President Obama pledges $4 billion for computer science education in schools

President Obama delivers his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016. REUTERS

In his weekly address, President Barack Obama this week pledged $4 billion in federal funding for computer science education in schools throughout the nation.

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Guy builds a gadget to blast loud music back at neighbors

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YouTuber Matthew Br made a gadget that senses when the rude people in the apartment next to him play loud music and blasts especially annoying music back at them through the wall. The device gives the neighbors a short grace period that stops it from triggering if the neighbors sneeze or drop something heavy, but if the loud music goes on too long, the device kicks into action and punishes them with a high decibel onslaught. [via] Read the rest

Watch a clay vase take shape from the potter's wheel's perspective

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TORTUS: SPIN from Tortus Copenhagen on Vimeo.

It looks like the room and everything in it is spinning around a fixed potter's wheel. [via] Read the rest

FBI releases video of militiaman shooting

Aerial video released by the FBI January 28, 2016 shows a law enforcement officer (C) pointing a weapon at a man (L) who had just stepped out of the white pickup truck at a police roadblock January 26 near Burns, Oregon.  The FBI released video showing one of the men occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge reach for his jacket pocket before he was shot dead by law enforcement after speeding away from a traffic stop where the group's leader was arrested.  Authorities said 54-year-old Robert LaVoy Finicum, a rancher from Arizona who acted as a spokesman for the occupiers at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, was armed when he was stopped by police and killed on Tuesday afternoon.  REUTERS/FBI/Handout via Reuters   FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - RTX24HO9

The FBI has released footage that shows militiaman LaVoy Finicum's death at the hands of law enforcement officers manning a roadblock.

In the video, Finicum's vehicle tries to evade the block only to plunge into a roadside snowbank after narrowly missing one of the officers manning it. He jumps out the car with his hands up, but keeps moving and reaches into his pocket. Someone shoots him and he falls to the snow.

The 8-minute version is above. The confrontation begins at about 5:30m. They also published a longer tape of the event. The moment when Finicum is shot is embedded below.

One one hand, his movements seem more confused than aggressive. On the other hand, he's an armed man, running around and reaching for his pockets after almost mowing a guy down at a roadblock. He did not have his hands in the air when he was shot (as at least one witness claimed) but he didn't have his piece out, either.

What are the key facts, legally speaking? Read the rest

Watch: Florida climate survivors travel to New Hampshire to confront Marco Rubio

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Brant from Climate Truth writes, "A fishing boat captain, a restaurateur, and a Cuban refugee being displaced by rising seas in South Florida are setting off for New Hampshire next week to harangue Rubio for being shitty on climate change." Read the rest

How to make your shoelaces appear to tie themselves

A delightful and simple illusion. (DaveHax)

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Watch a tree get shredded by a lightning bolt

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Meteorologist Cedric Haynes of East Texas station KLTV tweeted this amazing video recorded by a surveillance cam at Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Catholic School in Tyler, Texas.

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Watch jazz legend Elvin Jones build a drum beat

Watch legendary jazz drummer Elvin Jones, known for his playing with the John Coltrane Quartet and, of course, the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, construct a killer post-bop beat, c. 1979. (Thanks, Jordan Kurland!)

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Hacker puppets and Jean Claude Van Damme demonstrate how the internet crosses the ocean

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Gus writes, "How does the Internet cross the ocean? Ask a random person and they will probably guess 'satellites' — it just seems easier than wires, right?" Read the rest

Metachaos: stunning, grotesque short about "the most tragic aspects of the human nature"

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Filmmaker Alessandro Bavari's 2010 short "METACHAOS" is a gorgeous and surreal film about "the most tragic aspects of the human nature and of its motion, such as war, madness, social change and hate." Read the rest

How to make a primitive cord drill and pump drill

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YouTuber Primitive Technology says, "I made a cord drill and then upgraded it to a pump drill. A cord drill is basically a spindle with a fly wheel attached so it looks like a spinning top. the middle of a piece of cord is then put into a notch at the top of the spindle. The ends of the cord are then wrapped around the spindle and then pulled quickly outwards causing the drill to spin. The momentum of the fly wheel causes the cord to wrap back around the spindle in the other direction. When it stops the cords are pulled outwards again and the drill spins in the other direction.

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Man converted his electric wheelchair into a snowplow

Omaha motorcycle mechanic Justin Anderson, an Iraq war veteran, converted his electric wheelchair into a snowplow that he uses to clear his neighborhood sidewalk and the school across the street from his house.

"I want to help inspire other veterans with mobility issues," Anderson told KMTV. "There are still things you can do that you thought you might not be able to do after your injury."

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Kitten fails to impress tortoise

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“Pretty Maids All in a Row”: Roger Vadim’s outrageous early 70s sex-and-murder black comedy

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Nightflight has a great article about the weird and wonderful cult exploitation 70s movie, Pretty Maids All in a Row, with a screenplay by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry!

Pretty Maids would end up being Roddenberry’s first — and only — feature film writing credit during his impressive and long career. He transformed the problematic first draft of Pollini’s original story completely, deepening the dark comedy (it’s pretty black, actually) and softcore semi-misogynistic erotica of the original story — about a high school guidance counselor and football coach who sleeps with a lot of his foxy female students and then murders some of them (the ones who fall in love with him, and ask him to leave his wife, and daughter) — and turning the story into a whodunit that one writer later described as “an episode of ‘Kojak’ written by the staff of Penthouse Forum.“

I also like the opening song by the Osmand Brothers, called "Chilly Winds." Read the rest

"The Chickening," a deeply weird remix of The Shining

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The Chickening, directed by Nick DenBoer and Davy Force:

It is a theatrical trailer for a fictional film in which Stanley Kubrick’s classic film T​he Shining​has been artfully transformed into a new, poultry­infused comedy adventure by digitally altering the film to create a new narrative. This new style of filmmaking is a hilarious collision of classic films with modern day visual effects; “Cinegraffiti” — the ultimate neo­nostalgic visual feast for this digital age.

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Meet the composer of "Schoolhouse Rock!"

Conjunction Junction, what's your function? That iconic tune (below) and others from the "Schoolhouse Rock!" cartoon were the work of composer Bob Dorough, now 92-years-old and still playing music. (Great Big Story)

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Marvin Minsky's "Society of Mind," a free course on AI from MIT

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Artificial Intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky died yesterday. He was one of computer science's great pioneers, a brilliant researcher who could translate his insights into material accessible even to laypeople. Read the rest

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