Why PLAY pie-anna when you can VAMP?

As far back as the 1920s, smart musicians have known that your ability to hit the notes isn't nearly so important as your ability to vamp.

Vamping Read the rest

HOWTO turn a dead hard-drive into a cotton candy machine

Here's an unexpected use for a dead hard-drive: use its motor to power a candy-floss machine:

A Chinese engineer who operates a data recovery and hard drive repair center is being hailed as a genius after inventing a DIY candy floss machine made from a used hard disk. According to the instructions, all that is needed to create your own candy floss maker is a hard drive that can still power up, a round flat metal tin, six bicycle spokes, an aluminum can and a plastic basin. A series of photos demonstrating how to create this candy floss machine have made some sensation across China internet …

The key to the improvised cotton candy maker is the hard drive’s rotating platter. Most commercial cotton candy machines spin at around 3,450 rotations per minute, while modern hard drives operate at 5,400 rotations per minute or higher. We’re really admired this kind of DIY creation from a technical nerd …

Turning an Old Hard Disk Into a Candy Floss Machine [English, MicGadget]

技术宅拯救世界:用旧硬盘自制棉花糖机(图) [Chinese, tt.mop.com]

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

TSA routinely violates own rules and the law to discriminate against people w/disabilities

I have a neurological disorder that causes episodic muteness and muscle spasms. The TSA has a de facto program of violating the rights of disabled travelers like me.

Just look at this liquid nitrogen-dipped banana being shot with a steel bearing.

Just look at it.

I Broke my Banana (Thanks, Philip!) Read the rest

Imaginary Glorp Gum becomes a reality! Sort of!

Artist Brad McGinty has a new website celebrating the fake history of Glorp Gum, best described as Bazooka Joe by way of Rat Fink.

Disney World Luau bowl

Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily designed this beautiful Polynesian Luau Bowl for an upcoming Walt Disney World special event. It'll sell for $35, but the on-sale date isn't announced yet.

Summer's coming... Read the rest

2013 Hugo nominees announced

This year's Hugo Award nominees have been announced, and it's a great slate! Congrats to all the authors, artists, fans and editors who are up for the award in San Antonio, Texas this Labor Day weekend.

Best Novel (1113 nominating ballots cast) * 2312, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit) * Blackout, Mira Grant (Orbit) * Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen) * Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi (Tor) * Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed (DAW)

Best Novella (587 nominating ballots cast) * After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, Nancy Kress (Tachyon Publications) * The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications) * On a Red Station, Drifting, Aliette de Bodard (Immersion Press) * San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, Mira Grant (Orbit) * “The Stars Do Not Lie”, Jay Lake (Asimov’s, Oct-Nov 2012)

2013 Hugo Award Nominees Announced

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Nevada State Legislature poised to take regulation of Burning Man away from state and local cops

M Otis Beard sez, "A bill gaining support in the Nevada State Assembly would make Burning Man hands-off for state and county law enforcement officials, and subject only to Federal authority."

Each year, the local sheriff has been jacking Burning Man for increasing per-head fees, and the county's conservative lawmakers have been passing silly-season unconstitutionalities, like a law prohibiting a man from being naked in the presence of a child. It's combination of revenue generation and garden-variety harassment, and there had been rumbles about the festival taking up local native groups on an invitation to move it to Paiute land where the county wouldn't get a say.

“Earlier this morning, the Chamber supported AB 374 in the Assembly Government Affairs Committee. This bill, pushed by Assemblyman David Bobzien, came about because of threats by some rural counties to start charging local permitting fees and increasing costs for the Burning Man festival that comes to the Black Rock Desert every summer. This bill would prohibit any local government from interfering with a federally-licensed event on federal land. We strongly support this concept because of the enormous positive economic impact that Burning Man attendees have on our region.”

Some of the problem stems from the fact that Burning Man is held just over a county line; all the on-the-way spending done by burners takes place in Washoe county, but once you turn off to head to the playa, you're in Pershing county, and that's also when the ban on (most) commerce begins. So the county doing the legislating has no real financial stake in the festival continuing. Read the rest