Disney is mooting an overnight Star Wars LARP resort

Disney is contemplating opening a luxury Star Wars themed resort next to the Hollywood Studios park at Disney World, which could feature multi-day live-action role-playing games that run overnight, with guests staying all night in the park to interact with costumed characters and automated elements (droids, etc) to game out scenarios. Read the rest

Read: Chapter 3 of Walkaway, in which a university rises from the ashes

There's only 8 days until the publication of Walkaway (stil time to pre-order signed hardcovers: US, UK), and Tor.com has just published a sneak peek at chapter 3: "Takeoff." Read the rest

The gorgeous, surreal GIFs of Adam Pizurny

Adam Pizurny's Tumblr is an endless font of stupendous and surreal GIFs. Read the rest

Independent repair guy on the planned obsolescence of Apple products

Louis Rossmann is an independent service technician in New York City who has repaired Apple products for years. Read the rest

Shoelace knots fail catastrophically, thanks to 7 gees' worth of stress

Update: Whoops, David got there first!

In a new paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, researchers from UC Berkeley reveal that shoelace knots do not gradualy come loose, as was previously supposed -- rather, they fail catastrophically and suddenly, thanks to strange and surprising stresses that they must endure. Read the rest

Dom Flemons, late of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, plays music that makes me very happy

I was listening to the latest Judge John Hodgman podcast today (as I do every week!) which was performed live in Washington DC; as with every live show, there was a musical guest, and this guest was so completely awesome I made a note to post about him when I got home. Read the rest

Machined sculpture with over 1,000 individually fabricated parts

Sculptor/machinist Chris Bathgate (previously) has just come off a year of making small, clever pieces, and as a palette cleanser, he's produced the most ambitious piece to ever emerge from his workshop: Sculpture BM 792314, with over 1,000 individually machined precise parts. Read the rest

Briggs Land: an eerily plausible version of our near future

Briggs Land is a complex, intelligent crime drama that is so American at its core, but a slice of America we rarely get to see. It would be topical at any time, but in our current political climate, it's frighteningly relevant.

Scratch-built hotrod lawnmower

Last year, Jeep2003 decided to frankenstein a new lawnmower using parts from an old snowblower, a smoker grille, and retro motorcycle-style fenders, detailing the build process on the Old Mini Bikes forums. The results are gorgeous: tail-lights, hood ornament, and all! Read the rest

How optimistic disaster stories can save us from dystopia

I've got an editorial in this month's Wired magazine about the relationship between the science fiction stories we read and our real-world responses to disasters: Disasters Don’t Have to End in Dystopias; it's occasioned by the upcoming publication of my "optimistic disaster novel" Walkaway (pre-order signed copies: US/UK; read excerpts: Chapter 1, Chapter 2; US/Canada tour schedule). Read the rest

Kickstarting improvements to Maria Del Camino, a "flying" El Camino with a drilled-out portrait of Metropolis's Maria

My friend and Burning Man campmate Bruce Tomb built the greatest art car I've ever seen: Maria Del Camino, made from the body of a '59 El Camino perforated by thousands of hand-drilled holes, which form a pointillist portrait of Maria, the robot from Metropolis, on the hood; connected via a hydraulic arm to the tanklike body of an industrial grader. Read the rest

Country Mike's Greatest Hits: when the Beasties recorded a C&W album

In 1999, the Beastie Boys privately recorded a gag country and western album called "Country Mike's Greatest Hits": as C&W albums go, it's pretty good!

Country Mike's Greatest Hits is the legendary full-length country album recorded by the Beastie Boys. Never officially released, it was originally only given out to family and friends of the Beasties as a Christmas gift back in 1999, and bootlegs started showing up a few years later. It has proven to be a very hot collectible, supposedly fetching as much as $400 on eBay.

The only official reference to the album appears on the Beastie Boys compilation The Sounds of Science, which also includes two songs, "Railroad Blues" and "Country Mike's Theme". In the liner notes, Adam Yauch explains:

"At some point after Ill Communication came out, Mike got hit in the head by a large foreign object and lost all of his memory. As it started coming back he believed that he was a country singer named Country Mike. The psychologists told us that if we didn't play along with Mike's fantasy, he could be in grave danger. Finally he came back to his senses. This song ("Railroad Blues") is one of the many that we made during that tragic period of time."

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

Vacuum chamber vs giant gummi-marshmallow

Youtube has democratized the practice of using expensive industrial and scientific apparatus to torment inanimate objects, giving us all a peek into the world of the lucky few who happen to have a hydraulic press gathering dust; but if you thing compressing things is fun, wait until you've seen recreational decompression in action; as with this giant gummi-bear-shaped marshmallow, being subjected to hard vac in the name of science-adjacent fun. (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Self-study materials on the fundamentals of malware analysis

Amanda Rousseau's self-learning materials for her Malware Unicorn workshop are a fantastic introduction to understanding and analyzing malware, covering the techniques used by malware authors, reverse-engineering tools, and three kinds of analysis: triage, static and dynamic. Read the rest

Famous Monsters of Filmland's 1965 guide to home monster makeup

The Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook is a 1965 classic: Famous Monsters of Filmland founder Forrest Ackerman tapped movie makeup legend Dick Smith to create guides for turning yourself into any of three Martians, two kinds of werewolf, a "weird-oh," a "derelict," a ghoul, a mummy, Frankenstein's monster, Quasimodo, Mr Hyde, "split face," and more. Read the rest

Award-winning robot rappers perform "Robot's Delight"

These Japanese robots' performance of "Robot's Delight" -- an extended, braggadocios riff on the state of AI learning-through-imitation research, with break-dancing -- won Best Video at the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction. (via 4 Short Links) Read the rest

Solid State: Jonathan Coulton's album/graphic novel against nicey-nice fascism

Jonathan Coulton is known for a myriad of distinct accomplishments. The tech professional-turned-musician once conducted a Thing a Week experiment, in which he recorded and published a new song every Friday for a year, produced a cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back" infamously adopted by the Fox series Glee, regularly contributes to the NPR quiz show "Ask Me Another" as its very own one-man band, and runs his own fan cruise aptly called the JoCo Cruise.

More posts