Gallery of 34 notes written by pissed-off neighbors

Loud sex. Stolen Amazon packages. Dog crap. Here are 34 angry letters of complaint and warning written by neighbors who've had it up to here.

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The secret history of the iPhone

Lev Grossman, author of the Magicians trilogy, reviews Brian Merchant's origin story of the iPhone, called The One Device, in the NY Times:


If you’ve ever worked on a hopeless project that felt like it was going nowhere, you will draw spiritual strength from Merchant’s account of life in the Purple trenches. It includes fascinating dead ends and might-have- beens (a prototype based on the original iPod’s click wheel, backlit in blue and orange); personal sacrifices (“The iPhone is the reason I’m divorced”); obscure technical hurdles (the phone’s infrared proximity sensor, which turns the screen off when it’s near your head, wouldn’t recognize dark hair); backstage tension at the launch (I was actually there, watching Jobs rehearse the famous iPhone keynote, but apparently missed everything); even a symbolic onstage assassination (when Jobs publicly demonstrated swiping to delete a contact, he used Apple vice president Tony Fadell’s name, foreshadowing Fadell’s imminent departure).

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The American student detained by North Korea and sent home in a coma has died

Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old University of Virginia student who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for taking a propaganda sign from a hotel, has died in a US hospital. North Korea returned him in a comatose state to the United States last week after he'd served 17 months of his sentence.

North Korean officials said Warmbier fell into a coma as a result of botulism and a sleeping pill, but US doctors express doubt that they were the cause. According to USA Today, "Much remains unknown about what happened to Warmbier in North Korea, but he reportedly has been in a coma for more than a year. Brain scans show severe damage."

Otto's parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, issued a statement Monday afternoon, which read, in part:

When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that.

From NPR:

As he spoke to the media Thursday, Fred Warmbier also said he was glad to be wearing the same jacket his son had worn during his court appearance in North Korea.

"I'm proud of Otto, and the courage he showed by going to North Korea," Warmbier said, "and having that adventurous side to him ...

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Guy on treadmill demonstrates 100 styles of walking

Kevin Parry gets on a treadmill and shows 100 ways of walking: angry, zombie, mad, sneaky, drunk, robot, on vacation, strut, old man, hippy, timid, mime, pushing, in the dark, and so on. Read the rest

Artist breaks 43 stupid laws by taking photos of the crimes

In Ohio is illegal to disrobe in front of a portrait of a man. In Texas it is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts. In Nevada it is illegal to put an American flag on a bar of soap. Photographer Olivia Locher broke these laws, and 40 others just as ridiculous, by taking photos depicting the illegal acts.

In Pennsylvania, It’s Illegal To Tie A Dollar Bill To A String And Pull It Away When Someone Tries To Pick It Up

[via Bord Panda] Read the rest

Wireless scale tracks your weight over time

$29 is a good price for this Koogeek wireless bathroom scale. It syncs to your smartphone through Bluetooth and updates an app that displays a graph of your weight over time. Read the rest

Is this the world's oldest, simplest chair design?

It's been called a Camping Chair, a Bog Chair, an X-Chair, a Stargazer Chair, a Viking Chair, an African Chair, but "no one can agree on where the design first came from or what it ought be called," says Rain Noe. In his article for Core 77 he looks at the many variations of this simple flat pack chair.

Steve Ramsey shows how to make one: Read the rest

It's a joy to watch this guy's Hot Wheels restoration YouTube channel

This guy has a YouTube channel documenting his process of restoring old, banged-up Hot Wheels cars. He has a soothing voice, has very clean fingernails, uses good lighting, makes sure his video shots are focused, and doesn't use background music. In other words, his videos are superior to 95% of process videos in YouTube.

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Let's crawl inside a giant water balloon and fill it with water until it pops

The Slo Mo Guys wanted to find out what would happen if you went inside a big balloon and filled it with water until it pops. There is probably a rule 34 subreddit for this.

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U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules in favor of trademark protection for offensive terms

An Asian-American band has a first amendment right to call itself The Slants and to register it as a trademark, ruled the U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous decision.

From Reason:

At issue in Matal v. Tam was a federal law prohibiting the registration of any trademark that may "disparage...or bring...into contemp[t] or disrepute" any "persons, living or dead." The Patent and Trademark Office cited this provision in 2011 when it refused to register a trademark in the name of The Slants, thereby denying the band the same protections that federal law extends to countless other musical acts. Justice Samuel Alito led the Court in striking down the censorious rule. "We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment," Alito wrote. "It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend."

From NPR:

The case could inform arguments over other, much larger entities than The Slants.

As NPR's Nina Totenberg has reported, "the trademark office has denied registration to a group calling itself "Abort the Republicans," and another called "Democrats Shouldn't Breed." It canceled the registration for the Washington Redskins in 2014 at the behest of some Native Americans who considered the name offensive."

From Hollywood Reporter:

Today's decision also has the potential of alleviating a great amount of confusion as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's response to offensive marks hasn't been particularly consistent over the years. For example, N.W.A — the rap group also known as Niggaz Wit Attitudes — was able to register while actor Damon Wayans couldn't obtain "Nigga" for clothing.

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Good deal on my favorite measuring spoons

I bought this set of snap-nesting measuring spoons in 2015 and they are my favorite set. Each spoon is two-sided. There's a round side for liquids and a narrow side for spice jars. It's on sale right now as an Amazon Prime add-on item for $5. Read the rest

This guy submitted a 3D model of his face to get his ID card

Raphael Fabre modeled his face with 3D software and used it for his French national ID card.

On April 7, 2017, I applied for an ID card to the 18th Army. All the papers requested for the card were legal and authentic, the application was accepted and I have my new French identity card today.

The photo I submitted for this request is actually a 3D model created on a computer, by means of several different software and techniques used for special effects in movies and in the video game industry. It is a digital image, where the body is absent, the result of an artificial process.

The image corresponds to the official demands for an ID: it is resembling, is recent, and answers all the criteria of framing, light, bottom and contrasts to be observed.

The document validating my french identity in the most official way thus presents today an image of me which is practically virtual, a version of video game, fiction.

[via Kottke] Read the rest

Vox interviewed 8 GOP senators about the health bill, and their answers are real head scratchers

"Senate Republicans can't answer simple and critical questions about the health care bill they're crafting in secret," says Vox after asking eight Republican senators how their bill will actually improve the health care system in the United States. Their vacuous non-answers are truly mind-boggling.


Tara Golshan But generally speaking, what are the big problems it is trying to solve?

John McCain You name it. Everything from the repeal caucus, which as you know, they have made their views very clear — Rand Paul, etc. And then there are the others on the other side of the spectrum that just want to make minor changes to the present system. There’s not consensus.


Jeff Stein So you're saying [the bill] will lower the rates?

Chuck Grassley Um, if you're talking about lowering the rates from now down, no. The rates could be way up here. [Points to sky] And if they — if we get a bill passed, it maybe wouldn't go up or would go up a heck of a lot less than they would without a bill.

Jeff Stein By "rates," are you talking about premiums?

Chuck Grassley Yeah, premiums. … I'm sorry I have to go.

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Please don't try to ride a hog

Here's what we've learned: an enormous swine may enjoy having his back rubbed, but that doesn't mean it will allow a large primate to jump on it in hope of a ride around the pen.

No you can't
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Good deal on a Black + Decker cordless drill

I've been looking around for a cordless drill, and today Amazon put this Black + Decker model on sale for $34, so I bought it. I wanted one that was lightweight, has variable speed, and uses a keyless chuck (to accommodate the bits I use with my drill press and corded handheld drill). This one has great reviews on Amazon and for the next 12 hours it's on sale. It comes with a 20-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Battery and charger. Read the rest

Cool hand-cranked laser show made from 3D printed parts

Evan built this nifty mechanical laser show on his 3D printer. The gizmo has two rotating cams that tilt a laser pointer up and down and from side to side in such a way that it draws different 3D shapes. In this video he explains the math behind it. You can download the model at Thingiverse

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Pigeon thinks roof exhaust vent is a merry-go-round

I like to imagine that the other pigeons on the roof are waiting for their turn on this spinning rooftop vent.

Pigeon carousel
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