Day: October 3, 2016

Trump Foundation supports anti-vaxx movement

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When Donald Trump does give money it is for an evil cause.

As Donald Trump’s personal foundation looks more and more like a slush fund, we find out that one of the charities he supports is the Anti-Vaxx movement. The Donald gave money to Jenny McCarthy’s idiotic Generation Rescue.

Via the Daily Beast:

His monetary support for the conspiracy theory came in the form of a $10,000 check to an anti-vaccine charity run by former Playboy model and television host Jenny McCarthy.

Trump’s monetary and moral support for McCarthy’s discredited ideas have real, harmful effects—they contribute to the mainstreaming of a conspiracy theory at a time when parents are increasingly deciding to opt out of vaccines despite medical advice.

Not vaccinating your children is as dangerously stupid as voting for Donald.

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A mind-blowing technique for cleaning deep-fry oil using gelatin

I’ve been going nuts with my $22 deep fryer. The thing I don’t like is having to replace the coconut oil I use. It starts to get expensive. But here is an interesting article at Serious Eats about how to clean fryer grease using gelatin. I’m going to try it!

Holy cow, this may have really worked! I was left with a solid disk of gelatin, filled with specks of burnt flour and other assorted gunk. Everything was looking great so far. Now for the true test: Could I cook in it?

I heated up the clarified oil on the stovetop and was alarmed, as it started bubbling a little while heating—an indication that there were still at least a few microscopic droplets of water in the fat—but with a little shaking, the bubbles soon completely dissipated, and the oil continued to heat up just like any fresh oil would. Once it hit the desired temperature, I fried a few pieces of green bean tempura in it, followed by a small batch of fried chicken. Both recipes came out perfect, as if they’d been cooked in not-quite-fresh-but-still-super-clean oil (bear in mind, this oil was on its last legs before I filtered it).

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New York Attorney General bans Trump Foundation from raising money in NY state

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Following news reports showed that Donald J. Trump’s nonprofit foundation did not have the proper paperwork to raise donations, the office of New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued a “notice of violation” to the non-profit, “ordering it to immediately stop soliciting donations in New York,” reports the New York Times.

The letter, which was sent on Friday and released on Monday morning by Mr. Schneiderman’s office, said that its charities bureau had determined that the Donald J. Trump Foundation had been fund-raising in New York this year when it was not registered to do so under state law.

“The Trump Foundation must immediately cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fund-raising activities in New York,” wrote James Sheehan, the chief of the charities bureau.

Mr. Trump’s foundation has come under increasing scrutiny amid questions about his fulfillment of large charitable pledges and his lack of financial support in recent years.

The foundation’s compliance with the rules that govern nonprofit groups has also been a concern. The New York Times reported last month that Mr. Trump’s foundation does not show up on the charity registers in many states and The Washington Post subsequently reported that the foundation did not have the certification necessary to solicit money in New York.

Read the NY AG’s letter here.

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A melody written by a crowd, now looking for lyrics

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This song was written by popular vote on which note should follow the previous voted upon note. Now that the melody is complete, CrowdSound is asking the crowd to vote on the lyrics, one word at a time.

12,768 participants from 115 countries have participate in voting on the lyrics so far. Here’s what they written to date:

Underneath the stars

dreaming of another world

wishing for another chance to remember when

everything was was easier…

Which word should come next?

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Sen Mitch McConnell blames Obama for bill that Obama vetoed and McConnell repeatedly voted for

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Congress has overridden Obama’s repeated veto for the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” which allows US citizens to sue the Saudi government over its alleged complicity in the 9/11 attacks — and which may allow people in other countries hamed by actions sponsored by the US government sue the US in those countries’ courts.
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Things I miss: The Swanson TV Dinner

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I remember, as a child, actively wanting to eat! Inexplicably, one of the things I really loved was the Swanson TV Dinner!

During World War II the United States needed a quick and tasty meal that workers could enjoy with minimal preparation after a day in the factory. The meals were so popular that by the 1950s millions upon millions of Swanson TV Dinners were being sold. A nation eating in front of the teevee!

The cardboard turkey! The overly sweet cranberries! Peas! Totally reconstituted mashed potatoes before they got nearly as real tasting as PotatoBuds are today! I could not forget Swanson’s Turkey TV dinner if I tried. These were marketed, during my childhood, as a quick and awesome way for a family to all have dinner together, while watching television.

Oh, how I loved me a TV Dinner! Learning to pre-heat an oven, or to set and get the tin tray without burning myself were both big deals as a kid. I was INDEPENDENT and feeding myself!

By the mid 70s there were quite a few varieties, not just the Turkey, Chicken and Beef. I loved the tin tray of Salisbury Steak, which I still remember as a faux-hamburger patty with some sort of gravy. I dream of the weird Apple Crumble dessert thing that came with one of the meals, basically just canned apple and some butter/flour stuff. You could even, if you had a big appetite, get a HUNGRY MAN meal, and get twice the bland, congealed food-stuff!

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To kill the TV dinner it took the Microwave. Swanson seemed to resist converting to a plastic/paper/soy material tray that was safe for the new ‘Nuclear Oven.’ While Swanson paused, they also lost the market. Brands like Lean Cusine and others, offering food that tasted much better and didn’t create arcing showers of sparks were preferred.

I miss you Swanson TV Dinners!

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Guy stands in front of rip-off exchange bureau in Prague to warn tourists

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Janek runs an online guide to Prague. In this video, he stood in front of an infamous tourist trap exchange bureau in Prague all day and warned people who walked in to go down the street to a legit exchange office. The rip-off place sells 15 CZK for 1 EUR. Legitimate places will give you 27 koruna for a euro.

The tourist trap called the city police, but Janek made his case that he was within his rights to warn tourists about the place. So the tourist trap called the state police, and the same thing happened. The tourist trap also handed Janek a letter threatening to send him to prison for two years. Janek was not dissuaded.

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Chicken Stew with Tomatillo Sauce

Tomatillo Chicken Stew with Potatoes and Corn

Tomatillos are those green “tomatoes” with the papery skin you often see near the chili peppers in the produce section at the grocery store. They have a bright, tart flavor and form the foundation of many Mexican sauces.

This easy stovetop chicken stew with corn and potatoes uses just such a sauce. It’s a perfect meal for right now – all the fresh flavors of summer, but so warming on a crisp fall day.

Continue reading “Chicken Stew with Tomatillo Sauce” »

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Quit wasting time on repetitive tasks with this award-winning Mac app

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Keyboard Maestro is Macworld Editor’s Choice winning productivity software for good reason. The original and main feature is its macro workflow. You can set up macros to do basically anything. Do you use a VPN? Set up a hotkey that opens your VPN, logs in, and chooses your favorite server in a matter of seconds. Take a lot of photos? Program Keyboard Maestro to import all your photos every time you plug in your phone. Macros can transform your workflow, and if you haven’t tried it, it’s time to make up for lost time.

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Keyboard Maestro also features a text clipboard feature. This tool allows you to create shortcuts for sentences and even full emails that you type all the time. It also performs Safari and Chrome actions like filling out forms you constantly come across online. We are barely skimming the surface on what you can program this app to do, but these are some simple fixes that are really easy to program.

We are really excited to have this useful app on sale in the Boing Boing Store now for just $19.99.

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Survivors of CIA torture describe homebrew electric chair used at Afghan black site

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Lufti al-Arabi, a Tunisian man who was arrested in Pakistan while studying at university, spent 13 years in the CIA’s notorious “Salt Pit” prison (AKA “Detention Site COBALT”) in Afghanistan, enduring incredible, crippling torture, before finally being released without charge, comment, or compensation in 2015; in his first interview since his release, he tells Human Rights Watch about the inhumane tortures of the Salt Pit, including some tortures that were apparently omitted from the CIA’s suppressed torture report to the US Senate.
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Visualizing the latent emotional and bureaucratic labor in our material world

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Work, today’s XKCD installment, hypothesizes the latent, invisible human effort that went into the everyday things around us, from the hours of meeting-time to decide upon the length of the stem of a goose-neck lamp to the career-ending engineering argument over where to put its switch. It’s a kind of preview of what augmented reality could bring, the embodiment of the spime idea, where the full costs and histories of the things around us cluster around them in complicated, emotional clouds — an idea that’s been around since at least 2006, but that is feeling increasingly likely with the passage of time.

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Meth, Hitler and the Reich: the true, untold story of the Nazis' dependence on coke, meth and oxy

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Novelist Norman Ohler became fascinated with the Third Reich’s reliance on opiods and methamphetamines when DJ Alexander Kramer mentioned it to him in passing; he set out to write a novel, but in Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich he produced what historian and authority on the Third Reich Ian Kershaw called “a serious piece of scholarship.”
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Robots 3D-printed with shock-absorber skins

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MIT researchers developed a method to 3D print robots with soft, shock-absorbing materials that can be “programmed” to desired elasticity to protect bouncing bots, drones making hard landings, and eventually phones, shoes, helmets and other materials. From MIT News:

For example, after 3-D printing a cube robot that moves by bouncing, the researchers outfitted it with shock-absorbing “skins” that use only 1/250 the amount of energy it transfers to the ground.>{?

“That reduction makes all the difference for preventing a rotor from breaking off of a drone or a sensor from cracking when it hits the floor,” says (MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory director Daniela) Rus, who oversaw the project and co-wrote a related paper. “These materials allow us to 3-D print robots with visco-elastic properties that can be inputted by the user at print-time as part of the fabrication process…”

“It’s hard to customize soft objects using existing fabrication methods, since you need to do injection moulding or some other industrial process,” says Lipton. “3-D printing opens up more possibilities and lets us ask the question, ‘can we make things we couldn’t make before?”

Using a standard 3-D printer, the team used a solid, a liquid, and a flexible rubber-like material called TangoBlack+ to print both the cube and its skins. The PVM process is related to (CSAIL Director Daniela) Rus’ previous 3-D printed robotics work, with an inkjet depositing droplets of different material layer-by-layer and then using UV light to solidify the non-liquids.

The cube robot includes a rigid body, two motors, a microcontroller, battery, and inertial measurement unit sensors. Four layers of looped metal strip serve as the springs that propel the cube.

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Republican Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore removed from office for gross misconduct

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It’s officially a suspension, but it lasts the rest of his term: Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was removed from office for gross misconduct Friday for abusing his office to try and block same-sex marriage legislation. It’s his second canning; always the same old shit with Roy.

Moore’s misconduct regarding same-sex marriage litigation was sweeping and extensive. In January of 2015, a federal judge invalidated the state’s same-sex marriage ban. Moore promptly wrote letters to probate judges insisting that they remained legally prohibited from marrying gay people—in effect, demanding that they violate a federal court order. In May of that year, the judge explicitly held that probate judges must issue marriage licenses to all couples, same-sex or opposite-sex. The next month, the Supreme Court held that same-sex marriage bans violate the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Meet Alabama’s next governor!

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The evolution of the "baseball game equality" meme

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Craig Froehle tracks the odd convolutions of his famous illustration of how conservatives and liberals view the notion of equality. It’s been simplified, expanded, twisted, tucked in and turned inside-out—and even redrawn by professional artists.

Are the worst versions the ones that bury the simple point in condescending explanation?

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Or the ones that seek to subvert it entirely, in as much as stamping “THIS IS FUCKING STUPID” over it counts as subversion?

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The cannier mutations contextualize it for local audiences:

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I am giddy that my little graphic has helped so many people think about the issue of equity and has spawned so many conversations in just the past few years. I’m not upset by the many way it’s been reimagined. In fact, I’m delighted, because the modifications just make it that much more useful to people. The Inte

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Voices from the on-demand economy

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Over the last year, my colleagues at Institute for the Future’s Workable Futures Initiative conducted ethnographic interviews with more than 30 people across the country who use on-demand work platforms to make ends meet. There’s Seda, who runs her own small business selling women’s clothing and accessories, but makes ends meet as a professional “lab rat” who participates, sometimes illegally, in clinical trial studies all over the country; Nichelle, a Ph.D. who crafts communications courses on an online learning platform while she takes it easy as an expat in Costa Rica; Jan, a homeless veteran who is using the Rover.com pet-sitting site to make a little money while she works with Swords to Plowshares to find a place to live and earn a degree; and many other fascinating people.

These ethnographic interviews informed IFTF’s synthesis of “7 new archetypes of workers” whose input will be critical to creating better policies, technology platforms, and systems for people to have sustainable and successful livelihoods in the future, instead of just maximizing revenue for the platform companies. The research is presented in a new report, Voices of Workable Futures.

From a Fortune magazine article about the research:

The overarching goal of the Institute’s report is to help create what it calls “positive platforms”—ones that “not only return profits to investors but also . . . provide dignified and sustainable livelihoods for those who use them.”

To that end, Gorbis says she’d like to see more support mechanisms—paid for by the platform companies—through which gig workers could access tax and financial assistance, physical gathering spaces for “social connectedness,” and a rating service capturing the employee experience on a range of sites.

“Consumers have Yelp,” she says. “We need something similar from the workers’ perspective.”

This Is the Backup Career For More and More U.S. Workers(Fortune)

Workable Futures Initiative (IFTF.org)

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Google's Pixelphone leaked, is just another boring phone

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UK retailer Carphone Warehouse broke Google’s embargo on its much-awaited Pixel Phone, revealing it a day early.

Both devices will be powered by a Snapdragon 821 CPU clocked at 2.15GHz, with 4GB of RAM and with either 32GB or 128GB of internal storage. They have AMOLED displays with Gorilla Glass 4, at 1080p for the Pixel and 1440p for the Pixel XL.

The battery size on the Pixel is 2770mAh, just a bit larger than the 2700mAh cell found in the Nexus 5X. The Pixel XL has a larger 3450mAh battery, identical to the Nexus 6P. Both devices run Android 7.1 out of the box and have fingerprint sensors, as well as nanoSIM slots for cellular connectivity.According to the listing, both have 8MP front and 12MP back cameras with optical image stabilization

It looks just like all the other smartphones. Great work from the Subcommittee For Avoidance of Negative Reactions.

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Best sweaters of British television in the 1980s

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Curious British Telly has done the work, finally, to assemble the penultimate collection of 1980s fashion errors and exaltations: 22 of the Most Hideous Jumpers on British TV in the 80s. Noel Edmonds is the presumptive winner, of course, but there are many more in store for aficionados of the era after UK scientists learned the dark art of fluffy polyester. [via Metafilter, where Devonian notes the sad omission of legendary British yarnlord and former politician Gyles Brandreth, imaged below by a probe orbiting dangerously close to the cultural event horizon.] (more…)

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Neon street mural transforms seedy South Philly side street

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Percy Street is one of those irregular side streets found in older American neighborhoods like South Philadelphia. Cramped and dark, it became a favorite haunt of ne’er-do-wells until the installation of the neon-infused “Electric Street” mural. Now it’s a destination of locals and tourists, and the increased traffic has tamped down the bad behavior. (more…)

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