Showing all posts by Indie Brew.
Muggleswick folk in a muddle over their links to Harry Potter muggles


Missing toll soars to 5,000 in Indonesia quake and tsunami


Watch SpaceX attempt to land its Falcon 9 rocket on the California coast for the first time

This evening, SpaceX is set to launch a used Falcon 9 rocket from California, a flight that will be followed by one of the company’s signature rocket landings. But this time around, SpaceX will attempt to land the vehicle on a concrete landing pad near the launch site — not a drone ship in the ocean. If successful, it’ll be the first time that the company does a ground landing on the West Coast.

Up until now, all of SpaceX’s ground landings have occurred out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, the company’s busiest launch site. SpaceX has two landing pads there, and has managed to touch down 11 Falcon 9 rockets on them. And each time the company has attempted to land on land, it’s been a success.

the landing site is open for business

SpaceX has…

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Plastics Watch: Could seaweed replace plastic packaging?


One Indonesian inventor has found a unique solution to the problem of plastic food packaging.


He Got Schizophrenia. He Got Cancer. And Then He Got Cured.

A bone-marrow transplant treated a patient’s leukemia — and his delusions, too. Some doctors think they know why.


Watch: Saturday Night Live casts Matt Damon as Brett Kavanaugh. And he is YELLING A LOT.

“I’m gonna start at about an 11, then I’m gonna take it to a 15 real quick.”

Ever since Thursday’s hearing before the Senate judiciary committee at which prospective Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh was asked about the accusations of sexual assault levied against him, stemming from events in his adolescence, America has been asking one question: What’s Saturday Night Live going to do? Is this a healthy impulse? Probably not, but how will we know what’s funny unless comedians tell us?

Okay, sure, that’s the question a lot of people ask about nearly every major news event, but the Kavanaugh hearing was different, because a.) it came right before Saturday Night Live’s season 44 premiere and b.) the show has made a habit recently of casting big-name celebrities in these sorts of parts. (Alec Baldwin, of course, plays Donald Trump, but Melissa McCarthy essayed Sean Spicer, Robert De Niro has played Robert Mueller, etc., etc., etc.)

So how would Saturday Night Live handle Kavanaugh? With LOTS OF YELLING and furtive crying and MORE YELLING and then occasionally messy water chugging (or more specifically, shot-gunning). And, oh yeah, he was played by Matt Damon — yes, big movie star Matt Damon of The Martian and Bourne Identity fame.

Now it’s time to hear from Judge Brett Kavanaugh (Matt Damon). #SNLPremiere

— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) September 30, 2018

The cold open sketch was mostly a collection of real moments from the hearing (including when Kavanaugh asked Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (played by cameo-ing former SNL star Rachel Dratch) if she had ever drank so much that she blacked out). But it was also just generally an attempt by Damon to capture Kavanaugh’s je ne sais quoi. He snorted and sniffed. He spilled water all over himself. He announced, up top, “I’m gonna start at about an 11, then I’m gonna take it to a 15 real quick!”

The sketch was long — over 10 minutes — and it started with a Fox News framing it never really returned to. But it earned a bunch of solid laughs, and Damon’s Kavanaugh captured something about what many have dubbed either his righteous anger or his petulance, depending on their political persuasion.

Next up, prosecutor Rachel Mitchell. #SNLPremiere

— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) September 30, 2018

It was also a great reminder that Damon is from Boston and his big breakthrough, Good Will Hunting, vivisected the sort of rich kid prep school alumni/Ivy Leaguer types that populate that city in some of the movie’s most famous scenes. Damon knows these dudes, and in playing Kavanaugh he captured some essential part of the man, in a way that felt a little bit cathartic, even if you think Kavanaugh has been unjustly accused.

Also, you should watch the sketch so you can see how Kate McKinnon looks like a little kid in an inflatable sumo suit when she plays South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Just one final question for Judge Kavanaugh. #SNLPremiere

— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) September 30, 2018


The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh appears to have donated $10,000 to Blasey Ford’s GoFundMe

Ten days ago (Sept. 18), a GoFundMe campaign was set up to benefit Christine Blasey Ford, the professor of clinical psychology who accused Donald Trump’s US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in 1982. The drive had an initial goal of $150,000—now, the total amount raised exceeds three times that value, and it’s rising, rapidly.

Over 10,000 people have contributed to the campaign, most contributing $20 or $25. But one contributor put forward more than 500 times that amount—and he appears to be Phil Lesh, a founding member of the Grateful Dead. On Sunday (Sept. 23), the bassist (or at least someone using his name) donated $10,000 to Ford and her family.

A screenshot from the campaign.

Thanks, Phil.

Since meeting the initial goal, the campaign managers have attempted to push the flow of donations toward other related campaigns, including a fundraiser for the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, to which phone calls spiked 147% during Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, and the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which supports victims of workplace sexual harassment or abuse.

The GoFundMe effort featured in yesterday’s testimony, as Ford was asked who would foot the bill for her lawyers and her family’s rising security costs. At the time, she seemed uncertain but mentioned the campaign, which she said she had yet to look at. Her lawyers cut in to say that their work was being performed on a pro bono basis.


The Science Is Clear: Dirty Farm Water Is Making Us Sick


Lettuce contaminated with pathogens have sickened and killed people. But the FDA has shelved Obama-era plans to test the culprit: farms’ irrigation water.


Magic: The Gathering Arena ups the ante and launches into open beta today


The great granddaddy of collectable card wizard em’ ups is back in style, and cribbing a few style tips from Hearthstone today, as Magic: The Gathering Arena opens its doors to all, free-to-play. While technically now in ‘open beta’, that’s just a warning sign that the paint might still be wet, and a couple bugs may still be lurking around – there’ll be no account wipes from here. The game is effectively out now, and after playing the closed beta for a while, I reckon it’s a solid starting point for Magic novices and experts alike. Below, the launch trailer.


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Epic is removing ‘embarrassing’ breast animations from Fortnite

Early this morning Epic Games launched the much-anticipated sixth season of Fortnite, which added a number of features to the game — but not all of them were welcome.

As first noted by Fortnite streamer “Agony,” the update featured elaborate breast animations for the new “Calamity” avatar. It appears that the animations only show up when the avatar emotes in its default skin. In a statement to The Verge, an Epic spokesperson said that “This is unintended, embarrassing, and it was careless for us to let this ship. We are working now to fix this as soon as possible.”

The most important thing in the Season 6 update

— FaZe Agony (@Agony) September 27, 2018

It’s unclear how an “embarrassing” addition like this…

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