Stephen Colbert: What Is Art? What Is Porn?


After many TV networks blurred out parts of Amedeo Modigliani's 1917 painting of a nude woman (Nu Couché) that sold for $170.4 million at Christie's New York on Monday, Stephen Colbert told viewers what you can and can't look at on network TV.

CNBC blurred parts of Modigliani's masterpiece, "Nu Couche." Read the rest

How to read Reddit at work without getting caught

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 10.00.41 AM

Some people have jobs at places where reading Reddit on the clock is frowned upon. This Reddit skin, which looks like Microsoft Outlook, is for them. Read the rest

"Death experience" school puts people in coffins to make them appreciate life


In South Korea, where the rate of suicide is on the rise, a former funeral director has established a "death experience" therapy center to help people understand the benefits of not killing yourself.

From Oddity Central:

Participants at the centre come from all walks of life, including teenagers who struggle with pressure at school, older parents experiencing isolation, and the elderly who are afraid of becoming a financial burden on their families. They all don white robes and get into coffins arranged in rows. Beside each coffin is a small desk with pens and paper. Students sit inside the coffins and listen to a short talk by Jeong Yong-mun, a former funeral worker who is now the head of the healing centre. He explains to them that they should accept their problems as a part of life and try to find joy in the most difficult situations.

The students then lie down in the coffin and close their eyes to have a ‘funeral portrait’ taken. Afterwards, they write down their will or compose a farewell letter to their loved ones, and read their last words aloud to the group. When the ‘hour of death’ approaches, they are told that it is now time to ‘go to the other side’. Candles are lit and the ‘Korean Angel of Death’ enters the room. The students lie down in their coffins once more, and the angel closes the lid on each one of them.

Read the rest

World's greatest math test answer


I hope the teacher didn't mark it wrong. [via] Read the rest

Drunk parents appear as grotesque monsters in this creepy PSA


This video was made by Finland-based Fragile Childhood, "an awareness-raising campaign, which aims to reduce parents' use of alcohol by helping them understand the harm it causes to children."

Here's another: What if children could choose their parents? Read the rest

Rumanian Punishment Gifts


Rumanian Punishment Gifts by Etelka Penquelik is not a real book, but don't you wish it were? It's from designer Sean Tejaratchi's fantastic LiarTownUSA site. Read the rest

Automate the boring stuff with Python - great book for beginners


When I was a mechanical engineer in the late 1980s I used Microsoft QuickBASIC to write and create simple programs for work. I loved it. It was a compiled BASIC, too, so it was speedy. I used it to recreate a lot of the programs from Rudy Rucker's Chaos software from Autodesk. I got pretty good at writing programs in BASIC, just as I got pretty good at nodding my head when my smarter programmer friends would tell me that BASIC was not a real programming language.

I never learned any other languages, but recently I've started using Python and it is easy and fun. One thing I did with Python was write a nontransitive dice simulator to prove to myself that these confounding dice really worked as described.

I just got my hands on a new book called Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners by Al Sweigart, and it looks like it is exactly what I need: a book for beginners and with lots of ideas for programs that are actually useful. Examples: Search for text in a file or across multiple files Create, update, move, and rename files and folders Search the Web and download online content Update and format data in Excel spreadsheets of any size Split, merge, watermark, and encrypt PDFs Send reminder emails and text notifications Fill out online forms Read the rest

Cop pulls over Google self-driving car, finds no driver to ticket

Photo: Zandr Milewski

A police officer pulled over a Google self-driving car yesterday because it was going only 24 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone. But the car had no driver, so he could not issue a ticket. The officer asked the human passenger why the car decided to drive so slowly.

From CNN:

In a Google Plus post, the Google Self-Driving Car Project pled guilty to slow driving.

"We've capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25 mph for safety reasons," the post said. "We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets."

In the end, the officer determined the car had broken no law. No harm, no foul.

And no ticket was issued -- not because there was no driver to whom to issue it but because the car had committed no violation.

Read the rest

Here's the video that shows why Mizzou's president had to go


Huffington Post posted this video that was filmed on the University of Missouri campus on October 10. It shows a group of peaceful black protestors being hassled and assaulted by white people, while the university president Tim Wolfe watched without saying a word.

After three minutes, two white men came out and tried to move the students aside, drawing cheers from the crowd.

Then the driver of Wolfe's car tried to drive around them. The students moved their line, arms linked, to block the driver, who continued to try to push forward. The driver again tried to get through a moment later, coming in contact with one of the students.

At that point, an older white man came out and physically pushed several of the students away with his body. A few other white men and women then came out and formed their own human chain, linking arms and standing between the students and the car to allow Wolfe's vehicle to get through.

It took about 11 minutes before a couple of police officers intervened and asked the black student activists to step aside to allow Wolfe's car to drive. White people cheered when this happened.

Wolfe remained silent the entire time. With the car's top down, he could easily see the entire encounter unfolding right in front of him.

Nearly a month later, ex-president Wolfe stated: " regret my reaction at the MU homecoming parade when the ConcernedStudent1950 group approached my car. I am sorry, and my apology is long overdue. Read the rest

Watch 'xkcd' explain space travel using the simplest words possible


"Rocket" is not one of the 1,000 most common words in the English language, so it's called an "up goer" in the excellent xkcd video that explains space travel in simple terms. It's adapted from xkcd creator Randall Munroe's book, Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words." Read the rest

Willy Wonka cast members reunited after 43 years


Charlie Bucket, Mike Teavee, Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, and an Oompa Loompa got together to chat about being in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. They haven't aged a day!

The notable person missing from the group, is the delightful Gene Wilder. Here's an interview with him from 2013:

I read his Gene Wilder's wonderful autobiography, Kiss Me Like a Stranger, a few years ago and highly recommend it, especially the audiobook, which he reads with his distinctive voice. Read the rest

Poster shows locations of 42 Great American Novels


One Flew Over the Cuckooo's Nest by Ken Kesey took place in Salem, Oregon. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair was based in Chicago. The Shining by Stephen King took place in Estes, Colorado. These novels, and 39 others, are on this Great American Novel Map ($30) published by Hog Island Press.

Read the rest

Missouri student files complaint against Melissa "Muscle" Click

University of Missouri Professor Melissa Click telling a student journalist to leave a public space. (Mark Schierbecker/YouTube

Above: a longer video that shows Professor Click's attempts to block and eject University of Missouri student Mark Schierbecker after she called for "muscle."

Professor Melissa Click says she can't recall pushing University of Missouri student Mark Schierbecker, who recorded her calling for "muscle" to remove him from a campus protest. But Schierbecker says she did push him and he has filed a complaint with the with campus police, reports USA Today.

Schierbecker said he met with Click at her office on Tuesday, but that he found her apology "lacking." He said that he's made further attempts to contact Click to speak to her about his grievances with her, but she has refused to engage him.

"I am just left with the feeling that she doesn't care," Schierbecker told USA TODAY.

It's interesting that Schierbecker had to go to Professor Click's office to receive her apology. If she really cared, she would have gone to Schierbecker's home. But maybe she's afraid to leave her office. She told faculty members that she's received "2,000 threatening e-mails since Monday's incident."

See also: Dear Melissa Click: Your Apology Is Bullshit Read the rest

TENS therapy electronic pulse massager for $16


Amazon has a good deal on a TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy electronic pulse massager. It's just $16 when you use code C4MMPX22 at checkout.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is an unproven way to reduce body pain, though many people swear by it. TENS devices are small battery powered units that have two electrodes that you stick onto your skin. According to WebMD,

When the current is delivered, some people experience less pain. This may be because the electricity from the electrodes stimulates the nerves in an affected area and sends signals to the brain that block or "scramble" normal pain signals. Another theory is that the electrical stimulation of the nerves may help the body to produce natural painkillers called endorphins, which may block the perception of pain.

Read the rest

This woman made an alarm clock that slaps her in the face


Simone Giertz says, "I built an alarm clock that wakes me up in the morning by slapping me in the face with a rubber arm. I picked apart a clock, wired it to an Arduino UNO and controlled a 165 rpm brushless DC motor through a relay."

(Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest

Fear and Loathing on the "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" graphic novel tour


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Book Signing Tour with Troy Little - Day 1 from IDW Publishing on Vimeo.

Troy Little, creator of the graphic novel adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, has been keeping a diary of his book signing tour. Here's the latest installments:

Check out the previous installment. Read the rest

Watch this gentleman cut a hole in a Porsche roof to try and steal it


London's Metropolitan Police released a video today showing a man trying to steal a convertible red Porsche.

Read the rest

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