John Oliver: why do we only talk about mental health after mass-shootings?

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John Oliver's segment on mass-shootings and mental health makes all the right points: making the issue about mental health instead of guns stigmatizes mentally ill people (who are more likely to be shot than shoot someone), but since we're on the subject, the American mental health system is a disgrace. Read the rest

The Enigma Machine wristwach: a wearable Arduino recreation

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Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park invented modern crypto and computers in the course of breaking Enigma ciphers, the codes that Axis powers created with repurposed Enigma Machines -- sophisticated (for the day) encryption tools invented for the banking industry -- to keep the Allies from listening in on their communications. Read the rest

How to flip someone off with THREE middle-fingers

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When your scorn cannot be contained in the anatomy of a bilaterally symmetrical life-form. Baffle your enemies! Win the admiration of your friends! Improve your manual dexterity! (via Super Punch) Read the rest

Media literacy show answers hard questions with Adbusters-inspired puppets

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Gus writes, "When we created The Media Show (previously) decided the best way to teach about digital and media literacy was to answer the questions people were already asking Google, we didn't anticipate how bizarre some of the questions would be." Read the rest

Blue Rodeo's anti-Tory anthem: Stealin' All My Dreams

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The Canadian-as-maple-pie band's Stealin' All My Dreams is a catalog of all the horrors of the Harper regime, from stifling scientists to strip-mining the CBC to doubling down on tar-sand oil. The October elections are upon us, Canadians: get out there and vote, for those of us who've had our votes stolen by the Tories. (Thanks, David!) Read the rest

John Oliver on racism and the Syrian refugee crisis

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This is Oliver at his best, using weaponized bathos that ricochets between rage-making clips of racist political figures trying to terrorize Syrians into staying away with sweet clips of the refugees themselves and an over-the-top, stone-brilliant, pop-culture-infused, heart-rending, laughter-convulsing finale. Read the rest

Ta-Nehisi Coates wins a 2015 MacArthur Genius award

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The awards -- whose selection process is a closely guarded secret -- come with $500,000 over five years. Read the rest

Dismaland will be dismantled, used for refugee shelters in Calais

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Banksy's brilliant piss-take on theme-parks has run its course and will now be dismantled, shipped to Calais and turned into temporary shelters for the refugees massed there. Read the rest

The future of photography, education, sharing, news, privacy and learning (seriously)

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Jonathan Worth is a celebrated, successful, internationally recognized award-winning photographer who saw the writing on the wall for his business -- selling pictures to magazines -- when he found himself threatening a young girl for pirating his pictures, and decided there had to be a better way. Read the rest

Springy, brilliant (but expensive) nutcracker

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Kent writes, "The $47 Naomi Nutcracker is a brilliantly designed nutcracker that uses a spring to cleanly crack the nuts inside of it." Read the rest

WATCH: goopy simulated meltful armadillos

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A. Peer, M. Ihmsen, J. Cornelis and M. Teschner's SIGGRAPH paper "An Implicit Viscosity Formulation for SPH Fluids," explored techniques for simulating the physics of smoothed-particle hydrodynamics -- solids that melt and squoosh into liquids and slimes. As interesting as the paper is, the video is a showstopper -- never have simulated anthropomorphic armadillo action-figures been so meltfully delightful! Read the rest

Watch Ahmed Mohamed's awesome press conference about being a rogue clockmaker in America

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Zomg, the kid is charming. He reveals that he's switching high-schools, thanks his supporters, discussing his inventing and tinkering, and talks about his delight at being invited to the White House. Read the rest

Anita Sarkeesian on women's bodies as prizes in video games

Kate from Feminist Frequency (previously) writes, "Feminist Frequency has just released a supplemental mini-episode in their Tropes vs Women in Video Games series." Read the rest

Harpo-Deetoo and Chicopio in "A Day at the Pod Races"

Dan/Ridetheory's amazing mashup of R2 & 3PO with Chico and Harpo from A Day at the Races is brilliant. Read the rest

Vivienne Westwood drives a tank to David Cameron's house

The doyenne of punk design drove the tank to the UK prime minister's house in Chadlington, Oxfordshire to carry out a spoof "chemical attack" in protest over new fracking licenses in 27 residential areas (but not near David Cameron's home). Read the rest

EFF scores a giant victory for fair use and dancing babies

8 years ago, Universal Music sent a takedown notice over Stephanie Lenz's 29-second Youtube video of her kids dancing in the kitchen to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." Read the rest

Ballroom dancing in a busy NYC crosswalk

Charlie from Improv Everywhere sent us this video of their latest piece, "Ballroom Crosswalk," which features some genuinely great dancing in a NYC crosswalk, but even better is staged with a slow burn that pays off beautifully at the end! Read the rest

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