An ARG to celebrate open access week, courtesy of the University of Toronto library

Bobby Glushko writes, "Something's going on at the University of Toronto's Robarts Library. A concerned group of citizens is investigating a conspiracy hiding facts about the mysterious and controversial past of this masterpiece of brutalist architecture. At the same time a noble, if shadowy, society is working to keep its secrets hidden." Read the rest

A cheap dual Apple Lightning and USB micro charging cable

The lack of a universal charging cable is one of my biggest gripes as an iPhone user.

I never have there right combination of chargers and connectors with me on any given trip, so this $9 dual charging cable is a real boon.

Charging is easy. iTune recognizes my iPhone when I plug it in, GoPros mount instantly. The zipper for managing the loose cable ends is a pretty good idea and saves me from headphone-like tangles. All in all, I am getting everything I want out of the cable.

Charging 2 devices at once via my MacBook Air is not the fastest thing on earth, but that may be more a function of the port and then cable. I'll try it with a high speed charging port soon!

TOTOP IPhone 6 Cable, 2-in-1 USB Nylon Braided 2.0 Cable Zipper, 8 Pin Micro USB Cable via Amazon Read the rest

Widowspeak plays the Chicago leg of our Good Measure tour

Noise Pop, Boing Boing and Joie de Vivre Hotels hosted Widowspeak at Chicago's fantastic Hotel Lincoln as part of our Good Measure tour, last month. Here's video of Widowspeak's cowboy grunge, dream country, earthtone pop stylings. Read the rest

On saying "no": creativity, self-care, privilege, and knowing your limits

Austin "Steal Like an Artist" Kleon has posted a fantastic meditation on the idea that "creative people say no" -- the idea that you have to say no in order to get your work done. The piece includes a bunch of amusing, funny, sometimes a little smarmy form-letters that famous artists have used to rebuff correspondents, and I share Kleon's horrified, tempted fascination with these artefacts. Read the rest

Call for papers: We Robot, a conference on robots, ethics, philosophy and regulation

Michael Froomkin writes, "We Robot is a cool conference that brings together lawyers, engineers, philosophers, robot builders, ethicists, and regulators who are on the front lines of robot theory, design, or development. The 2016 editioni will be in Coral Gables, Florida on April 1-2, 2016 at the University of Miami School of Law. The main conference will be preceded by a day of special workshops on March 31. Full details at Read the rest

Take control of a giant fungus by carefully destroying it

As concepts for games go, this is a new one: propelling a regenerating fungus through a long series of puzzles by surgically destroying it and forcing it to regrow. And it works. Mushroom 11 is one of the more fascinating reinventions of the platform game in recent memory, the sort of game that feels new beneath your fingers—that asks you to move and think in ways you don't expect—but makes instinctive sense nonetheless.

As the player, you operate a glittering circle that annihilates any part of the fungus that falls beneath it, like an insect incinerated under a microscope. But life always finds a way, and so the organic mass will grow away from your burning gaze, allowing you to propel it forward through crevices, over obstacles, and even into the air.

While there are times when you'll need to move quickly to avoid falling into lava, which will indeed obliterate you, most of the time it's better to be deliberate than it is to be fast. Although you can't control the fungus precisely—it often feels like squeezing a tube of green toothpaste—you can trim it like an oozing bonsai until it eventually does what you want. You can even divide the goop into different parts, use them to independently trigger different elements of a puzzle, then simply erase the part you don't need and move on.

The game doesn't announce any particular plot when it begins, and would probably be just as fun even if there were no story at all. Read the rest

Dig this drinking straw dubstep!

Gulp. (Parker Kane)

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Brabantia Classic Corkscrew Bottle Opener

I'm not much of a drinker. I like to have an occasional sip of my wife's wine when she has a glass. I do enjoy opening wine bottles, though, and this opener by Brabantia is my favorite. It's easy to use, and pretty fool-proof. You just place it over the neck of the bottle and turn the knob. The teflon-coated screw grabs the cork and pulls it out. The plastic model is $(removed) and the stainless steel model (the one I use) is $(removed) on Amazon. Read the rest

The wonderful features of this roll of brown packaging tape

It is multi-purpose. It is brown. It is tough. It is packaging tape.

Give that copywriter a raise!


(Thanks, Andreas!) Read the rest

LA prosecutors won't charge Saudi sheik with multiple sexual assaults because “insufficient evidence”

Prosecutors for the county of Los Angeles say they will not file charges against a Saudi prince recently arrested for sexual assault at a gated mansion on the edge of Beverly Hills.

A civil lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court on Sept. 25 says he attacked multiple women inside the home for several days. Read the rest

Mysterium – A spirit and murder game spooky enough for Halloween fun

It’s like Clue meets Password, with a little Where’s Waldo thrown in, but with the addition of dreams, interpretations and séances. In Mysterium, a person was murdered in a house and their ghost now haunts the grounds. The ghost needs to communicate with psychics to solve its murder in an effort to be set free. The trick is, the spirit can only communicate through visions and dreams. These dreams are rather vivid and unique as you can see in the cards.

One player takes over as the spirit, and it is their job to communicate with the living through dreams, which are represented with a set of beautiful and imaginative illustrations. The spirit draws cards each turn and passes those dreams to the players in an effort to give them each clues. The other players play the role of spirit mediums who must deduce the following, using only the images on the dream cards:

who killed the spirit’s mortal form what room the horrid event took place what foul instrument of destruction was used

While the spirit is not allowed to communicate with the mediums or give any clues beyond the cards, the other mediums may talk amongst themselves in an effort to deduce if that dream card about the Knight and the tower means that the Magician was the Killer, or does the dream card with the ship in the tub in the ocean signify poison was used? Trying look for the hidden clues that the Spirit is using to communicate with you gives the game the Where’s Waldo aspect. Read the rest

Animations of trippy vintage paperback book covers

Fantastic vintage graphic, minimalist, and op art paperback covers animated by Henning M. Lederer. See the full video below. More GIFs over at Dangerous Minds! For the source material, check out the Julian Montague Project and Book Worship.

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Just how bad would Joe Biden be as President? Really f*cking bad

Nick Gillespie of The Daily Beast offers up a list of compelling reasons to fear for a Biden presidency. Biden is a military hawk, a willfully-ignorant drug warrior, an academic cheater, and a plagiarizer. "On top of that," says Nick, "he's been silent on the issue of domestic surveillance, torture, and other niceties of today's modern warfare."

Biden was instrumental in creating the office of the drug czar and called for nothing short of total war on pot and pills. “Mr. President,” he raged, outdoing even Ronald Reagan in just-say-no bellicosity, “you say you want a war on drugs, but if that’s what you want we need another D-Day. Instead you’re giving us another Vietnam — a limited war fought on the cheap, financed on the sly, with no clear objectives, and ultimately destined for stalemate and human tragedy.” Give Biden bonus credit for chutzpah in invoking Vietnam—like Dick Cheney, he managed to snag five deferments from the military draft his college days.

Here's the best Biden photo to go along with this, but we don't have a licensing arrangement with AP.

Image: Wikipedia Read the rest

Michelle Duggar’s Sacred Blessings 2016 Motherhood & Marriage Nature Calendar

Sean Tejaratchi, the excellent book designer and creator of the Crap Hound zine, made this parody calendar called Michelle Duggar’s Sacred Blessings 2016 Motherhood & Marriage Nature Calendar. It uses actual quotes from a post by Mrs. Duggar, and stock photos of animal mothers with a lot of babies.

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Learn the fastest way to tie your shoelaces

Many more tips on Ian Fleggen's classic "Professor Shoelace" site.

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Every email NSA says it got after asking Americans for tips on how to protect their privacy

At the Black Hat hacker convention in 2013, Former NSA director Keith Alexander asked hackers to help the NSA come up with ways to protect Americans' privacy and civil liberties.

"How do we start this discussion on defending our nation and protecting our civil liberties and privacy?" Alexander asked the Las Vegas crowd. "The reason I'm here is because you may have some ideas of how we can do it better. We need to hear those ideas." Read the rest

Man who swerved into motorcyclists blames spider bite

"All the sudden I felt this tremendous stinging in my left leg and I thought it was a wasp or something and I didn't know it was a spider bite," said William Crum (68), the Texas man who drove his car into a motorcycle. Sanders and his girlfriend were knocked off their motorcycle when Crum rammed in them as they tried to pass him on a two-lane road 5 miles north of Granbury. The woman suffered severe road rash, a broken wrist, and deep arm lacerations and was hospitalized in an intensive care unit.

Brian Fisher, who was riding in a motorcycle behind Crum and Sanders, captured the ill-timed consequences of the spider bite. When Crum pulled his car over, Fisher went to Crum and said, "What were you doing? You hit them!"

"I don't care," Crum replied repeatedly.

When a reporter later asked Crum if the spider had left a mark on his leg Crum replied, "It’s swollen right now. It bit me right in the tendon, so right now I have a tendon that’s hurting if I stand. If I walk off I’ll limp."

Crum was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for the incident. The spider remains at large.

Here is Fisher's full video on Facebook. Read the rest

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