"Here Comes The Sun" played verrrrry slowly, then sped up to the right tempo

Samuraigutarist recorded his cover of The Beatles' "Here Comes The Sun" at a very slow tempo that lengthened the song to around 30 minutes. Then he sped up the video and audio 20x. The result sounds like a lovely violin version of the song.

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How to make a lovely ring from a coin

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Over at MAKE, Shane Walton explains a neat technique for turning coins into beautiful rings. Instead of hammering the edge with a hammer, he suggests tapping it with a spoon... for hours.

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Pentagon's nuclear missile system is run on 1970s floppy disk tech

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In a new report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reveals that the "Department of Defense uses 8- inch floppy disks in a legacy system that coordinates the operational functions of the nation’s nuclear forces." That floppy format was developed in the late 1960s and was obsolete by the 1980s. I wonder if the DoD saves a few bucks by using a hole punch to make them double sided.

According to the GAO report, "The agency plans to update its data storage solutions, port expansion processors, portable terminals, and desktop terminals by the end of fiscal year 2017."

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Federal Agencies Need to Address Aging Legacy Systems (PDF) Read the rest

How to cook up some delicious deep fried water

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From Jonathan Marcus's YouTube:

water... frozen reverse spherification (calcium alginate membrane)... flour... egg... panko... 375ºF peanut oil

A dozen of these were prepared for and given away at the Stupid Shit No One Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon 2.0 ...

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Odd billboard that advertises blinged-out cock rings

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Roadside snapshot by my pal Rachel Demy in Twisp, Washington.

(via Rachel's Instagram) Read the rest

Star Wars: Episode IV, the massive infographic

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Zurich-based Illustrator and graphic novelist Martin Panchaud created a massive infographic adaptation of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. If printed, the document would be more than 400 feet long. You might think of it as a visual Star Wars Torah scroll. SWANH.NET

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Google's former "design ethicist" on "How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds"

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Tristan Harris was Google's "Design Ethicist" where he studied how design choices directly affect people's behavior in conscious and unconscious ways. He's also a practicing magician! As he says, "Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it." Over at Medium, Harris wrote a fascinating post about persuasive technology and how design can "exploit our minds’ weaknesses." From Medium:

Western Culture is built around ideals of individual choice and freedom. Millions of us fiercely defend our right to make “free” choices, while we ignore how those choices are manipulated upstream by menus we didn’t question in the first place.

This is exactly what magicians do. They give people the illusion of free choice while architecting the menu so that they win, no matter what you choose. I can’t emphasize enough how deep this insight is.

When people are given a menu of choices, they rarely ask:

• “what’s not on the menu?”

• “why am I being given these options and not others?”

• “do I know the menu provider’s goals?”

• “is this menu empowering for my original need, or are the choices actually a distraction?” (e.g. an overwhelmingly array of toothpastes)

"How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist" (Medium)

Harris's piece supports the essay that my Institute for the Future colleagues Marina Gorbis and Devin Fidler recently posted about the incredibly high stakes of on-demand platform design: "Design It Like Our Livelihoods Depend on It" (WTF?) Read the rest

You can buy Don Draper's sweet red convertible and other Mad Men props

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Lions Gate Entertainment is auctioning off a slew of screen-used props from Mad Men, including Don Draper's 1964 Imperial Crown Convertible. Less than 1,000 of this car were made and fewer than 200 are still around. Also in the Mad Men lot are the likes of Pete Campbell's Globe Bar Cart, Don's Ray Bans and copy of Dante's Inferno, clothing and, um, a bunch of fake grocery items from Betty's kitchen. The online auction commences June 1.

(via Uncrate) Read the rest

Watch Supaidāman, the 1970s Japanese live action Spiderman

Supaidāman (スパイダーマン) aired in Japan for one season from 1978-1979. Spider's suit is familiar, but in this series his main power is that he, um, pilots a transforming robot named Leopardon. From Wikipedia:

Although the show's story was criticized for bearing almost no resemblance to the Marvel version, the staff at Marvel Comics, including Spider-Man's co-creator Stan Lee, praised the show for its special effects and stunt work, especially the spider-like movement of the character himself.[5] While it is said that Marvel initially opposed the addition of Leopardon, the robot was viewed as a necessary gimmick to attract younger viewers and was ultimately kept. The show's mechanical designer, Katsushi Murakami (a toy designer at the time), expressed concern about Toei's capability to market Spider-Man to Japanese audiences and was given permission by producer Yoshinori Watanabe to take whatever liberties he deemed necessary. Murakami came up with the idea of giving Spider-Man an extraterrestrial origin, as well as a spider-like spacecraft that could transform into a giant robot (due to the popularity of the giant robot shows in Japan at the time).

(via r/obscuremedia) Read the rest

Meth smuggled inside burritos

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrested a Nogales, Arizona woman for allegedly smuggling $3000 worth of methamphetamine from Mexico inside two faux burritos. From UPI:

A narcotics-detecting canine alerted officers to the presence of drugs and a search determined the woman was carrying more than a pound of methamphetamine in two packages that had been wrapped in tortilla shells to make them look like burritos.
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Fantastic psychedelic video for Kraftwerk's Autobahn (1979)

In 1979, Roger Mainwood, just out of the Royal College of Art, created this wonderfully trippy animation for Kraftwerk's "Autobahn." It was a commission from the band's record company but Kraftwerk had no input on the film, and Mainwood says he's unsure if they even saw it. The fan site KraftwerkOnline tracked down Mainwood and interviewed him about the film:

I've never actually had to explain in words exactly what it was all about. There was a lot of what you might call "psychedelic pop" imagery around at the time that to be honest never had a great deal of actual "meaning" to it at all, and I guess I was tapping into that. Thinking back to my thought processes at that time, I remember wanting to specifically not have conventional cars in the film. I wanted a sense of a repetitive journey, and alienation, which I took to be what the music was about,............hence the solitary futuristic figure, protected by large goggles, moving through and trying to connect with the journey he is taking. The automobile "monsters" are deliberately threatening ( I have never been a big fan of cars or motorways ! ) and when our "hero" tries to make human contact (with different coloured clones of himself) he can never do it. In the end he realises he is making the repetitive and circular journey alone but strides forward purposefully at the end as he did in the beginning . All of which sounds rather pretentious..........but I was a young thing in those days !

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Optography: retrieving a dead person's last sight from their retina

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Could you recover a murder victim's last sight of their killer by extracting it from the retina? Little more than a century ago, forensic scientists thought it might be possible. After all, in 1877 physiologist Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne was able to develop a simple image from an albino rabbit's dissected eyeball. (Above, the two images on the right come from rabbits who stared at two different windows. The left shows just nerves and blood vessels.) From Smithsonian:

The College of Optometrists in the U.K. reports that police photographed the eye of a murdered man in April 1877, "only partly aware of what optography involved," and that investigators on the trail of Jack the Ripper may have considered a proposal to use the technique.

Faith in optography was misplaced, however, as Kühne's experiments showed that only simple, high-contrast surroundings were able to produce interpretable optograms, Douglas J. Lanska writes in Progress in Brain Research. Furthermore, the retina needs to be removed very quickly from the recently deceased.

"How Forensic Scientists Once Tried to "See" a Dead Person's Last Sight" Read the rest

Watch the trailer for Drive 2: The Uber Years

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Yes, I know that isn't really Ryan Gosling.

(Joey Thompson/YouTube)

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Pixelsynth: fun Web instrument translates images into electronic music

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Pixelsynth is a lovely and compelling Web app by Olivia Jack that enables you to easily turn your own images into weird electronic music and tweak the tones (and graphics) in real time. PIXELSYNTH (via Waxy)

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Animated interview with Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone

Pleased to present for your consideration, this quote from the creator of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling: "The most unfettered imagination belongs to young people, and they don’t walk through life; they fly.” (Blank on Blank)

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Bill Gates suggests these 5 books to read over the summer

His picks, with Amazon links:

Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson

How Not to be Wrong, by Jordan Ellenberg

The Vital Question, by Nick Lane

The Power to Compete, by Ryoichi Mikitani and Hiroshi Mikitani

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Noah Yuval Harari

(Gates Notes) Read the rest

High school football coach bit heads off live frogs for good luck

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Weird Universe shares the tale of Larry Canaday, the 1970s football coach at Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida, who would bite the heads off live frogs to psych up his team before games.

"Our kids love it," Canaday told the Associated Press in 1977. "They say 'Look how wild the coach is, let's get wild, too!'"

Canaday said he started the practice when trying to fire up one player. "I looked down and saw this little frog and just reached down and bit it. The boy's eyes got big as saucers and he became a real go-geter."

After several years of the ritual, school officials told him that the "frog-biting must cease."

"Last year we were winning," he said in the 1977 article. "But now we're losing, and certain intellects will use this as an excuse to pick on football." Read the rest

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