Compilation of most awkward and uncomfortable moments on TV news

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15 minutes of cringe inducing bloopers and casual sexism and racism from local TV news programs.

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What is going on in this video of a Russian freeway incident?

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I watched this bizarre video a couple of times and couldn't figure out what's going on. I think Folderpirate on Reddit has the best theory:

The guy on the bike was in on it. It was a carjacking/kidnapping targeting the first car. Guy on bike stops traffic by trying to cross in front of mark. Mark stops. Argument ensues as cyclist smacks car/yells/is obnoxious/wont move out of way. Mark gets out of car while it's running. Two kidnapper cars come up, grab the mark and his passenger, and steal their car.

Also, the guy filming is in on it as well. He's filming this to mail it to whomever they are going to try and get money from.

There seems to be a bit more going on. Are the guys in white caps bodyguards? The car that stopped for the bike looks expensive, so maybe it belongs to an oligarch's kid who has two white-capped face-pushing goons to clear the way for him? Whatever happened, it was well planned and smoothly executed, like a scene from a thriller. Read the rest

Excellent Game of Thrones character impersonator

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I wish this video of Steve Love reverse-lip-syncing characters in Game of Thrones was longer. He's incredible. Read the rest

Recessed LED light kit

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For some reason, when we moved into our house, many of the trims for the recessed lighting were missing. At $14, they are pretty expensive for what you get - a ring of plastic and a disc of frosted glass. Recently I discovered these recessed LED light kits, which include LED lights built into trims. You get 4 for $40 (I've seen them as low as $30 for 4), making them cheaper than the trims!

They are dimmable, they don't buzz, and were super easy to install. I love them and I'm going to replace every recessed light in the house with them. Read the rest

High-res 3-D model of Apollo 11 command module to explore and print

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You can download a high-res model of a 3D scan of the command module “Columbia.” Read the rest

Survey: Republicans don't like Game of Thrones

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Research firm E-Score asked Democrats and Republicans about their favorite shows. Game of Thrones was #1 in the Democrat list, but it didn't appear in the top 10 on the Republican list.

Ethnically Diverse

On the Democrats' list, 3 of the top 10 shows: The Haves and the Have Nots on OWN, How to Get Away with Murder on ABC, and Empire on FOX all have a racially diverse cast and have powerful lead roles for women. This reflects the Democratic viewer who is also typically more diverse, with higher concentration of black and female supporters.

Good vs. Evil

Republicans enjoy clearer "good vs. evil" characters and storylines compared to the Democrats' favorites. Republicans prefer shows featuring superheroes like The Flash, Arrow and the super intelligent team on Scorpion. Two procedural programs such as NCIS and Blue Bloods also have the "good vs. evil" component, as well as skewing slightly older than some other programs in the list.

If you want to watch a show with a member of the opposing party, watch The Walking Dead. Everyone likes The Walking Dead.

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Pumping electric current through pencil graphite - ouch

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In this YouTube video, a fellow runs 10 amps through a cylinder of pencil graphite, burning his fingers (accidentally on purpose, I'd say).

He has a good article about graphite on his site:

Graphite is highly conductive unlike diamond or wood. But it is conductive along the layers, not perpendicular to them. It has many different applications. Generally it is crushed into powder that can be used to make other components like battery rods, deposited traces on electronics and such.

But pencils are the most basic use of them. If you draw a thick line using pencil on paper and measure the resistance across it, you will see your line is conductive, and if you bring your probes closer on the paper over the line, the resistance gets lower, like a potentiometer.

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First lines of popular books

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Great opening lines from literature, in one large image.

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An IRS scammer called me and I made him mad

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One of those lame IRS scammers called me this morning.

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Real time coffee statistics infographic

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This chart shows how much coffee is being consumed around the world, and how much people spend on it. It's hard to believe that a flat white is the most popular form of coffee. I don't think that's true in the US. Read the rest

Impossible rooftop illusions

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Kokichi Sugihara makes 3D optical illusions. He is the creator of the ambiguous cylinders optical illusion that won the 2nd Prize of the 12th Best illusion of the Year Contest 2016. Here's his entry for 2015, which also won second prize. Read the rest

Pac-man ghosts embroidered iron on patch - $2 with free shipping

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Our family has been going to the Neon Retro Arcade in Pasadena. It's a blast. $10/hour gives you unlimited free play on 50 classic arcade games and pinball machines. My daughter now loves Ms. Pac-Man. I bought this Pac-man ghosts embroidered iron on patch for $2 with free shipping on Amazon. It's about 4 inches long. Now we have to figure out where to put it. Read the rest

School forbids clapping, allows "silent cheering," face pulling, and air punching

Image: Rob/Flickr

In recognition of students who are “sensitive to noise,” a Sydney primary school has banned clapping and cheering at school events. Instead of clapping and cheering, students will be prompted by teachers when it is appropriate for “silent cheering,” “pulling excited faces,” and “punching the air.”

From News.com.au

In its July 18 newsletter, the Elanora school has published an item under the headline “Did you know” that “our school has adopted silent cheers at assembly’s” (sic).

“If you’ve been to a school assembly recently, you may have noticed our students doing silent cheers,” the item reads.

“Instead of clapping, the students are free to punch the air, pull excited faces and wriggle about on the spot.

“The practice has been adopted to respect members of our school community who are sensitive to noise.

“When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed.

“Teachers have also found the silent cheers to be a great way to expend children’s energy and reduce fidgeting.”

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New gig economy job: on demand dog poop scooper

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Pooper is an app for dog owners willing to pay to have other people pick up their dog's poop. Just snap a photo of your dog's poop, and a scooper (paid per scoop) will drive, walk, bus, or bike over and collect it for you. It's $15 a month for 2 scoops/day in a 15-mile radius. An unlimited plan is $35 a month. Read the rest

US congressman Steve King thinks white people are the most awesome "subgroup"

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Iowa congressman Steve King Steve King of Iowa loves his "sub-group" of people. Here's what he said on a televised panel on MSNBC:

“This whole ‘old white people’ business does get a little tired, Charlie. I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about? Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

“Than white people?” Mr. Hayes asked.

Mr. King responded: “Than Western civilization itself that’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America, and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”

Even if King's proudly ignorant statement was true, which it most assuredly is not, the fact remains that King himself hasn't invented anything, other than fabulist history. To be proud of someone else's invention because you have the same color skin as them is just about the stupidest thing a human being could think. It's unfortunate that this nincompoop has enough admirers to vote him into office.

Quartz put together a list of things not invented by white people. I wonder if Rep King sullies his hands by touching any of them? numerals mathematics religion Christianity irrigation novels paper ink dance music gunpowder guns bombs time bombs the seismograph the compass just-in-time manufacturing CD players MP3 players Pokemon calculators karaoke lithium ion batteries yoga martial arts silk umbrellas tea noodles instant noodles shampoo punk futurism futures markets Read the rest

Designers of Glif smartphone tripod mount announce completely new version

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It's hard to believe it's been nearly six years since Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt introduced the Glif tripod mount for the iPhone 4. I bought one and liked it a lot. Now they have introduced a new Glif. This one works with all kinds of smartphones, has 3 tripod mount points, and comes with a couple of accessories. It looks great. Read the rest

Charges dismissed for cop who paralyzed innocent grandfather on a stroll

Image: GoFundMe

Charges were dismissed for the Madison, Alabama police officer who body slammed a 58-year-old man from India walking on the sidewalk last year. Sureshbhai Patel, who does not understand English, was seriously injured and needed an operation to fuse two vertebrae.

From NBC News:

Hank Sherrod, Patel's attorney, told NBC News in an email that the state's decision to drop the assault charge is deeply troubling, though not entirely surprising.

"This decision illustrates how difficult it is to hold law enforcement officers accountable under the criminal laws for brutal acts that would send an ordinary citizen to jail," he said.

[Former Madison, Ala. police officer Eric Sloan] Parker, 27, still faces a civil lawsuit in connection with the incident. Parker encountered Patel last Feb. 6 while responding to a call of a suspicious black man looking at garages and walking near houses. Patel, in from India to visit his son and grandson, testified that he did not understand English or the officers who confronted him while he was out for a walk.

Nice people around the world gave $209,000 to Mr. Patel's GoFundMe account. Read the rest

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