North Korea plans to conduct nuclear warhead test “very soon”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says his nation will soon conduct a nuclear warhead test by launching ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads as a test, the official KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday. Read the rest

Video shows Fort Worth cop pepper-spraying passing bikers from roadside

A police officer in Fort Worth was taken off patrol Monday after video surfaced showing him pepper-spraying passing bikers from the side of the road. WFAA reports that a force spokesman admitted "pepper-spraying drivers is not a department-endorsed tactic" and confirmed an investigation was underway.

News 8 spoke Monday to Jack Kinney, the man who recorded the video with his helmet camera, and Chase Stone, who edited the video and posted it to Facebook. They say a group of about 200 motorcyclists were traveling up northbound U.S. 287 in Fort Worth Sunday afternoon when a Fort Worth police officer pulled over one of the motorcycle group's "safety vehicles," which is a vehicle that follows behind bikers in case of an incident.

In the edited video, which slows down and zooms in at one point, so viewers can see more clearly, the officer appears to spray something directly into oncoming traffic as he exits his vehicle. The bikers say it was pepper spray.… "His intent was to hit the bikers for sure, there’s no doubt about it," Stone says.

The emerging defense appears to be "people were complaining about the bikers weaving," as if pepper-spraying them at speed is going to make the roads safer. Read the rest

Cops who ate “candy bars” in pot raid video charged with petty theft, vandalism

The Orange County Weekly reports that the O.C. District Attorney's office (OCDA) has filed charges against three of the police officers who were seen in a widely-shared surveillance video munching what viewers presumed to be marijuana-infused edibles. The munchies mysteriously hit the officers right in the middle of a May 26, 2015 raid on Sky High Holistic, a medical marijuana dispensary in Santa Ana, CA. Read the rest

NFL acknowledges link between football and brain disease for the first time

The chief health and safety officer of the NFL today acknowledged a connection between football-related head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), in what is the first time any senior football league official has said anything about the link between football and the devastating brain disease that affects so many who play the game. Read the rest

Guy who was hounded from work by homophobic "Valentine" gets a love-note from Justin Trudeau

Last month, an anonymous work-colleague at Alberta's Party City sent's Degas Sikorski a homophobic "Valentine" that he posted last week. Read the rest

VPN Unlimited & To Do Checklist: Lifetime Subscription Bundle

For the past year or so, I've been paying for and using a VPN service called VPN Unlimited. I use it on my Macbook Air and my iPhone. I've never experienced any downtime with it, and it seems to be fast. The company claims not to keep logs of websites their customers visit.

Our partners at Stack Commerce are offering a lifetime subscription to the VPN Unlimited through the Boing Boing shop for $39. Should you get it? I don't know. Quite a few readers have been critical of the service. Here's one BBS thread, and here's another.

I would love to hear recommendations for other VPN services, and will switch over if I learn about a better service as long as the price seems reasonable. Read the rest

Where does your birthday land on pi?

To celebrate Pi Day (3/14), have fun with MyPiDay, developed last year by Stephen Wolfram and company. Enter your birthday or any other number and see where it first appears in pi.

Background in Wolfram's post here. Read the rest

Dire Straits' "Walk of Life" is the best ending to any movie

Above, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Below, "The Graduate," "The Shining," and "Star Wars: A New Hope." Many more at The Walk Of Life Project" (via WAXY)

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Play this video at your next party. Don't ask questions.

I want the playlist for this weird video. Read the rest

Search for the Loch Ness Monster on a luxury super-catamaran

Cruise Loch Ness has just commissioned construction of a £1.4 million custom catamaran that can take more than 200 passengers on a quest for Nessie. According to the company, purchase of the new vessel was driven by a big, er, swell in Chinese tourists at Loch Ness. From The Scotsman:

The specially-designed catamaran boasts superior features such as monster-sized windows on the main deck, to optimise ‘Nessie’ spotting opportunities. Meanwhile the upper deck will be open at the sides, but covered above, meaning passengers won’t be forced to come inside in bad weather. Toilets and a bar will feature on the main deck.

The vessel will be powered by a pair of Volvo D9 MH main engines. Producing 313kW per side, these powerful engines are capable of propelling the vessel to speeds over 20 knots, whilst being extremely fuel-efficient at the same time.

Oh, I'm sure that if Nessie does exist, it would certainly choose to frolick around this hulking beast speeding through the water.

Above: the infamous hoaxed "Surgeon's Photograph" Read the rest

Postcards from Liartown, USA

Portland's incomparable Ready Frenzy is offering six postcards from Sean Tejaratchi's acerbically brilliant Liartown, USA (previously). One dollar each (cheap!). Read the rest

Europe and Russia just launched a Mars space mission to sniff out signs of life

A European-Russian spacecraft headed out from our humble little planet to space today, in search for life on Mars. Read the rest

Putin orders most Russian troops out of Syria, citing “overall completion” of military goals

Vladimir Putin says Russian troops will begin withdrawing from Syria starting Tuesday, the day which marks 5 years since the start of Syria's bloody civil war. Putin's pledge is a move to help advance U.N.-brokered peace talks that resumed today. Read the rest

Pyongyang responds to Breitbart resignations

North Korea has responded to the resignation of high-profile staff at Breitbart and the site's spiteful (and quickly-deleted) response.

The lies of the venomous she-bitch Michelle Fields against TrumpNation and all right-thinking peoples are thus exposed to the ridicule and contempt of the peoples. It was through the dedicated work of Mister Lewandowski that Fields was exposed as a malignant urchin posing under the good and honorable name of a Breitbart News Reporter at Large, who casts lies and deceits into the popular consciousness concerning Great Leader Donald Trump, the Lion of Trump Tower, who because of his endurance and inflexible will to win will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake. May all such traitors wither before the gaze of the unforgiving peoples of TrumpNation.

This one's custom-fit by Patrick of Popehat, who posts disturbingly convincing Juche missives as @DPRK_News, but North Korea will denounce anyone you like with our handy North Korea Press Release Generator. Read the rest

Before emoji, there were Wingdings

From Vox:

Two people made Wingdings happen: Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes (proprietors of the firm and husband-and-wife team). As designers of the font Lucida, they crafted pioneering type uniquely suited to the digital era... They were protégés of legendary designer Hermann Zapf, whose own Zapf Dingbats font, another collection of odd symbols, broke ground when it was distributed with Apple Printers in the mid-1980s.

With Lucida, Bigelow and Holmes were at the vanguard of digital type designers. But to be complete, their font needed complementary characters that worked well with letters, so they designed them in 1990.

Originally three separate fonts called Lucida Icons, Lucida Arrows, and Lucida Stars, the fonts that became Wingdings were crafted to harmonize with text and made with similar proportions to Lucida. Users could then pluck the appropriate icon, by typing the letter assigned to it, to ornament, animate, or otherwise adorn their documents without worrying about file size or poor quality.

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You can calculate Pi by dropping toothpicks on a wood floor

In honor of Pi Day (3/14/16 = 3.1416), here's a page from The Giant Golden Book of Mathematics (1958) that shows you how to calculate Pi by dropping toothpicks on a wood floor.

We see circles everywhere. The wheels of automobiles, the rims of cups, and the faces of nickels and quarters are all circles. The sun and the full moon look like circles in the sky.

The distance across a circle, through its center, is called the diameter of the circle. The distance around the circle is called its circumference. Measure the diameter of a quarter, and you will find that it is about one inch long. You can measure the circumference of the quarter, too. First wind enough string around it to go around once. Then unwind the string, and measure it with a ruler. You will find that it is about three times as long as the diameter. Measure the circumference and diameter of the rim of a cup and you will get the same result. The circumference of any circle is a fixed number times the diameter. This fixed number cannot be written exactly as a fraction or decimal, so we use the Greek letter pi to stand for it. It is almost equal to 3-1/7, or 3.14.

Strange as it may seem, there is a way of calculating the value of pi by dropping a stick on the floor. The floor has to be made of planks of the same width. Use a thin stick, such as a toothpick, that is as long as the planks are wide.

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San Francisco: Premiere of beautiful new contemporary dance from ODC

On Thursday (3/17), the pioneering artists from San Francisco's contemporary dance company ODC will launch their 2016 season with a stunning array of world premiere pieces at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts! See video teasers above and below. Tickets available here. I've seen many ODC performances over the years and the commonality between them is that they are all sublime. This Thursday is the first ever performance of ODC founder/artist director Brenda Way's "Walk Back the Cat," featuring an original score commissioned and performed by Paul Dresher, with visuals by RJ Muna and Ian Winters.

"'Walk Back the Cat,' a metaphor for retracing the complex backstory of an event, explores the skeleton of the creative process," Way says. "How does context affect meaning in dance? Developing from pure movement ideas into a dramatic scenario, the work is conceived as a kind of choreographic puzzle, which ultimately comes together in a scenario inspired by Thomas Hart Benton’s muscular and vital murals of American City Life in the 1930s."

The other pieces in the 2016 season include:

* KT Nelson’s new work, "Going Solo," for the exceptional Private Freeman

* Reprise of Nelson’s explosive 2015 hit, "Dead Reckoning"

* Kimi Okada’s "humorous I look vacantly at the Pacific…though regret"

* An unprecedented co-commission from NY choreographer Kate Weare who brings her fiery movement to the ODC dancers with the world premiere of "Giant"

ODC/Dance Downtown (March 17-27)

"Dead Reckoning":

"I look vacantly at the Pacific... though regret":

Read the rest

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