A working six-foot fidget spinner costume

For the recent Wizard World Comic Con in Sacramento, Rob Cockerham made a working six-foot fidget spinner costume. It's quite a sight.

He writes:

Downtown was crowded with people, and comic book nerds were packed everywhere, lining up to get into the Con. I turned the corner into full view and was greeted with open iphones, gaping mouths and spontaneous applause! It was awesome! The gigantic fidget spinner was an absolute hit that the crowds loved!

"OH DAMN! MIKE! LOOK! FIDGET SPINNERRRRR!" x 1000.

I love being stopped for photos, and with the fidget spinner costume I had a special trick: Invariably the photographer would click through and snap a picture, thank me and then slowly realize the whole truth.

"Does it.... spin?"

I would slowly nod. "Yes. It does!" Then I'd back up and give it a big whirl and they would shriek or just shake their heads in amazement. It was incredible!

Previously: Rob's Functional, animated Disneyland map Hallowe'en costume and his Downton Abbey costume Read the rest

These pre-destroyed sneakers are only $1425/pair

There are some things I will never understand. This pair of high-tops by "Paris-based fashion house" Maison Margiela is definitely one of them.

Looking like something the cat dragged in (after ripping it apart with its claws for hours), these heavily-distressed, pre-destroyed --sorry "Future Destroyed"-- sneakers will set you back $1,425/pair. Oops sorry, you're out of luck, they're already sold out of them over at Neiman Marcus.

Instead, may I suggest you go find a nice wood chipper and mangle a pair for yourself? (I checked, the majority of wood chippers out there are cheaper than these sneakers.)

(TIWIB) Read the rest

Modern rap critiqued

"YOU CANT UNDERSTAND A DAMN THING RAPPERS BE SAYING THESE DAYS" (Warning: noises vaguely resembling racial slurs) Read the rest

15 technology trends for 2016

Frogdesign presents 15 tech trends that have the potential to "radically transform businesses in 2016." This year, the trends identified by the design firm include the blockchain, data driven design, the human microbiome, artificial intelligence in financial services, the role of virtual reality in medical therapies, FDA-approved video games, and more.

Readers are invited to vote on whether a trend is "likely" or a "longshot."

With the increased consumer availability of VR/AR headsets -- from Oculus Rift to the Hololens -- our personal 3D gateways into an alternate shared experience will start to emerge. Online webcams are eclipsed by connected VR cams, which allow viewers to virtually transport themselves to points in space around the world and interact with the people there. The interactions are simple at first, but users discover that the feeling of presence engenders a sense of empathy that they never felt watching video on a 2D screen. Aid to refugee camps with installed VR cams increases by orders of magnitude. War zone reporting sees a sharp increase in engagement resulting in increased demand for shifts in political policy, while the ethical implications of providing users ‘first hand’ experience into dangerous situations are debated. As with the introduction of the Internet, VR provides an evolution in the connection of otherwise isolated people and groups. Rather than getting lost in virtual fantasy, we find ourselves more deeply connected to reality.

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An odd new headwear trend is sprouting in China

In China, teens and twentysomethings are wearing little plastic accessories on their heads in the shape of tiny little sprouts, fruit, or flowers. Nobody's exactly sure where or how the trend started, but it's... growing.

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Looking for smart people at Brilliant.org

How do we identify and encourage smart kids? Y'know, like we do with kid athletes? Sue Khim, CEO of Brilliant.org, contrasts the U.S. to India, where there are more honor students than America has students. Read the rest

Actually, most college students aren't hooking up as much as you think

Really interesting little bit of social science at Slate where Lisa Wade looks at the "OMG COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE JUST INDISCRIMINATELY BANGING EACH OTHER WHILE DRUNK ALL THE TIME" scare story, and finds a very different picture of what's happening in reality. The catch: In order to understand why both the pop narrative and the reality can co-exist, you have to break college students down by demographics. Some students really are engaging in what's come to be called "hook-up culture", but they tend to be the most privileged students — the ones whose wealth, race, and social status can better protect them from the consequences of mistakes, and who think about their college life (and future goals) in very different ways compared to less-privileged peers. Read the rest

When all the cool kids were hijacking airplanes

Between 1968 and 1973, somebody hijacked a commercial airliner nearly every week. Read the rest

The protective power of antioxidants might be vastly oversold

Scientists are beginning to question the idea that free-radicals cause aging and, with that, the entire basis of the antioxidant industrial complex. Maybe, now, everything can stop tasting of acai berries. Read the rest

Paris struck by le Food Truck

A style piece in the New York Times about a trans-Atlantic trend: "Artisanal food trucks have been making inroads in Paris, adding a new twist in culinary culture to a city where diners rarely eat on the go, much less with their hands." Read the rest