Tag Archives | Amazon

Teddy Roosevelt Responsible For Piranha’s Bloodthirsty Reputation

"Like you wouldn't have thought the same thing, you lily-livered scalawag."

“Like you wouldn’t have thought the same thing, you lily-livered scalawag.”

I can’t say that I’d lay all the blame on Roosevelt: Roger Corman has to shoulder his fair share, too. Gruesome story, though.

Moo? Moo. MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

In 1913, the former president made a much-ballyhooed trip down the Brazilian Amazon. Like anyone hosting a dignitary, the locals wanted to put on a show for Roosevelt. So days before the roughrider arrived, they used nets to block off a section of the Amazon. Then they caught piranhas from other parts of the river and tossed them into their makeshift aquarium, all while keeping the fish unfed. When Roosevelt rolled into town, the locals finally appeased their captives by chucking a live cow into the water. The piranhas wasted no time. As they sank their teeth into the meat, the water foamed up and turned red. In minutes, the cow’s skeleton was all that was left.

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Top Ranking Stock Analyst Calls for Mass Wealth Redistribution | Interview with Ronnie Moas

Abby Martin interviews Ronnie Moas, Founder of Standpoint Research and Creator of PhilanthropyandPhilosophy.com about his work as an ethical stock analyst and why he’s urging Wall Street to consider massive wealth redistribution.

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The Top 5 Most Absurd Patents in the US

Abby Martin goes over the top 5 most ridiculous patents in the US, citing everything from Amazon’s patent of white background photography to Apple’s patent of the shape of a rectangle all leading to the rise of patent trolling and a complete abuse of the system.

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The CIA, Amazon, Bezos and the Washington Post: An Exchange with Executive Editor Martin Baron

Jeff Bezos 2005To: Martin Baron, Executive Editor, and Kevin Merida, Managing Editor, The Washington Post

Dear Mr. Baron and Mr. Merida:

On behalf of more than 25,000 signers of a petition to The Washington Post, I’m writing this letter to request a brief meeting to present the petition at a time that would be convenient for you on Jan. 14 or 15.

Here is the text of the petition, launched by RootsAction.org:

“A basic principle of journalism is to acknowledge when the owner of a media outlet has a major financial relationship with the subject of coverage. We strongly urge the Washington Post to be fully candid with its readers about the fact that the newspaper’s new owner, Jeff Bezos, is the founder and CEO of Amazon which recently landed a $600 million contract with the CIA. The Washington Post’s coverage of the CIA should include full disclosure that the sole owner of the Post is also the main owner of Amazon — and Amazon is now gaining huge profits directly from the CIA.Read the rest

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Amazon Comes For ‘Monster Porn’

BigfootBusiness Insider reports that Amazon.com is cracking down on sales of self-published “monster porn” e-books. Apparently titles like “Cum for Bigfoot” has ruffled the feathers (and prurient interests, I bet) of the usual moral guardians.

Excerpt:

Author Virginia Wade’s fiction debut follows a group of women who embark on a week-long camping trip to Mt. Hood National Forest. There, in the shadow of Oregon’s highest mountain, they are kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a mysterious woodland creature. “What the hell is that thing?” asks one protagonist.

“‘It’s f—ing Bigfoot,’ hissed Shelly. ‘He’s real, for f—’s sake.’ Horror filled her eyes. ‘With a huge c—.’”

The book, with the decidedly un-PG title “Cum For Bigfoot,” is just the first of 16 fiction ebooks that Wade (a pen name) has written about the legendary beast sometimes known as Sasquatch, each detailing a series of graphic and often violent sexual encounters between the apelike creature and his female human lovers.

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Inside Henry Ford’s Failed Planned-City Jungle Utopia

fordistanDamn Interesting on the forgotten history of Henry Ford’s surreal Fordlandia, a rubber-plantation-slash-corporate-city in the Amazon where workers would have American values stamped into them, and which was ultimately abandoned at a loss equivalent to $200 million today:

By the late 1920s, automobile tycoon Henry Ford’s hundreds of thousands of new cars needed millions of tires, which were very expensive to produce when buying raw materials from the established rubber lords. To that end, he established Fordlandia, a tiny piece of America which was transplanted into the Amazon rain forest for a single purpose: to create the largest rubber plantation on the planet.

In 1929, Ford purchased a 25,000 square kilometer tract of land along the Amazon river, and immediately began to develop the area.

Scores of Ford employees were relocated to the site, and an American-as-apple-pie community sprung up from what was once a jungle wilderness. It included a power plant, a hospital, a library, a golf course, and rows of white clapboard houses.

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1984 All Over Again

1984In the wake of the NSA/Snowden revelations, and the general sense of paranoia that has taken grip of the news cycle and the internet, a few pundits have assumed the roles of cultural watchdogs, taking the pulse of public taste to measure the effect of the spooky news on the hearts and minds of the people.

A number of journalists and commentators have noted that one possible side effect of the recently-revealed government snooping on personal communications has been a spike in the sales of the George Orwell classic 1984 on the mega-book-selling-site, Amazon. But, how big is the sales spike and how much of it can be attributed to Snowden’s bravery in the face of the NSA’s dubious doings? This article at Slate offers a measured interpretation:

Sales of one particular edition of George Orwell’s dystopian classic are up some 5,000 percent on Amazon.com in the past 24 hours, according to the site’s list of “movers and shakers.” The figure was as high as 7,000 earlier today.Read the rest

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Amazon Patents Strange New Lightweight, Transparent Kindle

Picture: Leonard Low (CC) (For illustration purposes only)

Amazon’s just filed a patent describing a new form of lightweight, transparent Kindle technology that can be embedded in your eyeglasses or your car windshield and never needs to be recharged.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is listed on the patent as a co-inventor of the technology, which converts the handheld Kindle devices into simplified display mechanisms receiving data and electricity from a larger, more powerful central station. This would allow Amazon to create much lighter and cheaper devices, notes one Kindle blog, speculating that Kindles could become not just lighter than paper, but disappear altogether into other devices, “leaving nothing behind but the words from your ebooks.”

 

 

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The Adventure Of Randomized Shopping

Craving the excitement that consumerism arouses, Darius Kazemi designed the Amazon Random Shopper, which buys random object each month, and documents the results. Could this randomized consumption prove more rewarding than shopping according to our supposed needs, desires, and tastes?

Recently I’ve been making a bunch of weird stuff that randomly generates things. The first iteration of this was going to be a program that bought me stuff that I probably would like. But then I decided that was too boring.

How about I build something that buys me things completely at random? Something that just… fills my life with crap? How would these purchases make me feel? Would they actually be any less meaningful than the crap I buy myself on a regular basis anyway?

So I built Amazon Random Shopper. It grabs a random word from the Wordnik API, then runs an Amazon search based on that word and buys the first thing that’s under budget.

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Amazon Uses Neo-Nazi Guards To Control Immigrant Workers In Its German Warehouses

Has fascism been privatized? The Independent writes:

Amazon is at the center of a deepening scandal in Germany as the online shopping giant faced claims that it employed security guards with neo-Nazi connections to intimidate its foreign workers.

Germany’s ARD television channel made the allegations about Amazon’s treatment of more than 5,000 temporary staff from across Europe working at its German packing and distribution centers. ARD’s film showed omnipresent guards from a company named HESS Security wearing black uniforms and boots with military haircuts. They were employed to keep order at hostels and budget hotels where foreign workers stayed. “Many of the workers are afraid,” the program-makers said.

ARD said Amazon’s temporary staff worked eight-hour shifts packing goods at the company’s logistics centers in Bad Hersfeld, Konstanz and Augsburg. Many walked up to 17 kilometers per shift and all those taken on could be fired at will. On arrival in Germany, most were told their pay had been cut to below the rate promised when they applied for jobs at Amazon.

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