Alice in Wonderland shoes

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Irregular Choice make pretty gloriously crazy shoes, and they've teamed up with Disney to make crazy, flamboyant heels and flats themed after 1951's Alice in Wonderland, which will premiere at their Carnaby Street location in London. Read the rest

Crowdfunding "The Haystack": an independent documentary on surveillance in the UK

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Edward Snowden said that Britain's spies have "some of the most extensive surveillance powers in the world," and those powers are about to be dramatically expanded if the Snoopers Charter passes Parliament. Read the rest

Kickstarting Fabulous Beasts, a tabletop game that uses smartblocks

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Fabulous Beasts is a new game from indie studio Sensible Object, which combines stacking/balancing (think Jenga) with smart, sensor-enabled blocks that talk to your mobile device as you play the game, creating fun and complex challenges. Read the rest

British spies want to be able to suck data out of US Internet giants

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As the UK government passes increasingly far-reaching surveillance laws that bind companies to capture, store and share data on their customers' activities, US tech giants like Facebook and Google are caught in a dilemma: much of what the UK government demands of them, the US government prohibits. Read the rest

Julian Assange had promised to turn himself if the UN ruled his detention lawful

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When a UN panel from the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention upheld Julian Assange's claim that he was being unlawfully detained in London's Ecuadorean embassy, they also stopped Assange from turning himself in to the London police. Read the rest

Kickstarting "Knights and Bikes," gorgeous, brilliant game, part Goonies, part Earthbound

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Knights and Bikes is a fictionalised recreation of co-creator Rex Crowle's boyhood in Cornwall, riding around on his bike and pretending to be a medieval knight; Crowle and his partner Moo Yu are a powerhouse pair of game developers, part of the Little Big Planet core team, and they've tapped some fantastic artistic and musical talent to work on the game as well. Read the rest

UK Snooper's Charter is so broad, no one can figure out what it means

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In Investigatory Powers Bill: technology issues, the UK Parliament's Science and Technology select committee takes the government to task for its signature mass surveillance law, the "Snoopers Charter" whose provisions are so broad and vague that companies can't figure out how much of their customers' data they're supposed to be storing, and whether they're meant to be backdooring all the crypto they distribute. Read the rest

Monkeys make surprisingly terrible random-number generators

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Back in 2002, artists at England's Plymouth University teamed up with Paignton Zoo to see if monkeys could write Shakespeare. Read the rest

UK film censors forced to watch a 2-day long movie of paint drying

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To protest the UK's antiquated film censorship regime, Charlie Lyne crowdfunded a movie of paint drying. Having raised £5963, Charlie was able to submit a 607 minute film, which the censors now have to sit through. Charlie's just done an "ask me anything" interview at Reddit, with some illuminating answers.

About a year ago, I went to a filmmaker open day held by the BBFC at their offices in Soho. I'd expected to see quite a lot of conflict between the BBFC examiners and the visiting filmmakers whose work was at the mercy of the board, but there was nothing like that. Most of the filmmakers — even those who'd had trouble with the BBFC in the past — seemed totally resigned to the censorship imposed by the board, even supportive of it. I think that shocked me into action.

Previously: Watching paint dry: epic crowfunded troll of the UK film censorship board Read the rest

Majority of UK booze-industry revenues come from problem drinkers

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69% of the alcohol sold in the UK is sold to "harmful," "hazardous" or "increasing risk" drinkers, accounting for more than 60% of the industry's revenues. The number of alcohol-related hospitalisations in the UK has doubled in the past ten years, to more than 1m/year. Read the rest

Gay Tory MP outs himself as a "poppers" user, slams proposed ban

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UK Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, former Minister for Justice, has "outed" himself as a user of poppers -- alkyl nitrites, a psychoactive inhalant often taken before sex -- and decried his party's plan to class poppers as an illegal drug. Read the rest

England's most senior civil judge rules that Terrorism Act violates human rights

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Lord Dyson, the most senior civil judge in England and Wales, has ruled that Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act -- the law that lets the police detain anyone they like for six hours, without a warrant or access to legal advice, and compel them to answer questions -- violates the UK's international human rights obligations. Read the rest

Debullshitifying the "sleep science" industry: first up, sleeplessness and obesity

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Chris from Sense About Science writes, "Had trouble sleeping recently? This week Ask for Evidence is turning its attention to the multitude of claims about sleep -- how you should be doing it, what you should be wearing for it, what you should be doing it on. First up is Ben, who got the NHS to change the advice on its website after asking them for evidence about claims that not getting enough sleep could make you obese. (It turns out it's a little more nuanced than they first suggested)." Read the rest

Jeremy Corbyn proposes ban on dividends from companies that don't pay living wages

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The left-wing leader of the UK Labour Party has set out a pair of proposed reguations for British limited liability corporations that will challenge their ability to sponge off the tax-payer and enrich themselves and their shareholders in so doing. Read the rest

UK Home Secretary auditions for a Python sketch: "UK does not undertake mass surveillance"

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UK Home Secretary Theresa May stood before Parliament on Wednesday, and, with a straight face, said: "The UK does not undertake mass surveillance. We have not, and we do not, undertake mass surveillance, and that is not what the Investigatory Powers Bill is about." Read the rest

Take this quiz and learn how to spot misused meteorological terms

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Chris from Sense About Science sez, "Thundersnow, willy-willys and the hottest/coldest seasons on record, there's certainly no shortage of headlines about the weather. But many meteorological terms we hear are misused, say early career researchers." Read the rest

UK government spent a fortune fighting to keep the number 13 a secret

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The BBC's Social Affairs Correspondent, Michael Buchanan, wanted to know how often the UK government's new "red tape-busting cabinet panel, the Reducing Regulation Committee" was meeting, because he thought that it was probably "all froth and no action." Read the rest

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