Day: July 29, 2016

Zika-infected mosquitos are now in the U.S.

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It looks like Zika-infected mosquitos have finally made their way to the U.S. Four people who live in the Miami-Dade and Broward counties of Florida came down with the Zika virus in early July, and they all contracted it locally, most likely from mosquito bites.

“These are the first cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in the continental United States,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a news briefing Friday. “As we have anticipated, Zika is now here.”

Although the Zika virus isn’t usually dangerous for most people, it can be devastating for the fetus of a pregnant women. But for now the CDC says that because of aggressive measures to control these mosquitos, they don’t expect a widespread transmission of the virus. Still, pregnant women in Florida should take precautions.

“We know this virus is most detrimental to expecting mothers,” he [Florida Gov. Rick Scott] said. “If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant and live in the impacted area, I urge you to contact your OB/GYN for guidance and to receive a Zika prevention kit. I also ask every Floridian to take proper precautions by eliminating any standing water and wearing insect repellent.”

The CDC will be reevaluating the situation daily.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.

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Pregnancy-tracking app was riddled with vulnerabilities, exposing extremely sensitive personal information

Consumer Reports Labs tested Glow, a very popular menstrual cycle/fertility-tracking app, and found that the app’s designers had made a number of fundamental errors in the security and privacy design of the app, which would make it easy for stalkers or griefers to take over the app, change users’ passwords, spy on them, steal their identities, and access extremely intimate data about the millions of women and their partners who use the app.
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Cop in bikini tackles thief to the ground before his arrest

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It’s not the clothes that make the cop. Police officer Mikaela Kellner was sunbathing in Stockholm with friends, including another off-duty female cop, when a homeless man approached them selling newspapers. According to Aol.News:

As the man lingered, Kellner grew suspicious. Her suspicions were confirmed just as he started to walk away when her friend noticed her cell phone was missing.

The bikini-clad cop then ran 15 meters, tackled the man and held him down until fellow on-duty officers were arrived to make the arrest.

Kellner says that in her 11 years of being a cop, it’s the first time she’s made an arrest while wearing a bikini, but says she’d go further than that. She would have arrested the thief even if she’d been naked.
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How to hack that nutty electronic Chewbacca mask

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Remember that video showing the overwhelming glee of the woman enjoying her new Chewbacca mask? Our hyper talented maker pal John Park recorded this instructional video on hacking the Chewbacca Electronic Mask so you can upload any sounds you want, including the crazed laughter of the woman in that wonderful video!

You can still find the mask for sale but, predictably, the third party sellers on Amazon have bumped up the price: Star Wars The Force Awakens Chewbacca Electronic Mask

And here are John’s instructions for the hack: Happy Chewbacca Mask (Adafruit Industries)

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Rare trio of life size posters from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly offered this weekend

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A trio of iconic posters for the world premiere of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (PEA, 1966) is set to star in Heritage Auctions’ upcoming Movie Posters Signature Auction, July 30-31. The final epic from Sergio Leone’s Man with No Name trilogy, it is ranks amongst the best westerns ever produced. Each poster features one of the three stars; Eastwood, Van Cleef and Wallach. The set was produced for the film’s December, 1966 world premiere in Rome, a full year before the American release. Each measuring 39” X 110,” they are easily the most powerful posters created for the film. The scarcity of these linen pieces is second to none, as very few from the minuscule production run were saved.

Full Auction Description:

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (PEA, 1966). Italian Premiere Displays Set of 3 (39″ X 110″).
Following the success of A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, audiences were clamoring for more of director Sergio Leone’s brash new style of Western. Executives at United Artists approached Leone, screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni, and producer Alberto Grimaldi to gauge their interest in a third film.

A deal was struck insuring a budget of $1.3 million and production was soon underway. In Spain, an international cast and crew was assembled which featured Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the feature roles. But even with a powerhouse director and three first rate stars, the production was plagued with mishaps, several of which threatened the very lives of the stars. Eli Wallach recalled that on one occasion, a crew member placed a jar of acid next to his soda. When Wallach reached for his drink, he inadvertently drank from the acid, nearly poisoning himself in the process! Stories of a film set, out of control, became almost as legendary as the film itself. In the end, the film proved lucrative for United Artists with a worldwide box office take of over 25 million dollars!

Opening in Italy in 1966, American audiences had to wait over a year for the film to hit their shores. But by then, word had spread that this “Spaghetti Western” was nothing short of sheer genius. This trio of country of origin posters was created for the Rome premiere of the film on December 15th, 1966.

Each display is composed of two panels depicting the three stars; Eastwood, Van Cleef and Wallach. These three pieces are arguably the greatest posters ever created for the best and final film in The Man With No Name trilogy. The scarcity of these posters is second to none and an opportunity for ownership is not likely to come along again any time soon. The posters have small chips, tears and pinholes in the borders, small stains at the bottom and small chips and tears along the folds. The Eastwood poster has a tear in his foot and leg and a toned horizontal crease at the top. The Van Cleef poster has diagonal tears in the …read more

Fantastic infographic of cannabis strains

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Boing Boing pal Jody Radzik designed this incredible infographic of marijuana strains for Berkeley, California’s Patient’s Care Collective who claim to be “the longest continuously operating medical marijuana dispensary on the planet.” Click the images to expand (your mind)!

“The chart basically expands upon the traditional sativa-indica-hybrid classification scheme in a way that helps folks to make sense of the bewildering array of choices in marijuana medicine available at the PCC, as well as just about any other dispensary in the state,” Jody explains.

Far fucking out.

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Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)

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Whenever we go back to my husband’s hometown for any of the summer holidays – Flag Day, July 4th, or Labor Day – there is always a little taco cart sitting at the park with the rest of the food trucks. This one cart always a line stretching out in front and around the corner with people waiting to get their mitts on classic street tacos, burritos, and grilled Mexican street corn (elotes) slathered in sauce.

There is absolutely no way to eat this messy corn on the cob delicately, but usually you’re not alone since half of the other people gathering for the event are equally covered in it as well. Small town events, and their street cart food, mean that summer is really here!

Continue reading “Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)” »

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The Creative Architect – An iconic '50s creativity study finally comes to light in book form

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See sample pages from this book at Wink.

In 1958 and ’59, an unprecedented study was conducted by the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research at the University of California, Berkeley. The idea was to apply the latest psychological tests on the world’s most famous and accomplished architects to try and determine what makes them so creative and successful. In studying them, could some magical key to creativity be discovered?

Astoundingly, some 40 major architects volunteered, including Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Philip Johnson, George Nelson, Louis Kahn, and A. Quincy Jones. The group spent three days being subjected to a battery of tests, sitting for interviews, even evaluating the creative and design prowess of each other. While the idea was to publish the results of the tests at the time, besides some news and fluff pieces about the study, and some superficial conclusions about the nature of the creative impulse that drove these design superstars, the full results of the study have remained unpublished until this impressive new release from Monacelli Press.

The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study is a lovely and thought-provoking time-capsule of a book. Through its numerous black and white photos and reprints of the research materials, correspondences between the subjects of the study and the psychologists, and news clippings of the day, the book paints a surprisingly evocative picture of this unique study and the era in which it was conducted. Reading the test results, in the architects’ own hands, and the evaluations of the researchers, is fascinating.

So, what conclusions did the study finally reach? Nothing earth shattering. Going into the study, the research group had circulated a list of “genius” attributes from a 1957 book about Freud, which included things like “the power of deep concentration, tremendous patience, and self-discipline…” and “ability to generalize from the particular and to separate the significant from the unimportant…” Drawn from the data, the conclusion of the study: “What propels creativity is the unfettered expression of the self,” “finding the solution to a problem is not sufficient to bring them personal satisfaction: there is a further demand for the solution to be elegant,” and the discovery that creative individuals “consistently safeguard their self-determination in order to stay their course and pursue what interests them no matter what, in a fierce escape from conformism of thought and behavior.”

The Creative Architect: Inside the Great Midcentury Personality Study doesn’t contain any easy, replicable recipes for living a creative life, for becoming a design god. But what it does do is curate a captivating collection of literal and figurative snapshots from a peak time in design history and the creative genius that drove it. And that is ultimately very inspiring.

[RELATED: Here’s an excellent podcast episode about the study from 99% Invisible. – Mark]

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Computational thermoforming is fun to watch

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Here’s a very clear video showing how to create textured 3D objects with complex shapes.

From the YouTube description:

We propose a method to fabricate textured 3D models using thermoforming. Differently from industrial techniques, which target mass production of a specific shape, we propose a combined hardware and software solution to manufacture customized, unique objects. Our method simulates the forming process and converts the texture of a given digital 3D model into a pre-distorted image that we transfer onto a plastic sheet. During thermoforming, the sheet deforms to create a faithful physical replica of the digital model. Our hardware setup uses off-the-shelf components and can be calibrated with an automatic algorithm that extracts the simulation parameters from a single calibration object produced by the same process.

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Man must pay child support, even though DNA shows he's not the father

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Chris Atkin’s says he doesn’t mind that a court is forcing him to pay $730 a month in child support for a daughter that isn’t his, but he would also like to be able to see her because he feels like a father to her.

From Fox31 Denver:

“I just want my daughter, but I can’t even see her, but yet I’m still paying child support. And the biological father has been found and he gets to spend time with her. I don’t get nothing,” Atkins said.

He accused his ex-wife Lori Lonnquist of ignoring court custody orders that grant him visitation while still collecting child support.

When asked if she was being greedy, Lonnquist said, “Maybe, but I don’t feel bad about it, I really don’t.”

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Cross "learn to code" off your bucket list

Looks like all of your potential employers are hiring candidates with programming skills (which you don’t have). With all of the languages out there today, it’s tough to know where to start.

With the Complete Front-End to Back-End Coding Bundle, you can beef your resume up in all the right places, no confusion necessary.

This package of hands-on courses teaches you everything from the basics to more advanced material (including the finer points of languages like Ruby, Python, and Scala).

You’ll learn how to create a website CMS, improve your website’s user interface, and create JavaScript events—all for just $69 (95% off the usual price). And with lifetime access to thousands of hours of content in the bundle, you can always refresh your memory whenever things get fuzzy.

So if you’re serious about kickstarting your career, grab one of these coding bundles while they’re hot.

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Customer claims that a fake-urinating toy sexually assaulted her at a restaurant

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Trouble at a a Tennessee restaurant. From The Independent:

Murfreesboro Police officers were dispatched to the Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse on a sexual assault complaint after a woman was sprayed with water by a toy that looks like a man peeing.

James Lassiter, the woman’s husband, told police that the toy had a penis and that he and his wife were upset because the act was done in front of their four children. However, police on the scene found that the fake-pee spraying toy did not come with a penis.

“People are missing the point. This was a sexually-oriented toy meant for adults, in front of minor children,” the Lassiters said in a statement. “We’re not trying to make money off of this. If the toy was in a bar, it’d be a different situation, but this was in a family restaurant with 13 to 14-year-olds at the table. If people think it’s so funny, why don’t people go buy that toy and squirt a cop in the face with it and see what happens.”

Police have not filed charges yet.

The video interview of the assault victim and her husband is a must-watch. Here are some screen grabs:

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Shetland pony in a pub

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A Shetland pony wandered into a bar in England and had to be coaxed out with snacks after guzzling ale from pints left out on tables. This is completely normal in England, as the legal drinking height for equines was lowered after the passage of the Horses and Ponies in Public Houses Act (2004)

‘He is not a big drinker but he does walk around like he’s a bit drunk but he is very friendly and likes meeting new things and people.’

Pub regulars have a soft spot for 12-year-old Mocha, who has managed to sneak into the pub twice since his owner bought him five years ago.

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DCCC hack: FBI probes Democratic congressional group intrusion; Links to DNC hack and Russia investigated

Congressional candidates that are running for office and being supported by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee watch a video while standing onstage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 27, 2016.   REUTERS

Yet another U.S. Democratic Party group has been hacked, the FBI said today. This latest cyberattack against the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (or DCCC) could be related to an earlier hack against the Democratic National Committee, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources on the FBI investigation.

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Happy Sysadmin Day, Ken!

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It’s Sysadmin Day, when we recognize the tireless, selfless, talented administrators who toil in obscurity and keep every part of our world running: for Boing Boing, that’s Mr Ken Snider, an extraordinarily skilled, patient, and upstanding fellow who has kept Boing Boing running for more than a decade, through thick and thin, and is our best hope and first line of defense against everything that the internet and its many ravening hordes of badness and entropy throw at us. Happy SA Day, Ken — you’re the very, very best.

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Trump campaign frisks, then blocks ticketed Washington Post reporter at Pence rally

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The Trump Campaign showed its cowardice when it announced that journalists who asked tough questions of the candidate or reported negatively on the campaign would not be given press-credentials for future events, but when campaign security blocked a ticketed Washington Post reporter from attending Mike Pence inaugural vice-presidental rally in Milwaukee, a regular, law-abiding private citizen who bought a ticket and showed up like all the other attendees — it reached a new low.
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Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz calls Apple's tax strategy a "fraud"

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2001 Nobel laureate in economics Joseph Stiglitz has a long history of being on the right side of history. For example: pricing the Iraq war at $3T; raising the alarm about sovereign wealth funds acquiring US debt; nailing the double-standard on bailouts for debt crises (and the way that this destabilizes poor countries); sounding the alarm about austerity in times of recesssion; coming out early and strong over wealth concentration; calling for the imprisonment of the top executives at Barclays bank; and damning the TPP as “the worst trade deal ever.”
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Watch: Hillary Clinton drags Trump (who tweets back) in historic speech claiming nomination

[REUTERS]

The speech Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gave tonight in accepting her party’s nomination blew this American woman’s mind. I never thought I’d live to see the day a woman had a real shot at becoming President. I watched the speech on one screen, and the reactions of female friends and peers on the internet on my iphone, and wept.


Oh my god they’re treating a woman like me as if she is a complete human being I’m weeping

— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) July 29, 2016

You are watching a woman take power and her husband is watching with pride. We have never been just for ourselves before like this.

— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) July 29, 2016

To the men, I wish you knew…how it feels right now. No matter who you support. Just how this is, right now. #DemConvention

— Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) July 29, 2016

I’ve never heard a presidential candidate tell white people to do this. #DemConvention pic.twitter.com/NWdjEUStx7

— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) July 29, 2016

that condescending “no, Donald, you don’t.” line was perfect. that’ll drive him absolutely nuts

— shrillary tintin (@theshrillest) July 29, 2016

MEN: Talk less
HRC: What
MEN: Smile more
HRC: Huh
MEN: Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for
HRC: You can’t be serious

— Steve Horton (@tropicalsteve) July 29, 2016

Clinton quotes Hamilton: “Though ‘we may not live to see the glory, let us gladly join the fight.'”

— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) July 29, 2016

WE HAVE NEVER HAD THIS. WE HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS. IT IS LIKE A MOON LANDING FOR WOMEN. https://t.co/M97iyNbp9r

— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) July 29, 2016


In her speech, Clinton offered hope for the future, a promise of jobs and affordable education and health care for the middle class, and an inclusive vision of America led by its first female president.

Say what you want about her delivery, but for a year, 16 men tried & failed to hobble Trump. Tonight Hillary completely eviscerated him

— Ethan Weiss (@ethanjweiss) July 29, 2016

The temperament argument is the core of her case: “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons.”

— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) July 29, 2016

I’m a scientist and I cried. https://t.co/I9ye6fJfuo

— Jamie Abaied (@jabaied) July 29, 2016

A little girl born to teenagers & neglected as a child raised the first woman presidential candidate in our 240yr history. That’s America.

— Michelle Ruiz (@michelleruiz) July 29, 2016

Buy popcorn futures, everyone. https://t.co/JudpXM5oyp

— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) July 29, 2016

Donald Trump. YABURNT

— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) July 29, 2016

Kind of amazing that we’re watching a female presidential nominee argue that her male opponent is too hysterical & emotionally volatile.

— kelly (@kelly_erin) July …read more

Hillary Clinton accepts Democratic party nomination for president

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The first woman to be nominated, and to accept, a major party’s nomination as president of the United States of America. I came to America 15 years ago, and it took me 15 years to get citizenship: Trump is a chump—and I am with her. As your resident pet English muppet, I exhort you to vote for Hillary Clinton.

That said, I’m slightly disappointed that she went for a white pantsuit instead of the usual Space Federation Onesie she’s been rocking lately. Alas, in politics, no-one gets everything they want.

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