How neurotech will transform the way we work

Over at Backchannel, I wrote about how brain tech could transform how we work in the future, from displays that react to our mental state to offices that respond to our brainwaves.

Stanford and University of California neuroscientist Melina Uncapher is currently leading a pilot study with a large technology company to use mobile EEG tracking to study how the office environment — from lighting to natural views to noise levels — impacts the brain, cognition, productivity, and wellness of workers. Prepping a room for a big brainstorm? Maybe it’s time to change the light color.

“If you want to encourage abstract thinking and creative ideas, do you pump in more oxygen or less?” says Uncapher, a fellow at Institute for the Future. “Do you raise the ceiling height? Do you make sure you have a view of the natural environment, simulated or real? And if you want people to be more heads-down, is it better for them to be in a room with a lower ceiling?”

The goal, she explains, would be to develop a “quantified environment” that you could precisely tune to different types of working modes.

"Our Highest Selves?" (Backchannel)

(Illustration by Anna Vignet) Read the rest

The new narcocorridos for escaped drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman

Sinaloa drug cartel boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was barely out of maximum-security prison when musicians all around Mexico started uploading hot musical takes about his (again) escape.

Test-fly an ICON A5 amphibious sport aircraft in this new video

Here's a sexy, aspirational trailer, just released by Los Angeles-based aircraft firm ICON for the A5, an amphibious light sport aircraft beginning customer deliveries this Summer. Read the rest

South Korean rhythmic gymnast is world's most stylish baseball pitcher

Say what you will about the accuracy of Shin Soo-ji's first pitch at the July 5 Doosan Bears/Samsung Lions game, but you can't fault her for style! (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

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Keep Fresh Stay Rad with 100 funky typography-themed postcards

I love all of the boxed postcard collections that are being published these days. There's something of a resurgence of interest in mail art, snail mail correspondence, zines, and other mail-borne art forms and these postcard boxes might be a reflection of that. The amazing font designers, House Industries, published a postcard collection of their fonts a year ago and Princeton Architectural Press has recently published the Animal Box of animal-themed postcard art from celebrated artists.

Keep Fresh Stay Rad, also from Princeton Architectural, is a collection of typography-themed cards (many hand-drawn) from Friends of Type, a loose-knit collective of New York and San Francisco artists and designers. I reviewed the group's wonderful Let's Go Letter Hunting notebook on Wink Books. These postcards make a perfect companion to that book. You could have a lot of fun re-drawing the letterforms from the Keep Fresh postcards in your Letter Hunting journal. Everything about this product is lovely, from the colorful and vibrant thick-board storage box, to the theme tabs that organize the cards (with plenty of room for your own cards), to the sweet little typography “zine” inside. And, of course, the 100 funky and fun postcards themselves. The cards in the box are divided into themes, including Salutations, Encouragement, Affection, Strong Language – there are ten themes in all.

One criticism I have of the set is that the card stock is rather thin, not traditional postcard thickness. Also, it's great that the box is roomy enough to store additional cards, but because the Keep Fresh cards are on thin stock, they are already slightly bowed, even with the cardboard spacer that comes in the box. Read the rest

Flip-book card trick that wowed the Britain's Got Talent judges

With this deck of cards, you can ask a spectator to name a card, then riffle the cards to play a flip-book movie that ends with a little cartoon character pulling the named card out of a hat. The judges of Britain's Got Talent seemed impressed, even the mean guy. You can get the deck for $(removed) including shipping on Amazon.

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Take this survey to rate and nominate your favorite podcasts

My friend and Cool Tools business partner Kevin Kelly and I are podcast fanatics. We’d like to find out what your favorite non-fiction podcasts are and why you like them. Please take this survey to help us create a Guide to the Best Non-Fiction Podcast Series. Read the rest

Huge, futuristic 3D printed mech-tank

Singaporean toymaker Michael Sng made Boudicca, a T1 Training Colossus -- a 3D-printed robot tank with 400 custom parts and servos controlled by an Arduino. Read the rest

What is the difference between venomous and poisonous animals?

Earlier today, I posted about a "poisonous" cobra. Boing Boing reader cryoutlaughin corrected me in the comments. Snakes are venomous, not poisonous. As Jolene Creighton in Quarks to Quasars puts it, "The quick and dirty way to separate venomous creatures from poisonous ones is by thinking about bites: If you bite it and die, it is poisonous; if it bites you and you die, it is venomous." So a cobra is venomous and a poison dart frog is poisonous. (I guess if you want to be picky, a snake could be considered poisonous if you eat it and ingest its venom.)

From the article:

Poisons are any chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms. Toxins are biologically produced chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms. Toxicants are synthesized chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms. Poisonous organisms secrete chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms. Venomous creatures inject chemical substances that impact biological functions in other organisms.

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Turkey testicle eat-off founder is pretty relaxed about nearby town copying his festival

Because there are plenty of turkey testicles for everyone who is inclined to eat turkey testicles.

Journalists arrested in Zambia for publishing allegedly classified documents

A spokesman for police told reporters that both journalists were denying that the letter was classified.

Mayor called Obamas "monkey man" and "gorilla face", but "I'm not a racist"

Last week Patrick Rushing, mayor of Airway Heights, Washington, posted a comment to Facebook which read, “Gorilla face Michelle, can't disagree with that. The woman is not attractive except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. LOL." When people suggested he resign from office for his racist slur, Rushing said, “I made a mistake. I owned up to my mistake. If I do resign that’s admitting I’m a racist and I’m not.”

My entire life race has never been an issue,” Rushing said. Check out 75 other "mistakes" that Rushing posted to his Facebook page. Read the rest

"Customer Service" prankster has fun with complainers on Facebook

When someone complains on Facebook about an unsatisfactory experience at particular business establishment, there's a chance that Ben Palmer and Nick Price will respond as if they were representatives for that business. The duo are currently having fun with people complaining to TLC for canceling that TV show about the unpleasant Duggar family.

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Watch Stewart Brand’s 6-Part Series How Buildings Learn

In 1995 Stewart Brand, founder of The Whole Earth Catalog (described by Steve Jobs as “Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along”) wrote a book about how buildings adapt to the changing world around them, called How Buildings Learn. Brand also made a 6-part documentary with the same name as his book, which was produced in 1997 by the BBC. Open Culture has posted the series on its website. Music is by Brian Eno.

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Joe Pesci spat on Elmo

"We've never had such a violent, obnoxious celebrity on Sesame Street ever!" said Elmo. Pesci looked at it for a moment, then spat on it. [via r/videos] Read the rest

Ellen Pao: “The trolls are winning.”

“I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history,” writes Reddit's recently-departed interim CEO Ellen Pao in a Washington Post op-ed today. “And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.” Read the rest

Naked drunk guy found in barn cavorting with hogs. Again. “I just like pigs,” he tells cops.

Police noticed an odor and alcohol, and Henry admitted to drinking a six-pack of Hamm's beer.

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