This Black man was on the phone in a hotel lobby — so, staff called the police!

❝ A guest at a Portland hotel is alleging he was harassed by staff when he was asked to leave the property after taking a phone call in the hotel lobby late Saturday night.

Washington state resident Jermaine Massey was in the lobby of the Portland DoubleTree when a security guard informed him that police were on their way to escort him off the property.

❝ In a series of Instagram videos of the incident recorded by Massey and obtained by CNN, he is heard asking the guard, “But why? But I’m staying here.” “Not anymore,” the security guard replies…

❝ DoubleTree General Manager Paul Peralta issued a statement about the incident Wednesday, calling it, “unfortunate”…Massey accused the guard of “harassing” him, and in a statement provided to CNN by his attorneys, characterized the incident as “calling his mother while black.”

Every now and then I say to myself, “Self! I don’t believe there is any new and original way Americans might illustrate the racism so deeply rooted in this society? And, then, I am proven wrong.”

Trumpapillar


Jeff Cremer

❝ Did Donald Trump happen to lose one of his signature hairpieces in the Amazonian wilds of Peru? Wildlife photographer Jeff Cremer snapped this image of a caterpillar sporting the Republican’s signature bright orange-yellow tufts of hair while on a scouting expedition in Peru…He’s dubbed it the “Trumpapillar.”

Yes, of course, it’s poisonous.

Intact shipwreck from ~400 B.C. found in the Black Sea

❝ Kevin Rawlinson at The Guardian reports that the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project (MAP) has discovered an Greek merchant vessel on the floor of the sea dating back to about 400 B.C., the oldest known intact shipwreck ever discovered.

The MAP team discovered the ship 50 miles off the coast of Bulgaria. Because the water in the lower reaches of the Black Sea is anoxic, or lacks oxygen, the wooden cargo vessel has not deteriorated much since it sunk to the bottom of the ocean all those centuries ago. Its mast, rudders, the cargo in its hold and even the benches where rowers sat are still well-preserved.

❝ There are no plans to salvage the Greek ship since it is extremely fragile, and the team has not released its exact location to preserve it from looters.

Acquiring other people’s property by hook or crook hasn’t changed, has it?

Hack your Roomba – with DOOMBA!

❝ The Roomba’s most sinister-sounding feature—recording maps of your home that iRobot CEO Colin Angle swears he will totally never sell to advertisers—can now be used for more overtly hellish purposes thanks to Doomba, a tool that converts Roomba maps for use in the 1993 shooter Doom…

❝ “I soon realized that there was a clear opportunity to serve the Dark Lord by conceiving a plethora of unholy algorithms in service to one of the finest works ever created in his name,” Rich Whitehouse wrote in a blog post. “Simultaneously, I would be able to unleash a truly terrible pun to plague humankind. Now, the fruit of my labor is born. I bring forth DOOMBA, a half-goat, half-script creature, with native binary backing for the expensive parts, to be offered in place of my firstborn on this fine Christmas Eve.”

Double Har.

When English isn’t your first language…

A dealership in Rochester, NY had a brand-new, German-built Volkswagen arrive for its pre-sales inspection, and with it came a little message. A message that wasn’t exactly grammatically correct, but the meaning behind it was unmistakable. The message? “Welcome Fuck of USA.”

I’m pretty sure the message-enterer wanted to say “Fuck off USA” instead of “Fuck of USA,” but I think we get the gist either way…I’m pretty sure this message will be changed before any potential customers get a chance to even look at the car.

Unless it’s not the only one.

Har.

How One Photographer Documented The Segregated South

❝ Monumental shifts were occurring in America during the time that photographer Hugh Mangum was working in North Carolina and the Virginias. It was the height of the Jim Crow era, when the nation was starting to see laws separating whites from blacks. But as a businessman who needed to support his family, Mangum didn’t discriminate between clientele, therefore leaving behind an archive that tells a different story of the segregated South at the turn of the 20th century…

❝ Mangum, I learned, often used a Penny Picture Camera that was designed to allow multiple and distinct exposures on a single glass plate negative. This was ideal for creating inexpensive novelty pictures because it meant multiple subjects could be photographed on a single negative. The order of the images on a single glass plate mirrored the order in which Mangum’s diverse clientele rotated through the studio. Thus, the negatives reasonably represent a day’s work for this gregarious photographer.

❝ The vibrancy of black communities building new identities and creating futures in Durham and elsewhere is not lost on Mangum’s negatives. His black clients present themselves as lighthearted, resolute and everything in between. They bring their children to the studio to be photographed, an ode to the hope they have for the lives their sons and daughters will live. Though we don’t know the identity of most of Mangum’s sitters, it’s probable that many of the black men and women pictured were working publicly and privately to establish black agency, independence and community vitality.

All while the two old parties worked their abuse of Constitutional freedoms to rebuild the edifice of bigotry through Jim Crow laws. Methodology, dedication, sleaze and hypocrisy repeated in following decades to support US involvement in colonial wars, populist puppet shows and more.

US Government Condemns Cyber-snooping — Except When They’re Doing it. To us.

❝ The American Civil Liberties Union, along with Privacy International, a similar organization based in the United Kingdom, have now sued 11 federal agencies, demanding records about how those agencies engage in what is often called “lawful hacking.”

The activist groups filed Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and nine others. None responded in a substantive way.

“Law enforcement use of hacking presents a unique threat to individual privacy,” the ACLU argues in its lawsuit, which was filed Friday in federal court in New York state…

❝ “…the public does not know when law enforcement agencies believe they can use hacking without obtaining a warrant or other judicial authorization. The public does not even know whether many of the defendant agencies have internal rules or protocols governing hacking. Without more information, the public is not able to exercise meaningful democratic oversight of this new and intrusive law enforcement capability.”

Once again, practices condemned by our papier-mâché politicians when practiced by foreign governments are perfectly legit when it’s Uncle Sugar pulling the trigger.

Trump’s shutdown lets Violence Against Women Act expire


Capitol Rotunda empty as Trump’s heartAP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

❝ The partial shutdown of the U.S. government, which is affecting more than 800,000 federal workers and numerous government agencies, also has consequences for the Violence Against Women Act, which expired at midnight on Friday…

❝ VAWA funds and administers numerous programs assisting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Its expiration does not prevent all of these programs from being administered — according to The Washington Post, grants already awarded under the law will not be affected. But future payment requests from programs that receive VAWA funding will be delayed until the law is reauthorized.

…A bill introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, in July would have extended and expanded VAWA, introducing additional measures that prohibit the sale of firearms to people subject to protection orders and to persons convicted of stalking…so, of course, Republicans couldn’t vote YES without offending the NRA.