Day: November 1, 2016

Everything Is Teeth – An unsettling, autobiographical peek at a childhood obsession

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Everything Is Teeth is an unsettling, autobiographical peek at a childhood obsession: author Evie Wyld’s fixation with sharks, and with a particular shark survivor named Rodney Fox. This is a small girl with a big internal life; pop culture and her imaginings about sharks are more vivid than real life.

Joe Sumner’s art is well matched to the mood of the text. The illustrations are spare, and mostly black and white. The images of books and sharks are vivid by comparison, especially the bright red blood that pops up periodically. And the humans are drawn with big heads and childlike features, which is appropriate for text that reveals an introspective child’s thoughts about grownups. The best lines are about Wyld’s parents, such as: “He hangs on to his jetlag like it’s the last bit of civilization he’ll see in a long while.”

Why sharks? One hard-to-avoid theory is that Wyld’s focus on blood is one sign of her apprehension about menstruation, and womanhood in general. She tells two especially memorable stories of washed-up sharks found and cut open. One contained a litter of shark pups, the other some expensive stiletto heels. Stilettos and offspring are potent symbols of womanhood, of course. Thus, becoming a woman, like facing off with a shark, inspires both fear and fascination. I was also a morbid girl who wasn’t so sure about this femininity business, so this odd book strikes a chord.

NOTE: The link above sends you to the same book, different cover.

Everything Is Teeth

by Evie Wyld (author) and Joe Sumner (illustrator)

Pantheon

2016, 128 pages, 8.1 x 10.3 x 0.7 inches (hardcover)

$17 Buy a copy on Amazon

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Beautiful, slim rosewood iPhone 7 plus case for $8

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I love this rosewood case for my iPhone 7 plus. I went with the compass design.

I hate thick cases and kind of love the simplicity of the iPhone’s design. My daughter gives me grief for the number of screen, and other, repairs I can inflict on a phone. We split the difference on this lovely rosewood and rubber case.

The phone sits in a thin rubber cage that does most of the protecting, the wood back is adhered to the rubber, is both decorative and likely adds some additional buffer. There looks to be room in the case for a tempered glass screen protector, so I’m gonna add one soon.

I couldn’t be happier with this $8 case.

FULLLIGHT TECH iPhone 7 Plus Case Unique Handmade Natural RoseWood Back Shell Cover Slim Bumper Protective Wooden Cases for Apple iPhone 7 Plus 5.5″ via Amazon

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Pay what you want to learn to code with AWS and Python

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The Learn to Code 2016 Bundle is an extremely cost-efficient way to learn to code online. This is how it works: you can pay anything you want to get two courses that introduce you to Git and AWS. If you beat the average price (currently $19.36), you’ll get 9 courses with over 92 hours of instruction.

The bundle of courses covers all of the major programming languages that top tier employers are looking for: including HTML5, Ruby, and Python. There are many different specialities you could have as a coder, and this bundle allows you to explore them and decide what you like best. Here are two of the included courses we recommend for any beginner coder:

AngularJS – AngularJS helps developers become more efficient, more productive, and deliver rich client-side experiences with every line of code. It’s a great skill to have on any coding resume.

Python – Python is a fantastic beginner coding language as it’s fairly simple to dive into. The versatile language is used for everything from web development to data analytics to game development.

There are plenty of way to learn to code: from traditional college to coding bootcamps, but they can cost thousands of dollars. If you really want to learn to code on a budget, this is the best option out there. Click here to pay what you want and learn to code.

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

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This Samsung Wireless Charging Stand is now just $29

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The Fast Charging Samsung Wireless Stand is a high-tech gadget that charges by just resting a phone on its base. Its design is super sleek and simple, and at 58% off, it’s just $28.99 in the Boing Boing Store.

Apart from adding a futuristic touch to my bedroom decor, I found that the stand functions really well. It works with all compatible Galaxy smartphones and other Qi-compatible devices, and allows me to actually use my phone while it’s charging. I don’t have to constantly unplug and replug, I just lift it off the base when I need to make a call.

The Fast Charging Samsung Wireless Stand uses Samsung’s Qi inductive charging technology, which automatically initiates charging when it senses the phone. Wireless charging is definitely the future, and Samsung’s technology appears to be some of the best available.

This handy gadget is currently 58% off retail. Grab yours in the Boing Boing Store today.

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

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I am the master of my home plumbing

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We live in an older house, and the plumbing gets clogged a lot. Whenever a sink, shower, or toilet backs up, I try to to unclog it myself before calling a plumber. Sometimes it’s as easy as using a Drain Weasel and getting hair out of a drain. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try a water bladder. As a last resort, I’ll use one of these hand-crank plumber snakes:

The snake is a wrist-killer and a huge hassle. To insert the snake, you have to loosen a screw, pull out a few inches of snake, tighten the screw, turn the handle a bunch of times, then repeat the process. It takes forever.

If none of these work, I call a plumber. He brings a giant snake that unclogs anything and gives me a well-deserved bill between $100 – $200 (depending on the time of day, or day of the week).

After getting a $200 bill plumber’s service on a Sunday evening, I looked around online for a motorized snake. This Ryobi P4001 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless 25 foot Drain Auger had good reviews and it fit my budget. Including the price of the battery and charger, the whole thing was $150. When it arrived, I put the battery in the charger, almost looking forward to the next clog so I could try it out.

Yesterday morning, it happened. My wife noticed that one of the clean outs in the backyard had lost its cap and sludge was seeping out. Judging from the size of the puddle, it looked like it had been happening for a long time. That explained the odd odor we’d been smelling in our kitchen sink and shower for the last couple of weeks.

I decided to try the water bladder first, because that was the quickest way to take care of the problem, and I wanted to get back to work as soon as possible. I attached the bladder to the garden hose and stuck it in the clean out. It seemed to be working, since water wasn’t gushing from the clean out. I removed the water bladder, put it away, and went back in the house. As soon as I was inside, I was hit with a foul odor worse than Satan’s diarrhea. Reluctantly, I followed the source of the smell and discovered a pool of black slimy sludgy water sitting in our shower. The stench was overpowering. I put on a pair of nitrile gloves and fished around in the opaque filth until I found the drain grill and pulled it out. It was now time to try out my new cordless drain auger.

I held the tip of the snake over the drain opening, and pressed the trigger button. The snake advanced automatically, descending below the surface of the muck. I have no idea how far the snake went before it hit the clog, but it eventually did, and I was gratified to see the water begin to drain. I flipped the switch …read more

Experimental musician's gorgeous vinyl collaboration with his grandmother

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Clint Heidorn, a musician I’ve previously posted about, creates haunting, beautiful guitar sounds that are the basis of exquisite, tangible artifacts he makes and sells himself. A few years ago, Clint’s grandmother Jane Heidorn suffered a stroke that necessitated her moving into a nursing home, and that led to his latest project. “Hard Times Come Again No More” is a collaboration between Clint and the late Jane Heidorn, now available as a 10″ vinyl record in a limited edition of 250 copies. Below, hear the song and read Clint’s story of this loving, and lovely, tribute:

Hard Times Come Again No More by Jane Heidorn

In early 2013, my grandmother, Jane Heidorn, moved into a nursing home after a stroke left her unable to care for herself. After over a decade of living alone, she was forced to consider a future without the autonomy she had enjoyed, and – at least initially – it hit her hard.

The move brought her closer to me, and we’d spend Sundays listening to her old 78s on a small record player in her room, eating lunch in the cafeteria, reminiscing. I’d take her outside in her wheelchair and glide it along the twisting walkways that cut through the lawns and shuffleboard courts outside the complex, trying to keep her spirits up, reminding her of bridge games and activities, of the next time I’d visit.

After a few months, I asked if she’d be interested in recording a version of an old Stephen Foster song, “Hard Times Come Again No More”. She’d always sung in church, and I knew it was important to her. I figured, if nothing else, it was something to look forward to, something to work on.

She didn’t know the song, so I brought her the lyrics and a recording of an arrangement I’d put together. She said she’d listen and try to practice. After a week or two, she agreed to give it a shot.

Over the course of a few weekends, I’d bring my desktop computer out to the nursing home and record her in her room. We’d take it bit by bit. She’d sing a verse, maybe a whole chorus, but it was hard for her. She’d quickly get exhausted, and I did my best to let her know not to worry, that we’d keep working on it, that we’d try it another day.

Once we had finished, I told her I would do my best to honor her voice.

A few months after we had completed the recording, she was diagnosed with a stomach aneurysm and put into hospice care. It was sudden; it seemed to come out of nowhere. The doctors gave her a few days, maybe a couple of weeks.

My dad flew into town that evening, and we drove to the nursing home to spend time with her.

Later that night, after hanging out for a while, talking and trying to keep her mind off things, my dad left the room …read more

Science behind sleeping while you're awake

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You may think you’re awake but there’s a good chance that part of your brain is asleep. And that can cause real problems, especially since you may not even be aware of it. In fact, indivisual neurons and groups of neurons in the cerebral cortex can be independently offline while others are awake. In Scientific American, Christof Koch, president of the Allen Institute for Brain Science, explores the counter-intuitive reality of “Sleeping While Awake:”

A case in point for sleep intruding into wakefulness involves brief episodes of sleep known as microsleep. These intervals can occur during any monotonous task, whether driving long distances across the country, listening to a speaker droning on or attending yet another never-ending departmental meeting. You’re drowsy, your eyes get droopy, the eyelids close, your head repeatedly nods up and down and then snaps up: your consciousness lapses….

Perniciously, subjects typically believe themselves to be alert all the time during microsleep without recalling any period of unconsciousness. This misapprehension can be perilous to someone in the driver’s seat. Microsleep can be fatal when driving or operating machinery such as trains or airplanes, hour after tedious hour. During a microsleep episode, the entire brain briefly falls asleep, raising the question of whether bits and pieces of the brain can go to sleep by themselves, without the entire organ succumbing to slumber.

Indeed, Italian-born neuroscientists Chiara Cirelli and Giulio Tononi, who study sleep and consciousness at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, discovered “sleepy neurons” in experimental animals that showed no behavioral manifestation of sleep…

What this study discovered is the existence of local sleep during sleep deprivation: isolated cortical groups of neurons that briefly go off-line while the animal, to all outward appearances, continues to move about and do what it does. Local shut-eye is more likely to occur if those neurons are actively engaged, as they are when learning to grab a sugar pellet. Neurons, too, become tired and disengaged, a microcosm of what happens to the whole organism.

Extrapolating from these data, it seems plausible that as the pressure for sleep increases, the frequency of these off events and their preponderance in the cortex increase until activity in the entire brain becomes suddenly but briefly synchronized and the brain falls into deep sleep—the eyes close, and the head nods. The subject enters microsleep.

Sleeping While Awake(SciAm)

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470 economists sign letter slamming Trump for 'magical thinking and conspiracy theories'

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Some 470 economists have written a blistering, evidence-based criticism of Trump that scorches the GOP nominee for his role in promoting “magical thinking and conspiracy theories,” and generally ruining reality for everyone else who’s stuck living in it. Eight Nobel laureates in economics co-signed the letter calling him a “dangerous, destructive choice” for the country.

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FBI believes Russia hacks aimed at disrupting election, not electing Trump

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None of the ongoing federal investigations into Russian cyber-hijinks this election season have found “any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government,” the New York Times reports, citing unnamed officials. Even the hacking of Democratic emails, say FBI and intel sources, is “aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.”

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86-year-old woman warned she could be fined $5,000 for illegally downloading a game she's never heard of

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Christine McMillan, 86, received an email from her Internet service provider to let her know that because she had illegally downloaded a copy of Metro 2033 she was now subject to a $5,000 fine. The email was sent via a private company called Canadian Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement. McMillan says she never heard of the game, in which survivors of a nuclear holocaust are tasked with murdering mutants.

According to CBC, McMillan is “one of likely tens of thousands of Canadians who have received notices to pay up, whether they are guilty or not.”

At first, she thought it was a scam.

“They didn’t tell me how much I owed, they only told me that if I didn’t comply, I would be liable for a fine of up to $5,000 and I could pay immediately by entering my credit card number.”

McMillan called Cogeco, her internet service provider, and discovered the emails were perfectly legal under the federal government’s Notice and Notice regulations introduced last year under the Copyright Modernization Act.

The law requires internet providers to forward copyright infringement notices to customers suspected of illegally downloading content like video games and movies.

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This Samsung Wireless Charging Stand was $69, but is now just $29

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The Fast Charging Samsung Wireless Stand is a high-tech gadget that charges by just resting your phone on its circular design. At just $28.99, it’s well worth the purchase if for no other reason than it looks awesome.

But it does a lot more than look great. It works with all compatible Galaxy smartphones and other Qi-compatible devices, and allows you to use your phone while its charging (without a wire in the way) thanks to Samsung’s patented Qi inductive charging technology.

You won’t find a better deal on the web for this handy gadget at 58% off retail. Grab yours in the Boing Boing Store today.
Also explore the Best-Sellers on our network right now:

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Gun fight from Collateral explained shot for shot

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Michael Mann’s Collateral has one of the simplest and most startling shootouts in movie history. Even though it’s short and unvarnished—every bullet fired in a single stationary camera shot interrupted only to see Jamie Foxx’s reaction—actor Tom Cruise gets every motion just right.

In this video, Larry Vickers, a retired special forces veteran, carefully recreates the scene moment by moment, explaining the rationale behind each action. It’s striking how much care Mann and Cruise took to get it right, given Hollywood’s usual cartoon gunplay. [via]

Here’s the original for reference:

(I also like how Collateral was shot digitally just as the technology matured, giving it a weird, evocative look that’s reminiscent of both VHS and 16mm, and now seems perfectly mid-2000s)

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Wash away your post-Halloween blues with this melancholy music video

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Halloween didn’t exactly go your way? Friends of the Bog is here to help! My friends in the Chicago-based folk band just released a new music video for their song “Capricorn.” Directed by Ned Baker, the video features a whole bunch of not-so-perfect Halloween nights. But, hey, at least band members Beth Hyland, Joshua Scott, Jake Pollock, Gaby FeBland, Matt Beard, and Patrick Budde are always there for each other. You can learn more about Friends of the Bog on Facebook and buy their album on their website.

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On Babadooks, Twitter, and Halloween parties

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You may have seen Katie Dippold’s iconic Babadook-themed Halloween TBT floating around Twitter over the past few months:

Well two days ago, David Sanchez tweeted the perfect response:

You can read more about both tweets on BuzzFeed and New York Magazine.

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