Chiller "Pucs" for your whiskey, etc on Kickstarter

An extremely successful Kickstarter project ($41K raised on a $2500 goal, with 36 days left) promises stainless steel chiller pucks to go in your drinks. They're rather nice to look at, and promise not to impart any flavors, nor water down your bevvy. These are rather similar to the (controversial) Coffee Joulies from 2011, and at #8 for 6 "pucs" in a walnut case, it's a somewhat pricey accessory.

Pucs are precision machined from solid 304 stainless steel - the same material used in most medical, dental and kitchen tools. For that reason they are 100% inert, will not add or subtract from the flavor your drink in any way, will not absorb smells or flavors from your freezer, will not rust, oxidize, degrade, discolor, leak, pit, chip, flake, crack or dissolve. They're impervious to every drink imaginable, can also withstand tons of pressure and have a melting point of 1450°F! Pucs are completely dishwasher safe - either clean them with soap and water or give them a quick ride in the dishwasher, then send them to the freezer to re-chill.

Pucs: rechargeable ice! (via Yanko)

Boston troopers recount aerial spotting of bombing suspect in boat

“We were there like that. We do this day in, day out. This is what we do. We went over and when I put that [infrared camera] on the boat, I was actually shocked that not only did I see there was a heat source, but I got a perfect human silhouette. That doesn’t happen that much.” Read more at the Boston Globe.

List of British words not widely used in the United States

Here's a nifty Wikipedia entry: List of British words not widely used in the United States. One must be very careful not to confuse one's "bell-ends" with one's "fag ends." (HT: @FlaixEnglish)

An app with which to track gunfire from your smartphone

"A team of computer engineers from Vanderbilt University's Institute of Software Integrated Systems has made such a scenario possible by developing an inexpensive hardware module and related software that can transform an Android smartphone into a simple shooter location system." []

Student wrongly linked to Boston bombings (by Reddit users) found dead

The body of 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi was "pulled from the water off India Point Park in Rhode Island," reports USA Today. Sunil was the student mistakenly linked to the Boston bombings by users on Reddit. "It was not immediately clear when Tripathi, who was last seen March 15, died," nor has a cause of death been determined.

In Japan, a new hairdo idea: "Ripe Tomato"

Brian Ashcraft at Kotaku blogs about a neat idea for a hair style from a stylist in Japan. It's called "Ripe Tomato" ("kanjuku tomato" or 完熟トマト), and was created by "Hiro" at a salon in Osaka called "Trick Store", in the trendy Amemura district. Read: You'll Never Forget Japan's Tomato Hairdo.

In defense of Reddit (with regard to the Boston bombing, and crowdsourced sleuthing)

"Law enforcement agencies regularly turn to sites like to help crack cold cases. Maybe there’s hope for Reddit," writes Tim Murphy in a piece at Mother Jones.
Redditors have, for years, worked to use the resources of crowds as a force for good. There's an entire subreddit dedicated to Redditors ordering pizzas for families and raising money for surgeries. But Boston represents a reality check. Can Reddit harness its greatest asset—the tireless brainstorming of millions—while reining in the speculative impulse that makes the site tick? And even if Reddit could solve crimes, would it be worth it?

US budget sequester means thousands of chemotherapy patients on Medicare turned away

Once again, America's government screws over cancer patients: "Most of Medicare was shielded from the sequester, but because chemotherapy is funded by part of the program that was not, clinics are starting to turn away thousands of patients because they say they can't afford to provide treatments at the reduced rate." [NPR, thanks Amy]

Wikileaks wins in Iceland's Supreme Court court over credit card payment blockade

In Iceland, Wikileaks has won a victory against a financial blockade on donations. "The court upheld a district court's ruling that MasterCard's local partner, Valitor, illegally ended its contract with Wikileaks," reports BBC News.

NZ Press Council finds against statement saying "Homeopathic remedies have failed every randomised, evidence-based scientific study seeking to verify their claims of healing powers"

Juha sez, "Amazingly enough, New Zealand's North and South magazine has lost in the NZ Press Council, after a homeopath filed a complaint against an article that stated: 'Homeopathic remedies have failed every randomised, evidence-based scientific study seeking to verify their claims of healing powers.'"

"Mr Stuart [a homeopath] supplied the Press Council with a letter from Dr David St George, Chief Advisor on Integrative Care for the Ministry of Health, who advises the ministry on the development of complementary medicine in New Zealand and its potential integration into the public health system. He was not speaking for the ministry in this case but offering a personal view.

Dr St George believed the statement in North & South's article arose from a misunderstanding of the Lancet study, which had compared 110 published placebo-controlled trials of homeopathy with the same number of published placebo-controlled trials of conventional medical drug treatments. He said most of the 110 homeopathy trials in that study were "randomised, evidence-based scientific studies" which demonstrated an effect beyond a placebo effect. "

Dr St George said there was no debate about whether there were scientific studies demonstrating homeopathy's therapeutic benefit but rather, whether those studies were of an acceptable methodological quality.

Case Number: 2320 CLIVE STUART AGAINST NORTH & SOUTH (Thanks, Juha)

Documentary about the craft and philosophy of wooden boat carpentry

Kat Gardiner directed this lovely short documentary about the craft and philosophy of wooden boat carpentry called "Shaped on all Six Sides."

Gweek 092: Cartoonist Lucy Knisley

Dean Putney and I interviewed Lucy Knisley, one of my favorite cartoonists. From her website:

Lucy is an illustrator, comic artist and author. Occasionally she is a puppeteer, ukulele player and food/travel writer. She likes books, sewing, bicycles, food you can eat with a spoon, ornery cats, art you can climb on, manatees, nice pens, costumes, baking, television, cheese and Oscar Wilde.

Her first published book, French Milk, is a drawn journal about living (and eating) in Paris with her mother. (From Touchstone Publishing from Simon and Schuster), August of 2008.

Her newest book, Relish, from First Second Books, is about growing up in the food industry. (First Second Books, April 2013.)

Beginning with a love for Archie comics, Tintin and Calvin and Hobbes, she has been making comics in some form or another since she could hold a pencil.

RSS | On iTunes | Download Episode | Listen on Stitcher

What we talked about in this episode:



Pretty Girls Ugly Faces



Candy Crush Saga

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Thanks to Soundcloud for hosting Gweek!

US government sends itself a takedown notice over JFK documentary: you decide what to do!

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez,

One agency of the federal government has issued a takedown notice to another agency of the federal government, which in turn demanded that we remove a film from the Internet. Not knowing what to do, I have appealed for your help.

I hereby bring this plea before the Court of Appeals for Wonderful Things, appealing to a jury of my peers, all happy mutants, for their verdict. Here are the facts of my case:

    * After the assassination of of John F. Kennedy on December 23, 1963, the United States Information Agency (USIA), with the assistance of citizen Gregory Peck, produced a 90-minute film called John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums.

    * The film was shown overseas to rave reviews. The Daily Mirror of Manila described it as a "work of art." The Times of India said "Each and every shot of this one and a half hour long film is so effective and heart touching that the spectators remain spellbound to the last minute." The Star of Johannesburg said "This film makes one want to be an American."

    * The USIA was prohibited by law from distributing films in the United States as it was then illegal for the government to propagate domestic propaganda.

Read the rest

Guatemala: March for assassinated priest, and justice, as genocide trial remains in limbo

    In Guatemala City today, a demonstration to honor Monsignor Juan José Gerardi Conedera, and to call for the genocide trial of Rios Montt to continue. Image: NISGUA.

    Today here in Guatemala, demonstrators marched through the streets of the capital to honor the life of Bishop Juan Gerardi, a Catholic priest and human rights champion. He was beaten to death 15 years ago today, two days after releasing a report about victims of the country's 36-year internal armed conflict. Gerardi has become even more of a hero since what the faithful describe as "his martyrdom."

    In the past few weeks of my travels here in Guatemala, I have visited a number of Catholic churches; his name and his image appear often, with great reverence. At the central church in Nebaj, part of the Ixil Maya area at the center of the historic Rios Montt genocide trial, I snapped this photo of Gerardi's inclusion in a memorial to civilian victims of the armed conflict.

    In the central church of Nebaj, Quiché, Guatemala, Bishop Juan Gerardi is honored in a memorial to civilian victims of the internal armed conflict. Image: Xeni Jardin.

    The 15th anniversary of Bishop Gerardi's death comes at a time when Guatemala is once again experiencing a wave of polarizing rhetoric around human rights and post-armed-conflict justice issues—rhetoric that includes damning words for the Catholic church.

    One example: "The Farce of Genocide," a recent paid campaign in a major Guatemalan newspaper by Guatemala's "Foundation Against Terrorism" (Fundación Contra El Terrorismo; blog, Facebook). The group was founded by Ricardo Méndez Ruíz, whose father was a military officer and minister of the interior under Rios Montt. The 20-page newspaper insert warned of an "International Marxist Conspiracy" transmitted through the Catholic Church; it included archival photographs said to be proof of "[Catholic] nuns manipulating indigenous people against" the US-backed former military dictator at the center of the current genocide trial.

    Read the rest

Guatemala: "A Trial of Two Languages," video update from the Rios Montt genocide tribunal

From "Granito: Every Memory Matters" (GMEM), a project inspired by the creation of the film "Granito de Arena," here are the latest in a series of video updates from the Rios Montt genocide trial in Guatemala.

This video, according to Granito director and online media project co-creator Pamela Yates, "captures that extraordinary moment when Judge Barrios ruled to continue the trial."

Above, in English; below, in Spanish.

Read the rest