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GaymerX2 will be the convention's last

Jenna Pitcher, Polygon:

This year’s GaymerX2, the convention that celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in games, will be the last largely due to the growing financial burden, the event’s organizers announced via its official Twitter account.

"We decided that we could no longer continue as a convention as the price of running a yearly convention downtown in San Francisco was just too high — we weren’t able to get the corporate sponsorship that we needed to make it something sustainable, and we were racking up huge amounts of debt to put this years con on," organizer Matt Conn told Polygon.

Pretty unfortunate. San Francisco is a hell of an expensive place.

I’m rather sad at the part where they weren’t able to get enough corporate sponsors interested in the convention.

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Alberta dentist plans to clone John Lennon using $33,000 tooth that once belonged to famous Beatle

Sarah Boesveld, the National Post:

An Alberta dentist has gained international attention for his far-out plans to clone a baby from one of John Lennon’s teeth and raise the test-tube Beatle as his son.

Dr. Michael Zuk, from Red Deer, paid $33,000 for the musician’s molar when the family of Mr. Lennon’s former housekeeper, who had lived in Canada, put it up for auction nearly three years ago.


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The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene

Political scientists Kyle Dropp, Joshua D. Kertzer, and Thomas Zeitzoff writing for The Washington Post:

On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans (fielded via Survey Sampling International Inc. (SSI), what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: In addition to measuring standard demographic characteristics and general foreign policy attitudes, we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge. We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.

I wonder how many polls are conducted just to call people dumb. It’s probably a lot.

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2 islands merge near Japan


NASA’s Earth Observatory reports that Niijima island, a volcano which broke through the ocean’s surface last November, has now merged with a nearby island that formed from a volcano which last erupted 40 years ago.

Niijima emerged about 500 meters (550 yards) from the older Nishinoshima in November. Now, according to observations taken at the end of March, they are one, measuring about a kilometer (six-tenths of a mile) across.

They’ve got some airborne and satellite photos showing the progress of the merging.

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Pakistani family: 9-month-old booked on attempted murder charge

Sophia Saifi and Aliza Kassim, CNN:

A 9-month-old Pakistani boy bawled as he was fingerprinted and booked in Lahore on an attempted murder charge after his family members allegedly threw bricks at police trying to collect an unpaid bill.

The ordeal started February 1 when several police officers and a bailiff went to a home hoping to get payment for a gas bill, said Atif Zulfikar Butt, a senior police official in Lahore.

A scuffle ensued, during which the infant’s father, one of his teenage sons and others in the residence severely injured some of the officials by tossing bricks their way, according to Butt.

How and why the baby was implicated was unclear,…

I love the journalism speak in that last sentence.

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Mayor Rob Ford approached for reality TV show

Ann Hui, The Globe and Mail:

The production company behind American Chopper and Dirty Jobs has approached Toronto Mayor Rob about creating a reality show, The Globe and Mail has learned.

"I’m writing because I’m interested in speaking with you and Mayor Ford about the possibility of developing an unscripted television project together," an executive of the studio wrote to the mayor’s spokesman at the time, Amin Massoudi, in an e-mail obtained by The Globe.


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Media hounds family of man with same name as dead Fort Hood shooter

Lindsey Bever on The Washington Post's Morning Mix:

After an official released the name on Wednesday of the alleged Fort Hood shooter, reporters found a man by the same name in Arizona. Some called his relatives for comment about his death. Some posted his photo with the story.

TV stations went to his home and asked his wife if she knew that Ivan Lopez had been shot and killed. He hadn’t. And his daughter, who was standing nearby, started to cry.

Every damn time.

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US secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest

Desmond Butler, Jack Gillum, and Alberto Arce for the AP:

In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government.

McSpedon and his team of high-tech contractors had come in from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, Washington and Denver. Their mission: to launch a messaging network that could reach hundreds of thousands of Cubans.

Yup, we’re still doing stuff like this.

This is an AP feature report with tons of details by the way, you should definitely read this one.

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Stem cell scientist Haruko Obokata found guilty of misconduct

Ian Sample, The Guardian:

A young researcher who shot to fame in scientific circles when she published an apparently radical and simple way to create stem cells has been found guilty of misconduct by a committee charged with investigating her work.

Haruko Obokata, at the Riken Centre for Developmental Biology in Kobe, announced the breakthrough in January in two articles published in the scientific journal Nature, but the discovery was thrown into doubt after researchers elsewhere failed to replicate her work.

The ruling has not settled the debate over whether her breakthrough was real, though. In a bizarre twist in an already convoluted story, the committee’s ruling against Obokata came moments before an independent researcher claimed to have succeeded in making the cells using a slightly different procedure.

Never heard of her or her research before now. This is weird as heck.