Last year, the southern Japanese city of Susaki created a position — honorary tourism ambassador — for a real-life otter with a large social media following.

So far, so cute.

Then Chiitan, an unsanctioned mascot based on the otter, began staging dangerous and non-child-friendly stunts around town, like swinging a weed whacker and tipping over a car...
Familiar with Colonial life reenactment villages? The Apocalypse Experience is...similar, but instead of Colonial times, it's THE END TIMES. A production environment meant to bring the words of the Book of Revelation to life, complete with souvenirs, restaurant, and laser tag.
Caught a billboard advertisement for it on my way home. Texas is rarely boring.
A report of one instance of a stolen identity being used to sell digital books of spam-style text for $555 a copy. The fake author gets 60% of the selling price. Even at that rate, the criminal managed to "earn" nearly $24,000 .
“This is absolutely deflating,” he said after Runner’s World presented evidence of his course-cutting. “My life and my job are based on integrity. And I cheated.”

The firefighter is one of at least 47 runners who skirted the rules last year to gain entry into the most prestigious marathon in the country, according to an investigation by race-results watchdogs. The investigation is ongoing...

[blinded by science]

The mayor of this Atlanta suburb said he wants the possession of less than 1 ounce of pot to be treated like a traffic ticket.

I don't smoke the weeds anymore, but I'm proud to call this town my home.

The Strange and Unnatural History of a Great American Wine

Of all the vividly-named screw-cap wines (or bum wines, if you prefer) that were born in the 1950s, only a handful survive to this day. The mightiest of them all, indeed, "The American Classic" as its label proudly boasts, is Thunderbird, a creation of the E & J Gallo Winery of Modesto, California.

By Bryan Dent.

Brown Winery
Posted by smith in vices 4 years ago

"In 1980 our parents stumbled upon a ghost ranch in the hills east of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. Five years on they planted vineyards and for a decade we farmed and sold wine grapes. In 1995 we kids, encouraged by growing demand for our fruit, established our own label. In 2015 we are celebrating 35 years in the Napa Valley and in 2016 we will bottle our 20th vintage of Brown Estate zinfandel."

This winery not only makes great wine, but it's a great story as well.

Trinkets of terror
Posted by dorian in vices 8 years ago
It’s a well-known fact that VICE favorite Martin Parr is one of Britain’s finest photographers. But few people are aware that he is also an avid collector of tacky memorabilia inspired by terrorists, dictators, and other nefarious characters. I also collect this kind of stuff, and learning of our mutual hobby made me feel less deviant for owning dozens of objects that depict monsters who specialize in mass murder.  
Martin told me that last month, when it was announced that Navy SEALs had shot Osama bin Laden in the face and chucked his body into the ocean like a bearded bag of garbage, his reaction was the same as mine: We were instantly excited for all of the death-themed bin Laden merchandise that would soon appear on eBay. Listings for the new ephemera appeared within days—yet another testament to the incredible work ethic fostered by Chinese and Indian sweatshops. Of course, we both placed large orders.  
so much bad taste leaves me somewhat speechless, now hiding in a shelter awaiting tons of 1 votes
Making small talk with your pot dealer sucks. Buying cocaine can get you shot. What if you could buy and sell drugs online like books or light bulbs? Now you can: Welcome to Silk Road.  
About three weeks ago, the U.S. Postal Service delivered an ordinary envelope to Mark's door. Inside was a tiny plastic bag containing 10 tabs of LSD. "If you had opened it, unless you were looking for it, you wouldn't have even noticed," Mark told us in a phone interview.  
Mark, a software developer, had ordered the 100 micrograms of acid through a listing on the online marketplace Silk Road. He found a seller with lots of good feedback who seemed to know what they were talking about, added the acid to his digital shopping cart and hit "check out." He entered his address and paid the seller 50 Bitcoins—untraceable digital currency—worth around $150. Four days later the drugs, sent from Canada, arrived at his house.  
love is the drug
Tricks of Short Change Artists
Posted by dorian in vices 8 years ago
Are the con men, the shills and the short-change artists of the old time circus and carnival deserting the field for the more generous one of big business? The present-day short-change artist is entirely modernized with up-to-date methods. Methods have to be up-to-date to make it possible to short-change an experienced bank teller, and that is exactly what they are doing. As a side line to thus robbing banks, odd fives and tens are daily picked up in drug stores, filling stations, etc. Usually the storekeeper first finds it out when counting up at night; the short-change artist is clever!
A cat burglar is on the loose in a Peninsula neighborhood. He is prolific and hard to catch; this burglar makes others look like amateurs.
Mohan Srivastava, a geological statistician living in Toronto, was working in his office in June 2003, waiting for some files to download onto his computer, when he discovered a couple of old lottery tickets buried under some paper on his desk. The tickets were cheap scratchers—a gag gift from his squash partner—and Srivastava found himself wondering if any of them were winners. He fished a coin out of a drawer and began scratching off the latex coating. “The first was a loser, and I felt pretty smug,” Srivastava says. “I thought, ‘This is exactly why I never play these dumb games.’”  
The second ticket was a tic-tac-toe game. Its design was straightforward: On the right were eight tic-tac-toe boards, dense with different numbers. On the left was a box headlined “Your Numbers,” covered with a scratchable latex coating. The goal was to scrape off the latex and compare the numbers under it to the digits on the boards. If three of “Your Numbers” appeared on a board in a straight line, you’d won. Srivastava matched up each of his numbers with the digits on the boards, and much to his surprise, the ticket had a tic-tac-toe.  
As a trained statistician with degrees from MIT and Stanford University, Srivastava was intrigued by the technical problem posed by the lottery ticket. In fact, it reminded him a lot of his day job, which involves consulting for mining and oil companies.  
Srivastava realized that the same logic could be applied to the lottery. The apparent randomness of the scratch ticket was just a facade, a mathematical lie. And this meant that the lottery system might actually be solvable, just like those mining samples. “At the time, I had no intention of cracking the tickets,” he says. He was just curious about the algorithm that produced the numbers. Walking back from the gas station with the chips and coffee he’d bought with his winnings, he turned the problem over in his mind. By the time he reached the office, he was confident that he knew how the software might work, how it could precisely control the number of winners while still appearing random. “It wasn’t that hard,” Srivastava says. “I do the same kind of math all day long.”
Harvard Psychedelic Club:
Posted by dorian in vices 8 years ago
1956 Footage Of Housewife's Acid Trip  
Here's some rare footage of an experimental LSD session that I came across doing research for my next book, a group biography of British writer Aldous Huxley, philosopher Gerald Heard, and Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. It's from a television program, circa 1956, about mental health issues.
I hadn't heard of locksmith or taxi scams until the locksmith scam post today. Could we share our knowledge of common scams that most people may not know about?
The 'Art' of Ball Stretching
Posted by dorian in vices 9 years ago
A Practical Method on How to Achieve Lower Hanging Testicles  
In the twelfth century, philosophers and physiologists began thinking of the heart as the center of love and emotion. Over time, a heart shaped figure emerged which was synonymous with love and emotion. There are many theories as to the origin of this figure. The human body may be the source of inspiration such as the voluptuous buns of a woman, outline of the female breasts, outline of the vulva, as well as the heart shape outline of a man's low hanging testicles from the point of view of the owner. At this time, the testicles were though of as the source of sexual desire and assisted the heart with love. These were the High Middle Ages, the era of great cathedral building and a renewed interest in Greek ideals sparking a surge of energy resulting in the Renaissance.  
rofl ...