Economist removed from plane for algebra, flight delayed 1.5 hours

Doesn't University of Pennsylvania economist Guido Menzio know that you should never do Al Gebra on a plane?

From FB:


Flight from Philly to Syracuse goes out on the tarmac, ready to take off. The passenger sitting next to me calls the stewardess, passes her a note. The stewardess comes back asks her if she is comfortable taking off, or she is too sick. We wait more. We go back to the gate. The passenger exits. We wait more. The pilot comes to me and asks me out of the plane. There I am met by some FBI looking man-in-black. They ask me about my neighbor. I tell them I noticed nothing strange. They tell me she thought I was a terrorist because I was writing strange things on a pad of paper. I laugh. I bring them back to the plane. I showed them my math.

It’s a bit funny. It’s a bit worrisome. The lady just looked at me, looked at my writing of mysterious formulae, and concluded I was up to no good. Because of that an entire flight was delayed by 1.5 hours.

Trump’s America is already here. It’s not yet in power though. Personally, I will fight back.

Here's the WaPo story about it.


(Thanks, Ryan!) Read the rest

Special Giveaway Alert: 10 YEARS of Netflix Premium

Monthly bills are a pain. Rent, power, gas, cable, digital...every month, you’ve got to do the rounds, either authorizing online payments or sending old-school checks in the mail like your grandparents did. Bills are annoying.

So let your friends at Boing Boing take one of those monthly bills off your plate for the next decade - if you win this killer 10 Years of Netflix Giveaway.  

One lucky winner will get their subscription to Netflix’s premium service paid for the next 10 years.  Just think - you’ll get to watch the end of Frank Underwood, Piper Chapman and even Daredevil’s stories without paying a dime.  In fact, Netflix has so much stuff, you could pretty much turn it on now, start watching movies and TV shows continuously for the next 10 years and STILL not exhaust Netflix’s ridiculously huge content catalogue.

All you’ve got to do to is fill out a simple online entry form, then wait for the phone call that you’re a winner. You can also pick up an additional entry by getting a friend 21 years of age or over to also enter the contest by following the equally simple Additional Entry instructions.

Ten years of Netflix premium service would normally run you over $1,400, so win this contest and cross one of those pesky monthly bills off your list.  

Good luck and happy viewing...registration ends June 12. Read the rest

Comics and Science: An Explosive Combination

In honor of Free Comic Book Day, we present this essay by Jon Chad, author of Science Comics: Volcanoes: Fire and Life, and the co-author, with Maris Wicks, of "Science Comics," a free comic available in comics stores all over the world today. Read the rest

Free Comic Book Day: Why write science comics?

In honor of Free Comic Book Day, we present this essay by Maris Wicks, author of Science Comics: Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean, and the co-author, with Jon Chad, of "Science Comics," a free comic available in comics stores all over the world today. See the bottom of the post for an exclusive preview of Science Comics!

Kobo "upgrade" deprives readers of hundreds of DRM-locked ebooks

Chris writes, "After a recent Kobo software upgrade, a number of Kobo customers have reported losing e-books from their libraries--notably, e-books that had been transferred to Kobo from their Sony Reader libraries when Sony left the consumer e-book business. One customer reported missing 460 e-books, and the only way to get them back in her library would be to search and re-add them one at a time! Customers who downloaded their e-books and illegally broke the DRM don't have this problem, of course." Read the rest

Doom, remade with ultraviolent claymation kitties

Animator Lee Hardcastle reimagines the quintessential first-person shooter as an even gorier game, starring Claycat, a fearless and fearsome claymation character. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Petition: David Attenborough to change his name to "Boaty McBoatface"

After the public overwhelmingly voted to name a new British Natural Environment Research Council vessel "Boaty McBoatface," the UK government pulled a switcheroo, declaring the will of the people to be secondary to the judgment of humourless bureaucrats, and summarily named the ship the R.R.S. David Attenborough. Read the rest

Venerable hacker zine Phrack publishes its first issue in four years

Phrack has been publishing erratically since 1985, but the four year gap between the previous issue, published in April 2012, and the current issue, published yesterday, was so long that many (me included) feared it might have died. Read the rest

Panama Papers whistleblower issues statement, naming and shaming failed states and institutions

"John Doe," the mysterious whistleblower who released the largest-ever leak of confidential documents in world history -- papers from the Panamanian law firm Mossack-Fonseca, a key player in the offshore dark money industry -- has published their first-ever public statement. Read the rest