How to write a Chainsmokers song

John Fassold critiques the popular duo's songs about "how hard it is to be white and in love" the best way: by making more of them.

And here's the classic "Four Chords" song, illustrating how formulaic much pop music is.

Previously: That thing you hear in every other pop song is the Millennial Whoop Read the rest

Stained glass windows with the McDonalds logo yours for $150

Have you ever looked up at a small window in your Craftsman home and thought to yourself, "well, that's nice, but it'd be better if it had the golden arches of the McDonald's Restaurant logo on it?" Well, a Craiglist seller in Pittsburgh has the olive and burgundy transom of your dreams.

I purchased this window at an auction over 30 years ago in Meadville PA after the restaurants underwent a restoration. It is stained glass with a wood frame. They were used as dividers between the booths. Excellent condition -- has always been indoors.

The window measures 36" x 17" and priced at $150. Read the rest

Every Sci-Fi star map

Kicked off by a post from The Watcher, the RPG.Net forums made The Only Sci Fi Star Chart You'll Ever Need—a cartographic compendium of common space opera tropes.

I'll start the ball rolling by listing a few potential areas and features:

The Diverse Alliance of Nice Guys (or should it be The Nice Alliance of Diverse Guys?) Proud Warrior Empire Space Nazi Territory Star Faring Rome The Do Not Cross Zone Elves With Starships Casablanca Station Ancient Space Gods' Lawn Pleasure World Starship Graveyard Hostile Robot Hordes Anomaly #12

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Killing my unfinished game dev projects

I recently completed a time-consuming project that was close to my heart, before which other endeavors took a back seat. Once done, though, I returned to my labyrinth of text files, PSDs and design documents, all now bearing a thick layer of psychic dust. Read the rest

Salad found around dead bat bought from Walmart

Walmart is recalling a product described as "Organic Marketside Spring Mix salad" after decomposing vegetable matter was found around a dead bat it sold to a Florida customer.

The company said it worked quickly with officials to remove the entire batch of salads from store shelves, and only one line of its products had been affected.

"Fresh Express takes matters of food safety very seriously and rigorously complies with all food safety regulations including the proscribed Good Agricultural Practices," a company statement said.

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After violently dragging a passenger from overbooked flight, United Airlines apologizes to everyone else

United Airlines had a passenger knocked unconscious and dragged violently from a full plane for refusing to yield his ticketed seat to an employee who wanted it. This is CEO Oscar Munoz's public apology, to those who needed to be re-accommodated.

Hopefully they'll never have an overbooked plane again. Read the rest

Happy Inception day, Leon Kowalski!

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Oregonians to vote on whether to end constitutional ban on duels between public officials

Move over, Florida! Oregon may supplant you as America's best source of mesmerizingly bizarre violent confrontations, if voters there overturn a constitutional ban on duels.

Should ongoing discussions in Salem materialize, voters would see a question on their general-election ballots asking if a 172-year-old ban on dueling by public officials — as in, the old-fashioned way of resolving fights — should be erased from the Oregon Constitution. The constitutional ban in question is Article II, Section 9, which says anyone who offers, accepts, knowingly participates in a “challenge to fight a duel … or who shall agree to go out of the State to fight a duel, shall be ineligible to any office of trust, or profit.” (this is exact language from the constitution) ...

Democratic Sen. Ginny Burdick, who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, kicked off the discussion by jokingly calling it “the bill I’ve been waiting all session for.”

This wouldn't make consensual homicide legal, but it might make it fun. Read the rest

Photo of all the Dr. Pepper knockoffs

Spotted doing the viral rounds and unattributed (though watermarked with a URL that redirects to Elbe Spurling's website) this wall of Dr. Pepper knockoffs is a magnificent lesson in branding magic and semiotics and all that fancy jazz. I transcribed the names:

Dr. Choice Dr. Bold Dr. Perfect Dr. Bob Dr. Wow Real Dr. Dr. Thunder Dr. Right Dr. K Dr. Shaw Dr. A+ Dr. Stripes Dr. Chill Dr. Skipper The Dr. Dr. Tremor Dr. Snap Dr. Perky Dr. Shasta Dr. Spice Dr. Fine Dr. Zevia Dr. Dynamite

Not included, tragically, is Kroger's recently-marketed "The Fizzicist", photographed here by Brent Nashville.

If I made one, it would be 'Not really a Dr."

Update: One ~bmasmith compiled a big list of Dr. Pepper clones. Read the rest

United Airlines traveler knocked unconscious and dragged off overbooked flight

United Airlines offered passengers $800 to skip an overbooked flight: there were enough seats for the paying ticketholders, but not for several United employees who wanted to travel with the plane. With no takers, they started picking people at random to eject.

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To sound smart, avoid umming, aahing and filler words

In this video from The Package Boy, he explains (and demonstrates) how avoiding using filler words and umming noises will make you appear smarter to others.

Counterpoint: talking to someone slowly, conspicuously avoiding filler noise is uncanny. If they're watching what they say, they're on the record, and if they're on the record, you're on the record. It's like haggling over customer service, or being talked to by a cop.

Tip! if you are confident of your intelligence, use filler words and umming noises and uptalk to take advantage of people's prejudices about stupidity. Read the rest

Review of new Pac-Man game also reviews the game review site it's posted on

It's not there anymore, obviously, but here's an archived copy of Ben McCurry's review of Pac-Man 256, into which is cunningly interpolated a review of Brash Games, the non-paying website it is posted on. [via Metafilter]

The idea of Pac-Man 256 is derived from what happens in the original Pac-Man when you clear 256 levels; on level 257, the game becomes a garbled mess that becomes unplayable. A good example of a garbled mess is Brash Games; this very website that strips authors of their writing credits when they leave the site, later attributing them to the sole owner and editor, Paul Ryan, making your work completely pointless, just as Pac-Man is completely pointless after level 256.

...

Namco Bandai haven’t changed too much of the winning formula, and why should they? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Everything that we grew to love in the original iterations is still present; the classic sound effects, the musical stings, and even ghosts. Speaking of ghosts, did you know that Brash Games deliberately ghosted themselves from Metacritic, GameRankings, and OpenCritic (marking themselves as “out of business on Meta and GR, which is an outrageous and egregious lie – it’s here right now) to avoid having any sort of public record of reviews available which would have attributed work to the proper authors? It’s true! In fact, when reviewers leave, work gets automatically attributed to “Brash Games”, which is solely operated by Paul Ryan, thus making it seem like he did all the work.

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Transparent refurbished Super Nintendo consoles

Rose-Colored gaming's producing a limited run of transparent Super Nintendo consoles, refurbished from cosmetically-damaged originals. The guts are painted and polished to be pretty behind the new acrylic enclosures. [via]

These SNES consoles have been treated to a 100% brand new, hand-built exterior, all while retaining complete original function. Each is assembled by hand with the care and attention to detail that you have come to expect from RCG. The housing consists of laser cut and etched acrylic components which have been drilled, bent, bonded, threaded, & assembled using all new anodized aluminum hardware. Many internal components have been slathered in various finishes then etched in order to accentuate items which were never meant to be seen. All hand-built, these units will only be available in VERY limited quantities upon release, with each being treated to a unique serial number.
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Hexels: grid-based art app for painting pixelated worlds

Hexels is a charming and powerful art-making app built around grids: perfect for making isometric worlds, geometric illustrations or traditional pixel art.

Hexels is an exciting grid-based painting tool that enables you to effortlessly create brilliant works of art. Whether you’re a pint sized pierogi, a professional cuddler, or my imaginary friend, Hexels’ shape-shifting personality will captivate you. We’ve added advanced features like animation and layers, a sharp, customizable interface, refined painting tools, and a slew of other improvements to bring you the most dynamic version of Hexels to date!

Here's a video that makes clear how it works:

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Computer in a Harley gas tank

For $500, you can become the proud owner of a computer in a Harley Davidson Sportster gas tank.

You have never seen a computer like this before.

This custom Harley Davidson themed computer was built for a youtube video on Shawn's Test Bench.

Check out the build videos from start to finish. ( Shawn's Test Bench on YouTube )

This PC was hand crafted from a sportster gas tank.

Specs are basic, but hell, it's a computer in a motorcycle gas tank.

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Have you texted your textdoor neighbor?

The cool kids are texting their textdoor neighbors—people whose phone number is a digit higher or lower than their own—and sharing their adventures at r/textdoor. About half the respondents seem incapable of grasping the concept and keep asking "how did you get this number?" Many conversations are a bit weird and stilted, expressing the paranoia and suspicion of modern internet life. But someone is going on a date, too! Read the rest

First non-white judge at top UK court used to be mistaken for defendants

Anuja Ravindra Dhir, the first non-white circuit judge at the Old Bailey, says "she was often mistaken for a witness or defendant when she started working as a lawyer" in the 1980s.

The 49-year-old said at first, most clients did not want to be represented by a young Asian Scottish female.

She also said that, when she wanted to go to university in the 1970s, she was told to be a hairdresser instead. ...

Judge Dhir said she once had to produce her wig and gown before security allowed her into court. "I got used to turning up at courts and people saying to me 'Witness? - no - Defendant? - no' and looking rather surprised when I said I was the advocate," she said.

Now the youngest Central Criminal Court justice, she talks of the "incredible changes" over the last 30 years.

"There is one glass ceiling that's in our minds, that's what we think we can achieve so perhaps we impose our glass ceiling and that has happened to me several times."

The Old Bailey houses 15 judges, of whom 10 are men and five are women, including one who is due to start soon. And of the recent intake of Old Bailey judges, three out of six are women.

Judge Dhir said: "Child-friendly policies I think are important. As a society we are better at raising that now than we ever have been before."

She praised the Recorder of London, Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC, for his commitment to change at the Old Bailey, a building steeped in history and tradition dating back to medieval times.

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