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During WW II two Americans escaped the Japanese by sailing 3,000 miles in a wooden fishing boat

After Japan invaded the Philippines in 1941, two American servicemen hatched a desperate plan to sail 3,000 miles to Allied Australia in a 20-foot wooden fishing boat. In this week‘s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we‘ll join Rocky Gause and William Osborne as they struggle to avoid the Japanese and reach safety.We‘ll also tell time in Casablanca and puzzle over a towing fatality.Show notesPlease support us on Patreon!

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Jury would not convict white militiamen who aimed guns at federal law enforcement officers

Less than a year after Ammon Bundy and his terrorist pals were found not guilty for their takeover of Oregon‘s Malheur Federal Wildlife Reserve (which included a fatal shootout four terrorist pals of Cliven Bundy have been exonerated by a Nevada jury for their 2014 standoff in which they insisted -- at gunpoint -- on the right to graze their private cattle on public lands. (more)

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Local council requires Grenfell survivors to bid against each other for new homes

It‘s been more than two months since a deadly blaze in Kensington, London -- the richest borough in the UK -- killed at least 80 people when the decorative cladding installed to make the building look nicer to rich people in nearby buildings caused the building to go up like a matchstick. (more)

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Serpstat is the only SEO tool you need

Top-performing content doesn‘t come from pure inspiration. So how do you get the maximum number of eyeballs to see your marketing copy? By analyzing the impact of the keywords within. Serpstat does this all for you. It can monitor up to 200 keywords in your projects, across 10 total domains. They keep track of the top 100 international Google search results for every keyword in their database, and provide a single dashboard to perform detai

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The KLF‘s book signing rules of engagement

The KLF is back. You will follow the instructions, or you will not get your book signed. https://twitter.com/Popjustice/status/899971473087115264 https://twitter.com/Popjustice/status/900016863446433792 They also welcome volunteers to the Dark Ages. https://twitter.com/BidoLito/status/899993604139225089 https://twitter.com/JustSomeWool/status/899953392881213441

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Do not boil your underwear in hotel kettles

You know those "amazing household tips" where you descale showerheads with vinegar and a sandwich bag, or lift carpet indentations with ice cubes, or whatever? Well, I‘ve just found out that a common one in Australia, allegedly, is "wash your underwear in hotel kettles." I honestly don‘t know if I believe it, but Gizmodo Australia claims it is a thing and, if it is, could you please not? I reached out to some experts on the matter

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Justice Department to downsize scope of warrant for DreamHost‘s user data on anti-Trump site Disruptj20

The Justice Department will scale back a very broad request for data connected to an anti-Trump website, after accusations the demand violated the free speech rights of politically engaged citizens. (more)

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Trump Afghanistan plan? More air strikes likely, and training Afghan air force

President Donald Trump‘s speech on military policy in Afghanistan didn‘t provide much in the way of specifics about troop numbers or other measures of force commitment or our long-term goals. All that vagueness led to tea-leaf-reading today. Reuters spoke with the top general of the U.S. Air Force, and learned the USAF may intensify air strikes in Afghanistan and expand training of the Afghan air force. (more)

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Trump enraged that McConnell won‘t ‘protect‘ him from Russia investigations: NYT

Buried in the New York Times‘ extraordinary piece on how Mitch McConnell, Senate GOP leader, privately doubts whether President Donald Trump can salvage his administration? This amazing detail that sure doesn‘t make Trump look innocent on Russia and corruption. (more)

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Gook is a movie that explores LA‘s Korean and black communities in the Rodney King era

Director Justin Chon‘s new award-winning Sundance film Gook is hit theaters nationwide on August 18th. The film takes place during the time of the Rodney King riots in LA and tells the story of how people within the black and Korean communities were affected. Mp>Korean brothers Eli (played by Chon himself) and Daniel struggle to keep their family-owned shoe-store open in an area of town that is unwelcoming to them. An 11 year old black gi

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Large shipment of Trump ecstasy pills seized in Germany

"About 5,000 carrot-coloured ecstasy tablets in the shape of Donald Trump‘s head have been seized by German police in the north-western city of Osnabruck," reports the BBC. Police in Germany say the pills and a large amount of cash were found during a search of the vehicle driven by the two suspects and that the drugs have a sales value of nearly 47,000 (40,000; 37,000). One side of the tablets shows Mr Trump‘s face and exuberant

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5,000 orange ecstasy tablets shaped like Trump‘s head seized by German police

Make America MDMA again. (more)

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Own a jar of eclipse soil, "darkened by the moon", for only 1,029

The totality of 2017‘s solar eclipse plunged perhaps 200,000 square miles of America into darkness, but don‘t be fooled! That soil‘s worth staggering amounts of money! You can even finance your purchase, through eBay. This is a Jar of soil from the area of greatest duration of the eclipse in Carbondale Illinois. This dirt seen total darkness as the moon traveled in front of the sun (2 minutes and 40 seconds). Plant your speci

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Please clap: it‘s how Medium writers are going to be paid

Medium, the oft-pivoting publisher and platform, recently introduced an alarmingly twee new metric: "claps". If you like an article, you can "clap" for it, or as one might like to say, "give it the clap." And now The Verge reports that they‘ll be paying writers on the basis of how many claps they get. A couple weeks ago, Medium replaced its ‘recommend‘ feature - a little heart button at the end of each article - with a &ls

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Steven Mnuchin‘s wife makes fun of Instagram followers for not being as rich as she is

Mind-bogglingly wealthy Louise Linton, a Scottish actress and wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, posted a photo on Instagram of herself and her husband disembarking from a US Gov‘t jet. Her caption read: "Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside #rolandmouret pants #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa." One Instagram commenter said "Glad we could pay for your little ge

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Total Eclipse of the Pug

Best solar eclipse 2017 video ever. (more)

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Giant jigsaw puzzle took 9 months to complete - watch a timelapse

Andre F. completes a 33,600 piece jigsaw puzzle called "Wildlife" by Educa. Dimension of the finished puzzle: 224.41 x 61.81 in. He spent a lot of time just turning the pieces right side up! [via]

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Candidate Trump‘s racism strategy is failing President Trump

When Trump was on the campaign trail, he had a surefire racism strategy: he‘d say something horribly racist ("Mexicans are rapists") then refuse to back down (giving comfort to overt racists), then finally back down a little (giving comfort to closet racists), then complain that the press wouldn‘t accept his apology (reinforcing his point that the media was unfair to him and pleasing his whole base). -

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The Trump family‘s holidays and business trips have used up the entire Secret Service budget

By the end of the year, Trump and his family will have spent more of the Secret Service‘s budget than the Obama administration spent in eight years -- enough to exhaust the Secret Service‘s entire budget for the year and drive 500 Secret Security agents to quit their jobs in disgust. (more)

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What‘s wrong with startup culture: A video

Dan Lyons, a former tech journalist who wrote a funny blog years ago called "Fake Steve Jobs" and wrote one of the best episodes of HBO‘s Silicon Valley ("White Hat/Black Hat") gave a funny 20-minute talk about his horrible experience in a start-up. From YouTube description: When he lost his job at Newsweek, Lyons - who had long reported on Silicon Valley companies - accepted an offer from HubSpot, a red-hot Boston startup, as a "marke

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Watch ants shoot acid at a person‘s hand

Here‘s an amazing video of ants covering someone‘s hand, spraying acid up towards the other hand that is hovering over them. The amount of acid shooting up is incredible, coming from such tiny creatures. They are probably defending themselves from what they perceive as a threat. According to a 2014 article in Daily Mail, "The formic acid is not harmful to humans and has the same odour as vinegar. However, it is enough to scare of

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The five stages of margarine grief

[via Crappy Off Brands]

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The far right has its own web, but what use is a site no-one will serve?

After Charlottesville and the murder of Heather Heyer, hitherto Nazi-friendly internet companies have found their boots and their banhammers. The angry right has for some time anticipated this eventuality, and colonized or established replicas of key services and platforms. 8chan, Voat and Gab are the most well-known examples, respectively resembling 4chan, Reddit and Twitter. Adi Robertson writes that the internet‘s plumbing, the world of

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A (flawed) troll-detection tool maps America‘s most and least toxic places

The Perspective API (previously) is a tool from Google spinoff Jigsaw (previously) that automatically rates comments for their "toxicity" -- a fraught business that catches a lot of dolphins in its tuna net. (more)

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