Mess up the practice space while the band keeps playing

At first you're just knocking over, like, cups and tables and band members and stuff, but then you start to play with the sliders.

Celebrate the classic Breakout, and then rethink the term 'empathy games'

This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us a takedown on 'empathy games' from one of the field's most well-known independent designers, as well as a unique collection of games inspired by the classic Breakout. Read the rest

Anti-surveillance activists send a drone to pamphlet-bomb an NSA complex in Germany

Intelexit is an activist group whose mission is to get spies to quit their jobs; they've recently installed billboards around spy complexes in the US and UK. Read the rest

There's never been a better time to take an adventure 'round the world

80 Days' latest update, which coincides with its release for PC and Mac on Steam, richly and lovingly highlights the game's best qualities—the sense of adventure it offers alongside truly unique and diverse characters. What makes it so special?

Air France execs' clothes torn off by protesters after layoff announcement

Protesters angry over proposed layoffs stormed an Air France executive meeting and cornered Director Pierre Plissonnier and Resources Director Xavier Broseta, tearing off the men's jackets and ripping their shirts off, forcing them to scale a fence to get free. Read the rest

Ocean life or acid trip? Photos of psychedelic jellyfish

No, you're not tripping. And these aren't CG. You're looking at Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish captured by Florida-based photographer Aaron Ansavor who finds them on a local beach.

"It's an opportunity to explore a new world," he told National Geographic.

More images at his site Ansarov.com. (via Jux)

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Now that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is finalized, the real fight starts

For most of a decade, government negotiators from around the Pacific Rim have met in utmost secrecy to negotiate a "trade deal" that was kept secret from legislatures, though executives from the world's biggest corporations were allowed in the room and even got to draft parts of the treaty. Read the rest

Saudi PR machine goes bigtime, hires top US muscle for charm offensive

The Saudi royals -- you know, the charming people who exported intolerant, extremist Wahabiism and whose scions get to rape their US-based servants with impunity -- have hired the biggest, most ruthless PR firms in America to run their PR machine. Read the rest

UFO witness and amazing outsider artist, Ionel Talpazan, RIP

Ionel Talpazan, who saw a UFO as a child above his village in Romania, painted spacecraft until he died two weeks ago at 60 years old. As a young man, after escaping Romania by swimming across the Danube, he made his way to New York City in the 1980s where he sometimes lived in a cardboard box on the street. Talpazan sold his UFO paintings and sculptures on the sidewalk until an art dealer helped bring his work into galleries and museums.

"My art shows spiritual technology, something beautiful and beyond human imagination, that comes from another galaxy," Talpazan once said. "So, in relative way, this is like the God."

More at NPR and the New York Times.

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Security theater: ha ha, only serious

Adam Conover latest "Adam Ruins Everything" is five depressingly hilarious minutes on aviation security, security theater, privacy, and ritual humiliation, with a guest-appearance by Bruce Schneier. If you didn't laugh, you'd have to cry, although you can always do both, right? Read the rest

Back to the Future III: home video behind the scenes

The house that starred as Marty McFly's home in the Back to the Future trilogy is at 9303 Roslyndale Ave in Arleta, California. While "Back to the Future Part III" was in production, a neighbor shot the home video above of the actors on set. (via Reddit)

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Smurfs vs phones: GCHQ's smartphone malware can take pics, listen in even when phone is off

In a new episode of the BBC's Panorama, Edward Snowden describes the secret mobile phone malware developed by GCHQ and the NSA, which has the power to listen in through your phone's mic and follow you around, even when your phone is switched off. Read the rest

The story old people tell young people about getting a job

An excerpt from Monical Helsey's new book I Can't Believe it's Not Better: A Woman's Guide to Coping With Life called "Getting a Job, a Short Story by Your Parents" shows off both Helsey's razor wit and the generational unfairness captured so well by Old Economy Steve. Read the rest

John Oliver: why do we only talk about mental health after mass-shootings?

John Oliver's segment on mass-shootings and mental health makes all the right points: making the issue about mental health instead of guns stigmatizes mentally ill people (who are more likely to be shot than shoot someone), but since we're on the subject, the American mental health system is a disgrace. Read the rest

Beginner Watchmaking by Tim Swike

I thought it would be impossible for an eBook to inspire me to get me working on a watch. Read the rest

The Enigma Machine wristwach: a wearable Arduino recreation

Alan Turing and the codebreakers of Bletchley Park invented modern crypto and computers in the course of breaking Enigma ciphers, the codes that Axis powers created with repurposed Enigma Machines -- sophisticated (for the day) encryption tools invented for the banking industry -- to keep the Allies from listening in on their communications. Read the rest

This 'guide to ambiguous grammar' is unexpectedly disturbing

Grammar: It's boring to talk about, unless you're that type of person. Which personally I am, though I recognize that the eyes of most normal humans glaze over like donuts at the very first mention of "tenses." Yet I implore you to push through that resistance and read this "interactive guide to ambiguous grammar" by Vijith Assar anyway. It goes somewhere genuinely important, so stick with it. Read the rest

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