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Nintendo Switch game cartridges taste offensively bad, trust us

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Don’t do what we did. Please.

The Nintendo Switch is designed to be portable, so it doesn’t have a disc drive. Instead, its games come on cartridges, just like games for Nintendo’s handheld platforms stretching back to the original Game Boy. But there’s something different about Switch cartridges: They taste awful.

Over the past week, reviewers at various outlets have been gamely putting Switch cartridges in their mouths in the name of science and journalism. The investigations seem to have been inspired by Giant Bomb co-founder Jeff Gerstmann, who tweeted a public service announcement last week warning people about the hazards of putting your tongue on a Switch cartridge:

Gerstmann actually did that live on camera during Giant Bomb’s Feb. 24 Unprofessional Friday stream. While that series is available exclusively for Giant Bomb subscribers, a viewer captured a clip of the taste test and posted a GIF to Reddit that you can see below.

The reaction is almost immediate — Gerstmann puts the game in his mouth, and after about a second, his face turns sour and he quickly removes the cartridge.

We did our own testing, and can confirm Gerstmann’s instant analysis and advice: DO NOT put Nintendo Switch game cards in your mouth. For one thing, they may be small enough to pose a choking hazard. But regardless of whether the cartridge gets stuck in your throat, its awful taste will certainly linger on your tongue.

First, let’s get through some older game cartridges. Intrepid reporter Julia Alexander tried tasting cartridges from the Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. None of them had any particular taste. (We should note that we were unable to try cartridges that were fresh out of the box for these older platforms.)

After all that, Julia went for it with a copy of Just Dance 2017, a Switch launch title. Here is how she described the sensation:

It doesn’t hit you at first. It tastes just as plain and feels just as slippery as the other three cartridges. In just a few milliseconds, though, a very sour taste invades your taste buds. It smells bad; you can feel it in your throat. It’s revolting, and the only thing I can equate it to is when you’re at the dentist and a drop of sour cleaning material hits the back of your tongue. Your entire face feels it. And the taste lingers for about 20 seconds.

People have speculated that the manufacturing process for Switch cartridges involves coating them in a layer of foul-tasting film, so as to discourage people from, well, putting the cartridges in their mouths. (Why do you think Play-Doh is so bitter and salty?) We’ve reached out to Nintendo to ask why Switch cartridges taste so bad, and we’ll update this article with any information we receive.

In the meantime, we’ll be washing out our mouths with soap to try and get rid of this terrible taste. For more on the Switch, you can read our review.

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aranth
26 days ago
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We’ve reached out to Nintendo to ask why Switch cartridges taste so bad,
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The politics of funding absurd-sounding science

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Enlarge / You don't want to know what this guy's been evolving. (credit: Washington Fish and Wildlife)

BOSTON—"The national debt is a big structural problem," former Representative Brian Baird told his audience at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. And that, according to Baird, is one reason scientific research comes under fire. “If you can’t solve something big," he went on, "distract people by attacking something small.” All too often, that something small has been scientific research.

Two of the researchers who found their work under fire were on hand to describe the experience and talk a bit about the lessons they learned.

Does that treadmill look expensive to you?

One of them was David Scholnick of Pacific University who produced the video above, showing a shrimp going for a run on an underwater treadmill. It's hard to tell just how many people have ended up viewing the video, given that it has been cloned, set to various music, and appeared in news reports that have also made their way onto YouTube—it's fair to say that it's quite popular. Scholnick wasn't looking for that popularity. He had just put the video up on his faculty webpage; someone else grabbed it and stuck it on YouTube.

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aranth
31 days ago
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Free ebooks! Get 'em while they're hot!

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We interrupt this broadcast to announce ...

Empire Games came out a couple of weeks ago, right? And you might be thinking, "this is book seven in a universe, won't I be at a loss if I start here?" Well, Empire Games was written to be a new entrypoint into my Merchant Princes universe. But if you want to start from the real beginning, you need to read The Bloodline Feud, which is the revised omnibus edition of the first two books, reassembled into the original intended form.

And The Bloodline Feud is the Tor.com eBook club pick for the week of February 1st to 7th: if you click that link and sign up for the Tor.com newsletter, you can download a free copy in epub or mobi (Kindle) format. (Offer valid to USA and Canada residents; there is a dropdown menu that asks you to state your country.)

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aranth
54 days ago
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Bought this a week ago and it was worth the price then- infinitely better value now.
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jepler
54 days ago
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go read stross if you haven't
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm

Chelsea Manning’s 35-year sentence commuted by Obama

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Chelsea Manning, serving a 35-year term for leaking a cache of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, had her sentence commuted Tuesday by President Barack Obama. The president, with just days remaining in his presidency, said Manning can be freed on May 17 of this year instead of 2045.

The 29-year-old Army private was court-martialed in 2013 for forwarding a cache of classified documents to WikiLeaks. After being convicted of leaking more than 700,000 documents and video, Manning—then known as Bradley—announced that she is a transgender woman and would be going by the name Chelsea.

Manning has been both reviled and lauded for her 2010 document dump and has been in prison longer than any other convicted US leaker. In a military first, Manning was approved in 2015 for hormone therapy as part of transition-related care, nearly a year after she made demands for such treatment.

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aranth
69 days ago
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lelandpaul
69 days ago
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oh thank God
San Francisco, CA

Paul Ryan Says the GOP Will Vote to Defund Planned Parenthood

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During a news conference on Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the process to dismantle Obamacare will include stripping all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, but he did not provide much further detail.

His remarks come two days after a Republican-led House investigative panel released a report that recommended the health care provider be defunded. The investigative panel—created to examine allegations that Planned Parenthood was selling fetal tissue for profit—was then disbanded, because it was not reauthorized for a new Congress. Planned Parenthood was never found guilty of any wrongdoing at the state or federal level, despite multiple GOP-led investigations.

Democrats immediately denounced the move. "I just would like to speak individually to women across America: This is about respect for you, for your judgment about your personal decisions in terms of your reproductive needs, the size and timing of your family or the rest, not to be determined by the insurance company or by the Republican ideological right-wing caucus in the House of Representatives," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "So this is a very important occasion where we're pointing out very specifically what repeal of the [Affordable Care Act] will mean to women."

The measure to cut funding will appear in a special fast-track bill expected to pass Congress in February, during a session that allows legislation to bypass filibuster. The bill would need only a simple majority of senators to pass, rather than a 60-vote supermajority. Should the measure pass, according to the Washington Post, the largest women's health care organization in the country would lose 40 percent of its funding. Planned Parenthood received $528 million in federal funding in 2014, and the government is its largest single source of funding.

A federal law known as the Hyde Amendment forbids the use of any federal funds for abortions. The money Planned Parenthood receives is for preventative screenings, birth control, and general women's health care for their 2.5 million patients

Rep. Diane DeGette (D-Colo.) promised that Democrats would "stand against this with every fiber of our beings."

A similar measure passed the House and the Senate in 2015 but was repealed once it reached President Barack Obama's desk. Obama has long supported the preservation of Planned Parenthood's federal funding. In December, he issued a rule that barred states from withholding funds from Planned Parenthood based on the fact that they provide abortion care.

President-elect Donald Trump has indicated that he opposes continuing federal funding for Planned Parenthood, so a presidential veto would be unlikely. Similarly, Vice President-elect Mike Pence has been staunchly anti-abortion throughout his political career—he signed a measure to defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana during his tenure as governor, and he was successful in slashing funding for the provider in his state.

Reacting to Ryan's proposal, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action fund, told reporters, "It's likely no accident that this attack was launched the day after Vice President-elect Mike Pence, a long-time opponent of Planned Parenthood, held a closed-door meeting with Speaker Ryan and the Republican leadership."

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aranth
80 days ago
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Ex-Cop Bobby Carillo Is Sad in Jail, So Judge Orders His Release

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December 21, 2016 (fault Lines) — It might not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things: A cop and his crew throw a significant amount of tow jobs to a local towing company and the proprietor gives them a few cars in exchange. But when you take a closer look and find a conspiracy involving top and former brass in a police department, and the victims were all targeted because of their ethnicity and economic status, it becomes a big deal.

Now a judge has released the already lightly punished mastermind of this scheme from jail because he’s depressed and has lost a significant amount of weight according to his attorney.

King City, California is home to about 13,000 residents, 90 percent of which are Hispanic. It’s an agricultural center for tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, dairy, pistachios, walnuts and almonds. It’s been called the “Salad Bowl of the World.”

People there are hard working and generally low-income, and apparently ripe for picking by King City police Sgt. Bobby Carrillo and his crew. Carrillo alone had more than 200 vehicles towed and impounded, of which 95 percent or more were handled by Brian Millers’ tow yard. Miller is the brother of then acting-Chief Bruce Miller, who was charged with accepting one of the towed cars as a bribe.

Carrillo was having the cars towed and impounded over minor infractions such as inoperative tail lamps, or even towed from their spot in front of the owner’s home over an expired registration tag. Then, when the owner was unable to bail his or her car out, Carrillo and Miller sold it and split the profits.

People were afraid to speak out because many of these agricultural workers are undocumented.

That was until the FBI came to town on a murder investigation and found no one willing to say anything except “we don’t trust cops, they take our cars and property and we can’t do anything about it.” Complaints like this prompted an investigation, and since Carrillo and cohorts weren’t even trying hard to hide their scheme, it wasn’t long before they found themselves impounded.

Judge Julie R. Culver, a former prosecutor and corporate attorney, was appointed to the bench in 2010 by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Carrillo was a veteran cop and, judging by his surname, he should be acutely aware of the hardships faced by poor Hispanic agricultural workers. Carrillo made the decision to become a predator, to seek out vulnerable people, to take their property and wreak havoc on their lives.

And now, Judge Culver gives him a break. After serving about two months of his already paltry sentence of one year in jail, the judge has granted a defense motion and he will be allowed to serve the remainder at home. Monterey County Deputy District Attorney Steve Somers doesn’t agree with the judge:

There are a lot of people who can make that same claim in the jail. And I don’t know how many of those would be released for the same reasons. When he was committing the crimes, he knew that if he was caught he would be put in jail and it would be very uncomfortable wherever he went because every officer knows that.

Jail is a horrible place. It’s easy to lose weight there because the food is barely nutritionally adequate, and tastes like crap. It’s prepared by fellow inmates who may or may not have had their training in an establishment sporting a Michelin star, or even a Zagat rating. (Mostly not.) The food is part of the punishment. Carrillo was in solitary confinement, likely for his own protection, because being a dirt bag with a badge who preys on his own community would make him quite unpopular with the non-badge-holding dirt bags that prey on their community and share the facility.

Yes, you would lose weight. Yes, you would become depressed. When your drinking water comes from an orifice on top of the exposed toilet in your cell, it’s depressing. You want to go home.

It’s a disgrace that this judge overlooked this former cop’s predatory nature and let him go home. Hopefully every criminal attorney with an inmate facing a year in Monterey County will now file a similar motion on behalf of their client so everyone can go home early.

The post Ex-Cop Bobby Carillo Is Sad in Jail, So Judge Orders His Release appeared first on Mimesis Law.

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aranth
96 days ago
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Reminder that cops have more rights than you. Blue lives matter.
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