Boing Boing

Fifty years ago today Yippie activist Abbie Hoffman made it rain at the NY stock exchange

On August 24, 1967, guerilla theater activist Abbie Hoffman and his pals dropped a slew of dollar bills off the balcony of the New York Stock Exchange onto the trading floor below. As Hoffman later said, ““If you don’t like the news, why not go out and make your own?” From Smithsonian:

Participant Bruce Dancis recalled, “At first people on the floor were stunned. They didn’t know what was happening. They looked up and when they saw money was being thrown they started to cheer, and there was a big scramble for the dollars.”

The protesters exited the Stock Exchange and were immediately beset by reporters, who wanted to know who they were and what they’d done. Hoffman supplied nonsense answers, calling himself Cardinal Spellman and claiming his group didn’t exist. He then burned a five-dollar bill, solidifying the point of the message. As Bruce Eric France writes, “Abbie believed it was more important to burn money [than] draft cards… To burn a draft card meant one refused to participate in the war. To burn money meant one refused to participate in society.”

For Hoffman himself, the success of the stunt was obvious. “Guerrilla theater is probably the oldest form of political commentary,” he wrote in his autobiography. “Showering money on the Wall Street brokers was the TV-age version of driving the money changers from the temple… Was it a real threat to the Empire? Two weeks after our band of mind-terrorists raided the stock exchange, 20,000 dollars was spent to enclose the gallery with bullet-proof glass.”

How the New York Stock Exchange Gave Abbie Hoffman His Start in Guerrilla Theater(Smithsonian)

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In swiftly-deleted posting, GOP links Legend of Zelda to progressive taxation

Sadly, the Republican Party has already deleted its article titled What Do The Legend of Zelda and the American Tax Code Have In Common? and any corresponding twetes. But it lives on at Google Cache, at least for now.

Tragically, having equated the adventures of a mute yet heroic elf with the clawing economic deprivations of progressive taxation, the article barely touches upon why beyond simply noting a few coincidental dates. It’s the very dumbest boilerplate. Sad!

https://twitter.com/Beschizza/status/900516331522535429

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The KLF's book signing rules of engagement

The KLF is back. You will follow the instructions, or you will not get your book signed.

They also welcome volunteers to the Dark Ages.

https://twitter.com/JustSomeWool/status/899953392881213441

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How the Voyager Golden Record happened (and no, The Beatles actually weren't on the wishlist)

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of Voyager 2, the first of the two spacecraft that carried the Golden Record on a grand tour of the solar system and into the mysteries of interstellar space. Science journalist Timothy Ferris produced this enchanting phonograph record that tells a story of our planet expressed in sounds, images, and science for any extraterrestrial intelligence that may encounter it. Tim wrote a beautiful essay telling the story behind the Voyager record for the Voyager Golden Record vinyl box set that I co-produced. And today you can read an adaptation of it over at The New Yorker. Happy anniversary to Voyager 2 and the Golden Record! From the New Yorker:

I’m often asked whether we quarreled over the selections. We didn’t, really; it was all quite civil. With a world full of music to choose from, there was little reason to protest if one wonderful track was replaced by another wonderful track. I recall championing Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark Was the Night,” which, if memory serves, everyone liked from the outset. Ann stumped for Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode,” a somewhat harder sell, in that Carl, at first listening, called it “awful.” But Carl soon came around on that one, going so far as to politely remind Lomax, who derided Berry’s music as “adolescent,” that Earth is home to many adolescents. Rumors to the contrary, we did not strive to include the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun,” only to be disappointed when we couldn’t clear the rights. It’s not the Beatles’ strongest work, and the witticism of the title, if charming in the short run, seemed unlikely to remain funny for a billion years.

Ann’s sequence of natural sounds was organized chronologically, as an audio history of our planet, and compressed logarithmically so that the human story wouldn’t be limited to a little beep at the end. We mixed it on a thirty-two-track analog tape recorder the size of a steamer trunk, a process so involved that Jimmy (Iovine) jokingly accused me of being “one of those guys who has to use every piece of equipment in the studio.” With computerized boards still in the offing, the sequence’s dozens of tracks had to be mixed manually. Four of us huddled over the board like battlefield surgeons, struggling to keep our arms from getting tangled as we rode the faders by hand and got it done on the fly.

How the Voyager Golden Record Was Made” by Timothy Ferris (The New Yorker)

Pre-order the Voyager Golden Record on vinyl or CD (Ozma Records)

Listen to excerpts from the Voyager Golden Record sourced from the original master tapes:

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Bannon back at Breitbart after Trump White House ouster: 'I've got my hands back on my weapons'

Hold on to your butts, America. Steve Bannon is, as an ally told one reporter, “unchained” after being relieved of his White House duties as Trump’s strategic advisor

In an interview this evening, Bannon tells the Weekly Standard he’s returning to run Breitbart.com, as he was before becoming Trump’s campaign manager exactly one year and one day ago today.

Bannon will become Executive Chairman of the white supremacist “alt-right” publishing firm. “I built a f***ing machine at Breitbart,” Bannon said, “And now I’m about to go back…and we’re about to rev that machine up.”

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Florida man in liquor store forklift rampage

A 32-year old man from Freeport, Florida, is in custody after a weekend rampage at the liquor store. But this was a liquor store rampage with a difference, reports WKRG: it was under construction, and he inflicted $100,000 damage with a forklift left on-site.

According to police, Jones allegedly broke into the fenced-in construction site on the north side of the Ferdon Boulevard South using a JCB extendable forklift parked at the job site.

The building under construction was destroyed. Additionally, the suspect damaged a city fire hydrant and a 2-inch water meter worth about $3,200. … When Crestview Police Officers arrived on scene, Jones aimed the forklift toward officers. The officers stopped Jones at gunpoint and were able to detain him.

Jones stated his name was “Alice Wonderland and he was told to commit the offenses by a hookah-smoking caterpillar.”

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24 hours later, ANOTHER massive Wells Fargo fraud scandal

It’s been a whole day since we learned about another example of systematic, widespread fraud by America’s largest bank Wells Fargo (ripping off small merchants with credit card fees), so it’s definitely time to learn about another one: scamming mortgage borrowers out of $43/month for an unrequested and pointless “home warranty service” from American Home Shield, a billion-dollar scam-factory that considers you a customer if you throw away its junk-mail instead of ticking the “no” box and sending it back.
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National Rifle Association TV host says his request for North Korea to nuke California was a “joke”

Grant Stinchfield thought his call for North Korea to incinerate millions of human beings was a real knee-slapper. He’s sorry some people didn’t find it as funny as he did.

“Let’s send a note to North Korea that Sacramento changed its name to Guam!,” he tweeted.

From The New York Daily News:

Internet users were quick to jump on the cavalier comment as a recommendation that North Korea try to hit a city on the U.S. mainland.

The tweet was also viewed as insensitive to the people of Guam, who recently received guidance about how to avoid being blinded by a potential attack.

Stinchfield told the Daily News Friday afternoon that he is sorry for the remark.

“It was meant as a joke and I regret it,” he said by phone.

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Richard Dawkins on artificial intelligence, agnosticism, and utopia

Evolutionary biologist and “passionate rationalist” Richard Dawkins has a new anthology of essays out today, titled Science in the Soul. Over at Scientific American, John Horgan posted an interview with Dawkins in which the two discuss a range of topics, from A.I. to agnosticism. From SciAm:

At the Templeton (Foundation) meeting, you described yourself as an agnostic, because you cannot be certain that God does not exist, correct?

This is a semantic matter. Some people define atheism as a positive conviction that there are no gods and agnosticism as allowing for the possibility, however slight. In this sense I am agnostic, as any scientist would be. But only in the same way I am agnostic about leprechauns and fairies. Other people define agnosticism as the belief that the existence of gods is as probable as their nonexistence. In this sense I am certainly not agnostic. Not only are gods unnecessary for explaining anything, they are overwhelmingly improbable. I rather like the phrase of a friend who calls himself a “tooth fairy agnostic”—his belief in gods is as strong as his belief in the tooth fairy. So is mine. We live our lives on the assumption that there are no gods, fairies, hobgoblins, ghosts, zombies, poltergeists or any supernatural entities. Actually, it is not at all clear what supernatural could even mean, other than something which science does not (yet) understand….

…Do you share the concerns of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who has said that artificial intelligence might pose an “existential risk” to humanity?

Elon Musk is a 21st-century genius. You have to listen to what he says. I am philosophically committed to “mechanistic naturalism,” from which follows the conclusion that anything humans can do, machines can in principle do, too. In many cases we already know they can do it better. Whether they can do it better in all cases remains to be seen, but I wouldn’t bet against it. The precautionary principle should lead us to behave as though there is a real danger—a danger we should take immediate steps to forestall. Unless, that is, we think robots could to a better job of running the world than we can. And a better job of being happy and increasing the sum of sentient happiness…

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Trump hotel in D.C. made $2 million profit in 4 months, now charges highest rates in town

President Trump and his family own, operate, and profit bigly from the most expensive hotel in the nation’s capital. Driving the inflated rates at the Trump International Hotel in Washington: favor-seekers from around the world know to stay there when they hope to curry favor with Trump’s government.

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Splish splash it's a hedgehog takin' a bath ♪♫♬

“Chappi found out a way to enjoy bath time. 😍🐾💦”

“Splish splash I was taking a bath”

By request of @yayboobs 

[instagram]

Chappi found out a way to enjoy bath time. 😍🐾💦 #hedgehogsofinstagram #hedgie #hedgiemom #bathtime #cute

A post shared by Chappaquiddick 💫 (@chappi_momma) on

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Stepping into the trippy, sensational world of artist Bonethrower

Last Saturday on August 5th, the LA venue Rhabbitat held a special release party for the limited edition Adidas Skateboarding x Bonethrower footwear and apparel collection and gave people a chance to step into the trippy, sensational world of artist Bonethrower. Put together by Juxtapoz Magazine and Adidas Skateboarding, the event featured otherworldly sculptures, statues, and paintings by Bonethrower that seemed to come to life through changing, colorful lights and a funky DJ.

Bonethrower was at the event and gave away Adidas Skateboarding x Bonethrower shirts as well as signed posters and skate decks. I had a moment to speak with Bonethrower, who told me that he wants people to have fun when they see his art and to interpret his work in their own way. His art was super fun and psychedelic to be surrounded by for an entire night. One of my favorite pieces at the event was an alien-like throne that people could sit in and put on masks. It was so cool to see everyone interacting and hanging out on this art piece. Be sure to also check out the 200th issue of Juxtapoz magazine which features Bonethrowers’ art.

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Toronto's amazing science fiction library, the Merril Collection, has a new head librarian

It’s been decades since I first discovered my love of science fiction on a school trip to the “Spaced Out Library,” the public science fiction reference collection founded by Judith Merril — that day, I met both Merril (who went on to be a mentor to me) and Lorna Toolis, who has just stepped down as head of the library, which grew in stature and changed names, becoming the Merril Collection of Science Fiction.
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U.S. court tosses murder conviction of Blackwater guard Nicholas Slatten in massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians

A U.S. Federal appeals court today threw out the murder conviction of former Blackwater security guard Nicholas Slatten, who had been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 2007 massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.

Slatten and other former staff of military security contractor Blackwater (renamed Xe Services, now Academi, run by Erik Prince, brother of Trump DOE chief Betsy DeVos) were the focus of a high-profile legal case that has stretched on for a full decade.

Dozens of people from Iraq traveled to the United States for the trial, as we reported ten years ago here on Boing Boing. And the judge who sentenced Slatten to life in prison decided he was a nice guy who deserved a break (from the death penalty).

From Reuters:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered a new trial after tossing out the murder conviction of former security contractor Nicholas Slatten.

The three-judge panel said Slatten should have had a separate trial instead of being tried alongside his former colleagues. At a new trial, Slatten would be able to introduce evidence that one of his co-defendants had fired the first shot.

Separately, the court said Paul Slough, Dustin Heard and Evan Liberty, who were all convicted of manslaughter and other offenses over their respective roles in the incident, should be re-sentenced because their 30-year prison terms were too long. The court also threw out one of Liberty’s convictions for attempted manslaughter.

No word from the Justice Department, or lawyers for the defendants.

The mass killing at a traffic circle in Iraq’s capital city on Sept. 16, 2007 was notable for its sheer brutality, and brought into focus concerns over the growing number of private military contractors working alongside U.S. military forces in Iraq and other mideast war zones.

Erik Prince, the founder and chief of the many-times-renamed firm at the center of this story, is now advising President Donald Trump’s regime on how to further privatize American military operations overseas.

We’ll always have the Seychelles.

In the Reuters photo above from September 20, 2007, one of the people who was wounded the Blackwater shooting attack is helped by his relatives in a hospital in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at the time said the U.S. embassy should stop using American security firm Blackwater after the deadly shooting, saying he would not allow Iraqis to be killed in “cold blood”.

PHOTO, TOP: Blackwater Worldwide security guard Nick Slatten (C) and attorneys leave the federal courthouse after being arraigned with 4 fellow Blackwater guards on manslaughter charges for killing unarmed civilians in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad, in Washington in this January 6, 2009 file photo. (Reuters)

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Popehat suspended from Twitter for sharing a threat he received

This morning, Twitter covered Ken “Popehat” White’s profile page in balloons to celebrate his birthday. This afternoon, it suspended his account for posting screenshots of threats he’d received from another user.

The ranting missive, from a far-right lawyer in Texas whose threatening Twitter postings White had earlier mocked, promises such hatred and cruelty that White will want to kill himself or flee to “escape my wrath.”

But it was White’s response that fell afoul of Twitter’s mysterious rules on posting personally identifying information—even when such information is disclosed and widely publicized.

Twitter is a private company. It has every right to suspend me or kick me off, however foolish its reason. It’s got the right to free speech and free association. My rights have not been violated. I am not a victim. When you use a “free” service like Twitter and Facebook, you’re buying into the policies and attitudes they pursue, for better or worse. Want a platform with no dumb policies? Create one or pay for one.

For the moment, I doubt this reflects an evaluation by anyone at Twitter that “it’s okay for a deranged bigot to threaten people on Twitter but not okay to publish his threats.” Rather, this is part of the inevitable result of automating responses to abuse complaints. Now, if Twitter reviews this, and thinks that’s the right result — well, that would be something else again.

Twitter is still where the abusive can rail on and on before they get canned, while anyone with an earnest interest in using the site in good faith must adhere to vague, unhelpful policies in how they deal with all that trash.

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New DNA sunscreen becomes more effective the longer you stay in the sun

If you worry as much as I do about getting sun-damaged skin, this will be welcome news.

Biomedical engineering researchers at New York’s Binghamton University have a developed a new sunscreen, a think coating made out of DNA, that actually gets more effective the more time you spend in the sun.

ScienceDaily reports:

(Guy) German and a team of researchers developed thin and optically transparent crystalline DNA films and irradiated them with UV light. They found that the more they exposed the film to UV light, the better the film got at absorbing it.

“If you translate that, it means to me that if you use this as a topical cream or sunscreen, the longer that you stay out on the beach, the better it gets at being a sunscreen,” said German.

As an added bonus, the DNA coatings are also hygroscopic, meaning that skin coated with the DNA films can store and hold water much more than uncoated skin. When applied to human skin, they are capable of slowing water evaporation and keeping the tissue hydrated for extended periods of time.

Thanks, Colleen!

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Cool things worth checking out: Kooba/Menu reader/Workshop tip

Once a week, Kevin Kelly, Claudia Dawson, and I send out a weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. We have 11,821 subscribers. Here’s issue #54. Get the Recomendo weekly newsletter a week early by email.

Getting good stuff on craigslist:

This brief, succinct blog post has great advice on how to find what you want (at least with used furniture) on Craigslist. For instance, don’t forget to search for common misspellings of your target. These tips match my experience in buying used tools on Craigslist. —  KK

Better book finder:

Kooba is a fun option for finding the next book on your reading list. Just type in a title you like and you’ll get an interactive graph of suggestions. You can keep adding book, remove any you don’t want or start clicking to create a deeper web of recommendations. — CD

Menu reader:

This $8 magnifier is the size of a credit card, and as thick as a stack of six quarters. The lens is 1.75″ square and there’s a smaller round lens in the corner. A button on the side turns on a bright LED. I’ve taken to carrying it in my pocket. It comes in especially handy for reading menus in dark restaurants. — MF

Workshop tip:

When mixing epoxies, resins, goops, paints, glues, I always need to dispose of the gunked up mixing container afterwards. I try to hoard used take-out containers and paper cups yet run out. By far the best solution is to use flexible silicone mixing bowls. Nothing sticks. Turn them inside out to clean, and use again and again. They come in all sizes. You need only one each size. Since I mostly use small amounts of epoxy, I use the smallest silicone cup I could find, Norpro Mini Pinch Cups. — KK

Become a mind reader:

A good practice in empathy I like is copying someone’s body language to get a glimpse of what they’re feeling. Sometimes taking notice is enough, but if you mimic a person’s posture or positioning you might be able to understand them better. — CD

DIY Cleaner Spray:

We’ve been making our own cleaner spray for years. It’s mainly water with rubbing alcohol, vinegar, and corn starch. It cuts right through grease, smells much better than commercial cleaners, and costs less than 50 cents a gallon. The recipe is called the “Alvin Corn Homemade Glass Cleaner” and is posted here. — MF

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New York property speculators have figured out how to evict everyone

New York’s catastrophic homelessness is about to get much, much worse: the skyrocketing property values (driven by speculators who buy apartments in order to get their money out of corrupt and failing states abroad, leaving them empty with the understanding that they can be cashed out on short notice, thanks to the white-hot market of other money-launderers) have attracted very deep-pocketed, anonymous hedge-funds that are snapping up buildings with rent-stabilized and rent-controlled units, who use a ruthless set of highly refined tactics to kick out all their tenants and then flip the building.
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Chemist of Mysteries: Man Ray’s Dream Photos

Minimalist and modern-sounding, Man Ray is the sort of name that seems as if it should be outlined in buzzing neon. Born Emmanuel Radnitzky in Philadelphia on August 27, 1890, the photographer and visual artist shortened his nickname, “Manny,” to Man, and after 1912 went by a less Jewish-sounding version of his surname in response to the anti-Semitism of the times.

It was an inspired choice. Man Ray sounds like a shaft of light in human form—a radiant man. “I have freed myself from the sticky medium of paint and am working directly with light itself,” the frustrated painter exulted, after discovering the technique that enabled him to produce Rayographs, as he called them—spooky, one-of-a-kind images created by placing objects on light-sensitive paper and exposing them to light, producing white silhouettes that glow eerily against a black background, like ectoplasmic manifestations in a Spiritualist photograph. “Everything can be transformed, deformed, and obliterated by light,” he said. “Its flexibility is precisely the same as the suppleness of the brush.”

Ray’s work is collected in a new book, Man Ray (part of Taschen’s Photo Masters series). A fellow traveler of the Dadaists and Surrealists, Ray (1890-1976) pioneered unconventional techniques that, married to his visual wit, evoke hidden realities. “By assembling a vocabulary of seldom-used darkroom techniques, he freed photography from its reputation for recording the observable world and used it to create images drawn from the imagination,” writes Katherine Ware in her essay “Chemist of Mysteries,” included in the book. In his alien still lives, Calla lilies give off a radioactive glow (a special effect produced by solarization, in which a print or a negative is exposed during its development, causing some darks to appear light, some lights to appear dark). He had an offhanded brilliance when it came to titles. An eggbeater, lit so it casts a shadow and photographed from an awkward angle, takes on a life of its own, especially when titled La Femme (“The Woman”).  In “Le Violon d’Ingres” (“The Violin of Ingres”), a pair of f-holes, painted onto a photo of a naked woman with her back to us, turns a run-of-the-mill nude into a sly, Duchampian pun. But it’s his Rayographs of everyday detritus—bottles, combs, toy guns—that open the door to another world. Surrealist X-rays, they expose the unconscious lives of inanimate objects.

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Senate fails to pass 'Skinny Repeal' of Obamacare; McCain cast crucial 'No' vote

After 7 years of grandstanding, the GOP failed to pass its utterly indefensible ‘skinny repeal’ bill to destabilize American healthcare. The Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, lost on a 51-49 vote that included some surprise yesses and nos.

What a weird night this has been in America. GOP Senators wrote a health care bill over sandwiches at lunch, released the text at night, wouldn’t answer reporter’s questions about the content of the bill, then held a vote at 1am. And they failed.

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Trump gave a weird speech to thousands of Boy Scouts in which he relitigated election & crowd sizes (again)

Trump relitigated the 2016 election, boasted about his inauguration crowds, and told other inappropriate fabulisms to a crowd of children at the 2017 Boy Scout Jamboree today, because nothing matters anymore.

“The hottest people in New York were at this party. A lot of successful people were there. And I was invited to the party,
I was very young…”

As you watch, and read the transcript, remember. The audience is primarily children. Could have been me mis-hearing, but I could swear he mis-speaks, “their road to American sex.”

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Get 100 generic Magic Erasers for $9

This is the best deal I’ve seen on generic Magic Erasers. Less than ten cents a sponge! Here’s my earlier review:

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser a plain looking white sponge that looks like a chunk of cheap mattress foam. You wouldn’t think it would do good job of cleaning anything. But it removes stains and scuffs from painted walls and other surfaces without damaging the surfaces. Magic Erasers work with water – no soap or detergent is needed.

I used a Magic Eraser once to remove a nail polish stain from some fake leather furniture and it lived up to its name. The stain was completely gone and the upholstery looked as good as new. My friend Mister Jalopy used Magic Sponges to remove decades of built of grime from a pinball machine, making it look like it had just come off the Bally assembly line.

I love Magic Erasers. People think of new uses for them all the time. Here’s a car detailers who uses it to remove paint scratches and other kinds of surface damage on cars:

The Magic Eraser is a block of melamine foam. How Stuff Works explains why they are so good at removing stains:

[W]hen melamine resin cures into foam, its microstructure becomes very hard — almost as hard as glass — causing it to perform on stains a lot like super-fine sandpaper … The cavity-ridden open microstructure of melamine foam is where the second major boost to its stain-removing capabilities comes in. Apart from being able to scrape at stains with extremely hard microscopic filaments, with a few quick runs of the eraser, the stain has already started to come away. That’s aided by the fact that the dirt is pulled into the open spaces between the spindly skeletal strands and bound there. These two factors combined make this next-generation eraser seem almost magical.

The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser measures 4.6 x 2.4 x 1 inches, and an 8-pack sells for $6.47 on Amazon, where it’s got a 4.6 rating. But you can buy 100 generic melamine sponges measuring 4 x 2.3 x 8 for $8.99 on Amazon.

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Getting better at painting gaming miniatures

Many of us who play fantasy and sci-fi roleplaying and tabletop miniature games struggle with our ability to paint minis so that they look halfway decent on the table. Getting me to paint my minis is like getting 8-year-old me to eat his broccoli. I’m something of a perfectionist and I look at a lot of pro painted miniatures, in gaming magazines and online. My miniatures never look as good as what I see, so it’s an effort for me to even bother. But also being a perfectionist, I wouldn’t think of “gaming in the nude” (playing with unpainted miniatures). And so I press ahead, and try to do at least a little painting every night.

My pal, James Floyd Kelly, who I wrote about previously when he launched his new dungeon crafting channel, Game Terrain Engineering, was in a similar boat of not being happy with his painting chops. So, he decided to buy the Reaper Miniatures Learn To Paint Bones Kit and record a series of videos of him painting the three minis that come in the kit. It’s really encouraging to watch the series and to see how much his painting improves over the three videos and three miniatures. Bolstered by that improvement, Jim plans on now getting the next kit in the series, the Layer Up Bones Miniatures Learn to Paint Kit and to paint (and hopefully document) those three miniatures.

Also: Here’s a list of beginner painting tips that I ran into recently. These are all of the same tips that I share with people. I would also add great lighting. I just broke down and finally got one of those swing-arm magnifying florescent lights and it makes me feel like I’ve been painting in the dark up until now. Jimmi recommends a wet palette and I couldn’t agree more, now that I finally have one of those. Thinning your paints and building up paint in layers makes a huge difference in achieving great results. A wet palette helps keep the paints properly thin for you. Here’s the wet palette that I got, based on a friend’s recommendation. I love it.

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Trump lawyers are exploring his pardoning powers, and how to monkeywrench Mueller's Russia investigation

Lawyers for President Donald Trump are working on a conflict of interest case against special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, reports the Washington Post, and Trump has asked advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members, and himself, for any possible crimes linked to Mueller’s probe.

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Rudy Rucker on Walkaway

Walkaway is my first novel for adults since 2009 and I had extremely high hopes (and not a little anxiety) for it as it entered the world, back in April. Since then, I’ve been gratified by the kind words of many of my literary heroes, from William Gibson to Bruce Sterling to the kind cover quotes from Edward Snowden, Neal Stephenson and Kim Stanley Robinson.
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These trippy videos are designed to entice you to purchase eyewear

Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck has paired up with the Russian eyewear company FakbyFak to create fashion videos for the release of his new eyewear line “Toy Glasses.” The three videos are named Brutal Love, Total Liquidity, and Self Destruction. Out Magazine explains that the films are “a demonstration of what would likely happen to our Sims if they were left to their own devices in an artsy sex dungeon with a bunch of acid…Beirendonck’s videos employ the talents of performance artists Maria Forque, Salvia and Liza Keane, and are styled in 3D animations created by visual artists Claudia Maté, Ines Alpha and Jennifer Mehigan. They’re influenced by a combination of ’70s punk subcultures, Alice In Wonderland and bizarre makeup techniques”.

Wonderfully strange and psychedelic, Beirendonck’s films warp the viewer’s reality and urge them to question the nature of their own perception. From Out:

These 3D spaces speak to Walter Van Beirendonck’s interest in utopias—the need to dream in order to not only escape reality but to challenge it. In doing so they ask us to break free from the mind-forged chains of convention we weigh ourselves down with day to day.

Beirendonck’s conceptual ideas behind the film make me think of Timothy Leary’s philosophy that helped define ’70a counterculture; to break away from the rigid conformity that plagues so much of society and to think for oneself.

NSFW?

https://youtu.be/H1wcMaX7OQo

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Here's an interactive way to learn ethical hacking

The Metasploit framework is an open source tool that lets you simulate real attacks against your system. You can get introduced to this essential cyber security software with this Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking course, available now in the Boing Boing Store.

Throughout these 23 lessons, you’ll exploit vulnerabilities, evade antivirus software, and gain unauthorized access to protected systems. After getting familiar with the Metasploit environment, you’ll analyze targets for system weaknesses and execute automated tests backed by the world’s largest database of exploits. You will learn how to escalate privileges and take over remote machines by executing your own penetration code, and discover how to effectively cover your digital tracks. It’s a great way to pick up the fundamentals of this critical security role, since you’ll be following along closely with their interactive lessons.

This Hands on, Interactive Penetration Testing & Ethical Hacking course is usually $65, but you can pick it up here for $28.

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This week has been crazy. Here are some ways to relieve the stress.

Unless you’re fabulously wealthy or have stayed offline and away from news, your summer may be tinged with existential angst. This Trump stuff is super stressful.

We invite you to browse this list of some physical and digital comforts in our store, to lighten your load. Unfortunately, you will have to connect to the internet to do that, and pick them up for yourself. Just don’t read the news.

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Text to Save Lives – Crisis Text Line Needs YOU!

Twice in my life I tried seeking help when I was feeling suicidal: once from an in-person counselor, and once from a phone based hotline. Both services failed to provide the support I needed, and I left the experience feeling just as bad, if not worse. Thanks to mobile technology and one great idea, we now have another option — Crisis Text Line — and they need volunteers who can text, particularly late at night, since peak crisis hours are between 8pm and 4am.

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Security researchers: EFF's got your back at this summer's technical conferences

Are you a security researcher planning to present at Black Hat, Defcon, B-Sides or any of this summer’s security events? Are you worried a big corporation or the government might attack you for revealing true facts about the defects in the security systems we entrust with our safety, privacy and health?
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