Great Firewall of Cameron blocks Parliamentary committee on rendition/torture

Thanks to the bullying of UK PM David Cameron, everyone who signs up for an Internet account is asked "Would you like to keep 'adult content' blocked on this connection?" It's a misleading question. Read the rest

Police, technology and bodycams

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's got a nuanced view on the proposal to give cops body-cams, noting the ACLU's view that these cameras need to be carefully designed so that they don't violate the privacy of citizens or make it easy to cover up official corruption. Read the rest

NYC theater overrules MPAA rating for Snowden documentary

Citizenfour, the acclaimed Laura Poitras documentary about Edward Snowden, has been given an R rating by the notoriously corrupt and opaque MPAA ratings board (see This Film Is Not Yet Rated). Read the rest

San Francisco Bay Area Super Mario World map, complete with BART trains

Robert Bacon has created one hell of a mapsterpiece. Read the rest

Brain-destroyingly great game: Entire Screen of One Game

From @tom7, the Entire Screen of One Game game is a brilliant, unwinnable, instantly addicting, frustrating, recursive game that is something like the Eames's Powers of Ten and something like Snake, and not quite like anything I've ever played. (via Waxy) Read the rest

CIA torturers forced hummus, raisins, pasta and nuts into detainees' anuses

"Daddy, what did you do when you were in the CIA?"

"I raped detainees and stuffed food into their anuses, son."

"I hope I don't grow up to be a CIA officer like you, Daddy." Read the rest

Modern slavery: the Mexican megafarms that supply America's top grocers

A four-part series in the LA Times explores the corrupt labor conditions in Mexico's biggest farms, where the produce, destined for American grocers like Walmart and Whole Foods, is treated with infinitely more care than the workers, who are subject to illegal, inhumane treatment, including indentured servitude. Read the rest

My collection of card presses

I always have a deck of cards with me. If I am wearing one of my regular jackets, its highly likely I'll keep the deck in one of my beautiful card presses.

Maybe they are a magician's affectation. A card press may also just be an accessory, like a nice pen or watch, that I can carry. Years ago, when my friend Michael gifted me the rather plain looking stainless steel sleeve on the right, he told me they'd help preserve cards and keep the deck workable, longer. This one certainly helps keep bowing out of my cards, but mostly I like how it looks and feels. Having been with me almost 20 years, it has a lot of sentimental weight. I have no idea where to get another.

The golden card press was also a gift, it is Jamie D. Grant's "The Vault." He sent it to me several years ago, and I've been carrying ever since. I also showcased it on our Gadgets podcast a few weeks ago. The wrap around styling provides a decent amount of pressure on the deck and seems to help straighten them out. This press always gets me asked questions. It just looks like magic is about to happen.

From Jamie's website:

The Vault is new era card guard that does three things! I wanted to design a card shield that protects all the corners of the box. Decks of cards are expensive these days, and I wanted something that protected every aspect (#1).

Read the rest

A tiny phone that fits in an iPhone case

The Talkase is a mini GSM standalone phone that snaps into an iPhone case. The $70 phone is described as a "must-have accessory for a mobile lifestyle." Read the rest

Haunted Mansion tightrope girl figurine

The golden age of Haunted Mansion merch continues to ripen, with this stretch gallery Tightrope Girl (AKA "Ballerina and Alligator"): $95 from the Disney Store. It's already sold out, but expect it on Ebay soon. (via Super Punch) Read the rest

3D printed dress made from 2,279 triangles and 3,316 hinges

Designer Jessica Rosenkrantz writes, "I made this 3D printed dress and the MoMA just acquired it. This video, filmed at Shapeways factory showing the printing and depowdering of the dress (there's also this one, documenting the dress's sounds and movements). Read the rest

New Futility Closet book - hairless trombonists, abusive New Zealanders, vengeful whales and more

Futility Closet is Greg Ross' website (and podcast) of astounding and intriguing curiosities unearthed from old library books. Futility Closet 2 (the followup to last year's Futility Closet 1) is the second print collection of "entertaining oddities in history, literature, language, art, philosophy, and mathematics. Many of the wonderful things Greg finds would probably be lost forever if not for his hard work and keen sense of the unusual. Read the rest

Karate Cat t-shirt

To this, we say yes. Read the rest

Corporate sovereignty: already costing the EU billions

"Corporate sovereignty" -- in which foreign companies get to sue the government to penalize it for passing environmental and labor laws that undercut profits -- is the one of the most controversial elements of the TAFTA/TTIP trade agreement the EU is negotiating with the US. Read the rest

Sugar Skull - nightmare continues in Charles Burns’ grotesquely fantastic trilogy

In May I reviewed Charles Burns’ surreal and darkly realistic graphic novels, X’ed Out (2010) and The Hive (2012), and now the eerie trilogy is complete with the release of Sugar Skull. Read the rest

The psychedelic paintings of Hannah Faith Yata

“The pictures forming in my head are ones of domination over nature, the struggle of animals in a changing world,” the artist explains.

John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" 50th anniversary

Today marks the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, a masterpiece of hard bop, free jazz, and soulful spirituality. My family celebrated last night with the Saint John Coltrane African Orthodox Church in a rousing service at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral.

Here is a 2012 NPR story about the 1964 recording: "The Story Of 'A Love Supreme'" Read the rest

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