Astronaut Eugene Cernan, last man to walk on the moon, has died at 82

"We leave as we came, and, God willing, we shall return, with peace and hope for all mankind." These were the last words Eugene Cernan said upon leaving the surface of our moon, at the end of Apollo 17.

Cernan (shown below at the beginning of EVA 3) was the last man to walk on the moon. He died Monday, Jan. 16, surrounded by his family.

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Manifold - a pad a 100 origami puzzles

I think someone on the BBS mentioned that Manifold was a fun origami puzzle challenge (thank you, whoever you are!). I ordered it on Amazon for $8. It's a pad of 100 square sheets of paper, printed with white and black squares on one side, and nothing (except folding guides) on the other side. The object is to fold each sheet so that all the white squares are on one side, and all the black ones are on the other. I just did two of them, and it was so much fun that I'm saving the rest for a long flight I have coming up.

Here's a PDF you can print out to try five puzzles. Read the rest

Treat your dog to some Waygu Kobe beef

Amazon getting in on the all-meat pet food craze. They've got packages of two 10-pound pieces of Waygu Kobe beef, frozen and vacuum sealed. This should last you a week or longer if have a couple of large dogs.

The Kuroge breed Wagyu cattle are humanely-raised with special care on grass for 30 months. Wagyu cattle are fed over 600 days on a natural diet including wheat, rice, corn, barley and other wholesome foods that build breed’s natural propensity to exquisite and abundant marbling. A stress-free environment and massage for muscle stimulation are all part of the pampering that the cattle receive. Strict protocols from birth to export ensure beef of unsurpassed quality.

It's $3,999.99 plus $30 shipping. Read the rest

A beautifully illustrated story about a bookseller haunted by his past

Atmosphere just about drips off these pages. There’s a haunted quality to the images in The Return of the Honey Buzzard: lots of shadows, uncluttered panels, remote locations, and big eyes.

This mood is appropriate because the main character is haunted by an incident from his childhood, and the book builds toward this reveal. The dialogue and the drawings work seamlessly together to craft a sense of isolation and loss, crying out for a resolution.

Many of the pages don’t contain any text at all. Especially in these places, the simple but expressive drawings do a masterful job of communicating a mood, a sequence of events, or even the passage of time. It might be surprising for a graphic novel set partly in a bookshop and partly in a library, but The Return of the Honey Buzzard suggests that images can indeed say more than words.

The Return of the Honey Buzzard by Aimée de Jongh SelfMadeHero 2016, 160 pages, 7.0 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches, Hardcover $23 Buy one on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

The Swagtron T3

The office I work in is full of things old people buy to make themselves feel young again.  I can honestly say that our awesome new toy, The Swagtron T3 Hoverboard, makes me feel very, very old. I’ll explain why later.

Swagtron T3 Pros

There's no way to overcharge the battery and that means no more pesky fires and unplanned explosions! This model actually has a battery life indicator! There’s a new SwagTron app that syncs with your hover-board. You can set the top speed and sensitivity of both acceleration and steering. There’s an odometer that keeps track of lifetime miles traveled. You can toggle the Hoverboard on and off with the app – so no more bending over. Ever! The app has a speedometer! Amazing right?

Swagtron T3 Cons

The app has a speedometer! Crazy right?!  You have to look at the app while riding to enjoy the speedometer and if you do, you’re no longer watching the terrain which goes against every rule of motorized vehicles. It's pretty pricey at $449.99.

But I have to say that the Swagtron T3 is much better than their previous models. The wheels are beefier, the ride is stable, and the motor is peppier.

Why does the Swagtron T3 make me feel old? 

Tonight, I decided to live on the wild side and switched from “Standard” to “Advanced” mode on the app. When I did, I got this friendly warning:

“Extremely high injury risk”?!

There was a time when I’d completely ignore a message like that or treat it as a challenge. Read the rest

Karl Herlinger talks to his fist

The format for Scot Nery’s weekly BoobieTrap show is the wackiest I’ve ever seen. It’s vaudeville on steroids with Nery as the amped up and kooky ringmaster. The performers range from jugglers to contortionists, magicians and poets – but the first time I attended, the standout talent was a wooden dummy named Joey and his human named Karl Herlinger.

I’ve seen ventriloquist acts before, but these two had an edge that kept me thinking for days on end, and at times I forgot about who was controlling whom.

If you stop and think about it, the very idea of ventriloquism is pretty darned crazy. These performers choose to get in front of theaters full of people and have heated conversations and arguments with themselves. It’s hard enough to captivate an audience with story, dance, or musical talent when all you have to worry about is yourself, but imagine having to simultaneously play the role of two distinctly different personalities, while controlling a hidden levers that create the illusion of emotions in a wooden dummy.

The strange combination of skills that must come together to pull something like this off has to be the reason we don’t see more great ventriloquists. This is a difficult and dying art.

I’ve hung out with Karl a few times since I first saw his show and I appreciate that his abilities go far beyond controlling inanimate objects and throwing voices. There’s definitely meat on the bones here and though his lip control and manipulations are very, very good, it’s the storytelling that makes you want more. Read the rest

Is Tumblr the inheritor of the Dada movement?

I came across this fascinating discussion on Tumblr, comparing the oft-irreverent blogging platform to the avant-garde Dada art movement of the post-WWI era:

http://mustangsally78.tumblr.com/post/148810171953 Read the rest

This French Bulldog can’t handle encountering sand for the first time

On the Instagram run from her perspective, Princess Pickles The Frenchie “shared” this adorable video of her first encounter with sand:

My cray cray reaction to my first ever encounter with sand. This is literally the moment that I first touched it 🏝💗 Junkin Media Verified (Original) *For licensing / Permission to use: Contact - licensing@junkinmedia.com

A video posted by Reg. French Bulldog Breeder (@princess.pickles.the.frenchie) on Nov 21, 2016 at 1:37am PST

Pickles' Instagram is full of more adorable videos and photos:

My hooman was super excited to see me swim on my own yesterday, like it's that hard seriously 🙄 #nailedit

A video posted by Reg. French Bulldog Breeder (@princess.pickles.the.frenchie) on Jan 8, 2017 at 8:38pm PST

Where are your hoomans taking you this weekend?

A video posted by Reg. French Bulldog Breeder (@princess.pickles.the.frenchie) on Jan 6, 2017 at 1:58pm PST

I can touch my nose 👅 #tongueouttuesday

A photo posted by Reg. French Bulldog Breeder (@princess.pickles.the.frenchie) on Jan 2, 2017 at 2:28pm PST

I've been nominated by fun loving @maggiemoo.kerr_frenchie to say what my hoomans call me. Other than the obvious Pickles, I also get called piggy, poopey paws, nugget, potato, hoover, piggy, binky, princess and Little Miss Naughty 😂😂 I've tagged some friends to play along too

A photo posted by Reg. French Bulldog Breeder (@princess.pickles.the.frenchie) on Jan 5, 2017 at 2:11pm PST

The pawty don't start till I walk in 💗😂(Need sound on 🔊)

A video posted by Reg. French Bulldog Breeder (@princess.pickles.the.frenchie) on Dec 29, 2016 at 11:24pm PST

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Watch one of the world’s biggest firework shells fill the sky

Set off in Zurrieq, Malta late last year, this impressive chain-reaction firework is believed to be the biggest single firework ever, although it’s rivaled by a display in Kounosu, Japan from 2014. The Daily Mail has more details about the Matla display. YouTube user Janet Reed originally captured the massive single firework as well some of the show around it (the single firework begins at 1:36):

[via maria-ruta.tumblr.com] Read the rest

Black Lives Matter Chicago pens essay on reclaiming Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy

In honor of MLK Day, the Chicago branch of the Black Lives Matter organization wrote this new piece for The Root. The article compares BLM's contemporary fight for racial justice with the work of Martin Luther King Jr. It argues:

King died working on a Poor People’s Campaign and demanding that a redistribution of wealth was necessary to eradicate poverty. Black Lives Matter Chicago echoes this demand and asserts that violence in Chicago will not end, but will only worsen, if continued divestment, unemployment and blight occur.

The solutions to addressing poverty are well-known.

We must implement the radical measures King died fighting for right now by demanding fully funded schools, health care, jobs, access to housing, free drug-treatment programs and food.

The fact that these demands are considered radical today are a testament to how little regard our political establishment prioritizes life and how little has changed since King’s day, even since the nation has experienced its first black president.

For some time now, King’s legacy on mainstream media has been bastardized, completely removed from his actual work. This gross misrepresentation of King is all about the sanitized “dream” devoid of reality.

It would have us sleep through police shootings, a monstrous legal system that unjustly and disproportionately eats up black communities, and a lack of quality educational and employment opportunities to dream of a better day of equality and brotherhood.

We see images of a smiling or thoughtful King, likely thinking of peace and looking crisp and clean in his suits, quite unlike today’s protesters.

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The benefit of making your personal to-do list public

Joe Reddington makes his personal to-do list public, and he says "it’s the most useful thing I’ve done in years." Because he is writing his list for an audience, he has to describe the task clearly. The tasks now take "less thinking when I cast my eye down the list. That makes them easier to start, and that makes them easier to finish."

My favorite item on his list: "Brainstorm doubling down on the 'Never leave the house unless it's going to be fun' unless cycling." Read the rest

Make driving safer by replacing air bags with daggers that stab you in the heart

Saw this at a car show today. The guy drove it there...

This concept inspired the economist Gordon Tullock to come up with the idea that instead of mandating safety belts, it would save far more lives if the government required that large spikes were installed in the center of steering columns, because this would make drivers more acutely aware of the danger of driving too fast. This steering-wheel spike is referred to as the Tullock Spike, or Tullock Steering Column.

Image: Wikipedia Read the rest

Earrings with hidden handcuff shim

These angel wing earrings will set you free. Between the wings is a 1″ spring steel handcuff shim. Read the rest

A very dangerous mousetrap

Hopefully the person who made this mouse electrocution device did it as a joke and doesn't intend to use it.

[via] Read the rest

"Obamacare saved my life" - Xeni on CNN

Xeni's posted many times about her cancer, what it took to treat it, what helped, and the financial issues at stake. For CNN, she writes that Obamacare saved her life. With Republicans rushing to dismantle the healthcare law formally known as the Affordable Care Act, it's more important than ever to understand what Americans will face if insurance companies are put back in charge. Even if you think you have good insurance, you might be surprised to learn what it won't cover if the ACA goes away.

I am a breast cancer survivor because the Affordable Care Act, politicized by the GOP as "Obamacare," ensures that for-profit insurance companies can't deny me coverage because I had the audacity to be diagnosed with cancer.

My insurance provider paid people to work hard to deny me life-saving chemotherapy because they thought I had a preexisting condition. I am alive in part because that is no longer legal under the ACA. In cancer treatment, timing is everything. Cancer does not wait to progress until your coverage kicks in.

The Affordable Care Act is all that stands between me and insurance company greed. I only have enough in me to fight cancer, not insurance companies.

Obamacare saved my life [CNN] Read the rest

Adam Savage and Peter Jackson nerd out over a CIA disguise kit

Adam Savage visited Weta Workshop in New Zealand last year and has posted videos of him touring various studios within the well-known movie effects and prop studio. In this video, he sits down (on the floor) with Peter Jackson to get a tour of Jackson's collection of John Chambers' makeup kits and latex appliances. Chambers is perhaps best known for being the makeup artist who created Spock's ears and for his work on the Planet of the Apes films.

What most people don't know is that Chambers also worked with the CIA to create special agent disguise kits at the height of the cold war. Adam and Peter look at Chambers' movie makeup kits and some of his molds and appliance from Planet of the Apes, but they spend most of the time going through and discussing the CIA disguise kit. As Adam says, it's the closest we probably get to verification that Mission Impossible was at least based on some type of reality. It's insane to imagine someone actually using a kit like this in a real life-or-death getaway.

As one person on the YouTube page commented about this video:

I love that this totally feels like just two nerds doing "show and tell," but it's actually Adam Savage and Peter-fucking-Jackson!

But isn't that one of the things that we love about nerds? Read the rest

Running over protesters on roadways could soon be legal in North Dakota

North Dakota Republican lawmakers introduced HB1203, a bill that would pave the way for drivers to negligently run over people blocking their way.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages.

Image: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr Read the rest

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