Listen to the sources of Daft Punk's samples

Daftworld compiled some of the killer samples that Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter made their own. Full versions of the tracks heard here would make for a killer rare groove and disco DJ set!

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Zelda fan/maker controls smart home by playing ocarina

In celebration of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Allen Pan built a wonderful home automation system where the interface is an ocarina as seen in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. (Thanks, Lux!)

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Julia, the muppet with autism, joins Sesame Street's TV show

Julia, the muppet with autism, will join the Sesame Street TV show in April. She appeared last night on 60 minutes during an interview segment with Sesame Street writer Christine Ferraro. From NPR:

"The character Julia, she has wonderful drawing skills. She's like a little budding artist," said Rose Jochum, director of internal initiatives at the Autism Society of America, which characterizes itself as the nation's oldest advocacy group for people with the disorder. "You know — autism — it brings wonderful gifts..."

"It's not like there is a typical example of an autistic child, but we do believe that [with] Julia, we worked so carefully to make sure that she had certain characteristics that would allow children to identify with her," (Sesame Workshop executive vice president Sherrie) Westin said. "It's what Sesame does best, you know: Reaching children, looking at these things through their lens and building a greater sort of sense of commonality."

Here's the 60 Minutes segment script.

And more about puppet designer Rollie Krewson.

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Astronaut unknowingly brought souvenir flags to the moon and now you can buy one

When Apollo 15 astronaut David Scott hopped across the lunar surface in 1971, he was carrying a pouch of tiny US flags in his spacesuit. The stash of flags was such a secret that Scott didn't even know they were there at the time. Now one of the souvenir flags, the pouch, and the bracket where it was attached are up for auction. The flag is estimated to go for $15,000 and the bracket/pouch for $30,000, but I definitely think you need both lots. From Collect Space:

"This [hidden pouch] was apparently unknown to anybody else until the (Portable Life Support System's Oxygen Purge System where the pouch was stowed were) disassembled after the mission by some other member of the CSD (Crew Systems Division) and the flag package was discovered," wrote Scott.

The identity of the original CSD member who hid the flags, or the person who found them afterward, is unknown...

Scott was presented with some of the flags and the 7.5 by 4 inch (19 by 10 cm) bracket as mementos of his flight by his management at the same meeting where he was told of their existence. A law passed in 2012 reaffirmed Apollo-era astronauts' title to the items they retained as souvenirs of their missions...

The hidden flags were not the only secret souvenirs on the Apollo 15 mission. Scott and his two crew mates also took postmarked envelopes, a memorial statue, and timepieces that NASA later labeled as unauthorized. The hidden flags were not associated with those items, though.

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Nuclear explosion porn: watch newly declassified 1950s-1960s nuke test films

Weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and his colleagues at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have just uploaded dozens of declassified videos to YouTube of nuclear tests from the 1950s and 1960s. From LLNL:

The U.S. conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. But in the decades since, around 10,000 of these films sat idle, scattered across the country in high-security vaults. Not only were they gathering dust, the film material itself was slowly decomposing, bringing the data they contained to the brink of being lost forever....

For the past five years, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) weapon physicist Greg Spriggs and a crack team of film experts, archivists and software developers have been on a mission to hunt down, scan, reanalyze and declassify these decomposing films. The goals are to preserve the films' content before it's lost forever, and provide better data to the post-testing-era scientists who use computer codes to help certify that the aging U.S. nuclear deterrent remains safe, secure and effective. To date, the team has located around 6,500 of the estimated 10,000 films created during atmospheric testing. Around 4,200 films have been scanned, 400 to 500 have been reanalyzed and around 750 have been declassified.

LLNL Atmospheric Nuclear Tests

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Very strange ear earrings

Before artist Nadja Buttendorf gave us "Finger-rings," she created silicone "EARrings" in a variety of skin tones. "Price on request."

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Boy Howdy! Killer merch for Creem magazine documentary

In its 1970s heyday, Detroit-based music magazine Creem was home to seminal editors/writers/photographers like Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Greil Marcus, Patti Smith, Bob Gruen, Jenny Lens, and so many more. Indeed, it was in its pages that Dave Marsh coined the term "punk rock" in 1971. Creem's content was superb. It was unabashedly critical of fame, didn't take itself too seriously, and documented the more underground artists, bands, and scenes of the time, from the MC5 to Alice Cooper, New York City's glam rock culture to the proto-punks of the US and UK.

Boy Howdy! is director Scott Crawford's forthcoming documentary about Creem and I absolutely can't wait to see it. Until then, I'll proudly wear the fantastic t-shirt below, scribbled by my pal Jess Rotter! And yes, they're also selling Creem's classic Boy Howdy! t-shirt, handsomely modeled by John Lennon below.

Boy Howdy! and Creem magazine merch

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The daring doctors experimenting with psychedelic medicines

Rolling Stone's Mac McClelland tells the story of the physicians bravely breaking the law by treating patients with MDMA, ayahuasca, DMT, LSD, and other hallucinogens. From RS:

As an internal-medicine specialist, Dr. X doesn't have any patients who come to him seeking psychotherapy. But the longer he does the work, the more "I'm seeing that consciousness correlates to disease," he says. "Every disease." Narcolepsy. Cataplexy. Crohn's. Diabetes – one patient's psychedelic therapy preceded a 30 percent reduction in fasting blood-sugar levels. Sufferers of food allergies discover in their journeys that they've been internally attacking themselves. "Consciousness is so vastly undervalued," Dr. X says. "We use it in every other facet in our life and esteem the intellectual part of it, but deny the emotional or intuitive part of it." Psychedelic therapy "reinvigorated my passion and belief in healing. I think it's the best tool to achieving well-being, so I feel morally and ethically compelled to open up that space."...

"If we didn't have some idea about the potential importance of these medicines, we wouldn't be researching them," says Dr. Jeffrey Guss, psychiatry professor at NYU Medical Center and co-investigator of the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Project. "Their value has been written about and is well known from thousands of years of recorded history, from their being used in religious and healing settings. Their potential and their being worthy of exploration and study speaks for itself."

Optimistic insiders think that if all continues to go well, within 10 to 15 years some psychedelics could be legally administrable to the public, not just for specific conditions but even for personal growth.

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Prison pen is bendy, "non-lethal"

The Flexi-Pen is the writing utensil of choice in prisons because it can't be used to shiv someone. I bet it's fun to fidget with too. Amazon sells a five pack for $13.

The Flexi-Pen is made with a soft rubbery material that bends under the slightest pressure, making it nearly impossible to do lethal damage with it. It's as close to a stab-resistant, non-lethal weapon you can get, while still providing the subject with a workable ballpoint pen to write with.

It's ideal for use in interview rooms, holding cells, and in any prison or jail environment. You go to great lengths to confiscate any potential weapon when taking a prisoner into custody, so why would you want to hand him one afterward?

5pk Prison Pen Flexible Ball Point Writing Pen Tool - Non Lethal (Amazon) Read the rest

Someone donated sixty ounces of marijuana to Goodwill

On Monday, Goodwill workers in Monroe, Washington opened a donated cooler and found five bags of weed inside. (That's 60 times the amount that's legal to possess in Washington.) If the donation was intentional, that's some very good will. However, Debbie Willis of the Monroe Police Department said that the stash is currently "waiting yearly burn of that type of evidence."

"There are many people on social media claiming it's theirs, but we have yet to have one walk through the door," she told CNN.

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A futurist looks to the past to understand the present "Gutenberg Moment"

Over at the Stanford Social Innovation Review, my friend and Institute for the Future colleague Marina Gorbis looks back at Johannes Gutenberg’s 15th century invention of the printing press and the unintended consequences of our own "Gutenberg Moment":

As we try to adjust and make sense of the dizzying changes that seemed to climax in the latest US presidential election, a few lessons from history seem particularly relevant. First, we should probably ignore the utopian pronouncements of many tech creators. With their “inventor” or “marketer” zeal, they are too eager to sell us the promises of future glories—democratization, personal freedoms, more access, more transparency. Remember Joe Trippi, Howard Dean’s tech-savvy campaign manager, declaring, ‘‘The Internet is the most democratizing innovation we’ve ever seen, more so even than the printing press”? The tech zealots are only partially right: Yes, we are getting all of those great things, but for every utopia, we also get a dystopia. David Sarnoff, radio and television pioneer and founder of Radio Corporation of America (RCA), saw new broadcast technologies as avenues for enlightening the public—bringing classical music, opera, theatre, and the arts into people’s living rooms. Today, with hundreds of broadcast channels, you can probably find great operas, theatre, and a lot of other educational programming. But along with education, we are served Jerry Springer and Real Housewives of New Jersey. As we open up new channels, we can expect more of everything to pour in—more opera and more reality shows, more truths and more lies, more objective journalism and more Breitbart news.

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Watch the short film adaptation of William Gibson's "The Gernsback Continuum"

NSFW: Tomorrow Calling (1993) is a short film adaptation for television of William Gibson's 1981 short story "The Gernsback Continuum," from the seminal cyberpunk anthology Mirrorshades (1986), edited by Bruce Sterling, and Gibson's own Burning Chrome (1986) collection. Directed by Tim Leandro, Tomorrow Calling was first shown on Channel 4 in the UK.

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Hand stuck to freezing metal? Urinate on it.

The US Navy's Polar Manual from 1965 may come in handy during this week's blizzards. From the list of "Polar Do's And Don't's":

1. Dares are neither offered nor taken. Necessary risks are bad enough.

25. Heavy and bulky polar clothing makes you clumsy and prone to accidents from lack of normal agility. Plan NOT to have an accident.

26. Do not touch cold metal with moist, bare hands. If you should inadvertently stick a hand to cold metal, urinate on the metal to warm it and save some inches of skin. If you stick both hands, you'd better have a friend along.

PDF: Polar Manual, Fourth Edition, 1965 (via Weird Universe)

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Rolls of Lego tape!

Nimuno Loops are rolls of Lego-compatible adhesive tape. Genius idea and no surprise that they've blown wayyyyyy past their Indiegogo goal to manufacture the stuff.

Imagine being able to build around corners, on curved surfaces, or even onto the sides of that sailing ship you've just spent hours building. You forgot to engineer a point of attachment for that sweet dinosaur-smashing cannon? No problem. Snip a length of Nimuno Loops, stick it on the hull, mount your cannon and be on yarr way.

"LEGO Compatible Adhesive Tape - Nimuno Loops" (Indiegogo)

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Crashed UFO in Colombia actually belongs to Google

Farmers in Colombia's Tolima provence were freaked out by a UFO that crashed in a field on Sunday. "It was smoking and a strange liquid was leaking it," said one resident.

Police eventually identified the wreckage as an Internet balloon from X, Alphabet (Google)'s R&D company. X's Project Loon is "designed to extend Internet connectivity to people in rural and remote areas worldwide."

"We all thought it was a UFO or the remains of a space craft," locals were quoted as saying in El Tiempo newspaper.

(BBC)

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Exquisite Rube Goldberg-esque machine plays "Here Comes the Sun"

Neil Mendoza created this fantastic electromechanical band as part of the artist-in-residence program at Autodesk:

The rock band is composed of electromechanical instruments that make music with rocks by throwing them through the air, slapping them and making them vibrate. The song that they're playing, Here Comes the Sun, is biographical, describing the daily experience of a rock sitting on the ground. The rock band is made up of the following members...

Pinger - fires small rocks at aluminium keys using solenoids. Spinner - launches magnetic rocks, Hematite, at pieces of marble. Rocks are launched by spinning magnets using Applied Motion stepper motors. Slapper - slaps rocks with fake leather. Buzzer - vibrates the plunger of a solenoid against a piece of marble. The whole project is controlled by a computer running a MIDI player written in openFrameworks talking to a Teensy. The machines were designed using Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Inventor.

He posted plans to make your own mechanical xylophone at Instructables.

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TV commercial for JCPenney's Pee-wee Herman kids fashion line (1989)

Back in 1989, you could purchase these fine garments at JCPenney inside their incredible Pee-wee Herman Store .

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