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Topics - Tulionberry the Enforcer

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An Iranian city logged a 165-degree heat index last week as temperatures continue to boil

165 degrees Fahrenheit is the temperature that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends cooking chicken to in order to make sure that it’s safe to eat. It’s also how hot it felt last Friday in Bandar Mahshahr, Iran.

A massive heat wave is currently passing across the Middle East and countries across the region are reporting near record-breaking temperatures, leaving people struggling to stay cool. An actual temperature of 115 degrees combined with 90 percent humidity pushed Bandar Mahshahr’s heat index to a scorching 165 degrees last week – and there’s no sign that it will let up anytime soon.

“That was one of the most incredible temperature observations I have ever seen and it is one of the most extreme readings ever in the world," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani in a statement.

Iran’s not the only country feeling the heat. Last Thursday, the Iraqi capital of Baghdad experienced a record-breaking heat index of 125 degrees, which the National Weather Service says makes “heat stroke highly likely.” City officials declared a four-day holiday to try and keep people off the streets, but with temperatures and humidity this high and ailing infrastructure and air conditioners causing power outages, it’s hard for people to cool down, writes James Rothwell for the Telegraph.

The heat wave has already lasted almost a week with no sign of letting up soon thanks to what officials are calling a “high-pressure ridge” that has hovered over the Middle East since July, Kareem Shaheen and Saeed Kamali Dehghan report for The Guardian. According to the Washington Post, the highest heat index ever recorded was at 178 degrees Fahrenheit in Dahrhan, Saudi Arabia in 2008. If the “heat dome” doesn’t move along soon, that record could be left in the dust.

LoLz / Why did Riot kill off Gangplank?
« on: July 30, 2015, 03:49:57 AM »
Of all champions, why him and not Teemo?

I'm not digging this Game of Thrones-esque of just having random champions killed for the sake for lore.

General Discussion / Mandatory minimums (John Oliver)
« on: July 27, 2015, 07:38:01 PM »

General Discussion / Suicide Squad Trailer
« on: July 13, 2015, 04:51:51 PM »

General Discussion / Progressive Muslims, they exist.
« on: June 30, 2015, 06:56:06 PM »

As a Muslim, I struggle with the idea of homosexuality – but I oppose homophobia

I've made homophobic remarks in the past, writes Mehdi Hasan, but now I’ve grown up — and reconciled my Islamic beliefs with my attitude to gay rights.

’Tis the season of apologies – specifically, grovelling apologies by some of our finest academic brains for homophobic remarks they’ve made in public. The Cambridge University theologian Dr Tim Winter, one of the UK’s leading Islamic scholars, apologised on 2 May after footage emerged showing him calling homosexuality the “ultimate inversion” and an “inexplicable aberration”. “The YouTube clip is at least 15 years old, and does not in any way represent my present views . . . we all have our youthful enthusiasms, and we all move on.”

The Harvard historian Professor Niall Ferguson apologised “unreservedly” on 4 May for “stupid” and “insensitive” comments in which he claimed that the economist John Maynard Keynes hadn’t cared about “the long run” because he was gay and had no intention of having any children.

Dare I add my non-academic, non-intellectual voice to the mix? I want to issue my own apology. Because I’ve made some pretty inappropriate comments in the past, too.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that, as a teenager, I was one of those wannabe-macho kids who crudely deployed “gay” as a mark of abuse; you will probably be shocked to discover that shamefully, even in my twenties, I was still making the odd disparaging remark about homosexuality.

It’s now 2013 and I’m 33 years old. My own “youthful enthusiasm” is thankfully, if belatedly, behind me.

What happened? Well, for a start, I grew up. Bigotry and demonisation of difference are usually the hallmark of immature and childish minds. But, if I’m honest, something else happened, too: I acquired a more nuanced understanding of my Islamic faith, a better appreciation of its morals, values and capacity for tolerance.

Before we go any further, a bit of background – I was attacked heavily a few weeks ago by some of my co-religionists for suggesting in these pages that too many Muslims in this country have a “Jewish problem” and that we blithely “ignore the rampant anti-Semitism in our own backyard”.

I hope I won’t provoke the same shrieks of outrage and denial when I say that many Muslims also have a problem, if not with homosexuals, then with homosexuality. In fact, a 2009 poll by Gallup found that British Muslims have zero tolerance towards homosexuality. “None of the 500 British Muslims interviewed believed that homosexual acts were morally acceptable,” the Guardian reported in May that year.

Some more background. Orthodox Islam, like orthodox interpretations of the other Abrahamic faiths, views homosexuality as sinful and usually defines marriage as only ever a heterosexual union.

This isn’t to say that there is no debate on the subject. In April, the Washington Post profiled Daayiee Abdullah, who is believed to be the only publicly gay imam in the west. “f you have any same-sex marriages,” the Post quotes him as saying, “I’m available.” Meanwhile, the gay Muslim scholar Scott Siraj al-Haqq Kugle, who teaches Islamic studies at Emory University in the United States, says that notions such as “gay” or “lesbian” are not mentioned in the Quran. He blames Islam’s hostility towards homosexuality on a misreading of the texts by ultra-conservative mullahs.

And, in his 2011 book Reading the Quran, the British Muslim intellectual and writer Ziauddin Sardar argues that “there is abso­lutely no evidence that the Prophet punished anyone for homosexuality”. Sardar says “the demonisation of homosexuality in Muslim history is based largely on fabricated traditions and the unreconstituted prejudice harboured by most Muslim societies”. He highlights verse 31 of chapter 24 of the Quran, in which “we come across ‘men who have no sexual desire’ who can witness the ‘charms’ of women”. I must add here that Abdullah, Kugle and Sardar are in a tiny minority, as are the members of gay Muslim groups such as Imaan. Most mainstream Muslim scholars – even self-identified progressives and moderates such as Imam Hamza Yusuf in the United States and Professor Tariq Ramadan in the UK – consider homosexuality to be a grave sin. The Quran, after all, explicitly condemns the people of Lot for “approach[ing] males” (26:165) and for “lust[ing] on men in preference to women” (7:81), and describes marriage as an institution that is gender-based and procreative.

What about me? Where do I stand on this? For years I’ve been reluctant to answer questions on the subject. I was afraid of the “homophobe” tag. I didn’t want my gay friends and colleagues to look at me with horror, suspicion or disdain.

So let me be clear: yes, I’m a progressive who supports a secular society in which you don’t impose your faith on others – and in which the government, no matter how big or small, must always stay out of the bedroom. But I am also (to Richard Dawkins’s continuing disappointment) a believing Muslim. And, as a result, I really do struggle with this issue of homosexuality. As a supporter of secularism, I am willing to accept same-sex weddings in a state-sanctioned register office, on grounds of equity. As a believer in Islam, however, I insist that no mosque be forced to hold one against its wishes.

If you’re gay, that doesn’t mean I want to discriminate against you, belittle or bully you, abuse or offend you. Not at all. I don’t want to go back to the dark days of criminalisation and the imprisonment of gay men and women; of Section 28 and legalised discrimination. I’m disgusted by the violent repression and persecution of gay people across the Muslim-majority world.

I cringe as I watch footage of the buffoonish Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claiming: “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals . . . we do not have this phenomenon.” I feel sick to my stomach when I read accounts of how, in the late 1990s, the Taliban in Afghanistan buried gay men alive and then toppled brick walls on top of them.

Nor is this an issue only in the Middle East and south Asia. In March, a Muslim caller to a radio station in New York stunned the host after suggesting, live on air, that gay Americans should be beheaded in line with “sharia law”. Here in the UK, in February, Muslim MPs who voted in favour of the same-sex marriage bill – such as the shadow justice secretary, Sadiq Khan – faced death threats and accusations of apostasy from a handful of Muslim extremists. And last year, a homophobic campaign launched by puffed-up Islamist gangs in east London featured ludicrous and offensive stickers declaring the area a “gay-free zone”.

I know it might be hard to believe, but Islam is not a religion of violence, hate or intolerance – despite the best efforts of a minority of reactionaries and radicals to argue (and behave) otherwise. Out of the 114 chapters of the Quran, 113 begin by introducing the God of Islam as a God of mercy and compassion. The Prophet Muhammad himself is referred to as “a mercy for all creation”. This mercy applies to everyone, whether heterosexual or homosexual. As Tariq Ramadan has put it: “I may disagree with what you are doing because it’s not in accordance with my belief but I respect who are you are.” He rightly notes that this is “a question of respect and mutual understanding”.

I should also point out here that most British Muslims oppose the persecution of homosexuals. A 2011 poll for the think tank Demos found that fewer than one in four British Muslims disagreed with the statement “I am proud of how Britain treats gay people”.

There is much to be proud of, but still much to be done. Homophobic bullying is rife in our schools. Nine out of ten gay or lesbian teenagers report being bullied at school over their sexual orientation. LGBT teens are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers.

Despite the recent slight fall in “sexual orientation hate crimes”, in 2012 there were still 4,252 such crimes in England and Wales, four out of every five of which involved “violence against the person”. In March, for instance, a man was jailed for killing a gay teenager by setting him on fire; the killer scrawled homophobic insults across 18-year-old Steven Simpson’s face, forearm and stomach.

Regular readers will know that I spend much of my time speaking out against Islamophobic bigotry: from the crude stereotyping of Muslims in the media and discrimi­nation against Muslims in the workplace to attacks on Muslim homes, businesses and places of worship.

The truth is that Islamophobia and homophobia have much in common: they are both, in the words of the (gay) journalist Patrick Strudwick, “at least partly fuelled by fear. Fear of the unknown . . .” Muslims and gay people alike are victims of this fear – especially when it translates into hate speech or physical attacks. We need to stand side by side against the bigots and hate-mongers, whether of the Islamist or the far-right variety, rather than turn on one another or allow ourselves to be pitted against each other, “Muslims v gays”.

We must avoid stereotyping and demonising each other at all costs. “The biggest question we have as a society,” says a Muslim MP who prefers to remain anonymous, “is how we accommodate difference.”

Remember also that negative attitudes to homosexuality are not the exclusive preserve of Muslims. In 2010, the British Social Attitudes survey showed that 36 per cent of the public regarded same-sex relations as “always” or “mostly wrong”.

A Muslim MP who voted in favour of the same-sex marriage bill tells me that most of the letters of protest that they received in response were from evangelical Christians, not Muslims. And, of course, it wasn’t a Muslim who took the life of poor Steven Simpson.

Yet ultimately I didn’t set out to write this piece to try to bridge the gap between Islam and homosexuality. I am not a theo­logian. Nor am I writing this in response to the ongoing parliamentary debate about the pros and cons of same-sex marriage. I am not a politician.

I am writing this because I want to live in a society in which all minorities – Jews, Muslims, gay people and others – are protected from violence and abuse, from demonisation and discrimination. And because I want to apologise for any hurt or offence that I may have caused to my gay brothers and lesbian sisters.

And yes, whatever our differences – straight or gay, religious or atheist, male or female – we are all brothers and sisters. As the great Muslim leader of the 7th century and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad, Ali ibn Abi Talib, once declared: “Remember that people are of two kinds; they are either your brothers in religion or your brothers in mankind.”


Oklahoma Supreme Court Orders Removal Of Ten Commandments Monument From State Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY, June 30 (Reuters) - The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a Ten Commandments monument placed on State Capitol grounds must be removed because the Oklahoma Constitution bans the use of state property for the benefit of a religion.

The 6-foot-tall (1.8-meter) stone monument, paid for with private money and supported by lawmakers in the socially conservative state, was installed in 2012, prompting complaints that it violated the U.S. Constitution's provisions against government establishment of religion, as well as local laws.

In a 7-2 decision, the court said the placement of the monument violated a section in the state's constitution, which says no public money or property can be used either directly or indirectly for the "benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion."

Lawmakers have argued that the monument was not serving a religious purpose but was meant to mark a historical event.

This opened the door for other groups, including Satanists and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, to apply for permission to erect their own monuments on Capitol grounds to mark what they say are historical events.

In March, a U.S. judge dismissed a case filed by an atheist group that was seeking to remove the monument from State Capitol grounds, saying the plaintiffs failed to show standing to bring the suit. (Reporting by Heide Brandes; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Bill Trott)

General Discussion / About the Charleston Church Massacre
« on: June 18, 2015, 11:27:40 PM »
I can't wait to see how the NRA will spin the events in Charleston that resulted in the deaths of nine people attending a Wednesday night Bible study.

Usually, their strategy is to say, "If only the victims had been armed and able to defend themselves, this wouldn't have happened!" Like the TzT meme that's always been floating around. Except in this case, the victims were black. The NRA and it's membership aren't crazy about the idea of black people being armed. This is one heck of a conundrum for the ammo-sexual crowd.


Texas can legally refuse to issue Confederate flag-bearing license plates, according to a Supreme Court ruling today that decided the state's rejection of a Confederate flag plate submission did not violate free speech.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court said Texas was free to determine what can and cannot be displayed on license plates because they are state property and not owned by the individual.

The case stems from efforts by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a nationwide group made up of male descendants of Confederate soldiers, to get its logo and a Confederate battle flag on a license plate. The state rejected the request on the grounds that the plate could be considered offensive by Texans. The group subsequently filed a lawsuit against Texas claiming the decision violated the First Amendment.

Texas argued that, unlike a bumper sticker someone buys and puts on their personal vehicle, the personalized plates are government property. Siding with Texas, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer highlighted an earlier Supreme Court ruling that bars states from compelling drivers to use license plates displaying slogans they don't agree with.

Related: California Might Ban Sale and Display of Confederate Flag

"And just as Texas cannot require SCV (the Sons of Confederate Veterans) to convey 'the state's ideological message,'" Breyer wrote in his opinion, "SCV cannot force Texas to include a Confederate battle flag on its specialty license plates."

Breyer was joined in his opinion by the three other liberal justices on the court — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan — along with conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.

Conservative Justices Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia dissented along with Chief Justice John Roberts, with Alito saying the ruling "threatens private speech that the government finds displeasing."

During the initial hearings for the case in March, Roberts noted that Texas had put itself in an awkward position by developing a large market for specialty plates.

"If you don't want to have the al Qaeda license plate," he said, "don't get into the business of allowing people to buy… the space to put on whatever they want to say."

The ruling gives the state the ability to bar messages on license plates, which are popular across the country, particularly in Texas where there are 450 specialty plates ranging from "Choose Life" to Boy Scouts. Personalized license plates are also a lucrative business in the state, where as many as 877,000 vehicles carry them. These specialty plates earned the state some $17.6 million last year alone.


A Florida school district on Tuesday banned the distribution of religious materials from outside organizations after a Satanic group tried to hand out coloring books to students, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The Orange County school district, which includes Orlando, had allowed religious groups to hand out materials each year on Religious Freedom Day. The Christian group World Changers distributed Bibles to students, and the board allowed the Central Florida Freethought Community to hand out atheist materials last year after the group won a lawsuit.

But when the Satanic Temple, known for trying to build a Satanist monument in the Oklahoma state capitol, tried to hand out coloring books to students, the county board of education considered changing the rules. The district postponed Religious Freedom Day, and then the school board on Tuesday voted to change its policy.

The board decided to ban the distribution of religious, political, and sectarian materials from outside groups.

"Frankly, I think, myself, that it was a mistake that we ever let World Changers distribute Bibles in our schools," school board chair Bob Sublette (pictured above) said at the board meeting Tuesday.

The organizer for the Satanic Temple's local chapter, who goes by Tabitha Burns, told the Orlando Sentinel she was disappointed that it took so long for the school district to change its policy

But the Satanic Temple made its point. Doug Mesner, co-founder and spokesman for The Satanic Temple, said in a September statement under the pseudonym Lucien Greaves that the group tried to hand out materials in order to call attention to the school's policy.

"We would never seek to establish a precedent of disseminating our religious materials in public schools because we believe our constitutional values are better served by respecting a strong separation of Church and State," he said. "However, if a public school board is going to allow religious pamphlets and full Bibles to be distributed to students — as is the case in Orange County, Florida — we think the responsible thing to do is to ensure that these students are given access to a variety of differing religious opinions, as opposed to standing idly by while one religious voice dominates the discourse and delivers propaganda to youth."

General Discussion / R.I.P. Christopher Lee
« on: June 11, 2015, 04:46:12 PM »


Sir Christopher Lee has just passed away at the age of 93. The legendary Hollywood actor, will be mourned by fans around the world. With so many iconic roles in some of the biggest Hollywood movies, he will truly be missed.

Lee made a career out of playing some of the most notorious Hollywood villains. One of his most iconic roles was as Saruman in JRR Tolkien’s "Lord of the Rings". He was also the only member of the entire cast, that personally new JRR Tolkien. Tolkien even gave him his blessing to play Gandalf, should the movies ever get made. Lee would eventually play Saruman instead, which was more up his alley, being a bad guy and all.

You might also remember Lee from his other iconic roles such as Count Dooku in the "Star Wars Trilogy", or as Count Dracula in “Dracula,” or even as Scaramanga in the Bond flick “The Man with the Golden Gun.” His ability to bring some of the most villainous characters to live grossed him more than 8.3 billion dollars worldwide. Making him one of the most successful actors to have ever been seen on the silver screen.

Lee died on June 7th at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital shortly after celebrating his 93rd birthday. He died due to respiratory problems and heart failure. His legacy will live on in the iconic characters he helped bring to life.

RIP Sir Christopher Lee (1922 - 2015)

General Discussion / Big Trouble in Little China (Remake)
« on: June 06, 2015, 08:11:49 PM »,manual

Big Trouble in Little China to ROCK Theaters Again?

There are a handful of films that I would say defined my childhood. Of course on that list are such mainstays as the original Star Wars trilogy, the Christopher Reeve Superman movies and Indiana Jones.

But if there were to be any less common, more "cult classic" style movies that defined my childhood it would have to be The Monster Squad, Robocop and Big Trouble in Little China.

Just as often as I was safety pinning a towel to my shirt to be Superman I was also running around with my toy Tec 9 pistol ( read that right) pretending to be Jack Burton. It's that sense of imagination that I feel built me into the person that I am today and creative and fun films like Big Trouble in Little China are to thank for that.

So now Variety and other media outlets are reporting that action star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Fox are in negotiations to remake the 1986 cult classic film.

The original film starred Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, James Hong, Dennis Dun & Victor Wong and was directed by John Carpenter. It told the epic tale of the aforementioned Jack Burton, a truck driver who gets in over his head when he's pulled into the world of Chinese mysticism and human trafficking while trying to collect money that he's owed following a night of gambling in San Francisco Chinatown.

Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, who have previously written X-Men: First Class and Thor, have been tapped by Fox to pen the script for the remake while Johnson and his 7 Bucks Entertainment partners, Dany and Hiram Garcia, are in talks to produce the film (with Johnson also set to take over for Kurt Russell as Jack Burton).

Personally, I'm indifferent to this news. I'm a huge fan of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. If there is a single celebrity that I had to pick as my favorite right now it would definitely be him. Not only are his films incredibly entertaining but he seems like a genuinely nice and fun human being that I would love to meet (and dare I say be friends with).

However, can a remake of one of my all-time favorite childhood films be a good thing? It seems like every movie is getting remade these days (for better or for worse) and furthering the stereotype that Hollywood is out of ideas. Some movies need a remake because the first go around wasn't that great but it had potential. Others need an update to appeal to a younger audience and other movies are fine just the way they are. They were perfect the first time around and don't necessarily transcend their time period to the point that an update is required.

I would probably have to put Big Trouble in Little China in the latter category. Not only is it a classic of the 80s but that time setting is a part of the film's everlasting appeal. The over the top street thugs, the comically misogynistic attitudes and Jack Burton's party all night mullet are like a fine wine know...Scotch...they all just get better with age.

Also, riding on the recent success of San Andreas, as well as the last three Fast and Furious films and GI Joe: Retaliation, it's safe to say that Johnson is the epitome of the modern action hero. But one of the things that made Jack Burton such an amazing lead character was that he wasn't an action hero.

Yes, he was Kurt Russell and Kurt Russell was one of the top action hero actors of the 80s. But Jack Burton wasn't an action hero. He was tough, no question about that, but he was totally out of his depth. He had no idea what was going on, he wasn't particularly skilled at fighting (or shooting) and if he'd gotten his money he probably would have got the hell out of there long before things escalated. But he came through in the end like all leading men.

The Rock can play great comedy and I'm sure he'll portray his best effort for the part. But he's a huge hulk of a man (have you seen his Instagram?) and the action hero persona has just become unmistakable. Even if he plays the part like his roles in Get Smart or The Other Guys he'd still probably represent too much "action hero" for the traditional Jack Burton.

Does this mean that a remake would be bad? No, not all. Though most remakes are either not necessary or inferior to their predecessors, there are exceptions. Personally, I loved the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th (I feel like it honored the source material, gave it a much needed update and reduced the amount of campiness). Also, the remake of Robocop was surprisingly good. That was another film from my childhood that I didn't want to see remade and everything that I had heard leading up to the film didn't blow me away. However, it ended up being a fairly well made movie and quite good in its own right.

But then you also have some of the more less than stellar remakes like Len Weisman's Total Recall. I mean, that wasn't a bad movie either. But it was a generic sci-fi/action movie with none of the uniqueness or flare that made it worth a second viewing.

So there may be a chance for The Rock's Big Trouble in Little China to stand on its own unique merits. Or it could go the way of Total Recall and be a very well made movie but only worth that one time, just out of curiosity, viewing. Only time will tell on that.


Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to protect state medical marijuana programs from federal interference by approving the bipartisan Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, 242 to 186. The House also voted to protect state hemp laws and CBD laws.
Members of Congress narrowly voted against protecting broader marijuana legalization. This was the first vote Congress has ever taken on completely ending federal marijuana prohibition, so the final 206 to 222 tally was very encouraging. With enough work and grassroots pressure I believe we can win this vote next year.
Here are the vote breakdowns:
Rohrabacher-Farr amendment (protecting medical marijuana)
McClintock-Polis amendment (ending federal marijuana prohibition)
These votes came just a day after the U.S. House unanimously voted to stop the DEA’s domestic spying program, and cut $23 million from the DEA’s budget, shifting those resources to fight child abuse and process rape test kits.
And last month, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted to lift the ban on Veterans Administration doctors recommending medical marijuana to their patients in states where it’s legal.
We have worked on the surveillance issue for several years, and marijuana for many more. Now those efforts are yielding big results. The DEA and drug prohibition are on the ropes, and I see even more opportunities for victory ahead.
Over these last two days we took huge steps toward ending federal marijuana prohibition, reining in the scandal-ridden DEA, and creating a future where drug policies are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

General Discussion / Robot Cheetah ^__^
« on: May 29, 2015, 02:02:43 PM »

General Discussion / It's just a god damn shirt.
« on: May 26, 2015, 10:40:06 PM »

PacSun upside-down flag T upsets Memorial Day shoppers

On Memorial Day, plenty of shoppers are talking about PacSun…

but not because of the clothing store's big sales.

Angry customers are commenting on the retailer's Facebook page and calling in complaints to the company, because of one T-shirt for sale that features a "disrespectful" upside-down American flag.

Here are a few of the many posts on a PacSun Facebook post about a BOGO sale:

Some shoppers are calling PacSun "disgusting" and "insulting," because an upside-down flag is an unofficial signal of distress. As members of the military know, flags are only meant to be flown this way "in instances of extreme danger to life or property," according to the U.S. Flag Code.

A$AP Rocky has another PacSun flag T-shirt for sale, but this one has the union up.

Calls to PacSun corporate were not returned on Memorial Day, so it's unclear whether the shirt was accidentally printed upside-down, purposefully designed as a political statement, or neither. Customer service representatives for PacSun said that they've received several complaints about the shirt, and that PacSun is looking to issue a statement on the topic soon.

General Discussion / They don't make horror movies like they use to
« on: May 21, 2015, 11:40:06 PM »

General Discussion / The First Looks at 'Warcraft'
« on: May 21, 2015, 05:46:33 PM »,manual

A Point of Geeks report

As hard as it is to believe, there was a time when studio executives thought that making a movie based on a comic book was an unwise business decision. A few dozen blockbusters later and they are commonplace. Movies based on video games are on the same precipice of a breakthrough that superhero films were years ago. One of the upcoming adaptations that has given gamers hope for the future is the upcoming Warcraft film.

Warcraft is based on the video game of the same name that's has been a worldwide phenomenon for years. The medieval action and strategy game is one of the leading MMO's in the industry, connecting players from all over the world in massive quests for gold, magic, and online glory. The film is being directed by Duncan Jones (Moon), who many are confident has exactly the right stuff to deliver the first critically and financially successful video game based movie. Others have come close with the Resident Evil and Tomb Raider franchises, however they were never anything more than B-movie popcorn material.

Today, via Wired, we got our first official look at a character from the upcoming adaptation of Warcraft. The orc, Orgrim, is played by Robert Kazinsky and has been brought to life by the animators at ILM. They are building off of the same technology that enabled the Hulk to emote in recent Avengers movies. As incredible as the images looks, this is still a continuing work in progress. So it looks like we may be in for a more mind-blowing experience than most are expecting. This is what Jones has to say about the creation.

“We’ve gone beyond the point where these are just creatures in movies...We now have the technology and the ability to make new characters entirely.”

Jones has assembled a talented cast, many of whom have extensive experience in genre material. Warcraft features Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma), Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol), Dominic Cooper (Preacher), Clancy Brown (The Flash), and Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Fantastic Four) among others. So expect the buzz to continue to grow on this film, especially as more material becomes available.


Florida Man Believes He Is Thor, Tries To Have Sex With Tree After Trying Designer Drug Flakka

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — One man ran naked through a Florida neighborhood, tried to have sex with a tree and told police he was the mythical god Thor. Another ran nude down a busy city street in broad daylight, convinced a pack of German shepherds was pursuing him.

Two others tried separately to break into the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. They said they thought people were chasing them; one wound up impaled on a fence.

The common element to these and other bizarre incidents in Florida in the last few months is flakka, an increasingly popular synthetic designer drug. Also known as gravel and readily available for $5 or less a vial, it's a growing problem for police after bursting on the scene in 2013.

It is the latest in a series of synthetic drugs that include Ecstasy and bath salts, but officials say flakka is even easier to obtain in small quantities through the mail. Flakka's active ingredient is a chemical compound called alpha-PVP, which is on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's list of the controlled substances most likely to be abused. It is usually made overseas in countries such as China and Pakistan.

Flakka, a derivative of the Spanish word for a thin, pretty woman, is usually sold in a crystal form and is often smoked using electronic cigarettes, which are popular with young people and give off no odor. It can also be snorted, injected or swallowed.

"I've had one addict describe it as $5 insanity," said Don Maines, a drug treatment counselor with the Broward Sheriff's Office in Fort Lauderdale. "They still want to try it because it's so cheap. It gives them heightened awareness. They feel stronger and more sensitive to touch. But then the paranoia sets in."

Judging from the evidence being seized by police around Florida, flakka use is up sharply. Submissions for testing to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's crime labs have grown from 38 in 2013 to 228 in 2014. At the Broward Sheriff's Office laboratory, flakka submissions grew from fewer than 200 in 2014 to 275 already, in just the first three months of this year, according to spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion.

"It's definitely something we are watching. It's an emerging drug," said Chad Brown, an FDLE supervisory special agent.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, reports of flakka or gravel also have surfaced in Ohio, Texas and Tennessee, but Florida appears to be the nation's hot spot.

In one recent case, 22-year-old Jaime Nicole Lewis was charged in a DEA complaint with conspiracy to distribute flakka after DEA agents based in London intercepted U.S.-bound packages of the drug that were made in Hong Kong. An undercover DEA agent posing as a delivery company employee then brought the packages to Lewis' home in Palm Beach County, according to a court affidavit.

"Synthetic drugs are illegal and present a grave danger to our community, particularly our children," said Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer.

Lewis is being held without bail and is due to enter a plea next week. Her attorney, Paul Lazarus, said prosecutors will have to prove she knew the packages contained illegal drugs. A man believed to be the flakka ringleader in this case also is charged, but has not been arrested.

James West, a 50-year-old homeless man, was caught on surveillance video in February trying to kick in the heavy glass front door of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, finally cracking it with large rocks. Bleeding above one eye, West told officers that he was desperate for help from police because "he was being chased by 20-25 individuals and he didn't know why." He later told police he had smoked flakka.

In March, Shanard Neely got impaled through the buttocks on the department's 10-foot-high security fence while trying to climb over, convinced he was being pursued and that "he needed to go to jail or they would kill him," police said. Neely, 37, also told officers he had smoked flakka. It took hours for rescuers to cut him down.

And in Palm Beach County, a SWAT team had to talk Leroy Strothers, 33, off a rooftop in January. He had fired a shot from up there, claiming he was being followed by a Haitian gang that had threatened his family. Strothers, who was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, told officers he had smoked flakka and could not remember how he got on the roof.

"I'm feeling delusional and hallucinating," Strothers said, according to a sheriff's report.

The FDLE's Brown said his agency is training police to better recognize flakka and the symptoms it can cause.

One challenge is that flakka manufacturers make subtle changes to its chemical makeup, foiling efforts to test for the drug, and it is frequently mixed with other substances, such as crack cocaine or heroin, with unknown effects, said Maines, of the Broward Sheriff's Office.

With prolonged use over as little as three days, behavioral changes can be severe.

"It actually starts to rewire the brain chemistry. They have no control over their thoughts. They can't control their actions," Maines said. "It seems to be universal that they think someone is chasing them.  It's just a dangerous, dangerous drug."


Over the weekend, a shootout between three rival biker gangs at a bar in Waco, Texas, left at least nine gang members dead and 18 others hospitalized with gunshot and stab wounds.

It was a huge, devastating tragedy. The New York Times reported that law enforcement sources called it "the worst violence in the Waco area since the siege on the Branch Davidian compound in 1993 that left 86 people dead."

But if you follow the social media conversations around the incident, you'll see something in addition to the predictable shock, curiosity, and mourning for the victims: there's frustration and anger over how the Waco shootout (whose perpetrators appear to be mostly white) is being talked about — and, specifically, how that contrasts with the coverage and commentary of crimes when the people involved are black.

With the Waco incident, we got just the news — not the racial pathology

Those who are using what happened in Waco to start conversations about stereotypes and media biases against black people aren't complaining about the tenor of this weekend's media coverage. They're saying something a little different: that by being pretty reasonable and sticking to the facts, this coverage highlights the absurdity of the language and analysis that have been deployed in other instances, when the accused criminals are black.

In particular, you'll see a lot of sarcasm about "white-on-white crime" and "white-on-white violence."

That's because hand-wringing over "black-on-black" violence is frustratingly common — especially as an attempt to derail the focus on high profile stories of police-involved deaths of black people. It's finally catching on that focusing on black-on-black crime in response to criticism of law enforcement practices doesn't make sense, but the absence of any similar refrain in cases in which the suspected criminals are white is a reminder of how the idea of intraracial crime is almost exclusively — and unfairly — brought up when black people are involved.

Another line of commentary that's predictable in media coverage and commentary surrounding violence involving black people has to do with black cultural pathology.

Politicians and pundits are notorious for grasping for problems in African-American communities — especially fatherlessness — to explain the kind of violence that, when it happens in a white community, is treated as an isolated crime versus an indictment of an entire racial group's way of life.

The total absence around the Waco incident of analysis of struggles and shortfalls within white families and communities is a painful reminder of this.

Spamalot / Mah Dawbbleglawk
« on: April 26, 2015, 10:41:34 AM »

General Discussion / Terminator: Genisys
« on: April 21, 2015, 07:47:49 AM »

General Discussion / Blade Runner 2, starring Ryan Gosling
« on: April 17, 2015, 12:38:02 AM »

As you know, Ridley Scott has been developing Blade Runner 2 with director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners). It's a sequel that a lot of fans have been looking forward to seeing. Harrison Ford is already set to reprise his role as Rick Deckard, and it looks like he will be joined by Ryan Gosling.

Deadline is reporting that Gosling is in negotiations to join the film in a lead role. There are no details on the story or his character, but it takes place several decades after the end of the original 1982 film.

Gosling has the perfect presence for a sci-fi noir film like Blade Runner 2, and I think it would be great if he decides to join the project. It's easy to imagine him in the world that Scott created all those years ago.

The actor is also in talks to join Guillermo del Toro's The Haunted Mansion, which is another film I hope he jumps on board. The guy is just a talented actor, and it'd be fun to see him in these productions. Blade Runner 2 starts shooting in the summer of 2016, and it will come from a script written by Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green.

General Discussion / Humble Origin Bundle for Charity
« on: April 15, 2015, 03:48:37 AM »
Origin is doing a humble bundle - 9 games for donating to charity. A really good deal if you don't have these games.

General Discussion / Stupid Fun
« on: April 13, 2015, 05:32:46 AM »

General Discussion / Another Cult Classic Remake
« on: April 12, 2015, 08:35:29 PM »

Gremlins Remake Has Been Confirmed! It's Really Happening!

All systems are go! Finally!

After being put on hold a few months ago it seems that everything is coming together with the Gremlins reboot and I couldn't be happier about it!

Goosebumps and Disturbia screenwriter Carl Ellsworth has been asked to write the movie and original writer Christopher Columbus was thought to be directing but he has said he will take a producing role, along with original executive producer Steven Spielberg.

No director has been confirmed yet, but can we just pause to think about how good the film is going to look?! They looked pretty real back then (ok I was about 5 when I first saw the movie) but now!?

Gizmo and his scaly chums are coming back! And I can't wait!


Kentucky: Our Same-Sex Marriage Ban Isn't Anti-Gay Because It Applies To Straight People, Too

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's administration is arguing the state's ban on same-sex marriage isn't discriminatory because it applies to straight people, too.

"Kentucky’s marriage laws treat homosexuals and heterosexuals the same and are facially neutral. Men and women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, are free to marry persons of the opposite sex under Kentucky law, and men and
women, whether heterosexual or homosexual, cannot marry persons of the same sex under Kentucky law," the Democratic governor said in a brief filed with the Supreme Court on March 27.

In the brief, Beshear also argues "there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage."

The Courier-Journal reports that Dan Canon, the lawyer representing the six couples challenging Kentucky's gay marriage ban, called Beshear's argument "especially absurd."

"Kentucky is in essence saying that our clients are precluded from marriage entirely, unless they change their sexual orientation (or simply marry someone to whom they are not attracted)," Canon told the Courier-Journal in an email. "It's akin to passing a law banning all Catholic churches within city limits, and then saying it's not discriminatory because you can still go to a Baptist church."

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments April 28 on states' rights to ban same-sex marriage, with arguments being presented on current bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. The court is expected to deliver its ruling on the case this summer.

In March 2015, lawyers from the Justice Department filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to rule states' same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. Hundreds of companies have also urged the nation's highest court to side with same-sex marriage advocates.

In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled the federal ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

LoLz / Urf Mode: Enchanted Crystal Spatula
« on: April 11, 2015, 08:52:37 AM »

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