Robot outwits "I am not a Robot" Captcha

And so it begins... Read the rest

Dog "dancing" to Native American music

The song is "Chicken Dance 1" by Siksika Ramblers; the full track is embedded after the jump. The original "dancing dog" footage appears to be of a caged Alsatian or Eurasier trying desperately to escape from Russian pop music. Read the rest

Things I Miss: Larry "Bud" Melman

When America was truly great we had truly great people on TV. Calvert DeForest was one of the best.

Here's another clip:

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The Bob's Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers

I can’t cook.

A few years ago though, I had the semi-crushing revelation that it’s not that I don’t know much about cooking, it’s that I legitimately can’t cook. I’m terrible at it. No piece of chicken would go uncooked to a leathery dryness that couldn’t even be passed as “jerk.” No meat sauce could be made properly spiced, just prepared with the desperate hope that crushed red pepper and more tomato paste could cure anything. It was my wife that graciously brought me the knowledge that I wasn’t just not-so-great at cooking, but I legitimately cannot cook to save my life or the lives of whatever poor group I was cooking for. I thank her for coaxing out this revelation of myself (and for being an amazing cook).

I do, however, like cartoons. And the good news is that Bob’s Burgers isn’t a show about cooking, it’s a show about family and it’s quickly grown into one of the best shows on TV. Bob’s Burgers treads an amazing line between strange and sweet, highlighting the ridiculous exploits of the Belcher clan, a family of oddballs who love each other and are continually misunderstood by the rest of the world while running a small, boardwalk burger shop. Over the past few seasons each character has been fleshed out into people more real than anything you’ll find on your average lawyer or cop show. And it’s a lot funnier than most episodes of NCIS.

The show’s success has prompted a good sized following, and when one member of fandom created a Tumblr dedicated to creating or recreating the fanciful burgers listed in each episode as The Burger of the Day fans were naturally interested. Read the rest

Steve Bannon pretty much declares war on the free press

In an outrageous interview with the New York Times, Steve Bannon declared the press an "opposition party" and suggests it "keep its mouth shut."

Talking Points Memo shares the highlights:

Steve Bannon, the Breitbart News-chairman-turned-White-House-chief-strategist, said in a Wednesday interview that the media "is the opposition party" for President Trump and should "keep its mouth shut."

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” he said in an interview with the New York Times.

“I want you to quote this,” he said. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country."

Bannon railed against "the elite media," whose failure to predict Trump's election he called "a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away." He told the Times that no "mainstream media" journalists who reported on Trump's campaign were "fired or terminated," apparently suggesting that they should have been, and decried them as "outright activists of the Clinton campaign."

He did not name any specific members of the press in that diatribe, according to the report.

Bannon also dismissed questions about White House press secretary Sean Spicer's contentious relationship with the press. The Times noted Bannon initiated a phone call in order to talk up Spicer.

"Are you kidding me?" he told the Times. "We think that’s a badge of honor."

He singled out the Washington Post and New York Times as examples of the media outlets he said missed the Trump phenomenon, and said that the New York Times in particular should be "absolutely ashamed and humiliated" for its coverage of Trump's candidacy.

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Man with bionic penis must endure 2 week erection before using it

40-year-old Andrew Wardle was born without a penis, but after 100 surgeries he now has one. Now, comes a two-week waiting period during which he will have a persistent erection. After that, his doctors will grant him permission to have sex with his girlfriend.

From Vice:

Wardle's new penis was created using skin, muscle, and nerve grafts from his arms and fitted with cylinders that fill with fluid when pumped from a small sac installed in his ball sac, which is how he'll get an erection. However, doctors will have to go in and essentially turn the rig on, a process that will leave Wardle in the hospital for three days and give him an boner that will last two long weeks.

On Wednesday, Wardle told the hosts of British television show This Morning that he'll spend those two weeks inside so as not to show the world the rocket that will be in his pocket. Speaking of which, he also told the hosts he did not get to select the size of his new member, which seems like a major oversight in the way bionic phalluses are constructed.

Once the robo-cock is switched on and his two-week erection dies down, Wardle will be able to have sex with his girlfriend, Fedra Fabian, for the first time. She revealed on the show that the two had been dating for nine months before she found out about his condition and she read about it in the newspaper. "I didn't know how to react to it," she said.

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What you need to know when buying glasses online

For the last 10 years, I have purchased eyeglasses online for a fraction of the price I'd have to pay at a brick-and-mortar store. I always get the same Ray-Ban Wayfarer knock-offs (above) at Optical 4 Less. They cost $29 and shipping is free when I buy two or more. There are many other online eyeglass stores, so shop around.

Today, Lifehacker has a good article on what you need to know before buying glasses online.

Pupillary distance is the distance, in millimeters, between the centers of the pupils of both eyes. It’s a crucial measurement because your lenses need to be centered on your pupils. If they aren’t, the glasses will likely cause eyestrain and make it hard for you to focus.

Your pupillary distance may be written on your prescription. If not, you can typically call whomever prescribed your glasses and ask, or simply go to your local optician’s office and see if you can get a measurement there. There may be a fee for measuring, but it isn’t likely to break the bank. You can also find plenty of online tutorials on doing this yourself, or your favorite online retailer may offer its own method for finding your PD. Warby Parker, for example, lets you submit a photo that its staff will examine to determine your proper PD.

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How LSD microdosing made a mega difference in one woman's mood, marriage, and life

Ayelet Waldman is a novelist, non fiction author, and former federal public defender. Her latest book is called A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life. I interviewed her this morning.

Why did you start microdosing?

I started microdosing because I was profoundly and dangerously depressed. I have a mood disorder and for many, many years my medication worked great. I took it, I did what my doctor told me and everything was fine. But at some point my medication stopped working. I tried all sorts of different things. And nothing helped. I was getting worse and worse and more and more full of despair and more and more full of rage and more and more unstable and I became suicidal. I started doing things like googling the effects of maternal suicide on children and I was so terrified that I was going to do something to myself, that I was going to hurt myself, that I decided to do something drastic and something that some people might think is crazy -- I decided to try microdosing with L.S.D.

Did it work?

Oh absolutely. It worked for sure. It's sub-perceptual. In fact, if I told you right now, "Hey Mark, I slipped a microdose of LSD. in your coffee," you wouldn't even know the difference. The effect for me was instantaneous. My depression lifted right away. The book is called A Really Good Day because at the end of that very first day, I looked back and I thought, "that was a really good day." It wasn't like everything was perfect. Read the rest

Big Motorcycle wants to make fixing your own bike a crime

Nebraska is one of five states considering Right to Repair laws that would require companies to provide manuals and parts so that people could fix their own stuff, or get their stuff fixed by independent service centers, and the lobby groups for ATVs and motorcycles are pissed. Read the rest

At least twice, Sean Spicer has accidentally tweeted the password to his official White House spokesman Twitter account

Day six! It's also a pretty shitty password. Let's hope he's got 2-factor auth turned on! Also, Trump's still using his insecure personal Android device. Read the rest

Harvard announces mass firing of its hedge-fund managers

Harvard has the world's largest university endowment, $35.7B, so much money that Thomas Piketty used its public investment records as a proxy for the likely investment returns of the super-rich in his Capital in the 21st Century. Read the rest

Google has banned 200 publishers since it passed a new policy against fake news

Google recently stopped serving ads to 200 fake news sites.

From Recode:

Publishers were banned in November and December and included sites that impersonate real news organizations through shortened top-level domains, according to Google’s 2016 “bad ads” report, normally released at the beginning of each year.

So-called fake news publishers will sometimes take advantage of “.co” domains by appearing similar to legitimate news sites that would normally end in “.com.”

Google declined to provide a listing of the banned sites.

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Amnesty reveals gigantic Mexican Twitter troll-bot mob that threatens journalists, hawks products, and hoaxes trending topics

Amnesty International has published a damning report on the organized networks of Mexican Twitter trolls and botmasters for hire who orchestrate massive harassment campaigns against investigative journalists, including death threats and misinformation/slander; they also hawk products and fake out Twitter's trending topic algorithm, operating with relative impunity -- thanks, in part, to Twitter's underinvestment in Spanish-speaking anti-harassment staff. Read the rest

Trump's first week has inspired 400 scientists to run for office

314 Action is a new group that organizes scientists to run for office; they were founded in opposition to trumpism and the official policy of gagging government scientists and freezing EPA research grants. Read the rest

Stunning 23-foot wall chart of human history from 1881

Sebastian C. Adams's Synchronological Chart from the late 19th century presents 5,885 years of history (4004 BCE - 1881 AD) on a magnificent 27 inch x 23 foot illustrated and annotated timeline. What a stunner. You can zoom and pan through the whole thing at the David Rumsey Map Collection or order a scaled-down print.

According to the book Cartographies of Time: History of the Timeline, the Synchronological Chart "was ninetheenth-century America's surpassing achievement in complexity and synthetic power."

(via Clifford Pickover)

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Investigation accuses French right-wing leader of funnelling €500K to his wife for "fake job"

François Fillon is the French Republican Party's political candidate, the right-wing frontrunner against the neofascist Marine Le Pen. Following an investigation by the Canard Enchainé newspaper, French government investigators have announced an investigation into the period in the late 1990s and early 2000s when his British-born wife Penelope drew a salary of €7,000/month as his parliamentary aide; the newspaper alleged that Ms Fillon was not actually working in Parliament at that time and drew her salary for a "fake job." Read the rest

For the leader of "The Resistance," Chuck Schumer is awfully cooperative

Chuck Schumer is meant to be the leader of the Democratic resistance in the Senate, but he's inaugurated that role by meekly accepting Trump's nominees for CIA Director (avowed torturer Mike Pompeo); Secretary of Defense (General James Mattis, in an office that is required to be held by a civilian); and Secretary of Homeland Security (General John Kelly, who equates questioning any US war with disparaging the soldiers who serve in it). Read the rest

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