Kickstarting modern hobo coins

Artist Chris Ovdiyenko has created a series of modern hobo nickels based on "some of the most iconic coins," imagining what they would look like if they were overengraved by someone with a delightfully morbid sensibility. Read the rest

Pink Trombone is an online voice synthesizer with a difference

Neil Thapen's Pink Trombone is a voice simulator: instead of telling it what to say, you individually move the soft and fleshy parts of the mouth, tongue and throat. There's a lot of fun to be had moving around the circular purple tongue control and the bottom lip and hearing the machine sing.

Spotted via Bennett Foddy, which made me think there should be a version controlled with the Q W O P letters, named "Qwopera."

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The Offworld Collection available to order

The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it's the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You get the ebook immediately upon purchase. Read the rest

Weaponizing IKEA pencils made fun

In weaponry, as in life, sometimes the best things are free. Take the lowly IKEA pencil. No, literally take one or more of the ubiquitous free writing utensils. Then watch this video on how to weaponize them. Read the rest

What is the right punishment for blasphemy?

BBC Asian Network raised a few eyebrows after tweeting "What is the right punishment for blasphemy?" While it's clear from watching the video all the way through that BBC's Shazia Awan is not taking a side, BBC Asia later apologized. Read the rest

Watch Colin Furze mod a bumper car with a huge engine

Bumper cars are fun, but what if you could ride one in the wild, with a massive engine under the hood? That's what Colin Fuze is finding out as he mods a vintage bumper car. Read the rest

Test whether or not you need a Dramamine when you use a VR headset

Lately virtual reality has been touted as the future of movies, games, journalism, and even sex. Unfortunately, most consumer VR still requires investing in some not-insignificantly expensive equipment. You can, however, get a taste of the VR hype with just your smartphone and this budget-friendly headset.

The VRX10 Virtual Reality Headset is 3D-compatible with most smartphones, adding depth and immersion to movies, TV, YouTube videos, and games. Although there definitely isn’t a Youtube-scale repository for VR media yet, there are plenty of sources for VR experience and experimenting. The VRX10 is a neat way to view 360-degree photos on Facebook, New York Times VR, as well as the Google Cardboard media library.

We're not saying the VRX10 is Oculus Rift by any means, but VR is only going to become more prevalent and more portable - this is just an affordable chance to check out this new technology and see if it gives you motion sickness. You can get the VRX10 Virtual Reality Headset for 71% off right now at $19.99. Read the rest

Sci-Fi Sundays: Analog, March 1969

As usual, Analog always shines when it comes to cover art. They've got the fantastic Kelly Freas who supplied rich and colorful depictions for many years. On top of that, the actual printing itself is of decent quality. If you compare this to the issue from the last article, you'll see that having your print lined up perfectly wasn't always the case for magazines like this.

I noticed that the pants on the illustration are tailored with a bit of detail around the tail. There's a snap and a zipper. I can't help but wonder if this was outlined explicitly in the story or if Freas, while illustrating, stopped to ponder how a pair of pants for a creature with a tail would work.

For the issues from my collection that happen to fall in the 60's through mid 70's, I really enjoy seeing what was actually going in the space program during the same period. For example, this issue was published in March of 1969. Readers would be enjoying this issue while also hearing about the Apolo 9 mission on the radio and TV. This was a period of firsts. Many of the flights were presenting large tasks, being done for the first time in space. Apallo 9 was the first space docking, which included transferring people between the modules. That's pretty wild. I can only imagine the wonder and excitement in the minds of the Sci-Fi community during this time.

Publication: Analog, Science Fiction Science Fact

Issue: March 1969, volume: LXXXII No. Read the rest

How to resist: lessons on "movement learning" from the Albert Einstein Institution

Jamila Raqib is a research affiliate at the MIT Media Lab and is Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution, founded by Gene Sharp, who literally wrote the book on successful nonviolent resistance. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders is (by far!) the most popular politician in America

As the approval ratings for Trump, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party and Congress circle the drain, one politician remains trusted by a shockingly large number of politicians: Bernie Sanders, who is polling +41% with independents, +28% with Democrats, and whose approval rating has steadily climbed since he hit the national stage in 2015. Read the rest