Gabby Giffords rides an airhead

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Former U.S. congressperson Gabrielle Giffords pictured with her lovely /5 toaster. Read the rest

Minipresso is the Aeropress of portable espresso makers

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Hearkening back to my days as a Boy Scout, camping gear is some of my favorite stuff. This Minipresso portable espresso maker has me pretty jazzed!

Using boiling water and a small hand pump, Wacaco's Minipresso makes a near-perfect shot of espresso with a nice layer of crema. For consistency and ease of use it beats some home counter-top espresso machines I've had.

Minipresso is small, about the size of the average cycling water bottle. Great for camping, this incredible device is not only easy to pack, but easy to use and clean. Fill the basket with 1 scoop of grounds and attach it. Fill the water reservoir with boiling-hot water and attach. Squeeze the pump and espresso will squirt out the bottom into your glass.

The hand pump gives my CTS/RSI-ridden hands a nice stretch after a long motorcycle ride.

Clean up is simple. Rinse it out and off. Over time, you'll need to scrub a bit, or use some vinegar to remove coffee crud deposits. It feels well made, and like it'll last. I think of this as a high-pressure, gasket-sealing version of the Aeropress, for espresso instead of coffee.

MiniPresso GR Espresso Maker by Wacaco via Amazon Read the rest

Spelling, Florida style

Photo credit: nuclearwomb/Reddit

Via Reddit, a photo of Pine Ridge High School, Deltona, Florida's interpretive road art. Read the rest

An affordable tablet for my 9-year-old

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I often marvel at my daughter's computing experience. My first computer was a Timex-Sinclair 1000, hers was an iPad 2.

My Timex-Sinclair is in a box, in my basement. Short of taking a hammer to it, it's pretty hard to break. Sadly, tablets and children don't get along as well. I got sick of replacing Apple iPads, and decided I'd try a refurbished Amazon Fire HD 7. For $50 I didn't think I could go too far wrong. I'm happy to say this tablet is fantastic!

The size, quality of the screen, and feel in my hand are all great. Video plays back and looks fantastic. The web browser is a tablet web browser and works pretty much just like Safari did. Apps are apps. If I was getting a new tablet, I'd get one of these.

Managing the iPad for my daughter was OK. Keeping her from buying things or adding apps I didn't approve was pretty easy, but I didn't much care for the parental controls. Amazon supplies a $3 a month walled garden of children's content, metered by age, called Amazon Free-Time. I decided to try the subscription out and was immediately pleased. A lot of kid-appropriate games, video and apps were instantly loaded, and when logged into her profile, content is filtered at a 9-year-old level.

She still watches a lot of Brataley.

We've gotten a few weeks out of the tablet with no signs of wear and tear. Battery life goes quick, and needs recharging daily, but thats about the only complaint I've got. Read the rest

Knights of the Apocalypse, another Duck and Cover adventure

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The irreverent adventures continue! In Knights of the Apocalypse, Benjamin Wallace's former librarian is back and bumbling through the wreckage of civilization!

Jerry, Erica and their massive massif Chewy, have wound-up broken-down in the Kingdom of the Five Peaks. Southern Colorado's new ruler King Elias offers our post-apocalyptic nomadic warrior a chance to live, but there are always challenges. Cannibals, the power of steam, and a legion of knights all stand in their way. Watch Jerry mess it all up!

I've really enjoyed Wallace's Duck and Cover adventures. He takes some of the most fun tropes in post-apocalytpia and twists them on their side.

Knights of the Apocalypse (A Duck & Cover Adventure Post-Apocalyptic Series Book 2) via Amazon Read the rest

Elvira's public appearances coming to an end

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Cassandra Peterson, the talented actress who has portrayed Elvira since television's 1981 Movie Macabre, is considering hanging up her wig! Ageism and sexism are things even horror movieshow hosts need to think about.

Via LA Weekly:

Though this year is being billed as her last time attending Comic-Con, she’s not sure if that will be the case. “I said it was going to be my last year when I was 40, when I was 50, when I was 60,” she says. “It’s not really my last Comic-Con, but it’s probably my last Comic-Con in Elvira drag, because really, how long do people want to see that?” she asks, half-joking.

“I do have to draw the line. I’m turning 65 this September, I’m trying to keep it together, I’m not sure how many years I can keep this working out,” she says, gesturing to her body. She’s worried about how she’s perceived — she doesn’t want to wear out her welcome.

“I don’t think women should have an expiration date, [but] unfortunately, some things don’t hold up as well as others, so there is a thing about playing a particular character — my character is based very much on the sexy, so continuing to try to be really sexy until you’re really old might not work,” she says. “Humor definitely takes the edge off of it, because if you’re self-deprecating, you can still be sexy, and it’s sort of OK, as long as it resonates that way with the fans.”

Read the rest

Check out the new Wonder Woman trailer

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Love the golden lariat!

Read the rest

Jon Hunter is still at it in 'Hero at the Gates'

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Timothy Ellis' galaxy spanning space opera continues in Hero at the Gates! We're 9 damn books in and the central plot is finally about to get past its prelude!

I've really enjoyed this massive story. 9 novels ago Jon Hunter was a wet behind the ears kid on board his uncle's space trader. Now he's the Admiral of his own massive space flotilla, and ruler of several sections of space. The massive reveal about what the hell is going on, and what part Team Slinky Red Jumpsuits is going to play in it is near unavoidable, when our heroes set off in the exact opposite direction in this sometimes 2D universe.

The prize is tempting, but Jon can not miss the short window of time he's allowed to land on his home planet and consult the spiritual guys there who know all. How will it all work out? Gee... I'll have to start book 10.

Hero at the Gates (The Hunter Legacy Book 9) via Amazon Read the rest

Why motorcyclists do things

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Autotrader.ca offers some insight into some odd, observed behaviors of motorcyclists. I've been riding for so long, most of this seems just commonsense to me.

Here are a few:

Why don’t motorcycle riders ride in the centre of their lane?

The centre of most lanes on most roads is a no-man’s land for bikers. It’s where the oil, fuel and coolant from all the cars, trucks and buses drops and congeals. It’s slippery, and dangerous. The wheel tracks offer much more grip.

Why don’t motorcycle riders stop directly behind me?

You’ve probably noticed that bikers often stop just to the outside of your rear quarter panel at traffic lights. It might look like they’re about to filter (we’ll get to filtering later) but they don’t move. Why? The motorcyclist has set up an escape path for themselves. Bikers are rear-ended far more often than car drivers: this allows us to watch our mirrors and get out of the way.

Why do motorcycle riders rev their engine at stop lights?

Boredom. Mostly. Or because they like the noise it makes. Or to get attention. But mostly boredom. Or as I found out during my test of the 2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster – to stop my teeth rattling with the engine vibration at idle.

Read the rest

Use this $18 USB borescope for looking in walls, or other tight places

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Want to look in your walls, Rob? Try this USB endoscope!

I wanted to look inside the cylinders of my motorcycle, just for fun. Rob has a secret room, hidden in the walls of his house. This 5M long fiber optic cable sports a 2.2 megapixel camera, 6 adjustable LEDs for lighting, and a small array of tools to affix for poking or dragging.

You can use this with a laptop, or with a USB-A to Mini-USB adaptor it'll work with USB OTG ready Android phones and tablets.

DBPOWER 2Million Pixels 5M USB Waterproof HD 6LED Borescope Endoscope Inspection Tube Camera via Amazon Read the rest

Ad agency guys make their own anti-Trump ad, it's good

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The co-founders of Goodby Silverstein & Partners have made their own anti-Trump ad, just because they thought they should. It is very good, and a bit chilling.

Via AdWeek:

Droga5 has been doing advertising for Hillary. And now, Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein—the co-founders of Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco—have made their own ad for this campaign season, wondering aloud whether Donald Trump is qualified to be president—over slow-motion footage of Trump infamously using a water bottle to mock Marco Rubio back in February.

The YouTube video description reads: "Words have meaning. Actions have consequences. Donald Trump has, again and again, provided entertaining moments of amusing name calling and shocking jingoism. But does that mean he should be our president?"

Read the rest

LEGO Classic 60's TV BatCave

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Wow. The Bat mobile and Bat copter alone make me want to pick up this fantastic LEGO set. The Adam West Batcave is interpreted with fantastic detail!

LEGO Super Heroes Batman Classic TV Series - Batcave 76052 via Amazon Read the rest

Watch as a driver playing Pokemon Go hits a police car

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Yup. Someone playing Pokemon Go while driving ran into a Police car in Baltimore. Officer's body cameras caught the event.

Via USAToday:

A Pokemon Go enthusiast slammed into a Baltimore police car while playing the game on his phone early Monday morning, according to authorities.

In body-camera video released by the Baltimore Police Department, several officers are seen standing near a police car as a Toyota Rav 4 slams into the cruiser and continues driving.

In the video, an officer runs after the vehicle, which stops near the end of the block, and the driver gets out of his car.

The officer asks if everyone is OK, and the driver, whose face is blurred in the clip, shows the police officers his cellphone.

“That’s what I get for playing this dumb--- game,” the man says to the officers.

Read the rest

Star Wars Rebels season three trailer

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I did not want this trailer to be over!

The characters appear to have aged a few years. No sign of Ahsoka but we'll evidently get to see a young Wedge Antilles! Hard core fans of the novels will be thrilled to see Grand Admiral Thrawn reenter the Star Wars canon universe.

If you haven't seen them, the first two seasons of Star Wars Rebels are fantastic! Read the rest

US Navy's sonar use violates Marine Mammal Protection Act

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The Navy have been blasting the sea with louder than rock concert sounds, hunting for Red October. Apparently the U.S. Navy hasn't done enough to ensure its sonar technology isn't hurting whales tho. Regardless this decision being overturned, the Navy had already planned to phase out much of the harmful sound.

Via Vocativ:

“The Court of Appeals understood that the Navy can do more to reduce the risk of its powerful long-range sonar, especially in the vast reaches of the ocean where too little is known,” Michael Jasny of the National Resource Defense Council, one of several organizations behind suit, said in a statement. “Ignorance is no excuse for inaction where commonsense safeguards recommended by the government’s own scientists can prevent avoidable harm.”

The court’s ruling will send both parties back to a district court for further consideration. But time may well run out on the NMFS’s decision anyway; it expires in 2017. The Navy has already agreed to limit its use of sonar in certain locations starting in 2018. Soon, the only waves in the ocean will be the natural ones made of water, not man-made ones that come from sound.

Read the rest

Snake Plissken escapes from Florida

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Snake Plissken is back in these epic Escape from New York comics!

I loved the comic book continuation of Big Trouble in Little China and these Escape from New York books are more of the same. Excellent art and story telling pick up right where the film ended, the ass-kicking continues. Our hero Snake decides he needs a little vacation and heads south to Florida. Naturally, nothing works out as easily as he plans, and Plissken finds himself stuck putting down a new southern rebellion.

Escape From New York Vol. 1 via Amazon Read the rest

Herp Derp

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Derp. Herp derp. Read the rest

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