Among the most recent video posts you will find on our all-new video archive page:
• 2 months on an Antarctic icebreaker
• Hannah Peel covers OMD's "Electricity" on an antique music box
• DroneShield: crowdfunded, networked drone detectors
• Homemade laser pops 100 balloons
• Homemade Thor's hammer with an 80,000 volt Tesla coil in it
• Running on a long, deep pool of ooblek
• Unboxing a mysterious trunk in the attic
In this episode of Gweek, I talked to Ned Vizzini and Chris Columbus about their new book, House of Secrets. Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling calls House of Secrets “a breakneck, jam-packed, roller-coaster of an adventure about the secret power of books.”
Ned Vizzini is an award-winning author and television writer. He’s the author of the novels Be More Chill and It's Kind of a Funny Story, and he was on Gweek 069 last year when his delightful young adult novel, The Other Normals was published. He’s also written for TV, including MTV’s Teen Wolf.
Chris Columbus is the writer, director, and producer of many award winning movies, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Goonies, Gremlins, The Help, and Home Alone.
Thanks to Soundcloud for hosting Gweek!
Here is Episode #10 of their ongoing series of web updates from the trial, "An Attempt to Decimate the Future." In this episode, a Maya Ixil woman testifies before the court about sexual violence she survived. In the audience, women cover their heads in solidarity. The woman displaying this incredible act of courage was one of 98 Ixil survivors, men and women, who testified as criminal witnesses in the trial. Proceedings are due to resume tomorrow after several weeks of legal wrangling between lawyers for the defense and various Guatemalan courts.
Below, two additional recent episodes from the series. Read the rest
Read the rest
Yesterday, I wrote about Defense Distributed's 3D printed handgun, and asked whether it would fire, and how many rounds it could fire before experiencing stress fractures, melting, etc. Now, Forbes's Andy Greenberg follows up with a report of the successful firing of the gun -- though not its longevity -- and says that Defense Distributed will publish the CAD files for printing your own gun on its site today, along with videos of the gun in action.
Unlike the original, steel Liberator, though, Wilson’s weapon is almost entirely plastic: Fifteen of its 16 pieces have been created inside an $8,000 second-hand Stratasys Dimension SST 3D printer, a machine that lays down threads of melted polymer that add up to precisely-shaped solid objects just as easily as a traditional printer lays ink on a page. The only non-printed piece is a common hardware store nail used as its firing pin...
Even Wilson himself says he’s not sure exactly how that’s possible. But one important trick may be the group’s added step of treating the gun’s barrel in a jar of acetone vaporized with a pan of water and a camp stove, a process that chemically melts its surface slightly and smooths the bore to avoid friction. The Dimension printer Defense Distributed used also keeps its print chamber heated to 167 degrees Fahrenheit, a method patented by Stratasys that improves the parts’ resiliency.
Meet The 'Liberator': Test-Firing The World's First Fully 3D-Printed Gun [Andy Greenberg/Forbes]
"If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow." -- U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater
"Because they’re the ones making the rules." A video followup to Cory's post from last week.
Brought to you by the fine folks at the hard-hitting Tomo News video site, here's an animated recap of the fellow who lost his life savings in an attempt to win a game console at a carnival bucket toss.
Margaret Thatcher invented Soft Scoop Ice Cream [Nope!]. Marlon Brando invented a drum tuner. Jamie Lee Curtis patented a diaper with sealed pockets. Charlie Sheen invented a Chapstick dispenser, which "allows users to apply Chapstick lip balm whilst in cold conditions, without removing their gloves." Learn about other celebrity inventions in Mark Champkins' article at Humans Invent.
Amazon sells lots of fake security cameras, but this one for $9 is my favorite. It would be fun to install them on telephone poles in neighborhoods, or even better, as Funk Daddy suggests, in inappropriate places like lavatories and pointed at hotel beds.
Here's an incredibly cool video showing the prow of a massive ice breaking ship as it plows through Antarctica's Ross Sea. The footage is sped up, to pack two months of travel into five minutes. But, unlike a lot of time-lapse videos, this one also has a really informative audio track, in which marine scientist Cassandra Brooks waxes poetic about the many different kinds of ice and explains why she and her team were out there, breaking through the stuff, to begin with.
Bonus: At the end, you get to see the absolute adorableness that is penguins on high-speed fast forward.
Via Deep Sea News
Glenn Greenwald notes the alarming revelation from a CNN Out Front interview between host Erin Burnett and Tim Clemente, "a former FBI counterterrorism agent," where Clemente claimed that the FBI had access to recordings of every phone call made in America:
BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?
CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.
BURNETT: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.
CLEMENTE: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not."
A rare Tyrannosaurus Bataar skeleton has been returned to the government of Mongolia by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) service. The specimen was looted from the Gobi Desert and illegally smuggled into the United States; a repatriation ceremony took place today at a Manhattan hotel. "The Bataar was seized in New York by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents after it sold at a Manhattan auction for $1.05 million," according to ICE.
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"The show has dragons, who cares if the accents don't match?": Well, first of all, I care. Second of all, the cornerstone of science fiction and fantasy fandom is nitpicking. Third of all, the fact that Game of Thrones doesn't take place within our collectively agreed-upon reality doesn't release it from its responsibility to verisimilitude or the maintenance of internal consistency within its own systems.
David Goodsell of the Scripps Research Institute made this lovely watercolor illustration of a cell of Mycoplasma mycoides. This bacterium is the cause of a deadly respiratory disease that affects cattle and other cud-chewing animals.
If you've ever read much about zoonoses — diseases that pass from animals to humans — then you know that the domestication of livestock played a huge role in introducing many diseases to people. Living in close proximity to the animals we ate provided ample opportunities for those animals' diseases to jump over to us. What's interesting about Mycoplasma mycoides is that it represents a disease of animals that seems to have its origins in domestication, as well.
In 2012, scientists found evidence that suggests domesticating livestock — a process that resulted in closer living conditions for the animals and in animals from one herd being moved to other herds they likely wouldn't have otherwise had contact with — helped Mycoplasma mycoides evolve and spread. Today, different species of Mycoplasma mycoides cause a range of diseases that can kill between 10 and 70 percent of the cows they infect.
Goodsell's illustration is an attempt to show all the different parts of the bacterial cell, in the shapes, sizes, locations, and concentrations that those parts take in the real world. If you go to his site, you can see a legend explaining what everything is.
On the Vintage Ads LiveJournal, a fascinating set of anti-war ads from the 1930s protest group World Peaceways (see the full-sized version to read the text). They ran an anti-imperialist anti-war campaign that described soldiers as pawns in the corrupt games of the rich and powerful, and called on everyday people to refuse to involve America in future wars.
World Peaceways (1930s pacifist/anti-war organization) produced some of the boldest propaganda posters of that era, largely aimed at looking at what had come about in the aftermath of the First World War, including the Depression, and death on a scale the world had not seen before, as well as lasting enmity that was quickly brewing into the Second World War.
The name "World Peaceways" was used in the famous Star Trek episode "City on the Edge of Forever" to represent the pacifist movement that Edith Keeler belonged to. The story claimed that her peace work would keep America out of the war for too long and thus lead to Germany winning and taking over the United States. Kirk HAD to let her die - because if he saved her (as he apparently had) then all of history would change.
In walks Andrea Benitez, a wealthy 20-something, looking for a table. Told that the one she wanted wasn't available, she threw what can only be described as a tantrum and used the ace up her sleeve, her daddy. Andrea Benitez is the daughter of Humberto Benitez Trevino, who happens to be the federal attorney general for consumer protection. Faster than you can say "do you know who I am?" Andrea had called her father's department, which promptly turned up at our local neighbourhood bistro and closed it down on spurious administrative grounds.
The "Code Monkey Saves World" project is about to stretch itself into the world of kickass princesses. Troubadour Jonathan Coulton and filmmaker and comics writer Greg Pak teamed up a few weeks ago to launch a crowdfunding effort to raise $39,000 to create a series of comic books based on the villains and other characters from Coulton's songs. On their way to blow past $200,000 in pledges, the dynamic duo added more pages to the future comics, promised JoCo would record an album of newly recorded acoustic versions of the songs referenced in the comics, and provided other rewards, most of which existing backers get added without having to increase their pledge.
Pak and Coulton have at least one more rabbit to pull out of their jointly worn hat: a children's book created from "The Princess Who Saved Herself," the title of which explains the song. Read the rest
Read the rest
Every now and again, Dark Roasted Blend busts out a super-set of vintage photos of some gadget, technology, or system from yesteryear that is so surpassingly fantastic that it stops you cold.
Today is a day where such a set has been posted. The photos of Vintage Salon Hair Dryers that Avi Abrams rounded up here are nothing short of spectacular. Every single one of these demands to be dug out of the scrapheap of history, refurbished, and used as a prop in a low-budget science fiction movie. Especially the kraken-hair ones.