A cordless circuit tester can be extremely helpful

I am constantly plagued by electrical gremlins. This Read the rest

New York village to keep seal depicting man choking Native American

The residents of the small New York village of Whitesboro voted last night to keep this emblem that appears to show a man choking a Native American. From the Associated Press:

In a non-binding vote Monday night, residents voted 157-55 to not change their current seal, according to Patrick J. O'Connor, mayor of the Village of Whitesboro.

Whitesboro's website says the emblem dates to the early 1900s and depicts a friendly wrestling match between village founder Hugh White and an Oneida Indian. It says White won the match and the lasting respect and goodwill of the Oneidas...

After a notice of claim was filed in the 1970s calling the picture offensive, a new version was drawn with White's hands on the Indian's shoulders instead of on his neck, (village clerk and historian Dana) Nimey-Olney said.

"New York village votes to keep logo that shows man choking Native American" (AP) Read the rest

Drone footage of insanely huge "sinkhole" outside of IHOP restaurant

Did you hear about the International Hole of Pancakes, the massive drainage structure collapse that swallowed a at least a dozen cars in an IHOP parking lot in Meridian, MS just a few days after the restaurant opened? Here is Jason Hartwig's drone footage of the site.

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Amazon Prime is on sale today only for $67/year

Today, Friday, until 11:59pm PT you can sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription for $67. I use the hell out of Amazon Prime's free two-day shipping on everything from huge boxes of toilet paper to books and records to holiday gifts shipped to family and friends. They should set up a distribution facility at the bottom of my driveway. My kids also take advantage of Prime Video streaming of movies and TV shows on our tablet. (Amazon Prime also includes unlimited photo storage, streaming music, and free Kindle books, but I've never tried those features.) For the usual $99/year, my family absolutely gets our money's worth. It's a steal for $67/year. Amazon Prime Read the rest

New photos from the scene of Kurt Cobain's suicide

UPDATE: Ooops, these photos were released in 2014.

Last year, the Seattle Police Department released several dozen newly-developed photos from the scene of Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide. The police processed the film as part of a recent reinvestigation into Cobain's death. According to detective Mike Ciesynski, there is still no basis in conspiracy theories that Cobain was murdered.

Ciesynzki says that they will not release any graphic images of Cobain's body.

"What are people going to gain from seeing pictures of Kurt Cobain laying on the ground with his hair blown back, with blood coming out of his nose and trauma to his eyes from a penetrating shotgun wound," he told KIRO-TV. "How's that going to benefit anybody?"

"Dozens of new photos released from Kurt Cobain death probe" (CBS News)

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Dream sequences supercut

Exactly what it says on the dimly-remembered, surreal tin. Read the rest

Explore Obama’s presidency via this White House photographer's Instagram account

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Photo by Pete Souza

It’s easy to assume Instagram is simply a place for food pics and post-workout selfies, but Pete Souza is using the social media platform for a more historic purpose. As the Chief Official White House Photographer, Souza has an enormous amount of access to the inner workings of the White House and he’s got a great eye for catching small details, which he shares on his Instagram feed.

"President Obama on the White House colonnade today." By Pete Souza via Instagram

The President hugs Rep. John Lewis on Saturday in Selma." By Pete Souza via Instagram

By Pete Souza via Instagram

Since Souza travels with the President, his feed offers an inside look at Obama's ever-changing schedule, which includes everything from diplomatic ceremonies in India to trips on Airforce One to town hall meetings. Not only is Souza a great photographer, he’s also a great storyteller, and his feed documents both the pageantry and the minutiae of the presidency.

"President Obama tosses petals following a wreath laying at Rajghat, a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, in New Delhi, India." By Pete Souza via Instagram

"POTUS boards Air Force One. En route to San Francisco." By Pete Souza via Instagram

"President Obama with daughters Malia and Sasha shop for Christmas gifts at Politics and Prose, a bookstore in Washington, DC on #SmallBizSat" By Pete Souza via Instagram

"Backstage at Stanford University. Yes he did sign it." By Pete Souza via Instagram

And for those who've come to rely on Instagram for cute pet photos, Souza provides plenty of shots of the Obama family's adorable dogs too. Read the rest

Trailer for upcoming Kurt Cobain documentary looks great

Cobain: Montage of Heck television premiere is on May 4th on HBO. It's directed by Brett Morgen, who also directed the excellent documentary about Robert Evans, The Kid Stays in the Picture. Read the rest

Methodically train your child to be an arcade whiz

Photo: Andy Baio

When writer and technologist Andy Baio had a son, he thought it would be a good opportunity for an experiment (as you do):

I love games, and I genuinely wanted Eliot to love and appreciate them too. So, here was my experiment:

What happens when a 21st-century kid plays through video game history in chronological order?

Start with the arcade classics and Atari 2600, from Asteroids to Zaxxon. After a year, move on to the 8-bit era with the NES and Sega classics. The next year, the SNES, Game Boy, and classic PC adventure games. Then the PlayStation and N64, Xbox and GBA, and so on until we’re caught up with the modern era of gaming.

It's a great bit of writing on nostalgia and games, but on a practical level, Baio's son Eliot is the envy of any score-chaser, finishing The Legend of Zelda entirely on his own by age six. Now eight, he could be the youngest person ever to completely beat Mossmouth's popular, punishing roguelike Spelunky.

Given that many people think esports as college athletics could actually become A Thing, start training your kids young, one supposes. Read the rest

Russia state TV describes videogame fan art as WWI US propaganda

According to the Moscow Times, Russia's state TV network Channel One aired a documentary showing this poster as an example of WWI US propaganda but it's actually fan art for the video game Team Fortress 2. Read the rest

Turkey's Mad Honey

There's a honey found in Turkey's Black Sea region, called Deli bal, that contains a natural neurotoxin from rhododendron nectar that can trigger hallucinations and, in higher doses, nausea, seizure, and even death. Over at Modern Farmer, Emma Bryce looks at the "The Strange History of 'Mad Honey':" Read the rest

The paper honeycomb sculptures of Li Hongbo

“Paper—you can never predict what it will become in the end.” Read the rest

European Space Agency's Rosetta probe becomes first spacecraft to orbit a comet

"Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and Rosetta now lie 405 million kilometres from Earth, about half way between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, rushing towards the inner Solar System at nearly 55 000 kilometres per hour."

"At about seven o’clock this morning, after more than ten years of travel, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe went into orbit around a comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which is currently about two hundred and fifty million miles from Earth," reports Michael Lemonick in the New Yorker. "No spacecraft has ever orbited a comet before," Matt Taylor, the Rosetta mission’s lead scientist, told the New Yorker a few months ago.

“After ten years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, looping around the Sun five times and clocking up 6.4 billion kilometres, we are delighted to announce finally ‘we are here’,” says Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General.

Here is the official statement from ESA.

Over at CNN, there's video.

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Corpse under motel bed for 5 years

UPDATE: Duh! It was fake!

Police in Mount Laurel, New Jersey found a young woman's corpse under a motel bed and it reportedly had been there for at least five years. A guest discovered the body when searching for the TV remote.

“I clean that room every day. I noticed a smell several times, and told my manager,” hotel housekeeper Anita Rodriguez told Empire News. “He told me to just use extra Febreeze in the room and it would go away eventually. I always hated cleaning that room.” Read the rest

The amazing paper bird art of Diana Beltran Herrera

Colombian artist Diana Beltran Herrera specializes in life-like portrayals of birds in paper: single forms, groups in wilderness tableaus, origami aviaries.

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When finishing Dragon's Lair was awesome

Steven Frank looks back on a triumphant 1980s childhood moment, when he beat the laserdisc arcade game Dragon's Lair to the astonishment of onlookers. Read the rest

Pesco livestreaming lecture at 11:45am PDT

I am in Milan about to speak as part of the Meet The Media Guru series. My presentation will be livestreaming at 11:45am PDT. The talk is titled, "The World Is A Wunderkammer: Science, Art, Magic, and the Future." I hope you enjoy it!

(artwork above by Daniel Martin Diaz) Read the rest