Meet your robot gardener

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The FarmBot Genesis is an open-source robot gardener for home food production. You design your mini-farm with their app and then the Raspberry Pi-powered robot handles the rest, from planting to watering, weeding to harvesting. The FarmBot Genesis sounds like the evolutionary descendant of Ken Goldberg and Joseph Santarromana's groundbreaking 1994 telerobotic artwork, the TeleGarden:

FarmBot Genesis:

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Shave the corpse

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Found in the January 1912 issue of Casket and Sunnyside magazine, "the foremost journal of the funeral profession since 1871."

As our friends at Weird Universe noted, Shave the Corpse would make a terrific band name. Read the rest

Woman so deep in prayer that she drove right into a house

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A woman in Okaloosa County, Florida was so deep in prayer that she blew through a stop sign and drove right into a house. You can't really blame her though. According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, she was so immersed in praying that she had closed her eyes and couldn't have seen the stop sign or the house.

Police cited the 28-year-old for reckless driving and property damage. Thank God nobody was injured.

(NWFDailyNews) Read the rest

Rose McGowan's trippy, frenetic new video for Yoko Ono song

Punk-as-fuck sorceress Rose McGowan directed this hyperdelic video for Yoko Ono's "Catman," a Miike Snow remix/remake of a track from Ono's 1973 album Approximately Infinite Universe. This version is included on Ono's latest album, Yes, I'm A Witch Too.

"Yoko Ono has been an ardent supporter of women and modern dance for years and so I wanted to thank her for that," McGowan says. "Casting women dancers over 60, including one with cancer, was my way of showing that vitality doesn't die with age. I used color overlays to create my own visual beat. Very proud to be in Ono world, it's an important one."

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Stunning "Lucifer" bomber jacket from legendary filmmaker Kenneth Anger

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Pioneering underground filmmaker and occultist Kenneth Anger has launched a killer apparel line. Dig this magnificent "Lucifer Rising" satin bomber jacket, the perfect look, he says, "for a midsummer night's sorceries." The jacket is a collaboration with LA artist Brian Butler's Lucifer Brothers Workshop:

Although the satin ‘souvenir’ bomber has come into vogue recently with labels such as Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Saint Laurent, Kenneth Anger’s original design tops them all. Featuring a palette known locally as Hodos Chamelionis, or the Path of the Chameleon—the colors of the forces which lie beyond the physical universe, happens to be the Lucifer Brothers Workshop’s house mascot. Here, they are flitted over gold and black satin in a limited edition of 333 with labels signed by Kenneth Anger himself.

Lucifer Rising jacket, deluxe "Golden Scarab Edition" (via Dangerous Minds)

Kenneth Anger's "Lucifer Rising" (1972):

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This Twinkie is 40 years old and it looks good enough to eat

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At Blue Hill, Maine's George Stevens Academy, there lies a Twinkie that was the subject of teacher Roger Bennatti's 1976 science lesson on chemical preservatives and shelf life. Now the immortal snack cake sits in a glass case on the desk of the school's Dean of Students Libby Rosemeier who was a student in the class when the experiment began.

“It’s really funny that we’re this wonderful coastal community in Maine, and we have this school of 325 kids that is a gem and we’re doing great things and kids are going to great colleges, and the thing people know about us is this 40-year-old Twinkie,” Rosemeier told ABC News.

Hostess did not respond to ABC News's request for a comment on the miracle of the everlasting golden spongecake with creamy filling.

(via Weird Universe) Read the rest

One man's incredible plan for humanity to migrate into space

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In the early 1970s, Princeton University physicist Gerard O’Neill became a space activist touting plans to build human colonies in outer space. He argued that humans could escape (while helping alleviate) the environmental damage we are causing on Earth by migrating to space habitats housed in cylinders that would be suspended 250,000 miles from Earth at LaGrange Point 5, a spot where the gravitational forces enable objects to just hang there. O'Neill's ideas, while controversial, were mostly sound from a scientific and engineering perspective.

After the New York Times published a front page article about O'Neill, he became a media sensation and quickly developed a very vocal following of space geeks, (some) environmentalists, heads, and future-minded scientists. NASA even jumped in, supporting studies based on O'Neill's research and commissioning the incredible illustrations seen here. O'Neill's specific concepts influenced countless science fiction books and movies and were the seed of bOING bOING patron saint Timothy Leary's plan for humanity's future, SMI2LE (Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, Life Extension.)

His book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space is still in-print and captures the wonder and sense of possibility that permeated our culture after the first moon landing and into the 1970s. It's my hope that today's myriad private efforts to make space accessible will re-ignite that desire in everyone to explore and experience what lies beyond our home planet.

The fantastic podcast 99% Invisible told O'Neill's story in an episode titled "Home on Lagrange":

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Watch this mesmerizing and magical zoetrope

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Akinori Goto designed and 3D printed this magnificent zoetrope where it won awards at the recent Spiral Independent Creators Festival in Tokyo.

(via This Is Colossal) Read the rest

Wonderful and weird collection of vintage patriotic and Independence Day photos

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In celebration of Independence Day weekend here in the U.S., Robert E. Jackson, esteemed collector of vernacular photographs, shares a selection of wonderful and odd patriotic vintage snapshots.

"I hope these photos from my collection give a brief, optimistic pause during this patriotic holiday and show a positive and somewhat humorous side to patriotism," writes Jackson.

See more at the Humble Arts Foundation blog! Read the rest

Beautiful artwork plays the UNIX timestamp on cymbals

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Mexico City-based artist Pablo Dávila's "Living in time believing in the timeless" is a beautiful, compelling installation in which the UNIX timestamp triggers drumsticks, via an Arduino and custom code, to ping crotales (aka antique cymbals). It makes the ephemeral (and digital) visceral. The work is simultaneously jarring and meditative, a rather odd and provocative state to maintain.

"As each second of UNIX code is inherently unique, the drumming pattern of 'Living in time believing in the timeless' never repeats," Dávila says. "The UNIX timestamp will end on the year 2038, and the sculpture will die with it – a conflation of past-future time."

Dávila's work -- from light installations to kinetic sculpture -- lies at the intersection of science, technology, and wonder. You can experience his first solo exhibition in the United States, including "Living in time...," at San Francisco's CULT Gallery through next week. The show, curated by Aimee Friberg and featuring Dávila's magnificent works inspired by the thinking of Marshall McLuhan, Tibetan Buddhist/yogi Milrepa, and minimalist composer Steve Reich, is titled "Ladies & Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space."

"Light rays manifest themselves in a way in which our brain must process what is captured by our eyes for us to comprehend what we are seeing," Dávila says. "I believe we are disoriented in our comprehension and perception of time and space, I am attracted to particular objects that confront this deception and speak to me to me with distinct speeds, aesthetics and spaces."

PABLO DÁVILA, Ad libitum (piano phase), 2016, Print on cotton paper, aluminum frame, LED’s, 35 x 158 x 6 cm, 13.75 x 62 x 2.5 in (Triptych), Edition of 2 + 1 AP:

PABLO DÁVILA, Constant (phase), 2016, Video projection on canvas, 175 x 175 x 5 cm, 69 x 69 x 2 in, Edition of 2 + 1 AP:

PABLO DÁVILA, Living in time believing in the timeless, 2016, Drumsticks and custom electronics, 85 x 147 x 13 cm, 33.25 x 58 x 5 in:

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Pallet skating on a city's trolley tracks

And they said the Segway would change the way we moved through cities! Video of pallet skating in Bratislava, Slovakia by Tomáš Moravec.

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Scientist uses magic (and psychology) to implant thoughts and read minds

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In a new scientific study, McGill University researcher Jay Olson combined stage magic with psychology to make people think that an fMRI machine (actually a fake) could read their minds and implant thoughts in their heads. Essentially, Olson and his colleagues used "mentalist" gimmicks to do the ESP and "thought insertion" but convinced the subjects that it was real neuroscience at work. The research could someday help psychologists study and understand why some individuals with mental health problems think they are being controlled by external forces. Vaughan "Mind Hacks" Bell blogged about Olson's research for the British Psychological Society. From Vaughan's post:

(The subjects) reported a range of anomalous effects when they thought numbers were being "inserted" into their minds: A number “popped in” my head, reported one participant. Others described “a voice … dragging me from the number that already exists in my mind”, feeling “some kind of force”, feeling “drawn” to a number, or the sensation of their brain getting “stuck” on one number. All a striking testament to the power of suggestion.

A common finding in psychology is that people can be unaware of what influences their choices. In other words, people can feel control without having it. Here, by using the combined powers of stage magic and a sciency-sounding back story, Olson and his fellow researchers showed the opposite – that people can have control without feeling it.

"Using a cocktail of magic and fMRI, psychologists implanted thoughts in people's minds" (BPS)

"Simulated thought insertion: Influencing the sense of agency using deception and magic" (Consciousness and Cognition)

Illustration by Rob Beschizza Read the rest

Man pointed gun at priest "the whole time" he was giving confession

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A priest at St. Christopher Parish in Rocky Hill, Ohio says a man resembling this police sketch reportedly gave confession while pointing a gun at him the entire time. The fellow is still at large.

"He just came in, you know, to go to confession, and before he sat down, he pulled out this gun from behind his back," the priest said in a call to 911 after the incident. "So I did confession at gunpoint."

The question is, what did he confess? Well, that's between him and his priest, and the man of god isn't breaking "the sacred seal of confession."

(ABC News) Read the rest

Experimental video of Radiolab's Jad Abumrad talking about the "Function of Music"

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Radiolab's Jad Abumrad riffs on "The Function of Music" in this spectacular cut-up video by Mac Premo.

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The man behind AOL's "You've got mail!" voice of the 1990s

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Long before Siri and Alexa, there was good ol' Elwood Edwards. If you ever logged on to America Online in the 1990s, you enjoyed the dopamine rush of Edwards cheerfully informing you that "You've got mail!"

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See the first footage of a Great White Shark taking a nap

"She appears to be in an almost catatonic state," says the narrator. I wonder what she's dreaming about.

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Animated interview with Bob Dylan, age 20

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Bob Dylan, interviewed in 1962 when he was 20-years-old, playing Manhattan coffee houses, and trying to make enough money to eat. The day he earned $1 and a cheeseburger for a gig was a good day.

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