A message to Breitbart from Weather.com

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"Note to Breitbart: Earth is not cooling, climate change is real and please stop using our video to mislead Americans." Read the rest

Atari 2600 emulator in Minecraft

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SethBling says: "I built an Atari 2600 Emulator in vanilla Minecraft using a couple thousand command blocks." Download the world and watch the technical video here. Read the rest

Vinyl records outsold digital download in the UK last week

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The Independent reports that "more money was spent on vinyl than album downloads last week for the first time ever, new figures have revealed."

The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) said vinyl sales earned the record industry £2.4m in week 48 of 2016, while downloads took in £2.1m.

It is a significant shift in how people are consuming music. In November last year it was reported that vinyl albums made £1.2m in sales while digital records made £4.4m.

The ERA, which used Official Charts data, suggested that this surge in vinyl sales could be due to customers giving friends and family vinyl as Christmas presents, along with the growing number of retailers, such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and HMV, which now stock vinyl.

Read the rest

The Forever War Kindle Edition for 25 cents

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“To say that The Forever War is the best science fiction war novel ever written is to damn it with faint praise. It is, for all its techno-extrapolative brilliance, as fine and woundingly genuine a war story as any I’ve read.” — William Gibson

I bought it, and added the audiobook version for $3.50. Read the rest

Nobody in their right mind would come to Helsinki in November

Image: Helsinki shipyard in winter by Mikko Luntiala/wikimedia
Asiallista suomibrändäystä Helsingin lentokentällä

Except you, you badass. Welcome. (Airport greeting in Helsinki, Finland.) Read the rest

$100,000 turbines to create $1.50 in electricity monthly

Three wind turbines installed at a cost of $107,516 in a

Image of Port Angeles by brewbooks/flickr

, Washington park are expected to generated $1.50 in electricity each month. That's 25 cents more than is needed to illuminate the safety lighting in the park. The 25 cent surplus will be used to fatten the city's treasury.

The turbines will illuminate the park with safety lighting for about $1.25 a month of the $1.50 that will be generated, putting the remaining 25 cents of power back into the BPA grid, which the city will get paid for, Deputy Power Systems Manager Shailesh Shere said.

The turbines will produce about $24,145 of electricity over the depreciable 25-year life of the equipment, he estimated.

The return on investment is over 50 years.

“Considering the harsh [salty] environment, the equipment may not last 25 years,” Shere said Friday in an email.

Read the rest

What North Korean defectors think of North Korea

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Asian Boss interviewed a couple of young North Korean defectors, who talked about life in the nation-sized cult. Starvation, public executions where everyone over the age of 12 is commanded to watch, no electricity in winter except on days when Kim Il Sung gave his New Year's TV address, and soldiers standing in holes waiting to shoot people trying to escape across a frozen river, are a few of the highlights. Read the rest

Thermal image video shows how dippy birds work

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The ingenious design of the dippy bird heat engine is revealed in this thermal imaging video.

The liquid inside dippy birds is called Dichloromethane. Commenters who were alarmed about the grave hazards posed by laser landscape projectors will enjoy complaining about the dangers of dippy birds. From Wikipedia: "Symptoms of acute overexposure to dichloromethane via inhalation include difficulty concentrating, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headaches, numbness, weakness, and irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes. More severe consequences can include suffocation, loss of consciousness, coma, and death." Read the rest

Cars slowly sliding and colliding on a Montreal hill

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City buses, utility trucks, snowplows, and police cars get in on the action on this icy street in Montreal. Read the rest

Human population explosion, visualized

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The human population reached 1 billion in its first 200,000 years. It took just 200 more years to reach 7 billion. This data visualization video from the American Museum of Natural History presents the explosive growth of our species.

[via] Read the rest

Laser projected Christmas lights

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We have a large tree in our front yard. For the holidays I usually wrap a couple of strands of colored LED bulbs around its trunk. I can't put lights into the branches because my ladder isn't long enough, and even if I did have a taller ladder, I would be too scared to climb much higher.

This year I tried one of those laser landscape projectors. It has a red laser and green laser that shines through a piece of film that breaks the light into hundreds of beams. I put the projector near the tree and pointed it up at the branches. At night the effect was amazing. It looked like the tree branches were filled with hundreds of colored lights that would have taken hours and hours of dangerous work to install. I called out Carla to look. She didn't know I bought the projector. I told her that I had climbed the tree and strung the lights in the branches forty feet overhead. She even believed it for a second, until she remembered that I don't like climbing trees.

It looks so good I bought another last night so I could use it on another tree. Read the rest

University student gets a zero because her art project violated dress code

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"I knew I went to a conservative school, but I didn't anticipate getting 0/100 points for my assignment because the subject was inappropriate," tweeted Brigham Young University freshman Waverly Giles, who received a score of zero because her photography project violated the university's dress code. The photos showed a woman's bare shoulders.

“It’s very frustrating,” Giles told KUTV in a phone interview. “I feel my professor might be doing a disservice by not being able to look at my art objectively. It was implied nudity, there isn’t even nudity, there is just collarbone.”

Giles said the model in the photos wore a tube-top and wasn’t ever nude.

Read the rest

Magician tricks doggie

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This little dog patiently waits for its treat, but its impish human companion would rather trick it. Read the rest

Video about Amazon Go, retail store with no checkout lines or registers

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Amazon Go, an 1,800-square foot min-supermarket in Seattle, doesn't have human cashiers or checkout lines. Sensors and cameras see everything you add to your cart or bag and charge your account when you walk out the door.

Our checkout-free shopping experience is made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Our Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we’ll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt.

Read the rest

How to browse privately in public

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This fellow cut the polarizing film from a $20 thrift store monitor and put film on a pair of eyeglasses to make a display that looks like a black screen to everybody but him. This is a good way to enjoy photos of Rubik's Cubes without anyone catching you. Read the rest

Self-leveling spoon for people with disabilities

Self-leveling robotic spoon for people with disabilities

Liftware makes two kinds of spoons - one for people with hand tremor, and another for people with limited hand and arm mobility. Read the rest

Trump's pick to lead Treasury tried to kick woman out of her house over 27 cents

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Steven Mnuchin, Trump's pick to lead the Treasury, worked for Goldman Sachs for 20 years. In 2008 Munchin and his partners founded a bank (funded in part by George Soros) that tried to evict a 90-year-old woman from her home because she underpaid a bill by 27 cents.

From Fusion:

After some confusion about her insurance coverage two years back, a subsidiary of OneWest sent Ossie Lofton, of Lakeland, Florida, a bill for $423.30. Lofton sent the bank a check for $423, and got another bill for the remaining $0.30. The woman–who, it’s worth emphasizing again here, is 90 years old–mailed in a check for $0.03.

The mix-up was enough to trigger foreclosure proceedings. Lawyers at the non-profit Florida Rural Legal Services asked the court for a jury trial.

Don't worry about Mnuchin's failure to successfully foreclose on the property. He reportedly received $11 million when his bank merged with CIT Bank last year.

From Politico:

That payout has been a lightning rod for OneWest critics, even though the bank and its successors absorbed $3.4 billion in losses that the FDIC didn’t cover.

Despite those losses, Mnuchin came out ahead. Last year, OneWest closed on a $3.4 billion, hard-won deal to merge with CIT Bank, overcoming challenges from fair-housing advocates, civil rights groups and homeowners. Mnuchin took a reported $10.9 million payout and remains on CIT’s board.

“Investors in the bank, including Mr. Mnuchin, profited handsomely at the expense of thousands of working people across our state,” said Kevin Stein, deputy director of the California Reinvestment Coalition.

Read the rest

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