Camp Fire

Some views of the horrible Camp Fire that is raging in Northern California:

Eerie video that looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie:



It’s growing rapidly and there are more fires devastating CA:

A wildfire destroyed most of a Northern California town of 27,000 people. A Cal Fire spokesman said “there’s nothing much left standing” in Paradise.

Late Friday morning, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said investigators found five victims’ bodies in vehicles overcome by the so-called “Camp Fire” in Paradise. The victims have not been identified.

Two more fires are burning north of Los Angeles. Fires across the state have forced 157,000 people from their homes, according to Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. […]

A California fire official said the Camp Fire nearly quadrupled in size overnight. Capt. Scott McLean of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire near the town of Paradise has grown to 70,000 acres, which is nearly 110 square miles.

The entire city of Malibu was ordered to evacuate Friday morning as the Woolsey Fire roared toward the beachside community that is home for many Hollywood celebrities. A city-wide evacuation was ordered early Friday and then was scaled back, only to be reinstated.

Scientist stabs other scientist who kept giving away the ending

Don’t do this:

A scientist plunged a kitchen knife into his colleague as he was fed up with the man telling him the endings of books, say investigators.

Sergey Savitsky, 55, and Oleg Beloguzov, 52, would pass the lonely hours during four harsh years together in a remote outpost in Antarctica by reading.

However Savitsky became angry after Beloguzov kept telling him the endings, it has been claimed.

Oleg Beloguzov

Beloguzov the blabbermouth

Savitsky is back home in St Petersburg under house arrest.

He has been charged with attempted murder.

It is believed to the first time a man has been charged with a murder bid in Antartica [sic].

Sadly, Beloguzov appears to have ignored the First Rule of Survival with Another Human Being in Close Quarters Over a Long Period of Time, which is also enshrined in Article 15 of the Antarctic Treaty:

Don’t be annoying.

Is this a parody?

Melania Edwards Bay Area

The best part of waking up is Business Insider taking this totally not staged photo

It might as well be:

A day in the life of an HSBC exec who wakes up at 5:30 a.m. to work out, always eats green, and studies at Stanford in her free time

Melania Edwards is always on the move.

The HSBC exec, who’s part of the bank’s Global Venture Capital Coverage Group, works from two Northern California offices an hour apart. She previously worked across Asia, Europe, and the US training senior executives to lead the international bank by putting them in top roles across different businesses around the globe.

On a typical day, she gets up at 5:30 a.m. to meditate, check in with friends and family in different time zones, and play tennis. She walks to work and spends her workday connecting venture-capital firms and their portfolio companies to HSBC’s global network.

She recently broke down her daily routine for Business Insider. Here’s what her day looks like.

What’s puzzling is that some people would find this kind of lifestyle desirable. Reminds me of this (definite) parody found on LinkedIn:

I wake up every morning at 4 AM and go for a 10 mile run followed by an hour lifting weights.

I try my best to read the local newspaper and at least 1/4 of a book before I leave for work at 8.

I have completely cut out meats, veggies, and fruits from my diet because I don’t want to damage anything on earth. I eat 100% Soylent.

During my lunch break I build houses for the homeless and then hire them at my job as a public service.

I answer no less than 300 emails an hour… all personalized.

Before I leave work I remind my friends that LinkedIn isn’t a dating site in case they forget.

After work I instruct hot/cold yoga in a room-temperature room… right before I head off to provide my spiritual advice to local religious leaders.

I am currently writing my 10th book.

I also created the Fidget Spinner.

I am the most interesting person on LinkedIn.

The ultimate Banksy prank

Banksy self-destroying art

A lot to unpack here

It really doesn’t get more perfect than this:

In a moment that caught the art world by surprise, Banksy’s Girl with Balloon self-destructed just as the final hammer signaled the end of an evening of auctions in London. The work sold for £1,042,000 ($1.4 million), tying the artist’s record in pounds at auction previously achieved in 2008.
Banksy’s Girl with Red Balloon mysteriously shreds following its sale at Sotheby’s London.

The framed work, spray paint and acrylic on canvas, mounted on board depicted a girl reaching out toward a bright red, heart shaped balloon – one of Banksy’s most iconic images – began to pass through a shredder hidden in the frame.
Banksy, Girl with Red Balloon, 2006. Sold for £1,042,000 ($1.4 Million)

“It appears we just got Banksy-ed,” said Alex Branczik, Senior Director and Head of Contemporary Art, Europe London. The unexpected incident became instant art world history and certainly marks the first time in auction history that a work of art automatically shredded itself after coming under the hammer.

Reality is far stranger and more interesting than fiction these days. There’s no comparison.

Why so serious?

UAE smile door

(Photo by M. Sajjad)

The United Arab Emirates wants you turn that frown upside down — or else:

A quirky new initiative launched in Ajman will see officials ensure that customers are happy about their services – literally. After a transaction at the Public Transport Corporation, while exiting, clients would need to smile to activate the sensor to slide the doors open.

If a customer does not smile, indicating their dissatisfaction, executives at the centre would assist him/her to resolve the issue.

According to Omar Mohammed Lootah, chief operating officer, operations, at the corporation, the initiative will help increase customer satisfaction.

“The smile breaks the office monotony and brings life to the organisation,” he said.

One wonders when the Public Transport Corporation will introduce mandatory orgy-porgies.

Steven Seagal to run a Russian territory bordering North Korea?

How great would this be if it really happened? Via Max Seddon, FT’s Moscow correspondent:

Steven Seagal is prepared to resolve Vladivostok’s political crisis and step in as governor. “I represent the interests of President Putin,” he says.

And here’s the linked story, after a pass through Google Translate (Vladivostok is the administrative center of the Primorsky Krai region):

Segal announced his desire to become the governor of Primorsky Krai

VLADIVOSTOK, September 26 (Itar-Tass) – RIA Novosti. The actor, businessman and special representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Russian-American humanitarian relations Stephen Sigal said that he would like to become the governor of Primorye.

“With pleasure, I represent the interests of President Putin,” the actor replied to the question of whether he wants to lead the region.

Seagal, who received Russian citizenship in November 2016, reported that his ancestors on the paternal line “from here.” “Every time I want to learn Primorski Krai, see more and become your governor,” added the American actor who arrived in Vladivostok within the framework of the international film festival of the Pacific Rim countries.

The Primorye Electoral Commission, last week, on the recommendation of the CEC of Russia, found the results of the elections of the head of the region invalid. Vrio Governor Andrei Tarasenko said that he believes the decision to cancel the election results is correct. The candidate from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Andrey Ischenko said that he will challenge the results in three territories – in Ussuriysk, Artem and Nakhodka. He noted that the lawsuits are ready, and some of them have already been filed. The date of the next elections in the region has not yet been appointed, but it is expected that the deputies can approve it until the middle of October.

“Meridians of the Quiet” – the traditional annual festival of cinema in Vladivostok, this year it is held from 21 to 27 September. The president of the festival was the director and producer Alexander Rodnyansky, the main jury included Russian director Alexei German Jr. and Filipino producer Bianca Balbuena.

Over two million people live in Primorsky Krai, which borders North Korea.

Primorsky Krai

Primorsky Krai

Disappointingly, Seagal’s agent later said the actor had been “half-joking”:

Steven Seagal was granted Russian citizenship in November 2016 under a law that allows foreigners to be naturalized in recognition of their services to Russia or their general achievements.

The actor also holds US and Serbian citizenship and thus cannot actually run for a governor’s office, according to Russian laws. While the whole statement turned out to be a “half-joke,” Russian political parties took it quite seriously.

The Communist party (KPRF) said it already has its own candidate for the post of region’s governor, yet it was ready to cooperate with Seagal. Parliamentary spokesman for the communists, Ivan Melnikov, suggested that the martial arts icon might actually have a few ideas on cultivating sports and healthy lifestyle in the region.

Liberal Democrats (LDPR), in turn, said that Seagal was an unlikely fit for the governor’s post, but might be able to lead a “popular militia” of sorts in the region instead. The party, however, was quite suspicious over the statement, and guessed correctly it was a “joke.”

IHOP Knows About Bigfoot

A prime example of the lunacy of Twitter is the account “IHOP Knows About Bigfoot” (@IHOPKnows), which I have just had the misfortune of stumbling upon. The account has published only 10 tweets but already has over 1,800 followers. How many of the followers are fake? Is this a weird marketing ploy by the pancake chain?

The account’s inaugural tweet juxtaposes a map of Bigfoot report locations against a map of IHOP’s restaurant empire, hinting at a vast conspiracy:

Make the madness stop!