Day: June 16, 2016

CO2 in Antarctica reaches 400 PPM for first time in 4 million years

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Earth’s most remote continent finally caught up with its more populated counterparts. “Carbon dioxide has been steadily rising since the start of the Industrial Revolution, setting a new high year after year,” writes Brian Kahn at Climate Central. “There’s a notable new entry to the record books. The last station on Earth without a 400 parts per million (ppm) reading has reached it.”

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NASA’s Juno spacecraft will brave Jupiter’s fireworks this 4th of July for Science

Artist's rendering shows NASA's Juno spacecraft making one of its close passes over Jupiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech

On July 4, NASA plans to fly a solar-powered spacecraft the size of a basketball court within 2,900 miles (4,667 kilometers) of Jupiter’s cloud tops. It’s part of the JUNO mission, and Boing Boing plans to cover the big event live from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory——so, watch this space, because we are fascinated by all things space.

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Anonymous source: Stanford pressured female swim team members not to tell judge about Brock Turner's creepy behavior

Brock Turner / Stanford

Stanford University made a big show and dance about ridding itself of Brock Turner, but that was only after his arrest on rape charges. Intouch quotes an “insider” who claims that other swim team members were in fear of his behavior—and that school officials told them to stay quiet.

Members of the Stanford University women’s swim team wanted to write to the judge overseeing the Brock Allen Turner sex-attack case about his creepy behavior — but were reportedly “pressured” by school officials not to speak out.

The team members say they weren’t shocked by the arrest of Turner, 20 — a men’s-team swimming star — and had steered clear of him due to sleazy comments he would make about their bodies, according to InTouch magazine…. “From the beginning, the women swimmers had found him to be very, very odd. Brock would make comments to the women such as ‘I can see your t–s in that swimsuit.’ ”

One top competitor said she would never let herself be alone with Turner after observing his drunken antics at parties, the magazine reported.

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Indiana Jones Nazi face-melting candle

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Everyone hates Nazis. For decades they’ve been the go-to villains for movies that need bad guys. With the modern sensitivity toward Native Americans, Russians and other traditional villains of American screenwriting, I predict we will see a resurgence in film and television with lots more nasty Nazis. The Man in the High Castle, anyone?

So what could be more fun than a gift whose function perfectly follows its form than this candle of that nasty Nazi rat-bastard SS agent Arnold Ernst Toht, Gestapo agent? The little weasel gets his well-deserved comeuppance in perfect style when his face melts off like hot butter, when the hell hiding in the Ark of the Covenant is unleashed at the end of first Indiana Jones flick Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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You gotta love this candle! Let’s watch his soul get sucked out of his stinking Nazi skull with the flick of a match. Available from Firebox for a mere $28.39 in the UK (hence the odd price), I really have to buy two: one to keep, and one to melt.

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Create premium apps with the Professional App Developer Bundle - now 91% off

Everybody and their moms has an app idea that they KNOW can make them rich. Of course, if they can’t actually build the app to house that idea…well, no six-figure royalty check for you.

Learn how to turn ideas into real products with the Professional App Developer Bundle, now just $49 in the Boing Boing Store.

Across nine courses, you get all the tools you need to design creative, working apps ready to hit either the Android or iOS markets. You’ll receive:

  • Intermediate iOS 9 Programming
  • Mobile UI & UX Design
  • Build Android Apps with App Inventor 2
  • iOS 9 App Development For Beginners
  • PhoneGap for Beginners
  • Learn Java From Scratch
  • Android App Development: Easy & Quick Programming
  • Swift Programming for Beginners
  • Introduction to Sketch 3 Mobile App Design

This course package usually retails for almost $550, so understand the ways of app creation at 91% off before this deal expires.

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Woman, 19, sues US for anal and vaginal probe search for which she was billed $575

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection arm patch and badge. [Reuters]

Ashley Cervantes, a US citizen who was 18 at the time, was stopped at the Mexico border and accused by Customs and Border Protection of smuggling drugs. A search proved fruitless so they gave her a body cavity search. US Customs and Border Protection still couldn’t find the drugs they were looking for so they took her to a hospital for an X-ray. No drugs.

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How "German mistrust" of the public turned Mein Kampf into a bestseller again

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Mein Kampf was about to enter the public domain in Germany, removing the country’s preferred copyright-based method for keeping it away from readers’ hearts and minds. There’s no chance of them just letting it be available (as is done in the UK, US and Israel), but they didn’t want to ban it outright, martyring Hitler afresh. Instead they favored what the BBC describes as “a heavily paternalistic approach”: publishing a nigh-unreadable “critical edition” in the hopes that it would be too cumbersome to be popular. This not only failed, but ensured a constant stream of discussion and drama to keep it on the bestseller list.

[The publishers’] director, Andreas Wirsching, declared that it would be irresponsible to hand over Mein Kampf “free of copyright and commentary”, because in that case everybody could do whatever they wanted with Hitler’s book. …

If anything public interest in the book was fanned unnecessarily by keeping the aura of the forbidden alive.
By mid-April, Mein Kampf had managed to move to the pole position of Germany’s influential Spiegel bestseller list, where it remained for several weeks.
Even now it stands in 14th place, though many bookshops do not have the book on display and others only order the book on request.

This renewed calls to stop being so controlling and just let Hitler’s long, boring rant die in the public domain.

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Strong wind sends two planes aloft

More details
Illustration of a microburst The air moves in a downward motion until it hits ground level. It then spreads outward in all directions. The wind regime in a microburst is opposite to that of a tornado.

More details
Illustration of a microburst The air moves in a downward motion until it hits ground level. It then spreads outward in all directions. The wind regime in a microburst is opposite to that of a tornado.

Illustration of a microburst The air moves in a downward motion until it hits ground level. It then spreads outward in all directions. The wind regime in a microburst is opposite to that of a tornado.” srcset=”http://i2.wp.com/media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Microburstnasa.jpg?w=641 641w, http://i2.wp.com/media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Microburstnasa.jpg?resize=300%2C232 300w, http://i2.wp.com/media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Microburstnasa.jpg?resize=600%2C464 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 641px) 100vw, 641px” />

https://youtu.be/b_WmjWAGkLI

According to Wikipedia, a microburst is a “small downdraft that moves in a way opposite of a tornado.” This video shows a microburst causing two small glider two planes to spontaneously take to the air, causing the fellows in the air traffic control tower to use naughty words. I wish I could find out more information about the incident.

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Strong wind sends two planes aloft

More details
Illustration of a microburst The air moves in a downward motion until it hits ground level. It then spreads outward in all directions. The wind regime in a microburst is opposite to that of a tornado.

More details
Illustration of a microburst The air moves in a downward motion until it hits ground level. It then spreads outward in all directions. The wind regime in a microburst is opposite to that of a tornado.

Illustration of a microburst The air moves in a downward motion until it hits ground level. It then spreads outward in all directions. The wind regime in a microburst is opposite to that of a tornado.” srcset=”http://i2.wp.com/media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Microburstnasa.jpg?w=641 641w, http://i2.wp.com/media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Microburstnasa.jpg?resize=300%2C232 300w, http://i2.wp.com/media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Microburstnasa.jpg?resize=600%2C464 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 641px) 100vw, 641px” />

https://youtu.be/b_WmjWAGkLI

According to Wikipedia, a microburst is a “small downdraft that moves in a way opposite of a tornado.” This video shows a microburst causing two small glider two planes to spontaneously take to the air, causing the fellows in the air traffic control tower to use naughty words. I wish I could find out more information about the incident.

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A place to easily publish encrypted messages on the web

seriousbiz

The Encrypted Page Maker lets you paste in a HTML document, pick a password, and then hosts the resulting page at its own site. Simple public publishing, with the source code available in the page source.

The contents of you page is compressed using LZString.js and optionally encrypted using mjsCrypt.js, and stored in the hash of a loader URL. The page loader reads the contents of the URL hash and decrypts and expands the page, setting the value of body.outerHTML. Scripts will work as they are compiled and executed after the page is loaded. Cookies and localStorage will not work between pages as they are both wiped clean when the page loads.

The encryption is unproven, and may only act as a deterent. This page and the loading pages are served over HTTP without SSL so do not trust it with actual confidential infomation. This is a toy. I hope you can have fun with it. All source code is freely avaliable in the page source.

I hope you like long URLs! The author has some other cool toys at their homepage — Ascii to Icon is great.

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Adam Savage announces the White House's upcoming National Week of Making

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In a new Tested.com video, Adam Savage celebrates the upcoming National Week of Making that the White House is hosting again this year. To kick off his week in the sort of unique way that only Adam Savage can, he has been asking his social media followers to tag pictures of their personal workspaces, the happy places where they go to create something from nothing.

In the video above, he shows off a number of these wonderfully diverse shops (see a few below) and talks passionately about the joys of making and how we should all yield to the hands-on imperative.

The National Week of Making kicks off on Friday and includes the second annual National Maker Faire, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday at the UDC-Van Ness campus in the District of Columbia. This is one of Maker Media’s full-blown flagship events, joining the long-running Maker Faire Bay Area and World Maker Faire in New York. Unlike those events, the National Maker Faire is free to the public.

You can find out more about the National Week of Making and how to get involved on the event’s official website.

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Parasites are threatening to “destroy the human race” and other tabloid shockers

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Parasites are threatening to “destroy the human race,” claims the National Examiner, which coincidentally is what this week’s tabloid magazines also appear to have in mind.

Just like the Examiner’s “evil bugs” with “the power to turn us into zombies,” the tabloids try to burrow into our brains with their latest mindless worm-like ravings.

Comedy legend Robin Williams’ death “is now a murder probe” claims the Globe, reporting that the case has been re-opened as “cops probe brutal murder!”

But read the story and you learn that the case has not be reopened by police; it’s merely Globe’s rent-a-quote “investigators” speculating wildly, accompanied by a disturbing photo purporting to show Williams’ corpse with horrific strangulation marks around his neck. This is the same discredited photo which in 2014 was proven not to be Williams after being traced back to a Spanish website specializing in strangulation. But that hasn’t stopped the Globe reprinting the image, even with its own caution: “the authenticity is in question.” No kidding.

Happy marriages simply aren’t allowed in the tabloids’ version of Hollywood. Jennifer Aniston’s marriage is “in crisis” because husband Justin Theroux is away filming in Australia, claims the Globe, and John Travolta’s marriage to Kelly Preston is heading toward a $275 million divorce, claims the Enquirer, which for years has repeatedly floated this story questioning the actor’s sexuality, in the forlorn hope that one day it may be proven right.

“Hillary will never be President!” screams the Enquirer’s cover, accusing her of treason for leaking US intelligence, bribery for accepting a $145 million Russian “payoff” to the Clinton Foundation, and conspiracy for the Benghazi attack. “This means the end of Crooked Hillary,” a source tells the Enquirer, suspiciously echoing Donald Trump’s language to describe her. “You can stick a fork in her. She’s done!”

With such parasitic thoughts worming their way into tabloid-lovers’ brains, what will they make of the Globe’s full-page ad for a “Barack and Michelle Obama Commemorative Tribute” limited edition “heirloom-quality” statuette, nearly 12 inches tall and incredibly life-like: Barack in tuxedo and white tie, Michelle in red off-the-shoulder halter gown, both waving and smiling? Will they use the “hand-cast, hand-painted sculpture” for AR-15 target practice? Search the statuette’s “marble-look” base for a “Made in Kenya” stamp? Use it as a fancy spatula to flip their Trump Steaks on the grill?

“Dolly Parton in Gun Threat Drama!” screams the Enquirer. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the singer was threatened by a gunman – but no. Dolly was nowhere near when her brother opened the door to his Tennessee home with a gun in hand . . . because the Enquirer was knocking on his door. Seems like a reasonable response to me.

Muhammad Ali was a “gentle giant nobody knew,” according to the Enquirer, but to the Globe he led a “shocking double life,” leaving behind “four love children and died a victim of elder abuse.”

North Carolina blonde Pixee Fox has spent $125,000 to look like Jessica Rabbit, including having six ribs removed, liposuction, body sculpting, …read more

The fascinating and ego-killing existence of human wormholes

A few months ago, Chief Medicine Crow, one of the last remaining links to the Indian tribes of the wild west

A few months ago, Chief Medicine Crow, one of the last remaining links to the Indian tribes of the wild west died at age 102. He had grown up hearing stories about George Armstrong Custer from his grandfather, who’d been a scout for the doomed general at Little Bighorn in 1876. A soldier himself in the Second World War, Medicine Crow was one of the last Crows to ever accomplish the four deeds required to be considering a war chief (command a war party, steal an enemy horse, touch an enemy without killing him and taking an enemy’s weapon).

He was a fascinating man, not just for what he did but also for what he represents to us now. He was, to use a phrase coined by Jason Kottke, a “human wormhole.” His unusual and long live is a reminder to how connected the past and present really are.

A curator at the Smithsonian described meeting Medicine Crow as “you’re shaking hands with the 19th century.” Which an amazing concept. A few intrepid historians on reddit recently discovered an even more amazing one, calculating that it would take a chain of just six individuals who shook hands with one another to connect Barack Obama to George Washington across the centuries (Obama ->Queen Elizabeth II -> Herbert Hoover -> William H. Taft -> Benjamin Harrison -> William Henry Harrison -> Benjamin Harrison V -> George Washington).

I’ve become fascinated with discovering and tracking some of these reminders. For some time now, I’ve kept a file of them on 4×6 notecards in my house. My friends and I email these moments to each other as we find them — some absurd (Oscar Wilde and Walt Whitman may have hooked up), coincidental (Orson Welles claimed to have been in the Biograph Theater in Chicago where John Dillinger was killed by the FBI) and some that are so unbelievable that they might just blow your mind (there’s a video from a 1956 CBS game show, “I’ve Got a Secret,” with a very old guest whose secret was that he was in Ford’s Theatre when Lincoln was assassinated. Appearing with him on the show? Lucille Ball.)

Here in modern life, it’s easy to think the past is dead and distant, until we bump up against the reality of Faulkner’s admonition that it’s not really even past. England’s government only recently paid off debts it incurred as far back as 1720 from events like the South Sea Bubble, the Napoleonic wars, the empire’s abolition of slavery, and the Irish potato famine — meaning that for more than a decade and a half of the twenty first century there was still a direct and daily connection to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (The US is still paying pensions related to both the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.)

I’ll share a few more wormholes before I get to …read more