Brexit leaders detail UK transition plan for leaving European Union

The plan is actually surprisingly detailed and well-thought out compared to the guff that usually emerges from the Brexit crowd. I'm beginning to think England will endure! Read the rest

Is Trump on crappy prescription stimulants, like Hitler?

Gawker's Ashley Feinberg reports on rumors that Donald Trump, presumptive Republican candidate for U.S. President, is on "cheap speed."

...according to a source with knowledge of Trump’s current prescriptions, that letter isn’t telling the whole story. Most notably: Donald Trump is allegedly still taking speed-like diet pills.

Rumors of Trump’s predilection for stimulants first started really popping up in 1992, when Spy magazine wrote, “Have you ever wondered why Donald Trump has acted so erratically at times, full of manic energy, paranoid, garrulous? Well, he was a patient of Dr. [Joseph] Greenberg’s from 1982 to 1985.” At the time, Dr. Greenberg was notorious for allegedly doling out prescription stimulants to anyone who could pay.

Previously: Hitler was injected with all sorts of crazy drugs Read the rest

Brexit, by a Serbian "fake Briton"

I am a fake Briton: in elementary and high school, for twelve years of my education, I attended offshored British schools.

Arthur C. Clarke and his vision of world government

As I write, the aftermath of Brexit is being felt around the world -- Britain’s historic exit marking an end to the forty-year membership of the European Union. It’s ironic that this should coincide with the launch of The Medusa Chronicles, because the EU, a voluntary nation-states, is a kind of regional prototype of a world government of the kind which we feature in Chronicles, and which featured prominently in Arthur C Clarke’s own thinking, and his writing.

Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds The Medusa Chronicles is available from Amazon.

A world government is there in the background of A Meeting with Medusa, the 1971 novella which we took as our starting point. By the 2080s, we’re told, humanity enjoys a "secure and prosperous global society." When Howard Falcon plans his mission to Jupiter it is under the sponsorship of a directorate of "Long Range Planning" and a "Bureau of Astronautics." We extended this model in our sequel - even though our utopian world government ultimately crumbles under the pressure of an existential war. Clarke, however, had been writing of world governments at least as far back as books like The Deep Range (1957).

A future world government was a common assumption in post-Second World War SF, presumably inspired by the multinational institutions that emerged after that war – the UN, the EU. Their purpose was to prevent a war between countries armed with atomic weapons, and to manage such challenges as poverty on a wider scale than the nation-state. Read the rest

Grandad builds miniature backyard Disneyland

Steve Dobbs grew up near the present-day site of Disneyland and was profoundly influenced by watching the park get built while he zipped by on his bike; today the reitred aerospace engineer has built a charming miniature Disney-inspired theme-park in his backyard in Fullerton, CA. Read the rest

Elizabeth Warren on monopolies in America, including Apple, Google, and Amazon

Elizabeth Warren is on fire in this speech at a New America Open Markets conference on monopolies this week in DC; Senator Warren is pitiless, lucid and laser focused on the way that corruption creates monopolies, and monopolies suborn corruption. Read the rest

This Twinkie is 40 years old and it looks good enough to eat

At Blue Hill, Maine's George Stevens Academy, there lies a Twinkie that was the subject of teacher Roger Bennatti's 1976 science lesson on chemical preservatives and shelf life. Now the immortal snack cake sits in a glass case on the desk of the school's Dean of Students Libby Rosemeier who was a student in the class when the experiment began.

“It’s really funny that we’re this wonderful coastal community in Maine, and we have this school of 325 kids that is a gem and we’re doing great things and kids are going to great colleges, and the thing people know about us is this 40-year-old Twinkie,” Rosemeier told ABC News.

Hostess did not respond to ABC News's request for a comment on the miracle of the everlasting golden spongecake with creamy filling.

(via Weird Universe) Read the rest

White House plan to use data to shrink prison populations could be a racist dumpster fire

The US imprisons more people than any other country in history, both as a total number and as a proportion of its population; a White House data-mining effort proposes to set free prisoners who are "low risk," which is something we can all get behind. Read the rest

Boy repeatedly spit on air passengers, mom banned from airline

One would hope that if a two-year-old child spit on a stranger, his or her parents would swiftly apologize and take the child out of spitting range from any other human in the vicinity. But this wasn't the case on a flight from Spain to Liverpool, England.

The boy, who was with his parents and siblings, began spitting at people who were ready to board the Ryanair flight from Spain. His parents looked the other way. Then the boy's "unruly" behavior continued on the plane, and when passengers complained, the boy's mother became aggressive and unruly as well. According to Liverpool Echo:

“At the baggage carousel, passengers were telling us how a boy had been spitting at people in the Barcelona departure lounge, they’d asked the parents to intervene, and the mum took exception to that.

“This behaviour carried on when on the plane, threats were made by her, and there was aggression towards the Ryanair stewards.

“It was all pretty surreal.”

When the plane landed, the family of five was escorted off the plane by police, and the mother was given a "strongly worded warning" from Ryanair officials. Nobody was arrested, but the mother was banned from flying Ryanair again. Read the rest

One man's incredible plan for humanity to migrate into space

In the early 1970s, Princeton University physicist Gerard O’Neill became a space activist touting plans to build human colonies in outer space. He argued that humans could escape (while helping alleviate) the environmental damage we are causing on Earth by migrating to space habitats housed in cylinders that would be suspended 250,000 miles from Earth at LaGrange Point 5, a spot where the gravitational forces enable objects to just hang there. O'Neill's ideas, while controversial, were mostly sound from a scientific and engineering perspective.

After the New York Times published a front page article about O'Neill, he became a media sensation and quickly developed a very vocal following of space geeks, (some) environmentalists, heads, and future-minded scientists. NASA even jumped in, supporting studies based on O'Neill's research and commissioning the incredible illustrations seen here. O'Neill's specific concepts influenced countless science fiction books and movies and were the seed of bOING bOING patron saint Timothy Leary's plan for humanity's future, SMI2LE (Space Migration, Intelligence Increase, Life Extension.)

His book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space is still in-print and captures the wonder and sense of possibility that permeated our culture after the first moon landing and into the 1970s. It's my hope that today's myriad private efforts to make space accessible will re-ignite that desire in everyone to explore and experience what lies beyond our home planet.

The fantastic podcast 99% Invisible told O'Neill's story in an episode titled "Home on Lagrange":

Read the rest

Even if Moore's Law is "running out," there's still plenty of room at the bottom

A very good piece by Tom Simonite in the MIT Technology Review looks at the implications of Intel's announcement that it will slow the rate at which it increases the density of transistors in microprocessors. Read the rest

Black-hat hacker handles are often advertisements

When Bruce Sterling wrote his seminal book The Hacker Crackdown -- a history of the rise of hackers, the passage of the first anti-hacking laws, and the formation of the Electronic Frontier Foundation -- most of the hackers he chronicled had handles that were a combination of playfulness and menace, like Phiber Optik, Scorpion and Acid Phreak. Read the rest

Obama says US drones strikes have killed up to 116 civilians, watchdogs say real count is higher

The Obama administration today “partially lifted the secrecy that has cloaked one of the United States’s most contentious tactics for fighting terrorists,” as the New York Times puts it, and revealed that it believes U.S. airstrikes conducted outside established war zones like Afghanistan have killed as many as 116 civilian bystanders. The administration says it also killed an additional 2,500 people in those non-war-zones who were members of terrorist groups. Read the rest

Gay Talese learns the subject of his new book is a liar, disavows the book UPDATED

Gay Talese's forthcoming book The Voyeur's Motel tells the allegedly true story of Gerald Foos, a Colorado motel owner and voyeur who claimed to have conducted "research" on human sexuality by spying on the sex lives of his guests through strategically placed ceiling gratings that let him covertly watch them from the motel's attics. Read the rest

Watch this mesmerizing and magical zoetrope

Akinori Goto designed and 3D printed this magnificent zoetrope where it won awards at the recent Spiral Independent Creators Festival in Tokyo.

(via This Is Colossal) Read the rest

Chelsea Manning on the end of U.S. ban on transgender people in the military

From her prison cell, whistleblower Chelsea Manning has written a beautiful piece for the Guardian about the Pentagon's announcement that it will end a longtime ban on transgender people serving in the Armed Forces, and the implications this has for ordinary trans Americans who serve our country, just like her. Read the rest

Wonderful and weird collection of vintage patriotic and Independence Day photos

In celebration of Independence Day weekend here in the U.S., Robert E. Jackson, esteemed collector of vernacular photographs, shares a selection of wonderful and odd patriotic vintage snapshots.

"I hope these photos from my collection give a brief, optimistic pause during this patriotic holiday and show a positive and somewhat humorous side to patriotism," writes Jackson.

See more at the Humble Arts Foundation blog! Read the rest

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