Above: a nice collection of nerdy wedding cakes. Link, rounded up by ace scienceblogger Shelley Batts (that's not her in the photo, just so you know — it's Carol Orsini of GameDaily).
If you receive an invitation from a social networking site called Quechup, run screaming. Shava Nerad is among many who pointed us to their horrible spamming practices, and says, "The blogs are calling it 'the Q problem' and a 'trust virus.' Bad juju, in general, not to mention they are one of those sites that sends you your selected username and password in the clear."
By the time you read this, there will probably be some news articles out about how evil they are. Until then, watch out.
A chemical found in microwave popcorn, diacetyl, is killing food industry workers — and may also pose a threat to consumers. The stuff is used to create a buttery taste in many popular brands. Link.
A fascinating profile piece in this weekend's New York Times Magazine about Def Jam founder Rick Rubin's new job: save Columbia Records. But the bigger job he's taken on: save the entire music industry from its own slow, suicidal idiocy. Link. Here's a YouTube video Rubin totally flips out over in the course of that story — an until-recently-unknown Welsh cellphone salesman named Paul Potts singing Nessun Dorma, from Puccini's Turandot: Video Link.
At left, several fat Flickr sets of pulp fiction cover scans: Link. My favorite are the cheezy pervy ones.
The Islamic religious council of Central Java has issued a fatwa on nuclear power, and declared plans for a nearby nuke plant "haraam," or "forbidden." Link.
Add this to the list of stuff promised, then denied to Katrina survivors: No WiFi for NoLa. "A free Internet wireless system in New Orleans likely will not be expanded to devastated areas of the city, following EarthLink Inc.'s decision to quit investing in such services." Link.
This news is a few days old, but you Burners and vacationers may have missed it: Torrentspy now blocks users with USA IP addresses: Link.
This one, too. Privacy rights in India suffer a new blow as police in Mumbai expand the use of keyloggers in public cybercafes, citing national security threats after recent bomb blasts in Hyderabad: Link.
MySpace launches a networking portal of sorts around fashion: Link.
50 years in a woman's life documented in photos, found by a stranger at a flea market: Link.
Welcome to the latest Silicon Valley sexism scandal: Verkada, a face-recognition startup where the men used the company's own cameras to harass women co-workers and received trivial discipline when caught. a sales director on the company's sales team abused their access to these cameras to take and post photos of colleagues in a Slack channel… READ THE REST
It's a few years old and I no longer have a computer with a CD tray, but I enjoyed this guide to removing ham from optical drives all the same. I might have to head up to the attic to find my old machine, as a large cotto salami is in its Blu-Ray player and… READ THE REST
"This is increasingly sounding like a Black Mirror episode"—Elon Musk, introducing Neuralink. Elon Musk's brain-computer-interface venture today unveiled a prototype that involves a pig with a computer chip implanted inside their brain. The coin-sized device is implanted beneath the creature's skull. "It's like a Fitbit, but in your skull," says Musk, and it's implanted by… READ THE REST
Making a stellar cup of espresso at home doesn't require an expensive machine or hours of your time and effort. It really only requires equipment up to the challenge and a stovetop. Rather than dropping $3 per cup at Starbucks, you can set up a Starbucks-worthy operation right in your own kitchen with the help… READ THE REST
Stress is par for the course these days. If you've found meditation helps to quiet those interior voices of doubt, fear and confusion, then you have every reason to continue that practice. But as soothing as meditation can be, it can also serve another purpose: to focus your attention, sharpen your performance and forge you… READ THE REST
When the history of Earth is ultimately told by aliens or time travelers or whoever stumbles across what's left of our planet a millennia from now, these beings will need to understand what a hair tie is and why it was created…because it's guaranteed they find them everywhere during their study. Today, hair ties are… READ THE REST