Hideous $10,000 plastic Christmas tree


Grad writes, "While cruising Amazon looking for some new Christmas tree magic for my family, I ran across what must be the world's most expensive Christmas tree."

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Cops cancel "let us search your house for guns" program

Police in Beloit, WI planned to fight gun-violence by asking citizens to let them come into their houses and search for guns, but not many people were interested in this offer.

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Tldrbot: great works of literature in seconds

Tldrbot is the latest bot from Shardcore (previously, previously, previously) that slurps up great novels, algorithmically summarizes them to 1% of their length, then spits out audio files of a synthetic Scottish woman's voice reading those summaries aloud.

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Mormon's Secret: temple garments for gentiles


The company was founded by a formon (former Mormon) named Ann Jackson who was married as a teenager and has since divorced and left the faith -- she'll sell "temple garments" (AKA "magic Mormon underwear") to anyone who wants 'em, and promises that none of the profits go to the LDS.

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No charges for Japanese man who dumped a quarter-ton of porn in a park


70 year old Hideaki Adachi said he was disposing of the porn for a sick friend, and he assumed that the park's population of homeless people (with whom he volunteers) would arrange for its disposal.

(via JWZ)

Mystery of creepy 1970s Sesame Street clip solved

I didn't truly appreciate what a miracle is YouTube til I realized how many half-remembered Sesame Street sketches, songs and puppet shows from my grainy, nostalgic childhood could be found there. Some of them seem quite odd in retrospect, and there are folks out there dedicated to tracking down the oddest.

Jon Armond and friends had some lingering memories of a 1970s song-animation where the cracks on a girl's wall come to life and become her friends -- Crack Camel, Crack Monkey and Crack Hen.

It all goes a bit creepy when they meet Master Crack, a large, monstrous face-like cluster in a corner of the room, plaster crumbling from the maws of his eyes. Who thought this would be a good idea to show children?

To find the "Master Crack" clip, Armond went on a veritable quest, recorded in this audio documentary. If Serial was just about trying to find weird old children's show clips from the 70s I'd be so hooked.

Anyone remember an old Sesame clip that was just the stop-motion transmutation of a sandbox into a desert scene, accompanied by gentle music? I think two toy rhinos were placed into it at the end. If you know that one and can find it, Tweet me (@leighalexander)!

[h/t Laughingsquid]

8' long, 26lb, 36K calorie gummy snake


Vat 19's gummy python costs $150, but provides all the calories needed to keep you going for weeks, and has "incredible details" including "blended coloring, ridged coils, and thousands of individually carved scales" -- made in the USA, of course (not kosher or halal). (via Geeks Are Sexy)

Special abilities and talents for booth contractors


From the pull-down menus for Judy Venn & Associates, who hire out "talent" to work in trade-show booths: "Blackjack dealer, twins, yo-yo specialist..."

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Dumping a huge bag of plastic balls onto an escalator

It's almost a perpetual motion machine, and is absolutely a source of infinite amusement! (via JWZ)

Physics, or sorcery?


This table is being held up by the weight of the buckets that are resting on it!

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Boutique jeans-maker hiring "breakers" to wear in denim


You have to promise to wear the jeans for six months without washing them and upload regular photos you breaking them in to the Historytag site, keyed to each pair's unique identifier; in return, you get 20% of the jeans' sale price.

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The clown-prince of DHS checkpoint refusal videos

We've covered Checkpoint Refusal videos before (1, 2, 3) -- these are videos recorded by people who object to the DHS's internal checkpoints, where you are asked (but can refuse) to state your citizenship and allow your car to be searched -- but I missed the most prolific, funniest, and weirdest checkpointer of them all: Robert Trudell.

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Found Night Valeish poetry: Collection of surreal changelog and patch-note messages

@thestrangelog collects "the strange poetry of changelogs and patch notes," publishing them verbatim ("All byzantine emperors will now have clothes regardless of what DLCs are enabled.").

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Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson's "Where the Lost Things Are"


It's a hell of an sf story, about the advent of a life-extension drug and the ensuing ghettos of "geezers" who live on the margins of society, marching towards 100 and higher, avoiding armed teen vigilantes -- and the parallel world they discover.

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Random Darknet Shopper: Internet art randomly spends $100/wk of Bitcoin in darknet


It's part of a Swiss gallery exhibit called The Darknet: From Memes to Onionland, where all the random junk the algorithm buys (from ecstasy to fire brigade master-keys to boxed Tolkien sets) are displayed.

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