Candid Republican operators admit that voter ID laws are about disenfranchisement

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The Brennan Center has rounded up a rogues' gallery of candid, on-the-record admissions from Republican politicians, officials, and operators about the true nature of the unconstitutional voter restriction laws that were cookie-cuttered across the Tea Party state governments: they don't fight voter fraud (because that's not a thing), but they do disenfranchise traditional democratic voters: people of color and students. Read the rest

The incredible true story of the Epcot Horizons superfans who ruled the ride

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In 1995, after a year-long closure, Disney re-opened Horizons, the GE-sponsored original Epcot ride devoted to showcasing different ideas about the future, a kind of heir to the Futurama at the 1939 New York World's Fair; fearing the ride was likely to be shuttered soon, two Epcot superfans began covertly exploring and documenting the ride, figuring out its ways and means until they learned how to penetrate it and hide from Disney employees while sneaking in their friends and having little celebrations. Read the rest

Improv Everywhere: Dance Captain Wanted

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Charlie from Improv Everywhere writes, "We set up 100 dancers in a park and put a platform in front of them. Watch what happens." Read the rest

The surprising spryness of fighters in 15th C armor

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Paris's Musée national du Moyen Âge teamed up with The University of Geneva to make this video demonstrating the fighting techniques available to people in 15th century armor, which are much more fluid and athletic that I had presumed -- turns out you can really move in those tin cans. (via We Make Money Not Art) Read the rest

Kill Rock Stars president explains why the radio plays the same songs over and over

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Gus the hacker puppeteer writes, "Many of us hoped the Internet would disrupt the music industry along with all other media industries, giving more power -- and more pay -- to musicians and songwriters. And yet, somehow the amount musicians get paid each time their songs stream is a tiny fraction of a cent." Read the rest

Anti-corruption candidate challenges opponent's billionaire backer to a debate

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Zephyr Teachout (previously) is the anti-corruption candidate in New York's Hudson Valley who raised more than $500K from small-money, Bernie-Sanders-style donors (I was one of them); then vulture fund billionaire Paul Singer gave $500K to the PAC for John Faso, her Republican opponent, catapulting him into contendership. Read the rest

John Oliver on subprime auto-lending and its killswitches

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We've been following the trade in remote kill-switches for cars sold to subprime borrowers since 2009, and watched in dismay as they got worse and worse: though John Oliver's report on the billions inflating the subprime auto-lending bubble touches on these, he focuses on the economic factors -- sleaze, corruption, moral hazard -- driving the tech. Read the rest

Self-healing fabrics inspired by squid teeth

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Penn State researchers funded by the Army Research Office and the Office of Naval Research have posted video showing their progress on "self-healing" textiles that use proteins similar to those found in human hair and squid teeth to allow fibers to coated in polyelectrolytes so that they can be set and bonded using safe solvents under ambient conditions. Read the rest

How self-driving cars could make everything worse, and what to do about it

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The promise of self-driving cars is to take our vehicle fleets from 5% utilization to near-100% utilization, reducing congestion, parking problems, emissions and road accidents. But what if the cheapest way to "park" your autonomous vehicle is to have it endlessly circle the block while you're at work? What do we do about the lost jobs of bus-, truck- and cab-drivers? How will we pay for roads if gas-tax revenues plummet thanks to all-electric fleets? Read the rest

Why did it take a private foundation to do public science right?

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen funded the Allen Brain Observatory, a detailed, rich data-set derived from parts of a mouse-brain: what's striking is that the Allen Institute released all the data into the public domain, at once, as soon as it was available, which is exactly what you'd want the publicly funded alternatives to do, and what they almost never do. Read the rest

Illegal "Warranty Void If Removed" still ubiquitous: they're on the Xbox One S

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The tamper-evident "Warrant Void If Removed" stickers violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975, which allows device owners to take their gadgets for service at independent depots without voiding their warranties. Read the rest

Timelapse of pills dissolving: "decaying clowns"

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Kottke nailed it when he said that the timelapse video of these colorful pills dissolving looks like "decaying clowns." Read the rest

Skull Walker: a scuttling skull-creature

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Y Nakajima's "Skull Walker 2.0" used the skull off an older sculpture and a HEXBUG Strand Beast Toy Figure (inspired by Theo Jansen's Strandbeest walkers) to create this brilliant piece of nightmare fuel. (via Laughing Squid) Read the rest

The Vlogbrothers guide to voting in every state in the union

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In a series of easily digested, 2-minute videos, Vlogbrothers Hank and John Green explain how to vote -- from registration to voter ID laws to absentee ballots to casting your vote. Read the rest

Walking Tables: a strandbeest for your dining room

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Wouter Scheublin's 2006 design for a Walking Table echoes Theo Jansen's iconic Strandbeest: the complex mechanical linkages on the legs allow the table to walk when it's given a moderately firm shove. Read the rest

Woman judge discovers that female arrestees are frequently denied pants, feminine hygiene products

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When a woman who'd been arrested for failing to complete a diversion course stemming from a shoplifting charge was brought before Louisville, KY judge Amber Wolf with no pants on, the judge was horrified to learn that the arrestee had been held in custody for three days without a shower, without access to feminine hygiene products, and without pants. Read the rest

8-Bit Cinema: great films reimagined as classic video games

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We've featured David Dutton's 8-Bit Cinema many times over the past 8 years, but this astounding showreel demonstrates that his canon is wider, deeper and cooler that you might realize. Read the rest

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