J Edgar Hoover loved Efrem Zimbalist's "FBI"


Michael from Muckrock writes, "While J. Edgar Hoover wasn't a big fan of much media in the 60s -- he worked to rewrite one of Hitchcock's scripts and made Walt Disney re-work Tomorrowland -- there was one show that struck a chord: ABC's The FBI." Read the rest

Open source hardware autonomous tractor uses repurposed drone autopilot


Matt Reimer's homebrew autonomous tractor uses open source components to accomplish the kind of automation that John Deere's super-proprietary tractors are known for. Read the rest

Not just Lenovo: Dell ships computers with self-signed root certificates


Last February, Lenovo shocked its security-conscious customers by pre-installing its own, self-signed root certificates on the machines it sold. These certificates, provided by a spyware advertising company called Superfish, made it possible for attackers create "secure" connections to undetectable fake versions of banking sites, corporate intranets, webmail providers, etc. Read the rest

Blankets: New edition of Craig Thompson's graphic masterpiece

Craig Thompson's second graphic novel, the 582-page mammoth Blankets, swept the field's awards, taking three Harveys, two Eisners, and two Ignatzes. More than a decade later, and buoyed by his later successes (such as 2011's seminal Habibi), Drawn and Quarterly has produced a beautiful new edition.

The origin story of the Timothy Leary archives


Lisa Rein writes, "Fresh from a Supreme Court victory in a marijuana case, and armed with a campaign song written by John Lennon, maverick psychologist and prominent LSD researcher Timothy Leary decided to run for governor of California in a bid to unseat the incumbent Ronald Reagan, only to be knocked out of the race by a felony conviction and 10-year sentence for possession of two half-smoked marijuana joints, as a symbol of Nixon's newly proclaimed War on Drugs." Read the rest

Microdoses of LSD and mushrooms as an alternative to Adderall (or coffee!)


Self-experimenters, inspired by a 2011 presentation by The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide author James Fadiman, are taking tiny "sub-perceptual" doses of LSD and psilocybin to encourage workplace creativity and give them pep and a positive outcome in life overall. Read the rest

Comic Arts LA: a wonderful indie comics show, Dec 5/6


Once again, Jen Wang (my co-creator on In Real Life and author of the amazing Koko Be Good) is convening a don't-miss "convention of independent comics artists," Dec 5/6, at the Think Tank Gallery, with Noelle Stevenson and Jaime Hernandez heading the bill. Read the rest

Arduino-based knife-wielding tentacle

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Robbo sez, "Outaspaceman on YouTube shows his latest project - an Arduino-based knife wielding tentacle - which, of course, no home should be without." Read the rest

Randall Munroe does a Q&A with stick-figure comics


Munroe's upcoming book, Thing Explainer, occasioned an interview in Time; in characteristically wonderful style, he answered all the questions with one-panel cartoons. (via /.) Read the rest

Menus of the 1850s and 1860s


The Hilton College of the University of Houston's Hospitality Industry Archives includes a wonderful selection of menus from the 1850s and 1860s. Read the rest

On the grotesque obsession with accomplished women's fertility


Rebecca Solnit is a brilliant writer whose essay Men Explain Things to Me sparked the discourse about "mansplaining" and whose 2009 book A Paradise Built in Hell is one of the best history books I've ever read -- so why do so many interviewers want to talk to her about the fact that she chose not to have babies? Read the rest

How browser extensions steal logins & browsing habits; conduct corporate espionage


Seemingly harmless browser extensions that generate emojis, enlarge thumbnails, help you debug Javascript errors and other common utilities routinely run secret background processes that collect and retransmit your login credentials, private URLs that grant access to sensitive files, corporate secrets, full PDFs and other personally identifying, potentially compromising data. Read the rest

Activist tricked into 6-year relationship with undercover cop tells her story


It's been five years since the first cases of UK undercover police officers infiltrating environmental groups and tricking activists into having sex with them surfaced, and now, one of the survivors of the practice, "Lisa," has granted her first-ever interview. Read the rest

Porcelain figurines transformed into creepy-cute insects


Judith (AKA Miss Mantis) remakes kitschy-sweet porcelain figurines, transforming them with polymer clay, flocking and paint into statuettes of anthropomorphic insects going about their weird, daily business:. Some favorites: Bee Lady "Mìfēng", Fancy Dancing Mantis Gentleman, Bee Lady "Alice", Little Praying Mantis Boy, and Scandalous Mantis Dancer. Read the rest

Southwest Airlines surrenders to racists, refuses boarding to Arab-American passengers


After bigots alerted Southwest Airlines ground crew that there were two people speaking Arabic in the boarding area, the airline's employees opted to harass a Palestinian-American pizza-parlor owner and his friend who were returning to Philadelphia from Chicago. Read the rest

Exercise wheel for cats

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While looking for a new wheel for our hamster, my wife spotted this cat exercise wheel, which began life (where else) on Kickstarter and is now an object in the stream of commerce. Read the rest

Washington state government censors art by jailed Native American activist Leonard Peltier


Paintings by incarcerated Native activist Leonard Peltier have been removed from the walls of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries in Tumwater following complaints form a group of retired FBI agents.

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