"Nothing in life is truly free" -Billionaire heiress Betsy Devos, explaining to Bernie Sanders why your kids won't get free college tuition

Convicted election fraudster and public education opponent Betsy Devos made her billions through hard work -- really, you can't overstate the effort required to emerge from the loins of someone who married a rich guy, nor the work of later marrying someone else who emerged from the loins someone who married a rich guy. Read the rest

Historic accord reached in bum-washing bidet toilet UI conventions

Japan's leading bidet toilet manufacturers (including Toto, Panasonic, and Toshiba) have come together through their industry association, the Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association, to agree upon a common set of UI conventions for the meanings of the icons on the buttons on the bidets' control panels, thus ending an era in which you might think you were getting "wash and dry" but actually ended up with "layer-cut and dye-job." Read the rest

10 reasons why Fletcher Hanks kicks ass

Fletcher Hanks comics are incredibly violent, incredibly stupid, and incredibly beautiful. His first published work appeared in 1939, only months after the first Superman story ran, and his last work appeared in 1941. Then he disappeared. All 53 of his batshit crazy tales have been reprinted in “Turn Loose Our Death Rays And Kill Them All!: The Complete Works Of Fletcher Hanks.” They are likely to pop your eyes, blow your mind, and leave you speechless. Shortly before his death, Kurt Vonnegut wrote that, “The recovery of these treasures is in itself a major work of art.”

Portraits for the Women's March on Washington, by Clayton Cubitt

My friend Clayton Cubitt has taken a phenomenal series of portraits for the Women's March on Washington. Read the rest

I rolled these hand-forged metal dice hundreds of times. How fair are they?

Rough metal dice, fresh off the forge! Dice so heavy and clunky and sharp you can ruin tables and kill cheats without brandishing a dagger. But is this ren-faire fun fair play? I decided to put them to the test and see how random they were. I'm not great at math, so I'll just show my method and results and you can do the judging. Read the rest

Woodstock 40th Anniversary Limited Edition 3-disc Blu-ray for $(removed)

You can be as happy as the people in this photo if you buy the Woodstock 40th Anniversary Limited Edition 3-disc Blu-ray. It's on sale for $(removed) on Amazon. It has 11 never-before-seen songs. Read the rest

How to use a telephone

In ye olden days, a telephone user had to ask the operator to call the desired party and make the connection. Then the dial telephone empowered us all to, er, reach out and touch someone. This 1927 instructional film from the telephone company explains the basics: "The ringing signal is an intermittent burring sound telling you the bell of the called telephone is ringing." (via /r/obscuremedia)

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Chelsea Manning to go free!

President Obama commuted whistleblower Chelsea Manning's remaining prison sentence. She will go free on May 17 of this year as opposed to 2045, the duration of her full sentence. From the New York Times:

The commutation also relieved the Department of Defense of the difficult responsibility of her incarceration as she pushes for treatment for her gender dysphoria — including sex reassignment surgery — that the military has no experience providing.

In recent days, the White House had signaled that Mr. Obama was seriously considering granting Ms. Manning’s commutation application, in contrast to a pardon application submitted on behalf of the other large-scale leaker of the era, Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who disclosed archives of top secret surveillance files and is living as a fugitive in Russia.

Asked about the two clemency applications on Friday, the White House spokesman, Joshua Earnest, discussed the “pretty stark difference” between Ms. Manning’s case for mercy with Mr. Snowden’s. While their offenses were similar, he said, there were “some important differences.”

“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” he said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”

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Neil Young catches a record store selling bootlegs of his music

In 1971 Neil Young went to a record store and discovered they were selling bootleg LPs of his music. Young asked the clerk why the record store was carrying the bootlegs. The clerk played dumb ("I don't listen to records, so I don't know. I listen to tapes.") Young didn't like it and called the owner and told him he planned to take the LPs without paying for them. Read the rest

Tempered glass screen protectors avert 4 disasters in 2 months

About 2 months ago I wrote about trying a tempered glass screen protector. I'm going to say they work great. I'm a fan of the Omoton brand ones, they make them for almost every glass fronted device.

About 2 weeks into iPhone stewardship, my 9-year-old texted to report her first screen break. I was concerned and highly interested -- did just the protector break, or the phone's actual screen? The screen protector worked wonderfully, it shattered but stuck to the undamaged screen. The phone remained usable even with the protector cracked. When next I saw her, we replaced it with the 2nd in the 2-pack and off on her merry way she went.

I was actually putting the wrenches back in their plasti-form wrench box neatly for once. One slipped from my hand and struck my waiting iPhone midscreen. A small impact spot, like a bullet shot, had several spiderweb veins reaching across the protector. Screen undamaged.

Over the holidays my daughter was off on the east coast with her mother's family. I got call telling me she'd need a new screen protector but everything was OK. Seems her phone went down a flight of stairs. I went back to Amazon and splurged on another $7.00 set of 2 for her phone.

Not everything went wrong that could go wrong during my VW Vanagon Westfalia adventure to an oasis in the deserts of northern Baja Mexico, but a hell of a lot that didn't have to did. During a trip that involved as much bad judgement as beautiful vistas, I dropped my phone on more than a few rocks and only the FSM knows what else. Read the rest

Jeff Greenberg and The Village Studios

The LA Times has featured our good friends at The Village Studios. Housed in a former Masonic temple, and once the west coast capital of transcendentalism, The Village Studios is a creative community workspace like no other, and the model of what creative spaces can and should be.

I especially enjoy that the Times spares no ink attributing The Village's amazing sense of community, and environment of creativity, to studio CEO Jeff Greenberg. We are big fans at Boing Boing as well, and have found the Village an amazing place to work, and a lot of fun to hang out in!

From the LA Times:

Greenberg believes the reason the Village has succeeded is simple: “Professionals like being around other professionals.”

Guitarist and songwriter John Mayer keeps a studio on the second floor, one of the most successful of a community of musicians who regularly book time at the Village. The Band’s Robbie Robertson has worked on and off at the Village since the 1970s, and Studio Ed is home to Grammy-winning producer and engineer Ed Cherney.

At their service are a few dozen engineers and gofers, many of them young musicians Greenberg has hired through a relationship with the Berklee College of Music.

On the third floor, in a former musical instrument storage space once occupied by, among others, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, pop songwriter Noel Zancanella is meeting with a few would-be collaborators. When Danny Elfman rented the space, he renamed it Muerte Surgical Instruments.

Zancanella, whose homey suite feels like a secret clubhouse, started as a Village coffee boy under Greenberg.

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Genderless Nipples account frustrates Instagram

Only men are allowed to show their nipples on Instagram. Poor Instagram, now they will have to use human or software-based nipple inspectors to determine the gender of the bodies attached to the nipples posted to genderless_nipples. Read the rest

Water unaffordable for millions of Americans

"If water rates continue rising at projected amounts, the number of US households unable to afford water could triple in five years, to nearly 36 percent." That's the conclusion from a study by Elizabeth Mack, an assistant geography professor at Michigan State University, which looked at water consumption, pricing, and demographic, and socioeconomic data.

This map includes “high-risk tracts” (in black), which are areas with high concentrations of families with incomes below $32,000 that currently cannot afford water bills. The “at-risk tracts” (in gray) are areas with high concentrations of families with incomes between $32,000 and $45,120 that are at-risk of being unable to afford rising water rates in the near future.

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Moby Dick's Restaurant lease blocked due in part to its "offensive name"

A building council in Vancouver, BC commercial building are reportedly refusing to allow one of the building owners to lease to Moby Dick's Restaurant, a fish-and-chips franchise, in part because of its name. According to a lawsuit, the building council claims that “that the word ‘Dick’ in Moby Dick was an offensive term" and "also claimed a Moby Dick sign would hurt the value of neighboring properties, and that the restaurant would bring increased litter and violate city laws on odor." From Courthouse News Service:

“It was clear by the end of August 2016 that the Strata intended to refuse any signage proposals belonging to Moby Dick which resembled its traditional trademark and brand,” the complaint states. “Instead, the Strata demanded that Moby Dick adopt a signage that was ‘minimalist’ both in color and design. As such, the Strata wrongfully denied Moby Dick’s use of its logo, brand name, and goodwill recognition at the commercial property.”

Mengfa seeks declaratory judgment and damages for interference with business relations.

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Trump running Facebook ads asking people to attend inauguration

We knew President-elect Donald Trump was having trouble finding acts willing to perform at his inauguration, but now we know he's worried about public turnout too. How? Because he's running Facebook ads begging New Yorkers to attend. Read the rest

Astronaut.io: a fun way to watch YouTube videos almost no one has seen

Astronaut.io randomly plays new YouTube video that have close to 0 views. It plays a few seconds of each video before moving on to another random video. If a certain video catches your attention, click the dot below the video to see the whole thing. I could waste a lot of time here.

Today, you are an Astronaut. You are floating in inner space 100 miles above the surface of Earth. You peer through your window and this is what you see. You are people watching. These are fleeting moments.

These videos come from YouTube. They were uploaded in the last week and have titles like DSC 1234 and IMG 4321. They have almost zero previous views. They are unnamed, unedited, and unseen by anyone but YOU.

The Astronaut video stream starts when you press GO. Videos change periodically. If you wish to linger, tap the button.

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Check out Adam Savage's far-out replica of an Apollo spacesuit

When most people commission a bespoke suit, they pay attention to the stitching and drape of the fabric. For MythBuster Adam Savage's latest custom tailoring job, he had some more esoteric details in mind. Here he is on Tested giving a tour of his Apollo A7L spacesuit replica, fashioned by Ryan Nagata. (Tested)

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