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Updated 2018-02-25 09:33
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was surrounded by cowering "good guys with guns"
While a shooter rampaged through Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, the school's armed cop (who was a Broward County Sheriff's Deputy) and three of his deputy colleagues were hiding behind a police car outside the school. (more…)
The existential horror of Logan Paul
Rightfully disdained for his callous behavior but still adored by millions of fans, YouTuber Logan Paul clearly inspires some very intense emotions in those who watch his channel. In this thoughtful 19-minute video, video essayist Big Joel takes an objective look at why that is by examining Paul’s evolving YouTube persona and the troubling, damaging path it’s taken.https://youtu.be/T11cQXL5dJwFor another smart critical take on Logan Paul, check out this video by Nathan Zed:https://youtu.be/Udtjq-uZ10Y
SPLC finally adds male supremacists to hate groups list
Male supremacy has gotten a strong foothold online through men's rights activism (MRA), pickup artist movement (PUA), and the "tradwife" movement. Now SPLC has started naming the leaders on their hate watchlist. (more…)
Watch how to make a tin can with actual tin from scratch
Cody from Cody's lab had some elemental tin and a new rolling press, so he decided to craft a tin can from actual tin. (more…)
Animator PES crafts a taco with his flea market haul
Most of PES' videos showcase his amazingly stylish stop-motion animation skills. While his most recent upload is a departure from that, it's equally as compelling. In the video, he heads to his local flea market in Long Beach, California and shows us not only what kinds of things he fancies but also shares, in some cases, why they grabbed his attention. We also get to see how he combines seemingly-unrelated elements to make something creative and new, which is what he does in his animated shorts (like Submarine Sandwich, Western Spaghetti and the Oscar-nominated Fresh Guacamole).Now watch as he turns a vintage baseball glove into a crispy taco shell stuffed with crystallized "meat," shredded money "lettuce," dice(d) "tomatoes," and golf pencil "cheese."
Watch this test of a campfire in a can
Taras Kul tried out a "campfire in a can," essentially an enormous four-pound tea light used in places where firewood is unavailable or prohibited. (more…)
In 2009 a NJ judge banned hooking up voting machines to the internet, but that's exactly how ES&S's "airgapped" machines work
Connecting voting machines to the internet is a terrible idea: the machines are already notoriously insecure, and once they're online, anyone, anywhere in the world becomes a potential attacker. (more…)
Astronauts share their experiences seeing Earth from space
What's it really like to gaze at Earth from space? Does an offworld view of the Pale Blue Dot shift your perspective forever? For the cover story in the new issue of National Geographic, talented science writer Nadia Drake talks to astronauts about how the rarified experience of seeing our planet from space changed them forever. “You’ve got this planet beneath you, and a lot of what you see, especially during the day, does not necessarily point to a human presence," Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti told Drake. "If you look at it on a geologic timescale, it’s almost like we are this flimsy presence, and we really have to stick together as a human family to make sure we are a permanent presence on this planet and not just this blink of an eye.”It's a beautiful and moving story. Nadia writes:For the bulk of human history, it’s been impossible to put Earth in cosmic perspective.Bound by gravity and biology, we can’t easily step outside it, above it, or away from it. For most of us, Earth is inescapably larger than life. Even now, after nearly six decades of human spaceflight, precious few people have rocketed into orbit and seen the sun peeking out from behind that curved horizon. Since 1961, a mere 556 people have had this rarefied experience. Fewer, just 24, have watched Earth shrink in the distance, growing smaller and smaller until it was no larger than the face of a wristwatch. And only six have been completely alone behind the far side of the moon, cut off from a view of our planet as they sailed in an endlessly deep, star-studded sea...It’s an inherently unnatural thing, spaceflight. After all, our physiology evolved specifically to succeed on this planet, not above it. Perhaps that’s why it can be difficult for astronauts to describe the experience of seeing Earth from space."They Saw Earth From Space. Here's How It Changed Them." (National Geographic)
A simple Sunday routine for a more productive life
Although the YouTube channel The Financial Diet usually offers financial advice, in this video host Chelsea Fagan talks through the Sunday routine that’s helped her become more productive despite her naturally lazy, type-B personality.
This European city center has no street names
As part of his Amazing Places series, YouTuber Tom Scott explores how the Quadratestadt of Mannheim, Germany confounds modern computer mapping systems because it doesn’t name its streets.
LEGO's 60th anniversary 'Fun Future' set
LEGO is releasing a number of 60th anniversary sets. The Robot and Spaceman from the Fun Future kit are already making waves.Sets in the multi-piece LEGO style of old, rather than the single purpose build-a-thing sets, get a lot less playtime here, with my daughter. These 60th anniversary sets, however, have sucked her in. 186 pieces in a small box, with limited instructions? That is a lot of fun!LEGO Classic Fun Future 10402 Building Kit (186 Piece) via AmazonImage via Amazon
Now you can send bouquets of donuts instead of flowers
When you care enough to send the very best, skip the Hallmark cards and flowers and ship a bouquet of donuts to a loved one. It's a thing. A bunch of donut bouquet shops have popped up around the globe. Here's what I could find:-- Los Angeles: Donut Princess LA, prices start at $20 for three donuts-- London: Donut Bouquets, prices start at £34.99 (~$48.87) for eight donuts, delivered in a "luxurious black box" -- Australia (various cities): Dessertboxes.com.au, prices start at $78 AUD (~$61.15) for eight donuts, also in a fancy box-- Las Vegas and Henderson: The Donut Bouquet, prices at $49.95 for a dozen, customizations availableThis is not to be confused with the evil clown donut delivery service.image via Donut Princess LA
Watch the making of a Star Wars AT-ST Walker highchair
Want to see the making of a badass, one-of-a-kind highchair that's fashioned after an AT-ST Walker from Star Wars? Of course you do. Matt of Never Not Making leads the way.(Geekologie)
Lovely, simple pet portraits
Using pencil drawings, watercolor, and ink, Serbian artist Endre Penovác creates gorgeous artwork, including an ongoing series featuring household pets. You can find Penovác’s work on his Instagram, his Facebook, and his website. His work is also for sale via Saatchi Art. Here are some of my favorite pet portraits:https://www.instagram.com/p/BQU28HbDe5c/https://www.instagram.com/p/BECSRFAwwvg/https://www.instagram.com/p/BYEDy7yHthb/https://www.instagram.com/p/BTV2fw-hn4N/https://www.instagram.com/p/BJDaHYAg-XF/https://www.instagram.com/p/BSouSYih2jJ/https://www.instagram.com/p/BdLBo42HzJj/https://www.instagram.com/p/BS-o4OahfuF/https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd8UKDXn6Wo/https://www.instagram.com/p/BAmFGucQwqf/[via Laughing Squid and Bored Panda]
Kathy Bates lip-syncing Bruno Mars
At nearly 70 years old, Kathy Bates got up on the Lip Sync Battle stage to perform Bruno Mars' Grammy-winning "That’s What I Like." Donning a leopard-print pajama top and gold medallions, watch the award-winning actress show off her smooth moves in this preview clip. She'll face off against comedian Tone Bell in this week's challenge which airs Thursday at 10/9c on Paramount Network.Lip Sync Battle is back for another season of epic performances from the hottest stars on the planet! Each week, A-list celebrities go toe to toe, syncing contemporary hits and classic tracks, all for the ultimate bragging rights: the title of Lip Sync Battle Champion. Hosted by LL Cool J and Chrissy Teigen.
KFC chicken shortage blamed on DHL, and it's not getting its act together
DHL has been shipping and losing packages for close to 50 years. Earlier this week, it became clear that their half century of shipping knowledge doesn't extend to poultry as they'd screwed up Kentucky Fried Chicken's supply chain in the United Kingdom so bad that the company was forced to shutter around two-thirds of their restaurants, as no chickens had been delivered. Apparently, DHL isn't satisfied with simply failing to deliver chickens to their finger lickin' good customer: a report from the Guardian suggests that, thanks to an Olympic level of incompetence on the part of the courier, chickens destined for the UK's KFC restaurants may have to be thrown out.According to The Guardian, DHL, who took over KFC's UK supply chain management last week, has been keeping chickens destined for use at the fast food chain's restaurants in an unregistered cold storage warehouse. That's a problem: As the warehouse hasn't been registered with local health authorities, it wouldn't have been inspected to ensure that it was storing KFC's poultry in a way that complies with health regulations. As a result, there's a good chance that the chickens will need to be thrown out.Honestly, this is some genius level strategy on DHL's part: you can't be accused of not shipping chickens if all of the birds have to be tossed in the trash.Interestingly, this isn't DHL's first clusterfuck rodeo. Six years ago, Burger King experienced similar issues after entrusting their supply chain to the shipping company.Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Cult of Personality: Two crime writers discuss the allure of cults in their own dark fiction
Online security is a disaster and the people who investigate it are being sued into silence
The only thing worse than driving a car with defective breaks is unknowingly driving a car with defective brakes -- and learning about them the hard way. (more…)
Seriously long lasting doggie chew toy
This $10 Nylabone Durachew has survived years of chewing.This is a nylon bone I smear some peanut butter on, and leave with Nemo for ages. Nemo is a 120lb-or-so Great Pyrenees. He can chew through the cables that hold up the Golden Gate Bridge!I knew nylon was tough but, wow! Might as well be steel.Nylabone Dura Chew via AmazonImage via Boing Boing
3D printed body parts for transplant
Anthony Atala, director of Wake Forest University’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, is developing techniques to 3D print human organs for transplant using an individual's own cells as the "ink." That way, the transplanted organ won't trigger the patient's immune system to reject it as a foreign body. From National Geographic:(For example,) to create an ear, the printer lays down a pliable, porous scaffold made of hydrogel, a kind of polymer. The scaffold is covered with skin cells and cartilage cells, which grow and fill in the ear-shaped form. The hydrogel eventually biodegrades; after about six months the ear is composed entirely of human cells.
Boston Dynamics' door-opening dogbot gets rough treatement
I was frightened of the door-opening Francis-Bacon-figures-at-the-base-of-a-crucifixion robot when it was first seen last week, but now Boston Dynamics has started pushing and dragging it around and all I want now is for it to turn on its masters and seek justice and vengeance.
One-star ratings have worse grammar and spelling than five-star ones
The folks at Priceonomics crunched some data and found that one-star product reviews online are more likely to have incorrect spelling and grammar than five-star ones. As they note:According to our data, negative reviews have a higher rate of misspelled words and a higher rate of incorrectly used apostrophes. They tend to be longer and have more details as well. Five-star reviews typically are shorter and often don’t include punctuation. Across the board, reviewers make a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes – only 61% of reviews passed all our quality checks.From our findings, we can say that when people are writing negative reviews, they create longer and more error-filled prose than those who are sharing positive reviews.One could, of course, shake one's head and conclude that trolls who like to tear things down are more incoherent than people who are trying to praise something. And that's probably not entirely wrong, given the bimodal review-wars online. But the data here are actually kind of intriguing, because it turns out that the reviews with the highest incidence of spelling errors are actually the three-star reviews ...... and when it comes to using apostrophes, it's the four-star reviews that have the most errors, followed by three-star; here, the one-star reviews are quite good, quite close to the precision-rate of the five-star reviews:So it looks as though the less-well-appointed grammar is coming out the middle of the review-pack, not the bimodal head and tail.But! As the Priceonomics folks point out, spelling and grammar aren't necessarily always the best index of coherence. Artful writers -- and idiomatic ones -- violate the rules of spelling and grammar all the time, for aesthetic reasons. As Ben Crair pointed out a while ago, people have begun leaving out periods at the end of sentences so frequently (specifically to create an air of casual breeziness) that ending a sentence with a period can seem aggressive. And Gretchen McCulloch, my favorite Internet-age linguist, has tons of fun essays musing on the way language is morphing in our intertubal age.(CC-licensed image above from Pixabay)
Jessica Jones season two gets a kickass trailer
After a stellar first season (and an appearance in the so-so Defenders crossover series), Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones is set to return for a second season on March 8th. The show’s brand new trailer digs into Jessica’s traumatic past while offering a glimpse into her anger-fueled future.
In the early 1800s, an escaped convict spent 32 years living among the aborigines of southeastern Australia
In 1835, settlers in Australia discovered a European man dressed in kangaroo skins -- a convict who had escaped an earlier settlement and spent 32 years living among the natives of southern Victoria. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll review the extraordinary life of William Buckley, the so-called "wild white man" of colonial Australia.We'll also try to fend off scurvy and puzzle over some colorful letters.Show notesPlease support us on Patreon!
The Internet Archive's Military Industrial Powerpoint Complex: eyeball-lancing collection of terrible US military slides
The Internet Archive celebrated its 20th anniversary with a variety of special events and collections, including the cleverly named Military Industrial Powerpoint Complex, an archive of US military bureaucratic slide-decks that are as cringey as they are hideous. (more…)
Students substitute gun control protest for active shooter drill
After the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students at MDI High School in Bar Harbor, Maine were scheduled to have a routine lock-down drill, in which students practice how to behave if their school is the site of a similar mass shooting; these drills teach children to sacrifice themselves by distracting the shooter before they are murdered in order to give other students a few more seconds during which the police might arrive and kill the shooter. (more…)
Unsettling British pork advertisement
The aptly-named "Scarred for Life" Twitter account posted this remarkable ad for British pork, dating to some indefinitely creepy moment in the 1970s or 1980s. There should be a corollary for Poe's law ("it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken for the thing parodied") for parodies of British advertisements. Be sure to click through to the thread for more high-quality horrors of UK product marketing.Previously: KFC Commercial, by Peter Serafinowicz.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmMtIG0St64
A field guide to the incredible scissors of Japan
Yasukuni Notomi ("a writer who has covered the world of stationery for many years") provides an introduction to the creative explosion in Japanese scissor-design, beginning with the "Pencut," a scissor that fits in a normal pencil-case, with retractable elastic loops for your fingers and full-length blades so you don't sacrifice power for portability. (more…)
Wesley Snipes tried to make Black Panther 25 years ago
Variety interviewed Wesley Snipes about the failed 1992 attempt to bring Black Panther to the screen. (more…)
Hell cruise: 20 people ordered to leave ship after brawl
The best part is the staff and security joining in, kicking people on the ground and trying to confiscate bystanders' cameras.A family member identified only as Zac said the drama was sparked by a misunderstanding over a thong.
Beneath the Sugar Sky: return to the world of "Every Heart a Doorway" for a quest through the land of Confection
The surprisingly mathematical formula for writing late-night jokes
In this fascinating new video, Slate breaks down the basic formula for late-night talk show jokes, which writers fall back on when they need to churn out dozens of gags four nights a week.[via The A.V. Club]
Horse not alarmed by wolves
In this footage, a wild horse is apparently unbothered by the presence of several wolves, and perhaps even quite friendly with them. Perhaps it has already sufffered a crippling injury and is going mad as the predators continuously stalk and harass it into fatigue and despair, after having already suffered brain parasites or some other tragic malady of horses. Or maybe it just doesn't give a shit.
In search of an awesome general interest gaming magazine
Last year, I went on a bit of a quest. For years, as a tabletop gamer who played Warhammer 40K almost exclusively, I subscribed to White Dwarf (or "White Dork" as my late wife used to call it). This is the slick and expensive Games Workshop publication that exclusively covers WH40K and other GW games. But as my ravenous game appetite expanded to wanting to pig out on all manner of miniature, board, RPG, and card games, I began to look for magazines that covered all of these. To my surprise, I discovered that there weren't any. Or, at least, I couldn't find one. There are a number of excellent and beautifully-produced tabletop wargame magazines, such as Wargames Illustrated and Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy. And there are mags that cover board and family games, such as Casual Game Insider. And then there is GTM, Game Trade Magazine, a magazine targeted at your FLGS ("friendly local game store). But where was the magazine that covers all forms of analog gaming? There's a tabletop gaming revolution going on. So where is the house organ?Here it is. Tabletop Gaming magazine. This very handsome UK-based monthly covers all manner of board games, RPGs, card games, historical wargames, miniature games, dice games, party games, you name it. I didn't even have high expectations for the contents of such a magazine, but Tabletop Gaming delivers a very well-designed and well-written publication that examines every aspect of the gaming hobby. Feature articles cover new games being developed, aspects of game history, culture, art, design, the gaming industry, even the psychology and science of gaming. There are interviews with game designers, peeks at historical games of yore, instructional articles for game design wannabes, even hobby articles on painting miniatures, building terrain, and the like. And, as you would expect from a gaming magazine, there are loads of thoughtful reviews of the latest and greatest games in each issue. I have read the last two issues nearly cover-to-cover. Here is some of what was inside: (January, 2018) A deep dive into the forthcoming Fallout miniatures game, 10 RPGs to play in 2018, the making of Dominion, a look at Stuffed Fables, a new storybook game from Jerry Hawthorne, designer of Mice & Mystics, a look inside the counterfeit game market, and an article on Hnefatafl ("neffa-taffle") an ancient Viking board game. (February, 2018) A detailed look at Batman: Gotham City Chronicles, the hotly anticipated miniatures board game by the creators of the Conan tabletop game, a piece on how gaming miniatures are made, what is in store for the return of Masks of Nyarlathotep, arguably one of the greatest RPG adventures ever written, and finally, a guide to painting up the miniatures for the Star Trek Adventures RPG. Every issue also comes with a free promo card for a popular new game. You can sometimes sell these on eBay to help defray the cost of your subscription. That subscription doesn't come cheap, by the way. A 12-issue print sub, sent to the US, is £120. An annual digital sub is half that. But you can also likely pick up a copy at your FLGS. If they don't carry it, encourage them to do so. I personally am happy to pay such a price for a magazine this good that covers all of the gaming itches that I want to scratch.
South African audience celebrates 'Black Panther'
After a Friday night screening of Black Panther, Marvel's new film that celebrates African culture and pride, a group of South African moviegoers ecstatically danced outside of the theater. That celebratory vibe was felt here in California too.My daughter and I saw the movie in Alameda at its first showing Thursday evening and the energy in the room was wild! The theater was packed and there was lots of cheering and clapping all throughout the film. Also here in the Bay Area, the film's director and co-writer Ryan Coogler surprised the audience before Friday night's show at Oakland's Grand Lake Theater (where lines wrapped around the block): https://twitter.com/KateABC7/status/964388541613486080Born and raised in Oakland, Coogler delighted more local fans by making surprise appearances at select movie premieres in San Francisco and Emeryville. (reddit)
Here’s what it’s like to live in an eco-friendly “Earthship”
As part of their ongoing YouTube series Homebuddies, in which they try out different forms of living (and attempt to become better friends in the process), Buzzfeed’s Niki Ang and Garrett Werner spent a few days in an “Earthship” in Taos, New Mexico. Pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds, Earthships are “sustainable, off-grid, independent, autonomous buildings” made from upcycled materials. Though Niki and Garrett go in expecting something a bit kooky and rustic, they discover that in addition to be sustainable, Earthships are also unexpectedly comfortable too.You can learn more about Michael Reynolds’ work on the Earthship Global website or read more about Earthships on Wikipedia.
This app helps you build your dream home from the ground up
When it comes to redesigning or renovating a living space, envisioning changes before they occur can be tricky for most. Thankfully, the web is home to tools that can remove some of the guesswork, like Live Home 3D Pro for Mac. This app lets you create detailed and furnished floor plans for everything from sheds and homes to even skyscrapers, and it's on sale for $24.99 in the Boing Boing Store.https://player.vimeo.com/video/181496369A TopTenReviews Gold Award winner, Live Home 3D Pro allows you to design advanced 2D floor plans via simple, point and click drafting tools. Its elevation view lets you see walls, adjust doors and windows, and arrange furniture in your design. Plus, you can add a custom light source to an object, giving you full control over light attenuation, glow, and direction. Live Home 3D Pro is also capable of rendering movie tracks to ultra HD video files, handy for impressing clients if you're a contractor.You can experience Live Home 3D Pro's design potential for $24.99.
Atari joins blockchain mania
Atari is launching its own cryptocurrency, because of course it is.The company’s Paris-listed stock rose as much as 111% between February 4 and February 15. The company says it is investing in a “crypto platform” that will use its own digital currency, the “Atari Token.” It can be used to – you guessed it – play video games.
The intrinsic comedy of a self-inflating airplane emergency escape slide
The DHS's "Active Shooter" printable wallet card, for when "thoughts and prayers" fail
When in trouble,Or in doubt,Run in circles,Scream and shout. (more…)
Identical twin drugged brother, left him in cell to escape prison
According to The Washington Post, a set of identical twins in Peru not only share the same parents and looks, but also, briefly, a prison sentence.In January, 2017, Alexander Jheferson Delgado was in a Peruvian clink serving a 16-year sentence for robbery and child sexual abuse. For some people, no matter what they do, family is family. Alexander’s twin, Giancarlo, is one of those: he came to visit his incarcerated sibling, bringing food and letters from their family with him. Giancarlo met with his twin in a common area of the prison, walking with him as he returned to his cell. Once there, Alexander offered Giancarlo a soda. So nice! Except for the fact that the can of pop was laced with enough sedatives to lay out a rhino.Once his twin was in a deep drug-induced sleep, Alexander stripped and swapped clothes with Giancarlo. Once in his brother’s threads, all he needed to do to make his escape was walk past six checkpoints inside of the prison to freedom. If the guards at the checkpoints had been doing their jobs, they would have noticed that Alexander did not have the stamp on his arm, given to all visitors to the facility, that his brother Giancarlo did.When Giancarlo woke up, he tried to tell his captors what had happened. Of course, they didn’t believe him – at first. After checking Giancarlo’s fingerprints against the imprints of his brother’s that they had on file, the prison’s authorities had to admit that they had the wrong man under lock and key. As a result of Alexander’s escape, the prison’s warden and a number of the guards were fired. Alexander managed to evade authorities for over a year, before finally being captured last week.Image: Adam Jones, Ph.D. - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Debullshitifying Uber's financial statement reveals a hemorrhaging fountain of red ink with no path to profitability
Uber trumpeted its Q4/2017 financial statements as evidence of the company's progress towards CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's goal of profitability and IPO by 2019; the company argued that despite losing $4.5 billion in 2017, its cust-cutting in the final quarter of the year was proof that they would eventually go from losing money on each ride to actually earning money. (more…)
Watch Paul Ryan say the same vapid bullcrap after every mass shooting
Every time there's a mass murder, Paul Ryan says we should all be more concerned about knees that jerk than bodies that bleed to death.
New York Federal judge rules that embedding tweets can violate copyright law
Katherine Forrest, an Obama-appointed federal judge in New York, has overturned a bedrock principle of internet law, ruling that embedding a copyrighted work can constitute a copyright infringement on the part of the entity doing the embedding. (more…)
Psychedelic 'Mirror Maze' is a hidden gem deep within popular San Francisco tourist trap
My friend Mark Krawczuk recently discovered an under-appreciated attraction at San Francisco's Pier 39, Magowan's Infinite Mirror Maze.In his latest newsletter (which is a delightful find itself), he describes it: There’s something about the atmosphere at Pier 39 that set me and my friend Julie on edge. Something about the ingenuous tourist trap consumer culture that they’ve been able to refine to its purest form. We nearly turned back before we got to this marvel. I’m so glad we pushed through. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever been to before: it evokes joy, awe, glee, fascination and terror at the same time. It’s premise seems so simple, but it truly blew my mind. I truly enjoyed my time there, but I have to admit I was glad when we solved the way out. I highly recommend it! And a bargain at $5.
Mittens to run for Utah senate seat
Mitt Romney, former Republican presidential candidate and Trump "critic", is to run for the Utah senate seat vacated by Orrin Hatch's retirement.Romney's run has already faced some resistance: the head of the state's Republican Party criticized him for not having deep enough ties to the state. Jenny Wilson, a Democratic candidate running for Senate in Utah, said this week that "Utah families deserve another Utahn as their senator, not a Massachusetts governor who thinks of our state as his vacation home."If elected, the former governor would bring strong name recognition and influence as a first-term senator. While former aides expect Romney to push for conservative policies in the Senate, they also believe he will rebuke the president when necessary and potentially clash with him on some policies. What ... what if he only votes with Trump 85% of time, like GOP rebel Jeff Flake? This could be revolutionary.
Design firm reveals new MC Escher wallpaper
MC Escher's mind-bending works will soon be available as fancy wallpaper, thanks to a collaboration with Escher's estate and Italian design firm Jannelli & Volpi. (more…)
Watch this artist create photorealistic embroidery portraits
Verso is a lovely documentary about embroidery artist Cayce Zavaglia (previously), who creates beautiful portraits via embroidery. (more…)
Treasure-hunting diver finds a phone and returns it to its owner
Arizona-based scuba diver Dallas, the guy behind the YouTube channel Man + River, has a fun hobby. He dives with his buddies at local creeks, rivers, and lakes looking for lost treasures, recording these underwater scavenger hunts on his GoPro. He's found all kinds of things, including sunglasses, pocket knives, coins, jewelry, cameras, lots of phones, and even a gun.In this video from late last year, watch as Dallas unearths an iPhone 6 buried eight inches deep using an underwater metal detector and a metal sand scoop.The phone was found dry inside an inexpensive waterproof case, so Dallas brought it home and started charging it. Long story shorter: The phone works, he contacts its owner and returns it to him. Watch!(Likecool)
Plagiarism software finds Shakespeare plundered cool words from a little-known book
Shakespeare was a creative-commons powerhouse – he borrowed tons of plots for his plays, happily plundering from the writings of Plutarch, contemporary Italian authors, and more.Now there's evidence of a new source: A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels, a book written in the late 1500s by Elizabeth court figure George North. It looks like Shakespeare read it and found some of the language so shiny that he reused it, often quite directly, in his own plays.Even more fun is how the discovery was made: With plagiarism-detection software!Dennis McCarthy – a writer, college dropout, and self-taught scholarly historian of English – had heard of the North book via an auction-catalog listing. The listing suggested it'd be interesting to compare it to Shakespeare's work. McCarthy and English prof June Schlueter digitized the text of North's book, then compared it against Shakespeare's plays by using WCopyfind, open-source software used by profs to check if students are ripping off other words.Bingo. As the New York Times reports:In the dedication to his manuscript, for example, North urges those who might see themselves as ugly to strive to be inwardly beautiful, to defy nature. He uses a succession of words to make the argument, including “proportion,” “glass,” “feature,” “fair,” “deformed,” “world,” “shadow” and “nature.” In the opening soliloquy of Richard III (“Now is the winter of our discontent …”) the hunchbacked tyrant uses the same words in virtually the same order to come to the opposite conclusion: that since he is outwardly ugly, he will act the villain he appears to be.“People don’t realize how rare these words actually are,” Mr. McCarthy said. “And he keeps hitting word after word. It’s like a lottery ticket. It’s easy to get one number out of six, but not to get every number.” [snip]The book contends that Shakespeare not only uses the same words as North, but often uses them in scenes about similar themes, and even the same historical characters. In another passage, North uses six terms for dogs, from the noble mastiff to the lowly cur and “trundle-tail,” to argue that just as dogs exist in a natural hierarchy, so do humans. Shakespeare uses essentially the same list of dogs to make similar points in “King Lear” and “Macbeth.”(Image via Wikimedia Commons)