Are Jews people? Find out after the break on CNN

How fast things move! Here's us, suggesting that media people stop using the cutesy term "alt right" to describe Sieg Heiling white supremacists. But they're already moving onto panel discussions on whether Jews are people. Read the rest

Trump's DHS plan leaked by Kris Kobach, who thinks more about Sharia law than folders

Kansas Secretary of State and noted xenophobe Kris Kobach, who is in line to run Trump's DHS, was photographed by the AP yesterday at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse holding the secret 100-day plan for the Trump DHS. By blowing the photo up, we're able to learn an awful lot about what's in the cards. Read the rest

Good colored pencil set

We got the Ohuhu 48-color colored pencil set ($(removed) on Amazon) so we could review the coloring books Carla gets for Wink. They are a lot better than I expected, especially for the price. The pigments are rich, and shading and blending effects are easy to achieve. They don't look waxy on paper, like cheaper pencils.

As for a sharpener, nothing beats the classic Brass Bullet. Read the rest

The Portable February grabs the reader like an LSD-dosed college professor who hijacked a tourist bus

With 100 frames of incongruously playful observation connected only by authorship, wit, and uncanny brilliance, The Portable February is a Cliff’s Notes thesis on existence, told in line drawings and one-liners by author, poet, and musician David Berman. Randomly exposing the vaudevillian arc of history, Berman extracts the extraordinary from the ordinary. He brings a furied ennui to every moment, grabbing the reader like an LSD-dosed and recently-ousted college professor who hijacked a tourist bus, calmly calling out the sights and overlooked absurdities of American life armed with a keen wit, a soft spot for pop culture, and the occasional ax to grind.

Just flipping through this book, one might say, “This guy can’t even fucking draw,” but the crudeness of his visual accompaniment is intentional.

In this visual follow-up to his critically-acclaimed book of poetry, Actual Air, David Berman tasks himself with contemplating the missing socks in the laundry load of life. Able to portray human futility in one frame, as in “The Soul and its Shtick,” the book’s visual simplicity belies the complexity of thought, as in “Humbled by the Void,” while a casual humor defines another, like “Daytime Television.” In frames like “Irrational 15th Century Battle Scenes,” and “'We' stands for 'warn everybody,'” his playful love for humanity emerges, and in the sweet “All culture strives, folks,” you can take his beneficent observations to heart.

Berman’s inner and outer battles seep into the pages and the juxtaposition of impossibly insightful and wicked smart ideas hung on spare, but potent, frames is pure Berman. Read the rest

One-minute anthem for the Trump presidency: "Everything Is Fucked (Keep On Going)"

Metafilter's Cortex wrote and recorded "Everything Is Fucked (Keep On Going)" (MP3) as "a little pep talk, for myself and for anyone else who needs one, as we wade through the fuckedness of all this. Catchy and short and angry and upbeat and exactly a minute long." Read the rest

Beginners set of watch repair tools

I may not be able to fix a broken watch, but I do not blame this set of tools.

I have a dead self-winding Bulova I wanted to see if I could puzzle out, and fix on my own. That did not work out, but these tools are wonderful to have around. I can open cases of watches I previously had to take in for battery replacement, and changing, or resizing bands got a lot easier.

I find I use this set for a lot more than trying to fix a watch, too. Eye glasses repair and just about anything that needs tiny screwdrivers and picks will benefit from keeping this toolkit handy.

At least my Timex Mickey is running again.

Readaeer® Portable Watchmaker Watch Repair Tools Kit Set Back Case Opener Adjuster Remover via Amazon Read the rest

Listen to "Another Brick in the Wall" played on traditional Korean gayageum

Gayageum virtuoso Luna Lee's intense cover of "Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)."

Read the rest

Video of walnut sanded away layer by layer

Walnut Sanded Away Layer by Layer

Laurin Döpfner sanded a walnut, layer by layer, and combined the photos into an animated video. Here's his set-up. Read the rest

Cool animated opening for David Blaine's "Beyond Magic"

Buck, the director of this animated video, says, "David Blaine approached us to make an animated intro for his latest magic special, a palette cleanser to get people excited for a bumpy night ahead. Inspired by David’s mind-bending magic and the Paul Auster penned script which was voiced by Christopher Walken in the style of a side-show barker, we crafted a hero’s journey of sorts, a psychedelic trip into the spectacle of the real." Read the rest

UK regulator rules joke about Queen having sex "breached rules"

British regulators determined that a joke about Queen Elizabeth II having sex "breached" broadcasting rules.

The edition of the show, which aired in April this year, featured a panel of comedians who are given a subject which they have to prove is not funny. If the audience does laugh, the subject passes to the next contestant.

Panellist Russell Kane was asked to explain why there was nothing funny about why the Queen, who has four children, must have had sex at least four times in her life.

“Four times we have to think of republicanism as we imagine four children emerging from Her Majesty’s vulva,” said Kane to audience laughter.

Ofcom ruled that the quips, uttered on BBC Radio 4, were "not justified". Moreover, "the potential for offence was increased by the fact that these remarks were broadcast on the Queen's 90th birthday".

The show, Don't Make Me Laugh, was cancelled in the wake of the controversy, which led to a staggering 12 people writing in to complain.

I can't immediately find a clip of the segment in question, so you'll instead have to make do with some amusing media navelgazing over a previous instance of British lese majeste, wherein the line "I'm so old my pussy is haunted" was repeated in Streisand-esque fashion in a watchdog show.

No sanctions were reported other than Ofcom's stern telling-off. But whatever you do, don't talk about Queen Liz getting into bed with Donald Trump.

UPDATE: I believe this is the episode in question, but haven't got a timestamp for you yet:

Read the rest

Roller Girl: Newberry-honored coming of age graphic novel about roller derby and difficult tween friendships

Victoria Jamieson's 2015 graphic novel Roller Girl won the prestigious Newberry Honor Award and it's easy to see why: Jamieson's story of a young teen's interest in roller derby is the perfect vehicle to explore the difficult and even traumatic way that girls' friendships change as they become teenagers, while never losing sight of the core story, about personal excellence, teamwork, and hard-hitting, girl-positive roller derby.

"Bring Back Weird Epcot" and other unofficial retro Disney World tees

Foxxfur, proprietress of the outstanding Passport to Dreams Old and New Disney themepark design critique blog (previously) has opened a t-shirt store featuring designs celebrating the lost, lamented design-flourishes that lurked in the corners of early Walt Disney World: the crowning glory of the store is this Bring Back Weird Epcot tee that really tells it like it is. Read the rest

Next-level animal/crotch power underwear: the skin-tight, full-body wolf onesie

If the rush of masculine energy conferred by wearing 3D eagle underwear has faded, you can renew it with the full-print wolf bodysuit that accentuates and subtly emphasizes the snoutal region. (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

How to make Fire Tornados the "easy" way

"Hopefully plugging something into a GFCI outlet will save me if something goes wrong." Read the rest

A hard-sell con that cleaned out its desperate victims: behind the $25,000,000 Trump University settlement

Victims of the Trump University con were roped in by an initial free class endorsed by "the most celebrated entrepreneur on earth" that would, in Trump's words, "turn anyone into a successful real estate investor, including you." Read the rest

A more advanced fidget gadget from Chris Bathgate

Sculptor-machinist Chris Bathgate has improved on his Slider "worry-stone" gadget for occupying your nervous hands, using techniques he learned through his collaboration with spinning top-maker Richard Stadler. Read the rest

The Voynich manuscript has been bewildering scholars for more than a century

In 1912, bookseller Wilfrid Voynich discovered an illustrated manuscript that was written in a mysterious alphabet that had never been seen before. The text bears the hallmarks of natural language, but no one has ever been able to determine its meaning. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll learn about the Voynich manuscript, which has been bewildering scholars for more than a century.

We'll also ponder some parliamentary hostages and puzzle over a tormenting acquisition.

Show notes

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