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KPCC DIGEST (Oct. 5)—Weekend Reading: Currency cocoon, the other White Lion, killer hornets, behind the scenes with Vin Scully

Photo by Asim Bharwani / modenadude via Flickr Creative Commons

1. Weekend Reading: Silk Road's currency cocoon (Quartz)

Silk Road, the illicit online marketplace seized by the Feds this week, is said to have collected revenues of more than 9.5 million bitcoin since 2011, reports Quartz.

For a sense of how important Silk Road is to the bitcoin economy: "The Federal Reserve currently estimates that there are $10,771 billion in circulation. For a single company to dominate the US dollar the way Silk Road does bitcoin, it would need to have earned $8,745 billion in revenue over the two and half year period, or $3,498 billion a year."

2. Sometimes nature is better than Danish hair metal (NPR)

White lion cubs were the pride of the Internet this week. However, if the last white lion you thought about is the one hairsprayed into the history of 1985, you might find the recent animal footage out of South Korea and Serbia somewhat lacking in tight pants.

Watch the new videos as an exercise in overwriting expired musical references, or simply enjoy the fact that the "roar" of a baby white lion sounds remarkably like a tiny sheep fighting a cartoon bumble bee.

3. LA Dodgers playoffs: Behind the scenes with legendary announcer Vin Scully (KPCC)

Vin Scully, 85, has been in the broadcast booth for six and a half decades. It's a streak unrivaled in broadcasting. He tells KPCC that – with only rare exceptions – he’s never listened to anyone else call a game. "I’d be watering my wine,” he said.

He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950, and while he's taken on network assignments and even hosted game shows, he's always been the voice of the Dodgers.

4. An Elvis impersonator, karate, and a plot against the president (GQ)

After poking around Tupelo, it seems the story of the Mississippi man who mailed ricin to President Obama and then tried to frame a different Mississippi man, is "a thousand times crazier than you thought."

"Theirs is a story of human dismemberment and righteous causes, of martial arts and murder intrigues, sexual perversity, political conviction, and resentments dearly held. What lies behind Mr. Curtis and Mr. Dutschke’s spectacular collision? A lot of odd and complicated things."

5. 'Operation Payback'—13 alleged members of Anonymous indicted for Hollywood attacks (The Daily Dot)

"On October 3, a federal grand jury indicted 13 alleged members of the hacker collective Anonymous for conspiring to intentionally cause damage to protected computers. Each of them is charged with committing cybercrimes while taking part in Anonymous’ Operation Payback.

After popular file sharing site The Pirate Bay was attacked, Anonymous retaliated by taking down various entertainment industry websites, including that of the MPAA."

6. Giant venomous hornets kill 41 people in three months (The Guardian)

Vespa mandarinia hornets have killed 41 people in China and injured 1,675. They're the world's largest hornet with 6mm stingers carrying a venom that can dissolve human tissue. "Victims may die of kidney failure or anaphylactic shock," reports the Guardian.

An official told state media that the hornets, which can fly 25mph and cover 50 miles in a day, are attracted to bright colors, sweat, alcohol, and sweet things, adding "they're sensitive to movement, such as running people or animals." Warning: graphic images.

7. History hangs out at the Biltmore (A.V. Club)

Since opening in 1923, L.A.'s Biltmore Hotel has hosted real and fake politicians, posed as the lux backdrop in countless films, and served as the incubator for the very idea of an Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences, acting itself as the venue for some early Oscar ceremonies.

Meanwhile, "the regular schlubs" of the A.V. Club recently spent some time on site, and have put together an appropriately lavish look back at the hotel's historic Hollywood closeups, noteworthy nooks and most featured features.

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