Review: Popcake PC-11 Pancake Extruder


While visiting a friend recently, I stayed at a local hotel and got a chance to try out the Quickcakes Popcake PC-11 Pancake Extruder. About a yard wide, it has a single button on it, a small monochrome display, and is emblazoned with a decal stating "PANCAKES IN A MINUTE FLAT." Read the rest

Yet another unofficial New York Subway map redesign


Wonkblog explains "why designers can’t stop reinventing the subway map." It's an abstraction problem generally solved by Read the rest

Black Midi: compositions so complex humans can't perform them


Rhizome takes a look at the world of Black Midi, compositions with so many notes that to print them as musical notation would result simply in a giant blob of ink on the page.

We've previously written about Circus Galop, an inhumanly-polyphonic test suite for automatic pianos. This stuff makes it look rather minimalist. [via] Read the rest

8-bit personal computer trump cards


This delightful-looking deck of cards, featuring classic computers, is yours for $15 from the already-successful Kickstarter campaign.

The selection is good and each card has the right stats: CPU model and bit-width, clock frequency, RAM, display resolution, maximum number of on-screen colors, and the year it was launched.

There are already over 30 retro computers in the deck. As well as 8-bit classics there are a few early 16-bit and 32-bit machines too (e.g. Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes). The machines we have so far:

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Tiny planet spotted, 3x as distant as Pluto


Astronomers have spied a cold world three times as distant from the Sun as Pluto. Read the rest

Bob Ross lorem ipsum text generator


The legendary painter and educator has inspired a placeholder text generator based upon his calm yet encouraging dialogue. Friendlier than the classic lorem ipsum, it should provide all the happy little texts you ever need.

When things happen - enjoy them. They're little gifts. In this world, everything can be happy. All you have to do is let your imagination go wild. Look around. Look at what we have. Beauty is everywhere you only have to look to see it.

There is immense joy in just watching - watching all the little creatures in nature. Don't be afraid to make these big decisions. Once you start, they sort of just make themselves. These things happen automatically. All you have to do is just let them happen.

Go out on a limb - that's where the fruit is. We don't need any guidelines or formats. All we need to do is just let it flow right out of us. Didn't you know you had that much power? You can move mountains. You can do anything. Don't kill all your dark areas - you need them to show the light. That is when you can experience true joy, when you have no fear.

The very fact that you're aware of suffering is enough reason to be overjoyed that you're alive and can experience it. In your imagination you can go anywhere you want. In painting, you have unlimited power. You have the ability to move mountains. You can bend rivers. But when I get home, the only thing I have power over is the garbage.

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Cats startled by cucumbers


The subreddit r/CucumbersScaringCats is dedicated entirely to the proposition that cats are scared of cucumbers, and to providing video evidence in support of that proposition. Read the rest

Killer cops charged with murder thanks to bodycam footage


Two Louisiana cops who killed a 6-year-old boy have been charged with murder after bodycam footage showed that his father had his hands up when they opened fire.

Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, were also charged with attempted murder after firing upon a vehicle at what Louisana State Police described as "the conclusion of a pursuit."

Jeremy Mardis was shot five times, according to the Avoyelles Parish coroner's office, and his father, Chris Few, was also critically injured.

Police have not yet released the footage.

The head of the Louisiana State Police earlier said that video of the shooting is one of the most disturbing things he's ever seen, CBS News' David Begnaud reported.

"This was not a threatening situation for the police," Mark Jeansonne, the attorney for Chris Few, told the Associated Press after a closed hearing for the marshals.

Few remained hospitalized, and he was unable to attend the family's funeral for his son, 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis.

Questions are also swirling about the claim of a pursuit, with CBS's Bergnaud describing the answers he's receiving as the strangest he's received in 15 years of reporting.

"That is one question I've been trying to ask for three days, and the answers I've been getting are some of the most bizarre I've ever gotten," Bergnaud said. "There was no warrant, there was no 911 call… there was nothing to indicate why these 2 officers moonlighting as deputy marshals at the time would have pulled over his man. Nothing to indicate why they would have turned on their lights in Marksville and pursued him down the dead-end road that led to the shooting."

Huffington Post reports that at least 18 rounds were fired into the vehicle. Read the rest

Zombie apocalypse survival likelihood calculator


How long would you survive in a zombie apocalypse? Residents of the United Kingdom can find out using this location-based survival calculator. Read the rest

Jeb Bush confirms he would kill baby Hitler


Jeb Bush, a Republican candidate for the nation's highest office, confirmed Monday that if given the opportunity, he would kill Adolf Hitler as a baby.

“Hell yeah, I would!” the former Florida governor told HuffPost. “You gotta step up, man.” …

Bush did acknowledge that murdering the future German dictator before he had the chance to ignite World War II would be an act that could set in motion unknown consequences.

But the 2016 Republican presidential candidate remained emphatic that he would, in fact, kill Hitler -- even if the future leader of the Third Reich were an especially cute baby.

“It could have a dangerous effect on everything else, but I’d do it -- I mean, Hitler,” Bush said with a shrug.

Mr. Bush: would you rather fight one Chris Christie-sized Rand Paul, or one hundred Rand Paul-sized Chris Christies? Read the rest

The 5-hour rule: how long it takes to become marginally competent at a basic skill

Mike Boyd is familiar with Gladwell's 10,000, that being the approximate number of hours of practice supposedly required to master something. He wondered how long it would take him to learn to kickflip on a skateboard. It took him about 5 hours and 47 minutes, but some of that was him just fooling around, seething in pain, etc. [via Reddit] Read the rest

Design your own font easily with Metaflop and Metafont


Metafont makes it easy to create your own typeface: all you have to do is move sliders that alter the geometry until you've got the results you want. Then click "download," and you have your font!

metaflop is an easy to use web application for modulating your own fonts. metaflop uses metafont, which allows you to easily customize a font within the given parameters and generate a large range of font families with very little effort.

With the modulator it is possible to use metafont without dealing with the programming language and coding by yourself, but simply by changing sliders or numeric values of the font parameter set. this enables you to focus on the visual output – adjusting the parameters of the typeface to your own taste. all the repetitive tasks are automated in the background.

The unique results can be downloaded as a webfontpackage for embedding on your homepage or an opentype postscript font (.otf) which can be used on any system in any application supporting otf. Various metafonts can be chosen from our type library. they all come along with a small showcase and a preset of type derivations.

Metaflop is open source – you can find us on github, both for the source code of theplatform and for all the fonts.

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Clip-on man bun


The hottest hair style for gentlemen is now yours without the risk of traction alopecia. Groupon's clip-on manbun is only $9.99, and comes in blonde and brunette.

"How to Wear It:

1. Comb your hair back toward the crown of your head, in a similar motion to lacquering a reclaimed-wood coffee table

2. Attach the man bun to your natural hair the way the lay public attached itself to Arcade Fire

3. Use bobby pins to secure the man bun, decide bobby pins are too mainstream, use antique paper clips instead"

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After 40 years, Sony retires Betamax


You'd be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end.

The last recorders were sold in 2002.

ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge] Read the rest

SeaWorld to end orca shows in San Diego

A whale performs at SeaWorld in a scene from "Blackfish." (Magnolia Pictures)

After years of public outrage, the disturbing exposé Black Fish and fading business fortunes, SeaWorld is to end its use of killer whales in shows in San Diego.

But new California regulations also played a big part in the decision, and it appears the circus will go on at locations in Texas and Florida.

The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Friday, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, said he plans to introduce federal legislation that would prohibit the breeding of captive orcas, end the capture of wild orcas and stop the import and export of the killer whales.

For now, the tank enlargement initiative in San Diego will be on hold, Manby said.

"We know, with the regulatory environment out there with orcas and what’s happened in California with the reputation, we’d be foolish if we didn’t look at options," Manby said. "...We're not comfortable putting $100 million into a market when there are regulatory questions. Until that whole issue settles, then we’ll make a decision at that time."

The move away from performances featuring killer whales, though, is not likely to silence its critics who still want to see the end of captive breeding.

“Today’s acknowledgement by SeaWorld does not end our push to halt inhumane orca captivity and breeding practices, but it’s a step in the right direction," said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego. "More importantly, SeaWorld’s announcement contradicts their earlier statements that the company could not be profitable unless orcas were forced to participate in these circus-like shows...Clearly, SeaWorld can move away from being a giant circus that harms animal life and still have a viable business model.”

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The Lost Arcade: doc about rebirth of legendary NYC arcade


Changing technology made it a legend, then gentrification killed it. But Chinatown Fair, Manhattan's legendary video arcade, is open to players again in a new location. The Lost Arcade is a forthcoming documentary about a place best summed up in the line: "of course the best players went there. It was the only place still open."

Chinatown Fair opened as a penny arcade on Mott Street in 1944. Over the decades, the dimly lit gathering place, known for its tic-tac-toe playing chicken, became an institution, surviving turf wars between rival gangs, changing tastes and the explosive growth of home gaming systems like Xbox and Playstation that shuttered most other arcades in the city. But as the neighborhood gentrified, this haven for a diverse, unlikely community faced its strongest challenge, inspiring its biggest devotees to next-level greatness.

The premiere showings are on Nov. 14 and 18th, 2015, in New York City at IFC Center.

More from the description:

The story focuses on three members of the Chinatown Fair community: Akuma, a young man who found refuge in the arcade after running away from foster care; Henry Cen, a kid who grew up in Chinatown and became one of the best Street Fighter players in the world; and Sam Palmer, father figure and longtime owner of Chinatown Fair.

When Sam is forced to close Chinatown Fair, Henry and Akuma refuse to let the arcade community die and create Next Level, a modern incarnation of the classic arcade located in the Chinatown neighborhood of Brooklyn.

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Crowdfunded robot dragonfly project in trouble


In another high-profile failure of a successfully-crowdfunded gadget, it turns out that TechJect's robot dragonflies won't be flying their way to pledgers' pockets any time soon. Read the rest

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