400 pages of Judge Dredd available for free

Rebellion has released the critically- and fan-acclaimed Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol.5 free to download and view on the 2000 AD app.

This 400-page collection includes classic Judge Dredd stories such as The Mega-Rackets, Judge Death Lives!, Diary of a Mad Citizen, The Hotdog Run, and the all-time great mega-epic Block Mania and The Apocalypse War!

Written by John Wagner (A History of Violence) and Alan Grant (Batman), it features artwork by some of the titans of comics, including Brian Bolland (Batman: The Killing Joke), Carlos Ezquerra (Preacher), Colin Wilson (Blueberry), Ian Gibson (Halo Jones), Mick McMahon (The Last American), Ron Smith (Transformers), and Steve Dillon (Preacher)!

[H/t Rodney Orpheus] Read the rest

Sci-fi film timeline: Next stop Soylent Green!

Artist and illustrator, Dan Meth, created this graphic years ago as part of his Pop Culture Charts series. Next stop: Soylent Green!

Image: Used with permission Read the rest

Join the Mask Force, help manufacture DIY emergency PPE supplies

The ever-clever and resourceful Danielle Baskin has created a site for the online coordination and distribution of DIY-produced filter masks, face shields and other PPE (personal protective equipment).

In times of emergency, the CDC allows production for crisis capacity scenarios. Homemade supplies are an emergency supply for overwhelmed hospitals and we have to prepare right now for it. While factory capacity is limited, we are building a distributed factory of crafters, DIYers, and organizers across the country. Here's what we need to focus on first: Surgical masks Gowns Face shields

Note: Some hospitals will not accept DIY PPE supplies.

Join the Mask Force here. Read the rest

Here's something fun and productive to do with the kids: Make: launches annual Maker Camp

Maker Camp, Make:’s annual virtual camp for kids has launched for 2020. Make: Community staffer, Keith Hammond writes:

Cooped up with the kids like I am? Maker Camp 2020 is now live! Every kid can join because Maker Camp is online, and it’s free. Since 2012 over a million campers have connected through Maker Camp, learned to make stuff, and shared their experiences with other campers. As you build and make, share your pictures on social media with the hashtag #makeathome and they’ll appear on our site!

The projects you’ll find at Maker Camp have been researched, tested, built, and thoroughly documented so we’re absolutely sure you can replicate them at home. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year we’ve focused on projects you can do with what you might have on-hand, already in your home. We’re sure there’s something there for you!

Find out how to get started on the Maker Camp landing page. Read the rest

Prusa Research develops 3D-printable face shield in three days

Last week, I reported on Czech 3D printer company, Prusa Research, converting over some of their manufacturing capability to producing hand sanitizer. Now, the company has, within three days of prototyping, created a 3D printable face shield.

Josef Prusa writes:

We were notified on Facebook that doctors are in great need of face shields and that there is already a great face shield design available online. We took it as a starting point and decided that we would adjust it for easier and faster 3D printing – e.g. there shouldn’t be any supports required and we should fit as many of them onto a single print sheet as possible. So we started working on it immediately. After all, it is very important to keep the guys, who will take care of us in the darkest times, as healthy as possible. These shields will help protect their eyes and face from coughing and sneezing of their patients.

In three days, we were able to go through dozens of prototypes, two verifications with the Czech Ministry of Health and we even met our minister of health Adam Vojtech. Today we are excited to share with you that we have started prototype production and the first units just went to the hospital for field testing and verification. I want to thank Martin Havrda from the University Hospital Vinohrady in Prague for taking the time to meet us. And also, when we have this design verified, we will move to design protective goggles.

Read the rest

Who needs super powers when you have Kid Congo Powers?

Through the DC arts and music scene, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know Kid Congo Powers, legendary guitarist for The Gun Club, The Cramps, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and his own Pink Monkey Birds. Kid is as kind, generous, and down-to-earth, as he is ridiculously talented.

Given his talent and artistic pedigree, it's a shame that he doesn't get the level of respect and exposure that he deserves. So, it's always heartening to see when he does get a little love. Here is a wonderful KC Powers tribute and set from XRAY FM in Portland, OR. The set nicely covers the arc of Kid's career and includes tracks from his various guitar stints and solo work. Read the rest

FDA gives go-ahead to Maryland bio-firm to accept orders on their COVID-19 Rapid Antibody Test Kit

From BioSpace via Alberto Gaitán:

ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 20/20 BioResponse, a business unit of 20/20 GeneSystems, Inc. announced today that it will begin taking orders for its CoronaCheck  COVID-19 Rapid Antibody Test Kit. (The test is intended to identify persons having an immune response against SARS-CoV-2.) The company’s action follows discussions with officials from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) this week after the agency’s March 16 Guidance issued to “expand the number and variety of diagnostic tests” as the “severity and scope of the current COVID-19 situation around the globe necessitates greater testing capacity than is currently available.”

Alberto comments:

"Low cost" 15-minute COVID-19 antibody test has been cleared for use in the USA by the FDA. "Rapid Antibody Test Generates Results in under 15 minutes from Blood Drop without Laboratory Equipment or Personnel"

Standard error is ±10%, which is kinda high (i.e., you're positive but get a negative result and think you're okay so you do stuff you shouldn't, and the opposite case is also problematic).

Read the rest on BioSpace.

[Thanks, Alberto!]

Image: Photo by CDC on Unsplash Read the rest

Interviewing astronaut Don Pettit on the pioneering science being conducted on the ISS

In January, I covered the new season of NASA Explorers. This season (their fourth) focuses on space science and microgravity. In concert with the latest episode (inlined below), the NASA Explorers team posted, exclusively to their Facebook page, a behind-the-scenes interview with astronaut and space scientist, Don Pettit.

Standing in a standard Earth gravity mock-up of the Destiny lab aboard the station, Pettit and NASA Explorers' Rachel Barry talk about the explorations of the past, present, and the future. There are some interesting moments here, like how long-term oceanic voyages of the past also taught us about the human body under such stressful conditions and how to better prepare it for future voyages. Understanding the blight of scurvy during such voyages opened up our whole understanding of vitamins and diet.

Don also talks about future generations being born and growing up in space, in microgravity, and thus having a completely different perception of spatial relationships and how this might even change the way they think and solve problems.

Image: Screengrab Read the rest

Shut-in celebrities sing "imagine no possessions" on Twitter. Twitterverse goes bananas over the perceived tone-deafness

A group of celebrities, including Gal Gadot, Will Ferrell, Mark Ruffalo, James Marsden, Lynda Carter, Jamie Dornan, and Amy Adams, posted a video of each of them, in their isolation, signing lines from John Lennon's "Imagine." The attempted message was that we're all in this together, we will get through this, but the Twitter response was immediate and brutal.

It was the line "imagine no possessions" that triggered the most vitriol. People seeing this tweet who are currently out of work and understandably nervous about it barked that they don't have to imagine it. Others shot back with sentiments like: We don't need you singing to us. How about you spending a million or two to buy ventilators and masks and donate them them to hospitals? One person posted the pay that each actor gets per film.

It's wonderful that everyone is at least trying to do the right thing in this very scary and trying time, but man was this ever an epic fail.

Image: Screengrab Read the rest

Let the great Brian Wilson make all of this feel better for a moment

To help entertain all of us while we hunker down in our domestic anti-viral combat bunkers, Rolling Stone is asking musicians to share performances from their bunkers. They kick off the series with the galactic treasure himself, Brian Wilson.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

139 new TNOs (trans-Neptunian objects) discovered while doing a dark energy survey

While conducting a Dark Energy Survey (DES) beyond Neptune, a team of scientists, led by a grad student at the University of Pennsylvania, have identified 139 new TNOs (trans-Neptunian objects). TNOs are any "minor planets" (asteroids, dwarf planets, and other similar objects) that orbit the Sun beyond Jupiter.

Astronomers have spotted hundreds of tiny worlds lurking in the deep, dark outer reaches of the solar system, beyond the orbit of Neptune.

These minor planets, known as trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), “are relics of major dynamical events among and beyond the giant planets,” according to a study published this week in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series.

Some 139 new TNOs, out of 316 detections total, are reported in the study, which was led by Pedro Bernardinelli, a graduate student in physics and astronomy at the University of Pennsylvania. That’s a big haul considering that the current catalog of TNOs contains only about 3,000 objects, and was possible thanks to the Dark Energy Survey (DES) at the Victor M. Blanco Telescope in Chile.

The team has only analyzed 4 of the 6 years of collected data. When finished, they suspect they will add around another 200 TNOs to their tally.

Read the rest of the piece on Vice.

Image: Public Domain Read the rest

Rediscovering the lost art of deep listening to music

Think of all of the real-world pleasures of the past we might rediscover while we weather Coronapocalypse 2020. Like "deep listening" to music.

Clear your schedule for the next three hours. Choose three full albums, whether from your collection or your streaming service of choice. Put them in an ordered queue as though you were programming a triple feature.

...most of us are half-assed when it comes to listening to albums. We put on artists’ work while we’re scrolling through Twitter, disinfecting doorknobs, obsessively washing our hands or romancing lovers permitted within our COVID-free zones. We rip our favorite tracks from their natural long-player habitat, drop them into playlists and forget the other songs, despite their being sequenced to be heard in order.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There was a time when listeners treated the mere existence of recorded sound as a miracle. A wonder, a kind of time travel. Priests warned of early wax cylinders being tools of the devil. Vintage images from the space age show couples seated around their high-fidelity systems as if being warmed by a fireplace.

Read the rest in the LA Times.

Photo by 𝓴𝓘𝓡𝓚 𝕝𝔸𝕀 on Unsplash Read the rest

Italian hospital needed an $11K part for its ventilators, volunteers 3D printed them at $1 each, original manufacturer threatened to sue

TechDirt has shared this heartwarming little tale in the face of a global pandemic. A hospital in Bescia needed a special valve for a ventilator which costs US$11,000. Even at that jaw-dropping price, the manufacturer was still unable to supply the critical part (due to global demand). So, the hospital tracked down someone with 3D printing experience and asked him to try and 3D print the part. Then things got shitty.

...the original manufacturer ... refused to share the relevant 3D file with Fracassi to help him print the valve. It even went so far as to threaten him for patent infringement if he tried to do so on his own. Since lives were at stake, he went ahead anyway, creating the 3D file from scratch. According to the Metro article, he produced an initial batch of ten, and then 100 more, all for free. Fracassi admits that his 3D-printed versions might not be very durable or re-usable. But when it's possible to make replacements so cheaply -- each 3D-printed part costs just one euro, or roughly a dollar -- that isn't a problem. At least it wouldn't be, except for that threat of legal action, which is also why Fracassi doesn't dare share his 3D file with other hospitals, despite their desperate need for these valves.

As one commenter points out, there may be legit reasons why 3D printing a part may not be safe, not tested, and there may be a reason why the part was so expensive to begin with. Read the rest

Look kids, it's a tour of the 1951 A.C. Gilbert Radioactive Atomic Energy Lab Kit, now with seven sources of radiation!

I have always been intrigued by the Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab Kit that was only sold for a year, starting in 1951. The kit included a Geiger counter, a Wilson cloud chamber, a spinthariscope, a electroscope, and a comic book in which Dagwood splits the atom. It also came with three sources of radiation and four samples of Uranium ore, also radioactive. It's the most DEVO-esque toy I could imagine.

While it is often identified as one of the world's most dangerous toys--what with the radioactive samples and all--as one commenter to this Chicago Museum of Science and Industry video tour states: Far more dangerous is the progressive dumbing down of scientific toys that has occurred in the past few decades and its impact on childhood curiosity and discovery.

As this video points out, the kit wasn't short-lived because of its dangers ("Dagwood, don't eat the Ru-106!"), but rather, its price tag of $50, which would be around $520 today.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Attention shut-in chaos cultists: Chaosium releases "Call of Cthulhu The Coloring Book" as a free download

In an effort to stave off boredom during the great quarantine of 2020, our pals over at Chaosium have made their award-winning Call of Cthulhu The Coloring Book available as a free download.

They've also announced a Call of Cthulhu The Coloring Book coloring competition. Share your colored handiwork on social media with the hashtag #homewithchaosium and they'll reshare and will be giving away prizes to their favorite entries.

Images: Chaosium, Inc. Read the rest

Mister Jalopy offers a unique approach to local retailers staying open while maintaining social distance

Maker icon and Boing Boing friend, Mister Jalopy, is one of my all-time favorite outside-the-box thinkers. David Letterman used to be fond of saying: "He (or she) ain't hooked up right." He always meant it as a compliment -- someone who marched to their own drummer, someone unvarnished, someone who didn't succumb to habituated thinking. Mister Jalopy ain't hooked up right.

In this Instagram video, he announces that his store, Coco's Variety, LA's most idiosyncratic bike shop, will remain open where so many other stores are closing. They are going old-timey and setting up a counter in the entrance to the store. Customers will approach the counter, request what they want, and the staff will bring purchases to them. They will also still work on your bike (if you're willing to have it washed in disinfectant first).

It will be interesting to see what other retailers do creatively to remain open. This is an inspiring start.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Coco’s is trying to keep the doors open to keep the wheels turning. Unprecedented times in which cycling becomes more important, not less so.

A post shared by Coco's Variety (@cocosvariety) on Mar 16, 2020 at 12:51pm PDT

Image: Screengrab Read the rest

The enduring beauty of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman" and one of the greatest musical couplets ever written

Lithub has a wonderful piece on the classic Jimmy Webb composition, "Wichita Lineman," one of the most enduring pop songs ever written. Made famous by the late Glen Campbell, the author of piece describes the song as one that "defies the injustice of repetition."

And then, there's that amazing "I need you more than want you" couplet.

There is little ambiguity about the greatest couplet ever written. The punchline—the sucker punch—of “Wichita Lineman,” the line in the song that resonates so much, the line that contains one of the most exquisite romantic couplets in the history of song—“And I need you more than want you / and I want you for all time”—could be many people’s perfect summation of love, although some, including writer Michael Hann, think it’s something sadder and perhaps more profound. “It is need, more than want, that defines the narrator’s relationship; if they need their lover more than wanting them, then naturally they will want them for all time. The couplet encompasses the fear that those who have been in relationships do sometimes struggle with: good God, what happens to me if I am left alone?” Hann is certainly right when he says that it’s a heart-stopping line, and no matter how many hundreds of times you hear it, no matter what it means to you, it never loses its ability to shock and confound.

Read the rest here.

Here is Glen Campbell singing the track on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in the late 60s. Read the rest

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