Boing Boing

Women competitors must wear hijabs at chess world championship, oddly awarded to Iran

If you thought soccer's world cup being awarded to baking-hot Qatar marked the zenith of sporting corruption, give FIDE a chance: the international chess federation's forthcoming world championship is headed to Iran, and women players must wear the hijab to compete. UK tabloids quote leading women chess players as threatening to quit the tournament rather than obey.

US women's champion Nazi Paikidze said: ‘It is absolutely unacceptable to host one of the most important women's tournaments in a venue where, to this day, women are forced to cover up with a hijab.

‘I understand and respect cultural differences. But, failing to comply can lead to imprisonment and women's rights are being severely restricted in general. It does not feel safe for women from around the world to play here.’

She added: ‘If the situation remains unchanged, I will most certainly not participate in this event.’

It's insane, but entirely in keeping with FIDE's brainier-than-thou shiftiness, to think that Tehran is a good place to host the key event on their highly-politicized mind game's calendar. For starters, there's a current U.S. government travel warning telling citizens not to go there at all.

(I would go, but wear a Burka)

Pac-Man joystick contains 12 classic games, costs $8

Fragments of Horror – Wonderfully creepy stories that are as weird as they are original

Fragments of Horror
by Junji Ito
Viz Media
2015, 224 pages, 5.8 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches (hardcover)
$12 Buy a copy on Amazon

Fragments of Horror is a collection of eight wonderfully grotesque and creepy short stories. A seemingly bright and pretty architecture student terrorizes a family while having a bizarre relationship with their house. A boy tries to hold his body together after cheating on his girlfriend. The number one fan of a novelist finds herself in a sick situation trapped in the writer’s basement. A young woman who just eloped can’t understand why her new husband won’t come out from under his futon covers.

Written by horror manga artist Junji Ito, whose influences include H.P. Lovecraft, the stories are as weird as they are original, while the art is crisp and expressive. What I love is the way these stories, set in modern Japan, are about seemingly normal lives that take a twisted turn into the bowels of darkness. They remind me of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, the ones that start off in a stylish, mid-century modern house or office where sharp-looking people go about their ordinary lives… until a crack in normality suddenly appears, the creep factor sets in, and they enter the twilight zone. My only regret is that there aren’t more stories here, but fortunately Ito isn’t new to the genre and has many other titles that I’ll be picking up soon. – Carla Sinclair

Watch Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf get raked over the coals by Congress

Here's two hours of Democratic and Republican congresspeople not taking any weaselly bullshit from disgraced Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf.

In September 2016, Wells Fargo was issued a combined total of $185 million in fines for creating over 1.5 million checking and savings accounts and 500,000 credit cards that its customers never authorized. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued $100 million in fines, the largest in the agency's five-year history, along with $50 million in fines from the City and County of Los Angeles, and $35 million in fines from the Office of Comptroller of the Currency. The scandal was caused by an incentive-compensation program for employees to create new accounts. It led to the firing of nearly 5,300 employees and $5 million being set aside for customer refunds on fees for accounts the customers never wanted.

Things I Miss: When MTV was cool

On August 1st, 1981 the world changed and MTV launched. With a bunch of unprofessional VJs who could sometimes barely cue up tapes MTV went through a lot of growth and changes, from Yo! MTV Raps to Beavis and Butthead, there was a time MTV spoke to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAD6Obi7Cag

I'll never forget the Remote Control theme either. MTV lost me as soon as the reality tv stuff started...

https://youtu.be/_RKamrCuwEE?t=31s

They also knew how to run a Presidential campaign.

https://youtu.be/yBG6GVVNtkE

After School Satan Club gets approval in Portland

On October 19, students at Sacramento Elementary School in Portland will be able to attend the After School Satan Club, which will focus "on science and rational thinking."

From CBS News:

In August, [Chapter co-head Finn] Rezz told us that the After School Satan Club will promote "benevolence and empathy for everybody." That mission, he said, is in direct contrast to something called "the Good News Club."

The Good News Club is an after-school club put on by the Child Evangelism Fellowship, "a Bible-centered organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living."

Trump commands anyone who is not a "Christian conservative" to identify themselves

“Raise your hand, Christian conservatives, everybody. Raise your hand if you're not a Christian conservative. I want to see this, right. Oh, there's a couple people, that's all right. I think we’ll keep them. Should we keep them in the room? Yes? I think so.” – Donald Trump at an Iowa rally today. At the next rally he'll have a box of yellow star buttons to pin on them.

Polish auto repair shop uses uses a Commodore 64 to run its operations

From the Commodore USA Facebook page: "This C64C used by a small auto repair shop for balancing driveshafts has been working non-stop for over 25 years! And despite surviving a flood it is still going..."

This reminded me of an article I wrote for Wired in 2000 about people who used old computers.

"Just how much horsepower do you need to read and reply to messages on the Internet?" asks Maurice Randall, a Commodore loyalist and owner of a one-man car-repair shop in Charlotte, Michigan. Randall, who wrote and now sells the first fax software for the Commodore 64, has just finished coding the machine's inaugural Web browser. He uses his C64 for everything from invoices to faxes to displaying automotive diagnostics. "There hasn't been anything made in the last three or four years that's necessary in computer hardware," he says. "I wouldn't be able to do anything more with a new PC than I'm doing with my 64."

Dice so nerdy, they make other dice seem not nerdy

Erich Ashbargar's weird, laser-engraved dice are a tour-de-force: a pair of D6s for figuring out where to go for dinner in NYC; another D6 to figure out which die you should roll; an all-20s critical hit D20; Sicherman D6s that have different faces to a normal D6 pair, but the same probability distribution; punctuation mark dice (I've had students who were definitely using these); dice for indecisive people, and so on. (more…)

An ethnographic interview with an AI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_QZ2F-qrGM

Tech anthropologist Genevieve Bell (previously) delivered one of the keynotes at last week's O'Reilly AI conference in New York City, describing how you could do anthropology fieldwork on an AI -- specifically, how you could do an ethnographic interview with one. (more…)

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