The origin of the Compubody Sock

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Beck Stern writes, "In 2008 I knitted a woolen cozy for my computer, and now it belongs to the internet. This new video is its story." Beck Stern is a national treasure. Read the rest

Tax Inspectors Without Borders: poor countries send each other ninja tax collectors to nail looting multinationals

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This week on the Tax Justice Network's podcast (previously), they profile (at 20:40) the OECD's Tax Inspectors Without Borders, through which poor countries loan each other their most effective tax collectors to help catch the tax-dodging multinational corporations who drain the countries' economies -- and the organization transfers tax enforcement expertise in the process. Read the rest

The Bee Movie trailer, but slowed down more every time someone says "Bee"

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By the end, a nightmare of growls and weird echoing sound effects. Read the rest

Beyond Bad USB: Poisontap takes over your sleeping computer with a $5 USB stick

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Prolific and dramatic security researcher Samy Kamkar (previously) has unveiled a terrifying device that reveals the devastating vulnerabilities of computers, even when in sleep mode. Read the rest

Improv Everywhere: Declare your love

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Charlie from Improv Everywhere writes, "What happens when you leave a megaphone on the street with the simple instructions: 'Declare Your Love?' 2016 has been a rough year. It felt like time to dust off our old podium." Read the rest

Leonard Bernstein once owned this amazing cigarette-lighting Rube Goldberg machine

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German sculptor Daniel Kühn created the "Light & Cigarette Machine," which plays Candide while lighting and extending a cigarette; it was later owned by Leonard Bernstein, and was auctioned off to a German collector after his death. Read the rest

Make: a Rick and Morty-inspired butter-passing robot

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Andre was so impressed with the existential crisis of a butter-passing robot as depicted in the cartoon Rick and Morty that he created his own, and shows you how to make one for yourself. Read the rest

John Oliver: how to resist the normalization of Trump

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John Oliver talked HBO into letting him release his whole 29-minute, must-watch show on resisting the normalization of Trumpism, with its endorsement of rape; torture; mass-deportations; elimination of environmental, health and safety safeguards; and Islamophobia. Read the rest

Lin-Manuel Miranda and family visit an Austrian meadow and re-enact The Sound of Music

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A unicorn chaser for an American week of purgatory (don't think about The Postman, don't think about The Postman, don't think about The Postman). Read the rest

Leonard Cohen wrote the perfect anthem for our times

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I first heard it in Pump Up the Volume, a severely underrated movie about kids and rebellion that was always in my mind while I wrote Little Brother. Read the rest

If ever there was a time to watch Chaplin's speech from "The Great Dictator..."

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I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Read the rest

Daveed "Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson" Diggs's PSA on the difference between Hillary and Trump

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Daveed Diggs is the fastest rapper on Broadway thanks to his stunning performances in the roles of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in Hamilton. Read the rest

Hong Kong erupts after Beijing refuses to allow dissident lawmakers to re-take oath

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Elected representatives of Hong Kong's Youngspiration party deliberately mangled their oaths of office, refusing to swear loyalty to China (instead swearing to Hong Kong) and pronouncing China as "Shina," a term dating from the Japanese occupation of China (they also held up a banner that said "Hong Kong is not China"). Read the rest

John Oliver shreds multi-level-marketing pyramid schemes

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Oliver's 30+ minute investigative piece on Mary Kay, Amway, Herbalife, Avon, Rodan and Fields and the rest of the MLM basket of deplorables shows how the Facebook era has supercharged these semi-criminal enterprises, entrapping thousands of people in a cycle of debt and deception that is fuelled by celebrity endorsers, including Madeline Albright. Read the rest

Documentary on the endangered art of hollerin', possibly the earliest form of human communications

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Filmmaker Brian Gersten writes, "'The Hollerin' Contest at Spivey's Corner' is a documentary short about the history, characters, and sounds of the National Hollerin' Contest. Hollerin' itself is considered by some to be the earliest form of communication between humans, and the competition has been held annually in the small town of Spivey's Corner, NC since 1969. The film follows the stories of three former champions as they attempt to reclaim their titles, and keep the oft-forgotten tradition of hollerin' alive." Read the rest

Jon Stewart's epic Twitter-war with Donald Trump

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Speaking at the Stand Up For Heroes event, Jon Stewart tells the story of how Donald Trump went on an anti-Semitic tear, repeating over and over that Stewart's birth surname was Leibowitz, implying that he'd changed it to disguise his Jewish ancestry. Read the rest

A rotary cellular phone

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Mr Volt created this "artifact from somewhere else," machining the housing (with wood veneer!) and programming an Arduino controller to allow him to make rotary dial calls with his giant metal brick, which looks to have the sturdiness of an original black Bell phone (whose logo is displayed at boot-time on the small LCD); it's also an FM radio! (via JWZ) Read the rest

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