Interesting bobblehead collection in car


Heather videoed this charming collection of solar-powered bobbleheads. Read the rest

Draw a maze and watch different algorithms beat it

Draw a maze at PathFinding.js, pick a an algorithm, and watch it explore and find its way to the target square. Read the rest

Spider vs Bees

nope of the day posted video of a large fishing spider hunting bees. As long as it doesn't move too quickly, it can grab the relatively small insects and sneak off with them. But when it gets skittish: game over. [via] Read the rest

New MacBook Pro "great for hackers"

macbook pro

Adam Geitgey offers an alternative take on Apple's new MacBook Pros, which were poorly-received when announced two weeks ago. Geitgey argues that, thanks to the finally-maturing USB-C ecosystem (and there being multiple USB-C ports), it's a miniature interoperative power-toy that hackers will love. For example, you can charge it with a drugstore power adapter: no more $80 bricks to lug around.

Universal sharing of accessories between devices is a hacker’s dream. It’s the exact opposite opposite of vendor lock-in. You can just plug anything into anything and it (mostly) works. ...

If you get any of the new USB-C compatible monitors (pretty much every vendor has at least one now), you only need to plug one single cable into your MBP: You can then plug all your other devices into your monitor and everything flows over one USB-C to your laptop — power, video, data and even sound. Your monitor is now your docking station and breakout box!...

I/O-wise, the new MacBook Pro is possibly the most open device Apple has ever built. There is literally not a single proprietary port on it. You get four universal high-speed ports that can each draw or supply power, send and receive data and transfer video and audio. It’s really pretty neat.

(Odd to think, though, that none of the clever mobile tricks he lists will work with iPhones, beacause iPhones don't use USB-C.)

I finally checked out the new MacBook Pros in person over the weekend. The 13" model with a function row is an almost-perfect laptop; if you don't need a cutting-edge mobile workstation, it has a lot of juice for such a tiny machine. Read the rest

Why Titan is the only colonizable world in the solar system beyond Earth

This Voyager 2 photograph of Titan, taken Aug. 23, 1981 from a range of 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles), shows some detail in the cloud systems on this Saturnian moon. The southern hemisphere appears lighter in contrast, a well-defined band is seen near the equator, and a dark collar is evident at the north pole. All these bands are associated with cloud circulation in Titan's atmosphere. The extended haze, composed of submicron-size particles, is seen clearly around the satellite's limb. This image was composed from blue, green and violet frames.

Cold is easier to deal with than the raging heat of Venus. The Moon and Mars are bathed in dangerous radiation. This means Titan is humanity's best existential insurance policy. Charles Wohlforth and Amanda Hendrix, authors of Beyond Earth: Our Path to a New Home in the Planets, explain:

It’s cold on Titan, at -180°C (-291°F), but thanks to its thick atmosphere, residents wouldn’t need pressure suits—just warm clothing and respirators. Housing could be made of plastic produced from the unlimited resources harvested on the surface, and could consist of domes inflated by warm oxygen and nitrogen. The ease of construction would allow huge indoor spaces.

Titanians (as we call them) wouldn’t have to spend all their time inside. The recreational opportunities on Titan are unique. For example, you could fly. The weak gravity—similar to the Moon’s—combined with the thick atmosphere would allow individuals to aviate with wings on their backs. If the wings fall off, no worry, landing will be easy. Terminal velocity on Titan is a tenth that found on the Earth.

How will we get there? Currently, we can’t.

Oh well. Doom it is, then! Read the rest

How to use up every last bit of heavy cream

Then put the cap back on and give it a shake. Voila! Chances are there are enough creamdregs in the carton to properly dairify your coffee; you'll learn to calibrate the penultimate coffee to leave the correct amount in, as your mastery of this technique progresses. Read the rest

Libertarian plate "may poison food"


Reason Editor-in-Chief Katherine Mangu-Ward received a commemorative Johnson-Weld 2016 Libertarian Party Presidential Campaign plate in the mail.

Yoni Mazuz wonders:

The Libertarian moment of enlightenment is when you realize it's a giant ashtray. Read the rest

Trump to Romney: grovel before me for Secretary of State job

Titt Rumpney. Illo: Beschizza

Fox News reports that Donald Trump's still thinking of offering Mitt Romney the job of Secretary of State. The catch: Trump wants a public apology.

A transition official told Fox’s Ed Henry that some in Trump’s inner circle want the former Massachusetts governor to apologize in order to be seriously considered for the secretary of State. Trump is reportedly considering whether to pick Romney or former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the coveted cabinet position.

Giuliani is the preferred choice of Trump’s loyalists and grassroots supporters, while Romney is a favorite of establishment conservatives.

Here's Romney, before lining up behind the new power:

“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. He gets a free trip to the White House and all we get is this lousy hat ... There is a dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War, while at the same time, John McCain — who he has mocked — was imprisoned and tortured.”
Read the rest

Trump team says Elton John's playing at his inauguration; Elton John says he's not


"Elton John is going to be doing our concert on the mall for the inauguration," said Anthony Scaramucci, a member of president-elect Donald Trump's transition team.

"There is no truth in this at all," Elton John's spokeswoman told BBC News. Read the rest

Elaborately-detailed sculptures made from stacked sheets of laser-cut paper


Strictly Paper blogs the work of Eric Standley, who uses lasers on hundreds of sheets of paper to create incredibly-detailed works of art. [via]

These laser-cut masterpieces, reminiscent of stained glass windows, are inspired by geometry found in Gothic and Islamic architectural ornamentation in an attempt to capture a reverence for the infinite. “I am interested in the conceptual migration from the permanence and massiveness of stone to the fragility and intimacy of paper,” he mentions in an artist statement.

Read the rest

1946 information film about how democracy slides into despotism

propaganda ministry

Encyclopaedia Brittanica explains: "As a community moves toward despotism, respect is restricted to fewer people. A community is low on a respect scale if common courtesy is withheld from people on the basis of their political attitudes; rude to others because wealth or position gives them that right; or because they don't like a man's race or religion."

The use of the "not equal" sign, ≠, as a stand in for the swastika, is just perfectly on-the-nose.

But here's the best moment, depicting a despot's despotic laugh:

I immediately recognized this as the sampled laugh of Damnd, a guardian from Capcom's 1989 arcade game Final Fight:

Read the rest

RIP Brady Bunch mom Florence Henderson


Actress Florence Henderson, most famous as "iconic matriarch" Carol Brady and recent turns on Dancing with the Stars, is dead at 82.

"We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our dear mother Florence Henderson from Heart Failure," the Henderson family said in a statement. "On this day of thanks, our beloved mother was surrounded by her devoted children and dearest friends. We thank all of her fans for their many years of love and ask that we be allowed to grieve in private.

Read the rest

UPDATE: Chicago Tribune's Ivanka Trump "If he wasn't my father, I would spray him with Mace" quote is fake


UPDATE: The quote attributed to Ivanka Trump by The Chicago Tribune did not originate with her, reports Snopes' Dan Evon. Fake.

Kendizor evidently found Ivanka's alleged "mace" quote in the "Quotables" section of the Chicago Tribune. The screen shot she shared was real, and was published by the newspaper in August 2006:

"If he wasn't my father, I would spray him with Mace." ... The same quote, along with the same attribution, also appeared in an end-of-the-year quiz by the Telegraph. However ... The earliest version of this quote we could uncover was published on 17 March 2006, in the "News For Dumb Guys" section — a weekly feature in Louisiana's Shreveport Times — where it was attributed to comedian Conan O'Brien

In 2006, president-elect Donald Trump remarked that if Ivanka Trump wasn't his daughter, "perhaps I'd be dating her." In response, she said "If he wasn't my father, I would spray him with Mace." (CORRECTION: The Ivanka Trump quote from The Chicago Tribune is fake, reports Snopes. Sorry Ivanka.)

The remark was unearthed by Sarah Kenzidor from the Aug. 24, 2006 issue of The Chicago Tribune; it's one of several.

“Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father . . . “ Trump said to Rolling Stone in 2015.

Read the rest

Trump is angry at NBC News for using this photo of him, so please don't use this enhanced, enlarged version of it for anything


The original is a screengrab of a fairly low-quality video feed; I opened it in a proprietary "Blow Up" app, added some grain to conceal compression artifacts, and interpolated it to 2048 pixels wide to get a better look at what president-elect Donald Trump was angry about. He looks quite charming, if you ask me! Now, promise not to use this image anywhere else, as it would be unseemly and unmannerly.

You can follow Rob on Twitter

Read the rest

Another Thanksgiving Prayer


As it's been 30 years since William Burroughs' legendary Thanksgiving Prayer was recorded, I thought a contemporary tribute was in order. Read the rest

The Problem We Still Live With

A few things have changed since the 1960s. Read the rest

Funny reviews pile up for Donald Trump's dreadful $150 christmas tree ornament

On wednesday, president-elect Donald Trump unveiled a $150 Christmas tree ornament: a miniature Make America Great Again hat. Finished in brass and 14-karat gold, it has already been subject to many reviews. Many are funny.

"It called Mary a nasty woman, told Joseph to go back where he came from, built a wall around the manger, and then when you press it it sings "I'm Dreaming Of A Totally White Christmas."

"Every time I try to hang it on the branch, it yells 'WRONG!' No matter which branch I try, it's 'WRONG!' My brother and father can hang it up just fine, but when my mother and I try, it's just 'WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!'

"The angel on top of my tree just hired a lawyer."

The awful ornament is selling like hotcakes on Amazon; you can also get it directly from Trump's political campaign site. Read the rest

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