Day: October 31, 2016

Sortkwik keeps your fingers from feeling like desiccated leather


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.

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Memento Mori – Spectacular book of essays and 500 photos of the dead among us


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)

$39 Buy a copy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

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Wolf Head crotch underwear "make man looks sexy and wild"


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]


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Migingo Island - Population density: 169,500/sq mi


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.

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Wells Fargo blackballed employees who refused to commit fraud, forcing them out of the industry forever


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.

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French town upholds law against UFOs


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)

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Patient's fart in surgery causes fire, severe burns


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.

(The Straits Times)

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Really not sure about this livestream from Peter Thiel


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!

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One-Pan Paprika Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes

Paprika Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes

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.

Continue reading “One-Pan Paprika Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes” »

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Chicago has about 40% fewer African-American teachers than in 2001


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…)

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NASA’s Jaw-dropping Pumpkin Lab — JPL marks Halloween with carving contest

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory held their sixth annual pumpkin carving contest, featuring flying saucers, meteors, and Pacman. Credit: NASA JPL

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.

Need last minute 🎃pumpkin🎃 carving tips? Check out what some of our employees came up with this year. Full gallery:

— 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.

So much fun today at the annual @NASAJPL Mechanical Engineering Division Pumpkin Carving Contest! #nasa #jpl #pumpkinengineers 🚀🎃🛠

— Michelle Easter (@MichelleEaster) October 27, 2016

Political Commentary #NASAPumpkin

— Aaron Yazzie (@YazzieSays) October 27, 2016

And best for last, my group’s entry: Leonardo, the Mars Copter #NASAPumpkin!

— Aaron Yazzie (@YazzieSays) October 27, 2016

You can check out videos of all the whacky creations over on JPL’s Flickr page.

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Get Your Hands On Boing Boing’s Best-Selling Deals of October

#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.

Also explore the Best-Sellers on our network right now:

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The Candy Hierarchy for 2016: Halloween's best and worst treats


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

Kit Kat
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups



Tolberone something or other

Lindt Truffle

Peanut M&M’s

Milky Way

Nestle Crunch




Dove Bars

Regular M&Ms


Hershey’s Dark Chocolate

Reese’s Pieces


York Peppermint Patties

Three Musketeers

Heath Bar

100 Grand Bar

Junior Mints



Mr. Goodbar

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate

Hershey’s Kisses

Mint Juleps


Milk Duds


Whatchamacallit Bars

Sweet Tarts

Jolly Ranchers (good flavor)

Cadbury Creme Eggs

Smarties (American)

Glow sticks

Swedish Fish

Gummy Bears straight up


Sourpatch Kids (i.e. abominations of nature)

Smarties (Commonwealth)

Mint Kisses


Licorice (not black)

Pixy Stix

Minibags of chips


Mike and Ike

Bottle Caps

Coffee Crisp



Kinder Happy Hippo

Goo Goo Clusters

Candy Corn


Reggie Jackson Bar

Licorice (yes black)

Good N’ Plenty

Fuzzy Peaches

Mary Janes

Bonkers (the board game)

Hard Candy


Bonkers (the candy)

Chick-o-Sticks (we don’t know what that is)

Necco Wafers


Hugs (actual physical hugs)

Trail Mix

Tic Tacs

Healthy Fruit



Sweetums (a friend to diabetes)

Black Jacks

Senior Mints

Person of Interest Season 3 DVD Box Set (not including Disc 4 with hilarious outtakes)




JoyJoy (Mit Iodine!)

Generic Acetaminophen

Spotted Dick

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

Dental paraphenalia

Candy that is clearly just the stuff given out for free at restaurants

Kale smoothie

Gum from baseball cards

White Bread

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.


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

Former Attorney General: FBI Director "made a serious mistake"


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…)

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Heaven's Gate Away Team Patch


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.

The only pair of Nike Decades currently on offer, though, is from someone on eBay who wants $6,600 for a pair.

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e-ink keyboard changes for every purpose


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.

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Teasmade: the classic British bedside tea-brewing alarm-clock, now available in the USA


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.

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