UK's indie music fests vow to end plastic bottles and straws at events

The Association of Independent Festivals plans to take a step in the right direction on single-use plastic items with their Drastic on Plastic initiative. Read the rest

Watch how smartphones plus RF imaging can detect motion through concrete and stone

The Action Lab set up an interesting proof of concept using a smartphone plus a cheap radio frequency 3D imaging doo-dad to sense motion in another room. Read the rest

Watch a waterjet slice a perfect obsidian cube and some batarangs

The guys from Waterjet Channel took a request from a Minecraft fan who wanted to see them cut an obsidian cube, even supplying the obsidian. They also made some super-thin batarangs that could almost be used as sunglass lenses. Read the rest

Watch how to use dry erase markers to make writing that floats

SoCraftastic tested six marker types on a non-porous surface to see which one allowed the ink to float on water. The effect is pretty cool with a stick figure. Read the rest

Gorgeous resin sphere turned on a lathe

Heath Knuckles created this beautiful burl and resin sculpture he names "Red Dawn." A very satisfying and relaxing video, in large part thanks to the great music choices. Read the rest

Programmer demonstrates his "perfect" Minesweeper AI

Code Bullet claims in this demo video, "I was able to create what I believe to be a perfect minesweeper player." Read the rest

Watch traffic flow better in 30 simulations of a 4-way intersection

YouTuber euverus modded Cities: Skylines to demonstrate how 30 different types of intersections have dramatically different amounts of traffic flow. A four-way intersection with no traffic lights gets a flow of 191 vehicles per minute, where a stack interchange can handle 1099 vehicles in the same time frame.

The mods used, Traffic Manager: President Edition and Network Extensions 2, are both available for free on Steam.

The big surprise for me was the roundabout, because we rarely have them in the Midwest or the West Coast. They seemed like a lot of extra space needed for an incremental benefit, but it appears they can be more efficient and safer, even weird ones.

Traffic flow measured on 30 different 4-way junctions (YouTube / euverus) Read the rest

Artist creates curly wire sculptures that spell words with their shadows

Sculptor Fred Eerdekens created aluminum and copper works that look like abstract squiggles until lit from the right angle. When lit just right, each spells out a word. Read the rest

Our long national NECCO nightmare may soon be over

Since 1847, non-discerning Americans have been eating slices of flavored chalk branded as NECCO wafers. With the company possibly closing soon, they're panic buying the inedible grim-tasting "candy" to torture one last round of guests or trick-or-treaters with their terrible taste in candy. Read the rest

Watch Adam Pally go way off his Shorty Awards script

While presenting the award for Best Instagram Brand at the Shorty Awards, a dishevelled Adam Pally seemed to have an epiphany about the banality of evil that is the Shorty Awards, which he called the "waiting at the DMV of award shows." Read the rest

Cops use backdoored WhatsApp photo to extract fingerprints and convict user

South Wales Police announced they were able to access a WhatsApp user's photos through a backdoor, then extract fingerprint data from a picture of a weed dealer's hand to help convict 11 involved people. Read the rest

Nastygrams shut down site that created fonts of famous songwriters' handwriting

Nicolas Damiens and Julien Sans thought it would be cool to offer inspiring fonts based on the scrawl of some of their favorite recording artists like Bowie, Lennon, and Cobain, whose handwriting appears on the cool cover of his published journals (above). IP lawyers put the kibosh on their SongwritersFonts project real quick-like. Read the rest

Watch a comedian who's a dead ringer for televangelist Joel Osteen make the most of his curse

Michael Klimkowski looks so much like unctuous megachurch proprietor Joel Osteen that strangers come up to him for autographs. Watch him throw on a suit and head out to Osteen appearances and events for a little mischief. Read the rest

How armored vehicles stop bullets

YouTuber JerryRigEverything had a chance to fire some bullets at a bullet-proof car. The physics are interesting to watch as the energy disperses into the materials in slow motion. Read the rest

Watch this lovely tribute to Isao Takahata's groundbreaking animation career

Animation visionary Isao Takahata of Studio Ghibli fame died on April 5, and Smithsonian magazine published a great written overview that complements the video essay above. Read the rest

Pioneer Véra Molnar has been creating computer art since 1968

Fifty years ago, Véra Molnar decided to experiment with computers for generating art printed on continuous plotter paper with the pin strips on the edge. To honor that anniversary, a number of galleries are showing her early work (protip: slow the video playback to 0.25 for longer looks at the work). Read the rest

Charming birdhouses that look like retro camping trailers

Nashville maker One Man One Garage created these fun flat-pack birdhouse kits that assemble into vintage campers. Read the rest

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