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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

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.

Also explore the top Online Courses on our network right now:

EconomicsGame Theory, Competition & Elasticity (63% off)FinanceComplete Stock Market Start Toolkit for Beginners (62% off)MarketingThe Complete Facebook Ads and Marketing Course (85% off)IT + SecurityBecome an Ethical Hacker Bonus Bundle (92% off)Self-ImprovementUltimate Productivity Hacks Bundle (97% off) Read the rest

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

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