benjaminweldon

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America Takes the Next Step Toward Tyranny

Every now and again, when I find myself buried in the latest blizzard of invariably disturbing news emanating from the Trump White House, I go back …

Political Science

Donald Trump, Fox News, and the logic of alternative facts

The Nunes memo and the FBI texts gave Trump the alternative story he needed.<p>If you’re a liberal, the past week in politics looked like a series of strange self-owns from the Fox News/Trumpist wing of the Republican Party.<p>First there was the memo from Rep. Devin Nunes, which Sean Hannity hyped would …

Donald Trump

The Strange and Gruesome Story of the Greenland Shark, the Longest-Living Vertebrate on Earth

Greenland sharks are among nature’s least elegant inventions. Lumpish, with stunted pectoral fins that they use for ponderously slow swimming in cold and dark Arctic waters, they have blunt snouts and gaping mouths that give them an unfortunate, dull-witted appearance. Many live with worm-like …

Biology

Abandoned pooch left to die in basement now lives a life of adventuring and rock climbing, thanks to loving owners

The dog days are well and truly over for this adorable pooch who, once left to die in a basement, now leads a life of adventure with her loving …

The More We Learn About Mario As A Character, The More He Sucks

2017 has changed Mario for me, and not just because he might be mind-controlling poor Goombas. Nintendo has told me too much about Mario, and now I …

Gaming

Brad Faxon shares a photo of the new Major Series of Putting Stadium -- and it looks pretty sweet

The Major Series of Putting is coming to Las Vegas at the end of October. And it looks like its new Las Vegas venue is ready for its closeup. On Thursday, event ambassador and eight-time PGA Tour winner Brad Faxon shared this stunning aerial photo of the stadium:<p>Pretty sweet. Here are a couple …

A Requiem for Florida, the Paradise That Should Never Have Been

As Hurricane Irma prepares to strike, it’s worth remembering that Mother Nature never intended us to live here.<p>ORLANDO, Fla.—The first Americans to spend much time in South Florida were the U.S. Army men who chased the Seminole Indians around the peninsula in the 1830s. And they hated it. Today, …

Rainfall

I played 20 hours of Destiny 2 and it’s everything fans have been asking for

Bungie’s ambitious hybrid shooter finally hits its stride<p>I’m about five hours into the European Dead Zone and I’m finally starting to feel alive. The EDZ, as everyone calls it, is a barren wasteland of abandoned structures, decrepit tunnels, and long-lost architectural trends because, well, this is …

PuttOut putting trainer is simple approach to making the putts that are supposed to be simple

Gravity, unique parabolic slope helps ingrain positive feedback on those nasty four-footers<p>Putting trainers are about as common as coffee mugs and carpeting (and nearly as boring), and offices all around the world are filled with frustrated putters.<p>The golfers at Therefore, one of the U.K.’s top …

Golf

The Fate of Human Navigation Lies Within Your Smartphone - The Possibility Report

Michael Driver<p>If devices don’t adapt to help us strengthen our ability to get around, we could potentially lose it forever.<p>When was the last time you went someplace new without consulting your smartphone? Or decided that you were going to find your way back on your own, perhaps with the help of a …

This weatherman's reaction to the solar eclipse is adorable

Monday's total solar eclipse was akin to a meteorologist's Super Bowl — a fact that was certainly not lost on one Chicago weatherman.<p>Tom Skilling, …

Solar Eclipse

The Internet is Going Nuts for This Landscape Photographer's Creative Images

Have you heard of the desert lake in Australia with extremely high concentration of salt? Well, it is the Lake Eyre and Murray Fredericks, an …

President Trump’s claim ‘billions and billions’ are ‘pouring into NATO’ because of his administration

<i>“Americans know that a strong alliance of free, sovereign and independent nations is the best defense for our freedoms and for our interests. That is why my administration has demanded that all members of NATO finally meet their full and fair financial obligation. As a result of this insistence,</i> …

The right wing war on facts: The new partisan divide that’s destroying our nation

<b>(Getty/Drew Angerer/P_Wei/Salon)</b><p>Forget red state vs. blue state. Now the line of separation runs between those who prefer facts to fantasy<p>Sophia A. McClennen<p>June 24, 2017 2:00pm (UTC)<p>In Stephen Colbert’s epic performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner he ironically …

Fact Checking

Delete yourself from the internet by pressing this button

The internet can be a beautiful and horrible place at the same time. It’s weird, and sometimes you feel like you want to leave. Sadly, there’s no easy way out — or there wasn’t, until now.<p>Swedish developers Wille Dahlbo and Linus Unnebäck created Deseat.me, a web app that offers a way to wipe your …

Apps

This $10 accessory makes Apple's AirPods almost perfect

I have one small problem with the AirPods: They don't stay in my ears super securely. I can walk around with them fine, but if I run to catch a train in the subway--or just run with them in general--I feel them start to slip out and have to slow down. Once, I caught one bud as it fell out of my ear.<p>…

Trump’s Cover-up May Be Worse Than the Crime, But the Crime Seems Pretty Bad

Now that the Washington <i>Post</i> has reported, and President Trump himself confirmed, that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump for …

Nervous dog going swimming for the first time will melt your cold, cold heart

If you can watch the video above without feeling powerful, trembling waves of emotion, then it's possible there's something deeply wrong with you.<p>I …

Pets

5 Fintech Companies Using AI to Improve Business

Artificial intelligence may be all the craze in Silicon Valley, but on Wall Street, well, there’s a lot of skepticism.High-powered algorithms are not …

Read This Book. It'll Rattle You.

A scholar-analyst makes a historical case for the threat of a U.S.-China war.<p>Before settling in for pleasurable summer books, read Graham Allison's "Destined for War: Can America and China escape Thucydides's Trap?"<p>A warning label: It's going to scare the hell out of you.<p>It starts with the Athenian …

Meet Davos, a golf ball-retrieving dog who uses his skills to help animals in need

Listen, we all lose balls more often than we'd like to admit. Expensive balls. Balls our wives would be pissed at us for duck hooking into that patch of poison ivy off 12 if they only knew how much they cost. But that's because we don't have our own Davos, a Bernese mountain dog trained to ride …

Who Will Pay for the Future if Not the Robots?

Robots are taking over the world’s workforce—and why shouldn't they? For so many jobs, machines are faster, more consistent, smarter, and cheaper …

The US Air Force Wants Cheap, Disposable Killer Drones

The LCAA would be a fraction of the cost of current military drones and be able to go on more dangerous missions than manned aircraft.<p>The future of air combat is small, cheap and disposable. That is, if a bunch of US Air Force scientists get their way.<p>In early May 2017, the Air Force Research …

6 podcasts to listen to if you love the internet

Not everything that's created on the internet stays on the internet — sometimes things just might make it on a podcast.<p>If you're the kind of person …

TV shows

These new images of Jupiter show its clouds in stunning detail

Damn, Jupiter looks sexy.<p>After nearly a year in orbit, the Juno spacecraft is starting to crack some of Jupiter’s many mysteries.<p>This week, the journals <i>Science</i> and <i>Geophysical Research Letters</i> published the first batch of scientific findings about Jupiter, based on Juno’s trips there. Discoveries …

Astronomy

Harvard A Capella Group Honors John Williams With Medley of His Best Scores

John Williams was recently presented with an honorary doctorate in music from Harvard University, and since they couldn’t sneak an entire orchestra …

io9's Best and Most Essential Star Wars Posts

It’s the 40th anniversary of <i>Star Wars</i>, which happens to be something we have written about <i>a lot</i> here at io9. Like, seriously a terrifying amount. …

Obama’s CIA chief just offered a Trump-Russia quote for the ages

“People who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late.”<p>It’s rare for a single quote to tell you something genuinely new and important about a story as big as the Trump-Russia scandal. There are exceptions — and former CIA Director John Brennan just …

Donald Trump

Trump Is America’s Most Honest President

He just can’t help himself from blurting out the truth—even when it’s self-sabotage.<p>“I. Never. Mentioned. The Word. ‘Israel,’” said President Donald Trump, drawing out the syllables, performing hard eye contact with the dozens of cameras, as Israel’s prime minister stood by in a brief press …

Dog hanging out of moving car is living his best, most dangerous life

When you're feeling burnt out, it's important to take time for yourself, and remember the simple pleasures in life.<p>Like this dog named Baxter, a …

Pets