Day: July 7, 2016

It’s summer, so let the tabloid body shaming begin


It’s summer, so let the body shaming begin. The National Enquirer brings us four pages of “Celebs with Cellulite,” and Us magazine assaults us with six pages of “bikini diet tips,” which lamentably forget to include the genetic code for readers to reverse-engineer themselves to look like Gigi Hadid. People magazine sends mixed messages, offering two pages of hard-bodied stars splashing about in the ocean, along with eight pages of celebrities cooking dishes of dubious health benefit such as brown sugar bacon, honey-pepper cast-iron biscuits, and spaghetti with meatballs.

But don’t lose too much weight for the summer – the National Examiner warns that country singer Dolly Parton is 89 pounds and “wasting away.”

Comedy veteran Carol Burnett “Tells all before she dies!” screams the Globe, which is good, because it’s probably easier than telling all after she dies. What does she tell? Nothing to the Globe, which is going to have to wait with the rest of us for the publication of her memoir later this year, though that doesn’t stop the Globe speculating that Burnett was saddened by her daughter’s drug addiction. Seems like a stretch to me. What parent wouldn’t be proud of their child’s drug addiction?

With all the chaos surrounding Brexit, I must have missed the abdication at Buckingham Palace and Prince Charles’ refusal to accept the crown, because the Globe splashes its cover with: “Queen Kate’s Reign Begins – and she’s pregnant with twins!” Ignoring for a moment the fact that Kate Middleton remains Duchess of Cambridge and has not been named Queen, reports of her pregnancy with twins have been circulating since April, so she should be showing a considerable baby bump by now if it were true. A tabloid editor can dream, I suppose.

Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie is facing a $700 million “dirty divorce” according to the Enquirer, though she’s already lost more than half her fortune in the Globe, which accuses her husband of squandering Presley’s “$300 million fortune.” Maybe the missing $400 simply slipped behind the sofa cushions.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have separated and face a $480 million divorce, claims the Enquirer, which repeats this story almost weekly, and hasn’t been right yet. But a tabloid editor can dream.

Tom Cruise must be thinking he can’t win with the tabloids, and he’d be right. Accused repeatedly of not seeing his daughter Suri for almost three years – a statistic which actually means that the paparazzi haven’t seen Tom with Suri for three years – this week’s Enquirer claims that Cruise reunited with Suri “to get revenge on ex Katie.” Any other divorced father seeing his daughter would be enjoying legal visitation rights, but the Enquirer says that Cruise “snatched back” Suri. It’s rare that I feel sorry for Tom Cruise, but on this occasion I’ll make an exception.

It takes the National Examiner‘s world-respected religious correspondent to bring us the week’s most impressive tabloid revelation: a Bible prophecy “cover-up” and the “shocking truths the church …read more

Effectiveness not most important to Amazon sunscreen reviewers

via NIH

Shockingly, advice from trained dermatologists is more useful when buying sunscreen than Amazon reviews, or so a study by a lot of doctors says!

Some doctors examined the most highly rated sunscreens on Amazon and determined that many of them don’t work nearly as well as advertised. Disappointing, but probably not shocking.

Via the LA Times:

To get some insight into what makes sunscreen appealing, researchers from Northwestern University examined customer reviews on, where about 9% of all sunscreen is purchased. Among the 6,500 sunscreens available on the site, researchers focused on the 1% with the highest customer ratings.

Of these 65 sunscreens, seven (or 11%) did not have an SPF of at least 30, five (or 8%) did not protect against both UVA and UVB rays, and 25 (or 38%) were not designed to withstand water or sweat.

The most common reason that products in the study failed to meet the academy’s criteria was that they could be rinsed away by water or sweat.
Digging deeper into the top 1%, the researchers focused on the 10 with the most customer reviews — a proxy for popularity — and found that half of them weren’t water-resistant. That meant they flunked the dermatologists’ test.

After analyzing the top-rated comment for each of the 65 sunscreens, researchers found consumers cared more about factors like whether the product felt greasy or was difficult to rub in than they did about its effectiveness. However, effectiveness still outranked concerns about skin compatibility (i.e. whether a sunscreen caused acne) or about specific ingredients (such as nanoparticles or preservatives).

The products that made the top 1% ranged in price from 68 cents to $23.47 per ounce. In general, the sunscreens that met all of the American Academy of Dermatology’s guidelines were more expensive than those that fell short, researchers found.

Still, I trust their reviews on self-published books.

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I wanted a glass stovetop tea kettle


This $15 tea kettle is just fine!

I didn’t care about imparting off flavors to my tea. I rarely think about the heavy metals I’m clearly ingesting from a 20 year old stainless steel tea kettle. Mostly, the metal tea kettle is too difficult to clean. I know glass is easier to clean, and after a few decades I can use a change.

I figure cheap is also just fine. The water boils.

Medelco 12-cup Glass Stovetop Whistling Kettle via Amazon

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Here's what a song composed in 1400 BC sounds like


I can imagine Spock playing this song on his Vulcan lute.

From YouTube:

The Oldest known musical melody performed by the very talented Michael Levy on the Lyre. This ancient musical fragment dates back to 1400 B.C.E. and was discovered in the 1950’s in Ugarit, Syria. It was interpreted by Dr. Richard Dumbrill. He wrote a book entitled “The Archaeomusicology of the Ancient Near East.”

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Illy unsweetened canned espresso


When I’m in a rush between flights at the airport, I sometimes buy a canned Illy espresso from one of the stores in the terminal. It’s got 6.8 ounces of coffee and 10 grams of sugar. I don’t love sugar in my coffee, but it’s better than no espresso. I recently discovered that Illy sells unsweetened versions of the espresso. It’s pretty good, and I like being able to grab one from the fridge when I’m headed out the door. I wish the TSA would let me bring it on the plane.

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The Adobe KnowHow All-Inclusive Photography Bundle


Everyone with a smartphone has access to a great digital camera. And many apps are available that provide good enhancement and editing tools. But if you want to take your photography to a professional level, you need Adobe Photoshop. You can learn everything you need to know about this mission critical application now for 93% off of this all-inclusive course pack. There’s a reason why Photoshop is the leading industry standard for incredible images: it’s the most powerful application of its kind. And guess what? You can master it too.

These are not your friends’ filters. With these image skills, you could land yourself a new job and at the very least, a whole new world of creative hobbies. This is professional level artistry and you’ll never look at a photograph the same way again. Get on this level at 93% off this course pack and look at your career through a whole new lens.

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Ultra high-res time lapse video of Los Angeles

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 8.37.14 AM

Filmmaker Joe Capra says just released his new video PHASED | LA, shot in 12K 100 megapixel resolution. It’s gorgeous!

Shot by Joe Capra of, PHASED | LA was shot natively in 12K resolution entirely on the Phase One XF IQ3 100 megapixel camera . That is three times the resolution of existing 4K Ultra HD content, and each and every single frame of this film is 100 megapixels. With the latest software update to the XF system Phase One added a new timelapse mode which allows users to easily shoot extreme resolution timelapses. Having the ability to shoot in such extreme resolution allows you much more creative freedom and flexibility in post production, and this film’s purpose is to demonstrate that. You can punch in extremely far into a scene while maintaining massive amounts of detail.

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Rose, Mercedes and The Days Of The Dead


How do you encourage a dead woman to leave your house? It helps if you have a hammer, balloons and confetti.

This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., the story of actress/writer/artist Rose Portillo, and of the Los Angeles house she was born into. It was the scene of her family’s ascent, assimilation and culture clash, and of the long process, spanning life and death, of Rose coming to terms with the contentious spirit of her grandmother.

HOME is part of the Boing Boing Podcast Network.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | RSS

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Bitesize bio series launches with Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Jane Austen: An Illustrated Biography and

Virginia Woolf: An Illustrated Biography

by Zena Alkayat (author) and Nina Cosford (illustrator)


2016, 128 pages, 6.2 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches

$11 (Virgina Woolf) Buy a copy on Amazon

$14 (Jane Austen) Buy a copy on Amazon

Hand-written text, whimsical illustrations and lots of fun facts are combined into Library of Luminaries’ new series of Illustrated Biographies. The series launches with small, foil-embossed hardcover books about two famous authors – Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf. (The series will release Coco Chanel and Frida Khalo in August.) This collection is an easy way to learn about the lives and careers of classic authors – it’s like Cliff Notes for literature lovers.

Through bits about family histories, friendships, inspirations, career highlights and low points, the reader gets a glimpse into Austen and Woolf’s worlds. I knew some stuff about both authors’ backgrounds, but wow! I still learned a lot! I had no idea that Austen only earned the meager sum of 140 British pounds in royalties for two years’ worth of the sales for Sense and Sensibility. And that once Austen’s identity was made public, the Prince Regent contacted her directly because he was a huge fan of her books. She went on to dedicate Emma to him. I also didn’t know that Woolf loved dogs and had a pet marmoset named “Mitz,” nor did I know that it took 15 years for the book The Voyage Out to sell 2000 copies. We know these women had tragic lives, but they had joys too. I finished these books with a sigh.

– Carole Rosner

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ANSI board member thinks we should all pay for sex (and also pay to read the law)


We’ve long chronicled the adventures of rogue archivist Carl Malamud, who is being sued all over the world for publishing standards that have been incorporated into the law, on the basis that laws must be freely accessible and republishable in order to be legitimate (an iron-clad principle stretching all the way back to the Magna Carta).

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Post-Brexit, EU Commission plan to ram through disastrous Canada-EU trade deal dies


CETA — the “Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement” is a secretly negotiated deal between Canada and the EU, mirroring many of the most controversial provisions in notorious deals like ACTA, TPP, and TTIP — including the “corporate sovereignty” clauses that permit multinational corporations to sue governments in closed courts, and force them to repeal environmental, labour and safety rules (albeit dressed up in new clothes that make the provisions appear different, without making any real difference).

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Famous landmarks shot "from the wrong direction"


Pictured here is the Taj Mahal as seen from the Taj Mahal, by photographer Oliver Curtis. Curtis spent years creating a photo set of famous landmarks as they have never been seen—literally!

Brought up in the Cotswolds, Oliver began his photographic education studying photography at the renowned course at Filton Technical College in Bristol. He went on to study film and television at the London College of Printing and has been balancing work in stills and moving image ever since.

His first solo exhibition entitled Volte-face will premier at London’s Royal Geographical Society in September 2016.

Taken over a period of four years, Volte-face is a series of images taken at the world’s most photographed historic sites, buildings and monuments – but looking away from them. To coincide with the exhibition at the RGS a book of the project, featuring an essay by Geoff Dyer, will be published by Dewi Lewis Publishing Ltd.

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Worst boss ever asks how to be an even worse boss

Image: Flickr/State Farm

A manager wrote to the website “Ask a Manager” for advice on what she should do about an employee who quit after she was told she couldn’t miss work to attend her college graduation ceremony.

The manager wrote:

I’m a bit upset because she was my best employee by far. Her work was excellent, she never missed a day of work in the six years she worked here, and she was my go-to person for weekends and holidays.

Even though she doesn’t work here any longer, I want to reach out and tell her that quitting without notice because she didn’t get her way isn’t exactly professional. I only want to do this because she was an otherwise great employee, and I don’t want her to derail her career by doing this again and thinking it is okay. She was raised in a few dozen different foster homes and has no living family. She was homeless for a bit after she turned 18 and besides us she doesn’t have anyone in her life that has ever had professional employment. This is the only job she has had. Since she’s never had anyone to teach her professional norms, I want to help her so she doesn’t make the same mistake again. What do you think is the best way for me to do this?

The site has 1,842 comments for the manager.

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Claude Shannon, MOOCs, and nanoassembly: what 3D printing is really about


Neal Gershenfeld, founder of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, has been talking about making digital things physical and physical things digital longer than almost anyone, and his books — notably FAB: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop — are visionary and inspirational ways to think about how information technology has changed our species’ relationship with the universe; while the Fab Labs he helped invent represent the best and most thoughtful way that a makerspace can be built to suit local community needs.

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33-year-old mother enrolled in high school as a 15-year-old


When Wendy Brown was 33 years old, she used her 15 year old daughter’s identity and enrolled in high school as a sophomore. She tried and and was accepted on the cheerleading team. She was arrested two weeks later.

From Jeff Maysh’s profile in The Atlantic:

Brown says her husband took her to the mall to buy school clothes. (She says he was in on it, even encouraging her plan, but the judge later said that her husband had “no idea.”) She selected a fashionable Esprit shoulder bag. Then she flicked through racks of jeans and Levi’s clothing in the junior section. She weighed 103 pounds and wore a petite size. Brown tried on a pair of Nike shoes, the brand she always bought her own children. But the real trick was the voice. “I just did that little valley girl thing, the California thing,” Wendy says. In the coffee shop, she transforms her voice into an up-speaking teen’s. It is disquieting.

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Do Not Take Selfies With Lake Moose

Photo: Solomon Ratt

Rangers in Saskatchewan have warned the public against attempting to take selfies with a moose that often swims in Wascana Lake.

Lake Moose appears to have wandered from its more remote usual habitat to take up residence near a suburban park frequented by humans. It hasn’t done anything aggressive, and conservation experts want things to stay that way so they don’t have to shoot it.

Facebook users began posting pictures of the moose swimming near Spruce Island, on the southwest side of the lake, around 10 a.m. Monday morning. Passersby stopped to watch the moose during its swim and some canoeists even got a close-up view as it approached the shore of Spruce Island.

Leko reported the moose still in the water as of late Monday afternoon. He said the moose will not be shot, unless it “goes into attack mode.” He said in the worst-case scenario the moose would be tranquilized and relocated to its natural habitat.

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Former Fox host Gretchen Carlson sues over sexual harassment


Fox News chief Roger Ailes sexually harassed Gretchen Carlson and ended her career after being rebuffed, according to a lawsuit filed by the former Fox & Friends co-anchor.

Gretchen CarlsonCarlson alleged she was fired after rebuking sexual advances by Ailes and after trying to challenge the way that male colleagues treated her. She alleged that Ailes propositioned her sexually after she met with him last September to discuss discriminatory treatment. In one of the most inflammatory accusations, Carlson alleged Ailes told her, “I think you and I should have had a sexual relationship a long time ago and then you’d be good and better and I’d be good and better,” adding that “sometimes problems are easier to solve” that way. The lawsuit contends that in retaliation for Carlson’s complaints about the alleged harassment and discrimination, Ailes denied her “fair compensation, desirable assignments and other career-enhancing opportunities,” before eventually terminating her employment.

The Daily Beast openly suggests (albeit with a “Betteridge” headline) that Ailes is the “next Bill Cosby.” The impression that presenters are hired at Fox to someone’s tastes has long been in play; there’s no mystery regarding whose.


In response to learning of Carlson’s complaints, Carlson’s lawsuit alleges, Ailes purportedly responded by calling Carlson a “man hater” and telling her she needed to learn to “get along with the boys.” The lawsuit cites examples of Ailes’ alleged sexual and sexist comments, including claims that Ailes engaged in “ogling Carlson in his office and asking her to turn around so he could view her posterior,” “commenting repeatedly about Carlson’s legs,” and “claiming that Carlson saw everything as if it ‘only rains on women’ and admonishing her to stop worrying about being treated equally and ‘getting offended so God damn easy about everything.’”

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Mushroom coffee, Voodoo Floss, and more – Tim Ferriss's favorite tools


This week, Kevin Kelly and I spoke with author Tim Ferriss for the Cool Tools podcast. We had a great time chatting about his favorite tools, including a microphone with a built-in recorder, a food-expiration app, sports injury tape, and mushroom coffee.

Subscribe to the Cool Tools Show on iTunes | RSS | Transcript | Download MP3 | See all the Cool Tools Show posts on a single page

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Deals on gadgets from Boing Boing and Morningsave


We’ve come together with our pals at Morningsave to offer you a couple neat gadgets! All three were things we collectively thought were fun to play with, and that you might like! Check them out…

First up, for only $39, we’ve got the Ion Audio Vinyl Motion Portable Turntable. This portable record player comes in a suitcase, just like that first record player you got 40 years. Unlike the tinny sounding beast of yesteryear, this guy comes with both RCA and USB outputs! Readers with an eye to the future will encode their vinyl as MP3s!

Next we’ve got the Nabi Look HD action camera. Unlike more expensive models, at 5 to 10x the price, this camera is cheap. $35 cheap. If you want a camera that’ll record 1080p video, in an underwater housing, that you don’t mind losing or destroying, this is the camera for you! While the Nabo Look outputs to microSD, and has a bunch of other features, mostly what this camera is notable for is not being valuable. Opens up a lot of possibilities in the world of action cameras, doesn’t it?


I was excited to see some photos taken with the Cheerson CX-10C Video Cam Quadcopter. I am still waiting. Thus far I can barely get the thing to hover without careening into a wall. The copter does come with a 2GB microSD card and certainly implies that a competent pilot could capture some interesting shots. Maybe you’ll have better luck. I’d stick with the record player.

All three of our Morningsave deals will be available until Bastille Day, where in solidarity with our French friends we will close the sale.

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#FalconHeights: Philando Castile is the latest Black man shot dead by police on camera “for no reason at all”

Philando Castile (credit: Castile Family)

Philando Castile, 32, was shot dead tonight after being pulled over by a Minneapolis cop for a busted tail light. His girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, captured the aftermath of the shooting via Facebook Live video. Her daughter, 4, is reported to have been seated in the back seat of the vehicle when the police officer shot into it, striking Castile. The victim died of his injuries within hours at Hennepin County Medical Center nearby. (more…)

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