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Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email:

Dermatologist hilariously explains potential permanent damage from "Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge"

The tl;dr: it's a bad idea.

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Earthquake prediction and your smartphone: could phone GPS help predict the next big one?

1994 Los Angeles earthquake A damaged car rests on a section of freeway near the 5 and 14 freeway connection that collapsed Janaury 17, 1994, following an earthquake hit the Los Angeles area measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)

1994 Los Angeles earthquake
A damaged car rests on a section of freeway near the 5 and 14 freeway connection that collapsed Janaury 17, 1994, following an earthquake hit the Los Angeles area measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale. (Fred Prouser/Reuters)

The GPS sensors built into most smartphones are sensitive enough to detect the early signals of earthquakes magnitude 7 and stronger, says new research. And our smartphones, while not as precise a measurement tool as scientific devices, could serve as crowdsourced early warning tools for major seismic events.

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The pie to the face game

I found this video oddly anxiety-proviking, and yet, stupid funny, too.

You spin the Pie Face wheel to see how many times you have to click the catapult. If you perform your clicks and the pie doesn't smash in your face, you move it to your partner.

But in the end, someone gets a pie to the face.



Awesome nonprofit Wings of Rescue: pilots donate flights to take euthanasia-bound dogs and cats to adopting homes


The nonprofit organization Wings of Rescue is getting a bunch of attention online today: the Associated Press reports how the group connects airplane pilots willing to volunteer their services to fly dogs and cats otherwise headed "to sleep" to homes ready to adopt the pets in nearby areas.

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Cool 3D font project: Rollin Leonard‘s 'Liquid Diet'


Rollin Leonard says: “Using water to refract things, I made a font. Available for download in MEAT, GLITTER, and ROLLIN.” Download zip.




Hey, why not phone your dead loved ones with Facebook's new 'Hello' call dialer app

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Facebook on Wednesday launched a new caller ID and phone call dialer app for Android. iPhone users, this isn't for you: iOS won't give up the needed phone permissions. And maybe that's a good thing.

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Three-legged cat tries to use missing leg while playing with its human

Do amputee cats experience phantom limb syndrome?

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Octopus grabs diver's video camera, swims off with it while it's recording

Their grip is no joke, as anyone who has encountered them while under water can attest.

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NBC News profiles transgender children and their families


NBC's National Correspondent Kate Snow's series on transgender kids is getting a lot of attention online this week, and for good reason: it's a rare, candid, compassionate take on the reality that trans people are completely normal people, just like people who are not trans.

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'Wellness Guru' Belle Gibson lied about having brain cancer, profited from lying about bogus cancer cures

As disgusting as that may be, she's not the only one who should be ashamed: the enablers who promote this crap deserve condemnation, too.Read the rest

'An Oral History of Mad Men' is an instant internet classic.

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Smoke a bowl and read this masterpiece from Clickhole: An Oral History Of ‘Mad Men’. You will get the chuckles so hard, you'll spill all the Doritos. It's very long. It's very funny.

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Harlem Renaissance chorus dancer, 102 years old, sees self on film for the first time

“Alice Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance of the the 1930s and 40s. She danced at clubs such as The Apollo, Cotton Club, and Zanzibar Club, with legends including Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.”

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Human rescues dying drone from sky

Ryan Chatfield of Ryan Chatfield Images: “Classic catch to save my drone from certain death.”

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Baby Jesus bong


The most high.

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Astronomy: Now's a great time to view Venus and Jupiter in the night skies.

Photo: Emil Kraaikamp, via Bad Astronomy blog

Photo: Emil Kraaikamp, via Bad Astronomy blog

“Right now, two planets dominate the sky after sunset: Venus in the west, and Jupiter high to the south,” writes Phil “Bad Astronomer” Plait at Slate.

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Take lots of dietary supplements? You may have increased cancer risk, says new meta-study.


Dr. Tim Byers, who is the director for cancer prevention and control at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, conducted a meta-analysis of 12 trials involving more than 300,000 people, over 12 years -- and found that high doses of certain vitamin supplements were linked to increased odds that a person would develop certain kinds of cancer.

The summary of his paper, released this week: “While dietary supplements may be advertised to promote health, new research shows a link between consumption of over-the-counter supplements and increased cancer risk, if the supplements are taken in excess of the recommended dietary amount.”

"We are not sure why this is happening at the molecular level but evidence shows that people who take more dietary supplements than needed tend to have a higher risk of developing cancer," wrote Byers in the study findings.

"This is not to say that people need to be afraid of taking vitamins and minerals," says Byers. "If taken at the correct dosage, multivitamins can be good for you. But there is no substitute for good, nutritional food."

Dr. Tim Byers.

Dr. Tim Byers.

From a CBS News report:

Byers began his investigation on the association between supplements and cancer risk 20 years ago. He and many other researchers observed that people who ate more fruits and vegetables cut their risk for cancer. Byers and his colleagues wondered if taking supplements that provide the same vitamins and minerals as fruits and vegetables could offer similar protection.

But his findings suggested just the opposite -- rather than warding off cancer, taking lots of supplements may raise a person's risk. Byers presented his research Monday at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, in Philadelphia.

Through his analysis, Byers found that people who took high doses beta carotene supplements had an increased risk for lung cancer. Selenium supplements were associated with skin cancer. Men who took vitamin E had an elevated risk for prostate cancer. Folic acid, a B vitamin, taken in excess could lead to an increased risk for colon cancer.

Previous studies on this same topic have shown that taking lots of supplements has no measurable effect on cancer risk:

An analysis of 24 studies and two trials published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2013 looked at the role of vitamin supplements for the prevention of chronic diseases. That study involved more than 350,000 people and it found little evidence that vitamin and mineral supplementation impacted the risk for a number of chronic health conditions, including cancer.


Willie Nelson launching a personally-branded strain of marijuana


Music legend and noted marijuana aficionado Willie Nelson plans to launch a personal brand of cannabis that he intends to make "the best on the market."

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