Brazil's Internet-enabled activism kicks all kinds of ass

Airshowfan writes, "Over the past several years, various citizen groups in Brazil have used the power of online crowdsourcing in creative ways to tackle social problems large and small." Read the rest

Blogging History: Haunted Mansion control-panel; Canadians have no Internet privacy; GWB's snitch-corps

One year ago today

Control room at the Haunted Mansion: These are the photos I've dreamed of seeing all my life.

Five years ago today

Canadian gov't: you have no expectation of privacy on the Internet: There are MONSTROUS BABY-EATING CHILD PORNOGRAPHERS WHO ADVERTISE THAT THEY ARE ABOUT TO SEXUALLY ASSAULT A LIVE CHILD IN TEN MINUTES and we need to be able to run down their IPs without talking to a judge first.

Ten years ago today Thousands volunteer to spy on fellow citizens: The truckers, who haul hazardous material across 48 states, explained how easy it is to spot "Islamics" on the road: just look for their turbans. Read the rest

Neil Gaiman's haunted game Wayward Manor

Wayward Manor, the overdue video game that Neil Gaiman wrote, now has a release date: July 15!

Set in a 1920s Victorian Gothic pastoral estate, Wayward Manor focuses on the plight of a ghost whose hope of a peaceful after-life is interrupted by a remarkable cast of intruders. Awoken from his post-mortem slumbers, our ghost must find ever-more inventive and brilliant ways to scare them away. As the ghost learns more about the living characters, he also learns more about his own death and after-life, and the danger they are all facing.

Wayward Manor

(via IO9) Read the rest

Excellent garage punk podcast: You Got Good Taste

Bill Kelly's Teenage Wasteland on WFMU is my favorite radio show. I love 1960s garage rock, surf music, and psychedelia, and Kelly has plenty of it on his show. Here's another similar show that I just came across: You Got Good Taste, a "monthly podcast show that’ll corrupt your soul with the kind of music your parents warned you about. Raunchy rock’n’roll’, sleazy r’n’b, greasy garagepunk." Read the rest

Sculptures of condiment containers

Artist Robin Antar makes stone sculptures of everyday objects. Read the rest

Barbie-head-filled wedges

Even if you've got $265 to spend on a pair of wedges whose hollow soles are filled with doll-heads, you're out of luck. They're sold out. (via Neatorama) Read the rest

History of the Slip 'N Slide

My wife (and kids) are big fans of the classic Slip 'N Slide on a summer day. The New York Times Magazine has the history of its invention which involved belly-flopping on a concrete driveway.

Like any concerned father with ready access to rugged, waterproof synthetic fabrics at work, Robert Carrier took home a 50-foot roll of beige Naugahyde in hopes of persuading his son to splash down on something safer. He unfurled it in the yard, hosed it down and watched as every kid in the neighborhood showed up and stayed to slide for hours.

Realizing he had a hit on his hands, Carrier used his sewing skills to refine his product. “He stitched a long tube along one side, sewn shut at one end, with spaces between the stitching so that when you attached the hose, the water pressure would build up and water would squirt out those openings and lubricate the surface of the material,” (explains Tim Walsh, author of "Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them.")

(Thanks, Tanya Schevitz!) Read the rest

'An illustrated guide to American personhood'

By Sarah Baker, in response to the Supreme Court decision on Hobby Lobby. Read the rest

Things military drone pilots say when they crash their drones

"Drone pilots and other crew members swear, scream and yell at their remote-control video screens when the aircraft fly out of control. Those moments are often captured by audio recorders in ground control stations. Here’s a sampling of that dialogue, according to transcripts contained in Air Force accident investigation reports." Read the rest

Mystery cube-in-a-cube puzzle woodworking project

All you need to make this floating cube-in-a-cube is a cube of solid wood, a drill press, a forstner bit, and a sharp knife. I want to try this! Read the rest

Happy 42nd birthday, Leap Second!

It was on this date in 1972 that the first leap second was added to a day. Read the rest

Death metal band to play in soundproof, airtight box

Unfathomable Ruiniation will perform outside of London's Gherkin skyscraper inside a soundproofed airtight metal box, until the oxygen runs out; It's art. (The Independent, thanks Smitty!) Read the rest

Why people have the urge to squeeze cute animals to death

When I was a kid my friend and I caught some little frogs. My friend liked his frog so much he smothered it to death in his hand. Lenny, the mentally challenged giant in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, squeezed living creatures to death because he loved them so much. Why do people do this? Two Yale graduate students, Oriana Aragon and Rebecca Dyer, are conducting experiments to find out.

Dyer's hypothesis:

Some things are so cute that we just can't stand them. We think it’s about high positive-affect, an approach orientation and almost a sense of lost control. It’s so adorable, it drives you crazy. It might be that how we deal with high positive-emotion is to sort of give it a negative pitch somehow. That sort of regulates, keeps us level and releases that energy.

"This aggression may be the brain’s response to the overwhelming joy incurred by such creatures (similar to how some people cry when intensely happy)."

Why Do We Smother Cute Things? Read the rest

Flying concrete chunk startles crowd watching demolition

Judging by the half-hearted "ow" uttered by the unseen victim, it was probably just a glancing blow. Read the rest

What happened to the man clinging to the back of a fast-moving car?

North Carolina drivers were surprised to see a man clinging to the back of a car going 60 mph on a freeway yesterday. One family shot a video of the incident. "The family says they saw the man on the back of the car break the back windshield and climb inside. They say a woman was driving the car with a child in a car seat inside." No one knows what happened to the car or its passengers. (Via Arbroath) Read the rest

Used liquor store

Liquor Off is a Tokyo store that buys and sells used booze. Read the rest

Giantess crushes cars with her bare feet

"Miz Caramel Vixen is back for more car crushing action!" (Via Weird Universe) Read the rest

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