Hallmark's got a 50th Anniversary HAL 9000 Christmas ornament... with light and sound!
The latest result in machine intelligence, the HAL 9000—thought to be the most reliable computer ever made and incapable of error—served as the brain and central nervous system for the Discovery One ship's ill-fated mission to Jupiter. Fans of "2001: A Space Odyssey" will want to bring home this special Christmas ornament that celebrates 50 years of the science-fiction masterpiece. Press the button to see the ornament light up as HAL says several memorable phrases.
Side note: reviewers can't decide if it's actually Douglas Rain voicing HAL or not (you can listen to a sample of HAL's ornament voice via the video on the product's page.):
Elizabeth: "I do believe these quotes on this ornament are the original Hal ... I played it against my lap top computer from the movie clips to compare. The difference is the speaker on the ornament is not great quality so it makes the sound of his voice a little off but the quotes are said the same way... I wish they would have added a few more fun quotes from the movie I like mine and glad bought it."
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Matt: Matt: "I just received this ornament today in the mail. The voice being used is not Douglas Rain's (Hal from the movies). This is not a minor issue for a product sold as "HAL 9000 50th Anniversary Ornament With Light and Sound." The use of another voice actor should have been disclosed as part of the product's description on this page.
YouTube personality Casey Neistat took a break from his paternity leave to open and test his new (not a) toy, the Boring Company's "Not a Flamethrower."
As you may know, the Boring Company is an Elon Musk entity. Its $500 propane torch (the "flamethrower") is, as Neistat describes it, Musk's "$10 million dollar joke."
He notes that it's simply a roofing torch encased in a plastic air gun shell topped with a bike water bottle holder (to hold the tank of propane), parts he says you can get on the internet separately for much less. Still, he thinks it's "hysterical" and gives it a whirl, melting the cover to his microphone.
Previously: The Boring Company's Not a Flamethrower is a joke compared to actual flamethrowers, Build your own Boring Company flamethrower! Read the rest
In a video released Wednesday, Banksy revealed the "Girl With Balloon" shredding stunt malfunctioned at Sotheby's, noting that it "worked every time" in rehearsals.
Also revealed: the mechanisms inside the frame that supposedly shredded the art were more complicated than the originally shown X-acto blades.
Its new owner, a woman in good standing with the auction house, paid £1.04m for the pre-shredded work and will keep it. The ribboned piece is now called, "Love Is in the Bin."
Previously: Myth-busting the self-shredding Banksy painting Read the rest
A self-lubricating latex condom is being developed by scientists that becomes slippery when wet and can remain so for 1,000 thrusts. The researchers report that typical intercourse consists of 100 to 500 thrusts (huh).
It is thanks to a special, durable coating that should last throughout intercourse, says the team, backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
They hope it will make condoms more appealing to use and thereby prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as unwanted pregnancies.
Without enough lubrication, sex can be painful and condoms may split or slip.
When used correctly, condoms are a highly effective contraceptive, but not everyone likes them.
They are often already lubricated to make them easier to use, but sometimes this might not be enough for comfort.
People can add lubricant, but this can be messy and may need several applications, interrupting sex.
Researchers say the self-lubricating condom, which becomes really slippery once it comes into contact with body fluid, should get round this.
Royal Society Open Science journal: Friction-lowering capabilities and human subject preferences for a hydrophilic surface coating on latex substrates: implications for increasing condom usage
image via Hey Paul Studios Read the rest
Stephen Hawking's final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, was released posthumously Tuesday by his children. Read the rest
Did you know that he once "smoked a jay" with Tim Robbins, Giancarlo Esposito, and Robert Altman on a mountaintop at a Cannes film festival after-party? Or that he was cast by Lee Majors himself to appear in The Fall Guy?
In this uncensored video, Jack Black shares honest and often hilarious moments from his career in show business by looking at his own IMDB page.
It's all great, but be sure to watch it at least to the part where he talks about Johnny Skidmarks. I was in stitches.
(Digg) Read the rest
The Sesame Workshop is reporting that long-time Sesame Street puppeteer Caroll Spinney has announced his retirement, noting that he's performed on the program since its 1969 premiere. Spinney has played the roles of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for nearly 50 years!
After five decades as the heart and soul of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, it’s impossible to entirely separate the man from the characters he so vibrantly brought to life. Big Bird visited China with Bob Hope in 1979. He’s danced with the Rockettes, and with prima ballerina Cynthia Gregory. He’s been feted with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, celebrated with his likeness on a U.S. postage stamp, and named a “Living Legend” in 2000 by the Library of Congress. Performing Big Bird has taken Caroll to China, Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He has performed on hundreds of episodes of television, starred as his big yellow avatar in the feature film Follow That Bird, and conducted symphony orchestras throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada. Spinney even met his wife of 45 years, Debra, on the Sesame Street set in 1973.
Not to worry, Big Bird and Oscar are not going anywhere. They will be played going forward by puppeteers Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson, with Spinney's blessing.
Also, if you haven't seen the 2014 documentary about Spinney titled I Am Big Bird, I urge you to do so. It's a truly beautiful portrait of a deeply creative man who chose to live his most authentic life. Read the rest
Panasonic's design studio Future Life Factory, with avant-garde Japanese designer Kunihiko Morinaga, have created Wear Space which are essentially glorified horse blinders for people who work in open-plan offices. They are designed to create "psychological personal space"
WEAR SPACE is a wearable device designed to aid concentration by limiting your senses of sight and hearing, via noise-canceling technology and a partition that controls your field of view.
As open offices and digital nomads are on the rise, workers are finding it ever more important to have personal space where they can focus. WEAR SPACE instantly creates this kind of personal space – it’s as simple as putting on an article of clothing. The device can be adjusted based on the level of concentration you desire, so it adapts to the various situations you’ll find yourself in...
Wear Space is currently available to preorder through a Japanese crowdfunding campaign for ¥29,000 (approx. $259).
Also, is everything derivative?
(Dezeen) Read the rest
It's been a little over three months since the 12 boys and their soccer coach were rescued from a Thai cave. On Monday, Ellen DeGeneres had all 13 of them, plus a translator, on her show to give their first interview after their frightening incident.
They report that they are all healthy and fine. Ellen had them recount their 10-day-long experience in the cave and discovered that meditation was key in keeping them all calm while they were trapped underground.
And, as is the tradition on the show, they got some surprises, including a visit from the boys' soccer idol, Swedish pro-player Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Read the rest
Garden gnomes are great but, hey, it's October. Doesn't your yard (garden/stoop/desk) deserve something more seasonally appropriate?
Enter Casper and Sadie Revenant's handmade Garden Nightmares. They're kind of like garden gnomes but much scarier. Each one is inspired by famous horror flicks' bad guys.
They're not-officially-licensed creations so they have names like the "Springwood Terror - Nightmare" (read: "Freddy Krueger") or the "Crystal Lake Slasher" (Friday the 13th's "Jason Voorhees") or the "Texas Chainsaw Butcher" ("Leatherface") and so on.
The Garden Nightmare statues stand a foot tall and cost $55 each. They can be ordered from the RevenantFX website or from their Etsy shop.
Previously: Someone put this Jason Voorhees statue under a lake to freak out divers
(TIWIB) Read the rest
A two-foot-tall, 50-lb. nose prop went missing overnight Sunday in Portland, Oregon and its family just wants it back.
"We woke up this morning and the nose was gone," Delia Albert said.
Delia Albert said her husband, who works for an advertising agency, rescued the nose out of the trash a year ago. It was a discarded prop from a photo shoot, though she wasn't sure what campaign had used it.
Since last October, it's been sitting on their front porch. The couple's kids, ages 5, 7, and 11, were devastated at the loss of their nose.
"They burst into tears, super upset, couldn't believe somebody would take something that didn't belong to them," Albert said. "We didn't realize how attached they were to it. It really clearly brought them a lot of joy."
...Her 11-year-old son pledged to bolt down the nose if it found its way home. The kids also plan to post missing fliers around the neighborhood with reward money they collected among themselves of $6.27.
Albert said she did file a police report about the nose, at her children's insistence. On the value of the stolen item, she wrote, "priceless."
If YOU'VE seen this oversized nose, contact Albert at firstname.lastname@example.org with details.
(Vice) Read the rest
YouTuber The Q spent 200 hours crafting a rideable bicycle out of wood, the glue that holds it together, and a handful of metal pieces like washers.
Why? I don't know, but it's pretty cool.
(The Awesomer) Read the rest
This is what the kids are up to these days, at least the kids in the dance program at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona.
You may remember last year when they performed a dance version of The Wizard of Oz for their homecoming pep rally. This year, they've performed a dance based on Harry Potter. Good stuff!
(Geekologie) Read the rest
To make it clear that it's run by skateboarders for skateboarders, East Vancouver's Drive Skate Shop put a skateable sign in front of its store.
The two-sided wood veneer "sandwich board" is not only skateable but looks great too.
(Web Urbanist) Read the rest
Fendi is taking a beating online after creating a pink scarf that resembles female genitalia, bush and all. Read the rest
One of the "most bullied" people in the world -- Melania Trump, of course -- gets the Randy Rainbow treatment in "Just Be Best." It's the best.
(Hey! Randy Rainbow is on tour.)
RR previously on BB Read the rest