Dangerous makeshift swimming pool on apartment balcony is a recipe for disaster

Reddit folks have estimated that there's about 5,000 pounds of water in this makeshift wading pool. Will the balcony support it for long?

Will the balcony resist the weight? from WTF
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Award winning teacher wanted to be ‘visibly queer’ in Oval Office photo with Trumps

I have a feeling Donald Trump (and most of the rest of the human race) would be happier if he were starring in the sitcom suggested by this photo insteading of serving the American people as a federal bureaucrat. In actuality, it's a photo of Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island’s teacher of the year, who said he wanted to be ‘visibly queer’ when he posed for this photo with Mr. and Mrs. Trump.

From Washington Post:

Giannopoulos grew more confident then — enough that when an aide asked him to put the fan away for his private photo, he raised a small protest.

“I said, ‘I was hoping to pose with this,’ ” he said. “They said, ‘No — just put it away.’ ”

He did, for a minute. But before the shutter snapped, Giannopoulos asked the president if he minded.

“He said, sure.” So the fan came out, the ensemble was complete, “and the rest is history,” Giannopoulos said.

“To be clear, the whole thing was surreal and very brief.”

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Why Nardwuar is the best musician interviewer ever

Nardwuar the Human Serviette has been a music journalist since the 1980s. Some musicians don't appreciate his unusual personality (look at members of Blur bullying him*), but no one has ever accused him of not doing his homework, as evinced in the video above.

Here's Nardwuar at TEDxVancouver in 2011 explaining how he does his work:

Punk Rock Journalist Nardwuar the Human Serviette wants to take you on a journey into his do-it-yourself world of investigation and adventure. Through hard work, meticulous preparation and a tremendous passion for finding out interesting facts and tidbits, he sets the stage for unexpected situations and spontaneous reactions. It is an upfront and unconventional style that has resulted in verbal attack, physical threats, desertions, and some the most insightful and genuinely engaging conversations with the biggest names in music and popular culture you might ever witness.

[*Update 6/21/2107: In 2011, Blur drummer Dave Rowntree (who became a politician for London's Labour party, apologized for bullying Nardwuar. He wrote:

There has been some speculation as to why I accepted a recent blog comment linking to a clip of me bullying the Canadian journalist Nardwuar in 2003. 

The reason is, that I can't take the credit for the things I've done that I'm proud of, without taking the blame for the things that I'm ashamed of.

And this is definitely one of the things I'm ashamed of.

There's no excuse for my bullying, and the reason I did it is perhaps nearly as sordid.

As I've written in the past I became addicted to cocaine during the nineties.

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Gallery of disappointing stuff

I recently came across a subreddit called "Expectation vs Reality." It's a place to post side-by-side photos of something promised compared to what was actually delivered (usually a smaller, crappier than expected).

A taco I actually got from taco Bell last night....
This is supposed to make my daughter happy, not frighten her.
This is supposed to make my daughter happy, not frighten her.
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Dimmable LED light bulbs - $10 for 4

LED light bulbs are now very cheap, but dimmable ones have commanded a premium. Today, Amazon is selling a 4-pack of Cree's 60W equivalent soft white bulbs for just $10. I bought them after reading the reviews that stated they don't buzz, which is a problem that a lot of LED bulbs have. Read the rest

Author Tim Ferriss talks about four favorite travel tools

This week's Cool Tools Show guest is Tim Ferriss. Tim was listed as one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative Business People" and one of Fortune's "40 under 40." He's an early-stage technology investor and advisor (Uber, Facebook, Alibaba, and 50+ others) and the author of four #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, including The 4-Hour Workweek and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers (reviewed on Cool Tools). He is the host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast, which has exceeded 150 million downloads and has been selected for "Best of iTunes" three years running. Read the rest

How to simulate a moon landing in your kitchen

ARKit is Apple's new iOS framework for building augmented reality experiences on the iPhone and iPad. In this video, you can see how Tomás García used ARKit to simulate the Apollo 11 Lunar Mission un his kitchen. Read the rest

Marvel at New York City in this 1911 documentary travelogue

This film of New York City was shot in 1911, and it is in excellent condition. Everything is in sharp focus. It is as vibrant and picturesque as a Scorcese period film. Almost everyone wears a hat. All the men wear suits and ties. There are all kinds of public transportation - trolleys, cable cars, trains. Lots of horse-drawn carriages, and more automobiles than I would have guessed.

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Good deal on a 10 pack of 1-foot extension cords

These 1-foot-long extension cords make it possible to use all the outlets on a power strip when connecting bulky AC adapters to it. A 10-pack normally costs $18 but if you use code WQFRS4Z5 they will cost you $10. Read the rest

A man named Mule owns 3 mules and travels with them across the western US

Documentary Filmmaker John McDonald is making a documentary about a man named Mule. Mule lives outdoors and owns three mules, and can sometimes be seen walking with them through big cities like Los Angeles. Authorities don't know how to deal with him.

John Sears, aka Mule, has been roaming the western United States with his three mules for almost thirty years, trying to find balance between the man-made and the natural world. The 69-year-old and his animals sleep outside, insisting on their right to move as they please. Bemoaning the loss of open space due to the ever increasing urban sprawl and our dependence on the automobile, Mule advocates a simpler way of life in harmony with nature. While many appreciate his nomadic lifestyle and applaud his courage, he's not welcomed everywhere. Confrontations with law enforcement have led to his being fined, arrested, and even institutionalized and his animals being impounded. An intimate look at an intriguing, but controversial character, his unique experiences and adventures, and his urgent message for contemporary American society.

McDonald is seeking funding to complete his film.

In 2012 Mr. Homegrown of Root Simple spotted Mule in the Silverlake district of Los Angeles and took a few photos.

[via Homegrown Evolution] Read the rest

Short documentary about controversial artist Jeff Koons

After watching this short documentary about sculptor Jeff Koons (narrated by Scarlett Johansson), I have more appreciation for what he does. I used to resent the fact that he has a team of artisans that do much of the actual work, but now I think, "so what?"

Video has nudity.

[via Kottle] Read the rest

A contralto (lowest female part) and countertenor (highest male part) sing a duet

Contralto Juliana Strangelove and countertenor Arthur Vasiliev sing Nick Cave's "Where The Wild Roses Grow."

[via] Read the rest

Wolf chases goat across sheer cliff

In this video, a hungry wolf chases a small goat across the face of a sheer, crumbling cliff. The wolf wins. Read the rest

Look how fast these tiny Japanese sumo robots move

These little remote control vehicles are designed to push each other out of a small circle. They dart so fast that it's hard to keep up.

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How to discourage removal of political lawn signs: coat with glitter and vaseline

The Nation reports that people who try to steal yard signs for Democratic Congress candidate Jon Ossoff find themselves being covered in a mixture of glitter and vaseline. The sign-takers started to burn the signs instead, so the sign-owners attached American flags to the signs.

Then there’s the women-led Pave It Blue, which is more Yippie than yuppie (though not many are old enough to know what that means). They describe themselves as “ninjas.” They dress up like dinosours and make Ossoff signs that “glitter bomb” (the signs are bordered in Vaseline with clear glitter, so people who attempt to remove them find themselves coated in Vaseline and glitter). It’s a brilliantly defensive move: Sign removal has been a problem in this traditionally red district. And when their Ossoff signs began being set on fire, they started attaching American flags to them, since conservatives believe flag-burning should be illegal.

As one Twitter user commented: "The flag things reminds me of Fumi-e. To keep Christians out of Japan, people disembarking ships would have to step on religious images."

Image: frankieleon Read the rest

Gallery of 34 notes written by pissed-off neighbors

Loud sex. Stolen Amazon packages. Dog crap. Here are 34 angry letters of complaint and warning written by neighbors who've had it up to here.

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The secret history of the iPhone

Lev Grossman, author of the Magicians trilogy, reviews Brian Merchant's origin story of the iPhone, called The One Device, in the NY Times:


If you’ve ever worked on a hopeless project that felt like it was going nowhere, you will draw spiritual strength from Merchant’s account of life in the Purple trenches. It includes fascinating dead ends and might-have- beens (a prototype based on the original iPod’s click wheel, backlit in blue and orange); personal sacrifices (“The iPhone is the reason I’m divorced”); obscure technical hurdles (the phone’s infrared proximity sensor, which turns the screen off when it’s near your head, wouldn’t recognize dark hair); backstage tension at the launch (I was actually there, watching Jobs rehearse the famous iPhone keynote, but apparently missed everything); even a symbolic onstage assassination (when Jobs publicly demonstrated swiping to delete a contact, he used Apple vice president Tony Fadell’s name, foreshadowing Fadell’s imminent departure).

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