On Dirty Ducks and the Life-Cycle of Trolls

Happy “KHAN!” Day! Start Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn was released on this date in 1982. Thanks for reminding me, This Day in Science Fiction!

Wednesday is Dead Duck Day, commemorating the first case of homosexual necrophilia observed in mallards. The taxidermied victim is on display in the Natural History Museum in Rotterdam. Each year on June 5th at 17:55h, just outside the museum, right on the spot where it all happened in 1995, people gather to celebrate. Will there be a Jupiter jump, I wonder?

The plight of the Pretenda Prenda Law porno-copyright trolls gets deeper and darker! In court filings yesterday, a serious forensics effort strongly implicates Prenda execs seeding the porn offerings via torrent-sharing networks, then suing for infringement when people downloaded them (in one case before they’d even registered for copyright on the video in question). This activity has been tracked to the same IP addresses used to register domains associated with Prenda. Those guys are sooo screwed.

I listened to an episode of This American life last night which presented an amazing examination of patent trolls and just how broken the U.S. patent system is. It’s worth a listen.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation reports: “Earlier today, we scored victory for transparency: the military judge, Col. Denise Lind, and the lead prosecutor in the case against Manning indicated that neither was likely to object to our publicly-funded court reporters using stenography equipment in the media operations center”. First day transcripts are up now.

The width of blood vessels in the retina may indicate brain health years before the onset of dementia and other deficits, according to a new study published in Psychological Science.

In many movies there are scenes of a protagonist revealing everything to a skeptical official—and promptly being admitted into a mental hospital. These scenes occasionally play out in real life. They call it the “Martha Mitchell Effect“.

Aztec, Roswell, whatever! In his 1950 book “Behind the Flying Saucers”, Frank Scully presented the now-classic description of the “gray alien”, which was by no means the norm of the time. Did he have an inside track or did that meme come to dominance over time in an evolutionary process?

Beachcomber continues his ruminations on Magonia, sky ships and Moebius strips.

A fleet of eight prehistoric boats, including one almost nine metres long, has been discovered in a Cambridgeshire quarry on the outskirts of Peterborough, England. The vessels, all deliberately sunk more than 3,000 years ago, are the largest group of bronze age boats ever found in the same UK site and most are startlingly well preserved.

IO9 brings us a selection of completely far-out weapons from WWII.

Stephen Colbert returned to the Colbert Report desk Monday night “pumped as a 12-gauge” about a breakthrough in modern weaponry: a rifle that not only tracks your target for you, but helps you post the kill on your Facebook page.

More than two months after ExxonMobil’s 65-year-old Pegasus pipeline burst and spewed thick Canadian tar sands oil through Mayflower AR, residents are still complaining of health problems and are worried about poisonous impacts on wildlife and the environment. Exxon says: “Don’t worry, be happy!”.

Walmart wages are so low that many of its workers rely on food stamps and other government aid programs to fulfill their basic needs, a reality that could cost taxpayers as much as $900,000 at just one Walmart Supercenter in Wisconsin, according to a study released by Congressional Democrats on last Thursday.

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