Dang, the folks at Evil Cakes can make some inspired horrific carby treats. Case in point, a four-pop set of "Women in Horror" cake pops featuring the Bates character from Misery, the little girl from the Exorcist, Carrie, and the Blair Witch.
On the FractalForums message boards, a user called LhoghoNurbs has posted this wonderful contest-entry for a notional set of fractal cutlery. In a subsequent post, LhoghoNurbs explains that all the image manipulation was done in the GIMP, without any 3D modelling software. LhoghoNurbs wants a set of these, and so do I.
The set includes four pieces:
Cantor fork :: now you can pin a single kiwi seed. Twice in a row.
Recursive spoon :: it will never let you spill a drop of soup. Ever.
Koch knife :: to delicately cut hair-thin slices out of an egg. A raw egg.
The Infinity Set :: the set includes itself. As a subset.
Every piece of the set is inscribed with our Julia logo and our motto "The Infinities are Possible". Limited quantities. Unlimited price. The kiwi, the drop of soup and the egg are not included in the box, but could be ordered separately.
Vice Admiral Tharathorn Kajitsuwan, the Third Naval Area commander, said the video was made for entertainment purposes and to be showcased at the unit's annual retirement party. Some senior officers were said to have been offended by the "improper" spectacle of officers in dress whites prancing about, but Commander Surasak Rounroengrom said no harm was done to the Navy's image.
"I told my subordinates that the video should be entertaining to watch and help promote unity in the unit," Vice Adm Tharathorn said on Monday.
The video took three days to film and edit, and was shown at the base’s annual party last week. It shows "white-uniformed sailors in sunglasses galloping through their offices and officers in scuba gear shimmying up the beach."
Japan has extended its shockingly bad copyright law, passed in June, which provides for 10-year prison sentences for people who upload copyrighted works without permission; under the new law, downloading a copyrighted work without permission also carries up to two years in prison.
The Japanese copyright lobby has also renewed its demand for mandatory network surveillance, through which black boxes with secret lists of copyrighted works will monitor all network traffic and silently kill any file-transfer believed to infringe copyright.
The ISPs would have to pay a monthly licensing fee for the privilege of having these black boxes on their networks.
More from TorrentFreak:
Tracking uploaders of infringing material is a fairly simple affair, with rightsholders connecting to file-sharers making available illicit content and logging evidence. However, proving that someone has downloaded content illegally presents a whole new set of issues.
On BitTorrent, for example, rightsholders would have to be the ones actually sending the infringing material to a file-sharer in order to know that he or she is downloading it. This scenario could cause complications, since rightholders already have permission to upload their own content, making the source a legal one.
But for the implications for ‘downloaders’ could be even more widespread. The generally tech-savvy BitTorrent user understands the potential for being targeted for sharing, but by making mere downloading a criminal offense it is now feared that those who simply view an infringing YouTube video could also be subjected to sanctions.
Just when you thought Panama had perfected the crappy copyright law.
A page on the Distributed Proofreaders project advises people who are trying to find typos in scanned and OCR'ed texts to try DPCustomMono, a font specifically designed to make it easy to catch common OCR errors. Distributed Proofreaders are volunteers who check out a page or more of scanned text from the Project Gutenberg archives and check it for typos, improving the quality of the text. DPCustomMono's characters are designed to maximize the difference between ones, lower-case ells, and upper-case eyes, as well as other lookalike glyphs.
Defense Distributed is a collective that raised $20,000 in BitCoins to lease a 3D printer and develop and prototype a 3D printed pistol. Stratasys, the manufacturer of the printer, seized it from the home of Defense Distributed's Cody Wilson, after a heated email exchange in which the Stratasys counsel said that "It is the policy of Stratasys not to knowingly allow its printers to be used for illegal purposes. Therefore, please be advised that your lease of the Stratasys uPrint SE is cancelled at this time and Stratasys is making arrangements to pick up the printer."
Robert Beckhusen writes more in Wired:
“They came for it straight up,” Cody Wilson, director of Defense Distributed, the online collective that oversees the Wiki project, tells Danger Room. “I didn’t even have it out of the box.” Wilson, who is a second-year law student at the University of Texas at Austin, had leased the printer earlier in September after his group raised $20,000 online. As well as using the funds to build a pistol, the Wiki Weapon project aimed to eventually provide a platform for anyone to share 3-D weapons schematics online. Eventually, the group hoped, anyone could download the open source blueprints and build weapons at home.
Until Stratasys pulled the lease, the Wiki Weapon project intended to make a fully 3-D printed pistol for the first time, though it would likely be capable of only firing a single shot until the barrel melted. Still, that would go further than the partly plastic AR-15 rifle produced by blogger and gunsmith Michael Guslick. Also known as “Have Blue,” Guslick became an online sensation after he made a working rifle by printing a lower receiver and combining it with off-the-shelf metal parts.
But last Wednesday, less than a week after receiving the printer, Wilson received an e-mail from Stratasys: The company wanted its printer returned. Wilson wrote back, and said he believed using the printer to manufacture a firearm would not break federal laws regarding at-home weapons manufacturing. For one, the gun wouldn’t be for sale. Wilson added that he didn’t have a firearms manufacturers license.
Wilson disagrees about the illegality of his project.
"Why aren’t my kids hyper after binging on sugar?" asked Gillian Mayman at Mind the Science Gap, a blog featuring the work of various Master of Public Health students from the University of Michigan.
The punchline: "A review of 12 separate research studies found that there was no evidence that eating sugar makes kids hyper."
The post is great, but greatest of all? The animated GIFs used to illustrate it. (via @Boraz)
"Post some fucking bats!" baturday.tumblr.com, a Tumblog of Greatness. (thanks, Antinous)
From science fiction great Frederik Pohl's ongoing blog/memoir "The Way the Future Blogs," a lovely post explaining how Pohl became a "literary agent" in the era of the science fiction pulps, inspired by the desire to save 8¢ per story in postage.
As I had learned from my study of Writers Digest, I could mail in my stories — and had done so. The catch to that was that I was required to enclose postage for the return trip in the (likely) event of rejection. That had amounted, in the last story I had submitted by mail, to 9¢ in stamps each way, total 18¢. While the cost, if I delivered them in person, would be only a nickel each way for the subway. (Plus, of course, whatever price could be put on my time for the 45 minutes each way it would take for me to do it — but, then, nobody else was offering to buy any of my time at any price.)
That represented a nearly 50-percent reduction in my cost of doing business, or even more — much, much more! — if I had enough stories to submit to make a continuing process out of it. I could, say, take the subway to editor A’s office to pick up rejected story X and at the same time submit new story Y, then walk (no cost for walking) to the office of editor B to try story X on him. And there was no reason for me to limit myself to a single story each way at each office.
The only thing that could prevent me from working at that much greater volume was that I hadn’ t written enough stories to make such economies of scale pay off, and that, boys and girls, is how I became a literary agent.
I read a lot of memoirs from this era of the field when I was starting out, and always felt cheated by the immediacy of the pulp writer experience. Writers would post stories to editors, hear back right away, send their stories out to new editors.
I entered the field in the mid-1980s, when you'd send a "disposable manuscript" (laser prints only, no dot-matrix!), to an editor along with a SASE (for Canadians, this meant lining up at the post awful for expensive International Reply Postage Coupons), and then wait. And wait. It wasn't uncommon for publishers to take 18 months or more to send out a simple form rejection. And of course, the rates had barely changed since Pohl's day, losing so much ground to inflation that the sums involved had really become tokens.
On the other hand, in those days, the editors of the major sf magazines were fielding more than 1,000 unsolicited manuscripts per month, for four or five uncommissioned monthly slots in their publications, so there wasn't really any good reason to pay more, or hire more staff to reject stories faster.
It took ten years for me to sell a story to a "major" market, and during that time, I racked up hundreds of rejections. Looking back on it, I can't really understand why I kept on, except that I couldn't stop. I'm glad I kept at it, but man, what a grind that was.
Using LEGO and pure genius, YouTuber XXxOPRIMExXX created this amazing stop-motion homage to the great Stanley Kubrick film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
The project was originally uploaded in 2010, but YouTube blocked part of it over copyright claims.
"I had to take out the famous scene of Slim Pickens riding the bomb and the nuclear holocaust credits to have this video viewable because those scenes were taken directly from the movie," the auteur laments. "I was hoping to have the Slim Pickens scene done in Lego by now but I just never had enough time or effort to do it, maybe some time in the future. Enjoy." Read the rest
Read the rest
“It’s like a caricature of a jihadi group. It looks like someone went to the Internet, watched pictures of Afghan mujahedeen, then copied them.”—Joseph Holliday, who researches Syrian rebel groups at the Washington, DC-based Institute for the Study of War, speaking in the Washington Post about a suspicious video that has emerged of Austin Tice, a captive US journalist believed to have been kidnapped by the Syrian government.
You can watch the video here. It shows Tice alive after capture, and it is disturbing.
Tice has been missing since mid-August. An article at McClatchy digs further into the details of who may have posted the video, and why observers are skeptical that this was in fact produced by anyone but parties working on behalf of the Assad regime.
I was intrigued by a recent Warren Ellis post about comics creator Jonathan Hickman. Ellis described Hickman's background in graphic design prior to his comics work, and mentioned that he'd done "the lion’s share of the most striking recent use of infographics in comics." The examples given by Ellis were intriguing.
I was in Toronto, and looking for an excuse to patronize the new location of the Silver Snail, Toronto's venerable comics institution, which has just moved from its historic digs on Queen Street West to a new spot on Yonge Street, after the owner sold the building and then retired, selling the business to store manager George Zotti. I've known George since he was a clerk at the Snail and I was a kid working at Bakka, the science fiction bookstore, which was once opposite the Snail's Queen Street location, and I wanted to go down and see the new shop and also support his plunge from manager to owner.
George sold me three Hickman collections, all from Image press: The Nightly News (2007), Pax Romana (2009), and Transhuman (2009). Ellis's point about the graphic design -- and especially the excellent use of infographics -- is well made in all three books. I don't think