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Compare tiny PC cases with this useful online spreadsheet

Looking for a tiny PC that still has space for a gaming-quality video card? SFF PC Cases is a remarkably detailed spreadsheet listing dozens of models, complete with cost, dimensions, volume and even important build tips. The very smallest are not practical for powerful builds, but the critical "Maximum GPU length" field is right there to help you out.

The gold-standard NCase M1 turns out to be only the 27th smallest case that can accommodate a GPU, and even the ultrawee Dan Case A4 doesn't hit the top ten! But it's also true that many on the list require fat external power bricks (if you're happy with that, the Custom Mod and S4 Mini models are astoundingly tiny, though good luck finding them for sale) or impose other brutal compromises, such as proprietary power supplies, too-severe limitations on GPU size, or plain goofy design.

The smallest case that's widely-available, attractive, and (relatively) inexpensive? And not so small that assembly will be a nightmare? Probably the Fractal Node 202. Read the rest

These intricate hand-painted mandala stones reveal the cosmic beauty of math

San Francisco-based artist Lina West creates these beautiful hand-painted mandala stones covered in gorgeous fractal patterns. Read the rest

If there's a nuclear blast, "do not use hair conditioner in your hair"!

After last week's threats from North Korea that it was planning to create an "enveloping fire" around the US territory of Guam, Guam's Office of Civil Defense issued a set of just-in-case guidelines – which you can also find here - on how to stay safe after a nuclear attack. There are a lot of interesting tips and warnings in these guidelines, but one that sticks out is:

"Wash your hair with shampoo or soap and water. Do not use conditioner in your hair because it will bind radioactive material to your hair, keeping it from rinsing out easily." This is especially important if you haven't been able to immediately find inside shelter.

According to NPR:

If you shower carefully with soap and shampoo, Karam says [Andrew Karam, radiation expert], the radioactive dust should wash right out. But hair conditioner has particular compounds called cationic surfactants and polymers. If radioactive particles have drifted underneath damaged scales of hair protein, these compounds can pull those scales down to create a smooth strand of hair. "That can trap particles of contamination inside of the scale," Karam says.

These conditioner compounds are also oily and have a positive charge on one end that will make them stick to negatively charged sections of a strand of hair, says Perry Romanowski, a cosmetics chemist who has developed personal hygiene formulas and now hosts "The Beauty Brains" podcast on cosmetics chemistry.

"Unlike shampoo, conditioners are meant to stay behind on your hair," Romanowski says. If the conditioner comes into contact with radioactive material, these sticky, oily compounds can gum radioactive dust into your hair, he says.

Read the rest

Monsanto's lawyers forgot to ask a court to suppress damning evidence about cancer and corrupt science

Monsanto is facing over 100 lawsuits in a Federal district court in San Francisco brought by people who attribute their non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to exposure to glyphosate in Monsanto's Roundup weed-killer, and as part of the discovery process, it submitted internal documents to the court that detailed shenanigans in the company's internal science and its dealings with regulators and the press. Read the rest

Touring, complete: what gear survived four months of hard-wearing book-tour?

I had the last official stop of my book tour for my novel Walkaway on Saturday, when I gave a talk and signing at Defcon in Las Vegas. It was the conclusion of four months of near-continuous touring, starting with three weeks of pre-release events; then six weeks of one-city-per-day travel through the US, Canada and the UK, then two months of weekly or twice-weekly events at book fairs, festivals and conferences around the USA.

Zoom in and zone out on this Mandelbrot set

Set this Mandelbrot zoom video to full screen and prepare to zone out on deep fractals for the next five+ minutes. It has 750 million iterations and its creator Fractal universe claims that's a new record. They also report that it took "more than 10 gigabytes of ram to render the reference."

(reddit) Read the rest

7-pack of erasable, multi-colored gel ink pens

Somehow having a 10-year-old around makes pens evaporate! These erasable gel ink pens are favorites.

We seem to lose a lot of pens. These fine point Pilot gel pens have become the ones to order for replacement. The ink really does erase, even after a trip through the washing machine. Very cool for anyone who folks who make mistakes.

Trust me, mistakes are made.

Pilot FriXion Clicker Retractable Erasable Gel Pens, Fine Point, Assorted Color Inks, 7-Pack (31472) via Amazon Read the rest

Dozens of prairie storms unfold in this stunning 4K timelapse

Chad Cowan shared this taste of his upcoming long-form timelapse of massive thunderstorms sweeping across the American plains.

He gives a little background on how he was inspired by Tom Lowe:

This collection of timelapses was gathered over the last six years. The project started out as wanting to be able to see the life-cycles of these storms, just for my own enjoyment and to increase my understanding of them. Over time, it morphed into an obsession with wanting to document as many photogenic supercells as I could, in as high a resolution as possible, as to be able to share with those who couldn't see first hand the majestic beauty that comes alive in the skies above America's Great Plains every Spring. After more than 100,000 miles on the road and tens of thousands of shutter clicks later, this is the result. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed creating it. Keep an eye out for a long form version of my storm timelapses, as these are a small sample of what I've been able to gather. I'm not sure yet how the extended version will be released.

FRACTAL - 4k StormLapse (Vimeo / Chad Cowan) Read the rest

Check out Frederik Vanhoutte's experiments in generative graphics

Frederik Vanhoutte describes himself as a creative coder who works in the field of generative art. His site W:BLUT has lots of cool little experiments. Above, Big Red I, a longer fractal experiment that evokes FRank Lloyd Wright. Read the rest

Trippy fractal of classical architecture set to classical music

Depths of Antiquity is Julius Horsthuis' hypnotic slow-motion dive into fractals generated from images of churches, castles and other imposing edifices of yesteryear. It's perfectly complemented by Beethoven. Read the rest

Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind of Science" goes open-access

It's been 15 years since the publication of Steven Wolfram's A New Kind of Science, a mindblowing, back-breaking 1,200-page book that (sort of) says the whole universe is made up of recursive fractals, also noteworthy for the frequent repetition of the phrase "A new kind of science" in its early chapters. Read the rest

Final Stage: incredible graphical demo shows what you can do with 4 kilobytes of source code

Graphical demos created with severe code-length limitations sometimes betray the techniques used to fit a world into a few kilobytes: tessellating textures, featureless fractals, repetitive sequences, and so on. Final Stage, by 0x4015, is not one of those demos. [via]

Here it is rendered on a XEON x560 with a GTX 1070 video card and 24GB of RAM. Check out all the other uploads from the Revision 2017 demoparty.

Eidolon, by Poo-brain, won in the 64k category: Read the rest

Mandy Johnson, 1953-2015

by Rob Beschizza

In her final hours, mum's death sleep grew louder. Morphine lost control of her body. Murmurs rose into a harrowing whine, swelling with each unconscious breath.

The nurse said she wasn't there, not really, but I wondered otherwise. Between her cries, during the bouts of apnea where she did not breath at all, in the terrible silence before she gasped back to life, I begged her to let go. I joked about her refusal to do so—anything to end the pain. Then her face, for hours a mask of frozen yellow wax, screwed up in what seemed a sudden awakening of incredible agony. She tensed, relaxed and sputtered, but did not wake. It happened again. And then she was quiet.

Whether she had fled hours ago, or had been aware and trapped in her body, she was gone now. Read the rest

The BBC is using this excellent photo of Trump for everything

It's not even clear where it's from, but alongside various stories about Trump's healthcare legislation woes, it's been on the BBC News homepage for what, two days now? For this morning's one, they've started zooming into it. By tomorrow, if the legislation has yet to pass, we'll be inside his weird angry tired mouth.

If someone could figure out the source (it doesn't seem to be Reuters) that would be fabulous. I've used a fractal image enhancement application to make this 2600-pixel wide enlargement, but it's just not the same as a nice raw wire shot.

Read the rest

The giant ships that ship other ships through the shipping lanes

Behold, the Blue Marlin, a "semi-submersible heavy lift ship" that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans. Read the rest

"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

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