Inventorying a $5 garage sale score


John Edgar Park picked up some great stuff at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago, and took photos. He gave me one of the pencils!

The Eagle #314 “Chemi-Sealed” DRAUGHTING pencils are excellent, highly coveted pencils among illustrators. This style was made from 1950-1980. More info here.

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The Hike: a new novel by the author of The Postmortal


Drew Magary's The Postmortal, a dystopian novel about what happens to the world when someone discovers the cure for aging and almost everyone takes it, was one of my favorite books of 2011 and I still think about it. Here's my review, and here's my podcast interview with Magary.

Magary has a new novel coming out called The Hike. The publisher gave us an exclusive on the cover reveal, and it's a beaut. The illustration is by Will Sweeney, and design and art direction is by Paul Buckley

The Hike is coming out in August.

I asked Drew to share a few words about the book and here's what he said:

Okay, here’s the deal: It’s been five years since the publication of my first novel, The Postmortal. I started a couple of other novels only to have them stall in the middle, which is deeply annoying. And then, about a year ago, I went to give this speech in East Stroudsburg, PA, in the Poconos. I decided to go out for a hike before the speech, and that little hike, along with my affinity for old King’s Quest PC games and folk tale collections from Ruth Manning-Sanders is what ended up inspiring this novel and the bitchin’ cover you see here. I can’t tell you any more than that right now, or it’ll kill me.

Here's the publisher's description:

When Ben, a suburban family man, takes a business trip to rural Pennsylvania, he decides to spend the afternoon before his dinner meeting on a short hike.

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18-year-old Ted Cruz wants to "take over the world" and "be in a teen tit film"


"In 1988, high school senior Ted Cruz reflected on his life's ambitions while attending Second Baptist School in Houston, TX. Now, he is a Republican Senator running for the office of the President of the United States of America."

He's on his way to getting everything he asked for!

[via] Read the rest

Summary of the doc Making A Murderer in a two-minute song


"Making A Murderer is a riveting Netflix documentary. Here's the gist of it -- in 2 minutes and 23 seconds! Plus you can dance to it!" Read the rest

A gun that shoots nets to ensnare bad people


The Super Talon Ultra Net Launcher Kit is a real thing, and it's only $1,999.99 + $4.49 shipping. It comes with enough air cartridges to stop 10 bad people. [via] Read the rest

Vine clip compares Sarah Palin and Tina Fey impersonating Palin

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Amazing. Here's the sketch from SNL. Read the rest

Women outnumber men by nearly 2-to-1 in USC's video game design graduate program

LA Times Video

The top-ranked University of Southern California's graduate video game design program has 12 women and seven men, indicative of a rising trend in the ratio of men to women in the graduate and undergraduate programs at USC. Watch the video here.

From the LA Times:

"I will make a crazy prediction," says Martzi Campos, a master's student in the USC program. "There are the same issues in the film industry, but I would argue that games will grow faster and games will change faster. We're newer. Because film has a long history, it's a bigger boat to steer. Right now, with the indie game explosion, games have the chance to lead the way and be like, 'Hey, films, check us out. Look how diverse and widespread we are.' This is our chance for our medium to really shine."
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Breakup captured on a fitbit


The co-founder and CTO of Guesty, Koby Soto, tweeted this graph of his heart rate when he broke up with his partner. The data was captured on his fitbit.

A couple of days later, Soto followed up with a tweet to let folks know that all was well.

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My favorite super glue: Gorilla Super Glue Gel


Gel-based super glue is much easier to use than regular super glue, because it's thick and easier to control. You can apply a dab to a vertical surface without having it drip. It's also slightly tacky to begin with, which helps to keep parts stick together without holding them. And because it's thicker, it works well on porous surfaces, like the ones on this elephant coffee creamer that one of our cats broke. I've had the same tube of Gorilla Super Glue Gel for years. I've used it dozens of times, there's a lot left, and it shows no sign of drying up. A 15g bottle is just $5.80 on Amazon. Read the rest

Principal forces high school girl to kneel so he can check if her skirt is too short

WBKO / Via

One wonders what was going through the mind of Edmonson County High School Principal Tommy Hodges when he ordered a teenage girl to get on her knees so he could measure her dress length. The Kentucky school has a dress code requiring skirts to end no more than six inches above the knee.

Amanda said she felt “embarrassed” and “humiliated” by having to kneel on the ground, especially with her mom and dad watching.

“I didn’t really appreciate having to get down on my knees, especially while I was in a dress,” she said.

She said the first time Hodges measured her, she was in dress code, with 5 inches. However, she said Hodges then made her walk across the room with her hands up and kneel back down, to check if her dress would ride up. She said her dress was then 8 inches above the knee, and she went home because she was “technically” out of code.

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Taco Bell exec is suing the Uber driver he beat up for $5 million


Remember Benjamin Golden, the former Taco Bell executive who beat up his Uber driver? Golden is now suing the driver for $5 million for recording the violent attack. From the Orange County Register:

As a result of the overwhelming media coverage, Golden says he suffered severe emotional distress, humiliation, anxiety and the loss of his job.

The lawsuit claims invasion of privacy, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery. He is seeking damages in excess of $5 million.

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Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers is a delightful book of recreational math

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When I was a kid one of my favorite books was George Gamow's One Two Three . . . Infinity: Facts and Speculations of Science. (It's a pity that the current edition has such a crappy cover. Here's the cover to the copy I own, which is much cooler looking). This book taught me about huge numbers, infinity, and the fourth dimension. I loved Gamow's hand-drawn illustrations, too. If you don't have this book, I suspect you will enjoy it.

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers, by Ian Stewart, reminds me of One Two Three . . . Infinity. It's missing the charming hand-drawn illustrations, but it has many of the same topics in Gamow's book (like the Towers of Hanoi, and the Four Color Map Theory), plus quite a few other fun number-related items that Gamow didn't cover, such as fractals, the Birthday Paradox, and the Sausage Conjecture.

When I told my 12-year-old about the Four Color Map Theory, she immediately went to work with colored pencils and paper to prove me wrong. I can't find the fantastically complex maps she came up with, but if I locate them, I'll post them here. She eventually came up with an intuitive understanding of why any map you draw only needs four colors to ensure no two bordering shapes have the same color.

UPDATE: I found Jane's maps:

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Listen to 911 call of very stoned drivers turning themselves in


These two gents were allegedly transporting 20 pounds of marijuana from Las Vegas to Montana. When they were driving through Idaho, they suspected that police were tailing them and they called 911 to turn themselves in. They were arrested, and when one of the men showed up in court to plead guilty, he tested positive for marijuana.

Here's an equally weird call that David posted in 2007 about an epically stoned police officer from Dearborn, Michigan who made pot brownies with his wife and called 911 to report that he and his wife had died. Read the rest

Bad supercar driver compilation


Millions of dollars went into the making of this supercut, starring Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Ferraris, and their terrible drivers. Read the rest

What's inside a fire alarm


I was hoping for a little firefighter homunculus. [via] Read the rest

Get my card trick book for 99 cents - today only


Trick Decks, my e-book about making your own trick magic decks is just 99 cents today. Tomorrow the price goes back to the regular price of $2.99. Learn more about the book on the Trick Decks website. Read the rest

1950s live television: tricks of carnival game swindlers


This is a fascinating seven-minute segment from a 1950s television show called You Asked for It, which exposes the tricks of crooked carnival concession games. Robert Haskell, the vice president of the Society of American Magicians at the time, demonstrated the props and chicanery used by dishonest midway game operators that make it impossible to win. [via] Read the rest

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