Bros go to LA city council to speak for house parties

Chad Kroeger, a Youtuber whose persona is a kind of stoner party-bro, attended a City Council hearing to discuss a plan to prohibit house parties and gave a passionate speech in defense of these parties as a way of helping lost young men realize their full potential; once gaveled out of the speaker's box, his confederate took the stand and continued. This is genius, Andy Kaufman-grade performance art. We howled with laughter in my house. (Thanks, Alistair!) Read the rest

Four things to know about the Republican plan to give trillions of dollars to the richest Americans

Corey Robin (previously) wants you to know four things about the Republican plan to add 1.5 trillion dollars to the US debt and transfer trillions more to the richest Americans. Read the rest

I could have potentially destroyed our moon base and still had time to eat astronaut ice cream

Our space camp instructor promoted me to Chief Research Scientist during our Mars mission for what I like to think was my competency and professionalism as Capsule Communicator during the previous day’s mission.

I brought absolutely none of those qualities to our “base” on Phobos in a mock set-up designed for 9 to 11 year olds. After detailing rocks from the Mars' moon’s “surface,” I was tasked with conducting an experiment involving a chemical reaction inside a Ziploc baggie. Having spent most of my education nodding off through chemistry class, I was completely unfamiliar with my task.

So I should have expected I would mix the wrong chemicals after carelessly picking up a different bottle. No explosion on our end, but instead of causing a reaction that would cool the bag and make it inflate, I created a substance now known as “space gravy.” It’s unfortunate Sodium Bicarbonate and Sodium Polyacrylate look so similar.

Slightly less unfortunate was meeting my first astronaut. The final night of camp happened to feature a dinner to honor Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison “Jack” Schmitt 45 years after his mission.

Dr. Schmitt, 82, a former U.S. senator from New Mexico and a geologist, is the only scientist to add his footsteps to the surface of the moon. He also happens to be a climate change denier.

“Unfortunately, science at least in the United States has become biased to what governments want to do and that’s not objective science,” Schmitt said during a press conference before his dinner. Read the rest

Roller Coaster Challenge

I was just introduced to an excellent game called Roller Coaster Challenge that melds puzzle solving, creativity and fun.  It's a logic-based, free-form, build-it-yourself kit that tasks you to get from point A to point B by using a limited number of coaster parts.

Every level in the game challenges you to build new structures while building on learned concepts.  As you complete tasks, you’ll be surprised by what’s possible and it will make you want to go off the grid and create your own layouts. 

As you can plainly see from the video below, John's "Blue Flash" invention was no doubt inspired by this game.

My wife tutors children who have a very difficult time focusing but Roller Coaster Challenge captures their attention and instantly gets them into the concentration zone.

  Read the rest

British road barriers, modeled on children, stare into you

A town in Buckinghamshire, England, has repositioned road barriers made to look like children after a resident said they were too creepy. The toddler-sized safety posts were designed to be more attention-grabbing than the standard poles, and are.

There are eight of the child-shaped bollards outside four primary schools in Iver and Iver Heath. Iver Parish Council said the bollards cost £5,395, excluding installation. In September, local resident Jonny Baker said the bollards were "creepy and hideous". "I look out of my window every morning and these are what I see. They're absolutely terrifying," he said.

Here's video of the bollards.

Read the rest

Unicorn duct tape

At the outset, let me address the likelihood that this post will eventually be visited by someone who has unspeakable plans for a unicorn, is holding a unicorn hostage, or who intends to affix a unicorn to ducting for less nefarious reasons. First, it's duct tape with a unicorn design (Amazon). As in pictures of unicorns are printed on the tape. Second, duct tape is in fact no good for use with ducting. Third, no special tape is required to immobilize or silence unicorns: any good store brand will do.

Unicorn Duct Tape [Amazon] Read the rest

Beautiful sculptures made entirely of store-bought nails

John Bisbee spends his days turning common steel nails into wonderful works of art. This short documentary by American Craft Council tours his Maine studio. Read the rest

Make 2018 the year you learn white hat hacking

Instead of seeking vulnerabilities in computer systems for illicit access or valuable data theft, white hat hackers expose security flaws to help companies keep their users safe (and collect lucrative bug bounties). If you’re looking for an exciting challenge, or an opportunity to protect the world from cyber criminals, information security is the perfect place to work. You can learn the fundamentals of ethical hacking with this pay-what-you want course collection.

In addition to getting an overview of common security infrastructure, you’ll learn how to perform expert penetration tests on websites, mobile applications, and networks. You’ll explore industry-standard hacking tools like Metasploit, and even study social engineering techniques to extract information from people without ever touching the command line. The following sections are included in the bundle:

Learn Hacking Windows 10 Using Metasploit From Scratch Hack People, Systems and Mobile Devices Web Application Penetration Testing Professional: WAPTP v3.1 From Zero to Hero in Web, Network and WiFi Hacking Ethical Hacking Using Kali Linux From A to Z Learn Website Hacking and Penetration Testing From Scratch Cyber Security Volume II: Network Security

Right now, the Ultimate White Hat Hacker 2018 Bundle is available in the Boing Boing Store for a pay-what-you want price. Read the rest

Ajit Pai made a funny: leaked video shows his presentation at the Telecom Prom where he "pretends" to be a Verizon shill

Trump FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is a former top Verizon executive and now he's about to hand Verizon billions of dollars in public subsidy by striking down net neutrality rules, which is a really funny coincidence! Read the rest

Wired releases a surveillance self-defense guide

Wired's new Guide to Digital Security is an excellent addition to the genre of simple-to-follow how-tos for reducing the likelihood that you'll be victimized by computer-assisted crime and harassment, and that if you are, the harms will be mitigated. Read the rest

Bigots who swore their religious beliefs would force them to divorce if Australia passed marriage equality renege on promise

In 2015, Nick and Sarah Jensen publicly swore that their religious beliefs would force them to divorce in protest if Australia enacted marriage equality laws that allowed for same-sex marriage. This week, Australia passed such legislation, but the Jensens were evidently lying, and now Nick Jensen told the press (by text-message!) that they meant their "public comments regarding civil divorce never envisaged me separating from my wife, but rather our marriage from the state." Read the rest

Americans have no savings, with good reason: housing, education and health care costs are out of control, wages are stagnant, and the Fed has suppressed interest rates

The American savings crisis is a time-bomb, as multiple generations hurtle toward retirement with effectively no savings, and experts are now saying that having $1 million in the bank on retirement day isn't enough. Future generations will either have to let their parents starve or compromise their own ability to produce the next generation while caring for the previous one (this is the crisis underway in China and Japan right now). Read the rest

Citizen journalist enthusiastically reports local house fire

Rhoda Young turned in a series of high-energy live reports after being first journalist on the scene of a house fire in Norfolk, Virginia. It's got everything local news should have: vertical video, swearing, interfering with authorities. Read the rest