I bought this amazing clear pink substance called Sortkwik so I could have more control of playing cards for magic tricks, as I have naturally dry hands. It has a bit more viscosity than Chapstick. It’s meant for people who need to leaf through lots sheets of paper and don’t like the idea of licking their thumb. You just swipe your fingertips over the stuff, rub your fingers together for a few seconds, and you are ready for action. I now use it all the time because I hate the feeling of dry fingers and it’s not greasy or smelly like lotion. A 3-pack is $7.
One of my most unforgettable travel experiences was visiting the Sedlec Ossuary in Kutná Hora, near Prague. This small 19-century monastery chapel would be unremarkable, except that it is decorated with thousands of human bones and skulls. There are skull- and femur-decorated columns, hanging garlands of bones, a chandelier made of every bone in the human body, and a replica of the Schwarzenberg family coat of “arms” – that also includes leg, finger, scapula, and coccyx bones! The memory of that space makes any Halloween display seem tame and unimaginative.
If Kutná Hora isn’t in your travel plans, check out Memento Mori, a spectacular book of essays and photographs by UCLA PhD and art historian Paul Koudounaris. His 500 color photographs here are arresting, both in subject matter and photographic technique. The handsome hardbound book includes a stunning centerfold of a bejeweled and gold-encrusted mummy. The detail and visual opulence of the photo justifies the giant four-page spread. I enjoyed reading the informative essays about the use of human bones as a form of remembrance in cultures around the world, from Europe to Thailand, Japan to Peru, and from ancient times to the present day. Here’s just one fun fact: there are two venerated human skulls (ñatitas) enshrined in the homicide division of the national law enforcement agency in El Alto, Bolivia. These two cranium crime-stoppers have provided “clues to difficult cases and have been credited with helping to solve hundreds of crimes.”
Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us
by Paul Koudounaris
Thames and Hudson
2015, 208 pages, 9 x 13.3 x 1 inches (hardcover)
Behold! There is an entire range of Wolf Head Crotch Underwear for gentlemen. They “make man looks sexy and wild” and can be yours for as little as five American dollars.
3D wolf pattern print underwear make man looks sexy and wild
• the wide waist design make man comfortable no tight feeling
• U convex design, large space and breathable
• High quality material and great handwork, perfect gift to boyfriend or husband
Here’s a pack of three “Sexy Hipster Wolf Animals”, available in several different wolves and also in eagle. [Amazon, via Dangerous Minds]
Uganda and Kenya both claim Minigo Island (Area:0.0008 sq mi) in Lake Victoria belongs to them. One hundred thirty one people live on the island, because they like the valuable fish, as well as the “four pubs, a number of brothels, and a pharmacy.”
This short documentary is called “Migingo: The Iron clad Island,” by Peter Scott.
Also check out photographer Jesco Denzel’s photoessay, Migingo: Business on the Rock.
For several decades, the company behind the Skinless brand of hot dogs tried very hard to make “Weeny Witch” parties a thing. Unfortunately it didn’t catch on, but perhaps the time is finally right. More information over at Weird Universe, including rules for a delightful party game called “Feeding the Weeny Witch.”
The Atlantic’s Andrew McGill set up a virtual server on Amazon’s cloud that presented to the internet as a crappy, insecure Internet of Things toaster; 41 minutes later, a hacked IoT device connected to it and tried to hack it. Within a day, the “toaster” had been hacked more than 300 times.
Katrina Bookman was excited when the slot machine she was playing hit the jackpot: $42,949,672.76. Resorts World Casino in New York was happy to take her money while she was putting it into the machine, but weren’t as happy about giving her the prize. MACHINE R BORKED, they told her.
Earlier this month, Planet Money aired an interview with a Wells Fargo whistleblower who was fired for trying to alert the bank to the millions of criminal frauds being committed against its customers, and we learned that the whistleblower had been added to a confidential blacklist used by the finance industry, preventing her from ever getting work in the industry again.
After a rash of UFO sightings across France in 1954, Lucien Jeune, mayor of the small southeastern village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, issued the following law:
Article 1. — The overflight, the landing and the takeoff of aircraft known as flying saucers or flying cigars, whatever their nationality is, are prohibited on the territory of the community.
Article 2. — Any aircraft, known as flying saucer or flying cigar, which should land on the territory of the community will be immediately held in custody.
Article 3. — The forest officer and the city policeman are in charge, each one in what relates to him, of the execution of this decree.
Jeune’s son Elie says the law was mostly a publicity stunt. Still, 62 years later, current mayor Claude Avri told news outlet France Bleu that he is “not going to touch the ban.”
When the first wave arrives, I’ll be on the next flight to Châteauneuf-du-Pape where I can watch the invasion while sipping a rich red.
“French Town Upholds 62-Year-Old Ban on UFOs” (Mysterious Universe)
If you’ve got a Spotify account, you can tune into the classic Caedmon Poe recordings (also available on 5 CD), featuring classic tales like The Masque of the Read Death; The Pit and the Pendulum; The Black Cat; The Cask of Amontillado; The Imp of the Perverse and The Gold Bug. (via Diane Duane)
A patient at Tokyo Medical University Hospital was undergoing laser surgery on her uterus when she farted, apparently starting a fire that badly burnt her.
“When the patient’s intestinal gas leaked into the space of the operation (room), it ignited with the irradiation of the laser, and the burning spread, eventually reaching the surgical drape and causing the fire,” according to a report from the hospital.
Al Jourgensen may prefer to forget that he once cultivated an English accent and created this underground club hit, but on this day, we happily remember Ministry’s “(Everyday Is) Halloween” from 1984. Above, a fan video cut up from horror films.
Peter Thiel’s livestreaming a press event: the PayPal billionaire is explaining why he’s supporting Trump, how he’s going to speak truth to power, why his comments about women aren’t “big” issues, and so on. This is just a taster of what’s coming in the new year, obviously.
Can’t say it was what I expected but still looking forward to what Disney does with Episode VC!
One-pan supper? Now you have my attention. I love a dish you can prepare, shove into the oven, and then forget about for a little while. Just remember to set a timer!
This particular one-pan meal starts with tossing chicken and vegetables in an easy sauce while the oven heats, and ends with everyone sitting down to dinner an hour later.
Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) departed the Black Sea, Oct. 30, after conducting maritime security exercises and theater security engagements with allies and partners. …read more
This month’s Mother Jones examines a shocking statistic: “According to the Albert Shanker Institute, which is funded in part by the American Federation of Teachers, the number of black educators has declined sharply in some of the largest urban school districts in the nation. In Philadelphia, the number of black teachers declined by 18.5 percent between 2001 and 2012. In Chicago, the black teacher population dropped by nearly 40 percent. And in New Orleans, there was a 62 percent drop in the number of black teachers.” (more…)
Between the flying spaceships, game of Pac-Man, dry ice, and blinking lights, NASA’s pumpkin carvings are a bit more elaborate than what you typically see around Halloween.
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) October 28, 2016
A group of engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., held the sixth annual pumpkin carving contest, and the results are out of this world.
Some of the engineers took to Twitter to post pictures of the creations.
— Michelle Easter (@MichelleEaster) October 27, 2016
— Aaron Yazzie (@YazzieSays) October 27, 2016
— Aaron Yazzie (@YazzieSays) October 27, 2016
You can check out videos of all the whacky creations over on JPL’s Flickr page.
U.S. and Royal Cambodian navy (RCN) service members kicked off the 7th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in Cambodia with an opening ceremony at Ream Navy Base, Oct. 31. …read more
#1. 10-Ft MFi-Certified Lightning Cable: 3-Pack
With this deal, for the price of one ($279) gives you a real engineering blueprint that you can follow to assemble your own self-contained computer—which runs on the Raspberry Pi 2 Project Board. Once you’ve assembled your computer, you can access PiperUniverse, an educational Minecraft story mode that will deepen your understanding of computer engineering principles. The Piper Computer Kit makes the perfect present for kids and adults alike.
- Ghost Indoor HDTV Antenna (57% off)
- Learn to Code 2016 Bundle (Pay What You Want)
- Music + Entertainment
The U.S. Coast Guard from Legend Class National Security Cutter USCGC Waesche (WMSL 751) marked a record year in counterdrug operations and offloaded more than 39,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $531 million at Naval Base San Diego, Oct. 27. …read more
Click to view the below full-size; or download as a a high-quality digital poster (4MB) for detailed scrutiny; or proceed for the plain text, abstract and analysis…
The Candy Hierarchy (2016)
Any full-sized candy bar
Cash, or other forms of legal tender
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Tolberone something or other
POST TERTIARY LAYER
Hershey’s Dark Chocolate
York Peppermint Patties
100 Grand Bar
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate
Jolly Ranchers (good flavor)
Cadbury Creme Eggs
Gummy Bears straight up
Sourpatch Kids (i.e. abominations of nature)
Licorice (not black)
Minibags of chips
Mike and Ike
Kinder Happy Hippo
Goo Goo Clusters
Reggie Jackson Bar
Licorice (yes black)
Good N’ Plenty
Bonkers (the board game)
Bonkers (the candy)
Chick-o-Sticks (we don’t know what that is)
Hugs (actual physical hugs)
Sweetums (a friend to diabetes)
Person of Interest Season 3 DVD Box Set (not including Disc 4 with hilarious outtakes)
TIER SO LOW IT DOES NOT REGISTER ON OUR EQUIPMENT
JoyJoy (Mit Iodine!)
Vials of pure high fructose corn syrup, for main-lining into your vein
Jolly Rancher (bad flavor)
Creepy Religious comics/Chick Tracts
Those odd marshmallow circus peanut things
Anonymous brown globs that come in black and orange wrappers
Whole Wheat anything
Candy that is clearly just the stuff given out for free at restaurants
Gum from baseball cards
Broken glow stick
“What’s going on with Kit Kats Dave?”
Candy candy candy. Co-principle investigators (PIs) Cohen and Ng again report on new findings. From 2006 to 2013, the PIs conducted a longitudinal study guided by PI expertise and cloaked pseudo-corporate sponsorship. Yet, lo, and thine PIs were so moved by the yearly outpouring of commentary that they opened up the study to additional data sources, namely people. The 2014 Candy Hierarchy resulted from survey data in the thousands; the 2015 Candy Hierarchy was based on 518,605 data points obtained from 5459 individuals. It also opened up a new flank in the survey beyond candy that the PIs continued this year. The secondary study sought to understand the character of the survey takers. It was also used to force an agenda that an area podcast won’t shut up about, like preferred days of the week and proper apple eating and now here we are with about 1275 respondents and 120,000 results and a real swell hierarchy. Just real swell.
TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS MORNING’S CONFERENCE PROCEEDING DISCUSSION, WITH COHEN AND NG.
BC: What’s going on with Kit Kats Dave?
DN: I was about to ask you the same.
BC: Something’s going on with Kit-Kats.
DN: But what?
BC: That’s what I asked you.
DN: Something weird, that’s all I know.
BC: Because we have to start accepting a consensus result. Not counting the full-sized candy bars or hard cash—which are gimmes, we don’t even need to ask that—the year-after-year consensus has a pretty stable top 4.
DN: Kit Kat, Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, Snickers.
BC: Huge news there—Kit Kats put Peanut Butter cups in their place, kicking them down a notch.
DN: I’m sure that pleases you. So we can …read more
Amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) Sailors and embarked “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21, and assets from the U.S. Coast Guard attempted to locate Chinese mariner Guo Chuan during a search and rescue (SAR) operation in the waters off Hawaii, Oct. 26. …read more
The last two ships of the Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Group (BHR ESG) arrived in Okinawa, Japan, to offload the embarked Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), Oct. 28. …read more
Ronald Angevine can attest that one of the primary responsibilities of Naval Hospital Bremerton’s Physical Therapy (PT) department is to help patients improve their mobility and function after surgery. …read more
October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) recently organized multiple events to promote both causes. …read more
Lt. j.g. Audrey Petersen received her Naval Aviator “wings” during a ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, Oct. 28. …read more
The family of Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan welcomes friends, Sailors, veterans and citizens to line the streets near the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Nov. 1 following the conclusion of the funeral to show respect for his service and sacrifice to our nation. …read more
Last week, FBI director James Comey released a vague letter saying the FBI was investigating more emails that had something to do with Hillary Clinton‘s personal server. The media largely ran with the GOP characterization of this as reopened investigation into Clinton herself, but things soon got muddy and even conservative commentators found the situation deeply unsettling.
For starters, the emails were on disgraced politician Anthony Weiner’s computer, impounded in his teen sext case, meaning Clinton’s authorship or receipt of the emails is anyone’s guess. Worse, it soon became clear the FBI had failed to get a warrant to read the emails before Comey’s announcement, giving the impression of an attempt to tip the election, or of appeasement to political pressures. Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General until last year, writes that Comey’s made a “serious mistake.” (more…)
After a recent update on the surviving members of the Heaven’s Gate cult and their ongoing maintenance of its now-fashionably anachronistic website, (previously) I checked again and found that the Heaven’s Gate “Away Team” patches are finally available again for purchase.
I’ve been into old-fashioned mechanical keyboards lately; Sonder’s e-ink model promises to bring the fetish into the 21st century. Each key is both mechanical and a tiny e-Ink display that can change on a per-application basis.
The Sonder Keyboard combines a sleek new design with a built-in rechargeable battery and enhanced key features. With an improved mechanical mechanism beneath each key for increased stability, as well as optimized key travel and a lower profile, the Sonder Keyboard provides a remarkably comfortable and precise typing experience. It pairs automatically with your Mac, so you can get to work right away. And the battery is incredibly long-lasting — it will power your keyboard for about a month or more between charges.
The styling is minimal and Apple-oriented. Sonder’s keyboard uses Bluetooth, but comes with USB and a lightning port too. It’s $200, which seems reasonable for such a specialized device: compare to Art Lebedev’s Optimus Popularis color LED model, still a pricey curiosity at $1500.
Cast iron skillets should be a part of everyone’s kitchen, but some people feel intimidated by with the preparation, use and maintenance. This nicely-produced video by Tasty shows how even an old hand-me-down skillet can be transformed into the perfect tool for great stovetop results. (more…)
Apple’s just-announced 2016 MacBook Pro hasn’t gone down well, particularly among developers. Maciej Ceglowski’s review of the previous model, from the perspective of a man traveling backwards through time, is the best of the complaints. (more…) …read more
A decade ago, I made note of the fact that the iconic UK Teasmade alarm-clocks (which automatically brew a cup of tea using an improbable, Wallace-and-Grommity/Heath Robinson set of mechanical actions) were to be reissued, and today I come to find that they now exist and can be purchased in a model that runs on US electrical current.
“Almost one in seven of the world’s children, 300 million, live in areas with the most toxic levels of outdoor air pollution – six or more times higher than international guidelines” UNICEF said today, in releasing a new report on how air pollution around the world affects our most vulnerable.