Boko Haram attack in Nigeria kills as many as 100, unknown number of women and children kidnapped

Another brutal attack is reported to have taken place in Nigeria, led by the Islamic armed group Boko Haram. On Saturday night, Boko Haram militants carrying machine guns rolled into the village of Dalori on motorcycles, opening fire on every living thing in sight. Read the rest

Trump commands mob to ‘Knock the Crap Out’ of protesters, promises to pay legal fees

You never go full Hitler, bro. Read the rest

Justice Department to investigate SF Police, as protests over Mario Woods killing continue

As protests continue over the death of Mario Woods, who was shot and killed by an SFPD cop in December, the Justice Department announces it will conduct a “comprehensive review” of the San Francisco Police Department. Read the rest

As Walter White was to meth, so is the “Drug Wizard of Wichita” to Fentanyl

The potent drug Fentanyl is widely used in medicine as a painkiller, and in anesthesia for major surgery. The intensely concentrated opiate is also a recreational street drug, with a growing number of addicted users--some of whom consume it together with chemically related opiates such as heroin.

Fusion profiles George Marquardt, an eccentric gadgeteer in Wichita, KS who became a career clandestine chemist. How important was he? When the feds finally nabbed Marquardt, the country's first “Fentanyl epidemic” dried right up. Read the rest

Google parent Alphabet surpasses Apple as 'world's most valuable company'

With the release of its fourth-quarter earnings report today, Google parent company Alphabet became the world's most valuable company, and kicked Apple out of that coveted spot. Read the rest

Matcha to go

I've been cutting back on coffee, and have switched over to drinking mainly green tea. I don't get as jangly from drinking green tea as I do from coffee, probably because it has less caffeine than coffee, and it contains theanine, which may have calming effects.

My favorite kind of green tea is matcha, which has a stronger flavor than loose leaf or bagged green tea. Matcha is made from shade grown tea leaves that have been de-veined, de-stemmed, and ground into a fine powder that's almost fluorescent green.

It's fun to make matcha at home, but I haven't come across any places that serve it. So I bought a case of Matcha Love on Amazon ($(removed) for 20 cans). These cans contain 5.2 ounces of matcha tea, and taste good at room temperature. I take a couple of cans with me when I go out for the day. I just wish I could pack it in my carry-on bag. Read the rest

FBI's war on encryption is unnecessary because the Internet of Things will spy on us just fine

The war on encryption waged by the F.B.I. and other intelligence agencies is unnecessary, because the data trails we voluntarily leak allow “Internet of Things” devices and social media networks to track us in ways the government can access.

That's the short version of what's in “Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the ‘Going Dark’ Debate,” a study published today by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. Read the rest

Z Burbia, a novel by Jake Bible

The first novel in Jake Bible's series Z Burbia hooked me. What appeared to be a jokey take on zombie fiction quickly develops some great characters and story.

Jason "Long Pork" Stanford and his family live in a small community outside Asheville, NC. They've used the local geography and their HOA to secure the housing complex and have spent several years keeping things together. Their insular policies and strict adherence to the CC&Rs of Whispering Pines, their home, have kept them alive in the face of bandits, cannibals and of course hordes of zombies. Sadly, things are about to fall apart.

I've enjoyed the characters, Bible has an ability to write little about folks, while not having them be cartoons. The plot, once you get past the condo association stuff, is rather standard Zombie fare, but I'm very much looking forward to the rest of his series. I got the first and second books via Kindle Unlimited.

Z-Burbia by Jake Bible via Amazon Read the rest

Disneyland-scented candles

Rheney Williams, a former attorney from Charleston, SC, sells a line of unofficial Disneyland-scented candles themed after the rides, food, and environments of the park. Read the rest

Exuberant designer skins for the insides of Mumbai's taxis

In Mumbai, cab drivers vie to make their vehicles stand out from their competitors', decorating them with exuberant expressions of the driver's personality. Read the rest

Police training eagles to take down drones

The Dutch National Police are attempting to train eagles to take down drones. (Here's an unintentional example of an eagle doing just that!) From IEEE Spectrum:

The Dutch police have partnered with Guard From Above, a raptor training company based in Denmark, to determine whether eagles could be used as intelligent, adaptive anti-drone weapon systems. The eagles are specially trained to identify and capture drones, although from the way most birds of prey react to drones, my guess is that not a lot of training was necessary. After snatching the drone out of the sky, the eagles instinctively find a safe area away from people to land and try take a couple confused bites out of their mechanical prey before their handlers can reward them with something a little less plastic-y. The advantage here is that with the eagles, you don’t have to worry about the drone taking off out of control or falling on people, since the birds are very good at mid-air intercepts as well as bringing the drone to the ground without endangering anyone.

Except maybe the eagles?

"Dutch Police Training Eagles to Take Down Drones" (IEEE Spectrum)

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Area 51: new "no drone" warning signs

Amateur Radio Club visited the border of Area 51 and noticed some new "no drone" signage added to the classic warnings signs around the infamous US Air Force facility. I assume that policy also applies to extraterrestrial spacecraft and Alien Reproduction Vehicles. Yours anyway.

(Foxtrot Alpha via Mysterious Universe)

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Watch two guys disguised as one person sneak into movie theater!

Bo and Matthew, "two best friends, achieve lifelong dream of sneaking into a movie theatre in one set of clothing." So fun!

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Sarah Palin on drugs

Erowid Sarah Palin is a Twitter bot that melds Sarah Palin speeches with psychedelic trip reports posted to the excellent Erowid drug information clearinghouse.

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Watch the most intense surfing wipeout you've ever seen

Last week, professional surfer Tom Dosland fell 40-feet down the front of a wave at Jaws, Maui's legendary surfing break. See the intensity of it all in the video above. Surfer magazine interviewed Dosland about the day:

Before this wave, I had paddled for a few and pulled back because it wasn’t quite lining up right. But when this wave came toward me, I was totally committed. It looked like a sea monster rising out of the ocean when it came my way. But I was going. No matter what. So I flipped around and started paddling to get into it. You can’t really tell from the video, but there was some wind blowing spray up the face as I was about to drop in, which pretty much blinded me for a few seconds. I could only see out of one eye, and only partially. So I was pretty much just going off of feeling for that brief second before you drop in. Then, I was able to open up both my eyes, and I realized what was about to happen.

That’s crazy you couldn’t see. Can you walk me through what happened next?

Once I started to drop in and could open both my eyes, I instantly realized that this wasn’t going to end well for me. So I sort of hit the eject button hoping to make the best of it and penetrate. I was free-falling for a while. It felt like I jumped off a cliff. That’s when my leash stretched out all the way and flipped me over head-first.

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The 27th amendment was ratified largely because a college student got a C on a term paper

For a government class in 1982, college sophomore Gregory Watson argued that a long-forgotten constitutional amendment could still be ratified. His instructor found this implausible and gave him a C on the assignment. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll follow Watson's 10-year mission to prove his professor wrong -- and ultimately get the amendment added to the Constitution.

We'll also learn an underhanded way to win a poetry contest and puzzle over how someone can murder a corpse.

Show notes

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How to make a long-distance Frisbee launcher

La Fabrique DIY built a cool Frisbee launcher using a bike wheel an electric drill. Read the rest

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