Ross and Carrie become Scientologists: an investigative report 5 years in the making

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One of my favorite podcasts is Oh No Ross and Carrie, in which two investigative journalists join cults and fringe religions, and try out new age remedies and practices, and report back on the experience. Read the rest

One hundred of history's most influential jokes

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Vulture presents a lengthy (and very funny) annotated history of "100 jokes that shaped modern comedy," with embedded audio (and sometimes video) of the jokes themselves, going all the way back to 1906's Nobody by Bert Williams -- transferred from wax cylinder to shellac disc to Youtube. Read the rest

Disneyland-scented candles

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Rheney Williams, a former attorney from Charleston, SC, sells a line of unofficial Disneyland-scented candles themed after the rides, food, and environments of the park. Read the rest

Exuberant designer skins for the insides of Mumbai's taxis

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In Mumbai, cab drivers vie to make their vehicles stand out from their competitors', decorating them with exuberant expressions of the driver's personality. Read the rest

UK Snooper's Charter is so broad, no one can figure out what it means

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In Investigatory Powers Bill: technology issues, the UK Parliament's Science and Technology select committee takes the government to task for its signature mass surveillance law, the "Snoopers Charter" whose provisions are so broad and vague that companies can't figure out how much of their customers' data they're supposed to be storing, and whether they're meant to be backdooring all the crypto they distribute. Read the rest

Hollow rock turns into a router full of survival info when you build a fire beside it

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Keepalive is Aram Bartholl's fake hollow boulder in the woods of Neuenkirchen, Germany. It conceals a thermoelectric generator that powers a router configured to serve documents related to wilderness survival. The router switches on if the rock is sufficiently warmed, say by a blazing campfire adjacent to it. Read the rest

Whimsical treasure hunt turns into a grim search-and-rescue

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When Forrest Fenn, a retired antiquities dealer, hid $2m worth of gold, jewels and artifacts in the Rockies and teased the location of the treasure with cryptic clues in his self-published memoir The Thrill of the Chase, he'd hoped to inspire readers "to get the kids off the couch and away from the game machine." Read the rest

Ten hard truths about the Flint water atrocity

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Years before the complaints from Flint's citizenry about their water provoked action from the state, Governor Rick Snyder spent $440,000 to supply better water to the GM factory, where the new water supply was corroding the car parts on the assembly line. Read the rest

Call for submissions: SHARE electronic art festival, curated by Bruce Sterling

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The ninth Share Festival, held in Turin, Italy in May 2016, awards a "Share Prize" for best electronic art on the festival's theme of "House Guests," which raises a series of questions about everyday living and the Internet of Things, inspired by Casa Jasmina, a human-centered model IoT home: Read the rest

Kickstarting "Uprising - A Post-Apocalyptic Robot Comedy"

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Ben Hansford writes about his Kickstarter campaign for a short film called "Uprising - A Post-Apocalyptic Robot Comedy,"On the surface it's a comedy - but at its heart it's a story about me (an idiot man-child) becoming a responsible father. It's also a one-man show, with me doing all of the development, production, post, and visual effects on a shoe-string budget. But most importantly, Uprising is my chance to do my film, my way, with my friends and family by my side." Read the rest

Watch: AMAZING slam poem about policing women's speech habits

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Melissa Lozada-Oliva's spoken word piece "Like Totally Whatever," performed at the National Poetry Slam 2015, in Oakland, CA. Kick ass. (via Pro Choice America) Read the rest

Congress wants to know if agencies were compromised by the backdoor in Juniper gear (and where it came from)

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The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has asked dozens of agencies in the US government to disclose whether they used switches made by Juniper, the disgraced US network technology giant that had at least two backdoors inserted into the software for one of its most popular product-lines. Read the rest

San Francisco Super Bowl: crooked accounting, mass surveillance and a screwjob for taxpayers & homeless people

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It's a universal, dismal truism that all major sports events are ripoffs that transfer money from cities to the pockets of corrupt sporting leagues and bodies, but even by those standards, San Francisco's impending Super Bowl is particularly terrible. Read the rest

Same as the old boss: Justin Trudeau ready to sign Harper's EU free trade deal

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CETA is a Canada/EU "free trade agreement," negotiated in secret and containing the notorious "Investor-State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) clause, which lets corporations sue governments in confidential tribunals in order to force them to repeal their environmental, safety and labour laws. Read the rest

Danish government let America's Snowden-kidnapping jet camp out in Copenhagen

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The Gulfstream, tail number N977GA, was given permission to land in and fly over Denmark, and spent some time parked in Copenhagen, waiting to snatch Edward Snowden and kidnap him to America. Read the rest

Model forwards unsolicited dick pix, chat transcripts to girlfriends of her harassers

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Emily Sears has a longstanding, devastatingly effecting procedure for handling the unsolicited dick pix, wanking videos, and sexist come-ons she receives from creepy Internet randos: she researches their girlfriends and messages them with screengrabs of the whole thing. Read the rest

Read: The End of Big Data: space weapons, UN inspectors and personal data

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James "New Aesthetic" Bridle writes, "I wrote an SF short story about satellites, space weapons, UN inspectors, and the end of personal data! I hope you like it." Read the rest

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