Lady and deer stamp their feet at each other

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Some people think the deer is copying the lady, but I think it's the other way around.

[via] Read the rest

William Gibson: how I wrote Neuromancer

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In The Guardian, William Gibson describes his experience writing his first novel, Neuromancer.

I was 34, a first-time parent, married, a recent university graduate with a BA in English literature. I had published a few (very few) short stories in Omni, a glossy magazine from the publisher of Penthouse. Omni paid around $2,000 for a short story, a princely sum (particularly when compared with science fiction magazines – digest-sized, the traditional pulps – which paid perhaps a 10th, if that). Omni left me no choice but to write more.

Their first cheque cashed, I’d purchased the cheapest possible ticket to New York, intent on meeting the mysterious human whose editorial decision had resulted in such a windfall. The late Robert Sheckley, a droll and affable man, and a writer whose fiction I admired, took me out to lunch on the Omni tab and gave me two pieces of sage advice: I should never, under any circumstances, sign a multi-book contract, and neither should I “buy that big old house”. I have managed to follow the first to the letter.

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Dan Clowes profiled in California Sunday Magazine

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Robert Ito wrote a wonderful profile of cartoonist Daniel Clowes in California Sunday Magazine. It includes some nice illustrations of Clowes by other cartoonists.

In the third issue of Eightball, Clowes published “The Return of Young Dan Pussey,” a scathing takedown of the comics industry. In the strip’s satirical alternate reality, Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee is a glad-handing cheapskate with an eye for prostitutes, while Fantagraphics co-founder Gary Groth is a bully who consults a thesaurus mid-rant to come up with fresh ways to insult his artists. Art Spiegelman is a creepy, chain-smoking taskmaster who forces his stable of unpaid artists to create work for his comics magazine in a miserable hovel with burlap sacks for beds. “I just felt it was nasty, snotty, gratuitous,” recalls Spiegelman. Françoise Mouly, his Raw co-creator, says, “I became aware of [Clowes] as a wise­ass a long time ago.” Clowes has a different explanation. “Jealousy isn’t the right word, but I just had a longing to be a part of that world and had that feeling that I wasn’t,” he says. “It was sort of an expression of rage and self-pity and trying to make myself feel better about that.”

Clowes' full-length graphic novel, Patience, will by published March 1, 2016 by Fantagraphics.

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Skier records Yeti on video

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What rough beast slouches toward Aragon?

Shaky footage of what looks like a strange ape-like creature with white fur clambering though the snow was posted online this week.

Spanish ski resort bosses have been forced to comb part of the Pyrenees after the images sent the internet into a frenzy. But skeptical viewers of the footage say it is just a man dressed in a furry suit.

A skier sounded the alert after posting the photo taken at Formigal in northeastern Spain on a popular website with the message: “Strange animal spotted in Formigal. What the hell is this?.”The picture, retweeted thousands of times, sparked a search by ski resort owners Aramon and a frenzied debate over whether a Spanish Yeti was on the loose or if it was a bear, Photoshop montage or even a soldier wearing mountain camouflage.

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Interview with Pussy Riot about new video

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Pussy Riot’s leader, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, spoke with the Daily Beast about their new music video, which makes fun of the Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Y. Chaika.

“My American friend [Dave Sitek, who produced the video song] suggested that this time we do hip-hop, the genre originally rooted in gangster culture,” said NT. “So in the film we have a criminal, the biggest gangster there is in Russia: Prosecutor General Yuri Y. Chaika.”

[Tolokonnikova] plays a rather special version of Chaika. She wears a tight uniform, fishnet stockings, and patent pink high heels that sharpen her long legs. Over and over she sings Chaika’s rules: “Be loyal to those in power, because power is a gift from God, son. I love Russia. I’m a patriot.”

The words come straight from Chaika’s declarations after members of the Russian opposition investigated him and leveled against him allegations of massive corruption and connections with organized crime.

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View-Master Virtual Reality viewer

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The general impression of the View-Master Virtual Reality viewer is that it's an excellent Google Cardboard viewer for any Android phone or iPhone, but that the View-Master app "reels" aren't very good. My family and I love Google Cardboard - the experience of walking around Paris and Tokyo is amazing. For $18, it seems like a good deal. Has anyone tried it? Read the rest

Did a pro cyclist hide a motor inside her bike?

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There's no question that Belgian cyclist Femke van den Driessche had a motor hidden in a bike she rode in the UCI Cyclocross World Championships over the weekend, because race officials discovered it in the hollow part of the bike frame. But van den Driessche swears she didn't know the motor was there. Here's her alibi, as reported by Velo News:

The 19-year-old denied that she had used a bike with a concealed motor on purpose, saying that it was identical to her own but belonged to a friend and that a team mechanic had given it to her by mistake before the race.

"It wasn't my bike, it was that of a friend and was identical to mine," a tearful Van den Driessche told Belgian TV channel Sporza. "This friend went around the course Saturday before dropping off the bike in the truck. A mechanic, thinking it was my bike, cleaned it and prepared it for my race," she added, insisting that she was "totally unaware" it was fitted with a hidden motor.

Vivax Assist on-bike demo from cyclingtips on Vimeo.

The motor and battery weigh 1.8 kilograms, which you would think van den Driessche would notice.

This reminds me of a case many years ago when my friend's cousin in Boulder, Colorado was caught cheating in the Soap Box Derby. His car had an electromagnet inside it that gave it a boost when the gate dropped. Another friend of mine, Colin Berry, wrote about the incident for MAKE, which took place in the 1970s. Read the rest

What's wrong with this picture?

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I kept thinking it had something to do with the pigeon. [via] Read the rest

News reporter thinks a mushroom is a microphone

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All of us who've held mushrooms and microphones at the same time have done this. And it's funny every time we do it. [via] Read the rest

Write the saddest story you can using only 4 words

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On February 1, Amy Rios tweeted: "Write the saddest story you can using only 4 words." Since then, the replies have poured in, and they are excellent. Most of them are darkly humorous or sarcastic, instead of just sad.

The last story refers to this recent Jeb speech, where he implored the silent audience to applaud: Read the rest

Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle just $1.99 on Kindle

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My favorite Vonnegut novel, Cat's Cradle (1963), is just $1.99 as a Kindle ebook today. I read it when I was about 12 or 13, and the idea of "Ice-nine" has intrigued me ever since. Ice-nine, as described in the novel, is a stable form of water that's solid at room temperature, and doesn't melt until it reaches 114.4 °F. If you drop a bit of Ice-nine into a glass of ordinary water, it will work like a seed crystal and turn all the water in the glass into a solid. If you toss an Ice-nine cube into a lake on a warm summer day, the whole lake will freeze over.

From Wikipedia:

Vonnegut came across the idea while working at General Electric:

The author Vonnegut credits the invention of ice-nine to Irving Langmuir, who pioneered the study of thin films and interfaces. While working in the public relations office at General Electric, Vonnegut came across a story of how Langmuir, who won the 1932 Nobel Prize for his work at General Electric, was charged with the responsibility of entertaining the author H. G. Wells, who was visiting the company in the early 1930s. Langmuir is said to have come up with an idea about a form of solid water that was stable at room temperature in the hopes that Wells might be inspired to write a story about it. Apparently, Wells was not inspired and neither he nor Langmuir ever published anything about it. After Langmuir and Wells had died, Vonnegut decided to use the idea in his book Cat's Cradle.

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A close look at the new Uber logo reveals infuriatingly untidy details

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This person has three problems with the new Uber logo. The first problem ("It can be recreated in under one minute using three of the standard shape tools) does not bother me. I actually think that's cool. But the uncentered square and the overhanging line really do suck! Read the rest

Twitter joke sparks rape threats

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In December, Comedian Alison Leiby tweeted, "As a woman, I just hope that one day I have as many rights as a gun does." After a popular conservative Twitter account retweeted it, some people who disagreed with her thought the appropriate response was threatening to rape her.

From Medium

Somewhere along the way an account with a large and conservative following retweeted it, an action that flooded my notifications page with people calling me “stupid” or a “moron” or, one of my personal favorites, a “retarded liberal.” Fine.

Last Monday evening, however, the replies went from annoying and insulting to violent and threatening. Men were replying to me and taking my joke to a horrific, new place. Some said they wanted to ban me from public places and silence me. Others said they wanted to lock me in their closet when they’re done with me. A few choice gentlemen suggested I, like their gun, have a “rough brush clean my holes.” If you want a tour of how hateful and negative humanity can be about women, just scroll through the replies to my original joke. It’s kind of like the It’s A Small World ride, but instead of different countries you just see different expressions of misogyny.

As Leiby points out, "If you don’t like the taste of fish, you wouldn’t go to a restaurant, order the trout, and then call the chef a stupid bitch for serving it to you. So why do people do it on the Internet?" Read the rest

Bunnie Huang's "Essential Guide to Electronics in Shenzhen"

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Bunnie has a years of experience partnering with manufacturers in Shenzhen, so he knows what he's talking about. This looks like a fantastic resource for hardware entrepreneurs.

Bunnie Huang, the infamous hardware hacker known for reverse engineering the XBox and the Novena, is publishing “The Essential Guide to Electronics in Shenzhen.” He started a crowdfunding campaign on Crowd Supply yesterday and it soared past its goal of $10K (at $30-$35 a copy) in less than 24 hours.

This is a must-have guide for any hardware startup founder, maker, or IoT developer looking to China to manufacture. Overcoming the language barrier is one of the keys to unlocking the market’s full potential, and this book’s point-to-translate format enables a fluidity of interaction with market vendors that no translation app or guide book can match.

"Going to Shenzhen, China is a massive enabler for Makers, hackers, and entrepreneurs alike. The Essential Guide to Electronics in Shenzhen is the book I wish I had when I first stepped foot into China a decade ago.” - bunnie

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Blow a trumpet at Donald Trump

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Animal Creative in Stockholm created Trump Donald, an interactive website that lets you blast a virtual trumpet at a virtual Donald Trump. Read the rest

Safeway Lunch Box Sandwich Spread ad, 1955

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The contents of this jar make me think of the old dinner table insult, "Do we eat it, or did we eat it?" Swell drawing, though. I wish I had hands twice the size of my head, too.

[via 10 years ago on Boing Boing] Read the rest

5200mAh portable USB charger for $4.59

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This deal is probably for US customers only, but it's a good one. The highly rated Poweradd Pilot X1 5200mAh Portable Charger External Battery Pack is regularly $13, but if you use code E879NFK8 at final checkout you can get it for $4.59. I just bought one, because I can never have enough battery packs. Read the rest

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