I think the ice cream scoop we'd been using for years wasn't really an ice cream scoop. It was a disher, and was more suited for scooping mashed potatoes than ice cream. When the trigger mechanism on it finally broke, I happily got rid of it and replaced it with the OXO Good Grips Solid Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop ($15). This surprisingly heavy scoop is made from a solid chunk of stainless steel with a comfortable rubber grip, and comes with a pointed end that digs right into hard ice cream, especially if you run hot water over it. It's supposedly dishwasher safe but why put it in the dishwasher? Just rinse it and dry it with a towel.
The Apple Watch is difficult to take apart, and any repairs -- other than replacing the battery, band, and display -- are pretty much impossible. That's what our friends at iFixIt concluded after they flew to Australia to be among the first people in the world to buy an Apple Watch, which they promptly destroyed in the name of knowledge.
Authorities arrested Dennis Norman on grand theft charges on April 22. He was released from jail on $1,000 bond.
Mikolaj Birek created an opening title sequence for an imaginary 1980s version of HBO's Game of Thrones, presenting it as if it had been recorded on a crappy VHS system. Read the rest
Read the rest
Remember when Dr. Creflo Dollar asked his flock to buy him a new $65 million private jet to replace existing private jet? After the video went viral, he removed the page and canceled the campaign. It turns out, Satan and his deluded minions were responsible.
In the video he tells his congregation, "I ain't never asked you for a dime." Compare this statement to the appeal on his Project G650 page (which is viewable at archive.org):
Therefore, we are asking members, partners, and supporters of this ministry to assist us in acquiring a Gulfstream G650 airplane so that Pastors Creflo and Taffi and World Changers Church International can continue to blanket the globe with the Gospel of grace. Your love gift of any amount will be greatly appreciated.
I don't answer the phone unless I recognize the caller. If the caller ID shows a phone number only, I look it up using whocalld.com, a free reverse number lookup service. Whocalld uses some kind of robo-callback system to figure out the names of telemarketers to feed into its database. It also records these calls and posts them on its website. They are fun to listen to.
Many of the calls are from scammers pretending to be from Google, promising that they can get your website on the front page of search results. Others are from free burglar alarm hucksters, fake charities, free vacation bilkers, car warrantee peddlers, loan sharks, and health insurance fraudsters. It's disgusting and amusing to listen to these boiler-room hustlers reading from their scripts, alternating between threats, promises of free stuff, appeals to authority, dire warnings, and feigned disbelief that you are not taking them up on their offers.
When Google pulled the plug on Google Reader, I looked around for a replacement. I found Feedly and thought it was almost as good as Google Reader. Feedly has improved its product over time and now I think it is better than Google Reader ever was. I pay $5 a month for the pro version, even though the free version is excellent and has everything you are likely to want in an RSS reader.
I find Feedly's feed-organizing tools to be powerful and easy to use.
One hundred and twenty-five thousand people read Boing Boing on Feedly. I posted a screenshot of what Boing Boing looks like on Feedly. It's very easy to skim through the excerpts and find items of interest.
I like the Kenu Airframe smartphone car mount ($20) so much that I gave the one I had to my father so he could use it on a road trip. I ordered a replacement.
I like it much more than suction-cup mounts, which don't stay stuck. The Kenu has a clip that attaches to your car's heating/AC vent, and spring-loaded expandable jaws that grip your phone securely (for phablets use the Kenu phablet mount). When I travel, I bring it along to use in rental cars.
Cheapskates might want to try the iMeshbean Air Vent Car Mount, which costs $5. I ordered one to find out if it's any good.
Note: If you have hot air blasting from the vent, it's probably not a great idea to have your phone in front of it. I live in Los Angeles so I rarely use my car heater.
Documentarian Louis Theroux "excited" and "nervous" that Scientology is making a documentary about him
Louis Theroux, a documentary maker known for his engrossing profiles of unusual groups, cults, and outcasts, announced on Twitter today that Scientology is making a documentary about him. This is probably payback for Theroux's upcoming BBC theatrical documentary on Scientology, Stairway to Heaven.
Just been informed by Scientology lawyers that Scientology is working on a documentary about me. Little bit excited; little bit nervous.— Louis Theroux (@louistheroux) April 23, 2015
"How to Write" was a memo from ad man David Ogilvy, which he sent to everyone who worked for him in 1981.
The better you write, the higher you go in Ogilvy & Mather. People who think well, write well.
Woolly minded people write woolly memos, woolly letters and woolly speeches.
Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints:
- Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times.
- Write the way you talk. Naturally.
- Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
- Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.
- Never write more than two pages on any subject.
- Check your quotations.
- Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it.
- If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.
- Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal clear what you want the recipient to do.
- If you want ACTION, don't write. Go and tell the guy what you want.
When a passenger passed out on a SkyWest flight, the pilot wisely went into a dive, descending 20,000 feet in under three minutes to make an emergency landing in Buffalo, NY. Two other passengers fainted and several became ill. Officials are investigating the cause of the illness but have ruled out a loss of air pressure.
Mary Cunningham, a passenger and registered nurse, said she helped another passenger who passed out and had "awful" coloring.
"I went back to my seat after she was feeling better, and all of a sudden, the woman sitting behind her passed out unresponsive," she told NBC Connecticut.
Cunningham said she was soon affected, too.
"I felt very nervous. I realized something was very wrong, and it was really scary," said Cunningham. "That was terrifying."
I don't know how long this deal will last, but Amazon is currently selling this Fiskars Composite Trowel for $0.84 with free Prime shipping. That's 92% off the standard price of $10.
Heritage Auction is holding a huge auction of 20th century illustration by noted artists such as Gil Elvgren, Patrick Nagel, Charles Addams, and Alberto Vargas on May 14th. Above, Al Hirschfeld, The Beatles: Pen and ink wash on paper. Estimate: $5,000+.
Gallery below is mildly NSFW
ARCHIE DICKENS (American, 20th Century). A Girl and Her Poodle.
FRANK R. PAUL (American, 1884-1963). The Ideal, Wonder Stories pulp cover, September 1935. Oil on canvas.
EARL MORAN (American, 1893-1984). Reclining Nude Pin-Up. Oil on panel. 18 x 36 in.
CHARLIE DYE (American, 1906-1972). Tax Forms Blues. Oil on board. 17 x 18 in.
CHARLES SAMUEL ADDAMS (American, 1912-1988). Addams Family, cartoon illustration, April 22, 1950.
CHESLEY BONESTELL (American, 1888-1986). Destruction of an American city by a Hydrogen Bomb, Look magazine interior story
ED VALIGURSKY (American, 1926-2009). Refueling the Space Station, Orbit Science Fiction magazine cover
AMERICAN ARTIST (20th Century). The Bloody Gold of Fury Island, Man's Action cover, June 1967.
GIL ELVGREN (American, 1914-1980). Golden Beauty, Brown & Bigelow calendar illustration, 1957.
ENOCH BOLLES (American, 1883-1976). "Knots to You!," Spicy Stories pulp cover, December 1937.
HENRIQUE ALVIM CORRÊA (Brazilian, 1876-1910). Livre Premier: L'arrivée des Martiens, from The War of the Worlds
I didn't know that watered-down gospel music could be so toe-tappingly delightful. The music is peppy, and the talented musicians are clearly enjoying themselves. Read the rest
Read the rest