviet rhetoric. Earlier in that month, the Soviet Union shot down a Korean Airlines passenger plane that strayed into its airspace, killing almost 300 people, and Petrov had to consider this context when he received the missile notifications. He had only minutes to decide whether or not the satellite data were a false alarm. Since the satellite was found to be operating properly, following procedures would have led him to report an incoming attack.

Going partly on gut instinct and believing the United States was unlikely to fire only five missiles, he told his commanders that it was a false alarm before he knew that to be true. Later investigations revealed that reflections of the sun off of cloud tops had fooled the satellite into thinking it was detecting missile launches.

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New Smiley On Monday

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we're hiring, and the 4 AM thing has been... axed.

Governor Brown just vetoed the 4AM bill, SB 905, as one of his last acts before he term-limits out. This despite it having passed the Senate with 28-8. Reading between the lines, his veto is probably because of lobbying from SFPD and MADD.

Thanks, jerks.

So San Francisco is not allowed to have the Demon Liquor between 2am and 4am, but meanwhile in Michigan, Axe Bars are a thing:

Ax-throwing bar deemed unsafe, has liquor license suspended for 1 day:

Drinking alcohol while throwing axes, ax-throwers wearing open-toed shoes, a lack of monitoring by bar management and axes ricocheting off targets in the direction of participants were among the concerns listed by Michigan Liquor Control Commission investigators who visited the bar. [...]

"A licensed establishment that allows alcohol-consuming patrons to throw potentially injurious and even deadly weapons posed significant concern," said the state office of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs [...] "While the Commission does not regulate ax throwing or any other sport - and it is not contrary to the law for sporting activities to take place in liquor licensed establishments - once the investigation [...etc etc...]"

The following are additional concerns noted by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission:

  • Patrons throwing axes at bottles of spirits, consuming shots from the bottle that was not struck.
  • A person flipping the axe in mid-air and catching it with the other hand before throwing the axe at the target.
  • Three people identified in the video as coaches throwing axes at one target at the same time.
  • A person attempting to balance feet on a strap, walking barefoot (tightrope style), carrying and tossing an axe at the target.
  • A person juggling two axes before tossing them at the target.

Nobody has approached us about doing axe-themed events, in case you were wondering. But coincidentally, last week at the Lincoln Durham show, he was using an actual axe that had been strung up as a guitar. I had not seen precisely that before.

A couple of recent local tragedies:

Modesto Figuerido, AKA Cuba, was killed by a hit-and-run drunk driver last week. Cuba had lived on 11th Street for at least 20 years, and it's hard to imagine him no longer being a fixture here. Butter held a memorial service for him, and there's a small shrine near 11th and Folsom.

"He had the constitution of a cockroach," said Butter bar owner Vlad Cood, who would call hospitals in search of Fegurdo when he went missing from 11th Street. "I didn't think anything could kill him."

"The District Attorney's Office has not yet decided whether to press charges against Quiton [the hit-and-run drunk driver]." So that's just great, too. In case you hadn't noticed, it's straight-up legal to murder people as long as you do it with a car. It's like our own version of The Purge.

Also, The Tamale Lady has died. Sup. Wiener says:

I'm heart-broken Virginia Ramos - the Tamale Lady - has passed. Virginia was an institution in bars in the Mission, Castro & SOMA. We changed the law to legalize her business - selling tamales in bars - as part of our effort to allow home cooks to earn a living. RIP, Virginia.


In DNA news -- hey, do you wanna work here?

We're looking for a new manager for DNA Pizza: alas, Janelle has decided to move on. Here's the ad. We're also looking for late-night restaurant staff: ad here, or just email

It is so hard finding staff these days! Getting hired at the restaurant is pretty straightforward:

  1. Answer the ad;
  2. Arrange a date to come in for an interview;
  3. Actually show up for the interview.

I swear, if you can do all of those things -- pretty much we're gonna hire you to sling pizza. But out of about every thirty people who make it past step 2, only one makes it to step three. And 100% of the time, the people who don't just no-show, with no explanation or apology. Even for the management positions! Now maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I think that if you've said, "Ok, see you then" to someone and then decide not to go, you owe them an email. In pretty much any context! But especially if you'd like there to be a chance of that person ever hiring you at any time in the future.

So rude. So rude.

Some photos from recent events! The Killing Joke and Lincoln Durham shows were particularly excellent.

We also had a secret / private show with Weezer on Tuesday. I know there were several photographers there but we haven't gotten our hands on any of the photos yet. (Yes, they played Africa, no, Weird Al wasn't there.)

Hubba Hubba: 12th Anniversary
Hubba Hubba: Old Time Religion
Turbo Drive: Waveshaper
Junkie Kid

Killing Joke
Psyclon Nine
Lincoln Durham

Vine Arm

Inspired by carnivorous plants, vertebrates and octopus tentacles, a botanical armour covers the upper surface of Kelly's arm.

It connects to an alien structure beneath the skin: 26 individual vertebrae allow the movements of The Vine to be subtle and organic as it curves and curls around objects.

Kelly's precise control of the vertebrae is enabled by the four geared motors within the design, which she controls with her feet -- more specifically her big toes. With four force sensors imbedded in her shoes, Kelly can individually flex the four independently controlled sections, or combine two at a time, to create dynamic 'S' curves that can hold objects while reacting in real-time to Kelly's movements.

The lack of video of it in action is a dramatic oversight.

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Dali Clock Emularity

I uploaded a Mac System 3 disk image to the Internet Archive, and so now you can run the original Mac 128k version of Dali Clock, emulated in Javascript in your browser.

Aaaaaand apparently the embed doesn't work in Safari, but does in Firefox and Chrome. Hooray.

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George Carlin The Tank Engine

Apparently George Carlin narrated Thomas the Tank Engine -- this is a true thing that actually happened -- and someone has fixed it.

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Scene missing! A video in this post has disappeared. If you know of an accessible version of this video (search), please mail me so that I can update this post.
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Thanos Economics


Thanos, a philosophy and economics double major who thinks once you eat a plant it will never grow back: i have to slaughter half the universe's population with the infinity stones, so that no one ever runs out of resources and starves

Thor, a phys ed and linguistics major with a minor in women's studies, taking a sip of his strawberry protein shake: can't you just use the infinity stones to create more resources tho?

Thanos: blocked

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DNA Lounge: Wherein Live Nation and Ticketmaster are up to their usual shenanigans.

CBC just did a great undercover investigation of Ticketmaster:

'A public relations nightmare': Ticketmaster recruits pros for secret scalper program.

Box-office giant Ticketmaster is recruiting professional scalpers who cheat its own system to expand its resale business and squeeze more money out of fans, a CBC News/Toronto Star investigation reveals.

The article is long and kind of buries the lead, but Boing Boing has a good summary:

Ticketmaster's shows are notorious for selling out in seconds to bot-running scalpers who then mark up the tickets and sell them for many multiples of their face-value. Ticketmaster has always maintained that these scalpers were unfortunate and undesirable parasites that preyed on Ticketmaster, the performers and the audience alike. [...]

But a CBC/Toronto Star undercover investigation has revealed that Ticketmaster runs a secret, parallel system called "Tradedesk" that encourages the most prolific scalpers to create multiple accounts to circumvent the company's limits on ticket sales, and then allows them to re-list those tickets for sale in its "brokerage" market, which nominally exists to allow fants who find themselves with a spare ticket or two to sell it other fans. According to Ticketmaster reps who were unaware they were being secretly recorded, the most successful scalpers use this system to make as much as $5 million/year. [...]

Ticketmaster issued a non-denial-denial to the Star and CBC, and implied that this was a case of rogue employees doing naughty things. But the misdeeds that the journalists caught on video came from a wide variety of Ticketmaster staffers, acting on behalf of the company at a major trade-show, with no hedging or any sense that they were offering access to something untoward. What's more, the CBC/Star report is backed up by a leaked copy of Ticketmaster's handbook for professional "resellers."

In a separate investigation, the CBC/Star team showed how Ticketmaster manipulates ticket prices in realtime using deceptive tactics (withholding blocks of tickets until mid-sale, then releasing them at above-face-value prices) to bilk fans out of more money. Hilariously, Ticketmaster blamed this on the "promoter" of the concert, which was Livenation -- the company that owns Ticketmaster.

Why would a venue choose to sell tickets through Ticketmaster? Well, if a venue is selling tickets through Ticketmaster, it's usually because that venue is Ticketmaster.

You may recall from my earlier round-up on the corporate consolidation of live music that TicketMaster sells 80% of all tickets in the US, and their parent company, Live Nation, own 117 venues and exclusively books 33 others, including The Fillmore, The Masonic, Cobb's, Punch Line, and most recently, August Hall (formerly Ruby Skye).

AEG (through their Golden Voice division) and Another Planet have a somewhat larger corporate footprint in the Bay Area than Live Nation, but Live Nation is the largest internationally.

So, you know. Pucker up, buttercup.


Athelstan Frederick Spilhaus

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