Militarized police action on the Dakota Access Pipeline

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Seems unarmed, peaceful protestors were tear gassed, threatened at gun point, and arrested today. Here is another video of the same event.

I don't know anything about the source of these videos. Perhaps we'll get some info in the comments. Read the rest

Lawrence O'Donnell perfectly explains the first presidential debate

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This segment from The Last Word explains the most painful things Donald Trump said, and why we can not elect him our President. Read the rest

Nacho is the greatest of all orange cheeses

In the world of orange cheese there remains an outlier: Stadium Nacho Cheese. A lonely, rarely discussed and often maligned member of the bright and cheery circus colored cheese family! Nacho cheese is so disparaged it is often doubted that Nacho is even a cheese. Do not make this simple mistake! While the USDA has no official designation for cheese type Nacho, they do not officially deny its existence either. Frank Liberto, the Father of Nachos, is credited with perfecting nacho cheese and making it widely available to the masses. Via First We Feast:
While most popular tales of nacho lore jump straight from Piedras Negras to Howard Cosell’s mouth (the man, after all, put the snack on the map during a 1978 Monday Night Football Game at Cowboy’s Stadium), Smith details the key entrepreneurial exploits of Frank Liberto and his Ricos cheese sauce. Key points: Concession stand nachos were introduced in 1976 at a Texas Rangers game. That year, Arlington Stadium sold $800,000 worth of Ricos’ nachos. Each can of Ricos contain 107 ounces of cheese concoction, with 32 ounces of water and 20 ounces of pepper juice used to form the molten sauce we recognize at the concession stand pump. Since 1976, the Ricos style of nachos have become a sporting staple. And, taking into consideration the second key point, the profitability of the product is impossible to argue with, especially considering that the spiciness of the jalapeno was employed to boost drink sales as well as add flavor.
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Shimon Peres on leaving office

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Rest in peace. Read the rest

Eneloops are amazing rechargeable batteries

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I have just replaced my first set of Envelop AA batteries, ten years after I bought them.

Around 10-12 years ago I was I doing a lot of underwater photography. High capacity, low-static-discharge AA batteries were pretty new, but an absolute must for digital strobes. I'd swap 2 sets of 4 in each one of my UW strobes almost every other dive, as blasting tons of light around the bottom of the sea takes a lot of juice. Sanyo's Eneloop batteries were the only really choice.

Low Self-Discharge batteries are pretty amazing. Not only do Eneloops hold their charge if not used for up to 10 years, but the fact that they discharge while not in use so incredibly slowly means the batteries also stay healthy much, much longer. Whenever one starts to get a bit flakey, I run a refresh cycle on my charger. After a decade, finally, a few have shorted out.

Over time I stopped diving as much, and Panasonic bought Sanyo. My batteries started to be used for everything around the house. I've had them in remote controlled cars, planes, head-sets, remote controls, flash-lights... you name it. These AA's were in constant service for nearly 10 years. Of the 16 I originally purchased, 8 are still in service and charge up to 1988 mAh.

Eneloops are pretty amazing!

Panasonic BK-3MCCA8BA Eneloop AA 2100 Cycle Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries (Pack of 8) via Amazon Read the rest

Geeky Lego Crafts

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Rarely do I hear "Oh, awesome!" when I hand my daughter a book. David Scarfe's Geeky LEGO Crafts also elected squeals of delight.

Packed with projects like building your own Space Invaders, and a cassette tape, Geeky LEGO Crafts immediately led us to dragging out a few tubs of LEGO and to get snapping! The directions are great, and easy to follow.

We especially enjoy the Tetrix fridge magnets!

Geeky LEGO Crafts by David Scarfe via Amazon Read the rest

Make clay robots with your kids

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We were stuck inside, on a rainy day, and decided to sculpt some robots! Clay Bots has everything you need, and some great design suggestions!

Use the included brightly colored air-dying clay to build your robot. Wind-up feet serve as the platform you start with, add a little creativity and Robot'll be stumbling along before it has even dried. This is a wonderful activity for kids 5-12 years-old, or thereabouts.

The kit also has some simple sculpting tools, a rolling pin and some landscapes to play with. We found it was enough clay for a lot of robot making. I really enjoyed the progression of complexity in the design suggestions, and felt like I improved a lot.

I'm still a boring clay robot designer. I just wanted to make V.I.N.Cent.

Clay Bots - Craft Kit by SpiceBox Books (23512) via Amazon Read the rest

Be future Marty McFly this halloween

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One of the wackiest, most fun movie predictions of the future came from Robert Zemeckis' Back to the Future Part II. The film took 80s trends and cast them forward perfectly! I've often felt ripped off that Marty McFly's polychromatic hat and awesome light up sneakers were never part of every day fashion.

While the wild predictions about 80s fashion permutations have yet to arrive, it is easy to go as Marty this year! Sadly the automatic jacket doesn't automatically adjust to fit, and the hoverboard doesn't hover, but this costumery does look great. I just love the dorky hat, I remember hating it as a kid!

I would rather have Marty's Gibson ES-345.

Back to the Future 2 Jacket / Marty McFly 2015 costumevia Amazon

Back to the Future: Part II: Marty McFly Cap Replicavia Amazon

Back to the Future 2 Light Up Shoes via Amazon

Back to the Future Hoverboard - ST via Amazon Read the rest

Destiny: Rise of Iron launches tomorrow

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September 20th, at 2amPST, Bungie's year three update for Destiny, their massively multiplayer FPS, Rise of Iron goes live!

Sporting some of the best FPS game play ever, and a huge online following, Destiny is seeing some major changes in Year 3. Private match-making in custom games is probably the most anticipated, and longly awaited community feature. Destiny: Rise of Iron appears to become a fantastic tournament platform!

A new story mode focusing on the Iron Lords, a legendary band of near extinct Guardians will provide ample opportunity for Bungie to confuse the incredibly disjointed backstory even more, but will likely be AWESOME. It appears Destiny is headed back to a Close-Quaters-Combat meta and the new adventures and weapons will encourage that.

Fans are super excited! There've been lots of community made videos made, eagerly anticipating the launch, but none as much fun as "Rise Up!" by Crucible Radio's Bones. If you play Destiny, the Crucible Radio podcast is a must!

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Corey Feldman performs "Go 4 It" live on the Today Show

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80's great Corey Feldman is helping the angels that have helped him. I can only describe this as a visual masterpiece and a lyrical adventure.

I bet Chunk loves it. Read the rest

Santa Monica's lost Googie diner may reopen

Via Santa Monica Public Library

In my late teens and early 20s the Penguin was an amazing spot to hang out. The restaurant was an absolute time machine, right down to their 'eat this giant hamburger and win a t-shirt' challenge. After spending around two decades as an orthodontists office, LA Eater reports that Mel's Diner is trying to move in!

Per planning commission reports in Santa Monica, it appears Mel's is looking to re-open the location as a 24x7 diner.

Via the Eater:

A tipster points to this Planning Commission report for Santa Monica, which points towards a meeting to be held in just one week’s time that will (hopefully) establish a conditional use permit for one Mel’s Drive in right in Lincoln Boulevard. It's a nice replacement of sorts for Norm's, which had to close to make way for some development.

The 5,352 square foot property sits right off the freeway on Lincoln in a former orthodontics business, but carries the peaked roof and wide frontage of a Googie restaurant — making it perfect for Mel’s to arrive. Originally built in 1959 as the Penguin Coffee Shop, the spot could once again be hosting diners twenty-four hours a day if Mel’s gets their way.

Every time I'd be exiting the 10 at Lincon, westbound, the Dr. Beauchamp's sign would break my heart a bit. Mel's isn't my favorite diner but it is wonderful to think of that space being used as a restaurant again. I remain confident there are plenty of orthodontists in West L.A. Read the rest

9/11 called for big changes in Disney's Lilo & Stitch

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2002's feel good Lilo & Stitch, a movie about humans getting along with aliens was originally intended to end with a madcap 747 hijacking and chase scene through a hi-rise filled city. This video shows both versions.

Via HuffPo:

The animated hit features Hawaii’s beautiful scenery and explores themes of loss and unity ― which particularly resonated after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

But Disney made one major change to the film between the 9/11 attacks and the film’s release date.

“Lilo & Stitch” originally was supposed to end with an action-packed scene featuring Stitch and Jumba hijacking a commercial airplane to rescue Lilo from evil Gantu ― something that’s visible in a side-by-side video produced by Vox. The protagonists take over a passenger-filled Boeing 747 and go on a high-speed chase through a dense city, brushing the sides of skyscrapers and coming close to pedestrians on the ground.

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Coyote urine helps me sleep

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The Grey Fox is a beautiful animal. Foxes also shit all over everything. They dared to touch my cars. What was I to do? A friend recommended coyote pee.

First time I saw the foxes, I was sitting on a bench on my deck, playing guitar and having a good old time. Suddenly, out from under the deck beneath me, burst four grey foxes! I marveled at their rich and beautiful coats for a moment, and then screeched in fear and surprise! The foxes paused, stared at me, and then proceeded to head down the hill towards my driveway. Foxes do not like my cover of the Ventures' Walk Don't Run.

After a few weeks I was really tired of finding fox crap every where. My Great Pyrenees, Nemo, was absolutely not tired of barking at and chasing foxes around all night long. Lack of sleep and muddy paw prints all over my convertible led me to try all sorts of humane deterrents. None worked. A friend kept telling me to try coyote urine, but for some reason I refused to listen. Finally exhaustion won out. Guess what, coyote pee worked!

I took a sponge and cut it into 1" squares. I then soaked them with coyote pee and dropped them in strategic locations around the areas where I was having the most fox activity. I also poured small amounts in a few locations. Over night the foxes disappeared.

Then they reappeared in my woodshed. So I treated the woodshed area. Read the rest

Samantha Bee on the media's refusal to take on Trump

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Samantha Bee has grown tired of the current trend wherein interviewers just smile and nod as Trump and his surrogates create fantastic lies. Bee reminds them, and us, that “Calling a liar a liar isn’t an opinion if you can prove it." Read the rest

Start this siphon with a hand pump

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Starting a siphon sometimes meant a mouthful of some liquid I'd prefer not to sample. This siphon has a hand pump to get things started! Huzzah!

I'd try as hard as I could to start a siphon up without having to suck fluid into the tube with my mouth. Every now and then I'd find I had no choice but to give up and start sucking. A face full of bright blue, phosphate-free coolant got me looking for better solutions.

This siphon is great. Simply squeeze the hand pump and things get started! You can keep pumping if you are moving fluid against gravity, but I wouldn't want to move gallons that way. There is 6' of fuel-safe hose and fittings, which are fantastic for moving gas from motorcycle fuel tank to fuel tank, when I'm working on the bikes.

Also, if memory serves: today's clear gasoline also tastes a lot different than the good old red stuff.

G.T Power Equipment Fluid Extractor Pump for Gas, Oil, Water, Anti-freeze via Amazon Read the rest

Oxygen absorbing bottle caps for longterm home-brew storage

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Instead of kegging, I wanted to set up a batch of beer that I could more easily share with friends. I decided to bottle a barleywine with these O2 absorbing bottlecaps.

The idea is these caps will draw what little oxygen is in your bottle out. This should help preserve the beer by keep things from using that o2 to grow bad flavors. Can't be a bad idea, and at $6.42 for 144 I do not like I'm just wasting money.

Cellaring a barleywine should help mellow its boozy flavor. The high alcohol content of a barleywine should make visiting with friends better for everyone.

The caps went on easily. I used this simple capper.

1 X Beer Bottle Caps - Oxygen Absorbing for Homebrew 144 count via Amazon Read the rest

Aged gouda is my favorite orange colored cheese

via The Reluctant Gourmet

Orange cheeses have been on my mind. I absolutely love aged gouda!

Three plus year aged gouda completely loses the rubbery, bland, 'this is congealed milk' texture and taste of young goudas. It is crumbly, and delicious with hints of butterscotch, and lined with incredible sugar crystals.

For the best aged gouda experience slice off the thinnest possible pieces with a cheese plane, and let them melt on your tongue.

Aged gouda is amazing with beer and hard salami. A good dubbel would be my choice.

The Reluctant Gourmet has all the details:

Most of us have enjoyed some form of Gouda cheese in our lives. It is a yellow cheese made from cow’s milk and is often found with the red or yellow paraffin wax coating in the supermarket. It gets its name from the city of Gouda in the Netherlands where it originated.

Gouda as a young cheese is easy to slice and may be great to serve to the kids in their lunch packs but just doesn’t have that much flavor. It’s great if you enjoy a mild, mellow flavored cheese but if you want a much more distinct flavor, you’ll want to try aged Gouda.

Aged Gouda has a wonderful distinctive flavor that can be both sharp and sweet – think of butterscotch. It is a hard cheese that doesn’t come in the red wax covering, but a natural buff colored rind. The cheese itself has an amber color that Jack explained to me comes from a coloring agent called annatto that gives it the pale orange color.

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