Scholars' collaboration tool starts with cloning existing materials

Mark writes, "ACLS Workbench encourages scholars to share their materials and even allow others to copy or clone them." Read the rest

Culturing the critters on an 8-year-old's hand

Tasha Sturm, a lab tech, sampled her 8 year old son's hand when he came in from playing outside in an agar medium, then cultured the microbes that came off in the dish. Read the rest

Bicycle Pluma playing cards - desaturated elegance with a subtle one-way back

I like the muted hues of the Bicycle Pluma deck. The red ink has a lot of brown in it, as if you are looking at the cards through dark sunglasses. The pips are different from the standard Bicycle deck, too -- more old fashioned looking.

The coolest thing about this deck is that, unlike a standard Bicycle deck, the Pluma has a "one-way" design on the back -- one of the leaves under each the four wings is white (the other three are blue). There are a lot of magic tricks you can do with a one-way deck.

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Thousands of American kids are getting free university educations in Germany

German higher education is essentially free, even for foreign students, and many courses are conducted entirely in English. Read the rest

Star Wars Frames looks at the movies' gorgeous cinematography piece by piece

You’ve seen the movies, now see the book. Star Wars Frames collects selections of single frames from the entire Star Wars saga. This giant two volume set features a book for each trilogy. Inside you’ll find selected frames that literally show you the movie piece by piece.

This book draws attention to a dimension of filmmaking that is hard to study as it’s happening. You might remember a cool shot in The Empire Strikes Back, but until now you couldn’t marvel at the shot unless you watched the film and paused it. With Frames, the entire movie is laid out for you to experience at your own pace, letting you fully absorb the weight and technique of each shot. It’s a great look at the gorgeous cinematography at work in each film. The pages are massive, so you can see plenty of detail. If you’re a fan of Star Wars and/or filmmaking, this is a must own.

– Alex Strine

Star Wars Frames by George Lucas Harry N. Abrams 2013, 736 pages, 12 x 13.5 x 3.5inches $95 Buy a copy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

Would you put a $300,000 glass sculpture on the hood of your car?

Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly wrote a piece on rare Lalique car mascots (aka, hood ornaments) from the 1920s and '30s. "They are amazing," he says, "but even if I could afford one, I don't think I'd drive to Safeway for a quart of half-and-half with one of these things on the hood of my car. Oh wait—I don't have a car!"

Once upon a time, the wealthy strapped such trophies to the radiator caps of their Bentleys, Bugattis, Citröens, Packards, and Mercedes — the McLarens of their day. But even back then, when a new Lalique mascot cost around $50 versus the $50,000-$300,000-plus they can command today, most of Lalique’s well-heeled customers only brought their glass treasures out for special occasions, like a Concours d’Elegance car show. One simply did not run errands — or send one’s servants to do so — with such fragile works of art mounted to the hood of one’s car. Lalique knew this, which is why he licensed Breves Galleries of London to fashion metal mounts for his mascots, so that his clear, gray, milky-blue, topaz, green, or orange-yellow menagerie could be tastefully displayed inside the manor where their owners were almost certainly born.

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For sale: the largest, most expensive home in US history

Film producer and real estate developer Nile Niami is building a massive Bel Air, California residence, containing a 74,000 square-foot main house and three smaller homes, that he will try to sell for $500 million. Here's what that pocket change gets you: Read the rest

The Button has ended

The Button, the Reddit game that started (perhaps) as an April Fools' joke and became a social experiment, religion, and drug, has ended after 1,008,316 presses. Time's up. "The Button has ended" (Reddit)


• Reddit's hot 'button' game is practically religious

• Realtime chart of "the button" game on Reddit Read the rest

Add to bucket list: run with baby goats

I think Sunflower Farms could make a lot of money charging people to run with their baby goats. Read the rest

HOWTO make a flaming uke inspired by Max Max's Doof Warrior

Make editor Caleb Kraft shows you how to build an "incredibly dangerous" flame-shooting ukulele for your Mad Max Fury Road LARPing adventures, inspired by the Doof Warrior bungee-lashed flaming guitar-playing character. Read the rest

Driver runs into motorcyclist who scolded him about using phone

In March, motorcyclist Samuel Ayres stopped at a red light and noticed a driver using a phone. He told the driver, "Put down your fucking phone. You're in your car." The driver apparently did not appreciate the advice so he followed Ayres, sideswiped him and knocked him off his motorcycle, and drove away. Ayers is soliciting donations to pay for the resulting bills. Read the rest

Ultra low-budget remake of Alien 3

Scarier than the original, because it recalls memories of accidentally stapling your finger.


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Why we can't remember ubiquitous logos, even Apple's

UCLA psychology professor Alan Castel ran an experiment where more than 100 students drew the Apple logo from memory, and the results were surprisingly terrible. Why? Read the rest

Cotton Candy Frappuccinos introduced at Starbucks, plus 5 other sickly-sweet flavors

Cotton Candy, Caramel Cocoa Cluster, Lemon Bar, Cinnamon Roll, Red Velvet Cake, Cupcake. These are the six new flavors of Starbucks Frappuccino that are sure to get your insulin busy transporting glucose into your adipose tissue. Two of the new drinks, Cotton Candy and Lemon Bar, contain no coffee.

Caramel Cocoa Cluster: toffee nut syrup, coffee, milk and ice and topped with a layer of dark caramel sauce, finished with whipped cream and a drizzle of mocha sauce.

Cinnamon Roll: cinnamon dolce syrup, white chocolate mocha sauce, vanilla bean, coffee, milk and ice, finished with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon dolce topping.

Cotton Candy: vanilla bean, raspberry syrup, milk and ice, finished with whipped cream.

Cupcake: vanilla bean, hazelnut syrup, milk and ice, finished with whipped cream.

Lemon Bar: lemonade, vanilla syrup, milk and ice, finished with whipped cream and a sprinkle of caramel sugar.

Red Velvet: mocha sauce, raspberry syrup, vanilla syrup and frappuccino chips with milk and ice, finished with whipped cream.

[via] Read the rest

McKinney 911 ninja roll GIF

The Texas Police Pool Party will be known for the officer who pulled a gun on children. But this ninja roll deserves more infamy. Isn't it a good one?

People will claim the officer stumbled, and merely did what was necessary to avoid faceplanting. But that bright pink towel was clearly a tactical threat to be adroitly evaded, and he did so with with calm, military efficiency. Read the rest

Music: "The Clapping Song," Shirley Ellis (1965)

"Take your hand to your palm and slap your thigh, and watch the fun materialize!" Read the rest

Federal gov't doesn't trust TSA enough to inform it of airline employees with links to terrorism.

According to a recently-released Government Accountability Office report, the "TSA did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes because TSA is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related information under current interagency watchlisting policy." The federal government doesn't place enough trust in its own anti-terrorism administration to give it a list of people with terrorism-related category codes employed by airlines and airport vendors.

"Without complete and accurate information, TSA risks credentialing and providing unescorted access to secure airport areas for workers with potential to harm the nation's air transportation system," the report found.

Image: "Line up here for your free government-issued genital massage." Shutterstock Read the rest

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