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"Hyperbolic tiling": can you escape from an extradimensional prison?

The only thing at Hypernom.com appears to be a 3D fractal cage. You can move toward the edge with the WASD and arrow keys. But as you approach it, a new level of detail pops in and you seem no closer to the perimeter. Approached as a game, there is a "trick" to escaping—but I'm not sure you're supposed to. Press numbers to change the forms that bind you. There are all sorts of things going on like this. Read the rest

Romania's anti-corruption protests are massive, growing, and they're playful and serious at once

When the government of Romanian PM Sorin Grindeanu announced that they would gut the country's anticorruption statutes, removing criminal sanctions for official corruption, the country erupted into mass protests. Read the rest

Robot-proof your kids by teaching them to perform "unpredictable" jobs

On Quartz, Dave Edwards and Helen Edwards assert that after studying 30 professions, they've concluded that the occupations that are most resistant to roboticization are those that are "unpredictable" -- CEOs, school psychologists, economists, allergists, immunologists, and environmental scientists. Read the rest

Visualizing the vast distances of space with a 1-pixel moon in a side-scrolling solar-system

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel tries to convey the vastness of space by inviting you to side-scroll through our Solar System with (you guessed it) the scale of 1 pixel to the diameter of the moon. These scale comparisons always manage to temporarily invoke something in me that approaches intuitive understanding, but before long, I can feel it fading and being replaced with the nonsensical science fictional conceit of solar systems as being something tractable. (via Making Light) Read the rest

First ever video of Ghost Shark, with sex organ on its head, alive in the ocean

Ghost sharks, aka chimaeras, are elusive relatives of sharks and rays that live in the black depths of the ocean, as far down as 2,600 meters. The Ghost Shark was captured on video by a remotely operated vehicle deployed on a geology expedition by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in waters off Hawaii and California. The scientists who analyzed the video think that it's a pointy-nosed blue chimaera (Hydrolagus trolli) that usually calls the waters off Australia and New Zealand home. This is the first time researchers have known this species to swim in the Northern Hemisphere. From National Geographic:

Unlike those more well-known sharks, chimaeras don’t have rows of ragged teeth, but instead munch up their prey—mollusks, worms, and other bottom-dwellers—with mineralized tooth plates.

A pattern of open channels on their heads and faces, called lateral line canals, contain sensory cells that sense movement in the water and help the ghost sharks locate lunch.

And perhaps most fascinating, male chimaeras sport retractable sex organs on their foreheads.

Read the rest

Mesmerizing 3D fractal animations: ECHOES

San Francisco-based artist Chris Bjerre created these gorgeous black-and-white forms that pulse between elemental shapes. Read the rest

Amazing new UK covers for William Gibson's Sprawl books

Gollancz have announced a gorgeous set of new editions of William Gibson's seminal Sprawl books, which began with 1984's Hugo, Nebula and Philip K Dick award-winning novel Neuromancer, designed by Daniel Brown (previously), using software that created fractals based on 1970s apartment buildings. Read the rest

The Boing Boing Store's 2 top headphone deals of the week

The Boing Boing Store features tons of headphones with a range of functionality, quality levels, and prices. Today we're featuring 2 of the best additions, fresh to the Store this week.

The first set of bluetooth headphones are great for working out or everyday listening, while the wired second set will be really attractive to anyone who is a serious gamer or wants to hunker down in the library at school and get some work done.

#1 SainSonic Wireless HD Stereo Earphones - $15.99

These SainSonic Wireless Earphones feature the latest Bluetooth 4.1 technology, and a design that won't budge from your ears no matter what you're doing. They deliver an impressive 6 hours of playtime on a single charge. Plus, with their special nano-coating, the SainSonic earphones work even if when it's raining outside or during extra sweaty workouts. Best of all, they're extremely affordable at just $15.99 thanks to our current sale.

 

#2 SteelSeries 9H Gaming Headset - $99

The SteelSeries 9H Gaming Headset is not only more affordable than standard gaming headsets, but delivers impressive audio, too. For one thing, it comes loaded with Dolby Technology, meaning you get great audio every time you play. The retractable mic and included noise cancellation mean all your mid-game communication will be crisp. And the best part is how refreshingly comfortable this headset is. Get it on sale in the Boing Boing Store for just $99.

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What San Francisco says about America

Journalist Thomas Fuller returned to the United States after 27 years abroad, mainly in Asia. He moved to San Francisco and wrote about the reverse culture shock he experienced. The thing that struck him the most was the disparity between the wealthy (ganja yoga, organic ice cream sandwiches, vegan shoes, Bluetooth compatible toothbrushes) and the poor (outbursts of the mentally ill on the sidewalks, vaguely human forms inside cardboard boxes).

From NYT:

Greater Bangkok, a sprawling metropolis with more than 10 million people, has 1,300 homeless people, a survey this year found.

San Francisco has less than one-tenth Bangkok’s population but six times as many homeless people. I’m sure you could fill a book with the reasons for this. Ms. Nopphan believes that homelessness is more intractable in rich societies. “In wealthy countries there are systems for everything,” she said. “You’re either in the system or out of the system.” There is no in-between in America. In Bangkok, by contrast, rich and poor coexist. There are vast tracts of cheap, makeshift homes and a countryside where people in the cities can return to if they lose their jobs or hit hard times.

Read the rest

Dick Van Dyke breaks out in song to surprised Denny's diners

Last week while dining at Denny's in Santa Monica, Dick Van Dyke and his a cappella Vantastix buddies broke out into song. Although not quite a flash mob, it was a surprise performance of the song "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" for the lucky diners at the coffee shop.

"Breakfast at Denny's, with a side of grits makes me want to sing!!" Van Dyke wrote on his Facebook page Saturday.

Van Dyke played the eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts in the 1968 film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," which was co-written by Roald Dahl and was based on a story by Ian Fleming, of James Bond fame.

Thanks U.S. News! Read the rest

Generate your own random fantasy maps

Martin O'Leary not only made a cool fantasy map generator, he's giving away the source code and has described the process at a high enough level for an idiot like me to partly understand how it works.

I wanted to make maps that look like something you'd find at the back of one of the cheap paperback fantasy novels of my youth. I always had a fascination with these imagined worlds, which were often much more interesting than whatever luke-warm sub-Tolkien tale they were attached to.

At the same time, I wanted to play with terrain generation with a physical basis. There are loads of articles on the internet which describe terrain generation, and they almost all use some variation on a fractal noise approach, either directly (by adding layers of noise functions), or indirectly (e.g. through midpoint displacement). These methods produce lots of fine detail, but the large-scale structure always looks a bit off. Features are attached in random ways, with no thought to the processes which form landscapes. I wanted to try something a little bit different.

It's an odd feeling to look at these instantly-generated, detailed maps and realize that they represent nothing. I feel like I'm being wasteful pressing the "Generate high resolution map." The Uncharted Atlas is a twitterbot that posts a new map every hour. Read the rest

Your microbial nation: how bacteria went from menace to superfood

British science writer Ed Yong's new book I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life is a history of gut flora and bacteria, which first entered our consciousness as a scourge to be eliminated and has lately become something between a cure-all (see the universe of "probiotic" food supplements) and a superfood (think of the fecal transplants that have shown such promise in treating a variety of debilitating and dangerous health conditions). Read the rest

Create a fractal castle made of miniature copies of itself

Castles is a fascinating web toy by Nico Disseldorp. Left-click to add a castle to the outside of your castle—and watch as every part of the castle, including the added part, changes to reflect the form of the new whole. Right click to spin it around so you don't go mad. He's made other mind-melting recursion toys too. Read the rest

NYT: Trump is "psychologically off the chain"

When internet laymen suggest that Trump is manifestly mentally ill—the abusive narcissism, the total absence of empathy, the 400-word sentences tracing random paths through the vaporwave fractal landscape of his paranoid obsessions—there are yet fair grounds for concern. You're not a doctor. You haven't examined him. His theatrics are dangerous, but so are yours. This stigmatizes the mentally ill. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's quiet time: give a warm welcome to David Brooks!

He cannot be contained because he is psychologically off the chain. With each passing week he displays the classic symptoms of medium-grade mania in more disturbing forms: inflated self-esteem, sleeplessness, impulsivity, aggression and a compulsion to offer advice on subjects he knows nothing about.

His speech patterns are like something straight out of a psychiatric textbook. Manics display something called “flight of ideas.” It’s a formal thought disorder in which ideas tumble forth through a disordered chain of associations. One word sparks another, which sparks another, and they’re off to the races. As one trained psychiatrist said to me, compare Donald Trump’s speaking patterns to a Robin Williams monologue, but with insults instead of jokes.

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Animated fractals in your browser

Click to zoom into Jonathan Potter's spookily beautiful-animated Julia set. The trick: webGL shaders applied to the scene, making it pulse and glow and coil like a dreaming machine. He also made a Mandelbrot in the same style, without the shaders (which limit how far you can zoom.) [via] Read the rest

Fantastic Manfrotto 3-way head

I am absolutely thrilled with this Manfrotto 3-way head. My last one took nearly a decade to wear out, mostly due to abuse in salt water environments, and I had to have a new one.

This head works great with some of my larger lenses on board. The Nikon AI-S 300mm F2.8 and my Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8 are both perfectly stable on this head. Friction controls are a nice addition, missing from my last head, and the collapsible levers get out us your way. Bubble levels pretty much exactly where you'd want them and a fantastic quick release system. It uses the same mount as previous pan-and-tilt Manfrotto head, so I can even use the old mounting plates.

I expect to get another 5-10 years out of this one.

Manfrotto MHXPRO-3W X-PRO 3-Way Head with Retractable Levers and Friction Controls via Amazon Read the rest

Post-Brexit, EU Commission plan to ram through disastrous Canada-EU trade deal dies

CETA -- the "Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement" is a secretly negotiated deal between Canada and the EU, mirroring many of the most controversial provisions in notorious deals like ACTA, TPP, and TTIP -- including the "corporate sovereignty" clauses that permit multinational corporations to sue governments in closed courts, and force them to repeal environmental, labour and safety rules (albeit dressed up in new clothes that make the provisions appear different, without making any real difference). Read the rest

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