Search engine for the full text and descriptions of every Calvin and Hobbes script

The Calvin & Hobbes Search Engine performs pretty much as you'd expect: it's a search engine that runs against the full text and descriptions of all the Calvin and Hobbes strips. For example, a search for "snowman" returns,

Mom is sitting at the table when Calvin walks by dressed in his coat and hat. Puzzled, Mom goes upstairs and opens the bedroom door. There, she finds Calvin has opened the window letting snow into the room. Calvin is working on a snowman. Mom just covers her face.

and several others. Handy!

Calvin & Hobbes Search Engine - by Bing (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Protesting dairy farmers hose down EuroParl and cops with milk

Dairy farmers protesting in Brussels sprayed thousands of litres of milk on the European Parliament and its police cadre. Shown here, a small thumbnail of a remarkable photo by John Thys for AFP/Getty Images. Click through for the full image, on the Telegraph's site.

Dairy farmers spray milk at the European Parliament in Brussels Read the rest

Project Neon: 800 neon signs in New York City

Ben Marks of Collector's Weekly says: "We just published an interview with Kirsten Hively, whose Project Neon documents about 800 neon signs in New York City (her iPhone app directs users to about 120 of them)."

I’ve loved neon signs for a long time. When I would travel to cities like Portland or Chicago, I would take photos of neon signs and print them to hang up on my wall. Two years ago, I read that it was the 100th anniversary of the debut of the modern neon sign at the Paris Motor Show. It struck me then that I didn’t have a single photo of neon signs in New York. I think I took it for granted that I could see those signs any day. But those classic signs aren’t necessarily permanent.

At the time, I had just started a new job on the Upper East Side, in a neighborhood I’d never spent much time in. Getting out of work at 5 p.m., it was pitch-black outside. So I thought, “Maybe I’ll go take photos of those nice signs near my office”—at the Cork & Bottle liquor store and Goldberger’s Pharmacy. I figured I’d walk around the neighborhood. I vaguely remembered another up on 86th Street, at Papaya King. After I found that one, I ended up walking for hours and hours—and taking so many photos. Later, I went home and put them up on my Flickr.

A couple nights later, I went out to the Upper West Side and spent even more hours wandering around.

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Gweek 077: Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Chef

Tim Ferriss is a broad-spectrum enthusiast, and his sense of curiosity drives him to learn about and participate in a dizzyingly large number of activities.

Danish entrepreneur helps people with autism get jobs that require focus, attention to detail

Gareth Cook tells the story of Thorkil Sonne, founder of a Danish social enterprise called Specialisterne ("the specialists"), which helps place people with autism in jobs that demand a degree of focus and detail-orientation that's impossible to find among the neurotypical. Specialisterne began because Sonne's son, Lars, has autism, and Sonne saw that he was eminently suited to many tasks, and that performing them made him happy and did useful work, too. Now Specialisterne is a web of social enterprises that does everything from training to placement, and Sonne is pondering a move to the USA.

To his father, Lars seemed less defined by deficits than by his unusual skills. And those skills, like intense focus and careful execution, were exactly the ones that Sonne, who was the technical director at a spinoff of TDC, Denmark’s largest telecommunications company, often looked for in his own employees. Sonne did not consider himself an entrepreneurial type, but watching Lars — and hearing similar stories from parents he met volunteering with an autism organization — he slowly conceived a business plan: many companies struggle to find workers who can perform specific, often tedious tasks, like data entry or software testing; some autistic people would be exceptionally good at those tasks. So in 2003, Sonne quit his job, mortgaged the family’s home, took a two-day accounting course and started a company called Specialisterne, Danish for “the specialists,” on the theory that, given the right environment, an autistic adult could not just hold down a job but also be the best person for it.

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TechDirt schools a copyfraudster who tried to censor a critical post with copyright threats

TechDirt got a malformed takedown notice from Human Synergistics International, a company they'd previously written up for sending copyright threats to a blogger who quoted four sentences from a "human factors training" exercise. The original TechDirt post quotes the four sentences at issue, and this prompted Human Synergistics' lawyer to send a ham-fisted threat to TechDirt as well.

TechDirt's Mike Masnick proceeded to thoroughly, mercilessly demolish this nonsense, in its every aspect and element, and took care to remind Human Synergistics, and its counsel, of the potential penalties for sending out baseless copyright threats. Masnick, of course, is the man who coined the term "Streisand Effect." You'd think that HS and its lawyer would have had a bit more common sense, but the urge to commit copyfraud is a powerful one.

Finally, the last factor is "the effect of your use upon the potential market for the copyrighted work." It's important to note here, (again referencing back to the Campbell case) that the courts are clear here that they are not addressing whether or not the criticism harms the market, but whether or not the direct use harms the market. We freely admit that our criticism of your despicable copyright practices may lead organizations to think twice about doing business with your company. But, as the Supreme Court noted, while "a scathing theater review kills demand for the original, it does not produce a harm cognizable under the Copyright Act." In our case, the specific use of the text clearly does not harm the potential for your market, because we were not using it in a competitive manner at all.

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Tolkien superfan Stephen Colbert will do an entire Hobbit-themed week of shows

To celebrate the release of The Hobbit, Stephen Colbert will have a full week of Hobbit shows on The Colbert Report starting this coming Monday, December 3 on Comedy Central. A die-hard fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, his guest lineup will consist of Sir Ian McKellan, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, and Andy Serkis. Other Hobbit-related segments or plans have not been revealed yet, but I'm going to guess that Colbert (who speaks some Elvish and filmed a cameo for one of the latter two movies in New Zealand) will walk away with some sweet swag. Like swords or a free elf!

Photo credit: The Colbert Report on Twitter

(via Spinoff Online) Read the rest

Bad taxidermy is good

Stacey Ransom points us to this delightful collection of terrifically bad taxidermy! Read the rest

Bill Murray describes the last time he saw Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner was in the news this week -- because she wasn't considered "news" enough for some of the affiliates of Gilda's Club. That story had a less sad ending than originally thought, with only a small number of Clubs dropping Gilda's name and not the organization as a whole. But in an attempt to keep Gilda's relevance alive, here is a very heartwarming story told by Bill Murray, her friend and former Saturday Night Live castmate, about the last time the two saw each other at a party thrown by Laraine Newman. It's not a new story, but it's a nice one worth sharing (and remembering): Read the rest

Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing: live-blogging, live-tweeting, and live-sketching

Bradley Manning (by Clark Stoeckley)

Kevin Gosztola is liveblogging the pre-trial hearing of suspected Wikileaks source Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade.

Also in the courtoom, the Guardian's Ed Pilkington, and Arun Rath of Frontline/PRI's The World, both of whom live-tweeted the proceedings today.

Artist Clark Stoeckley (@WikileaksTruck on Twitter) is also present, and is live-sketching. I like his coverage the best.

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Die Antwoord: Ninja and the Parktown Prawn

Amateur entomologist Ninja of Die Antwoord sends Boing Boing this home video of an encounter with a Parktown Prawn

Teasers for A&E's Bates Motel are creepy and short, so you should definitely watch them

Two tiny, creepy previews for A&E's upcoming Psycho-inspired series.

Everything you eat is associated with cancer, but don't worry about it

Image: Shutterstock. Fried chicken gave the model in this stock photo cancer of the double chin.

Sarah Kliff at the Washington Post digs into new research out today from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. She writes about correlation and causality, and how to read statistics more intelligently.


“I was constantly amazed at how often claims about associations of specific foods with cancer were made, so I wanted to examine systematically the phenomenon,” e-mails study author John Ioannidis ”I suspected that much of this literature must be wrong. What we see is that almost everything is claimed to be associated with cancer, and a large portion of these claims seem to be wrong indeed.”

Among the ingredients in question for their purported relation to cancer risk: veal, salt, pepper spice, flour, egg, bread, pork, butter, tomato, lemon, duck, onion, celery, carrot, parsley, mace, sherry, olive, mushroom, tripe, milk, cheese, coffee, bacon, sugar, lobster, potato, beef, lamb, mustard, nuts, wine, peas, corn, cinnamon, cayenne, orange, tea, rum, and raisin.

Now: combine all of them into one recipe and do the study again, I say.

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Burning Man 2013 theme announced

And the theme is....

"Cargo Cult."

* Image: Theme by Larry Harvey, text by Larry Harvey and Stuart Mangrum, illustration by "DA" Dominic Tinio Read the rest

Watch Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang blow up a 40-foot pine tree in DC's National Mall, because art

In what is probably one of the first-ever planned explosions on DC's National Mall, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang will blow up a 40-foot pine tree to commemorate of the Sackler Gallery’s 25th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Art in Embassies program. Watch it live. From Washington City Paper:

Using 2,000 firework-like explosives, Guo-Qiang will take the pine tree through three pyrotechnic stages: The tree will first be covered in yellow and white sparkles of light. The lights will spread throughout the tree, simulating twinkling Christmas lights. Then the tree will explode in a cloud of black smoke, leaving a “negative” smoke image that resembles a Chinese ink painting drifting off into the wind. The idea is for the tree-shaped smoke to create the image of two trees—as seen in Guo-Qiang’s sketch.
More at the website for the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Asian art. For some stupid reason, they've blocked the ability to embed the live video, so you'll have to mosey on over to the Smithsonian website directly to watch the explosion webcast. Read the rest

How to eat a corn in 10 seconds

how to eat a corn in 10 seconds via reddit's "Learn Useless Talents" section Read the rest

Button making kit for kids

In this short video, Jane shows how to use the Sukie Button Factory to make fabric-covered buttons.

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