Brexit wins: Britain votes to exit the European Union

A kiss goodbye. The votes are in, and Brexit wins. Britain has voted to leave the European Union.

The historic decision will change Britain's place in the world, “rattle the Continent and rock political establishments throughout the West,” reports the New York Times.

With 309 of 382 of the country’s cities and towns reporting early on Friday, the Leave campaign held a 52 percent to 48 percent lead. The BBC called the race for the Leave campaign shortly before 4:45 a.m., with 13.1 million votes having been counted in favor of leaving and 12.2 million in favor of remaining.

The value of the British pound plummeted as financial markets absorbed the news.

“Dare to dream that the dawn is breaking on an independent United Kingdom,” U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage told cheering supporters just after 4 a.m. today London time.

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The original French tumbler, made by the company that invented tempered glass

Duralex is a French manufacturer of glassware, tableware and cookware. Picardie is one of the lines of of glassware they sell, and it is actually somewhat famous on their own, for good reason. I have had sets of the 3 3/4 oz. and the 12 oz. glasses for about 12 years.

The good:

They are made from tempered glass, like car windshields, so they are tough and resistant to breaking and chipping. They will survive most falls from table-height, even onto stone or tile floors. In fact I have yet to break one, and I have gone through perhaps six wine glasses in the same time. When they do break, they break into little squarish pebbles rather than sharp shards. (But that is not unique to Duralex.) They come in nine different sizes, from little 3 oz. Old-Fashioned glasses to 16 oz. tumblers. They are relatively thin and light, their strength notwithstanding. They nest and stack nicely. The faceted, swelling design makes the glasses easy to hold, even for small hands, and even when wet. They have an absolutely classic design. They might be the only glasses that people will actually recognize. I saw something very like them in a painting by van Gogh.

The bad:

There are no bads as such. They might only be the second toughest glasses there are (the first might be the Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar line, which resembles the Picardie line, but doesn't have exactly the same familiar design. Especially, the lip is thicker, which makes them subtly less comfortable to drink from.) The Libbey Gibraltar glasses are similar but made of thicker glass, which makes them heavier. Read the rest

Science-inspired lamps: Large Hadron Collider and James Webb Space Telescope

Designer Art Donovan writes, "I'm always looking for new and unique inspiration for my lighting commissions and the latest, cutting edge scientific devices offer a boatload of great design inspiration. From the cool, new 'James Webb Space Telescope' to the myriad of complex details in the L.H.P.C. at Cern- it's a cornucopia of rich imagery." Read the rest

Broken Windows policing is nonsense

For years, the NYPD and other police departments have justified the highly racialized practice of stop-and-frisk and zero-tolerance approaches to turnstyle hopping, etc, by citing the "broken windows" theory of policing -- the idea that if the police stop petty crime, major crime will follow. Read the rest

You could own Banksy's SWAT Van

Banksy's iconic SWAT Van artwork goes up for auction at Bonhams next week. The piece first appeared in Banksy's infamous 2006 Los Angeles show Barely Legal. The hammer price is expected to hit US$300,000 - $450,000. From Bonhams:

Banksy's classic response to fear and tyranny is laughter and in the case of the present work the artist toys with his anti-establishment persona, ridiculing the police not just by depicting a scene in which heavily armed, faceless Special Forces agents are hoodwinked by a small boy but by doing so on the very apparatus of their strength. Banksy's best works combine vicious black humour with a clarity of message that many of the best advertisers would kill for and a rage that simply will not be ignored. His playfulness is the velvet glove that hides the iron fist of a social conscience honed on the streets of Bristol and which found its apotheosis in his breakout show Barely Legal in Los Angeles in 2006...

The present work was acquired directly from this exhibition and has remained in the same magnificent collection ever since, coming to the open market now for the first time. Despite the nature of the sculpture the condition is excellent and testament to the care with which the artist approaches even his most challenging works. This is a work that by the artist's own admission was first shown in a 'vandalised warehouse extravaganza' and yet it is worthy of any museum collection in the world.

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Jury rules that Led Zeppelin did not steal "Stairway to Heaven"

A federal jury in Los Angeles has just ruled that Led Zeppelin did not swipe the opening to "Stairway to Heaven" from the Spirit song "Taurus." From the New York Times:

Mr. Plant and Mr. Page both testified that “Stairway to Heaven” had been composed independently, and that while both bands had played on the same bill a handful of times, they did not recall ever seeing Spirit perform and had no familiarity with “Taurus” until the lawsuit was brought.

“I didn’t remember it then, and I don’t remember it now,” Mr. Plant said.

The jury found that, although Mr. Page and Mr. Plant had access to “Taurus” before the release of “Stairway to Heaven,” the two songs’ original elements did not contain enough similarities. Before reaching the verdict on Thursday, the jury asked to listen to audio recordings of the introductions to both songs twice.

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Lavish new New Order singles vinyl box on its way

On September 9, New Order will reissue their career-spanning Singles compilation as a remastered four-LP 180 gram vinyl box set or double CD set priced at $70 for the former and $20 for the latter. Tell me now how should I feel. From Rhino:

A decade after its initial release, SINGLES has been refined to become a greatly improved representation of the band's history. The renowned Frank Arkwright (The Smiths' Complete) at Abbey Road has remastered the collection with all audio sourced from high quality transfers.

In addition, SINGLES adds "I'll Stay With You" from 2013's Lost Sirens album and replaces the correct single edits or mixes for the tracks "Nineteen63," "Run 2," "Bizarre Love Triangle," "True Faith," "Spooky," "Confusion" and "The Perfect Kiss." The result is a considerable upgrade on the previous version of the album.

Video above, "True Faith" (1987). Below, "Ceremony" (1981), the song that bridged the end of Joy Division after Ian Curtis's death and the birth of New Order.

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How it feels to be under DDoS attack

At this week's O'Reilly Velocity conference in Santa Clara, Artur Bergman, founder and CTO, told the story of how he got involved in starting a denial-of-service-resistant CDN -- a personal story about helping his old company cope with a titanic DDoS attack that brought it and its upstream provider to their knees. Read the rest

Watch a fantastic documentary about psych pioneer Roky Erickson

Roky Erickson is the founder of pioneering Texan psychedelic band the 13th Floor Elevators, an outfit that emerged in mid-1960s from Austin's underground scene and influenced bands ranging from ZZ Top and Primal Scream to The Flaming Lips and Queens of the Stone Age. Read the rest

Sigmund the Sea Monster to return

Sid and Marty Krofft, two of the finest creators of television content of all time, are returning their epic hero Sigmund the Seamonster to the screen.

Via Entertainment Weekly:

Although the delivery method has changed, the story hews close to the original — two young brothers befriend a kindhearted sea monster and help him hide out — and the Kroffts’ time-tested approach remains intact.

“When it comes to content, we find out that it’s the same,” Marty, 79, said in an interview with EW. “You have to have great characters, great stories. It makes no difference whether it’s digital, network, Nickelodeon.” (The latter channel is home to the Krofft-produced series Mutt & Stuff.)

“We kept the integrity of the show,” Marty continued. “We didn’t want to piss off all of our fans that have grown up to be about 38 to 40, and who can still sing the theme song.”

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Watch this osprey catch a trout in super slo-mo

From the BBC series The Highlands, narrated by Ewan McGregor. From their site: Read the rest

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, The Vampire Accountant

Fantastic photographer Star Foreman recommended this wonderful series of vampire novels to me! I liked them so much, I asked her to write us review!

“IF you have never been fortunate enough to see a look of utter surprise race across a werewolf face, I highly recommend you do so”- Fred

The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, The Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes is one of my favorite books of all time. The truly awesome Drew Hayes has once again delivered a fun, sweet, interesting set of protagonists who turn the expectations of the genre on its ear.

This book has plenty of surprises! I know that naming the types of creatures we meet could dull the charms of Fred for a first time reader. So here is a short, non spoiler synopsis.

Fred lived a boring life until one day Fred woke up dead. Even then his life didn't change much beyond his allergic reaction to sunlight and his use of a bit of creative accounting (cooking the books for a local hospital) in exchange for blood. A year after his heart stopped beating Fred was still an accountant, still had no friends, and generally (un)life wasn’t any different then life.

Life was terribly uninteresting, until Fred, trying to do something different, went to his ten year high school reunion and his life changed (for the better).

Drew Hayes write’s Fred’s tale in diary format (something that I usually loath, but in this case it works) allowing us the great pleasure of enjoying Fred’s delightfully intelligent and slightly self-deprecating narration.

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Beautiful animation about human origins

Design studio Kurzgesagt's latest fantastic "In a Nutshell" animation explores the origin of humanity and "What Happened Before History."

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Converse All-Stars with built in Wah Wah pedal

Converse is marketing Chuck Taylors with a built in Wah Wah pedal. Here is guitarist J. Mascis, of Dinosaur Jr. fame, trying them out.

The only electric effect I much care for is reverb. Read the rest

KFC's new meal box with a built-in battery to charge mobile devices

KFC's new "Watt a Box" is a meal box with a built-in battery, micro-USB, and lightning cables to charge your smartphone. It's available as a special limited edition "prize" for customers at KFC stores in Delhi and Mumbai. BGR reviewed the Watt a Box. It's a fun marketing gimmick but, no surprise, the battery kinda sucks. They claim it's a 6,100mAh power bank but perhaps a better approach (and name) would have been a Bucket of Batteries. From BGR:

The power bank claims to have a 6,100mAh battery but the claims fell short during our brief test. We put an iPhone 5s to charge, which gained 17 percent battery after charging for half-an-hour. But the downside was that the power bank was drained during this process. We recharged the power bank to 100 percent and tried to charge a Redmi Note 3. But the power bank ran out of juice again with the phone gaining just 7 percent of charge...

KFC is not the only one to toy with such marketing campaigns. Pizza Hut came up with a limited edition box in Hong Kong that converted into a projector for smartphones. McDonald’s had launched a special edition of its Happy Meal boxes in Sweden that could be converted into cardboard VR headsets. Coca Cola too had a similar cardboard VR headset one could make from its 12-pack cartons.

"Hands-on with KFC’s ‘Watt a Box’ that charges your phone while you eat" (via Laughing Squid)

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Paynie shows us Lightning in a Bottle 2016

I love how this fantastic short film, by Stephen "Paynie" Payne, conveys the feel of an 1960s festival home movie.

Paynie also curates Oddville, a fantastic gallery in Downtown LA. Read the rest

Iceland soccer commentator finds team's performance satisfactory

His name is Gummi Ben. The BBC reports on a remarkable day for the 330,000-strong island nation.

(Edit: sorry about the hinky Streamable embed; open video in a new window)

Gummi Ben, who became a commentator after hanging up his boots in 2009, has been fending calls off all day.

"It's been quite strange and actually hectic, because the phone hasn't stopped ringing," he told the BBC.

"But I'm really enjoying it! It's part of the job."

Translation: "*screams*. My voice is gone, but it doesn't matter. We have come forward, in this tournament, and never, not once have I ever felt so good" Read the rest

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