#SNSD Disbanding? They need to rebrand, #SMEnt!

A five-member SNSD needs to rebrand into a sub-unit, in order to maintain the idea of “still” being SNSD, despite the fact that 3 members have not renewed their contracts with publisher SM Entertainment. 3-member TaeTiSeo did just fine without affecting the integrity of the SNSD full group, so why not simply have a 5-member sub-unit, and leave the SNSD promotional things for when they do eventually regroup, if ever?


Did US Reject #UN Ban on #DeathPenalty for Gays? NO. Here’s Why.

As you may have read in headlines such as:

US votes against UN resolution condemning gay sex death penalty, joining Iraq and Saudi Arabia
US Rejects UN Resolution Condemning Death Penalty For LGBTQ People, Other Groups
These 13 countries voted against UN ban of death penalty for being gay
At UN, Trump admin sides with repressive regimes that execute gay people
Trump Admin Votes Against U.N. Plan Condemning Death Penalty for Gays

..it would appear that the United States voted against a United Nations ban on death penalties for gay people.

However, that idea would be spin city.

Instead, the gay community itself should ALSO vote NO, in spirit, regarding this resolution.

Here is the actual text of the UN resolution in English, provided by UNdocs.org (PDF).

What’s actually true is:

The US voted NO on a United Nations resolution to calling upon states to refrain from issuing death penalties for multiple reasons.

The wording that even loosely relevant to the spin of “gays” doesn’t even address gays at all.

Number 6, urging (but not requiring) states who haven’t abolished the death penalty already, to restrict death penalties on the basis of a “consensual same-sex relations” from being issued.

I believe the US was right in voting NO and that the LGBT+Ally community should agree with this vote, because, at least in the gay context:

(a) The resolution doesn’t go far enough.

The act of “consensual same-sex relations” is not “being gay”, and is a single act (rather than an orientation or preference).

A gay person can do these things, but so can an experimenting non-gay person.

A gay person can also entirely abstain from sexual activity and still be gay.

The so-called ban addresses specifically the act, not the state of being, and the resolution should include by wording rather than implication, all penalties applied to cases on the basis the individual(s’/’s) identity that lack the ‘relations’ element — otherwise merely being gay without relations is a loophole that is subject to the death penalty.

(b) Limiting specifically the death penalty for sentencing, still allows for barbaric non-death penalties for being gay and having consensual same-sex relations — penalties that can be worse than death — whereas there should be no penalties at all for such circumstances.

Isolating specifically the death penalty from eligible sentencing results does not remove other possible scary and barbaric penalties that could be issued (and could plausibly re-enforce the idea that such harsh penalties are approved so long as it isn’t death; banning any penalty whatsoever against circumstances of this nature is what is needed.

Destiny 2 “Sludge Farming” Multiple Farms at Once

As of under a week past launch, I’m up to around 273 (my destiny tracker profile here) and I’ve settled onto what I think is a pretty good farming location where multiple farms can be performed all at the same time.

The location is in the EDZ, northwest of Devrim, and just southwest of The Farm, at The Sludge.

Checklist before I head there:

>> Equip a ghost that offers Gunsmith Telemetry.

I use the Last City shell (offers telemetry for Arc and Solar weapon kills).

As I understand it, it seems like telemetry is similar to how Dusklight shards work with Devrim Kay.. another (and somewhat-slower) way to level up your reputation with them for more rewards in addition to tokens. I’m not sure yet how the telemetry is collected, but it just appears ready to redeem when I get to the Gunsmith. Since the items that gather it (ghost perks, for example) say that it is collect by element-kills (arc, etc), I wonder if it might be every 100 kills and you get one, or based on shielded/priority enemies (kinda like the old ultra requirement for D1), because I seem to have so few when I get back to the gunsmith and there’s no on-screen collection of it once I get one.

Even though I don’t understand yet how telemetry is collected, at least I’ll have it going and ‘farming’ in the background as yet another extra thing to be farming continuously as a side bonus.

>> Buy EDZ Scouting consumables from Cayde-6 in the Tower.

You can use a ghost that shows the location of EDZ cache and resource spots, but then you’d miss out on telemetry. If you’re willing to forego telemetry, then the ghost might be good for you, but just to add to the farming potential, I use a scouting report for detection and a ghost for telemetry. The scouting consumable offers a 4-hour on-screen marker of spots where a cache is located.

It might be worth noting that aiming down scope/iron-sights while this is active does increase the range slightly (but not cross-map distance), but I find it easier to just walk there instead of aiming back and forth.

Now you can head over to The Sludge, which is north-west of Trotsland.

I made this map highlighting points where (in yellow circles) that a cache is most likely to appear.

Points to note on these locations:

> There are more locations than this; this is just ballpark area of where they could be, and represent possibly more than one in that small area.

> The cache near the U/D of “sludge” is underground, and the entrance is ground-level over the cliff to the north, and sometimes a high-profile fallen spawns there (and sometimes get stuck inside) if there are about 4 shanks hanging around right there, shown (without shanks) in zoom-range example.

> There are several possible places for one to spawn at the south-east road.. particularly consider either going up the road a little to check whether one of them is underground (accessible via the nearby north-south-oriented freight container that is partially underground), shown here with zoom-range example.

> There are two possible spots for the cache at the south-west corner: one above the circular container, and one in a little cubby-hole underground accessible via the northwest side of the container.

> There are at least two possible spots for the cache at the southwest bridge that connects to the southern wall, reachable by jumping.

> There are at least two possible spots for the cache near the spawn in the north east corner, along the north wall.

Anyway, if you take this path just by sprinting (not by sparrow), making one complete circuit is enough time (especially while killing enemies to rack up telemetry) for the cache to have changed to a new location by the time you get back around. There are also a lot of Dusklight Shard scattered around in relatively predictable locations, if you’re interested. I just go by sight for Dusklight, but there is a ghost that will detect the location of resources and cache locations both, if telemetry is of no interest to you.

You’ll have the bonus of occasional high-value targets that pop up, in addition to public events that are fairly easy.

As of this post, I tried making an easy before-work 1-hour farming session and ended up with a total haul of 47 EDZ tokens, 1 telemetry, 16R/3L/1E engrams, and 4 public events. Not the greatest haul of tokens/hour compared to the Nessus loading zone trick, but could be partly due to distraction by public events =)

As a reminder, on the Taken public event where there’s a giant floating orb that seems (at first) immune to damage, just dip your guardian inside one of the domes without destroying the dome, and when you pop back out you’ll have about 4 seconds of timer that lets you damage the floating orb. If you kill the orb (it has a percentage health on screen) then the Heroic boss comes out. You only need to kill the Taken boss, not the chain-gun Cabal that also appears. If you have enough people, you don’t even need to bother killing the regular taken or destroying the domes, and can take out the orb and Taken boss in the original event location. Consider equipping grenades that stick and do constant damage while shooting it at the same time, and save your super for the Taken boss.

Did Best Buy Price-Gouge Water? NO. Here’s Why.

During ‘Hurricane Harvey’ in August 2017, a picture went viral that was widely misunderstood to be price-gouging (or inflating the price of something, typically gasoline or basics, unfairly in an area where it has become suddenly scarce), but actually wasn’t even true.

In America, you can often buy cases of bottled water for perhaps even $3 per case of 28 depending in the cheaper brands, so a case of water being sold for $40+ per case might SEEM like price gouging, UNTIL you investigated.

(backup screencap)

The masses who accused Best Buy actually misunderstood what was happening, and their outrage should be directed at themselves for failure to investigate, or simply believing that what was being reported were true without checking.

A concerned citizen took a photograph of a case of bottled water being sold for over $40, but that’s actually the regular price for that many single-unit bottles.

You see, Best Buy doesn’t sell cases of water — they sell electronics like computers and DVDs and such, not necessities for survival like a grocery store might. They stock drinks for customers to impulse-buy, and they sell those by the bottle, not in cases.

Think of buying a $12-pack of sodas, compared to buying from a vending machine. I just called my local supermarket, and their 12-packs of Dr. Pepper are on sale for $2.75, so that’s about 23 cents per can. If you bought 12 cans out of a vending machine for $1.25 each, you would spend $15 — and both of those are the regular price for the place they are sold.

If someone told you they had to pay $40 for a case of water, you might rightly assume the place they bought it from were someone price-gouging water, BUT, if you learned later, that the person who bought the water actually paid the regular price of $1.79 each for 24 individual bottles, then you would be calling the purchaser the idiot, not the seller.

As someone familiar with American retail in-store signing, nowadays you don’t generally just print a document with numbers you typed in — you enter in a product ID to a specific company sign-printing program and enter the quantity, and the computer automatically spits out a pre-formatted sign according to the company’s standardized font size.

The computer the sign was printed on didn’t even have a per-case price to set, because they don’t sell it by the case, so it simply calculated the number in the case times the single bottle price, which came up over $40. This is actually the REGULAR PRICE Best Buy sells bottled water at, hurricane or no hurricane.

Best Buy can’t legitimately be accused of price gouging, because the price would be that high before knowledge of a hurricane even existed. Had there been no hurricane, the water would have still been that price.

Is this 2017 Eclipse Picture Real? NO. Here’s Why.

Making the rounds on Facebook is a picture that is receiving a lot of praise as one of the best 2017 solar eclipse pictures..

(backup screencap)

Except it isn’t one. It was made in 2011 with the program After Effects, by DeviantArt user ObsidianDigital. The version pictured above is rotated 90-degrees to look more like a Jesus-cross shape, but the original is horizontal.

One possible explanation of why so many people were fooled into believing this were an actual photo, might be because thousands of people in the spectrum of religions that esteem Jesus as an important figure (Christianity and Islam, to name two) might be fooled into sharing it because the alternately-oriented version looks like a cross.

It should have been obvious that it were fake anyway, because you would not be able to see any of our side’s surface of the moon due to such massive contrast of the sun compared to any earthshine, and how light doesn’t bend around a celestial object at that severe of a curve. There would have to be a second light source shining at the moon from a different angle, and bright enough to win out the sun’s light, in order to be able to see the ridges of the moon as such.

Frankenscrabbards: DIY 9-board Cooperative Scrabble

Several years ago I invented a 9-board (3×3 grid of Scrabble boards) Scrabble that operates on cooperative rules, as opposed to player-vs-player. It didn’t really catch on among my friends I tried it on, but after mentioning it a few times online, several people have asked me to put the rules online somewhere.. here ya go =)

(caveat: “Scrabble” is a property and trademark of Hasbro, of which I have no connection.)

I started buying old Scrabble board game sets from garage sales, and actually physically cut (gasp!) these boards so that their edges would line of suitably to each other, leaving the borders only on the exterior of the 3×3 grid, and then mixed all of the tiles together, and collected the racks, etc. You need to be familiar with the/your traditional Scrabble rules first, although many of those rules are suspended for this version (such as scoring).

The object of the game is to connect all 9 boards’ center stars to a single branching shape in the fewest total plays. After setting up the boards in their 3×3 configuration:

1. Players each draw (via the standard Scrabble method of selection) 15 tiles for the making of words. Letters may be visible or hidden from other players at the individual player’s discretion.

2. The first nine plays must be played across one of the 9 center stars of each board (and no certain order for which star). Each play is recorded on a separate tally sheet of which word is played, but only scored as 1 for each word (irrespective of the tile value). Only the single word play is counted; for example if POORLY is played horizontally, and EDITED is played horizontally with the first E below the Y (to form YE going down) only EDITED is scored as the 1 for that play.

3. After the 9th play, players may choose whichever board they wish to play a word off of in traditional Scrabble connection style and their words documented as before.

The person who makes a word that connects on board to another becomes the Frank, and the “Frank” figurine (which I made of a picture of Frank Sinatra) is placed before them to indicate their status, and the first two connected boards become the main cluster.

If desired, another tally with a tic-tac-toe shape drawing is kept indicating which boards are connected, as a quick reference.

If someone else makes a word connection between a board and the main cluster, that person now becomes the Frank and is granted ownership of the figure and title.

4. When the final move is played which connects all boards into a single 9-board cluster, the title of ‘Final Frank’ is awarded to that player. The list of which words were played, the date of the game, the names of the players in that match, which player was the Final Frank, and how many words total were played, is kept with the game set in storage between games (and optionally, a photo/drawing of the final layout of the match) for future glory.

Subsequent attempts at this game seek to connect all 9 boards in fewer total words played, but, must be played with the same number of players as before. The title of Final Frank may be upset by a tie on total word scores, as being the most recent Final Frank on that game set.

An example of a tally sheet and game in progress is as follows (but arrange however you wish)..

Was a 13-year-old Mexican Boy Given 20 Years For Defending His Mother? Doubtful. Here’s Why.

On June 16, 2017, a change.org petition was created to advocate for the reduced sentence for a boy who supposedly used his father’s gun to shoot someone he believed was assaulting his mother, in her self defense. According to the petition, the boy received “20 years” in prison for his heroism.

One of the largest spreaders of the story was this tweet:

However, the petition and thereby tweet uses the photograph of a kid from a different story. The kid in the photo was actually from a “Bronx bully” story by this NY Daily News article.

The petition’s source article is in Spanish, but a google search for the photo of the dead assailant from the petition’s source is actually from yet another article reported by this Red-Accion.mx article about someone named Iván Salgado Quintín, who was killed during a bar robbery.

A search for Spanish keywords about the story, brings up this TVNotas.com.mx story, which doesn’t cite any sources and has more ads than sentences. This Provincia.com.mx article also comes up, but both of these only suggest the sentencing will happen in the future, not that it has happened.

This English-translated article seems to be written by a writer named La Polvorita, possibly “Jessica Sanchez” who also uses the same Bronx boy and dead bar thief as images.

This Veobook article, and this Mundo Y Salud article repeat the same basic story, although the latter gives a few more details, but still continues to republish the same fake images.

If such a self-defense shooting did actually occur, and a 13-year old was actually sentenced, then story isn’t very well researched or documented, since it uses 2 different photographs pulled from 2 unrelated articles, perhaps using the cover of Spanish-language translation to thwart fact-checkers. No Mexican officials are listed as announcing results, no national-media journalist articles, no broadcast media articles, no particular court listed, etc.

While I would say it’s entirely possible this /might/ have happened, every reference that I can find to the reporting of it doesn’t really meet genuine journalistic standards and seem to be entirely from gossip sites. Signing the petition wouldn’t do any harm, necessarily, and if true, could do some good if effective toward a real story which I can’t confirm to suit my personal authenticity/fact-checking standards.