Jenny Nicholson's "Top 10 Reasons I Won't Do ASMR" ASMR

I get a huge kick out of the videos of the always-entertaining nerd whisperer Jenny Nicholson. If you haven't seen her channel, check it out and watch as she sits on her bed, surrounded by sci-fi plushies, and shares her quirky, sometimes labyrinthine, and often convincing theories and opinions on sci-fi and fantasy films, comic books, novels, and other nerd media fodder.

In her latest video, she answers many requests she's apparently had for doing ASMR videos by explaining ten reasons why her answer is no. But she delivers her ten reason AS an ASMR video, right down to tapping, scratching, and scrunching things as she talks. One of her ten reasons made me laugh out loud:

"I just don't know how I'm supposed to take myself seriously when I'm crinkling bags for an hour."

For those unfamiliar, ASMR, or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is an intense tingling sensation some people claim they experience when they hear certain soft voices, pleasant repetitive sounds, or while watching someone doing a particularly mundane, repetitive activity.

I'm sure Jenny is going to get a lot of grief from ASMRtists for seemingly making fun of them, but I would hope they'd have a healthy sense of humor about it all. Several commenters who claim to experience ASMR said that they laughed at her reasons for not doing it. I do not have ASMR, but I do enjoy listening to some ASMR audio as I'm going to sleep and I'm fascinated by the whole phenomenon and the numerous, surreal, and just plain bizarre videos people are producing in the genre. Read the rest

Louis Grabher's personalized auto license plate deemed too offensive to renew

Mr. Grabher's personalized plate, GRABHER, has never been a problem until this year's renewal. The BBC reports that the Nova Scotian motorist was refused permission to plate up his own name—of fine German vintage—by the local transport department. He blames Trump.

"I've never once had anybody come up to me and say they were offended," Mr Grabher told CBC News.

"They would look at it and say, 'Am I reading this right?' And I would go, 'Yes.'

"And they would go, 'Is this your last name?' And I would go, 'Yes.' And they would always just give a little chuckle."

Mr Grabher said he thinks he's being punished for Donald Trump's obscene language.

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Miele's networked disinfecting hospital dishwasher has a gaping security flaw

The Miele PG 8528 is a "washer-disinfector" intended for hospitals and other locations with potentially dangerous pathogens on their dirty dishes; it's networked and smart. And dumb. Read the rest

Gaff card deck has 40 magic tricks

Gaff cards are playing cards that have been doctored ion one way or another so you can do magic tricks that would be very difficult or impossible to do with an ordinary deck. I got The Blue Gaff Deck a few months ago and I love it. There are some amazing tricks you can do with it, and because they have the familiar Bicycle backs, no one will know that you are using gaff cards (as long as you don't flub).

You can do 40 different tricks with the deck (and it comes with a DVD so you can learn them all) (a reader alerted me that they did not get a DVD. I got one in my deck). My favorite is the B-Wave, which is worth the price of the deck:

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Tokyo travel tips, day 2: Yoyogi park

Carla and I took a one-week trip to Tokyo. It was my sixth visit to Japan's capital, and it was my favorite so far. For the next few days, I'll be writing about recommended things to do there. See them all here.

I don't think you're supposed to fry onigiri, at least not the triangle-shaped ones that you buy at convenience stores in Japan. But that's what I did when I made breakfast in our Airbnb on our first morning in Tokyo. The onigiri weren't wrapped in seaweed, and they didn't have a filling. Instead, they were mixed with "mountain vegetables" and pressed into triangles. I heated them up in a skillet with butter, and the outside got crispy brown. They went well with the scrambled eggs I made. (I ended up buying this rice mold on Amazon so I can make them at home.) One thing about Japanese eggs - the yolks are a deep orange color. I don't know why, but they were delicious.

After breakfast we walked to Yoyogi Park in Shibuya. This 40-foot torii gate was just a few minutes' walk from our Airbnb. As soon as we passed under it, we felt like we were far away from the hubbub of Tokyo and had entered a quiet forest. As it was early in the morning (the time difference between LA and Tokyo made it easy to wake up at 5am) there were few people in the park. We walked along a wide, tree-lined path until we reached the huge Meiji shrine. Read the rest

Crowdfunding a subscription to Ms. for every state official in Wyoming, home of America's worst wage-gap

Rudy Rucker writes, "Isabel Rucker and friends are promoting a GoFundMe project to give an Ms. subscription to each of the elected officials in Wyoming. Why? To raise awareness of women's issues. Wyoming has the largest gender pay gap in the country, has the smallest percentage of women in its state legislature, is among the costliest for childcare, and faces continuing cuts in publicly funded family planning and in women's health services." Read the rest

Ikea vs Superfans: how paranoid trademark lawyers make everything suck

In 2014, IKEA, the Swedish-based global furniture company, sent a cease-and-desist letter to a blogger by the name of Jules Yap. Yap ran the extremely popular website IKEAhackers.net, which helped people “hack” IKEA furniture into new, creative, and unexpected designs. The site was already almost a decade old when IKEA’s lawyers demanded that Yap hand over the URL. What follows is a case study from Superfandom: How Our Obsessions are Changing What We Buy and Who We Are.

Star Wars Rebels season three finale

This weekend saw Star Wars Rebels season three draw to a close. This was an exciting episode, but very little resolved. Read the rest

Orson Welles interviews Andy Kaufman (1982)

I was expecting this to be a train wreck, but Orson Welles (in an unusually ungrumpy mood) did a terrific job of interviewing Andy Kaufman, who was always a tough nut to crack. Welles basically took over and did most of the talking and was very funny. Read the rest

Shaun Cassidy sings "Rebel Rebel" (1980)

Today, Shaun Cassidy is a successful TV producer. In the 1970s he was better know as the little brother of David Cassidy. In 1979 Shaun hired Todd Rundgren to produce his album Wasp. I don't think the album did well, but is has some great tracks on it, including a cover of David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel," "So Sad About Us' (Pete Townshend), "The Book I Read" (Talking Heads) ,"Once Bitten Twice Shy" (Ian Hunter), "It's My Life" ( Animals) and "Shake Me Wake Me" (Four Tops).

It was his last album.

Here's the whole album:

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"I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's why I left"

Megan Phelps-Roper was born into the Westboro Baptist Church. In this TED Talk, she explains what ut was like in the church and why she left.

What's it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing ... everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.

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Trump approval hits new low

Gallup's latest poll reveals that Trump's approval rating is at an all time low of 36%. This is probably his bare rock base, who would cheer him for repealing the Bill the Rights (except for the 2nd Amendment) on the grounds that it was Unconstitutional. Read the rest

Halestorm's kinda metal ode to metal

Somehow I ran across this music, I liked it, and it wasn't recorded 30+ years ago!

I've been enjoying Halestorm's 2015 release Into the Wild Life. Read the rest

Russian cat won't let go of bread bag

YouTube description translated from the Russian: "Cat Boris lives in a shelter. He and the other tails looking for a home! Dear friends, we are a haven for cats. We are located in St. Petersburg."

[via] Read the rest

Celebrity voice impressionist switches actors in famous roles

Ross Marquand (Walking Dead) is also a great voice impressionist. Here he is impersonating actors delivering lines for movies they never appeared in: John C. Reilly in Taxi Driver, James Gandolfini in The Godfather, Jack Nicholson in Taken, Brad Pitt in Jaws, and so on. Read the rest

An inflatable pillow to make flying in coach tolerable

This simple, inflatable pillow provides the lower back support I wish a coach airplane seat would. Read the rest

Trip out on Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" concert screen projections

When Pink Floyd took the stage on their mid-1970s "Dark Side of the Moon" tour, they performed in front of a stunning video cut-up created by British animator Ian Emes. Above are screen projections from the 1974 French tour. Below, a reel from the 1975 North American tour. (The album audio was added by someone else later.) From Wikipedia:

Emes' first major work, 'French Windows', was started while he was subsequently a student at Birmingham College of Art and finished while he was unemployed. It was set to the Pink Floyd recording "One of These Days". After it was shown at Birmingham's Ikon Gallery, it was screened on the television programme The Old Grey Whistle Test, and thereby came to the attention of Pink Floyd. The band invited Emes to give them a private screening, and afterwards to make films to be projected during performances of The Dark Side of the Moon. His animation for their song "Time" is on Pink Floyd's Pulse DVD. He subsequently worked with Roger Waters, making live action film for his performance of The Wall – Live in Berlin.

As a result of his work for Pink Floyd, Linda McCartney asked Emes to animate Wings' "Oriental Nightfish". He has also made animations for concerts by Mike Oldfield, and directed The Chauffeur for Duran Duran.

(via r/ObscureMedia)

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