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Intergalactic jewel thief Makiedoll mod

Kaitan modded his 3D printed Makie doll into a spectacular intergalactic jewel-thief, complete with accessories.

She was dyed using a mixture of green and yellow iDye poly. Her face up/ body up (?) was done with Perfect pearls iridescent powders, pastels, fine glitter and acrylic paint. The scaly pattern covers her arms,legs and torso as well as her head. She was going to have bright red hair, but I decided I like her bald! smile

Sorry she's a bit “fur coat and no knickers” at the moment - I haven't gotten around to making her other clothes yet smile

Her shoes are painted Makielab black wedges with additional jewels. And of course she gets her own fabulous personalised gun

Lock up your valuables, Higi is about! (via Wonderland)

(Disclosure: My wife is the founder of MakieLab, who manufacture Makie dolls)

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum - exclusive video tour

Comic book artists and Tell Me Something I Don't Know podcast producers - Ed Piskor, Jasen Lex, and Jim Rugg - visit a singular archive containing the world's largest collection of cartoon and comic book art: The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum (Columbus, OH). It's curated by Caitlin McGurk.

Film directed, edited, and scored by Julie Sokolow.

Featuring the artists: Ed Piskor (Wizzywig, Hip Hop Family Tree), Jasen Lex (Gypsy Lounge, Washington Unbound), Jim Rugg (Afrodisiac, Supermag).

DragonBox: an educational game that teaches you algebra

Matthew Good is the creator of DragonBox+, "an educational puzzle game that also secretly teaches you how to do algebra."

The basic premise is that you must isolate the dragon on one side of the board in order for him to emerge. After each level the dragon will grow a little until he is finally full grown. The game gradually introduces new abilities that mimic algebraic concepts such as elimination, fractions, isolating variables and others without it being obvious.

We were recently at GDC to accept the award for Best Serious Game at the International Mobile Gaming Awards.

We have also seen parents post videos of their children playing the game. For example, a four year old boy solves the equation "e/e + x + (-1) = d" in this video.


How is a $12 phone possible?

Bunnie Huang paid a visit to Shenzhen's Mingtong Digital Mall and found a $12 mobile phone, with Bluetooth, an MP3 player, an OLED display and quad-band GSM. For $12.

Bunnie's teardown shows a little bit about how this $12 piece of electronics can possibly be profitable, but far more tantalizing are his notes about Gongkai, "a network of ideas, spread peer-to-peer, with certain rules to enforce sharing and to prevent leeching." It's the Pearl River Delta's answer to the open source hardware movement, and Bunnie promises to write more about it soon.

How is this possible? I don’t have the answers, but it’s something I’m trying to learn. A teardown yields a few hints.

First, there are no screws. The whole case snaps together.

Also, there are (almost) no connectors on the inside. Everything from the display to the battery is soldered directly to the board; for shipping and storage, you get to flip a switch to hard-disconnect the battery. And, as best as I can tell, the battery also has no secondary protection circuit.

The Bluetooth antenna is nothing more than a small length of wire, seen on the lower left below.

Still, the phone features accoutrements such as a back-lit keypad and decorative lights around the edge.

The electronics consists of just two major ICs: the Mediatek MT6250DA, and a Vanchip VC5276. Of course, with price competition like this, Western firms are suing to protect ground: Vanchip is in a bit of a legal tussle with RF Micro, and Mediatek has also been subject to a few lawsuits of its own.

The MT6250 is rumored to sell in volume for under $2. I was able to anecdotally confirm the price by buying a couple of pieces on cut-tape from a retail broker for about $2.10 each. [No, I will not broker these chips or this phone for you...]

The $12 Gongkai Phone

FBI releases surveillance video of bombing suspects

Most assuredly not the men that The New York Post insinuated were suspects today—those guys are almost certainly innocent. Boston Police: "Do you know these individuals? Contact or 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324)" [Video Link]

UPDATE: One Boston bombing suspect dead after shootout; younger brother on the run

Drug Czar pretends the 1.5 million people arrested every year for nonviolent drug offenses don't exist

Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance says: "Yesterday during a nationally televised event at the National Press Club, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske repeated the federal government’s claim that they ended the war on drugs in 2009 and are now prioritizing drug treatment and prevention over incarceration. They cite an increase for drug treatment in President Obama’s proposal for the new drug control budget as evidence of their new approach. But their rhetoric does not match the reality – more than 1.5 million people are arrested for nonviolent drug offenses every year."

Girl who lost her hearing after West fertilizer plant exploded is now okay

The Today Show tracked down the Texas father who shot that now iconic video of the West fertilizer plant explosion — the one where you can hear his daughter screaming and pleading with him to leave after the explosion happens. Derrick Hurtt and his family were within 300 yards of the factory when it went up. They were there specifically to shoot some video of the burning plant. Hurtt's 12-year-old daughter, who says after the explosion that she can't hear anything, has regained her hearing.

Pat Robertson warns people to flee from the evil of Dungeons and Dragons

America's favorite make-up model, Pat Robertson, weighs in on Satan's newest psychic weapon: Dungeons and Dragons. (Via CN)

Controlling a robot arm with an Android phone

Paul sez, "This past semester, three engineering grad students at the University of Toronto (myself and two others) created an Android app for a course project that allows for wireless and intuitive control of a robotic arm from an Android-powered smartphone. We're pretty proud of the results (the link is to a demo we put together) and have released the code open source."

Android Robotic Manipulator Demo (Thanks, Paul!)

Photos of bugs with drops of water on their heads

This is the best gallery of bugs with drops of water on their heads I've ever seen. Dmitriy Yoav Reinshtein, I lift my drop of water to you.

Ammonium nitrate fertilizer isn't really a dangerous explosive (most of the time)

Fertilizer can explode*. We all know that. It was a key ingredient in the bomb that destroyed Oklahoma City's Alfred P.

Read the rest

Truth about Beyonce's inauguration performance can't be published until 2122

Muckrock Michael sez, "Today MuckRock's Mara Berg chronicles the saga of a particular public records request I put in for the following: A copy of the backing track used during Beyonce's Inauguration performance, as well as copies of other backing tracks created in preparation for Inauguration events, whether or not they were actually used. Unfortunately, while we received (some) of the requested documents, two outside legal experts and the U.S. Marines Corps have warned us strongly against publishing what we have. The reason? Copyright."

Video of Mat Ricardo's London Varieties show

Mat Ricardo sez,

Mat Ricardo's London Varieties Episode Two is now up online for anyone to watch, enjoy and share - for free to course! In the show I host The Boy With Tape On His Face, the hilarious Elliot Mason, and the amazing magician Peter Wardell, plus I interviewed Al Murray, away from his Pub Landlord persona, about his life and career. It was very fun. We somehow ended up talking about pixies..

The next show happens at the Leicester Square Theatre, in the heart of London's West End, at 9.30pm, on Thursday the 25th of April, and features cabaret stars Eastend Cabaret, the astonishing Lisa Lottie, the very silly Johann Lippowitz, and to top it all off I'll be interviewing the legendary Paul Daniels, and he'll be treating us to a couple of his classic routines.

Oh, and I'll be attempting the single most dangerous trick I have ever tried, because I'm a bloody idiot. Come see the show live! You can book tickets by calling 08448 733433, or by clicking here. For more info about the shows, go here.

Mat Ricardo's London Varieties: Show Two (Thanks, Mat!)

NZ parliament erupts in song after passing marriage equality bill

On Wednesday's, New Zealand's parliament passed its Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill in a 77-44 vote, expanding the country's 2005 civil union regime into full-blown marriage equality. Observers in the gallery and MPs on the floor burst into song, a stirring rendition of "Pokarekare Ana," an NZ lovesong that dates back to WWI. What a lovely, lovely moment.

New Zealand House of Reps bursts into song after legalizing same-sex marriage (via Making Light)

Gweek 090: Melissa McEwen, food blogger

I spoke with food blogger and Meatshare founder Melissa McEwen. Her blog, Hunt Gather Love is about "the intersection between evolutionary biology and food."

Melissa is profiled in today's Chicago Reader article about a supper club run by amateur chefs.


Thanks to Soundcloud for hosting Gweek!

Blog full of fantastic (and often NSFW) medieval illustrations

Here's a 15th century illustration of an English surgical procedure. Fun!

See the full blog — Discarded Image | Discarding Images.

Which makes more money: mining Bitcoins or writing about mining Bitcoins?

Joey deVilla joined a Bitcoin mining pool (where people collectively contribute their spare computer CPUs and share the Bitcoins they mine).

Since Saturday he's made about 4 cents mining Bitcoins and about $40 dollars from ads running on his article about mining Bitcoins.

"To summarize: I made 1000 times more money by writing about mining Bitcoins as I did by mining Bitcoins."

Which makes more money: mining Bitcoins or writing about mining Bitcoins?