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

This trippy 1971 government-endorsed Alice in Wonderland anti-drug film makes drugs look fun


"Oh! Oh wow! Everythings's different. Even me!"

Read the rest

20000mAh portable charger for $18


This is the best price I've seen on a 20000mAh USB portable charger. It's $36, but if you use the promotion code Y4DFT2KK at checkout you can buy it for $18 (at least it was $18 the last time I checked.) I bring a 20000mAh charger when I travel and it keeps my iPhone 6 Plus fully charged for a few days with heavy use. Read the rest

Etsy merchant introduces old-time religion to Starbucks cup. Hail Satan!


People who are upset that Starbucks is not religious enough for them now have an option. They can buy this reusable, travel mug with Satanic symbols from Etsy seller Cara the Corpse for $20. Read the rest

Couple called 911 five times to report possums and people jumping out of fridge and microwave

Brandon Terry and Casey Fowler: Accused of unlawful use of 911.

"Midgets" dressed in camouflage. Worms emerging from the car floor. Possums jumping out of the microwave. People jumping out of the refrigerator. I don't blame Brandon Terry and Casey Fowler of Spartanburg County for calling 911 five times to report these unusual events taking place in their home.

Finally, a deputy arrived to investigate. From WYFF:

The deputy said Terry showed him several pictures of a basketball hoop and tree. Terry and Fowler told the deputy that there was a person standing beside the tree in camouflage. The deputy told Fowler he could not see the person and Fowler told the deputy it was because only he could see them.

Officials said Terry had six felony warrants for narcotics charges and was put in investigative detention, the report said.

Terry agreed to a field sobriety test. During the test, Terry stopped and said the deputy was touching his eyes, according to the report. The deputy told Terry he was not and restarted the test.

Terry and Fowler were charged with unlawful use of 911, and Terry received an additional charge for being a fugitive from justice. [via] Read the rest

The Complete Beatles Songs – The Stories Behind Every Track Written by the Fab Four


See sample pages from this book at Wink.

The Complete Beatles Songs has gone through several editions over the last 20 years as author Steve Turner continues to dig deeper to find the origins and meanings of every song the Beatles wrote. I’ve read a few books about the Beatles and I was surprised to learn so many new things and see so many photos I’d never seen before.

The book has turned out to be Turner’s life project, and it's worth it. Turner interviewed hundreds of people and pored over warehouses of archives to learn the often surprising and fascinating circumstances that led to the lyrics behind the band’s songs.

For instance, here’s how Lennon came up with the title for the song "Happiness is a Warm Gun":

The final section was inspired by something in an American gun magazine that George Martin had pointed out to him. There was a line on the cover reading “Happiness is a warm gun in your hand...,” an obvious play on Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz's 1962 book Happiness is a Warm Puppy. The apparently bizarre juxtaposition of killing and pleasure stimulated John's imagination, especially coming at a time when America was involved in a war. "I thought, what a fantastic thing to say," said John. "A warm gun means that you've just shot something."

If you have made up your own meanings for the Beatle’s beautiful lyrics, this book will destroy them. Read it at your peril.

The Complete Beatles Songs by Steve Turner Dey Street Books 2015, 352 pages, 1.5 x 9.2 x 11.5 inches $29 Buy one on Amazon Read the rest

Math tutoring service in the form of a phone sex hotline


Mark says:

What would happen if you mixed a math education tutoring site with a late night 900 number?

Well, someone did, and it might end up being one of the strangest new startups out of Cambridge. It's called SolveX4U.com.

While this might look like a silly idea it's been gaining a lot of traction in the past week and the tech behind it is actually pretty advanced and useful for students who are looking for help with math, statistics and other subjects.

Anyone can submit any math problem and they will get help solving it (the first one is free too).

A New Tutoring Startup Is Branding Itself as an Adult Hotline Read the rest

Gentleman scolds woman for not paying attention to Trump


She is reading a copy of Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine.

Jacket copy:

Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV-everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named "post-race" society.

From Vic Berger IV's Vine. Read the rest

Watch this 9-year-old girl wield a sword like a boss


Jesse Jane McParland, age 9, showed her stuff at the Junior World Kickboxing Championships. If the producers of the Walking Dead don't give her a starring role in Season 7, they are crazy. Read the rest

The best book on learning electronics just got better


When Make: Electronics was published about five years ago, it was widely hailed as the greatest book about learning electronics ever written. With beautiful photos, easy-to-read schematics, clear, jargon-free text, and dozens and dozens of fun and educational projects, author/illustrator Charles Platt made a book that has ended up in every makerspace and library I've visited.

A few weeks ago the Second Edition of Make: Electronics came out, and it's even better than the first edition. Charles rewrote the text, replaced the photos of breadboarded circuits with diagrams showing component placement, included new projects, added new photographs with a ruled background to indicate the scale of tools and components, and included a chapter on Arduino.

This is the book to get if you want to learn electronics.

(Disclosure, I was Charles' editor when I was editor-in-chief of MAKE) Read the rest

Taxi industry's Twitter campaign backfires


An Australian taxi lobby, in an effort to demonstrate why taxis are more awesome than Uber, asked people to tweet their taxi stories. People responded with complaints about surly, incompetent, and crooked taxi drivers.

From Mashable:

With some verging into the potentially criminal

Read the rest

More posts