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Fundraising to save Burbank's horror bookstore Dark Delicacies

Burbank's amazing quarter-century institution Dark Delicacies is a horror book-, memoribilia- and clothing-store that is a community hub for genre creators, hosting a wonderful stream of events, signings, and even an annual chance to get your photo took with Krampus at a Christmas open-house. It's also a potential casualty of the skyrocketing rents in Magnolia Park, where greedy landlords are throwing out the neighborhood's unique indie tenants as fast as they can in the hopes of luring in multinational corporations to open stores that can already be found in every mall and that will destroy any reason for people to come to the neighborhood in the first place. I live a five-minute walk from Dark Delicacies and they've hosted events and fulfilled signed-book orders for me in the past. They're great, community-minded people, and due to a rent-hike, they're moving to a space around the corner (it could be worse -- until they found the new space, they were going to shut down altogether). But having run a shoestring, passion business for so many years, they lack the funds to pay for the move, so they're hoping their supporters in the neighborhood will kick in for a GoFundMe where they're hoping to raise $20,000. They're at $3,400 right now and I just kicked in $100. One of our greatest joys has been giving back, by sponsoring and hosting numerous charity events for both our two and four-legged friends. We are very proud of the “people of horror,” whose support and generosity have helped so many. Read the rest

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Mob of young MAGA hat wearers surrounds Native American elder and mock him

Kentucky's Covington Catholic High School's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts are on lockdown this morning after a video was posted that shows a mob of students intimidating a Native American elder in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. The all-male school was participating in a March for Life rally, which coincided with the Indigenous People's March. As shown in the video, the students have surrounded a Native American man playing a drum and are hooting war cries and mocking him. The elder's name is Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam veteran and an Omaha keeper of a sacred pipe. One of the students gets very close to Phillips' face and stares at him with a disturbing grin for several minutes as Phillips sings and beats the drum. From Indian Country Today: The elder is Nathan Phillips, an Omaha elder who is also a Vietnam Veteran and former director of the Native Youth Alliance. He is also a keeper of a sacred pipe and holds an annual ceremony honoring Native American veterans in the Arlington National Cemetery. Phillips is also the subject of a previous racially-based incident when he was taunted and harassed by Eastern Michigan University students who were dressed stereo-typically as Native Americans. As reported in FOX 2 News, he was yelled at and hit by a thrown beer can. Their history speaks for itself.A direct line in disrespect, arrogance and bigotry pic.twitter.com/Vn71ybNjhp — Barbara Waxer

Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

Neil Gaiman says Edgar Allan Poe should be read aloud, and he's right: he recorded this video of him reading "The Raven" in 2016 as part of Pat Rothfuss's Worldbuilders charity drive. It's Poe's birthday today, and I can think of no better way to celebrate it than to listen to it again. Other ways to celebrate this magnificent torch: * The spectacular pop-up edition * The 50s hipster argot edition * The 1969 rock-and-roll version * Vincent Price and Boris Karloff's Raven-inspired magic duel (Reposted from last year) Read the rest

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The EU's plan to impose mandatory copyright filters is on life-support and may die

This Monday, the final "trilogue" (a meeting between the European Parliament, the European Presidency, and the EU member-states) was supposed to convene to wrap up the negotiations on the first update to the Copyright Directive since 2001, including the controversial Article 13 (mandatory copyright filters for online services) and Article 11 (letting news sites decide who can link to them and charging for the privilege). But that meeting has been cancelled and now the whole thing is on life-support. If the Trilogue can be reconvened in a matter of days, then it's just possible that it could finish it work and send a final draft to the Parliament to be voted on, but that's getting less likely by the second, and a delay of more than a day or two will mean that this is off the table until after the next EU Parliamentary elections in the spring -- which is also after Brexit -- and which will likely result in a very different landscape for this kind of legislative gift to corporate lobbyists (between the rise of insurgent parties in the EU, and Brexit eliminating the UK MEPs most likely to carry water for companies like EMI and Sky). Here's a very short version of how the Trilogue got cancelled and the Directive got put on life-support: back in the spring, Axel Voss, a German MEP, took over the drafting of the Directive, and revived the no-compromise versions of Articles 11 and 13, throwing out years of negotiations in order to give the record industry and aristocratic German newspaper families a huge legislative favour. Read the rest

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AOC's debut speech as Congresswoman is the most popular Congressional video in C-SPAN history

It's been three days since C-SPAN posted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's amazing, stirring freshman speech from the floor of Congress, and it has smashed all Congressional C-SPAN records with 3.1m views (as of the time of writing); at this rate, it may catch up with C-SPAN's most popular Senate video, the Kamala Harris/Brett Kavanaugh video, with 7.14m views. First House Floor speech from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC): “The truth of this shutdown is that it's actually not about a wall...The truth is, this shutdown is about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms." pic.twitter.com/r8tmsGSNtT— CSPAN (@cspan) January 17, 2019 In just over 12 hours C-SPAN tweet of @RepAOC floor remarks last nite have become most-viewed twitter video by @cspan of any remarks by a member of House either party. 1.16M https://t.co/lkd0vK33cjMost viewed tweet video of a Sen? @KamalaHarris questioning Kavanaugh (7.14M views pic.twitter.com/2ulf1fNddc— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) January 17, 2019 Complete exchange between @senkamalaharris and Judge Kavanaugh on Mueller Investigation. pic.twitter.com/FXhW3XmV19— CSPAN (@cspan) September 6, 2018 Read the rest

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Regular says she was banned from eating at the bar at Manhattan's fancy Nello restaurant because she might be a sex-worker

After marketing executive Clementine Crawford published an essay about being banned from eating at the bar at her favorite New York restaurant, Nello, because the owner (already notorious for labor abuses) was "cracking down on escorts" and had decreed that only men would be permitted to dine at the bar, The Cut tried to get a comment on it from Balan, whose employees repeatedly hung up on them. According to Crawford, when she told the owner that his policy was unfair and discriminatory and reminded him that she was a regular who'd spent a small fortune eating at his bar, the owner said "he could run his business as he pleased, and that I was no longer welcome to eat at the bar, only at a table." I travel a lot and one of my favorite things to do when I'm out of town is "take myself out on a date." Often I've been in intensely social situations all day, speaking to a crowd, or being in close company with a group of colleagues, and -- hermit that I am -- I'm ready for some solo time. So I'll go to a nice restaurant, the kind of place you usually need a reservation for, and just get a seat at the bar, where I can eyeball the whisky selection and find a really nice one to sample, and then I order stinky things that I normally avoid because my wife won't kiss me after I've eaten them (she's allergic to shellfish, so this is my chance to eat a lot of oysters). Read the rest

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Firefox is finally fixing its broken screenshot tool

Firefox's screenshot tool has a lot going for it, but after two days of trying to use it I gave up and went back to using Ksnapshot (now Spectacle) for the near-constant screenshotting I do, all day long: that's because when you hit "save" in Firefox's screenshot UI, it didn't save it to your hard-drive, rather, it uploaded it to a Mozilla server, which, in addition to being time-consuming and stupid, was also a potential huge privacy risk (if, for example, you were screenshotting a sensitive document to retain for later). Thankfully, this will be fixed, after months of user complaints, as part of the shut-down of the Test Pilot program, which runs the servers that the screenshots were uploaded to. On Zdnet, Catalin Cimpanu calls this a "dark pattern," and it's easy to understand why: so many online services try to trick you into using the cloud, storing data remotely even when there's no good reason for it, to train us to use other peoples' computers rather than our own. I don't know that Mozilla has that same motivation, but this really was a terrible piece of UI with real risks to users, and it's so good to see it finally dying in a fire. You can turn off the antifeature right now by going to about:config and ticking on the extensions.screenshots.upload-disabled setting. Firefox to remove misleading button after months of complaints [Catalin Cimpanu/Zdnet] Read the rest

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