By Rob Beschizza on Feb 19, 2020 07:37 am
The Financial Times, which is like The Wall Street Journal but with a three-digit IQ, has an amusing 404 Not Found page.
Read the rest
Why wasn't this page found?
We asked some leading economists.
The cost of pages rose drastically, while the page production rate slowed down.
There was no market for it.
We injected some extra money into the technology team but there was little or no interest so they simply kept it, thus failing to stimulate the page economy.
There exists another page that will make everyone better off without making anyone worse off.
By Ruben Bolling on Feb 19, 2020 07:08 am
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH President Trump shoots a man on Fifth Ave. and the media urgently reports both the Democratic and Republican perspectives
By Thom Dunn on Feb 19, 2020 07:00 am
Humans have been fermenting grain-flavored liquids into some simulacrum of beer for more than 10,000 years. And so it stands to reason that, over the next 10,000 years, we'll continue finding ways to combine water and yeast with some kind of sweetener and a floral bittering agent, whether out of some adherence to tradition, or just to take the edge off of after a long day of galactic work.
Over at Tor.com, novelist Arkady Martine, author of the celebrated space-opera A Memory Called Empire, decided to take the thought of space beer and follow it all the way to its logical potential ends. How, exactly, would one be able to brew beer in the confines of a spaceship, using only the basic knowledge that we currently possess around the science of agriculture and fermentation?
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Ingredients necessary for beer: water, yeast, and a starch that the yeast can work upon.
Ingredients you want if you’d like your beer to taste vaguely like the beer we know: malted barley, hops.
Let’s start with yeast. The usual yeast is a brewer’s yeast, most often Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which happens—helpfully—to be the same species as the yeast that makes bread rise. Yeasts are little live creatures—single-celled microorganisms that love to eat sugars and transform them into carbon dioxide and alcohol. They need to be kept alive. A generation ship would have had to bring a yeast colony, perhaps in the form of a sourdough starter, and feed it regularly with starches and sugars, in order to be able to have a steady supply of small organisms to brew beer with.
By Boing Boing's Shop on Feb 18, 2020 10:00 pm
Every family is chock full of stories. Stories of history, stories of memory, stories of accomplishment and stories of love. From a grandparent’s tales of life decades ago to a couple’s first meeting to amazing life experiences and moments that you wish could be preserved for future generations.
Unfortunately, we all don’t have the literary talents of a Maya Angelou or a Doris Kearns Goodwin or other great biographers to truly do those stories justice in print. That’s ok...because now, Forevernote has created a cool, affordable new way of immortalizing those key memories in quality keepsake books.
Essentially, Forevernote gives you your own biographer. Sign up yourself or a loved one for the service and whether you’re looking to share a few short snippets of advice or a full detailed account of someone’s life, a trained biographer will help you shape your narrative and get you ready for a one-on-one interview.
During the interview, the expert biographer will ask just the right questions, talking the subject through those key life moments to help capture all the memorable details from your stories.
After the interview, the Forevernote team transcribes audio into text, which you can personally edit yourself or you can enlist Forevernote’s professional editing services. You can even add in photos as the design team crafts your custom keepsake hardcover book.
You’ll get a PDF of your finished book for review, an audio recording of your interview and within a few weeks, your 30 to 40-page hardcover book will arrive. Read the rest
By Mark Frauenfelder on Feb 18, 2020 07:56 pm
As you might know, Robert Anton Wilson (1932 - 2007) is one of Boing Boing's patron saints. Raw's humor, skepticism, optimism, and ability to reveal the deep weirdness underlying almost everything were deeply influential to Carla and me when we launched bOING bOING as a zine in 1987. In fact, we kind of started the zine as an excuse to interview RAW at his house in Santa Monica that year. I'm very grateful I was able to get to know RAW, and honored that he wrote a regular column for bOING bOING. I'm also grateful to have become a friend of Bob's daughter, Christina, a delightful person who is active in keeping her father's books in print. Here's an essay Christina wrote about a new edition of Ishtar Rising, a book originally published by Playboy Press called The Book of the Breast. — Mark
A while back, we knew that Hilaritas Press would soon be working on releasing a new edition of Robert Anton Wilson's Ishtar Rising, prepping it for publication by removing tons of typos (thanks to Gregory Arnott, Chas Faris, Rasa, and a few select others), and inserting a timely new foreword by Grant Morrison. We were excited to be manifesting what we had intended; to publish and make available as many of RAW's books as we could. I had originally read the book in its The Book of the Breast form in my early twenties, having just returned from India (yep, went to gain enlightenment, but instead gained disillusionment — which has served me well!) Read the rest
By Mark Frauenfelder on Feb 18, 2020 06:45 pm
Nan Wise, Ph.D., is AASECT certified sex therapist, neuroscientist, certified relationship expert, and author. Follow her @AskDoctorNan. The following is adapted from her new book, Why Good Sex Matters: Understanding the Neuroscience of Pleasure for a Smarter, Happier, and More Purpose-Filled Life. -- Mark
Our society has had a long, challenging relationship with pleasure. A recent study indicates that American adults are having sex less often than before, with an especially steep decline since the year 2000. This decline is significant even when you control for factors such as age, gender, and marital status. And to top it off, in spite of the media’s portrayal of young people as freewheeling, casual sex-seeking, hookup artists, those born in the 1980s and 1990s are now the adults who are having less sex.
There is a clear paradox when it comes to our sexuality — a vexing approach/avoidance that I have come to characterize as a “lewd-prude” phenomenon. As much as we are reinforcing the need for mindful “sexual conduct,” scores of people are coming forth to report sexual harassment and sexual abuse that has long been in the shadows. Sex has become for many a place of pain rather than pleasure. Unfortunately, as movements like #MeToo have uncovered, there is quite a long-standing disconnect between the code of behavior we preach and its effectiveness in our society, creating a kind of shadow culture where people act out negatively and harmfully around sex. And even those who have not had a traumatic sexual experience are impacted by this social component that reinforces a disconnect from pleasure. Read the rest
By Gareth Branwyn on Feb 18, 2020 06:04 pm
I love this strange and wonderful project on Hackaday.io. It is digital clock which uses a ring of 60 NeoPixels in a 3D printed flying saucer and 12 lights on the inner ring to indicate the hours. It also does backups. And light shows. All it needs is a cow being sucked up into it.
At the end of November 2019 my trusty old iomega StorCenter NAS (Network Attached Storage) started behaving eratically and would keep disappearing from the network and locking up every few hours. I immediately made sure I had several copies of the data and started the search for a replacement. But it dawned on me that whatever I would buy would ultimately go the same way: unsupported and unfixable.
So, with the new Raspberry Pi 4 having USB3 ports and a long running desire to make a circular neopixel clock at some point, it dawned on me that there are two devices that run 24 hours a day: my NAS and my trusty old Tix clock that I bought several years ago.
Why settle for another boring NAS when I can make the ultimate NAS come Clock combination? So began the flying saucer clock project...
So, how does it tell time?
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The inner ring of the saucer contains 12 LEDs behind diffusers made from a ring of transparent PLA with black PLA colour separators, which are lit according to the current hours. The minutes and seconds are shown on the outer 60 LED ring. This also displays the hour as a series of 5 LEDs lit blue and also hour markers shown at spacing of every 5.
By Mark Frauenfelder on Feb 18, 2020 06:04 pm
Notpla is an edible material made from seaweed and plants that can encapsulate drinking water other edible materials, eliminating the need for plastic packaging.
From Fast Company:
The designers used a technique from molecular gastronomy to create the package—if you dip a sphere of ice in a mixture of calcium chloride and brown algae extract, an edible membrane forms around the ice, holding everything in place as the ice melts back to room temperature. A small version of the package is designed to break open inside your mouth. “It’s a bit like a cherry tomato,” says Paslier. “You put it in your cheek and bite on it. It explodes, so it’s quite a surprising experience.” The startup partnered with the Scottish whisky brand Glenlivet last year to make a “glassless cocktail” capsule that customers can imbibe along with whisky. The seaweed coating, which is tasteless, can either be eaten or composted.
Image: Ooho Read the rest
By Gareth Branwyn on Feb 18, 2020 05:46 pm
The online gaming portal, OnTableTop (formerly Beasts of War) is trying to establish February as "Snag-a-Normie" month. The idea is for tabletop gamers to try and bring their friends and family over to the dark side, to expand the hobby gaming community, and to find more players for yourself. As a life-long tabletop gaming enthusiast, I am all for this.
As my Snag-a-Normie contribution for the month, I thought I'd share a few ideas for what I think are great gateway games for getting newbies interested in tabletop miniature games, card games, and fantasy and sci-fi board games. These choices represent my particular interests, so this is far from a universal list. YMMV.
Wildlands - This 2-4 person board game with gorgeous ink-washed minis is easy to pick up and really gives players the feel of a dungeon delver without too much heavy lifting learning a lot of rules up front. Most of the action is card-driven. Here's my earlier review.
Keyforge - This card game is cheap to get into. Each player (2) needs a deck of cards and the rules are free online. Every deck is unique, so you're forced to learn to leverage the strengths of the deck you have (and to overcome its weaknesses). The rules can be a little fussy to understand at first, but once you get beyond that, it's pretty straight forward. My review.
Escape from the Dark Castle - My girlfriend is not a gamer, but we've played this dungeon-delving card game together and she loves it. Read the rest
By Mark Frauenfelder on Feb 18, 2020 04:40 pm
What better way to use up the "brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness" you won in the cosmic lottery than by frittering it away on assembling a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle of Baby Yoda, better known to Star Track purists as "The Child?" Read the rest
By Boing Boing's Shop on Feb 18, 2020 04:00 pm
Minimalism isn't just trendy, it's also wise. Clearing clutter and keeping things simple in your home is great for both your mind and for the earth. Bring that movement to your bedside when you replace just about everything on and around your nightstand with the Tree of Light: Wireless Charger + Bluetooth Speaker + LED Lamp.
This 3-in-1 essential home accessory that doubles as a work of art will help you bypass switches, tangled cords, power strips, and the random mishmash of items you need to keep nearby at night. The LED lamp features a sleek cherry wood shade, striking tree sculpture, sleep timer, and adjustable brightness via touch control right on the base.
Also on the base? A Qi-enabled wireless charging pad to keep your phone powered up and ready to go in the morning. Plus that's where you'll find the touch controls for track selection and audio volume of the built-in Bluetooth neodymium speaker. Pair your device and listen to your favorite playlist, podcast, or meditation to help you fall asleep or get ready for the day ahead.
Bring an eclectic mix of form and function to your bedroom for 13% off MSRP when you buy the Tree of Light Wireless Charger + Bluetooth Speaker + LED Lamp for $129.99. Read the rest
By Rob Beschizza on Feb 18, 2020 02:15 pm
President Trump today announced that he is commuting the prison sentence of Rod Blagojevich, a former Illinois governer jailed for corruption, and pardoning Bernard Kerik, the former New York Police Commissioner jailed for tax fraud.
Blagojevich attempted to sell Barack Obama's senate seat; Kerik was found to have accepted a $250,000 bribe from a billionaire while a member of the interim administration of Iraq following the second Gulf war.
By commuting the sentence, the president would free Mr. Blagojevich from prison without wiping out the conviction. Republicans have advised the president against it, arguing that Mr. Blagojevich’s crime epitomizes the corruption that Mr. Trump had said he wanted to tackle as president.
The president’s decision came the same day that he pardoned Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers who pleaded guilty in 1998 to concealing an extortion attempt and eventually surrendered control of his team.
Also pardoned was Michael R. Milken, an investment banker convicted of securities fraud. Read the rest
By Futility Closet on Feb 18, 2020 12:42 pm
When Maria Marten disappeared from the English village of Polstead in 1827, her lover said that they had married and were living on the Isle of Wight. But Maria's stepmother began having disturbing dreams that hinted at a much grimmer fate. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll tell the story of the Red Barn, which transfixed Britain in the early 19th century.
We'll also encounter an unfortunate copycat and puzzle over some curious births.
Please support us on Patreon! Read the rest
By David Pescovitz on Feb 18, 2020 12:36 pm
In Gainseville, Florida, a routine crawlspace inspection turned up jars of preserved human tongues that date back to the 1960s. Police are currently investigating whether the tongues were related to research conducted by the home's previous owner, Ronald A. Baughman, a University of Florida professor emeritus whose work focused on oral medicine and surgery. (WCJB)
More in this Reddit post by RandoSurfer77: "I found human remains today in a crawlspace under a home."
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By Mark Frauenfelder on Feb 18, 2020 12:27 pm
The New York Times remembers Barbara Remington, who created the cover illustrations for Ballantine Books' 1965 paperback editions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. Remington's covers will always be the canonical covers for me, because these editions were in my junior high school library when I first encountered Tolkien.
From the article:
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Ms. Remington, who designed other book covers for Ballantine as well, was asked to illustrate the 1965 editions of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” on a tight deadline.
“Ballantine was in a hurry to get these books out right away,” she said in an interview for the literary journal Andwerve. “When they commissioned me to do the artwork, I didn’t have the chance to see either book, though I tried to get a copy through my friends.
“So I didn’t know what they were about,” she continued. “I tried finding people that had read them, but the books were not readily available in the states, and so I had sketchy information at best.”
By Gareth Branwyn on Feb 18, 2020 12:20 pm
In case you don't know, HackSpace is a terrific monthly maker magazine from the U.K. Published by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, HackSpace includes articles by bunnie huang, Andrew Lewis, Marc de Vinck, Sophy Wong, Bob Knetzger, and many other authors you many recognize from the pages of Make: magazine and other domains of the maker movement. I contribute a monthly tips and tutorials column.
One of the great benefits to HackSpace is that it has always been a free PDF for those who can't afford the high (over $100/year) international subscription rate. Well, good news, everyone! You can now get HackSpace for $60 a year (12 issues) and your sub comes with an Adafruit Circuit Playground Express (worth $25). Read the rest
By David Pescovitz on Feb 18, 2020 12:14 pm
Remember Ben Hart who sued the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (and won) after he was denied a vanity license plate that said "IM GOD?" Hart had the plate for more than a decade while living in Ohio (image above) and wanted to keep the message when he moved to Kenton County a few years ago. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet denied his application citing rules against personalized plates that are “vulgar or obscene.” Last year, American Civil Liberties Union and Freedom From Religion Foundation argued that the state had violated the First Amendment and won Hart the right to get the plate. Last week, a United States District Judge ordered the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to pay Hart $151,206 in attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. From Fox19:
Hart, who identifies as an atheist, says his personalized plate is his way of spreading a political and philosophical message that faith is susceptible to individualized interpretation.
“I can prove I’m God. You can’t prove I’m not. Now, how can I prove I’m God? Well, there are six definitions for God in the American Heritage Dictionary, and number five is a very handsome man, and my wife says I’m a very handsome man, and nobody argues with my wife,” Hart told FOX19 NOW.
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By Carla Sinclair on Feb 18, 2020 12:02 pm
Watch this fellow make a grand entrance – and then look surprised at his own strength. In the end, he does the gentlemanly thing and keeps on a walkin'.
Via Digg Read the rest
By Thom Dunn on Feb 18, 2020 12:00 pm
That's not actually Paul Stanley; it's Bobby Jensen playing the part of the Starchild in the Minneapolis-based classic rock tribute band Hairball in concert. But either way, it's still pretty badass (at least until you remember the tragic Great White fire of 2003, and start to wonder why the hell there weren't more contingencies in place to prevent this kind of accident).
After the incident, Jensen, who also performs in an Alice Cooper tribute act, spoke to Ultimate Classic Rock and said, "I live an Evil Knievel kind of life, so if I'm on fire a little bit, I don't care, that's just part of the fun. I knew I was on fire right away, and that wasn't a wig, that's my hair. It was really nice and foofy before the show, now I have a much better Alice Cooper cut."
(This insanely metal moment actually happened over Valentine's Day weekend in 2019, but the band returned to Sioux City again this year, making the video spread like fire all over again.) Read the rest
By David Pescovitz on Feb 18, 2020 11:57 am
In Hong Kong, knife-wielding robbers stole 600 rolls of toilet paper from a delivery worker outside Wellcome Supermarket. Police reportedly nabbed two suspects and recovered some of the toilet paper, a hot commodity as people stock up in fear of the coronavirus. From the BBC News:
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Other household products have also seen panic-buying including rice, pasta and cleaning items.
Face masks and hand sanitisers are almost impossible to get as people try to protect themselves from the coronavirus, which has already claimed more than 1,700 lives...
Authorities blame false online rumours for the panic buying and say supplies of food and household goods remain stable.
By Mark Frauenfelder on Feb 18, 2020 11:53 am
The National Association of Christian Lawmakers (@ChristLawmakers) asked its 254 Twitter followers to vote on this polling question: "Do you believe America would be better off if more Christians served in elected office?"
So far 35,013 people have voted. 6.7% voted yes and 93.2 voted no.
It's all the fault of "Satanists and Atheists," they say.
Read the rest
By Mark Frauenfelder on Feb 18, 2020 11:43 am
Fstoppers reports that Photographer Bruce Getty posted a composite photo of the Golden Gate Bridge and a blood moon, but Bridge District officials are insisting that he take the photo down because they say the angle of the bridge makes it clear Getty trespassed to get the shot. The also want Getty to turn over any profits he made from the photo.
From the article:
By his own admission, Getty has been cited for trespassing back in 2014, as well as stopped last December by a police officer who insisted he delete the images, which he declined. The District has threatened prosecution should Getty be found in the same area again.
Image: Totally unrelated photo of a natural rock bridge by kyler trautner on Unsplash Read the rest
By Gareth Branwyn on Feb 18, 2020 11:42 am
In this video, The History Guy looks at our 5,000-year-plus love affair with chocolate. Some really interesting things that I was not aware of. Like the fact that for most of chocolate's history, it has been a bitter, often fermented drink. The Spanish word, chocolate, is a translation of an Aztec word which may have meant "bitter drink."
The sweet and milk chocolate candies that we know today are a surprisingly modern invention, coming into their own in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as industrial machinery allowed for the refining, mixing, and processing of chocolate with other ingredients.
Image: YouTube Read the rest
By David Pescovitz on Feb 18, 2020 11:25 am
The great David J, bassist for Bauhaus and Love and Rockets, is playing two intimate concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area, tonight (2/18) at Santa Rosa's Lost Church and 2/21 at San Francisco's Lost Church. Buy tickets here. I've seen David play solo several times and it's always a lovely, witty, and rousing evening of current and classic songs and stories. David is celebrating his latest record, "Missive To An Angel From The Halls Of Infamy And Allure," that he has said may very well be his last. Above, "I Only Hear Silence Now," the new video from that album.
Meanwhile, the reformed Bauhaus has also announced a handful of life dates for 2020.
image credit: Mila Reynaud (CC BY 3.0) Read the rest
By Mark Frauenfelder on Feb 18, 2020 11:20 am
A cable of 80 meters is hanging from the top of two poles that are both 50 meters off the ground. What is the distance between the two poles (to one decimal point) if the center cable is (a) 20 meters off the ground and (b) 10 meters off the ground?
Presh Talwalker of Mind Your Decisions says the above riddle was used as an Amazon interview question. His video has the answer.
Image: YouTube Read the rest
By David Pescovitz on Feb 18, 2020 11:11 am
Yet again, Donald Murray, 38, was arrested following a police chase. Apparently he escaped the cops but they nabbed him later. I wonder how they managed to identify him. From Fox4:
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According to the Terre Haute Police Department, Donald Murray was charged with resisting law enforcement, reckless driving, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance and auto theft after the short pursuit Monday morning.
By Xeni Jardin on Feb 18, 2020 09:25 am
Professional musician Dagmar Turner had brain surgery at King's College Hospital, London to remove a benign tumor.
By Xeni Jardin on Feb 18, 2020 09:13 am
“What does this guy worth $60 billion own, who wants to be president?”
Memelord and presidential hopeful Michael “throw them up against the wall” Bloomberg will not be required to publicly disclose his finances until late March, “well after voters in more than a dozen states take to the polls on Super Tuesday,” reports AP on Tuesday.
Under an extension granted to Bloomberg on Friday by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) — the second such extension Bloomberg has received — the billionaire gets to postpone release of his financial disclosures until March 20.
Excerpt from AP:
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The timing is significant because Bloomberg has skipped campaigning in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire and is instead staking his bid on a big showing in contests that come later, like Super Tuesday on March 3. By getting approval to delay the release of his finances until after those pivotal contests, he is denying voters information about how much he is worth — and how he invests his money.
“Mr. Bloomberg ... has made diligent efforts to prepare his report. Nevertheless, due to the complexity of his holdings and the need to obtain certain information from third parties, Mr. Bloomberg needs additional time to gather and review his financial information and complete and file his report,” his attorney Lawrence H. Norton wrote in a letter to the FEC.
Bloomberg spokeswoman Galia Slayen declined to comment. Bloomberg has pledged to release his tax returns — a decadeslong tradition for presidential candidates until Republican Donald Trump declined to do so during the 2016 campaign — but hasn’t said when.
By Boing Boing's Shop on Feb 18, 2020 09:00 am
The biggest companies in the world rely on Python to power their technology and services, and more brands of all sizes are jumping on board. As the second best-paid programming language in the country, Python offers developers the chance to make an average of $120K a year. Take your career, and your salary, to the next level with this 12-course Complete 2020 Python Programming Certification Bundle.
If making bank like that sounds awesome, but you're not exactly a master coder, don't fret. With courses designed for students new to the language, you'll be just fine. Python is actually a great option for beginners because it's got simplicity and flexibility built into its makeup—it's easy to get started and jump right into building something, for that much-needed confidence bounce.
Throughout the 1,061 lessons, you'll understand how Python works and what it's good for while getting developing real-life applications. For example, you'll learn how to use Python for data science or data analytics, including NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib; clustering analysis and algorithms; implementing basic image processing and computer vision tasks using Jupyter Notebooks; how to solve 100 different Python assignments; and more.
This bundle includes a full 3-hour Keras (Google's powerful Deep Learning framework) Neural Network & Deep Learning Boot Camp. By gaining proficiency in Keras (and PyTorch and Tensorflow, which are also taught here) you can give your company a competitive edge (hello, positive performance review!). Ready for something more challenging? Learn to build advanced data visualization web apps using the Python Bokeh library, too. Read the rest
By Xeni Jardin on Feb 18, 2020 08:59 am
On his batshit Twitter account, impeached and manifestly bonkers U.S. President Donald Trump is calling for all cases that came out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to be "thrown out."
Trump implied that he could bring a lawsuit over the matter.
Here are his tweets.
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