Documentary of Marine Corps boot camp training

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This cinéma vérité style documentary follows a Marine Corps drill instructor and his crew of fresh recruits in San Diego during the 13-week training program known as boot camp.

From Wikipedia: In Helmet for My Pillow, his World War II memoir, journalist Robert Leckie wrote of Marine Corps Recruit Training that, "It is a process of surrender. At every turn, at every hour, it seemed, a habit or a preference had to be given up, an adjustment had to be made. Even in the mess hall we learned that nothing mattered so little as a man's own likes or dislikes ... Worst in this process of surrender was the ruthless refusal to permit a man the slightest privacy." Read the rest

Website visualizes grammatical structure of any sentence

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I don't know enough about grammar to be able to tell if this Sentence Tree is accurate or not. Read the rest

Tesla driver sleeping at the wheel while car drives itself

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Here's a gentleman taking a nap while his Tesla drives for him. From Electrek:

Tesla’s Autopilot requires the driver to always monitor the vehicle and be ready to take control. If the system lacks data to continue to actively steer the vehicle safely, it will show an alert on the dashboard.

If the driver ignores the alert for too long, it will emit a sound and decelerate while activating the hazard lights and moving the vehicle to the side of the road. The vehicle basically assumes that the driver is unconscious if he can’t take control after visual and audible alerts.

In this case, it seems like the Autopilot is still very much in control and therefore is not bothering the sleeping driver – now a simple passenger.

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Documentary about men who live as dogs

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Secret Life of the Human Pups is a Channel 4 documentary that takes a "sympathetic look at the world of pup play, a movement that grew out of the BDSM community and has exploded in the last 15 years as the internet made it easier to reach out to likeminded people."

From The Guardian:

While the pup community is a broad church, human pups tend to be male, gay, have an interest in dressing in leather, wear dog-like hoods, enjoy tactile interactions like stomach rubbing or ear tickling, play with toys, eat out of bowls and are often in a relationship with their human “handlers”.

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Lightning storm recorded at 7,000 frames per second

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In this video from the Florida Institute of Technology, professor Ningyu Liu at the Geospace Physics Laboratory "caught a beautiful lightning show from a recent storm. It’s recorded at 7000 frames per second and the playback speed is 700 frames per second." Read the rest

This seven-minute video shows amazing Hong Kong

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When Brandon Li, a 34-year-old American, went to Hong Kong, he was so taken by the city that he made this stunningly beautiful short video about it, which shows the people, both rich and poor, eating, playing, working, competing, and celebrating.

Li told the South China Morning Post, “Hong Kong is a city which feels like it cannot exist. It is this mix of British and Chinese culture – it is filled with an uncontainable energy of beautiful corners that are sometimes hidden.” Read the rest

Smartphone maker Foxconn replaces 60,000 workers with robots

Image: Wikimedia/Steve Jurvetson

A Chinese government official told the South China Morning Post that a Foxconn factory has "reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots. It has tasted success in reduction of labour costs. More companies are likely to follow suit."

As many as 600 major companies in Kunshan have similar plans, according to a government survey.

The job cuts do not augur well for Kunshan, which had a population of more than 2.5 million at the end of 2014, two-thirds of whom were migrant workers.

Read the rest

ChicoBags - reusable cloth bag packs into tiny bundle

I've been keeping a ChicoBag in my travel kit for about ten years. It's small enough that I could almost hide it in my fist. But when opened, it's large enough to carry a laptop and charger, or a beach towel and sunscreen, or a fair amount of groceries. It's made of polyester and can carry a lot of weight without bursting at the seams. It has handles. I've used it countless times. The bag has a sewn on pouch, so you can stuff the bag into the pouch, ouroboros-style. A four-pack costs $20 on Amazon. Read the rest

Nobel laureate spots Turkish banknote error

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The Turkish five lira note, issued in 2009, has a DNA helix. But Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar noticed that the note "shows a left-handed Z-DNA helix winding from left to right, when it should be the other way round." What Sancar doesn't know is that the monetary systems of the world are controlled by the lizard people, whose DNA is exactly like that depicted on the banknote. Read the rest

US Marshals send wrong woman to jail, where she was strip searched and shackled

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When a team of "vested up and gunned up" U.S. Marshals in Tennessee apprehended Tracy Hinson and began interrogating her about selling 10 Xanax tablets in 2012, she gave them answers that made it clear they had the wrong woman. The marshal in charge told Hinton he needed to make a call.

"After he went and made a call, he came back and told me that he had to do what the paper said he had to. He asked if I ever lived in Mt. Pleasant, and I said no," said Hinson. "They took me to the Dyer County Jail and I was fully processed there, and that included being shackled and strip searched. They said they were holding me until Lawrence County could come and pick me up that night."

From State Gazette:

Unfortunately for Hinson, officials from Lawrence County didn't arrive until late on Saturday, a full day after being arrested. During the time of being incarcerated, a frightened Hinson said she tried to think of how she was in the predicament, but she simply could come up with nothing.

...

Once Hinson arrived at the Lawrence County Jail, with a $5,000 bond, her husband Kenny was not far behind and was able to arrange for her to be bonded out of jail at 11:40 p.m. on Saturday night. The cost was $536 for the bail bondsman, something Hinson hopes at the very least to recoup, along with an apology from the law enforcement agency.

The U.S. Marshal's Office in Jackson issued the following statement: "The West Tennessee U.S. Read the rest

Ant bites butterfly's tongue

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In this video a butterfly is trying to eat something but a turfy ant won't let it. Read the rest

Incredible build video of a goopy meal

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It starts with a simple ear of corn. Then, it is drenched in pools of viscous liquids, topped with layers of crumbled something, and sprinkled with spices. Over and over again.

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Real time face capture lets you control famous faces

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Researchers at Stanford have developed face-capture technology that can alter pre-recorded videos in real-time on low cost computers. In other words, you can make George W Bush or Donald Trump appear intelligent.

We present a novel approach for real-time facial reenactment of a monocular target video sequence (e.g., Youtube video). The source sequence is also a monocular video stream, captured live with a commodity webcam. Our goal is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion. To this end, we first address the under-constrained problem of facial identity recovery from monocular video by non-rigid model-based bundling. At run time, we track facial expressions of both source and target video using a dense photometric consistency measure. Reenactment is then achieved by fast and efficient deformation transfer between source and target. The mouth interior that best matches the re-targeted expression is retrieved from the target sequence and warped to produce an accurate fit. Finally, we convincingly re-render the synthesized target face on top of the corresponding video stream such that it seamlessly blends with the real-world illumination. We demonstrate our method in a live setup, where Youtube videos are reenacted in real time.

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Compact, lightweight 10,000mAh external battery

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The Anker PowerCore is advertised as the "smallest and lightest 10,000mAh portable charger." That may be true. It's smaller than a deck of cards, which is smaller than any 10,000mAh charger I've seen. Amazon has them on sale for $19 right now.

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Three modern media inventions predicted by 20th century authors

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Stanislaw Lem predicted ebook readers in his 1961 novel, Return from the Stars.

I spent the afternoon in a bookstore. There were no books in it. None had been printed for nearly half a century...

The bookstore resembled, instead, an electronic laboratory. The books were crystals with recorded contents. They can be read the aid of an opton, which was similar to a book but had only one page between the covers. At a touch, successive pages of the text appeared on it... Thus all my purchases fitted into one pocket, though there must have been almost three hundred titles. My handful of crystal corn - my books.

Also in 1961, William Burroughs predicted social media in his novel The Soft Machine:

"Posted everywhere on street corners the idiot irresponsibles twitter supersonic approval, repeating slogans, giggling, dancing...”

(Thanks, Jacques Vallée!)

And in 1926, French Symbolist poet Saint-Paul-Roux predicted streaming media:

[I]n possession of an evocation device ... these images will come at our call, the Chaplains and Pickfords of the day, and we will receive them anywhere, in the living-room or in the wood or on the terrace. Each one of us, solitary or not, will be able to receive the images at home, tonight we will have Cleopatra, Danton, or Madam Du Barry, and these shadows, alone or in numbers, will people our homes and vanish at a click... Animated images generated by electric current or by the sun...

Any other examples of authors foreseeing 21st century media technology? Read the rest

Scientists make transparent wood

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Scientists at the University of Maryland, College Park, have developed see-through wood by removing the material that gives wood its yellowish color and then injecting the wood with epoxy to strengthen it. From CNN:

The "invisible" wood -- as Dr. Liangbing Hu of the University's Department of Material Science and Engineering describes it -- is sturdier than traditional wood, and can be used in place of less environmentally friendly materials, such as plastics.

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What happens when you stuff 2000 match heads into a stress pig and light the fuse

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PyroGirl took one of those rubber squeeze toys with the popping eyeballs, put 2000 match heads in it, and ignited them.

2000 matches chain reaction - match bomb fail. Stress-Pig volunteered that I could experiment by stuffing 2000 match heads into him, some filler material, a fuse and that I could seal him off well. Why? Stress-Pig wanted to demonstrate what can happen if you don't manage stress well and vent your emotions in positive ways. Bottling things up can eventually or (in this case, due to intense stress for Mr. Pig... understandably), quickly lead to an uncontrollable breakdown and catastrophic release of tension. We are really grateful for Stress-Pigs contribution and hope he's recovering well (though we doubt it).

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