Day: June 14, 2016

Peter Thiel's lawyer threatens Gawker for talking about Donald Trump's "hair"

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Before Peter Thiel became infamous for being a thin-skinned scheming billionaire who secretly financed Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit in a petty bid for revenge against Gawker for being mean to him, he was infamous for being a California delegate for Donald Trump, who shares his fondness for limiting press-freedom with exercises of coercive power.
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Flatulence in Florida foments fist fight

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Apparently farting in Sloppy Joe’s, a famed Key West bar, can quickly get out of control.

Via the Miami Herald:

According to the police report, a fight broke out between two couples this week when someone, who Friday remained unidentified, allegedly broke wind inside Sloppy Joe’s, 201 Duval St.

“The argument was due to someone farting,” police were told by a man who went to the hospital for a dislocated shoulder after the scrap.

Richard McBride, 53, and his girlfriend Sandra Stoner, 55, both of Naples, said they were caught up in a physical altercation after the argument arose “over a fart,” Officer Igor Kasyanenko wrote after last Monday’s incident.

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The Voynich Manuscript for your coffee table

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This high quality paperback reproduction of the Voynich Manuscript is lovely. You, and your guests, can take a stab at decoding this mystery!

Purchased 1912 by book dealer Wilfred Voynich, this 15th century manuscript remains a mystery today. The meaning of this manuscript has puzzled codebreakers for the last century. The 240 remaining pages are available for viewing online via the Yale Rare Book and Manuscript Library, but this $40 edition gives me something to sit and enjoy without staring at a screen.

The online scans are higher resolution than the print edition.

The Voynich Manuscript: Full Color Photographic Edition (Paperback) via Amazon

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Watch this car chase involving a smoke screen and tire spikes!

Police in Marijampole, Lithuania released this dashcam video of a car chase where the suspect released a smokescreen and tossed caltrops (aka tire spikes) in an effort to escape. These action movie-esque efforts were to no avail though as the fuzz eventually pinned the perp’s car against the road barrier. The police did not provide any background on the hot pursuit.

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What if all the active volcanoes on Earth erupted at the same time?

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In this episode, we take on a doomsday future: all the active volcanoes in the world erupt. At the same time. Kaboom. This is not good for us. What happens to humans and our planet? Who survives? How?

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

In this episode we go over the basics of a volcanic eruption, what makes something an active volcano, and all the terrible things that would happen if all 1,500 active volcanoes erupted at once.

▹▹ Full show notes

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Treasure Island Music Festival 2016: Sigur Rós, Ice Cube, and many more

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Boing Boing’s favorite annual music event, the Treasure Island Music Festival, celebrates its 10th anniversary October 15-16, 2016 on the San Francisco Bay and they’ve just announced the stellar lineup!
Sigur Rós and Ice Cube are headlining with more than two dozen other artists including James Blake, Purity Ring, Zhu, Glass Animals. The full lineup is below the following video for Sigur Rós’s “Brennisteinn”:

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University student scientists study: "Who’s the best-equipped superhero?"

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University of Leicester students spent 7 years using math and physics principles to answer “Who’s the best-equipped superhero?” They’ve published a series of papers on the subject in the university’s “Journal of Physics Special Topics” and “Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics.” The answer? Superman, followed by Wolverine, Mystique and Thor. From the University of Leicester:

Whilst Black Bolt, ruler of the ‘Inhumans’, may be the most destructive of the superheroes (capable of planetary annihilation), the student work suggests that, based on the range of superpowers at his disposal and the only limiting factor seemingly being the planet’s Sun, the ‘Last Son of Krypton’ Superman is likely to be the best equipped to win in an epic clash between all of the studied superheroes.

Boasting a super-powered array of skills, Superman, if obeying the ‘Law of Energy Conservation’, could exhibit a calculated stored solar energy output of 7.07×105 Joules per second for his ‘Super Flare’ attack. It is also shown that the ‘Man of Steel’, in theory, could have higher density muscle tissue than the average human which could aid in several of his superhuman abilities.

This incredible display of power makes Superman the number one candidate for ‘most powerful superhero’.

Honourable mentions go out to X-Men duo Wolverine and Mystique who were close contenders for the title of world’s finest in the student papers with their multitude of mutant abilities – including increased regenerative capacity and, in the case of Mystique, a mastery of gene manipulation to aid in disguise.

The superhero Thor, based off of the Norse god of the same name, would also be one of the most formidable superheroes, having high energy efficiency and explosive powers.

Who’s the best-equipped superhero? Student research settles ‘superpower showdown’(University of Leicester)

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Traveler suing TSA for missed flight

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Although Minneapolis man Hooman Nikizad arrived at the airport two hours early, as recommended, his hour-and-a-half wait in the security line made him miss his flight. He then had to buy a second ticket on another airline in order to get to his destination on time. Now he’s suing the TSA for $506.85 to cover the cost.

“I had to buy a ticket with another airline to be able to make my destination and meet my obligations,” Nikizad said in his claim, which noted the TSA had limited staff on duty at the time and “only one body scanner for the regular security line [in operation]”…The money being sought, he said, is to reimburse him for a replacement ticket, additional ground transportation expenses and the $75 court fee to file his claim.

No comment from the TSA. For more, read the full story at the Star Tribune.

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Juno, NASA's Jupiter Mission, and My Visit Inside a JPL Cleanroom

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Hey Jupiter, I hope you’re ready for your close-up.

Recently, I was granted the rare privilege of stepping inside one of the largest cleanrooms at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratories. I was there to learn about this year’s blockbuster space mission, Juno, and chat with some super smart science and engineering people who worked on the project.

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Get a 2-Pack of Two-Meter MFi-Certified Lightning Cables, Now 77% off

We all love our iPhones and iPads. But if there’s one thing about them we don’t like, it’s their dang charging cables. It seems like they’re barely out of the box before they’re peeling, frayed, and ultimately unusable.

Replacing any Apple product – even charging cables – usually comes at a premium price. Thankfully, we’re looking out for your wallet: you can pick up a pair of two-meter MFi-certified Lightning cables for only $12.99, or 77% off MSRP.

These cables look and feel just like the official Apple versions, but without the price tag. These cables stand ready to handle all your syncing and charging needs, while their two meter length offers extra reach for handling those critical functions.

At $12.99 for a pair, it’s worth stocking up on these Lightning cables for emergencies. Jump on this deal now, while supplies last!

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DIY ding repair for surf and stand-up paddle boards

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I have dinged the rails of every surfboard I’ve ever owned. Generally, I crack the rails when I make stupid mistakes in the parking lot, or my driveway, though I understand some folks actually bump into things in the water. For small bumps and bruises, I keep a tube of sun curing resin around.

Repairs to your rails (the edges of the board that cut into the water) are not difficult at all! Simply clean up the cracked spot, sand it down a bit to give the resin something to adhere to, and quirt out a glob. Use some plastic wrap to mold the resin, and hold it in place, while the board cures in the sun.

Of course you can also put a plastic bumper sticker over the crack and hope it holds. I’ve done that too.

Be certain you know if your board is polyester or epoxy! Using the wrong resin will destroy your board, as the two do not react well. Most manufacturers will label the boards, so check the stickers and logo information under the glass.

When chunks are missing from your board, or you really gouge into the foam, there are putties and other fillers you can use, which you then cover with the correct resin. Even more sanding is involved!

I like these SolaRez kits as they come with some sand paper, which is never there when you need it.

Solarez UV Cure Epoxy Ding Resin – SUP Paddleboard & Surfboard Repair Kit via Amazon

Solarez UV Cure Polyester Ding Resin – Surfboard Repair Kit (2 Oz) via Amazon

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Iron age sling bullets seem designed to make terrifying whistling noise

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Sling bullets, used by Roman soldiers in an attack on a fort in Scotland some 1800 years ago, appear designed to whistle in flight. A battery of them could be terrifying; or perhaps simply very loud and annoying.

These holes converted the bullets into a “terror weapon,” said archaeologist John Reid of the Trimontium Trust, a Scottish historical society directing the first major archaeological investigation in 50 years of the Burnswark Hill site.

“You don’t just have these silent but deadly bullets flying over; you’ve got a sound effect coming off them that would keep the defenders’ heads down,” Reid told Live Science. “Every army likes an edge over its opponents, so this was an ingenious edge on the permutation of sling bullets.”

Archeology.co.uk conducted tests with replicas to see what it would have sounded like:

Two extraordinary facts concerning the small bullets with holes (now dubbed type IIIs) also emerged. First, they could be successfully slung in small groups of three or four to create a form of grapeshot. This had been independently confirmed by T Richardson in his work on Roman sling-bullets at the Royal Armouries. Even more intriguingly, the mysterious holes proved to confer an aerophonic quality: in flight, these lead shot whistled, or more accurately gave off a mechanical buzzing sound eerily reminiscent of an agitated wasp (click below to hear for yourself). Remarkable as it sounds, the simplest explanation for this design modification is that it represents an early form of psychological warfare. To put it another way, the Roman attackers valued the terror that hearing the incoming bullets would instil in the defenders.

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