Pattern for crocheted Panzer tank slippers

Etsy seller Miligurumis offers a crocheting pattern for making your own Panzer tank slippers, a peaceful project to wile away the long nights on the Eastern front.

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

Mentos + Coke + Condoms

Mixing Mentos and Coke is a thing -- well-parameterized and understood. But what if you tape a condom over the bottle-mouth before you make the fateful introduction? Sheer hilarity!

Durex + Cola + Mentosy (via Reddit) Read the rest

Automated system to identify and repair potential weak-spots in 3D models before they're printed

"Stress Relief: Improving Structural Strength of 3-D Printable Objects," a paper presented at SIGGRAPH 2012 from Purdue University's Bedrich Benes demonstrated an automated system for predicting when 3D models would produce structural weaknesses if they were fed to 3D printers, and to automatically modify the models to make them more hardy.

Findings were detailed in a paper presented during the SIGGRAPH 2012 conference in August. Former Purdue doctoral student Ondrej Stava created the software application, which automatically strengthens objects either by increasing the thickness of key structural elements or by adding struts. The tool also uses a third option, reducing the stress on structural elements by hollowing out overweight elements.

"We not only make the objects structurally better, but we also make them much more inexpensive," Mech said. "We have demonstrated a weight and cost savings of 80 percent."

The new tool automatically identifies "grip positions" where a person is likely to grasp the object. A "lightweight structural analysis solver" analyzes the object using a mesh-based simulation. It requires less computing power than traditional finite-element modeling tools, which are used in high-precision work such as designing jet engine turbine blades.

New Tool Gives Structural Strength to 3-D Printed Works Read the rest

Book trailer for "This Machine Kills Secrets," about Wikileaks

Andrew Greenberg writes,

Here's the video trailer for my new book "This Machine Kills Secrets" about the history and future of anonymous information leaks. The book, which started when I interviewed Julian Assange in London two years ago, aims to trace how the Cypherpunk movement used cryptography and anonymity tools to alter the act of spilling secrets and bring create a world where anyone can leak secrets with impunity. In the second half of the book, I set out to find the *next* WikiLeaks among the crowd of copycat and spinoff sites that are seeking to replicate and systematize WikiLeaks' work. In the process, I also scored the first ever interview with the Architect, the secretive engineer who built WikiLeaks' revamped submission system and then led a mutiny within the group's ranks from which it never fully recovered.

(Thanks, Andrew!) Read the rest

Chat with Charlie Stross and Cory on the WELL and

Charlie Stross and I are doing a public interview on The WELL's Inkwell.vue conference -- you don't have to be a WELL member to ask questions, either! While I'm on the subject, Charlie and I are doing a live online Torchat tomorrow, Sept 19 at 16h Eastern/13h Pacific. Read the rest

“I am so goth, I was born black.”

At Coilhouse online, a feature exploring racism and goth culture in the age of Tumblr: "Is the goth scene unfriendly to people with dark skin? What do non-white goths think about the fetishization of paleness in the gothic subculture?" [warning: linked-to site contains boobage] Read the rest

New Sifl and Olly episodes from Liam Lynch

[Video Link]

Oh, happy day. Genius weirdo video auteur Liam Lynch (@lynchland on Twitter) is making new episodes of "Sifl and Olly." The show originally ran on MTV from 1997-1999.

Now, the Machinima YouTube channel is publishing a new version of the show, "Sifl & Olly Video Game Reviews." Twisted Junk has an interview with Liam about the reboot, and Chris Hardwick's NERDIST has a Q&A with him here.

The September 16 recent episode (above) included a bit about pandas (around 3:05 in), and then, just like magic, a baby panda is born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. This is a sign that all is right with the universe.

* Some DVDs of the old MTV originals are available on Amazon. Read the rest

Turing and Burroughs: a beatnik SF novel by Rudy Rucker

Rudy Rucker has launched a new novel, Turing & Burroughs, which he describes as a "beatnik SF novel." It's available direct from his site as an ebook, or from the Kindle store, or as a print-on-demand book.

What if Alan Turing, founder of the modern computer age, escaped assassination by the secret service to become the lover of Beat author William Burroughs? What if they mutated into giant shapeshifting slugs, fled the FBI, raised Burroughs’s wife from the dead, and tweaked the H-bombs of Los Alamos? A wild beatnik adventure, compulsively readable, hysterically funny, with insane warps and twists—and a bad attitude throughout.

Turing & Burroughs Out in Ebook and Paperback! Read the rest

Remembering Sean "Vilerat" Smith, killed in Benghazi

Zack Parsons, author and Something Awful moderator, writes,

Sean Smith was one of the four men tragically killed in the consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya on September 11^th . He was a foreign services officer for the State Department. He leaves behind a wife and two young children. I knew him as “Vilerat” on the SA forums. He has been a moderator there since 2008 and he has posted there since 2002. He was also well-known in the EVE online gaming community.

I am trying to honor him and all of his contributions to our community and to the world by giving his family a helping hand with their expenses. I have started a fundraiser with the assistance of his friend on EVE and the SA forums, and the input of his wife, Heather, and I am trying to get the word out about it.

Farewell to Vilerat (Thanks, Zack!) Read the rest

1971 anatomy book uses pornographic photos

Street Anatomy reports on a 1971 textbook called The Anatomical Basis of Medical Practice, which uses pornographic photos of women as illustrations. You can snap up a used copy on Amazon for $479.99

The professors, Becker, James S. W. Wilson, and John A. Gehweiler, set out to write a textbook in an “easy-going, literary style so that any student could read ahead on his own without difficulty.” Furthermore, they go on to state their inspiration to use seductive female nudes to display surface anatomy,

“In our own student days we discovered that studying surface anatomy with a wife or girl friend proved to be not only instructive, but highly entertaining. Since the majority of medical students still tend to be males, we have liberalized this text by making use of the female form. But, more to the point, we have done so because a large portion of your future patients will be women and few texts have pointed out surface landmarks on the female.”

They were quite liberal in their use of female nudes of the pin-up girl variety as you can see in the images above. And the “easy-going, literary style,” often lent itself to cheeky comments about women. In the discussion about the effects of UV light on skin, the authors state, “the contrast between exposed and unexposed parts of the epidermis is quite stark when the bathing suit is removed.”

Read the rest

Excerpt from James M. Cain's lost final novel: The Cocktail Waitress

Good news for James M. Cain fans (like me!) -- Hard Case Crime is publishing his lost final novel: The Cocktail Waitress.

After the jump, an excerpt from the book.

“Here, long after anyone would have expected it, is the voice of James M. Cain, as fresh and as relevant as ever. The Cocktail Waitress will involve you, and then shock you with an ending you'll never forget. This is a true rarity: a reader's novel that's also a literary event.” – Stephen King

The Cocktail Waitress was the final book written by Cain, who died in 1977. He was working on revisions to the novel until close to the end of his life; handwritten notes and edits appear in the margins of numerous pages of the original manuscript. Charles Ardai, founder and editor of Hard Case Crime, first learned of the book’s existence from Max Allan Collins, author of Road to Perdition, and has spent more than nine years tracking down the author’s original manuscript and arranging to get the rights to publish the book.

“Together with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain is universally considered one of the three greatest writers of noir crime fiction who ever lived, “ said Ardai, “and for fans of the genre, The Cocktail Waitress is the Holy Grail. It’s like finding a lost manuscript by Hemingway or a lost score by Gershwin -- that’s how big a deal this is.”

Combining themes from Mildred Pierce and The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Cocktail Waitress tells the story of a beautiful young widow, Joan Medford, whose husband died under suspicious circumstances.

Read the rest

Tim Biskup art show in Milan

Longtime BB fave Tim Biskup has a show of new paintings opening this Thursday at Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea in Milan, Italy. Juxtapoz has a preview of the exhibition, titled "Excavation."

  Read the rest

Elephant expresses disapproval of man at Berlin zoo (video)

[Video Link] (Via Arbroath) Read the rest

Sad celebrity/superhero impersonators

Last year, Nicolas Silberfaden photographed superhero and celebrity impersonators in Los Angeles. If they look bummed out, it's because Silberfaden asked them to "to manifest feelings of genuine sadness – honest emotions that are a consequence of our current times." Each photo, he explains, "is a somber, striking visual image that contradicts the iconic nature of strength and moral righteousness typical in American superhero and celebrity imagery. Creating the illusion that Superman does exist – that he too was fallible and affected by America’s downturn." "Impersonators" (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Strangely adorable video of sea slugs eating a blue button jelly alive

Yesterday, I posted a photo of Glaucus atlanticus — a strange little creature, related to mollusks, which floats through the ocean and eats (among other things) the jellyfish-like Portuguese Man-Of-War.

In response, marine biologist Christopher Mah sent over this video, in which two specimens of Glaucilla marginata — a smaller relative of Glaucus atlanticus — nibble on the still-living flesh of a colonial organism called a blue button. This proves to be cuter than it sounds.

Part of what makes the video so mesmerizing is watching the Glaucilla marginata move around. These creatures travel in a very laid-back way. Inflating a gas bubble in their stomachs, they float around on their backs, wherever the waves will take them. That bubble seems to lead to some endearing, baby-sloth-like flips and turns as they try to position themselves to take bites out of the blue button. OM NOM NOM. Read the rest

Searchable index of 350,000 US news broadcasts

The Internet Archive has published TVNEWS, a searchable version of its index of 350,000 news broadcasts. Archive founder Brewster Kahle writes, "Today we launched a new service called TV News Search & Borrow. It lets you search through 350,000 news broadcasts to find programs that you may want to borrow for further research. One of our test users found some interesting clips that may help illustrate the usefulness of this service to people who are trying to make voting decisions: 2008: Obama says marriage is between a man and a woman; 2012: Obama says same sex couples should be able to marry; 1994: Romney says he supports legal abortion and Roe v. Wade; 2012: Romney says he supports overturning Roe v. Wade

The collection now contains 350,000 news programs collected over 3 years from national U.S. networks and stations in San Francisco and Washington D.C. The archive is updated with new broadcasts 24 hours after they are aired. Older materials are also being added.

Use the index of searchable text and short, streamed clips to find programs to borrow on DVD-ROM or view at the Internet Archive’s library in San Francisco.

Here's former FCC chairman Newton Minow on the project: "The Internet Archive's TV news research service builds upon broadcasters' public interest obligations. This new service offers citizens exceptional opportunities to assess political campaigns and issues, and to hold powerful public institutions accountable."

Launch of TV News Search & Borrow with 350,000 Broadcasts Read the rest

Toy soldier stop-motion animation

Chris Butcher works stop-motion magic with toy soldiers and flower buds. "Plot-oon" Read the rest

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