Politicians aren't all the same, even if they all do terrible things

open-uri20150608-27674-1tafjo_

In "A Letter to My Allies on the Left," Rebecca Solnit -- one of my literary and political heroes -- asks the left to give up the practice of reflexively dismissing the good that politicians do, because those politicians also do terrible things. Read the rest

Easy way to glitchify photos

glitch

Sailorhg's Glitchy website is a drag-and-drop way to glitchify photos. Read the rest

Cryptpad: a free/open, end-to-end encrypted, zero-knowledge shared text editor

050-056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8

Tools like Etherpad and Google Docs are transformative ways to collaborate on text (including code); I've used them in contexts as varied as making unofficial transcripts of statements at UN agencies to liveblogging conference presentations -- but they all share a weakness, which is that whomever owns the document server can see everything you're typing. Read the rest

Machine-learning photo-editor predicts what should be under your brush

animation-2

In Neural Photo Editing With Introspective Adversarial Networks, a group of University of Edinburgh engineers and a private research colleague describe a method for using "introspective adversarial networks" to edit images in realtime, which they demonstrate in an open project called "Neural Photo Editor" that "enhances" photos by predicting what should be under your brush. Read the rest

Howto: make a fearsome prop battle-axe

1-48-axe-in-primer

The October issue of Make is focused on making props and costume armor (natch!) and on the website, master propmaker Shawn Thorsson shares an elaborate and fearsome set of instructions for making your own gigantic, embossed battle-axe. Read the rest

Twitterbot catalogs every face in Donald Trump's crowds, looking for humanity

animation-1

Weird twitterbot herder Shardcore writes, "@everytrumpette draws from the large corpus of photographs of the attendees of Trump rallies. A face detection algorithm identifies a member of the crowd, and then zooms in. Who are these people? How can they not only accept, but openly embrace an ideology of hate? This bot examines them, one by one, to try and see the humanity." Read the rest

Animatronic, maniacally giggling spooky eyeball doorbell

animation

We went to our neighborhood Halloween store yesterday to find cool stuff with which to celebrate the best holiday of the year, and came home with one of these $30 animated, spooky eyeball doorbells, which I am now officially obsessed with. Read the rest

Attempted python selfie goes awry

python-selfie

A man attempting to take a selfie with a python was bitten by the python, reports the Reuters news agency. "It attacked me," said the victim, one of a group of people manhandling the massive snake in hopes of getting a photo with it. Read the rest

Australian state bans bare butts

A statue except from Victoria's antibutt law

The Australian state of Victoria, scandalized by the sight of bare buttocks, has banned the practice of displaying them. No buts! Read the rest

Wasp nest found in attic

_91379978_wasps-1000-a

As seen in this photo, taken by Pest Professionals of Northampton, England, there was a wasp nest in the attic of house in Pipewell.

Pest controller Gary Wilkinson, of Northamptonshire pest controllers Pest Professionals, who found the nest, said: "It's an impressive wasp nest alright - much bigger than a barrel. Normally we get called in at the first sign of wasps causing a problem to people. This community has been allowed to go about its business undisturbed for a whole summer season. Although you wouldn't want it in your own loft, you have to say it's a very impressive and in its own way a very beautiful thing." Carcasses of hundreds of dead wasps found next to the nest indicate that the colony was created by the common wasp (Vespula Vulgaris).

Read the rest

Swedish law will let you write off the money you spend fixing things rather than trashing them

Two men working in a Bicycle repair shop, with tools of the trade.

In Sweden a legislative proposal will let repair shops will charge lower sales-tax, and allow people who repair their appliances and bicycles be to write off their expenditures. Read the rest

Horses can communicate with people using symbols

mistered

Researchers from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute developed and tested a system for horses and people to communicate using a symbolic language. From the Daily Grail:

...Twenty three horses learned to tell trainers if they wanted to wear a blanket or not. Subjects were shown three symbols: a horizontal bar to say "I want a blanket", a blank square for "No change", and a vertical bar for "I don't need a blanket". They learned the meanings in a day or two and using them to convey if they were too warm or too cold, building the case for self-awareness...

(In the scientific paper, the researchers write that,) "When horses realized that they were able to communicate with the trainers, i.e. to signal their wishes regarding blanketing, many became very eager in the training or testing situation. Some even tried to attract the attention of the trainers prior to the test sit- uation, by vocalizing and running towards the trainers, and follow their movements. On a number of such occasions the horses were taken out and allowed to make a choice before its regular turn, and signalled that they wanted the blanket to be removed. It turned out that the horses were sweaty underneath the blanket."

"Horses can learn to use symbols to communicate their preferences" (Applied Animal Behaviour Science)

Read the rest

Climate denial's internal contradictions spring from a need to defend economic doctrine

050-056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8

A trio of scholars who study the psychology and philosophy of science have written a fantastic paper for Springer's Sythese looking at the way that climate change conspiracy theorists construct their view of the world, and how these conspiracy theories contain self-contradictory theses (like the idea that climate change can't be predicted and the idea that the data shows we're actually headed for an ice-age). Read the rest

Learn to build a stunning website without coding

CloudPress is a responsive WordPress theme builder that allows you to create a whole site in less than 30 minutes. CloudPress comes with tools like pre-built headers, content blocks, and footers—all you have to do is pick what you like, and drag and drop. 

With your subscription, you get access to 13 professionally designed WordPress themes, over 80 content blocks, 50 elements and widgets, responsive grid-based layouts, and more—everything you need to build a website that's fully functional and that looks great.

Plus, you get 10 PRO sites, 3 GB of workspace, and email and priority phone support, for when you just need some help. We think CloudPress is one the best tools for building great sites without extensive developer experience or assistance.

You can try it out for yourself with the CloudPress Professional Plan: Lifetime Subscription for 95% off. You could have your website up and running today. Read the rest

Thomas Jefferson, the great importer of mac 'n cheese

Thank you to the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, for recognizing the greatness of French food and imported macaroni and cheese where it has (d)evolved into its own food group.

Read the rest

Watch Batman documentary "Holy Batmania"

A 1989 documentary covering the birth of Batman through to the best on-screen Batman ever, Mr. Adam West.

Read the rest

The optical illusion that's momentarily intriguing the internet

cubes
wxs.ca/iso/ presents a simple "isometric" field of cubes, Q*Bert-style. Click and drag across it and the cubes will rise and fall in series of waves. They also start to flash wild colors... or do they? Yes, they do! Read the rest

Previous PageNext page