Day: June 1, 2016

Trump involved in 3,500 legal actions, making him most litigious presidential nominee ever

trump

An analysis from USA Today finds that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is currently involved in 3,500 legal actions. Who else is involved? Everyone from the government to vodka makers. This number is unprecedented in scope for any presidential candidate in U.S. history, and likely far too many for the entire American press corps to really get down to the bottom of, in time for voters to determine what that means for their choice in November.

(more…)

…read more

Nopalitos Cactus Salad

Nopalitos Cactus Salad

Have you ever eaten cactus? Prickly pear cactus paddles, known as nopalitos, are not only edible, but they are darn right delicious! Sort of like a cross between green beans and okra, and good for you too, high in vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and with plenty of fiber.

Perfect for those of us wanting to follow paleo, vegan, gluten-free, or low carb diets. (Note that I said “wanting to follow” rather than “following”. I desire to eat more a more healthy diet than I do most days.)

Like okra, there’s a bit of a slime factor when you cook them, but that can be easily rinsed away.

The prickly pear cactus grows all over the southwestern United States and the mediterranean and the young, tender paddles are a staple in Mexican cooking.

Continue reading “Nopalitos Cactus Salad” »

…read more

School shooting: Two dead in UCLA campus murder-suicide

Image: @VALERIEGRATIAS

UPDATE: Swat units going class to class to safely evacuate students at #UCLA following shooting that left 2 dead pic.twitter.com/XiTqi62QJs

— Val Gratias (@valeriegratias) June 1, 2016

A college campus shooting at UCLA left two men dead Wednesday morning. The murder-suicide sent thousands of students running for their lives, barricading themselves in classrooms.

(more…)

…read more

Black Science, Vol. 1

51E-iu9p-eL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

If you liked Rick Remender’s Fear Agent, you’ll love his pulpy, break-neck paced, dimension hopping adventure Black Science.

via Comic Book Resources

Anarchist scientist Grant McKay has created a device that allows travel between alternate universes! The hope is that his team, comprised of other scientists and his family, will find great advancements in science, and medicine, the sad reality is that McKay’s anarchist ways have sent them careening through time and space.

Volume one is packed with non-stop action, creepy aliens, and amazingly retro-themed artwork by Matt Scalera and Illustrator Dean White. Black Science reminds me a lot of Lost in Space meets Time Tunnel. The series has a strong feeling of those old 1960s space dramas, and Saturday morning cartoons, but with an updated, adult story.

CBR did a great interview with Rick Remender, and shares additional art work.

Black Science, Vol 1 by Remender, Scalera, and White via Amazon

…read more

Very weird looking synthetic dog for surgical training

1464737334975

Tampa, Florida company SynDaver Labs, makers of fake body parts for clinical training and studies (as seen on Mythbusters), has developed a synthetic canine to be operated on by veterinary students learning surgery.

“It bleeds, it breathes, it can even die,” veterinarian David Danielson told MyNews13.

From SynDaver Labs:

Thousands of shelter dogs are used each year in surgical training at veterinary colleges around the globe. Some of these animals are euthanized before delivery to the schools and some are delivered alive to be used in terminal labs, where the animals are euthanized after.

The SynDaver faux dog costs nearly $30,000 and the company has launched an Indiegogo campaign to donate the synthetic canines to vet colleges.

aIMG_3819-14205054

screenshot

…read more

Anti-theft device burns carjackers to a crisp

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 10.50.39 AM

This system was designed to combat car jacking by shooting a jet of flames at anyone standing next to either side of the car.

From the YouTube description:

When this foot switch is pressed, two things happen. One, a 14-thousand volt spark would appear here in this nozzle, and then you have these four jets here shooting out gas. Liquid gas from the gas bottle in the boot. Liquid gas, as soon as it exits over the spark here, will ignite and a ball of flame will shoot out of both side of the vehicle. Incapacitating the hijackers immediately.”

Amazingly perhaps, the system’s legal in South Africa – provided the driver is acting in self defence as depicted in this mock-up.

…read more

Sensors – The final volume in an impressive series of electronics guides for 21st-century makers

tumblr_o823jb9XFU1t3i99fo1_1280

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Encyclopedia of Electronic Components Volume 3: Sensors

by Charles Platt and Fredrik Jansson

Maker Media

2016, 256 pages, 7.9 x 9.6 x 0.4 inches (softcover)

$18 Buy a copy on Amazon

With this somewhat slim but jam-packed volume, Make: contributing editor and electronics columnist, Charles Platt (here joined by Fredrik Jansson), completes his detailed explorations of the modern, common electronics components most useful to today’s electronics hobbyists and other DIYers.

The first volume, which Wink reviewed earlier, covered batteries, power supplies, motors, resistors, capacitors, inductors, switches, encoders, relays, diodes, transistors, and more. Volume 2 covered LEDs, LCDs, audio, amplification, digital logic, and related components. This third and final volume examines common (and a few not so common) sensors for detecting location, presence, proximity, orientation, oscillation, force, load, human input, liquid and gas properties, light, heat, sound, and electricity.

Like all of the volumes in the series, each component section in Sensors is divided into what it does, how it works, variants and values of the component, how to use it, and what can go wrong with it. Each entry is generously illustrated with clear color photos, charts and graphs, and cut-away diagrams of the components (all done by Platt). Thoughtfully, the component images are all photographed on a graph paper background, so you can get some idea of their actual size.

One of the things that I think has made the Make: Electronics series such a great success is that Charles Platt is a smart, endlessly curious, and details-oriented electronics enthusiast who knows what questions fellow enthusiasts might have about how a component functions and what it’s useful for. He is not an engineer, he is a professional amateur and I often find that such amateurs write better tech books than professionals. In Volume 3, he and Jansson do another admirable job of writing in a style that is non-intimidating to the beginner, but no less rigorous to the more seasoned circuit designer/builder.

These three volumes, taken together, provide you with the reference material you need for spec’ing components for most common hobby-level electronics projects. Or, if you wanted to, you could significantly increase your understanding of basic electrical engineering by working your way through them, one component at a time. And given how lovely the books are, how well photographed and illustrated, how readable, doing so would not be a hardship.

Over the course of the past seven years, Charles and Maker Media have released five books in the Make: Electronics series and two component packs. I’m biased (I helped instigate this series as an editor at Make:), but I think this collection is one of the most significant things Make: has done. We set out to create the Getting Started in Electronics [http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Started-Electronics-Forrest-Mims/dp/0945053282] for the early 21st century. The success of the series speaks for itself. I’m now just waiting for a new generation of high-tech innovators to tell us enthusiastically how they cut their teeth on the Make: Electronics series. I like to …read more

Russians who "like" social media posts sent to prison

toothpaste

Andrei Bubeyev, a 40-year-old electrician from Russia, was sent to prison for sharing a picture of a toothpaste tube with the words: “Squeeze Russia out of yourself!” with 12 friends.

From ABC News:

In spring 2015, [Bubeyev] left town to work on a rural construction site. After investigators couldn’t get through to him on the phone, they put him on a wanted list as an extremism suspect. When Bubeyev stopped by to visit his wife and young son at their country cottage, a SWAT team stormed in and arrested him.

His wife now lives alone with their 4-year-old son in a sparsely furnished apartment on the ground floor of a drab Soviet-era apartment block. After her husband was arrested, Anastasia Bubeyeva, 23, dropped out of medical school because she couldn’t find affordable day care for her child, who still wears an eye patch for an injury he suffered when he bumped his head during the raid.

Several months after his arrest, Bubeyev pleaded guilty to inciting hatred toward Russians and was sentenced to a year in prison. His offense was sharing articles, photos and videos from Ukrainian nationalist groups, including those of the volunteer Azov battalion fighting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Among them was an article about the graves of Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine and a video describing Russia as a “fascist aggressor” and showing Russian tanks purportedly crossing into Ukraine.

Less than two weeks after the verdict, Bubeyev was charged again. This time, he was accused of calling for “acts of extremism” and “actions undermining Russia’s territorial integrity.” He had shared the picture of a toothpaste tube and also an article under the headline “Crimea is Ukraine” by a controversial blogger, who is in jail now, calling for military aggression against Russia.

I’m glad we don’t have a skin-thinned tyrant running for president in the US.

…read more

Dwindling of Arctic's oldest ice since 1990

arctic-ice

This is one of the most alarming videos about global warming I’ve seen.

From the YouTube description:

Time lapse of the age of sea ice in the Arctic from week to week since 1990, updated through the March 2016 winter maximum. The oldest ice (9 or more years old) is white. Seasonal ice is darkest blue. Old ice drifts out of the Arctic through the Fram Strait (east of Greenland), but in recent years, it has also been melting as it drifts into the southernmost waters of the Beaufort Sea (north of western Canada and Alaska).

From NOAA’s website:

Sea ice grows throughout the winter and melts throughout the summer, reaching its maximum extent in late February or March, and its minimum extent in September. The ice that survives at least one summer melt season is typically thicker and more likely to survive future summers. Since the 1980s, the amount of this perennial ice (or multiyear) has declined dramatically.

This animation tracks the relative amount of ice of different ages each week from 1990 through early November 2015. The first age class on the scale (1, darkest blue) means “first-year ice,” which formed in the most recent winter. The oldest ice (>9, white) is ice that is more than nine years old. Dark gray areas indicate open water or coastal regions where the spatial resolution of the data is coarser than the land map.

Arctic sea ice moves continually. East of Greenland, the Fram Strait is an exit ramp for ice drifting out of the Arctic Ocean. Ice loss through the Fram Strait used to be offset by ice growth in the Beaufort Gyre, northeast of Alaska, where perennial ice could persist for years.

But around the start of the 21st century, the Beaufort Gyre became less friendly to perennial ice. Warmer waters made it less likely that ice would survive its passage through the southernmost part of the gyre. By around 2008, the very oldest ice had shrunk to a narrow band along the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

In the 2015 Arctic Report Card, scientists wrote:

In 1985, 20% of the ice pack was very old ice, but in March 2015 old ice only constituted 3% of the ice pack. Furthermore, we note that first-year ice now dominates the ice cover, comprising ~70% of the March 2015 ice pack, compared to about half that in the 1980s.

…read more

Man sings two melodies at the same time

singer

From the YouTube description:

Wolfgang Saus sings two melodies at the same time: bass & soprano of Pachelbel’s Canon simultaneously. It’s a short demonstration of polyphonic overtone singing skills (sometimes referred to as throat singing) used in special new classical compositions.

The interesting thing about doing this with overtone singing is: the melody was always hidden in the overtones of the bass voice. Many ancient composers intuitively created “harmonic” melodies out of overtones of a basso continuo.

Here’s a neat visual presentation of polyphonic overtone singing:

https://youtu.be/UHTF1-IhuC0

…read more

Crowdfunding an Atheist Shoe bus to crisscross America

animation (1)

David from Atheist shoes (previously) sez, “We’ve just been successful in raising money for the first Atheist Shoes Missionary Mobile Shoe Shop, which will criss-cross the USA, selling handmade shoes and spreading our European message of godless comfort and joy. The fund-raising is ongoing, as we aim to get a whole fleet of buses on the road. The first US tour begins in September 2016, and will take in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas.”
(more…)

…read more

Live in a box!

gno001-5

Tiny houses have always appealed to me. This is likely because my childhood room was quite terribly tiny. Twin bed; desk at the foot of the bed; narrow space by the bed to walk to the bathroom; door. Much the same as a room in a Japanese businessman’s hotel.

Thus I find myself attracted to this new product from the Cozy Room company of Japan. It is essentially a room in a box with a fancy chair that slides in and out. When the chair is in, you are totally contained and, one hopes, “cozy.” Rocket News helpfully breaks down the name of this little getaway (“Kakureya”) as “a cross between the Japanese words kakureru (‘to hide’) and heya (‘room’).” I cannot help but be reminded of a space capsule, though it lacks the interplanetary scenery.

gno001-2

gno001-1

There are shelves for your collectibles or library, a desk on which to work, a slide out drawer under the desk for your computer keyboard, convenient ventilation and aromatherapy, a place to hang a flat screen TV, various drawers (small, of course). No kitchenette, I’m afraid.

gno001-colection

gno001-work

gno001-relax

gno001-monitor

I can envision many peaceful naps in there … shouldn’t the fancy chair really be one of those Japanese massage chairs?

I would modify mine with a pet flap for my cats — no room for the kitty box inside.

Of course, you must have a very large room in which to place this tiny room — somewhat of a paradox. And what would the neighbors think when they come over to watch a football game?

If you’ve got a hankering to spend the rest of your life living in less space than a jail bird, Cozy Room’s website will sell you your very own cell of solitary confinement for a mere $7,900. Not sure how you can get one back to the U.S., but I have the feeling that this is a kind of Ikea deal where it comes flat and you have to assemble it yourself.

If that’s beyond your budget, then they will also sell you a box for $2,000; for many people, this might be sufficient.

budget cozyroom 2,000

Via Rocket News

…read more

I will get fat eating retro candy

Galco's Candy

While recently wallowing in nostalgic thoughts about Cracker Jack I began Googling other types of candy of which I had fond memories as a kid.

That was a bad idea because I found exactly what I was looking for and am in line to gain several pounds when my box-o-heaven arrives this week.

This itch has needed a scratch since my friend Jim Steinmyer took me to Galco’s in Los Angeles a few months ago. The place looks like it was an old supermarket at one time, but now it houses aisle upon aisle of soft drinks (including a mix-your-own soda bar with lots of syrups — I made a toasted coconut marshmallow creme soda and it was fabulouso, and even better: you’re making it in glass bottles).

Most of its business is in a million different types of soda, but off on the left side wall is an enormous amount of retro candy with lots of stuff I hadn’t seen for many decades.

Galco's Candy Heaven

Galco’s has a website but it’s primitive and online ordering isn’t quite organized yet — you’ll get a much better idea of the place from the reviews on Yelp, which wax rhapsodic at length about the wonders to be found in the aisles.

From the Galco web site:

Devoted to the art of soda pop and supporting the small businesses behind each bubbly drink, Galco’s Soda Pop Stop features more than 700 flavors of soda at its Los Angeles storefront. Beginning in 1897 as an Italian grocery store, Galco’s changed “flavors” when son John F. Nese took helm of his father’s store in 1995 and lined the shelves with classic, small-batch, exotic and hard-to-find sodas. With a mission to support small soda makers, Galco’s motto is “Freedom of Choice” which mirrors Nese’s determination that customers have the right to choose from more than just a handful of mass-produced, big-business selections.

I tried a soda whose name has intrigued me for years: Moxie, the first carbonated bottled beverage in the U.S circa 1887. I had seen the name many times in old newspaper articles and books and assumed that it had gone the way of the dodo. But, there it was on the shelf at Galco’s, and I’m here to tell you that it tastes like bitter crap. If you want to make someone gag, this will do it.

Moxie at Galco's

Moxie has a very fine website which gives a full history of the drink’s triumphs and travails … who knew? Back in the 1920s, of every feisty kid it was said, “He’s got moxie!” The soda was so popular it entered pop vocab. But it tastes like hell … can’t figure that out. You can read more about the taste of Moxie (the reaction of one drinker was “Blech”!) on this very funny blog where it is deemed to be “a flavor for the few.”

Sorry: got sidetracked. What I really want to write about is CANDY.

CANDY CANDY …read more

How security and privacy pros can help save the web from legal threats over vulnerability disclosure

drm-og-1

I have a new op-ed in today’s Privacy Tech, the in-house organ of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, about the risks to security and privacy from the World Wide Web Consortium’s DRM project, and how privacy and security pros can help protect people who discover vulnerabilities in browsers from legal aggression.
(more…)

…read more

Act opposite Vincent Price and Don Ameche with this curious 1950s vinyl record game

Vincent-Price-Co-Star

Released in 1957, Co*Star: The Record Acting Game was a series of 15 vinyl LPs with recordings of actors and other celebrities like Vincent Price, Talulah Bankhead, and Don Ameche performing one role in two-character scenes from movies, plays, and novels. Each record contained a script and you were supposed to act opposite the recordings! In 1977, the game’s original label Roulette Records reissued the series. They’re available used on Discogs for around $4 – $50, depending on the star and, of course, condition.

You can experience the Vincent Price edition right here.

And below is one person’s demonstration of the George Raft edition!

(via Weird Universe)

…read more

Barak Obama: the coolest lame duck

obama

Being a lame duck President nearing the end of your term, your thoughts probably turn to what the hell you’re going to do after eight years in the White House. Someone on Barak Obama’s staff probably told him it’s time to loosen up and show folks who he really is. A little late, but what the heck.

Fresh from his stint at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner where he did standup comedy that eclipsed host Larry Wilmore (sorry, Larry), Obama and staff have now released a very funny video with some great self-deprecating humor and one genuinely surprising guest. Don’t ruin the fun for your friends by giving anything away, just tell them to watch this.

…read more

King Tut's dagger was forged from meteorite

king-tut-dagger-meteorite

New analysis of the dagger buried with King Tut confirms that the weapon was made from an iron meteorite. They used X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to study the dagger, found on Tut’s mummified body by Howard Carter in 1925. Daniela Comelli of Milan Polytechnic’s department of physics and her colleagues have even identified the most likely meteorite used to forge the dagger.

“We took into consideration all meteorites found within an area of 2,000 km in radius centered in the Red Sea, and we ended up with 20 iron meteorites,” Comelli told Space.com. “Only one, named Kharga, turned out to have nickel and cobalt contents which are possibly consistent with the composition of the blade.”

From Space.com:

The study shows the ancient Egyptians attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of precious objects, possibly perceiving those chunks of iron falling from the sky as a divine message.

The most ancient Egyptian iron artifacts, nine small beads excavated from a cemetery along the west bank of the Nile tomb in Gerzeh and dated about 3200 BC, are also made from meteoritic iron hammered into thin sheets.

“It would be very interesting to analyze more pre-Iron Age artifacts, such as other iron objects found in King Tut’s tomb. We could gain precious insights into metal working technologies in ancient Egypt and the Mediterranean,” Comelli said.

King Tut’s Blade Made of Meteorite

…read more

How one man ran a company according to the Golden Rule

2016-05-30-podcast-episode-107-arthur-nash-and-the-golden-rule-600x435

In 1919, Ohio businessman Arthur Nash decided to run his clothing factory according to the Golden Rule and treat his workers the way he’d want to be treated himself. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll visit Nash’s “Golden Rule Factory” and learn the results of his innovative social experiment.

We’ll also marvel at metabolism and puzzle over the secrets of Chicago pickpockets.

Show notes

Please support us on Patreon!

…read more

What if all pop stars used avatars?

FF14_crop-600x350

Today we go to a future where all pop stars use avatars, clones, robots or cartoons instead of their real bodies and faces. What does that do to music? Can everybody pull off an avatar? And why would any pop star even want that?

Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon | Reddit

In this episode we talk about Beyonce clone conspiracy theories, how pop stars currently construct personas, and how fans might use their favorite star’s avatars. Plus, I go to a concert for a cartoon character.

▹▹ Full show notes

…read more

Author Guy Gavriel Kay on the strengths of fiction done as near-history

Children-of-Earth-and-Sky

The origin story of Children of Earth and Sky, my current novel, begins with my Croatian editor being the first person ever to tell me about the Uskoks of Senj. He did that as we approached where their stronghold had once been on the Dalmatian coast (the Uskoks are long gone now, a small tourist town remains). I told that road trip story here and another version of the origin story here. By the time I came, many years later, to write a book taking off from that anecdote, the tale did not involve Uskoks, or the Dalmatian Coast. Nor was it formally about the aftermath of the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, or the Holy Roman Empire, the Republics of Venice or Dubrovnik. And Senj had become Senjan.

Close, but…

I do this all the time. A modus operandi by now. Nearly our known history, but not quite. A ‘spin’ on the past, or a ‘quarter turn to the fantastic’, as one reviewer called it.

Provence becomes Arbonne in my novels; Al-Andalus, Al-Rassan; Byzantium, Sarantium; China’s Tang Dynasty morphs into Kitai’s Ninth…

I’ve written over the years about how this approach evolved, what underlies it, but just about every interviewer, for print or pixel, on stage or on air asks again, and it reminds me that just because you’ve said something somewhere, it doesn’t mean everyone (or even most people!) will have seen it. I can feel over-identified with certain topics, and a large majority haven’t a clue I’ve said a word about them! It is a corrective. A comment on the nature of our world.

So, on the eve of a new book’s release, as that journey from Senj to Senjan leads to Children of Earth and Sky, it seems proper to address the ‘why’ of such a journey. Why isn’t the book set in a ‘real’ place, in our own Europe? Why do I have Seressa instead of Venice and Batiara for Italy? Why a rebel leader named Skandir, instead of Albania’s great Skanderbeg, who inspired my character?

There are a multiplicity of reasons by now. But here’s a caveat: be skeptical when writers present intuitive processes as thought-out planning. This was an evolution for me, not a strategic concept. I discovered what I was doing, and why it worked for me. I didn’t lay it out in advance.

It largely started at the beginning of the 1990s with A Song For Arbonne. (Tigana, the book that came before, was far more loosely tied to real places and events.) For Arbonne, I read widely in the poems and the lives (as we know them) of the troubadours, and in the history of the Albigensian Crusade and the ‘Courts of Love’ of medieval Provence.

I emerged with a number of thoughts, some of them about how the role and status of women in the west took a turn with the conquest of Provence, and how a great deal of political history might also have also done so. I invented troubadours inspired by a few of the …read more

Explore The Shining in 3D

overlook2

Claire Hentschker’s virtual reality trip through The Shining is even more unsettling than it sounds: thirty minutes of scenes from the movie extruded into 3D, so you can look around in all directions as the camera slowly takes you along. Yet the models are all incomplete, taken as they are from Kubrick’s footage, leaving the impression of looking into the Overlook and its surrounds from a timeless, warped, supernatural viewpoint. Which is to say: it’s perfect.

Shining360 is a 30-minute audio-visual experiment for VR derived from the physical space within Stanley Kubrick’s film ‘The Shining.’ Using photogrammetry, 3D elements are extracted and extruded from the original film stills, and the subsequent fragments are stitched together and viewed along the original camera path.

Many thanks to the Studio for Creative Inquiry. All content derived from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining

overlook

…read more

Circular reasoning is bad because it isn't good

illustration of a man who goes around

If you believe something is bad because it is…bad, or that something is good because, well, it’s good, you probably wouldn’t use that kind of reasoning in an argument – yet, sometimes, without realizing it, that’s exactly what you do.

If you think eating shrimp is immoral, you might defend that viewpoint by saying, “People shouldn’t eat shrimp because eating shrimp is unethical.” Ok, yes, got it, but you just looped back around without defending your original assertion. We are going to need to hear some justification for your views on morality.

Likewise, when explaining why something is true, we often unwittingly provide false clarity. For instance, you might read something like, “Human beings enjoy looking at each other’s butts because we evolved to appreciate healthy backsides.” Broken down, this is just a rephrasing of, “People like butts because people like butts.” There’s no answer here, no cause to the effect, no argument for or against, no explanation for why the observable is observable.

So why do we do this, and why don’t we notice it when other people do it?

In this episode, three experts in logic and rationality will explain how circular reasoning leads us to “beg the question” when producing arguments and defending our ideas, beliefs, and behaviors. You will also learn how to identify, defend against, and avoid begging the question, or restating your beliefs without arguing for or against them.

This episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is the sixth in a full season of episodes exploring logical fallacies. The first episode is here.

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSSSoundcloud

This episode is brought to you by the MIT Press, publishing Marc Wittmann’s about Felt Time and a few other new science, philosophy, language, and technology titles at mitpress.com/smart.

This episode of You Are Not So Smart is also brought to you by Squarespace, the all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create you own professional website or online portfolio. For a free trial and 10 percent off go to Squarespace.com and use the offer code SOSMART.

This episode is also sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with The Fundamentals of Photography filmed in partnership with The National Geographic and taught by professional photographer Joel Sartore. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.

Support the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.

BobBob Blaskiewicz is an assistant professor who teaches, among other subjects, critical thinking at Stockton University. He also writes about logic and reasoning at skepticalhumanities.com, and is a regular guest on the YouTube show The Virtual Skeptics.

julia-galef-headshot

Julie Galef is the president and co-founder of …read more

Rolling Stone interviews Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda

animation

I first learned about Hamilton, an astoundingly successful hip-hop Broadway musical about the relationship between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr and the founding of the United States from the Judge John Hodgman podcast, and noted it with interest; when Hodgman called the studio album the finest music he’d heard in last week’s episode, I bought the MP3s and I’ve been listening to them ever since.

(more…)

…read more

Why 3D scans aren't copyrightable

missingmenu2_preview_featured

Something that baffles laypeople about copyright is what is, and is not, copyrightable; US law and international treaties protect the creative part of copyright, but not the labor part of copyright: merely working hard (“the sweat of the brow”) on something isn’t enough to give rise to a new copyright, but even a trivial amount of creative work is. So copying out the phone book gives you no copyright, even if it takes you all year, doesn’t make it copyrightable. But writing a single haiku does.
(more…)

…read more

Snag 8 premium Mac apps with the World Class Mac Bundle - now over 90% off

Trick out your Mac with an 8-pack of handy Mac apps in this World Class Mac Bundle, now going for over 90% off in the Boing Boing Store.

From creative tools to organizational aids, these apps will not only power your projects, but get your Mac running as efficiently as you do.

Here’s what’s in your bundle:

  • Data Rescue 4: Recover data after a hard drive crash or OS reinstallation.
  • Hype 3.5: Animation made easy for videos or websites.
  • Freeway Pro 7: Drag-and-drop website creation, no coding needed.
  • Painter Essentials 5: Sketch or paint with this effect palette.
  • uBar 3: Customize your Mac dock.
  • iStat Menus 5: Real-time Mac system stats right on your Menu bar.
  • Dropzone 3: Supercharge your desktop’s drag-and-drop capabilities.
  • Xee 3: A powerful image manager and organizer app.

Normally, this app bundle would retail for over $400, so grab this deal now at an over 90% savings.

…read more

Ice cream drivers at war

Photo: Rjsswf8 (CC)

The New York Times’ feature about ice cream trucks in the city is packed with fantastic details and quotes from those who operate “bell-jingling fleets of pleasure craft festooned with pictures of perfectly swirled desserts and beaming children.” It’s brutal out there, and Mister Softee has just been muscled out of Midtown.

In 2012, a frozen yogurt vendor said that a Softee duo snapped his brakes with a crowbar, and the founder of the Van Leeuwen ice cream company said he had gotten death threats from Softee drivers. (A lawyer for Mister Softee, Jeffrey Zucker, said that while he had not heard about the 2012 allegations, “a franchisee could lose his or her Mister Softee franchise for engaging in that type of criminal activity.”)

“Let me tell you about this business,” Adam Vega, a thickly muscled, heavily tattooed Mister Softee man who works the upper reaches of the Upper East Side and East Harlem, said on Wednesday. “Every truck has a bat inside.”

If you’re surprised that such a light-hearted product could result in such a ruthless, cutthroat business, enjoy the great Ice Cream Wars of Glasgow.

…read more

Crowdfunding Maximum Plunder, a collection of 1,100 gig posters by Mike King

lcd-wilco-bboys_png_project-body

Chloe from Portland’s Reading Frenzy writes, “Mike King has made more concert posters than any designer in America. This book contains more than 1000 of them. Spanning three decades of music, Maximum Plunder gathers together Mike’s work into a comprehensive retrospective. A five-year project, the book presents nearly 1,100 of his remarkable posters from every period in nearly every musical genre, from country to death metal, jazz to punk. You’ll see striking examples of Mike’s work for both internationally famous bands to barely-known local artists.”
(more…)

…read more

Bill Kristol's apparent independent presidential pick is terrified of being cucked

SBNEO5Xp

Move over, Mittens! David French is the man to lead true conservatism to vict–wait, who? Daily Beast explains a pick so offbeat one almost assumes he must be the rumor’s source.

And so, as Bloomberg Politics reported Tuesday evening, he appears to be going with the most devastating pick of all: National Review blogger David French. A conservative thinker with such strong name recognition he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.

He does, however, fit the fan-fiction archetype of a Bill Kristol candidate.

According to his bio, French is a constitutional lawyer who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He lives in solid-red Tennessee with his wife and three kids. He once contributed to a New York Times best-selling book about fighting ISIS.

“To say that he would be a better and a more responsible president than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump,” Kristol recently wrote of French, “is to state a truth that would become self-evident as more Americans got to know him.”

French’s obscurity is matched by the bland neoconservatism of his positions: if you’re gay, feminist, think Black lives matter or simply a millennial, he’s probably got a negative thing or two to say about you. But he’s also fabulously insecure, as noted by Politico’s Kevin Robillard, insisting that his wife not communicate with men by phone or email lest she encounter the “ghosts of boyfriends past.”

Which is to say that #NeverTrump’s great hero, their presidential hopeful, is a man who is literally terrified of being cuckolded. They found the one candidate in America with such a specific, total, paralyzing fear of being betrayed by his wife that he perfectly attaches to the Trumpkins’ one innovation to the annals of distinctive insults: cuck.

You may laugh, but it really speaks to the yawning cluelessness with which these guys are wandering the burning Roger Corman castle of conservatism; amusing in its harmony with their wannabe-erudite smugness even as it speaks of dark days ahead for all.

I do hope French is in on the joke, the poor bastard.

…read more