Day: September 12, 2016

Video for High on Fire's "The Black Plot" will melt your face off!


If this retro, psychedelic D&D/Masters of the Universe animation meets a crank-boosted acid trip doesn’t blow your neck bolts, I don’t know what will. This animated short film/music video for Oakland doomy metal legends, High on Fire, was put together by “psychedelic nightmare” painter, Skinner (also from Oakland) and New York design and animation house, Hey Beautiful Jerk.


For best results: View in the dark, on the widest possible screen, with the volume cranked up loud enough to rattle your neighbor’s windows.

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Randomly Generated Catalog of Creepily Nondescript Domestic Surveillance Equipment



The most important thing we build is trust

Do not disclose to the public or media. Specifications subject to change without disclosure or mercy. Feature descriptions may be incomplete.

Contact Rob Beschizza at our Sales Department to discuss your requirements.

Refresh the page for a new catalogue of creepily nondescript police state technology you can’t buy.












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How you can help India's first free public library for the Tibetan exile community


Earlier this year, I wrote about a wonderful library project that Tibetan friends in India are putting together for a Tibetan exile community there, with the support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Here’s an update from my friend Phuntsok Dorjee, who is one of the organizers.

The Dalai Lama speaks to his followers at the Gaden Jangtse Thoesam Norling Monastery in Mundgod, 2014. REUTERS

The Dalai Lama speaks to his followers at the Gaden Jangtse Thoesam Norling Monastery in Mundgod, 2014. REUTERS


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Greed turned cheese bright orange

American Cheese!

The discussion of last weeks post about American Cheese led me to this article on NPR.

Cheese was once colored bright orange to falsely imply it had lots of yellow/orange pigmented cream in it, a sign of quality several centuries ago. The cream had been skimmed, for sale elsewhere, so the cheese mongers colored the cheese.

Greed is all natural, right?

Via NPR:

Cheese expert Paul Kindstedt of the University of Vermont explains that back in the 17th century, many English cheesemakers realized that they could make more money if they skimmed off the cream — to sell it separately or make butter from it.

But in doing so, most of the color was lost, since the natural orange pigment is carried in the fatty cream.

So, to pass off what was left over — basically low-fat cheese made from white milk — as a high-quality product, the cheesemakers faked it.

“The cheesemakers were initially trying to trick people to mask the white color [of their cheese],” explains Kindstedt.

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Woman stuck by needle in Target in parking lot awarded $4.6 million


In May 2014, Carla Denise Garrison’s 8-year-old daughter picked up a hypodermic needle in the parking lot of a Target in Anderson, South Carolina. When Garrison swatted the needle away from her daughter, she accidentally jabbed herself with the needle. Garrison was prescribed medication to prevent contracting diseases from the needle, which made her bedridden. She asked Target to pay $12,000 to cover her medical bills. Target said no, so she sued Target and was awarded $4.6 million.

From USA Today:

According to court documents, the HIV drugs made Garrison sick and caused her to be bedridden. Garrison’s husband, Clint, had to take time off work to care for her, according to her attorney.

“When we started this, we were just trying to get Target to make my client whole, to pay for her medical bills and the time that her husband had to take off work,” said Garrison’s attorney, Joshua Hawkins of Greenville. “We tried to be reasonable and not take this to trial. But Target took a really hard stance on it … and I think the jury sent a message.”

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Digital Painting Techniques – Art tutorials by many different artists


Digital Painting Techniques: Masters Collection Vol. 1

by 3dtotal

Focal Press

2016, 288 pages, 8.8 x 11.2 x 1 inches (softcover)

$30 Buy a copy on Amazon

At first glance, Digital Painting Techniques appears to be a step-by-step tutorial book. It is . . . in a way. This isn’t a follow-along/how-to-draw book where you copy what you see. Rather, it introduces you to both the techniques and styles of many artists and the steps that they take to accomplish goals. It’s really more liberating this way – you’re free to work on any subject matter while still following along with the tutorials.

Digital Painting Techniques focuses on essential basics like creating custom brushes, speed painting, creating environments, nailing key human characteristics, integrating photography, and more. Some of the artists have even provided free resources (brushes, images, and artwork) that can be downloaded from the Focal Press website for free.

Filled with more than just great tutorials, the book is filled with inspirational artwork that will get your creative juices flowing. The only downside is that you will want to try to replicate the artwork, and then you will feel discouraged when it fails to meet the same quality as the original. For this reason, I highly recommend applying the methods and techniques to your own original creations. This book is for beginner and intermediate digital painters, and great works of art are not going to come pouring out of the computer right away. But, with some practice, you can be on your way to creating your own unique paintings and illustrations.

– Robert Nava

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Cheesy Hamburger Pasta Skillet

Philly Cheesesteak Pasta Skillet

There is a slightly guilty side of me that loves the kind of macaroni and ground beef skillet dish that comes from a box. It always reminds me of rowdy dinners at home growing up, with my brothers and sisters all around.

This from-scratch version is nearly as easy as the boxed kind, and just as comforting. It also feeds a crowd and makes excellent leftovers!

Continue reading “Cheesy Hamburger Pasta Skillet” »

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Blue Origin to follow suborbital New Shepard with orbital New Glenn

Blue Origin founder tweeted out this infographic showing how its planned New Glenn rocket family stacks up against other rockets. Credit: Blue Origin

Jeff Bezos announced Sept. 12 via Twitter that Blue Origin plans to build a family of orbital rockets it’s calling New Glenn.

Both the two-stage and three-stage versions of the rocket would stand taller than the United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Heavy and SpaceX Falcon Heavy, according to the infographic the Blue Origin and founder tweeted.

Blue Origin’s next step…meet New Glenn #NewGlenn #GradatimFerociter

— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) September 12, 2016

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