Blog

How to lace up your Vans

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My 7 year old and I just had fantastic debate about the proper way to lace Vans.

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Downvoting considered harmful

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A study [PDF] published in a journal of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence found that sites that have a "downvote" button to punish bad comments lock the downvoted users into spirals of ever-more-prolific, ever-lower-quality posting due to a perception of having been martyred by the downvoters.

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Australia bans Duff Beer

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Australia's Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code has banned the Woolworths grocery from selling Homer Simpson's favorite beverage Duff Beer because "it will be instantly recognisable and highly appealing to children and young people under the legal drinking age," according to a complaint filed with the organization.

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Comcast blocks Tor (updated)

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"Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that aren’t so-to-speak legal; we have the right to terminate, fine, or suspend your account at anytime due to you violating the rules -- Do you have any other questions? Thank you for contacting Comcast."

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Slow motion skateboard tricks

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Beautiful slow motion footage of skater Christopher Chann shot by Adam Shomsky at Stoner Skate Plaza, Los Angeles.

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Premiere: new video from SF noise pop trio El Terrible

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"Last Cab" is the first video from San Francisco noise pop trio El Terrible, led by underground music veteran Terry Ashkinos (Elephone, Fake Your Own Death) with Scott Eberhardt on drums and vocals, and Adrian McCullough on bass, synth, and backing vocals.

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Movie scenes recut from stock footage

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Iconic movies and movie scenes recreated using stock footage. My favorite is The Shining, at 22 seconds in. (Thanks, Gil Kaufman!)

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TSA demands to search man who's already flown

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Minnesota's Kahler Nygard drew a Spirit Air boarding car with the dreaded "SSSS" extra-search marker, and halfway to Denver, Spirit and/or the TSA decided he hadn't been searched properly (he says he was), so they panicked and dragged him off the plane in Denver for another search because he might have been a time-traveller who could harm a plane after getting off of it.

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Sesame Street does Star Wars

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"A long time ago in a cookies and milky way galaxy far, far away, Princess Parfaita was taken prisoner by the evil Galactic Empire and had to be saved by a group of unlikely heroes including the young Luke Piewalker, Flan Solo, and Chewie the Cookie. "

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Features

Do animals cry?

Maria Konnikova on the appearance and the authenticity of emotion in the animal kingdom--and how we can use science to explore it. Read the rest

Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons' electronic privacy

Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications -- and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity. Read the rest

What's right with Hermione

14-year-old Naomi Horn says the heroine of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series remains a depressingly rare example of a fictional female respected for her education and intelligence. In Hermione’s world, being smart is what makes her important. Read the rest

John Scalzi's Lock-In

John Scalzi's new novel Lock In is already rocketing up the bestseller charts, and with good reason -- it's a book with everything Scalzi's fans have come to love and expect from his books, and more -- a parable about disability, big business, and technological change, wrapped in a tense police-procedural that grabs you and won't let go. Cory Doctorow reviews Lock In. Read the rest

Cannabis Pharmacy: the practical guide to medical marijuana

Written by Michael Backes, a respected expert in the field, Cannabis Pharmacy is the most comprehensive, easy-to-use book available on understanding and using medical marijuana, with evidence-based information on using cannabis for ailments and conditions, plus a comprehensive guide to the most popular varieties. Read the rest